Will This Time of War in Israel Pave the Way for A Time of Counterfeit Peace? – By Mark Hitchcock - https://harbingersdaily.com/will-this-time-of-war-in-israel-pave-the-way-for-a-time-of-counterfeit-peace/
Last month, Prime Minister Netanyahu quoted the book of Ecclesiastes, declaring, “The Bible says there’s a time for peace and a time for war. This is a time for war.” He’s dead right about that. Israel’s most important priority right now is to defeat and displace Hamas. That is the predicate for any future lasting peace in the Middle East.
Prime Minister Netanyahu called the current conflict Israel’s “second War of Independence.”
The first War of Independence was in 1948, the rebirth of the modern state of Israel, when they were invaded by five nations simultaneously. Calling this their “second war of independence” is a powerful statement. Netanyahu also said Israel is “only at the beginning” regarding the conflict with the terrorist organization.
A Time For War
Israel has now penetrated deeply into Gaza and is “tightening the noose” on Hamas. Hamas’ days, I believe, are numbered. The bigger concern right now is up on the northern front with Hezbollah, which is another surrogate/proxy of Iran. They are a much more formidable foe than Hamas.
There has been a recent increase in heavy barrages coming into Israel from Hezbollah. They’re hitting further and further into Israel, which then is causing Israel to respond with its airpower hitting further and further into Lebanon. We are seeing a major escalation between Hezbollah and Israel, both in the terrorist group’s attacks, aggression, and rhetoric.
So far, Hezbollah is just a major distraction. But the question is, will they open a full-scale second front? Many believe they will. The calculus right now for Hezbollah is that once Israel deals a death blow to Hamas, they’re going to be next and that this is the best time, while Israel is distracted with Hamas, for them to make their all-out attack.
One other interesting development this month surrounded a paramilitary group in Russia, the Wagner group. They were headed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a brief coup against Vladimir Putin before dying under very suspicious circumstances earlier this year. The Wagner group is transferring air defense systems to Hezbollah.
So, we now have Russia, one of the nations from Ezekiel chapter 38 that will attempt to invade Israel in the end times, providing air defense systems to Hezbollah through the Wagner group.
What about Iran? Is Iran going to get involved in a greater way, other than just through proxies? Currently, their proxies are attacking American troops and bases in Syria and Iraq. They are also the main power behind Hamas and Hezbollah.
A Time For Peace
Prime Minister Netanyahu is right, “this is a time for war.” But what about peace? This may seem like a very strange time to talk about peace in the Middle East. Yet some experts are saying that this current war will actually pave the way for an expanded peace.
It’s an ironic twist. Iran unleashed Hamas, many believe, to torpedo and derail the peace talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Yet some are saying that, in the end, this may ultimately accelerate that process.
The Bible tells us that the event that starts the coming seven-year tribulation period, the time of Jacob’s trouble, is a covenant that the Antichrist, the final world ruler, will make with many in the land of Israel.
We know it will involve some kind of peace agreement, because Daniel 9:27 describes the covenant allowing Israel sovereignty, the rebuilding of a temple, and the renewing of their sacrifices on the temple mount. For that to happen, there has to be a peace guarantee.
Daniel 9:27 says, “And he [this coming prince/Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven years]…”
Hamas’ attack against Israel may have seemed to destroy all hope of peace, but remember what has happened in Israel’s past. Egypt was the most aggressive enemy against Israel after they were founded in 1948. Egypt, with four other nations, attacked Israel in that war of independence. Egypt also fought the Suez War with Israel in 1956. Egypt was part of the Six-Day War in 1967, in which Israel fought with the surrounding nations. In 1973, Syria and Egypt attacked Israel on Yom Kippur, the most holy day on the Jewish calendar (50 years plus one day later is when this Hamas attack occurred on October 7th).
Out of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, it looked like all hopes of peace were over; a mere four years later, Israel and Egypt began to engage in in-depth peace talks. Out of a terrible war in what looked like a hopeless situation in 1973, Israel had peace with Egypt in 1979. Israel gave up the Sinai to get that peace, and it has been maintained since then. Jordan also got on board and has had peace with Israel since 1994.
Many looking at what’s happening today are saying that when the chaos and conflict are finally over, people will be clamoring and yearning for peace, and it will make peace even more likely than before.
Last week, Time Magazine published the article “How Peace in the Middle East Can Still Be Reached.” The report is from several longtime advocates for Mideast peace who are both Democrats and Republicans.
“We believe that a silver lining could eventually emerge from the shocking invasion of Israel by Hamas and the tragic slaughter of over 1,300 civilians,” the article states. “Despite Hamas’ intention to prevent wider Mideast peace from emerging from the Biden Administration’s effort to broker normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and Saudi’s mixed signals on their willingness to move forward, we believe a deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia could yet take place and that Hamas’ murderous rampage could paradoxically accelerate regional peace once Hamas is defeated.”
This may actually be paving the way for a greater peace.
“Hamas’ invasion does not change the tectonic shifts sweeping across the Middle East,” the article goes on to say. “If anything, a lasting defeat of Hamas may end up removing obstacles that have long stood in the way of regional peace.”
Another article in the Washington Post says, “Why Israel should promote peace in the midst of war.” The author states that the “foremost objective” of this war, ultimately, will be peace.
The New York Times published “Peace, a Forgotten Word, Renews its Claim in the Holy Land.”
“The current disaster also appears to be a watershed moment, with near unanimity that something must give,” they wrote.
This is, undoubtedly, a time for war, as Netanyahu says, but peace will eventually come according to God’s Word. It will be a false, temporary, and counterfeit peace brokered by the Antichrist, and that’s the event that will start the seven-year Tribulation.
What we see today, as bad as the war is, in an incredibly ironic twist, is actually going to pave the way for this broader, greater peace in the Middle East.
The Final Peace
Ultimately, there’s a final peace that’s going to come to this world. That will come when Jesus returns to this earth as King, when Jesus comes back, according to Isaiah 9:6, as the Prince of Peace.
Before that day, you and I need to be praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). God will prosper those who love Israel (Genesis 12:3). We also need to pray daily for the coming of the Prince of Peace. We need to be praying every day, “Thy kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10).
Even so, come Lord Jesus.
God Gathering Gog-Magog – Terry James - https://terryjamesprophecyline.com/2023/11/13/god-gathering-gog-magog/
Many times I’ve remarked, after being informed of one prophetic development or another, something like: “Well…what can we expect at this late hour of the age? It’s all coming together just like it should.”
That’s almost a too-casual look on my part at these things we see happening that prove the truth of God’s prophetic Word. I haven’t, in making such a statement, fully grasped in every instance what is taking place at this late hour. At least, yours truly has been occasionally lax in totally understanding what’s taking place, to some extent. So I’ll say here that it’s my faux pas, not yours, that should be addressed and corrected.
Bottom line of this self-critique is that things are taking place not by natural, prophetic selection—the evolving events that build upon one another by happenstance. These things are actually orchestrated by the very hand of the One who foretold the matters involved. God is in the Heaven-ordained process of pulling all things together for the wrap-up of this quickly fleeting Age of Grace.
I could point to many areas that validate that this is taking place. However, one stands out profoundly.
The war Hamas started on November 7, which Israel is in the middle stages of finishing, seems to be the catalyst that’s galvanizing the final stage being set for the Gog-Magog battle (Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39). The Lord’s great hand of direction came starkly in view for me when the announcement that a minor player has just become part of the massive gathering of the major Gog-Magog players.
I don’t mean to trivialize that coming attack on God’s chosen people by likening it to a game of two teams opposing one another. Certainly that isn’t my intention. However, the whole of this thing called human creation and God’s dealing with us seems in some way to be a stupendous drama—a great play, that is, as the title of this article implies—directed by the very hand of God.
And what we see happening in and surrounding God’s chosen nation is unimpeachable proof, if we ever needed it, that He isn’t the existential God the agnostics claim, but a hands-on God beyond human comprehension.
And it isn’t the grand orchestration that so impresses me and any child of God. It is, rather, a more-or-less minor element He has just added to the drama He long ago told us about through Ezekiel that makes the goose bumps run up the back of the neck, because it shows just how very near we are to the finale of the great play that’s about to begin.
The “minor element” is the announcement given in the following news item:
MSN: Algerian parliament authorizes President Tebboune to support Gaza amid Israeli assaults
ALBAWABA- In a significant move, the Algerian Parliament has officially authorized President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to enter the conflict in support of Gaza, with a unanimous vote of 100/100.
This decision comes in response to the escalating Israeli massacres against the Palestinian population in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Algeria becomes the second Arab nation to declare official support for Palestine and to confront Israel. (“Algeria Votes to Go to War with Israel,” by CWR, November 3, 2023)
So why does this joining in by a minor Israel-hating, blood-vowed enemy invoke such a back-of-the-neck chill? The following helps us understand:
The key consideration is the content of Ezekiel 38 and 39. What features of these chapters indicate the timing of the invasion, its participants, and location?…
Magog occurs in the Old Testament on four occasions (Genesis 10:2; 1 Chronicles 1:5; Ezekiel 38:2; 39:6). It identifies a descendant of Japheth in the table of nations, which scholars trace to the ancient Scythians. These tribes lived in the region north of the Black Sea and some consider their territory stretched from Ukraine to Siberia. Further, Ezekiel describes Gog as “the prince of Rosh” (38:2, NASB), which also suggests a location in Russia, although the use of “Rosh” is debated…
Added to these are “Persia, Cush, and Put” (Ezekiel 38:5), as well as “Gomer and all his hordes” and “Beth-togarmah” (38:6). Persia is clearly modern Iran, another Islamic nation, whose name was changed to Iran in recent times. Cush and Put are more difficult to identify, as is Beth-togarmah. Scholars consider Cush is the nation of northern Sudan, an Islamic one, and Put is Libya, another Islamic (mainly Sunni) nation, and possibly includes Algeria and Tunisia because the ancient borders extended west beyond modern Libya. (“The Battle of Gog and Magog,” The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, https://www.foi.org/2021/12/10/the-battle-of-gog-and-magog/)
The fact that tiny Algeria—which is almost certainly a major constituent part of the ancient area known as “Put”—is now added to the jigsaw puzzle of the Gog-Magog invading horde shows that God’s great hand of control is at work. This confirms yet again that our Lord keeps every detail of His promises in every instance.
The detail we’re “looking up” for in particular is the Rapture of all believers in Jesus Christ. Here is how to be assured you will be a part of that tremendous rescue from this judgment-bound world.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)
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The Last Republic – Pete Garcia - https://www.rev310.net/post/the-last-republic
The people of the great nations of the past seem normally to have imagined that their pre-eminence would last forever. Rome appeared to its citizens to be destined to be for all time the mistress of the world. The Abbasid Khalifs of Baghdad declared that God had appointed them to rule mankind until the day of judgment. Seventy years ago, many people in Britain believed that the empire would endure forever. Although Hitler failed to achieve his objective, he declared that Germany would rule the world for a thousand years. That sentiments like these could be publicly expressed without evoking derision shows that, in all the ages, the regular rise and fall of great nations has passed unperceived. The simplest statistics prove the steady rotation of one nation after another at regular intervals.
Sir John Glubb, the Fate of Empires
Any title, regardless of medium which proposes to be the "last" of anything, sets itself up as shamelessly appealing to hyperbole...unless it's true. While this author takes no pleasure in chronicling the collapse of this once-great nation, I feel it necessary to continue beating this particular drum perhaps on the off chance someone stumbles across it and wakes from the slumber of normalcy bias that has for too long, kept the lethargic masses unaware of the imminent danger ahead. The United States of America is the world's last republic.
The world is changing and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. Not only is it changing, but the speed and intensity at which it is changing is only increasing exponentially. At present, world leaders are trying to manipulate this inevitable eventuality and coopt it into something they think they can control. They come up with fancy labels like the ‘fourth turning point’, the 'great reset,' or the ‘new world order’ as if by giving it a name, they can then commandeer it to meet their own agenda. The inevitability of it all reminds me very much of the opening portion of the epochal poem The Second Coming, by W.B. Yeats.
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity..."
Regardless of the label, the reality on the ground is that events are quickly spiraling out of control. The rapid advancements in technology and science, coupled with the rapid deterioration in culture and morality are plunging the world into darkness not seen since the antediluvian days of yore. Tragically, at the same time when mankind has become its most dangerous version of itself, is also the same time when it is at its most morally vacant.
Nevertheless, as the wise King Solomon once surmised, there is no new thing under the sun. Just as that pre flood generation met their demise drowning under a watery judgment, so to will we see this current world order toppled by chaos in order to fulfill Bible prophecy. These are the days of Noah and Lot Jesus spoke of when He identified them with laser-like precision.
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so, will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed." Luke 17:26-30
The Dichotomy of Normality
Most folk I talk to about the future, have no idea about what is coming...nor how soon. Most think that they will be here long enough to see their grandkids get married. They're thinking in terms of years and decades, even though our current reality presents a much smaller window. This normalcy bias is façade that most today willingly choose to embrace over facing the cold, hard, truth that things which begin, also end.
It is fascinating to me for example, to watch commercials promoting various financial investments who are selling the viewer a scenario involving white picket fences, well-behaved grandkids, and a life of ease in retirement, but only if you start building your retirement plan today. And to ‘hedge your bets’ against growing financial uncertainty, better add a little gold and silver to your portfolio just in case the economy hits a hiccup. They never show cities on fire, lawlessness, and the complete breakdown of society (this is why I would never make it marketing).
Well, any student of history would understand that nothing lasts forever, and kingdoms and empires routinely come and go as Sir John Glubb so succinctly points out. What made the United States so enduring, was not our power or wealth, but that our form of government was built on the foundation that our personal liberties were granted by our Creator, and not by man.
But when our government divorces itself from the very thing that makes it strong, it divorces itself from the protection and blessings that come with those God-given rights. At that point, the center cannot hold and we then fall into the long list of other great former empires that have since been swept into the dustbin of history.
By the mid-1800s, it was not only said but universally understood that the sun never set on the British Empire. But two World Wars later, the ‘great’ in Great Britain seemed more like a self-aggrandizing exaggeration than a reality. Great Britain once dominated all seven seas and made the world march to its economic beat…yet today is only a fraction of its former self. Thus, the once commonly held axiom proved untrue, and the sun did finally set on the Union Jack.
2. The Ottoman Empire
For four hundred years, the Ottoman Empire dominated the Middle East. Emerging in the late 13th century under Osman I, the Ottoman Empire reached its peak during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century, becoming a global power. Spanning three continents, it was a diverse and multicultural empire committed to the militant spread of Sunni Islam. However, internal strife, military defeats, and economic decline contributed to its gradual decline in the 17th century. The empire faced significant challenges from rising European powers, leading to territorial losses and the eventual dissolution of its vast empire after its defeat in World War I.
3. The Soviet Union
Tsarist Russia survived as an empire from the 1500s to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. The communists, led by Vladimir Lenin, promised the Russian people that the working class should rise up and remove the aristocratic boot off the neck of the proletariat. Seventy years, and tens of millions of deaths later, the Russian people were financially, morally, and spiritually bankrupt. Although vodka and atheism were still on the shelves of the local market in abundance, liberty, happiness, and bread had long since been rare commodities.
4. The Third Reich
In 1933, Adolph Hitler promised a broken German nation that his Nationalist Socialist government would usher in a ‘thousand-year Reich’ in which Germany and the Aryan people would become the head of all nations. Yet less than 12 years later, the Blitzkrieg would run out, and the tide would turn, ultimately spelling their destruction and drowning them in the shame of what they had allowed to happen to the Jewish people under the banner of the swastika.
5. Pax Americana
Beginning with the pilgrims' arrival to the "new world" in 1620 to live in religious freedom, the founding of America has seemingly been one of remarkable divine providence. No nation in history has achieved such heights and lived at such levels of opulence as the US has for as long as it has. From the aftermath of World War II to the early 1990s, the US enjoyed 70+ years of comfort and leisure unmatched in world history. However, beginning in the late 1980s, the US began to see a shrinking middle class and a growing divide between the very rich, and the very poor. This division became increasingly noticeable as one crisis after another began to plague this nation, exposing the corruption and hollowness that has been quietly rotting away the nation's moral center for decades.
We are no longer in the decline phase of the United States…because we’ve been in that phase for the last forty years or so. We are in the final death throes where the only action left that can be taken, has to be dramatic. And when the United States goes, the world’s economy will be turned on its head, and only those who had cut their financial umbilical cords early enough would remain the most unaffected. It will cause a massive reshuffling in which nations rise to the top, and suffer the greatest. Even the US decline is causing nations around the world to reconsider their alliances with us in light of said decline.
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway.
Common sense dictates that at $33T in national debt, out-of-control inflation, runaway technological advancements, uncontrolled open borders, corruption at every level of corporate and governmental power, a generation steeped in post-modernism, and a growing list of global, existential challenges, it wouldn't take much to knock the United States off of the top of the food chain.
The Bible (which has a perfect track record thus far in predicting future events), mentions many nations by their ancient names as being participants in the final events of human history. This makes the absence of any mention of the world's greatest nation in history (the United States) in the Bible all the more ominous. The Bible states that at the Rapture of the Church, God will remove one generation of believers in the blink of an eye.
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
While it is possible that some other scenario (World War Three, a new pandemic, a global disaster, etc.) becomes the final trigger to begin the collapse of our once great nation, the reality that tens of millions of Americans will be among those who are instantaneously removed at the Rapture may well prove to be that final global crisis the leaders in this present age didn't see coming. This will cause the United States government to collapse rather quickly, then triggering a cascading chain of events that will turn the world on its head.
Seeing as how in this present world order, the US is currently orchestrating the global economy, this collapse will then create a geopolitical vacuum not seen or felt since the demise of the Roman Empire. Thus, the worlds last republic will be done, and what follows, is tyranny. Like the fictional Ozymandias, all that will remain from the US will be proud words carved on marble and stone detailing our immortal greatness amidst a vast wasteland of ruin.
Our demise will be followed by an undetermined and chaotic period of time as the world governments race to reorganize and fill the geopolitical and economic vacuum the US left in its wake. According to Scripture, the last human government that comes in forms a ten-region confederacy that is quickly commandeered by two individuals to form an imperial global government backed by hell itself. This final human kingdom comes under the leadership of a man who actually thinks himself to be God.
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2 Thess. 2:9-10
While we don't know who this man is as of yet, we know him by the many titles the Bible gives him: the Antichrist, the Lawless One, the Man of Sin, the Beast, the rider on the white horse, etc. His aide-de-camp is a person known in Scripture as the False Prophet, who will force everyone on earth, on pain of death, to take the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16-18). These two are then supernaturally empowered by Satan and his countless legions of fallen angels to literally bring hell on earth. Together, this satanic trinity will iron-fistedly rule the world for seven years until they meet their fate with the return of Jesus Himself who comes in power and glory at the Second Coming.
"Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen."
While this may seem overwhelmingly gloomy and downtrodden, it shouldn’t be for the Christian. The Bible never said that this world would get better, only that things would continue to deteriorate and spin more out of control the closer we get to the end. The Bible says that a revived Roman Empire would emerge out of the chaos, and out of it, the man of sin who will control the whole earth (Daniel 9:26). I can only think that as the US collapses, the European Union (EU) and/or the Union of the Mediterranean (UfM) rises to fill the void left in the wake of our absence.
Currently sitting at a population of 500 million, and with the number 1 or 2 largest GDP in the world (depending on the source), the European Union has been sitting back and allowing the US to do all the heavy lifting over the past 70 years. But as we decrease, they must increase. There are three things that the EU currently lacks we should see shaping up prior to and immediately after our departure.
A unified governing body or leader: We see that there is now in motion, a discussion within the EU to create a ‘super president’ that would preside over both the EU Council and Commissions. This leader would wield incredible power, and although it has been on the back-burner since 2012, the idea has not gone away. All it needs is the right opportunity presented by the right crisis for this to become a reality.
A powerful military: Since the creation of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO has been the stalwart defense posture for Western Europe. It was meant to be a deterrence for war from anyone, either inside or outside of Europe. As of 2021, with a burgeoning and expansionist Russia and China on the prowl, Europeans are having to reconsider the possibility that defense cuts may not be in their best interests. NATO is the perfect model for a European army to fall into or take over once the US is no longer leading from the front.
Financial Superiority: What we’ve seen in recent years with financial problems with the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain) countries, is a series of financial calamities spreading faster than the Ebola virus in Liberia. The northern half of Europe seems more fiscally solvent than southern Europe, but both are linked at the hip requiring a more comprehensive solution. A declining US Dollar will force them to ditch the Euro in favor of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that will provide absolute control over their finances, their economies, and their populations.
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings Acts 17:26
While unpopular and anti-patriotic as this article seems, the truth is, as born-again believers, we should not mourn the passing of this once great nation. It served a grand purpose in God’s economy of time (Acts 17:26). Because of the United States, many hundreds of millions lived under the umbrella of religious freedom to serve God and to share that love of God with a lost and dying world. Missions and missionaries, bibles and biblical literature, teachers and preachers went forth from American shores to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with more people around the world, than any nation before it. While the US might be a cesspool of heresy and debauchery today, it was what God allowed it to be, for the time He allowed it.
Furthermore, the US was the first to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation. We supported her financially, militarily, and politically for many decades. That support seems to be on the ropes now, clinging for its very life, and always with strings attached, but God used the United States to allow Israel to come back to the table of nations after 1900+ years of Diaspora.
We are in decline, no doubt about it. No amount of revival will revive us nationally. Considering how fractured we are denominationally, it is hard to fathom that any attempt to come together at a national level would be anything less than a watered-down, ecumenical, toss pot of Luke-warm piety.
Repentance at the grassroots level starts with the individual, then our families, and then our local churches. This alone will stem neither time nor tide, but it will be for us, exactly where God wants us to be...a Church that is hungry for God, hungry for the truth, and willing enough to set its own pride aside. Furthermore, we are to share that hunger with a lost and dying world.
Again, we shouldn’t be ignorant of the fact that we are an empire in rapid decline, nor that our economy is in the toilet. However, we shouldn’t worry about what tomorrow will bring either, because if we belong to Jesus, the King takes care of His own. I’m not saying that we won’t have trials and tribulations in this life, because Jesus promised us we would. I am saying that when you step back and compare today with eternity, your problems (and mine), will melt away in the glory of God’s greatness. Put your faith in God, and not in man. Put your faith in the Bible, instead of political rhetoric. We are Ambassadors for Christ, and one day soon, we will be called to our true, eternal homes to serve a King and Kingdom with no end.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6 (emphasis mine)
In recent talks with my good friend John B., he included some well-thought-through comments that I thought warranted including. He writes:
"I’ve been thinking about where we are, why things are as they are, and what we need to be reminded of.
We know we are at the end of the end. The signs are all there and happening like labor pains. There is no longer a pain here and a pain there with mainly normalcy for long spans. Those days are over. We are now at the point where there is no normal, the whole landscape is labor pains and it has to mean the event is imminent.
During a pregnancy, a woman’s body changes to prepare room for the child. It changes to broaden a pathway for the coming birth. It is prepared to allow nourishment for the baby after the birth. The whole process is evolving until everything is ready and the baby is ready to arrive.
We see the world is changing. Countries are changing. National Sovereignty is changing. Things are evolving on a global scale to allow the control of the world by a small group or person (10 Kings then antichrist). Power is being consolidated. Wealth is being consolidated. Communications are being consolidated. Economies are preparing for consolidation. Technology is being weaponized to enslave humanity. Everything is being prepared by the Gentiles to welcome their king, the Antichrist so he can rule the world.
At the same time, we now are seeing even more obvious birth pains as the nation of Israel is in the world’s crosshairs and the final yet-to-be-fulfilled prophesies for the Jewish nation appear to be moving closer to fruition. Jerusalem is their capital. They have plans to rebuild the temple. Their enemies are ratcheting up.
Attacks and the world is turning more and more anti-semitic. The final push by the Gentiles to finally rid the world of the Jews appears to be as much on the current radar as it was in the final years of WW2 in Nazi Germany. Gog-Magog, Damascus, and currently Psalm 83 seem right in our near future or already here. When these things are happening, Israel has always believed it will mean one thing, their King Messiah is near His arrival and will save Israel and make them great again. Israel is ripe for deception (and for a time they will fall for the antichrist's lies) but ultimately God has another plan. Everything is being prepared for The Jews to finally welcome their King, Jesus Christ.
So if this is where we are (at the end of the labor pains and ready for the birthing) and the reason why we are here is so 1) the Gentiles can anoint Antichrist king of the world only to plunge the world into the hellish 7 year Tribulation, and 2) Israel will be catapulted into this 7-year trib (known as the time of Jacobs Trouble) so they can be refined and brought to faith in their real Messiah Jesus Christ, then what is the thing we need to be reminded of?
We need to remember that all this is happening for the Glory of Jesus Christ. The rapture will be for His Glory as He raptures His Saints to be His adoring bride. The Tribulation happens so that Christ can display His mighty Holy wrath as the undisputed conquering King punishing the nations for rejecting Him and His Word and making all nations bow at His knee Honoring Him.
Israel is put through the fire so they will finally accept Jesus as the Messiah they had rejected and their hearts are broken as they cry out to Him for salvation that He returns in the nick of time as their conquering king, vanquishing His foes and Israel’s enemies to fulfill all the Old Testament promises and prophesies they have longed to see. He will be glorified on David’s throne just as God promised and every jot and tittle of the Word of God will be fulfilled by Jesus just as He promised at His first coming. He will destroy the false king and false prophet and ultimately Satan and the demonic realm showing His glory to all creation that no one is a match for the King of Kings and no one will usurp His Glory and rightful throne.
This is all about Jesus. All about everyone in Heaven, and earth and under the earth bowing and proclaiming He is Lord! He will be adored by the redeemed eternally because He saved us from the damnation we deserved. He will be honored by Israel as the mighty king they long desired and the nations will honor Him as the only one worthy to rule humanity righteously. His enemies will bow defeated and Honor His greatness. The angels will honor and cheer Him for saving humanity and destroying the leaders of the heavenly rebellion. Most importantly, His Father will give Him glory as the one who completed the plan and restored creation to its proper condition completing the Father’s plan from before the foundations of the world.
This is all for Jesus' glory. It’s playing out to perfection. And it’s unfolding before our eyes. Hallelujah!"
Even so, Maranatha!
Suddenly, A Burden for Israel - By Paul J. Scharf - https://www.raptureready.com/2023/10/18/suddenly-a-burden-for-israel-by-paul-j-scharf/
On Shabbat morning, following the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles, on Simchat Torah—a day set aside to commemorate the joy that flows from God’s Law—terror fell upon Israel.
On Oct. 7, 2023—50 years and a day after the onslaught of the Yom Kippur War—the forces of Hamas pulled back the curtains and showed the face of undiminished wickedness, their capacity to commit horrific acts of barbarism being matched only by their hatred for Israel and the Jewish people. They undeniably touched “the apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8). From their attacks against “the Holy Land” (Zech. 2:12), targeting the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we gain significant insight into the depravity of the human heart.
Indeed, the ultimate “Seed” (Gal. 3:16) of Abraham, our Lord Jesus, explicitly warned us that the days before His return would increasingly resemble “the days of Noah” (Matt. 24:37). Those were days fueled by demonism—to such an extent “that every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). Thus, “the earth was filled with violence” (Gen. 6:11). Clearly, the world is moving toward a future time of tribulation when all the restraints against evil will be cast off (see 2 Thess. 2:6-7).
Yet, even on this—a day reminiscent of the Holocaust for the Jewish people—God was watching over His chosen people and their land. He calls to us through the words of the prophet Zechariah, saying:
“My cities shall again spread out through prosperity;
The LORD will again comfort Zion,
And will again choose Jerusalem” (Zech. 1:17).
Appropriately, many Christians are now feeling as if we carry a renewed burden for Israel and the Jewish people. After all, they have bequeathed to us our Scriptures and our Savior, and we anticipate the day when we will share with them in His kingdom—there in their land. More broadly, as Americans, we recognize Israel’s colossal contributions to the development of Western civilization, and today, she serves as a deeply cherished ally in the Middle East.
This is a time and opportunity then, first of all, to seek to “bless” (Gen. 12:3) the people of Israel. Let us not attempt to rid ourselves of this burden that we feel. Rather, may it drive our passions for Israel to run even deeper than they ever have before.
I believe that many Christians are wondering what all of this means with regard to God’s prophetic timetable for Israel and the world. I am sure that many entered churches last Sunday with the hope of hearing comforting words, which would also give them perception to put these events in Biblical context. I am certain that many of them left disappointed.
I would love the opportunity to address those pastors and church leaders who could yet be persuaded of the Biblical importance of Israel. Perhaps they even claim to hold to a dispensational understanding of Biblical history and prophecy and yet have not focused sufficiently on these areas. Perhaps they’ve been neglectful in dealing with them from the pulpit. If I could, I would simply tell them that there will never be a better season to shepherd their people toward an understanding of Israel’s past, present and glorious future—rooted in God’s covenant-keeping love. Although they are currently a nation in unbelief, He is working within history to guide His people into “an everlasting salvation” (Isa. 45:17).
Will all of this take wisdom, courage and boldness—for all of us, and for some more than others? Of course—just as it did when The Friends of Israel was founded 85 years ago this December … even when there was no Israel to befriend.
The events of last Saturday are a huge weight to bear for Zion, and for all who love her (see Ps. 87:2). Jesus certainly warned us of such times, stating in Luke 21:24:
“Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
We know that Israel will indeed be the staging area for end-time events, and God must—and will—protect her. We thank Him for that glorious word until in the passage referenced above—which means that there is a purpose and a termination to all of this. The prophet Isaiah described it like this:
“I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off;
My salvation shall not linger.
And I will place salvation in Zion,
For Israel My glory” (Isa. 46:13).
In the end, those who refuse to carry this burden for the people of Israel and for their eternal salvation will learn how Jerusalem itself will become “a very heavy stone for all peoples” (Zech. 12:3).
Now is not the time to equivocate. This is our generation’s opportunity to stand with the people of Israel. I implore you to do so without hesitation or shame.
Daily Jot: Politics and values - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Somewhere along the line, the Christian “church” went off mission by entrusting moral solutions to politics. Abdicating “church” responsibilities to politicians and government has bad results. In the 1960’s mainline churches supported President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society agenda where a new era of taxation and government programs were to aid the less fortunate. To many church leaders this transfer of wealth meant the government would be doing the heavy lifting in helping the poor and elderly, and thus, reducing the financial pressure from church community outreach. This meant more money for buildings and programs, parking lots and technology, but the blessings of salvation and giving were diminished.
Fast forward to today. The “church” is in shock over the results of the recent elections. Democrats in Virginia made abortion rights the only issue. They bombarded the airwaves with the concept that because Republican extremists wanted no abortion-no exceptions, women were going to die. Republicans had no response. They let the lies stand. They ceded their values. And the Democrats won. In Ohio, a similar election. Democrats pounded their claims about women’s rights and abortion restrictions without exceptions. Not only did they codify abortion and other parental rights restrictions in the Ohio constitution, they were successful in legalizing marijuana. Both of these issues are about moral code and values and both were carried by younger voters.
Churches need to wake up to the fact their programs and lukewarm teachings and judgmental, hypocritical culture has lost our society through the millennials, gen z’s, and gen x’s because they see no value in “church.” Democrats have recognized that the moral code among the voting society is government-centric, not church-centric. People get fired up from one-sentence half-truths and lies they see in social media posts, headlines from leftist news outlets, and talking heads in podcasts. There is no discernment. They think that rebellious attitudes and bullying are the way to a happy and successful life. Everybody is wrong, except the individual’s rights—which are based on the worldly rather than the Godly. Hate don’t live here, except when you disagree with the resident position.
Churches should focus on the Word of God rather than corporate marketing, the size of the parking lot, the big building, and the skinny jean/smoke machine worship. Younger people need to be inspired to love Christ and his saving grace—not by enticement, but by example. If this was an emphasis in the pulpit rather than feel good self-improvement and entertainment, maybe it would filter to the dinner table and maybe eventually the abortionists would be put out of business because young men and ladies would understand the value of life. You know, the Proverbs 22:6 thing—“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it.” As Christ said about giving unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Allowing the political system/government to set values, as we can see, doesn’t work.
Daily Devotion: The Cover-Up - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the LORD, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. —Numbers 32:23
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/the-cover-up/ - Listen
Some years ago, I read a humorous article about someone who decided to rob a Baptist church in North Carolina. But he was more than six feet tall and weighed 235 pounds. And when he tried to escape with his loot through a bathroom window, he got stuck. It took four police officers pushing and pulling him to get him out of the window.
His sin found him out.
Moses warned the children of Israel, “But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 NLT).
He knew this from firsthand experience.
After Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating one of his fellow Hebrews, he probably thought the Hebrew people would applaud him. He may have been hoping they’d say, “That Moses is something! He’s the grandson of Pharaoh, but he risked everything to help us. He’s our new hero.”
However, things didn’t go as Moses had hoped.
The next day when he saw a couple of Hebrews fighting, he walked up and tried to settle the dispute. But one of them said, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” (Exodus 2:14 NLT).
Moses thought he had hidden his sin, but he suddenly realized that everyone knew. He also realized that he was in trouble. When Pharaoh heard about it, he tried to kill Moses. So, Moses fled for his life into the wilderness.
Moses lost everything: his position, his people, and his reputation. But he hadn’t lost God. He did the wrong thing in the wrong way at the wrong time. His timing was horribly off—by about forty years. Though Moses was gifted to be a leader, he wasn’t quite ready yet.
His heart was in the right place, but he went about it the wrong way. He made a huge mess for himself, and it seemed as though everyone had turned against him. But God had not turned against Moses. And what looked like the end of his life actually was the beginning of a new one.
He found a family that befriended them. He married one of the daughters in the family and ended up watching her father’s sheep. He probably thought that was where he would die.
But God had other plans. Moses was a leader in training.
It has been said that Moses spent forty years in Pharaoh’s court finding out he was a somebody. He spent forty years in the wilderness finding out he was a nobody. And then he spent forty years finding out what God can do with a somebody who realizes they are a nobody.
Are you trying to cover up something right now? Is there some secret sin in your life? If so, then just come out with it and confess it, because sooner or later, it will be exposed. Nothing is hidden from God.
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