Red Sea Chaos: Is The Aggression of Yemen’s Houthis Rebels Prophetically Significant? – By Mark Hitchcock - https://harbingersdaily.com/red-sea-chaos-is-the-aggression-of-yemens-houthis-rebels-prophetically-significant/
Ever since the Hamas invasion of Israel, the Houthis in Yemen have been firing daily ballistic missiles and suicide drones at Israel, in addition to attacking ships in the Red Sea. The Houthis stand in solidarity with Hamas. They insist that when Israel withdraws from Gaza, they will stop these attacks.
While there are isolated Iran proxies In Iraq and Syria, the three main groups doing the bidding of Iran are Hamas in Gaza, which Israel is attacking now, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the southern portion of Syria, and the Houthi rebels located in Yemen.
Who Are The Houthis?
An article published in late December by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) states, “The Houthi movement’s ideology is deeply rooted in antisemitic, Islamic fundamentalist, anti-American sentiment, as reflected in the slogan on its flag…”
The slogan on the Houthi flag reads: “Allah is great, death to the USA, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam.” That pretty well summarizes what they’re all about.
AJC further noted that “the Houthis are an extremist Shia-Islamist movement and terrorist army.”
Only about 15% of Muslims in the world are Shiites, and about 85% are Sunnis. There are only three nations in the world that have a majority of Shiite Muslims—Iraq, Iran, and Bahrain. The Houthis are part of this Shiite wing of Islam.
“Backed by Iran, this organization controls approximately one-third of Yemen’s territory and more than two-thirds of the country’s population,” the article continues, “It has emerged as a prominent player in the Israel-Hamas war.”
“In recent weeks, Houthi terrorists have fired near daily ballistic missiles and suicide drones at Israel and ships in the Red Sea – most of them intercepted by Israel’s multi-layered air defense system or U.S. warships in the Red Sea,” the AJC described.
There have been about 20 attacks on vessels in the Red Sea. If you look at the map, you will see the Suez Canal at the top of the Red Sea, and down at the very bottom, there is a very narrow strait called “the Gate of Grief” or “the Gate of Tears.” The Houthis are firing on the ships in that area and disrupting global maritime travel and trade.
Just Wednesday, the BBC reported that the Navies of the U.S. and the U.K. “repelled the largest attack yet on Red Sea shipping.” NPR similarly stated that the Houthis’ latest action was the “largest-ever barrage of drones and missiles targeting shipping in the Red Sea.”
All of this is stoking fear of a wider conflict.
NBC News on Tuesday quoted two diplomats from NATO countries, who said that “strike plans against Houthi bases, boats, and weapons in Yemen have already been drawn up.”
NATO already has plans regarding the bases and the different places they’re going to hit in Yemen if these attacks are not stopped. Approximately 10% of the world’s shipping goes through this hotspot. These attacks are very disruptive to commerce and, it is believed, can create inflation.
All of these Houthi actions are directed against Israel. Any ships that are related in any tangential way to Israel are the primary targets.
Is Yemen Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
It’s interesting that Yemen, where the Houthis are located, is likely the area referred to in the Bible as “Sheba.” That probably rings a bell with many who have heard of the Queen of Sheba, who came and visited King Solomon. Some believe that Sheba may be in Saudi Arabia, but most commentators, scholars, historians, and geographers believe that Yemen is the region in which ancient Sheba was located.
There are nine books and twenty-three verses in the Old Testament that mention Sheba. The area was also referenced in the New Testament, when Jesus mentions the Queen of Sheba, and other places in the Gospels.
The first time that Sheba is addressed in the Bible is back in Genesis chapter 10, with the table of the nations that were scattered from Babel. The last time she was mentioned in the Old Testament is in Ezekiel 38:13, as part of this Gog Magog war.
Ezekiel 38 says that when these Gog Magog nations—Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, and Sudan—invade Israel in the end times, there are some nations that are going to sit on the sidelines and issue a kind of lame protest to what’s happening. Those nations are identified as Sheba, Dedan, and the young lions of Tarshish.
Dedan is likely Saudi Arabia and the other more moderate Arab and Gulf states. The young lions of Tarshish are presumably the nations of Western Europe. Sheba could be part of Saudi Arabia, but it’s probably Yemen.
If that’s true, then something is going to have to happen in Yemen to neutralize these Houthi rebels. As mentioned earlier, if the Houthis keep making these attacks in the Red Sea, NATO has stated that they are prepared to take them out. There may be a lot of twists and turns before we get to the end, but Yemen is going to be a much different nation in the end times than they are today, becoming neutral or even on the Israeli side in the Ezekiel 38 war against the Jewish State.
Any discussion of Sheba or modern Yemen is not complete unless we look at a couple of passages in the Old Testament. King Solomon wrote two Psalms, one of which is Psalm 72, which looks at the great and glorious golden age of Israel when Solomon reigned. Writing this Psalm, he goes beyond himself, looking at the ultimate “King’s son,” who will be the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, who is going to rule the world. He writes, “The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.” This is a foreshadowing of the coming millennial reign of Christ.
Isaiah 60:1-6 says, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord.”
You know, when they came to worship the baby Jesus, they brought gold, which speaks of His deity, frankincense, Which speaks of His perfect life, and myrrh, which is used for embalming bodies, speaking of His death. You’ll notice here in the millennial reign of Christ when they come, it says they bring gold and incense. There’s no myrrh. Jesus died once, never to die again.
We look forward to that day when the nations will stream to the land of Israel to worship the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Sheba today in Yemen are firing ballistic missiles and drones into Israel, but the day is going to come when they’re going to bring gifts to the land of Israel to worship the Messiah. What a reversal that is going to be, and we pray that it will come soon.
The first event that will trigger all of these is the rapture of the church. We have every reason to believe it could happen very soon. I pray that we’re ready for that event.
We Are Not Ignorant of Satan’s Schemes: Part 2 - By Ron Ferguson - https://www.raptureready.com/2024/01/10/we-are-not-ignorant-of-satans-schemes-part-2-by-ron-ferguson/
We will continue the examination of the means Satan uses to bring destruction on people and nations. God says we are not ignorant of how Satan works – 2 Corinthians 2:11 “in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan, FOR WE ARE NOT IGNORANT OF HIS SCHEMES.” Let us continue looking at other satanic avenues to destroy this planet.
[4.] SATAN’S OPERATIVES HAVE TAKEN CONTROL OF EDUCATION
Where is the impressionable and trusting mind to be found? Among young people, of course. Infants and young children are the prey for Satan as he spews his wicked agenda through wicked men and women into the classrooms. Impressionable minds are what appeals to Satan, and his people on earth use this means to infiltrate and indoctrinate young lives to make them active little socialists and anti-Christian advocates. There is a huge battle going on, and most are not aware of it.
The great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Give me a child until he is 7, and I will show you the man.” Aristotle knew the great importance of the first years of life, and so did God – Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” What was a Christian edict has been subverted by the evil forces in this world by the prince of darkness. Satan raised up Lenin, and look what Lenin said:
Lenin, the founder of communism, said, “Give me a child for the first 5 years of his life, and he will be mine forever.” Of course, Lenin was demonically possessed, a hateful man, his communist philosophy leading to the murder of hundreds of millions of people. The breed of socialists/Marxists today are implementing what Lenin expounded, and their harvest will come from school kids, kindergarten kids, young people, and, of course, from Universities.
The infiltration into the education system by Satan’s select people has destroyed decency, goodness, and traditional values in the classrooms of the Western world. Educational Psychologists (all are humanists), advisors, curriculum advisors and planners, and a host of others have played their part by removing the traditional values from education to be replaced by socialism and humanism. Our universities spew out role models in Marxism and refined humanism.
Education may have lined up to some extent with inconsistent and nominal Christian values in the past, but it was based on a lot of biblical standards. Now, it has all been cast away for the new socialism and in preparation for globalism. All that is satanic, for all human beings will be controlled by the globalist elite, anti-God, anti-Christian and anti-Jew.
In the United States and many other Western societies, educational standards have been falling. Just today (November 2023), Senator John Kennedy from Louisiana pointed out that in the past 10 years, the standards in reading, literacy, and mathematics have fallen very noticeably in his state. Australia has standards that have fallen very dramatically, way down in comparison with other nations.
Why has that happened? There must be a cause, and there is. Standards in everything have fallen because the standard of excellence that was built into education and into all other facets of society has fallen victim to “near enough is good enough,” “it’s not that important,” and “I don’t care.” People who are to maintain standards (such as teachers) are themselves victims of falling levels from their own education, and they have lower and lower expectations. In other words, the intrusion of socialism and lack of responsibility in society see educational standards decline.
Laziness is an operative factor as well. In one Australian State under socialism, the Government announced it is trialing a 4-day school week. The State is already very low in standards, and much time is given to social issues like climate change, renewable energy, saving the Great Barrier Reef, and aboriginal “matters.” That is NOT what schools are about. Once God is thrown out, anything and everything not of God rises to prominence.
The educational standards in China and India, and often for Asian students, are usually a lot higher. The parents care, and the State and nations are sincere to cause the children to reach the highest possible standards.
Satan loves lack of educational standards because the more society is dumbed down, the more robotic and lethargic people become with no consideration for their eternal souls. To counter that, there is an increasing move to homeschooling and Christian-based schools, but it was announced just yesterday that my State is going to crack down on homeschooling. It looks like we are under the assault of the enemy, and we are! Train up your children in the way of the Lord, and when they are older, they won’t depart from that.
[5.] SATAN JUST LOVES RELIGION
I have never liked the word “religion,” as it pertains more to a system of men, in my mind. I always say, “It is not religion that counts; it is relationship.” People ask, “What religion are you?” and by that, some mean, “What main religion are you, e.g. Christian or Hindu or others?” OR they may mean, “What denomination are you?” In any case, organized religion is of men, not of God. The word “religion” is used 5 times in the NASB, this being one of the usages – Colossians 2:23 “These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom IN SELF-MADE RELIGION and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”
The very heart of religion is where Satan will sit. He owns the Roman Catholic church and has destroyed most of the mainline denominations through liberalism and unconverted men and women in authority. The decay and collapse of the church is Satan’s delight. The second half of the 1900s saw the beginning of a rapid decline in Christian faithfulness and an acceptance of mediocrity.
Any student of the history of the Christian church will know how the church plunged into gross morality, bloodshed, torture, political ruthlessness, totally unbiblical doctrines like indulgences, papal dictatorship, etc. From about 800 AD, those things started to gain a foothold and slowly take over. The Middle Ages and Dark Ages saw the darkness of the church. Read it for yourselves. You will see it in any reputable book on Church History. People were denied biblical truth. You can hardly comprehend how the church would burn at the stake people who had a copy of the Bible or confessed faith in Jesus Christ.
Yes, Satan controlled the church. I AM NOT saying there are no Christians in the Roman Catholic church. Do not misunderstand me; I speak of the system of religion.
Not only the Roman church comes under condemnation, but the Protestant churches that may have started well are in decline. More of them are allowing homosexuality into the churches and marrying the church to socialism with adherence to social issues, such as supporting militant marches against coal and gas and support of “gay” marriage.
The church is the most critical area for attack. Satan hates Christians enormously. He works tirelessly to weaken, corrupt, and neutralize any Christian witness. A church that does not uphold every doctrine in the Bible and acts according to the inspiration of the word is defective. It has come under the influence of Satan’s maliciousness because it made a chink in its armor. Many have become lukewarm and are in danger of being spewed from the Lord’s mouth.
There is a world of difference between religion and faith. A man may be religious but does not have faith in God. He may go through the rituals but is not converted to possess the salvation of God through faith. In fact, Satan loves religion because he can manipulate it, and he does. How many religions are there in the world? You would never calculate it, but tens of thousands. Generally, religion is man’s way of trying to answer the meaning of life. Much of it is filled with idolatry and corruption.
There is nothing I can do about the world’s religions, but when it comes to the umbrella of Christianity, I think it is correct to expose false teachers and those who make great personal profit in the name of Christ, such as the super-rich “prosperity preacher” extortionists. It is right to expose the errors in churches where the doctrines of the word have been trashed, as you have in “Christian groups” allowing and agreeing with homosexual marriage and the liberals who cut pieces of the Bible away.
Satan has his plants all throughout the Christian faith, and we will never eradicate them. We are not ignorant of that fact. We are not ignorant of Satan’s schemes, the enemy of the night. The Lord knows those who are His, and He keeps His own. What I would leave with you is to pray you remain faithful to the Lord and increase in righteousness, for the times get darker. There is so much error and non-commitment that it is like walking in a minefield to be in some denominations. BE FAITHFUL TO THE LORD. Hold to the full authority of the Bible.
[6.] SATAN’S EXPERTISE IS DRIVING THE WEDGES OF DIVISION
We spoke about division, one of Satan’s chief schemes, but none is so evil as the disintegration of the sexes through the rise of the feminist movement. That is because God clearly defined man and woman in creation as distinct and complementary. Feminists for decades have been pushing for authority over men and now have it. In my State, men in education are rare.
Recently, I was called for jury selection (but was not needed), and I noticed all the advisors, nearly all the court workers, the judge, and so many other positions in the courts, except two defense lawyers, were held by women. I am sorry – and this is not sour grapes – but men are being replaced all over. The positions are Government-appointed. Of course, the current Queensland Government is extremely pro-female, gender-affirmative, and anti-male. It makes a lot of these appointments, and many of them are on the basis of gender, not on ability.
What does division do? Another way of asking that is, “What springs from division?” These are just some of the flow-on effects – lack of respect, hate, vengeance, discord, broken communion, violence and hot tempers, disappointment, and manipulation. Satan stirs up, and loves stirring men and women into sinful expression. Our fallen natures are prey to the enemy who will light the fuse of division all too readily.
One of the saddest divisions in the Bible is this one – Acts 15:37-39 “Barnabas was desirous of taking John, called Mark, along with them also. But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose such a sharp disagreement that THEY SEPARATED FROM ONE ANOTHER, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.”
Yes, divisions happen among Christians as it does elsewhere in society, but it is dishonoring to God. Even more than the division itself is the cause behind it. Usually, the reason is ambition, desire for power or control, pride, or a tare starting to produce seed. I suppose sometimes a division can be legitimate. There is a call from God right near the end of the Tribulation to faithful Tribulation believers to separate from being too close to Babylon the Great – Revelation 18:4-5 “I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, THAT YOU MAY NOT PARTICIPATE IN HER SINS and that you may not receive of her plagues, for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.'”
All believers of every age have an operating principle to separate from godlessness and evil. There must be that sharp division between good and evil, without compromise. This is the good sense of division and is not of Satan because he loves to keep Christians ensnared to some wrong practice and at war with one another. Paul had to speak to the Corinthians about some problems they had there and steps that needed taking:
2 Corinthians 6:16-18 “Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,’ says the Lord, ‘And do not touch what is unclean, and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
When the ointment is at its most pristine, along comes a blowfly and contaminates it. When a fellowship of God’s people is harmonious and godly, along comes one of Satan’s agents to cause trouble, just like a blowfly in the midst. And that is most fitting because Beelzeboul (name for Satan) is “Lord of the Flies” or “Lord of the dung heap.” There is a responsibility for the leadership to ensure division-free fellowship. That must be done through wisdom and discernment, prayer, and the word of God.
We deal with God’s people, so we are accountable as stewards of the Lord to do that. Some elders, deacons, and leaders are uncertain of their calling and responsibilities, so how can they prevent division?
Sin always divides. We cannot blame all division on Satan, for much of it comes from our own fallen natures, and just one verse mentions this problem of division – Galatians 5:19-20 “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, DISPUTES, DISSENSIONS, FACTIONS.”
Strive to keep the unity of the Spirit, and work for harmony and love among the people of God.
. THE ABOLITION OF PRAYER AND REDUCTION OF CHRISTIAN RIGHTS
The abolition of prayer in schools has been an ongoing battle between Christians and people of goodwill, AND atheists, those offspring of Satan who do His will. In every field, Satan has his promoters, radicals, and agitators opposed to conservatism (which is largely Christian). These are the ones given the ear these days and the ones with rights.
In my nation, homosexuals have all the legal support and rights of the law, but Christians have none. Each year, the filthy Mardi Gras in Sydney, the world’s biggest, I believe, sees hundreds of thousands at the event, with this long march with floats blaspheming Christ and Mary in the vilest way. Christians have no right of objection. However, if Christians speak out against homosexuals, the full rod of the law is brought down on them. Deviants have all the rights; Christians have none. Unlike the United States, Australia has a constitution that does not guarantee freedom of speech and the rights of the individual.
Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court removed government-endorsed prayer from public schools, ruling the practice unconstitutional. The decision remains at the center of the debate over the separation of church and state and altered the way classrooms approached faith and religion.
In 1958, Steven Engel, a New Yorker, joined forces with other parents to sue the state over a prayer being recited in the schools.
The invocation they attacked, approved by the state Board of Regents, acknowledged reliance on God and asked for blessings on all. Even back then, Satan’s men and women were doing their demonic work.
[In the 1963 Murray v. Curlett case, the Supreme Court expanded on their 1962 decision to ban mandatory Bible readings in schools, thus finishing the government’s drive to remove the Christian faith from the nation’s education system. The fight for prayer in schools may seem like an uphill battle, but many continue to be a light for Christ’s message anyway. They pray for their country and their schools in the face of opposition, knowing that God isn’t limited by the legal system.] From Great American Pure Flix.
In June 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned decades of precedent governing the separation of church and state and achieved one of the most long-standing goals of the Christian right: the return of official Christian prayer to public schools. A number of nations, including mine, have lost that right.
You may ask, “What difference does it make?”
Well, it does make a lot of difference because once certain freedoms and Christian rights are banned, then it will never stop there. Satan never rests or eases up. His desire is saturated evil. He will try to destroy all Christian witness.
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When God Made His Covenant With Israel, He Did So Without Caveats – By Amir Tsarfati - https://harbingersdaily.com/amir-tsarfati-when-god-made-his-covenant-with-israel-he-did-so-without-caveats/
Shalom from Israel! Another week has gone by under wartime, and, as seems to regularly be the case, there have been some highlights and there have been some sorrows. Through it all, the people of Israel remain as dedicated as ever to defeat the enemies who are surrounding us. Unfortunately, it appears that the resolve of our allies is waning. As you’ll see below, it may not be long until we are on our own while new enemies step up against us. Rather than bombs and bullets, their weapons will be politics and pressure, sanctions and seizures, judgments and isolation. I mentioned last week the case brought by South Africa to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague accusing Israel of genocide. It is such an asinine condemnation, but I would not be surprised to see it affirmed. The ICC is an organ of the United Nations (UN), and there is nothing that the UN enjoys more than a good, old denunciation of Israel.
But Jews are used to going it alone. It is something we have had to do off and on for millennia. The only difference now is that it may be the first time that we will have been isolated as a state. If that is what happens, then so be it. We’ve been at the pointy end of the world’s swords before, yet here we are, united and stronger as a people than we have ever been. The credit for that fact does not have a human source, but One which is divine in nature.
Israel will never be completely alone in this world. God has made a covenant with His chosen people that still stands today. “But, Amir, Israel is a secular nation that still rejects the Messiah.” True. But when God made His covenant with Israel, He did so without caveats. This is a truth that He emphasized through the prophet Jeremiah, where we read:
Jeremiah 33:25-26 KJV – “Thus saith the Lord; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; 26 Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.”
So, actually, I may be wrong. There appears to be a caveat here. When there is no day or night anymore and all the God-ordained natural systems of the universe cease, that is when the covenant will end. The fact that the sun rose this morning, however, is enough to tell you that God’s covenant still stands, and Israel is still His chosen people. That is where my hope and my peace rests. No matter what we are facing as a nation, we will survive it because God is truly on our side.
Fighting is still very intense in Khan Yunis. This is the middle region of the five areas that make up Gaza and is where the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) believe that the Hamas leaders who are still in-country are located. A huge find was made in the Bureij area of western Gaza near Egypt’s northeastern border. Hidden under civilian and humanitarian centers, the IDF discovered the largest Hamas underground weapons manufacturing and storage site to date. In this location, long-range missiles capable of reaching northern Israel were assembled and held until Hamas was ready to deploy them. Not all news from Gaza was positive, though. On Monday, three separate incidents took the lives of nine Israeli soldiers, six of them in one explosion. Eight more members of the IDF were wounded in the actions. Israel mourns the loss of these brave men who were fighting for the survival of their country.
One more incident from Gaza must be addressed. On Sunday, during an operation targeting drone operators, two journalists with Al Jazeera were killed. Immediately, there was outrage and sorrow throughout the world. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was “heartbroken” at the loss. However, now we have learned that these two “journalists” were part of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and they were operating drones against IDF forces. This is so typical of what Hamas has done. They have destroyed the concept of there being any altruistic professions left in Gaza. Instead, what we find are terrorist doctors, terrorist teachers, and terrorist journalists. Schools, mosques, and hospitals are all used to shelter Hamas and their weapons, along with the shafts to their underground tunnels. Even the ambulances that are supposed to carry the wounded are used to transport weapons and ammunition. They have taken that which is good in most every corner of the world and they have thoroughly corrupted it. It is appalling and it is tragic.
Monday was a bad day for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Wissam al-Tawil, head of the elite Radwan forces and key leader in directing Hezbollah’s actions in the south, was killed when the car he was in was destroyed by an IDF explosive device. The death of al-Tawil marks the highest-level member of the terrorist organization killed to date and is a serious blow to their operations. This targeted killing took place two days after Hezbollah fired 62 rockets into northern Israel in retaliation for the assassination of Hamas bigwig Saleh al-Arouri. Both Israel and Hezbollah are moving soldiers and weapons systems toward the border as everyone expects and prepares for a full war to soon commence. I go into more detail about the al-Tawil killing and state of the war in my short Breaking News update from Monday.
After the targeted killing last week of Hamas V.I.P. Saleh al-Arouri in Lebanon, as mentioned above, the IDF continued its thinning out of the terrorist group’s leadership on Monday. Hassan Akasha, the man responsible for the launching of rockets from Syria into Israel in recent weeks, was permanently taken out of commission through an undisclosed methodology in the south Syrian town of Beit Jinn. Is it possible that Hamas leadership is finally beginning to understand that not one of them is safe no matter where they are in the world?
Daily raids continue by the IDF into the West Bank to track down and arrest Hamas and PIJ terrorists who are hiding throughout the region. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a West Bank visit yesterday to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Apparently taking a two-state solution as a fait accompli, Blinken encouraged the 88-year-old Abbas to reform the PA so that it would be prepared to govern Gaza after the war is concluded.
The United States
Secretary of State Blinken’s visit to the West Bank mentioned in the previous story came a day after he met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Foreign Minister Israel Katz. His agenda? “Come on, guys, can’t you wrap this thing up?” In a press conference after the meeting, Blinken criticized South Africa’s accusations of genocide against Israel, alluded to a future two-state solution, and asserted that Israel’s government has some hard choices ahead regarding the prosecution of the war and how it will allow the Palestinians to operate in a post-war Gaza. The SecState comes representing his boss who is anxious to get the hostilities wrapped up before November’s elections. Polling shows him running behind potential return candidate Donald Trump, and he is desperate to mollify the far left of his party as well as solidify the vote of the Muslims of Dearborn in the battle to take the state of Michigan. According to President Joe Biden’s words in a South Carolina church on Monday, he has “been quietly working with the Israeli government to get them to reduce and significantly get out of Gaza.” Unless he’s referring to members of the opposition government, then I would expect his success in getting Israel to pull out of Gaza is far less than what he is asserting. I must admit that I am very concerned about the global ramifications of having such a weak administration in Washington, D.C. I believe that it is possible that by the time Biden finally leaves office, Iran might have achieved its nuclear ambitions, China might attempt to take Taiwan, and Russia will greatly intensify its war against Ukraine.
The Red Sea
The largest action by the Yemeni Houthis to date occurred on Tuesday causing the U.S. and British warships to shoot down 18 drones, two anti-ship cruise missiles, and one anti-ship ballistic missile. The Iran-supported proxy terrorist group has been targeting shipping and military vessels since the war in Gaza began. “This is an unsustainable situation,” declared British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps. “This cannot continue and cannot be allowed to continue.” It’s unclear why the Brits and the Americans have allowed this pesky group of terrorists to cause such havoc and cost shipping companies so much money.
Friday saw North Korean leader Kim Jong-un once again having fun making things go “boom”. Unfortunately, this time he did it with more than 200 artillery rounds fired in a span of two hours into the maritime buffer zone separating the waters of the two Koreas. This obvious provocation spurred South Korea to carry out its own live fire exercise in response. Tensions continue to mount between the two countries, and incidents like this do not help the situation.
Will You Be a Part of the Rapture? - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1
The Rapture is coming, and many Christians are beginning to take a hard look at their salvation. There are some Scriptures that can scare us if we don’t take the full counsel of God into consideration. When Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, he was addressing a worldly congregation with many problems. They claimed to be Christians, but they embraced the world. That’s not good for any Christian. Because Paul cared deeply for his brothers and sisters in Christ, he was compelled to address this problem. It’s a shame many pastors today won’t address sin, but watch as their congregation flounders.
The number of pew-sitters may grow, but is there any repentance of sin? Paul was never afraid to address sin…he wasn’t politically correct. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
Sometimes the King James uses words that aren’t familiar to our modern way of talking, but it’s important to understand what this says. The first item on this list is the unrighteous. Are you righteous? I’m not. There’s nothing I can do to make myself righteous. I may not fornicate or commit adultery, but there are times when I harbor thoughts about others that aren’t very righteous. I do try to take my thoughts captive before the Lord and stop sinning, but so far, I keep on failing. By my own merit I am unrighteous. The good news is that God no longer sees me as a sinner deserving of punishment. He sees me through the blood of Jesus. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11.
Thank You Jesus! These verses are often times used by Christians to judge another Christian’s faith and to condemn them. There’s a big difference between judgmentally confronting a fellow Christian with sin, and lovingly leading the brother or sister to a closer walk with our Lord.
First, let’s figure out what constitutes a Christian. People like to say you must be born again to be a Christian, and they’re right. I’ve noticed, though, what they really mean is “You have to be as perfect as I am”. If you happen to be struggling with sin of any kind, then you’re not born again. At least in their opinion. Jesus did tell Nicodemus “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:5-6.
God doesn’t try to find ways to condemn us. He knows that it’s impossible for us, by our own effort, to be righteous. Many people stop reading after Jesus said to be born again. Jesus didn’t come to condemn. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18.
Don’t get me wrong. Our faith in Christ brings salvation, no works are involved, but our faith should bring repentance and a change in our sinful ways. We should see the sin in our life, repent, and live for Christ. Everything that we have on earth, everything we take pleasure in, will be left here when we die, or when the Rapture occurs. Heaven will be more wonderful than any sinful lust that tempts us here.
Many people complicate salvation. The disciples didn’t complicate salvation, and neither did Paul. Paul had a lot to say about salvation. “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. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 10:9-11.
It’s people who have complicated salvation. Each denomination has its own set of rules that they require the sheep to follow. Then, if you happen to start attending a different denomination, you have to change rules. It’s much better to follow Jesus, our Good Shepherd, who never changes. After all, it’s the righteousness of Jesus that is our salvation, not our denomination. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:19-21. Jesus paid it all. Adam’s sin separated us from God, but Christ’s obedience brings us grace. It’s only through faith in Jesus that we can be assured of eternal life and have assurance that we will be a part of the Rapture.
We all have a tendency to complicate things. When we simply believe God and trust His inspired Scriptures, we find out that it’s faith that saves us and we don’t have to study a catechism, or follow any rituals. Christianity is a faith, not a religion. On the other hand, we need to honor God. Our instruction book is the Bible. Paul’s sinful ways which he embraced prior to meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, are well known. When he talks of being a living sacrifice unto God, he’s talking from experience. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2.
Most of us can justify our own sins and fool ourselves to think “I don’t sin”. Scripture tells us otherwise. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9. What a blessing. That confession only needs to be between you and Jesus. You don’t need any human priest or clergy to decide if you’re forgiven or not. Your sin is against God, so only God needs to hear your confession, and He will forgive you.
That brings me back to the first question, will you be a part of the Rapture? I’m not here to judge anybody. Only God truly knows if your faith is real. If you have truly repented of your sin – that means you know you’re a sinner and have changed your mind about continuing in it – you’ve been forgiven. If you keep falling into temptation, and embracing the sin in your life, well, that’s between you and God. It’s my opinion that you shouldn’t be living in a “gray area” and get yourself away from temptation. If your faith is real, your salvation is secure. You can search Scripture all you want but you’ll never find a verse where a person is encouraged to continue in sin. God can work through a sinner, but the sin isn’t condoned or encouraged.
If you claim Christ for salvation, then you need to turn from sin. The Rapture will happen soon. It could happen before you’re done reading this. There is no event that needs to happen before the Rapture; don’t confuse it with the Second Coming. You might also consider that you may die before the Rapture. No matter how old you are, death is always a possibility. Take a stand today for Christ. Turn from sin, and live for Him. Jesus makes it simple. One day, when Jesus was speaking to a group of people, they had a question regarding salvation…Jesus had the answer. “Then said they unto him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:28-29. That means the only thing you can do to find salvation is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are few certainties in this life, but you can be certain that one day you will depart this life. Everyone will face death one day, unless you have placed your faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then the death of this body just means stepping into eternal life with Him. “Therefore we are always confident knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-8.
You should be very concerned about where you will spend eternity. The choice has to be made while you live on this side of Heaven. Every person who ever has been born has had the same choice. If you have rejected Christ, eternity will be miserable, to say the least. The other possibility, for Christians, is that the Rapture will happen. This blessed promise from God should be on every Christian’s mind. The signs we were told to watch for in Biblical prophecy are happening. Those signs point to the fact that the final seven years of Earth’s history will soon be here. After those seven years of tribulation, Jesus will return at the Second Coming. We will be with Him prior to the time of Jacob’s Trouble (the Tribulation also known as Daniel’s 70th week) Christians will be taken Home in the Rapture, and we won’t be on earth to face the Great Tribulation.
Will you be a part of the Rapture? It will happen quickly, so you need to be sure you’ve placed your faith in Christ. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-54. Only faith in Jesus Christ assures you that you will be a part of the Rapture, or if you die first, that you will step into everlasting life.
Jesus loves you and died for your salvation. That faith will take you to Heaven when you depart this earth, whether by death or by the Rapture. Keep your heart turned toward Him and no matter what happens in the future, you have the Blessed Assurance that you belong to Christ.
God bless you all,
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“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” Psalm 122:6.
Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Of weddings, rings, and registers - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
My oldest brother Chuck was 14 years older than me. He was not only my brother, but kind of a father figure and certainly my coach. We were very close. He was a scholar athlete at our local high school, well loved and respected. Of course, I was only four years old when he graduated high school with many honors. So he was going through early manhood when I was just a young pup. That meant not only going to watch him play basketball and football, but also he was dating. A beautiful young lass Deedra caught his eye. He was the top athlete. She was the top cheerleader. They both were very popular, and it soon turned into a love story for the ages. And I didn’t like it.
Being the youngest in my family with such an age difference between my brothers, it has been said that I was a spoiled brat. Mom and Dad favored me. My brothers often told the story that they used to pay me to “shut up” because I talked constantly, according to them. But Chuck always engaged me. Maybe a little too much. I remember one Christmas when he and Deedra had first started dating. We were opening presents and Chuck had gotten Deedra a little stuffed dog with a wind-up music box. It was the best thing. And I really, really wanted it. You know what? Chuck took it from Deedra and gave it to me. Of course, in shock she graciously consented, but this incident was probably the beginning of the childish rift between me and my future sister-in-law. She thought I was spoiled and tried to fix it. Really?
Fast forward a couple of years and Chuck and Deedra were getting married. The big day was Sunday, June 10, 1962, 7:00 pm at our local church in Wayland, Ohio. Chuck had asked me to be the ring-bearer. Well, I wasn’t too keen on Chuck getting married, knowing that it would change our relationship, and as a seven year old, I couldn’t see how we would be so close ever again. So I devised this plan to walk down the aisle as instructed with the ring on the satin pillow, and at the last minute drop it down the cold air register beneath the altar. I was so excited about the plan that I couldn’t help but to reveal my secret to one of Chuck’s groomsmen, thinking he felt the same way I did. To my surprise my plan was foiled when they handed me the pillow before we walked down the aisle.
Someone had pinned the ring onto the pillow. I suffered through the ceremony, knowing my life would change forever. And it did. But for the better. Deedra was a wonderful wife and a mentor to me, showing me a different way and holding me accountable. Three years later, Chuck and his assistant coach were killed in a tragic car accident on their way to coach their varsity basketball team. We all had three years after the wedding. A lifetime for Chuck. Defining moment for the rest of us. But I think of the good times. Proverbs 21:23 says, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” And every once in a while, when thinking back on that June day, I get a chuckle of what might have happened if I had been able to keep my mouth shut.
Daily Devotion: The Destructive Power of Sin - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! —Deuteronomy 30:19
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/the-destructive-power-of-sin/ - Listen
The Philistines, the enemies of Israel, had mounted an attack against them, and fear was immobilizing the people. As a result, they went into hiding. Meanwhile, King Saul was trying to rally his troops.
God had told Saul to wait until the prophet Samuel arrived to offer a sacrifice and ask the Lord for direction as to what they should do next.
But Saul grew tired of waiting. When Samuel didn’t show up as soon as Saul thought he should, Saul essentially said, “Why do I have to wait for some prophet to do this? I can offer a burnt offering as well as anyone else. I’ve watched him do it.”
Then Saul proceeded with the offering the way he thought he should do it. And when Samuel arrived, there was trouble.
We pick up the story in 1 Samuel 13: “Samuel said, ‘What is this you have done?’ ” (verse 11 NLT).
“Saul replied, ‘I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn’t arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. So I said, “The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven’t even asked for the Lord’s help!” So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came’ ” (verses 11–12 NLT).
Saul had been on a roll. Everything was going beautifully. But then he started to self-destruct. What he did may seem like a small thing to us, but God had said not to do it. And who are we to say something is small if it is a big deal to God?
The problem is that we want to edit the Bible. We try and rationalize something by saying, “Maybe it is a sin, but it is not as bad as other sins. Therefore, it is okay. Besides, everyone else is doing it.”
It always starts that way. Little sins always turn into big sins. If God says don’t do it, then that means don’t do it. All too often we underestimate the power of sin.
Saul was no exception to this. He was disobeying the Lord, and that led to his downfall.
Samuel told him, “How foolish! . . . You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom must end” (verses 13–14 NLT).
At first blush, this reaction may seem a bit extreme. But we must remember that God looks on the heart. And He could see that Saul’s heart already had turned away.
Sin can seem small when we start to fall into it, but it can become big in the end. Think of the messes that people make of their lives because they disobey the Word of God.
Like Saul, we unnecessarily bring trouble on ourselves when we don’t obey God. Yet God says that He gives us a choice: life or death, blessings or curses (see Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT). We choose how we want to live.
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