Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Watchmen Cries, "Your Redemption Draweth Nigh" - by Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2019/01/watchmen-cries-your-redemption-draweth.html
1 "Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand." (Ezekiel 33:1-6)
We are in unsettled times. Dark clouds are gathering and danger is all around us. As it was in the days of Israel and Ezekiel was called to be a watchman of their spiritual condition, so today God has set up men who will warn His people of the coming dangers in their world, either spiritual and/or physical.
In the history of the Israel, the people would appoint a man to stand guard on the wall towers, or along the wall and he would scan the horizon for signs of danger. He was the ancient idea of a first warning system. When an enemy was spotted making advances on the city, the watchman would sound an alarm. It could be his voice calling out, or could be blasts of a trumpet, or a striking of a large gong. Whatever was used, it was designed to give the people first hand warning of impending danger and give them time to prepare for the coming advance on their city. Today, as times have changed, so too have the methods of warning the people of impending danger. To reach as many people as possible, the best method is use of the internet. This warning system can spread to all corners of the globe and to those who will listen, give them an advance warning of the coming disaster.
In this era of the last days of modern history before the coming of the tribulation, men stand on the proverbial wall and scan the news of the day, the signs of impending danger that threatens all of us, and then send out warnings based on a solid foundation of events foretold in the only true predictor of human events to come, your bible.
A DANGEROUS WORLD
Everyone knows that danger is in the air, if they have their senses alert. They feel it, they see it, and they even smell it. This sense of something big is about to happen is coming from all avenues of life on this planet including the secular humanist, the man on the street, especially the awake Christian, and every human being that sees the conditions of this dying world. Everyone has their feelings of dread and fear what is coming upon the population of earth. The only portion of humanity that has a handle on what is coming, is the bible believing Christian, as they have the playbook right in front of them and they know how the history of mankind is played out to it's divinely appointed conclusion. The rest are in confusion and fear grips their minds or embrace a false hope.
Jesus gave us the signs of the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven and spoke of the conditions that will be the first signs of His impending return. Matthew 24 gives us a play by play of those signs. But let us explore how this passage is being enacted right before our very eyes, in real time. Let us take portions of this passage and see how it is being fulfilled in our eyes and ears. Begin in Verse 4:
4 "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." (Matthew 24:4-5)
How many men have proclaimed to be the chosen one, the Messiah? You say, many and you would be right. From Jim Jones, David Koresh, Sun Myung Moon, to individuals whose followers claimed them to be the messiah coming from Jewish, Christian, and even Muslim sects. All are leading up to one man, when the world is in ultimate chaos and they look for someone to make sense of this world and give them some type of "hope". This ultimate evil ruler is known as the Anti-Christ.
HOPE AND CHANGE??
What gives me pause was the advancement of an unknown political figure, a junior senator from Illinois, that came out of no where and became president of the United States. I don't mean this to be a political piece, but we must understand that a man will arise that will fulfill what Jesus said. Many believed that Obama was the prophesied "man of sin"? I don't know as I don't have evidence that he is or was, but I believe he is a precursor if nothing else. Obama embodies the level men and women will give their allegiance to one man and blindly follow him. Many have called this man, the "black messiah" that has come to liberate his people and the African-American community has been looking for such a man for 200 years. I was reading an article that caught my attention and the details put me back in my chair of a man by the name of Paul Robeson. Doesn't ring a bell? Neither did it me, until I saw the connection to previously labeled Mr. Hope and Change. Here is the excerpt of that article:
"Paul Robeson was called the "Great Forerunner" (of the black messiah to come). For a time it was thought that he could be the prophesied, black messiah, who has been anticipated in the black community for 200 years or longer, a mystical leader, who would overturn the satanic white system and liberate the blacks of the world.
Robeson was the mentor of Frank Marshall Davis, Obama's own mentor. For this reason it is believable that Davis put the idea of the mystical black messiah in Obama's head at a very early age. He had contacts via Paul Robeson to people, who could provide funds and help advance Obama in his education and in politics. It was no accident that Obama joined Jeremiah Wright's church which has a black liberation doctrine, based on a black messiah, who would be an ordinary man."
How else can we explain the sudden meteor like rise of an unknown junior senator from Illinois, the lack of facts surrounding his background, the sealed documents of his schooling, selective service, and even his birth certificate that came into question? Now, I'm not into conspiracy theories, but the facts surrounding this man are most troubling to even a casual observer that has their ears and eyes open and not "drinking the Kool-Aid". The main stream media had nearly deified this man in their zeal for their liberal philosophy and may be playing into a nefarious plan to bring America to embrace social justice, a buzz word for spread the wealth around ...AKA Fascism. What is Fascism? On page 218 of author Robert Paxton's ground-breaking book, "The Anatomy of Fascism", Paxton defines Fascism as, "...a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which is a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants..." Therefore, Fascism is an extremist ideology. Is this where America is heading? Now Obama is no longer President, but he lurks in the background with his "deep state" cohorts trying to sabotage anything that benefits this country.
JESUS FURTHER WARNED
Let us go on with what Jesus spoke of further into these verses:6 "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.(Matthew 24:6-8)
You say there have always been conflicts in our history, and the history of the world. Correct, except for one thing, not to the extent that has been our history in the last 100 years. I wrote a sermon on that very fact of the amount of people who have died in wars in the last 100 years compared to all of human history that is recorded. It is known that over 250 million people have died in just the last 100 years or the population roughly ¾ of the USA. That's more than all of recorded human history combined. But this is just the beginning. I went on to say that in the pages of the book of Revelation, God reveals and numbers the amount of the slain to be 2/3 of all mankind or roughly 5 billion people at the end of the age called the Tribulation. Makes the last 100 years of the war dead pale in comparison, doesn't it? That's 20 times the amount killed in the last 100 years in only 7 SHORT years. Can you smell the loss of life? If you witness it, you most undoubtedly will. Folks, the wars being fought now, are just the warming up for the carnage that is coming. We read or hear nightly of the dangers of a Middle East conflict involving Iran and Israel and possibly sending the world into WWIII. It's not a possibility, it's a fact that will be played out, just as the bible spoke about and will happen in the future sooner than any of you may want. Even now a general in the Iranian army says that they have enough firepower to destroy Israel completely. And you see the build-up of forces from Turkey, Iran and Russia coming ever closer to the Golan Heights preparing for an "invasion"? Can you say Gog-Magog war brewing?
NATURAL DISASTERS INCREASING.
What about famines and pestilences? Have we ever seen the amount of drought, loss of crops, and natural disasters that we have seen in the good ole' USA that we have seen in the last 10 years that has been growing in intensity since the mid 60s? America has by history been the bread-basket of the world, but we may be fast approaching being unable to feed the world, let alone ourselves. What happened in the mid 60s? Oh, yeah, we ended, by Supreme Court decree of the right of prayer in our schools brought about by a lawsuit by an atheist known as Madelyn O'Hare. We have been ever more kicking out our Creator from the halls of the government ever since. A nation that was founded upon the principles found in our bibles embodied in the Ten Commandments has steadily become more and more secular and abandoning our founding principles. How about earthquakes? The earth is violently shaking to the point that a day doesn't go by that you don't hear about another quake and loss of life. Like a pregnant woman, the birth pains are drawing closer and closer. Then you hear the prediction that if the Yellowstone Cauldron Volcano erupts, not if, but when, then it would destroy most of the USA by impact and the famine it will produce.
As the USA has become more and more a nation with a government that defends every conceivable deviate notion of live and let live, we have entered into the age of "tolerance" that only come from one place, demon and satanic inspiration. In the last 50 years, what have we done, or should I say allowed into our land? First came the misguided "separation of church and state" which is not found in our constitution or bill of rights, then Roe V. Wade that made it legal to kill an unwanted child. The Supreme Court granted evil men and women to have illicit sex without the fear of raising a child, which could be conveniently and without remorse, aborted in the beginning of the gestational period. Oh, but we didn't stop there, as it evolved into partial birth abortion that allows a "doctor" (sic) to either severe the spinal cord of a half birthed baby from the mother's womb or stab it in the back of the head and suck out it's brains before it is fully delivered....We have destroyed in this nation a full generation of tax paying citizens that deserved the right to live. How dare we say we need entitlement reform, when what we needed was a transformation of the heart to prevent such an atrocity to be perpetuated in the first place. God help us, as we have become an abomination in the sight of God for killing our children. There was another time and place where God pronounced judgment on a people such as ours:
4 "Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, that they knew not, they and their fathers and the kings of Judah; and have filled this place with the blood of innocents,
5 and have built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons in the fire for burnt-offerings unto Baal; which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
6 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.
7 And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth." (Jeremiah 19:4-7)
This was the disgusting practice of appeasing a pagan god by giving their little ones, sons and daughters to be burned in the fires of an idol. Have we not done the same? Has this nation killed their sons and daughters in the name of their pagan god, "sexual immorality" and lust of the flesh? We all know it has been done to the tune of 60+ Million of potential USA citizens whose only crime was their right to be born.
Let's us not forget those who wish to be a privileged class amongst us!! I speak of the homosexual crowd. Since the beginning of ancient history, there has been evil among us. God has shown His disgust and condemnation of those who practice this deviate lifestyle. When God came to Abraham during the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and it's surrounding cities, the sin was mainly the sin of homosexuality. Genesis,
4 "But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house;
5 and they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them." (sexual perversion of the same sex)"(Genesis 19:4-5)
It's quite possible that disease was rampant among these people because of their sin, the bible doesn't say, but it would be in line with what has happened in our own society in the scourge of AIDS. God wiped the earth of these people with fire and brimstone that could be correlated to what a nuclear blast would be like...it was complete. Paul speaks of this abomination in Romans,
24 "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet............
32 "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." (Romans 1:24_27, 32)
Even from ancient times, homosexuality was condemned by God along with sexual uncleanness: Leviticus,
21 " And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.(Leviticus 18:21-22)
Does that not describe our culture and it's "tolerant" view of this change to human existence? Of course it does. Jesus goes on to warn of the sign of the end of days, Matthew,
12 "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Matthew 24:12-21)
Most all of these signs have been fulfilled. The love of a neighbor, or fellow human being is non-existent. More so in other countries, as women and children are viewed as cattle and expendable, but we are just as guilty here in other ways as they are. The murder rate is exponentially increasing. Men destroy other men financially, emotionally, physically, and ultimately spiritually. Jesus said that the gospel will be preached in all the world, THEN the end would come. In the age of technology, the use of satellite TV and more importantly, the internet, the Gospel has reached the four corners of this world. No one who is listening and willing to repent, has failed to hear the name, Jesus Christ and the coming Kingdom of God. In the last part of what Jesus warned, comes the warning to Israel, the only part starting in verse 15, that is still future, as I have many times advocated that Jesus was speaking to Israel in particular and the focus of the coming tribulation is bringing that nation to the realization and acceptance of their Messiah, Jesus Christ.
WHAT TIME IS IT?
But back to what I started. I believe this country is scheduled for judgment. That judgment has been slowed due to the administration that we have now, because of Trump being a nationalist instead of "One World Advocate" and is reported to have been saved by the leading of an Evangelist that prayed with him and other ministers laid their hands upon him and confessed Jesus Christ as Savior. It is why the left and the leftist media hate him so much..He is standing in their way...Otherwise, although we may have received a short reprieve from judgment, it has been coming on for a generation or more. No nation in all of the annals of history has been so mired in the sins of the flesh, that has not had the judgment of God come down about their heads. The USA was an idea like no other in all of history. In a sea of human suffering, men who put their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor on the line for freedom to speak their mind, to worship or not to worship the God of the Bible, and to be responsible for their own destiny as found in the opening lines of our Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" formed this republic called the United States of America.
What can we do? Much like Israel and other nations who turned away from God, maybe not much as there comes a time when God's patience wears out and He passes judgment and the sentence is carried out. When it comes past the time of delaying judgment, God's will may be set and it will come to pass. Can I say that it is too late for America? No, I'm not a prophet, only a watchman sending out a warning who sees what is happening and am sounding the alarm to any and all who will listen. We as citizens of this country, and citizens of the coming Kingdom of God in the near future, must stand for righteousness. We cannot stand silent and by our silence condone what we know is against the laws of Almighty God.
We look at the political climate that affects all our lives and wonder what has become of our government and our God given freedoms? Is this not what we sent our elected officials to do in our name? Are not our elected representatives there for us, not for themselves or their own lust for power?
IS AMERICA TO BE DESTROYED?
I was truly saddened by the debacle that was displayed by the party of Truman, Roosevelt, and Kennedy at a prior Democratic (sic) convention. It seems the "party of the people" is now populated with atheist, Muslims, and secular humanist liberals who have a disdain for their Creator. How can any Christian support a political entity that takes three voice votes on if God should or should not be part of the language of the party platform? If you saw the proceedings, you know that 2/3 voice vote was not achieved to ratify the words God and Jerusalem, the latter as the capital of Israel. I believe that at least half of the party delegates are anti-God and antisemitic. This party has added to their platform language positions that support abominations that I have just covered. This is on top of where our country is economically, politically, and ultimately spiritually. Economically, we have been at the cliff's edge. The stock market is at an all time high, but everyone knows that it sits on a very inflated bubble. Collapse could happen at any moment. It could get really hard to feed your family, or yourself. Marshall law could be enacted to bring order of the resulting chaos of people looking out for #1 and riots like in Greece could develop. Things could get really dicey, really quick.
A LEADER PLACED BY GOD FOR JUDGEMENT
So what have we got to look forward to in the next two years or beyond, if we have that kind of time before Jesus Christ burst through the clouds and says, "come up hither"? If you look at the last administration, I expect more of the same or worse. There is no doubt in my mind that the job Mr. Obama wished to finish, or the final nail in the coffin that was the United States of America that we have grown up with. I believe that is what he means when he said "Forward" which is a Marxist slogan of days gone by. If it comes to pass, gone will be our freedoms we have enjoyed. Gone will be our right to speak our mind. Gone will be the ability to worship as we choose. And gone will be our rights given to us by God, but replaced with the government who knows all, sees all, and controls all. It is all falling into place. We are being invaded right now, by illegal immigration and those who are bringing diseases into this country in the name of "amnesty". There is a big push for a physical wall to protect this country from this southern invasion. What president would allow an invasion of our country by executive order, all for political gain to swell the ranks of his party and destroy the American dream? Obama sure tried, and Trump is trying to push it back, but those in Congress that used to want a border wall, now are against it, because Trump is for it.
What president in the past upholds the right to destroy human life through abortion and claims to be a Christian? What man, be he president or the common Joe, embraces every secular humanist philosophy known to man and claims to be a proponent of the Bible's clear teachings? You can put lipstick on a pig, but it doesn't make him a Christian pig. This big brother government has attempted to muzzle the religious community by enforcing by intimidation a law called the "Johnson Amendment" passed in 1954 by voice vote, that prohibited the right of Christian pastors to speak politically in the pulpit. I, for one, won't be silenced. (Praise God, our POTUS signed a religious freedom act to protect our God given rights) As men ordained by God, pastors must stand for what is right in this country. Who do we follow, God or man? After all, this is not Iran, yet! America could very well be in the throes of judgment right now. Have you ever seen the like of natural disasters that have come upon our own land from the West, into the Midwest, and up into the Northeast down to the Gulf? We've all seen things get pretty crazy before, but not to the extent we have seen in the last, say 10 years. It seems to me, that our nation has gone near stark, raving crazy in it's lunacy surrounded by natural disasters. Until that time comes when Jesus breaks through the clouds with a trumpet call, all we can do is be in faith and believe Psalm 91 and it's promises of protection and continue the work Jesus proclaimed us to do, in His Name.
ISRAEL IS AGAIN FRONT AND CENTER IN PROPHECY
The political climate is near ripe for the coming of the lawless one. We see Israel and the Palestinians right now, fighting a long overdue war from Gaza and Israel believes it has a right to defend herself from non-stop salvos of missiles being fired at their citizens. Or the trouble at the Gaza border trying to invade the country...Or the push for a two state solution that the Arabs do not want. The only thing Abbas and his kind want is to push Israel into the sea and drown them. I hear many pundits calling on Israel to stop "war crimes" against humanity. What other country, and especially here in the USA, would allow missiles to rain down on their citizens? Would we tolerate Mexico or Canada doing the same as Hamas? No, we would not tolerate it, and invasion would be imminent against the perpetrators for this act of war. Human rights bleeding hearts and the lame stream media fail to realize that Hamas started the fights, and I pray Israel finishes them with God's help.
I read just the other day, that many of the surrounding nations are considering coming to assist and fight along side Hamas in this Gaza conflict....if that happens, can you say Psalm 83 that is prophesied that Israel will destroy those who come against them in a siege to remove them as a nation and as a people? Read the passage and judge for yourself. With God's help, (behind the scenes for the moment), Israel will be victorious and it is promised that they will own or conquer land from the great river in Egypt to the Euphrates to the east and north into Syria and south into Arabia....It will be the only time that Israel can claim to be in safety and security when their surrounding enemies are neutralized. How long will that security last? Will it be two years, ten years, or will it be less. If Israel is allowed to control their own economy and expand their discovery of natural gas and oil, they will own a majority of all oil producing wells in the world, plus billions of metric tons of natural gas to be exported to Europe and the surrounding Middle East. Who is the major supplier of natural gas for that population now? That would be Russia, the old Soviet Bear is rising in the region and will it allow a major competitor into their territory? Can you say Ezekiel 38-39?
AGAIN, WHAT TIME IS IT?
Readers, how much time do we have? A week, a year, two years, or maybe a little longer? God only knows, but Jesus said "Occupy till I come"Luke 19:13b. We must be about our Father's business, and that extends to our obligation to promote what is right in our own lives, our community, our town/city, and by extension to our country reaching as many as we can with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot be silent. We cannot stand idly by and say there is nothing we as God's people can do. In all things, exercise your individual convictions based on your only source of truth, God's Holy Word. Time is running out for salvation for your neighbor, your family member, or even yourself to make a decision for Jesus Christ. When America falls, you may just look around and wonder where everyone went? I for one, will be at a marriage feast. Till then I plan to fight the good fight and stand for up for righteousness...won't you join me?
We are at the very end of the Age of man's rule of this planet, as Jesus proclaimed that when these things begin...that's BEGIN to happen, then...
28 "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." (Luke 21:28-32)
As I have spoken of many times, Israel is the door to end time prophecy and Jerusalem is the door. Jesus said the generation that saw Israel reborn in 1948 will still be alive when Jesus breaks through the clouds and cries, "Come up hither" and we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. That generation according to Psalm 90 was completed last year, as Israel turned 70 years old as a nation again. The outside is 80 years by strength, so how much longer will Jesus tarry? No predictions allowed, but it reveals just how close we actually are to the end of this age, known as the Church Age, and the beginning of the Tribulation.
We see all this happening around us now. And ask you, ARE YOU READY for the return of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ? It could happen at any moment. Don't be caught by surprise and drowning in your own sins without forgiveness or repentance. How must you be ready? Two short passages give you the way to be ready to meet the Lord in the air, what we call the rapture...
16 " 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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 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)
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 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.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:8-13)
There are many other verses that address your lost condition, but these two passages give you the recipe to find forgiveness of your sins, and become a child of God. Don't wait, for as a minister that sees the landscape forming for the coming of our Lord.....remember these words again.
28 "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21-28)
This is Pastor Mike Taylor praying God's salvation comes into your life through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a friendly ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , for more biblical lessons from the Word of God.
God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus feet.
Time to Tell the Truth about the Palestinian Issue - by Alan M. Dershowitz - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13615/palestinian-issue-truth
The front page of the New York Times Sunday Review featured one of the most biased, one-sided, historically inaccurate, ignorant and bigoted articles ever published by that venerable newspaper. Written by Michele Alexander, it is entitled: "Time to Break the Silence on Palestine," as if the Palestinian issue has not been the most over-hyped cause on campuses, in the United Nations and in the media. There is no silence to break. What must be broken is the bigotry of those who elevate the Palestinian claims over those of the Kurds, the Syrians, the Iranians, the Chechnyans, the Tibetans, the Ukrainians, and many other more deserving groups who truly suffer from the silence of the academy, the media and the international community. The United Nations devotes more resources -- time, money and votes -- to the Palestinian issue than to the claims of all the other oppressed groups combined. Some of these other groups cannot even get a hearing at the United Nations.
The suffering of the Palestinians, which does not compare to the suffering of other groups, has been largely self-inflicted. They could have had a state, with no occupation, if they had accepted the Peel Commission Report of 1937, the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947, the Clinton-Barak offer of 2000-2001, the Ehud Olmert offer of 2008. They rejected all these offers -- responding with violence and terrorism -- because they would have required them to accept Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people -- something they are unwilling to do even today. I know, because I have asked President Mahmoud Abbas that question directly, and he has said no. The Palestinian leadership has always wanted there not to be a Jewish state more than they wanted there to be a Palestinian state.
The Palestinian issue is not "one of the great moral challenges of our time," as the article insists. It is a complex, nuanced, pragmatic problem, with fault on all sides. It could be solved, if Palestinian leaders were prepared to accept the "painful compromises" that Israeli leaders have already agreed to accept. Had the early Palestinian leadership -- which collaborated with Hitler -- not, with all the surrounding Arab states, attacked Israel the moment it declared statehood, it would have a viable state. Had Hamas used the resources it received when Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip in 2005 to build schools, hospitals and industry, instead of using these resources to construct rocket launchers and terror tunnels, it could have become a "Singapore on the Sea" instead of the poverty-stricken enclave its leaders have turned it into. The Palestinian leadership -- Hamas as well as the Palestinian Authority -- bears at least as much responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians as do the Israelis.
Israel is not without some fault, but the one-sided blame-it-all-on-Israel approach taken by Alexander is ahistorical and bigoted. One illustration of the author's bias is her absurd claim that "many students are fearful of expressing support for Palestinian rights" because of "McCarthyite tactics" employed by pro-Israel groups. Has Alexander ever actually been on a campus? Well, I have taught and lectured at hundreds of campuses, and I can attest that there is no international cause that is given more attention -- far more than it deserves in comparison with other more compelling causes -- than the Palestinians. It is pro-Israel students who are silenced out of fear of being graded down, denied recommendations and been shunned by peers. Efforts have been made to prevent me from speaking on several campuses, despite the fact that I advocate a two-state solution to the conflict.
Alexander claims that there is legal discrimination against Israeli Arabs. The reality is that Israeli Arabs have more rights than Arabs anywhere in the Muslim world. They vote freely, have their own political parties, speak openly against the Israeli government and are beneficiaries of affirmative action in Israeli universities. The only right they lack is to turn Israel into another Muslim state governed by Sharia law, instead of the nation state of Jewish people governed by secular democratic law. That is what the new nation state law does when it denies Arabs "the right of self-determination in Israel."
Alexander condemns "Palestinian homes being bulldozed" without mentioning that these are the homes of terrorists who murder Jewish babies, women and men. She bemoans casualties in Gaza -- which she calls "occupied," even though every Israeli soldier and settler left in 2005 -- without mentioning that many of these casualties were human shields from behind whom Hamas terrorists fire rockets at Israeli civilians. She says there are "streets for Jews only," which is a categorical lie. There are roads in the disputed territories that are limited to cars with Israeli license plates -- for security reasons. But these roads are open to all Israelis, including Muslims, Druze, Christians, Zoroastrians, and people of no faith. But as Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) reminded us, when you repeat a lie often enough people believe it.
The most outrageous aspect of Alexander's screed is her claim that MLK inspired her to write it. MLK was a staunch Zionist, who famously said: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism." MLK would have been appalled at Alexander's one-sided attack on the nation state of the Jewish people and especially on her misuse of his good name to support anti-Israel bigotry.
The Iranian Revolution and Establishment Prejudice - Caroline Glick - https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/01/23/caroline-glick-the-iranian-revolution-and-establishment-prejudice/
The Spanish philosopher George Santayana famously said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Western policymakers have repeated history not because they have been ignorant of history, but because paying attention would make it difficult for them to adopt policies that conform with their prejudices.
This is the unavoidable conclusion of the lessons not learned from the Islamic revolution in Iran, which marked its 40th anniversary last week.
In the years leading up to the Khomeinist revolution, and the forty years of the Islamic Republic, the fictions that misinformed the CIA, the State Department, and the governments of allied nations in 1979 have survived more or less unscathed.
From time to time, U.S. administrations set them aside in favor of reality. But they always returned to the fore.
President Donald Trump is the first president who appears willing to reject altogether these prejudicial predispositions of the foreign policy elites. But he is fighting an uphill battle.
The foreign policy establishment in official Washington vehemently opposes Trump's approach to Iran and the wider Middle East.
They share two damaging predispositions.
The first is the casual anti-Americanism of the left. Anti-Americanism, in this context, is not a desire to see America destroyed. In its mild form, it manifests itself in a general sense that anti-Western forces are justified in their hatred of the U.S. and U.S.-supported regimes.
As the Mitrokhin archive of KGB files revealed, and testimony from Soviet bloc defectors made clear, many of these anti-Western forces were supported, and even created, by the KGB.
But all the same, left-leaning American and European foreign policy hands were and remain predisposed to believe the worst about their own countries, and their allies and clients.
This anti-American predisposition has blocked U.S. (and European) policymakers from understanding reality in two ways.
First, it blinded them to the good in their allies. The Shah of Iran was the most liberal leader in the Muslim world. Under his leadership, the Iranians lived in freedom and prosperity far beyond their Muslim neighbors in the Persian Gulf, Asia, and Africa.
But rather than support him as he gave full rights to women and respected the freedoms of worship of non-Muslim minorities, American officials, reporters, and human rights activists were predisposed to believe even the most exaggerated allegations of human rights abuses put forward by the Shah's enemies.
Furthermore, the anti-American attitude prevalent among Western policymakers in Washington and Europe blinded them to the avarice and inherent hostility of the forces seeking to overthrow or otherwise harm their allies. If the Shah could do no right, then even when his adversaries did wrong, American policymakers and analysts were predisposed to make light of their crimes and even to justify them.
The second damaging predisposition of U.S. and European foreign policy elites that made it practically impossible for them to understand either pre-revolutionary Iran or post-revolutionary Iran was - and remains - antisemitism, or in the politically correct doublespeak, anti-Zionism.
Khomeini was a genocidal antisemite, while the Shah was Israel's strategic ally, and Khomeini and his fellow revolutionaries sent their forces to undergo training with Palestinian forces in Lebanon. Yet there has been a pronounced tendency, in 1979 and still today, to think that opposing the ayatollahs isn't in America's interests, but rather in the Jews' - or the Israelis' - interests.
This state of affairs was made clear last week with the publications of two important retrospectives on the Iranian revolution. The first was a book review published by independent Middle East analyst Kyle Orton on his personal website. Orton reviewed Andrew Scott Cooper's history of the Iranian revolution: The Fall of Heaven - The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran.
The second was an article by Tony Badran, a Syria expert and fellow the Foundation for Defense of Democracies about the role the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) layed in forming the Khomeinist regime.
Perhaps Orton's key insight was to recall the true distinctions between Shah Muhammed Reza Pahlavi and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Shah undertook Herculean efforts to liberalize Iranian society and modernize the Iranian economy. Khomeini, bu contrast, devoted his efforts to propagandizing and inciting against liberalization, human rights, and modernization and in favor of Islamic fanaticism, revolution, and totalitarianism.
Westerners concerned about human rights and freedom had every reason to support the Shah and oppose Khomeini. But instead, they did just the opposite. They believed every allegation about the regime's torture and persecution, even as the Shah took unprecedented steps to minimize torture and give civil rights and freedoms to all Iranians.
On the other hand, from as early as 1963, Khomeini was giving speeches and sermons inciting riots and calling for the regime to be overthrown. In 1970, he gave a series of sermons from his exile in Iraq setting out his vision of an Islamic regime in Iran that would be totalitarian, fanatical, and actively seeking to overthrow the international order and replace it with an Islamic world order run by a revolutionary Iranian empire.
Khomeini's sermons were sold in cassettes on street corners around Iran. They were compiled into a book called Islamic Government.
Every pernicious aspect of the Islamist regime in Iran that he founded nine years later was found in those speeches.
And yet, as Orton notes, U.S. officials and intelligence agencies didn't simply ignore it. The CIA alleged that Israel's Mossad fabricated it.
The truth about Khomeini was also to be found in the operational alliance that he formed with PLO chief Yassir Arafat in Lebanon in the 1970s. This partnership was the subject of Badran's article. As Badran noted, Arafat was the first "foreign leader" to visit Khomeini in Iran after the revolution.
Arafat's visit made perfect sense. As Orton and Badran wrote, Arafat and his PLO played a central - indeed pivotal - role in setting up the Islamic regime, albeit in embryonic form - from their state-within-a-state in Lebanon in the 1970s.
As Badran recalls, like most terror groups worldwide, all of the Iranian opposition forces sent terrorists to the PLO training camps in Lebanon. Arafat and his comrades trained them all enthusiastically. The Shah's close ties with Israel made him Arafat's enemy.
Responding to the concern Khomeini's representatives voiced that any regime they formed would be overthrown in a military coup, Arafat's operative Anis Naccache conceived the formation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as the "main pillar" of the future Islamic regime.
The PLO also trained the Shiite terrorists, led by Imad Mughniyeh, who shared Khomeini's ideology. These PLO-trained terrorists called themselves the Party of God, or Hezbollah.
Orton relayed that PLO terrorists arrived in Tehran shortly after the Shah departed to shore up the Khomeinist forces and pave the way for their seizure of power.
The PLO's role in facilitating Khomeini's rise to power was notable for two reasons. First, it pointed to the instrumental role Khomeini assigned to terrorism, both to seize power and to maintain it in Iran. His position as the supreme leader of Hezbollah and his view of the terror group as a sort of terrorist foreign legion for his Islamic revolution pointed to his intention to export his revolution outside of Iran and carry out terror attacks worldwide.
The second reason the PLO's relationship with Khomeini and his followers was important was because it pointed to the PLO's radicalism and sinister intentions, not only towards Israel, but towards the U.S. and the West as a whole.
Arafat's decision to use his state-within-a-state to train anti-Western terror groups from throughout the world made him both the godfather and architect of global terrorism, and a dangerous enemy of the U.S. led free world. His willingness to assist Khomeini showed that the convenient distinction between secular and Islamist was completely off the mark as far as the PLO was concerned.
But judging both by contemporaneous and subsequent events, it is clear that U.S. policymakers failed to accept any of these self-evident conclusions. Many still do.
Badran recalled that the Carter administration asked Arafat to mediate the hostage crisis. According to Israeli and Egyptian officials, Carter nearly scuttled peace talks between Israel and Egypt in an attempt to force both sides to make their peace contingent on PLO empowerment.
From the Clinton administration on, every White House has viewed the Palestinian terror group as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and as a legitimate political actor.
As for Khomeini and his followers, as Iran scholar Michael Ledeen has noted repeatedly, every U.S. administration has sought to cut deals and reach accommodations with the ayatollahs. All have embraced the delusion that the regime is divided between revolutionaries and moderates. Hence, the Clinton administration insisted that then president Mohammed Khatami was a moderate, even as he brutally repressed the student protesters in 1999.
In 2007, the Bush administration accepted the National Intelligence Estimate that falsely claimed Iran had abandoned its nuclear program in 2003. And in 2014, the Obama administration based its nuclear diplomacy with Iran - diplomacy that paved Iran's path to a nuclear arsenal - on the false assertion that President Hassan Rouhani is a moderate.
Just as the Carter administration ignored Khomeini's own writings and his ties to the PLO, and viewed concerns about both as Israeli propaganda, so in these subsequent encounters with the Iranian regime, U.S. officials dismissed or held suspect evidence that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons or otherwise undermining regional and global security as Israeli propaganda.
Facing this wall of cynical disbelief, last year Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu felt compelled to risk the lives of dozens of top Mossad operatives and send them to Tehran to take physical possession of Iran's nuclear archive, and spirit it out of the country.
And even after Israel produced the Iranian documents which proved that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon, European officials and former Obama administration officials accused Israel of lying.
There are plenty of lessons to learn from the Iranian revolution that brought Iran and the world the now 40-year-old nightmare of the Islamic regime.
But as far as the West is concerned, the first lesson must be that you cannot understand the Middle East - or anything for that matter - if you judge events and people through the filter of irrational prejudice.
Biggest Threat Facing Israel In 2019: Multi-Front War In North & South - By Benjamin Kerstein -
The Tel Aviv University-affiliated Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) presented its annual assessment of Israel's security situation to President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday, with the primary conclusion being that a multi-front war on the Jewish state's northern and southern borders was a very real possibility.
According to the Hebrew new site Ynet, the report said, "Most of the fronts facing Israel are very volatile: Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip. Despite mutual deterrence between the sides, there is a potential for escalation to a wider confrontation and an all-out war on more than one front."
"We will find ourselves in the 'everything at once' situation in which Israel is dealing with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in the north, and also with terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip," the report added.
The most serious threat, the report said, was on northern front, where Iran, Hezbollah and the Assad regime are allied. It was highly unlikely Iran would leave Syria anytime soon, and Russian aid to the Assad regime has impeded Israel's freedom of action. In addition, the quality of weaponry provided to Hezbollah by Iran has been rising. All of this threatens to cause a "First Northern War" in which Israel must confront all three enemies simultaneously, the report stated.
In the south, the report found there was very high potential of another war with Hamas. Israel must work to rebuild its deterrence against the Gaza-ruling terrorist organization, which has declined over the past year, and take action against the group's military wing. Of all the threats against Israel, this was the most likely to erupt in the short term, the report surmised.
In the West Bank, the report noted, the prospect of the Trump peace plan offered little hope for progress, though Israel might win the "blame game" following its failure. In regard to Trump in general, Israel must be aware of his unpredictability and tendency to make snap decisions without consulting allies, the report cautioned.
Regarding the Iranian nuclear program, the INSS predicted the situation would remain largely stable, with a breakout to a bomb or, on the other extreme, the fall of the Islamist ruling regime in Tehran both being unlikely.
In terms of specific policy recommendations, the INSS advised arriving at a consensus with the US on Iran's nuclear program -- making sure Israel was prepared to take military action in a breakout scenario -- and reaching understandings with the US on what a renegotiated nuclear deal should look like.
In Syria, the report went on to say, Israel must continue its battle against Iranian entrenchment,and ready itself for the possibility of the war spreading to Lebanon or even Iran itself, while avoiding a clash with Russia at almost any cost and hardening the homefront for a possible northern war.
In Gaza, Israel should refuse to deal with Hamas on any political or diplomatic level, as this would weaken moderate Palestinians and encourage the use of force, the report said.
Does the Bible predict a regional war between Israel and her neighbors? A distinct war different than that of the Ezekiel 38 scenario? Learn more about the Psalm 83 war by clicking here.
Daily Jot: When pushing back on bullies - Bill Wilson -
When I was in grade school, I was somewhat a scrawny kid, bookish, eager to learn. Some of the other kids saw this as weakness and they often picked on me. Back then, there was no cry-babying about bullies. You had to figure out your own way to stop them or they would just keep on pushing you around. One day, Jeff Williams, one of the bullies who was about three times bigger than me, decided to push my buttons. He had been shoving me around and making nasty comments all day. We were getting on the school bus and he pushed me out of the doorway and called me a name. So I followed him on the bus and sat next to him. What was about to happen surprised everyone and changed everything.
He was in the middle on the bench seat and was surprised I sat next to him. At least a head taller than me, he towered over me even as we sat down. I asked him what he called me when he pushed me out of the school bus door. He smirked as he looked around. By this time it seemed all the kids on the bus were looking to see what would happen. Jeff repeated himself loud enough for everyone to hear, and added "what do you think about that?" I replied, "This is what I think about it" as I punched him in the face as hard as I could, breaking his glasses and giving him a bloody nose. He cried like a baby. And that was the beginning of the end to people bullying me. Jeff and I actually became friends afterwards.
Fast forward to today. Trump cancelled use of US military aircraft for a Pelosi-led Democrat junket to Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan, causing the media apoplexy. CNN's Jake Tapper went so far as to say, "The president of the United States is using the US military to get revenge on the speaker of the House." Really? Trump says he will allow the government to shut down if the Democrats don't provide enough funding to secure the border. The Democrats stub up and shut down the government. Pelosi unprecedentedly disinvites the president to give the State of the Union address and the president fights back by cancelling their junket. So the president is using the military against the Speaker of the House like some third world dictatorship. Wow. Think about the spin on that one.
We have had such weak leaders in the White House for so long that when one stands up to the bullies, nobody knows what to say-just like the people on the bus watching me slam Jeff Williams. It's OK for the bully to bully and claim the high ground, but when someone pushes back, it's all of a sudden a horrible breach of etiquette. Our government and leadership is a mess right now. Someone needs to stand for some common sense and put an end to all this "idiocracy." 'Seems an ilk of American society has been too passive for too long and now it will take harsh action to correct the situation. Psalm 101:5-6 says, "Whoso privily slanders his neighbor, him will I cut off: him that has a high look and a proud heart will I not suffer. My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land." Let's be faithful in standing for what is right.
Daily Devotion: Recommissioned - By Greg Laurie -
"Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt." -Exodus 3:10
To me, nothing is sadder than someone who has grown older and has learned nothing. One of the few advantages of age is that you hopefully learn a few things. The problem with getting older is that you're less willing to take chances and risks. You like routine. You go to the same restaurant. You order the same thing. You sit in the same seat. You like routine. You like to know what's coming.
On the other hand, when you're young, you're willing to take chances. You're willing to take risk. You're willing to just go for it.
God wants to use you when you're young. And God wants to use you when you're old as well.
When the Lord called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, Moses was eighty years old. He was well past retirement age. Maybe he thought, "I've worked hard. I'm going to kick back."
But God said to Moses, "I am the God of your father-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (Exodus 3:6 NLT). Really He was saying, in effect, "I am the God of second chances."
And Moses needed a second chance. He had killed a man and spent forty years probably thinking that he would never do anything for the Lord. But the Lord was saying to him, "Moses, I'm recommissioning you. So park the Winnebago, and let's get busy. We've got work to do."
God still has a plan for your life. Don't tell me that you're too old to serve the Lord. Moses was eighty. Don't tell me that you're too young to serve the Lord. Jeremiah was a teenager. God wants to use all of us at every stage of our lives. Let's get busy for the kingdom of God.
FROM THE HEART
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