Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Two Bible Prophets Murdered in Jerusalem - Joseph Chambers - http://www.pawcreek.org/two-bible-prophets-murdered-in-jerusalem/
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
If there is a city in the world that Satan would love to manifest his evil upon, Jerusalem is certainly that city. This city is one of God's jewels on earth God's prophets have always been connected to. The murder of God's two prophets during the Tribulation years is both evident of God's miracles and Satan's evil design. These two great prophets show that the Father never gives up in His desire to redeem. Worldwide prophets are proof that the Father does nothing without His chosen servants. These men are truly special.
The Book of Revelation is redemption from beginning to end. You see a Father in Heaven who never rejoices to judge the world. It is always done with a rainbow over the earth. Redemption has a backdrop and that picture shows love covering every scene. This chapter unites the temple with a call to turn around from the enemy of man.
This great chapter begins with the temple in earthly Jerusalem and ends with the temple in Heavenly Jerusalem. These two cities are destined to be the center of all God's universe for eternity. The present focus is a sense of the finality and the finishing of redemptive and judgmental activities. The Antichrist both loves and hates earthly Jerusalem because of the ageless battle between his capital, Babylon, and the Father's chosen capital. Babylon and Jerusalem are the antitheses of each other and the final struggle between them is gathering momentum. To be the god of this world, Satan must control Jerusalem, as well as Babylon. His Antichrist has established his image in the outer court of the Jerusalem temple and the majority of the Jewish population has fled the city and sought refuge wherever possible.
The Jewish leaders will be terribly deceived by the Antichrist, actually accepting him as their messiah, but the installation of the Antichrist image in the temple will convince them of their error. In His Olivet discourse Jesus Christ warned them of the results of their deception. "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:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" Matthew 24:15-22. The leaders of the Jewish temple have watched Daniel's prophecy fulfilled right before their eyes in this story.
Daniel had prophesied of this coming judgment and gave clear details of the Seven Year period, where in the middle of the seven years (one week of years) this beastly imitation would be manifest and placed in the Jewish temple. "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" Daniel 9:27 The fateful hours have arrived in this prophecy and Jerusalem is in the center of a worldwide effort by the Antichrist to establish full power on a global basis. This beast of a man will hate the nation of Israel for their effort to deny his right to the temple and the Jews will be slaughtered wherever they can be found.
The prophets called this period Jacob's Trouble. "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days" Daniel 12:1-13.
Again, let's understand the two different word pictures of the Seven Years of Tribulation. The first view is seen in chapters six to eleven of the Book of Revelation. This is the final chapter of that picture. The first view focuses on the first three and one-half years and gives us only a bird's-eye view of the last three and one-half years. Chapter eleven is the short view of the last half of the seven years.
2 Peter 2
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
The next view of the seven years gives a full view of the last three and one-half years and only a short view of the first half. These two views together present us with a masterful picture of these seven years of the Great Tribulation. The first view focuses primarily on the heavenly action and the second view primarily on the earthly action. Most of what is seen in the first full picture is the activities of the Father and the Lamb. Also most of what occurs in the second view is the diabolical activities of the devil, his Antichrist, and his false prophet.
Chapter twelve will actually start at the same hour or point in time as the fourth chapter. Remember that this chapter eleven is the short view of the last half of the seven years. Chapter twelve will be the short view of the first half of the seven-year period and chapter thirteen will start in the middle of those seven year. This simple information will help you to understand the progress of this actual period in the close of human history.
"AND THERE WAS GIVEN ME A REED LIKE UNTO A ROD; AND THE ANGEL STOOD, SAYING RISE, AND MEASURE THE TEMPLE OF GOD, AND THE ALTAR, AND THEM THAT WORSHIP THEREIN. BUT THE COURT WHICH IS WITHOUT THE TEMPLE LEAVE OUT, AND MEASURE IT NOT; FOR IT IS GIVEN UNTO THE GENTILES: AND THE HOLY CITY SHALL THEY TREAD UNDER FOOT FORTY AND TWO MONTHS" Revelation 11:1-2.
We are a little past the middle of the seven year period. The abomination spoken of by Daniel is now erected in the Jewish temple's Holy Place. Remember that the temple has a Holy of Holies, which is the court where the Ark of the Covenant once stood. There is a possibility that it will be found and will be present at this prophetic moment when this Scripture is fulfilled. There are Jewish worshippers in that holy place at this moment in prophecy and they apparently refuse to leave. When John was told to measure the temple, the altar, and the worshipper; he was confirming that Jewish worshippers would possess this temple. For some unknown reason, they are not removed. There are Jewish believers in this area of the temple and the Antichrist does not remove them.
But the court outside (outer area) the Holy of Holies is not measured because it is in the possession of this beast of the Antichrist. The second verse confirms that the Gentiles, led by Antichrist, will possess the rest of the temple and will control it for three and one-half years or forty-two months. The Antichrist will probably allow those worshippers that possess the Holy of Holies to remain either as a public relations ploy or because they are in possession of military ability to destroy the entire temple complex if the Antichrist threatens to evict them. It will be a stand off that lays the groundwork for the Battle of Armageddon, when the Antichrist has an army ready to obliterate Jerusalem.
The two opening verses reveal an awesome period developing for the Jewish nation. Again, this Book of Revelation is written to the church, but Israel must be seen in her part of this great struggle. The First and Second Testaments are certainly seen in the wholeness of their relationship as this book continues to unfold.
"AND I WILL GIVE POWER UNTO MY TWO WITNESESS, AND THEY SHALL PROPHEY A THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND THREESCROE DAYS, CLOTHED IN SACKCLOTH. THESE ARE THE TWO OLIVE TREES, AND THE TWO CANDLESTICKS STANDING BEFORE THE GOD OF THE EARTH. AND IF ANY MAN WILL HURT THEM, FIRE PROCEEDETH OUT OF THEIR MOUTH, AND DEVOURETH THEIR ENEMIES: AND IF ANY MAN WILL HURT THEM, HE MUST IN THIS MANNER BE KILLED" Revelation 11:3-5.
God now empowers two great Jewish prophets to begin a ministry that captures the attention of the whole world. These two men probably have a connection to those worshippers in the Holy of Holies and the world will both hear and see their ministry and their struggle to awake men to the righteousness of God. It's beautiful to see this contrast of the Antichrist and his image in the Jewish temple and these two prophets that begin to expose the Antichrist and his connection to a part of the temple where the Antichrist has his great image. That image will be able to speak and will be given some form of paranormal life. At the same time, these prophets will bellow out their rebuke and expose the devil's lies.
Their ministry will cover this same last half of the seven-year period so that the Antichrist will never get a free pass. God's two prophets will hound him everywhere he goes. They will warn this entire globe of Satan's false trinity and his lies. These men will be clothed in sackcloth so no one will fail to recognize them. They possess a supernatural anointing and God calls them His two "olive trees" or "candlesticks." They are invincible to these enemies and no one can kill them. When it says, "fire proceedeth out of their mouth," this could be speaking of their supernatural words that are instantly fulfilled when they speak. These men will be miracle workers from the Heavenly Father and their miracles will be a stark contrast to the Antichrist and his false prophet.
"THESE HAVE POWER TO SHUT HEAVEN, THAT IT RAIN NOT IN THE DAY OF THEIR PROPHECY: AND HAVE POWER OVER WATERS TO TURN THEM TO BLOOD, AND TO SMITE THE EARTH WITH ALL PLAGUES, AS OFTEN AS THEY WILL. AND WHEN THEY SHALL HAVE FINISHED THEIR TESTIMONY, THE BEAST THAT ASCENDETH OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT SHALL MAKE WAR AGAINST THEM, AND SHALL OVERCOME THEM, AND KILL THEM." Revelation 11:6-7.
The world will see and hear the power of Holy Scripture from the lips of these two Godly men. Wicked men will be instantly rebuked with action. When men refuse to hear the Word of God, these prophets will get their attention with miracles that close the heavens and control all natural activities. If the circumstances require it, they will turn water to blood and call for plagues that revel God's wrath at sin. Their action will be the exact penalties of the transgressors. Holiness and wickedness will be seen in perfect contrast.
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
When God is finished with them, the Beast will have power to kill them, but not until God Himself is wonderfully exalted. Satan and his emissaries are always on a leash. The battle between the Antichrist and these two prophets is called a war. Apparently, it will be a protracted struggle. Armies will be engaged and these prophets will be chased across continents and finally captured. The Father intends for their death to show the hatred of the Antichrist for the truth. When they are dead, this world will be advised and the news media will proclaim it as a victory for their champion, the Beast.
"AND THEIR DEAD BODIES SHALL LIE IN THE STREET OF THE GREAT CITY, WHICH SPIRITUALLY IS CALLED SODOM AND EGYPT, WHERE ALSO OUR LORD WAS CRUCIFIED. AND THEY OF THE PEOPLE AND KINDREDS AND TONGUES AND NATIONS SHALL SEE THEIR DEAD BODIES THREE DAYS AND AN HALF, AND SHALL NOT SUFFER THEIR DEAD BODIES TO BE PUT IN GRAVES. AND THEY THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH SHALL REJOICE OVER THEM, AND MAKE MERRY, AND SHALL SEND GIFTS ONE TO ANOTHER; BECAUSE THESE TWO PROPHETS TORMENTED THEM THAT DWELLTH ON THE EARTH" Revelation 11:8-10.
The world rejoices as the news is telecast. The prophets are dead. They are made a laughingstock and their dead bodies are allowed to decompose right in the street of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be under Antichrist control and the character of the city will be Sodom and Egypt. That means that the city is a cesspool of moral degeneration. There will be rejoicing and shouting by the most depraved of human beings right around their decomposing bodies.
The world pleads for a view of these hated prophets in death. Their bodies will be on display and used in the vilest abominations. They have preached righteousness to an unrighteous world and the treatment must be in full satisfaction of the rage against restraints. Nothing makes wicked men angrier than to be told of their wickedness. This picture has got to be the very last drops of the vile actions that finish "God's cup of wrath." The world calls for a party. To them, it's like the devil has won and the days of Godly men and women, whose very lifestyle is a rebuke, is finally over. But, it is not over!
"And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them." Revelation 11:11-12
In the midst of their party, while they view the rotten corpses that are being abused, something begins to happen that this world has never viewed. Those two dead prophets suddenly begin to change. Rotten flesh turns to life, their physical appearance turns fresh and new, and breath enters into their once dead bodies. In the presence of this world, while television cameras catch each detail, they stand alive upon their feet. There is no doubt that their first words will be the Gospel message and the price of sinful living. Giddy and foolish men and women will suddenly turn ghostly and riddled with fear. Fear will take hold of men like a thousand deaths. Their victory turns to defeat in their face. The world begins to mourn.
The Lamb of God thunders His trumpet as He calls out to the resurrected prophets, "Come up hither." They will be raptured before a watching world and will ascend to God in a cloud. Words fail to express this moment like it will be seen by the partying multitudes. Victory is turned to defeat in one short period, minutes at the most. The Bible says, while "their enemies beheld them." No wonder God planned the war and allowed their death, so that He could reveal the triumph of His righteousness.
"AND THE SAME HOUR WAS THERE A GREAT EARTHQUAKE, AND THE TENTH PART OF THE CITY FELL, AND IN THE EARTHQUAKE WERE SLAIN OF MEN SEVEN THOUSAND: AND THE REMNANT WERE AFFRIGHTED, AND GAVE GLORY TO THE GOD OF HEAVEN" Revelation11:13.
Probably no event of the seven years will capture the attention of this world more fully than this. Fear descends like a black and threatening cloud. The forty-two months of these two prophets, their death, resurrection, and their ascension bring the seven years of the Great Tribulation to its last, short, closing days. We see the rest of the events in the following chapters of Revelation: thirteen through eighteen. Much of it will happen simultaneously with these prophets preaching God's word. During the same hour of the prophets' resurrection, there is a great earthquake. "Seven thousand men were destroyed" and the remnant "were affrighted." And the scripture says, and I add finally, they "gave glory to God." Did they repent? The Bible does not say.
"THE SECOND WOE IS PAST; AND, BEHOLD, THE THIRD WOE COMETH QUICKLY. AND THE SEVENTH ANGEL SOUNDED; AND THERE WERE GREAT VOICES IN HEAVEN, SAYING, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER" Revelation 11:14-15.
The words above help us understand that while we are viewing different aspects of this hour, most of it occurs at the same time as other things we will view. Two woes are past and the third is coming does not mean progression, but rather one sorrow on top of two sorrows. The third woe and this seventh angel sounding, is like a warning of what is to come as this seven year period continues to unfold. While we will return to view many events in the second full story of these same years, now, we pause to see the end of it all.
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
The angels of the Lord and the Elders in heaven are heard proclaiming "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever." Everything that occurs in this entire Book of Revelation is preparation for His kingdom. Nothing shall be lost, but the lost themselves. All this misery is misery of sin and rebellion. All the sorrows are the sorrows of unbelief and disobedience. Nothing in this book spells anything, but glory for His saints.
"AND THE FOUR AND TWENTY ELDERS, WHICH SAT BEFORE GOD ON THEIR SEATS, FELL UPON THEIR FACES, AND WORSHIPPED GOD, SAYING, WE GIVE THEE THANKS, O LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, WHICH ART, AND WAST, AND ART TO COME; BECAUSE THOU HAST TAKEN TO THEE THY GREAT POWER, AND HAS REIGNED" Revelation 11:16-17.
We see the raptured saints that have been an integral part of these proceedings fall again prostrate before the throne. Their worship in heaven is almost divine. God is the center of their attention and His throne is never far from any part of the story. They worship God because they see His sovereignty in every scene. The cry of a true saint of God is, "Thy kingdom come." Finally, after long years, even millenniums, the day has come. They can see His kingdom rising from the ruins of judgment and tribulation.
"AND THE NATIONS WERE ANGRY, AND THY WRATH IS COME, AND THE TIME OF THE DEAD, THAT THEY SHOULD BE JUDGED, AND THAT THOU SHOULDEST GIVE REWARD UNTO THY SERVANTS THE PROPHETS, AND TO THE SAINTS, AND THEY THAT FEAR THY NAME, SMALL AND GREAT; AND SHOULDEST DESTROY THEM WHICH DESTOY THE EARTH. AND THE TEMPLE OF GOD WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN, AND THERE WAS SEEN IN HIS TEMPLE THE ARK OF HIS TESTAMENT: AND THERE WERE LIGHTNINGS, AND VOICES AND THUNDERINGS, AND AN EARTHQUAKE, AND GREAT HAIL" Revelation 11:18-19.
The closing of this chapter is absolutely breathtaking. The nations are ripe for judgment, they know it, and they are angry. This is such an incredible closing of the seven years. The dead are going to be judged and rewards are going to be given unto His prophets and all His saints. Anyone, whose faith was a faith of righteous fear and loving obedience, are going to be rewarded. Now, read this statement that I have never found before in Scripture; "them that have destroyed the earth" are going to be destroyed themselves. This earth is God's creation and the abusers of His beautiful universe will pay a heavy price.
And now the grand closing: "the temple of God was opened in heaven." No human being has ever entered this temple. Solomon built its counterpart, but this is the heavenly type of which Solomon's temple was but a shadow. The doors are wide open and the implication is that, finally, His created family, redeemed and glorified, will have eternal access. In the temple is the "ark of His testament." The Bible we have is but the copy of the eternal book that is in the temple. Even the natural world responds with sounds of "voices, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail." These expressions of nature are the first sounds of a purified universe?
We must leave this beautiful story, return to the beginning of the seven years, and view it again from the casting out of the devil from his mid-air kingdom down to the earth. The Lord intends for us not to let this scene slip from our view while we go back to take another look at these same dark seven years. Shortly, we will see those doors to the heavenly temple opened for eternity and all of His saints welcomed.
Iran's strategy for control of Syria - a look - Jonathan Spyer - https://www.jpost.com/printarticle.aspx?id=579385
One way Iran's efforts are taking place are below the official Syrian state structures - in the arming and sponsoring of Iran-controlled paramilitary formations on Syria soil.
Recent statements by a number of Israeli officials have claimed a degree of success in Israel's efforts to contain and roll back Iran's entrenchment in Syria. But while Israel's tactical successes are certainly notable and impressive, the big picture is that Iran's influence and strength in Syria continues to deepen and expand.
Iran's efforts are taking place at three levels: below the official Syrian state structures - in the arming and sponsoring of Iran-controlled paramilitary formations on Syria soil, within the Syrian state - in the control of institutions that are officially organs of the regime, and above the state, in the pursuit of formal links between the Iranian and Syrian regimes. As Tehran seeks to impose its influence on Assad's Syria in the emergent post-rebellion period, meanwhile, there are indications that its project is running up against the rival plans and ambitions of the Russians.
A report by the generally reliable Syrian Observatory for Human Rights this week described in detail the nature of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps's efforts to entrench its presence in a single, significant Syrian town: al-Mayadin, west of the strategically important Albukamal border crossing between Iraq and Syria, and just west of the Euphrates River.
The Observatory described extensive recruitment of local Syrians, including individuals who were formerly involved with the armed opposition, into the ranks of Iran's various paramilitary "Syrian Hezbollah" type structures that have been established in Syria. The report noted that the incentives given to entice individuals into these structures included a monthly salary of between $150-300, allowing individuals a variety of options as to where they wish to serve, and immunity from arrest at the hands of regime security forces.
The report also noted that the IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah have positioned themselves in key areas of al-Mayadin, and are maintaining exclusive control of these areas (i.e., without cooperation with, or permission sought from, the forces of the Assad regime).
Among a number of specific examples quoted in this regard, "Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards took over the al-Nurain Mosque and houses around it on Korniche Street in the city, where they prevented civilians, members of regime forces, and NDF from entering or passing through the area, without orders from the command forces located in al-Mayadin," while "members of the Lebanese Hezbollah took over the area extending from al-Finsh junction to Al Shuaibi Villa at al-Arba'in Street in al-Mayadin city, and prevented entry and exit except by orders of them."
Control of al-Mayadin and its environs matters because it is located along Highway 4, which is the only road leading out of the Albukamal border crossing, which is currently controlled by the IRGC and its allies. From al-Mayadin, Route 4 reaches Deir al-Zor, where it connects to the M20 highway, which heads west in the direction of Damascus, or, if a traveler prefers, toward al-Qusayr and the Lebanese border.
That is, the specific example of al-Mayadin shows the means by which Iran seeks to maintain exclusive control along vital nodes in Syria, for the passage of personnel and matériel, in the direction of its allies in Lebanon or its enemies in Israel, according to the needs of the moment.
THE ACTIVITIES of the IRGC on the ground in such locations as al-Mayadin go hand in hand with the more conventional, regime-to-regime relations that Tehran maintains with Assad in Damascus.
This week, for example, Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri was in Syria, where he signed a number of economic agreements and met with Assad. The agreements, 11 in number, together offer a road map for long-term strategic economic cooperation between Iran and Syria. They cover a variety of areas, including "education, housing, public works, railroads and investments," according to a report by the Syrian Arab News Agency, the regime's official media outlet.
Jahangiri's visit was the latest indication of concerted Iranian efforts to secure a major role in the massive project of reconstruction within the 60% of Syria currently controlled by the regime. The UN estimates the cost of reconstruction in war-torn Syria at around $400 billion. Earlier landmarks in this process include a military cooperation agreement concluded in August 2018, a 2017 memorandum of understanding for the extraction of phosphates from the al-Sharqiya mine southwest of Palmyra (one of the largest such mines in Syria), and an MOU for the restoration by Iran of over 2000 MW of electrical power production capacity.
There is even a putative plan for an Iran-Syria rail link, to run from the Shalamcheh border crossing between Iran and Iraq, via Basra in southern Iraq and eventually to Latakia on Syria's Mediterranean coast. Such projects are more in the line of visions at present. But they demonstrate the depth and scope of Iran's plans for the area between its western borders and the Mediterranean.
A THIRD element in the Iranian ambition lies within the structures of the official Syrian state. Iran has invested heavily in the creation of Basij-style paramilitary structures under its control within the Syrian security forces - such as the National Defense Forces. Evidence is now also emerging that conventional military units of the Syrian Arab Army are also identified closely with the Iranian interest. The evidence in question suggests that this is leading to fissures, as these units face off against other formations more closely allied with the Russian interest in Syria.
A report in the opposition-linked Ana Press this week, confirmed by additional Syrian sources and also reported in Der Spiegel and by the Turkish Anadolu Agency, detailed clashes on January 19 in the Hama area between Col. Soheil Hassan's 5th Corps, associated with the Russian interest, and Maher Assad's 4th Division, generally seen as closely linked to the IRGC.
According to the report, a number of fighters from both units were killed in the Sahel al-Ghab area in Hama, after a dispute about control of the area. These incidents show the extent to which the Russian and Iranian projects have the potential for collision, especially in the all-important area of control and influence within the official security structures of the Syrian state.
Taken together, all this evidence points to a deep, long-term Iranian strategic plan by which Tehran means to dominate the Syrian space in the period ahead. The blueprint being applied is clearly that which has achieved such impressive results in Lebanon, and later in Iraq. According to this approach, Iran is activating a variety of tools below, within and above the structures of the Syrian state. The intention is to achieve a level of penetration and influence that will make their ambitions invulnerable both to superior Israeli air power and intelligence, and to the opposing project for domination of Syria currently being undertaken by Russia. The results of all this remain to be seen.
Nearing Midnight: Cheerleaders for Antichrist - Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
The chamber exploded in wild clapping, whistling, and thunderous applause that went on for a number of minutes. The cheering wasn't for a national championship during the current frenzy over national championships, however. The exultation was for the announcement that the New York state legislature had just passed the Reproductive Health Act.
New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo then signed the piece of legislation into law. In doing so, he-obviously greatly encouraged by the wild cheering of the legislators-gleefully said, "I am directing that New York's landmarks be lit in pink to celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow."
He then proceeded to do just that, lighting the World Trade Tower in a brilliant, pink color.
He added, "The Reproductive Health Act is a historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values."
The ravenous jubilation over the "achievement" has at its center legitimizing the murder of babies, both in and out of their mother's wombs, right up until the birth and beyond.
Attempts have been made for many years to get such legislation made into law. The Republican Senate, until now, managed to block the efforts. This time, with the Republican numbers insufficient to stop it, the assembly passed it 92-47.
One legislator summed up the law that takes away all rights of the unborn child to enjoy the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness:
"We have a president who's made it very, very clear that he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade," Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins declared before the vote. "Today, here in New York, we are saying no [...] and we're not just saying no. We're saying that here in New York, women's health matters. We're saying here in New York, women's lives matter. We're saying here in New York, women's decisions matter."
Ms Stewart thereby voiced, wittingly or unwittingly, the rebellious declaration that mankind has exhibited down through the millennia: We need no God to rule over us is the never-ending mantra while shaking a collective fist in the Almighty's face.
The cheer that erupted in the New York legislature chamber that day instead-again, wittingly or unwittingly-was fulfilling Bible prophecy that will, perhaps very soon, bring rulership of the god of this world. Antichrist awaits in the shadowy wings of this ever-darkening time as the Tribulation looms. They were cheering for that man of sin who will give them not only the infanticide they think is such a glorious thing, but genocide that will force them to worship and obey him if they don't want to be among those murdered. They are cheering on a holocaust of dimensions unimaginable, even when considering the horrendous one of Hitler's making.
These are cheering the likes of Planned Parenthood, an organization inspired by Margaret Sanger, a woman with a globalist view who championed eugenics-the killing of inferior races, black people in particular-in order to bring about racial purity. Doing so, she proposed, was the way to perfect mankind. All dark races are, she postulated, inferior.
Hitler and the Nazi ideology absorbed her Satan-inspired madness.
With Mr. Cuomo's blatant decision to light the World Trade tower in pink to honor the occasion and the women who see the murder of babies as a glorious thing, thoughts, I must admit, sparked within my own mind: Will the Lord respond in some way to this unbelievably rebellious and deliberate shaking of the fist in His face?
I'm sure you might have entertained similar thoughts. To bathe in pink the Tower that replaced the Twin Towers where three thousand lost their lives seems not just a rebellious act by man, but an act of hatred against the Creator of all things inspired by the greatest of all rebels.
I guess the jury is still out on whether the Lord will, in the near term, respond in some way to this act of what seems to me the epitome of this generation's depravity and ungodliness. Certainly, we can be absolutely assured that this and all sin will be dealt with in a heavenly-appropriate way on one eternal day. But, being human and quite vindictive in attitude at some points in my appraisal of things, I would like to... Well, I won't verbalize it here because then you wouldn't think of me as the saintly scrivener I would have myself to be in your eyes.
I receive emails weekly expressing that the senders long for the Rapture. They ask, rhetorically: Why has the Lord not put an end to all this evil, and taken us home?
The answer burns in my thoughts. There are billions of people on the planet who are being called by the Holy Spirit at every given moment. America, where the gospel has saturated culture and society for decades, is not Heaven's only consideration. Millions around the world are God's omniscient concern. Many are coming to Him for salvation daily. He, alone, knows when that final person to be born again into His family will accept Christ for salvation during this Age of Grace.
The Apostle Peter gave us a prophetic glimpse of our Lord's ways and thoughts being high above our own, and of His patience with mankind:
Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:7-11)
All that said, those who are-wittingly or unwittingly-cheerleaders for Antichrist are waging unholy warfare these days in ways that are portentous. It is a dangerous matter to shake a fist in His holy face.
He accepted me into His family through my repentance and belief in the death, burial and resurrection of His Son. He did the same for many of you reading this commentary. In the matter of being sinners, these who demonstrate a hatred for the God who created them are no worse sinners than were we. The Lord wants to welcome them into His eternal kingdom so they won't have to endure the coming years of wrath He must pour upon those who remain rebels.
If you don't know Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, turn to Him in repentance at this moment. It is just this simple.
"That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and will believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
Scariest Of All - By Grant Phillips -
I remember as a child watching scary movies such as Frankenstein, The Werewolf, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein and The Mummy, just to name a few. Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr. never ceased to hold my attention as a young boy.
The scariest movies though of that time, at least to me, were those where a lady is in a place all alone, maybe an old house. As she walks through the darkness, you know the monster is going to reach out just any second and grab her. Meanwhile the tension builds as he comes up behind her. As a youngster, you can hardly stand it.
Writers of that day were experts in scaring us with what we could not see. Today, these movies are so tame; they could be used as a sedative for most people.
Have you ever thought about what scares you more than anything? Most of us have probably thought about this, and the answer for most people may be that thing called "death." Let me say before I go any further that I don't think death is the scariest thing for us to face ... for a Christian that is. Now for an unbeliever that's a different story, but an unbeliever can be saved, if they just trust in Jesus while they are living.
When I was in school being called to the principal's office was certainly scary. That's why the smart ones behaved ourselves and avoided that area.
I can remember talking during the church service and my parents saying, "Just you wait 'til we get home." Another is when my Mother would say, "Just you wait 'til your Dad gets home." Now those times were attention getters and quite scary.
I can't imagine how scary it must have been for our soldiers on D-Day, or for any soldier to face the guns and bombs of the enemy.
There are many things in life that can scare us until it seems our blood runs cold. Sometimes they are via movies, but we know they are not real. Other times, real life grabs us by the throat with wake up calls like cancer and other horrible illnesses.
Let me now state what I think is the scariest of all for any person to face. In my opinion, an unbeliever who has grown so cold toward God their conscience is seared is the scariest of all. The Lord Jesus said through the apostle Paul when he wrote his protégé Timothy that:
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron." (1 Timothy 4:1-2 emphasis mine)
Can anything be scarier than having no desire to know Jesus? A person who has come to this point in their life has sealed their doom. There is nothing to look forward to but certain eternal judgment in hell.
Notice that Paul is speaking specifically of "hypocritical liars" who have reached this point in their hearts. Their hearts have become so cold, so hard; they have no desire for Christ. Is that to say that this only applies to this select group? Not really. For any man who has no desire for Christ is a hypocrite and a liar.
If there were ever a group of people who could be called the "walking dead," this would be the group. Is there any hope at all for anyone who has reached this point in their lives? Yes, I believe there is hope. I believe that any person can be saved if they will call upon Jesus in this life, but here is the rub. Will they do so? Have they allowed themselves to become so cold and calloused they will never have any feelings for God but hate and/or indifference?
The thing about salvation is that Jesus is a perfect gentleman. He will not force Himself upon anyone. He has done everything possible to provide the only way to be saved from a devil's hell, but now it is up to each one of us to come to Him individually to be saved.
Death is something each one of us must face alone. However, Jesus waits for the believer on the other side of death's door, but the only thing waiting for the unbeliever is the judgment of hell. The same is true with salvation. We must make that decision, for or against, all by our self. No one else can die for us, and no one else can decide for us about Jesus.
I and anyone else who has put their faith in Jesus as their Savior can rest on the following Scripture passage.
"The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." (1 Timothy 1:5)
How can we have a good conscience toward God? We have a "good conscience" toward God because of our faith in Him, knowing He cannot lie. We wholly trust Him and want to live for Him.
"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;" (Titus 1:2)
If you will believe in Him, you too may have a good conscience, because you have rested your trust in Him. However, if your conscience has been "seared as with a hot iron," fall on your knees today and ask Him to melt that stony heart. Why?
To reiterate, it is true that God's grace can save anyone right up until they die, but every time we say no to Him our heart gets harder. It may get so hard we reach the point of no return. Each time one refuses the Holy Spirit's call, it gets easier, and easier to do so. The heart and conscience become so hardened, so numb and so past any feeling, there is no going back. Eventually, God may pull away His convicting Spirit and leave one to his own ways.
"Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another." (Romans 1:24 emphasis mine)
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones." (Romans 1:26 emphasis mine)
"Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done." (Romans 1:28 emphasis mine)
There is nothing scarier than having a heart with no feelings, a heart that is stone cold. It may seem macho to you, but you are a fool. You are insanely begging for the judgment of Almighty God to fall upon you.
Call upon Him today, while you still can.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: Murder on demand - Bill Wilson -
Anyone who lives in America should be outraged by recent political acts to further legalize the murder of the unborn AND those who are born. And once again, people of conscience, it is those elected from the Democratic Party who are supporting such immoral efforts. It is, however, those elected from the Republican Party who, in my opinion, are doing little but lip service to stop this attack on humanity. Citizens of New York and Virginia who call themselves human, Christian or even empathetic to any human or civil rights should be outraged to action. You would be arrested for killing new born puppies, but not new born humans if the Democrats and the Virginia Governor had their way. This is lunacy.
New York state Democratic Party legislators gleefully passed legislation to deny "personhood" to unborn babies. They symbolically took the vote on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v Wade decision to legalize abortion. Democrat Government Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law as his fellow party members celebrated. Democrats in Rhode Island and Vermont, under the guise of protecting reproductive health care and reproductive privacy, have introduced bills that eliminate any restrictions on abortion. These include allowing late term abortions-even to the moment of birth and Rhode Island's bill eliminates any protection for a viable unborn child from criminal assaults on a child's mother.
The linchpin, however, in this new "Murder on Demand" environment is a bill introduced by Democrat Virginia state legislator Kathy Tran that makes it"lawful for any physician licensed by the Board of Medicine to practice medicine and surgery to terminate or attempt to terminate a human pregnancy or aid or assist in the termination of a human pregnancy by performing an abortion or causing a miscarriage on any woman in a stage of pregnancy subsequent to the second trimester." The justification is simply "continuation of the pregnancy is likely to result in the death of the woman or impair the mental or physical health of the woman." Therefore, if the woman consents because of her mental health, the infanticide can be legally committed. Virginia's Democratic governor and Attorney General fully support the infanticide legislation.
Now then, Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse introduced a bill to protect babies who survive failed abortions and designate them as a legal person. Sasse asked for unanimous consent to pass the bill on the floor of the Senate. Democrats blocked the vote. Sasse's bill does not go far enough. This death and hate culture in American must stop. We all should demand and expect that these people supporting infanticide be removed from office as they are premeditating the murder of US citizens, moreover, human beings. As the Lord says in Jeremiah 2:34, "Also on your skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but plainly upon all these things." Who wants the blood of murder by demand on their hands?
Daily Devotion: Forward Progress - By Greg Laurie -
But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." -Luke 9:62
It took God one night to get Israel out of Egypt. But it took forty years to get Egypt out of Israel. The Israelites were always looking back.
Some Christians are that way. They're always looking back. They say, "Remember the good old days-you know, before I was a Christian? Man, we would party! We had so much fun!"
Really? Were they, in fact, the good old days? Were they as good as they thought they were? Or is their memory a little distorted? Have they forgotten the emptiness? Have they forgotten the despondency? Have they forgotten the repercussions of the things they did? Have they forgotten that dull ache deep inside? Have they forgotten the havoc it brought on their family? They've conveniently forgotten about that and remember the few good times they had.
That is what the Israelites were doing. They were always looking back. But before we judge them, let's realize that we've done the same thing. This is why Jesus said, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62 NKJV).
Have you ever been driving along and had the highway patrol pull up behind you? It makes you nervous, doesn't it? Do you slow down, even if you're doing the speed limit? And if they happen to slow down, do you slow down even more?
You can't live in two worlds. You can't go forward when you're looking back. And you can't walk forward spiritually if you're always looking over your shoulder. World changers see opportunities, but those who are changed by this world see obstacles. World changers see bridges, but those who are changed by this world see walls. It's all in how you look at things.
FROM THE HEART
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