Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
What can a Thief Teach us About the Rapture? - By Jonathan Brentner - https://www.raptureready.com/2019/03/01/can-thief-teach-us-rapture-jonathan-brentner/
A recent news story about a thief in Rochelle Park, NJ, caught my attention. In the process of robbing a home, he woke up the couple who lived there. Not wanting to get caught, he climbed back out of the window through which he had entered the house and fled from the scene.
Here's where the story gets interesting. He had previously arranged with a car service to meet him in the neighborhood to unwittingly provide his way of escape. However, in his haste, he climbed into the backseat of a police car parked a block away from the home he had attempted to rob.
Here is what the Rochelle Park, NJ, police department later tweeted, "A burglar who fled a Rochelle Park couple's home after waking them became an easy grab for police when he mistook a police vehicle for a Lyft ride."
Okay, perhaps there's not much we can learn from this guy, but we know he greatly surprised the couple who awoke to find a thief in their home. They will never forget the sudden fright they felt that night.
The Apostle Paul also talked about the arrival of a thief at night: "For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2). Paul says that, just like the arrival of a robber in the dark of night, the day of the Lord will arrive with "sudden destruction" (v. 3).
What is the Day of the Lord?
First, let's clarify what the apostle means by the "day of the Lord." It's an Old Testament term that refers to God's wrath that He will pour out on the earth prior to Jesus' Second Coming. This day includes Jesus' glorious return to earth, the signs preceding it, and the kingdom He establishes after His return.
Will believers experience the wrath of God during the day of the Lord? No, we will not. In 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Paul promises that Jesus will come for those of us in Christ before this terrible time begins: "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." The context tells us this is wrath specific to the day of the Lord, not the final judgment of sinners in hell.
Does the Day of the Lord Include the Tribulation?
In Revelation 6-16, the Apostle John describes a series of terrible events that come upon the earth during the tribulation; these closely reflect what the Old Testament prophets say will happen during the day of the Lord. The question then becomes this: will the church miss all the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments of the book of Revelation? Do Paul's words in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 promise this?
There is disagreement regarding this among premillennialists, those who believe Jesus returns after the tribulation to set up His millennial reign on the earth, regarding how much of the tribulation to include within the day of the Lord. Some delay its start until the "trumpet" judgments while others further postpone it until the bowl judgments.
Does 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 provide any clues to help us resolve these differences as to when exactly the "day of the Lord" wrath begins? I believe so.
Can the Thief Help us Resolve this Matter?
Paul's comparison of the arrival of the day of the Lord to a thief helps us understand how much of the tribulation to include within the day of the Lord.
Just like finding a burglar in one's house in the middle of the night represents an unwelcome surprise, so will be the "sudden destruction" that characterizes the beginning of the day of the Lord. Paul says this time will come when people are saying "peace and security" (1 Thess. 5:3). There has to be some reason for people to think they are living in a time of relative calm and safety when the day of the Lord arrives like a thief.
Let's go back to Revelation. Could we say that the day of the Lord begins after the seals? Would people be surprised then or would they be saying "peace and safety?" Hardly! We know from Revelation 6:1-8 that at least one-fourth of the world's population perishes with the seal judgments. One could scarcely say that the day of the Lord would surprise anyone as a thief after such catastrophic destruction and loss of life. Nor will they be saying peace and safety.
For the day of the Lord to arrive with the abruptness and surprise of a thief, it must come simultaneously with the start of all the afflictions detailed in Revelation 6-16 or it will not surprise anyone as a thief in the night.
Do you see what this says about the timing of the rapture? Since the Lord promises, through Paul, to come for us before the start of the day of the Lord, this means the rapture must occur before the seal judgments, since they signify the beginning of God' wrath.
The rapture thus happens before the day of the Lord or the tribulation.
What Did the Thessalonian Believers Expect?
The next question is this: did the Thessalonians regard Paul's promise in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 as signifying that the Lord would come for them before the day of the Lord? Yes, it's clear from 2 Thessalonians that they believed they would miss all of the day of the Lord.
After Paul wrote his first book to the believers in the city, someone claiming to act on the authority of the apostle told the Thessalonians that the day of the Lord had already begun.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 tells us that the receipt of this message put the believers in a state of total panic. The verbs of verse 2 reveal that they were visibly shaken and overcome with great fright at the news. If Paul earlier had told them that they would go through this time, they would have expected this news and regarded it as a sign that Jesus' second coming was that much closer.
Instead, these saints already enduring great persecution and hardship because of the Jews in Thessalonica succumbed to overwhelming fear at the thought that the day of the Lord had begun, necessitating Paul's second letter to assure them this was not the case. The only explanation for their fright is that they regarded Paul's promise in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 to mean they would miss all of the day of the Lord.
Just like these believers from so long ago, our expectation is the same. We watch for Jesus' appearing, not the day of the Lord, aka the tribulation. Yes, at some point in the future, God will pour out His wrath on an evil and unsuspecting world during a time known as the day of the Lord or the tribulation.
As believers, however, we have God's solemn promise in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 that we will not endure the wrath of this time. Jesus will take us to His Father's house ahead of this time just as He promises us in John 14:2-3!
Website: Our Journey Home
Iran's Unwavering Israel-Hatred - By Dr. Doron Itzchakov -
Four decades ago, the revolutionary movement led by Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty and established the Islamic Republic of Iran on its ruins. Since then, significant changes have taken place in the discourse and concepts of its leaders. However, the Iranian political establishment has never wavered in its relentless hostility towards Israel. Once a friend to Israel, Tehran overnight became an archenemy dedicated to its destruction.
Iran's overnight shift from Israel's friend to its archenemy was a strange and shocking turn of events. The two countries do not share a common border, and there is no conflict between them regarding the presence of an ethnic or religious minority - including the Jewish community living in Iran. So what was the source of such virulent and apparently indestructible hostility?
To answer this question, it is helpful to examine the pattern of bilateral relations that developed between the countries not long after the establishment of the State of Israel.
Bilateral relations between monarchist Iran and Israel began to warm gradually upon Iran's de facto recognition of Israel in March 1950. Iran was the second Muslim country after Turkey to recognize Israel and even opened consular representation in Jerusalem. The relationship was established during a period of global and regional change that influenced Tehran's geopolitical status, both as a buffer between East and West and within the Muslim world.
Iran had to position itself in the new international order. It was a Shiite monarchy in the heart of a volatile Sunni region that was being shaken by new waves of Arab nationalism. At the same time, the regime had to respond to the challenges posed by the Cold War's bipolarity, as well as meet domestic challenges while stabilizing Iran's sociopolitical fabric.
Iran-Israel relations were formed as a result of a convergence of interests that took shape around four main interfaces:
These ties were considered anathema by many and were the subject of criticism both within Iran and abroad.
The revolutionary narrative presents Ayatollah Khomeini as the main opponent of the bilateral relationship and, indeed, of Israel's very existence. In fact, not only was Khomeini not among the first opponents of the Iranian-Israeli connection, but his rise to prominence in this respect occurred with the publication of the Basic Principles of the Shah's "White Revolution" in the early 1960s, though his age and standing enabled him to voice his opposition much earlier. In contrast, there were others, such as Ayatollah Abul Qassem Kashani and Navvab Safavi, who had preached against the nascent Iranian-Israeli ties since their establishment.
The reasons why Khomeini refrained from going public with his opposition until the 1960s are beyond the scope of this essay, but suffice it to say that he did not dare challenge the line of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Borujerdi - the marja taqlīd at the time - who advocated maintaining a separation between religion and politics. However, after Borujerdi's death in March 1961, things changed radically. The Shah's apprehensions about Qom's growing preeminence and his desire to establish Najaf (under the leadership of Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim) as the spiritual center of Shiite Islam roused Khomeini's anger and caused him to take a public stance against the monarch. Khomeini's ascendancy as an opponent of the regime was also aided by an intersection of interests between himself and the Egyptian ruler, Gamal Abdel Nasser - the Shah's main nemesis.
Muslim scholars, Shiite and Sunni alike, have long debated the question: Under what conditions can a Muslim ruler be overthrown? The basic premise was that a Muslim ruler is preferable to anarchy, even if he does not strictly obey Islamic commandments. This perception was considered acceptable among senior officials in the Shiite establishment, such as the Ayatollahs Khonsari and Shariatmadari. Khomeini, too, addressed this difficult question, publicizing the major change in his policy via the Basic Principles of the "White Revolution."
The "White Revolution" caused waves of resistance and protest throughout Iranian society, during which time Khomeini disseminated his worldview regarding the illegitimacy of the Shah's rule on the grounds of his ties with the US and Israel. In his many speeches, he combined opposition to reforms with revulsion at the Shah's rule and his relations with Israel. Khomeini's argument was that the connection contradicted the principles of Islam as well as Iranian social mores, and did not reflect the will of the people.
On June 3, 1963, Khomeini delivered a speech full of hatred against the Shah and Israel, and was subsequently arrested and imprisoned. In April 1964, the authorities granted his release and he returned to the city of Qom. However, in late October 1964, he was rearrested following a speech condemning the immunity law granted by Iran to US representatives.
In November 1964 Khomeini was exiled from Iran. After a short period in Turkey he settled in Najaf, Iraq, where he worked on forming a resistance movement under his leadership.
The timing of Khomeini's arrival in Iraq worked out well for him. It was during the reign of Abdel Salam Aref, who maintained close ties with Nasser and allowed him to increase his influence in Iraq. This made it easier for Khomeini to establish the resistance movement, which he called the "Iranian Liberation Movement." The movement contained various streams that united for a common purpose. It included elements from the national front, factions from the Iranian left, and branches of the religious establishment, which was not monolithic. Some followed the line of Khomeini, whose aim was to oust the Shah and establish an Islamic government. Others aspired to reduce the Shah's power and restore the constitutional monarchy.
Khomeini's teachings were based on the notion that Islam in general and Iran in particular were under attack by the West in a number of realms (military, economic, and cultural), and a counterattack was needed. In his proclamations, one can identify the influences of other thinkers, such as Sayyid Qutb, Ali Shariati, and Jalal al-Ahmad. A basic component of their thinking was hostility towards Israel. Khomeini emphasized that element to discredit the Shah and cast his leadership as illegitimate.
Khomeini elected to link up with militant movements that believed the political effort would not achieve its goal without violent resistance. The first was Hayat-ye moatalefe-ye Eslāmi, which was established after Khomeini's release from prison and which was involved in the assassination of PM Hassan Ali Mansour in 1965.
At the same time, a movement of Iranian dissidents, mostly students, began to organize outside Iran's borders. They established a militant underground group, Sama, which received training in Egypt. That training continued until the end of 1966, but differences of opinion between Nasser and the movement's leadership nearly severed the connection.
Starting at the end of 1967, and particularly after September 1970 (which saw both Black September in Jordan and Nasser's death in Egypt), there was a significant development of the connection between Iranian resistance movements and the PLO. Many activists from Cherikhā-ye Fedai-e ḵalq and the Mojahedin-e Khalq organizations took part in military training held at PLO bases in Jordan and later in southern Lebanon. In the 1970s, the triangular relationship among the Iranian resistance movement, Palestinian terrorist organizations, and Shiite factions in southern Lebanon intensified.
The most prominent Iranian figures in the relationship were Mustafa Charman and Ali Akbar Mohtashimpour. The former came to Lebanon on several occasions, but in 1971 he joined Musa Sadr and became a founder member of the Amal organization. The other, Ali Akbar Mohtashemipour, arrived in Lebanon (together with Muhammad Montazeri, the son of Ayatollah Montazeri) to assist the Palestinian struggle. He eventually became known in the collective memory as "the Iranian leader who founded Hezbollah."
According to American scholar Ervand Abrahamian, the militant organizations that took an active part in the Iranian resistance movement were divided into five categories depending on worldview, professional-social affiliation, and ideological leadership. However, for most of them, opposition to the Shah's regime reflected opposition to the bilateral relationship that had developed between Iran and Israel. It therefore served as a ground for cooperation with Palestinian terrorist organizations. The activities of the Iranian resistance organizations were occasionally combined with anti-Zionist and antisemitic propaganda.
After the revolution, with the establishment of the new order, resistance to Israel became an ideal to follow for both strategic and ideological reasons. It is no coincidence that the first guest invited to visit Iran after the revolution was Yasser Arafat. On that occasion, the keys to Israel's delegation building were handed over to him in appreciation of the warm ties that had developed between the two resistance movements during the 1970s.
The warm relations between the Islamic Republic and the PLO were not based on shared theology but on mutual interests. Arafat led a national movement that was far from Shiite Islam, and especially from Khomeini's concept of the "rule of jurisprudence."
For his part, Khomeini hoped ties with the PLO would bridge revolutionary Iran and the Arab world, but that hope was quickly dashed. The Palestinian leadership refused to adopt the principle of "Velayat-e faqih." To make matters worse, Arafat took an unhelpfully ambiguous position during Iran-Iraq War; the PLO held talks with Iranian opposition elements in France; and the PLO had contacts with Saudi Arabia regarding the Fahd Plan in August 1981.
Despite Khomeini's disappointment with Arafat, the Palestinian cause continued to be a central theme in his preaching. He based his speeches on Shiite concepts like the distinction between oppressors and oppressed and the principle of helping the weak. However, the main reason for his continued interest stemmed from developments that took place after the establishment of the Islamic Republic. Khomeini's ambition was to spread the "rule of jurisprudence" to other Muslim countries (he did not consider himself a local leader only).
His efforts failed because Muslim countries did not adopt his theory or embrace his teachings, but there was another reason specific to Iran's domestic situation following the revolution. Some of Khomeini's revolutionary associates began to rebel against his leadership and to resist his harsh stand against the opposition. Facing those pressures, Khomeini opted to unite the factions by focusing on an external adversary. This meant focusing anew on Islamic activism on behalf of the cause of Palestine. As a result, in August 1979, he declared the last Friday of the month of Ramadan "International Jerusalem Day" (Ruz-e Jehani-y Quds), which is marked in solidarity with the Palestinians to this day.
After Khomeini's death in June 1989, the Iranian establishment maintained his legacy faithfully in order to prove its loyalty to his path and to the revolutionary movement he had established. Khomeini viewed animosity towards Israel as a tool to be used to bolster regime achievements, and that animosity remained a cornerstone of the regime's behavior - so much so, that it became an inseparable element of its identity.
The Islamic Republic that emerged from the revolution is predicated on Khomeini's "Velayat-e faqih" theory that views the other - the adversary - as an integral component in the construction of a new collective identity. Thus, in the new discourse, Israel-hatred became a convenient framework from which to promote Iran's status (however illegitimate) as a hegemon in the Middle East.
A three-pronged set of interests exists among the Supreme Leader's Office, the Revolutionary Guards, and the conservative wing of Iranian politics. This three-legged stool depends for its stability on the collective assumption that loyalty to the legacy of the revolution's founder will consolidate the regime's power and influence both at home and abroad. As a result, faithfulness to the "Palestinian struggle" is maintained, despite hiccups along the way.
The Great Divide - By Jan Markell - www.olivetreeviews.org
Someone appropriately said that when Lucifer fell from Heaven he landed in the church choir loft. There aren't a lot of choirs today, so today he might have landed in the midst of the church worship team somewhere between the drums and bass guitar.
Not all contemporary music is inappropriate and unsound. Not all of it is too noisy. Still, music in the church is the great divider and has created the worship wars.
I have just completed a two-week series on "Understanding the Times" radio and in almost 19 years, have never struck such a chord -- no pun intended.
My radio guests and I -- Pastor Brandon Holthaus and Eric Barger -- have dealt with calls and e-mail responses non-stop. Many people are heartsick about today's music in the church.
Catch the two-part series here.
Some of the following issues were discussed:
* Today's music is, once again, the product of the church-growth movement. This is one way you grow a church: lights, smoke, sound, and "worship-tainment." Church growth is a part of seminary training just as much as theology!
* As a result, when the entertainment angle goes too far, church can seem like a performance at a local nightclub. Is this how a church prepares the people for the preaching from the Word of God?
* Some lyrics are out-of-control as well. Some songs sound more like a valentine love song. Some words are inappropriate. Some are embarrassing. Hear some examples: You are my desire/no one else will do/cause no one else could take your place/to feel the warmth of your embrace (Kelly Carpenter: Draw Me Close). Or, I wanna sit at your feet/lay back against you and breathe/feel your heartbeat/this love is so deep/it's more than I can stand (Kari Jobe: The More I Seek You.) Or, I want to look on the face of the one that I love/long to stay in your presence/it's where I belong/oh it's where I belong with you my love (Kim Walker: Jesus Culture). This is "theoeroticism" or romance to God and is inappropriate! Who sings, "In the secret, quiet hour, I want touch your face and know you more" in church?
* Some songs today represent outrageous theology as well. The popular song "Reckless Love" has 86 million listens on YouTube but is God's love "reckless"? God's actions were intentional and well planned when He sent His son to the cross. He knew us before the foundations of the world.
* How sound are some of the producers of today's music such as "Hillsong," "Jesus Culture", Bethel music, and music produced by the New Apostolic Reformation? The lyrics may promote troubling theology including the Prosperity Gospel and Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology. What good can come from an outfit that produces "Naked Cowbody," a Hillsong production in New York?
Footage of Hillsong
New York featuring
"naked cowboy" 2
* Does some of today's music work people up, almost into an altered state of unconsciousness with repetitive words? Why must choruses be sung two-dozen times, inducing a trance-like look on the faces of many?
The Send -
Steffany Gretzinger & Jeremy Riddle Final Set
Is this Bethel music at "The Send" worshiping God or working up people into a near frenzy with repetitive words?
* Should your church be endorsing the originators, writers, and producers of some of today's music if their lifestyles are questionable? If they won't take a stand on important issues such as LGBTQ? If you accept the art, aren't you accepting all of the artist?
* How worshipful is the music when ear plugs are distributed as you enter the sanctuary? What if the volume is above 80 decibels? Do you know that is hazardous to your health?
* Hear what happens to some people who speak up and try to stand against some of this. Why are they often shown the door?
* But it works! The church is vanishing in Australia -- except for Hillsong with 40,000 attendees! Maybe the ends justify the means!
* Do you know that every time you sing a song a church pays royalties to the producers of those songs? Should we be furthering the outreach of outfits that are not standing for sound doctrine and songwriters/producers who are not leading Godly lives?
We are to "come before His presence with singing" (Psalm 100:2) but with just any style of music? Does anything go? Is the music reflecting the majesty of God or just making us feel good? Is the music focusing on the truth of Scripture?
Could the great end-time falling away predicted in the Bible be hitting the music industry as well as some of our pulpits? Or are the critics of today's music being overly critical and legalistic? Too often today, anything goes if it works.
Hundreds will unsubscribe from these e-mails and more may stop listening to "Understanding the Times" radio as a result of this discussion. We counted the cost. We just find it troubling that some seem to be worshiping worship.
Listen and you decide. Again, access both programs here.
Purim Supermoon: Ushering in Redemption - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - www.breakingisraelnews.com
"Hashem made the two great lights, the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars." Genesis 1:16 (The Israel Bible™)
In two weeks, Jews around the world will read the Megillah (Book of Esther) and celebrate the holiday of Purim. On the same evening they are celebrating victory over the archetypal evil personified by Haman, a supermoon will appear in the heavens. Several rabbis agree that a rare confluence of events is especially auspicious for the unfolding of the Messiah.
A supermoon occurs when the full moon coincides with the perigee - the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit - resulting in a larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as viewed from Earth. A full moon at perigee appears roughly 14% larger in diameter than at apogee and appears up to 30 percent brighter. Supermoons usually appear 3-4 times each year.
The Purim supermoon will be the final in a series of three consecutive full-moon/ supermoons. The next appearance of supermoons will also be a triad, culminating on the night before Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).
Purim also coincides with the vernal (spring) equinox when the Sun crosses the celestial equator - the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth's equator - from south to north. On the equinox, the day and night are each about 12 hours in length everywhere on Earth.
Joy Brings Redemption
Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, was overjoyed to hear of the upcoming confluence of astronomical events with Purim.
"This 'supermoon,' as it is called, is a very good sign for Israel," Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. Rabbi Berger explained that the opposite of a supermoon, a lunar eclipse is a bad omen for Israel.
Rabbi Berger cited a Judaism tradition of interpreting solar and lunar eclipses. In its discussion of eclipses, the Talmud (Sukkot 29a) specifies that lunar eclipses are a bad omen for Israel since Israel is spiritually represented by the moon and the Hebrew calendar is figured by the lunar cycles.
"This is especially true on Purim which signifies a great victory by Israel over evil and the beginning of redemption," Rabbi Berger said. "Jews are commanded to be happy in the month of Adar because it is the beginning of all redemption. We begin Purim and then go directly into Passover, signifying the Exodus from Egypt."
The rabbi noted that this year is a leap year, accomplished in the Hebrew calendar by an additional month of Adar.
"Redemption cannot come from anger or hatred," Rabbi Berger said. "Redemption is brought through happiness. This year, instead of just one month of happiness we had two. And the moon will appear extra large on the holiday that begins the period of redemption."
Rabbi Berger is in contact with several hidden tzaddikim (righteous people) whose identities are known to only a few rabbis. Last Shabbat (Saturday,i.e. the Sabbath) Rabbi Berger paid a visit to one of these hidden tzadddikim and before he even had a chance to say a word, the holy man began to laugh in joy.
"He told me that we are very, very, VERY close to geulah (redemption)," Rabbi Berger said. "He has never acted or spoken like this before. He said that in order to prepare, we need to become very strong in joy and happiness."
We have arrived at our destination but the meter is still running
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, an end-of-days expert and blogger, has just published a new book titled "Redemption to Redemption" describing the "deep and intimate connection between Purim and Pesach." Quite appropriately, the cover of the book features an image of a supermoon.
"The moon represents the Jewish people," Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. "Just as the moon waxes and wanes but never disappears, the same is true of the Jewish people. This is especially seen in the story of Purim in which the Jews start out start, become weak, and then finish on an even higher note."
"Also, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun but does not have a light of its own, the same is true of the Jewish people. We are a light unto the nations but it is God's light going into the world reflected off of us out to mankind."
"That is why most holidays are in the middle of the Hebrew month when the moon is full and its light is the strongest. That is when Israel has the greatest ability to spread the light of God into the world. A supermoon is a special opportunity for Israel to perform our function of being a light unto the nations."
Rabbi Winston also noted several unique and significant aspects of the moon.
"The moon always has the same side facing the earth," Rabbi Winston said. He also noted that the diameter of the Sun is about 400 times larger than the Moon's, but it is also roughly 400 times farther away from Earth. These two qualities almost cancel each other out. As a result, the Sun usually appears to be the same size as the moon.
"The physical conditions necessary for this to be the case are astronomically small," the rabbi said, pun intended.
When asked if he thought the supermoon had any significance for the Messiah's arrival, Rabbi Winston demurred, saying that ascribing significance to a specific event is the realm of prophecy and not for the average man. But any event, no matter how small or distant, could prove to be "explosive."
"But we are in the final stages," Rabbi Winston said. He gave two examples to illustrate the current condition of mankind in relation to the end-of-days.
"It is like when you take a cab to someplace and you arrive but remain seated in the cab," Rabbi Winston said. "The meter is still running but you are at the destination. All that is required is to open the door and get out. Any moment, any small event can trigger the explosion of redemption."
His second analogy carried with it an ominous warning.
"The arrival of the Messiah has an aspect that is like musical chairs," he said. "No one knows when the music will stop, but when it does, you might unexpectedly be caught unprepared and be left standing without a place to sit down. It is absolutely correct today to be paranoid."
Purim Supermoon Symbolizing Pre-Messiah Feminism
Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman, director of the Ohr Chadash Torah Institute, sees the upcoming Purim supermoon as symbolizing a pre-Messianic tikkun (fixing) of the feminine.
"The moon always represents the feminine, "Rabbi Trugman told Breaking Israel News, noting that Purim emphasizes the feminine. "Every Purim occurs on a full moon and Esther is the heroine of the story. It could have been called the Book of Mordechai but it was significantly called the Book of Esther as she was the main agent that brought redemption."
Rabbi Trugman wrote about this in his new book Seasons of the Soul: The Ohr Chadash Anthology of Jewish Holidays and Significant Events:
"The Rabbis compare the 'fall' that occurred in the Garden of Eden and the subsequent 'demotion' of women's status, evident in a multitude of societies around the world for the duration of pre-Messianic history, to the Midrashic allegory of the moon and the sun. On the fourth day of creation, when the sun and moon were created, the moon complained to God that two kings, meaning the two "great lights" created on that day, could not wear the same crown."
God subsequently, according to the Midrash, made the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars. Genesis 1:16
"God's response was to tell the moon to make itself smaller (Chullin 60a)... Based on this correspondence and the aforementioned allegory, Jewish mystics teach that one of the final rectifications that must occur before the Messianic era is Tikkun Chava, the rectification of Eve and the overall status of women, represented by the moon."
"It seems clear that the almost unprecedented promotion of the social status of women in our day fulfills in part the overall process and requirements of Tikkun Chava (fixing of Eve)." This process is alluded to in the events of the book of Esther.
"All of history is understood as a series of attempts to rectify the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; a redemptive process which will, in effect, rectify the role of women in the world, re-balance the relationship between women and men, and, ultimately, return the moon to her former glory alongside her partner, the sun. In fact, the Book of Esther and the role that Esther played symbolizes, on many different levels, the rectifications that need to be made in order to reverse the deleterious effects of being exiled from the Garden of Eden. It is these very rectifications that will ultimately lead to the Messianic era and the proverbial return of humanity to the Garden of Eden."
"It is therefore not surprising that the elevation of women's status around the world in our time coincides with Israel's rising from millennia of oppression and the ashes of the Holocaust, returning to their ancient homeland to create a strong and independent nation! From a Torah perspective, these two processes are intimately connected, as significantly, Israel is also always associated with the moon."
Daily Jot: New morality-record numbers of Illegals crossing the border - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports: "Arrests of families crossing the US-Mexico border illegally in the past five months hit a record...From October through February, border agents arrested 136,150 people traveling in families at the southern border...107,212 people were arrested during the federal fiscal year that ended in September. More than 66,400 people were arrested in February...The numbers were the sharpest evidence yet that, despite Mr. Trump's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, the flow of migrants is only growing." Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday, "This situation is not sustainable. The system is well beyond capacity and remains at the breaking point."
The Center for Immigration Studies analyzed data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. From 2010 to 2016, ICE released 124 aliens who have been charged with 135 new homicides--some have been released multiple times. Data released by ICE indicates that In 2014, ICE released a total of 30,558 criminal aliens, convicted of 92,347 crimes. The total number of new crimes for which these aliens were convicted after ICE released them was 2,560, including: 298 dangerous drug offenses, 185 assaults, 40 weapons offenses, 28 sex offenses, 10 sex assaults, four kidnappings, two arsons, and one homicide. The numbers have escalated since the study. WSJ reports: "Since 2013, when the US Customs and Border Protection began counting family units, there have been 2.6 million total apprehensions along the US-Mexico border." These numbers are growing because Marxist Democrats are obstructing national security.
The Bible is very clear about how to handle immigrants. Exodus 22:21 says, "You shall neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him." This is repeated in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Exodus 12:49 says, "One law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the foreigner who sojourns among you." This is also repeated in Leviticus and Numbers.One law for all. In this context it is God's law, but these people neither want to submit to the laws of the nation or to God's laws. Walls work. Israel has one that suffered the same outcry of racism as it was being built, but suicide bombings decreased by 86% from the sector behind the wall once it was built. Marxists liken the US plan to the Berlin Wall, but the Berlin Wall separated entire families and millions from freedom. Wall or not, America needs the will to protect its citizens.
When the Marxist Democratic Party leadership, such as Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and newcomers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and others say it is immoral to build a wall, it is no difficult task to discern their "morality" is a man-made agenda, not God established. The statistics are overwhelming that there are those among this people group who continue to break the law with not only petty crimes and illegal voting, but with major crimes such as robbery, human trafficking, drug dealing and murder. It is right to consider that socialist politicians have revolution on their minds by vexing law-abiding citizens--A new morality for an old brand of Marxism.
Daily Devotion: How to Be a World Changer - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:2
The Bible gives us the secret of a world changer: "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV). World changers run the race of life for Jesus.
In ancient Greece, Olympians didn't compete for the gold, silver, or bronze. They competed for a laurel wreath from the emperor. In the distance, exhausted runners could see the emperor standing with the laurel wreath that would be placed on the head of the winner.
As Christians, we're running the race of life. We get tired from the attacks, obstacles, and challenges. Look ahead. Jesus is who we're running for. There He stands, not with a laurel wreath, but with a crown.
The apostle Paul said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV).
Look to Jesus. He is the one whom we seek to honor every day. He is the one whom we will stand up for one day. He is the one we're running this race for. We don't do it for applause. We don't do it for notoriety or fame. We do it so that we can stand before Jesus one day and hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord."
Look to Jesus. Don't look to circumstances. Don't look to people, either, because people will disappoint. Don't expect them to have an encouraging word. In fact, sometimes they'll have a discouraging word. They'll challenge your motives and what you're doing.
Look to Jesus. Press on.
FROM THE HEART
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