Prophecy Update Newsletter
March 10, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Are We in the Tribulation Now? - Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2017/03/are-we-in-tribulation-now.html
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Daniel and the Jews] and upon thy holy city, [Jerusalem] to (1) finish the transgression, and to (2) make an end of sins, and to (3) make reconciliation for iniquity, and to (4) bring in everlasting righteousness, and to (5) seal up the vision and prophecy, and to (6) anoint the most Holy." (Daniel 9:24)
As we tick down the hours to the end of this present age, I notice that more and more Christians, perhaps assuming things can't get much worse, are coming to the conclusion we must be in the first half of the Tribulation now.
I have received comments, emails, and even articles for publication in that those who wonder if we are in the Tribulation right now. Many wonder about all the different ideas of when Jesus will come for His Church. They site pre-trib, pre-wrath, and even post-trib that we all will go through the coming Tribulation. Course, anyone who follows my sermons, knows that I am totally Pre-Trib, but the question raises, "why cannot Christ coming for His elect occur during the first half of the coming tribulation?"
There is no solid verse in the Bible that limits the "catching away" of God's church to only these three time periods....It speaks of imminency, that Christ could come pretty much anytime, the King of the Universe, God our Father, tells His only begotten Son to bring His children home. But I am reminded of a verse that Solomon used to denote that things have a purpose, and sometimes we don't understand that purpose.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
The Tribulation Period is no exception to that rule. It has its primary and secondary purposes. The Prophet Daniel tells us that its purpose is six fold and it opened this message as a heading:
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Daniel and the Jews] and upon thy holy city, [Jerusalem] to (1) finish the transgression, and to (2) make an end of sins, and to (3) make reconciliation for iniquity, and to (4) bring in everlasting righteousness, and to (5) seal up the vision and prophecy, and to (6) anoint the most Holy." (Daniel 9:24)
For every born again believer who is patiently waiting for the SOON return of our Lord, the points that Daniel makes in Daniel 9, the first four have been accomplished at the cross. The final two points are yet future and do not apply to the church.
The prophecy is to the Jews and of Jerusalem and the Temple. And the anointing of the Messiah takes place at the Temple following the 2nd Coming.
The primary purpose of the Tribulation, therefore, is to effect the national redemption of the Jews. God made a promise to Daniel and listed what will usher in the Kingdom Age. When Christ was cut off during the middle of His ministry, the timeclock that pertained to Israel in its Spiritual application, ceased. The clock stopped.
"And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined." (Daniel 9:27)....
We all know the history surrounding this time period. God has a habit of allowing 40 years for judgment to be withheld, and only brings that judgment when ample time has elapsed. Hence when Jesus died on a cross in roughly 30 AD...then 40 years later the temple was totally destroyed and razed to the ground. But that left an unfinished 7 year period to complete the prophesy in Daniel 9, and we have been waiting for nearly 2000 years for that prophesy to be fulfilled. And make no mistake about it, God keeps His promises, and that prophesy will come to pass.
WHAT IS THE REASON BEHIND THE TRIBULATION?
I have made the bold statement, that is backed up by scripture that the coming Tribulation is designed for two things...we have stated that the Tribulation is for the national redemption of Israel, but there is another, secondary purpose. That purpose is outlined in Revelation starting in Revelation chp. 6 and is a main theme through the whole of the book after this chapter. And what is the theme besides the national redemption of Israel? It is the complete annihilation of all rebellion on this earth. God will wipe this earth clean of all men and women that follow the Beast system, and those who take it's mark.
15"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:15-17)
If God is taking out judgment on all mankind present for their rebellion and sins against God, then by definition, to be a Christian, one must accept Christ and repent of their sins. So the Church has no purpose in God's judgment against unrepentant sinners who are in rebellion.
But let us take a third reason for the Tribulation that is fast approaching. The tertiary purpose for the Tribulation is to permit Satan free reign over the earth.
Among the many purposes of Heaven outlined in Scripture is the trial of Satan. At the conclusion of the Tribulation Period, there will remain no doubt among the angels as to the depth of Satan's guilt or the severity of his punishment.
"Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?" (Isaiah 14:15-17)
DOCTRINE OF IMMINENCY
The doctrine of imminency teaches that the Rapture could have taken place at any time from Paul's day until the starting point of the Tribulation Period. But God has allowed time to continue to our present day and for this purpose to be fulfilled, Satan must have total control of this earth, but to achieve that, the restraining force, (the Holy Spirit) must taken out of the way.
6 "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:" (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-8)
But Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will indwell me until He returns. I have no part in the Tribulation, I am neither a member of the elect House of Israel nor a Christ-rejecting Gentile.
Jesus also promised that He will never leave me without the power of His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who would be with me till the end of this age.
16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14:16-18)
If the Holy Spirit must be 'taken out of the way' BEFORE the Antichrist can be revealed, which is the only logical way to interpret these passages, then He cannot leave me comfortless without breaking His Word. And we know that God keeps His promises.
No matter how I try to make it read otherwise, I cannot. If the Holy Spirit is NOT 'taken out of the way' then that Wicked CANNOT be revealed. And if the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way, so am I...and so are you, if you be found in Jesus Christ and Him crucified for your sins.
Let's identify the players in that previous verse of 2nd Thessalonians, as there are many slow to discerners among us, who cannot see the obvious, but speak of their own intellect.
"The mystery of iniquity" -- the spirit of Antichrist. (1st John 4:3) "He who letteth". First, "he" is a personal pronoun, so this isn't a 'thing' to be taken out of the way, but a 'Him'. 'To let' is an old English phrase that signifies indwelling, as in the phrase, "Room to Let."
That "Wicked" is also a personal pronoun and in context, refers to the one whom Jesus destroys at His Second Coming.
Let's read it again in modern English: "The Antichrist won't be revealed until after the Holy Spirit's indwelling presence is taken out of the way."
So the whole argument comes down to when will the Holy Spirit be removed? The clear implications based on spiritual discernment is the when the Holy Spirit is removed, we will be removed right along with Him...and that will happen before the Anti-Christ is revealed. To even think that I would lose the Holy Spirit's indwelling presence while I am still alive on this Christ rejecting planet. It is unthinkable and entirely not scriptural upon a close examination of the text AND in context.
In looking at my opening statements on this message, where do I come up with the Tribulation being 7 years?...Daniel says the AC will rule for one week of years. It is the final week of Daniel's 70 week year prophesy that is yet to be fulfilled. The period is broken up into two distinct time periods. The first part is a collusion between church and state, where the Harlot Church will do much like she did during the Middle Ages...accuse and try those who will not follow her edicts, and the state will commit the executions. She will blend all religions into a One World Religious abomination that has her as the head of power, as she controls the reins of the Beast she rides...
11And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live."(Revelation 13:11-14)
The last half will see the "Abomination that causes desolation" stand in the Temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God...He will have no use for the Harlot Church and will destroy her.
15 "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
16And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
17For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
18And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." (Revelation 17:15-18)
No matter how you slice and dice it..the bible shows how the Tribulation will play out into two periods of 1260 days and total 2520, which is a 7 year period.
Since Israel marks time with a 360 day lunar calendar (right to this very day) finding another time frame that fits requires some seriously wishful thinking. The first half of the Tribulation will be many killed by this Harlot, as she has done in the past, but the second half of the Great Tribulation, will make this time pale in comparison....There will be natural wonders and many are slain because of the wrath of God poured out on this Christ rejecting world, but the second half is where God unleashes the entire cup of His indignation that is flowing to the brim.
9 "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." (Revelation 14:9-11)
But praise be to our God that He has given us a promise that we will NOT receive His wrath...there are two passages that are used over and over again, because they lay out that we are not the object of what is coming upon the earth.
10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Revelation 3:10-11)
and the must quoted verse that Paul wrote to let us know, that we will not see the coming wrath of God:
9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do." (1st Thessalonians 5:9-11)
LET'S ANSWER THAT TRIBULATION QUESTION..
Now let us address the question that was raised. " Can Christ come during the first half of the Tribulation or the first 3.5 years?"
Because as we have noted, the Tribulation is lined out for the purpose of judgment that is to last for these last 7 years.
The Tribulation is not the Church's season of redemption. It is Israel's. The purpose of the Tribulation is either redemption for, or judgment against the lost.
The Church is neither under judgment or in need of redemption. So that would eliminate the need for the Church to be even present during this time.
A serious misconception found in some churches, as that suffering must happen after the "catching away" of the church. I have to totally disagree with that idea, as man has lived through much suffering coming from other men. The suffering will continue after Jesus comes for His church, but in exponentially more severity, as suffering grows as the time of the Tribulation goes along. One person asked me where in the book of Revelation is the term "Tribulation saints" is found, as he couldn't find one verse to back up the idea....He was a little bit of a scoffer at the idea that there is extreme suffering during this time period.
What I felt he was trying to do, is find no difference between church age saints, and tribulation saints. True there has always been suffering and martydom all down through the ages populated with mankind. But during this period of time, everything has changed on this planet. Men will continue to persecute other men, as man is evil and without constraint as the Holy Spirit being withdrawn to Pre-Pentecostal manifestations of His power...oh, He will still be here, but not in the same position that God occupied during the Church Age, by His Spirit.
But let us see if there is a difference found in scripture that points to two different groups of people, before and after the Tribulation starts.
As to the concept of "Tribulation saints" -- I'm assuming that the notion that they are not the Church Age saints is the 'mild scoffing ' referred to. Any possible alternative identification, however, begs a bigger question. Who are the Church Age Saints. The apostle John identifies what each group is. John writes concerning church age saints:
4"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error."(1st John 4:4-6)(my emphasis)
That set of verses applies to those who have Jesus Christ as Personal Savior and have been "Born Again" into the coming Kingdom of God. So we are overcomers, as Jesus overcame, so have we, though Him...
33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
But on the flip side of this coin, we have a people called "saints" that Jesus said would be over come.
6 "And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Revelation 13:6-8)
Note that the apostle John wrote both verses...Jesus tells him that the saints will overcome this world, because Jesus has overcome the world. It is not speculation to assume that the differences in status are irrelavenet?
People ask me how the Rapture of the church would bring glory to God, through His Son? Would he not receive more glory by showing up and rescuing all the saints on earth from persecution and dealing a death blow to all who persecute and kill the saint? I guess it's just human nature to doubt, when the evidence is found in Hope...we can't see what's coming. We can only read about it...Paul mentioned this Hope that is in us, in one of most favorite chapters in all the Bible..
19 "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." (Romans 8:19-25)
Let me make a point here that might sum up the preceding verses. During the Age we live in, the Church Age, salvation is attained through belief and faith in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. If a most powerful, and glorious King of kings and Lord of lords comes to rescue all that believe in Him, how much faith would you have to have to believe what you are now witnessing? ...This God of the Ages, the Great I AM, that I AM, just appeared in the heavens in all His glory would that negate HOPE?....Jesus said plainly for all to understand:
23 "And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
24For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them." (Luke 10:23-24)
We are those who hear, but do not see...We seek, but He promised we will find...If we seek Him with our whole heart, Jesus, our Blessed Hope will reveal Himself to all who seek His face.
With this discussion, does it not stand to reason that God is working everything out in Dispensations? Are we not in the Age of Grace that will soon end and God will deal with this planet and its inhabitants called the Jews and the Nations..One on one and mankind that is still here will be subject to the extreme wrath of a Vengeful God, who will make Himself known in all His anger.
Are there two standards for salvation in the Church Age? Of course not. Does that not suggest the existence of two separate administrations of God?...Yes, I hope you can see the differences in the two groups, before and after the Tribulation starts...And friend, that beginning could be as early as tomorrow....We don't know and it is not revealed....But God has given us appointed times that He has revealed Himself to His people, and most likely will do it at the end of the Age...If you have been a follower of my sermons, you know what I'm talking about...this fall will be a time that Jesus could come....I SAY MAY...I make no predictions, but look to scripture that says God has a Plan for Mankind....Half is finished...the other half is waiting to be completed...
Confusing, no? Now, is God the author of confusion?...Wanna know what I speak of? Search the blogspace and find any messages on the End Times...there you will find your answer..
As bad as it seems, the Rapture not withstanding, we are NOT now in the first half of the Tribulation. We wouldn't be in the Tribulation even if the Rapture is really mid Trib. Or Pre-Wrath. Or Post trib. The AC has to be revealed before this time gets underway. A peace treaty needs to be confirmed...I say confirmed, as there already is a peace treaty that was signed in the past...The Bible says that the AC will CONFIRM a prior peace treaty and make specific promises to the nation of Israel and it's surrounding neighbors....As I posted last time, the third temple is all set to begin construction...It only takes a powerful leader to give the go ahead and make a confirmation of a peace treaty "HE SAYS he will honor"....course we know he is a liar...and that man is on the world stage right now....when will he appear??? When the church is gone.
The antichrist has not yet been revealed. The peace treaty has not yet been confirmed. Temple worship has not yet been restored. All these are events that take place BEFORE the Great Tribulation begins. It is that termination of sacrifice that begins the Great Tribulation.
The antichrist can't cause the sacrifice to cease until AFTER it has begun. That can't happen until the Jews possess the Temple Mount. The antichrist cannot take his seat in the Temple of God, causing Israel to reject him, which kicks off the Great Tribulation, until AFTER there is a Temple to sit in.
These events are clear, unmistakable AND independent of the Rapture. None of them exist because we aren't in the Tribulation Period. We are indeed close.
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.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He 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)
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you are among those who hear the cry of our Lord to "come up, hither." ...It could be any day now....won't you be ready? If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, email me email@example.com , , God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET.
Global Leaders Rattle Their Sabers As The World Marches Toward War - Michael Snyder - http://endtimeheadlines.org/2017/03/global-leaders-rattle-sabers-world-marches-toward-war/
Iran just conducted another provocative missile test, more U.S. troops are being sent to the Middle East, it was just announced that the U.S. military will be sending B-1 and B-52 bombers to South Korea in response to North Korea firing four missiles into the seas near Japan, and China is absolutely livid that a U.S. carrier group just sailed through contested waters in the South China Sea. We have entered a season where leaders all over the globe feel a need to rattle their sabers, and many fear that this could be leading us to war. In particular, Donald Trump is going to be under the microscope in the days ahead as other world leaders test his resolve. Will Trump be able to show that he is tough without going over the edge and starting an actual conflict?
The Iranians made global headlines on Thursday when they conducted yet another ballistic missile test despite being warned by Trump on numerous occasions...
As tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to mount, the semi-official news agency Tasnim is reporting that Iran's Revolutionary Guard has successfully conducted yet another ballistic missile test, this time from a navy vessel. Called the Hormuz 2, these latest missiles are designed to destroy moving targets at sea at ranges up to 300 km (180 miles).
Reports on the latest test quotes Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Force, who confirmed that "the naval ballistic missile called Hormuz 2 successfully destroyed a target which was 250 km away."
The missile test is the latest event in a long-running rivalry between Iran and the United States in and around the Strait of Hormuz, which guards the entrance to the Gulf. About 20% of the world's oil passes through the waterway, which is less than 40 km wide at its narrowest point.
So how will Trump respond to this provocation?
Will he escalate the situation? If he does nothing he will look weak, but if he goes too far he could risk open conflict.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, things are already escalating. It is being reported that "several hundred Marines" are on the ground in Syria to support an assault on the city of Raqqa, and another 1,000 troops could be sent to Kuwait to join the fight against ISIS any day now. The following comes from Zero Hedge...
While the Trump administration waits to decide if it will send 1,000 troops to Kuwait to fight ISIS, overnight the Washington Post reported that the US has sent several hundred Marines to Syria to support an allied local force aiming to capture the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. Defence officials said they would establish an outpost from which they could fire artillery at IS positions some 32km (20 miles) away. US special forces are already on the ground, "advising" the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance according to the BBC.
The defence officials told the Washington Post that the Marines were from the San Diego-based 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and that they had flown to northern Syria via Djibouti and Kuwait. They are to set up an artillery battery that could fire powerful 155mm shells from M777 howitzers, the officials said. Another marine expeditionary unit carried out a similar mission at the start of the Iraqi government's operation to recapture the city of Mosul from IS last year.
Meanwhile, China is spitting mad for several reasons. For one, the Chinese are absolutely furious that South Korea has allowed the U.S. to deploy the THAAD missile defense system on their soil...
China is lashing out at South Korea and Washington for the deployment of a powerful missile defense system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, deposited at the Osan Air Base in South Korea on Monday evening.
The deployment of THAAD follows several ballistic missile tests by North Korea in recent months, including the launch of four missiles on Monday, three of which landed in the sea off the coast of Japan. Though THAAD would help South Korea protect itself from a North Korean missile attack, China is vocally protesting the deployment of the system, claiming it upsets the "strategic equilibrium" in the region because its radar will allow the United States to detect and track missiles launched from China.
Of course the U.S. needed to do something, because the North Koreans keep rattling their sabers by firing off more ballistic missiles toward Japan.
But it is one thing to deploy a missile defense system, and it is another thing entirely to fly strategic nuclear bombers into the region.
So if the Chinese were upset when THAAD was deployed, how will they feel when B-1 and B-52 bombers start showing up in South Korea?...
Earlier this week, trigger-happy Kim pushed his luck once more when he fired off four ballistic missiles into the seas near Japan.
Now US military chiefs are reportedly planning to fly in B-1 and B-52 bombers - built to carry nuclear bombs - to show America has had enough.
South Korea and the US have also started their annual Foal Eagle military exercise sending a strong warning to North Korea over its actions.
A military official said 300,000 South Korean troops and 15,000 US personnel are taking part in the operation.
The Trump administration has openly stated that all options "are on the table" when it comes to North Korea, and that includes a military strike.
It has been more than 60 years since the Korean War ended, but many are concerned that we may be closer to a new Korean War than we have been at any point since that time.
And of course our relationship with China is tumbling precariously downhill as well. Another reason why the Chinese are extremely upset with the Trump administration is because a U.S. Navy carrier battle group led by the USS Carl Vinson sailed past islands that China claims in the South China Sea just a few weeks ago.
In China, the media openly talks about the possibility of war with the United States over the South China Sea. Most Americans are not even aware that the South China Sea is a very serious international issue, but over in China this is a major focus.
And the U.S. military has recently made several other moves in the region that have angered the Chinese...
Also in February, the U.S. sent a dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to Tindal AB in northern Australia, the closest Australian military airbase to China, for coalition training and exercises. It's the first deployment of that many F-22s in the Pacific.
And if that didn't get the attention of the Chinese government, the U.S. just tested four Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles during a nuclear war exercise, sending the simulated weapons 4,200 miles from the coast of California into the mid-Pacific. It's the first time in three years the U.S. has conducted tests in the Pacific, and the first four-missile salvo since the end of the Cold War.
I can understand the need to look tough, but eventually somebody is going to go too far.
If you are familiar with my work, then you know that I believe that war is coming. Things in the Middle East continue to escalate, and it is only a matter of time before a great war erupts between Israel and her neighbors. Meanwhile, U.S. relations with both Russia and China continue to deteriorate, and this is something that I have been warning about for a very long time.
We should hope for peace, but we should also not be blind to the signs of war that are starting to emerge all over the planet. Relatively few people anticipated the outbreak of World War I and World War II in advance, and I have a feeling that the same thing will be true for World War III.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards opposite Israeli troops on 1967 ceasefire line in Golan Heights as tensions mount - Lizzie Dearden - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrian-civil-war-iran-irgc-israel-golan-heights-benjamin-netanyahu-vladimir-putin-meeting-basij-a7622081.html
Benjamin Netanyahu tells Vladimir Putin 'Iranian proxies' must be removed from Syria
Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of using the Syrian civil war to "gain a foothold to fight Israel" amid fears over Iranian troops stationed along the border with the occupied Golan Heights.
Tehran is supporting Bashar al-Assad with deployments of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Basij militia and funding to allied militias including Hezbollah.
The IRGC are now reported to be present in Syrian-government controlled territory along the 1967 ceasefire line in the Golan Heights, which has seen months of Israeli air strikes met with rockets fired towards the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Naghdi, a commander in Iran's Basij force, was pictured surveying the border, while a Shia paramilitary group has formed a "Golan Liberation Brigade".
Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, an Iraqi force backed by Iran, is "ready to take action to liberate Golan" from Israeli occupation, according to spokesman quoted by Iranian state media this week.
The deployments have made the Iranian government a major power broker in the Syrian civil war, meeting with Russian and Turkish representatives at ceasefire talks in Astana, Kazakhstan.
In a meeting with Vladimir Putin on Thursday, the Israeli Prime Minister said that any truce must not allow the continued presence of Iranian forces in Syria.
"We do not want to see Shia Islamic terrorism led by Iran step in to replace Sunni Islamic terrorism," Mr Netanyahu told the Russian President.
"Iran continues attempts to destroy the Jewish state. They speak of this openly and write this in black and white in their newspapers.
"Today, we have our own country and our army, and we can defend ourselves. But I want to say that the threat of Shia Islamic terror is directed not only against us, but against the region and the entire world."
He told reporters Iran was "arming itself and its forces against Israel including from Syria territory and is, in fact, gaining a foothold to continue the fight against Israel".
After the meeting, the Israeli Prime Minister said the removal of Iranian forces from Syria were vital to "prevent misunderstandings".
"I made it clear that regarding Syria, while Israel is not opposed that there should be an agreement there, we strongly oppose the possibility that Iran and its proxies will be left with a military presence in Syria under such an agreement," Mr Netanyahu added.
A statement released by the Kremlin said he and Mr Putin discussed "joint efforts to combat international terrorism" and examined areas of bilateral cooperation.
Two years ago, Israel and Russia agreed to coordinate military actions over Syria in order to avoid accidentally trading fire but the risk of skirmishes is increasing as pro-Assad forces fight for more territory in the Golan Heights.
The region has been occupied by Israeli forces since the Six Day War in 1967 and was effectively annexed in 1981, despite condemnation from the UN.
Despite maintaining cordial relations with Israel, Russia is a key ally of Iran in Syria as both sides continue to back the Assad regime against both opposition rebels and Isis.
The Iranian government claimed the IRGC were originally sent to Syria in an advisory capacity, but the troops have now taken a more frontline role, being found by The Independent fighting on the frontlines near Aleppo city last year.
Avi Dichter, the chair of Israel's foreign affairs and defense committee, said several attempts by Iran to move forces into the Syrian Golan Heights had been repelled last year, without giving details.
Israel says it has carried out dozens of strikes in Syria to prevent weapons smuggling to the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, with the Russian government denying it had given permission for the operations.
IRGC Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi was among those killed in Israeli bombing, as well as several senior Hezbollah commanders.
The Syrian civil war, now in its sixth year, shows little sign of slowing with fighting breaking out between rival rebel groups who have seized swathes of territory from Isis.
The US has sent hundreds of troops into the country in preparation for an advance on the terrorist group's de-facto capital of Raqqa, risking escalation with Turkey, which classes some American-backed groups as terrorists and wants its own troops to lead the assault.
The first UN-led Syria peace talks in a year ended without a breakthrough in Geneva last week, with further meetings scheduled for later this month.
North Korea Is Practicing for Nuclear War - Jeffrey Lewis - http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/09/north-korea-is-practicing-for-nuclear-war/
North Korea isn't testing its missiles. It's preparing for a nuclear first strike.
Monday morning, North Korea launched four missiles from the northwest corner of the country that traveled 620 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan.
While none of the launches were the long-awaited test of an intercontinental-range ballistic missile - the sort of weapon that could reach the United States - the salvo was a big deal in its own way. Pyongyang very vividly demonstrated the warnings from Thae Yong-ho, a high-ranking North Korean diplomat who defected last year and described how the country was taking the final steps to arm its missile units with nuclear weapons. North Korea is developing an offensive doctrine for the large-scale use of nuclear weapons in the early stages of a conflict. When combined with what we know about U.S. and South Korean war plans, this fact raises troubling questions about whether a crisis on the Korean peninsula might erupt into nuclear war before President Donald Trump has time to tweet about it.
In the past, North Korea tested all its No-dong missiles out of a single military test site near a village of the same name. (Why, yes, the U.S. analysts did name the missiles after the town. The emasculating quality was a pure coincidence, I am sure.) These tests were designed to demonstrate that the Scud and No-dong missiles worked. They were tests in the literal sense of the word.
In recent years, however, North Korea has started launching Scuds and No-dongs from different locations all over the damn country. These aren't missile tests, they are military exercises. North Korea knows the missiles work. What the military units are doing now is practicing - practicing for a nuclear war.
The North Koreans haven't exactly been coy about this. Last year, North Korea tested a No-dong missile. Afterward, North Korea published a map showing that the missile was fired to a point at sea that was the exact range as South Korea's port city of Busan, with an arc running from the target into the ocean, down to Busan. In case you missed the map, the North Koreans spelled it out: "The drill was conducted by limiting the firing range under the simulated conditions of making preemptive strikes at ports and airfields in the operational theater in South Korea where the U.S. imperialists' nuclear war hardware is to be hurled."
This time, North Korea launched four "extended-range" Scud missiles that are capable of flying up to 620 miles. The map showed all four missiles landing on an arc that stretched down to the Marine Corps Air Station near Iwakuni, Japan. Once again, the North Korean statement doesn't leave much to the imagination: "Involved in the drill were Hwasong artillery units of the KPA (Korean People's Army) Strategic Force tasked to strike the bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces in Japan in contingency."
So why is North Korea practicing nuking U.S. forces in Japan?
The United States and South Korea are conducting their largest annual joint military exercise, known as Foal Eagle. The exercise, which is really a series of exercises, lasts two months and involves tens of thousands of U.S. and South Korean military personnel, as well as an aircraft carrier, bombers, and - guess what? - F-35 aircraft based out of Iwakuni. Foal Eagle is a rehearsal for the U.S.-Republic of Korea war plan, known as OPLAN 5015, which has been described as a pre-emptive strike against North Korea, including its leadership, as a retaliation for some provocation. Whether that's a fair description or not, the North Koreans certainly think the annual exercise is a dress rehearsal for an invasion. This year's menu of fun and games reportedly includes a U.S.-ROK special operations unit practicing an airborne assault on North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities.
What North Korea is doing is simply counterprogramming the Foal Eagle with its own exercise. If we are practicing an invasion, they are practicing nuking us to repel that invasion.
What is disturbing about the situation, though, is how the war plans of North Korea, South Korea, and the United States might interact. North Korea's military exercises leave little doubt that Pyongyang plans to use large numbers of nuclear weapons against U.S. forces throughout Japan and South Korea to blunt an invasion. In fact, the word that official North Korean statements use is "repel." North Korean defectors have claimed that the country's leaders hope that by inflicting mass casualties and destruction in the early days of a conflict, they can force the United States and South Korea to recoil from their invasion. While U.S. officials usually bluster that Kim would be suicidal to order the large-scale use of nuclear weapons, it's obvious that a conventional defense didn't work for Saddam Hussein or Muammar al-Qaddafi when they faced an onslaught of U.S. military power. That was suicide. Of course, that's where those North Korean ICBMs come in: to keep Trump from doing anything regrettable after Kim Jong Un obliterates Seoul and Tokyo.
Then there is this: Kim's strategy depends on using nuclear weapons early - before the United States can kill him or those special forces on display in Foal Eagle can find his missile units Kim's strategy depends on using nuclear weapons early - before the United States can kill him or those special forces on display in Foal Eagle can find his missile units. He has to go first, if he is to go at all.
But going first is also the U.S. strategy. That means, in a crisis, the pressure will be to escalate. Whatever restraint Kim or Trump might show - and let's be honest, our expectations here are not high - each will face enormous pressure to start the attack lest his opponent beat him to the punch. Then there is South Korea, which has its own pre-emption plan, separate from OPLAN 5015 and using South Korean ballistic and cruise missiles. Pyongyang, Washington, and Seoul all have plans to go first. Two of them are going to be wrong about that.
I understand why the public is fixated on the possibility of a North Korean ICBM. A nuclear-armed ICBM is North Korea's ultimate goal and would be its final deterrent. It would be the last card that Kim would play. But it is equally, if not more, important to think through how such a war might start. It is important to understand whether the military forces and plans both sides are pursuing make war less likely or more. The launch on Monday might not have been an ICBM, but - in light of Foal Eagle - it was a warning all the same. Not of how a war on the Korean peninsula might end, but of how one might begin.
China Warns of Nuclear First Strike in Response to THAAD Deployment - Paul Joseph Watson - https://www.infowars.com/china-warns-of-nuclear-first-strike-in-response-to-thaad-deployment/
"US must pay the price"
China warns that it is reconsidering its policy not to use nuclear weapons against South Korea in response to the U.S. deploying the THAAD missile system and sending B-52 bombers to protect its ally.
THAAD is being deployed to shield South Korea from North Korean ballistic missiles after several tests by the Stalinist state in recent months. Beijing is furious because the system will also be capable of detecting and tracking missiles launched from China.
It was also reported yesterday that the U.S. will send B-1 and B-52 nuclear bombers to South Korea in order to display a stern show of strength.
300,000 South Korean troops and 15,000 US personnel have also started their annual Foal Eagle military exercise. The USS Carl Vinson nuke-powered aircraft carrier will join the drill - carrying dozens of fighter jets.
An article in the Global Times, which is widely regarded as the voice of the Chinese government, says that Beijing will respond to America's "strategic provocations" by actioning a "rapid increase in the number and quality of China's strategic nuclear weapons" and that China isn't worried about starting a limited "arms race".
Asserting that "the US must pay the price for the THAAD deployment," the piece goes on to warn that, "If the US further intensifies its anti-missile attempts and strategic containment, China may reconsider its pledge of not being the first to use nuclear weapons."
In other words, Beijing is signaling that it would be prepared to use nuclear weapons against South Korea in the event of a conflict.
In a related development, China's second aircraft carrier is moving closer to completion while China vows to use its "first class navy" to intercept any "intruding aircraft" within its region of control.
Last month, Beijing warned the Trump administration that the People's Liberation Army is "making preparations" for war after the deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson to patrol the South China Sea.
Meanwhile, columnist Pat Buchanan warns that a new "Korean missile crisis" could be on the horizon.
"New tests by North Korea of missiles or atom bombs for an ICBM could bring U.S. strikes on its nuclear facilities and missile sites, igniting an attack on the South," he writes, adding that China would then be forced to defend its ally.
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Shocking Upset Victories as Israel Approaches 70th Year Portend Change Bringing Third Temple - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/84845/shocking-upset-victories-israel-approaches-70th-year-portend-change-bringing-third-temple/#DZrrwOHiBKUIX0sQ.97
"The days wherein the Yehudim had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to gladness, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor." Esther 9:22 (The Israel Bible™)
After a year typified by upset victories in sports and politics, some rabbis sees this week's 'turnaround' holiday of Purim leading up to the celebration of Israel's 70th year as a portal that will open the way for the most impressive upset victory of all time: the Third Temple.
Sports fans will most certainly remember this as the year of the upset. Many fans literally fell out of their seats when the Chicago Cubs made an astounding comeback to win their first World Series in over one hundred years. The New England Patriots shocked millions when they came from behind in overtime to win the Super Bowl.
Closer to home, Israel was astounded when their underrated baseball team won their third straight victory in the World Baseball Classic last night, entering the last eight in their first foray into the tournament in Tokyo. Yahoo Sports had called Israel's team the "underdoggiest underdog of this whole shebang."
Purim, celebrated Saturday night, is the holiday of nahafochu, Hebrew for 'flipping things around', when the day slated to be the destruction of the Jews in Persia became the day their enemies were destroyed. In the spirit of the Jews celebrating in Shushan 2,700 years ago, the Talmud tells Jews to drink wine until "they can't tell the difference between 'blessed is Mordecai' and 'cursed is Haman'."
The days wherein the Yehudim had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to gladness, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness. Esther 9:22
But the most Purim-like upset victory within the past year was surely when Donald Trump won the presidential election over highly-favored political veteran Hillary Clinton. Before the election, Reuters, like many other prominent polls, gave Clinton a 95 percent chance of winning.
"Trump's victory was the ultimate upset," Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf, a prominent Jewish educator and bestselling author, told Breaking Israel News. "Three years ago, if you had told anyone that the star of the reality show The Apprentice would be sitting in the White House today, no one would have believed you."
Rabbi Apisdorf said that, just as in the Purim story, this aspect of total change is good for the Jewish People.
"That is precisely the power of belief that is needed to bring the Third Temple," Rabbi Apisdorf said. "The belief in things that literally no one saw coming. Judaism today does not even remotely relate to what it will be when the Temple comes, and that could literally be tomorrow. We can't even imagine it."
On top of that, Trump's victory also had clear connections to the Biblical story of Purim, according to Rabbi Lazer Brody, an American-born Hasidic rabbi and teacher.
Rabbi Brody noted remarkable similarities between the new American president and Biblical King Ahashverosh. The rabbi said that despite being non-Jews, both men have Jewish grandchildren, and both leaders were wealthy and powerful, but did not come from political or royal backgrounds.
Rabbi Brody told Breaking Israel News that this Purim connection would begin to influence politics to an even greater degree after the upcoming holiday.
"You are going to see a lot more nahafochu in the near future," Rabbi Brody said, quoting Psalms.
A Song of Ascents. When Hashem brought back those that returned to Tzion, we were like unto them that dream. Psalm 126:1
"After the destruction of the First Temple, it took 70 years for Israel to wake up and build the Second Temple," the rabbi explained. "After May 14, Israel will be going into its 70th year. This is the year that Israel will go through big changes. It is when we wake up to the real reason we were brought back into the land."
Again, the rabbi cited Psalms as a support for his claim.
That they might keep His statutes, and observe His laws. Hallelujah. Psalms 105:45
"That is the reason God gave us the land," Rabbi Brody said. "The whole message in nahafochu is that it no matter how much we plan, or how clear the end seems to be, it is really all in God's hands."
Daily Jot: Jobs, jobs and more jobs - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The left's media machine was dead set on creating fear about a US economy led by a Donald Trump presidency. News talk shows before the election were parading Ivy League economists one by one before the cameras who decried the horror that would play itself out if Trump were elected. They said the stock market would crash and the world would be plunged into a recession if Trump won. Of course, there were no facts to back up these opinions, but they were stated as if they were locked-down outcomes. These experts ignored the previous 10 years of quantitative easing policies that drove record national debt and jobs out of the country. But something happened on the way out of the voting booth.
Between the election and the inauguration, Trump started getting commitments from businesses to bring jobs back to America. A confidence in making America great again seemed to overcome the negativity of the so-called experts. The Trump election incentivized businesses such as Ford and Carrier, to keep jobs here in the US. The steel industry, which has been depressed for decades due in part to repressive Democratic-inspired tax and regulation policies, also made commitments. US Steel CEO Mario Longhi told CNBC News that the American steel industry could bring back 10,000 jobs because of "future improvement to the tax laws, improvements to regulation" as a result of Trump taking office.
A record 95 million Americans were not in the labor force in November 2016, about 15 million more than when the immediate past "president" took office. These are folks who have either retired or gave up finding a job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics some 3.6 million people had lost their jobs and those who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more stood at 1.9 million, a quarter of the unemployed. That was the last job report before the election. In the first full month of the Trump Presidency, the economy added nearly 300,000 private sector jobs according to a survey of economists by ADP and Moody's Analytics-over 100,000 more jobs than they expected.
If there is a recession, and there very well could be, it is caused by the record debt laid on the economy by the federal government under its globalist Marxist direction of the two terms of the ex "president" and the last term of George W Bush. The best way out of a recession is putting people back to work, making having a job a priority. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:13, "...that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God." In this country, we have strived to create a freedom where everyone who wants a job can work; where everyone has opportunity. When politicians extol the virtues of the working man, yet govern with policies that oppress him, they rob the worker of the blessing of enjoyment of his labor. Already, we are seeing the impact of more hope and less oppression.
Daily Devotion: Willing to Stand in the Gap - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one." -Ezekiel 22:30
How many of us would wish ourselves a place in Hell so that someone else might have a place in Heaven?
That is what Paul was saying when he spoke of his love and passion for those who didn't know the Lord, writing, "I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh" (Romans 9:2-3). Paul was saying, in essence, "If it were possible, I would give up my hope of eternal life so that others who do not know could come to faith." It's an amazing statement.
Paul, by the way, isn't the only one we read of in the Scriptures who had this kind of burden. Moses had the same kind of heart, the heart of an intercessor. When he came down from Mount Sinai after receiving God's commandments, he found the people dancing and worshiping before the image of a golden calf.
When he realized God was ready to judge them, he made a statement that was unparalleled in the Bible except, perhaps, for Paul's statement. He said, "Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin . . ." At that point in the original language, there is a long pause, as though he were thinking about the full implications of what was about to follow: "but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written" (Exodus 32:31-32).
Here was a man who stood in the gap. Today God is still looking for people to stand in the gap like Moses, like Paul, with a God-given burden for those who don't know Him.
FROM THE HEART
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