Prophecy Update Newsletter
June 1, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Do You Believe that the Millennium could begin in Seven Years?
- Joseph Chambers - http://www.pawcreek.org/for-one-thousand-years-jesus-will-be-king-of-kings/
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
The church world has had two thousand years to prepare a saintly people to rule this earth. The great godly men and women that gave up pleasures and riches of this world and have dedicated themselves to His church will soon be united to rule the earth. The King of Kings will sit on David's throne in Jerusalem and His glorified saints will be sent to every corner of the earth and they will take possession.
How has this last generation become so oblivious to this dream? Church people today want the biggest house and fastest car and the biggest payday. The great saints of the past generations did not focus on all of that. They were set for Jesus' coming, a new body, and the glory of a world ruled by righteousness. They lived with the world ruling their hearts. It is time for this new world of His reign and the reward of a sacrificial godly life.
Post-millenniumism or dominionism is the most misconceived and dark doctrine destroying the hope of the rapture for millions. The new agers predicted a crystal kingdom to begin in this year of 2012 A.D. (Jose Argulles, it did not happen). Kingdom Dominion theorists are preaching a golden age in which the church takes dominion over the earth. In fact, they blame the Biblical doctrine of the Rapture as the culprit that has hindered the church from their ill-conceived idea. Instead of the present ministry of soul-winning, discipleship, salt and light influence, and the preparation of a Bride for the Son, they say we should be taking over the earth and establishing the literal kingdom. It is the same old lie Satan has told men repeatedly.
The One Thousand Years of Righteousness
One great fact we should always remember is that there is only one antidote for error and that is truth. When error arises, we do not just cry out against the error. We rededicate ourselves to the wonderful "truths" of the Holy Scripture. John saw this "Golden Kingdom". "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them....... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."(Revelation 20: 4b-6) Our subject for this vision of John is one of those great Biblical concepts that very few ministers have ever touched. It is time to preach the "Biblical Golden Kingdom (Millennium)."
Abraham looked for this Golden Kingdom; why should we be ashamed to do the same? The Holy Scripture records, "By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles (a tent or cloth hut) with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11:9-10). His acquaintance with God and the revelations of truths, though much less than present, assured him that after the present age there was a celestial kingdom. He endured the tents and huts in grand anticipation of the golden future. Faith was his stay.
The First Covenant is filled with the hope of the future. Almost every prophet has some revelation of this great reality. Isaiah gave a vivid description in Isaiah 65:17-25, "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD." (Is. 65:17-25)
Zechariah clearly placed this day as the day (revelation) of the Lord (Jesus Christ) when He would descend from the Father's right hand to take possession from our enemies. "Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle ..." "And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one." "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts." (Zechariah 14:3, 9, 20-21)
"Righteousness will cover the earth as waters cover the sea, the lion and the lamb will lay down together, the sword and the spear will be beaten into harvesting instruments, the earth will learn war no more." The First Covenant literally abounds with these kinds of expressions as Holy Ghost inspired servants labored under pressure, but lived with spiritual eyes trained on the Golden Kingdom. They knew better than to even suggest this kingdom would be of their own doing. It was the "payday someday" that they lived to enjoy. Paul said, "(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise." (Hebrews 11:38-39) Believe me; they will yet receive the promise!
This hope of a golden age was so embedded in the Jewish mindset that the disciples of Jesus could not grasp His kingdom concepts. They wanted an earthly kingdom, but He was establishing a spiritual one. Even at His ascension in Acts, they were still asking the question, "... wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6) The Messiah, as they supposed, was to fulfill all those golden promises. They finally saw the church age or dispensation as the interlude between Christ's death and the golden future. After they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they labored untiringly, always watching for Jesus to return to get them. His coming was their Biblical signal that it was time for the golden kingdom. We are still watching as they did for that event (the Rapture) and the beginning of "the consummation of all things."
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
The Time Is At Hand
Every Biblical sign points to the completing of the church. Israel is in place in Palestine. Babylon is being readied for the Antichrist. A world religious alliance never before considered in history is almost complete. World government is being either demanded or considered by almost every leader of the world. The only groups of people in all societies that are losing their rights are Bible-believing fundamental Christians. We are becoming more than ever a despised minority.
Before the final judgment of the wicked one, called the Great Tribulation, Jesus will come for His Bride. Satan hates this great Biblical truth, but he cannot stop Him or us. We will rise. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."(John 14:1-3)
Following the seven (7) years of the Great Tribulation, Jesus and His Raptured saints will return to the earth to establish the Golden Kingdom."For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:21-22)
Theologically, it has been called the Millennium, which means "one thousand years." John spoke as the Holy Ghost gave him the utterance, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4-6). These words are very plain and they are to be interpreted literally. Jesus alone can defeat the armies of Satan and He will do so.
Both the First and Second Covenant give great support to the role of the Messiah in His personal victory over our enemies. Daniel saw all of the man-made empires as a great image made of divers metals with a mixture of clay in her last stage. Then he saw the victor as the following, "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Daniel 2:34-35). The little stone (our crucified Saviour) became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. This great kingdom will be the one-world government with Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Always remember that Satan's efforts are a duplication of the Father's plan. Lucifer's one-world government, headed by the Antichrist, is an ill-conceived effort to pre-empt the kingdom of Jesus Christ. It will fail miserably.
13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
The Celestial Kingdom
The glory of the Garden of Eden presents a foretaste of this grand time. Every distasteful result of human sin that has spoiled our planet will be removed. Earthly creatures will become as tame as a house kitten. The harsh atmospheric conditions will be changed to that which enhances our pleasure and comfort. From east to west and north to south, our world will be free of the curse. The only reminder of our former state will be the death of natural men who survived the tribulation and a withholding of earthly blessing from those of this same group who refuse the worship of the true creator, God.
Human government has been a dismal failure. Our nation of America has probably been the greatest success of all efforts to govern society. Even this nation will continue to disintegrate as we approach the end. Most governments have made life unbearable for its subjects. Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar elevated human control over the masses to an art form. Bureaucracies were established to create a system of domination. You should notice how the church has become an extension of this same design. The "Shepherding/Discipleship" disaster (still strong) was a striking example. Jesus will set up a government that is righteous and just.
The Bride of Christ who was raptured before the Tribulation and other orders of resurrected saints will reign with Christ over this golden kingdom. As soon as the Bride arrives in heaven a celebration commences."And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:9-10). This heavenly event will end in the coronation of the King Himself and will then proceed to leave the heavenly city for the inauguration of the New King in the world capital, Jerusalem.
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Rev. 19:11-16)
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Isaiah the prophet spoke of this glorious day. Obedient believers have tasted a little of this joy as we have awaited the grand finale. "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away" (Isaiah 35:1-10). The center of this stream of earthly prosperity and sanctified government shall be Jerusalem and the throne of David. Righteousness will literally fill the earth.
The animal kingdom will become a joy to all mankind (Isaiah 11:6-9). Everything that our Father created was for His and our pleasure. It will be a worldwide zoo of uncaged creatures in their natural habitats. It will be a delight to experience their beauty. No animal slaughter will ever occur again. "And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely." (Hosea 2:18)
Glorified saints of the nations of the world will be His ruling elite. Governors, princes, mayors, and all governing individuals will be his faithful servants who have earned the right to rule by virtue of obedience to Him. It will be a world of justice, mercy, equality, and compassion. Every saint will be rewarded according to what they have done in the flesh. It will be a merit system instead of a caste system. We will have equal rights but individual rewards.
Multiple scriptural details describe the grandness of this hour. The return of this triumphant Redeemer riding His great white stallion will be too glorious to describe. His appearing in the air above the marching hordes of the Antichrist's army will strike paralyzing fear. The sword of His mouth is but His piercing words of judgment. The entire army of millions will be instantly defeated. The Battle of Armageddon will be months in organizing and moments in finalizing. The Word of God will take flaming vengeance on this diabolical mob.
With the same expression of eternal glory He will turn to the establishment of His earthly kingdom after the enemy is vanquished. This entire planet will become His parish and object of kingly favor. Not a detail will be forgotten. Every member of His Bride will be placed in proper authority. The resurrected saints who were guests of the Bride or the Groom will be given places of service. He will quickly establish a worldwide theocracy based on the holiness of His Person. With sin judged and adjudicated, the earth will be free of its curse. Even the beauty of a sunrise will be enhanced by the absence of a poisoned atmosphere. Every expression of our natural world will be a testimony of the Redeemer's created glory.
Every believer should live in grand anticipation of this Golden Kingdom. It is hard to imagine, but after this one thousand years of righteousness, an even greater period will follow. The New Jerusalem will descend from God out of heaven to be fixed over this planet, Earth. Then the Saints of Christ will enter into that "city without foundation," suspended in the mid-air above the earthly kingdom. John described this city as a Bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21 & 22) It is the final glory of His kingdom and eternity will begin. This glorious kingdom will be the everlasting abode of our eternal God and His glorified family. What a future an overcoming Christian can live to inherit.
Dancing With the Devil In Saudi Arabia
- By Geri Ungurean - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/05/25/dancing-with-the-devil-in-saudi-arabia-our-presidents-will-never-learn/
Dancing With the Devil In Saudi Arabia: Our Presidents Will Never Learn
The same man (Edmund Burke) who wrote "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" also wrote this:
"Those who don't know history, are doomed to repeat it."
I believe that our president is not a student of history. I also believe that Trump does not understand the culture of Saudi Arabia nor does he know anything about the Qur'an.
Saudi Arabia and the United States of America are world's apart as far as our culture and our history. But Trump made a speech to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, that was so appalling to me - This is a president who is hastening Bible prophecy and is being used by God (our God - the ONLY God) to usher in the end of days.
Islam IS the problem
President Trump made statements in his speech which inferred that we worship the same God as do the Muslims. He knows nothing about our God, and it is so apparent from words spoken by him. He obviously has never read from the Qur'an (there is an English translation available to all). If he had read, he would have seen the jihadi verses. Much like Bush, our president is speaking lies to the world about Islam. He is presenting them as "victims" and the rest of us should be ashamed.
This is hog wash.
Trump literally danced with the devil in Saudi Arabia
Our president took part in a ritual "Sword Dance" with the Saudis. I believe that Allah is actually Satan. I have stated this for years in my articles. This shocked and saddened me, but it is clear that God is using this man (Trump) to bring in the events of the last days. So as I am appalled, I am also excited that the return of our King - the Creator of the Universe, will be coming soon to gather up his bride and take us to our real home in heaven.
What is the sword dance?
From email@example.com 
"It is not a dance, but rather a military chant to the glory of the fighters going to battle, until today it is done as a celebration to the royal family and to the nation. It is called Ardha in arabic and you will see one in any big exhibition about saudi culture, in royal weddings, festivals etc etc." (emphasis mine)
Saudi Arabia and the U.S. at the end of WWII
Trump also knows nothing of the history of our relationship with Saudi Arabia. Perhaps many do not know what transpired between FDR and the King of Saudi Arabia. FDR was well known as a an anti-Semite. He rejected a ship with over 800 Jews who were frantically attempting to escape death in Hitler's camps. Over half of those Jews who had to return to Europe, perished in the camps. But as you will read in this piece, FDR was not finished with his evilness towards the Jewish people.
From articles.baltimoresun.com (from 2002)
Saudis remember FDR's broken promise
September 01, 2002|By G. Jefferson Price III | G. Jefferson Price III,PERSPECTIVE EDITOR
PRESIDENT BUSH and his closest advisers would hardly be surprised at the strain that's developed between the United States and Saudi Arabia if they were students of the relationship between the two countries.
The fact that prominent individuals in that entourage, including the president, are oilmen makes it even more surprising that they are surprised.
Oil is about the only thing that Saudi Arabia and America have in common. America consumes a lot of it, and Saudi Arabia produces a lot of it. Culturally, socially, politically and religiously, America and Saudi Arabia are poles apart, no matter how many people in America are Muslims and no matter how many Saudis come to America to be educated.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the first president of the United States to meet a king of Saudi Arabia, certainly noticed this. But he made a promise to the Saudi that would be broken within a couple of years by his successor. And the king of Saudi Arabia and his successors never fully recovered.
Roosevelt spelled out this promise in a letter to King Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud on April 5, 1945:
"Your Majesty will recall that on previous occasions I communicated to you the attitude of the American Government toward Palestine and made clear our desire that no decision be taken with respect to the basic situation in that country without full consultation with both Arabs and Jews. ... [During our recent conversation I assured you that I would take no action, in my capacity as Chief of the Executive Branch of this Government, which might prove hostile to the Arab people."
That promise was soon to be broken.
The earlier meeting Roosevelt referred to may have been one of the most bizarre of his presidency. Oil was the concern, Saudi Arabia's untapped potential was the attraction. The Roosevelt administration and the American oil interests working to establish American primacy in Saudi Arabia over the British had been heaping money on Ibn Saud.
The meeting took place in February 1945 aboard the USS Quincy, a destroyer, in the Great Bitter Lake of the Suez Canal, where Roosevelt stopped on his way home from the Yalta Conference with Churchill and Stalin.
Ibn Saud was brought to the rendezvous aboard the USS Murphy, a cruiser, along with an extraordinary cargo, though not nearly as strange as it might have been if the king had had his way. Ibn Saud had arrived at the dock with an entourage of about 200 men, plus quite a few women from his harem.
The captain of the Murphy was appalled. He warned the king's entourage of problems that might arise with women aboard a naval vessel manned by a crew that had been at sea and at war for a long time. The women were left behind. The king brought a retinue of 48, including coffee servers, cooks and six huge Nubians with swords.
Why the cooks? Muslim tradition calls for all meat to be fresh. The Saudis would not eat Navy food, so they brought their own sheep to slaughter on board. King Ibn Saud was 6 feet 6 inches tall. He would not sleep in a ship's cabin, so he and his entourage slept on deck, on carpets.
The Roosevelt administration, before and during World War II, had been doing everything it could - usually in secret and sometimes close to illegally - to help advance American interests in the Saudi Arabian oil development.
Saudi Arabia was not central to America's war effort, but in 1943, Roosevelt was persuaded that paying Ibn Saud was essential, even if a lot of the money was going to pay for his wives, slaves and concubines. So he ordered Lend-Lease money diverted to Saudi Arabia, asserting that, "I find the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States."
Oil - or its potential - was the only thing Saudi Arabia had to offer, and it was not in danger of being occupied by the Axis powers. Had Roosevelt been interested, he might have learned that the regime in Saudi Arabia - "vital to the defense of the United States" - was not much different than the Taliban regime knocked off recently by the United States in Afghanistan.
Ibn Saud had conquered most of the Arabian peninsula and consolidated it into one kingdom with the help of the fanatically religious Wahhabi Bedouins, who believed, among other things, that dying in battle was a ticket to paradise, that all images, from pictures to statues, had to be destroyed, that drinking and smoking and singing and dancing were sins punishable by whipping, and so forth.
Sound familiar? Many of the rules are still in effect in Saudi Arabia. Some speculate that Osama bin Laden is a Wahhabist.
Ibn Saud had been a great and fierce warrior. He loved to sit around talking of great battles he had won and how he had personally killed his enemies. Possibly most important to him after his devotion to God was his honor and his belief that a man's word was his honor.
So when Roosevelt made this promise about Palestine, it never occurred to Ibn Saud that another president could come along and break that promise.
But Roosevelt died a week after sending the letter to Ibn Saud.
Harry S. Truman, Roosevelt's successor, came to office suddenly and unexpectedly.
Truman placed the United States forcefully and decisively in support of the partition of Palestine and the creation of a Jewish state in 1948. The sentiments of the king of Saudi Arabia were not considered important.
"I'm sorry, gentlemen," Truman explained to worried Arabists. "But I have to answer to hundreds of thousands of people who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents." 
Brethren, we are seeing the signs of the times rapidly increase since Trump was elected. Take solace in the fact that this was God's will for the world. Don't forget that God is in full control - even when it seems that evil is overtaking us - it is simply the Lord allowing events to happen that He foreknew before the foundations of the earth were laid.
Keep your eyes on Jesus - our Blessed Hope!
All articles may be viewed at grandmageri422.me
A showdown could be looming between the US, Iran, and the Assad regime at the Syria-Iraq border
- Christopher Woody -
In April, Syrian rebel fighters and their US special-forces trainers repulsed an ISIS attack in an hours-long battle marked by suicide bombers and coalition airstrikes.
The battle took place at al Tanf near the Syria-Iraq border, and the camp there is still used by US and UK personnel to train Western-backed fighters.
But with ISIS' territorial presence in Syria continuing to erode, al Tanf and the area around it - near the intersection of the Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian borders - looks to be the site of a potential clash between the US-led coalition, its local partners, and the Assad regime and its partners, backed by Iran.
With US-backed forces gearing up to liberate ISIS' self-proclaimed capital in Raqqa and ISIS losing ground elsewhere in the Syria, combatants in the country are reportedly trying to position themselves to assume control of territory vacated by terrorist group.
Recent events in Syria indicate that the Assad "regime and its allies [are] racing to establish an east-west 'Shiite axis' from Iran to Lebanon and the United States [is] seemingly looking to cement a north-south 'Sunni axis' from the Gulf states and Jordan to Turkey," Fabrice Balanche, a French expert on Syria and a visiting fellow at The Washington institute for Near East Policy, wrote recently.
"What's left of Islamic State territory is the key part of Iran's plan to connect Iran to Lebanon," Firas Abi-Ali, senior Middle East analyst at IHS Country Risk in London, told Bloomberg.
Though the battle for Raqqa in northeast Syria, and the balance of power it will create, is far from settled, control there looks set to devolve to Kurdish forces - who are allied with the US and have said they're willing to negotiate with Assad, and by extension Iran, for autonomy.
That could make it more possible for the al Tanf area in southeastern Syria to become a flashpoint in the geopolitical struggle between Iran and its partners, largely Shiite but also including Russia, and the US and its partners in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab states, largely Sunni.
According to Balanche, from al Tanf in southern Syria to Sinjar in Iraq - where Iraqi Shiite paramilitaries recently recaptured ISIS-held territory - "the area is now being contested by various belligerents on behalf of their regional sponsors."
Clashes between the US-led coalition and Syrian forces have already occurred in southeast Syria.
On May 18, coalition airstrikes hit pro-regime forces "that were advancing well inside an established de-confliction zone" northeast of al Tanf, US Central Command said in a release.
"This action was taken after apparent Russian attempts to dissuade Syrian pro-regime movement south towards At Tanf were unsuccessful," the release said. The strike was a limited engagement and not part of a new strategy, US Defense Department spokesman Eric Pahon told Bloomberg.
Intelligence sources have told Reuters that the coalition's presence near al Tanf is meant to keep Iranian-backed forces from securing an overland route between Syria and Iraq.
More recently, Western-backed Syrian rebels said Russian jets had bombed them to stop their push to capture a checkpoint on the Damascus-Baghdad highway near the Syrian borders with Iraq and Jordan.
While the Syrian regime and its associates may not have the capabilities to take on US forces and partners at al Tanf, their goal may be to surround the position and render it useless, Balanche told Military Times.
Washington's long-term strategy for the region, and how it would deal with a potential conflict between its partners and Iranian-backed forces, remains unclear.
While US officials have said the US focus continues to be on defeating ISIS, airstrikes on Syrian forces launched earlier this year President Donald Trump were a more direct challenge to Assad than that taken by Obama.
Trump's recent exhortations to Gulf Arab states to "stand united" against Iran, as well as his past bellicosity toward Tehran, suggest that his administration could pursue a more aggressive Middle East policy going forward.
However, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, possibly emboldened by Trump's rhetoric, have released public broadsides against Gulf Cooperation Council partner Qatar, opening a rift that could shake up the anti-Iran front the GCC has thus far presented.
"The GCC could harm it own interests in this fight and is at risk of becoming more vulnerable to Iranian encroachment," a Western diplomat based in Doha told Reuters.
Turmoil in the Gulf notwithstanding, US willingness or ability to check Iranian regional ambitions is far from certain.
"There's not much the US can do about Iran in Syria," Cliff Kupchan, chairman of New York-based risk-consultant Eurasia Group, told Bloomberg. "Iran is closer, and cares more."
We Shall Be Like Him - Nathele Graham -firstname.lastname@example.org
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1. God had a plan and that plan needed light. The heaven and the earth could not have sustained life if it remained in darkness. Even before the sun and stars were created, God spoke light into existence. "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness" Genesis 3-4. Where was the source of this light? The answer is Jesus.
We read Scriptures which describes Jesus as the Light of the World and many people think that this is just an allegory. It isn't an allegory, a fable, or a nice story. It's truth. "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12. Without light we would stumble around in darkness and fail miserably. Jesus is Light, and Satan is dark. The closer we draw to Jesus the closer we come to His light. It's easy to fall into darkness and to be prey for the wiles of the Devil if we move away from the Light. If we stay near Jesus we have His light as a guide. The Psalmist knew this when he wrote "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105. We have to study God's word and apply it to our life in order for Him to light our path.
When Jesus took on the form of a man, the light that shone from Him was covered with skin just like us. His light wasn't dimmed, just shielded. John was a man who was blessed to see Jesus as He truly is, so he writes with authority when describing Jesus' appearance at the Transfiguration. John was one of three disciples, along with Peter and James, who witnessed this event. "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun and his raiment was white as the light." Matthew 17: 1-2. The Gospel of Mark also describes this event, and describes His clothes in more detail "And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them." Mark 9:3. The word "fuller" is translated from the word gnapheus. Other Bibles translate this in terms of laundry and bleached cloth, meaning His robes were whiter than white. The disciples had seen Jesus perform many miracles, but seeing Him change from human in appearance to having a shining radiance that was as bright as the sun must have baffled them. In this account we are also told that Moses and Elijah appeared there too. We aren't given a description of their appearance, but the disciples knew who they were. Did Jesus call them by name or did He later tell Peter, James, and John that they had seen Moses and Elijah? Scripture is silent on this point, so any discussion about this is pure speculation.
Most of us who yearn to be with Jesus don't give much thought to what He will look like. For that matter, we don't give much thought to our own appearance after death. Our human minds tend to relate everything to what we are familiar with, so when we read descriptions of Jesus shining like the sun, we don't truly understand. As far as our own appearance we mostly just figure we will continue to look the same as we do now. Will we? Scripture says that we will be like Him, and we've already been given a description of His face shining like the sun. John tells us that we will be like Him. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2. Interesting. I know that I will be in awe when I behold Him, and from my human perspective I'm sure I will bow before Him being unable to stand.
When we receive our glorified bodies will we glow? Probably. When Moses went up on Mt. Sinai, he met with the LORD. When he came down he had to put a veil over his face because of the light that shone from it. "And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him." Exodus 34:29-30. He had been in the presence of Yehovah. Why did his skin glow after being in the presence of the LORD? In 1923 a Russian scientist named Alexander G. Gurvich discovered that there is a natural glow found in living cells which is called" biophoton". It's actually in the DNA found in the nuclei of cells. This is very weak light that is emitted from all living things. Scientists have some ideas about it, but Christians know that Jesus is the Light of the World and in Him is no darkness. Could it be that the closer we draw to Him the stronger our biophotons glow? Moses' skin shone bright after being in the presence of the LORD. The more we study God's word, spend time in prayer, and live to please Him, the more of a Heavenly aura we acquire. It's His light shining through us that a dark and fallen world sees.
At one time we all stumbled down the dark path. We may not have been murderers or thieves, but if we didn't follow Jesus then we followed Satan. Once a person accepts Christ there should be a desire to draw near to Him and come into His light. "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Ephesians 5:8-11. We aren't to be judgmental and condemn people, but we are to inspect the fruit they bear. Fruit needs light to grow and we've already seen that Jesus is the source of Light. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galatians 5:22-25. The Holy Spirit indwells Christians and we need listen to His promptings. He will only lead us closer to Jesus where we will bear more fruit. If we ignore Him we will fade into darkness. "Quench not the Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 5:19. Study Scripture and it will be easier to hear the guidance given by the Holy Spirit.
We need to seek truth in order for the Holy Spirit to enlighten us. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, but was a man who wanted to know the truth. He came to talk with Jesus to find out more about who He was. One of the things that Jesus talked about was light and darkness. He told Nicodemus that God loved the world and He hadn't come into the world to condemn it but to offer salvation. "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." John 3:19-21, If you love darkness rather than light then you condemn yourself. Nicodemus didn't let his position as a Pharisee blind him to truth. We know this because the next time we read about him is after the crucifixion. He and Joseph of Arimathaea tended to Jesus' body after He died. "And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." John 19:39-40. It took courage for these two men to come forward. In spite of the darkness around them their eyes were opened to the Light of the World.
Light has many beneficial properties in our daily life. When we draw near to the Light of the World we separate from the darkness found in the world. We will be like Him.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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You Say There's No God?
- By Donna Wasson - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/06/01/you-say-theres-no-god/
Let's take a break from the daily feast of horrors delivered by the mainstream news media; from the endless parade of murders, terror attacks, war and despair, to take in a little cerebral refreshment, shall we? After all, one can't continuously consume a diet consisting 100% of pure fiction, political spin, libel, sarcasm, useless speculation, and outright lies without it beginning to break your spirit. No, as with all things, we need to periodically step back and remind ourselves exactly Whom we worship and why.
This short article isn't going to include dire warnings of impending doom and destruction, although that IS the reality of the times in which we live. I won't belabor the progressive liberals and their satanically driven agenda, nor will I bother castigating the so-called conservatives, whose palms are equally greased by bureaucratic special interests, who take every opportunity to stab our president in the back, leaking White House information like a torn screen door.
Nope. Hopefully, this will uplift you and instill a childlike sense of awe and wonder. There are still mysteries to discover on this beautiful, blue marble of a planet that hangs on nothing in the inky blackness of space. There's still much to delight us if we'll only pause and take the time to notice.
I was privileged to run across a sweet nugget of wonder last week and I'm still grinning, tears swimming in my eyes, as my heart rejoices and worships our magnificent, Creator. Allow me to tell you about the Japanese puffer-fish. You might have heard of this little critter-it's considered the pinnacle of gourmet dining, featured in a dish called 'Takifugu rubripes,' costing an average of $210 per serving in high-end, Tokyo restaurants.
Yet, this delicacy is derived from the second most poisonous vertebra in the world, which carries a poison called 'tetrodotoxin' that's hundreds of times deadlier than cyanide! If not properly prepared, there's enough toxin in just one of these little fish to cause five grown men an agonizing death, one hour after ingestion.
The Haedomari market in Japan, is the only one in the world that specializes in selling the puffer. The highest bidder has the fish shipped to one of only ten processing factories that are A licensed to detox the fish in accordance with strict Japanese law. To restaurant patrons, the thrilling possibility of suffering a horribly painful death is part of the allure when ordering this delicious dish. Personally, I'll pass.
However, that isn't the coolest thing about this creature. You are not gonna believe this...
The deadly Japanese puffer-fish is the only creature in all of nature that constructs a large, beautifully symmetrical design in the sand of the ocean floor, using only his little fins, simply to attract a mate. Please watch the brief You Tube video below and prepare to be amazed and delighted! (If for some reason the link doesn't work, please go to You Tube and search for 'Japanese puffer fish sand design.')
Now that you've seen the video, what do you think? Isn't that simply incredible? I sit in stunned wonder when I watch this little clip over, and over again. What's the big deal, you ask? Are you kidding me?? Look at the beauty and perfection of that design. Think about it for a moment.
Where did that goofy-looking, little fish learn to do such a thing? Who taught him how to use his fins in such a manner? Where did the design come from? Certainly, not from his limited, little brain. Nor did evolution have anything to do with it, or we would see like examples in other species. We don't.
He was instructed by the One who created him, of course! No other animal in all of nature constructs such a masterpiece of stunning beauty, simply to attract a mate. If that doesn't prove there's an Intelligent Designer, then you're deliberately refusing to see the evidence in front of your face. The comical result is that your stubborn denial of the obvious only serves to once again prove that the Bible is the basis of all truth.
"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" Psalm 14:1 (KJV)
Guess who the fool is? Here's a hint: It ain't the fish!
There is absolutely a God, and we will ALL stand before Him and give an account of our lives. I'm ready to do just that. Jesus is coming back very, very soon whether you believe He is the Son of God or not, or whether you believe there even is a Supreme Being. The existence of God is not a difficult concept to grasp. I mean, duh!
After all, even the wonderful, little, Japanese puffer-fish knows that much.
Daily Jot: Presidential beheading exposes depth of darkness
- Bill Wilson -
The backlash over extreme leftist comedian Kathy Griffin beheading a likeness of President Donald Trump has been harsh from most all quarters-as it should be. But what can be said of an entire group of people who were one-upping each other to reach that point where they crossed the line-star-studded foul mouthed vulgarity from the celebrities that are in America's living rooms each night, or grown adults running around Washington, DC with the likenesses of vaginas on their heads, or news reporters falsely reporting on White House events when they are adamantly and admittedly leaders of the "resistance"? These are all over the top, and should be recognized and called out as such.
Yes the fallout is in. Even radical leftist Democratic Party leaders have denounced Griffin's distasteful act. Although, given their behavior since losing the election, one knows that it is not sincere-not when they are planning a "Resistance Summer" akin to Arab Spring, seeking to undermine and overthrow the duly elected President. As for Griffin, she has bought herself a lot of trouble. CNN reluctantly said Griffin would no longer be part of their New Year's Eve celebration. But CNN didn't come out and blast her for what she did. CNN public relations tweeted, "CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year's Eve program." That's certainly denouncing Griffin's actions.
The Secret Service has indicated Griffin will be investigated. Add that, I guess, to every other investigation that's going on and it seems like we are going to have a bunch of time on investigations. A lot of taxpayer money being spent on investigations that common sense people could determine the outcome without the investigation-there is no way the Russians tampered with the American vote; Hillary Clinton has had more multimillion dollar deals with the Russians than Trump ever had (can anyone say Uranium sales to Russia for Clinton Foundation donations?). An investigation into Griffin will show just what it would show for Al Gore, Clinton, Schumer, Durbin, Pelosi and more-narcissism and mental illness.
People are writing me asking what we can do. Honestly, we have to engage with our families, our communities, our workplace, and our friends. As guided by the Holy Spirit, we need to find the right words and the right attitudes to start conversations and make the argument about how insidiously dark and radically dangerous our society is becoming. The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:17-18, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" We are seeing the results of ineffective "church" in our own country. The problem is a sin problem resulting from not enough light shining into the darkness. We need to be that light.
Daily Devotion: Open to God's Leading
- Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is desert. -Acts 8:26
Imagine if God were to come to you one day and say, "Go out to Palm Springs, in the middle of the desert at noon, and I will tell you what to do next."
In the book of Acts, that is basically what it was like for Philip when an angel of the Lord spoke to him and said, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza" (Acts 8:26).
How easily Philip could have argued and said, "And do what? Preach to lizards? It is too hot, even for them. You want me to leave this place of revival where the Holy Spirit is being poured out and where miracles are being performed, and you want me to go to the middle of some desert? To do what?"
But Philip didn't argue. The Bible tells us, "So he arose and went" (verse 27). It would have been understandable if Philip had questioned this or was like Jonah who, when told to go to Nineveh and preach the gospel, took a boat in the opposite direction. But to Philip's credit, he went to the desert.
The angel didn't tell Philip what would happen when he got there. He didn't have a detailed blueprint. He was being led one step at a time. God's way becomes plain when we start walking in it. Obedience to revealed truth guarantees guidance in matters unrevealed.
If we want to lead others to Christ, then we need to be open to and obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Has the Lord shown you to do something? Then do it. Because there is a time to wait, and there is a time to move. There is a time to sow, and there is a time to reap.
Daily Devotion: Care before You Share - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. -Acts 8:5
I was listening to a Christian radio broadcast the other day, and someone said he had come up with a lot of new conversation starters to turn a dialogue toward evangelism-clever little things we can say to get a person interested in hearing the gospel.
That is all good, but none of it matters if we don't care about people. People can tell whether we care about them. (Even a dog can tell.) And people know whether we're sharing with them out of sincerity or doing it out of a mere sense of duty.
Philip had a heart for nonbelievers. We read in the book of Acts that Philip, along with Stephen and others, were called to be deacons in the church. Stephen was martyred, and Saul of Tarsus began to attack Christians, so they spread out. And where did Philip go? He went to Samaria.
That is significant because Philip was a Jew. Jews hated Samaritans, and Samaritans hated Jews. They had a conflict that never ended, which was passed on from generation to generation. Yet Philip went to Samaria. He went to these people, the untouchables, that a Jew normally would not even have a conversation with, much less want to reach.
If we want to be effective communicators of the gospel, we need to be willing to go to people who are different from us. We tend to want to hang around people who are just like us, people who look like us, talk like us, and have the same interests as us.
Are you willing to leave your comfort zone and go to a person completely different from you with the message of the gospel? Everyone needs Jesus. May God give us a sense of compassion for people who do not yet know the Lord.
FROM THE HEART
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