Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Has God Cast Away Israel? - By Pastor Mike Taylor -
35 Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name:
36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever." (Jeremiah 31:35-36)
I have been emailing back and forth with a lady who has got me going. Because of the overwhelming abundance of scripture that points to Israel being the door to end time prophecy and Jerusalem being the key to that door, I felt it necessary to address this rampant twist of scripture and going against God Himself. Let it be known that I am a staunch defender of Israel right to exist, and that they are God's chosen people above all nations. Why do I support Israel, and why should you? Because God commanded it so and it is all the reason any Christian needs.
3 "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."(Genesis 12:3)
There is a concerted effort in the liberal theology crowd to demonize Israel, but frankly, they don't know who they are messing with. If there is one thing that we as Christians have to guard against is the false doctrine of replacement theology.
When I read my bible the pages unfold of the relationship that Jehovah had with the nation of Israel starting with Abram who later became known as Abraham. Before this time, the whole of mankind were known as the "nations". Until Abraham became a friend of God, God did not have a covenant relationship with anyone. Many men walked with God. I think of Enoch whom God took and he never saw death. There was also, Noah who found favor in the site of the Lord. These notable men had found a personal relationship with God and God called them to do a specific work according to His will. But until Abram, God did not single out any specific group of people for any special attention. God told this man called Abraham that his descendants would number as the stars of heaven and that Jehovah would give his descendants the land from the great river of Egypt, to the Euphrates, south to the Red Sea and north to what is now Syria for a perpetual land grant. It was deeded to them by the voice of God forever. It was a literal land grant, not a spiritual one.
For hundreds of years, God worked with the descendants of Abraham, bringing them out of Egypt and giving them His laws at Mount Sinai, but Israel was rebellious and God called them "stiff necked". He even thought about wiping them off the face of the earth and replacing them with the descendants of Moses. But Moses stood in the gap as type of Christ in intercession for the people and God relented of the thought of destroying them. Many times, God chastened these ancient people and they learned for a short while. But, God finally sent them into exile via Babylonia under King Nebuchadnezzar for a very long 70 years for not following His commands and becoming ensnared with the worship of false gods. God warned them:19 " I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."(Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
God further commanded them to not inquire of how the people in the land of Canaan, who they were expelling from the land because of idolatry, worshiped their heathen gods:
. . . "take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, "How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise." You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods." (Deuteronomy 12:30-31)
Historically, what did Israel do? They defiled the temple with pagan symbols after the time during which Solomon lived and built the temple and fashioned altars under every green tree to burn incense for pagan gods that were an abomination to Almighty God. So God sent them into exile for those 70 years for their sins and for not following His command to give the land a Sabbath rest every 7 years.
Now fast forward beyond the time of the return of the Jewish people and the birth of Jesus Christ for lack of space for a full history lesson. The nation of Israel as a majority rejected their Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. He died on a cross for the sins of the world, according to a divine plan from the foundation of the world to redeem mankind from Satan and sin. From that time forward, the focus changed from Israel in God's eyes, to the beginning of the newly born church called Christians. As we all know, Israel was again destroyed and scattered to the four winds.
This view is called Dispensations, as God has never focused on both sets of people at the same time. He focused on Israel, till the cross, then turned His attention to the Church and that is the age we are fast approaching the end of. When that age ends, God will again return His attention to Israel, but He has never focused on them together. As mentioned, for nearly two thousand years, God has focused on a people who were not His people, the true Church of the Living God, the bride of Christ. But has God thrown Israel from His sight? Has God gone back on His Word, when He said this:
7:23 " And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?,7:24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God."(2nd Samuel 7:23-24)
Let's think about that for a moment, if God has thrown Israel away for being sinful, is He not a liar? Since Satan has tried for 6000 years to make God out a liar, to throw Israel away for their sins, why has He not thrown you and I away for our sins? Think about that a little longer than a moment. Since we know that God is not a liar, but that Satan is, why would He go back on His Word? He hasn't and He won't.
My correspondence with the lady who got me going, I'll call Miss Guided Mary (So What If I'm Wrong), highlights the growing liberal theological stance that Israel has been done away with. In her place, God has placed the Church as His inheritance and the nation of modern Israel is not on God's radar screen for the end time prophecy time clock. We are now the spiritual Israel and the physical Israel is of none effect. They should not be of any concern to modern day Christians as they mean nothing anymore to God. Are people like Miss Mary. right? Has Israel been done away with.....hang with me and let's see if there are any clues in your bible. I started my email correspondence with Miss Mary by asking her several pointed questions to find out her views on Israel, the Second coming of Jesus Christ, and figured out that she was of the Replacement Theology crowd. First question I asked her was this:
"What do you think God was saying in Ezekiel 37 concerning the valley of dry bones?" As I suspected, she gave me an answer that no Bible student should agree with. Her answer was "Ezekiel's valley of dry bones is about SALVATION - God breathing life into His CHOSEN PEOPLE!!! - from all races of people - not just the Nation of Israel!!!"
I was, to say the least, flabbergasted, but not surprised. What is the passage about? From historical accounts, we know that the house of Israel was scattered to the four winds and ceased to be a nation. Is this passage about salvation or about the physical nation of Israel? Let's look. Ezekiel chapter 37:
12 "Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:12-14)
This message from God was to the literal, physical house of Israel. To say otherwise, is to twist scripture to support your Anti-Semitism. God goes onto to proclaim that Judah and Israel will become one stick, or one people in God's hand. Never again will they be divided. Some try to spiritualize this passage to a type of "spiritual Israel" that we all are.
True, we are the of the seed of Abraham and the heir of promise, but the context shows that through continued passages of this book of Ezekiel, that God is talking about a physical, literal nation of Israel that God will bring back into their own land. In the following scripture verses of Ezekiel, this physical land of Israel will in the near future be attacked by the surrounding nations for their destruction, but God will fight for them. This clearly is not about salvation, but returning the focus back squarely upon Israel in the last days.
Not until 1948, did Israel became a totally reconstituted nation with the same customs, the same language, the same identity as theirs was in 70 A.D when the 2nd temple was destroyed and Israel ceased being a nation. Let me state one thing clearly. This occurrence of a nation dissolved and passing into the annals of history, virtually disappearing, then becoming the same nation almost 2000 years later, has NEVER happened, I mean ever in all of the history of mankind. Many civilizations have had their zenith, but declined into oblivion and all we have are the archeological records to prove that they were here. Israel is the only exception. Pure coincidence you say? God doesn't do anything out of sheer coincidence. God has a Divine Plan.
My next question for this misled lady was "What of the nation of Israel today? Are they cast off? Have we replaced them in God's eyes?" Mary replied. "As a Nation Jesus clearly told the UNBELIEVING JEWS who rejected Him: "Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a Nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Matt. 21:43) What Christ meant was that His Holy Nation was the New Olive Tree - which was going to be made up of Jews and Gentiles together!!!"...( copy and pasted verbatim. She loves exclamation points)..You're close Mary, but no cigar. You didn't go quite far enough, because of a belief in Replacement Theology. Paul spoke of this new olive tree, and it was clear that the nation of Israel would be involved. Paul spoke of this in Romans chapter 11, which I encouraged Ms. Mary to read prayerfully and ponder what Paul was saying:
15 "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?16 For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Did you get that? God has blinded them to the truth of His first visitation to save the world, for what purpose?....V. 25 "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in" Why did God do this? To show mercy to all. He planned to be the God of all, not just the Jewish people, but all mankind. But notice in v. 26. "And so ALL Israel shall be saved as it is written"
As I continued my questioning of this woman's belief system concerning Israel, I turned to the Tribulation. Since Israel is now a nation AGAIN, what role will they play in the end times that we are all witnessing?. I asked Mary the same question. " What about the Second coming of Jesus Christ? When will He return? What other time is in your interpretation? Do you champion a certain position? Why? What roll will Israel play in the tribulation." To that question, Mary replied. "The Tribulation is caused by Jesus LOOSING SATAN AND HIS DEMONIC ARMY - His vengeance is on the APOSTASY of FALSE GOSPELS - taught by FALSE PROPHETS. Why are you for the Jews of the Flesh - who God NEVER CHOSE???!!! - isn't that like being for those that Jesus called the "children of the Devil" in His day???? I'm not for anyone who REJECTS Jesus as the Messiah!!! - and for what reason would Jesus die for the sins of those not written in His Book of Life???? - it makes no sense!!!"
I guess Mary had not heard about the 7 sealed scroll that Jesus was given to begin one thing...judgment on this God forsaken world and to eliminate all rebellion and all sin and for cleansing of this earth through God ordained divine intervention of the affairs of men. Revelation chapter 6:
6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and the chief captains, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains;6:16 and they say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
6:17 for the great day of their wrath is come; and who is able to stand?"
All that comes upon this earth is of God's doing via His Son who will open each seal and His wrath will be unleashed on this earth.....when does that wrath start? When He opens the first seal. Revelation 6:1-2:
"Now I [John] saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer."
Comparing Jesus' comments in Matthew 24 with these verses in Revelation 6, it becomes apparent that this horseman is not Christ proclaiming the true gospel as some believe, but a counterfeit spreading the news of a false Messiah. For instance, this horseman carries a bow, but in every case, Christ is pictured with a sword. This man conquers by deceit, hence no arrows in his bow. He wears a stephanos wreath crown, the sign of victory. Jesus wears a golden diadem the sign of a King. They are distinctly different. Jesus also said the following:
5:9 " For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."(1st Thessalonians 5:9-11)
So clearly, this wrath of God is not focused on the saints of the church redeemed by His own blood, but against lawlessness on the earth.
While we are falling head first into the tribulation, why must Christians pray for the peace of Jerusalem and support Israel? Simple answer for me, as God commanded it. Do they deserve such support? No, but do any of us? Do you, do I? No, we do not. He who bore ours sins on a cruel cross, asked that you follow His commands. God has a special place in His heart for the apple of His eye. We should support Israel because it is commanded. To not fight for Israel, to not support Israel, and to deem her cast away, is to do it to our Savior, as well . It borders on outright blasphemy to preach it so and twist scripture to support you misguided theology steeped in Anti-Semitism.
8" For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. (you mess with Israel, you mess with God)9 For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me.10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD." (future tense)(Zechariah 2:8-10)
During the tribulation that is fast approaching this earth, God will turn His attention again to the nation of Israel, as the whole number of gentiles having been brought in....that ship having sailed, we have met the Lord in the air, and are now attending a glorious feast. Plague after plague is brought about on earth, as each seal is broken by Jesus Christ as divine wrath over the sinful nature of this Satan ruled world. Revelation chapter 19:
7 " Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God."(Revelation 19:7-9)
As mentioned during the next 7 horrific years, God will again turn His attention to Israel, as the Church is now complete. To be a Jewish person during the tribulation is to have a mark on you for extinction. Much as it was in the holocaust, being Jewish will be a dangerous prospect. We see that Jesus will stand and impart rewards and judgment during the Bema Seat called the Sheep and Goat Judgment . He will put the Goats on one side, and the sheep on another..
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.34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
And the passage goes on to enumerate why they are being rewarded....the goats however, are not found in the same way.
41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not." Matthew 25:32-34, 41-43)
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."(Matthew 25:45-46)
Who are these people? Who are the sheep? I believe Jesus is talking about the end of days, when it will be dangerous to be Jewish. All who support them, or give them shelter, or feed them will be committing an unlawful act, as the Jewish people will be hunted down for extermination, much like during Hitler's day of European terror. The souls who believe God, will hide the Jewish people from the authorities and endure peril of their own lives. God will reward them for their service. But to the people who refused to help the Jewish people and side with the state, God will answer that they did it to Him, as much as they did it to His people. So my question to Mary and to you, has God abandoned Israel in favor of the church? If He has, why does He come back and fight the nations in battle for the sake of His chosen people?
14:2 "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee."(Zechariah 14:2-5)
Skipping down, but it would be wise of the reader to read the whole chapter of Zechariah 14:
10 "All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses.11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. ( sounds nuclear to me...Divine retribution for the treatment of His people)13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance." (Zechariah 14:10-14)
In answer to the question proposed to Mary, what is the other purpose besides cleansing the earth of all rebellion? Give up? The refining of Israel as silver is refined in the fire. For 4000 years, God has dealt with a stiff necked people who rebelled against His laws and His commands, but for their ancestral Fathers, they are most beloved.
1 "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness."(Malachi 3:1-3)
He will purge them, refine them, and show them that there is a God in heaven who lives and reigns. Jesus proclaimed that He would not come unto them again until they did one thing. As Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, he wept over her. That is found in Luke chapter 13:
34 " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."(Luke 13:34-35)
So you see, my friend, it's all about Israel and more importantly, about Jerusalem. Jesus proclaimed that He would not come back to this earth, until they believe who He was, and who He is. When they realize that fact, they will weep bitterly for the murder of their prophesied Messiah, their first borne Son. They knew of His coming, they knew the season, and they didn't recognize Him. They killed Him in anger, but it was planned just that way. God knew their heart and He knew that to save mankind, His Son would have to become the perfect, sinless sacrifice. Israel has been blinded and made deaf. Why? Because of God's mercy to be shown to us....His people, who were not His people...the true Church of the Living God composed of each believer who put their trust in Jesus Christ by faith and received mercy and grace..
10"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."(Matthew 13:11-15)
In the final days on this earth, sin will be extinguished and rebellion destroyed. Our God and our Savior will return and make short work of the rebellion on this earth. But notice from the scripture passages quoted, that Israel is at the center of all the events described. Revelation chapter 19:
19:11 "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.12 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.13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.15 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.16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great." (Revelation 19:11-18)
Zechariah adds even more verses to the thought of the Lord's return in glory and righteousness to make war on all who fight against Jerusalem and His people.
12:8 "In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."(Zechariah 12:8-10)
More evidence when Paul wrote to the Roman Church:
Romans 11:26 "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins."
Not just some of the Jewish people, not just a remnant, not just a select group....but ALL. I believe He will not lose even one who are alive at that time. Praise be to our God as His mercy was extended to us, not just to the Jew, but to all mankind.
During that blessed event, we all will stand before our Father and His Son and sing together. We will be neither Jew nor Greek, Hebrew, or Gentile, but of one nation...the Nation of Spiritual Israel finally. We will stand before Almighty God and praise Him for all eternity.
7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.7:11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen."(Revelation 7:9-12)
But until God finishes with His master plan, a God fearing Christian must do what God commanded and that is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and stand with Israel. To do otherwise, is to sin and fight against Almighty God. So let us stand with Israel in these end of days until our Lord returns and redeems us and makes Israel ready to accept the Messiah, finally and at long last.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor wishing you God's love in your life. If there be anything I can help you with, pray with you about, or counsel you from God's Word, drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org , God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus. feet.
Will Iran's Attacks on the US and Allies Escalate? - by Majid Rafizadeh - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14447/iran-attacks-escalate
Criticism continues to fly at the Trump administration in response to the White House's attempts to deter Iran's threats. Despite increasing acts of violence, and aggressive behavior towards the US, President Trump is criticized by some people for his determination to hold the Iranian government accountable.
By using its military to attack the US and its allies, the Islamic Republic has been unabashedly resorting to hard power tactics. Iran's actions are clear; there has been virtually no attempt on its part to disguise hostile intentions. Why is there no international outrage? The mainstream media continue to fail to report adequately Iran's attacks. There has been no focus placed on the increase over the past two months of these attacks.
The Iranian government's policy appears to be two-pronged. The first facet seems linked to instructing its proxies across the region to attack and wreak havoc on entities linked to the United States, European countries, and Gulf states.
Last week, a U.S.-linked location in Iraq was attacked. Reportedly, 40 workers employed by the energy giant Exxon Mobil were forced to evacuate in southern Iraq after coming under rocket fire.
The Houthi attack on a Saudi oil installation and the rocket that landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad have also been tied to the Iranian regime and its proxies. Each of these assaults has in some way caused harm to US interests.
It was recently leaked that the head of the Quds Force, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, instructed a conglomerate of more than 40 militia groups, which operate under the banner of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), to "prepare for proxy war."
The second prong of Iran's policy of violence appears to consist of direct military assaults. In the last two months, six oil tankers have been attacked. First, four tankers were targeted in the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. A month later, a pair of tankers crossing the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Iran were sabotaged with explosives; one of the tankers went up in flames and both were left adrift.
The Strait of Hormuz, situated between the borders of Iran and Oman, one of the world's most crucial waterways, used to transport roughly 33% of total global seaborne traded oil. These attacks cause global fear and impact businesses worldwide.
Iran's fingerprints are all over these aggressions. It is believed that the attacks on the tankers were directly carried out by the Iranian regime because of the high level of sophistication. The incident was not isolated; it was apparently premeditated and organized, implying that there may well be more such attacks in the works.
As U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed out, "This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication."
Iran's overt attacks included shooting down a United States military drone. The head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, threatened that shooting down the drone was a warning to the U.S. He added that, "the only way for our enemies to be safe is to respect our sovereignty, national security, and the national interests of the great Iranian nation".
On several occasions, the Trump administration invited Iran to the negotiating table in an attempt to deescalate tensions. It is Iran that rejects the talks and continues to act aggressively, all while openly threatening the U.S. and its allies.
In a tweet mentioning Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Iran's Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei wrote:
"You said Mr. @abeshinzo, that Trump has said negotiations with the U.S. would lead to Iran's progress. By the Grace of God, without negotiations & despite sanctions, we will progress."
In a meeting with Abe, Khamenei also pointed out that, "I do not consider Trump, as a person, deserving to exchange messages with. We will not negotiate with the United States."
Why, therefore, are the critics of the Trump administration so extremely quick to condemn the president, while they are comfortable disregarding Iran's attacks? Do they expect the U.S. to sit idly by, watching while the Islamic Republic carries out flurries of offenses across the region? Do they expect the U.S. to turn a blind eye as Tehran attempts to further destabilize the region in order to impose insecurity and fear worldwide, and advance its revolutionary and parochial interests? How many people must be threatened, tortured, or slaughtered, before Trump's response will be deemed warranted?
What The Trump Peace Plan Cannot Accomplish - By Jonathan Tobin - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=3304
When the Trump administration released the economic portion of its Middle East peace plan last week, the avalanche of criticism was immediate and harsh.
Even though the president's foreign-policy team couched the plan as a "vision" of peace rather than an intricate blueprint, its critics weren't wrong in pointing out that there was little in it that was new, and that its chances of success were nil.
Yet in analyzing the effort, it's important to note that there's a difference saying that the plan won't succeed and saying that putting it forth was the wrong thing to do. That's because the problem with it isn't the content, but the context.
An effort to shift the focus from a push on Israeli concessions, which are never enough to satisfy the Palestinians, to one in which Palestinian society could be transformed--economically and hopefully peaceably--was long overdue. But as long as the intended beneficiaries aren't interested in such programs, the "ultimate deal" is simply not going to happen under any circumstances.
The sticking point is clear. Palestinian Authority leaders say they want the investment and aid, but that any discussion of economics must await a political settlement in which they will be given an independent state. Only after they achieve sovereignty, they say, will the aid be welcome or relevant.
That's a fact that many Trump-administration critics have echoed when dismissing the plan authored by presidential adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner and U.S. negotiator Jason Greenblatt. They say Trump's team is putting the cart before the horse and effectively rendering the peace process irrelevant by not focusing on the actual points of contention that separate the parties, like borders, settlements and refugees.
As veteran State Department peace processor Aaron David Miller, who now heads the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank, put it: "The Palestinians' economic problem isn't a lack of money. It's a lack of liberty."
Even if we were to lay aside for the moment that the main obstacle to Palestinian liberty is the tyrannical rule of Hamas in Gaza and that of Fatah in the West Bank rather than Israel, this argument fails to answer the key question that most be posed to critics of Trump's plan: Why have decades of peace processing by foreign-policy professionals like Miller, who knew a lot more about the conflict and diplomacy than Trump's Middle East team, always failed?
All previous administrations have paid some lip service to economic issues, with many issuing their own plans that were not dissimilar to the one Trump just proposed. They have all taken the approach the Palestinians say they prefer: how to strong-arm Israel into agreeing to a two-state solution.
Yet that strategy never succeeded, no matter how much pressure presidents like Bill Clinton or Barack Obama put on the Jewish state, and no matter how many times Israel said "yes" to two states as they did a number of times in the last 20 years.
The Palestinians had their chance to get the "liberty" they say they wanted in 2000, 2001 and 2008, when Israeli governments put a two-state solution with almost all of the West Bank and a share of Jerusalem in their hands.
They also enjoyed eight years of an Obama administration that clearly saw Israeli policies as the main obstacle to peace. Still, every time they had the chance to get the state they say they want so badly, they said "no."
At some point, the foreign-policy professionals should have figured out that the old approach was never going to work.
That is, in essence, what Kushner, Greenblatt and company have done by attempting to restart the conversation about peace in a different way.
Instead, they think emphasizing policies that will give the Palestinians a stake in peace and promoting measures that will mandate good governance have the potential to change everything. You can call that an attempt to "bribe" the Palestinians into accepting peace with Israel, but all it really amounts to is a reminder that coexistence would create a better reality than the current one rooted in conflict.
Trump was right to try to end his predecessors' coddling of Palestinian fantasies of defeating Israel, which is what their policies of non-recognition of Jerusalem and refusing to condition aid on ending support for terror amounted to.
The problem is that the Palestinians' century-old war on Zionism has become inextricably linked to their national identity to the point where it is impossible for anyone inside their political structure to imagine normal life alongside a Jewish state.
And even if they could make that leap of imagination, entrenched forces like Hamas and other Islamist groups, as well as the millions of descendants of the 1948 Arab refugees who continue to hold onto the false hope of erasing the last 71 years of history, won't like them act on it.
That's why Hamas continues to promote the "right of return" as if the eradication of the Jewish state was a viable option. And it's why the Palestinian Authority continues to subsidize terror in the form of salaries for imprisoned terrorists, and pensions for their families and survivors, because to do otherwise would be to admit that their defeat in a war they haven't the courage or the good sense to give up on.
If Trump's plan is going to fail--and it will--it can be attributed to these reasons. It's not because previous administrations understood the conflict any better, or that the focus on economics is wrongheaded.
If this latest approach doesn't work, then the blame should fall on those responsible--the Palestinians--not on the ideas behind the plan itself.
Nearing Midnight: Food Production: God is Closing the Window - Todd Strandberg -
Unless you live in Death Valley or another country, you've probably noticed that the US has had an abundance of rainfall. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Centers for Environmental Information, May 2018 to April 2019 was the wettest year on record in the contiguous United States.
This year's corn crop is a little over a month old and it has already been negatively impacted by all this moisture. In fact, it is one for the record books, with planting at the slowest pace in 40 years. There comes a point where there just may not be enough days for the plants to mature before a hard frost, so millions of acres will now have to wait until the 2020 growing season.
Last week, the USDA lowered the projected total yield to 13.68 billion bushels (last year's corn yield was 14.3 billion bushels). The anticipation of an impending shortage has sent corn futures to trade at their highest level since June 2014.
The total yield may have to be lowered several times because of the endless precipitation. In southern South Dakota, 30 to 40 percent of corn that has been planted has been flooded from new rains. Seedlings left in standing water will be stunted and unlikely to produce any yield. Some portions of Ohio and Indiana have gotten 10 more inches from a storm system, and then three days later, the same area got another 10 inches of rainfall.
In the past few months, we have had one Agriculture disaster after another. An April blizzard killed thousands of cattle in Nebraska. In June, it was reported that the total number of honey bee colonies across Europe plunged 16% over the winter of 2017-18, according to COLOSS (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes), an international, non-profit organization based in Switzerland, tasked with the goals of protecting honey bees. Also, in Europe, a series of hail storms destroyed crops in France and Italy.
Chinese farmers are also very perplexed over why 2019 has become such a disastrous year for food producers. While their weather has been normal, China faces a biological threat on three fronts:
1. Some 30% of pig farms in mainland China are rumored to have been hit by African swine fever. China's population of pigs will shrink by 134 million heads, which is equal to all the hogs raised in the US. Since China is the #1 consumer of pork, global hog prices may rise sharply as Beijing imports heavily to meet demand. Average prices may jump by 70% to record levels in the second half of 2019, according to Chinese forecasts.
2. The fall armyworm, native to North America, was first detected in China five months ago after wreaking havoc in Africa over the past two years where it infested up to at least half of the continent's crops. A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report published at the end of April said the pest, which entered Yunnan province from the neighboring country of Myanmar, would spread to all of China's grain producing regions within 12 months.
3. China has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu in Horgos in the far western Xinjiang region. The outbreak killed nearly half the birds raised by farmers in that city, according to a notice on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
I chose the title of this week's article from a remark Terry's wife received from a rice farmer here in Arkansas. He said he has only been able to plant 1,400 of his 6,000 acres. He said, "In previous years, God has always provided a window to plant. This year, the window was closed."
Bible prophecy may be the explanation for why food production is experiencing so many difficulties. If the tribulation hour is near, the earth is going to go from a time when food is generally plentiful to a time when a loaf of bread will cost a day's wage. Since 2019 is now certain to be a shortfall year, we may be seeing the beginning of the predicted end-time famine.
"And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny..." (Rev 6:5-6).
Daily Jot: The immorality of college debt - Bill Wilson -
Several years ago, I was on the phone with a college finance office discussing what I believed to be overcharges on my son's student loan. Of course, through the whole tangled web of this grant, and that loan, and whatever, it was like unraveling a ton of coat hangers dumped in a pile. By and large, even with a football scholarship and academic scholarships, my son will have over $80,000 in debt to start his professional life. I told the finance person that I believed it was immoral what these colleges and universities were doing to this generation. You can see why neo communist Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and other politicians are saying they would forgive college loans if elected. It's down-right vote buying.
Sanders and others are going after the millennial generation vote by saying that they will cancel college debt. In fact, they have introduced legislation to do just that, and provide free tuition at public colleges and universities. AP reports, "Sanders vowed at a Monday news conference that his plan "completely eliminates student debt in this country and the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation, the millennial generation, to a lifetime of debt for the crime of doing the right thing. And that is going out and getting a higher education." He appeared alongside the proposal's House sponsors, Reps. Ilhan Omar, (D-MN), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in attendance." No mention that Sanders' "plan" will never be implemented. It's just his plan to get votes.
These neo communists know that their legislation has zero chance of passage. They also know that by saying that if elected they will cancel college debt and provide free tuition is an impossible lie. But it doesn't matter, millions of millennials will believe them and vote for them. The question of who is going to pay for this would come up. And the answer will likely be that we owe it to our children. In reality, what we owe to our children is to clean up the entire mess of the liberal education system, which propagates immorality, irresponsibility, and socialist agendas, and perpetuates the dumbing down of our children. Universities and colleges are so bloated with political nonsense, teachers that can't hold a real job, and nonessential overhead that higher education is an unaffordable bad value.
What happens if ever there is free tuition? What happens if college debt is cancelled? It just cheapens education and starts the debt cycle over again. What is needed is real reform. Removing the fat from college budgets, which would include the political agenda, a whole bunch of unnecessary student services and fees, and the inflated administration budget, including salaries of the overstuffed pontificators who are ruining generations of Americans. But that won't happen because it would address the root of the problem: Ending socialist brainwashing paid for by either students, their parents, or the general public. Colossians 2:8 says, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." And therein is the immorality of college debt.
Daily Devotion: Hypocrites among Us - by Greg Laurie -
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. - Matthew 16:18
I know it is very easy to be critical of the church today, and granted, there are a lot of things wrong with it. But don't forget this: When Jesus Christ walked this earth, He started only one organization, and it is called the church. And He said, "The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).
Some might say, "Yeah, but there are a lot of hypocrites in the church."
Guess what? That isn't new. There were hypocrites in the first-century church as well. In fact, one of our Lord's handpicked disciples turned out to be a hypocrite. So yes, hypocrites and hypocrisy are nothing new. That is not to even mention that in the early church, there were rivalries, heresies, and some flat-out immorality.
Jesus told an interesting parable that we call the parable of the wheat and tares. In this story, He talks about a farmer who goes and sows wheat in his field, and at night his enemy comes in and sows tares, or weeds, among the wheat. Now the tares Jesus was describing are also known as darnel seeds, which look exactly like wheat initially and even through the growth process. But in the end, the darnel, or the tare, uproots the wheat. Jesus was saying, "You're going to have the fake right next to the real, the counterfeit right next to the genuine." The tares and the wheat will grow together, and we won't necessarily know who is who and what is what until that final day.
Yes, there will be hypocrites among us. Only God knows who they are. But let's also remember that every one of us has moments of hypocrisy. What we need to concern ourselves with is whether we are hypocrites and whether we are living godly lives.
FROM THE HEART
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