Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Summer Rapture Fever? Three signs the Believers' earth-shattering exit may be near! - Bill Perkins - www.compass.org
The Jewish Feast Rosh Hashanah (AKA The Feast of Trumpets) is September 20/21, 2017. We wrote an article a few years back defending Rosh Hashanah as the most likely time of the year the Rapture would happen(1), regardless of the year. So each summer it's always interesting to see how the prophetic signs are shaping up...could this be the year of our exhilarating departure?
Several other ministries ARE predicting it will happen during Rosh Hashanah this year. One guy has a whole website talking about Revelation 12:1 and the Rapture.
"A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;" Rev. 12:1
Supposedly, on September 22 (Tishri 1/Jewish New Year begins) the stars in the sky will point to the Rapture. In this fanciful prediction, the "woman" in Revelation 12 is the constellation Virgo. The nine stars of the Constellation Leo plus the planets of Mercury, Mars and Venus are the 12 stars around her head and the moon is at her feet. And somehow Jupiter represents Jesus' birth.(3)
You can buy the book that explains all this in a digital download for a mere $25. But if he really thought the Rapture was in September, why would he be selling the info instead of just giving it away?
Don't waste your money trying to understand HIDDEN signs few people know about. If this were truly a sign from God, it's doubtful He would hide it in a constellation from 99.99999% of the world. No, God does things like parting the Red Sea or raising Lazarus from the dead, for ALL to see and ponder.
Can we even know beforehand?
Before we go any further, the logical question we should ask is, "Can we know ahead of time when the Rapture will take place?" The answer is "not exactly."
For those who are new to Compass, we loathe those who set hard, absolute dates for The Rapture or 2nd Coming. But we believe the Bible teaches that we can, and should, observe any and all OBVIOUS signs to determine if we're getting close. Consider this verse:
"For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 1Th. 5:2-6
That verse tells us that the coming of the Lord at Rapture will come without warning only for non-Believers. But Believers are encouraged to be alert to the OBVIOUS signs because we have the discerning light of God's Holy Spirit.
Therefore, it's incumbent on Believers to be alert to OBVIOUS prophetic signs that the current Church Age dispensation, the Biblical time period in which we live, is coming to a booming close.
The Rapture of the Believers on the earth will make way for the next dispensation to begin-a horriﬁc 7-year period referred to as "Tribulation," "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" or "The 70th Week of Daniel." (Matt. 24:21; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:24-27)
So how's everything stacking up this year?
Sign #1 Israel
It's an exciting time to be alive as we're living in the generation that saw God, as prophesied, begin bringing the Jews back to their homeland. So our ﬁrst gauge is to look at Israel. We've written many articles about their God ordained return to their homeland.
The main reason to watch Israel is that soon after the Rapture, the Jews will again be in the prime-time of God's earthy dealings-God will come out of His Self-imposed slumber and the entire world will know it. The heaven and earth will be shaken to its core as He lets the world know that He is the Creator God and Israel is His chosen nation.
Watching Israel being primed for this change is fascinating. We can also observe the prophesies regarding her latter-day enemies. Ezekiel 38 and 39 discuss, among other things, the last-days invasion by those from the areas of Russia (Gog), Iran (Persia) and others.(4)
'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods,...' Ezek. 38:10-12
The stated purpose for the invasion is to capture riches in the land of Israel-which begs the question, "What spoil? What riches?"
When Israel became a nation in 1948 she had no known natural riches for which a hostile sovereign nation would invade. In fact, Golda Meir, Israel's Prime Minister in 1969-1974, often quipped that Moses wandered the desert for 40 years and unfortunately settled in the only place that didn't have oil.
But recently that's changed. A couple of years ago Israel discovered massive gas reservoirs just off her coast.(6A) And within the last year or so Israel discovered a massive oil reservoir To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, within her borders!(5) And there are other oil exploration companies are currently drilling there.(6)
It's possible Israel's government has put out the word to their media not to publicize these oil and discoveries so as not to give the surrounding Arab nations another reason to come after them. But the oil discovery within Israel's borders was described as huge.
BTW-All that Middle Eastern Oil is another proof that the Bible is 100% accurate. The massive amounts of oil in the Middle East is obviously due to Noah's ﬂood burying the lush and plentiful plants in-and-around the Garden of Eden. These buried plants naturally turned to oil (11) and today Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, etc., and now Israel, beneﬁt from the destruction of Noah's worldwide ﬂood.
So, because of Israel's relatively close proximity to the original Garden of Eden, it's not surprising that Israel also has massive oil reserves under its land. The question is simply "how much?"
Some oil experts have theorized that Israel has more oil under her land than all the other middle eastern nations combined. And looming in the future is the prophesied Russia/Iran invasion to come after her riches-an invasion that takes place, we believe, within a few days after the Rapture.(4)
The Israeli oil and gas discoveries mean the prophecy of Israel being so dog-gone wealthy in the latter days is being fulﬁlled right under our noses.(7) And when the Rapture takes place, and the Holy Spirit Restrainer is removed from the earth, Russia will obviously "devise an evil plan" and invade Israel.
All this is detailed in Ezek. 38 and 39. The result of this invasion is that Israel is miraculously protected by God, Russia/Iran/others suffer a humiliating defeat and the Jews are awakened out of their spiritual slumber.
Sign #2 Signs In The Skies
"Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;" Gen. 1:14
The ﬁrst reason the Lord gave us for His creating the sun, moon and stars is to be for "signs." Throughout the Bible He has used the sun for miraculous signs- i.e. The long day of Joshua, three hours of darkness when Jesus died on the cross, etc. (Joshua 10:12-14; Luke 23:44)
One of God's signs is a solar eclipse where the sun's light is blocked by the moon. It's interesting that if the earth and moon were .04% further apart, or closer together, there would be no eclipses to view.(8)
On August 21, 2017, there will be a solar eclipse on the earth. This full eclipse of the sun's light will only be seen in the United States, cutting a path from the Northwest to the Southeast.
This is the ﬁrst time in the history of the United States that a total eclipse will touch only the United States.
But what makes this eclipse raise even more eyebrows is that another eclipse will do the same thing-exactly seven years from now, again seen ONLY IN THE UNITED STATES. Seven years-how interesting!
But rather than NW to SE, in seven years the eclipse will be from the SW to the NE, creating a big X on our nation.
We already know the United States is the prophesied nation in the Bible that is destroyed in an hour(6). Does this big "X" mean God is trying to "give us a sign"? Maybe.
Scientists have recently been studying the link between the sun, moon and earthquakes.(10) So it's most interesting that the eclipse will cross through the two main earthquake zones in America: Cascadia Subduction Fault Zone in the Coastal Northwest and the New Madrid Fault Zone in the heart of the Midwest.
Most people are aware of the West Coast's afﬁnity for earthquakes. But the middle of the U.S. has also had its problems. The last time there was a big earthquake in the New Madrid Fault Zone, in 1812, the land movements were so severe it caused the Mississippi River to run backwards for several hours!(12) Over 1200 miles away in Boston, MA, it rattled plates off the walls and caused church bells to ring.(12)
Of course, in 1812, the New Madrid Fault Zone area was sparsely populated. Today it is estimated that a similar earthquake would be twice the problem of Katrina.(13)
The eclipse also cuts across volcanoes in the northwest like the recently active Mt. St. Helens and the unbelievably large, but long-time dormant, caldera in Yellowstone National Park. The Lord may have used the numerous volcanoes around the world as water portals for the ﬂood of Noah.(16) So hope those things stay put for now!
We're not predicting anything. Just pointing out that the paths of these eclipses, this year and seven years from now, are quite unique and interesting. So buy some approved glasses and watch this amazing eclipse! More eclipse info at the bottom of this article. (17)
Sign #3 The Corrected Jewish Calendar
For all my Christian life I've wondered why the Jewish Calendar was so far off. The Jews, always trying to keep the letter of the Law, are so precise in everything Biblical that they do. But the Jewish calendar says we're in the year 5777. And common sense says that's off by some 200+ years.
James Ussher, an Irish bishop, wrote an incredible book on biblical chronology in the early 1650s. Using Biblical lineage, he sets the date from the Garden of Eden to Jesus' birth to be 4004 BC. So by simply adding 2017 since Jesus' birth to the 4004 years before Jesus' birth, it totals to 6021 years from Adam to today.
6021 is an interesting number because Jesus died in 30AD. And if you add seven years for the Tribulation, we're within a couple of years of completing two thousand years of the Church Age.
We wrote an article back in the 1990s suggesting that the seven-day creation week was God's template of all time, James Ussher one 24-hour day equaling 1000 years. After 4000 years, Jesus came in the 5th and 6th day, bringing life.(14)
But the Jewish calendar shows we're in year 5777. So, being that far off I never paid much attention to it. Until now!
It turns out, according to an interview I watched of Michael Norten at a Texas prophecy conference last week, that in 160 AD a Jewish rabbi named Yose Ben Halafta ﬁrst created the Jewish calendar. But he strangely subtracted some 200+ years from his total years counting from Adam.
Purportedly, the reason for the change was that Ben Halafta realized that dating the calendar using a literal method would point to Jesus being the Messiah. He apparently saw that the prophecy in Daniel 9-483 years from the beginning of rebuilding Jerusalem's walls to the coming Messiah, would point directly to Jesus as the Messiah. Oh dear, can't have that!
So the theory is that Ben Halafta subtracted some 200+ years from the Jewish calendar so the Daniel 9 prophecy would not point to Jesus' Triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
When you add back 200 years to 5777, you get 5977. Add 7 years for Tribulation and you get 5984, which is getting close to 6000 total years.
And who knows how many total years he subtracted! Norten believes it was 214! That would mean the Jewish calendar should be 5998. And in September, Tishri 1, the Jewish new year, it will be 5999!
Why is 6,000 years so interesting?
I've taught for over 30 years that God's creation week of six 24-hour days and nights and one 24-hour day and night of rest is His divine template of earthly time.(13) In other words, when the Lord created time, He created 7000 total years from beginning to end.
It's called the "Day-Age" theory and it ﬁts like a glove. God created time and everything He does is perfect. So how many total years would He create? It would obviously be a multiple of seven, His number He uses all through the Bible for completion.(15)
Not to mention that there are two verses where God pointedly refers to one day being "like" a 1000 years.
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 2Pet. 3:8
For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night. Psa. 90:4
Therefore, the ﬁrst four days of creation would be a template the ﬁrst 4000 years of human history. No life was created in the ﬁrst four 24-hour days.
Then, after 4000 years of recorded history, Jesus came to earth and brought "life," in day ﬁve of the template.
"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10b
Therefore, on the 5th day of the divine template (Five is God's number for grace) Jesus arrived bringing "life."
The 5th and 6th days of the template are referred to in scripture in several places. In Hosea, there's an odd and unfulﬁlled prophecy:
"Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him." Hos. 6:1-2
This remarkable unfulﬁlled prophecy states that Israel would be wounded and torn for two days, but that God will raise them up on the third day and they will live in His presence. No one seems to be able to explain this verse.
But if you apply this verse inside the 7000-year template, the prophecy states that for 2000 years, Israel will be wounded and torn, but not destroyed. And after the 2000 years, God would raise Israel up to live in His presence for one day, which equals 1000 years.
Well, that's what happened. We know for a fact that Israel rejected her Messiah and for almost exactly 2000 years, Israel has been scattered around the world, torn and bruised. Israel is waiting for the "third day" where they will live in His presence.
God is currently gathering the Jews once again in their homeland where they will soon begin living in their Messiah's world-ruling presence for 1000 years. "Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years." Rev. 20:6
The 7th day of the Creation Week, God rested. This equates to the 1000-year reign of Jesus on the earth. 4000 + 2000 + 1000 = 7000 total years.
There are also other verses that ﬁt this 7000-year template theory. For instance, when Jesus was on the earth, the only time period recorded in the Bible that He went to the non-Jews, the Samaritans, was speciﬁcally for "two days."
"So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days." John 4:40
"After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee." John 4:43
Applying this to our 7000year divine template, the "two days" would be the 2000 years of Jesus going to the Gentiles. And after that 2000 years, He would return to the Jews for "one day," or 1000 years, which is, of course, the Millennial reign of Christ with Jesus living and reigning from Jerusalem.
Another fascinating example is Exodus 19.
The LORD also said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Ex. 19:10-11
This one gives me chill bumps. Buried in the Old Testament is a direct reference to the Church Age and the Millennial Reign of Christ.
"Today and tomorrow" are days 5 and 6 of our template- the Church Age, where we are "washed" or cleansed by the blood of Jesus. The "third day" is, of course, the 1000-year Millennium where the Jews will live with Jesus on the throne in Jerusalem-"in the sight of all."
So we believe God laid out 4000 years of time before Jesus came and brought life for 2000 years, 6000 total. We still have remaining 1000 years of rest, which is Jesus' reign as King of the Earth.
This 7000-year Divine Template makes the end of 6000 years of human history quite interesting!
We like this topic so much we've invited Mr. Norten to speak at our March 3, 2018 Steeling the Mind Bible Conference at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Should be a good one! Watch for details!
As for the timing of the Rapture being this year-we may not know the day nor the hour, but it sure is fun watching for the season! It WILL happen one day in the future! -Bill Perkins
References: (1) http://compass.org/store/products/Article%3A-Is-The-Rapture-InSeptember%3F.html
(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Missing_years_(Jewish_calendar)#The_missing_years_and_Daniel
(6) http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/230573 http://www.worldoil.com/news/2017/1/11/genie-energy-launches-drilling-servicescompany-in-israel
(13) http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm? recent_news_id=1379#1Uhi12cFH2KdOjXv.99
(17) Eclipse facts: * During a solar eclipse, the Moon's shadow is cast upon the Earth. There are two parts to this shadow - an outer shadow that covers a wide region creating a partial eclipse and a much smaller central shadow that creates the total eclipse. As the Earth rotates, the central shadow creates a thin path known as the path of totality.
* Those outside of the path of totality will experience a partial eclipse, an event nowhere near as dramatic as a total eclipse.
* A total solar eclipse occurs somewhere on the earth once in every 18 months on average.
* In any one location, a total solar eclipse is very rare, occurring on average once every 375 years.
* Even if only 1% of the Sun is visible, it is still 10,000 times too bright to see the exciting eclipse phenomenon. You must be within the path of totality to feel the full experience.
* Even those who know what is happening can be caught off guard by a total solar eclipse. It is eerie, awe-inspiring, unsettling, beautiful, and often emotionally overwhelming.
* It is essential to consider eye safety when planning for the eclipse. People must use APPROVED solar filters to view the partial phases of the eclipse. Don't risk blindness!
* Totality can be viewed safely with the naked eye, but only if you are in the path of totality.
* Click here to see when the eclipse will pass your city:
"The Battle over Jerusalem Has Just Begun" - by Bassam Tawil - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10758/battle-over-jerusalem
The Palestinian "victory" celebrations that took place after Israel removed metal detectors and surveillance cameras from the entrances to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem bode badly for the future of stability and peace in the Middle East.
To the Palestinians and many Arabs and Muslims, the Israeli move is viewed as a sign of weakness. In their eyes, the removal of the security cameras and metal detectors is capitulation, pure and simple.
How do we know this? Easy: look at the Palestinian response. Rather than acknowledging the conciliatory nature of the Israeli government's decision, aimed at easing tensions and preventing bloodshed and violence, the Palestinians are demanding more.
As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the controversy over the Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount, which came after three terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers at the holy site on July 14, is part of a larger battle with Israel.
We have reached a new level in this discourse: Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are now openly admitting that it is not the metal detectors or security cameras that are at issue.
Instead, they admit, this is a battle over sovereignty on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. For the Palestinians, the real battle is over who controls Jerusalem and its holy sites. The real battle, in their eyes, is over the Jews' right to live in their own state in the Middle East. Many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel's right to exist, and that is what this battle is really about.
The Palestinians, feeling triumphant now that Israel has complied with their demand to remove the metal detectors and security cameras, have been clarifying that it is only the first step in their fight to eradicate any Israeli presence in the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
No one explained this Palestinian position better than the PA foreign minister, Riad Malki, who announced on July 27 that the Palestinians consider the Israeli decision to dismantle the metal detectors and security cameras as surrender. He also confirmed what many Israeli and Palestinian political analysts have been saying for the past few weeks -- that the conflict over Israel's security measures was merely an excuse used by the Palestinians to force Israel to make political and territorial concessions.
In a speech before the Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo, Malki explained: "The issue is not metal detectors or cameras, but who is in charge and who has sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque." Malki went on to explain that the Palestinians do not see the recent conflict as a security issue, but rather as a purely political matter. "The battle over Jerusalem has just begun," he said, adding that the wave of Palestinian protests over the Israeli security measures had succeeded in "thwarting" Israel's "conspiracy" to change the historical and legal status quo at the Temple Mount.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki (pictured above in 2009) said last week in a speech: "The issue is not metal detectors or cameras, but who is in charge and who has sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque... The battle over Jerusalem has just begun."
We are witnessing a rare moment of truth from the PA foreign minister, in which, ironically, he refutes claims by many in the international community and media to the effect that the recent conflict was sparked by metal detectors and surveillance cameras.
The Palestinian protests that came in response to the security measures indicated that it was more about hating Israel and trying to force it to its knees than about the removal of metal detectors and cameras. During these protests, especially at the entrances to the Temple Mount, Palestinians chanted slogans that included threats to destroy Israel and kill Jews.
"We are marching toward Al-Aqsa (Mosque), and we will sacrifice millions of martyrs," was one of the chants at the protests, which were led by top Palestinian religious and political leaders. Another chant: "Khaybar Khaybar ya yahud, jaish Mohammed sa yaoud" ("Khaybar Khaybar O' Jews, the army of Mohammed will return") -- a reference to the Battle of Khaybar in the year 628 between Prophet Mohammed and his followers against the Jews living in the oasis of Khaybar. The Jews were forced to surrender after being slaughtered and were thereafter permitted to live in Khaybar on condition that they give half of their produce to Muslims. The protesters also chanted slogans calling on Hamas's military wing, Ezaddin Al-Qassam, to launch terror attacks against Israel.
For the most part, the foreign journalists covering the protests did not perceive these chants as intimidating or anti-Semitic. The protests were largely reported in a positive sense as peaceful "civil disobedience." This is precisely the rhetoric, however, that fuels the Palestinian fire to take to the streets and hurl stones and petrol bombs at Israeli police officers and civilians.
Eighteen-year-old Omar Al-Abed, however, is one Palestinian who paid careful attention to such rhetoric. On July 22, he stormed the home of a Jewish family in Halamish, in the West Bank, and stabbed to death a grandfather and his son and daughter during a dinner to celebrate the birth of a grandchild. Shortly before setting out on his murderous mission, Al-Abed posted a note on his Facebook page in which he echoed many of the slogans from the protests, and went further by describing Jews as "sons of pigs and monkeys."
The carnage in Halamish was perpetrated by a single Palestinian. Perhaps he acted alone, without having been indoctrinated to murder Jews and without communal support for doing so? Well, let us check: how did the Palestinian street react to his murderous rampage? How did Al-Abed's own mother respond? The terrorist's mother was filmed handing out sweets to visitors in celebration of her son's decision to take the lives of the three Jews. "I'm proud of my son because he has raised our heads high," she declared.
Perhaps the pride in the terrorist was simply a local affair? No, even that hope is smashed: as many Palestinians, especially in the Gaza Strip, took to the streets to celebrate the brutal murder, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh phoned the terrorist's father to tell him, "Your son brought pride to the nation."
The Halamish bloodshed brought intense pride to the terrorist's mother, to those around her, and to the Palestinian world at large.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who never misses an opportunity to paint himself as a peacemaker par excellence, chose to remain quiet about the murder. Make no mistake: his loud silence over the Halamish terror attack is being interpreted by many Palestinians as an act of condoning the murder of three Jews. Whether condoning the atrocity or terrified of his own people, one thing is certain: Abbas and most Palestinian leaders have trained the Palestinians well. When they smell Jewish blood, they attack.
This is precisely what is going on in the Temple Mount mayhem.
Now that Israel has complied with their demands regarding the security measures, Palestinians feel more emboldened than ever. Murder and incitement, in their case, does indeed pay. They got away with the murder of the two police officers at the Temple Mount; they got away with the murder of the three family members in Halamish, and, in their view, they also got away with the recent violent protests and incitement against Israel.
Buoyed by the Israeli "capitulation," the Palestinians are now talking about a "historic victory" over Israel. They are boasting that they have twisted Israel's arm and forced it to "retreat." Palestinian cartoonists and commentators have expressed similar sentiments, arguing that the removal of the metal detectors and security cameras is largely the result of their violence, terrorism and threats.
Once again, an Israeli gesture is being misinterpreted by the Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims as weakness. This sort of deliberate misreading is far from new. Yet every time it occurs, it sets the stage for another cycle of violence. The result of Israeli conciliation is invariably Palestinian violence.
The Palestinians have added it up just right. In their own words, they aim at an escalation of violence because they believe that what Israel did is the first step toward even more concessions and even further retreat.
Jerusalem destroyed, Jerusalem redeemed - Shlomo Riskin - http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-destroyed-jerusalem-redeemed-parshat-devarim/
Just prior to the conclusion of the 1978 Camp David Accords, US President Jimmy Carter submitted a letter for Prime Minister Menachem Begin that caused the Israeli leader to turn pale and promptly return it to the leader of the free world unsigned. "But I did not ask you to give up Jerusalem," said the astonished American president. "I only asked that you put it on the negotiating table."
Begin answered in his characteristically poetic style: "For two-thousand years, we Jews have been reciting a verse from King David's Psalms at every wedding ceremony: 'If I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose her cunning: Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I hold thee not above my highest joy.'"
"But does Judaism not state that you must give up a limb in order to save the entire organism?" remonstrated Carter. "Yes," countered Begin, "but not if the limb is one's heart. No human being can live without a heart. Jerusalem is the heart of Israel and the heart of the Jewish people."
At this time of year, this season of Tisha B'Av, we are especially cognizant of the devastating impact of the destructions of our nation's heart in 586 BCE. and 70 CE. With this in mind, it is important to note that Tisha B'Av is always immediately preceded by the biblical portion, Devarim (Deuteronomy). What is the significance of this calendrical juxtaposition?
Firstly, there is the linguistic connection between Parshat Devarim and Tisha B'Av. In our biblical portion, Moses expresses his exasperation with the Jewish people: "How (eichah) am I able to bear your contentiousness, your burdens and your quarrels?!" To underscore the appearance of the word "eichah," this verse is publicly chanted with the same haunting cantillation as the Scroll of Lamentations (Megillat Eichah), which is read on the evening of Tisha B'Av.
Going one step deeper, this linguistic connection points to the sin that led to Jerusalem's first and second destruction and subsequent long exile: internal strife among the Jewish people. Our sages defined this contentiousness and quarrelsomeness as "sinat chinam," causeless hatred. And since "every generation that does not build [the Temple] is as if they destroyed it" [Jerusalem Talmud, Yoma 1:1], it is painfully evident that we have much room for improvement.
Despite this daunting challenge, it gives us hope to know that Jerusalem, whose destruction we currently mourn and feel, is also the city from which the redemption of humanity will one day come. Jerusalem, once the paradigmatic symbol of destruction and loss, will become a symbol of reunification and restoration.
Isaiah, in presenting his vision of redemption, calls out in the Haftarah of the Sabbath immediately following Tisha B'Av: "Comfort you, comfort you ("Nachamu nachamu"), My people, speak about Heart-Jerusalem ("lev-Yerushalayim"), and call out unto her; her period (of exile) has been completed, her iniquity has been forgiven" [40:1-2].
Note that the prophet refers to the city as Heart-Jerusalem, a compound noun ("speak about Heart-Jerusalem"); it is "heart" that defines Jerusalem. This is what Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook likely referred to when he said of the Western Wall, "There are some hearts that are of stone; and there are some stones that are truly hearts." Such are the heart-stones of the Western Wall; such is Jerusalem - heart-stone.
According to all of our prophets, this message will be conveyed at the end of the days from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, to which all the nations will flock. At that time they will beat their swords into ploughshares, forsake entirely the cultivation of warfare [Is. 2, Mic. 4], and "the nations will change to speak a pure language; they will all call upon the name of God and serve Him with a united resolve" [Zeph. 3:9]. Jerusalem will become the vehicle for Israel's expression of the purpose for its being, the effectuation of a redeemed world of peace.
For these reasons and more, Prime Minister Begin was absolutely correct to insist that Jerusalem cannot be placed on the negotiating table! Jerusalem will one day reunite all of humanity within her bosom, for she is the heart of humanity. The love that will emanate from Jerusalem will be a love without cause ["ahavat chinam"], repairing the hatred without cause that caused Jerusalem's demise in the first place.
We have the obligation and the ability to transform this vision to reality by taking it upon ourselves on a daily basis to do our part to increase love without cause. B'ezrat Hashem, in this merit, we will witness the full rebuilding of Jerusalem speedily and in our days.
Russia flies 2,000 mercenary troops into Syria -
Russia is engaged in a major buildup in Syria, both in support of the de-escalation zones established in conjunction with the United States, and in order to solidify its military control of the country.
debkafile's military and intelligence sources reported exclusively on Wednesday, August 2, that 2,000 mercenaries had just been airlifted into the country, boosting to a total of 5,000 the number of mercenaries on hire from the Wagner Group private contractors for service under the Russian flag in Syria. They are all retirees from elite units of the Russian ground forces, air force or navy.
In another new Russian project, our military sources also report the arrival in the past few days of Muslim troops from the republic of Ingushetia. Although clad in Russian military police uniforms, they are actually commandoes trained in anti-terror warfare. They have been posted as "ceasefire monitors" at the three de-escalation zones established by Russia and the United States along the Syrian borders with Israel, Jordan and Iraq.
President Vladimir Putin and his defense minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu have ramped up the Russian military presence in Syria without adding ground and armored troops - even though the Russian constitution bars the recruitment of mercenaries to fight overseas for profit.
Moscow is a veteran client of the Wagner Group contractors, which largely resemble the US Blackwater security contractor now calling itself Academi. It was hired to provide military personnel during 20014 and 2015 for Moscow's battle to conquer Crimea and in support of the pro-Russian separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Their mercenaries first arrived in Syria in October 2015, right after Moscow stepped up its intervention in the civil war. In March 2016, several hundred of them fought in the big battle that wrested Palmyra from ISIS.
Ironically, the Wagner Group does not officially exist and is not listed anywhere in Russia. However, a company bearing that name operates out of Argentina, even though its recruits receive training in Russia. They are trained, our sources reveal, at a base of the 10th special forces brigade of GRU military intelligence, located near the village of Molkino in the Krasnodar area of southern Russia, about 150km northeast of the Black Sea. The identity of Wagner's boss is held secret, but Western intelligence sources name him as Dmitry Utkin, who until 2013 was a lieutenant colonel in the 2nd Spetznaz brigade.
The placement of Russian Muslim forces or hired mercenaries on Israel's northern border - in the guise of ceasefire monitors - poses a serious problem for Jerusalem. Russia's record for keeping its promises and commitments on its military moves in Syria is far from good. The US has confirmed that Russia gave Israel a commitment that Iranian and pro-Iranian forces, including Hezbollah, would not be allowed to approach the Syrian-Israeli border. But Israel can't be certain how the Ingushets or the mercenaries will react if confronted with such troops. Will they resort to arms to evict them or let them stay?
The coming DEBKA Weekly out on Friday, Aug. 4, expands on the Russian buildup in Syria and its repercussions.
Nearing Midnight: "Mark of the Beast" Chip Receives Alarming Amount of Positive PR - Todd Strandberg -
The tech company, Three Square Market, has received a flood of news coverage over its plan to implant microchips into the hands of a majority of its workers. The firm has 80 employees at the company's River Falls headquarters, and more than 50 agreed to get implants.
The chip uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, the same method used with contactless credit cards. When activated by a reader, a small amount of data flows between the two devices via electromagnetic waves.
Todd Westby, the CEO of Three Square Market said participation was not required. When he told the team about the plan, there was some reluctance mixed with excitement. After further conversations, the majority of the workers agreed to get chipped. Westby said the implants are not GPS enabled, do not allow for tracking workers and do not require passwords.
"There's really nothing to hack in it, because it is encrypted just like credit cards are ... The chances of hacking into it are almost nonexistent because it's not connected to the Internet," he said. "The only way for somebody to get connectivity to it is to basically chop off your hand."
The implants are made by BioHax International, a Swedish company specializing in 'smart biometric sensors." They have a hefty price tag of $300 per chip.
Epicenter, a startup hub in Sweden, started offering BioHax chips to employees earlier this year, according to The Los Angeles Times. The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.
The technology for this type of microchip is at least 30 years old. I find it amazing that so many news outlets would cover this story as if General Motors had announced that they are about to come out with a new flying car.
There is a good reason why these things are called implants. They have a width equal to a Tic Tac mint, and their length is similar to the diameter of a dime. Insertion requires being jabbed with an instrument the size of a meat thermometer. Because it is classified as minor surgery, people administering the implants have to be trained to do so.
I can find a host of problems with radio frequency identification chips. I would not put it past criminals to chop off hands; and modern scanners could easily copy the ID number. If someone quits a firm, he or she would have a useless implant stuck in his or her hand. Being a fidgety person, I would find it very uncomfortable to have something so large under my skin.
There have been health concerns with the implants. A research article by the Associated Press has shown that lab mice and rats that were injected with glass-encapsulated RFID transponders "developed malignant, fast-growing, lethal cancers in up to 1% to 10% of cases." When PositiveID, a leading U.S. firm in RFID technology responded to the report, they said the levels of fatal cancer in dogs was only 1% (causing its stock to drop in half).
In 1994, I went to a prophecy lecture given by Terry Cook. He spoke primarily on the RFID microchip implant. The meeting time was delayed because of the lack of seating needed for the large number of people who came to hear Terry's speech. Hotel workers spent twenty minutes bringing in extra chairs to the meeting hall.
What made Cook into a sensation back then is a book he had written depicting how modern technology could be used to track all humans on the earth-in a centralized financial system. At the time, his focus was on a firm called Verichip. The technology is now so basic, almost any chip manufacturer could mass produce the implants the Antichrist will likely use to enslave the world.
It is very chilling to notice that we have arrived at the point where the devil's most sinister tool for controlling the masses-is being presented in the press as a logical choice for making security and financial decisions. All the major media stories about the BioHax chips read like propaganda fluff pieces, which shows that Satan must be working to desensitize the public about this technology. Because Bible prophecy is true, the day will soon come when people will line-up to get the mark the same way they are waiting for the latest iPhone.
I remember reading end-time cartoons from the 1970s that had people tattooed with "666" on their skin, and it baffled me how people could accept something so blatantly evil. It is now clear that the precise mix of technology and deception has created an environment wherein people fail to realize the deadly sequences of hearing the call, "Just hold out your hand if you want to join the club."
The huge surge of social media and the need to belong-to be accepted, is another reason why taking a chip will become fashionable. The increase in body tattooing and body piercing over this past decade will also serve as a natural transition to accept a microchip. It might even become a status symbol!
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name"(Revelation 13:16-17).
Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men - By Grant Phillips -
The Shadow debuted on the radio July 31, 1930. Many of the episodes were voiced by Orson Welles. Actor Frank Readick, Jr. introduced the program with, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"
I have noticed for some time now even in our area, and we live in the Bible belt, that evil is not just peeking its head out of the box, but is out of the box, running free from community to community. In my opinion, much of the rising crime experienced here and elsewhere is due to the increased use of illicit drugs. Murders and thefts, even here, are on the rise while law enforcement is kept busy just trying to keep up.
Across this nation every commandment God gave us is being trampled upon by those who want nothing to do with Him and anything He stands for. In the United States alone nearly one million infant murders (abortions) occur annually. Other murders, thefts and rapes are daily seen on the printed pages of the newspapers.
Speaking of the news, the media in general, more often than not, cannot be trusted to tell the truth. We hear of "fake news," which is nothing more than a politically correct way to avoid calling it what it is - a lie. This comes from those who should be reporting truth, instead of pushing their agenda via lying.
Honor and moral character have gone the way of the Dodo bird. There is no respect for others. Sex is our god. Drugs and booze promise happiness, but deliver destruction instead. Women are sex objects. Men are brutes. Children are raised with no boundaries. Those who do live under a moral umbrella and show honor in their lives are rebutted and attacked by a sin-induced society.
I stated earlier that illicit drug usage is a major reason for the problem, but what has caused this problem? If we dig deep enough we find that our rejection of God, individually and as a society, is the real culprit. When we kick God out of our lives what do we get in return? Evil. The evil in our souls is no longer hidden. When boundaries are removed the true nature of man appears and it is nothing but evil.
"He went on: "What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person's heart, that evil thoughts come-sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person." (Mark 7:20-23)
Jesus spoke these words nearly two thousand years ago and our societal actions confirm every word. We are witnessing the results of the evil which lurks in the hearts of men. We have arrived at the point in our society that no evil is too outlandish to be hidden. Anything goes.
This isn't new, unfortunately, but I have noticed in our local newspapers the following: Just within the last few weeks;
A 42 year old man was arrested for first-degree rape and five counts of first-degree sodomy of a 4 year old child
An 18 year old man was charged with raping a 12 year old girl
A 58 year old man was charged with seven counts of child molestation from having sexual contact with five different children, ages 4 to 18, over a 25 year period
That's only the tip of the iceberg in this area. Crimes such as these against innocent children are the lowest of the low. A month or so ago a mother and her boyfriend were arrested for sexual acts against her own small child.
Any adult found guilty of these heinous crimes against children should be executed by the state forthwith. This type of person is worse than an animal and has forfeited their right to life as far as I'm concerned, and I wholeheartedly believe that this would be the justice meted out by God Himself. When the King of kings and Lord of lords is ruling during the Millennium over the earth, in my opinion, this will be the verdict for these crimes.
I am old enough to know that evil has always been present, and much has gone on "behind closed doors" in the past. What is different in our day is that the evil heart of man has been unleashed by removing God from society. It is all now out in the open and is even more prevalent than ever before than in previous years. The hounds of hell are getting bolder and 21st century man is running head-long into the jaws of hell while the pseudo church entertains those on their way to the same place.
The true Church needs to be much in prayer that at least some will wake up to the Truth of the Gospel and be saved before Christ returns. I don't know when Jesus is coming for us in the Rapture, but I often ask myself, "How much worse can evil get until God Almighty removes His Church and casts down judgment on a rebellious world."
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? God knows. How much longer will He put up with it? All I can say is keep witnessing and keep looking up. It may be sooner than we think.
Daily Jot: Iran, Turkey on course for prophetic Ezekiel 38 alliance - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Ezekiel 38 prophesies about a tremendous end-time battle where a coalition of nations led by an antichrist figure coming from areas in modern Turkey invades Israel and is destroyed by God. The coalition, led by "Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (v 38:3)" is comprised of Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Magog, Gomer and Togarmah. Ancient history and maps confirm that Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah are located in modern Turkey. Persia is modern Iran. Libya is Libya and Ethiopia is likely modern Sudan. For this coalition to come against Israel, Shiite Iran must submit to and unite with Sunni Turkey, something that appears nearly impossible today, but may be changing even as you read this.
There is a complex matrix in which Turkey's leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to be moving the pieces in place where Iran and Turkey can become allies. In May, Turkey and Iran signed a Russian-brokered agreement to establish safe zones in Syria, where the two countries are at odds over Syria's leader Bashar Assad. This may not seem like much, but since then there has been more activity seeming to bring Iran and Turkey together. This strange relationship is tied together by Qatar, which has caused a diplomatic "crisis" with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain over accusations that Qatar is supporting "extremists" -most likely translated-Iran. This group wants Qatar to expel Turkey's troops and limit it's ties with Iran.
Turkey has a strong trade and military relationship with Qatar, sporting a military base there that opened in 2016. On July 23, Erdogan met with the Saudis and Kuwaitis, attempting to deescalate the crisis. At the same time, however, Erdogan proclaimed that all Muslims should visit the Temple Mount and protect Jerusalem while accusing Israeli Jews of "attempting to take the Mosque from Muslim hands on the pretext of fighting terrorism." On July 30, Erdogan organized thousands in Istanbul to protest Israel's Temple Mount actions and to show solidarity with the "Palestinian" people. At the same time Erdogan provoked "Palestinians" to act against Israel, Iran worked in tandem to literally "feed" the riots.
The Times of Israel reported that Iran provided boxes of food and drink to Palestinian protesters at the Temple Mount. The aid reportedly came with a flyer attached depicting the Dome of the Rock and a quote attributed to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reading, "With the help of God, Palestine will be freed. Jerusalem is ours." Turkey's cooperation with Iran in Syria, the apparent teamwork against Israel on the Temple Mount protests, and Turkey's attempts to hold Saudi Arabia and Egypt at bay while strengthening ties with Iran's ally Qatar lend some small insight into how these Sunni and Shiite nations may join together against Israel in the "acharit-hayamim," meaning the end of days. But it won't last when God intervenes with fire and brimstone as Ezekiel 38: 21 says, "...every man's sword shall be against his brother."
Daily Devotion: Motivated by Compassion - By Greg Laurie -
"And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things." -Mark 6:34
Sometimes I think Christians regard nonbelievers as the enemy. Preachers will rant and rave about certain sins people are committing. But let's remember something: behind that sin is an empty, searching, lost person whom God loves.
We are not called to condemn. We are called to appeal to nonbelievers with the message of the gospel. We need compassion. Jesus had it overflowing from His life. He was moved by the needs of others.
When He saw Mary and Martha weeping over the death of their brother, Lazarus, He "groaned in the spirit and was troubled" (John 11:33). That phrase carries the idea of physical, emotional, and spiritual anguish. Jesus is the only one who can accurately say, "I feel your pain." As He watched Mary and Martha weeping, His heart went out to them. He was in anguish, too. He hurt for them. He hurt with them. And He wept. That's our Savior.
Jesus knew the same crowds in Jerusalem who cried out, "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:9) would soon shout, "Crucify Him!"
Yet He felt compassion, saying, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Matthew 23: 37).
Paul wrote to the Philippians, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (2:5). We should seek to imitate the Lord and have compassion.
If we want to be used by God in any capacity, this must be foremost in our minds and hearts-not obligation, not mere duty, not guilt, but a God-given burden for people.
FROM THE HEART
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