Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Coming Tribulation Warning - Pastor Mike Taylor -
15 "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:15-22)
As the hour approaches for the start of the Tribulation and the end of this present age, I have many Christians that email me and wonder "Are we in the Tribulation now, or can it get any worse that what we see already at the present?"....Some come to the erroneous conclusion that we are in the first part of the Tribulation, as the world is going stark raving mad. Environmental disasters of earthquakes, volcano eruptions, drought leading to famine in third world countries, ISIS beheading Christians in the Middle East, and nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea leave many wondering if we are indeed, in the first years of the coming Tribulation. Are we?
The Lord God gave us definite signs of when the beginning of the Tribulation would start, and although I would agree that we are bumping right up to the time the Bible calls Jacob's trouble, we have not crossed that red line that says we in the Tribulation. Why do I say that?
THE PURPOSE OF THE COMING TRIBULATION
The Tribulation has a primary, secondary purpose and even a third reason for the time. From the perspective of Israel the Tribulation has a primary purpose. From the prophet Daniel, that primary purpose is six fold:
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Daniel and the Jews] and upon thy holy city, [Jerusalem] to (1) finish the transgression, and to (2) make an end of sins, and to (3) make reconciliation for iniquity, and to (4) bring in everlasting righteousness, and to (5) seal up the vision and prophecy, and to (6) anoint the most Holy." (Daniel 9:24)
That primary purpose had been going on from the rebuilding of the Temple after the Babylonian exile and ancient Israel's return to her own land for 483 years, when Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem riding on the back of a donkey.
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." (Zechariah 9:9)
Thus Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in the 483rd year of the Prophecy and if Israel would have accepted their Messiah, then the Kingdom of God would have come upon the earth at that time, but that was not God's plan. Several days later, Jesus would be tried, convicted in a Sanhedrin court, sentenced by a Roman governor and crucified on a cross for the sole reason of being the Messiah they did not want to accept. Their image of their "political Savior" was a King David type, not this lowly carpenter who wanted to save them from their sins. They didn't need a Savior, (in their deceived thinking) as they had the law of Moses, which they didn't realize could not save them from being separated from God the Father for all eternity. They knew of the timing of the coming Messiah, and here He was standing right in front of them, but they didn't like His spiritual message of repentance.
When Jesus died on that cross, the time period of 490 years that Gabriel told Daniel would be required to fulfill that prophecy, stopped and has been on hold now for nearly 2000 years. That leaves a final 7 years of the prophecy to the nation of Israel on hold. God will complete His promise to the Jewish people in the near future.
But for the Church that was born at Pentecost because of the blood sacrifice Jesus paid, points 1-4 of the above verse was accomplished at the cross. The last two points of 5-6 are yet to be fulfilled, but neither of them apply to the Church anyway. The prophecy is for the Jewish people and of Jerusalem with a rebuilt Temple standing on the Temple Mount and the anointing of the Messiah taking place at the 2nd Coming of Jesus to reign and rule for a Millennium.
The primary purpose of the Tribulation, therefore, is to effect the national redemption of the Jews.
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.
4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto theLord, as in the days of old, and as in former years." (Malachi 3:2-4)
Israel will be refined through much persecution, until they recognize their Messiah that their forefathers rejected in 33 AD and they still do today.
There is a secondary purpose as outlined in Revelation chp. 9:
"Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." (Revelation 9:21)
In reading the whole of chapters 6- 9 of this apocalyptic book, gives you the reason for the coming Tribulation. God is putting down all rebellion upon the earth, known as the "nations" who will not repent of their sinful lives, or give God any glory. But those who love their unrighteousness and sinful practices will not repent even in the face of this horrific judgment that is being poured out on them, and it only gets worse, much worse.
This secondary purpose is to purge this earth of unrepentant, rebellious mankind that rejects Christ as Lord of their lives. God will nearly wipe this planet clean of all human life. By definition, to be a Christian, one must repent of one's sins. So the Church has no purpose in God's judgment against these "unrepentant, lawless" sinners.
There is also a third reason for the Tribulation. It is to allow Satan full and free reign over the earth and its inhabitants. Among the many purposes of Heaven outlined in God's Word is the trial of Satan. At the conclusion of the Tribulation, there will no doubt remaining among the angels and the inhabitants of God's realm, (the saints of God) to the depth of Satan's guilt or the severity of the forthcoming punishment. This was prophesied in Isaiah what would become of Lucifer, now known as Satan (the adversary) when he was cast out of heaven when he proclaimed his infamous "I wills" to be like the Most High God....
"Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?" (Isaiah 14:15-17)
HARPAZO OF THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD
The doctrine of immanency teaches that Jesus could come at any moment and "snatch by force" His redeemed bride which is HARPAZO in the Greek that Paul spoke of in 1st Corinthians and 1st Thessalonians
15 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (HARPAZO) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1st Thessalonians 4:15-18)
What is the dictionary definition of what Paul wrote above of the HARPAZO, or being "caught up" in English..
1) to seize, carry off by force
2) to seize on, claim for one' s self eagerly
3) to snatch out or away
The fulfillment of this passage could come at any moment, from the day of Paul until the starting point of the Tribulation. How do I know that it is confined to that period of time? Glad you asked. Because the Bible expressly promises us that the Tribulation will not start until Satan has total control over this earth.
In order for Satan to have total control (and therefore no excuse) the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and His ministry of identifying and restraining evil must be removed.
Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit would indwell within me until He returns, as I am neither of the "house of Israel" or part of the Christ rejecting Gentile nations and have no part in the coming Tribulation, but the scripture says that the coming Anti-Christ will overcome the "saints" during the tribulation.
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Revelation 13:7-8)
If the Holy Spirit must be 'taken out of the way' BEFORE the Antichrist can be revealed, which is the only logical way to interpret what Paul wrote in 2nd Thessalonians 2:7-9,
7 "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,"
So if God is withdrawing the work of the Holy spirit, that would leave me comfortless, if as a Christian I am found to be still present during the time known as Jacob's Trouble, the Tribulation. If God has left me alone just when I need Him the most, then Jesus broke His Word, and we know Jesus cannot lie.
16 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14:16-18)
No matter how I try to read the above verses otherwise, I cannot be present during this time. Until the Holy Spirit is "taken out of the way" then that Wicked cannot be revealed, which is the Anti-Christ.
This may be confusing to some, but let us identify the players in the preceding verses listed above in 2nd Thessalonians 2:7-9. The "mystery of inquity" or the spirit of the Anti-Christ (1st John 4:3) "He who letteth". First, "he" is a personal pronoun, so this isn't a 'thing' to be taken out of the way, but a 'Him'. 'To let' is an old English phrase that signifies indwelling, as in the phrase, "Room to Let."
When the verse speaks of "that Wicked" it is also a personal pronoun and in context, refers to the one whom Jesus will destroy at His Second Coming.
So in modern everyday English, the meaning of the passage says "the Anti-Christ won't be revealed until the Holy Spirit's presence is taken out of the way"...So the point of the passage that should not be any bone of contention, is that if the Holy Spirit is removed, and we have God's Holy Spirit within us, and Jesus will NOT leave us alone without comfort, then if the Holy Spirit is leaving, then so shall God's Church. Every born again believer on this planet will be removed at the very same instant as God's Holy Spirit. Since Satan cannot overcome God, and God is dwelling in me, then the Anti-Christ can't overcome me if I were still on the earth.
I cannot picture a situation in which I would lose the Holy Spirit's indwelling presence while I am still alive on this earth. It is unthinkable.
So now that I hope you can see that the Church will be removed prior to the Anti-Christ being revealed and we will not be subject to God's Wrath. Now some say that the first part of the Tribulation is promoted by Satan and evil men. Many try to say that God's wrath is not revealed until the 6th seal is opened, as the righteousness indignation of God's judgment is finally revealed..is that true? I ask you. Who is opening the seals of the "title deed to this earth" by removing all rebellion on the planet? From the first seal until the last, the author of this judgment is Jesus Christ the Lord. He is causing events to happen. He is using men to enact judgment on other lawless men, just as He used Babylon and Assyria as the iron rod of judgment on Israel for their lawless behavior and rejecting the laws of God. So here God is doing the same thing by using men to bring about the beginning of His wrath indirectly, but will show His indignation directly in subsequent seals of judgment. In chp. 6, the men of earth know who is causing the problems and the evil that befalls them, and they cry out:
15 "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:15-17)
LET US ANAZLYZE THIS COMING TRIBULATION.
Where do we get seven years of tribulation? Some ask me that question and assert that there is no basis for it...
Daniel says that Antichrist rules for one 'week' -- or seven years.
27 "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Daniel 9:27)
I've even had some deceived notions that this above verse is speaking of Jesus causing a covenant to be broken in mid-week, but clearly it is speaking of an abomination of desolation that only happened one other time with Antiochus Epiphanes when he desecrated the Holy Temple and spawned the Macabbean revolt.
The first three and one-half years are a period of false peace for Israel. Because of confirming a covenant with Israel, the coming Anti-Christ will reveal himself by enforcing a pre-existence covenant that is possibly the Oslo Accord from the earth 1990s. The last three and one-half years are a period of intense persecution and Great Tribulation for the Jewish people. It is the remaining 7 years left to fulfill the prophecy given by Gabriel to Daniel, that has been on hold for the Age of Grace that we have been living in for almost 2000 years now.
No matter how novel an interpretation one may develop to argue against the seven-year period, Daniel also identifies it as a period of 2520 days, divided into two periods of 1260 days each. The first part is the Tribulation that causes a false peace for Israel, but is surrounded by unrest and war around the globe. The last 1260 days are known as the Great Tribulation, when the AC is revealed as the abomination that causeth desolation, and Israel will know they have made a pact deal with the devil. They will run for their very lives, but many will not believe the prophecy and will not escape into the wilderness, just as it was in 70 AD when those who believed fled to the mountain fortress in Petra, in the Jordanian wilderness. (see chp. 12 of Revelation v. 14-17)
Now to those who make a wishful thinking by asking the specific question "why cannot Christ's coming for His elect occur during the first half of the tribulation?" Scripture outlines a season (of tribulation) for the purpose of judgment that is to last seven years.
As mentioned, the tribulation is the not the time for the Church's redemption, it is Israel's time. The purpose in general is the refinement of Israel as silver is refined in the fiery furnace for purification, and the removal of rebellion and the judgment of the lost. The Church is being judged now in this Age of Grace. Those who have God's earnest deposit of His Holy Spirit residing within their own spirit have a guarantee of redemption and glorification when Jesus comes for His bride, His Church. The Church of the Living God is neither under judgment or in need of redemption. She has already been redeemed, and judged righteous by the blood of the Lamb, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
To not believe the above redemption of our bodies at the rapture of the Church is to believe that Jesus' sacrifice in His own blood on a roman cross was not good enough to save us to the uttermost. It is to believe in a type of Catholic purgatory that Jesus did NOT pay it all once for all time.
WHAT IF WE DO HAVE TO SUFFER SOME OF THE TRIBULATION?
Some hypothesize, and it's pure speculation, that if there is not a removable of the Bride of Christ before the Tribulation starts, could it not cause some to turn away from their faith, as was talked about in the gospels. They say, "won't there be some suffering on the part of Christians?"..."and if so, we are causing those to become discouraged and fall away".
I agree that we shall not escape all suffering, as that has been part of the human condition since man was created. There is persecution and modern day martyrdom in such places as the Middle East, Communist China, and Central Africa. This is not an ancient concept, but continues to this day by evil men.
There is a major difference between the sufferings of men at the hand of other evil men, by one phrase ..."The Wrath of God". Tribulation saints differ from the Bride of Christ saved during the Age of Grace, or the Church Age. Those saved during this horrific seven years will have their metal tested as like no other period of time memorial. Evil is rampant. Satan seeks to destroy all mankind, but in the process gain worship for himself, and attempts to destroy all of the nation of Israel to make God out a liar. And I must point out again a major distinction between the saints of the Church age, and the Tribulation saints by God's Holy Word:
Of the Church Age saints, John writes:
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1st John 4:4)
During the Tribulation, it is the saints that are overcome:
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." (Revelation 13:7)
The same Apostle John wrote both verses. Is it not 'pure speculation' to assume that the differences in status are irrelevant? Two set of saints are not the same. The church Age is the Bride, the Tribulation saints wil be the guest at the ceremony as they are in martyrdom.
A final question that has been kicked around on Christian forums I host, that is "if the pre-tribulation rapture of the church is true, how does that give God any glory. Wouldn't it be more glory to Him, if Christ appears amidst the persecution of His saints and rescues them from the Anti-Christ and Satan?" I am reminded of a verse that Jesus spoke to the Apostle Thomas, you now, doubting Thomas?
"Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29)
Paul speaks of this very thing in Romans 8, which if we are saved by grace through faith, when Christ actually appears, how much faith will be necessary when you see Him in all His glory?
24 "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." (Romans 8:24-25)
As bad as it seems, and my friend, it will get exponentially worse, from chp. 6 of Revelation till chp. 19 when the Saints of God come back on white horse clothed in linen, white and clean following the Lord of Lord, and King of Kings..Jesus our God and Savior..
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." (Revelation 19:11-15)
Jesus has come, rebellion has been put down. The saints rule the earth along with our Lord Jesus, and the Millennium starts and returns the earth to what it came from, perfection.
But of this writing, the antichrist has not yet been revealed. The peace treaty has not yet been confirmed. Temple worship has not yet been restored. All these are events that take place BEFORE the Great Tribulation begins. It is that termination of sacrifice that begins the Great Tribulation.
The antichrist can't cause the sacrifice to cease until AFTER it has begun. That can't happen until the Jews possess the Temple Mount. The antichrist cannot take his seat in the Temple of God, causing Israel to reject him, which kicks off the Great Tribulation, until AFTER there is a Temple to sit in.
None of this has happened, but make no mistake, it could happen almost overnight. These events noted just in the preceding two paragraphs are totally INDEPENDENT of the rapture of the Church. None of them exist because we are not in the Tribulation just yet, but it's right over the near horizon and is looming larger and larger with each passing day. We are indeed close, but we are not quite there yet...Reader take warning. I urge you to believe on the only begotten Son of God, slain from the foundation of the earth, and miss this coming Tribulation, by grace through faith.
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." (Romans 10:8-11)
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying to see you standing in front of our Lord Jesus, when we all receive the rewards done in our body for service...If you should need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly listening ear, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or vist me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com, for more biblical messages straight from your Bible...God bless you all..
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
UN chief in Ramallah says no alternative to two-state solution -
During meeting with Palestinian PM, Guterres condemns settlements, calls for all sides to 'avoid forms of incitement'
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remained the only viable option as he made his first visit to the West Bank since taking office.
Guterres spoke after meeting Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah following talks with Israeli leaders on Monday.
"I want to express very strongly [not only] the total commitment of the United Nations but my personal total commitment to do everything for a two-state solution to materialize," he said.
"I have said several times there is no Plan B to a two-state solution."
A two-state solution to the conflict has been endorsed by Israeli and Palestinian leaders for over a decade, but support for the framework has recently been called into question in Jerusalem and Washington.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads what is seen as one of the most right-wing government's in Israel's history, and on Monday said his government would not evacuate Israeli settlements in the West Bank, land which the Palestinians see as the basis of their future state.
Some members of Netanyahu's coalition advocate annexing large swaths of the West Bank currently under full Israeli civil and military control, which critics say would make an independent Palestinian state unviable.
US President Donald Trump has said he wants to reach the "ultimate deal," but has not himself spoke out in favor of the two-state solution, saying he could support whatever solution "both parties like," breaking with decades of US support for Palestinian statehood.
Palestinian leaders have continued to express their support for a two-state solution, but a State Department spokeswoman said last week the US did not want to "bias one side over the other" in peace talks by supporting a two-state solution and no mention of it was made in official statements following a meeting last week between White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Guterres on Tuesday said Israeli settlements are an obstacle to peace, while also noting that they are "illegal under international law."
After meeting Netanyahu Monday, he criticized settlements but also said Palestinians must condemn terrorism.
He said on Tuesday that "it is important to create conditions for leaders of all sides to appeal for calm, to avoid forms of incitement, for violence to settle down."
Israeli leaders have said Palestinian incitement against the Jewish state is a key reason why peace efforts have not advanced.
Peace efforts have been at a standstill since a US-led initiative collapsed in 2014.
Following the meeting with Guterres, Hamdallah called on the United Nations to compel Israel to abide by the rules of international law and impose what he said was international justice that has been absent for 70 years, the official Wafa news agency reported.
Abbas: I Won't Stop Paying Terrorists 'Until My Dying Day' - by Deborah Danan -
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly told President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner that he wouldn't stop payments to convicted terrorists "until his dying day," a leading Palestinian newspaper said Monday.
According to the PA-affiliated Al-Quds newspaper, Kushner once again told Abbas in their Thursday meeting in Ramallah that the "pay to slay" program - in which convicted terrorists and their families are paid a monthly stipend, sometimes to the tune of $3,300 - must stop.
The article quoted Gal Berger, an Israeli journalist covering Arab affairs, as saying that "Abbas informed Kushner that he would never stop paying these salaries until his dying day, even if this cost him the presidency."
After his meeting with Kushner, Abbas issued a statement on Facebook confirming the Al-Quds article in which he vowed: "I will never stop [paying] the allowances to the families of the prisoners and released prisoners, even if this costs me my position and my presidency."
"I will pay them until my dying day," he added.
The PA has paid out over $1 billion in terrorist salaries over the past four years.
"Abbas's statements reflect a measure of the Palestinian anger over the focus of the US delegation on this topic and its disregard of core issues such as the two-state solution and the halting of the settlements," Berger said, according to a translation of the article by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Abbas was also reportedly furious at Kushner's reticence in "defin[ing] the borders on the Palestinian state as the 1967 borders." Kushner, the report said, "stressed the impossibility of halting the settlements in the Palestinian territories, since this would lead to the downfall of the Netanyahu government."
However, the White House adviser was said to have shown "some openness" on the idea of the two-state solution, but that ultimately it "would be a matter to be agreed upon by the Israeli and Palestinian sides."
Abbas was also said to have reemphasized his wish that the 2002 Saudi-led Arab Initiative - which calls for a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem - serve as the basis for any future talks.
If U.S. efforts fail, the report said, Abbas will turn to the UN and demand that resolutions against Israel be passed at the UN Security Council, in addition to petitioning the international body to accept "Palestine" as a full member state.
Israel takes stock of Putin's pull with Iran - Marianna Belenkaya - http://www.al-monitor.com
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Putin's Black Sea residence in Sochi. It was their sixth meeting over the last two years, since Russia's air force began its military operation in Syria. Netanyahu came to express his concern over the intentions of Iran and its allied Shiite militant movement, Hezbollah, to establish a permanent presence in an area of Syria currently being surrendered by the Islamic State (IS).
The Israelis are preoccupied with who is going to play the key role in the postwar future of Syria.
Netanyahu's visit Aug. 23 came within three days of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's speech before diplomats in Damascus, where he put Russia on par with Iran and Hezbollah, thanking them for their support in the fight against terrorism and for Syria's salvation.
The Syrian army and Hezbollah are conducting a successful military operation against IS along the Lebanon-Syria border. There are positive developments on other fronts as well. Thus, against this backdrop, who will be able to point Iran and its allies to the door, and how? Could Putin be useful to Netanyahu to this effect? The answer is no.
"Even if he wanted to, [Putin's] help could be nothing but psychotherapeutic, that is, he could only listen to his Israeli counterpart, but would hardly ever be able to limit Iran's influence in the region. Yet it should have been flattering for Putin to be consulted on such serious geopolitical matters, and in this respect the meeting was mutually beneficial," Andrey Kolesnikov, special correspondent of the Russian Kommersant newspaper and a member of the Kremlin's press pool for 20 years, wrote in describing the Sochi meeting.
Speaking before journalists, the Russian president avoided comments on Netanyahu's complaints about Iran, confining himself to vague generalities of being pleased with "the effective mechanism of cooperation established between [Russia and Israel], including the relationship between the leaders." It was a clear message to Tehran that Moscow hadn't changed its position. Several hours later, this position was confirmed by Vasily Nebenzya, Russia's permanent representative to the UN, who was quoted by Interfax as saying: "We know the position of Israel on Iran, but we believe that Iran is playing a very constructive role in Syria."
Moscow spent several years convincing the international community to acknowledge Iran as a rightful member of the talks on Syria. Though Tehran is a serious competitor of Moscow in Syria militarily - and in the near future economically and politically - the reality is that without Iran, Syria's situation will hardly be stabilized. That is well understood in Moscow.
There is one more point. The very possibility of a dialogue between Moscow and Tehran is getting on Washington's nerves, which gives additional weight to Russia's position in the Syria talks. Besides, the degree of Russia's influence on Iran - if it exists - is irrelevant in this regard. What matters is Russia's appearance of influence, the semblance of power.
That said, Moscow is genuinely taking into consideration Israel's position on regional security. According to Israeli media, Russian Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shane said that after the conflict is settled, pro-Iranian or any other foreign troops should not stay in Syria. The only hitch is that Russia is also a foreign power, and its policy in Syria is mapped out not in the Foreign Ministry, but in the presidential administration and the Defense Ministry. However, no representative of the military was present at the Putin-Netanyahu talks. On the Israeli side, Netanyahu was accompanied by Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, who reportedly provided the Russian president with "sensitive, credible and very disturbing detailed intelligence" on Iran's military activity in Syria - all to convince Moscow that Tehran poses a threat.
Clearly, Israel and the United States want a guarantee there will be no Iranian military bases in Syria, while Iran wants to ensure there will be no American ones. They are unlikely to agree that the only foreign military presence there should be Russian. Moscow is not willing to give up its bases in Tartus and Khmeimim. The Kremlin is now listening to all parties, but is making no promises to anyone.
That means Israel, in the meantime, will have to be satisfied with what it already has - which isn't insubstantial. Moscow is mostly blind to Israel's operations against Hezbollah in Syria, but is vigilant when it comes to preventing any large-scale confrontations of Israeli forces with the Syrian army. One of the most dangerous situations occurred in March, when a week after Netanyahu's Moscow visit the Israeli air force hit the facilities of the Syrian army near Palmyra, allegedly to target a Hezbollah weapons convoy. Syrian air defense forces struck back. Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was told Moscow found "unacceptable" any military clashes between Israel and the Syrian army. Yet the Russians said not a single word about Hezbollah.
Nevertheless, staying between Israel and Iran gives Russia certain space for maneuver. Hezbollah regiments and Iraqi Shiite formations may go home (to Lebanon and Iraq, respectively) on several conditions. First and foremost is Syria's stabilization and guarantees that Iran's interests will be looked after there. Moreover, this departure cannot look like a triumph of Israel and the United States. Russia could become a go-between on this issue, but in any case, there should be an agreement with Iran.
It is noteworthy that on the day Netanyahu was meeting with Putin, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the center in Amman, Jordan, that monitors Syria's southern de-escalation zone had finally started its work. Agreements on monitoring were reached as early as July, and have been a serious worry to Israel. For Russia, however, the de-escalation zones are matters of special pride. Moscow is indeed so proud of negotiating the achievement that at an Aug. 23 meeting with Lebanese Defense Minister Yacoub Sarraf, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared that establishment of the four zones had brought Syria's civil war to an end.
There is, however, no clear-cut agreement on the zone in the Idlib region.
The meeting between Shoigu and Sarraf took place on the same day as the talks between Putin and Netanyahu. This coincidence is rather symbolic - the strategy of Moscow in Syria today resembles a multiple-board chess game.
Nearing Midnight: Bannon vs Globalists and Bible Prophecy
- Terry James -
Observers of end-times events who believe there is an advancing power grab by the globalists elite look with interest at Steve Bannon's exit as President Trump's chief strategist. National politics that make up part of the intrigues going on in the White House are secondary at most, so the thinking goes. Matters involving the long-sought changed world order is all-important in considering the most recent developments in Washington, D.C.
On the secular side, many-perhaps most-media pundits speculate that the Republican establishment types have succeeded in convincing Trump to get rid of the ultranationalist Bannon (as they view him), so Congress will work with Trump in achieving a more rational legislative agenda. These, of course, have no concept that there is a much deeper meaning to all of this.
I take that back to some extent. They do have a strangely twisted thought process that touches on Bible prophecy yet to unfold.
Bannon, it seems, according to a number of these pundits, has an apocalyptic view of the world. He believes that Trump and America somehow are destined to be involved in world history as it winds up.
The media types who purport this to be the case don't go far into this accusation. That is, they don't give us details about how Mr. Bannon's end-times view might possibly have affected any outcome he personally desired to achieve while advising the president.
It is indeed strange...the secular media types sensing and commenting that there is some weird connection to apocalyptic matters in all of these goings-on.
There is such visceral hatred for this president that when anything bad happens, his enemies in media and everyone else find ways to link Trump to the evil involved. For example, this was the case in the recent white supremacist activities and the clashes over confederate statues in Charlottesville. Trump's statements on the matters involved were made to look by mainstream news types like the president took the side of the KKK and the neo Nazis. Anyone who actually heard the president's remarks knows the opposite is true. He plainly called out the evil. But, he made the mistake of saying there was evil on both sides. That gave the haters all the fodder needed to link him directly to the skinheads and all the rest.
In the same sense, Steve Bannon is linked by the mainstream news types to a mindset like the Ayatollahs who want to bring on their version of the apocalypse. That is as deeply into Bannon's "apocalyptic" worldview of geopolitics as they wish to delve. If they can make that linkage in the mind of the American voters-the evil of Steve Bannon to the Iranian religious madmen-their mission is achieved.
Evil that lurks within the mainstream media as it currently exist, in my view, is the real linkage to the chaos now being perpetrated. It is luciferian. It is part of the Saul Alinsky blueprint-being utilized by the George Soros-globalist types-to bring America down so her power to influence is diminished. So her wealth can be redistributed to the have-nots in order to secure power bases for the globalists constructing the changed world order they desire.
There seems to me something boiling beneath the obvious-Bannon's being dismissed from Trump's advisory team in the White House. I have no idea of what that might be. Steve Bannon made the following statement shortly after leaving his post: "The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over." Bannon said further, "We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It'll be something else. And there'll be all kinds of fights, and there'll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over."
He said also, his statement unfortunately laced with profanity, that he was going to fight the globalists every step of the way. Well, you had better have the Lord at your side in that effort, Mr. Bannon. The globalists-knowingly or unknowingly-have the most powerful being ever to be created as their leader. Lucifer the fallen is determined to prepare the planet for the coming of his man of sin. There is no political strategy-even by a top strategist like yourself-that can alter Satan's plan for his Antichrist regime.
But the Lord did so-and with ease-in this last presidential election. He is still in complete control. Trump is God's man for this troubled hour as we move swiftly toward the Rapture of the church.
Meantime, it is much prayer by God's people that is the primary Tool that must lead the fight against the globalists. Prophetically speaking, the battle is already won!
"He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." (Psalms 2:4-9)
North Korean Missile Over Japan "Final Element to Bring Messiah", Says Rabbi - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"Lo, I will send the navi Eliyahu to you before the coming of the awesome, fearful day of Hashem." Malachi 3:23 (The Israel Bible™)
In a dramatic escalation of hostilities, North Korea fired a missile over Japan on Tuesday morning, setting off warning sirens and sending residents running to shelter, and at least according to one rabbi, opening the door for Elijah the Prophet to appear.
At six AM Tuesday morning, an unidentified North Korean missile flew over Erimo Misaki District, on the northern island of Hokkaido, breaking into three pieces before falling into the Pacific Ocean about 733 miles off the Japanese coast. There were no efforts by the Japanese to down the missile as it passed over their airspace. The Trump Administration responded immediately and strongly with the ominous warning, "All options are on the table."
In a commentary on current events, Rabbi Moshe Grylak, co-publisher of the religious Jewish Mishpacha Magazine and a prolific author, hinted last week at just such an escalation, in which North Korea's rogue leader, Kim Jong Un, would be the first to act, engaging in a senseless flexing of nuclear muscle.
However, the rabbi had a Biblical perspective on the turmoil emanating from North Korea, explaining that it is actually part of the process of redemption because it generates the necessary final ingredient to bring the Messiah: fear.
"When the world realizes that all their efforts fail, they will be terrified and some will take this and turn it into fear of heaven," Rabbi Grylak told Breaking Israel News. Rabbi Grylak named this process 'Elijah', the prophet who will return to announce the arrival of the Messiah, as described in the Book of Malachi.
He shall reconcile parents with children and children with their parents, so that, when I come, I do not strike the whole land with utter destruction. Lo, I will send the navi Eliyahu to you before the coming of the awesome, fearful day of Hashem. Malachi 3:24
"Elijah is not an old man with a flowing white beard who will blow on a shofar," explained Rabbi Grylak. "The Elijah that precedes Moshiach (Messiah) is an unprecedented awakening of hearts to God's will."
Rabbi Grylak quoted Michtav MeEliyahui, a book on Jewish philosophy written by Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, a 20th century Talmudic scholar, who wrote, "Only when men come to see the futility and emptiness of a life dedicated to this world, will they be enabled to rise to a spiritual outlook and the light of Moshiach will be revealed."
"This awakening is sorely lacking right now," Rabbi Grylak said. "But when two crazy men threaten the world with nuclear war, it generates fear. That is certainly one way to wake people up."
In fact, multiple conflicts and catastrophes are generating concern around the globe: hurricanes in Texas, multiple armies vying for position in Syria, Iran flexing its muscles, and the internal polarization in America. Rabbi Grylak emphasized that at the root of the turbulence was the issue of Jerusalem and the Jews.
"So many times I heard people say they hate Israel today because when Israel was first established, and even more so after we conquered the Temple Mount in '67, they expected so much from Israel," the rabbi explained. "We disappointed them. The truth is hidden under a great darkness of hatred of Jews. But even within this hatred is the key, the seed of hope from which the Moshiach will grow."
The rabbi cited Isaiah to illustrate how an essential aspect of this pre-Messiah global awakening has to be focused on Jerusalem.
For the sake of Tzion I will not be silent, For the sake of Yerushalayim I will not be still, Till her victory emerge resplendent And her triumph like a flaming torch. Nations shall see your victory, And every king your majesty; And you shall be called by a new name Which Hashem Himself shall bestow. Isaiah 62:1-2
"Israel is presenting itself as a great success, which it is, but we are focusing on the wrong things," Rabbi Grylak said. "We are focusing on the material when what the world really needs from Israel is to be a spiritual light of Torah, to guide them through this fear, to take them to the next stage before it is too late."
Daily Jot: Militarization of local law enforcement - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
This will likely be a very unpopular Daily Jot, but I feel very compelled to write about the militarization of local law enforcement. This began because Congress passed the 1996 National Defense Authorization Act which allowed the Defense Secretary to give local law enforcement excess military equipment at no cost. Under the George W. Bush Administration the "gifts" totaled approximately $9.5 million a year. Then under the immediate past "president's" administration, the value of military transfers to local law enforcement agencies jumped to nearly $800 million in 2014, including mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, airplanes, helicopters, assault rifles and grenade launchers.
After police showed up in Ferguson, Mo in full military gear, the optics were so bad that the immediate past "president" issued an executive order prohibiting heavy equipment transfers and regulating some of the other assault-oriented ones. Now President Donald Trump issued another executive order rescinding the last one and opening the door to MRAPs once again being transferred to local law enforcement. Local police will now continue to be armed with tremendous firepower. While I wholly support our men and women in blue, I believed militarizing the police was wrong when the previous "president" did it, and it is wrong for Trump to do it. Please allow me to explain.
Local police are a civilian organization hired to serve and protect the people by enforcing the law. They were never intended to be militarized or extensions of the US military. The military culture by design and training must be willing and able to kill the enemy. This is a doctrine of escalation. It gets people killed. Wouldn't it be better to train our police on a "De-escalation" policy? Officers trained in de-escalation techniques try whenever appropriate and possible to calm the situation, wait for back-up, and attempt to resolve a situation without gunfire when the subject does not have a gun. The idea is to save lives-both the officer's and the subject's. It is to be used when appropriate.
Law enforcement organizations have mixed opinions on this. Notwithstanding, those who have trained their officers in de-escalation have seen a substantial reduction in shootings. A close friend of mine who was head of the state police in a southern state told me that despite stiff opposition, he emphasized de-escalation during his long tenure-a technique he said saved many lives. He also said that he disagreed with the militarization of police forces because it encourages a culture of force rather than of service. Seattle Seahawks' Doug Baldwin, whose father is a police officer, says that all 50 states should review their law enforcement policies to "eliminate militaristic cultures while putting a higher emphasis on de-escalation tactics and crisis management efforts."
To me, this doesn't need to be an "either-or" situation, it's "both-and." Police need to protect themselves AND the lives of others. Taking a life should be a last resort, not something done just because it's legal to do so. Likewise, citizens should be trained to submit to authority and not escalate a situation that could cost them their lives. Exodus 20:13 says, "Thou shalt not kill." It means do not murder. The context of the Bible would indicate that we should all do as much as possible, as justly as possible, to preserve life, including our own. Transferring military culture to police culture is antithetical to the preservation of civilian life. Despite all the reasoning, the militarization of law enforcement is a dangerous long-term idea.
Daily Devotion: Will You Stand in the Gap? - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Then the Lord said, "I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation." -Exodus 32:9-10
Up on Mount Sinai, God effectively said to Moses, "I've had it. I'm going to destroy these people."
The Israelites had witnessed God's miracles, yet they still turned to idolatry. I would suggest that Moses was their first idol, while the golden calf was their second, evidenced by the fact that they turned to false worship when Moses left them to go up the mountain.
Moses pleaded with the Lord, "Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand? Why let the Egyptians say, 'Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth'? Turn away from your fierce anger" (Exodus 32:11, 12).
So God relented. What happened? Did Moses talk God out of something? Not at all. He was testing Moses. I think God was basically saying, "Moses, do you understand that I want someone to stand in the gap and intercede for my people? Are you going to stand up for these people right now?"
This was a test for Moses, and he passed it. He prayed. He interceded. That is what we need to be doing as believers. We need to pray for people, and we need to care about people.
When was the last time you prayed for your unbelieving friends and neighbors? When was the last time you prayed for your unbelieving family members? When was the last time you pleaded with God for the salvation of their souls?
God is still looking for intercessors today. He is still looking for people who will pray for others. God is still looking for people to stand in the gap and speak up for Him.
FROM THE HEART
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