Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Islamic Anti-Christ? -By Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2019/10/by-pastor-mike-taylor-many-shallbe.html
"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."(Daniel 12:10-11)
We turn on our radios and TV's every day, and if you're like me, you wonder what has happened since I last listened? What has caught the attention of the people of this world and points to a world that is imploding upon itself? It's all around us. The news of the unrest in the Middle East, the Syrian war, or the Israeli/Palestinian conflict growing stronger and fomenting rage concerning the Temple mount, and news of Muslims killing Christians, Jews, and other Muslims. The alliance of the probable Gog-Magog coalition of Russia, Iran and Turkey. The spreading anarchy and rebellion is in the hearts of the Arab nations yearning for what they falsely believe in. They wish for the destruction of the infidels of the western way of life, the return of their 12th Imam, known as the Mahdi and the enslavement of all to the sword of their god, called allah in a coming new Caliphate. It's part of their belief system. Don't believe it, then read on.
ISLAM, TERROR OF THE NATIONS
It seems evident, from Revelation 17:1-7, that the kingdom of the beast (Antichrist) will be united under one religion, probably Islam. Or as we have studied, it might even be a blend of false Christianity and Islam, known as Chrislam. Perhaps, initially, the Antichrist will have control over the western section, and Gog over the eastern section (whoever Gog turns out to be, Putin?), of the former Roman Empire. Not only is Islam firmly entrenched from Turkey eastward and southward, it is gaining firm footholds, rather swiftly, in Europe as well.
Muslims believe that world domination will be completed when the 12th Imam or Mahdi (their Islamic "jesus") arrives on the political scene and forces Sharia Law as the supreme law of the world. First, let us take an historical view of what drives the Muslim and their ideology...I say ideology, as it's not a true religion, but a set of beliefs about death, aggression, and domination of other people.
So what is their belief when it comes to this "Mahdi", or the return of the 12th Imam? People are very uninformed if they do not understand what is behind all the chaos involved in the cradle of civilization known as the Middle East surrounding God's Holy Land, known today as Israel. So who is this missing 12th Imam they speak of?
A QUICK HISTORY LESSON
Most accounts of the story say that Al Mahdi went into hiding as a child around the age of 5 years (about the 13th Century). It says he has been 'in hiding' in caves ever since but will supernaturally return just before the Day of Judgment. According to the Hadith the criteria for the Hidden Imam are:
1. He will be a descendant of Muhammad and the son of Fatima
2. Will have a broad forehead and pointed nose
3. Will return just before the end of the world
4. His appearance will be preceded by a number of prophetic events during 3 years of horrendous world chaos, tyranny and oppression
5. Will escape from Madina to Mekkah, (Mecca) thousands will pledge allegiance to him
6. Will rule over the Arabs and the world for 7 years
7. Will eradicate all tyranny and oppression bringing harmony and total peace
8. Will lead a prayer in Mecca which Jesus will be at his side and follow in.
He is believed to be coming back to set up an Islamic Caliphate and rule in the end of time and bring Islamic Sharia law to the world and make Islam supreme in all the land and this Mahdi is considered to be "divine". The bible calls this man, the Anti-Christ, the Assyrian, which is reference to somewhere in the Middle East.
How do they interpret when this holy man will appear? If you listened to the former leader of Iran, Mahmoud "I'M A TOTAL NUT JOB" when he spoke of the return of this false messiah, known as the Mahdi, he never missed a chance to ask the Mahdi to return to set up his kingdom here on earth, as noted in speeches he gave at the U.N. and in speeches in Iran. What is it he believes, or should I say, Islam believes will cause the return of the Mahdi, or this 12th Imam? Ahmadinejad believes that he is a prophet and his mission was to bring on the return of the 12th Imam to earth, by only ONE way. (so much for that, as he's been replaced). He believed that Iran, as a nation must create as much chaos, extract as much blood and suffering, and cause maximum destruction of their sworn enemy, the nation of Israel and the western world, including the United States of America. That was his stated goal and his believed purpose. You can do a search on any Google site and check out the facts of his beliefs. But the man was only a front man for the real power behind (as is the new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani), as the real power is found in Ali Khamenei, the supreme Ayatollah. Ali Khamenei puts forth the belief in the return of the 12th Imam. But the belief is in their national identity as a political theocracy.
Islam and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei believe that this hidden Mahdi will arrive on a white horse with a sword in his hand to set up a Caliphate as to rule in the nation of Islam and all will submit to his will and authority either by confessed allegiance or by the sword. Amazingly, the description of the return of this Mahdi has an eerie connection with the same description given the rise of the Anti-Christ. Let's try and examine the similar traits of this 12th Imam and this coming ruler, known as the Anti-Christ.
What is said of the Anti-Christ?
1. First he will rule for 7 years. He will come during a time of great war and much blood shedding in the Middle East and possibly, the world. He will come as a peacemaker.
2. He will make a treaty for those 7 years with Israel to allow them to rebuild their Temple to God. Possibly on the heels of the Ezekiel, Gog-Magog total defeat.
3.But then will cause sacrifice to cease in the middle of those seven years. He will proclaim himself as a god sitting in the Holy of Holies of the Temple in Jerusalem.
4.He will demand a mark of allegiance, known as the mark of the beast. He will attempt to destroy the Jewish race, known as Israel.
5.In the end, He will be destroyed by the Prince of Peace, who will return to put down rebellion
Now compare this with Islamic beliefs about the Mahdi shown above and here. Islam believes He will come when blood, chaos and war causes him to return to set up his kingdom. He will attempt to destroy Israel and the Jewish race. He will demand allegiance to Islamic rule and Shariah Law. He will rule by the sword and all who do not embrace Islam will be slain. He will rule for 7 years, after which Jesus will return and with the Mahdi, set injustice right and proclaim Islam. Notice the similiarities?
Is the Anti-Christ Islamic? Is the supposed coming of the 12th Imam, the Anti-Christ.? Understand that Satan is a powerful deceiver. He relishes deceiving mankind with a parallel false religion that mirrors God's way and His salvation message. Could Islam be that false message, with its false god and its false messiah? Or in the beginning, a blend of apostate Christianity found possibly in the Roman Catholic Church and Islam we have studied? Eventually, even Chrislam will be destroyed, as the AC will demand worship of himself and no other.
Some believe that Islam will be defeated in the battle of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39, but it would do well as a watchful Christian to keep an eye on Islam prior to these battles, as Islam is the antithesis of all that is Holy and ordained by our Almighty God, Jehovah or Yahweh...the great I AM, THAT I AM. Paul spoke of this man called the Anti-Christ and his false religion:
"The coming of the lawless one (the Anti-Christ) is according to the working of Satan with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (II Thessalonians 2:9-12.)
Could this lie be the lie of Islam? All who study this god, "allah", know that he/she was a member of a polytheist society before Muhammad made this god, the supreme god and he or she was a moon god or goddess, until Muhammad made allah, known at the time as "al-ilāh" or "the god" the only god of a polytheist religion derived from pagan worship. By doing an online search and looking for the archeological evidence concerning the worship of this god, allah, we find:
"The pagan Arabs worshiped the Moon-god Allah by praying toward Mecca several times a day; making a pilgrimage to Mecca; running around the temple of the Moon-god called the Kabah; kissing the black stone; killing an animal in sacrifice to the Moon-god; throwing stones at the devil; fasting for the month which begins and ends with the crescent moon; giving alms to the poor, etc.
The Muslim's claim that allah is the God of the Bible and that Islam arose from the religion of the prophets and apostles is refuted by solid, overwhelming archeological evidence. Islam is nothing more than a revival of the ancient Moon-god cult. It has taken the symbols, the rites, the ceremonies, and even the name of its god from the ancient pagan religion of the Moon-god. As such, it is sheer idolatry and must be rejected by all those who follow the God of the bible and the Gospel." Its symbol was a crescent moon with the stars as it's daughters within the crescent moon.
COMPARE THIS WITH THE TRUE GOD OF THE BIBLE.
Isaiah 46:9,"Remember the former things, those of long ago;I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me."
John 1:1, " In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.."
The evidence is startling when you compare the God of the bible, and the false god of Islamic Qur'an. The Bible has:
"No archeological discovery that has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries." (Christians answers, How do we know the Bible is true?)
The remarkable structure of the Bible should also be stressed. Although it is a collection of 66 books written by 40 or more different men over a period of 2,500 years, it is clearly one Book, with perfect unity and consistency throughout with one focus and message, the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ who fulfilled over 300 distinct prophecies by His life, death and resurrection. The same cannot be said for this moon god allah, even archeology refutes it as being made of by humans and pagan in origin. And what of the Islamic book the Qur'an? From an online definition of the book:
"The Qur'an or Koran, depending on your translation of the word, contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.
Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, most of the verses of violence in the Qur'an are open-ended, meaning that the historical context is not embedded within the surrounding text. They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Qur'an.
Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. This proclivity toward violence - and Muhammad's own martial legacy - has left a trail of blood and tears across world history."
The God of the Bible is a God of love and redemption, but the false god of the Koran is a "god" of war, blood shed, death and suffering...quite a contrast. allah sounds more Satanic in nature, and I believe allah is Satan himself.
Given not only the archeological proof of the truth of the God of the bible vs. the false god called "allah" to point to just one of many, will unrepentant man be ripe for a religion that slyly professes a false peace, and demands a mark of loyalty, loyalty to Islam? When God's church suddenly vanishes, shall a soothing voice with a promise of a "greener earth", a better way, and propose a belief in a false god, called allah and to follow this false messiah, the Mahdi, shall unrighteous men be ripe for believing this lie? I believe they will.
THE ANTI-CHRIST CAN'T BE A MUSLIM MESSIAH, CAN HE?
I've heard the argument that Israel would never accept an Islamic ruler as their Messiah. I have to differ with that, (just look at the political unrest in the Middle East right now!) as Israel in today's political landscape is mostly secular and many of them are atheist by and large, save for a few right wing religious adherents to traditional, historical Judaism, knows as Hassidic. If you study the bible and understand why the majority of Israel did not receive Jesus as their Messiah, it stems from one thing. Israel was looking for a King David type of ruler that would free them from Roman rule, protect their nation and defeat their enemies. They were not expecting a suffering Messiah, but a conquering King. A larger than life, robust fighting man who would lead them to victory over the Romans and restore their national sovereignty and former glory. Jesus just didn't fit their preconceived image of the Messiah. They did not believe that they needed salvation from their sins, as the law of Moses and its practice was believed to do that for them....their works was their salvation and even in that, they failed miserably. Here's why they will accept a political messiah, even if he's Muslim.
THE ANTI-CHRIST HOLDS OUT AN OLIVE BRANCH IN ONE HAND.
When a man of soothing speech and a lying tongue promises Israel peace, safety and security and the ability to rebuild their temple unhindered by the only real objection that could be raised, being the nation of Islam, then Israel will accept even the devil as their national political savior, as its about their political security, not their spiritual security. I believe that Ezekiel's war has just been fought and the Russian and the Muslim coalition has been soundly destroyed by God Almighty to the tune of 5/6 of their invading army and the slaughter has followed the survivors home and the destruction continues in their home lands. An Islamic political leader will arise and make a treaty with Israel, as a Muslim belief is to lie and give the appearance of defeat until they can regroup and attempt to destroy their enemy at a later date. It's the same M.O. of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinians and all Muslim adherents. Remember what Jesus said?
John 5:43 "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."
I believe Jesus was speaking of the Anti-Christ who will give the nation of Israel what they desire, a false seven year peace treaty of non-aggression, and the ability to rebuild a 3rd temple and resumption of animal sacrifices of the Old Covenant relationship to Jehovah, or Yahweh without interference. Logically, this makes perfect sense. If they were accepting their "spiritual" Messiah as savior of their souls, then when the AC sits in the Holy of Holies and proclaims himself to be God, (remember, they believe the Old Covenant will save them) then it would reinforce their belief that this is their Messiah....BUT, if they were making a political treaty with a foreign leader and his country or a coalition of countries, they would have accepted him as a political messiah, not a religious, spiritual Messiah and would quickly realize their error. Just like their prophet Mohammed before this imposter of divinity was alive, the Jewish people will not accept this blasphemy. And just as Mohammed destroyed the Jews in Medina because of their mocking him and his new religion, the Anti-Christ will suddenly turn on them and seek their annihilation as he will be spiritually indwelt by the prince of darkness, Satan the devil and demands worship for himself ....Matthew chapter 24:
14 "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which Daniel the prophet spoke of, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
16 then those who dwell in Judea must flee to the mountains.
17 Whoever finds himself on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that he has left in his house.
18 Whoever works in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.
19 But woe to those who become pregnant and to those who nurse babies in those days!
20 But pray that your flight will not occur in the winter, or on a Sabbath.
21 For then there will come a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will."(Matthew 24:14-21)
The warning would not be given by Jesus if Israel had accepted the Anti-Christ as their religious Messiah and their Savior...no, they accepted him as their national protector of political sovereignty, so being in the newly built Temple as a Muslim proclaiming to be a god, proves to Israel that they have made a pact with the devil. They received the Anti-Christ as it fulfilled their need for peace and security and deliverance from their surrounding enemies. It was the same for their fore-fathers who looked to Jesus as the King deliverer from the Romans and they just didn't understand or accept His mission to saves their souls, not their fleshly hides.
THE ANTI-CHRIST, STAGE RIGHT
The Anti-Christ is coming and may already be on the scene, but has not revealed himself, as of yet. We, who proclaim a belief and worship the only true God of the Universe and the Son He has sent, need not be afraid, even though we are entering a time of great uncertainty and unrest in the world at large. We have promises from Almighty God that He will be our strong foundation of the faith and our coming Hope. God has said that He will be our refuge in times of trouble, and nothing has more of a calming effect and increases our faith to read in your bible what God has promised when evil is all around us.
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked."(Pslam 91:1-8)
Our God is stronger than all the forces that are rearing their ugly heads in the name of Islam and are committed to throwing this world into supreme chaos and extract a massive amount of blood letting. We may see terrible things come upon the earth, before the beginning of the tribulation and the revealing of the Anti-Christ to begin his 7 year rule, but David spoke of God being our refuge in this time of trouble, Psalms :
9:9 "The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble
9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."(Pslam 9:9-10)
We are to seek Him with all our might, and all our strength. We must put our trust in Him to save us and guide us through times of trouble. We must be like King David when he wrote again in Psalm 62:
6" He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us."(Psalm 62:6-8)
Does that give us hope, or do we still fear? Psalm 91 explains that when we are surrounded by evil and trouble is all around, our trust and our "refuge" is in our God Jehovah. Remember what God said in this beloved Psalm
91:7 "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee."
You who believe in the one True God, do you fear what is coming upon the earth? Do the symbols of Islam and the possible rise of an Islamic domination of a new Caliphate bring fear into your hearts? Do you fear when the Catholic church is getting all cozy with Islam and asking all religions to come back to the "mother church"?
"For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
25:5 Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low."(Isaiah chapter 25:4-5)
Put your trust and your faith in Him who can deliver you and sustain you through whatever we may see coming upon the earth. We need not fear what is coming, as it is written:
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (II Thessalonians 2:1-4)
He must come and scripture says he will deceive as a power broker in lying words. He will destroy by lies. Woe to any man that puts his trust in a false religion, a false messiah, and idolatry of worshiping anything or anyone but the Eternal Lord of the Universe. If you are reading this and your mind has fear because you see what is happening all over the world and know that this path we're on can't continue without something breaking apart either economically or spiritually, or both and spreading world- wide, then you are not alone. You see religiously directed chaos in many countries in the Middle East that is spreading to European countries and even has visited our shores here in the USA that has put you and your loved ones on the edge of their seats wondering what could happen next, so let me tell you something. It will get a lot worse and soon. Our world's economy is set to implode into utter chaos and evil men will turn to anyone who throws them a lifeline, even if it's the tail of a snake.
If you have not made a decision to follow Jesus Christ and put your trust in Him and make Him your refuge, your strength, and your high tower, then you will be ripe for believing a lie when it is thrust upon you. You will see chaos all around you when millions of people have suddenly vanished off the face of the earth without a plausible explanation from the governments in power, then God will send a strong delusion that most everyone, possibly including you, will be willing to believe just to survive. It will be a most horrible time in all of mankind's history. Too horrible to describe in any meaningful words that can express the extreme evil that will envelop the whole earth. Whatever we will face, whatever we may suffer before the tribulation hour is revealed by the events noted in this message, we must endure to the end. But Paul wrote:
8:16 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God."(Romans 8:16-19)
Paul said in 1 Corinthians, "2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
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.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:8-13)
Our prayer: BE THOU MY REFUGE, OH, LORD, MY GOD!! We await your return.
Next time, I will go deeper into this concept "Can the Anti-Christ be Muslim?" Part II. See you next time.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying God's strengthening your faith and resolve to stay close to Him. If there is anything I can help with, pray with you about, or just listen, email me at email@example.com, . or visit me online for more biblical messages from God's Word at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com, God bless you all
till we meet at Jesus feet.
Should Israel invade Gaza? - By Daniel Pipes -
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, "There probably won't be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime." While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.
Attitudes toward Gaza are in flux. Efraim Inbar, the strategist who heads the Jerusalem Institute for Security Studies, for years advocated "mowing the grass" as "Israel's strategy for protracted intractable conflict." By this, he advocated an occasional reminder to Hamas' rulers and other Gazans of Israel's overwhelming power.
Implicit in this approach is an Israeli acceptance, most of the time, of aggression from Gaza, with its attendant damage to property and life. As recently as May 2019, he dismissed the Palestinian threat to Israel as a "strategic nuisance."
But Inbar recently recognized the high costs of this passivity and now calls for a "restricted ground invasion" of the territory. Why? Because "a short-term ground operation will bring better results than Israel's activity thus far [i.e., mowing the grass]. We need to maneuver inside enemy territory, locate them, and destroy them, or tie the hands of its members."
Others agree. For example, Ayelet Shaked, leader of the Yamina Party, calls for a wide-scale military operation in Gaza: "We must choose the time that is best for us, evacuate the Israeli citizens who live in towns along the Gaza envelope in order to give us maximum flexibility, and we must uproot the terror from within Gaza."
To these analyses, I respond with Carl von Clausewitz's simple but profound counsel: First, decide on your policy, then your strategy, then your tactics. Or, in plain English: Start by figuring out what you wish to achieve through the use of force, then decide the broad outlines of your approach, then the specific means.
Seen in this light, debating whether to engage in a ground invasion and to overthrow Hamas is debating a tactic; this should not be the topic of conversation until the goal and the means to achieve it have been decided upon. To start by focusing on tactics risks losing sight of the purpose.
So, what should Israel's goal in Gaza be?
The occasional show of force against Hamas interests has failed, as has destroying Gaza's infrastructure; so, too, the opposite policy of goodwill and the prospect of economic prosperity. It's time for something altogether different, a goal that transcends sending signals and punishing misdeeds, something far more ambitious.
Victory is such a goal. That is, aim to impose a sense of defeat on Gazans, from the head of Hamas to the lowliest street sweeper.
Aiming for an Israel victory is entirely in keeping with historical war aims but it is out of step with our times when even the words "victory" and "defeat" have dropped from the Western war lexicon. The Israeli security establishment seeks just peace and quiet vis-à-vis the Palestinians; Inbar speaks for them in dismissing the goal of victory over Hamas as "naive."
Negotiations, mediation, compromise, concessions and other gentle means have replaced victory. These sound good but they have failed in the Palestinian-Israeli arena since 1993 and blindly persisting with them guarantees more destruction and death.
With imposing a sense of defeat on Gazans the goal, what are the strategy and tactics? These cannot be decided on in advance. They require a contemporaneous and detailed study of the Gazan population's psychology. Questions to be answered might include:
Does the deprivation of food, water, fuel and medicine in retaliation for attacks on Israel inspire a sense of resistance (muqawama) and steadfastness (sumud) among Gazans, or does it break their will?
Same question about the destruction of homes, buildings and infrastructure
Would knocking out the Hamas leadership paralyze the population or prompt an insurrection?
Israel's security establishment needs to explore these and related issues to map out a sound strategy and to offer reliable counsel to the political leadership. That done, with victory as the goal, Israel finally can address the hitherto insoluble problem of Gaza.
The religion of climate change & the new doomsday scenario - Dr. Michael L. Brown -
It's not "climate change" that's "threatening mental health." It's the apocalyptic way it's being reported that's threatening mental health.
When I came to faith as a 16-year-old, drug-using, hippie rock drummer, I was told that Jesus was returning very soon. The end of the world was near. Very near. Today, there is a new religious narrative, especially among young people, with a new "end of the world" scenario. But this one is depressing and grim, with nothing redemptive about it.
I'm talking about the new religion of manmade global warning.
To be clear, I do not have the credentials to comment on scientific questions related to global warming.
But I do have the credentials to comment on the effect that environmental activists are having on our culture, especially the younger generation.
An Australian website offers counsel to help people (especially young people) deal with stress and anxiety related to climate change. It notes that "There are lots of reasons why young people might feel stressed about climate change."
These reasons include: (1) They feel like planning for the future is hopeless. (2) They are angry that the people around them aren't doing anything to help. (3) They are frustrated that there's nothing they can do now to change things. (4) They are worried about whether it's responsible to have children. (5) They feel like everything is out of their control.
A May 2 headline on Science News for Students states, "Climate change poses mental health risks to children and teens."
And a September 19 article on Conversation.com warned that, "Ignoring young people's climate change fears is a recipe for anxiety."
In fact, as far back as 2016, the American Psychological Association (APA) claimed that, "Climate change is threatening mental health. A federal report that tapped psychologists' expertise outlines the ways climate change affects us all."
But herein lies the rub. It is not "climate change" that is "threatening mental health." It is the apocalyptic way it is being reported that is threatening mental health.
After all, when I was told in 1971 that Jesus was coming back soon, it was an exciting prospect. The end of the age is fast approaching and we will be with the Lord forever! This world is falling apart, but God will come to redeem us!
But there is no such hope in today's gloom and doom climate change reporting. Instead, it produces fear and provokes frustration, especially for young people: "Our world is being destroyed, and you're not doing anything about it! Don't you care?"
To quote Greta Thunberg directly: "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words .... We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth - how dare you!"
But there's a reason for her fears.
An October 2018 headline proclaimed: "We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN."
Six months later, in March 2019, the UN website echoed these sentiments: "Only 11 Years Left to Prevent Irreversible Damage from Climate Change, Speakers Warn during General Assembly High-Level Meeting. Ambition, Urgency Needed to Address Global Emergency, Secretary-General Says."
No wonder teenaged Greta and her generation are up in arms. No wonder they are so stressed. No wonder they are angry. "It is your policies and your greed and your selfishness that have stolen our future!"
As reported on September 26, "Around climate-change protests, tears linger. Youthful activists cite all-too depressing science and develop angst. They grieve for a future they worry they'll never have.
"Many young climate activists say they feel hopeless and overwhelmed .... 'It's really hard to grow up on a planet full of ifs,' said This is Zero Hour co-founder Jamie Margolin, a 17-year-old from Seattle, who is finding it hard to buckle down and apply to colleges. 'There's always been a sense that everything beautiful in this world is temporary for my generation.'"
How very, very sad - but not because it's all true.
Instead, as John Nolte pointed out, "For more than 50 years Climate Alarmists in the scientific community and environmental movement have not gotten even one prediction correct, but they do have a perfect record of getting 41 predictions wrong.
"In other words, on at least 41 occasions, these so-called experts have predicted some terrible environmental catastrophe was imminent ... and it never happened."
Consequently, he asks, "Why would we completely restructure our economy and sacrifice our personal freedom for 'experts' who are 0-41, who have never once gotten it right?"
So, young people are being stressed about something that may never happen. They are growing up waiting for the shoe to drop, not being able to enjoy life because of fear for tomorrow.
The innocence of youth is being robbed from them, and everyone is to blame. Yet an article on the Teaching Tolerance website urges that, "Teachers' Silence on Climate Change Violates Students' Rights."
I would urge instead that there needs to be a lot of soul searching and circumspection, from our children's educators to the popular media. Are you sure the information you are sharing is accurate? Are you positive the fears you are instilling are warranted? Are you certain that you are not playing with the emotions of impressionable young people?
From my perspective (and leaning into my areas of expertise), I would rather say this:
It's true that this world will not endure forever. One day, Jesus will return and make a new heaven and earth. So, live your life here with passion, in expectation of His return, making every moment count. That way, whether you live to be 100 or if He comes back in 10 years, your life will be full and blessed.
I challenge a climate change religionist to come up with a better message than that.
The Choices We Make - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
God gives gifts, but it's up to us what we do with those gifts. We can choose whether we use the gift wisely, or squander it. Solomon is an example of someone who asked for the right gift, but then made bad choices. When he began his reign as king over Israel, he loved God. After all, he had the example of his father, King David, who was a man after God's own heart. "And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places." 1 Kings 3:3. Oops. He loved God, but also honored pagan gods. Solomon had made a treaty with the Pharaoh and married his daughter. This wife was not Jewish and worshipped pagan gods. Take note: Never be unequally yoked. To make it worse, he married more than one pagan bride and these women influenced Solomon to sacrifice offerings and burn incense in high places. High places were where pagan worship and rituals were conducted. Had Solomon been faithful to God Almighty, followed his father's example of his love for God, and rejected advice from pagans, his life would have been much better. Still, God gave him a choice. God came to Solomon in a dream and asked what gift he desired. "And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou has chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing." 1 Kings 3:6-10. Solomon said the right words and at this point in his life he sincerely meant them. God was pleased and gave Solomon the gift he asked for. Solomon used his wisdom, but he also went the way of his pagan wives. He amassed a fortune and his fame spread to many nations. Unfortunately, he didn't use his gift from God wisely. It matters who you take advice from, and Solomon chose to look to the world for guidance instead of God.
By the end of his life Solomon was an empty man. He had written many wise sayings, but didn't listen to his own words. "Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? Or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." Proverbs 30:7-9. It's been said "He who dies with the most toys wins". The truth is, when a person dies, they leave the toys behind. Only those things done for Christ will follow us after death. The word "vanity" in this proverb means emptiness and worthlessness. Solomon came to his end an unfulfilled man. Is he any different than most of us? Solomon had earthly gain, but spiritual loss and that left him empty. He had a wonderful example of Godly man from his father. David made many mistakes, but when those mistakes were brought to his attention, his heart was broken and he earnestly sought God's forgiveness. Solomon didn't learn from David's example. What example are you giving to your own children?
Some of us have been blessed by having God-fearing parents, but what example do you follow? Do you ask them for advice, or do you look to people who may not have your best interest at heart? Solomon's mother was a participant in David's greatest sin, but she seemed to learn from her mistakes. All of us make mistakes but if we continue making those same mistakes, we end up empty like Solomon. Perhaps if Solomon had asked his mother, Bathsheba, for advice about who to marry, the pagan women wouldn't have led him into the sin of pagan worship. If he had followed the example of his father, David, he would have sought Godly men to advise him and listened to them. Instead, Solomon took advice from people who just fed him what he wanted to hear. At a young age he had professed his love for God, but his life reflected his rejection of God.
We all face choices. How many of us have professed faith in God, but then continued to make choices that dishonored Him? When faced with a decision we can see many options and get confused. Bad choices come from relying upon our own emotions and that becomes a bad habit. "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6. These are wise words coming from a man who chose not to lean on the Lord. Even Christians make bad decisions. When a person only relies on their own understanding or feelings, that can lead to some very wrong decisions. Sometimes we're too emotionally close to a problem to see the right choice. That's when we need to seek advice from someone who loves God. You may be sitting in a prison cell today because of choices you've made. Make no mistake, prisons don't all have bars on the doors. Sometimes we're imprisoned in a life where sin weighs heavily upon us. God will never lead you into sin. You're in this trouble because of your own choices. Instead of listening to Godly advice you continue to seek the counsel of people who have helped you into the mess you're in. Perhaps you're in an ungodly relationship but see no way out and are willing to compromise God's truth for worldly sin. Maybe you're actually in a prison cell making plans for what happens after your release. Are you taking advice from someone who loves God and cares about you? Could it be that you're in the trouble you're in because you've continually rejected that advice?
This would be a good time to honestly assess the choices you made to get you where you are today. Scripture is filled with examples of men and women who have faced choices. The ones who made carnal choices suffered. For example, Lot made a bad choice when he decided to move to Sodom. "Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other." Genesis 13:11. Lot and Abraham went their separate ways, but Lot chose what looked good, but in fact was a poor choice. He ended up living in Sodom where sin was rampant. When he chose to move to the plain of Jordan, he was tempted by how beautiful it was. After he learned of the sin there, he stayed by choice. That's true for many of us. The lure of sin may look tempting at first, but if you choose to stay in that sin it's a choice you make. The sin and evil in Sodom were overwhelming. Lot's family was influenced by the wickedness around them. By staying, Lot was a poor example of a parent. Eventually the sin became so bad that God had to destroy Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities. Lot's family was given a choice. They could leave the place of wickedness and live, or stay and be destroyed. You also have a choice. You can stay in the sin that's destroying you, or leave it behind. Lot, his wife, and his two daughters made the right choice and left, but the lure of what they had left was too much for his wife. "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." Genesis 19:26. Lot's wife looked back. Take heed. If you're imprisoned by sin, you've made bad choices. Learn from the past and change. Even Jesus used Lot's wife as a warning. "Remember Lot's wife." Luke 17:32. This was a warning for the final days, but is good advice for all of us. If you don't run from the sin that has trapped you, then you will be destroyed by looking back.
If you're facing a choice in life, remember that someone cares about you. Maybe you need to listen to the parent whose advice you've rejected for so many years. If you've continually run into trouble in life, then you've chosen to listen to wrong advice. "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." Proverbs 3:7. Humble yourself and admit you've made bad choices. Go to the parent who loves you. Maybe it's time to listen. If you've accepted Christ for salvation, but have been walking with Satan, you need to reestablish your relationship with Jesus. There's no sin He won't forgive. You need to repent. That means you need to change your mind about the mistakes you've made. Maybe you abuse drugs or have had an abortion. God is willing to forgive. Pick up your Bible and study His word. The Gospel of John reveals the love God has for you. "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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 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. If you're looking at the doors of a jail cell...whether literal or the ones we trap ourselves in with our own choices...turn to Jesus. Ask Him to show you the door that leads to true freedom in Him. Then ask Him to help you open that door and walk through it every day. "Remember Lot's wife" Luke 17:32. Don't look back.
The most important choice we make is whether or not to accept Jesus for salvation, but if you've been smart enough to accept His sacrifice, then He should guide your decisions. That choice should affect every other choice in life. When we come to Jesus a change should happen in our attitude and how we look at life, and make a change in our decisions. You cannot change yesterday, but you can allow Christ to help you change today and tomorrow. "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17. It's not always easy to change. Not because we don't want to but because the temptations in the world are strong and we keep holding on to the sins of the past. Giving in to temptation becomes a habit that's hard to break. The time we spend rejecting Jesus can never be recovered, but we can move forward. Study Scripture and seek advice from people who serve the Lord.
Set your petition before God. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matthew 7:7-8. The problem is that most of us knock and seek our own sinful desires. When you pray, are you telling God what your will is and seeking it, rather than seeking God's will? By doing that you will always fall back into the same mistakes that have imprisoned you. You may not realize it but someone is praying for you. Maybe it's a parent, grandparent, friend, or even a stranger. Prayer changes situations....even yours. Seek God's will.
The choices we make affect us and people around us. Have your choices landed you in a bad situation? Do you continue to reject godly advice? It's time to seek God and choose to serve Him.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: More Schiff hits the fan - Bill Wilson -
Accusations of witness tampering continue to be leveled at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA). The controversial Democrat, who holds a key position in directing the House impeachment inquiry, has a record of alleged influence over key witnesses against the Administration, including those involved in the Mueller investigation. Once again, Schiff has been accused of manipulating a witness. This time, that key witness is the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment firestorm. The New York Times reports that the whistleblower, who is a CIA operative, went to Schiff's aides before filing his official complaint. Schiff withheld that information from the public which is unethical, if not, illegal.
Schiff previously claimed that the committee had no contact with the CIA whistleblower prior to the complaint filing. The shifty Schiff now claims that he meant that he personally did not have contact, even though his staff member, on his behalf, met with the whistleblower. This is a very important event. Schiff had meetings with Fusion GPS's Glenn Simpson and with Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohan ahead of their testimonies to House committees about Russian collusion with Trump during the 2016 election. Schiff is accused of manipulating and coordinating their testimonies against Trump. Ethics violation complaints have been filed against Schiff by Judicial Watch, a non-profit government watchdog.
Schiff also broke committee rules by not sharing the whistleblower information with Republicans on the committee, according to a tweet by Fred Fleitz, former chief of staff to the National Security Council and CIA analyst. Fleitz tweeted: "under @HouseIntelComm rules, any classified info brought to the committee from outside sources MUST BE SHARED WITH BOTH SIDES. Schiff broke committee rules by not telling committee GOP members about this...This is a very serious violation of @HouseIntelComm rules. Why did Schiff do this, especially when he was using this information to score political points throughout the month of August? The reason is clear: it was part of the latest Dem ploy to take down @realDonaldTrump."
There is a lot of nasty politics going on right now as the Democrats jockey for position in shaping both the public narrative and how they want the "facts" to be received surrounding the impeachment inquiry. Notice Schiff's pattern-do the deed, get the press, get caught, then have an excuse with plausible deniability. His strategic job in the impeachment assault appears to be to feed the public propaganda and to use his Intelligence Committee connections with the deep-state to "coordinate" the assault. Notice also that this impeachment approach involves deep-state operatives, as did the entire Russian-Trump fiasco. Ephesians 5:6 says, "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Do not be deceived by all this chicanery. Pray for the truth to be revealed!
Daily Devotion: The Very Real Spiritual World - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
And Elisha prayed, and said, 'LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.' Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.-2 Kings 6:17
There is a supernatural battle going on right now for the soul of our nation. This is larger than a political battle and larger than an ideological battle. This is larger than anything we've ever faced before. It's really a battle for the soul of our country.
I think sometimes as Christians that we forget we're in a spiritual war. We're not wrestling against flesh and blood but against principalities and spiritual powers in high places.
It's a real world, the invisible world of God and Satan. It's the world of angels and demons. And it's just as real as the world we're in right now.
The Bible tells a story of Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the prophet, who woke up to discover they were surrounded by enemy forces. In a panic, he turned to Elisha and said, "What should we do?"
Elisha told him, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them" (2 Kings 6:16 nkjv). Then Elisha prayed that God would open the servant's eyes, and Gehazi saw the supernatural forces of God all around them.
Just as Elisha prayed for Gehazi, we need to pray that God would open our eyes to see the very real spiritual world all around us. This is not a game. This is the real thing.
And every day in this spiritual battle we're either advancing or retreating. We're either gaining ground or losing ground, not only as the church but also as individuals.
May God help us to think about how this works in our lives. May He open our eyes to see the work of His spirit in our lives and the work that He wants to do.
America still needs a spiritual awakening, and it starts with you and me.
FROM THE HEART
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