Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Zechariah Prophecies the End Times - by pastor Mike Taylor -
4 "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south." (Zechariah 14:4)
The earth groans for the coming day when the LORD of creation, will come again to earth and make this sinned filled planet to return to the time that it lost because of the sin of Adam and Eve. It will be a most glorious time that the Church of the Living God patiently waits for.
THE END OF THE AGE IN ZECHARIAH
If you begin reading in the book of Zechariah, God basically gives a time line, when Israel was in captivity in Babylon and as Daniel was before the Lord at this time, so was Zechariah having visions and prophetic words spoken to him by the Messenger of the Lord telling him the events that will transpire in the coming generations that would span more than 2500 years.
Zechariah sees the judgment that has come to Israel and her suffering in her captivity in Babylon, but he also sees the restoration of Israel to her own land, and beyond to the end of days. Note that Israel was scattered as the four winds by God.
13 "Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts:
14 But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate." (Zechariah 7:13-14)
Historically, one can read about what happened to Israel because of their idolatry and not following the commands of the LORD our God. And in the Bible, you can read the words of their exile into Babylon of the nation of Judah, and the previous exile of Israel to the north, by Assyria, which some called the "Ten lost tribes of Israel"...only thing is, before this happened to Israel, a remnant of the northern tribes returned to Jerusalem to be near the Holy City, and they too became exiled along with the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and the Levitical priest who ministered in the temple of God. So all of the twelve tribes were represented when God exiled even the nation of Judah to the land of Babylon. So there has always been a representation of a remnant of all the tribes of Israel found even in this latter exile.
Never has any nation that has been so completely scattered as was the two kingdoms that comprised the Hebrew people, we call today "Jews" been able to come together and become that nation again with all its customs, traditions, and language as has the modern nation of Israel we see today.
ISRAEL JUDGED BUT RESTORED
A person reading this one book of the Bible which confirms other passages in the the Holy pages of what the nation of Israel went through because of her disobedience to the laws of God and His commandments, judgments and decrees can see her ultimate judgment. Prophets like Daniel, agree with Zechariah that after 70 years, Israel would be brought back into her land and rebuild the Temple of God, but would be under pagan rule for all of the time of her being again, reborn in the Holy Land of her fathers. History provides what happened to her once again for her inability to see the "signs of the times" or the visitation of the prophesied Messiah who they rejected and ultimately had crucified by the Romans on a wooden cross.
Zechariah is only 14 chapters long, and it chronicles the passage of time of the diaspora of the Jewish nation, once again when her temple and the city were destroyed in 70 AD. Prophecy concerning the coming of our Lord is spoken of here and speaks of Jesus riding into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
9 "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)
All of this happened many years in the future and the prophet spoke of that day when Jesus would ride into the Holy City and allow the people to proclaim Him their King,
"7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." (Matthew 21:7-9)
Not long after this, Jesus would be tried in a kangaroo Sanhedrin court and condemned to death and die upon the cross, buried and raised from the dead.
And afterwards, 40 days would pass to give Israel a chance to recognize their Messiah, but nobody investigated the miracle of God, by sending anybody from the Jewish Authorities to confirm and witness to the people of Israel that indeed, Jesus was raised from the dead. They did everything in their power to hide the fact.
Note that near 40 years passed from the time of Jesus, which is the number of years of withholding judgment until punishment is passed when those accused are found to be guilty and Israel was destroyed and again scattered to the four winds for the next 2000 years.
ISRAEL AGAIN REBORN A SECOND TIME
But I have said all that to come to this. Jesus will come to the modern day of Israel and rescue her from the Tribulation that will come upon her, as the above opening scripture speaks of when our Lord and Savior will come and fight for Israel.
But before that happens, Israel will be tried by fire and she will come to know her Messiah..our Messiah, who they rejected 2000 years ago, through much persecution.
As you read this Old Testament prophetical book, you sense a time noted when God will fight for Israel, which reminds me of the coming Ezekiel war of Gog-Magog and the previous war of Psalms 83, not to mention all the wars fought prior in 1948 War of Independence, Sinai War of 1954, Six Day War in 1967, and many wars from 1973 of Yom Kippur War to the modern times of Lebanon wars with Hezbollah. God has truly been overseeing the continued habitation of the Jewish people in their ancient homeland of Israel.
THE END OF DAYS COMING
This will all come to a climax, I believe in the near future, when Jerusalem will be besieged by the coming Anti-Christ and the Beast Power of the One World Government he controls. God has promised that Israel would NEVER be uprooted again and God will come and fight for them, as in the day of Battle.
"The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
4 In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.
5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God.
6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
7 The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah." (Zechariah 12:1-7)
At the end of the coming Great Tribulation, when the Anti-Christ seeks to destroy the nation of Israel, God will not hold Israel without blame, as she will be tried as silver is refined in the fire.
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 the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years." (Malachi 3:2-4)
This is a time of intense suffering and persecution that will make the holocaust seem like a picnic in the part, in comparison. It breaks my heart, that the people of Israel will be sorely tested and 2/3 of the people will meet an untimely end.
8 "And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God." (Zechariah 13:8-9)
Note only a third part of the whole nation of Israel will survive and be refined. It is a remnant that our Savior will come and fight for them. Why? Because our Lord said He would when they cry out and state the words He prophesied they would say.
34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Luke 13:34-35)
Israel will be purged and many will die who have not believe the Lord's Words that He spoke of for the end times.
14 "And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.
15 The Lord of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar.
16 And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.
17 For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids" (Zechariah 9:14-17)
This passage may be speaking of that great war that is coming of the Gog-Magog coalition that will be decimated on the mountains of Israel.
This all leads up to the final battle we call the Battle of Armegeddon as one domino that falls leads to another one being afflicted...Israel will cry out what Jesus said they would and He will hear them and come to rescue them.
8 "In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.
9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
This battle is prophesied in the end chapter of Zechariah and the opening verses will be fulfilled and Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives and conquer this sinful world by the "sword" proceeding out of His mouth, which can only mean, He but speaks the Word and they are destroyed.
12 "And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth."
This is confirmed in Revelation chapter 19, but I want you to see something that I have been leading up to that many miss and I have preached it many times. Jesus will come, but note what is happening in this Apocalyptic book.
6 "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." (Revelation 19:6-9)
I want you to focus on that bold and underlined part of that passage. Here the Apostle John writes what was revealed to him, concerning the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Notice that she is arrayed in "fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints". Now let us skip forward when Jesus comes back to rescue Israel from the persecution of the Anti-Christ.
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)
What has the Bride of Christ have in common with those who come back with Jesus riding upon white horse? Yes, their apparel. What they are clothed with is both a sign of saints redeemed. Both are the same group of people, which are the Bride of Christ, the truly Born Again people of God who leave for a destination. What destination? They have been taken to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ to receive rewards done for Him in this life, and to be joined with our "HUSBAND" the Lord Jesus Christ and become the adopted sons and daughters of Almighty God, the ABBA Father in heaven. It is the same as on earth, when my son married his wife, she became my daughter in law. Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God has married us in a ceremony that makes us "in-laws" or children of the Most High God. Note that on earth, as it is in heaven, the property of the husband becomes also the property of the wife.
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)
Can you even imagine being a "joint heir with Jesus Christ"? And heirs of God which is what Jesus is...I ask you, what has God and Jesus possess? Everything that is found in this universe. What will we share together with our Abba Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ? The exact same thing as they possess, we will be given access to the same glorious future. It is almost too much to ponder or try to wrap your mind around.
Several places around scripture, prophets speak of the righteous saints of God, returning with Jesus when He sets up His kingdom on earth.
14 "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 1:14-15)
Even where we have been in the book of Zechariah, but many read right over this passage:
5 "And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with the thee. (Zechariah 14:5)
Our future is intermingled with Israel, as she holds the key to end time prophecy. Israel will be refined, but before the Tribulation starts, the church is removed, to return with Jesus as accounted in Revelation, Jude, and Zechariah.
WE are destined by God's will and design to not receive the wrath that is coming upon this earth, as He will remove us out of the way, because Jesus has saved us from the wrath to come.
9 "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10, For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Romans 5:9-10)
The life of Jesus who is the ETERNAL Son of God, is now our High Priest who has sent His Holy Spirit to bring the knowledge of our sins, and the remedy for forgiveness of those sins.
44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." John 6:44-45)
Looking off into the horizon, we see the storms clouds brewing...the events of these last days are growing more clear as time passes. Israel is being nearly surrounded from all sides and their Arab "cousins" desire nothing but to destroy them. It will continue in this pattern for an undetermined amount of time passing. War will lead to another war, will lead to the near ultimate war of Ezekiel 38-39, which will bring about the revealing of the Anti-Christ, which will trigger beforehand, the removal, the HARPAZO of forcefully snatching away His Bride before the "hell of the Tribulation" breaks forth in all its human destruction.
6 "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
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,"
(2nd Thessalonians 2:6-9)
I've quoted that above scripture numerous times, as it points to the HE, the Holy Spirit removing the bride of Christ beforehand, as God will not leave His bride comfortless during this awful coming time, as He has promised it to be so, that when she needs Him the most, He will be right beside her. Knowing that God cannot lie, we know that the Anti-Christ will overcome the saints, but since we have God's Holy Spirit, the devil and his demon forces cannot overcome us, because "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world". So scripture points to the removal of God's people before this time overtakes the world
I have given you a brief, for space and time, a quick rundown of what is in store for Israel..Where she has been and what will happen to her in the coming time that the Bible calls "Jacob's Trouble" and what both Zechariah and Revelation speak of. We also see what will become of God's church and those who are left behind is almost too graphic to speak of in a short paragraph. I have chronicled these events in numerous messages and sermons on my blog. What you have to decide, where will you be when Israel is being refined, and the world is being destroyed by the billions of people slain? Will you be singing praises to God, or be screaming in anguish when it is your turn to be slain by environmental disasters or of the rampage of the Beast power found in the Anti-Christ, because you refuse to take his mark of loyalty to your right hand or forehead? And if you do, then you are doomed for all eternity and tormented in an everlasting fire.
9"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11, And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." (Revelation 14:9-11)
Do not be deceived, that time could overtake you and you are thrown headlong into the worst nightmare that humanity has ever had to endure.
Jesus could come at any moment, as we are not given a date, or a time when Jesus will come for the Church, or when the Tribulation will begin in earnest. We are in the birth pains right now, and the signs of the birth of the church, and the beginning of the Tribulation are growing even stronger as time passes. Will you make that decision for Jesus Christ before it is past time to escape what is coming, or be forced into survival mode to escape what is going to come upon the earth? How can you be ready? Simply by believing in two passages in the Bible and making them part of you.
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)
and belief comes with confessing your trust and faith in Jesus Christ.
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)
The end of days are upon us. You know it, I know it, and the world knows it, but they can't see how it will play out. They are all in confusion, but we are not confused. And now you know....so what are you going to do about it? Make that decision for Jesus Christ today..while there is still time to do so.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your salvation found in Jesus Christ . If you have needs, for counseling, prayer, or just listen ear, then email me at email@example.com , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Netanyahu to Russian defense minister: Israel won't allow Iranian presence in Syria - By Herb Keinon -
Russian Defense Minister Shoigu is in Israel for the first time this week.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday that Israel will not allow a permanent military presence in Syria.
Netanyahu's comment came a day after Israel's destruction of an SA-5 anti aircraft battery in Syria. Both Russia and Iran are key backers of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
According to a statement put out by the Prime Minister's Office, most of the meeting dealt with Iranian efforts to set up a military permanent presence in Syria. "Iran needs to understand that Israel will not allow that," Netanyahu told Shoigu.
The Iranian nuclear deal, and US President Donald Trump's recent decision to decertify the deal, was also discussed, with Netanyahu repeating Israel's position that if the deal is not changed, then Iran will acquire a nuclear arsenal within eight to ten years.
Following Trump's announcement last week, Russia said that there was no place in international diplomacy for aggressive rhetoric, and that his effort was doomed to fail.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who is hosting the visit and met Shoigu on Monday, also took part in the meeting.
During Shoigu's meeting with Liberman on Monday night, Shoigu stated that the Russian operation in Syria was "nearing completion," stressing that there are many issues which must be addressed.
"I would like to talk about the situation in Syria. Our operation is going to be finished there, and there are a few issues that require urgent solution, and prospects for further development of the state of affairs in Syria need to be discussed too," Shoigu said.
Moscow intervened in the Syrian conflict in September 2015 for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and officials from Israel and Russia meet regularly to discuss the deconfliction mechanism implemented, a system over Syria to order avoid accidental clashes.
Shoigu also stated that due to the current situation in the Middle East, he hoped that his visit and the talks would help to "better understand each other" and contributing to strengthening ties between the armed forces of the two countries.
"As terrorist activities in the world have been increasing, the international community needs to stay united in the struggle against this evil," Russia's defense minister said.
Neither leader directly addressed the incident in Syria, though the IDF had confirmed that the Russians were informed about the launch and retaliatory strike.
The two defense ministers also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial on Tuesday, where Shoigu laid a wreath in the Hall of Names commemorating the extermination of six million Jews during the Second World War.
Israel tries to balance Iran strategy between Trump and Putin - https://www.debka.com/israel-tries-balance-iran-strategy-trump-putin/
Israel's leaders stressed to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu the importance of thwarting Iran's military entrenchment in Syria. But can't expect much from Moscow - any more than Washington.
Visiting Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu heard Tuesday, Oct. 17, from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman that Israel would not stand for Iran and Hezbollah making Syria their forward operational base against Israel, and would act to prevent their military entrenchment along the Syrian-Israeli border.
This was not news to the Russian minister, on his first visit to Israel since his appointment five years ago. The Kremlin has heard this mantra time and time and again and the visitor must have wondered what his Israeli hosts expected him to do. Both Shoigu and his boss, President Vladimir Putin, would also prefer not to see Iran dug deep militarily in Syria. So oddly enough, Moscow and Jerusalem could find a sliver of common ground for cooperating in both Syria and Iraq, but for their different viewpoints. While the Russians are practical enough to live with a strong Iranian military presence in Syria so long as it serves their interests, Israel is flatly against Iran or its proxies' proximity to its borders as a grave peril to its national security.
The Israeli defense minister is due to fly to Washington Wednesday, Oct. 18, for talks with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Netanyahu's National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabat goes on ahead to meet his US counterpart Gen. H.R. McMaster.
However, as seen from Moscow - and possibly Jerusalem too - the Trump administration is more to blame than any other actor operating in the Middle East for Iran's deepening grip on Syria, US actions starkly contradicting the president's fiery rhetoric against the Islamic Republic and all its actions.
Since late September, the US has been drawing down most of its positions in eastern Syria, opening the door for Hezbollah to walk in and for pro-Iranian Iraqi militias to take control of the Syrian-Iraqi border. This has made Tehran the strategic gift of its coveted land bridge to the Mediterranean.
Shoigu arrived in Tel Aviv on the day, Monday, Oct. 16, on which pro-Iranian militias under the command of a Revolutionary Guards general, Qassem Soleimani, swept the Iraqi oil center of Kirkuk out of the hands of America's allies, the Kurdish Peshmerga, a leading light in the US-led coalition for fighting the Islamic State.
If Trump meant what he said about beating down the Revolutionary Guards, why did he not stop them from taking Kirkuk?
In contrast to the Kirkuk debacle, the US-backed SDF Syrian Kurdish-Arab force said Tuesday that the Islamic State's Syrian capital of Raqqa had fallen after a bitter four-month battle. The Kurdish YPG militia raised its flag over the municipal stadium and chanted victory slogans from vehicles driving through the streets.
DEBKAfile's sources report that when word of the victory reached the White House, Brett McGurk, President Trump's special envoy for the global coalition versus ISIS, set out from Washington to Raqqa
But that operation was the exception - not the rule. In Iraq, Washington stood by as the Revolutionary Guards called the shots against the Kurds.
For weeks, Moscow has been asking Washington to explain what it is up to on the Syrian and Iraqi warfronts and has come up empty. Israeli visitors are unlikely to fare much better when they put the same question to top Trump administration officials, even taking into account the profound difference in the relationship between Jerusalem and Washington compared with Moscow and Jerusalem.
Our world: The opportunities and risks of Trump's Iran initiative - By Caroline B. Glick - http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-world-The-opportunities-and-risks-of-Trumps-Iran-initiative-507594
By placing the nuclear deal in the context of Iran's hostility and aggression, Trump made it self-evident that no US interest is served in continuing to give Iran a free pass.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump initiated an important change in US policy toward Iran.
No, in his speech decertifying Iran's compliance with the nuclear accord it struck with his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump didn't announce a new strategy for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, or stemming its hegemonic rise in the Middle East, or limiting its ability to sponsor terrorism.
Trump's move was not operational. It was directional.
In his address Friday, Trump changed the policy dynamics that dictate US policy on Iran. For the first time since 2009, when Obama backed the murderous regime in Tehran, spurning the millions of Iranians who rose up in the Green Revolution, Trump opened up the possibility that the US may begin to base its policies toward Iran on reality.
Trump began his remarks by setting out Iran's long rap sheet of aggression against America.
Starting with the US embassy seizure and hostage crisis, Trump described Iran's crimes and acts of war against America in greater detail than any of his predecessors ever did.
Trump's dossier was interlaced with condemnations of the regime's repression of its own people.
By merging Iran's external aggression with its internal repression, Trump signaled a readiness to drive a wedge - or expand the wedge - between the authoritarian theocrats that rule Iran and the largely secular, multiethnic and pro-Western people of Iran.
Trump then turned his attention to Iran's illicit ballistic missile program, its sponsorship of terrorism, including its links to al-Qaida, its aggression against its neighbors, its aggressive acts against maritime traffic in the Straits of Hormuz, and its bids to destabilize and control large swaths of the Middle East through its proxies.
It is notable that these remarks preceded Trump's discussion of the nuclear deal - which was the ostensible subject of his speech. Before Trump discussed Iran's breaches of the nuclear deal, he first demonstrated that contrary to the expressed views of his top advisers, it is impossible to limit a realistic discussion of the threat Iran constitutes to US national security and interests to whether or not and it what manner it is breaching the nuclear accord.
This was a critical point because for the past two years, US discourse on Iran has focused solely on whether or not Iran was complying with Obama's nuclear pact. By placing the nuclear deal in the context of Iran's consistent, overarching hostility and aggression, Trump made it self-evident that no US interest is served in continuing to give Iran a free pass from congressional sanctions.
After accomplishing that goal, Trump turned his attention to how Iran is actually breaching the letter and spirit of the nuclear pact. Only then, almost as an afterthought, did he announce that he was decertifying Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal, setting the conditions for the renewal of congressional sanctions on Iran and opening the floodgates of congressional sanctions on Iran in retaliation for the full spectrum of its aggressive and illicit acts against the US, its interests and allies.
By empowering Congress to prohibit economic cooperation with Iran, Trump put the Europeans, Chinese and Russians on notice that they may soon face a choice between conducting business with the US and conducting business with Iran.
After putting them on notice, Trump discussed the possibility of improving Obama's nuclear accord. Among other things, he suggested expanding the inspection regime against Iran's nuclear installations and canceling the so-called "sunset" clause that places an end date on the restrictions governing certain components of Iran's nuclear advancement.
Trump's address has the potential to serve as the foundation of a major, positive shift in US policy toward Iran. Such a shift could potentially facilitate the achievement of Trump's goals of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, containing its regional aggression and empowerment and defeating its terrorist proxies.
Unfortunately, it is also likely, indeed, it is more likely, that his words will not be translated into policies to achieve these critical aims.
Trump's decision to transfer immediate responsibility to Congress for holding Iran accountable for its hostile actions on the military and other fronts is a risky move. He has a lot of enemies, and the nuclear deal has a lot of supporters on Capitol Hill.
Obama would have never been able to implement his nuclear deal if Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, hadn't agreed to cast the Constitution aside and ignore Obama's constitutional duty to present the nuclear deal to the Senate for ratification as a treaty.
Over the past week, Trump and Corker have been involved in an ugly public fight precipitated by Corker's announcement that he will not be seeking reelection next year.
Today Corker has nothing to restrain him from scuttling Trump's agenda. If he wishes, out of spite, Corker can block effective sanctions from being passed. And he may do so even though the implications for his Senate colleagues would be dire and even though doing so would render him an unofficial protector of Iran's nuclear program.
What is true for Corker is doubly true for the Democrats.
Leading Democratic senators like Robert Menendez, Ben Cardin and Chuck Schumer, who opposed Obama's Iran deal may now feel that as opponents of the Trump administration, they are required to oppose any change to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.
Indeed, given the rise of radical forces in their party it is likely that they would rather give Iran a free pass for its anti-American aggression and nuclear proliferation than work with Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the White House.
Then again, by framing the issue of Iran's threat to America as he did, and by transferring responsibility for reinstating sanctions and passing further sanctions on Iran to Congress, Trump opened up the possibility that Congress will conduct substantive - rather than personal - debates on Iran.
And the more substantive those debates become, the further away the US discourse will move from the mendacious assumptions of Obama's Iran policy - that the Iranian regime is a responsible actor and potential US ally, and that there is nothing inherently aggressive or problematic about Iran's illicit nuclear weapons program.
The second major risk inherent in Trump's approach is that he will get his way; that the Europeans, Russians and Chinese and the Iranians will agree to improve the nuclear deal. The problem here is not obvious. Clearly, it is better if the deal is amended to delete the sunset clauses and expand the inspections regime.
Yet even an amended, improved deal will still serve as a shield to Iran's nuclear program. An improved deal won't destroy Iran's centrifuges.
It won't take away Iran's enriched uranium. It won't destroy Iran's nuclear installations. And it won't bring down the regime which by its nature ensures all of these things will remain a menace to the US, its allies and international security as a whole.
So long as the US continues to maintain a policy based on the false view that all that is necessary to destroy the threat of a nuclear armed Iran is a combination of the nuclear deal and economic sanctions, it will continue to ensure that Iran and its nuclear program remain a major threat. Distressingly, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, the most outspoken supporter of decertifying Iranian compliance in the Trump administration, told NBC on Sunday that the US intends to remain in the nuclear deal.
To understand what must be done we must return to Trump's speech and its strategic significance.
By taking a holistic view of the Iranian threat - grounded in a recognition of the inherent hostility of the regime - Trump opened up the possibility that the US and its allies can develop a holistic policy for confronting and defeating Iran and its proxies. If the Iran deal and sanctions are two components to a larger strategy rather than the entire strategy, they can be helpful.
A wider strategy would target Iran's regional aggression by weakening its proxies and clients from Hezbollah and Hamas to the regimes in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. It would target the regime itself by empowering the ayatollahs' domestic opponents. It would pin down Iranian forces by arming and otherwise assisting the Iraqi Kurds to defend and maintain their control over their territory along the Iranian border while strengthening the ties between Iranian Kurds and Iraqi Kurds.
Friday, Trump created the possibility for such a strategy. It is up to members of Congress, and US allies like Israel and the Sunni Arab states to help Trump conceive and implement it. If they fail, the possibility Trump created will be lost, perhaps irrevocably.
Nearing Midnight: Trump: "Peace has to happen" - Terry James - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
It is inevitable. Peace in the Middle East must happen. This, according to President Donald Trump.
The president, while being interviewed on former Governor Mike Huckabee's initial TBN program, made the declaration.
"I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem."
He said further, "f we can make peace between the Palestinians and Israel, I think it'll lead to ultimately peace in the Middle East, which has to happen."
Trump, in June of 2017, signed a temporary order keeping the American embassy in Tel Aviv. This follows the actions of presidents preceding him.
Some see this as his breaking a promise he made while on the 2016 presidential campaign trail. He received rousing ovations every time he declared he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the city that Israel claims as its capital.
Mr. Trump has said on numerous occasions that his administration is working on a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians that will result in peace for the whole region. He has appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as unofficial diplomat in charge of working to accomplish peace in the Middle East.
Others-including the Benjamin Netanyahu-led government-deny that the president has abandoned the idea of moving the embassy. In his declaration that he wants to give peace a chance before moving the embassy, Trump simply means, in their view, that the move is postponed. To force such an action at this moment in the current volatile geopolitical climate would likely ramp up hostilities.
To watchers on the wall-those who view the world through the prism of Bible prophecy from the pre-Millennial, pre-Tribulation perspective, the president's declaration and decision on the embassy move should not come as surprise.
Like every other prophetic indicator on the present world horizon, the fact that there is a continuing drive to force peace between Israel and its enemy neighbors is simply something that must be in view while final prophecies near fulfillment. Like Mr. Trump says, peace between Israel and its closest enemy neighbor "has to happen," from the human point of view.
Like all the world has cried for decades-as wrapped neatly in the lyrics of the song by John Lennon-we must "give peace a chance."
But, that much-ballyhooed peace process leaves out the one essential ingredient that can make it come to pass. God is ignored. The very Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, is not even considered in their humanistic effort. As a matter of fact, His Holy name is ridiculed and mocked at every turn by most of the diplomatic world. Christ is viewed as the holdup to peace in most instances, rather than the solution to the hatred and war-making that has dominated human history.
Mr. President, much of your political-electoral-base is made up by those of us who support Israel. We want peace for Israel, the Middle East, the United States, and the world. We know, however, from what God's prophetic Word has to say, that there will be no peace until the Prince of Peace rules and reigns in the hearts and minds of mankind.
The present call for peace is addressed, I'm convinced, by the apostle Paul as follows:
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:1)
Mr. President, peace will happen. It will come in two distinctively opposite forms.
The first peace will be a false peace, brought about by the man of sin, the son of perdition - Antichrist.
Daniel the prophet said the following about this false prince that shall come:
And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many. (Daniel8: 25)
The other peace-the real peace-will be brought upon the planet at Christ's return to make all things right again.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, said the following just before leaving this sin-corrupted world:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
California Wild Fires - A Small Picture of the First Trumpet Judgment of Revelation! - David Pepe -
Deadly wildfires continue to ravage California and have thus far killed some 40 individuals and destroyed some 5700 structures! The smoke also from these fires is making the quality of air toxic and lethal for some parts of the state. In ALL sincerity, our thoughts and prayers go out to those in California whose lives have been greatly affected by these horrific fires. Our TRUE desire is that they will see Almighty God's true hand of rescue as He reaches out to rescue fallen humanity from this fallen world and our fallen selves (John 3:16-17, 1 John 4:10). The images of these wild fires when observed on video look apocalyptic and grip our imagination in great awe. It is in such times like these - while these images are fresh in our minds as Americans - that we want to EXPONENTIALLY magnify this event and focus our attention to the very soon coming Day of the Lord (Rev. 6-19)!
The first of the seven Trumpet judgments (which follow the Seal Judgments - Rev. 6) in the Day of the Lord is described in horrific EXPONENTIAL detail
"And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up (Rev. 8:6-7)."
My dear friends, from this Divine First Trumpet Judgment one third of ALL trees upon the face of the earth will be burnt up!! Dear friend, can you even begin to imagine such a catastrophic event!! Can you even begin to imagine the smoke rising into the earth's atmosphere and its effect on millions upon millions of people from billions of burning trees?!! Oh, my dear friend... it can only be EXPONENTIAL in every facet and yet this is just one of Almighty God's Divine plagues on godless humanity.
We have done the math and it is absolutely mind blowing! There is an estimated 400 billion trees on planet earth and one third of all those billions of trees which will burn comes to roughly 133 billion trees! 133 billion trees will be burnt up not to mention the smoke that will come from these burning trees!!! Also... 7% of all land mass is covered with grass. This area covers 9.93 million sq/km or 3.8 million sq/miles. This total area containing grass - which is given over to fire - is roughly a little bit bigger than the total land mass of the United States which would include Alaska. Indeed my dear friends... the earth will be on fire!!
Dear friends this is just one of the many EXPONENTIAL Divine plagues that Almighty God will send on the earth during this time of GREAT wrath upon the wickedness of ungodly men (Rom. 1:18-32, 2 Thess. 2:8-12, Rev. 6-16)!
What is even more mind blowing then these global raging fires is that the majority of the world's godless unregenerate masses from all nations will STILL continue in their godless and lawless rebellion against Almighty God, His ETERNAL spiritual absolutes and moral absolutes for time (2 Thess. 2:8-12, Rev. 9:20-21). They will not desire to look to Almighty God in a saving way but curse the very One who LOVED the world and gave Himself for its transgressions (Isa. 53, John 3:16-17, 1 John 4:10). Oh how hard the heart of fallen man can get!!
Dear friend, what about you? Upon hearing this message, will your heart get softer to Almighty God's Divine REALITY and to His saving grace for YOU or will it get hard as Pharaoh's heart did? Will you harden your heart against the ETERNAL LOVE, GRACE and MERCY of Almighty God? If you cannot look to Him now in the day of peace (as it were) do you think billions will in that Day with EXPONENTIAL plagues abounding (Rev. 6-16)!
Today my dear friend is the day of salvation! Now is the time! For we know not what tomorrow will bring! Dear friends if you know not the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior be sure that you do business with Him today! We have countless resources to help you come to a saving knowledge of the Savior of the world and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him. Dear friend, may it be so, for you will NEVER EVER be the same!
Indeed! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
Daily Jot: Cell phones may cause more US deaths than guns - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Bloomberg reports that distracted drivers are responsible for 57.6% of traffic fatalities, some 18,538 in 2015. Bloomberg is saying that while the share of Americans owning cell phones increased from 75% to 81% from 2014-16, federal statistics reporting the incidents of cell phones usage in fatalities caused by distracted drivers are far underreported. For example, only 448 traffic fatalities were traced back to cell phone usage, and Bloomberg cites examples of people whose loved ones were killed by drivers that admitted to using their cell phones, but are not among the statistics. Problem is that states are using differing statistics and standards to report accidents involving distracted drivers.
Bloomberg recalls the findings of Zendrive Inc., a San Francisco startup that analyzes smartphone data to help insurers of commercial fleets assess safety risks, "In a study of 3 million people, it found drivers using their mobile phone during 88 percent of trips. The true number is probably even higher because Zendrive didn't capture instances when phones were mounted in a fixed position-so-called hands free technology, which is also considered dangerous... "It's definitely frightening," said Jonathan Matus, Zendrive's co-founder and chief executive officer. "Pretty much everybody is using their phone while driving."" One interviewee said, "We know what's going on, but we don't have a breathalyzer for a phone."
Gunviolencearchive.org reports 13,502 deaths in 2015 from the use of guns, of which 1,370 occurred in self-defense. In 2016, the organization reports 15,080 gun-related deaths, of which 1,975 were in self-defense; so far this year, there have been 12,262 gun related deaths with 1,601 in self-defense. On the heat map of the US where gun-related deaths occurred, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Baltimore-areas of the most stringent gun control laws-indicate the most gun-related deaths. Incidentally, The Washington Post reports that law enforcement officers used lethal force 995 times in 2015, 733 were attacks in progress, 94 were unarmed, 497 deaths were white, and 431 were black (259) or Hispanic (172).
My cell phone has been sitting here beside me on my desk the whole time I've been writing this Daily Jot. My grandpa's handgun has been resting in its holster on a shelf in my office. It hasn't moved in years. Neither my cell phone, nor this antique gun has threatened, injured or killed any of our family or visitors to our home or anyone else while I've had them. Statistically, it's possible that cell phones have been used in more deaths per year than guns. Yet, there is no move to ban cell phones. Galatians 6:5 says, "For every man shall bear his own burden." Verse 7 continues, "for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap." Unlike inanimate objects, each person has responsibility for their own behavior, even those who want to ban the object that is used irresponsibly rather than hold accountability.
Daily Devotion: Through the Fire - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. -Isaiah 43:2
Years ago my wife was cooking a steak, and as she often does, she threw it on and then went and did something else. But on this particular occasion, she forgot about the steak. Then she said, "Something is burning. What's that smell?"
Let's just say it was well done.
I'm glad that when we go through fiery trials as believers, God doesn't get distracted, forget about us, and leave us there.
David wrote in Psalm 23, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me" (verse 4).
We must remember to cast our problems on the Lord, turning them over to Him in times of need.
When the people were griping and complaining about Moses, the Bible tells us that Moses cried out to the Lord. When Hezekiah received an intimidating letter from a king who was threatening to destroy him, he spread the letter out before the Lord. When Mary and Martha saw that their beloved brother Lazarus was sick, they sent word to the Lord.
When trouble comes your way, cast it on Him. Spread it out before Him. Call on Him. As the Scriptures say, "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
Most of us would like to avoid the valleys of life, so to speak, but there are some lessons we learn there that we cannot learn anywhere else.
God doesn't promise to keep us out of all trouble. But He does promise to be with us in the midst of it. It's a great thing to know that when the Lord lets His children go through a fiery trial, He always keeps an eye on them and an eye on the thermostat.
FROM THE HEART
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