Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
WILL ISRAEL GO EXTINCT? - Part 2 - Steve Schmutzer - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8727
My last article reviewed Israel's tenuous situation in the world today. With national leaders suggesting Israel's days are numbered, and with passions and sentiments clearly mounting against this tiny Mideast nation, it seems natural to wonder.
Instead of being the salt and light it's supposed to be - proclaiming truth and dispelling darkness - much of the church chooses to sing in unison with the world's dirge. In the wake of neglecting Biblical truth, many Christians advance heresies which appear all-inclusive and politically-correct on the surface, but which are more effective at fostering carnal attitudes against the Jews.
The Bible assures us that God still has a plan for Israel. In accordance with that plan, there are two occasions in which worldwide Israel is regathered. This sequence is important because it helps us understand Israel today and how it aligns with God's intentions.
In review, the first worldwide regathering of the Jews is in spiritual unbelief. That was formalized on May 14, 1948 when Israel became a nation once again following the Nazi holocaust. That regathering still continues as Jews from all parts of the world flee persecution and pour into Israel. As we saw in Ezekiel 20:33-38 and Ezekiel 22:17-22 this first worldwide regathering is "in judgment" and "for wrath," so a future element still needs to play out.
Despite Israel's continued unbelief, God has sovereignly collected His people together as He prepares them for His greater plan. The specific events of history in our lifetime align perfectly with the prophetic language of the Word of God.
But the next worldwide gathering of Israel is very different, and this one is the focus of Isaiah 11:11-12:6. In this text, Isaiah describes the final regathering as preparation for Israel's imminent blessing. This text makes it clear that this regathering is just prior to the earthly Millenial Kingdom, and it will take place "in belief" or "in faith." So this final worldwide regathering is much different than the first one which occurs "in unbelief."
It's important to note that Isaiah 11:11 states this next event will be "....a second time." So, the ramifications are clear: the second time is the final time. Therefore, there could only be one worldwide regathering before it, and all phases of that first regathering are steeped in spiritual unbelief.
Now, some people may wish to argue that the Jewish return from Babylonian exile was the first time this regathering phenomenon occurred. There are various problems with that position, but two of those dilemmas are most clear.
The first problem is the return from Babylon was plainly a return from one nation, and the passages in Ezekiel and Isaiah make it evident that these two worldwide regatherings are from multiple nations. The Jews have indeed been scattered over the face of the entire earth, and it is from these remote locations that they will return to Israel.
The second problem is one has to find a way to explain why the Bible does not mean what it says. My view is that "....second time" means just that. The Babylonian argument implies there are more than two worldwide regatherings despite the Scripture's position. I'll take God at face value since He does not waste words.
It should not be overlooked that several Old Testament prophecies, Zephaniah 2:1-2 among them, further clarify that the first regathering in unbelief occurs before the Tribulation period, a time referred to as "...the day of the Lord." Since the Tribulation hasn't started yet, everything checks out there too.
So what does all this regathering stuff have to do with Israel's precarious situation in the world today? The answer is there are logical implications from the bigger picture. As I've stated before, the Bible clarifies everything, so let's process what we already know.
For the Tribulation to begin, the nation of Israel must first exist according to Daniel 9:27. Well - Israel exists right now as the result of the first worldwide regathering in unbelief. Furthermore, it is because of their preexistent condition of unbelief that Israel will even agree to the antichrist's future covenant!
That means there's a real problem if one believes Israel will be wiped off the map between now and then. In such a situation, Israel's demise would require a second worldwide regathering of the Jews in unbelief in order to reform the nation once more and position it for the precise conditions of the Tribulation's start. These notions are a real stretch and they have no Scriptural support.
So is Israel entirely safe and secure now? No, I don't think so. It's within reason to imagine Israel could find itself in a major conflict and suffer unthinkable trauma. Personally, I feel the greater body of the Word of God paints that situation as unlikely, but even if that happened, the conditions of all the prophetic scriptures we've reviewed here would still hold true.
Israel, because of its present condition of spiritual unbelief, will come dangerously close to extinction at the very end of The Tribulation period. Events leading up to this point will be nightmarish for the Jews - the most horrific circumstances they've ever endured. It's why the Bible calls this "....the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7), and those Jews who persist in their faithlessness will die according to Zech. 13:8-9.
This is the final phase of the first worldwide regathering in unbelief, and its purpose is "for wrath" as we saw in Ezekiel 22:17-22. It concentrates the Jews in Jerusalem and purges Israel of its non-elect. It fulfills God's purpose to prepare events for the second worldwide regathering of the Jews "in belief."
By God's sovereign design, Israel will come right to the brink as a nation, but it will be spared. Jesus Christ, their true Messiah, will return to save the Jewish nation at the very moment when all seems lost for them. This is all laid out candidly in the Scriptures.
The bottom line is present day Israel is not going away, and speculations concerning Israel's imminent demise are inconsistent with God's Word. Israel is prophetically significant "as it is," and God always keeps His promises. He is still at work with His chosen people despite what world leaders and worldly preachers say.
I've said before that events with Israel may yet take place which tax our knowledge and test our faith, but we cannot permit the instability of human reason to override what the Bible plainly teaches.
Israel Watch: "Poor" Syria! - Jim Fletcher -
For three years, Israel has done a tremendous job of denying two things to the Iranians: further military buildup in Syria, and the delivery of weapons to Hezbollah.
In short: don't mess with Israel.
This week, Russia ratcheted-up the tensions by announcing the delivery to the Syrians of an anti-missile system known as S-300. This comes on the heels of the shooting down of a Russian plane on September 17, in which 15 Russians were killed. They blame Israel, while Israel blames Syria and Iran.
This is Russia's war-by-proxy with Israel. Very ominous, since the two sides haven't engaged in the region since the Yom Kippur War. Then, as in the Six Day War, it is an open secret that Israeli pilots engaged Russian MiG fighters. The latter lost.
Soon, Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Donald Trump for the fifth time. He has also been in contact with Russian strongman Putin. It is heartening that Israel has a leader who will not place others above his no. 1 priority of protecting the citizenry of his own country.
"We will continue to act to prevent the Iranian military build up in Syria and to continue with the security coordination between the IDF and the Russian army," he said.
It must be kept in mind that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is truly under threat by neighbors. It is true that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Gulf States are worried about Iran. But Israel is the only one that is confined to narrow and small borders, while facing a potentially lethal threat. This time from the north.
Yet, let us consider how amazing the geopolitical situation is now in Israel. They have a solid working relationship with Egypt, whose military leader el-Sisi seems not to be a Jew-hating warlord along the lines of Nasser.
Also, though I take a more negative view of Jordan's King Abdullah than some, Jordan is no threat to Israel. Iraq is also, for the time being, no longer a real military threat to Israel.
That leaves the north. And all the good news doesn't negate the fact that two of the worst regimes on the planet are cooperating in Syria. That is indeed problematic for Israel.
The most important factor though is that the Israelis have not and will not back down. They will not allow Iran any real foothold.
It is very problematic that where the "militant" controlled town of Idlib is concerned, Russia, Iran, and Turkey are negotiating the status of that place. Isn't that amazing? Syria's Bashar Assad has no real authority or control in his own country, so three menacing powers are doing it for him. Can't bode well for Syrian independence going forward.
American forces are operating east of the Euphrates, and of course the Iranians are demanding their removal. The forces are a serious deterrent and President Trump and his team are to be commended for committing troops for stability. Trump is working closely with the Israelis to limit the damage that can be done by Iran and others.
I believe the Big Three of Russia, Turkey, and Iran would love to carve-up Syria. Russia of course has long coveted a warm-weather seaport, so a presence along the Mediterranean coast would fit the bill. Iran would love a chunk of territory in the east. For these reasons and many others, it's vital to the security of the region that they remain opposed by Israel and America.
It remains a lesson for all of us not to project too far ahead. It is fascinating to think that, for example, Iran's regime could be overthrown by the people. At the same time, that might give Iraq an opening to reassert itself in the region.
God knows what will happen. In the meantime, we have a front-row seat to all the great end-times prophecies.
We are blessed.
Nearing Midnight: Guilty Until Proven Innocent - Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
The presumption of innocence is the bedrock of a free society. If someone thinks you did something wrong, you remain innocent until they can prove you are guilty. This concept is expressed by the Latin maxim ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat ("the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on the one who denies").
The United States Constitution does not explicitly cite the presumption of innocence, but it is widely held to follow from the 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments. The Supreme Court case of Coffin v. United States (1895) officially established the presumption of innocence of persons accused of crimes.
When a government or corporation is given the power to declare people guilty at will, tyranny is always the result. It can sometimes be very difficult to prove that you are innocent of a crime. A few years back, we had a major problem with states' civil forfeiture laws being used to seize property. Agencies would often assume people's cash or bank accounts were connected to drug transactions, and then seize the money. The owner had to track down why their money was impounded, then prove that it was not the result of criminal activity.
A number of states passed laws that required the filing of criminal charges before the government could permanently confiscate property. The problem of guilty until proven innocent moved to a new front - like social media. Because all large internet companies are run by far-leftist liberals, conservatives are being openly persecuted for their political views.
On Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, leftists can call for violence; and in many cases, little or nothing happens to them. If someone on the right uses the wrong words, they are regularly locked out of their account. Alex Jones has been banned by every major platform for promoting various conspiracy views. While Jones sits in hate-speech jail, anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, doesn't even show up on radar.
I gave up on Twitter last week when it locked actor James Woods out of his account for the bizarre assertion that he was meddling with the upcoming election. The post in question featured a hoax meme, claiming to come from the Democrats, and encouraged men not to vote in the midterm elections. Mr. Woods - noted for his conservative views in liberal-leaning Hollywood - acknowledged the meme was probably not real when he shared it. The post was made in July, so justice at Twitter moves strangely slow.
I knew it was only a matter of time before Woods would be banned when he pointed out Twitter accounts of people who threatened to kill the President and they were not punished. Twitter would love to ban President Trump because they claim he has done something wrong. Right now, Twitter fears a backlash from public opinion if they declare Trump guilty of hate. I'm sure Twitter expects the time will quickly come when it can pounce at will.
George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984" may be a work of fiction, but we are living it right now. The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings have ripped to shreds the Supreme Court nomination process. Gone are the days when 95 Senators would vote to confirm a nominee. We now live in a time where a candidate is automatically labeled by the Democrats as unfit for the job, and every one of them will vote no on a confirmation.
During any other time, Christine Blasey Ford's letter to Senator Diane Feinstein would be received as well as a guy who keeps sending Rapture Ready emails claiming that he is Jesus Christ. The Democrats decided to run with Ford's story because they couldn't find any real dirt on Kavanaugh.
A group working for Planned Parenthood was promoting a message that turns the presumption of guilt on its head: "The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh would be a slap in the face to survivors across this country. We will NOT stand by and watch a sexual abuser ascend to our nation's highest court to carry out the GOP's anti-woman agenda."
What we saw last week was simply a replay of the 1991 Anita Hill playbook. While Kavanaugh was making his rounds in visiting with various senators, Senator Diane Feinstein was scheming to use Christine Blasey Ford as a victim that could block his nomination.
It is just insane that this was allowed to turn into a media circus. Anyone with an IQ above 70 should know that these rape allegations are a complete fabrication. The Democrats said they were going to check to see if Kavanaugh was a sex offender, and amazingly, they hit the lottery on the first try.
I am very disappointed that there wasn't a massive backlash against this attack on the presumption of innocence. There is some hope that voters will register their anger at the November election. The left has become so depraved in their quest for power that any defeat at the ballot could mean the end of democracy in America.
"Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:28-32 NIV).
Liquid Gold: Shomron Farmers Fulfill Ezekiel's Prophecy, Planting Olives for the Third Temple - By Maayan Hoffman - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
When you present an offering of meal baked in the oven, [it shall be of] choice flour: unleavened cakes with oil mixed in, or unleavened wafers spread with oil. Leviticus 2:4 (The Israel Bible™)
The olive oil runs from the presses at Meshek Achiya like a stream of liquid gold.
Every olive in the press, each with a fruity aroma tinged by sweet hay or grass, was planted and harvested in Israel's Biblical heartland, right outside of ancient Shiloh, Israel's first capital and the location where the holy Ark of the Covenant stood for nearly 400 years. Today, a small team of farmers are re-planting the land, fulfilling the Biblical prophecy described in Ezekiel:
"But ye O mountains of Yisrael ye shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Yisrael; for they are at hand to come" (Ezekiel 36:8).
"We are doing the work that our ancestors did in the time of the Temple, of course with the expectation that the day will come when we will take our olive oil to Jerusalem for use in the Third Temple," said Farm Manager Itamar Weis. "This is holy work that we are doing."
In ancient Temple days, there were both animal and grain offerings. The grain offering (often translated as "meal offering") is referred to in the Bible as minhah (מִנְחָה), which means "gift" and is an offering of thanks. This meal offering may only consist of fine flour, olive oil, salt and incense, usually frankincense. Sacrifices were suspended with the destruction of the Second Holy Temple by the Romans in 70 C.E. The expectation is that they will return when the Temple is rebuilt.
Meshek Achiya (Achiya Farm) is preparing for such a time.
Located in Israel's Biblical heartland, a team of all-Jewish workers plant and farm nearly 200 acres of olive trees and wine vineyards, all of which are "cultivated with love," according to Meshek Achiya CEO David Zitzer. The farm uses ancient Hebrew agriculture practices with the aim and ideal of building up the Jewish homeland and bringing about the redemption.
Meshek Achiya has one of the largest olive presses in the country. The farm's olive oil is of the highest quality and is closely monitored at all stages of the olive-oil making process.
"The fruit extract that originates from the 'tree of life' - Proverbs 3:18 - has for thousands of years illuminated holy spaces, and has been used in ceremonies as well as for beauty and culinary purposes," Zitzer said, noting that the farm's oil will be suitable for bringing a personal meal-offering when the Third Holy Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt.
Weis said his staff, all Jewish residents of the area, understand the role they play. They get up early and work in inclement weather, including strong rain, to plant and harvest the olives. Often, the workers accompany the tractors of fruit to the presses and watch as the olives are turned into oil.
"It is so meaningful," Weis said.
This time of year, the month immediately following Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), is the ideal time to harvest the olives. They are picked from the trees and brought to the presses within an hour to ensure the finest oil. Within the next two months, new olive oil from this season will hit the shelves.
Each year, the farm presses some 3,000 tons of olives and sells around 500,000 bottles of olive oil. But Meshek Achiya has not been without challenges.
Meshek Achiya was founded 20 years ago by Yossi Shooker, a visionary and idealist who wanted to replant the Biblical heartland as described in the Bible. He purchased a small plot of land and with his own hands he tilled and planted it, said Zitzer.
As the time to harvest and press the fruit came closer, Shooker ordered a special olive press from Italy and hired some Italian workers to deliver it and train him in its use.
"But at the time the workers came to deliver it, the first Intifada broke out," Zitzer said. "So they dropped off the machine and ran."
Shooker was undettered. He harvested the olives and put them in the press. But when he turned it on and started to run it, one of his limbs got stuck in the machine and he was pulled down inside. His wife, who was with him, ran to cut the electricity and stop the machine. Shooker was badly injured. After a few years fighting for his life in the hospital, he died.
"The people of the Shomron knew it was their duty to carry on," said Zitzer. So, they kept planting, harvesting and making oil.
Over the decades, Arab agricultural terrorists have likewise attacked the farm at least half-a-dozen times, destroying the trees.
Last May, Arab vandals demolished two-and-a-half acres of vineyards, costing Meshek Achiya hundreds of thousands of shekels. Zitzer said it takes four years to replant these vines and recoup the loss. But he said his team will keep going.
"Every time they tear us down, we replant until our olives and grapes grow, just like in ancient times," Zitzer said.
Today, Meshek Achiya has won multiple international competitions and considered among the best and largest olive oil manufacturers in the State of Israel.
Said Weis, "The quality is extraordinary... Getting Meshek Achiya olive oil is a real way to demonstrate your love of Israel and the Bible."
Daily Jot: What "to do" about everything, nothing, and something - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Many have written me with concerns, even fears, about our nation and what happens to Christians if certain scenarios play out. There is the specter of FEMA Camps and the fear that they may become concentration camps for Christians if the violent left takes over after the elections. Others are concerned that they will lose their freedom of religion, or freedom of speech. While these are possibilities, they are only made reality if the majority of Christians in this nation do nothing.
Remember 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." We are, as Paul writes in Ephesians 6 to open our mouths boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. Yes you can!
The Lord has formed your most inward parts and wove you in your mother's womb and as Psalm 139:14, says, "I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are they works; and that my soul knoweth right well." You are called by the Lord right where you are. As in 1 Corinthians 7:23-24, "You are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherin he is called, therein abide with God." Yes, do what you do unto God for He is the author and finisher of your faith. So what you do, do unto him and you will find joy in it. So many people put so much time into "finding" their "calling" that they are paralyzed in "doing." There, once again is that temptation of despair.
At one point in my life, nothing seemed to be going well. There wasn't much work. It seemed that my wheels were spinning, but I wasn't going anywhere. My wife gave me this verse in Proverbs 18:16, "A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men." At that point, things were so bad that I wasn't sure what the Lord really wanted me to do. But I did have a God-given gift as said in James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Mine is a gift of communication, specifically, writing. Out of that The Daily Jot was birthed. But there was much more to come.
I also have been blessed with a gift for coaching--whether sports or business or personal concerns. Bring the gift of writing and of coaching together and it is even more powerful. These are not only things that some would say I am good at, they are things I also love to do. For God knows you better than anyone and he knows what you love to do. But there is this little two letter word "do." Praying is your first step to doing, but prayers are often not complete until you act. As James wrote in 1:25, "But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." Look around you. There is a lot to be done. And be encouraged for God hasn't left you without the tools, the gifts, to do it. Take charge of your life in service to the Lord!
Daily Devotion: What's Your Story? - By Greg Laurie -
So be careful how you live. Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise. -Ephesians 5:15
Someone asked me the other day whether a Christian's testimony is valid if they've never had any major problems in life. For example, if someone once had been a drug addict or served time in prison and then begins living for Christ, we think that is a great testimony. But then maybe someone else has been relatively moral. They tried to play by the rules. But they, too, discovered they needed God. They realized they needed a Savior and put their faith in Christ.
Both testimonies are valid. There are a lot of different kinds of people in the world. Not everyone relates to a criminal. Not everyone relates to a former drug addict. Some people might relate to someone who was moral and perhaps attended church.
In a nutshell, here's your testimony as a Christian: You once were lost and now you're found. You were blind but now you see. You once were headed to Hell; now you're going to Heaven. That is your testimony, and it's a good one. Use your testimony as a bridge to share your faith.
One of the greatest compliments that could be given to a Christian is when people say, "I've been watching you. I want to know why you are the way you are. I've noticed your joy. I've noticed your sense of purpose. I've noticed how hard you work. I've noticed how you're such a nice person. You're an honest person. Why are you this way?"
Here is the right answer: "It's because of my faith in Jesus Christ." Then share what God has done for you.
Every Christian has a testimony. Everyone has a story to tell. You have a testimony also, and people are watching you. Here's the question: Do you have a bad testimony or a good one?
FROM THE HEART
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