Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Israel and 2017 - By Bud Hancock - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/10/29/israel-and-2017/
What will happen in the Middle East, specifically regarding Israel, in the rest of 2017? Some very important and unsettling events that occurred in 2016 seem to be setting the stage for even greater events in 2017 and beyond. So, what did happen in 2016 to influence future events in Israel and the Middle East?
Anti-Israel Bias Increases at the UN
There were several 'anti-Israel' resolutions issued by the UN that were particularly alarming, in light of their importance to Israel and those that support the Jewish state.
First, in April 2016, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issued a resolution declaring that the Jewish Temple Mount area in Jerusalem be known only as the Al-Aqsa Mosque or Al-Haram Al Sharif, the Islamic names of their religious structures that currently reside on the site. This resolution denies any Jewish/Christian connection to the Temple Mount, in spite of thousands of years of recorded Jewish history and archaeological finds that provide irrefutable proof of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. More importantly, the resolution provides the Palestinians a means of claiming the site strictly for Islam.
This action by the UN infuriated the Israeli government, as well as most Jewish people in Israel and worldwide. Jerusalem, and specifically The Temple Mount, are the holiest sites in Judaism. This is not an action that most Israeli Jews could easily accept. Since the resolution was issued, there have been numerous incidents where the Waqf guards on the Temple Mount have verbally assaulted tour guides at the site for even using the words "Temple Mount" to describe the site to visitors; this situation will only worsen as time goes on.
The US Embassy Move
Second, the US POTUS election, one of the strangest in US history, ended with the election of Donald J. Trump and the rejection of Hillary Clinton by most American voters. During the campaign and afterward, President-elect Trump, who is an outspoken supporter of Israel, promised to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem sometime after his inauguration on January 20, 2017. This is a move that should have happened many years prior, based on the "Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995." However, a provision in the Act that allows the US president to delay the move for six months has been used regularly, every six months, by every US president since the Act was passed by Congress. For political reasons, they all displayed their cowardice in refusing to make the move that would have declared Jerusalem to be Israel's eternal capital.
The fact that President-elect Trump promised to move the embassy, caused an uproar among the Palestinians, as well as other Arab nations in the region. The Palestinian Authority (PA) stated that the move would amount to "a declaration of war."
Now, the embassy move has again been delayed by President Trump, who signed the six-month waiver in June. A future decision must be made by the president in December 2017 to either move the embassy or sign the delay waiver again.
More UN Bias Against Israel
Third, the UN Security Council (UNSC) issued the now famous Resolution 2334 that called for Israel to abandon all settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The resolution passed only when the US Ambassador, on the order of President Obama, refused to veto it and abstained instead. Since it was passed on December 23, 2016, the resolution has only fanned the flames of anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing among Israel's enemies, with most of the Arab nations rejoicing at its passage. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu stated emphatically that Israel will not abide by the requirements of the resolution, which also repeats requirements from previous UN resolutions that Israel must return to the indefensible 1967 borders in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Lingering Effect of The Obama Policy
Fourth, outgoing US Secretary of State, John Kerry, gave a speech several days after the UN approved Resolution 2334 that lasted more than an hour, during which he laid out his and the Obama administration's 'pathway to peace,' emphasizing once again their support for a 'two-state solution.' With only a brief mention of the harm done by the violence and incitement of the Palestinian Authority, Kerry used the majority of his remarks to slam the Israeli leadership for their refusal to be 'obedient' to the demands of the UN. The words of the Secretary of State usually create or enforce official US foreign policy; however, as of now, the Kerry speech has not been totally refuted as US policy, which still seems to be seeking a peaceful solution to the ages-old conflict by establishing a separate state for the Palestinian people on land that God promised to the Jews.
With the seemingly everlasting conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, accompanied by the unending hatred most Arabs and Muslims have for the Jews, these four events appear to have the ability to shape and possibly worsen the conflict. So, these are four extremely important events that occurred in 2016.
God's Word on the Conflict
There does not now seem to be a single nation or national leader in the world that has not formed an opinion on how the conflict should be settled. Of the 193 countries who are members of the UN, most anti-Israel resolutions are passed with more than 150 nations voting in favor.
The most important person has already settled the issue regarding the conflict between the offspring of Abraham and those who would see them destroyed; however, His Word on the Israeli/Palestinian situation goes unheeded by most of the world's leaders. This person is, of course, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Jews and Christians.
All the leaders who have spoken out on the subject and presented their opinions of how peace can and should be achieved, tend to illustrate their ignorance of God's Word. They appear to believe their words somehow supersede the authority of Almighty God. In their arrogance, they all seem to think they can solve the conflict between Israel and her enemies by declaring what they claim is a "two-state solution" that will be fair to both Israel and the Palestinians. Their 'solution' requires that the Jews of Israel give up more of the meager land on which they now live, which, incidentally, is much smaller than the land promised to Abraham when God made an everlasting covenant with him (Genesis 15). More importantly, the requirement that Israel give up East Jerusalem - where the Jewish Temple stood, as well as the Western Wall of the Temple Mount - for the capital of a Palestinian state, is something that the Israeli government and the Jewish people will not ever agree to.
I won't predict what might happen at any given time in an area as unstable and explosive as the Middle East, but I believe these events have set in motion the coming events that must occur before the Tribulation Period can begin.
According to Ezekiel 38, Israel will be living in 'unwalled villages, at rest and dwelling safely' when the invasion from the north, known as the Gog/Magog invasion, occurs. This is certainly not the case now; Israeli Jews are constantly on guard against jihadis, who carry out terror attacks throughout the country. Something very dramatic must occur to bring Israel to a place where they are dwelling safely and are 'at rest,' as stated in Ezekiel 38.
So, what exactly could happen to cause the Jews to feel safe in their own country? I believe that (1) The US Embassy move to Jerusalem, (2) coupled with the fact that Israel's refusal to abide by any UN action that forces them to divide their land, and especially Jerusalem, could be a spark that might ignite the conflict into a major military action. The Palestinian Authority government, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, is now reunited politically with the Hamas terrorist organization of the Gaza area. The reunification move is supported by most of Israel's Arab neighbors, and could possibly embolden them to decide to invade and destroy Israel, as stated in the prayer found in Psalm 83. This would be a grave error on the part of the invaders, which could result in a catastrophic defeat of the invading armies by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
The Jewish people have been threatened with annihilation many times since they were dispersed throughout the world shortly after the death and resurrection of Jesus nearly 2000 years ago. Approximately six million Jews were murdered during WWII alone. The Jewish people, now in possession of some of the land promised to them in Genesis, and with the most powerful militaries in the Middle East, have declared numerous times that they will not allow another holocaust to occur.
Any decision to attack Israel with the intent to destroy the Jews will be met with an overwhelming response by the IDF, likely leading to a humiliating defeat of the invaders. Such a defeat could also allow Israel to greatly expand its control over much of her neighbors' current territories, and cause a shudder of fear and amazement throughout the entire world. This could easily cause the world to see the 'need to make peace' with Israel through a covenant that would last for seven years. This could be the same covenant that will be 'confirmed' by the Antichrist when he appears on the world stage.
The effect of such a covenant, recognized by most of the nations of the world - would, for the first time since the Jewish return of 1948 - seem to provide a setting where Israel could finally relax and 'live in peace with her neighbors.' This would certainly set the stage for the Gog/Magog invasion described in Ezekiel 38.
Could this series of events begin to occur in 2017? Based on the hostility to Israel in the UN, I believe there could be further actions taken this year by the UN Security Council. Since all resolutions of the Security Council are considered binding on all parties under international law, any such resolutions will try to force the two-state solution that will require Israel to return to the (indefensible) 1967 borders and cede East Jerusalem, along with the Temple Mount, making it the capital of a Palestinian state. I also believe Israel would immediately announce their refusal to obey these ungodly actions.
As far as the US Embassy move, it is not impossible that such a move could still be decided, started in 2017 and completed sometime early in 2018. If an invasion by the surrounding Arab nations into Israel is delayed until the embassy is moved, the invasion could certainly occur in the first quarter of 2018, after the winter rains are over in the area.
Will this happen according to the timeline I present here? Only God knows that; but, based on the events that must yet occur before the Gog/Magog invasion and the start of the Tribulation, I believe it is certainly possible. Whether it does or not, it illustrates the absolute need for all Christians to go through some serious self-examination to ensure that we are on the right side. That would be the side that God favors. For those who still have questions about who, and what, God favors in this conflict, the answers to all the questions are in His Word. Dig in.
Report: Saudis Pushed U.S. to Pressure Israel into Delaying Jerusalem Bill - by Deborah Danan -
Saudi Arabia pushed the U.S. into pressuring Israel to delay the "Greater Jerusalem" bill that would see the connection of satellite settlements to the capital, the Hebrew news site Ynet reported Tuesday.
According to the report, which cited the Al-Watan newspaper, a senior White House source said that Saudi officials had raised the issue during talks surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday postponed the initial vote on the bill that would annex 19 settlements surrounding Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem Post quoted sources saying that the legislation needed "diplomatic preparation and has therefore been rejected for the moment." Israel's Army Radio quoted David Bitan (Likud) stating that the vote was delayed because of "American pressure claiming it is an annexation."
According to a report by Haaretz, Netanyahu said at Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting, "The Americans turned to us and inquired what the bill was about. As we have been coordinating with them until now, it is worth (continuing) talking and coordinating with them. We are working to promote and develop the settlement enterprise."
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Thursday said that while she wouldn't comment on the internal politics surrounding the vote, the U.S. would "continue to encourage both sides to take appropriate actions to ease tensions and build an environment that would support concluding a conflict-ending peace agreement."
The bill, authored by MK Yoav Kisch (Likud), would give some 150,000 residents of those communities - termed "daughter municipalities" - the right to vote in Jerusalem's municipal elections.
While Likud and the Jewish Home party have been strong proponents of the bill, several coalition parties have opposed it - in particular, the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism, which have concerns that the bill's passage will weaken their voting bloc in the capital.
"We have to be very wary of it and not approve it so quickly," MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) said last week.
MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) accused lawmakers of using the bill as a political tool.
"This bill might look good on paper, but it's bad in reality," she said. "Who wants to live in a city where people from the outside can vote for your mayor?" She said there were better ways to strengthen the city.
The 19 satellite settlements include Ma'aleh Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, Betar Illit, Efrat and the communities belonging to the Gush Etzion Regional Council.
The legislation would also connect Kafr Akab, Shuafat and Anata, the three Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem that are outside the security barrier and together comprise some 100,000 people, and turn them into sub-municipalities of the city.
UN Launches 'Unprecedented' $1.3 billion Legal Campaign Against Israel - By Adam Abrams - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1733#SPIwMzQ3xJdVZW5S.99
The United Nations has earmarked some $1.3 billion to fund Palestinian legal campaigns against Israel and to support the creation of an independent Palestinian state, in what experts are calling an unprecedented act singling out the Jewish state at the world body.
A document that was recently signed between the U.N. and the Palestinians outlines a "strategic programming framework" in the disputed territories from 2018-2022, and states that the U.N. will work to advise the Palestinian Authority on how to exploit "international accountability mechanisms" in order to hold Israel accountable for alleged violations of international law. The document is set to come into effect Jan. 1, 2018.
The document makes no references to Palestinian violations of international law and human rights, nor does it specify that the $1.3 billion in funding should be applied to humanitarian assistance. Rather, the U.N. document states that the money should be used for developing programs that support "Palestine's path to independence."
"The funding of this unprecedented and prejudicial aggression against a member state by the U.N. is clear evidence that the international body's goal and solution is for a single Palestinian state to replace Israel," Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of the Tel Aviv-based civil rights organization Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center, told JNS.org.
"It's a new form of anti-Semitic aggression and terror by other means, and it plainly violates the U.N.'s own charter," she said.
Sixteen U.N. agencies appear as signatories in the document, including the OHCHR human rights office, the UNESCO cultural body and the UNRWA refugee agency. In signing the document, the agencies pledged to hold Israel accountable for its alleged violations and to document the purported abuses while simultaneously strengthening Palestinian groups' "ability to advocate effectively for rights to be respected."
In the document, the U.N. also pledged to monitor "the impact of Israeli violations" as well as how purported Israeli "breaches of international law" hinder the development of "Palestine."
"There is no other example or precedent of the U.N. funding, training and advising one side of a conflict to pursue legal advocacy against another side," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch, a group whose stated mission is to "monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own charter."
"For some reason, however, when it comes to Israel, the U.N. development agencies cross the bright red line from humanitarian assistance to political advocacy," he said.
Although the amount of funding allocated by the U.N. towards overtly anti-Israel initiatives is unprecedented, Shurat Hadin's Darshan-Leitner said the world body's singling out of Israel and misuse of funds were "no big surprise."
"The U.N. is misappropriating, once again, its donors' funds and directing them into projects that help the PLO target and attack the Jewish state, instead of for humanitarian causes," said Darshan-Leitner.
"After all, it's the U.N.'s raison d'etre at this point," she added. "We have seen a massive increase in these baseless lawfare suits being filed without any merit in the American federal courts in the past few years.
The unilateral encouragement of these frivolous harassment suits against Israelis and Jewish individuals, which are obviously being funded and fanned on by foreign bodies, is a new Palestinian strategy to try to bedevil and deter support for Israel."
Darshan-Leitner underscored that the U.N. "does not care one iota about justice for the so-called 'victims' it's pretending to assist," and that it uses Palestinian initiatives as a vehicle for turning Israel into an international pariah.
"It's policies like this that display so clearly why the United States was moved to quit UNESCO, and is considering resigning [from] and defunding other U.N. agencies," she said.
Prof. Avi Bell, a member of the faculty of law at Israel's Bar-Ilan University and a senior fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum think tank, voiced similar sentiments, telling JNS.org that the U.N.'s newly revealed strategic document "highlights the degree to which many organs of the United Nations are actively involved in diplomatic, legal and financial warfare against the state of Israel."
"We often fail to appreciate the degree to which the U.N, supports, or even directs, anti-Israel propaganda and political activity," said Bell. "This kind of activity obviously violates the U.N. Charter by infringing upon Israeli sovereignty and denying Israel the right of sovereign equality."
Bell added that these actions "undermine international institutions by subordinating their legal roles to a political agenda [and] corrupting them in the name of anti-Zionist ideology....Unfortunately, the U.N.'s decades-long war on Israel is nowhere near ending."
Hezbollah, World's 'Most Powerful' Terrorist Organization, Poised for Next War With Israel, Military Experts Conclude in New Report - by Ben Cohen -
Iran's proxy in Lebanon, the Shia terrorist movement Hezbollah, has become the "most powerful non-state armed force on the planet," a report by a group of former senior military officials and diplomats, many of them from NATO member states, concluded this week.
The report from the independent High-Level Military Group (HLMG) - whose members include Iraq war veteran Lt.-Gen. Michael D. Barbero of the US, Gen. Klaus Dieter Neumann, former commander of the German armed forces, Lord Richard Dannatt, former commander of the British armed forces, and Lt. Gen. Kamal Davar, the former head of India's Defense Intelligence Agency - asserted that Hezbollah now represents "a threat that few countries, much less sub-state organizations, on the globe can mount."
A renewed war with Israel was "inevitable," the report warned, that is certain to be "more violent and destructive" than previous conflicts. Hezbollah has reportedly been withdrawing its forces from Syria in recent weeks, transferring them toward Israel's borders on the Golan Heights.
Since the 2006 war with Israel, Hezbollah has undergone a major boost in terms of missile development and intelligence-gathering activities. "Israeli intelligence estimates put the number of projectiles in Hezbollah's possession today at well over 100,000," the report, titled "Hezbollah's Terror Army: How To Prevent A Third Lebanon War," said. "The majority of these are short-range rockets, but thousands have a much larger range, up to 150 miles and more."
The report noted that "not only has the sheer numeric scale of the threat increased exponentially, but the lethality is greatly increased on account of larger payloads, range and higher targeting accuracy."
Hezbollah also "mounts a greatly expanded intelligence effort," the report observed. "It has numerous intelligence-gathering units focused on Israel, generating an extensive bank of targets, including many vital and sensitive Israeli infrastructure facilities."
On the ground, Hezbollah fighters "are equipped with AK-47 assault rifles, night vision goggles, and advanced anti-tank weapons," the report said. "Its combatants are highly skilled in deploying explosives and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM)."
Hezbollah's participation in the defense of the Iranian-backed Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad had improved the organization's "ability to maneuver and carry out relatively large-scale ground attacks at the scale of company or battalion level," the report pointed out.
Iran has played a decisive role in strengthening Hezbollah's capabilities, the report emphasized. "The upgrade in Hezbollah capabilities is one discernible result of Iran and Hezbollah's ongoing project to equip the latter with more accurate longer-range missiles, so as to be able to more effectively menace Israel," it said. The report continued, "Hezbollah embeds its military assets among the Lebanese civilians it claims to protect, holds Lebanese politics and questions of war and peace hostage to its Iranian-led regional military imperatives, and has infiltrated Lebanese state organs, including the army, to utilize them for its aims."
In the event of a renewed war between Hezbollah and Israel, competition for international public support will be no less fierce than during the 2006 hostilities, the report said. "This is likely to be exacerbated by Israel's doctrine requiring substantial and immediate damage to Hezbollah in the opening stages of any new war, with the television pictures and attendant battle over the narrative of the fighting likely to prove highly contentious," it stated.
Yet, the report stressed, "the international environment has changed since the previous war, and a defensive assault on Hezbollah, a terror organization now strongly associated with Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria, will generate full support not only from the United States, but likely also from other Western countries, in addition to tacit but increasing support from the Sunni Arab world."
The report argued that while "Israel enjoys a range of immense economic, diplomatic, and military assets, it is at serious risk from a successful attack."
Israel would pursue a strategy based on the twin imperatives of a decisive and fast victory. "Hezbollah's strategic concept, coupled to the gains Iran has made regionally ... mean that Israeli decision makers are firm in the belief that they will have to respond with overwhelming force and at great speed to any escalation forced upon them," the report concluded.
The Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Nathele Graham -
How do angels fight? Have you ever wondered about that? They're created beings and are immortal so arrows won't affect them. Some angels rebelled against their Creator and this rebellion is the root cause of the evil in the world today. God doesn't turn a blind eye to rebellious angels or to rebellious people. Though angels exist in a different dimension than the one we occupy they can cross into ours. Daniel saw an angel who told him that he had just done battle with the prince of Persia and would do battle with the prince of Greece. These princes are what Paul in the New Testament calls "principalities" and are an evil power that influences nations. When we read of the horrors that happen at the hands of Kim Jong-un you can be sure that he is under the influence of the evil power of the prince of North Korea. Still I wonder, how do angels fight. When Daniel describes the angelic being he saw, no weapon was mentioned. The weapons used must be of a different sort than we're familiar with. They must be spiritual in nature. The same is true for Christians. Our real battle is spiritual and must be fought with spiritual weapons. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12. Guns, tanks, and fighter jets won't help in this battle.
The influence of the demonic dimension can be felt and demons are sometimes seen in the physical realm in which we live. We must do everything we can to fight against this evil force and that means to arm yourself spiritually. Spiritual warfare needs spiritual weapons. "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:13. Just as we need weapons to protect and defend ourselves in the physical world, we need weapons to defend and protect ourselves in spiritual warfare. God hasn't left us defenseless but you must learn to use the weapons available for this fight. An army that isn't familiar with the weapons of war cannot win. Christian soldiers need to become familiar the each piece of the armor and learn how to use it properly.
"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;" Ephesians 6:14. The first instruction is to stand. In a battle a soldier must be alert but if he kicks back and gets lazy the enemy has the advantage. So, Christian, stand and stay alert. Be sure your loins are girt with truth. A girt, or belt, will hold the weapons in place so be sure your weapons cling to truth. Don't be confused by propaganda spewed by the enemy. The only truth that's real is God's truth and if you dilute that you have no truth. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." John 14:6. If you put man's ideas above God's truth then you've compromised your battle gear. Without truth what can you believe? Do you believe one plus one is two? Can someone convince you it's three? You need to be as certain of God's truth as you are of basic math. Next you need to guard your heart by putting on the breastplate of righteousness. Not your own righteousness, which is nothing more than filthy rags, but Christ's righteousness. How do we learn to use this breastplate of righteousness? As with every item listed in this armor of God, truth and righteousness are found in God's word. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" 2 Timothy 3:16. Study God's word and mold your life to fit His truth. Don't pick and choose the parts of Scripture you agree with, but correct your ideas to agree with God's truth.
What good is a soldier without proper shoes? When out on the battlefield you must be prepared to march so make sure you're prepared. "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;" Ephesians 6:15. The Gospel of peace. Jesus paid a huge price for that Gospel and we need to share it. Isaiah prophesied of this Gospel "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" Isaiah 52:7. You won't be able to share the Gospel of peace if you aren't prepared. Study. That's how you prepare. People all over the world have questions about Jesus, but if you aren't certain of what you believe then how can you answer questions from other people? "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" 1 Peter 3:15. Whether you preach the Gospel of peace in Zion or in your own neighborhood, be prepared. A soldier's shoes need to be cared for and comfortable. If you aren't comfortable with the Gospel of Peace then get comfortable with it by studying. Then spread the Good News.
Is your faith in place? "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." Ephesians 6:16. Having faith in something means that you know it to be true and trust it. The fiery darts of the wicked are thoughts of doubt that Satan plants in our minds to break our faith. If a loved one is ill and you pray for healing but God's answer is to take that person Home, do you doubt God's existence or question His love? You might go to school and are being taught the lie of evolution and you begin to doubt the truth found in God's word. Satan has just hit you with a fiery dart. Solid faith will shield you from those darts of doubt. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews11:1. The shield of faith will protect you from doubt and protect you in times of testing.
Salvation is a free gift but it cost Jesus a huge price. He left Heaven to die on the cross to save sinners from eternal death. When we accept Christ's shed blood as the sacrifice for salvation we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and salvation cannot be lost. Our salvation should never be taken for granted nor should it be doubted. "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:17. A helmet covers the head. That's where the brain is located and where thoughts originate. If you listen to the fiery darts from the wicked one you may begin to doubt your salvation and weaken your position in the battle. Keep that helmet of salvation securely in place and keep your thoughts on Jesus. Take your thoughts captive and gain victory over temptation and don't yield to sin. When you're tempted to sin, remember the price Jesus paid for your salvation and choose to follow Him rather than the way of the wicked. Every piece of this armor is for protection and defense. Only one piece is for active use against the enemy and that's the sword of the Spirit. Every word of the Bible in the original language is inspired by the Holy Spirit. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12. Don't stray from the truth of Scripture. If you begin to re-interpret God's word or "modernize" it to fit current sinful attitudes then you'll have a dull sword that's unfit for battle. The word of God is God's truth. Study God's word and let the Holy Spirit guide all your thoughts, words, and actions. Keep that sword in your hand and be ready to fight.
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak." Ephesians 6:18-20. In battle it's important to communicate with the leader. A Christian's Commander in Chief is Jesus Christ. Prayer keeps us in touch with Him and helps us to follow Him more obediently. Paul also asked prayer for himself. He didn't ask that his battle scars be healed or that he could live more comfortably, but asked them to pray that he be more bold in his witness for Christ. "Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak." Colossians 4:3-4. If you have your armor in place and in good working condition then you can march boldly through doors which Christ has opened, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. Pray for open doors and boldness.
Think about the young David who found King Saul and his army hiding in the rocks and hills rather than fighting the giant Goliath. Saul's army had the weapons of war but were afraid to use them. These men who should have been ready to fight were afraid and their weapons were useless. Goliath hurled curses against God Almighty and David couldn't put up with that. He refused the carnal armor offered to him, but went to face Goliath armed with a slingshot and the armor of God. David won that battle. We can win our battles too if we put on the armor of God. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.
Many people say that Paul was being guarded by Roman soldiers when he described the armor of God. This may be true, but are we supposed to conform our life to a pagan guard? Jesus is our example. The prophet Isaiah described the coming Messiah. "For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing and was clad with zeal as a cloke." Isaiah 59:17. Follow Jesus and conform to His ways. No compromise and no wavering but be determined to follow our Leader. Christian soldiers, be armed for battle. Remember that soldiers are stronger when they troop together and the same is true for Christians. "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25. We need each other and joining with fellow Christians will help fight this spiritual battle. Fellowship needs to be more than a Sunday morning gathering.
The armor needs to be kept in good working order...the sword won't sharpen itself. We're told to put the armor on, but nowhere are we told to take it off. Keep your spiritual weapons ready for fighting spiritual warfare.
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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Balfour Declaration Was "Biblically-Based Miracle" Bringing Christians and Jews Together - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/97255/balfour-declaration-biblically-based-miracle-bringing-christians-jews-together/#HBeUaRvT8qY7yHWH.99
"'And what,' I asked him, 'are those two olive trees, one on the right and one on the left of the menorah?'" Zechariah 4:11 (The Israel Bible™)
The Balfour Declaration, a document that led to the establishment of the state of Israel, was the result of Biblically-based miracles, said a political expert on Thursday at a conference focused on continuing the path of Christian-Jewish cooperation begun by Balfour.
Speaking at a panel named for the conference, "From Balfour to Nikki Haley: 100 Years of Christian Zionist Diplomacy", Barry Shaw, Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, noted that the Balfour Declaration was not simply a political move.
"The declaration was part of a series of modern miracles leading up to Messiah," Shaw said. "A miracle is not a magic trick. It is something we can't comprehend. When Allenby marched into Jerusalem one hundred years ago, he walked in on foot because, as a devout Christian, he believed that only the Messiah rides into Jerusalem on horseback. The motivations and energy behind the creation of Israel was a Biblically-based miracle."
Co-sponsored by Israel365 and Bridges for Peace, the conference, which covered topics from politics to prophecy, was held to celebrate the birth and evolution of Christian Zionist diplomacy, dated from the signing of the Balfour Declaration exactly 100 years ago on November 2, 1917.
It began with a moving rendition of Israel's national anthem: Hatikvah ("The Hope"). Jews and Christians joined together in a heartfelt tribute to the fulfillment of 2,000 years of longing for the fulfillment of God's covenant with Abraham.
"The Balfour Declaration was the first real initiative for Christian Zionism, and it was based in the Bible," Rabbi Tuly Weisz, director of Israel365, told Breaking Israel News. "It set the stage for Jewish and Christian partnership, and the future of that relationship has to continue in precisely that way: based in Israel and the Bible. This conference was meant to reinforce that connection."
The basis of the growing Christian-Jewish relationship has always been the Hebrew Bible, the shared heritage of the two faiths. The Christian initiators of the Balfour Declaration were known to have been inspired by their Biblical beliefs, making Balfour the first significant diplomatic Christian act entwining modern Israel with its Biblical destiny.
Abra Forman, editor-in-chief of Breaking Israel News, noted that world events like the Balfour Declaration are meaningless without the framework of the Bible
"Nothing about our world makes sense without the lens of Torah, without the acknowledgement of God's blessing," Forman said in her speech, which focused on reporting the news from a Biblical perspective.
"Time after time, we have seen the words of the Torah come to life," she continued. "It doesn't take any stretch of the imagination to see that prophecy is being fulfilled today. You can't take a step in the holy land without seeing it."
She noted that Christians have played their part in the prophesied revival of Israel, pointing to the phenomenon of Christian volunteers who come to Israel to help Israeli farmers in Samaria harvest their grapes.
Gidon Ariel, founder and CEO of Root Source, an organization that enables and encourages dialogue and relationships between Christians and Jews, gave a unique perspective on the Jewish side of the equation.
"Christians aren't the only ones who need to rethink Replacement Theology," Ariel said. "Jews need to replace the way we think about Christians and recognize the new generation of Christian Zionists."
Daily Jot: The truth hurts, even kills - Bill Wilson -
The Democratic politicians and news media are jumping on President Donald Trump over the terrorist attack by an Islamic immigrant in New York City that left eight dead and more than a dozen wounded. The narrative is that Trump attacked the political policy of how Sayfullo Saipov legally emigrated from Uzbekistan in 2010 through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Democrats and the media are angry Trump is pointing to policy instead of focusing on condolences and sympathy to the victims. In actuality, the very first official act of the President was to offer his thoughts and prayers to the victims. Once again the Democrat-leftist-oriented media sought to change the narrative from the truth to a lie.
President Trump issued a statement from the White House saying, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today's terrorist attack in New York City and their families. My Administration will provide its full support to the New York City Police Department, including through a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We offer our thanks to the first responders who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack. These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage. I will continue to follow developments closely." Yet, the media and pro-open borders people are trying to change the narrative.
The Immigration Act of 1990 established the Diversity Visa program (pushed by current Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY) that uses a lottery for selecting immigrants to become permanent citizens. The program, overseen by the US State Department, accepts immigrants from around the world, including terrorist-sponsoring states. The 29 year old Saipov came from a predominantly Sunni Muslim that has thousands of supporters of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Trump is trying to protect Americans by blocking entry of people from these areas without first vetting them properly. He is being fought by the Democrats, the activist courts, and the media.
The immediate past "president" accelerated Islamic immigration into the US, allowing an unknown number of terrorists and terrorist sympathizers into the nation. Pew Research projects that by 2040 the Muslim population in the US will be larger than the Jewish population, and will be the second most predominant religion. Jeremiah 51:14 describes a similar situation that led to the destruction of Babylon: "Surely I will fill you with men, as with locusts; and they shall lift up a battle cry against you." The truth is that policies of liberal US leaders have aided the infiltration of terrorists into the US. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim. The truth hurts and sometimes it kills.
Daily Devotion: The Captain - By Greg Laurie -
Jesus replied to Simon, "Don't be afraid! From now on you'll be fishing for people!" -Luke 5:10
In Luke's Gospel we read of Jesus using Simon Peter's boat as a floating pulpit of sorts. The crowds had been pressing in on Him, so the Lord launched out a little from the shore as He spoke to the people. Afterward He told Peter, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch" (Luke 5:4).
Now, Jesus was what we might call a landlubber. He was a rabbi. He wasn't someone who typically spent time on the water.
Peter replied, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." Peter's response included a unique nautical term that could be translated this way: "We have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, Master (or Captain) of this boat, we will do it."
Peter could have been saying, "With all due respect, Lord, when it comes to teaching, You are the Man. We hang on Your every word. But this is kind of our thing. We've already been fishing. It's a waste of time."
When they launched out into the deep, however, there were so many fish, their nets began to break and the boat began to sink. Another boat was brought up, and it was overwhelmed with fish as well. Peter was blown away. He said to Jesus, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" (verse 8).
Effectively he was saying to Jesus, "Don't waste Your time on me. I'm going to disappoint You. I'm not going to measure up. Don't even bother with me, Jesus."
But Jesus said, "Don't be afraid! From now on you'll be fishing for people!" (Luke 5:10).
Is Jesus the captain of your boat? Let Him be that for you. Let Him take control.
FROM THE HEART
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