Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Tribulation Chronicles Part 4: Israel is the Key - by Alice Johnson Childs -
Before I begin this next letter, let me take a moment to explain something to you, Dear Reader. As you progress through this series, you will notice that some of the information from one letter will be stated again in some way in successive letters. I am writing this series of chronicles in this manner on purpose.
First of all, every bit of information contained within these missives is vital for you to know. If you (or anyone else) are not familiar with the Bible or with biblical prophecy (as you are most likely not since you were left behind), then re-reading the truths contained within each letter will help solidify these truths in your heart.
Second and most importantly though, the main reason that these letters will carry some redundancies is this: although the entire series has been written to be read as a cohesive whole, it is entirely possible, even probable, that the entire series may not be available to you. In fact, it's likely that only some portions of this series of letters may be available at any given time because of the great upheavals that will be occurring. Therefore, I have deliberately chosen to put as much pertinent information as possible into each individual letter just in case the entire series is unavailable for any reason. I want each letter to contain as much information as possible for just this reason.
If you are able, try to keep the entire series together (I strongly urge you to print them out in hard copy or put them onto flash drives if you have the ability to do so) as I have attempted to write this series in the chronological order of coming events. However, if having the entire series together is not feasible for any reason, perhaps there will be enough information and Bible passages given in each individual letter to give you a starting point so that you can readily know where in the Bible to look for what you will most certainly need to know.
With that said, in the previous chronicle, I did my best to try to explain to you just how perilous things will be here on Earth after great vanishing will have occurred - that is after the Church will have been taken out in what is most assuredly the rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Remember I told you that, according to the scriptures, this period of time - the last seven years of human history under fallen creation - will be divided into two halves: the first 3 Â½ years, and the last 3 Â½ years, with the ending of those last years culminating in the literal, physical return to Earth of Jesus Christ, who will be returning as the conquering King of Creation.
Upon His physical return to Earth, Lord Jesus will do several things:
(1) He will rescue the remnant of the Jewish people (one third of them will finally believe in Jesus Christ as their true Messiah, and will be kept alive throughout this seven years (Zechariah 13:8-9), and ALL - every single one of these one-third believing Jewish remnant, will have finally come to recognize Jesus Christ as having been their true Messiah all along. At that time, the now-believing remnant of Jews will cry out to their Messiah Jesus to rescue them. Their Messiah King will hear their cry and will respond to rescue, save and preserve them from annihilation.
Sadly, two thirds of the remaining Jews will continue to refuse and reject their true Messiah, and will die as a result of their continued rebellion. At the midpoint of this last seven years, the believing remnant of Jews will be hidden away, most probably in the ancient rock city of Petra in Jordan, somewhere near Bozrah (Isaiah 63; Revelation 19:11-16). There they will be protected until Jesus returns to physically rescue them.
(2) At His return, King Jesus will utterly destroy the armies of the Antichrist and all others who have rebelled against Him (Revelation 19:17-21).
(3) At the time of His return, King Jesus will send His holy angels out into the world to gather and bring to Jerusalem, from all over the earth, the relatively few living people left (both Jew and Gentile), who will have managed to survive to the end of the Tribulation. There in Jerusalem, the conquering King of Glory will separate all those who remain alive - the believers from the unbelievers.
Those who are believers - those left alive from among the Gentile nations who remained faithful to Christ will not have taken the "mark of the Beast." They will aid and protect any Jewish person - particularly one of the 144,000 Jewish young men who were sealed by God to act as His missionaries during this time (whom Jesus called "My (His) brethren"). These Gentiles will demonstrate their love and devotion to Christ by protecting, preserving, and defending the Jews, and (along with the surviving one third of the now-believing Jews) will be allowed to enter into Christ's new earthly Kingdom alive and in their mortal bodies (Matthew 24-25).
All those left alive who rebelled against Christ by accepting, worshiping, and following the Antichrist - all those who accepted the Antichrist's "mark" - these lost, marked, rebellious ones will be judged and cast immediately into Sheol/Hades to await their final judgment at the Great White Throne, after which they will all be consigned for all eternity to the Lake which forever burns with fire
This separating out of believers from unbelievers is what is referred to in Matthew chapters 24 - 25 as the judgment of the "sheep" and the "goats." This judgment is not, I repeat, not a judgment of the Church at all since the Church will have already been in Heaven with Christ before the Tribulation began, and will have already returned with Him when He returns to put an end to this final seven years. No, this judgment is rather the separating out of all Tribulation survivors, the believers from the unbelievers, in preparation for entering Christ's Millennial Kingdom.
This "sheep and goat" judgment takes place on Earth just prior to the beginning of the Kingdom Age. Only redeemed believers in Christ, both Jew and Gentile, will be allowed to enter the earthly Kingdom of the Lord, King Jesus.
This believing remnant of humanity (consisting of both believing Jews and Gentiles) will enter the Kingdom still in their mortal bodies along with those who are also now immortals, which includes the glorified Church, all of the Old Testament Saints (such as Abraham, Daniel, David, Moses, etc.) and all Tribulation Saints who died during the Tribulation, both sets of whom will have by then received their Immortal and glorified bodies just like the Church-Age Saints. Thus, the Kingdom will begin with both mortals and immortals as inhabitants of Jesus' new Kingdom on Earth.
(4) He will renovate and restore the earth to its original, pristine condition, just as it was in Eden before the fall of man.
(5) He will establish His Kingdom on Earth where He will rule as absolute Monarch from His throne that He will establish in Jerusalem, Israel. This earthly Kingdom will last for 1,000 literal years, after which He will create an entirely new heavens and Earth. He will then abolish Time itself, change every living, believing mortal at the end of the Kingdom Age from mortal to immortal, and every believer of every age will forever after exist in immortal, glorified bodies in eternity - in what will be an "eternal now" with God forever.
But before Jesus returns, He will bring judgment upon this wicked world. He will use this last seven years to exact vengeance and holy justice upon all wicked and sinful mankind, who have shaken their collective fist in His face and who have embraced and reveled in their rebellion, debauchery, and sin. In essence, what Jesus Christ will do is cleanse Earth and restore Paradise lost.
As I told you before, the first 3 Â½ years will be cataclysmic. One quarter (1/4) of earth's inhabitants will die from what in essence will be WWIII and all that ensues from it, along with unprecedented natural disasters both terrestrial and celestial in nature.
The aftermath of that will be famine on a global scale; rampant, pandemic diseases and pestilences will kill millions upon millions; animals on the brink of starvation will turn on humanity; and violence, treachery, and murder will become the norm.
This final seven-year period will begin benignly enough with the "confirmation of a covenant" made between a charismatic global leader and Israel. (Read the Old Testament book of Daniel, chapter 9, to learn about this last seven years).
The confirmation of this covenant will be the starting point of these last seven years of human history as we know it. Also, remember that I told you to watch closely the movements of a coalition (which is actually forming and strengthening as I am revising this series now in late autumn of 2017) involving Russia, Iran and Turkey as the principle leading forces, called in the Bible by their ancient names of Magog, Persia and Togarmah. This coalition of nations along with others such as Libya and Sudan will attack Israel; but it will be God Himself who will intervene on Israel's behalf and save her from what would otherwise be certain annihilation.
As I am writing this, the precise timing of this attack is still being debated among Bible students. Most Bible students (including this writer) believe that this concerted attack upon Israel will most likely occur either just after the rapture or possibly simultaneously with it, and will likely be the first thing that will happen post rapture. You, of course, will know precisely.
Look for this coming covenant to come about as a result of this battle waged on the mountains of Israel. The Old Testament book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 & 39, recounts this battle using the ancient names for these modern countries. For example: Magog/Rosh is Russia, Persia is Iran, Togarmah is Turkey, etc.
What you need to know is this: the tiny nation of Israel is the key to everything. It is through this final seven years of this fallen world order that God is working to prepare the land of Israel and a remnant of the Jewish people, in order to fulfill to them the remainder of the covenant that He made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their posterity (see Genesis 15:18; Daniel 9).
Watch the tiny nation of Israel very closely. Not long after the covenant between Israel and the other nations is confirmed, there will be two mysterious men who will arrive in Jerusalem from seemingly nowhere. As I write this pre-rapture, I cannot be certain of their identities; however, there is a greater than good chance that one of them will be the Old Testament Prophet Elijah, and the other possibly the Old Testament Prophet Moses, whom God will have returned to life and to Earth for just this purpose (if indeed they are ever identified at all). At the time of this writing, it is impossible for us to know who they will be. You will be able to recognize them though.
Whoever they are, and whatever their names turn out to be, they will be very easily identified, because they will be two emissaries from God. They will be strong men with great supernatural power given to them directly from God. Their mission will be to open the eyes of Israel regarding Israel's true Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom Israel collectively has continually rejected (Revelation chapter 11).
It is through the ministry of these two emissaries of God, that God will save, seal, and eventually send out into the world 144,000 young, Jewish male virgins - 12,000 from the descendants of each of Israel's twelve ancient tribes.
These young men will be saved, called and sealed by God. They will be witnesses to Israel and will also be sent forth into every nation on Earth to preach the gospel of salvation and the soon- coming Kingdom.
The result of those saved because of their ministry will be incalculable. They will reap the greatest harvest of souls saved that will have ever been in history. They will fulfill Christ's "Great Commission" to "go into all the world and preach the gospel." Their salvation and calling will come as a direct result of the preaching and prophesying of these two mysteriously powerful "witnesses" of God. You can read about these 144,000Jewish evangelists in Revelation chapters 7 & 14.
These two men (the two witnesses) will be bold, unrelenting, powerful and utterly unstoppable for the first 3 Â½ years. The man, who is the Antichrist, will hate them with a supernatural hatred, and they will be a thorn in his side for the entire first half of this seven-year period. As a direct result of their ministry, MANY, MANY Jews will finally come to believe in and accept Jesus as their Messiah and Savior. These two men, as I said, will have supernatural powers and will be able to call down fire from Heaven on anyone who tries to do them harm. They will be supernaturally protected by God for the first 3 Â½ years.
At the very midpoint of this last seven years, God will allow these two men to be killed. Their dead bodies will not be buried, but will lie in the streets of Jerusalem where ALL of the unsaved people will be able to view their dead bodies. The world will actually party over their deaths. This partying will go on for 3 Â½ days when God will suddenly raise these two men back to life in full view of the entire world via satellite TV, the Internet, YouTube etc., or by cell phones. Three and one half days after they are killed, God will resurrect their bodies and take them up into Heaven in full view of the world as further testimony to God's power, authenticating that God is indeed in full control of everything.
At the midpoint of these seven years, events from this point on will get far worse than is even possible to fully describe. You will now be entering the period Jesus Himself referred to as "Great Tribulation."
As horrific as the first half has been, this last half will be exponentially, exceedingly worse. There will be torment, death, and cataclysmic judgment unleashed on an unimaginable scale. If you will have somehow survived thus far, your odds of survival to the end will drop to almost nil. If you become a believer, you will be ruthlessly hunted down and your survival will be even less likely.
As I keep telling you, the chances that you will live to the end are extremely small, and if you should physically survive but have still refused salvation - that is, if you take the Antichrist's "mark" in your right hand or in your forehead - then you will absolutely and certainly be cast into Hell anyway. For to take that mark (whatever it turns out to be) will seal your fate in Hell for all eternity.
You are entering a time unprecedented in human history. Supernatural occurrences and events will become the norm from now on. You will see and witness things that no one in history has ever seen. Do not forget, that during just the first half of this last seven years, these things will happen in rapid succession:
(1) A powerful global leader who will be the Antichrist (although he will at first seem like a savior) will use peace as his rallying cry, and by peace will destroy many.
(2) War on a global scale will break out which will most likely involve multiple nuclear events.
(3) Global famine will ensue as a result of this war. Murder, violence, diseases, and pestilence will increase exponentially. (Read the New Testament book of Revelation, chapter 6 up through the opening of the 5th seal to find out what will happen during this first 3 Â½ years after the signing of the covenant).
Again, I urge you, come to Christ while you still can. You have no guarantee that you will survive the next seven minutes let alone the next seven years.
Keep reading, for you need to know what is to come in the last half of these years if you should be granted the chance to live through them.
IDF Chief of Staff: Israel willing to share intelligence with Saudis - By Anna Ahronheim -
Israel is willing to share intelligence with Saudi Arabia to confront Iran, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot stated in an interview with Saudi's Elaph newspaper.
"We are ready to exchange experiences with Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab countries and share intelligence information to confront Iran," Eisenkot said in a rare interview with the London-based Saudi-owned newspaper, adding that "there are many shared interests between us and Saudi Arabia."
"Under US President Donald Trump there is an opportunity to form a new international alliance in the region. We need to carry out a large, comprehensive strategic plan to stop the Iranian threat," Eisenkot said.
According to the Chief of Staff, the expansion of Iranian influence across the Middle East is a major concern to both Israel and Saudi Arabia.
"The Iranian plan is to control the Middle East through two Shi'ite crescents," Eisenkot told Elaph. "The first is from Iran through Iraq to Syria and Lebanon and the second across the Gulf from Bahrain to Yemen to the Red Sea. We must stop that from happening."
Eisenkot, who met with military leaders from around the globe at the second annual conference of the chiefs of staff in Washington in October, told Elaph that what he heard from the Saudi representative about Iranian expansion was "identical" to Israeli concerns.
"This is what should be prevented in the region," he said, adding that "In this matter there is complete agreement between us and Saudi Arabia."
While Tehran's nuclear program has been temporarily frozen, there is no doubt about the country's intention to acquire nuclear capabilities. Tehran is not only providing arms to terror groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, but is transferring expertise, building weapons factories, supplying advanced weapons and investing huge sums into various militias.
In September a senior IDF officer stated that the Islamic Republic provides $60-70 million to Hamas in the Gaza Strip in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars for their militias in Syria and Iraq and Houthi rebels in Yemen fighting pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition.
Tehran has also increased its financial support for its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, to $800 million a year, a dramatic boost from the $200 million provided in the past.
According to IDF assessments, while Hezbollah has increased its military capabilities due to its fighting in Syria, the group has spread its troops across the entire Middle East and is hurting financially.
"I see Hezbollah beginning to feel financial pressure. We are also seeing a drop in support for Hezbollah and that is reverberating on the streets where we have seen demonstrations in Dahiya. That's something we have not seen before," he said referring to Hezbollah's stronghold in southern Beirut.
Hezbollah, one of the most prominent terror organizations in the world, has become bogged down fighting in Syria for President Bashar Assad. Of its approximately 22,000 fighters, about 7,000 are fighting for the Assad regime and 2,000 more have been killed in the four years the group has spent in Syria.
Last week Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of having appealed to Israel to launch an attack against the group in Lebanon, offering the Jewish State "billions of dollars" to do so.
On Wednesday Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted by Press TV as saying that "It is very reprehensible and shameful for a Muslim country in the region to beg the Zionist regime [of Israel] to bomb the people of Lebanon."
"It is unprecedented in history for a Muslim country to take such measures, and this indicates the immaturity of the individuals, who have come to power in those countries," Rouhani added.
Eisenkot told Elaph that while Israel has no intention to initiate a war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Jerusalem will not accept any strategic threats the Iranian-backed terror group might pose to it, he said.
The Chief of Staff stated that he is hopeful about Trump declaring the need to stop Iran's missile program and the entrenchment of its troops and militias in Syria and Iraq.
"Our demand is that Iran, Hezbollah and other Iranian militias leave Syria. We have said publicly that we will not accept the Iranian position in Syria in general, and especially their position west of the Damascus-Suwayda road. We will not allow any Iranian presence."
Is the Middle East Headed for War? - Chris Mitchell -
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made a stunning admission on Tuesday. He said Russia had not promised that Iranian and pro-Iranian forces would withdraw from Syria.
Lavrov's statement followed Sunday's announcement of a Memorandum of Principles (MoP) signed by Russia, the United States and Jordan. According to a U.S. official, the MoP "enshrine[d] the commitment of the U.S., Russia and Jordan to eliminate the presence of non-Syrian foreign forces." Presumably that would include Iranian forces, but Lavrov disagreed. He told reporters, "No one mentioned Iran or pro-Iranian forces, somebody might be tempted to call the entire Syrian Army pro-Iranian, and then what - it should surrender? In my opinion, it is wishful thinking."
So why is this important and could this be more one more factor leading the Middle East to a wider war?
While Russia says Iran can remain in Syria, Israel has pledged it won't tolerate an Iranian military presence close to its border. Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that "Iran is scheming to entrench itself in Syria. They want to create a permanent air, land and sea military presence. We are not going to agree to that. I have said very clearly that Israel will work to stop this, and we must all work together to stop Iran's aggression and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. If we stand together we will achieve it. But if we have to, we will stand alone. Iran will not get nuclear weapons; it will not turn Syria into a military base against Israel."
Yet Iran seems determined to "turn Syria into a military base against Israel." A recent BBC report showed satellite images of an Iranian base under construction close to Damascus and not far from Israel.
This confrontation involving Iran, Syria and Israel has been brewing. Earlier this year, we reported about Iran's growing influence in Syria and the danger it poses to the Middle East, Israel and the possibility of war.
Middle East analyst Caroline Glick told CBN News Syria is flooded with Iranian troops.
"The Syrian military is Iranian. Hezbollah is Iranian, of course. Iran is Iranian and they have an unlimited number of troops they can bring in at will and they are bringing to Syria from Afghanistan, from Pakistan," Glick explained. "It's basically a bottomless well of personnel that Iran can bring over as cannon fodder for its hegemonic aims in the Middle East."
Avi Melamed, author of "Inside the Middle East" warned Iran is trying to create a land bridge to Lebanon on the Mediterranean that would post a great danger to Israel.
"Because you have to remember that the Iranian regime vows the elimination of the State of Israel ... [They're] trying to launch a military front against Israel on the Golan Heights. This could result in a massive eruption because Israel will not stand for that and rightly so," Melamed said.
It remains to be seen if the Middle East will see one more "massive eruption" soon.
Pining for Fig Leaves - By Caroline Glick -
Friday, long-time US diplomats and Middle East experts Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky published an article in Foreign Policy expressing "buyers' remorse" over Saudi Arabia's newfound willingness to take the lead in regional affairs.
Titled, "Donald Trump has unleashed the Saudi Arabia we always wanted - and feared," Miller and Sokolsky note that for generations, US policymakers wanted the Saudis to take a lead in determining the future of the region.
In their words, "During decades of service at the State Department, we longed for the day when risk-averse Saudi leaders would take greater ownership in solving their domestic and regional security problems and reduce their dependence on the United States."
But now, they argue, under the leadership of King Salman and his son, 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudis are going too far.
Domestically, Miller and Sokolsky accuse Salman and Mohammed of upsetting the traditional power-sharing arrangements among the various princes in order to concentrate unprecedented power in Mohammed's hands. This, they insist, harms the status of human rights in the kingdom, although they acknowledge that Mohammed has taken steps to liberalize the practice of Islam in the kingdom to the benefit of women and others.
While upset at the purge of princes, ministers and businessmen, Miller and Sokolsky are much more concerned about the foreign policy initiatives Mohammed and Salman have undertaken with everything related to countering Iran's rise as a regional hegemon.
In their words, "Abroad, the Saudis are engaged in a cold war with an opportunistic Iran that's exploiting their missteps in Yemen and Qatar."
Miller and Sokolsky note that Mohammed's campaign to defeat the Iranian-backed Houthi regime in Yemen has been bogged down. His effort - backed by US President Donald Trump - to force Qatar to abandon its policy of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran has similarly come up short.
They continue, "The latest Saudi gambit - pressuring the Sunni Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign in an effort to expose an Iranian- and Hezbollah- dominated Lebanon - is perhaps too clever by half. What are the Saudis going to do, given their Shiite adversaries' advantages in Syria and Lebanon, when the Lebanese find themselves plunged into domestic crisis or a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah?" The veteran diplomats conclude their missive by urging Trump to implement his predecessor Barack Obama's Saudi policy. In their words, Trump needs to place heavy pressure "on the king and his son to de-escalate this conflict and restore equilibrium to America's relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran."
"Because make no mistake," they warn, "Saudi independence is illusory. Riyadh desperately wants us to back them - and bail them out when they get in over their heads with Iran. If Washington is not careful, the Saudis will sandbag America into standing up to Tehran while the Saudis hide behind its skirt."
As if synchronized, Robert Malley, Obama's former Middle East adviser, makes a similar argument in an article in The Atlantic. Malley took a lead role in expanding the US's ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Iran, and Hezbollah during the Obama years.
There are several problems with these policymakers' claims. The first is that in criticizing the Saudis they deliberately ignore the Obama administration's central role in engendering the current situation in which the Saudi regime feels compelled to take the actions it is taking.
To be clear, noting the role of the previous administration in causing the rapidly escalating instability of the Middle East is not an exercise in deflecting criticism away from the current administration. The simple fact is that it is impossible for the US to chart a rational course for dealing with the present dangers and opportunities without understanding how they arose in the first place.
For eight years, the Obama administration deliberately alienated and willingly endangered Saudi Arabia and Israel by implementing a policy of appeasing Iran. Despite repeated warnings, the US refused to recognize that as far as Iran is concerned, it cannot have its cake and eat it too.
Iran is at war with Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies and with Israel.
Consequently, Miller and Sokolsky's claim that there can be an "equilibrium to America's relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran" which doesn't involve the US siding with one side against the other is an illusion. On the ground in the Middle East, as events in Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Gaza, and Egypt have made clear, Obama's strategy of appeasing Iran weakened America's traditional regional allies and strengthened Iran and its proxies.
The change in the balance of forces that the Obama administration's policy caused forced the US's spurned allies to reassess their strategic dependence on the US. Contrary to Miller and Sokolsky's claims, the Saudis didn't abandon their past passivity because Mohammed is brash, young and inexperienced.
Mohammed was appointed because Salman needed a successor willing and able to fight for the survival of the kingdom after Obama placed it in jeopardy through his appeasement of Iran. Mohammed is the flipside of the nuclear deal.
Malley noted blandly that like the Saudis, Israel has also been sounding alarms at an ever-escalating rate.
It isn't hard to understand why. In 2009, Israel's borders and territory were far more secure than they are today. Sunday night three former senior missile developers at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems - Israel's premier missile and missile defense developer - went on television to warn that Haifa's oil refineries and plans to use surrounding areas as a fuel depot will force the evacuation not only of the population of Haifa but of all the surrounding satellite cities when war breaks out next with Hezbollah.
Hezbollah, they warned, now has the precision missile capability to destroy these vital national infrastructures and render the Gulf of Haifa uninhabitable.
Then there is Syria.
Israel has repeatedly insisted that Iran and its proxies must not be permitted to develop a permanent presence in Syria. Russia and the US ignored Israel's warnings not only during the Obama years but, in a sign of the continued power of Obama partisans in the US foreign policy community, during the past year of the Trump administration as well. Over the summer the US and Russia concluded a cease-fire deal with Syria that permitted Iran and its proxies to operate in Syria.
Last week, the BBC reported that Iran is now building a military base 50 kilometers from the border with Israel. On Saturday, the IDF shot down a Russian- made intelligence drone launched against it by forces controlled by Iran's chief Syrian proxy, Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Sunday, following threats from Iranian-controlled Islamic Jihad terrorist forces in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that Israel will not accept assaults against it across any of its borders.
Netanyahu said that he holds the Iranian-supported Hamas regime in Gaza responsible for any attacks against Israel emanating from its territory.
Netanyahu's statement was notable since just last week Hamas and Fatah began implementing their power-sharing arrangement in Gaza. Fatah forces, controlled by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, supposedly took responsibility for border crossings between Gaza and Israel.
By insisting that Hamas is responsible rather than Fatah, despite the agreement, Netanyahu signaled that as far as Israel is concerned, through its power-sharing deal with Fatah Hamas has succeeded in becoming the Palestinian version of Hezbollah. Just as Hezbollah pretends to be a faction in Lebanese politics, when in fact it controls all aspects of the Lebanese state, so Hamas remains in charge of all aspects of governance in Gaza while using the PA as a fig leaf.
This brings us back to Miller, Sokolsky and Malley and their pining for a reset button.
It is hard to view their positions as the basis for forging constructive US policies for the region, transformed by eight years of US appeasement of Iran at the expense of its allies and interests.
Insisting that Mohammed abandon the steps he has taken to expand the prospects of Saudi survival in favor of a policy of pretending that a stable equilibrium can be struck between Iran and Saudi Arabia (and Israel) is not a policy for restoring equilibrium.
Putting Hariri back in office in Beirut so he can continue to serve as a fig leaf for Hezbollah and Iran is not a policy for restoring equilibrium. They are both means for pretending reality away while enabling Iran to wage a continuous war against America's allies with ever greater power and capacity.
It makes sense that Obama partisans are unhappy with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed. It makes sense that they are unhappy with Netanyahu and with Trump. All four of these leaders are impudently insisting on basing their policies on recognizing the reality Obama spent his two terms ignoring: Iran is not appeasable.
Search God's Word - Nathele Graham -
We live in a time that's exciting, but also can be frightening. Moral issues are at the forefront of much controversy, we continually hear of wars being fought or threatened, and people seem to snap and become violent for no reason. What's going on? You won't find the answers on the nightly news or in self-help books. The answers are found in God's word. Scripture is a collection of history, prophecy, moral guidance...and evidence of God's love for us. History begins at the beginning. God was there and spoke everything into existence, yet very few people believe Him. He told Adam not to eat the forbidden fruit, but Adam and Eve both ate it. They didn't believe God when He said they would die but chose to believe Satanic lies and learned the hard way that God was telling the truth. If people today would believe God and follow His ways we would live in a better world. Satan's lies and deceit have caused all of the pain, suffering, and death that we face each day. When things go wrong in your life, blame Satan not God. Every word of Scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit and if we don't study it we miss out on a treasure trove of knowledge, wisdom, and guidance. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."2 Timothy 2:15. God wants us to know Him. When you set yourself on a deep study of God's word you're taking on a challenge that's both exciting and rewarding. Begin your study with prayer and let the Holy Spirit guide you so that you'll grow in your faith in God and knowledge of His word. Search the Scriptures each day.
Throughout the ages people haven't always found it easy to study Scripture. The early Scriptures were written on large scrolls that were kept in synagogues. These weren't New Testament Scripture, but were the Old Testament. Before the New Testament was compiled people found that by studying the Old Testament scrolls they were able to easily understand that Jesus Christ was pictured and prophesied throughout Scripture. The Apostle Paul was very knowledgeable of the Hebrew Scriptures and encouraged others to use them to prove what was being taught regarding Jesus. When Paul went on mission journeys he would go to the synagogue and reason with the Jews using the Old Testament. One such place was in Thessalonica. "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ." Acts 17:2-3. Can you do that? You could start in Genesis chapter 3 where God covered Adam and Eve in coats of skin (this would require a blood sacrifice) to cover their sin or in chapter 22 where there's an account of Abraham's willingness to offer his son Isaac and Isaac's willingness to become the sacrifice. God didn't allow Abraham to sacrifice his son, but it's a picture of the very real sacrifice of God's only Son on the cross at Calvary. There are many more such examples and you should take time to search for them. Some of the people in Thessalonica found the truth, but others became angry and ran Paul out of town. He traveled to Berea where he once again went to the synagogue. This time instead of getting angry they studied Scripture. He commended the Bereans for being willing to listen to what he said, but filtered what they were being told through Scripture. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11. The Scriptures they searched were the Old Testament. It's easy to be deceived if we don't know Scripture and it's easy to miss finding the truth if we don't search diligently.
Scripture has been given to us from God. The words contained in the Bible are all inspired by the Holy Spirit and need to be taken seriously. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, ,for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16-17. When Scripture is taken seriously the confusing and contradicting doctrines of men are cleared up. Doctrine should never be built around one or two Scriptures nor should it be taken out of context. Erroneous doctrine such as the "name it and claim it" deception is built around one or two Scriptures rather than the whole of God's word. That's why it's important to study all of Scripture. God doesn't want anyone to be deceived. When Scripture differs from denominational teaching, always put God's truth above men's ideas. Whether something is taught by a Catholic priest, a Baptist preacher, or a man on television, search Scripture to be sure it's correct. That's what "reproof and correction" means. When we study Scripture and find differences between what we've been taught and what God's word says, we need to correct our doctrine. If the denomination you attend professes a doctrine that doesn't align with God's word, then they are in error. Our righteousness only comes through Jesus Christ and our study of His word should help us to grow more like Him. Through study of both the Old and New Testaments we grow closer to Jesus and become more like Him. God wants us to know Him, and doesn't want us to stumble in our Christian walk from lack of knowledge. A good study tool is a concordance. Scripture is God breathed, but the truth is clear in the original languages. There can be some translation problems in going from Hebrew to English, for instance. A concordance will help you to a deeper understanding of His truth. "NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105. Here's a challenge, do you know what "nun" means and why it's at the beginning of this verse? God's word can't light our path unless we study it and understand it. In times past it wasn't so easy to study Scripture. The Catholic Church opposed anyone who tried to translate Scripture so it could be understood by regular people. Many false teachings were the result and the clergy gained too much control over the uneducated. This control happens today, but that's mostly because the "sheep" don't do their own study. Not only are many people willfully ignorant of Scripture but many countries make it illegal to own or read a Bible. If you're blessed to live where Scripture isn't illegal then search the Scriptures diligently and learn what God says.
Study prophecy too. Most preachers ignore prophecy and omit an important part of God's word. "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:19-21. The prophets of old told of the coming Messiah and those prophesies were fulfilled by Jesus. Scripture also gives signs of the end times. Study prophecy to understand the times in which we live. Are we living in a time similar to that which the prophet Amos spoke about? "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it." Amos 8:11-10. Both the Jewish Northern and Southern Kingdoms would eventually be taken captive because they didn't heed God's warnings. They disobeyed God's laws and they ignored prophecy. Could this be a lesson for us today? God's word is translated into virtually every language on earth yet many people refuse to listen or read it. The internet is full of Christian information, but search engines and sites like YouTube are hindering people from getting accurate information. By the way, search Scripture to be sure what you read on the internet is accurate. Jesus said "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6. Dust off your Bible and begin to read it. Search for truth that can only be found in God's word.
It's easy to slip into sin if we don't study Scripture. "BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:9-11. Moral decay is constantly making news headlines. Parents don't teach their children Scripture and public schools promote satanic lies. How can a young man or a young woman live godly lives if they aren't taught God's truth? Parents, take time to read Scripture with your children. Don't just send them to Sunday school but take them. Answer their questions and always hold Scripture as authority. Teach your children to pray and to love the Lord. If you don't teach them, who will?
We're living in the last days. Very soon this world will be plunged into a seven year period of judgment. According to Jesus this will be a time such as never seen before. "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Matthew 24:21. By searching Scripture you'll understand just how close we are to the end of time which has been prophesied. You'll also understand how important it is for you to draw near to Jesus. Prior to the final seven years of judgment, Christians will be Raptured. "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:50-52. Everyone will leave this life one day, either by dying or by the Rapture. Either way, the only difference between eternal life and eternal torment is your choice to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour. God doesn't condemn anyone to eternal death. Each person makes their own choice by either accepting Christ's shed blood for salvation or rejecting Him. Search the Scriptures to be sure you understand the choice you make.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Moore about sexual harassment - Bill Wilson -
It's amazing how the news media has all of a sudden gotten "religion" about the sexual harassment and assault of women. The media's filter seems disingenuous when considering how all this is being reported. There are scores, if not hundreds, of women coming forward with their stories about Hollywood-Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and several other men-had reputations of such acts, but rarely did anyone come forward for fear of losing their careers. There were politicians, too. What about Hillary Clinton's friend Anthony Weiner? Or even more so, Clinton and her husband's association with registered pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was known to have orgies with young girls on his plane.
Fox News reported in May 2016 that former President Bill Clinton took 26 trips with Epstein aboard his "Lolita Express" aircraft. Fox News reported that Epstein "spent 13 months in prison and home arrest for solicitation and procurement of minors for prostitution. He allegedly had a team of traffickers who procured girls as young as 12 to service his friends on "Orgy Island," an estate on Epstein's 72-acre island, called Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands." And this is a story that appeared during the last election cycle. It was documented with flight ledgers and court accounts. But the rest of the mainstream media downplayed it to protect his wife's presidential candidacy.
For all the media play on Judge Roy Moore, who has not been charged or tried in any of the cases that are being reported against him, there was not the same standard applied to the Clintons. I remember when I was a political consultant, a Democrat consultant told several of us about the Clinton's sexual exploits during a stay in Columbus, Ohio when Jimmy Carter was running for President. The media knew about it then, too, but did nothing. There is a public list of over 18 women claiming sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual affairs, and rape against Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton made women's advocacy a cornerstone of her campaign, yet her and the mainstream media joined efforts to destroy these women through character assassination.
Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Roy Moore and many other conservatives are also victims of this double standard by the left-wingers in the media. If you are conservative, you are guilty until proven innocent when it comes to sex allegations. If you are a liberal, the women are liars and you might just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is how politics works in this day and age. It is why few good people want to run for any office. It takes only one story to destroy a lifetime of work. Character assassination is a deadly art practiced by wicked hearts. As is written in Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Right is right. Wrong is wrong. We must be discerning in these days of deception.
Daily Devotion: The Benefits of Abiding
- By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." -John 15:7
True prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance; it is laying hold of His willingness. That is a very important thing to know. God only answers the requests that He inspires.
One of the most incredible promises Jesus ever gave is found in John 15:7: "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." Or, as another version puts it, "But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon" (MSG).
Immediately we tend to think of all the things we can start praying for. But when we do this, we're missing the point. Notice that Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you. . . ." This means we're getting our will in alignment with God's will. It means that our desires start changing. Abiding in Jesus means that we're spending time in His presence.
I've been married for more than 40 years. I know my wife pretty well, and she knows me pretty well. So well, in fact, that we can finish each other's sentences. We can read each other very easily. That is because we spend a lot of time together. And I never get tired of spending time with her.
When we come into a relationship with God, it means that we like to spend time in His presence. We like to listen to Him. We like to talk to Him. That is what it means to abide in Him. And as we do this, our prayer requests will change because we will have a better understanding of the will of God for us.
FROM THE HEART
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