Five Questions Week of 7/28/19
Most people today have some concept of the end of the world. They may be too busy to consider it on a daily basis; but, they have probably seen movies, commentaries or even T.V. episodes dealing with the subject.
How do most people believe the world will end? Millennials, in particular, have been taught climate change will destroy the planet. Some may remember it by it's former name, “Global Warming”. Professionals profess pollution will be the demise of civilization, as we know it, within two weeks to ten years—give or take. This has caused the young to band together worldwide to protect the planet and has put a wedge between old and young, no matter their politics, because the old have not safe guarded their orb—the earth.
And let us not forget those who look into the heavens and see the cosmos whirling either large space rocks, or even planets, on a collision coarse with earth. There have been a multitude of movies on the subject—but, in the movies—man saves the day, usually by uniting with the other world powers.
Peace activists, on another hand, believe that nuclear war will end our culture. Once the rockets are launched and the mushroom clouds are born—radio activity will blow death and destruction throughout the world. Not to forget the immediate incineration to those who are within so many miles from the center of the blast. With nine countries owning more than one nuke, (the super powers have thousands, but, in reality it only takes one from two country′s)—this is a very real probability. (See our blog of 6/5/2017‐Are You Ready For A Nuclear War?)
So, is the world going to end? And if it does, how and when will this happen? Over the centuries, an uncountable number of people have predicted the end of the world, or end of time. According to wikipedia.org, most of these ideas are formed from the roots of Christianity; so, does the Bible predict the end of civilization?
In the Old Testament, there is the account of the flood were with God destroyed all flesh that moved upon the earth: birds, cattle, beasts, every creeping thing and every man. All that were in the dry land—died‐ref Gen 7:22, with the exception of Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives—eight people in all‐ref Genesis chapters 6‐9. There are also Scriptures in Jeremiah which describe a time when there were no men, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. The fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down‐ref Jer 4:25‐26.
It is recorded in the New Testament (Mt 24, Mk 13, Lk 21) that as Jesus was coming out of the Temple, His disciples asked Him five questions:
The first thing Jesus answers them is, "Take heed that no man deceive you". Then He warns His disciples of what things to look for, "Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows".
Next, He forewarns them, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name′s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come".
One need only to ask themselves, how many of the above items are happening today? Are there wars and rumors of wars—currently, there are an estimated ten official wars and eight active military conflicts, not to mention the violent conflicts that are occurring within 64 countries. Are there famines, pestilences, and earthquakes? Japan just had an earthquake last week. Actually, according to earthquaketrack.com, they have had:
Regarding plagues, one that is making a comeback is the bubonic or black death plague. This is usually spread by fleas which pick up the germs when they bite infected animals like rats, mice, or squirrels—then they pass it to the next animal or person they bite. In the state of Colorado, in America, they have actually needed to close some parks because of the danger to humans. And looking to the Middle East there have been years of famines due to insects eating the crops or war.
With only 22% of adult Americans believing that there is absolute truth, according to a Barna poll of early 2002, (more than likely the numbers are much lower today), meaning that truth is based on fact and not relative to belief or circumstance, many people today don't believe the Bible. Does that negate the Biblical forecast? No, as already stated above, most end time events have come to pass (click this link if you are interested.) As stated many times, you really need to consider where you will spend your eternity. The clock is ticking. The doomsday clock has been set to 2 minute until doomsday. Are you ready? Click this link if you are interested in finding out more.
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Do You Remember ISIS? Week of 7/22/19
ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ), also known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ), is once again in the news. One would have thought the war with them was over. By 2017 they had lost major land holdings, 95% to be exact—they held territories that amounted to the size of Jordan in Syria and Iraq. They also lost tens of thousands of fighters and more than 120 senior leaders and commanders. So, surely they have just become an entry in the history books—not exactly.
Over the course of the last three years, the Israeli spy agency Mossad and the IDF′s Military Intelligence prevented some 50 terror attacks in at least 20 countries all due to Iran or ISIS threats. That includes 12 attacks in Turkey (yes, the Israelis help their enemies as well as their allies), a planed bombing of an airliner taking off from Sydney going to Abu, Dhabi, and even an attack on Israelis by a Palestinian women. And that does not entail all of their horrific deeds. Death and destruction are their apparent goal. Recently, those loyal to ISIS have published shocking images of historic landmarks, like Big Ben in London, England′s Palace of Westminster (where her government holds session), and America under attack. There is also an increased online presence of ISIS members warning of terror and blood to come, and a quote from the Quran, “When the sacred months have passed (a reference to Ramadan) then kill the polytheists (a person who believes in more than one god) wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in them at every place of ambush”.
In a report done by the Institute for the Study of War, they claim since late 2018, “ISIS retained a global finance network that funded its transition back to an insurgency and managed to preserve sufficient weapons and other supplies in tunnel systems and other support zones in order to equip its regenerated insurgent force.” It is suggested that they intentionally retreated from their 2017 positions in order to reorganize and regroup—and it appears they have been successful. According to the Jerusalem Post, in Syria alone there are, “tens of thousands of pro‐ISIS detainees, many of them foreigners” and the Syrian Military does not know what to do with them. Also, there are constant border crossing between Syria and Iraq by ISIS members moving contraband.
So how does Syria and Iraq plan to combat this problem? Syria does not appear to have any plans; however, back around 2014, due to Iraq′s instability (some years after the fall of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein), Iraq allowed the mostly Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashd al‐Shaabi, to help them with their fight against ISIL. Even though the PMF is a combination of 5‐10 different Shiite groups holding Iraqi citizenship, they see themselves as part of a global Islamic revolution led from Tehran. Other participating groups may have an even tighter relationship with the neighboring country. For this reason, there is some speculation that the force could be regarded as Iran′s Trojan army in Iraq—something that Iran has done for centuries when trying to conquer other countries. There has also been talk that Russia, working with Iran, is trying to build a new dominant Shiite axis in the region. Last month the PMF started cleansing operations between the borders of Syria and Iraq in order to stop the smuggling between the two countries.
Besides Iraq and Syria ISIS is known to be in Yemen, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia & Algeria, Nigeria, Chad, Mali, Niger, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Philippines and Russia. To be sure, most countries probably have some ISIS members who relocated back to their country of birth or moved to other locations after the devastating blow to the caliphate in Syria and Iraq—and they are once again ready to launch attacks.
As there is still a great concern over the resurgence of ISIS, some are expressing ideas to not only eradicating the group, but also dampen the appeal of ISIS among young people. In Iraq, the Sunnis do not like the brutality of the PMF, so many Sunni Moslems are more sympathetic to the Sunni ISIL terrorist—although there are no peaceful choices when choosing between the two. Within the Middle East it does appear it is coming down to a war between the Shiites and Sunnis—both desiring Middle East dominance.
Globally, how are ISIS terrorist operating within countries? Their aim is to cause mistrust among the citizens for their government and eliminate village leaders and civilians who are not sympathetic to their cause. They appear ready to retake Syria and Iraq, especially if the Americans leave because those countries are not stable enough to stand on their own. There has also been a call for a global battle of attrition; by definition, a wearing down or weakening of resistance, especially as a result of continuous pressure or harassment.
Many of their attacks include Vehicle‐Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs). This is where a vehicle is equipped with explosive devices—the vehicle being the container or package for the device. According to globalsecurity.org, “A growing technique in VBIED attacks in Iraq has involved the use of multiple vehicles. In such instances, the lead vehicle is used as a decoy or barrier buster. Once stopped or neutralized and with coalition forces starting to move to inspect or detain—the main VBIED comes crashing though and into the crowd before detonating; thus resulting in an increase of the casualty ratio”.
One might ask, is there no peace for the Middle East? No, there is no peace—not for the Middle East, nor for the world. With the ushering in of the Anti‐Christ, he will promise peace—but it is not a true peace. That comes only if you truly have been seeking God with all your heart in true repentance and obedience to His word. Check out this link for what is in store for those who stay faithful to God. Check out this link for more on peace within this world.
What′s New? Week of 7/15/19
This week the British Royal Navy announced their plans to send yet another warship to protect the Strait of Hormuz shipping lane. In case you are not aware, last week marked another incident within those shipping waters—Iran appeared to try to intercept a British oil tanker. Thankfully, a British destroyer was nearby and their presence may have stopped the incident. While this action has been denied by the Iranian government, they may have been trying to get the attention of the British for seizing one of their own oil tankers off the coast of Gibraltar that was headed for Syria. The tanker would have been in violation of the International sanctions on Syria.
As the world waits for yet another incident within the straits of Hormuz catapulting into war (or awaiting the meeting between the EU and Iran regarding their claims to enrich more plutonium), on Friday a senior Hamas official, Fathi Hammad called for members of the Palestinian diaspora to kill Jews around the world. “But our brothers [in the diaspora] are still preparing. They are trying to prepare. They are warming up. A long time has passed with them warming up. All of you 7 million Palestinians abroad, enough of the warming up. You have Jews everywhere and we must attack every Jew on the globe by way of slaughter and killing, if God permits. Enough of the warming up”.
The outcry against such statements were condemned, not only by those you would expect, but also by some you would not expect—including a top PLO official, a UN envoy, and a number of Palestinian activists. Today, Mr. Hammad′s statements have been re‐clarified and he has fallen back in line with Hamas′s official position which is, that their war is with the occupation—with those Jews who are occupying their land and sullying their holy sites, and not with Jews around the world or with Judaism as a religion.
But wait, there is yet another Middle East actor visibly disseminating war and destruction for the land of Israel—the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah. In a speech yesterday commemorating the 2006 Second Lebanon War with Israel, Nasrallah spoke of the importance of Hezbollah and how they have developed into the first most fighting division of Iran, partnering with them against Israel and are proud to be part of an “axis of resistance” against the West and her allies. The speech appeared to be in one accord with Tehran, but what was most surprising was that the Hezbollah leader spoke as if Hezbollah (which translates, the party of God) was a state, or country, or world political player—in actuality, it is a group of Lebanese Shiite clerics who created Hezbollah with the goal of driving Israel out of the country and into the sea (along with all the other terrorist groups in Lebanon) and establishing an Islamic state within Lebanon. It has, in recent years, developed into a major political party within the small Mediterranean country, taking 13 seats in Parliament last year and securing three posts in the current Cabinet. During the Syria war they provided paramilitary support to Syrian President Bashar al‐Assad′s regime and have the support of many Lebanese Shiites along with some Christian′s, also receiving considerable relief from Iran.
Yesterday, Hassan Nasrallah expressed his expectations of invading Israel by way of the Galilee; however, he is also able to attach by land, sea or air and boasted to be able to reach all of Israel using their some 150,000 rockets. Nasrallah apparently is referring to an arc of conflict coming from Lebanon to Syria, Iraq and Yemen. According to jpost.com, Nasrallah expects all the forces of the region that are pro‐Iranian to be arrayed against Israel. “This likely means Shiite paramilitaries in Iraq and the threatening of Israel from Syria. Hezbollah is now planning for a scenario of war between the US and Iran—and that Hezbollah will be part of that war by fighting Israel. “Israel will not be neutral—and when the war begins against Iran, this war will begin in the entire region.””
What is the importance of these events to Bible Prophecy? The words the Hezbollah leader used were interesting—invade by land, sea and air. Ezekiel chapter 38, which depicts the Russian Invasion of Israel, also indicates that Israel will be attacked on these three fronts. Click here if you would like to read it. While Russia seems to be the chief instigator of the invasion into Israel, the Scriptures indicate Lebanon will also be included. Currently, Lebanon does have economic and environmental reasons (setting aside their pure hatred of Jews) to invade Israel. Lebanon, once a prosperous and attractive country has gone the way of most war torn nations. And due to the Syria refugees they are burdened further. They need money to support infrastructure (such as water, electricity, and transportation), but due to government salaries and limited income for citizens, among other things, money has yet to be appropriated for rebuilding Lebanon, which gets most of their revenue from tourism. To further their plight, they have deforestation, soil deterioration, pollutions from the burning of industrial wastes, pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills, plus, they need a waste‐water management system. Israel could help solve all of these issues, and if requested, Israel, in most cases, has always helped other nations. However, it is prophesized that the armies invade Israel or come against them to attack the Israelis (sheer hatred for the Jews), pillage things relating to food, plunder various goods, and loot riches. Some things cannot be solved by negotiation, but only through having a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. Do you have problems with bitterness? Click here to read more about what the Bible says on the subject.
Sources: jpost.com-Tensions Rise in Gulf as U.S, UK Up their Forces ; jpost.com-Nasrallah: Israel will vanish in next war with Hezbollah ; jpost.com-Ten takeaways from Nasrallah’s speech; dailystar.com.lb; cia.gov, timesofisrael.com.
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The Bible‐What Is That? Week of 7/8/19
By definition (according to the creator of the first American Dictionary, Noah Webster), the word Bible means, by way of eminence (to stand or show itself above); the sacred volume, in which are contained the revelations of God, the principles of Christian faith, and the rules of practice. It consists of two parts, called the Old and New Testaments.
If indeed the Bible is such an important book, how come people (especially church goers) do not read it more frequently? Even though the Bible has been translated in over 692 languages, it is not among the favorite book of believers. While many American Protestant church goers (61%) will admit to reading books about the Bible (at least one a year), they do not tend to read the Bible. In a survey taken January 2019 of Americans Protestants who attend church on a regular basis, (32%) claim to read the Bible every day, while (12%) rarely or never read it. (In a Pew study done in 2014 by the Pew Research Center, that number goes up to (45%) if people of several faiths are included.)
In this Laodicean Church age, there has been an increase of attacks on the Holy Scriptures, not only from unbelievers, but from the pulpits of famous preachers. Preachers who, traditionally have used the Holy Writ to reveal to their congregations the love and fear of God, the importance of where they will spend eternity; using the Bible to warn about sin—encouraging their congregation to repent of sins and follow the Gospel by faith. Faith that only comes by hearing the Word of God‐ref Rom 10:17. There was a time when Preachers held the belief that the Bible was a practical book, worthy to be read and meditated upon everyday in seeking help for daily problems—it answered any question, dealt with any circumstance. However today, many famous Preachers do not even use one Scripture in their sermons. Many do not believe the Bible is truth. It might be a good history book or a book written to advocate a particular belief—but, it is not considered the Word of God—infallible. (Click here to read what the Bible says ought to be preach.)
So, what is being preached today?—Motivational speaking. Many of today′s Preachers do not want to condemn anyone, they do not want to talk about sin—they want to coach their flock to experience the life God has for them.
How does this relate to Bible Prophecy? One commandment for Preachers is, Holding fast the faithful Word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he (the Preacher) will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict‐Tit 1:9 (NASB). It is further written, Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they (the congregation) will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths‐2 Tim 4:2‐4 (NASB). In the time of the Prophet Isaiah, God spoke through Isaiah to warn them. It is written, Their watchmen (He showeth that this affliction shall come through the fault of the governors, prophets, and pastors, whose ignorance, negligence, avarice and obstinacy provoked God′s wrath against them) are all blind: they have no knowledge: they are all dumb dogs: they cannot bark: they lie and sleep, and delight in sleeping. And these greedy dogs can never have enough: and these shepherds cannot understand: for they all look to their own way, everyone for his advantage, and for his own purpose‐Is 56:10,11 (1599 Geneva Bible).
Photo Design: End-Time.com. Partial lyrics from the song, Dust on the Bible recorded by Hank Williams and separately Kitty Wells.