This Weekend In The Middle East Week of 8/26/19
While many major headlines around the world are directing their attentions onto the current G‐7 meeting, all would appear quiet around the world. However, in the Middle East continued threats surround the tiny state of Israel.
On Saturday night, the IDF (Israeli Defense Force), responded with air attacks due to Intel that drones (able to carry several kilograms of explosives) were scheduled to be launched the following day, Sunday, against the northern part of the Jewish State. These drones were not only to be operated by newly arrived Iranian pilots, but were funded and supervised by Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps′s al Quds Force, currently in Syria. As explosions were heard above Damascus, in Aqraba, the Israeli′s were successful in their targeting among Quds and Shiite forces.
The IAF (Israeli Air Force) also sent drones to the border of Lebanon and Syria in yet an additional attack on their enemies. Their target-the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) position in Qousaya, located in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon. There were no casualties, only material damage was sustained. The militants responded with heavy anti‐aircraft fire.
In case you are unfamiliar with the PFLP, they splinted off from the Liberation of Palestine‐General Command in 1968. Perhaps you may remember them for their hijacking of several aircraft between 1968 and 1974. (This would be the group that in 1976 landed an aircraft in Entebbe, Uganda holding 94 Jewish hostages and 12 crew members. The tiny state of Israel sent out its most audacious rescue operation which was a miraculous success. However, the bitter of this story is that the commanding officer, Yonatan Netanyahu (older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu) gave his life in the service of his country. The operation was later named, operation Yonatan, in his honor. If you are unfamiliar with the story take time to read it here.) The PFLP desire no peace with Israel and are determined to replace the Jewish State with a non‐religious democratic state in Palestine. They combine Arab nationalism with Marxist‐Leninist ideas which is also the ideology for the Soviet Union′s Communist Party. This is interesting because back in its infancy the PFLP did not look for support from other Arab leaders like the Fatah did. They instead were backed by the USSR and China. The current commander is Syrian, therefore forming a close relation between Syria and Lebanon. They made Damascus their headquarters, but, also have camps in southern Lebanon, Palestinian refugee camps and a small presence in the Gaza Strip.
The attacks have raised no small stir among the enemies of Israel. Lebanon′s President Michel Aoun, has said, the Israeli drone strikes were like a “declaration of war” . Part of the Iraqi parliament, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) bloc (see our blog of 7/22/19 for more), called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. They hold the U. S. fully responsible for the alleged Israeli aggression, which they also consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people. They feel they no longer need U.S. intervention.
The Jewish state remains on high alert expecting retaliation. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu commented, “Iran has no immunity anywhere. Our forces are operating in every direction against the Iranian aggression. We will continue to work against Iran and its proxies with determination and responsibility for Israel′s security.” He also added a quote from the Talmud, “If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first.” The Prime Minister has called on the International Community to halt these attacks.
How does this relate to Bible Prophecy? The Scriptures say there is going to be an invasion of Israel. It also gives the countries involved (check out this link for more). Persia is mention, which is today′s Iran and part of Iraq. Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, there was no unification between the two countries—in fact, they were at war. Now, Iraq is considered a Trojan state of Iran, even having Iranian backed militias fighting their battles against ISIS.
A lot has changed in the Middle East since the turn of the century. How much longer do we have to wait? Some are expecting the war of Ps 83 to happen before the Rapture. There is also the possibility of Damascus being destroyed before the Rapture. Both of these are very real possibilities for the near future. Are you prepared for the Rapture? Check out this link to be sure.
Sources: jpost.com-Kochavi: Iran's Qasem Soleimani personally oversaw planned drone attack; jpost.com-Qasem Soleimani: Israel's insane operations will be its last attempts; jpost.com-Drones, Shi’ite militias at heart of Iranian threat to Israel; britannica.com; bbc.com; allthatsinteresting.com; ynetnews.com-Netanyahu calls on international community: act to halt Iran attacks; ynetnews.com-Iraqi, Lebanese politicians: Israeli strikes are ‘declaration of war’; britannica.com.
Photo Design: End-time.com.
Is Tolerance The Same Yesterday and Today? Week of 8/19/19
When people are suffering and persecuted in a land that is intolerant of them, what alternative do they have? Whether it is for religious persecution or ethnic cleansing, financial betterment or political ideologies, or just for an improved way of living, many people have turned to one country more than any other. When traveling through any third world country, you can hear them say, “I want to come to America”.
America, known the world over as the land of prosperity, home to the free, has taken a slow turn—a turn that threatens her freedoms. That turn can be defined as, “tolerance”. You might say, wasn′t America founded on tolerance? Perhaps the explanation is in the definition. Tolerance can be defined as, being open‐minded. The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word as, willing to accept behavior and beliefs that are different from your own, although you might not agree with or approve of them. As one famous pastor has said, “I may disagree with you completely, but I will treat you with respect.” In more modern days, it has come to mean, “You must approve of everything I do”.
Make no mistake, America has had her problems—even with “tolerance”; that being said means, Americans did not wake up one morning and decide to tolerate every act a person decides to commit. No, it has taken several decades of being programmed either through schooling, peer pressure or media teaching. In an article by the online magazine, Economist, how tolerant you are does not depend on your race, whether you are rich or poor, liberal or conservative—no, what makes you more tolerant is the degree of education you have received. The article states, “College graduates accept outsiders and their views 83% of the time, whereas for those with only a high‐school degree the acceptance rate is 64%.” And why are people willing to accept things their great grandparents traditionally did not?—because of the decline of family values and morals—replaced with new, trendy ideas and philosophies.
Take the idea of socialism or communism. (Read our 4/8 & 15/19 blog for history on these forms of government.) Your great grandparents would probably remember the world′s view of these forms of government, but today the world′s view has changed. What is the main reason for this change? The Bible and its views are rarely preached from the pulpit these days, nor is this inspiring book hardly read by anyone—especially Christians. What does the Bible have to do with forms of government? God directed Moses on the Biblical way of leading people. (See our blog of 6/24/19‐European Union Part 3 for more.)
Another example are sexual sins. Once again, your great grandparents would probably remember the world′s view of this life style, but, today the world′s view has changed. What is the main reason?—the Bible. The Bible and the warning of judgments are rarely preached from the pulpits or read by anyone—especially Christians. Does the Bible discuss sexual sins?--Yes. Check out this link for more .
What about abortion? Your great grandparents would probably remember the world′s view of this practice, but, today the world′s view has changed. Again, what is the main reason?—the Bible. The Bible and its revelations are rarely preached from the pulpits or read by anyone—especially Christians. The Bible does address this issue; check out this link.
What about religions other than Judeo‐Christian? America was founded on religious liberties—remember Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love? Since its founding, and particularly in the past, Americans have frowned on laws restricting the practice of a person′s religion. So, what has changed? Why are some people so stressed over religions like Islamism? Why do so many women in free American desire to celebrate, World Hijab Day, started by Linda Sarsour—an anti‐Semitic, BDS activist (The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions of Israel movement) who propagates hate for the Jews? Hopefully, it is because they do not understand, or have been mislead to believe that the hijab can make them feel more beautiful and confident. The fact of the matter is that the hijab, in a Muslim environment, is required apparel. According to an interview by the Jerusalem Post with Yasmine Mohammed, an ex‐Muslim, she states, the hijab is, “A tool of oppression—a garment that perpetuates rape culture—is celebrated by women who claim to be progressive. They want freedom for themselves, but are happy to support the subjugation (bringing under control; enslavement) of other women. If they actually truly cared, they would be celebrating the women in Iran that are being arrested for defying the compulsory hijab laws.”
Yes, tolerance is important, and even considered a Christian virtue; however, a person needs to be very careful as to what they are being tolerant about. Jesus warns us, be not deceived.
How do the above statements relate to Bible Prophecy? Rev 3:14‐22 is the description and warning for the church in the latter days—the days we are now living—the Laodicean church age. Jesus tells us that this church is not going to be hot or cold—it is lukewarm. It is the church of human rights—that is what Laodicean means. Yes, Christians are to be tolerant of one another‐ref Eph 4:2; 1 Cor 8:3‐but, that tolerance does not extend to allowing what is acceptable to the world to be a moral rule for the church or God′s people. The Bible is no longer the standard for what is right or what is wrong. In this age, social media and online friends dictate morality—what is good for self. As we stressed in our 7/18/19 blog, get the dust off your Bible. For of all the other books (or social apps) you′ll find, there is none salvation holds. Get the dust off the Bible and redeem your poor soul.
Sources: dictionary.cambridge.org; nationalblackroberegiment.com; economist.com; jpost.com; worldhijabday.co; beliefnet.com; Partial lyrics from the song, Dust on the Bible, recorded by Hank Williams and separately by Kitty Wells.
What Do You See? Week of 8/12/19
When you look out onto this meadow, what do you see? Is this a beautiful array of flowers or a bunch of weeds that need mowing? Everyone has a different view point. You either see a drinking glass half full or half empty. It is the same with the Gospel. The following article, Jesus Remanufactured, is reprinted in part, with permission by, Bibledesk.com.
Have you ever noticed how often Christ is portrayed as having blue eyes and blonde hair? Yet the Scriptures say, He WAS MADE OF THE SEED OF DAVID ACCORDING TO THE FLESH‐Ro 1:3. We have made Jesus into what we want Him to be, rather than receiving Him as the Bible says He is. We have, in essence, manufactured an altered version of the true Christ.
Which Jesus do you follow? The real One or one you have made up in your mind? Do you follow a Jesus of your imagination, or do you follow the real Jesus? Can you say, as Job did, I HAVE ESTEEMED THE WORDS OF HIS MOUTH MORE THAN MY NECESSARY FOOD‐Job 23:12. Which is more important to you, God′s Word or food? Job also said, I AM AFRAID OF HIM‐Job 23:15.
There is a Jesus of the Mormons, of the Jehovah′s Witnesses, and of the Muslims. There is a Jesus of the Hindus, of Armstrongism, and of the spirit guides. There is a Jesus of men′s traditions and a Jesus that is what men want Him to be. There is also a Jesus that is what men′s itching ears want to hear about Him. Then, there is “the Jesus,” Who says, WHOSOEVER HE BE OF YOU THAT FORSAKETH NOT ALL THAT HE HATH, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE‐Lk 14:33. Which Jesus do you follow?
There is a Jesus of the world and a Jesus that is not of the world. Do you understand? Which Jesus do you follow?
There is a Jesus that says we are saved by grace, but no commitment of any kind is required. This Jesus is preached in many churches today.
Then there is the Jesus, Who says, you are saved by grace “for the purpose” of serving the living God. As it is written, Heb 9:14‐HOW MUCH MORE SHALL THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, WHO THROUGH THE ETERNAL SPIRIT OFFERED HIMSELF WITHOUT SPOT TO GOD, PURGE YOUR CONSCIENCE FROM DEAD WORKS TO SERVE THE LIVING GOD? He tells us, WE ARE…CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS UNTO GOOD WORKS, WHICH GOD HATH BEFORE ORDAINED‐Eph 2:10. Which Jesus do you follow? He also tells us, BUT NOW BEING MADE FREE FROM SIN, AND BECOME SERVANTS TO GOD, YE HAVE YOUR FRUIT UNTO HOLINESS, AND THE END EVERLASTING LIFE‐Ro 6:22.
Are you a servant of the Jesus of the world or a servant of God? What fruit are you bearing, worldly fruit or souls? Will you hear these words in that day: WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT‐Mt 25:21?
There is a Jesus that teaches we need not serve God. He is also preached in many churches today. People that hear this Jesus may become very comfortable and confident. Then there is a different Jesus, Who tells us, THOU SHALT WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE‐Mt 4:10 Which of these two do you follow?
There is also a Jesus that wants you to prosper and be in health; however, this is a Jesus that wants you to prosper in worldliness, money, and material goods. This Jesus never allows you to be chastened with sickness. Then there is a different Jesus, Who tells us, PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, WHICH IS YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE‐Ro 12:1. GATHER MY SAINTS TOGETHER UNTO ME; THOSE THAT HAVE MADE A COVENANT WITH ME BY SACRIFICE‐Ps 50:5. Which of these two do you follow?
There is also a very popular Jesus of self‐esteem, self‐worth, and pride, that encourages the attitude of “I am somebody important.” This Jesus is well received today in many Christian churches. Then there is a very different Jesus. He says deny yourself‐ref Lk 9:23. KNOWING THIS, THAT OUR OLD MAN (our old desires are)…CRUCIFIED WITH HIM‐Ro 6:6. I AM CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST‐Gal 2:20. AND THEY THAT ARE CHRIST′S (or that are saved) HAVE (past tense) CRUCIFIED THE FLESH WITH THE AFFECTIONS AND LUSTS‐Gal 5:24. This Jesus—Who is seldom preached—also says, GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, BUT GIVETH GRACE UNTO THE HUMBLE‐Ja 4:6. Which Jesus do you follow?
There is a Jesus of secrecy that tells you, “There is no need to share or be open and transparent.” The real name of this “Jesus” is Satan. Then, there is a Jesus Who says, CONFESS YOUR FAULTS ONE TO ANOTHER, AND PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER‐Ja 5:16. Which Jesus do you follow: the one that masquerades as an angel of light and misleads you to hell? or the true Jesus? Do you follow the Jesus of your emotions? or the Jesus of Scripture, truth, and love?
There is a manufactured Jesus that tells us we do not have to obey the Gospel, also that we do not have to obey our pastor. Many follow this Jesus. However, there is a different Jesus, Who tells us, the Holy Ghost (salvation) is given TO THEM THAT OBEY HIM‐ref Acts 5:32. His Word tells us, HE BECAME THE AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION (only to a select few) UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM‐Heb 5:9. He tells us to obey our pastor, SAYING, THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES SIT IN MOSES′ SEAT: ALL THEREFORE WHATSOEVER THEY BID YOU OBSERVE, THAT OBSERVE AND DO; BUT DO NOT YE AFTER THEIR WORKS: FOR THEY SAY, AND DO NOT‐Mt 23:2,3. OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU, AND SUBMIT YOURSELVES: FOR THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOULS, AS THEY THAT MUST GIVE ACCOUNT, THAT THEY MAY DO IT WITH JOY, AND NOT WITH GRIEF: FOR THAT IS UNPROFITABLE FOR YOU‐Heb 13:17. Which Jesus do you obey and love?
There is a Jesus—which has been adjusted to suit today′s churches—who tells us we never have to let Him or His Word reign over us. This Jesus is preached in most churches and is greatly loved by many. Then there is a Jesus that few understand. Few want to know of His teachings or His ways, because He teaches that we shall perish if we do not submit to Him, to His Word. We are to let Him reign over us; as it is written, Lk 19:27‐BUT THOSE MINE ENEMIES, WHICH WOULD NOT THAT I SHOULD REIGN OVER THEM, BRING HITHER, AND SLAY THEM BEFORE ME. Is this the Jesus you want to follow? Or would you rather follow a Jesus that does not tell you what to do and perish later?
There is a Jesus that we never have to suffer for. We can enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, yet rest in hope that we will still go to heaven. Then there is another Jesus, Who says, WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER‐Ro 8:36. This is a Jesus of no compromise; His Word tells us, 2 Tim 3:12‐YEA, AND ALL THAT WILL LIVE GODLY IN CHRIST JESUS SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION. 2 Tim 2:12‐IF WE SUFFER, WE SHALL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM. Which Jesus do you want to follow? Where is your heart?
There is a Jesus that says, “Love this world; strive for success; get all the good things in life; eat, drink, and be merry.” Then there is another Jesus, Who says, LOVE NOT THE WORLD, NEITHER THE THINGS THAT ARE IN THE WORLD. IF ANY MAN LOVE THE WORLD, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM‐1 Jn 2:15. KNOW YE NOT THAT THE FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENMITY (or hatred) WITH GOD? WHOSOEVER THEREFORE WILL BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD‐Ja 4:4. So which Jesus do you love? the Jesus of this world or the Jesus of the world to come?
There is the manufactured Jesus that tells us we do not have to repent nor are we to fear God. He tells us not to worry, everything will turn out all right. Then there is the Jesus, Who commands ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO REPENT‐Acts 17:30. EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH‐Lk 13:3,5. He says, Lk 12:5‐I WILL FOREWARN YOU WHOM YE SHALL FEAR: FEAR HIM, WHICH AFTER HE HATH KILLED HATH POWER TO CAST INTO HELL. Mt 10:28‐FEAR HIM WHICH IS ABLE TO DESTROY BOTH SOUL AND BODY IN HELL. Which God do you follow?
There is a Jesus of complete mercy and no judgment. He may tell you that it is all right to sin. It is all right to disobey the Scriptures, to serve the world, and to put souls last. It is all right not to read your Bible or obey the Gospel. God will forgive you. Then there is another Jesus, Who says, IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT‐Heb 9:27. MERCY REJOICETH AGAINST JUDGMENT‐Ja 2:13. IT IS A FEARFUL THING TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE LIVING GOD‐Heb 10:31. NO ONE WHO CONTINUES TO SIN HAS EITHER SEEN HIM OR KNOWN HIM‐1 Jn 3:6 NIV. And if you trample THE SON OF GOD UNDER FOOT, and treat His blood as AN UNHOLY THING‐ref Heb 10:29 NIV, then know this: VENGEANCE BELONGETH UNTO ME, I WILL RECOMPENSE, SAITH THE LORD‐Heb 10:30. VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY, SAITH THE LORD‐Ro 12:19.
When the Rapture occurs or you die, what will your life and all the things you have done mean? At that last moment, only what you did regarding Jesus will count. Can you receive this now? Which Jesus do you follow?