Endtimesencouragementnews

Encouragement for End-Times Endurance brings you a look at current events around the world from a biblical perspective, including how they might be connected to Bible prophecy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CONVERGENCE

Convergence: 1) the act, fact, or condition of converging; 2) the point at which things converge.

Converge:1) to come together or tend to come together at a point; 2) to move or be directed toward each other or toward the same place, purpose, or result. (Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition)

A check of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible reveals that neither "convergence" nor "converge" appear in the Bible; yet I contend that the principle has been there all the time. With the benefit of hindsight (which is not always 20/20 but is usually clearer than present or future sight) we can see that Galatians 4:4 speaks of a moment of convergence. "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law," Galatians 4:4 (NKJV)

The New Living Translation says, "But when the right time came..." From God's perspective, the right time was a time when many things converged. At the top of the list there is the matter of prophecy. Without delving too deeply into the subject, the following Scripture gives us a clue.

25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Daniel 9:25-26 (NKJV)

From the time that the decree was issued to rebuild the walls and streets of Jerusalem (Artaxerxes Longimanus in 445 B.C.) until Messiah was cut off (crucified) there would be 69 weeks of prophetic (360 day) years, or 483 years. While this does not pinpoint the time of Messiah's birth, it comes close. Interestingly, the prophecy of the 70 weeks of years (the afore mentioned 69) plus the final week, which is 7 years yet to come, was given to Daniel. Daniel was a righteous Hebrew lad, taken into Babylonian captivity by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C. Daniel, for about 70 years, would maintain his integrity while serving under several kings as both an administrator and as a Magi. As the time of the Savior's birth approached, who were the people who realized what was about to happen? It was the Magi.

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,
2 saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." Matthew 2:1-2 (NKJV)

Not only did the prophetic calendar converge with the time of Jesus' birth, but with most of the known world under the rule of Rome, there existed a time of relative peace (Pax Romana), a well developed system of roads was in place, and many peoples were united by a common language. At just the right time Jesus was born, which meant also that at just the right time He died and rose again. The world was in a state that made the spread of the gospel.

All of that leads to my simple conclusion for today. Just as the First Advent of Jesus the Christ occurred at a time when many things in the world converged, so will it be at the Second Advent of Jesus the King. This may help to explain some of the many things which are currently happening on planet earth. Most of the politicians and the pundits would have us think that either things are spinning out of control or that man can fix things if only ____________. The truth is that nothing is out of God's control, including the fact that soon there will appear on the world stage a man who deceives many into thinking that he has the solution.

Next time we will look at some of the things that seem to be converging on that point in time. Until then, keep looking up, for your redemption draws near (Luke 21:28).







 






Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Nation in Disarray

Government Shutdown ... Debt Ceiling ... Sequestration ... Weapons of Mass Destruction ... Syria ... Israel ... Palestine ... Iran ... Afghanistan ... Iraq ... Obamacare ... The LGBT Agenda ... Women's Right to Choose ... Islam ... Terrorism ... Benghazi ... NSA Spying ... 1st Amendment ... 2nd Amendment ... Democrat ... Republican ... Rhino ... Tea Party ... Progressive Liberal ... Conservative (fiscal or moral or both) ... The UN ...

Any one of the above topics (and many) will certainly wind up the pundits of every stripe and color, so I wish to talk for just a minute about a topic that is not all that dear to the hearts of many people. I have chosen to do so on a blog site because I do not have much access to the shakers and movers inside the beltway. I am forever grateful that I do have access to the One who will have the last shake (Hebrews 4:16; 12:26-27).

In any event, this is an open letter to the President of the United States, to every member of his cabinet and staff, and to every senator and congressman. You will spend a lot of time, energy, and money trying to resolve the many problems facing our nation, the above list being just a sample. I can tell you, based not on any personal expertise but on the unchanging Word of God, that all of that effort will be wasted until you first restore righteousness to the foundations of our country. We have lost our moral bearings as a nation, and until those are regained, all of our efforts will be in vain. For it is written:

"Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people." Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV)

"If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?" Psalms 11:3 (NKJV)

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance." Psalms 33:12 (NKJV)

Someone might ask, "Even if I agreed with you, where should we start?" I do not believe for a second that God requires a complicated answer to that question. Our own instincts agree with the Word of God that life is sacred, and comes from God. We wrote that into our Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life ..." That certainly agrees with ...

13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. Psalms 139:13-16 (NKJV)

We MUST, as a nation, pass laws granting personhood status, under the 14th Amendment, to all humans from the moment of conception. God has given us 40 years to remove the stench of blood-guilt from our land and we have not yet done it. We MUST do so before it is too late; before the problems listed above (and worse) consume us. You, as leaders of this once great nation, have a responsibility to put the ship of state back on the right course.

And we the people have a responsibility to communicate to you our desire that you do so. Therefore, this letter is also to all the people. You can become active participants in something called the 3.1.10 Initiative. Call your 3 congressmen at least 1 time per month and register your strong desire to see Personhood/Life at Conception legislation (H.R. 1091 and S. 583) passed into law just as soon as possible, and urge at least 10 of your friends to do the same.

The amazing thing about getting this message out on the world-wide web is that it can either sit there in cyber-space or it can go viral. Without righteousness being restored to the foundation of our nation, we will continue to be a nation in disarray. It's up to you.













Friday, February 15, 2013

World News Through the Third Lens: The State of Our Union

In the president's state of the union address last Tuesday.........

Why bother to go over that speech, the contents of which, if they become reality, will push the United States of America further into the abyss? There was not one mention of the connection between our moral decline and our fiscal problems. The proposals to "fix" our economy not only miss this connection - they lack one shred of common sense as shared by Dr. Ben Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama should have been taking notes rather than looking for a hole to crawl into.

Rather than taking apart the President's agenda, which includes (in this writer's opinion) much that constitutes impeachable offenses, I would rather focus on just one sentence in Senator Marc Rubio's rebuttal speech. "But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them."

Every time I read that, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I think those are symptoms of hysteria, so you can consider this blog as written by an hysterical man on a mission. While I appreciate Senator Rubio's pro-life statement, I can't help but wonder why his name was not listed as a co-sponsor on Senator Wicker's bill: S.91 Life at Conception Act introduced at the beginning of the 112th congress. Why was this bill allowed to languish in committee without, at least, a real battle? Why hasn't a version of S.91 been introduced to the 113th congress by either Sen. Rubio, Sen. Wicker, or either of Tennessee's two "Pro-life" senators, Corker and Alexander? Could it be because of the state of our union is actually disunity?

Through the third lens of Scripture.................

Ephesians 4:1-6 (NKJV)
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Our country is most definitely not exceptional because of a belief that every life, at all stages, is precious. If that were so, we would not be a nation that has allowed the legal murder of over 55 million babies in the womb over the past 40 years. I also think that the church of Jesus Christ has lost its exceptionalism by allowing this to happen in our beloved country. How has this happened when the majority of people in this country say they believe in the sanctity of life? I think it is because we are not united in what we mean when we say we are "pro-life."

There is no claim that any of the numbers hereafter are accurate, but I do believe that they are accurate in what they represent.

Of the 200,000,000 or so people in the USA eligible to vote, approximately 150,000,000 of them are registered to vote. Of the registered voters, over 80,000,000 say they are pro-life. Let's just go with the 80MM and break that down further.

Let's say that 50%  (40MM) think that abortion should be banned, but with exceptions (i.e., rape,incest, health of mother, etc.)

Let's say that the other 50% (40MM) think that all abortions should be banned; no exceptions.

Out of either group there have sprung various and sundry pro-life organizations, but they often refuse to work with one another because of disagreement regarding the exceptions.

Out of each group there have sprung many mercy ministries (i.e., Care-net) which focus most of their attention on helping those in crisis pregnancy situations, with very little effort directed at going up-stream to prevent the crisis. As such, they have staff and budget needs to be met.

A considerable portion of the pro-life movement is devoted to keeping people abreast of current events in this arena. As such, they have staff and budget needs to be met.

A very small percentage (probably less than 1%) of the people who say they are pro-life actually take their theology out to the streets. These people operate with next to nothing for a formal budget. Most of the workers are strictly volunteers and any funds collected go directly to alleviate the needs of families who choose life - right at the gates of the abortion mills. Even the seasonal efforts to go to the streets attract a very small percentage of the evangelical church. In the Bible Belt part of Tennessee where I live, only about 15 of the 1000 churches in the area will be participating in 40 Days for Life.

I have kept this numbers game to a minimum because my purpose is not to divide, but to unite. I am willing to accept the fact that many different approaches have been taken by the pro-life community, and that pro-life commitment varies from person to person. I am not suggesting that the various efforts of organizations like Personhood USA, Care-net, Operation Save America, Operation Rescue, Life News, 40 Days for Life, et al should cease. God forbid! What I am suggesting is that everyone who calls him/herself "Pro-Life" should take the minimal steps granted to every citizen of the USA to end abortion in this country. This can be done without having to fund a staff or a budget; it can be done without engaging in endless speeches.

Personhood is the answer............

The 14th Amendment of the US Constitution states, "...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Because, as a nation, we seem to have lost our ability to recognize that a baby in the womb is a person from the moment of conception, there is a need for congress to act, under section 5 of the 14th Amendment, and extend the protections thereof to each born and preborn human person.

Our duly elected congressmen (senators and representatives) need to know that the will of the people is to define personhood as beginning with the moment of conception. Let's not engage in endless debate regarding exceptions; the need to attack this state by state or restriction by restriction. Let's just tell congress that we believe that human life begins at conception and that equal protection under the law should apply at that point. We demand a law that guarantees this. Once this is the law of the land, and only then, will Sen. Rubio's statement ring true.

Join the 3.1.10 initiative. 3 - the number of congressmen you should contact; 1 - the number of times to contact them per month requesting passage of Life at Conception/Personhood legislation ASAP; 10 - the minimum number of friends you should urge to do the same.

The Spirit, which is Life is calling us to unity.....................

 

 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

World News Through the Third Lens: The Peace of Jerusalem

 

PM Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with a number of foreign leaders over       the weekend, telling them he would be prepared for an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire with Hamas if the latter agrees to halt all rocket fire from Gaza. Meanwhile, Hamas on television announced a list of its own ceasefire demands, none of which included a cessation of the constant rocket-fire on Israeli civilians that led to the Pillar of Defense Operation. (INN/Ha’aretz) At the present moment it seems like a ceasefire is wishful thinking, much less peace.
 
In the USA, it is difficult to comprehend what life would be like with 850 rockets being launched across our borders within the space of a few days. Yet this is just an intense display of the terror that has been plaguing the nation of Israel for the past 64 years. Some times it has come in the form of attacks on many fronts from many nations (1948, 1967, 1973); other times disguise as a young man innocently passing through a shopping mall or taking a seat on a crowded bus, who detonates the bomb strapped to his chest shouting, "Allahu Akbar!" The last effective ceasefire was the end of the Yom Kippur War on October 25, 1973. Since then virtually every ceasefire arranged with the PLO, PA, Hamas or Hezbollah has been broken. Despite the hope and promise of The Camp David Accords in 1978, the Oslo I Accord of 1993, or the Wye River Memorandum of 1998, peace has remained as elusive as nailing jello to a tree.
 
Throughout these past six decades, Christians have been exhorted time and again to pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you." Psalms 122:6 (NKJV) This exhortation has come from Zionists (those who believe Israel has a just claim to the land) and from evangelicals who just take the Bible seriously. The understanding of what peace in Jerusalem means varies with ones view of eschatology (end-times events).
 
Through the Third Lens of Scripture: The peace of Israel and Jerusalem is a topic spoken of frequently in the context of end-times. The angel Gabriel gave Daniel insight into this matter over 2500 years ago. "Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate." Daniel 9:27 (NKJV) Without going into detail, this speaks of a 7 year peace treaty confirmed by one who, after 3-1/2 years will break the covenant, will enter the (rebuilt) temple and commit "the abomination which causes desolation."
 
Jesus speaks of this event (remember it takes place 3-1/2 years into the last 7 year period, often referred to as the Tribulation) during His discourse on the Mount of Olivet. 15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." Matthew 24:15-16 (NKJV) In Matthew 24, Jesus answers His disciple's questions concerning the end of this present age and the Second Coming pretty much in chronological order. Note that He speaks of the days following the "abomination" this way: 21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." Matthew 24:21-22 (NKJV) Following the words of Jesus, we discover that the event which will cut short the Great Tribulation is His Second Coming, which is  immediately preceded by signs in the heavenlies. You can track all of this in Revelation 6, which culminates with signs in the heavenlies, and the declaration that the "great day of their wrath has come." (v.16)
 
As Revelation continues, we see that two classes of people are protected from the wrath of God in two different ways. 144,000 Jews will remain on the earth during this time and are protected by a seal on their foreheads (Revelation 7:3), while the saints of God will be taken from the earth via the Rapture (Revelation 7:14). Paul is inspired by the Holy Spirit to write about these events also. Again, this is just a summary of some of the headlines. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 he writes about the Rapture and the Resurrection (other details are provided in 1 Corinthians 15). Paul continues in 1 Thessalonians 5 reminding us that while the Rapture (immediately followed by the Day of the Lord's wrath) will occur during times and seasons of which the prepared Christian is aware, it will come upon the unbelieving world as a "thief in the night." (v. 1-2) The believer is encouraged with the words "For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Thessalonians 5:9 (NKJV)

Paul continues to give us insight in his writings to the church in Thessalonica:
1 "Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,"
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (NKJV) 1950 years ago people were trying to distort the clear teaching of Jesus concerning the end-times. Paul makes it clear that the Rapture/Day of the Lord had not already come (v. 1-2) and would not come until two things happened: 1) a great apostasy or rebellion against God and His truth, and 2) the revealing of the man of sin (Antichrist) spoken of by Daniel and Jesus (see above).

The next peace to come to Israel and Jerusalem will be a false peace. How it comes about will probably be unknown to most of the world, but they will be grateful for it. That peace will be short-lived and will be followed by a time of unprecedented persecution. Those days will be cut short by the Resurrection/Rapture/Day of the Lord, after which Jesus will set up His Millennial Kingdom. Then the Prince of Peace will sit upon David's Throne and the government will be upon His shoulders. Then our Psalm 122:6 prayer will be answered. I just wanted you to have a good idea of what needed to happen before it would come to pass.





 










 
 
   

Monday, September 3, 2012

World News Through the Third Lens: Israel On Her Own

US IS UNDERMINING MILITARY THREAT AGAINST IRAN:


Israel’s Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon said Friday he feared the Islamic Republic did not believe it faced a real military threat from the outside world because of mixed messages from foreign powers, including the US. "We have an exchange of views, including with our friends in the United States, who in our opinion, are in part responsible for this feeling in Iran," he said. "There are many cracks in the ring closing tighter on Iran. We criticize this." Ya’alon also censured UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for traveling to Tehran last week. (Reuters)

DEMPSEY DOESN’T WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH ISRAEL IN A STRIKE AGAINST IRAN: Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said late last week he did not want to be "complicit" if Israel chose to strike Iran's nuclear program, positing that a premature attack would dissolve the international pressure on the Islamic Republic. Speaking to UK journalists, Dempsey said an assault would clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran's nuclear program. He explained the international coalition pressuring Iran could be undone if it was attacked prematurely. "I don't want to be complicit if the Israelis choose to do it," he said. Dempsey’s harsh language may very well be understood by Israeli decision makers as a shot across the bow that cannot be ignored, while the popular interpretation will be that Israel cannot rely on the US and needs to take matters into its own hands. (J.Post/Ha’aretz)
 
NETANYAHU: SUMMIT IN TEHRAN IS A DISGRACE TO HUMANITY: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Thursday he will address the UN General Assembly next month in New York. "In Tehran today, the representatives of 120 countries heard a blood libel against the State of Israel and were silent," Netanyahu said. "This silence must stop. Therefore, I will go to the UN General Assembly and, in a clear voice, tell the nations of the world the truth about Iran's terrorist regime, which constitutes the greatest threat to world peace." The prime minister on Wednesday strongly condemned the Non-Aligned Movement summit taking place in Tehran. "Today, over 120 countries are meeting in Tehran, while the regime there denies the Holocaust, and works to destroy the Zionist state. This is a disgrace to humanity," the prime minister said. Netanyahu continued that the presence of these 120 states in Iran is a sign that the world's pledge "never again" after the Holocaust, is hollow. (J. Post)

These are just three of many headlines which have appeared around the world in the past three days (although most of them probably were missed by the main stream media). This post may seem, at first blush, like a rehash of one from a month ago, but I believe it is necessary. What is happening on the world scene with respect to Israel should be viewed as ticks on God's prophetic clock as we come ever closer to the End of the Age.

THROUGH THE THIRD LENS OF SCRIPTURE:

I would first like to refer the reader back to the post made one month ago in which the 12th Chapter of Ezekiel was used to sound a warning to any nation that would , as some headlines have recently phrased it, "Throw Israel under the bus!" The headlines cited above indicate that many nations, including the USA, have ignored the warning. Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney, has promised to reverse that course if he is elected president. However, the concept of a "two state solution" to the land referred to as Palestine is still a plank in the Republican platform. That should be enough said, without even trying to explore any of the mystical relationship between Mormonism and the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel.

Suffice it to say that Israel has biblical, theological, legal and practical claims to the Land. Liberal theologians, Muslims, ultra-orthodox Jews and Christian groups embracing replacement theology all say otherwise, which complicates the matter for many.

As the messianic prophesies start out very broad and general ("And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." Genesis 3:15 (NKJV) and over time become more and more specific (Abraham's seed, Genesis 12:3, through Isaac, Genesis 22:18, His tribe, Genesis 49:10, His place of birth, Micah 5:2, et al), so it is with the promises concerning the nation and the land.

The land promises which begin in Genesis 12 are repeated to Abraham in Genesis 13, 15, 17 and 22. The promise is confirmed with Isaac in Genesis 26, with Jacob (Israel) in Genesis 28, and assumed in the predictions to Jacob's 12 sons in Genesis 49. God fulfilled His promise concerning the exile of Abraham's descendants in a strange land for 400 years, followed by a return to the land (Genesis 15:13-16). The boundaries of the land are described in Numbers 34, Deuteronomy 28-30. The Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:4-17) promises that a descendant of David will sit on the throne forever - assuming not only a king, but a kingdom over which to rule. This promise has been interrupted because of Israel's unfaithfulness, but never abrogated.

Theologically, it is important to remember that when God ratified His covenant with Abraham, it was a unilateral covenant; an unconditional covenant. Abraham prepared the sacrificial animals, but then he fell asleep and God alone performed the ritual binding of the covenant. Repetition of key elements of the covenant throughout the Old Testament, and Paul's teaching in Romans 9-11 makes it clear that the church has not replaced Israel in God's program "for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Romans 11:29).

Legally, there is a maelstrom of disagreement surrounding the existence of the modern state of Israel. To access a good overview of this complicated topic, I recommend Fast Facts on the Middle East Conflict by Randall Price. It's important to note that "legal" here does not mean a mis-application of biblical and theological from above. God will fulfill that in due time. Suffice it to say that the restoration of Israel as a nation in 1948, while accomplished by God's behind the scenes sovereignty, took place while Israel was yet in unbelief (see Romans 11:23). It was a socialistic, irreligious segment of Jewish society that pioneered the the modern state. And as flawed as it is, it has been a series of legal decisions dating back to the 1922 British Mandate, which has resulted in legitimate claims to the land today.

Practically speaking, just consider the plight of so-called Palestinian refugees. In the 20th century, more Jews were dispossessed of lands and possessions in Arab lands than ever before. Yet tiny Israel has taken in over 700,000 disposed Jews from around the world since 1948. Consider the sad fact that the oil-rich Arab world surrounding Israel has done precious little to offer havens of relief for Palestinian refugees. Consider the fact that Palestinian refugees in the Israeli controlled portions of the West Bank live at much higher standards than the refugees in PLP/PLA portions. The entire Gaza strip fell into social and economic squalor once 9000 Jews were forcefully evacuated.

I will conclude this by encouraging those who read this to keep your eyes on Israel, and even further on Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. I believe that Joel Rosenberg correctly labeled these as "Epicenter" in his book by the same title, written in 2006. The political battles here at home seem to focus on the economy, with virtually no one connecting our economic plight to our national views towards the sanctity of life from conception, the sanctity of biblical marriage and family, and the blessings and curses associated with national dealings towards Israel. Pray, pray, pray! Vote as the Holy Spirit dictates. Be about the Father's business and keep looking up, for your redemption draws near!


Friday, August 3, 2012

World News Through the Third Lens: Israel's Solitary War

Israel is on its own in war against terrorism (Diana West, Washington Post, July 22, 2012)

Yes, the headline is nine days old, but the news has been around for decades. The very next day after being re-established as a nation in 1948 Israel was fighting vor her very survival, and 64 years later little has changed. The report in the Post article concerned the continuing omission of Israel from a U.S.-sponsored organization called the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). U.S. undersecretary of state, Maria Otero, in a recent speech to the group titled "Victims of Terrorism" did not even mention Israel.

AMAZING! "At an international conference devoted to victims of terrorism, the world's leading victim or, better, leading target of terrorism - Israel - was nowhere in sight or mind. Welcome to the GCTF - U.S. counterterrorism's new normal. When this 30-member organization got its official start last September, Hilary Clinton, ensconced amid ministers from Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, et al, she said, "From London to Lahore, from Madrid to Mumbai, from Kabul to Kampala, it's innocent civilians who have been targeted....." What about Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon? Missing in action! And the GCTF? It's center will be in Abu Dhabi (whose national airlines just happens to be the named sponsor of the "U.S." Open series of tennis tournaments being played in the USA this summer), 11 of the member nations are Islamic and belong to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 56 Islamic countries working to impose Shariah law on the world. 6 of those 11 also belong to the Arab League. Both groups define terrorism in such a way that Israeli victims are excluded and terrorists do not include groups dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

While the USA has been Israel's friend and supporter for decades, that support has had some pretty strange boundaries at times. In the Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush's "international coalition" was without Israel. Same was true of G/W/ Bush's "coalition of the willing" in Iraq. These omissions were in no way due to any unwillingness on Israel's part to join the war on terrorism. Agreeing with their Islamic "allies" both Bushes agreed that Israel just wasn't fit to fight on Islamic sand. Then, however, Israel was at least recognized for its consistent resistance to terrorist attacks. Now, she doesn't even rate mention as a victim. It appears that "Big Satan" is about to throw "Little Satan" to the sharks.

Through the Third Lens of Scripture:

Jesus said, "Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!" Matthew 18:7 (NKJV) If you'll allow, I'd like to stretch the application of this Scripture a bit, while tying it to some other Scriptures. The Bible makes it clear, as does history, that those who bless Israel will be blessed. It goes all the way back to God's promise to Abraham.
Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)

The nation that sprung from Abraham's loins entered into covenant with Almighty God at Mount Sinai (Horeb) in the giving of the ten Commandments, and renewed some 39 years later on the Plains of Moab. At the heart of the covenant was the requirement of the people to keep the Law (covenant obligations). Perfect obedience was not expected, but a sincere and honest desire to obey. Provisions were contained in the covenant to remove the guilt of sin and to restore the people to God. Willful disobedience and apostasy were another matter.

When God had enough of that, the curse of the Law became their lot and the nation of Israel was virtually destroyed. With the final destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C., Israel's national sovereignty was gone and was never fully recovered until 1948. Over the years, God had regathered His people from the four corners of the earth and brought them back to the land. Among the many Scriptures that prophesied this, several of them imply that Israel would first return in unbelief and at a later time they would turn to the Lord and He would give them a new heart and restore all blessings (Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Isaiah 11:10-12; Jeremiah 30:3; Ezekiel 36:22-28).

So here is Israel, in the land promised to them by Almighty God, and little by little it appears that they will ultimately stand there alone, until this Scripture comes to pass:
"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.
And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it."
Zechariah 12:2-3 (NKJV)

It would not be wise to be among those nations who come against Israel and its capital - Jerusalem.
In that day," says the Lord, "I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Zechariah 12:4 (NKJV) It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:9 (NKJV)

Immediately following this great victory which God shall bring to pass, the remnant of Israel shall see the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is. "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn." Zechariah 12:10 (NKJV) What a glorious day that will be. and woe to any nation that would seek to ignore God, much less attempt to thwart His plans.

















Wednesday, June 27, 2012

World News Through the Third Lens: Air Force Fire

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Air Force Rejects Faith--Plane and Simple

(Family Research Council, June 22, 2012)

"In the U.S. Air Force, the one thing leaders are throttling back is faith. When President Obama took office, his policies had a chilling effect on religion across the military--but no branch has taken Christian censorship to extremes like the Air Force. To most people, the turning point came last year after a service-wide memo from Gen. Norman Schwartz. It was a stern warning that religious favoritism and proselytizing would not be tolerated in the Force. Instead, Gen. Schwartz urged "neutrality"--which has since turned to hostility--on faith.

Assaults on religion have come in almost daily waves since then, and service members are still struggling to cope with the changes. One by one, officers started flushing God out of their everyday routines--an overcorrection that has left several airmen confused about their rights. First, the Air Force suspended a 20-year-old class on "Just War Theory" because it included scriptural references. Next came the stripping of "God" from the Rapid Capabilities motto and the purging of Bibles from Air Force Inn checklists. At Christmas, the Academy ordered cadets to stop promoting a Christian charity for needy kids. Leaders even removed an article from a Squadron Office School curriculum for referencing chapel. FRC started to notice a change in 2010--before Schwartz's memo--when Andrews Air Force Base rescinded my invitation to speak at a prayer breakfast.

"When viewed individually," Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) said, "any of these actions is concerning. But taken together, they highlight an alarming pattern in the Air Force that we do not see in other branches of the military." The tension is so significant that the Air Force Times published a long expose about the new climate of political correctness and how it's affecting morale. Several servicemen emailed the paper anonymously, many concerned that believers are being forced into the closet. "Christian airmen say they're constantly walking on eggshells at work to avoid offending their non-believing colleagues." Another said, "I don't think the Air Force pushes religion on anyone. The only thing I have seen is the push to take any reference to Christianity out."

So far, Gen. Schwartz's strategy seems to be having the desired effect. In a Military Times poll, Air Force members were less likely than those in any other branch to say that "religion plays a larger role in their lives today than it did when they joined the service." In other words, the Air Force is systematically driving a wedge between the troops and their greatest source of solace and strength. What a tragedy. Our military was designed to protect religious liberty--not impair it. As Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said, "When our sons and daughters join the military, they are not signing away their First Amendment right to religious liberty." He and 65 other House members are so outraged by the Air Force's pattern of religious hostility that they're calling on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to conduct a full investigation. "Censorship," they write, "is not required for compliance with the Constitution and should not be required for compliance with military directives." We applaud the dozens of Congressmen who signed on to this letter to support the troops when they need it most."

There is no prophetic pronouncement being made in connection with this report which appeared on June 22, 2012, and the following report from MSNBC on June 27, 2012. Just read the reports, then read  "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." Galatians 6:7 (NKJV) and draw your own conclusions.

"Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown called the Waldo Canyon Fire a "monster event" that is "not even remotely close to being contained." The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Tuesday night, the community of Mountain Shadows, northwest of Colorado Springs, appeared to be enveloped in an orange glow.
People were "freaking out" as they fled Tuesday night, local resident Kathleen Tillman told the Denver Post. "You are driving through smoke. It is completely pitch black, and there is tons of ash dropping on the road."
"This is a fire of epic proportions," Brown said at a briefing Tuesday night.
"It was like looking at the worst movie set you could imagine," Gov. John Hickenlooper added after flying over the fire. "It's almost surreal. You look at that, and it's like nothing I've seen before."
Among the evacuees were cadets and staff at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where flames crested a ridge high above its campus on Tuesday when more than 2,100 residents were told to get out.
A new class of 1,045 cadets was to have reported to campus on Thursday but will instead check in at another facility."

I believe that if revival is going to happen in the USA, it will not be for the purpose of returning us to the days of Leave it to Beaver of Happy Days, but that it will take place in the midst of an ever worsening moral climate and the resulting physical calamities. A description of the person touched by revival will be: "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." James 1:12 (NKJV)