The Latest from Hamas, Iran and Syria

Significant developments continue to unfold in the Middle East. Hamas and Fatah have resumed their on-again-off-again relationship, leaders of Hamas have visited Tehran, and Israel has responded to rockets launched from Syria into Israeli territory.  Steadily, the world marches toward a showdown known as the War of Gog and Magog (described in Ezekiel 38-39).  Here is the latest:

  • Just over a week ago Hamas and Fatah once again declared a unity government, uniting the West Bank, ruled by the Palestinian Authority (under the party name of Fatah), and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.  This is not the first crack at creating a unity government (see here), and only time will tell if it stands up this time.  However, specific Israeli stipulations for entering peace negotiations are that Hamas disarms, acknowledges Israel’s right to exist and severs ties with Iran.  Don’t look for successful peace negotiations any time soon!
  • On Friday, Hamas officials visited Tehran to discuss the Palestinian unity government, Israel and bilateral relations between Hamas and Iran (despite Israel’s conditions for negotiations).  New Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, blatantly stated Hamas’s intentions when he said:

“Over is the time Hamas spent discussing recognizing Israel. Now Hamas will discuss when we will wipe out Israel.”
~The Times of Israel, October 19, 2017

  • This morning, the IDF (Israel Defense Force) responded to 5 rockets fired into Israel from Syria by taking out 3 Syrian launch sites.  Couple that with a similar incident on Thursday, and Israel is on high alert.  Through an IDF spokesperson, the state of Israel issued this statement:

“Even if this is just spillover, this is an exceptional incident and the continuance of such events will be met with a more fierce Israeli response. The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the security of its residents and views the Syrian regime as responsible for what is happening in its territory.”
~Behold Israel, October 21, 2017

Isaiah 17:1 warns of a day when Damascus Syria will cease to exist.  Today, civil war has decimated the city and rogue regimes are striving to control the arms (including WMD’s) known to exist in and around Damascus.  Israel, sensing threats from those who may get their hands on weapons, may be forced to take action to defend herself, which could trigger destructive actions by any of the above.

As we’ve discussed previously, the fall of Damascus leaves the pathway wide open for the Gog and Magog coalition to advance from the north, fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy in chapters 38-39.

We stand on the precipice of significant Biblical end time prophecies.  Now is the time to forsake worldly ambitions and be about our Father’s business.  Let’s be ready for the return of our Bridegroom!

Here is a Congressman Who Gets It!

Kudos to South Carolina’s Representative, Alan Clemmons, who took a trip to Judea and Samaria (known today as the West Bank), to see, experience and understand the historical, ancient and Biblical relationship of the Jewish people to the land God promised them.

Listen to his comments then take a moment to send a message of thanks to Representative Clemmons.  (Here is an easy link to do so.)  One of the ways we support Israel is to make our voices heard…even in a word of thanks.  Please do so!  (I did!)

Enjoy!

Netanyahu to Christian Media: “Israel is a Light unto the Nations!”

On Sunday, in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off the Christian Media Summit, which brings together “more than 100 Christian journalists and speakers from around the world to learn about Israel’s Biblical and modern history, and its security challenges,” according to CBN News.

After encouraging the journalists to focus on, and report on, Iran’s persecution of Christians, he took questions from the journalists.  Here is one exchange:

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell: “With all the problems facing Israel, why does Israel feel obligated to reach out with humanitarian aid to the nations?”

Netanyahu’s immediate response: “Because we’re a light unto the nations!  That’s fulfillment of that great prophecy…that’s what Israel is doing!”

Indeed, Israel is a light unto the nations, just as Isaiah the prophet recorded (Isaiah 49:6).  You see, God called Israel for a special purpose.  Genesis 12:3 tells us that the descendents of Abraham are to be a blessing to the whole world.  What does it mean to be a light unto the nations, or to bless the whole world?  How does that happen?

Those are interesting questions, and ones we, as believers in Jesus Christ, would be richly blessed to know and understand!  The world is in a mess, and in need of redemption.  The good news is: Israel is that vehicle of world redemption!

There is so much more that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, would be richly blessed to know and understand.  Together, we will dig into those details during a study I’m teaching on Sunday mornings at Calvary Community Church in Phoenix AZ.  If you’re in the area, join us at 9:00am (Northwest Campus Prayer Room) or 11:00am (Central Campus Room 403).  Info and directions here.  Let’s discover what God has for us through our Jewish roots!

BTW, if you wish to see and hear Netanyahu’s brief speech and Q&A at the Christian Media Summit, you will find it here.

Trump Speeches on Christian Values and Iran

On Friday, President Trump delivered two very strategic speeches: the first regarding Judeo-Christian values, the second regarding Iran.  I’ll post those speeches below, but I want to focus on the key points of those speeches, and why I see them as strategic.

He first addressed the Values Voter Summit in Washington DC.  “Values Voters” is a coalition of primarily Christians (definitely right wing) who vote according to strong Judeo-Christian values.  Moral issues, religious liberties and the like are at the top of the priority list when voting, and sources report that 80% of those who hold strongly to those values voted for Trump in the 2016 Presidential election.

While Trump’s life has not always exhibited the highest moral qualities, his talk is becoming more consistent with values that we as Christians hold in high esteem.  For that I am grateful.  Here are some highlights of that speech:

  • He frequently alluded to the value of prayer and even quoted Scripture at one point, and alluded to a Scriptural principle when he spoke of us hurting together, hoping together and healing together.  (That principle is taught in 1 Corinthians 12:12-26.)
  • He clearly stated his position on the dignity and sanctity of every human life, and on religious liberty.
  • He referenced America’s Christian heritage and the invoking of the Creator at least four times in our Declaration of Independence.
  • He stated: “In protecting America’s interests abroad, we will always support our cherished friend and partner, the state of Israel.  We will confront the dangers that imperil our nation, our allies and the world, including the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.”

In his speech regarding the Iran nuclear deal:

  • He announced he is decertifying the deal (sending it to Congress to make changes), and definitively stated: “In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.”
  • He laid out the history of Iran’s terrorist activity against the US.
  • He was the first to publicly announce to the American people that the US paid Iran $1.7 billion (in cash) in the settlement of the Iranian nuclear deal.  Because that money is believed to have gone to terrorists groups and regimes (such as Hezbollah and Bashar al-Assad), that makes the US the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world.
  • He likened the Iranian nuclear deal to that of North Korea (during the Clinton administration), allowing North Korea to obtain nuclear capabilities that now threaten the world.

However, despite the fact I was impressed with President Trump’s positions and his solid stance on values upon which I agree, one thing kept coming to mind more strongly than anything else.  Much of Trump’s strategy has been to use Executive Orders to overturn Executive Orders put in place by Obama.  Does that cause anyone else concern?

True, getting anything done via Congress is a virtual impossibility these days, as each party is dead set against the other party gaining a “victory” in anything.  It is not that I’m necessarily against every Executive Order being signed into action, but simply that if President Trump can override what Obama did, what will happen when the next President takes office?

You see, my friends, I truly believe the Lord may be giving America “one last chance,” and He is using President Trump (of all people) to do what “regular politicians” cannot or will not do.  If that is the case, how long will the Lord call us to repent and turn back to Christian values (and the God of those values), before He withdraws His hand of blessing and protection?  Regardless of when, it is eventually going to happen, and evil will reign with such vengeance that I can hardly see how America can survive.

What will cause America’s collapse? Perhaps Iran or North Korea or Russia (or any number of other nations) decide to take action and America is “surprisingly” defeated.  Perhaps we encounter financial collapse.  Immorality may take our nation down.  A gigantic natural disaster (the “super volcano” is in the news right now!) may wipe out a large chunk of American people and resources.  Or…perhaps the rapture occurs and believers in Jesus Christ are suddenly snatched away to meet Jesus in the air!  (1 Corinthians 15:51-57)

Time is short.  Jesus taught a parable about 10 virgins preparing for their wedding. (Matthew 25:1-13)  5 were ready for the Bridegroom to appear and 5 were not.  Believers, as the Body of Christ, we are those virgins, awaiting Jesus, our Bridegroom.  The world is stirred up and the birth pains are happening.  Are you ready?

(Here are President Trump’s speeches from Friday.  Enjoy…and pray for our President as he faces overwhelming criticism for his announcement on the Iran deal.)