Reflecting Back on the Trumps’ 2017 Christmas Greeting

A year ago, I felt blessed to hear President Trump quote Isaiah 9:6, recognize Jesus as our source of hope and joy, and wish us Merry Christmas (rather than “Happy Holidays”).  Do the Trump’s actually know the Savior in whose birth they acknowledge?  I don’t know, but it is certainly my prayer.  I hope it is your’s as well.  

While President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are both on record at various times quoting Scripture, and America is currently a great friend of Israel, we live in a time where legal and administrative challenges are bearing down on both world leaders.

We don’t know what will ultimately come of the various charges, but one thing we know for certain: Trump and Netanyahu will not be in power forever.  In fact, even if they are successful defending legal allegations, neither may survive their next election.  Legal and moral challenges aside, though, each seems to have been strategically place by the Lord “for such a time as this.”

My point?  Short of miraculous turns in both countries, Israel may soon find herself without America strongly at her side, and with Israeli leadership unable to accomplish what is necessary to keep Israel secure.  That, friends, is a recipe for the Lord to come to Israel’s defense, as He will when Israel is invaded from the north.

So, this Christmas season, let’s rejoice in leaders who are willing to quote Scripture and accurately acknowledge the Christmas season.  That dynamic may soon disappear.  Let’s also pray fervently for them.  

BTW – here is the Trump Christmas greeting from 2017.  Hopefully we’ll hear similar sentiments this Christmas as well!

Israeli Police Recommend Indictment of PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Image result for police recommend Netanyahu indictment

For months, law enforcement officials have interrogated both Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu in regard to several allegations of corruption and bribery.  As long expected, on Sunday, the police recommended indictment of PM Netanyahu. 

Like boxers going 12 rounds, the Prime Minister has gone toe-to-toe with law enforcement regarding the allegations, claiming there is nothing to them and they are “crazy claims.”  Law enforcement officials have punched back with constant pressure and various allegations. 

Who’s right?  We don’t know.  But just as top American administrative officials are facing damning allegations, so is the Israeli Prime Minister. My only thought is this:

I believe the two leaders (Netanyahu and Trump) were brought to positions of power “for such a time as this.”  Whatever our thoughts are about either or both men, they have been powerful and stern leaders for Israel and America in a time it is sorely needed.  Eventually, though…should the Lord tarry, the course of time will usher both men out of office.  In both cases, the scenario of who will follow is potentially dire for each nation.

Events in the Middle East and Europe are evidence the stage for the Ezekiel 38 War of Gog and Magog is set, and we are told that neither the US nor anyone else will stand with Israel.  She will stand alone.  At best, America will join Sheba and Dedan (Saudi Arabia and perhaps the entire Arabian peninsula) as bystanders.  Meanwhile, we also know that Israel will need a supernatural work of God Himself to prevail.  Neither Netanyahu nor Trump will have any bearing when all is said and done!

Not only is the stage seemingly set, we may be seeing the opening acts of the play.  Are the last minutes of the last hour upon us?  We don’t know.  But we should be living as the bride of Christ, prepared for the coming of her Bridegroom!

BTW – we’re celebrating Hanukkah!  Jesus, the Light of the World, is our Bridegroom, and His appearance is glorious!

BREAKING: Netanyahu Government Collapsing?

On Tuesday, a ceasefire brokered by Egypt and the UN between Hamas and Israel was officially ratified.  Prime Minister Netanyahu’s agreement to the ceasefire has created a firestorm in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has resigned, expressing his displeasure with “ongoing excuses” in failing to deal more strongly with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

He has called for an early election and current Education Minister Naftali Bennett has threatened to leave the coalition if he is not given the Defense Minister position.

For those wondering how government works in Israel, here’s a very brief explanation.  There are at least 20+ political parties in Israel and 120 seats in the Knesset.  During each election, each party presents a list of candidates and the number of elected representatives from each party is proportional to the percentage of support their party receives.  A majority coalition is formed by parties in general agreement with a common agenda. The remaining parties serve as check and balance to the power of the coalition.  The chairman of the largest party in the coalition is typically tapped as Prime Minister.  The honor of actually selecting the Prime Minister is reserved for the President, who may choose who he wishes.  After which, the President has much less political clout than the Prime Minister he selects.

In the current scenario, Yisrael Beiteinu (Avigdor Lieberman’s party) and Bayit Hayehudi (Naftali Bennett’s party) are both part of the Netayahu/Likud coalition, but are threatening to leave, which would cause the Netanyahu government to collapse.

Politics in Israel are often much more volatile than those in America.  Only recently, Benjamin Netanyahu was himself considering calling for early elections, and his party (Likud) was expected to win handily and form a stronger coalition.  Now, however, he may face a stiffer challenge.

So, what’s the point?  Much of the Israeli public, particularly in the south, is dissatisfied with Netanyahu’s “dovish” stance toward Hamas.  Could it cause a loss of seats for Likud and a splintering of parties typically favorable to Netanyahu and Likud?  Or, will Netanyahu’s stability as Prime Minister be regained by election time?  Only time will tell in the crazy world of Israeli politics.

More importantly, though, is the “big picture” of how God seems to be setting the stage for end time events. The Trump-Netanyahu partnership has had tremendous impact on stemming the rising tide of globalism, antisemitism and the dividing of land (which the Bible specifically warns against).  I continue to believe God has called two men, Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump, for such a time as this. Ultimately, though, it appears animosity for each in their home countries could eventually lead to wide open doors for evil to swoop in to measures we have never seen.  I have consistently said I am not a fan of Donald Trump, the man.  But I firmly believe God has used him to bless Israel.  Once that blessing leaves, America could experience God’s hand of blessing removed for good, and we could find our nation either opposed to or uninterested in Israel.  At that point, Israel will stand alone…just as the Bible tells us she will.

But take heart, friends! This is only a “what if” scenario, but even if events happen as described (or worse), God is fully in control! The point is not to scare people. The point is to prepare people. That’s what Bible prophecy does! As believers in Jesus Christ, we know we could face difficult times, but we will never experience the wrath of God. He has promised to deliver us from it! (1Thessalonians 1:10, 1Thessalonians 5:9)  He is coming for us soon!

Check back later today for specific words of encouragement as we face the days ahead!  Shalom…peace!

Iran Sanctions…and Christians Visit UAE and Saudi Arabia

On a day filled with news about the latest phase of sanctions reimposed on Iran, the more encouraging news is out of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

Indeed, on August 7, President Trump signed an Executive Order, vowing to reimpose sanctions on Iran.  (State Department report, including the actual Executive Order can be found here.)  The first phase occurred at that point, with the second round hitting Iran with economic force today.

Around the same time Trump was signing that document, a group of Evangelical Christians were making plans to visit the UAE, to discuss issues critical to peace in the region, freedom of worship for Christians, and understanding the needs of Sunni Arab citizens in the region.

The group of about a dozen evangelicals, led by Joel Rosenberg, made history last week when the Crown Princes of both the UAE and Saudi Arabia welcomed the entourage to their respective palaces.  From all accounts the visits accomplished everything hoped for…and more!

Perhaps most amazing was both nations were willing to “go public” with the events, even amidst the extreme displeasure of the Iranian regime, who severely criticized and rebuked the leadership of both nations.  (Read Joel Rosenberg’s report, along with links to international reports, here.)

Friends, there is a new thing happening in the Middle East.  A new day has dawned, and though I would not say Arab countries are yet our greatest ally, the stage continues to be set for a major confrontation known as the War of Gog and Magog.  Bible students, study carefully and you will find that Israel will not be attacked by the likes of Egypt, Saudi Arabia or any other Gulf Coast state, but rather by a coalition led by Russia and joined by Iran, Turkey, Sudan and Libya.

Indeed, the pieces on the chessboard are taking their rightful place and the Chess Master…our Lord Jesus Christ…is about to checkmate Israel’s enemies!  Though God certainly doesn’t need media outlets to prove His Word is true, He is using even Arab media to confirm what He said through the prophets long ago!

Pray for our Christian leaders to lead us in righteousness, and pray for the eyes of Arab leaders to be open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  After all, it is not about who’s side you take in earthly matters, but in who’s side you take in heavenly matters.  Our Captain of Heavens Armies calls us to His side!

PS: If you are a US citizen, please vote tomorrow!  We are in a battle to protect religious freedom and other Biblical values.  Let’s all follow our Captain in that regard as well!