Rockets Rain Down on Israel

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IDF airstrike inside Gaza (Times of Israel photo)

Since Sunday night’s IDF special ops raid into the Gaza Strip, activity has ramped up in and around Gaza.  A top Hamas commander and several other terrorists were killed as a result of that mission, though it came at a cost.  Israeli sources have now confirmed that an IDF special ops officer was killed in that mission into the Strip on Sunday night, and another soldier was wounded.

Since then, Hamas has rained down at least 300 rockets on Israeli cities (perhaps the largest one day total ever), and the IDF has targeted over 70 Hamas and Islamic Jihad sites (backed by Iran) in the Gaza Strip.  Air raid sirens have gone off almost continually in cities throughout southern Israel and the Gaza Envelope (areas surrounding the Gaza Strip).  You will find a timeline and several videos here.

Meanwhile, other interesting things relative to the region are happening elsewhere.  During an official state visit to Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.  It was the first meeting between Netanyahu and Putin since the Russian-made S-200 missile system (operated by Syrians, in Syria) shot down a Russian plane.  Israel was ultimately blamed for the incident.   Though no details of the meetings were reported, it is probable that Iranian influence in Syria and the region (including their backing of Hamas in Gaza) was a focal point in those conversations.

It is currently in the best interest of both Russia and Israel to cooperate at least to some degree militarily, in terms of not getting in each other’s way.  However, as we see events around the world, particularly in the Middle East, confirm Bible prophecy day-after-day, we know the stage is being set for end time events.  We see evidence suggesting the imminent destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17:1), setting of the stage for the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39), and the rise of the Antichrist out of Europe (Daniel 2, 7).

In fact, one cannot help but think the spirit of lawlessness, described in 2 Thessalonians 2, is already at work.  As I look at what’s happening in our world…and even America and evil things for which so many stand…I am reminded that our time is short.  What we see are signs of the tribulation,yet our rapture occurs before that terrible time of hell on earth.

As we see these things, we must be alert,  be about our Father’s business (as Jesus was in Luke 2:41-51), be watchmen on the wall (Ezekiel 33:1-6, Isaiah 62:6-7), sound the alarm (Joel 2:1, Jeremiah 4:5-6), and be ambassadors of Christ while still on this earth (2 Corinthians 5:20).

How are we doing?

PS: For a timely commentary on why Gaza is such a problem, check back later today.  Blessings!

Dual Fulfillment to Ezekiel’s Dry Bones Prophecy

Valley of Dry Bones

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
~Ezekiel 37:7-10

In Ezekiel 36-37 we find the prophet of God predicting the restoration of Israel.  In a vision from God, Ezekiel sees a valley of dry bones come together, stand and live!  Ezekiel 37:11-12 tells us clearly that this resurrection is of the whole house of Israel, thus there is no dispute as to who the prophets speaks of, or what the miracle is.

But do we know the dual fulfillment of the prophecy and understand its gravity?

Bodily, physical fulfillment of the prophecy is perhaps easiest to recognize.  Israel’s population has blossomed to about 9 million, the vast majority of whom are Jewish.  Rising from the ashes of the Holocaust, Israel is not only alive, but is a thriving, successful and powerful country.

But the restoration of Israel, as prophesied in Ezekiel 36-37 (and elsewhere) is not simply a physical one.  It is also a spiritual one.  After all, Ezekiel 37:14 tells us the Lord will put His Spirit within them and they will come to life.  That is more than physical life….that is spiritual life.

Certainly we know the prophecy has neither been fulfilled 100% physically nor spiritually.  We know Jews continue to return home, and we know Jews, in general, are still not spiritually alive.

But there is great news in that regard!  The Spirit of the Lord is definitely stirring and we should rejoice as we pray for His Spirit to continue falling upon the Jewish people.  Here are a few prophecy-fulfilling facts:

  • In 1948, there were about 10 million Jews worldwide who survived the Holocaust, about 600,000 who lived in Israel.
  • Of those, it is believed only 23 believed in Yeshua the Messiah, and there were no Messianic congregations in Israel.
  • By 1989, Israel’s Jewish population reached about 3.5 million and 1,200 Jewish believers attended about 30 Messianic congregations.
  • Ten years later, Israel was home to 81 Messianic congregations and 5,000 believers.  Israel’s Jewish population was 4.8 million.
  • In 2017, at least 300 Messianic congregations could be found in Israel.  Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult to accurately identify the number of Jewish believers, but a conservative estimate is 30,000.

As you can see, growth has been exponential, not linear.  The Spirit of the Lord is moving!  We know God is not done with Israel, and that His Word will prove completely true in time.

Romans 11:26 says that, ultimately, all Israel will be saved, and that passage goes on to promise this:

The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

A day is coming, dear friends, when God will fulfill His promises to Israel.  But guess what.  That will occur after the “fullness of Gentiles” comes in.  God is going to finish His plan with the Jewish people after the rapture!

We are watching the ground being laid for prophecies AFTER the rapture.  Thus, we have to understand the rapture is imminent.  No one knows the day of the hour, but as wise followers of Jesus, we are to know and understand the season in which we live.

The season is coming to an end.  Are you ready?

“Hatikva” Played for First Time in UAE Following Israel’s Gold Medal Win

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Earlier today, Israeli judo champion, Sagi Muki won a gold medal at a major international event in Abu Dhabi UAE.  This is not the first gold medal win for Muki or the Israeli team, so what is so special about today’s win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam?

History was made as “Hatikva” (the Israeli national anthem) was played and the Israeli flag raised for the first time in a sporting event hosted by an Arab country.  It has only been in recent years that athletes from Israel were allowed to compete in international sporting events in Arab countries.  Initially, not competitive enough to vie for podium positions, it was a non-issue.  However, as Israeli athletes improved and took well-earned positions on the medal stand, they were forced to do so without their flag being raised or their anthem played.  As recently as the same event last year, Israeli gold medal winners were deprived of the same recognition as other gold medalists.

That all changed today when Muki’s victory was celebrated in full, including flag and anthem!  In attendance at the event was Israel’s Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, who presented the medals and showed visible emotion as she proudly mouthed the words of “Hatikva” as it played.

Amidst chaos and evil hogging headlines these days, we are wise to recognize how the Lord continues moving pieces into place to fulfill Bible prophecy.  Not only is there rising cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, but even Arab media is reporting that officials in Oman are recognizing Israel as a nation state.

“Israel is a state present in the region, and we all understand this. The world is also aware of this fact. Maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same [as other states] and also bare the same obligations.”
~Omani official Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Aljazeera, 10/27/2018

Just as God spoke through the prophets of old, we are seeing moderate Arab nations separate themselves from other more radical Muslim countries and forging relationships with the Jewish state.  In the end, Egypt and Assyria, along with Israel, will reap blessings from the Lord.  (Isaiah 19:24-25)  Likewise, the Arabian peninsula (including Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE), known as Sheba and Dedan in Ezekiel 38:13, are among Muslim nations who will not join other Muslim nations (and Russia) in attacking Israel.

So, is a gold medal ceremony following a sporting event really that big a deal?  It is when it reveals another small piece of fulfilled prophecy!

For more information on the gold medal win and its impact on the Israeli delegation, click here.