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Is Elam [Iran’s] Destiny Spoken of in Jeremiah 49:34-39?

The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.

And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.

For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:

And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD.

But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.

Matthew Henry Commentary on Jeremiah – Jeremiah 49:34-39

The Elamites were the Persians; they acted against God’s Israel, and must be reckoned with. Evil pursues sinners. God will make them know that he reigns. Yet the destruction of Elam shall not be forever.

But this promise was to have its full accomplishment in the days of the Messiah. In reading the Divine assurance of the destruction of all the enemies of the church, the believer sees that the issue of the holy war is not doubtful.

It is blessed to recollect, that He who is for us, is more than all against us. And he will subdue the enemies of our souls.

Koenig’s perspective: This could very likely be separate from Iran’s role in the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39. Could this happen in 2011-2012?

A side note: Purim begins at sunset on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, and ends at sunset on Thursday, March 8, 2012.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2668

The Church in America: Do We actually Get It?

I am attaching an article from Dr. Al Mohler concerning Joel Osteen, who pastors the largest church in America, who during a recent interview has stated that Mormonism is another form of Christianity.

This is disturbing to say the least. I believe it shows the decline in the church in this country around remaining firm in our beliefs. We lack a basic understanding of what are the core tenants of our faith! Ebnjoy and keep looking up!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Does Joel Osteen Not Know, or Does He Not Care?

 

By Dr. Albert Mohler
AlbertMohler.com

Here we go again. Joel Osteen is in the news once again, this time for saying that Mormonism is just another form of Christianity. Osteen, pastor of “America’s largest church,” as the media repeat over and over, was speaking to The Washington Times in an interview that covered a variety of issues. It was the quintessential Joel on display.

Speaking to the newspaper on Monday, Osteen said, “I see faith in America at an all-time high.” His comments came just as a major research project detailed a significant loss of vitality in America’s Christian congregations. That loss of vitality can be traced, among other things, to a loss of theological and biblical conviction. Joel, of course, is proof positive that you can build a crowd without building a church. He is not inclined to deal in much theological conviction.

In the interview, he distilled his message in these words:

“Part of our core message is that seasons change, and when you believe, if you don’t get bitter, and you don’t get discouraged, you may not change overnight, but you can get peace.”

He also told the newspaper:

“People need to be reminded that every day is a gift from God, and bloom where you’re planted and be happy where you are, and to make that choice to get up every day and be grateful.”

That message includes some truth, of course – but it doesn’t even come close to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hell will be filled with people who bloomed where they were planted.

On Mormonism, Joel said:

“I believe that [Mormons] are Christians . . . . I don’t know if it’s the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with. But you know what, I know Mormons. I hear Mitt Romney – and I’ve never met him – but I hear him say, ‘I believe Jesus is the son of God,’ ‘I believe he’s my savior,’ and that’s one of the core issues.”

“I’m sure there are other issues that we don’t agree on. But you know, I can say that the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics don’t all agree on everything. So that would be my take on it.”

Osteen just stated his belief that Mormons are Christians. He then expressed the thought that Mormonism “might not be the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with,” but he affirmed Mormon statements that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is Savior.

Evaluating Osteen’s boyhood understanding of Christianity would be a project unto itself, given the shifting theology of his preacher father, the late John Osteen.

The main point of concern in Joel’s latest comment is the lack of any biblical standard of judgment and the total abdication of theological responsibility. He relegates doctrinal disagreements between Christians and Mormons to the status of theological debates between Protestant denominations and then includes Roman Catholicism. There are plenty of issues there, and the issues are not the same when comparing Baptists to Methodists, on the one hand, and Protestants and Roman Catholics, on the other. Comparing any form of Trinitarian orthodoxy with Mormonism is another class of question altogether.

Joel reminded the paper’s staff that he has never attended seminary. This is true, of course, but there are thousands of preachers who never had the opportunity to attend seminary who have a sufficient grasp of and commitment to biblical truth that would prevent such carelessness.

By now, it is clear that Joel Osteen’s carelessness is deliberate and calculated. This is not the first time that he has encountered the question of Mormonism. Back in 2007, he told Chris Wallace of FOX News that Mormons are indeed Christians:

“Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior, and that’s what I believe, so, you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are.”

The little details of it? Mormonism does not differ from historic biblical Christianity in “little details,” and a faithful Mormon would be the first to point this out. Mormonism begins with a plurality of gods, not with the monotheism of the Bible. Jesus Christ is an exalted man – not the incarnate Word. The list of categorical doctrinal differences continues throughout the entire belief system.

The very essence of Mormonism is the claim that historic Christianity is fundamentally in error, and that true Christianity did not exist on earth from the time of the Apostles until Joseph Smith. Mormonism can hardly be charged with hiding their movement’s teachings – the Book of Mormon and the other fundamental texts of the Latter Day Saints are published in plain sight.

In a remarkable exchange with Chris Wallace, Osteen muddied the waters further:

WALLACE: So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?

OSTEEN: I probably don’t get hung up in them because I haven’t really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know.

Here we face a fundamental dilemma. When Joel Osteen hears a summary of Mormon belief that mentions God assuming “the shape of a man,” does he lack the theological discernment to hear how that differs from biblical Christianity, or does it not concern him? In other words, does Joel not know, or does Joel not care?

In the end, we have to conclude that he does not care enough to know, and that is the greater tragedy for a Christian minister. He doesn’t “get hung up” on doctrinal issues, nor has he “really studied them or thought about them.” His own words indict him.

The Latter Day Saints include some of the most wonderful and kind people we will ever meet. They put a great emphasis on character and on the moral values of our common concern. They talk freely and passionately about their own beliefs, including their beliefs concerning Jesus Christ. Furthermore, they put action behind their commitments, sending their young people on missions and fueling a worldwide movement that remains one of the fastest-growing on the planet.

But their beliefs concerning Jesus Christ are not those of historic Christianity, and their understanding of salvation differs radically from the message of the New Testament. It is the responsibility of every Christian, much less every Christian minister, to know this.

Joel Osteen told The Washington Times that he is constantly “looking for new ways to influence the culture.” Our culture admires those with low theological commitment and high emphasis on attitude. In Joel Osteen’s case, it is the secular culture that has influenced the minister, and not the minister that is influencing the culture.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2640

Vatican Calls for Global Government

The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises.

A major document from the Vatican’s Justice and Peace department should be music to the ears of the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators and similar movements around the world who have protested against the economic downturn.

The 18-page document, “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority,” was at times very specific, calling, for example, for taxation measures on financial transactions.

“The economic and financial crisis which the world is going through calls everyone, individuals and peoples, to examine in depth the principles and the cultural and moral values at the basis of social coexistence,” it said.

It condemned what it called “the idolatry of the market” as well as a “neo-liberal thinking” that it said looked exclusively at technical solutions to economic problems.

“In fact, the crisis has revealed behaviours like selfishness, collective greed and hoarding of goods on a great scale,” it said, adding that world economics needed an “ethic of solidarity” among rich and poor nations.

“If no solutions are found to the various forms of injustice, the negative effects that will follow on the social, political and economic level will be destined to create a climate of growing hostility and even violence, and ultimately undermine the very foundations of democratic institutions, even the ones considered most solid,” it said.

It called for the establishment of “a supranational authority” with worldwide scope and “universal jurisdiction” to guide economic policies and decisions.

Such an authority should start with the United Nations as its reference point but later become independent and be endowed with the power to see to it that developed countries were not allowed to wield “excessive power over the weaker countries”.

EFFECTIVE STRUCTURES

In a section explaining why the Vatican felt the reform of the global economy was necessary, the document said:

“In economic and financial matters, the most significant difficulties come from the lack of an effective set of structures that can guarantee, in addition to a system of governance, a system of government for the economy and international finance.”

It said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) no longer had the power or ability to stabilise world finance by regulating overall money supply and it was no longer able to watch “over the amount of credit risk taken on by the system.”

The world needed a “minimum shared body of rules to manage the global financial market” and “some form of global monetary management”.

“In fact, one can see an emerging requirement for a body that will carry out the functions of a kind of ‘central world bank’ that regulates the flow and system of monetary exchanges similar to the national central banks,” it said.

The document, which was being presented at a news conference later on Monday, acknowledged that such change would take years to put into place and was bound to encounter resistance.

“Of course, this transformation will be made at the cost of a gradual, balanced transfer of a part of each nation’s powers to a world authority and to regional authorities, but this is necessary at a time when the dynamism of human society and the economy and the progress of technology are transcending borders, which are in fact already very eroded in a globalised world.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2635

Blood Red moon and Signs in the Heavens

I love to provide this update as it is one of the most overlooked parts of End Time Prophecy. In Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 Jesus Himself tells us to look into the heavens for signs of His return and the End of the Age. Look at the attached article to better understand this discussion. It is a fascinating study to comprehend that we may be living in these days mentioned by our Lord. 

The data provided by NASA and matched to the Jewish Feasts days can not be a coincidence.

Keep looking up!

Blood Moon

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2619

The End of the Last Days

Here is an interesting study from Matt Leasher on how we are in the last of the Last Days. People and believers are scoffing about the Lord’s return! Read and understand!

The End Of The Last Days

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2609

Vatican-Islam are Cozying Up

I am attaching for your reading pleasure an op ed piece I read over the weekend concerning the coming together of the Vatican with political Islam and banding against Israel. Since the Pope’s speech in 2006 in Germany against Islam this op ed piece shows the steps the Vatican has taken to mend fences over the last 5 years but it also shows that they even are helping to push the Islamic agenda forward.

Could this be the beginning of the last world religion? Again remember all it would really take for this uniting to take place would be for a Pope to come along who would renounce the deity of Jesus as God.

Enjoy the article I found it fascinating. Keep looking up!

Vatican Pact with Islam

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2568

The Earth is Groaning

The earth is groaning for the return of its maker. Even yesterday here in Ohio near Youngstown we had a minor earth tremor. Volcanoes are blowing all over the world from Siciliy’s Mount Etna to the Canary Islands Pico de Malpaso to Indonesia’s multiple volcanoes to another big one in Iceland.

The world is groaning for the return of the King! Romans 8:22 says: “22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

Keep looking up!

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2557

Kings of the East: Are they ready to March?

The Bible talks about the role the Kings of the East will play in the events of the last days. These kings are mentioned in the book of Revelation in chapter 16 in verse 12 as the sixth bowl is poured out on the earth in judgment from the Lord. The Euphrates River is dried up and the way is laid open for these kings to come into the battle in the Middle East. So we do know that these kings are eastern nations. The largest most powerful nations east of Iraq are China and India.

There has been a rapid emergence in the power that these Asian nations play on the world scene in recent years. These two countries are following on the heels of Japan and South Korea and are becoming Asian economic dynamos. They are large countries with extremely large populations and they are now fully awake.

This rapid rising has occurred in the space of the last 40 years. They are impacting the world on a large scale from a military, economic and a financial perspective.

When the last days time clock begin again with the forming of the nation of Israel in 1948 after almost 2,000 years, this rise of these Asian behemoths took place after this in conjunction with all the other events that have unfolded.

The key questions that we need to be asking are: are India and China the kings of the east from Scripture? And number two is will it be benefical to the world?

The rise of Asia has all the earmarks of an endtime financial phenomenon in addition to all the Scriptural alignments. All of the five telltale characteristics of a last day phenomena can be seen:

1. An accelaration of observed after 1948

2. A seeming improbability and inexplicably of its occurrence

3. Godlessness (Buddism and Hinduism)

4. A scope of worldwide impact

5. Suddenness and rapidity

The economic impact of these two countries is scary: they are dominating the global market.  They are sitting at the global policymaking tables of the G-20 and other transnational organizations.

These two countries comprise roughly 40% of the world’s land mass and approximately 60% of the earth’s population.

Napoleon predicted over 200 years ago after returning from a trip to China “when China awakes, it will shake the world”. Well the world is shaking at this power!

China can today field an army of 200 million men just by itself, when you add India to the mix can you say scary?

The kings of the east are on the rise and will be prepared to march soon. I will provide periodic updates as we look at this phenomenon.

Keep looking up!

             

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2511

Turkey: Starting Something with Israel

In another maneuver to make trouble between Washington and Jerusalem, the Turkish Hurriyet carried a made-up story accusing US Republican sources of leaking a UN Report which maintained Israel’s Gaza’s blockade – and therefore its interception of a Turkish vessel and flotilla in May 2010 – was legal. The report, leaked to the New York Times Friday, Sept. 9, also criticized Israeli commandos for excessive force for defending themselves in a clash which led to the deaths of nine “peace activists” aboard the ship.

The report was commissioned by the UN Secretary General from a panel headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Jeffrey Palmer.
Hurriyet charged that the Palmer report was leaked to the NYT by the same friends of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who arranged his speech last May to the two Houses of Congress.

debkafile sources report: The Turkish newspaper’s spiteful claim was slanted to upset President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who have been trying to mend the Ankara-Jerusalem breach, and justify the fury of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his foreign minister Ahmed Davutoglu at being caught in the wrong by the UN panel (which accused them of not doing enough to prevent the violence and the flotilla’s “reckless” mission).

Friday, Ankara expelled the Israeli ambassador, suspended defense contracts with Jerusalem, announced legal action against senior Israeli figures in European courts, threatened to bring the dispute before the international court and “take measures for freedom of maritime movement in the Mediterranean.”
Israel continued to brush off the Turkish ultimatum to apologize for the nine deaths and end the Gaza blockade.  Hurriyet quoted an unnamed Israeli official as replying: “They can go to hell. They will see what respecting international maritime law means when… our navy sails into the international waters of the Mediterranean.”

US sources told debkafile that the Erdogan government’s outpouring of vindictive misinformation with a view to upsetting relations between the Obama administration and the Israeli government would cut no ice. Mixing in American domestic politics to misdirect its international crises was a dangerous game.

The Turkish Navy, they added, is no match for Israeli missile boat technology and their electronic jamming and tracking systems. Neither do the Turks have advanced submarines like Israel’s German-made Dolphins or close air cover.

US sources following the dispute also dismissed as hollow Davutoglu’s follow-up threat Saturday, Sept. 3: “If Israel persists with its current position,” he warned, “the Arab spring will give rise to a strong Israel opposition as well as the debate on the authoritarian regimes.”
Washington sources condemned such statements as beyond the acceptable diplomatic bounds. “It sounds as though Ankara is threatening to stir up the Palestinian and Israeli Arab populations against the Israeli government and army. If that’s what Davutoglu meant to say, Turkey is sailing very close to the wind and risks President Obama and European governments suspending their participation in NATO operations in the Middle East.

Should Israel complain to the UN Security Council about Turkish war threats and the incitement to revolt by one UN member against another, Western powers would vote for a resolution of condemnation against Turkey.

debkafile‘s sources in Washington and various European capitals warn that the unbridled vendetta Erdogan and his foreign minister are waging against Israel will boomerang against them. Early Sunday, Sept. 4, an American official proposed “calling their bluff.” He disclosed Turkey may try and act as though it calls the shots as the leading Middle East diplomatic and economy, with enough leverage over the the Arab uprisings to channel their fury against Israel. However, Turkey is far from being on solid ground. Indeed, he reveals, economically Turkey is no better than a paper tiger, hiding a galloping crisis behind its anti-Israel rhetoric:
1. Ankara’s published impressive GDP growth rate of 11 percent is artificially inflated by out-of-control credit pumped out by its central bank to create a short-term bubble. In fact, Turkey is fast sliding into deep economic slump. Its current account deficit has reached almost the same crisis level as those of Greece and Portugal and its currency faces devaluation.

Last week, Turkey’s military chiefs, traditional guardians of the country’s secular constitution, resigned in a body in protest against the imprisonment of scores of high-ranking officers for allegedly plotting against the government.
Erdogan is therefore locked into the twin crisis of a failing economy and a deep rift within his administration. US and European intelligence circles wonder about his ability to govern for much longer. They are concerned that he may drum up a military clash between the Turkish and Israel navies to distract popular attention from the troubles besetting his country. ” For the Turkish prime minister, that would be a no-win road,” said those sources.
2.  They also criticized as unwise the Turkish foreign minister’s implied threat to bring the Arab Revolt to Israel’s doorstep. He would be better advised, they said, to deal with the far more palpable danger of the  Syrian uprising spilling over into Turkey.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1886

Spiritual Longevity

Here is a great article from Greg Laurie from Harvest Bible Chapel. It is a reminder we all need.

Enjoy!

When I first became a Christian, I wanted to be a super-Christian overnight. I was looking for the Cliffs Notes on spirituality, the shortcut to spiritual growth. I wanted to know how I could immediately be like a mega-believer. In time, I realized there is no angle. There is no such thing as a super-Christian. There is only a super-Savior, because I am a super-sinner.

Some people, it seems, are like yo-yos. They either are excited and passionate about their faith, or they are doing things they shouldn’t be doing now that they are Christians. That is why David wrote, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10 NKJV). The word “steadfast” could better be translated “constant.” David was asking for a constant spirit, for consistency.

So how do we find that consistency? Just walk with God. Man has walked on the top of Mount Everest, on the bottom of the ocean, and even on the moon. But the Bible tells the story of a man who walked with God. His name was Enoch, and in his story, we discover how to find longevity in our spiritual lives.

Enoch lived at a unique time in human history, just before Noah built his ark and God judged the Earth with the Flood. It was such a wicked time that God said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever” (Genesis 6:3). The Bible tells us that humanity was corrupt and was always thinking about violent things to do. Finally God effectively said, “That’s it. I can’t take it anymore. I am going to judge the earth and start over again.” You might say that Enoch was a last-days believer in a sense. He lived just before the judgment of God.

There is a parallel to our times, because Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day” (Luke 17:26 NLT). We, too, are living in violent times. It is commonplace now to read about new violence and new killing and new threats of terrorism in today’s headlines.

Violence is all around us, and Enoch lived in a violent time as well. But he showed that it is possible to live a godly life in a godless world. We may wonder whether it is possible to live a godly life today. Is it possible to be honest? Is it possible to have integrity? Is it possible to put God first? The answer is yes. We are not the first generation to be living in twisted times. It can be done – by walking with God as Enoch did.

Enoch was one of two men in the Bible who never saw death. The other was Elijah. He is also mentioned, along with Noah, as someone who specifically walked with God. Only five passages in the Bible refer to Enoch, and two of them are genealogies. He made it into Hebrews 11, the Bible’s Hall of Faith: “It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying – ‘he disappeared, because God took him.’ For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God” (Hebrews 11:6).

Enoch was a human being like any of us. He faced the same temptations, the same pressures and the same challenges. Yet he walked with God. To walk with God does not mean we must live merely by rules and regulations. That is how a lot of people envision the Christian life. But nothing could be further from the truth. Walking with God is living life to its fullest.

If you walk with God, everything else will fall into place. The prophet Amos said, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3 NKJV) The idea is two people walking together as a single unit, as though they were one. If two people are riding a tandem bicycle, they need to pedal together. Or if two people are paddling a canoe, both need to paddle in rhythm. It is the idea of God and an individual walking together in rhythm, in harmony with God. It is not trying to get God to go where we want him to go, but going where God wants us to go.

Years ago I was scuba diving in Hawaii, and we went to a depth of about 100 feet, the deepest I had ever gone. By the time we reached that depth, I had used up almost all of my air. So I gestured to the instructor that I was losing air. He looked at my gauge and then gestured to the back of his tank. Hanging off the back of his tank was an extra breathing apparatus called an octopus. The problem was the hose from the octopus to his tank was very short, so I had to stay with him. Wherever he swam, I had to swim. When he stopped, I had to stop. I had to stay in harmony with him – or drown.

That is the idea of walking with God. It is to get into harmony with him. It is to want what he wants and to go in the direction he wants us to go.

God is essentially saying, “Hold on to my hand. Don’t pull away.” But sometimes we say, “Oh, no. I have a better idea. I want to do this instead.” And that is foolish, because God is only trying to protect us from danger and get us to where we need to go.

Enoch walked with God in a godless world, and then he went to be with God. Scripture tells us that “Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him” (Genesis 5:23–24 NLT). In Enoch’s case, he didn’t die, but went straight into the presence of God. His life of walking with God was rewarded. I think that one day Enoch just went out to take a walk and probably said to his wife, “Honey, I am going to go take a walk with God.” And then he just kept walking, right into God’s presence. It serves as a reminder that if we walk with God on earth, we will walk with God in heaven.

There is no shortcut to spiritual growth that I could give you today. But I will say this: Just walk with God. Just concentrate on that in the days, weeks and years to come.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1879