Category: Resources

MIDDLE EAST WAR ON HORIZON?: Sunni versus Shia?

A proxy war between Sunni and Shia Muslims, which could dramatically further destabilize the Middle East, may be about to erupt, sources are reporting. It would pit Iran, Syria’s regime and Hezbollah on one side and Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, other Arab states and Syrian rebel forces on the other may, according to a report by Ryan Mauro in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The individual indicators are cumulative:

Just about a week ago, the European Union agreed to an embargo on Iranian oil after Saudi Arabia promised to increase production to make up the difference. Iran immediately threatened that Arab countries assisting with the embargo would be “held responsible” and “one cannot predict the consequences.”

There have been reports Saudi Arabia and Qatar have agreed to help buy weapons for the Free Syrian Army, the rebel forces fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Free Syria Army is headquartered in Turkey. Assad is a close ally of Iran and Hezbollah and both are accused of secretly helping his security forces to crush the uprising against his rule.

In mid-January, the emir of Qatar called for an Arab military force to enter Syria to end the violence. The Arab League also has submitted a resolution to the U.N. that would condemn the Syrian government for its crackdown.

Then on Jan. 27, Saudi Arabia officially recognized the Syrian National Council, a body of opposition figures, as the representative of the country.

But Iran and Hezbollah have made saving the Syrian government a top priority. A Revolutionary Guards official recently confirmed that Hezbollah helped defend an Iranian base in the city of Zabadani. Iran also is accused of sending weapons, equipment and advisers to Syria to help orchestrate the work. In October, the Washington Post reported that the Shiite-led government of Iraq is also siding with the Syrian government.

The Free Syrian Army claims it is holding five members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards captive. The rebels claim to be 40,000-strong, though some experts believe that to be a major exaggeration. It has grown in strength over the past two weeks, taking the town of Zabadani near the Lebanese border and suburbs of Damascus.

Egyptian newspaper reported that Assad’s family tried to flee the country but came under fire from the rebels. On Jan. 30, the Syrian military retook the suburbs but the Free Syrian Army said it chose to disperse and carry out guerrilla-style attacks.

The increasing Shiite-Sunni tension prompted Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to warn of a “regional Cold War” on January 4.

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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

Angels & Demons: They are Real!

Angels and Demons Talk November 7, 2010

 

Angels

Who are they?

Angels are created spiritual beings with moral judgment and high intelligence, but without physical bodies (Hebrews 1:14, Luke 24:39).

They are the messengers of God.

God created higher than humans, some of whom have remained faithful and obedient to God and carry out His will and others of whom disobeyed, lost their holy condition and now oppose and hinder His work.

The Old Testament speaks about the existence of angels over 100 times. Some of these references are:

  • Genesis 18 – Abraham and the angels speak under the tree
  • 2 Samuel 24:16 – Judgment on Israel
  • Isaiah 6:2 – Seraphim
  • Ezekiel 20:1-3 – Cherubim
  • Daniel 9:20-27, 10:13,12:1 – Michael, the Archangel
  • Zechariah 1-6 – Agents of God, Interpreters of visions
  • Psalm 34:7, 89:5,7, 91:11 – They worship God, holy ones

The New Testament mentions angels about 165 times. Some of these references are:

  •  Matthew 1:20, 2:19, Mark 1:13, Luke 1:26-28, 2:1 – Birth of Christ
  • Matthew 2:13-15, Luke 22:43 – Life of Christ
  • Matthew 28:1-6, Luke 24:5-7, John 20:12 – Resurrection of Christ
  • Acts 1:10-11 – Ascension of Christ
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Matthew 13:39-40, 25:31 – Rapture and Second Coming
  • Acts 5:19, 12:5-11 – Helping the Apostles
  • Hebrews 1:14, Jude 6 – Ministering spirits

They span all of human existence. They are mentioned from Genesis all the way to Revelation.

The most extensive passage on them is Hebrews 1:5-2:9.

They were created by Christ (Colossians 1:16) and they were present when the earth was created (Job 38:6-7).

They possess intelligence (Matthew 8:29, 28:5, 2 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Peter 1:12). They possess emotions (Luke 2:13, James 2:19, Revelation 12:17). They have wills (Luke 8:28-31, 2 Timothy 2:26, Jude 6). They are however limited in power, knowledge, and activity (1 Peter 1:11-12, Revelation 7:1) and will be subject to judgment by God (1 Corinthians 6:3, Matthew 25:41).

In most cases man can not see them. However God can open our eyes to them (Numbers 22:30). If we see them, they are usually seen in the form of humans (Genesis 18:2, 16, 22, Luke 24:4). God’s glory shines from them (Luke 2:9, 9:26). They appear to man in dreams and visions (Matthew 1:20, Isaiah 6:1-8, Genesis 19:1-8). They have wings (Isaiah 6:2-6, Ezekiel 1:5-8, Exodus 25:20).

How are they organized?

There are large numbers of angels (Deuteronomy 33:2, Psalm 68:17, Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 5:11). God has organized the elect angels (Ephesians 3:10) and Satan has organized the evil angels (Ephesians 6:12). The first group or organization of angels is cherubim and seraphim. They are mentioned in Isaiah 6:2-7 and Ezekiel 28:14-16. They are the guardians of God’s holiness and are positioned around the throne of God. The second group of angels mentioned are Archangels (Jude 9, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Michael is mentioned are the chief over Israel (Daniel 10:21, 12:1). He is mentioned as leading heaven’s angelic armies against Satan and his horde (Revelation 12:7-8). The third group mentioned are chief princes and powers (Daniel 10:13, Revelation 4:8, 2 Peter 2:11).

What is their ministry?

They are to praise and worship God (Psalm 103:20, Psalm 148:1-2, Isaiah 6:3, Hebrews 1:6, Revelation 5:8-13).

They serve God and are instruments of His judgment (Revelation 22:9, Revelation 7:1, 8:2).

Angels are to help and encourage believers (Hebrews 1:14). They are to communicate and reveal the truth of God to man when assigned the task (Daniel 7:15-27, 8:13-26, Revelation 22:6-8).

They are present at man’s death (Luke 16:22) and are to protect us (Psalm 91:11-12).

They also witness and observe our lives (1 Corinthians 4:9, 1 Timothy 5:21).

Demons

 

 Who are they?

Scripture affirms the reality of demons. Christ Himself cast out demons from people and believed in their existence (Matthew 12:22-29, 15:22-25, Mark 5:1-16). He also gave the disciples authority to cast them out (Matthew 18:1).

There are more than 100 references to demons in the New Testament. All of the New Testament writers mention them except the writer of the book of Hebrews (1 Corinthians 10:20-21, James 2:19, Revelation 9:20).

Scripture indicates that demons are fallen angels who rebelled with Satan against God the Father. Satan is the prince or chief of demons (Matthew 12:24). In the rebellion they lost their privilege of serving God.

They are spirits and are not human (Matthew 17:18, Mark 9:25). There are two groups of fallen angels (Genesis 6:2-4), those who are confined to the abyss from the fall (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6, Luke 8:31, Revelation 9:1-5) and those free to carry out Satan’s plans (Revelation 9:1-3, 11, 14, 16:14).

What do they do?

Demons possess intelligence (Mark 1:24, Matthew 8:29, James 2:19). They possess emotions (Luke 8:28, James 2:18). They possess wills (Luke 8:32).

Because demons are spirit beings, they are generally invisible but on occasion their appearance can be seen (Acts 19:15, Revelation 9:1-12). They knew who Christ was while He was on earth (Mark 1:24) and they know their future judgment (Matthew 8:29). They are able to deceive and promote systems of doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

Their powers are physical strength (Mark 5:3, Acts 19:16), superior intelligence (Acts 16:16), and presence (Luke 8:30). They are limited to time and space like humans.

Demons oppose God and His plan (Revelation 16:13-16, Daniel 10:10-14). Sometimes God will use them to accomplish His plan (Judges 9:23, 1 Samuel 16:14, 2 Corinthians 12:7). They promote idolatry (Leviticus 17:7, Psalm 106:36-38, 1 Corinthians 10:20). They promote false religion (1 John 4:1-4, 1 Timothy 3:16-4:3). They possess people or animals (Mark 5:15-18, John 10:21, Matthew 12:22). They oppose the spiritual progress of God’s people (Ephesians 6:12).

Their destiny has already been determined: the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:2-10).

Satan

Satan is mentioned from Genesis until the end of the book of Revelation. 7 Old Testament books teach his reality (Genesis, 1 Chronicles, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah). Every New Testament book affirms and confirms his existence. In 25 of 29 passages in the Gospels that speak of Satan it is Jesus speaking about him (Matthew 13:39, Luke 10:18).

Satan has intelligence (2 Corinthians 11:3), emotions (Revelation 12:17, Luke 22:31), and a will (Isaiah14:12-14, 2 Timothy 2:26). He is a created creature (Ezekiel 28:11-19). He was a cherub (Ezekiel 28:14) and was the highest created being and angel (Ezekiel 28:12). He still retains a great deal of power. He is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2).

Satan goes by many names:

  • Satan – used 52 times in Scripture, means adversary (Job 1:7-2:7, Zechariah 3:1, Matthew 4:10)
  • Devil – used 33 times in Scripture, means slanderer (Matthew 4:1, Ephesians 4:27, Revelation 12:9)
  • Serpent – (Genesis 3:1, 2 Corinthians 11:3)
  • Dragon – (Revelation 12:3, 7, 9)
  • Tempter – (Matthew 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:5)
  • Evil One – (John 17:15, 1 John 5:18-19)
  • Accuser – (Revelation 12:11, Job 2:1-3)
  • Deceiver (Revelation 12:9)

Satan was created before Eden was created (Genesis 2:8, Ezekiel 28:13). He possessed unparalleled wisdom and beauty (Ezekiel 28:12). He had unparalleled access to God (Ezekiel 28:13).

Satan sinned from the beginning (1 John 3:8). He was the originator of sin (Genesis 3:1-6, 2 Corinthians 11:3). His sin was pride and arrogance (1 Timothy 3:6). His sin was to also counterfeit the plan of God and His Christ (Isaiah 14:13-14). He has enmity with:

  •  With Christ – Genesis 3:15, Matthew 4:1-11
  • With God the Father – Genesis 3:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11, 1 Timothy 4:1-3
  • With the nations – Revelation 20:3, Revelation 13:2-4
  • With believers – 1 Peter 1:6-7, Acts 5:1-11, 1 Corinthians 7:5

Satan will meet his ultimate destruction in the Lake of Fire at the end of the millennial reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7-10).

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