Category: Signs

IS THE DAY OF THE LORD NEAR?

Exclusive: Joseph Farah gives preparation advice that’s way beyond voting in November

I first got interested in prophecy during the 1970s after reading Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth.”

Within a few years, I got a chance to interview Lindsey for a story I wrote in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner detailing the remarkable success of that book and some of his sequels. It turned out that Lindsey’s books on Bible prophecy made him, far and away, the best-selling author of the decade.

I struck up a relationship with Lindsey and later had a chance to collaborate with him on several books.

Ever since, I’ve been a student of prophecy as well as a newsman – often observing events taking place in the world and using the measuring stick of the Bible to judge their relevance to what the Bible predicts will happen before the “Day of the Lord.”

For Christians, the “Day of the Lord” is literally the return of the Jesus to rule and reign over the planet for 1,000 years. For Bible-believing Jews, the Day of the Lord is the coming of the Messiah. I firmly believe they are one in the same.

For 2,000 years, Christians have been wondering when the return of Jesus – or Yeshua – might come. For even longer, Jews have been wondering when their Messiah might come. For hundreds of thousands of Jews, that question was answered 2,000 years ago by Yeshua. His disciples were all Jewish, and, following His death and Resurrection, many Jews – including priests and Pharisees and members of the Sanhedrin – became His followers. In fact, for the first 15 years after Yeshua’s death, all of his followers were messianic Jews.

So here we are in 2012, and the question on many people’s minds is, “When is the Day of the Lord coming?”

My unequivocal answer to that question is, “Very, very soon.”

The No. 1 reason for that conclusion is the rebirth of the nation-state of modern Israel – an absolute prerequisite to His return.

Every prophecy about the Day of the Lord shows Yeshua returning to the state of Israel, as it is being battered and nearly destroyed by its surrounding enemies.

Yeshua comes to stop that – and set up His kingly throne from which He reigns over the whole earth.

As I look around at what is happening in the world today, it sounds distinctly like the world described in the Bible before the Day of the Lord – most particularly with regard to the Middle East.

I don’t know if we have 50 years or 20 years or 10 years or even five.

But we are very, very close.

You may agree or you may disagree.

But it’s something every person – believer or non-believer – should think about carefully.

If you are confused by the chaos and violence, the wars and rumors of wars, the growing inability of people to discern right from wrong and other signs of the times, I urge you to turn to your Bibles for understanding.

It’s all there.

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob told us the story of the world from the beginning to the end – all in one collection of books we call the Bible.

And, if you are currently preoccupied and concerned about the the direction of your country, know that there is more to saving it from destruction than participating in the election in November.

For believers, we are instructed what we can and must do to save our country. That prescription is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 – and it applies to Israel or the United States or any other land: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Note that prescription is written for believers.

It’s not written for non-believers.

That’s why believers have a special duty to purify themselves, practice holiness, humble themselves, turn from their wicked ways and pray.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4165

The Battle of Gog of Magog & the Return of Jesus

 

Joel Richardson

The Book of Revelation, chapter 19, contains what is perhaps the most famous Biblical passage concerning the return of Jesus. There, Jesus the Messiah is seen to burst forth from heaven, riding on a white horse with the armies of heaven following Him. But as powerful and as well known as this prophetic portrayal of the return of Jesus is, few are aware of the fact that the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39, most often known as the Battle of Gog of Magog, also concludes with the return of Jesus. In fact, it can be said that Ezekiel 38 and 39 is in fact, the Armageddon of the Old Testament.

Although many popular interpreters have wrongly understood this passage to conclude several years before the return of Jesus, any honest assessment of the text simply does not allow for this. But among the many reasons to reject a pre-Day of the LORD conclusion of this prophecy, one of the simplest, is because it concludes with the LORD actually physically present in the land of Israel.

That’s right, Ezekiel reveals that at the conclusion of Gog’s invasion, Jesus the Messiah is physically present on the ground, in the land. Consider the following passage:

“For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, on that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence” —Ezekiel 38:19–20

According to this text, the Lord Himself says that throughout the earth, both people and animals will “quake at [His] presence.” The word used for presence here is the Hebrew word paneh. Paneh is a reference to the actual face of someone or something. When God says that the people of the earth will quake at His paneh, He is saying that they will be terrified because of His actual physical presence, on the ground, in the land of Israel (see also: Zechariah 14:2-5, Isaiah 29:2-8, Revelation 16:16-20).

Concerning the word paneh, The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary says, “The presence (face) of Jehovah is Jehovah in his own personal presence.” The New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words says, “In the OT, being in God’s or another’s presence is indicated by a preposition (l) prefixed to the Hebrew word panim (‘face’). The thought is to be ‘before the face of the person.” Paneh is used throughout the Old Testament to refer to the actual presence of God. Jacob, for instance, after wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, referred to seeing God face-to-face:

“So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face [paneh] to face [paneh], and yet my life has been delivered’” —Genesis 32:30

It is also interesting to note that in place of the Hebrew paneh, the Septuagint used the Greek word prosopon. Prosopon is one of two words commonly used in the New Testament to refer to actual presence. The other word is parousia, which is commonly associated with the Second Coming. To convey actual presence, between parousia and prosopon, prosopon is the more powerful term. While parousia most often implies coming, prosopon implies actual face-to-face presence. As Jesus is coming on the clouds, this is His parousia, but once He has actually arrived, then the word prosopon is used.

An excellent example of the New Testament usage of prosopon is a scene where the righteous are actually looking upon the face of God in the eternal city:

“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face [prosopon], and his name will be on their foreheads” —Revelation 22:4

Ezekiel’s description of people quaking in fear of God’s face reveals that at the conclusion of the Battle of Gog and Magog, Jesus the Messiah, God incarnate, is physically present on the earth, in the land of Israel.

The Holy One in Israel

Further evidence for the physical presence of Jesus at the conclusion of this battle is seen in the following verse:

“And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” — Ezekiel 39:7

This is the only time that the phrase “the LORD, the Holy One in Israel” is used in the whole Bible. It is the Hebrew YHVH qadowsh baYisra’el. A similar phrase, “the Holy One of Israel” (qadowsh Yisra’el), is used thirty-one times in Scripture (e.g., Isaiah 12:6; 43:3; 55:5; 60:9, etc.). But here in Ezekiel, the Lord is not merely the Holy One of Israel; He is actually present in the land and on the ground! While the popular position holds that this passage concludes several years before the return of Jesus, this verse makes this an absolute impossibility.

Other biblical commentators have also taken special note of God’s presence in Ezekiel’s oracle as evidence that it is a parallel to the Battle of Armageddon in Revelation 19. Apologist Dave Hunt for instance has stated:

“There is no doubt, from both Zechariah 12 and Revelation 1 and 19, that this personal coming of Yahweh to rescue His people and to destroy Antichrist and his armies takes place at Armageddon. It is significant, then, that similar language concerning the personal presence of God is found in Ezekiel 38 and 39, thus identifying the event described there as Armageddon also.”

Hunt’s observations are correct. But while most conservative, premillennialist, futurist interpreters who take Scripture at face value and use a literalist heremeutic will interpret the entirety of this passage in a literal fashion, when it comes to these two texts which show that God is actually present and in the land, many suddenly switch to an allegorical and non-literalist interpretation, without any justification for doing so.

If one uses a consistent literal method to interpret Ezekiel 38 and 39, then one must acknowledge that it concludes with the return of Jesus the Messiah. And as I have said before, if this is the case, within the world of Biblical prophecy, this absolutely changes everything. It is high time for the Church to begin wrestling with the implications.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4136

Food Inflation, Food Shortages And Food Riots Are Coming

A devastating global food crisis unlike anything we have ever seen in modern times is coming. Crippling drought and bizarre weather patterns have damaged food production all over the world this summer, and the UN and the World Bank have both issued ominous warnings about the food inflation that is coming.

To those of us in the Western world, a rise in the price of food can be a major inconvenience, but in the developing world it can mean the difference between life and death. Just remember what happened back in 2008. When food prices hit record highs it led to food riots in 28 different countries. Today, there are approximately 2 billion people that are malnourished around the globe. Even rumors of food shortages are enough to spark mass chaos in many areas of the planet. When people fear that they are not going to be able to feed their families they tend to get very desperate. That is why a recent CNN article declared that “2013 will be a year of serious global crisis”.

The truth is that we are not just facing rumors of a global food crisis – one is actually starting to unfold right in front of our eyes. The United States experienced the worst drought in more than 50 years this summer, and some experts are already declaring that the weather has been so dry for so long that tremendous damage has already been done to next year’s crops. On the other side of the world, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have all seen their wheat crops devastated by the horrible drought this summer. Australia has also been dealing with drought, and in India monsoon rains were about 15 percent behind pace in mid-August. Global food production is going to be much less than expected this year, and global food demand continues to steadily rise. What that means is that food inflation, food shortages and food riots are coming, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

The United States exports more food than anyone else in the world, and that is why the entire globe has been nervously watching the horrific drought in the United States this summer with deep concern.

It has been the worst drought in more than 50 years, and it has absolutely devastated corn crops all over the nation. According to Bill Witherell, the U.S. corn crop this year “is said to be on a par with that of 1988 crop, the worst in the past thirty years.”

Sadly, this will be the third year in a row that the yield for corn has declined in the United States.

That has never happened before in the history of the United States.

And coming into this year we were already in bad shape. In fact, U.S. corn reserves were sitting at a 15-year low at the end of 2011.

So where will we be at the end of 2012?

The official estimates for corn yields put out by the U.S. government just keep dropping, but many fear that they aren’t dropping quickly enough. There have been some reports on the ground from some areas of the country that have been very distressing. The following is from a recent Wall Street Journal article….

Meanwhile, scouts with the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour on Monday reported an average estimated corn yield in Ohio of 110.5 bushels per acre, down from the tour’s estimate of 156.3 bushels a year ago. In South Dakota, tour scouts reported an average yield estimate of just 74.3 bushels per acre, down from 141.1 bushels a year ago.

Those are catastrophic numbers.

But farmers are not the only ones that have been impacted by the dry weather. A recent article by Chris Martenson summarized some of the other effects of this drought…..

Even though the mainstream media seems to have lost some interest in the drought, we should keep it front and center in our minds, as it has already led to sharply higher grain prices, increased gasoline costs (via the pass-through of higher ethanol costs), impeded oil and gas drilling activity in some areas (due to a lack of water), caused the shutdown of a few operating electricity plants, temporarily reduced red meat prices (but will also make them climb sharply later) as cattle are dumped in response to feed- and pasture-management concerns, and blocked and/or reduced shipping on the Mississippi River. All this and there’s also a strong chance that today’s drought will negatively impact next year’s Winter wheat harvest, unless a lot of rain starts falling soon.

Ranchers have had a particularly hard time during this drought. If you expect to pay about the same for meat this time next year as you are doing now you are going to be deeply disappointed. The following is from a recent Reuters article….

The worst drought to hit U.S. cropland in more than half a century could soon leave Americans reaching deeper into their pockets to fund a luxury that people in few other countries enjoy: affordable meat.

Drought-decimated fields have pushed grain prices sky high, and the rising feed costs have prompted some livestock producers to liquidate their herds. This is expected to shrink the long-term U.S. supply of meat and force up prices at the meat counter.

All over the western United States pastures have been destroyed and there is not enough hay. It would be hard to overstate the damage that this nightmarish drought is doing to our ranchers….

I spoke with Caldwell [of Indiana horse rescue] and a number of other horse-rescue organizations around the country by telephone this week. The relentlessly hot dry weather, amplified in many areas by wildfire, has been devastating to farmers, ranchers and other horse owners.

‘Everybody is using their winter hay now. The pastures are destroyed and they probably won’t recover before winter,’ said Caldwell. ‘The price of hay has doubled, and the availability is down by 75 percent.’

Caldwell is somewhat sanguine about his own lot, but not optimistic about what lies ahead.

‘Today the problem is not nearly as bad as it’s going to be,’ he told me. ‘It’s terribly bad today, but it is going to get a lot worse.’

But of course as I mentioned earlier this is not just an American problem.

The truth is that the entire globe is facing a rapidly growing food crisis.

According to the UN, the global price of food rose 6 percent in the month of July alone.

According to the World Bank, global food prices actually rose 10 percent during July.

Either figure is really, really bad.

The other day, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Program issued a joint statement in which they stated the following….

‘We need to act urgently to make sure that these price shocks do not turn into a catastrophe hurting tens of millions over the coming months.’

If the price of food at our supermarkets suddenly went up 20 percent that would really stretch our family budgets here in the United States, but we would survive.

On the other side of the globe, such a price change can mean the difference between life and death. The following is from the CNN article mentioned above….

But step outside the developed world, and the price of food suddenly becomes the single most important fact of human economic life. In poor countries, people typically spend half their incomes on food — and by ‘food,’ they mean first and foremost bread.

When grain prices spiked in 2007-2008, bread riots shook 30 countries across the developing world, from Haiti to Bangladesh, according to the Financial Times. A drought in Russia in 2010 forced suspension of Russian grain exports that year and set in motion the so-called Arab spring.

Already, 18 million people in Niger, Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Senegal are dealing with very serious food shortages.

In Yemen, things are even worse….

Yemen has a catastrophic food crisis. Nearly half the population, 10 million people, does not have enough to eat. While 300,000 children are facing life threatening levels of malnutrition.

The United Nations says Yemen is already in the throes of a disaster.

‘The levels are truly terrible. Whatever we do thousands upon thousands of children will die this year from malnutrition,’ Unicef’s man in Yemen, Geert Cappelaere, said.

‘In some areas child malnutrition is at 30%, to put it in context, an emergency is 15%. It is double that already.’

But this is just the beginning. These food shortages are going to spread and we will eventually see food riots that will absolutely dwarf the food riots of 2008.

Many scientists fear the worst. Some are even now warning that food shortages will become so severe that they will eventually force much of the globe on to a vegetarian diet….

Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world’s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.

Humans derive about 20% of their protein from animal-based products now, but this may need to drop to just 5% to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050, according to research by some of the world’s leading water scientists.

‘There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations,’ the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.

The days of very cheap meat are coming to an end. Meat will be increasingly viewed as a “luxury” around the globe from now on.

Sadly, there are some in the financial world that actually intend to make lots of money off of this crisis….

The United Nations, aid agencies and the British Government have lined up to attack the world’s largest commodities trading company, Glencore, after it described the current global food crisis and soaring world prices as a ‘good’ business opportunity.

With the US experiencing a rerun of the drought ‘Dust Bowl’ days of the 1930s and Russia suffering a similar food crisis that could see Vladimir Putin’s government banning grain exports, the senior economist of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, Concepcion Calpe, told The Independent: ‘Private companies like Glencore are playing a game that will make them enormous profits.’

Does that disturb you?

It should.

Driving up the price of food for starving people is not a good way to make money. Food is one of our most basic needs. When people are deprived of food they become very desperate.

Just look at what is already happening in Spain. The economic crisis in that country has just begun, and people are already looting supermarkets. You can see a video news report about Spanish activists looting 3 tons of food from local supermarkets right here.

Much of that food was donated to food banks, but in the future I am sure that the desperate “activists” will not be so generous when things get really tight.

In other areas of Spain, large numbers of people have been filmed digging through trash dumpsters for food.

Could you ever see yourself doing that? Don’t be so sure that hunger will never come to America. Right now, a record 46.7 million Americans are on food stamps, and anti-hunger organizations all around the country are reporting more of a need than ever before.

For now the federal government is able to feed the tens of millions of Americans that do not have enough money for food, but what happens when a day comes when the federal government stops doing that?

And what happens if the drought in the United States continues throughout the winter and into next summer and Dust Bowl conditions return to the United States?

In a previous article entitled “17 Signs That You Better Start Preparing For A Nightmarish Global Food Crisis”, I detailed some more of the reasons why people need to start preparing for food inflation and food shortages.

In the past we could always go out to the supermarket or to Wal-Mart and fill up our shopping carts with huge piles of very cheap food whenever we wanted to.

It will not always be that way.

Get prepared while you still can.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4116

SERMON: REDISCOVERING THE POWER AND PURPOSE OF BIBLE PROPHECY — Part 1

 

REDISCOVERING THE POWER AND PURPOSE OF BIBLE PROPHECY — PART 1

* In Luke 12:51-56, the Lord Jesus said these words: “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three.They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out.And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way.You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?”

* In the first century in the Roman-occupied land of Israel, people were living in a time of great anxiety. They were worried about their own future. They feared war and drought and famine and natural disasters. They desperately wanted and needed a Savior. Yet Jesus rebuked them. Why? He scolded them for having all the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures that told them so many details about who the coming Messiah would be, but not carefully studying those prophecies in the Word of God. They weren’t observing the prophecies and comparing them to current events. They weren’t “connecting the dots.” They weren’t realizing the power or purpose of Bible prophecy.  Thus they were missing the fact that Jesus Himself was the Messiah,  was standing in their midst, and was ready, able and willing to save them from their sins and their sadness.

* Today, we, too, are living at a time of great anxiety. People are worried about their own future, and the future of the world. There is a growing threat of a major war breaking out soon in the Middle East between Israel and Iran. Various nations in Europe are collapsing economically. The American economy is in deep trouble and we are facing the very real threat of fiscal and moral implosion. We’ve seen an explosion of violence and a murder wave even in small towns in America. We’re facing all manners of natural disasters, including terrible drought, historic fires, and now another serious hurricane aimed again at the Gulf Coast.

* What’s remarkable is that all of these trends here in the U.S. and around the world are consistent with Bible prophecies about the “last days.” We are seeing End Times Bible prophecies coming true all around us, all of which tell us that we are steadily approaching the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Yet far too few people are studying the Word of God. They aren’t connecting the dots. They don’t understand the power and purpose of Bible prophecy. Thus they are missing the fact that Jesus Christ is calling them to Himself. He wants to save them from their sins and sadness. He came to offer the free gift of eternal life, and abundant life. And He’s coming back in person soon. 

* Personally, I’m fascinated with Bible prophecy, and have been for most of my life. I write non-fiction books and speak around the world about prophecy because it intrigues me so much and I feel compelled to share these truths with anyone who will listen. At the same time, I also write novels based on the premise, ”What if?” That is, what if certain prophecies were  to come true in our lifetime? What would that look like? What would that feel like? I don’t know for certain when or how these events will come to pass, but novels allow me to play a ”war game,” as it were. They allow me to get people thinking about what these prophecies are and considering what they mean and how they could affect our lives.

* I believe it is vitally important that people rediscover the power and purpose of Bible prophecy — now more than ever – and this is what I’d like to speak about for the next two nights.

* Unfortunately, many pastors, priests and ministry leaders here in the U.S. and around the world are not teaching Bible prophecy — as I see it, there are four major reasons for this.

First, many pastors don’t teach prophecy because they have a lack of belief in the power of God’s Word. Sadly, many pastors today don’t really believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God. The Lord Jesus once remonstrated the Pharisees because they were misinterpreting Scripture. He said, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) Too many pastors and priests today are the same way. They not carefully studying the whole Bible. They’re not trying to understand the “whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27, KJV). They don’t really believe that prophecy comes from God, and therefore they don’t teach these prophecies or help people understand why God gave us prophecy. Yet Bible prophecies are so exciting because they are intercepts from the mind of the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful God of the Universe. Prophecies tell us what is on the heart of God. They warn us to stop certain behaviors, and encourage us to be holy and walk more closely with the Lord. They are also storm warnings of future events. They tell us dramatic events that coming, and how we should get ready and be prepared to be found faithful and worthy when those moments come. Prophecies call us to serve Christ with boldness and courage so we will not be ashamed when we stand before Him face to face in the not-too-distant future. The Bible says that God gave us prophecies to build up and encourage followers of Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, “One who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation….One who prophesies edifies the church.” (I Corinthians 14:3, 4b) Isn’t that what every believer needs, to be built up, encouraged and consoled?

Second, many pastors don’t teach prophecy because they have a lack of knowledge of — and sound training in — Bible prophecy. There are many, of course, who do believe that the Bible is the very Word of God. However, for a variety of reasons they have never taken the time to study prophecy carefully on their own, and/or weren’t taught it in any detail or depth in seminary or Bible college or seminary. Thus, they understandably feel unprepared and inadequate to help people unpack the truths of these Scriptures. Some prophecies are, of course, complicated and confusing. Some of the names mentioned in prophecies (like “Gog” and “Magog” and “Gomer” and “Put” in Ezekiel 38-39) are strange and obscure. It takes some historical detective work to determine what these things mean, and some pastors decide they neither have the interest nor the time to do the research and teach their congregations clearly and accurately, so they avoid teaching prophecy all together. I understand this, and I’m doing my best to create resources — and point people to other excellent resources that have been helpful to me — to help pastors study and teach prophecy. Because now is the time to rediscover the power and purpose of prophecy. The Bible is clear that God will bless those who study and teach End Times prophecy, and we should be faithful in doing just that. The Apostle John wrote, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it, for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3) Amen.

Third, many pastors don’t teach prophecy because they have a fear of being lumped in with “prophecy nuts” and those who peddle sensationalism. Admittedly, there are, in fact, many nuts who try to teach prophecy. They misinterpret the Scriptures. They draw erroneous conclusions. They sensationalize. And thus they bring dishonor and discredit to themselves. Pastors are right to avoid such false teachers, and to avoid creating an appearance of cheapening the Word of God in these ways. But just because some teach Bible prophecy wrongly, or badly, is no reason for solid teachers to avoid the topic. There are those who teach false regarding the Gospels and the epistles, too. But a good pastor wouldn’t dare skip teaching correctly these books of the Bible. On what basis, then, do we have the right to avoid teaching whole books of the Bible — Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation, among others — just because some charlatans are out their misleading people? Indeed, we should be teaching solidly on prophecy all the more because of the nuts who are out there. We shouldn’t cede the battle for hearts, minds and souls to the nuts. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “Preach the word: be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2-3)

Fourth, many pastors don’t teach prophecy because they have a lack of understanding of the times in which we live and the increasingly close return of Christ. At the same time, there are many sincere pastors who love Jesus and love the Word of God but somehow are just not gripped by the remarkable moment of history that we’re in, and the urgent need to prepare men’s hearts for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for the Church. More than ever, we need pastors who are like the sons of Issachar, “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32) More than ever we need pastors who will obey the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ who told us to not be obsessed with understanding the future of the weather, but rather to understand “this present time” and prepare the people under our care to walk with Christ more closely and obey Him more faithfully as the Day of His return for us draws ever nearer.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4100

‘Remarkable’: Dreams And Visions Bringing More Middle East Muslims To Faith In Christ ‘Since The Birth Of Islam’

 

Psalm 70:4, “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified!’”

CBN Host: “In both Egypt and Syria we’re seeing Christians deciding to leave, some of those who are leaving Syria were actually [Christian] refugees from Iraq. With all this trouble going on, are these Christians running out of safe havens?”

Chris Mitchell – “They are.  …[In] 2003 when the Iraq war started, and then the sectarian violence — the Muslim against Christian violence — thousands left. Some of them fled to Syria. Now those Christians in Syria, they really don’t know where to go. Some may be going to Jordan, which might be the last safe haven for Christians in the Middle East …”

CBN Host: “… Despite the turmoil we know that the Lord always finds a way to reach people. We hear about Muslims having dreams and visions of Christ. Share some of those stories.”

Chris Mitchell: “I think that’s one of the most remarkable things happening in the Middle East right now, and the missionaries that I’ve … talked to … say that more Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus Christ than any time since the birth of Islam 1400 years ago. Many of them are coming through dreams and visions, literally, people having dreams of a man in white who calls Himself Jesus and says ‘Follow Me’ for example. It’s happening in Iran. In fact Iran, some say, is the fastest growing church in the world today and that most of the people that are coming are influenced by a dream or a vision that tells them about Jesus, and then through that they may get a Bible, they may meet a Christian, and it’s sort of [the] initiation of their faith in Jesus Christ …”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4097

The Mississippi River Is Drying Up

 

The worst drought in more than 50 years is having a devastating impact on the Mississippi River.  The Mississippi has become very thin and very narrow, and if it keeps on dropping there is a very real possibility that all river traffic could get shut down.  And considering the fact that approximately 60 percent of our grain, 22 percent of our oil and natural gas, and and one-fifth of our coal travel down the Mississippi River, that would be absolutely crippling for our economy.  It has been estimated that if all Mississippi River traffic was stopped that it would cost the U.S. economy 300 million dollars a day.  So far most of the media coverage of this historic drought has focused on the impact that it is having on farmers and ranchers, but the health of the Mississippi River is also absolutely crucial to the economic success of this nation, and right now the Mississippi is in incredibly bad shape.  In some areas the river is already 20 feet below normal and the water is expected to continue to drop.  If we have another 12 months of weather ahead of us similar to what we have seen over the last 12 months then the mighty Mississippi is going to be a complete and total disaster zone by this time next year.

Most Americans simply do not understand how vitally important the Mississippi River is to all of us.  If the Mississippi River continues drying up to the point where commercial travel is no longer possible, it would be an absolutely devastating blow to the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, vast stretches of the Mississippi are already dangerously low.  The following is an excerpt from a transcript of a CNN report that aired on August 14th….

You might think this is some kind of desert just outside of Memphis. It’s not. I’m actually standing on the exposed bottom of the Mississippi River. That’s how dramatic the drought impact is being felt here. Hard to believe, a year ago we were talking about record flooding. Now, they are worried about a new kind of record: a record low. The river was three miles wide here, it’s now down to three tenths of a mile. And that’s causing all kinds of problems. There are some benefits, I mean, take a look over here: new beach front. In fact, some quip that now the Mississippi River has more beaches than the entire state of Florida, which would be funny if it didn’t have an impact on trade.

A lot of stuff we use goes up and down the Mississippi River. We are talking steel, coal, ore, grain. The problem is now a lot of those barges have had to lighten their loads, and even doing that, they are still running aground. There is a real fear that there could be a possibility of closing the Mississippi River. If that happens, well, all that product that used to be carried cheaply by barge is now going to be carried more expensively by truck or train. And guess who is going to pay for all of that.

You can see video footage of what is happening along the Mississippi right here.

It really is amazing that last year we were talking about historic flooding along the Mississippi and this year we are talking about the Mississippi possibly drying up.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some areas along the river that are already 20 feet below normal levels.  The following is from a recent article posted on inquisitr.com….

Just outside of Memphis the river is 13 feet below normal depth while the National Weather Service says Vicksburg, Mississippi is 20 feet below normal levels. Overall the Mississippi is 13 feet below normal averages for this time of year.

The drying up river is forcing barge, tugboat and towboat operators to navigate narrower and more shallow spots in the river, slowing their speeds as they pass dangerously close to one another. In some parts of the Mississippi the river is so narrow that one-way traffic is being utilized.

A lot of barges have been forced to go with greatly reduced loads so that they will sit higher in the river, and other commercial craft have been forced to stop operating completely.

For example, the Mississippi has dropped so low at this point that the famous American Queen Steamboat can no longer safely navigate the river.

Down south, the Mississippi River has gotten so low that saltwater is actually starting to move upriver.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is fighting hard to keep that contained.

Other waterways in the middle part of the country are in even worse shape.

For example, a 100 mile stretch of the Platte River has already dried up.  Millions of fish are dying as rivers and streams all over the country continue to get shallower and warmer as a result of the ongoing drought.

The last time the condition of the Mississippi River was this bad was back in 1988.  At that time, a lot of barge traffic was stopped completely and the shipping industry lost approximately a billion dollars.

If a similar thing were to happen now, the consequences could potentially be far worse.

As I wrote about recently, a standstill along the Mississippi would cost the U.S. economy about 300 million dollars a day.

In fact, one towing company that works on the Mississippi says that it has already been losing about $500,000 a month since May.

In the end, who is going to pay for all of this?

You and I will.

In fact, this crisis could end up costing American consumers a whole lot of money….

So here’s the math. If you want to raise the average barge one inch above the water, you’ve got to take off 17-tons of cargo. To raise it a foot, you’re talking 200 tons.

And since, according to the American Waterways Operators, moving cargo by river is $11 a ton cheaper than by train or truck. The more that now has to be moved on land, well, the more the costs go up. Steven Barry says, “And, eventually, the consumer’s gonna pay that price somewhere along the line.”

And considering the fact that we are already facing a potential food crisis due to the drought, the last thing we need is for the Mississippi River to dry up.

So is there any hope on the horizon for the Mississippi?

Unfortunately, things do not look promising.

The fall and the winter are typically drier than the summer is along the Mississippi River.  That means that conditions along the river could actually get even worse in the months ahead.  The following is from a recent Time Magazine article….

But without significant rainfall, which isn’t in any long-range forecasts, things are likely to get worse. As summer turns to fall, the weather tends to get drier. Lower temperatures generally mean fewer thunderstorms and less rainfall.

“Take away the thunderstorm mechanism and you run into more serious problems,” says Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com. And while droughts tend to be a temporary setback, longer-range forecasts are troublesome. Sosnowski says he is anticipating an El Niño weather pattern next year, which would mean below-normal snowfall and above-average temperatures.

Let us hope and pray that we don’t see another 12 months similar to the 12 months that we have just been through.

The U.S. economy is already in bad enough shape.

We don’t need any more major problems on top of what we are already dealing with.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4020

BILLY GRAHAM: ‘FINAL CALL’ FOR AMERICA TO REPENT

 

Believing God will allow him to live to 95, famed evangelist Billy Graham is making his “final call to America to turn to God.”

Timed to coincide with his 95th birthday, Graham is calling people in the United States and Canada to repentance as part of the “My Hope with Billy Graham” evangelistic outreach set for the week of Nov. 7, 2013.

Unlike his famous stadium crusades over the past six decades, Graham is asking Christians to invite family, friends and neighbors to their homes to watch the “Living Room Crusade” on their televisions, tablets or smartphones as part of a massive grassroots effort to ignite a spiritual awakening in North America.

In what is expected to be the largest undertaking in its 60-plus year history, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association hopes to mobilize millions of Christians to register as host “Matthews” at www.myhopewithbillygraham.org and undergo training to learn how to share their faith with others.

“We have seen God visit our nation in powerful and transformational ways in the past,” Preston Parrish, vice president of “My Hope with Billy Graham,” told WND.com. “We are praying this will be a real moment of revival and awakening and transformation across our nation.”

The announcement comes as Graham – whom Parrish described as “very sharp and keen mentally” at age 93 – released a letter last month entitled, “My Heart Aches for America.” In the letter, Graham recalled how his late wife Ruth once expressed concerns about the “terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards” – exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Graham wondered what his wife would think of America today – noting millions of babies have since been aborted and “self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.”

“My heart aches for America and its deceived people,” wrote Graham, who has preached to more people – 2.2 billion – than any other Protestant in history and has provided spiritual counsel to every president from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush. He received Barack Obama in his home in 2010.

“The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower – wealthy, unconcerned and self-centered. When the prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented. I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation.”

Anne Gimenez, the national chairperson of America for Jesus – The Awakening, says similar revivals have occurred in the past in America and Europe during other times of declining morality and spiritual darkness.

“I think Billy Graham’s idea is genius,” says Gimenez, whose organization expects hundreds of thousands of people to gather at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Pa., Sept. 28 and 29 to pray for another Great Awakening in the United States. For more information, log onto www.afj2012.org. “We’ve been waiting for an idea that would spark America into revival and perhaps this is it.

“America and the world seem to be in a state of growing apostasy and unbelief. Atheism and agnosticism is growing by leaps and bounds. In history, when there is great darkness engulfing the world, there is also the opportunity for a great light to come – the gospel light. And so at this time when we seem to be spiraling downward into spiritual darkness, it is the ideal and opportune time for a great spiritual awakening.”

Graham’s letter comes as a growing number of spiritual and political leaders have made similar calls for repentance, stressing that the nation is in a downward spiral of economic decline, corruption, immorality, secular humanism and attacks on religious liberty.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, the author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Harbinger – The Ancient Mystery that holds the Secret of America’s Future,” says the fact Graham released the letter at “this point in his life” and “at this moment in America is very significant.”

“Billy Graham has been a pastor to presidents and the most famous evangelist in the world for the past several generations. For such a word to come from such a voice is stunning,” says Cahn, the senior rabbi at the nation’s largest messianic congregation, the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J. “He is giving the nation a prophetic warning.”

“His words match the overcall message and call of ‘The Harbinger,’ that America is in rapid departure from God and His ways – that it now stands in danger of judgment and the signs that appeared in judgment of Israel are now reappearing on American soil. And yet no matter how dark it gets, there is still hope for mercy and room for redemption, but that redemption can only come through the repentance and prayers of God’s people.

“The other thing that’s striking about Billy Graham’s warning is that it comes at the same time when believers across the nation are sensing this very same thing and when leaders are increasingly calling for prayer and intercession for America. ‘The Harbinger’ ends with a call for prayer, repentance, and revival among God’s people. That all these things are converging at the same time is significant.”

In fact, the most in-demand Christian video around today is “Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” the video that explains the message from “The Harbinger.”

The Graham crusade also comes as several organizations are planning prayer gatherings, evangelistic festivals and other events over the next year.

Starting Sept. 28 and continuing through Nov. 6, 40 Days to Save America is calling for repentance, prayer and fasting in the 40 days prior to the presidential election. For more information, log into http://40daystosaveamerica.com.

This event and others follow The Response when Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared Aug. 6, 2011, a day of prayer, fasting and repentance. He invited fellow governors to attend the event at Reliant Stadium – saying it was time to “convene the leaders of each of our United States in a day of prayer and fasting, like that described in the book of Joel.”

Luis Cataldo, the director of The Response and an intercessory missionary at the International House of Prayer, says when a “father of the faith like Billy Graham” issues a letter of this magnitude it has to be taken seriously.

“When he says America is in trouble, we have to repent,” Cataldo says. “He’s gone through global wars as a spiritual shepherd. He’s seen a bunch of stuff and he’s saying America, ‘We have to repent.’ This may be our last chance to repent. We’ve turned away from God and God is just, loving and right to bring judgment.”

Even more significantly, Cataldo says, God is now awakening the church through a convergence of political and spiritual leaders calling the nation to prayer, fasting and repentance.

“It’s almost as though the Lord is trying to awaken the church and is now bypassing the church and going to government officials,” Cataldo says. “Gov. Perry, (Kansas) Gov. Sam Brownback and other leading government officials are calling for Joel 2 solemn assemblies. They are doing it because there is a spiritual crisis in America.”

Billy Wilson, executive director of the Awakening America Alliance and the Center for Spiritual Renewal, says the alliance representing a coalition of 300 Pentecostal and charismatic ministers is partnering with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as it prepares for the crusade.

“We are very excited about Dr. Graham”s desire to speak at this stage in his life to our nation,” Wilson says. “Obviously, Dr. Graham’s voice in America is one of the strongest of perhaps the last two generations of Christians. We are honored to partner with him and ‘My Hope with Billy Graham.’”

At this time, Wilson says America finds itself in perhaps the place of greatest spiritual need in its history.

“We find ourselves in a 21st century world where in many ways our future and destiny is at stake,” Wilson says. “Really, the only hope for America is God’s grace and His covering over our nation. That only comes when God’s people humble themselves and pray, and sometimes we forget the last one – turn from our wicked ways. The call for righteousness among Christians and the church in America should be very strong in every pulpit across the nation right now.”

“My Hope with Billy Graham” is a massive effort to reach people across the United States and Canada with the “good news of God’s love,” Parrish says.

Since 2002, Graham’s son, Franklin, and grandson, Will Graham, have spoken at “My Hope” evangelistic festivals in 57 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. More than 305,000 churches have participated and more than 10 million decisions for Jesus have been recorded

“Now, in 2013, there is a broad sense of conviction and urgency about the timeliness of this important project in the U.S. and Canada,” Parrish says. “We want to help people in North America understand in a fresh way the love God has for them and the forgiveness and eternal life he offers them in the person of Jesus Christ.”

Following a simple biblical model, the outreach combines the reach and excitement of a nationwide media event with the power of personal relationships. Under the guidance of their local pastors, Christians across these two countries will open their homes to share the Gospel message with friends, family, colleagues and neighbors using different media programs featuring Graham’s message, popular music and real-life testimonies.

“The idea is part of the biblical pattern for us as Christians to be showing God’s love to the people around us,” Parrish says. “The most loving thing we can do for someone else is not only to give them food and water, but to give them the message that has given us hope for eternal life.”

The outreach is modeled after the biblical story of Matthew. After accepting Jesus’ call to follow Him, Matthew invited friends into his house to meet the person who changed his life, Like the Apostle Matthew, Christians in North America will invite their guests into their homes to learn about Jesus using prime-time television, while others will gather at a coffee shop or the park to watch the program on a tablet or smartphone. They will then share their own story of how they met Jesus and invite their friends to pray to receive Jesus. Each host will follow up with new believers and encourage them to become part of a local church.

With “My Hope with Billy Graham” and other events and outreaches planned in the coming months, Wilson says he has great hope for the spiritual future of North America.

“We may be on the edge of a new Great Awakening right now, to be honest,” Wilson says. “Though things look dark, that has always been true in America before every great spiritual movement. This was true before the First Great Awakening, the Second Great Awakening and the other awakenings. In that darkness, God’s people united in prayer to turn the tide. If we unite together in prayer, I believe we can see a new Great Awakening and I believe what Dr. Graham is trying to do can be very effective – but only if God’s people really humble themselves, pray and repent in this season.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3969

Dreams, Visions Moving Muslims to Christ

Several years ago, Ali took the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca known as Hajj.

“Of course when I went to Mecca I was going there in order to pay hommage to the Kabba and to fulfill the requirements in Islam,” he recalled.

But the trip became more of a spiritual journey than he could ever imagine.

“That night I saw Jesus in a dream. First, Jesus touched my forehead with his finger. And after touching me, He said, ‘You belong to me,'” Ali recalled.

“And then He touched me above my heart,” he continued. “‘You have been saved, follow me. You belong to me,’ he said.”

Ali’s story in Mecca was told and dramatized in a DVD called “More Than Dreams.”

“I decided I’m not going to finish the Hajj, the pilgrimage. Whatever it takes, I’m going to follow that voice,” he explained.

The film documents and dramatizes Ali’s story and several other Muslims who came to faith in Jesus through a dream or vision.

“We’re seeing that all around. We’re hearing about people that have never even thought about Jesus as savior,” Tom Doyle, with e3 Ministries, said. “They’re content Muslims and they’re having dreams over and over.”

Doyle and his wife Joanna take the gospel to the Muslim world. He’s also the author of the upcoming book, Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World?

“I think our God is a fair God, that He’s righteous and just, and people are seeking and they don’t know where to go,” Doyle said.

“Maybe they don’t have a Bible, maybe there’s no missionary in the village,” he said. “He’ll get the message to them somehow.”

The phenomenon of dreams and visions has surfaced throughout the Muslim world, from Indonesia to Morocco.

“In the church if you ask how many people came to Christ, 80 percent will say, ‘I saw Him in a dream,'” one woman in central Asia told CBN News. Her identity is being protected for security reasons.

A Christian friend challenged her to ask God to speak to her personally.

“So I decided to ask Him,” she said. “The next day … in my dream I saw Jesus … I decided to come to Him.” 

Hazem Farraj hosts “Reflections,” a satellite program for Muslims. He said he often gets feedback about dreams and visions. 

“I had one lady write me … she said, ‘I turned on the television and there you were … the words that were coming out of your mouth were so peaceful I fell asleep,'” Farraj recalled.

“She said, ‘When I fell asleep I ended up having a vision of Jesus and I saw the Lord,'” he continued. “She said, ‘As soon as I looked over I knew that Christ was the sacrifice, the son of the God.”

Doyle said the dream or vision is usually the start, not the end, of a Muslim’s conversion.

“Nobody goes to sleep a Muslim and wakes up a Christian, but it knocks down the false barriers that are inherent in Islam,” Doyle explained.

The Doyles said beneath the current revolution in the Middle East, there’s a spiritual earthquake.

“As things heat up politically and spiritually within Islam, man, the Holy Spirit is moving even more powerfully,” Joanna said.

“This is the time when hearts are open, people are desperate, governments are changing,” her husband added. “Everybody’s foundation has massive cracks in it and Jesus is the answer that can come in and fill that need.”

Many veteran missionaries to the Muslim world say dreams and visions, along with satellite television, are introducing Muslims to Jesus in unprecedented numbers.

They add that more Muslims are coming to Jesus than at any other time in the 1,400-year history of Islam.

The Doyles want believers in the West to join this spiritual revolution.

“Not everybody is going to go the Middle East. But they can pray,” Doyle said.

“And no government, no leader can block intercession around the world,” he said. “So we need to pray as believers that God would continue to push the gospel out to the ends of the earth.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3725

CHARIOTS IN RED SEA: ‘IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE’

Chariots in Red Sea: ‘Irrefutable evidence’

‘Horse and human remains strewn like battlefield wreckage’

Published: 15 hours ago

by Joe Kovacs

Coral-encrusted object in Red Sea could be ancient Egyptian chariot wheels

A news report that stunned the world nine years ago about the discovery of possible ancient chariot wheels at the bottom of the Red Sea is suddenly gaining fresh attention with new video claiming “irrefutable evidence” that corroborates the find.

In June 2003, WND interviewed Bible enthusiasts who dove the waters of the Red Sea, alleging they found and photographed parts of chariots that may be the actual remains of the catastrophe brought upon the Egyptian army which pursued the Israelites, according to the Book of Exodus in the Bible.

“I am 99.9 percent sure I picked up a chariot wheel,” said Peter Elmer, a forklift mechanic from Keynsham, England, who made two diving trips to the Gulf of Aqaba branch of the sea. “It was covered in coral.”

“I believe I actually sat in an ancient chariot cab,” he told WND at the time, referring to his time exploring a submerged item in the underwater junkyard. “Without question, it is most definitely the remains of the Egyptian army.”

Now, Michael Rood, a Hebrew-roots teacher, has produced a video proffering evidence Elmer is absolutely correct.

His DVD, titled “The Red Sea Crossing,” documents the work of numerous researchers from the U.S. and overseas who have probed an underwater land bridge between a beachhead at Nuweiba, Egypt, and what is today Saudi Arabia.

“What they found strewn across the bottom of the reed sea has shaken the religious and scientific community,” says Rood. “Cameras, mounted on remote-controlled submarines, revealed coral-encrusted chariot parts, horse and human remains strewn like battlefield wreckage on the bottom of the reed sea.”

He uses the term “reed sea” instead of Red Sea, as that’s the literal translation of the words “yam suph” in Holy Scripture, referring to the body of water God miraculously opened for the ancient Israelites to cross on dry land, before drowning the Egyptians in hot pursuit.

“Even a novice can readily see that these are not natural coral formations,” Rood said, showing a variety of circular shapes he insists are chariot wheels, some with axles still intact.

He gave special attention to a single gold-veneered, four-spoked chariot wheel that was photographed and buried in place with a marker buoy nearby.

“Because coral does not attach to gold or silver, this priceless specimen remains untarnished by time,” he said, calling it “strong evidence that this is actually one of the two chariot wheels that the pharaoh rode to his death.”

Rood also explained giant pillars have been found on both sides of the crossing to mark the event. One was discovered eroded on the Egyptian shore by the late American archaeologist Ron Wyatt. Later, another was located on the Arabian side with “the legible remains of ancient paleo-Hebrew inscriptions.”

He says the words for pharaoh, death, Egypt, King Solomon and the sacred name of God, YHWH, are all present on the second pillar.

“King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, knew exactly where the children of Israel made their escape just 500 years before, and so he established pillars to memorialize the yam suph crossing,” said Rood.

He points out the depth of water of would make it impossible for a crossing to have taken place anywhere with the exception of the shallow land bridge at Nuweiba.

“If the water were to be removed, it would still be impossible to cross this chasm which is as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon in Arizona,” Rood said.

“But,” he added, “at the beach where Israel camped, an underwater land bridge gently slopes at a 6-degree angle, levels out at about 900 feet, and then gradually rises to meet the western shore of Midian.”

For hundreds of years, many have been under the impression that Mount Sinai, the place at which Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, was located on the Sinai peninsula of Egypt. It was Helena, the mother of 4th century Roman emperor Constantine, who made the declaration of its position when she established two churches there.

But if Rood and the other researchers are correct, the real Mount Sinai is actually in Arabia on the eastern side of the Gulf of Aqaba. The New Testament apostle Paul even refers to “Mount Sinai in Arabia” in Galatians 4:25.

“What is so difficult about determining the body of water that Moshe (Moses) crossed?” asks Rood.

“The Bible gives us just one choice, and this is it! I know that Constantine would have you dismembered for implying that his mother picked out the wrong site for Mount Sinai. But Constantine is dead! And so are the traditions that have enslaved our minds to such idiocy that we cannot even read the plain text of the Bible and think for ourselves.”

A well-known Swedish scientist who is among the Red Sea researchers believes the waters of Aqaba were indeed split supernaturally.

Lennart Moller of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm told WND there are no natural, scientific explanations for the parting miracle described in Scripture.

“The wind did not separate the water,” he said. “No person could be in that wind and survive. … If God has created all the Earth, it’s no problem for Him to separate the water for a while.”

Rood says for many people, finding the genuine crossing site is bad news because, “Blissful ignorance has died, and you recognize that the Creator has revealed himself through His people and His prophets. But this is good news to those who truly believe in the God of Israel and obey His commandments.

“Here on the bottom of the [reed sea] rests the evidence that the Creator has acted on behalf of His people in the past, proof that you can count on His promise that in the last days, He will perform a miracle that will make the parting of the reed sea pale by comparison.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3635

Israel is a Miracle

Great article from Bill Salus on why Israel is the super sign for our generation to know we are THE GENERATION  when Christ would return,

 

The super-sign of the end times is the existence of the nation of Israel, and this was pointed out by Christ in Matthew 24:32-34 in the parable of the fig tree. Through the parable He taught that some future generation would be able to claim that the long list of prophecies predicted in Matthew 24 had found fulfillment. By instructing His disciples to “learn” the parable, which identified the reestablished nation of Israel through a familiar Old Testament typology of the fig tree, Christ elevated this prophecy to the forefront of all the last day’s prophecies He discussed.

Israel, that tiny Jewish state that is surrounded by hostile Arab neighbors, and that is about to go toe-to-toe with Iran to prevent the rogue state from developing nuclear weapons, is the super-sign of the end time’s, and yet many within the Christian Church today believe the existence of Israel is nothing more than the moral obligation of the United Nations in the aftermath of the Nazi Holocaust.

When it comes to the question of the significance of Israel in these last days who should we believe, Jesus Christ, or the super-sessionist theologian that believes the Christian Church has replaced Israel as the apple of God’s eye? (Zechariah 2:8).

Wikipedia defines Super-sessionism as follows: “Super-sessionism (also called fulfillment theology or replacement theology) is a Christian interpretation of New Testament claims, viewing God’s relationship with Christians as being either the “replacement” or “fulfillment” or “completion” of the promise made to the Jews (or Israelites) and Jewish proselytes.” (i)

Set aside the fact that the regathering of the Jews into the land of Israel today fulfills Bible prophecies found in Ezekiel 36:22-24, Isaiah 11:11, Ezekiel 37:12-13, Ezekiel 38:8, and a plethora of additional ones elsewhere in the scriptures, what about the fact that at least eight modern-day miracles occurred to ensure that Israel not only became a nation, but will become an even greater one soon.

Israel’s existence today is a greater miracle than the parting of the Red Sea during the Hebrew exodus from Egypt, for the eight reasons listed below. Remember in the Exodus story Pharaoh of Egypt had Moses and every last Hebrew backed up against the Red Sea. The Hebrews were sitting ducks for Pharaohs soldiers. All the Lord had to do was four rather than eight things. The Lord had to;

1) Upset the Egyptians (harden their hearts) so that their deeply-rooted hatred of the Hebrews would get the best of them (Exodus 14:17),

2) Provide an escape route through which Moses and the Hebrews could flee (Exodus 14:21-22),

3) Create some distance between the advancing armies and the Hebrew refugees (Exodus 14:24),

4) And lastly, hobble the Egyptians chariots so they would be unable to escape the collapsing waters of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:25).

And, of course the Lord had to collapse the waters upon the Egyptian army in Exodus 14:26-28, to protect the Jews from future Egyptian attacks, and to demonstrate that the Gentile foreign policy of Genesis 12:3 was still effectually intact. But in reality, how difficult for the Lord could collapsing the waters be, considering the harder miracle was separating them in the first place? Genesis 12:3 promised cursings of a like-kind to them that cursed Israel. The Egyptians wanted to kill the Hebrews at the Red Sea, so in retaliation, they wound up dead under the waters of the Red Sea.

Evidence Israel today is an even greater miracle. In order for the nation of Israel to exist today, the Lord had to;

1) Conquer the Ottoman Empire, which ruled over the Mideast from 1517 to 1917. This occurred during World War I, when the Entente Powers of Russia, France, and the UK defeated the Central Powers consisting of the Ottoman, German, and Hungarian empires,

2) Create a Zionistic inclination in Jews scattered worldwide. This began in the late nineteenth century, around the time Theodor Herzl published his book Der Judenstaat, the Jewish State in German in 1896,

3) Defeat the Nazi regime which attempted Jewish genocide in order to prevent the return of the Jews to their ancient homeland of Israel,

4) Unite and empower the Allied Forces of the British Empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic and the United States of America to stop Hitler’s holocaust attempt,

5) Reestablish the Arab and Persian States in order for many Arabs and Persians to vacate out of Israel: Afghanistan (1919), Egypt (1922), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (1932), Iran (1935), Lebanon (1943), and Syrian and Jordan (1946),

6) Move the United Nations to legislate and approve the “Partition Plan of 1947,” which called for the reestablishment of the Jewish State, so Jews could have their homeland restored,

7) Create and empower the Israel Defense Forces so that the Jews could survive Arab attempts in 1948, 1967, and 1973 to destroy the reestablished Jewish State,

8) Preserve and prosper Israel, since the future Israel described in Ezekiel 38:8 – 13 turns out to be a very secure and prosperous Israel.

None of these above eight feats could have been accomplished singlehandedly by the United Nations. They all required the Lord’s divine providence in order for the Jewish State to exist and survive today.

So in short, it appears that God meant what He said in Jeremiah 31, and the existence of Israel today against all odds, is proof in the prophetic pudding that the Lord says what He means.

“Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name): “If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the LORD, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever.” (Jeremiah 31:35-36, NKJV).

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3574