Posts Tagged ‘bible’

Better late than never!

Spiritual Darkness

By Hal Lindsey

A pall of darkness enshrouds our planet — spiritual darkness. It is not new. It has been here a long time. Even so, reminders of its presence and its depth can be startling. A good example can be seen in the reactions to Israel’s battle with Hamas.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega may not seem to be a particularly significant character on the world stage. The former Marxist is a long-time friend of the communists in Cuba, and was an ally of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. Ronald Reagan described him as a “little dictator.” Though Ortega no longer claims to be a communist, he still openly avows socialism. He’s significant because he represents the thinking of lots U.N. countries and their leaders.

Ortega said, “Prime Minister Netanyahu appears to be possessed by the devil. He needs Pope Francis to exorcize it, to become appeased.” He accused Netanyahu of trying to “annihilate the Palestinian people.” He compared the Israelis to Nazis and accused them of genocide.

There are almost 2 million people in the Gaza Strip. Even the most severe propagandist from Hamas claims less than 2 thousand Gazan deaths. We don’t know how many of the dead were intentionally set up by Hamas to be killed in order to give Hamas a boost in the propaganda battle. Even using their figures, 2,000 is one-tenth of 1 percent of 2 million. And these people are calling it genocide — the attempted annihilation of an entire race.

That’s darkness. And it is a darkness that has been long predicted to explode into a global crescendo in the years shortly before Jesus returns.

Penelope Cruz

A hundred luminaries from the film industry in Spain wrote an “open letter” to the European Union, calling on it to step in and stop Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza. Among the letter’s signers were the actors, Penelope Cruz and her husband, Javier Bardem. Both of them have won Academy Awards.

The letter speaks of “the genocide perpetrated by the Israeli occupation army.”

In an op-ed piece, Bardem said, “In the horror happening in Gaza right now there is NO place for distance or neutrality. It’s a war of extermination… It’s hard to understand and impossible to justify. And it’s disgraceful that western countries are permitting such genocide.”

“Extermination”? “Genocide”? It’s an open secret that Israel has nuclear weapons. If they really wanted to exterminate the people of Gaza, they have the means. If they didn’t want to go that far, there are ways of using conventional bombs that are deadly efficient at wiping out populations. And if they were simply less careful during their bombing runs, they could easily have killed a hundred thousand people in an operation like this.

After receiving negative publicity for their remarks, Cruz and her husband decided to clarify their stance. Bardem said, “While I was critical of the Israeli military response, I have great respect for the people of Israel and deep compassion for their losses. I am now being labeled by some as anti-Semitic, as is my wife — which is the antithesis of who we are as human beings. We detest anti-Semitism as much as we detest the horrible and painful consequences of war. I was raised to be against any act of violence.”

It’s almost funny to see a man who has taken part in several brutally violent films proclaim himself to be a paragon of anti-violence — funny like seeing someone in a blindfold stumbling around. But not really funny because the stumbling isn’t the result of a blindfold, but blindness itself.

In her clarification, Cruz said, “I don’t want to be misunderstood on this important subject. I’m not an expert on the situation and I’m aware of the complexity of it. My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza. I am hopeful all parties can agree to a cease fire and there are no more innocent victims on either side of the border.”

Cruz admitted that she doesn’t know much about it, but still she accused the Israelis of genocide, and even after the outcry, felt no need to take it back. Neither her clarification nor her husband’s retracted or apologized for the damning accusation that Israel is trying to “exterminate the people of Gaza.” Neither of them seems to understand that wrongly accusing one side of genocide is hardly a peaceful, diplomatic way to solve the problem.

She said she wanted there to be, “No more innocent victims on either side of the border.” What about innocent Israelis being labeled as war criminals and mass murderers?

Spain has a long history of severe and violent anti-Semitism. That Cruz and Bardem could so casually make such horrible claims against the Jewish state seems to indicate that, despite their disclaimers, they are well infected with the disease.

Relativity Media CEO, Ryan Kavanaugh, said, “It makes my blood boil. As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, anyone calling it Israeli ‘genocide’ vs. protecting themselves are either the most ignorant people about the situation and shouldn’t be commenting, or are truly anti-Semitic.”

“You Can Taste the Toxins . . .”

The Obama Administration has seen fit to bomb thousands of people using remote control drones in faraway Afghanistan because it rightly believes that what goes on there threatens U.S. national security. Regrettably, many of those drone strikes took civilian lives. Yet this same Administration cannot grasp that Israel is fighting a next door neighbor that doesn’t just threaten them in abstract ways, but actually shoots missiles into their homeland.

Imagine how Americans would feel if they learned that Canada was planning an attack through a vast tunnel system that would kill more people than died on 9/11? That’s what Israel was facing from Hamas.

The Obama administration lashed out at Israel for a deadly attack near a U.N. school in Gaza that they called “horrifying” and “disgraceful.” Sickening as it is, such “collateral damage” has been unavoidable in Gaza, just as it has been in Afghanistan. That is the terrible nature of war. And reasonable people know it.

The United Nations just announced that they are forming a commission to investigate Israel for human rights violations and war crimes. The U.N. statement said they would investigate “all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law… in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014.”

It is a shroud of darkness that prevents even the United Nations from seeing the difference between war crimes and self-defense.

During the 2008 battle between Israel and Gaza, British author Howard Jacobson wrote that in his own country, “The air has been charred not with devastation but with hatred. And I don’t mean the hatred of the warring parties for each other. I mean the hatred of Israel expressed in our streets, on our campuses, in our newspapers, on our radios and televisions, and now in our theatres. . . . A discriminatory, over-and-above hatred, inexplicable in its hysteria and virulence . . . an unreasoning, deranged and as far as I can see irreversible revulsion that is poisoning everything we are supposed to believe in. . . . You can taste the toxins on your tongue.”

He was describing something that goes beyond differences of opinion. He was describing spiritual blindness.

What he saw six years ago has only grown worse, not only in Great Britain, but all over Europe. Bitter, unreasoning hatred of Jews has now reached a level not seen in the last seven decades.

Hitler Worship

Israel’s critics can’t seem to decide whether to compare Jews to an evil Hitler, or to call Hitler a hero for trying to exterminate Jews. Many have settled on the later. The twitterverse has been ablaze with hashtags like, “Hitler was right.” That one is often accompanied by a false quote from Hitler — “I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them.”

Here are some other popular tweets spreading around the globe: “Hitler did a sterling job #gas chambers needed” . . . “I wish Hitler was alive and his gas chambers were still in use” . . . “I regret Hitler didn’t clean sweep, poor Palestinians have to do it now” . . . “Hitler did right to kill these cockroaches” . . . “Jews are pigs. I think we should kill you Jews and kill your kids and let you know what the Palestinians are feeling” . . . “Let me salute Hitler the Great.”

The last time Planet Earth saw this level of anti-Semitism was in the years leading up to World War II. But when the world watched Germany take Jew-hatred to its logical conclusion, there followed a time of shame and repentance. In Europe and the United States, the flame of anti-Semitism largely died down.

But the embers continued to smolder.

In recent years, Europe’s media has been laying tinder on the embers, and then blowing on it with the great billows of hot air only media can produce. They got the fire going again, started burning sticks, then logs, and now they’ve pulled out the gasoline.

It’s so bad that, where a couple of years ago there was once only a trickle of Jews leaving Europe for Israel, it has now become a flood. Jews are leaving Europe because they’re afraid. They and their children are being harassed on the streets. They look out their synagogue windows and see gathering crowds of angry protestors. And then the protestors begin to chant, “Death to Jews!”

Their grandparents told them about this. The Jews have seen it many times before. The holocaust lives in their collective memory. In previous generations, they might have tried to come to America. Not anymore. The land of their forefathers beckons them. They and the land are tied together at the heart, and they know it. If they must leave their homes, businesses, friends, and extended families, then it ought to be to go home — to go where their citizenship is written into the very earth beneath their feet.

“To You and to Your Descendants Forever”

In 2006, Yale researchers, Edward Kaplan and Charles Small, did a study of anti-Israel feelings and how they relate to feelings of anti-Semitism. They concluded, “Even after controlling for numerous potentially confounding factors, we find that anti-Israel sentiment consistently predicts the probability that an individual is anti-Semitic, with the likelihood of measured anti-Semitism increasing with the extent of anti-Israel sentiment observed.”

That’s not to say that criticism of specific Israeli policies makes you anti-Semitic. I have publicly criticized some of Israel’s actions and policies through the years. No one is more aware than the people of Israel that their government has made an abundance of errors. The Kaplan-Small study was not talking about specific policies, but strong, general feelings of anger at the nation of Israel.

Right now that anger is sweeping across Europe. In fact, if you see a public protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza, it will probably be in Europe or the United States — and not in an Arab country. The anti-Israel rage of this century is rooted in the anti-Semitic rage that once made Europe a fertile ground for the Holocaust.

Unreasoning fear of and hatred for Jews is a result of spiritual darkness.

Jews are not better than the rest of us. Just like everyone else, their eternal destinies depend on whether they accept God’s salvation through their Messiah Jesus. Through the centuries, most Jews have rejected Jesus, and some Christians have used that as an excuse for hate. But Jews are not alone in rejecting the Lord. Lots of people-groups mostly decline His offer of salvation. So why single out Jews?

The hatred has a spiritual cause. More than anything else, Satan wants to stir people up to destroy what God says cannot be destroyed. The Children of Israel are in an eternal, unconditional covenant with the living God

Genesis 13 God gives a Covenant by His sworn oath, promising the land to Abraham and his descendants forever, “And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.’” [Genesis 13:13-14 NASB] God restates that promise and expands on it many times, making it clear that the land and the promise belong to Abraham’s son Isaac, Isaac’s son Jacob, and Jacob’s children forever. No one else in the history of the world has such a title deed that specifies the exact borders of a property forever.

All the predicted signs of the prophets about the coming of the end times of this age are here. Be sure that you have received the gift of pardon purchased for you by Jesus the Messiah when He died for you on the cross. There is no more important decision in this life than to confess that you are a sinner and ask Jesus to come into your life with His pardon. Do it now while there is still time.

By Hal Lindsey

With all of our attention focused on Israel lately, and rightly so, it may be shocking to learn that there are dramatic – actually catastrophic – events happening elsewhere in the Middle East.

On Thursday, President Obama announced that he had decided to approve the airdrop of humanitarian supplies of food and water to almost 40,000 encircled and besieged Yazidi refugees stranded on Mt. Sinjar in Iraq. He also indicated that he had approved the use of “limited” airstrikes by U.S. forces against the aggressor ISIS forces that seek to annihilate them.

Not much has been reported about help for the ancient religious community that fled to a craggy mountaintop where there is no cover from the 120-degree plus heat. Many are dropping dead from exhaustion and lack of food and water.

Had President Obama not made his photo-op press announcement before he headed off on vacation, you would probably have not heard about these breathtaking developments until they had actually become unstoppable disasters. The mainstream media, Europe, and the United Nations are too busy beating up on Israel and madly trying to recuse Hamas.

But we are witnessing what may be a complete reshaping of the situation in the Middle East. This is due to the rise of the most dangerous radical Islamic power of modern history. In fact, General Jack Keane, former Army Chief of Staff, and presently a national security analyst for Fox News, said on Friday, “This is the most significant threat to the Middle East that I’ve ever observed.”

ISIS, now calling itself simply “The Islamic State,” is the radically hardline Islamic jihadist group that was part of the movement quietly supported and funded by the United States to oppose Bashar al-Assad. It is quickly becoming evident that ISIS is a much greater threat than the West has previously thought.

While using the best of American weaponry and supported by our money, rogue elements of al Qaeda and other radical terrorist groups banded together a group of Muslim fighters. They stealthily began to organize and train a formidable army of seasoned and highly motivated terrorists.

Their radicalism is particularly focused on either converting or annihilating Christians and other religions. Their ultimate goal is to destroy Israel and the United States. They already have planned the most devastating attacks ever on US soil.

ISIS is presently fighting in Syria. It also took part this week in a significant action in Lebanon at the same time as it was capturing Kurdish and Christian cities against a well-regarded, but under-armed, Kurdish force. A group able to work on three fronts at once is impressive. This week they also took control of two more oil fields in Iraq.

They have declared the territory they control in central Iraq to be a new Islamic caliphate and have sworn to see the ISIS flag fly over the White House.

Jordan is very vulnerable to them. If Syria falls, then ISIS will be next door to Israel.

Now, before you pooh-pooh that notion because you’re not hearing it in the mainstream media (which is keeping it quiet to cover up for the administration), keep this in mind. One of the reasons Syria has not fallen to the ISIS-led opposition is because Hezbollah is in Syria fighting beside Assad’s forces. Hezbollah is Shi’ia Muslim while ISIS is Sunni Muslim, which makes them practically mortal enemies. Since ISIS is now stirring in Lebanon, Hezbollah may have to withdraw and return home to defend Lebanon. If that happens, Syria’s fall is more likely.

If more of Iraq falls, ISIS will have access to the southern oil rich region of the country. Kuwait wouldn’t have a chance. Saudi Arabia is vulnerable to them, as are the states surrounding the Saudis like Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen — the greatest oil riches of the world.

ISIS is ruthless beyond belief. So brutal that even al-Qaeda has disowned them. On one day in late July, they executed 1,500 captured Iraqi soldiers. After taking over Mosul, they created a new town charter that calls for all the women, “married or not,” to make themselves available for the sexual use of ISIS soldiers in order to “cleanse themselves” (the women).

Sadam Hussein built the Mosul Dam, in part, as a threat to the Shia population in Iraq. Remember, Saddam was part of the Sunni minority that oppressed the Shia majority. Fox News reported that ISIS captured the dam on Friday. Even if they don’t fully control it yet, it seems inevitable. I heard an expert on Iraq say yesterday that Mosul Dam is “a weapon of mass destruction,” because it threatens so much of the Shia-dominated portion of Iraq. National security expert and retired Marine Colonel Jack Kelly says that if they breach the dam, it will put Baghdad under 15 feet of water.

ISIS is not an immediate threat to the United States, but with President Obama’s initial help and subsequent blind eye, they have already undone the good of vast American effort in Iraq. They love to talk about running their flag up at the White House. Theyfully believe that will happen in the foreseeable future.

Perhaps even more frightening – and certainly more immediate – is the fact that there are at least 100 Americans and a thousand or more Europeans fighting in the ISIS ranks. These traitors have passports that would allow them easy access to the United States. To a terrorist, a European passport is like gold and an American passport is platinum! They are also cunning enough to cut their hair and disguise themselves as normal western travelers.

We Americans need to pray as never before for God to awaken and call to action the Christians that are left in our country. Satan has raised up a formidable enemy that is especially dedicated to destroying Christians. And there are fellow Americans who hate us as never before.

We need to learn our Bible promises and believe them in all situations. And we need to lead as many as possible to faith in the LORD Jesus Christ.

We are in the very last days of the Church Age. Christ’s coming for us in the Rapture has never been so obviously near as it is now. But some of us had better be ready to become martyrs for our faith. It may well happen here in America – be prepared in your faith. Maranatha!

Story from BCN. Here is the link: http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=14229

Jeremy Reynalds : Jul 21, 2014 : Assist News Service

“Whether it was to save the Muslims in Bosnia or the Albanians, Kosovars and Muslims in Serbia, it is now time for a humanitarian operation to save the remaining Christians in Iraq. It is time for the American people and our representatives to do something for our co-religionists remaining in the Middle East.” -Dr. Sebastian Gorka

Irag(Iraq)—By 1 pm last Friday, almost every Christian in Mosul had heard the message—they had until noon Saturday to leave the city. (Photo via Fox News)

According to a story by Alissa J. Rubin for the New York Times (NYT), men, women and children piled into neighbors’ cars. Some begged for rides to the city limits and hoped to get taxis to the nearest Christian villages. They took nothing more than the clothes on their backs, according to several who were reached late Friday.

The order from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) came after Christians decided not to attend a meeting that ISIS had arranged for Thursday night to discuss their status.

“We were so afraid to go,” said Duraid Hikmat, an expert on minorities who had done research for years in Mosul. He fled two weeks ago to Al Qosh, a largely Christian town barely an hour away, but his extended family left on Friday.

Since 2003, when Saddam Hussein was ousted, Mosul’s Christians, one of the oldest communities of its kind in the world, had seen their numbers dwindle from over 30,000 to just a few thousand. However, once ISIS swept into the city in early June, there were reports that the remaining Christians had fled.

IragThe NYT report said that interviews on Friday with Christian elders and leaders suggested that in fact many had hung on, hoping for a way to continue the quiet practice of their faith in the city that had been their home for more than 1,700 years. (Photo via Breitbart.com)

 

Friday’s edict was probably the real end. While a few may still find a way to stay in secret, the community will be gone.

The NYT said a YouTube video shows ISIS taking sledgehammers to the tomb of Jonah, something that was also confirmed by Mr. Hikmat. The militants also removed the cross from St. Ephrem’s Cathedral, the seat of the Syriac Orthodox archdiocese in Mosul, and put up the black ISIS flag in its place.

Ghazwan Ilyas, head of the Chaldean Culture Society in Mosul, said, “They did not destroy the churches, but they killed us when they removed the cross, this is death for us,” the NYT reported he said.

Christians are among several minorities being systematically expelled or killed by ISIS, according to a United Nations report on civilian casualties in Iraq released on Friday.

Among them are Yazidis, a tiny sect that has survived for centuries and whose theology fuses elements of Islam, Christianity and Zoroastrianism; Shabaks, who are often described as Shiites whose language is close to Persian and who take beliefs from different traditions, and Shiite Turkmen.

The Yazidis and the Shabaks are being persecuted in the Sinjar area west of Mosul, according to the United Nations and interviews with members of both communities. The United Nations has documented scores of abductions and killings as well as the destruction of shrines.

In the past few days, the NYT reported, ISIS has been setting up checkpoints along a road that the Shabaks have been using to flee the area and apprehending them, according to Shabak families who have escaped. While sometimes ISIS appears to abduct people for ransom, in many cases there have been quick executions.

The United Nations report noted that extrajudicial killings had also been carried out by Iraqi security forces and allied militias, and warned that the executions on both sides might constitute war crimes.

At least 1,531 civilians were killed in June alone, bringing the civilian death toll in the first half of the year to a minimum of 5,576, according to the joint report by the United Nations human rights office in Geneva and the United Nations mission in Iraq.

More than 600,000 people were driven from their homes during June alone, doubling the number of internally displaced people in Iraq to more than 1.2 million, the report added.

For the Christians displaced from Mosul, the NYT said, sudden departure has meant a series of treks—first to nearby Christian villages like Bartella and Hamdaniya, already badly overcrowded, then to Kurdistan, a semiautonomous region of Iraq where there is more tolerance for Christians.

As the Christians leave Mosul, ISIS has painted the Arabic letter that means “Nasrani,” from Nazarene, a word often used to refer to Christians, on their homes. Next to the letter, in black, are the words, “Property of the Islamic State of Iraq.”

The militants have also told Muslims who rent property from Christians that they no longer need to pay rent, said a businessman who rents from a Christian. The landlord now lives in Lebanon.

Many Christians interviewed by the NYT expressed a sense of utter abandonment and desolation as well as a recognition that the sound of church bells mingled with the Muslim calls to prayer, the ultimate symbol of Mosul’s tolerance, would likely never be heard again.

“We are not thinking of going back to Mosul, we have left homes with our memories,” said Omar who had just arrived in Bartella and did not give his last name. “It is a sad time for Christians.”