Saturday, December 23, 2006

[Pictured: Mount of Olives Hebrew Cemetery]

I have developed such a desire to dig into Old Testament scripture in my study of eschatology, this year I'm going to limit my Christmas readings to the Old Testament only. How is that possible? Easy - God is completely amazing: telling his prophets Isaiah and Micah what will transpire seven centuries BEFORE it happens is nothing to Him. If you're not a Christian, my prayer is that you would wrestle with this scripture and begin to ask some serious questions about who Christ is. How you answer those questions is the single most important duty of man. Christ is coming again. God is fulfilling prophesy today by gathering nations around little, seemingly insignificant Israel. Keep an eye on Israel, but most importantly make sure you're right with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Only Jesus Christ can justify you in the sight of God.

Micah 5

A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem
1 Marshal your troops, O city of troops,
for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel's ruler
on the cheek with a rod.

2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times. "

3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor gives birth
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.

4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.

5 And he will be their peace.

Isaiah 53

1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

We Know Where This is Headed

"But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief." [1 Thessalonians 5:4]

I came across a good summarization of recent quotes from Islamic leaders in the Middle East. These rulers are actively and publicly calling for the destruction of Israel.


Ahmadinejad, Iran’s President since the summer of 2005:

“... the annihilation of the Zionist regime will come.”

"The Islamic umma (community) will not allow its historic enemy [Israel] to live in its heartland."

"There is no doubt that the new wave [of attacks] in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot [Israel] from the face of the Islamic world."

“Our dear Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini] ordered that the occupying regime in Jerusalem be wiped off the face of the earth. This was a very wise statement. The issue of Palestine is not one which we could compromise on…this would mean the defeat of the Islamic world.”

“The issue in Palestine is by no means finished. The Palestinian issue will only be resolved when all of Palestine comes under stringent Palestinian rule.”

“I am hopeful that just as the Palestinian nation continued its struggle for the past ten years, they will continue to keep their awareness and vigilance. This period is going to be short-lived. If we put it behind us successfully, god willing, it will pave the way for the destruction and the downfall of the Zionist regime.”

"When I see the behavior of America, England, and their other accomplices [i.e. Canada in Afghanistan] in recent days, I get the impression that they are preparing even greater crimes. I warn them: know that the fire of the wrath of the peoples is about to erupt and overflow. If you do not put an end to your crimes, know that the ocean of the peoples will soon rage. When the peoples begin to move, they will drag everybody to the defendant's bench, and will remove them from the throne of power."

"Today, the Iranian people is the owner of nuclear technology. Those who want to talk with our people should know what people they are talking to. If some believe they can keep talking to the Iranian people in the language of threats and aggressiveness, they should know that they are making a bitter mistake. If they have not realized this by now, they soon will, but then it will be too late. Then they will realize that they are facing a vigilant, proud people."

"Today, Hizbullah in Lebanon is the standard-bearer of the resistance of all the monotheistic peoples, of the seekers of justice, and of the free people [Note: Christians are considered polytheists to Muslims because we believe in the Trinity]. Hassan Nasrallah is shouting the loud cry of the vigilant human consciences. Today, Hizbullah stands tall as the representative of all the peoples, all the vigilant consciences, all the monotheistic people, all the seekers of justice, and all free people of the world, against the rule of hegemony. Until now, with the help of Allah, [Hizbullah] is winning, and, Allah willing, it will reach the ultimate victory in the near future."

Editor’s note: At this point you should all be asking: “what does Ahmadinejad consider “ultimate victory in the near future”? Ahmadinejad is a Shiite “twelver”. He believes that he has been chosen to hasten the reappearance of the Imam Mahdi, the 12th Imam. According to Ahmadinejad, the world must be in a chaotic condition before the 12th Imam will come out of hiding. That is why there is so much concern about Ahmadinejad potentially getting nuclear weapons. This is or should be extremely scary stuff IF you have no hope other than in the “here and now”. Of course, advance notice of what WILL transpire is in Ezekiel 38 and 39 for any who are willing to hear.

From an Editorial in the Iranian newspaper Resalat, which is close to the Iranian regime:

"It must not be forgotten that the great war is ahead of us, perhaps tomorrow, or in another few days, or in a few months, or even in a few years," .The nation of Muslims must prepare for the great war, so as to completely wipe out the Zionist regime, and remove this cancerous growth. Like the Imam [Ayatollah] Khomeini said: 'Israel must collapse."

Hassan Nasrallah, Leader of Hezbollah (Political party/terrorist group in Lebanon):

"Anyone who reads the Koran and the holy writings of the monotheistic religions sees what they did to the prophets, and what acts of madness and slaughter the Jews carried out throughout history. Anyone who reads these texts cannot think of co-existence with them, of peace with them, or about accepting their presence, not only in Palestine of 1948 (Israel was declared a nation on May 14, 1948 – see Isaiah 66:8) but even in a small village in Palestine, because they are a cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment."

"If they [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."

“They [the Jews] are a cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment."

"There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel."

"One of the central reasons for creating Hizbullah was to challenge the Zionist program in the region. Hizbullah still preserves this principle, and when an Egyptian journalist visited me after the liberation and asked me if the destruction of Israel and the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem were Hizbullah's goal, I replied: 'That is the principal objective of Hizbullah, and it is no less sacred than our [ultimate] goal.' We face an entity that conquered the land of another people, drove them out of their land, and committed horrendous massacres. As we see, this is an illegal state; it is a cancerous entity and the root of all the crises and wars and cannot be a factor in bringing about a true and just peace in this region. Therefore, we cannot acknowledge the existence of a state called Israel, not even far in the future, as some people have tried to suggest. Time does not cancel the legitimacy of the Palestinian claim."

"Put a knife in your shirt, then get close to an Israeli occupier and stab him."

The last word however, comes from the only God, the God of Israel:

Zechariah 12:2-3
2 "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.
3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.

Psalm 83 :
A song, a psalm of Asaph.
83:1 O God, do not be silent!
Do not ignore us! Do not be inactive, O God!
83:2 For look, your enemies are making a commotion;
those who hate you are hostile.
83:3 They carefully plot against your people,
and make plans to harm the ones you cherish.
83:4 They say, “Come on, let’s annihilate them so they are no longer a nation!
Then the name of Israel will be remembered no more.”
83:5 Yes, they devise a unified strategy;
they form an alliance against you.
83:6 It includes the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,
83:7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek,
Philistia and the inhabitants of Tyre.
83:8 Even Assyria has allied with them,
lending its strength to the descendants of Lot. (Selah)
83:9 Do to them as you did to Midian –
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the Kishon River!
83:10 They were destroyed at Endor;
their corpses were like manure on the ground.
83:11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
and all their rulers like Zebah and Zalmunna,
83:12 who said, “Let’s take over the pastures of God!”
83:13 O my God, make them like dead thistles,
like dead weeds blown away by the wind!
83:14 Like the fire that burns down the forest,
or the flames that consume the mountainsides,
83:15 chase them with your gale winds,
and terrify them with your windstorm.
83:16 Cover their faces with shame,
so they might seek you, O Lord.
83:17 May they be humiliated and continually terrified!
May they die in shame!
83:18 Then they will know that you alone are the Lord,
the sovereign king over all the earth.

Micah 4: 9-13:
4:9 Jerusalem, why are you now shouting so loudly?
Has your king disappeared?
Has your wise leader been destroyed?
Is this why pain grips you as if you were a woman in labor?
4:10 Twist and strain, Daughter Zion, as if you were in labor!
For you will leave the city
and live in the open field.
You will go to Babylon,
but there you will be rescued.
There the Lord will deliver you
from the power of your enemies.
4:11 Many nations have now assembled against you.
They say, “Jerusalem must be desecrated,
so we can gloat over Zion!”
4:12 But they do not know what the Lord is planning;
they do not understand his strategy.
He has gathered them like stalks of grain to be threshed at the threshing floor.
4:13 “Get up and thresh, Daughter Zion!
For I will give you iron horns;
I will give you bronze hooves,
and you will crush many nations.”
You will devote to the Lord the spoils you take from them,
and dedicate their wealth to the sovereign Ruler of the whole earth.

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." Luke 21:36

Prepare our hearts Lord Jesus for your return - Amen.