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Do You Struggle With Prayer?

The Bible tells us we are to pray without ceasing, pray for those in authority, pray for all Christians worldwide, pray for our enemies, etc., etc. but how many do that? Do you struggle with prayer?  I do and I have been a Christian and an ordained minister for 43 years.

Max Lucado has come out with a new book and a video about what he calls the secret to prayer. I watched the video and I would disagree with him - that prayer is not as simple as he purports and certainly not a "pocket" prayer you can utter by rote daily. As Watchman Nee says in his books about prayer, "Prayer is work" the same as the ministry of the Word.

Bible study has never been a problem for me for I enjoy reading and studying the Word, but prayer is a different matter. Even when I was an active pastor, I found it difficult to pray due to the demands of the ministry. It seemed like I had a thousand things to do every day and somehow prayer just did not fit my busy schedule. Of course that is foolish thinking for nothing is more important than prayer, especially to a minister of God.

Then why is prayer so hard to do and I am not saying it is for everyone for I know a man of God who is highly anointed of God and his prayers bring heaven to earth. First, because he pays the price to be right with God so that nothing interferes with his prayer (the Lord told us in Isaiah 59:1-2 that our sins prevent Him from hearing our prayers). Then he sets aside a portion of his morning for prayer (gets up at 5:30 every morning to pray before his busy work day begins). In other words, he is committed to prayer and will let nothing get in his way for the morning quiet time. I have personally witnessed him cast demons out of the most difficult cases when the psychologists could not help their patients. Jesus said the casting out of demons comes by way of fervent prayer and fasting, that is, by prayer warriors and he is certainly one (See Mark 9:28).

I have prayed with him on several occasions and one thing I observed about him and his prayers - he is not hung up about methodology - the right way or wrong way - he prays like he is having a genuine conversation with the Lord and in fact he is. He enjoys prayer for He is confident in the one to whom he is praying as well as that his prayers are being heard and answered. There is a certain light spirit about his praying and I guess the proper word is "freedom". He prays with the utmost freedom and I have to admit I had rather hear him pray than my own prayer.  I guarantee you the demons are afraid of this man for he sends them to the pit by permission of the Lord. How many demons are afraid of you? How many demons are afraid of me?  I have to say, Woe is me for my prayer is lacking in consistency and power.

It is not that I do not want to pray - the want to is there, but the doing of it is my biggest problem. When you think about prayer and the need to get on your knees and pray, do you often feel a coldness or hindrance or something oppressing your spirit and mind and before you know it, you have gone on to do other things?  Then you look back and feel guilty for not praying.  Well, the difficulty you encounter is not a coincidence. No, it is Satan and demonic forces opposing your will to pray. They do not mind if you study the Word of God until you are blue in the face, but they don't want you to pray and especially become a prayer warrior (a pray warrior is someone who knows how to wage spiritual warfare praying against the forces of darkness in the heavenly realms).

The will is perhaps the key ingredient in prayer. If Satan can capture your will and bring it in subjection to him, he can render your prayer life ineffective and even non-existent. The longer you put off praying the more control he acquires until you reach a point when the will to pray is gone. When this happens your will is paralyzed and unable to respond:

2 Timothy 2;25-26 NKJV

25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Satan's will is that no Christian pray and certainly not become a prayer warrior so he gives you cold feet so to speak when it comes to praying. Capturing the will of a believer is one of the key attacks of Satan against believers in Christ Jesus.  Watchman Nee writes in one of his many books, that if a minister of God fails in prayer, he fails in everything. The same can be true of every Christian.  Prayer is work and not for the lazy and faint-hearted.  Getting up early in the morning to pray takes commitment and a strong resolve (will). You have to work at it and let me tell you a secret, it is not easy and will never be easy. Many times you will not feel like praying due to physical illness or weariness (didn't get enough sleep or under a lot of stress), but that is when we should pray for prayer lifts the burden of the spirit and has a calming and healing effect on the mind and physical body. I can attest of the many times I have not felt like praying and yet when I exercised my will to fight the opposition to pray, afterward my spirit was lighter and the burdens released knowing that I had prayed in the will of God and that He had answered by prayer. By the way when is prayer answered - after you pray or before? Jesus told us the answer:

Mark 11:24 NKJV

24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

We are to believe we have the answer to our prayers WHEN we pray not afterward. In fact, that is the key to ANSWERED prayer. God is not going to answer a single prayer if we do not believe in our OWN prayers, more importantly have absolute faith in the object of our prayers - our Lord and God. If we do not believe IN GOD, and that He hears our prayers and ANSWERS them as we pray, then we have done nothing but fill the air with empty words.

The less we pray the weaker our will to resist the devil becomes. Prayer actually keeps our spirit and our will strong. Neglecting prayer will cause our spirits to shrivel-up and become useless to God.  The same is true of our will (we are all born with a free will and it is up to us what condition it is in; the Calvinists teach man does not have free will, but he does, otherwise, God could send us all to hell and He would have the right to do so, but if He did that it would make the cross of our Lord Jesus non-efficacious and a lie; the cross of itself proves man has free will to accept God's forgiveness or reject it; if man has no free will, then there would be no reason for the cross. Why would Jesus die for the sins of the whole human race if God only chooses some to salvation and the rest can go to hell? Well, He doesn't. The cross was necessary for all mankind are sinners, but in the cross we find forgiveness and acceptance by God if we are WILLING to accept his salvation - clear and simple).

Our free will is very important to God and also to Satan. Actually our will is the highest faculty of our soul (the soul is the mind, emotions and will) for the will is most involved in salvation and in obeying God. It is also very important in prayer.  Prayer starts with the will to pray. We need to pray and we want to pray, but do we will to pray and do so consistently?  Again, if our will is weak because our spirit is weak, and/or the devil has captured our will in order to make us obey him, then we cannot pray as we should, and in fact, cannot pray at all. If you are one reading this and you are struggling with prayer to the point your either find it difficult to pray or you cannot pray, then you need to understand one of two things. Either you are not saved or neglect of prayer and having a clear conscience, has rendered your will and spirit unable to respond to the Holy Spirit's promptings to pray. This is the time to go before the Lord and ask Him to examine your heart and reveal the true condition, even the status of your salvation. I know what some are thinking, doesn't God only hear the prayers of the saved? Well, if you are genuine in your search for the truth, the Holy Spirit will reveal the true condition of your heart for that is His business - to convict the loss of their sin condition.

If we are honest, we all struggle with prayer and it is best to admit it and bring it before the Lord. God is a big God and there is nothing He has not heard or seen man do. He is not taken by surprise by our sin no matter what it is and He is certainly not surprised that we struggle with prayer. Just go before Him and admit you don't pray like you should or perhaps you have quit praying. A good start would be, "Lord I don't know how to pray and my will is weak to pray. Teach me how to pray and Father may the Holy Spirit strengthen my will to pray at all times without ceasing". I guarantee you God will not fault you for praying that way. In fact, He will be delighted in your total honesty and WILL ANSWER YOUR PRAYER.  If it is a matter of salvation, He will also  reveal that too.

We serve and worship an awesome God rich in love, mercy and grace, slow to anger and willing to forgive. He wants to have a daily conversation with us, but the onus is on us to engage Him.

May the Lord give us all a heart and mind to be prayer warriors.

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Sharing


Bush (43) Library

I recently celebrated my birthday (October 25th) and my sweet wife of 22 years, surprised me with a planned curriculum for the day. We began by having breakfast at one of the top breakfast restaurants in Dallas - Crossroads Diner. The food and service were excellent. I had pancakes, biscuits, gravy, eggs, bacon and coffee. The pancakes and biscuits were delicious (their original recipe). It was by far one of the best, if not the best, breakfast's I have had. If you are in Dallas and want a great breakfast, I highly recommend Crossroads Diner located on Walnut Hill. 

Then she told me to head south on I75 to the President George W. Bush Library. We were there for about 5 hours. Great experience and lots of history to see and remember. The Oval Office was an exact replica of the one George W. used when he was president. Even the Rose Garden immediately outside the Oval Office is an exact copy of the original. A historian gave a 45 minute presentation of things that went on in the Oval Office when George W. was president as well as how it became known as the "O" office.

There are thousands of memorabilia about George and Laura Bush including how they met and the Texas Governor and White House years. Several of the dresses Laura wore when heads of state visited the White House are on display as well as the many gifts given to them by foreign dignitaries. Of interest to my wife, was the very expensive jewelry - one was a beautiful necklace made of rubies and diamonds. We guesstimated the value at over a million dollars.

As we made our way through the library reading the many articles and watching several videos it was obvious President Bush poured his heart and soul into the job of being our president. In the 8 years he was president, he never missed the early morning intelligence briefings contrary to Barack Obama who seldom attends. Recent revelations vindicate him about WMD in Iraq, which the Pentagon chose to keep hidden from the American people.

I suppose the things that stood out the most to me were the way he handled 9-11 and his love for the military and their love for him.  President Bush (43) took charge of a nation demoralized by the terrorists attacks on 9-11 and united the nation around the effort to locate and destroy those who knocked the buildings down just as he promised standing in the ruins of the World Trade Centers next to one of the firefighters and speaking to the nation via a megaphone. He worked tirelessly in directing  Gulf War II as our Commander-In-Chief, not like fancy pants in the current Oval Office that doesn't have a clue how to wage a victorious war against a violent and barbarian army in Iraq - ISIS.

President Bush had a deep love and commitment to our military serving in harms way and he personally felt the pain of every soldier killed or wounded. As as result the military men and women fighting a war on two fronts returned that love to him because they knew he had their back - something our military does not feel with Obama.

The liberal Democratic Party severely demonized President Bush (43) while giving fancy pants Obama a free ride even though his policies and lack of leadership have greatly weakened our nation and we are no longer held in high esteem by our allies or our enemies.  When President Bush was president our enemies knew he would come after them and use whatever method necessary to protect the American people including water boarding. Our allies also knew President Bush could be counted on to lead the free world. There were a couple of times I teared-up listening to his speeches and watching his affection for our military. I could not help but recite those words with a little alteration Obama has used against President Bush and the GOP - "Are we better off since George W. left office"?  The truthful answer is, No we are not, not by a long shot. There were several people around us voicing that sentiment as well as how much they missed President Bush (43). If he were president today, ISIS would be on the run not gaining ground and beheading babies as they did this week in Iraq.  The blood of these little babies as well as all the innocent people ISIS has murdered are on the hands of Barack Hussein Obama.

If Obama had used the full force of our Air Force to include B-52 carpet bombing the entire ISIS army would be in hell not ravaging the land, murdering, slaughtering, and raping the people. His reluctance to use strong force against a brutal wicked of the wickedest enemy will come back to haunt him and our nation.  He should be tried for treason against the United States for several things, but failing to take a vicious enemy seriously tops them all.

There are many other things I could write about if time permitted. Anyway, I highly recommend visiting the Bush (43) library on the SMU campus. It was a great experience. By the way, if you plan to go, be sure and eat at the cafe (Cafe 43) - the food is delicious.

Voting

My wife and I voted early for the upcoming election on November 4, 2014. Even though I am not officially a Republican (left the party in 2010), I voted straight Republican ticket. Why did I do that?  One reason, the keep the Demon-crats out of office.  The Democratic Party has been hijacked by leftist liberals and is corrupt to the bone. They will do anything to win elections. Have you noticed recently the voter fraud that is cropping up in various states?  GOP votes are going to Democrats via the software owned and controlled by a foreign company in Spain. We knew that was coming when the decision was made to give them the license to produce the software for the voting machines.  Our voting machines should be 100% produced, owned, and controlled by America.

I encourage all Christians to vote as well as all conservatives. Do not stay home as many of you did in 2012 - some 2-3 million evangelical Christians did not vote in 2012 and what did we get - Barack Obama for a second term and Obamacare!  See my article, "Do Christians Have An Obligation To Vote"?

I am not saying the GOP doesn't have its own corrupt politicians for it does, but a GOP win might set the tone to move the country back to the right-center and if they kow-tow to the democrats or to liberal policies we can get rid of them. 

Of course, the Lord God has the final say in whatever goes on in this wicked world and I think He is getting ready to make his Voice known! 

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Franklin Graham Says Obama Does Not Understand Islam

"Franklin Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, the chief of Samaritan’s Purse and an evangelist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, says President Obama, like President Bush before him, just doesn’t understand Islam".

Read the full article. 

BWV Comment

I would agree/disagree with Franklin Graham.  President Bush (43) thought he needed the Arab nations to support his war against terrorism and therefore did not want to alienate the so-called moderate Arab/Muslims by criticizing Islam in general. Therefore, he never referred to the terrorists as radical Islam and sought to appease the Muslim world by saying Islam is a peaceful religion. Obama on the other hand grew-up in a Muslim world even attended Muslim school. As as young boy in Indonesia, he had to study and learn the Qur'an. Unlike Bush, Obama knows first-hand the Qur'an teaches a world-wide Islamic Caliphate as well as Jihad against the infidels - all non-Muslims. He also knows that Islam's prophet, Muhammad, taught that Muslims are to live in peace with the infidels until their numbers and strength are equal to or surpass that of the infidels. When that is achieved, Muslims are to conduct holy Jihad and conquer the non-believers (infidels) either by conversion to Islam or by killing them.  He also taught Muslims not to befriend a Jew or Christian. 

Obama believes deep down in the core of his being that Islam is superior to Christianity and that is why he is sympathetic to Muslim causes and reluctant to go to war with any Muslim nation including ISIS. Franklin Graham mentioned Obama's favoritism toward Muslims in contrast to Christianity as well as calling Islam a false religion and it is, so I applaud him for having the boldness to tell the truth about a barbaric religion. Islam is the scourge of the earth and is sending billions to the Lake of Fire. No Christian should endorse, promote or speak of Islam as a peaceful religion for it is anything but that as well as sealing the fate of its adherents in eternal torment.  

The so-called peaceful moderate Muslims that believe the Qur'an is a holy book and that it is superior to the Bible will die in their sins for believing a lie for Muhammad did not believe Jesus was the Son of God or that He died on the cross for the sins of lost humanity.  Muslims reject blood sacrifices for sin - animal or human for two reasons: (1) they deny the doctrine of original sin and (2) they do not believe blood sacrifice adds to divine grace or is equal to repentance. The Qur'an teaches that sin (there are actually 5 words in the Qur'an that define sin) at its core, is a violation of the teachings of Muhammad. Any Muslim that commits sin can be forgiven if he genuinely repents and turns back to Allah. There is no mediator between Allah and a Muslim other than the Qur'an. This is why they get so worked-up when a non-believer desecrates the Qur'an or speaks ill of the prophet Muhammad.  To do so is the same as committing blasphemy against Allah. 

Obama knows all this for he cut his teeth on it as a young Muslim studying Islam in Indonesian. President Bush has no such insight into Islam. To President Bush (43) Islam was more a political ideology that a few bad apples had hijacked and were giving it a bad name. He wanted the so-called peaceful Muslim nations to fight alongside him in the global war against terrorism. He did not understand that Islam is a religion that controls the life of all Muslims including their politics. It is the code they live by 24/7.  Both Gulf Wars were fought primarily by the United States and Great Britain with a little help from the Arabs.  

There was no way Obama was going to reveal his true heart of being a Muslim while running for president of the United States. He knew to have done so would have ended his political career before it even got off the ground for America is not going to elect a Muslim as president, at least for the time being. I think when his presidency is over, he will come out of the closet so to speak.  Most Muslims, particularly the orthodox ones, believe Obama is a Muslim and think he is lying about being a Christian. I agree with them.

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Michele Bachmann Threatened By ISIS

"WASHINGTON – The danger posed by ISIS to Americans has come to the homeland for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and a national publication may be making the ominous threat even worse.

Politico has reported federal officials are taking an online threat to the congresswoman so seriously she in now under 24-hour protection by a security detail.

However, Politico may be adding fuel to the fire by incorrectly reporting that the congresswoman had called on President Obama to declare war on Islam.

“Bachmann has been publicly critical of not only ISIL, but also Islam, calling on President Obama to declare war on the religion during a speech at the conservative Value Voters Summit at the end of September,” reported Politico.

The political website appears to have taken the remarks, particularly the word “war,” greatly out of context.

From the text of her speech, it appears Bachmann is clearly calling for war on the Islamic State.

She does cajole President Obama to recognize how a “radical ideology” that comes from Islam motivates jihadis such as the Islamic State, also called ISIS.

But she never calls for a war on Islam.

The following is the relevant text of her speech to the Value Voters Summit on Sept. 26 in Washington:
“It’s because we have jihadists who are subscribing to this radical ideology that believes that dying in the name of Islam gets them to heaven. This is spiritual warfare, and what we need to do is defeat Islamic jihad. (Cheers, applause.)

“Sadly, our president has the wrong prescription. He even failed to acknowledge their motivations for bringing about jihad. Yes, Mr. President, it is about Islam. (Cheers, applause.) And I believe that if you have an evil the order of this magnitude, you take it seriously. You declare war on it, you don’t dance around it, just like the Islamic State has declared war on the United States of America. You kill their leader, you kill their council, you kill their army until they wave the white flag of surrender. That’s how you win a war.”

BWV Comment

What ISIS hates most about Michele Bachmann is that she is a Christian and they have declared Christianity public enemy number one. Obama doesn't especially care about Christians and has said that if the whole world turns against Islam, he will side with them.  Think about that statement. A president of the United States standing with our arch enemy and the enemy of Christianity ought to send cold shivers down your spine.  The audacity of ISIS to threatened a United States Congress woman and Obama says nothing is deplorable!  We know which side he is buttered on! 

Our intelligence sources including several reputable retired military generals and admirals have warned that ISIS is more than likely already in our country from our Southern porous border with Mexico.

Last night Fox News did a report based on research done over 10 years ago by our intelligence departments concerning terrorists bringing smallpox into our nation by way of a dirty bomb. It would quickly spread and impact the whole country. The same thing could be done with Ebola. ISIS terrorists could purposefully infect themselves with the Ebola virus, enter our country and blow themselves up sending minute pieces of infected flesh into the public domain. The virus would spread like wild-fire and the country severely crippled.

I tell you as I do almost daily that if we as a nation do not repent of our many sins and turn back to serving the living God - the Lord Jesus Christ, this scenario may become more than a possibility.  If homosexuality and same-sex marriage are allowed to dictate public policy in this nation while silencing all opposition, then we will be in reality the United States of Sodom and Gomorrah and we know what happened to those cities. 

God is not going to sit idly by and allow perversion to destroy a nation that has a significant Christian population without sending judgment.  However, that is based on the premise that Christians are interceding for the nation and the Church to repent.  If Christians do nothing, America can be destroyed.

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Obama Says The Constitution Guarantees Same-Sex Marriage In All 50 States

"WASHINGTON – Four years ago, Barack Obama was undecided about the legality of same-sex marriages".

"Two years ago, he said he personally supports same-sex marriage, but that each state should decide for itself".

"As of today, his views have changed again – stating, in an interview with the New Yorker, that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriages in all 50 states".

“Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] does guarantee same-sex marriage in all 50 states,” Obama said. “But, as you know, courts have always been strategic. There have been times where the stars were aligned and the Court, like a thunderbolt, issues a ruling like Brown v. Board of Education, but that’s pretty rare. And, given the direction of society, for the Court to have allowed the process to play out the way it has may make the shift less controversial and more lasting.”

BWV Comment

When the leader of a nation supported by the Judicial System and Congress promotes, legalizes, and punishes people of faith for opposing same-sex marriage thereby making it a doctrine in the earth according to Luke 17:28, the judgment drums of God are beginning to beat and the angels are preparing for their mission to carry out orders from the divine Court of Heaven. Today the 32nd state approved same-sex marriage, which means the United States of America is now 64% a Sodomite kingdom. It won't stop at 32 but will quickly move to all 50 states as Obama purports. When that happens (it may happen before it reaches a full 50 states), the judgment of God will not be held back, it will fall upon America and no one will doubt the source for it will come out of heaven.

Obama is spiritually blind and leading America directly into the Almighty hand of God (the hand of God in the Bible is a reference to judgment not blessing). He thinks what he is doing is right, but he is in defiance of the truth and has rejected the counsel of Holy Writ. God holds leaders responsible for the direction of a nation and for the consequences of His judgments. What I am saying is Obama has blood on his hands for what is about to take place and he will be held accountable at the judgment bar of God.  The people are not without fault for they elected Obama twice even though his policies and positions on homosexuality and abortion were well known.  He is also on record for praising Islam and the Qur'an while criticizing the Bible on more than one occasion in a mocking scornful tone. He is nothing but a wolf in sheep's clothing and you can place his AG in the same category.

Our nation is being led by ungodly men and women who do not know the true God, the Lord Jesus Christ. They may quote from the Bible when it suits them, but they do not know the God of the Bible. If Obama were a true Christian (don't be foolish, look at his fruit as Jesus told us to do) he would be taking a stand for the Word of God and leading the nation in righteousness? Do you believe Obama, the Supreme Court and even Congress is leading the nation in righteousness? If you do, then you do not know what righteousness is. There is nothing righteous about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. It is a moral degrading sin that will bring judgment upon the practitioners and the nation - make no mistake about it.

Look what has happened since the Supreme Court refused to hear the cases on same-sex marriage - Ebola came to the United States; homosexuals are lining up to unite in an unholy union; states are rushing to condone homosexual marriage; pastors in Houston, Texas were sued by the Lesbian mayor to produce their sermons, emails, speeches, etc. and a Christian pastor and his wife that refused to perform same-sex marriages are being told to either comply with the law and perform the weddings or face imprisonment and a fine of a $1000 a day.

Contrary to what Barack Hussein Obama said about the Constitution guaranteeing same-sex marriage, it does not in the whole body of the document allow for the punishment of Christians that exercise their First Amendment rights in opposing Sodomy. IT DOES NOT! 

Tonight as you prepare to go to bed, get down on your knees and pray for the United States of America and particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ that we will be given an extra measure of grace and understanding when the judgment falls and fall it will. 

When God makes the final decision to judge a nation nothing will avert it - NOTHING, NOT EVEN PRAYER - read what God told Jeremiah: 

Jeremiah 7:12-16 (NASB)

2  "But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel.
13  "And now, because you have done all these things," declares the LORD, "and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer,
14  therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.
15  "I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim.
16  "As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you.

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What Is A Pastor's Principal Responsibility; How Does Joel Osteen Measure Up?

I receive many emails attacking me for my article on Joel Osteen about whether or not he is a true prophet of God. A biblical prophet is someone called of God to speak the Word of God in two ways - to forth-tell and to fore-tell, that is, to speak the Word of God that applies to present issues and also to preach and teach the prophetic Scriptures concerning future things (Note: that does not mean giving extra-biblical prophecies - those not supported by the written Word). 

I don't watch Mr. Osteen because I don't care to hear a motivational talk, which is nothing more than a prepared memorized speech. Anyone with basic intelligence and a gift for speaking can do that, but getting a Word for God and delivering it in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit is a vast difference. When I attend Church, I want my pastor to open the Word of God and teach the "meat" not the milk.  Shallow milk-toast sermons or speeches are for the immature, but meat, the deep things of the Word are for the spiritually mature. The writer of Hebrews sharply rebuked the Jewish Christians he was addressing for their shallowness - they didn't know much about the Word, but were still majoring on elementary things:

Hebrews 5:11-14 NKJV

11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The opposite of unskilled is to be skilled in the Word of righteousness, that is, know the depths of the Scriptures via much study and prayer. In fact, we are ALL commanded to know how to rightly handle the Word of Truth:

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

A pastor should be highly skilled in the Word of God, that is, know the doctrines of the Bible and then teach them systematically to the saints so they can grow in the Word and knowledge of God and that does no mean to be men-pleasers - teach what they want to hear, but to present the whole counsel of God even those things that are convicting and hard to swallow.

Paul told a young pastor, Timothy, to preach the Word in season and out of season, when it was convenient and when it was difficult. Notice he said, preach the Word not give motivational speeches. 

2 Timothy 4:2-5 (NASB)

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; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
4  and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
5  But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

This one passage describes Mr. Osteen's approach to pastoral ministry - to give those who attend his Church a positive motivational talk not what they need to hear. His method of speaking (not preaching for he does none of that) is "topical" which is to find a topic then go to the Scriptures to find a text to support it. This kind of ministry is not only difficult, but guarantees the Church will be full of baby Christians that know little about the Word unless they are personally committed to their own study. 

The pastor should come before his people every Sunday or whenever they have worship and TEACH FROM THE BIBLE, that is, open to a text, read it, and then massage it thoroughly comparing Scripture with Scripture and explaining the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew texts from which the English Bible is translated.

My wife and I decided to listen to Mr. Osteen's speech last Sunday so we turned on the TV channel he is on and watched his program.  He always says the same thing every Sunday, which is, "I like to start with something funny" - I wonder if his congregation gets tired of hearing that?  By now everyone knows he is going to tell a joke before he starts his speech whether or not it has any connection to his speech.

His topic was "Unfinished Grace" and it had some good points, but was it the meat of the Word? Did his congregation leave knowing how to rightly handle the Word of truth and to walk in the power and discipline of the Holy Spirit? Did they learn anything about the division of body, soul, and spirit which is essential for growing into a spiritually mature Christian? Did a lost person hear the gospel and know they are sinners in dire need of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus? 

Osteen, while he holds up a Bible and has the congregation repeat a same-old, same-old mantra about being a Bible believer, he never opens the Bible to preach from it. He lays it on the pulpit beside his written speech. Then he delivers his ear-tickling motivational speech to a large audience soaking up HIS WORDS! 

There are 622,771 words in the Old Testament and 184,590 words in the New Testament for a total of 807,361 words. That is almost a million words, yet Osteen's message was primarily "his own words" even though he quoted a few Scriptures and spoke briefly about them. There are also 23,145 verses in the Old Testament and 7958 verses in the New Testament for a total of 31,103 verses plus 137 unnumbered verses in the Old Testament.  In addition, there are 1189 chapters in the Bible - 929 in the Old Testament and 260 in the New Testament. Finally there are 66 books on the English Bible - 39 in the Old and 27 in the New.  You would think with that much Bible material, Mr. Osteen could find a biblical text to preach from. 

God has given us this marvelous book, the Bible, that contains a plethora of information no one has mastered including the most eminent scholars. How very shameful to ignore it and for a pastor, how irresponsible.  My advice to Mr. Osteen is to discard his motivational speeches, which is more "his" carefully selected words ABOUT SOME BIBLE TOPIC that will not offend anyone, particularly homosexuals and other religions and God forbid if the word SIN is ever mentioned, take the Word of God in his hand and thoroughly teach the TEXTS OF SOLA SCRIPTURA!  Be a God-called preacher of the whole counsel of God and not a popular motivational speaker for one day we shall all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and give an account of all that we have said and done and the Bible is very clear that the shepherds (pastors) shall be even more accountable to the Chief Shepherd - the Lord Jesus Christ.

So how does Joel Osteen stack-up against the principal responsibility for all God-called pastors?  I will let you decide that for he is to be held accountable according to the Scriptures not according to how popular he is with the world and the religious people.

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Response To Comments, Joel Osteen Article

 I seldom respond to emails regarding my article about Joel Osteen (See at http://www.thebiblicalworldview.org/is-joel-osteen-a-false-prophet/) because they usually are not willing to admit the many facts about Osteen's extra-biblical ministry when it comes to taking a bold stand for the truth of the gospel and the Word of God. As Dr. Ben Carson recently said, the "facts" are what they are and denying them does not change them.  


In addition, I am certainly not the lone ranger when it comes to criticizing Osteen's "men pleasing make-me-feel-good" statements about sin, etc. His own words define him as Jesus said, "We will know them by their fruits" (in the context of that statement, He was referring to the things that come out of our mouth - our words). Osteen has made numerous statements that he does not deal with sin and that makes him in opposition to Sola Scriptura, particularly as it applies to the lost world for it is written in John 16:7-11 that it is the primary work of the Holy Spirit to convict the world (sinners) of sin, righteousness and judgment. Let's break this verse down in its several parts to understand the interpretation:

John 16:7-11 (KJV)

7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9  Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10  Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.


First, He is to reprove the world of SIN.  The Greek word for reprove is ἐλέγχω (el-eng'-kho) and means to convict, convince, rebuke, and admonish.  How does he do that - by the presentation of the gospel from the mouth of a true minister of God and/or genuine believers? The Holy Spirit doesn't convict anyone without the gospel message (See Romans 10:14-17). Ministers of God are commissioned to preach the gospel message that all are sinners by birth and choice and will die in their sins and go to hell unless they repent in this lifetime and believe the gospel which is that Jesus died (was crucified), was buried and in the grave three days and nights and rose bodily from the grave the third day and has ascended back to heaven where He is now at the right hand of the Father in heaven making intercession for all the saints.

The Greek word for sin is ἁμαρτία (hamartia) from harmartano (singular), which is describing the "sin nature" not necessarily SINS in the plural sense. Sinners (ἁμαρτωλός, ον - hamartolos ) commit sins - harmartia. Paul makes it abundantly clear in his great letter to the Romans that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that we inherited a sin nature from Adam at birth - Romans 5:12 (Yes, all babies are born with a sin nature, but if they die before reaching the age of accountability to know right from wrong, they are protected by the shed blood of Jesus just as the Old Testament saints [believers] were until the deliverer [Yeshua-Jesus] came to provide the acceptable sacrifice as the Lamb of God). I've had Jewish Rabbi's and Jews attack me for that statement - that we inherited a sin nature from Adam and they try to use the "baby thing" to disprove it.

So the Holy Spirit's ministry to the lost world is to first convict them they are sinners (ἁμαρτωλός, ον - hamartolos) by birth and choice, not make them feel good about themselves or that they are okay the way they are as Osteen teaches. He does not make the sinner-hood of man known to the thousands that attend his Church and to the millions that watch him on TV as well as when he appears as a guest to such liberal unbelievers as Oprah Winfrey (she is New Age); Ellen Degeneres (a lesbian); Larry King (a lost Jew - Osteen was on his program several times) and several others. One of the first questions they all asked him was, "Do you believe homosexuality is a sin and do non-Christians go to hell?"  See my article referenced above for his exact answers to those questions - they are pathetic and lacking in straight-forward honesty about the Bible's position on sin and hell. Osteen does not want to rock the boat and lose his popularity with the world and the religious people that follow him.  By the way, believers commit sin also after being saved and need to confess those sins in order to abide in constant unbroken fellowship with the Lord.

One person recently emailed me in opposition to my article about Osteen and said that "he did not make her feel at all like a sinner, but made her feel good on the inside". She just defined Osteen to a "T" and proves by her very own words that she prefers to have her ears tickled by a popular but dubious minister than to be convicted by the bold preaching and teaching of the gospel message and the discipline of the Holy Spirit to bring believers into total obedience to the Word of God. Genuine salvation and genuine Christianity are not to make us feel good, but to submit to the discipline of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in subduing our soul life and the body of sin in order to become spiritual people. That takes a lifetime of obedience to the Holy Spirit as He leads us to obey the Word of God:

2 Timothy 4:1-4 (KJV)

1  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)

12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Until a believer understands and has spiritual knowledge backed by experience of the dividing of soul and spirit, they are not spiritual in their walk with the Lord. Most believers think the Christian life is all about struggling with the body of sin, but it is more about subduing the soul life (the self life). If a believer is still struggling with the sins of the body long years after being saved they are CARNAL and not SPIRITUAL. They are in essence spiritual immature babies.

Well, we need to finish our study of John 16:8.  The second aspect of the Holy Spirit's ministry is to reprove the world of righteousness.  Again the world reprove means to convict and rebuke. The answer to this second work is found in Romans 3:9-10:

Romans 3:9-10 (KJV)

9  What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Most people, especially in today's world, do not understand the difference between righteousness and goodness. There is none that is good enough to enter the Kingdom of God in heaven or on this earth - None, notta, not a single person no matter their pedigree. God demands that we must be righteous in order to attain eternal life and enter into the glory of that experience. Righteous is what God is and sin is the opposite of His being. All human beings are born in sin and lack the righteousness of God. Righteousness is given to human beings upon the basis of faith and faith only not religious works, but by acceptance of the finished work of Yeshua Jesus on the cross - the shedding of His blood and resurrection from the dead. The Holy Spirit's presence in our redeemed reborn human spirit is the evidence that God has imputed His righteous (See 2 Cor. 5:21) to our account (lives), that is, forgiven us of our SIN DEBT for without the Holy Spirit no one will see the Lord.  Therefore, the second work of the Holy Spirit is to convict all people that they lack the righteousness of God.  For there is only one who is righteous in His being and that is the Elohim God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You can feel good about yourself and end-up dying and going to a devil's hell - GOODNESS IS NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS!  That is the ministry of the Holy Spirit - not to make us feel good about ourselves, but to convince us that we are in fact NO GOOD SINNERS!   By the way, after we are saved, the only "good works" are those the Holy Spirit works in us. If they are not done under His control they are still carnal sinful works.

Last, the Holy Spirit's ministry is to reprove the world (sinners) that the devil, the prince of this world, has been judged and his power to enslave the human race in unforgiven sin leading to death and hell is now broken by the death of the Lord (shedding of His blood upon the cross) and resurrection.  When Christ died and came out of the grave on the third day, He proved the devil no longer has the power of death over those who place their faith and trust in Him, otherwise, He could not have been raised from the dead.  Death cannot hold a truly righteous person in its power. That is why there is coming a day when the saints shall be raised from the dead and receive their glorified new bodies. While the devil is the prince and power of this world system (unbelievers) and works night and day to blind the lost world to the truth of the gospel in order to send them to hell and the Lake of Fire, he has no such power over the saints who have put their absolute faith and trust in Yeshua-Jesus.

Now, in view of all this and it is factual biblical truth, please tell me and show me where Joel Osteen preaches and teaches this kind of a doctrine, that is, the kind that convicts lost sinners and sinning Christians of their inherent sin nature and the need for confession and repentance of sin in order to be forgiven. And please tell me or show me where Osteen makes it clear that all people regardless of ethnic or religious background or lack of it including homosexuals, Jews, Muslims, Hindu's, Buddhist's, etc. without repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus will die in their sins and go to a devil's hell. The truth is, no one can because he does not MAKE THE GOSPEL MESSAGE CLEAR - that all have sinned and come short of the glory and God and none are righteous no not a one.

I was also amused by this person's email that attempted to make Osteen out to have some benevolent ministry.  Few things with Osteen are benevolent as he charges a fee for about everything he does and lives a life of luxury - something the New Testament apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors never experienced. In fact, they lived with the commonest of means and suffered greatly in a rich Roman world for their bold stand for biblical truth.  Osteen and his wife live in a mansion, drive expensive cars and wear the finest of clothes.  All of his seminars, speaking tours, and crusades are not FREE!  He recently preached at Yankee stadium and all who attended had to pay a fee to hear him speak. In contrast, Billy Graham, in 60 years of ministry held numerous crusades in many stadiums around the world and never charged a fee. His ministry was based entirely on love offerings.  Attend one of Osteen's services at his church and notice how many times the offering plate is passed. Billy Graham still lives in the same modest home he purchased many years ago in North Carolina and has not become a multimillionaire as has Osteen and his wife. The majority of the love offerings given to the Billy Graham ministries goes to preach the gospel to the world, not to live in material luxury. 

Listen to sermons Billy Graham preached throughout his ministry and particularly when he was younger and compare them to Osteen's motivational speeches. The comparison is daylight and dark as Billy Graham made the gospel message CLEAR - that all people are sinners and need to repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Billy Graham also took a bold stand against social sins such as abortion and homosexuality. However when he became older, he watered down his message somewhat and I do not applaud him for that. In addition, find some videos or texts of Billy Graham's several guests appearances on the TV shows and he always without fail spoke bold truth when asked the tough questions on abortion, homosexuality, marriage, etc. His son, Franklin Graham is even bolder that his father.  Franklin Graham never misses an opportunity to share the gospel when he is invited as a guest on TV.  Have you noticed Franklin is seldom invited to appear on the liberal networks, but Osteen is for they know he will say what they want to hear - that they are okay the way they believe and live! 

Anybody who cannot see through Osteen, that he is not a true New Testament Minister of the gospel, is unwilling to admit the truth and prefer to have him tickle their ears with his non-confrontational speeches. If the blind lead the blind, they both shall fall into the ditch.

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Supreme Court In Refusing To Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases Just Cemented the Judgment of God Upon America!

The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to hear the same-sex marriage cases meaning the lower courts rulings overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage opens the door for the destruction of traditional marriage in all 50 states. In fact, the article says same-sex marriage will soon reach 39 states or 78% of all states and eventually will become law in all 50 states.

Bill Gothard, of the former Basic Youth Conflicts era, predicted in a 1976 seminar in Dallas, TX that when any nation condones and legalizes homosexuality, the judgment of Almighty God is not maybe, but certain. I predicted and wrote an article on this back in 2003 when SCOTUS struck down the Texas Sodomy Law that it would eventually spread to all 50 states, that is, recognition and the legalization of perversion. I also said their 2003 decision was a fulfillment of Luke 17:28 where the word "planted" in the Greek language means to instill a doctrine in the earth. That is exactly what SCOTUS has done today and in 2003.  

What does this all mean biblically and prophetically? It means we will soon be a 78% Sodomite nation and in a short time 100% modern Sodom and Gomorrah!  I have written several articles about the certainty of God's judgment on the United States when America is a majority Sodomite nation. We are there folks!

These are not happy times for America but a very sad commentary on what happens to a nation when it forgets God or cast Him aside! 

Prepare for judgment for it is coming!!!  How do we do that - on our knees in prayer and our face in the Word!

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BWV Comment

 This is such an important article, I decided to post it in its entirety instead of referencing the link. Hope you will take the time to read it as well as to understand what is taking place in the Western world involving multi-culturalism. It is fulfilling Daniel 2:41-45. What is important to note is that the Bible promises the Lord shall return in the time when the 4th world power (Rome and the extension of empirical Rome - the nations that came out of her - The EU and the colonial powers - the United States, etc.) is weakened by multi-culturalism. France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States are weaker not stronger because of non-assimilation of third world countries, particularly the Hispanic and Muslim ethnic groups. As I have written many times, a trip to Costco is like attending a United Nations general assembly - everyone speaking a language other than English. 

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 Movie - The Left Behind Theology


Coming October 3 to a movie near you - Left Behind starring Nicholas Cage. This is a reboot of the previous movie, Left Behind, the Movie. It is based upon the fiction novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins about a pretribulation rapture in which Christians are taken out of the world (do not taste death) before a horrible 7-Year tribulation period in which those left behind experience. The thing to note is that the books written by LaHaye and Jenkins are fictional not FACTUAL and so is the movie by the same name - Left Behind.

Both LaHaye and Jenkins have become wealthy from their series of books on Left Behind. A close examination of their writings reveal heretical statements such as anyone taking the Mark of the Beast can be forgiven and saved. What does the Bible say about that situation?

Revelation 14:9-12 (KJV)

9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
12  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

This is a good time to read my book, The Day of the Lord, the Key to Understanding End-Time Prophey, A Critical Examinaton of Pretribulationsim. In the book I expose the fallacy of pretribulationism.

You can order a discounted copy from my website for $15.00 - a $14.00 savings off the retail price of $29.99 .   Send us an email with your name and address and we will forward you a copy of the book. Upon receipt please forward a check in the amount of $15.00 to Dr. Allen M. Barber, DBA as The Biblical Worldview.

Thank you.

Dr. Allen Barber

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The Antichrist And The Muslim Mahdi - Part 2
Michael Youssef

In my last article, I explained the Judeo-Christian understanding of the Antichrist, and that he will somehow be intertwined with Israel, and more specifically, Jerusalem.

Because Islam borrowed a great deal from Judaism and Christianity, it is not surprising that they too have a figure with a messianic complex—the Mahdi, or the Guided One.

Muslims see the Mahdi as a savior who will lead a global revolution and establish a worldwide Islamic empire. The Mahdi will rule the earth as the final Caliph of Islam (a caliph is both a political ruler and a spiritual representative of Allah on earth).

Muslims revere Jesus (whom they call Isa) as the Masih or Messiah. In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi will arrive at the same time that Isa returns. Isa will descend to earth in Syria, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes, and will assist the Mahdi, who will rule over the earth for seven years (or, in some Islamic traditions, nine or nineteen years). At the end of the Mahdi’s rule, there will be a Day of Judgment for the entire human race.

The parallels between the biblical Antichrist and the Mahdi of Islam are chilling. Both are associated with the End Times and the Judgment. Both possess political, military, and religious power, and head up a one-world religion. The Mahdi will force all non-Muslim people to convert to Islam. Like the Antichrist, the Mahdi will establish Jerusalem as his capital, from which he will rule the earth. Islamic scholars Muhammad ibn Izzat and Muhammad Arif write:

The Mahdi will be victorious and eradicate those pigs and dogs and the idols of this time so that there will once more be a caliphate based on prophethood as the hadith states. . . . Jerusalem will be the location of the rightly guided caliphate and the center of Islamic rule, which will be headed by Imam al-Mahdi. . . . That will abolish the leadership of the Jews . . . and put an end to the domination of the Satan who spit evil into people and cause corruption in the earth, making them slaves of false idols and ruling the world by laws other than the Sharia [Islamic law] of the Lord of the worlds.

Though Muslims revere Jesus as a prophet, they deny that Jesus is the Son of God. Jews and Christians are, to Muslim fundamentalists, “pigs and dogs” who must either convert to Islam or be eliminated. Bible prophecy makes it clear that the Antichrist will target Jews and Christians for destruction, just as Islamic prophecy states that the Mahdi will wage war against Jews and Christians. Those who oppose the Antichrist’s worldwide religion will be executed.

Muslim scholar Imam Muhammad Baqir states clearly how the Mahdi will establish his one-world religion: “There must be bloodshed and jihad to establish Imam Mahdi’s rule.” And Ayatollah Ibrahim al Amini of the Religious Learning Center in Qom, agrees: “The Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and Christians; if they accept it, they will be spared, otherwise they will be killed.”[ii]

Daniel tells us (and Jesus affirms in the Olivet Discourse) that the Antichrist will establish “the abomination that causes desolation” in the temple in Jerusalem. The apostle Paul adds that the Antichrist “will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Since the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., as Jesus predicted, this has led some (not all Christians) to suggest that the Jewish temple must be rebuilt on the Temple Mount before the Antichrist can be revealed to the world.

Yet the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque stand on the Temple Mount today. One of the Islamic Hadiths (traditions) records that their Prophet Muhammad said, “[Armies carrying] black flags will come from Khurasan [Iran and Afghanistan], no power will be able to stop them and they will finally reach Eela [the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem] where they will erect their flags.” In Islamic tradition, black banners symbolize violent conquest, and Muslims await the Mahdi’s conquest of Jerusalem, when he establishes his reign from the temple site.

Daniel 9:27 tells us the Antichrist will establish a seven-year covenant with Israel—but he will break the covenant after three and a half years, defiling the temple with “an abomination that causes desolation.” The Hadiths of Islam also speak of a seven-year covenant that the Mahdi makes with Israel: “The Prophet said: There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans. The fourth will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadrat Aaron [Honorable Aaron, the brother of Moses] and will be upheld for seven years.”[iii]

There can be no doubt: Muslims are preparing to accept the Mahdi as their leader—and the Mahdi is indistinguishable from the world leader we know as the Antichrist.

I bring all of this to your attention so we can have a knowledgeable perspective when viewing current events unfolding in the Middle East.

But Christians should not fear.

Regardless of whether the Antichrist comes in this generation or a hundred years from now, those who have placed their faith in God’s Messiah, Jesus the Christ, fear no one nor even death. Their eternity is secure in the one who is the only one to defeat death and rise from the grave.

BWV Comment

The author says the "Muslim Mahdi is indistinguishable from the Antichrist". However, while there are certainly parallel's, the Antichrist (actually Anti-Messiah) will use the Islamic religion to in an attempt to eradicate Christians and Jews as did Hitler in WWII, but he will be of Jewish descent as well as the false prophet. The Jews are looking from one to come from among them to fill the shoes of the Messiah and to sit on David's throne and for Elijah to precede him.  Islam does not fit that role no matter how it may appear to be the case.  The locusts army of Revelation 9 might in fact be the ISIS army for notice in that chapter they come from the region of the Euphrates River where Iraq is located. I will write more about this in a subsequent article.  

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The Antichrist And the Muslim Mahdi (Part I)
By Michael Youssef


"Many people—religious and non-religious—are asking questions about a word they hear the media use when referring to ISIS and other Islamist jihadists. That word is apocalyptic, which is used when specifically referring to the fatalism of Islamists".

"People wonder, why do so many Muslims (both Sunni and Shiite) operate with such an “apocalyptic,” end-of-world mindset?"

BWV Comment

Those who read my website, know that I differ with Joel Richardson and those who predict the Antichrist and False Prophet will be Islamic. I believe there is strong biblical evidence both will be Jewish. Satan is the arch deceiver and has hidden the end-time truth about the AC and FP within international Gentile Freemasonry, specifically Kabbalism and the Anti-Semitism movement as well as Islam, which has gained world attention by the current crisis (actually began with the rise of Islam in 610 A.D. by its prophet, Muhammad and his writings - the Qur'an, which was completed in 622 A.D. (Some say Muhammad wrote the Hadith and the Sunna, but the historical record denies that; in fact, according to Muhammad himself, he was forbidden to utter anything not in the Qur'an). The year 622 A.D. marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.

Christ Yeshua-Jesus predicted as recorded in the Matthew's gospel, Chapter 24, that after Him would come many false prophets and false messiah's and that there would be wars and rumors up to the very end. In the beginning years of Islam, it split off into two groups, the Sunni's and the Shiite's, which have been at war with each other evidenced by the current war with ISIS whereby they are killing large numbers of Shiites (ISIS fighters are Sunni; Saddam Hussein was a Sunni). The real enemy of both Sunni's and Shiites are who they define as the infidels, particularly the Western nations and more specifically Christians and Jews.

Based on this and much more that I don't have time to share here, it is my position that the Harlot of Revelation 17 will be the amalgamation of all world religions - Islam, Judaism and Apostate Christianity led by the Vatican (Pope). The previous Pope Benedict made a religious alliance with the Rabbinate in Israel that Yeshua-Yeshua was not the Messiah the Jews were looking for as well as the Old Covenant is still in effect as the means of salvation for the Jews. That is apostasy spelled with a capital "A". The False Prophet is not the same as the Harlot.  The False Prophet has two horns upon his head (a horn in Scripture means power and authority).  Here is what the Bible says about the False Prophet:

Revelation 13:11-18 (NKJV)

11  Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
12  And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13  He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
14  And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
15  He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
16  He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
17  and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18  Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

Notice, the False Prophet (the passage does not refer to him as the False Prophet but the Second Beast - the Greek meaning of the second beast is another of the same kind) has ONE PRIMARY MISSION - TO PROMOTE THE FIRST BEAST OR THE ANTICHRIST.  The Harlot is polytheism or the worship of many gods. The Harlot and the False Prophet are going to be at odds with one another for the False Prophet will promote the worship of one god - the Satanic Antichrist, which involves sorcery and witchcraft. While Islam is monotheistic so is Christianity and Judaism.  Apostate Christianity is not genuine Christianity, but a false form of it. The Pope's have through the years, and especially Pope John Paul II, embraced many religions, that is, their gods are the same as the Christian god as long as they are sincere in their worship/belief. That happens to be heresy, but it was also the position of Pope Benedict and based on comments of the current Pope, his position also.

While the orthodox Jews deny the existence of Yeshua-Jesus or if he was in fact a historical Jew, he was a false prophet and is today residing in the fires of hell, Islam teaches that Yeshua-Jesus was a real person and a prophet of God, but not God in human flesh. They believe Jesus will return with the 12th Imam (Madhi) and be subordinate to him in establishing a world-wide Caliphate. The radical brand of Islam believes the 12th Madhi will return during a period of great upheaval and turmoil and in order to expedite his coming, they also believe it is their mission or duty to wage war against the infidels, thus guaranteeing his soon arrival.  This is the underlying reason for the sudden appearance of ISIS in the Middle East - to promote the appearance of the 12th Imam (Madhi).  It would be strange bedfellows for a Muslim False Prophet to promote a Jewish Antichrist or a Muslim Antichrist to join forces with a Jewish False Prophet. Since Revelation 13 says both beasts will be of the same kind - same religious and political ideology, it be illogical for them to be of different religions, even though both Islam and Judaism are false religions.  

A Muslim Antichrist and Muslim False Prophet or a Jewish Antichrist and Jewish False Prophet will better fit the context of Revelation 13. However, Yeshua-Jesus said something that gives us a clue into the religious nature of the Antichrist when He told the Jewish Pharisees that He came in His Father's name and they rejected Him, but one would come in his own name and they would accept him. 

John 5:43 (NKJV)

43  I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.

Moses, who was a prophet and a Messiah figure told the Israelites before his death that God would raise-up from among them (the Hebrews - Jews) one like Him whom the people would listen to (Joshua did not fit that bill). Was Yeshua-Jesus making reference to a non-Jew in the John passage?  The context points to a Jew not to a Muslim. Was Moses referring to an Arab or Muslim?  Certainly not for Islam did not come into existence until 622 A.D. Anyway, the Jews are not going to accept a Muslim end-time prophet or Messiah. The book of Malachi predicts that the Jews are looking for and expecting for Elijah to arrive on the scene before the Messiah:

Malachi 4:4-6 (NKJV)

4  "Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
6  And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."

Yeshua-Jesus told the disciples that John the Baptist fulfilled the Malachi prophecy, but the orthodox Jews did not believe Jesus was the promised Messiah, therefore, they rejected John as the Elijah-type whose sole mission was to promote Yeshua-Jesus. In blind ignorance, the modern day Rabbinate teach the second coming appearance of Elijah (He was taken into heaven alive and did not see death) and the first coming appearance of the Messiah. For what purpose; to promote the establishment of a world-wide Jewish kingdom to subordinate the Gentile nations.  What are the Muslims looking for; the 12th Imam in order to establish a world-wide Islamic Caliphate and to enforce Sharia law upon the world. Both happen to be wrong. Messiah Yeshua-Jesus will return to setup His throne and millennial Kingdom where He (not either a Jewish or Muslim kingdom) will rule the nations with a rod or iron.  His Bride, the Judah Church (the overcomers) will rule alongside Him):

Revelation 3:14-22 (NKJV)

14  "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
15  I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
16  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
17  Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked--
18  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
20  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
21  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." ' "

Notice who is ruling and reigning with the Lord, not the Jews, not the Muslims, not the residue of the Gentiles or even the whole Church, but the overcomers. They alone will reign with the Lord - Yeshua-Jesus.

Satan is confusing the world with false religion and as the Holy Spirit told us in the Book of Daniel, only the wise will understand the end-time scenario:

Daniel 12:5-13 (NKJV)

5  Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank.
6  And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?"
7  Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
8  Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?"
9  And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10  Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
11  And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
12  Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.
13  But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days."

Who are the wise? The Bible has the answer:

Deuteronomy 4:5-6 (NASB)

5  "See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it.
6  "So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'

Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV)

24  "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26  But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
27  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."

Wisdom comes from one source - the whole counsel of God - the BIBLE!  There is a worldly wisdom but it is not godly wisdom:

1 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV)

20  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1 Corinthians 3:18-19 (NKJV)

18  Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness"; 

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Articles On WWIII, Gog And Magog, Armageddon

You might know as I was planning to launch the new series on the subject titles, a wrinkle would develop. There was a problem with my host provider  servers (2nd time in one month) that prevented my ability to login to my website and post articles. I understand some readers could not access my site also.  My site appears to be working this morning so I will post the first article today; also will post an article involving a dialogue with a lost Jew who took issue with an article I wrote about Yeshua-Jesus fulfilling Deuteronomy 18:15:

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 (NLT)

15  Moses continued, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.
16  For this is what you yourselves requested of the LORD your God when you were assembled at Mount Sinai. You said, ‘Don’t let us hear the voice of the LORD our God anymore or see this blazing fire, for we will die.’
17  “Then the LORD said to me, ‘What they have said is right.
18  I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him.
19  I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf.
20  But any prophet who falsely claims to speak in my name or who speaks in the name of another god must die.’

In my article, I said this was a prophecy in which Yeshua Jesus fulfilled. He took the usual Rabbinical position that the passage was speaking of Joshua, not Yeshua-Jesus. From that he went into a diatribe on a number of issues in denial of Yeshua-Jesus, the New Covenant, etc. I do not usually respond to Jews that are closed-minded to the truth, but decided to in this case.

While Joshua was a great leader of Israel, he was no Moses (remember when Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate, Lloyd Bentson, told Republican VP candidate, Dan Quail, in the debates, "You are no Jack Kennedy"). The Lord God said he spoke face-to-face with Moses and no other prophet (Moses actually never saw the face of the Lord, but did have several one-on-one conversations with the Lord; Moses asked to see the Lord, but as the Lord told him no human could see His face and live, so he allowed Moses to see his backside as he passed by him having hidden Moses behind the cleft of the rock). Moses fasted 40 days and 40 nights without food or water not once but twice. He preformed great and awesome miracles by the Spirit of God before Pharaoh and the Israelites. Deuteronomy 34:10 says, "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face". That verse is very clear that Joshua did not fulfill Deuteronomy 18:15, but the lost Jewish man denied that.

Are you aware that when Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and told them THEIR TRADITIONS ruined the Word of God and made it of no effect to the hearers, He was making reference to their Babylonian Talmud as well as Kabbalism?  Well, He was.

The reason I am going to post our dialogue (his name will remain confidential) is to show you why modern orthodox Jews do not read the same Bible as we do, but instead substitute the Babylonian Talmud as their so-called Bible.  In the dialogue he admits the Talmud is his main point of theological reference. It took personally witnessing to many Jews before I learned they were not reading and studying the same Tanakh (Old Testament) I was. The Talmud is a rabbinical (Pharisees, for they are the original Rabbinate) commentary on the Tanakh and reflects their traditions rather than pure Sola Scriptura.  Incidentally, he claims to have been a Christian for 30 years, but saw the light of Judaism and walked away from Christianity, which he calls a cult. You will be surprised and amazed how he denies and twists the Scriptures in many areas.  According to the Book of Hebrews 10:26-31, he is an apostate and I told him so. Anyway, I will try to post the first article on the dialogue today along with the first article on WWIII, etc. 

Please understand that my website ministry is not my primary and only vocation and I have to write and post articles as I have time. My primary vocation is professional recruiting, that is I recruit and staff high-level candidates in the manufacturing, engineering and energy industries. My intent and hope was when I came online in 2007 with BWV ministries it would develop into a full-time ministry, but the donations never allowed that to take place, so I devote what time I can to it.

Blessings in Yeshua-Jesus
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This article is posted in the Church and Israel Section, but it needs to be understood today given our world situation. 

Further Insights on the Church and Israel:

Sometimes dialogue shared with the readers of my website is beneficial for all, so I am posting this dialogue with another reader and a dear brother in Christ regarding this controversial and confusing subject.  

[Yes, we need bold prophets warning America and the Church that God's wrath is going to be poured out on this ungodly nation unless we repent AS A NATION!  We have gone to far beyond the point of no return without judgment.  The nation is becoming more Sodomite every day with more states legalizing same sex unions (I will never call it marriage for it is not marriage rather it is fleshly lust in total disregard for the truth of the Word of God and I have Scripture to back me up on that).  I think that is why the Spirit of God would not let me walk away from the website.  

I looked at the link you gave me and immediately recognized several of the speakers - theologians having one thing in common - traditional dispensationalists.  A careful read of the New Testament does not promote such a doctrine, but instead promotes the Church as the centerpiece of God's divine plan for the ages. Paul called the Church a mystery in that the Jews never realized they would need to become one entity or one body with the Gentiles, which is the Lord's Church. Jesus said He would build HIS CHURCH not the kingdom of Israel.  Not one apostle preached the coming kingdom of Israel or the restored monarchy, but they preached the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church.  Paul gave his discourse in Romans 9-11 to prove that God is sovereign in dealing with nations and people. He was sovereign in rejecting faithless Israel and Judah, but spared the remnant of Judah.  He is also sovereign in choosing the believing Gentiles to be grafted into the Olive Tree (Jesus) along with believing Jews.  He also warned both Jews and Gentiles that if they remained in unbelief they would be cut out of the tree.  Traditional dispensationalists really butcher the text of Romans 11, but they have to in order to preserve Israel as the chosen people.  God certainly choose the Hebrews to bring His Word to the world as well as the Messiah, Lord and savior of the world and in that sense they were chosen. However, the testimony does not stop there. Christ made it very clear just as He rejected ancient Israel for perpetual disobedience (stubborn stiff-necked people), He also pronounced a curse upon the spiritual barren nation in Matthew 23 and said it would never bear any spiritual fruit and it has not.

God has allowed the Fig Tree (See Jeremiah 24 - two kinds of Fig Trees) to appear again in the last days in order to fulfill prophecy in regard to Jacob - Joseph and Esau - Edom as both are merged into the modern day Israeli nation. He is going to allow the Antichrist and the Beast System to expose and purge out the rebellious unrepentant rebels from Judah once and for all.  The remnant will be delivered from the jaws of the Antichrist at Christ's Second Coming, that is, the survivors of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. The wrath of God (the bowls) will be directed to the Antichrist and his kingdom worldwide - those having the Mark of the Beast. It is not going to be directed at the nations or people that resisted the Antichrist and many will. He will not have a walk in the park.  As I explain in the Day of the Lord book, the phrase, "And all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26) is from the Greek root word "sos" and the primary word - "zoe" which means to be made whole. However, the root "sos" means to deliver as to protect not necessarily to save (salvation). The Lord will first deliver the remnant from Antichrist then will appear to them as Messiah. It is then they repent and mourn not only for themselves, but for their stubborn hard-hearted forefathers that refused to believe the truth.  They will finally realize their nation put Jesus to death. However it was the sovereign will of God for them to do so. The Lord used their hard-hearts to accomplish the crucifixion of Jesus as well as to fulfill prophecy for the Passover Lamb - he had to be put to death by the Priesthood.

The Lord will give this believing remnant their own piece of real estate inside the kingdom to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant for perpetuity, but they are not part of the Bride of Christ - the Church that receives spiritual flesh in the First Resurrection.  All flesh will one day have to become spiritual in order to exist in the eternal state.  This is why Paul said we shall all appear before the Lord, but each "man" in his own order.  I don't think many understand what Jesus meant when He said that although John the Baptist was the greatest of all the prophets, yet those that inherit spiritual flesh in the coming Kingdom shall be greater than John. The Lord was telling those Jews their quest to have the physical earthly kingdom restored cannot hold a candle to the spiritual Messianic Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Why? Because resurrected and raptured glorified spiritual flesh is superior to nonspiritual flesh even though many in the kingdom will be just that  - saved but dwelling in an nonspiritual body of flesh much like we are today.  Resurrected and glorified spiritual flesh is eternal and void of any sin nature, which means that mankind has returned to what God intended for Adam - that Adam would have eternal uncreated life like God.  Adam blew that when he took part in the deception and ate the forbidden fruit. In essence, the whole purpose of what God has been doing for 6000 years plus is to bring man back into the Garden Of Eden. That will finally be accomplished on the 8th Day or the eternal age when we all live in the New Jerusalem.

All of those Old Testament prophecies about Israel's future glory must be understood in the New Covenant doctrine of Christology.  All prophecy is fulfilled and consummated in Christ Jesus not in an earthly Israeli kingdom.

When you think about it, If God actually blinded all the Jews during the 2000 years of the Church Age, then those who died outside of Christ went to a devil's hell without a choice. On the other hand, if God is going to resurrect these dead unbelieving Jews and save them, then His Word is a confusing hodge-podge of preference, yet He says he has no favorites. He favors those who accept His Lamb - the Lord Jesus and makes them into "one body" and a "One New Man."  

All this attention to Israel as the Chosen People makes the Church a lessor entity and refocuses the message of the gospel away from Jesus and His Church. Again, He said, I WILL BUILD "MY CHURCH" AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT STAND AGAINST IT.  He did not say, I will build again the monarchy of the House of Israel and make her the glory of all the nations. When the Old Testament prophets said that God will raise up again the tabernacle of David, that was figurative and predictive of the Lord's succession to the throne of David.  Jesus told the Pharisees that they would destroy the temple, but He would raise it back up after three days.  He was speaking of His Body -  the spiritual temple of God for all must come to Him and through Him to become a spiritual temple connected to Him via union of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus also told the woman at the well that all who would worship God must do so in Spirit and Truth not in a physical earthly temple.

The subject is not that confusing when we allow the whole context of Scripture to speak for itself and not clouded over by pseudo-theologians that prefer to protect their own dogmas.

Dr. Allen M. Barber  

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Will The Tribulation Begin A Year From Now?

"Where has the world headed since the first blood moon on Passover of 2014? Our world has now gone past the tipping point, and events are now accelerating out of anyone’s control. Just as ISIS has gone from the JV team to the A team, along with events spreading from Russia to Ukraine and planes being shot out of the sky, we see everything developing exponentially".

Read the full article.

BWV Comment

In my article on the 120-Year End-Time Generation, I predicted that it could end in 2017-2018 because I saw the first budding of the fruitless fig tree in 1897 with the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland (ref. Matthew 24). Beginning in March-April 2015 and going to September-October 2018 is 3 1/2 years on the Sacred Calendar (See Exodus 12 where God changed the calendar to the first month (Abib) - March-April whereas before it was in September-October (Tishri).  The world was on the civil or Noah calendar until Exodus 12.  The Romans changed the calendars many times so the secular world operates on Babylonian-Roman confusion time with January being the first month. There are many calendars in this world, but only one that God operates on and that is the Sacred Calendar because He has tied the prophetic years to coincide with His Seven Feasts - Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles (See link -http://www.brandonweb.com/sermons/sermonpages/leviticus2.htm). 

Note: the Old Testament prophets only dealt with the time, times and half-a-time or 3 1/2 years, which most prophetic scholars agree is the Great Tribulation or the last period of Satan's rule of planet earth before Yeshua-Jesus returns on the posttrib Day of the Lord.  What about Daniel's prophecy predicting a 7-year period of tribulation that many believe begins with the Antichrist confirming a covenant with the "many" - probably the Jews and Arabs and then in the middle of that 7-year period breaks the covenant and begins to persecute the Jews and Christians?  As far as I know no such covenant has been confirmed unless we have missed something. 

A man that that calls himself Jacob sent me a very detailed prediction in which he has figured out the precise time (month, day and year) for the beginning of the tribulation, the mid-point, the end of the tribulation, the day of the Lord, the rapture of the Church and the kingdom reign. I must admit his study of the Scriptures, the Zodiac and the Pyramid of Giza is impressive and his calculations supported by much research including convincing mathematical data is amazing. Is he right? Well, we will soon know for he predicts October 5, 2017 as the first day of Tribulation. He goes into a lot of proof for that date.  If he is correct, then we have about 3 years and 17 days before the final seven years begins. There is no use in giving all the dates he has predicted as mentioned previously because if his October 5, 2017 date is incorrect so will all his predictions.

He also believes the posttrib day of the Lord is one-year long making the second coming in 2025.  That would make the 120-Year end-time generation beginning in 1905, yet in all my research I cannot find anything biblically significant as it affects the Fig Tree - Israel occurring in 1905.  There was an edict signed by the Czar of Russia on March 3, 1905 giving the Jews some relief including cancellation of debts, but I don't think that is a significant event in Bible Prophecy.

Those who put a lot of attention on the Blood Red Moons leave out as having no prophetic importance the Sun becoming as a sackcloth of ashes or blotting out and thereby covering the earth with an eerie blackness.  The Blood Red Moons and the Sun completely darkened are always used together by the Old Testament prophets and the Lord Jesus Himself, never separately.

Joel 2:30-31 (KJV)

30  And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.  

Matthew 24:28-36 (KJV)

28  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Notice that Yeshua-Jesus quotes from Joel in the Matthew passage and also notice that He mentions the Black sun and the Blood Red Moon in conjunction with the budding and maturation of the Fig Tree, that is, as occurring in close proximity to the two celestial wonders. The secular fruitless Fig Tree (Israel) shall appear again in the last days and will be a sign that generation will not end until the Son of Man - Yeshua-Jesus returns. In the interim, the tribulation period and the Day of the Lord occur. The Black Sun and the Blood Red Moon take place on the posttrib Day of the Lord and will be the signs in the heavens announcing the final wrath of God in the seven bowls of wrath and the Lord's descent back to earth and the setting up of His kingdom.  

In any case, we are nearing the very end of this generation in which you and I live.

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The Bible And The Future of Gaza

Joel Richardson

"As the focus of the world is now fixed on the Gaza Strip, students of the Bible would do well to stop to consider what the ancient Hebrew prophets had to say about the future of this little piece of land. Let’s consider a few passages. First, according to the Scriptures, the return of Jesus and the subsequent judgment will largely revolve around what the prophet Isaiah referred to as, “the legal cause,” or “the controversy of Zion”:

For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the cause of Zion. (Isaiah 34:8)

"No doubt, today the “controversy of Zion” rages throughout the nations, as the state of Israel seeks to crush the Gaza-governing Hamas, a group with the stated goal of exterminating the Jewish people and setting up their capital in Jerusalem. Read the full article.

Richardson, who is a traditional dispensationalist, sees God's controversy of Zion as having to do with God judging the descendents of Esau for their perpetual hatred of the Jews (Israel). However, I suggest you read my article on Replacement Theology and the Controversy of Zion in the Section titled, The Church and Israel Contrasted, for a non-traditional and I believe a more biblical and historical understanding of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.

Richardson also mentions the Valley of Jehoshaphat when God will execute his (Richardson's) understanding of the Controversy of Zion - see an excellent article on the two valley's of decision at http://focusonjerusalem.com/thevalleyofdecision.htm

The following article by Dr. Jones, The Land War, provides excellent commentary on what is actually transpiring in the land of Israel involving the wars between the Jews, Arabs and Palestinians:


Chapter 13: The Land War
Judaism and the Traditions (Precepts) of Men
Classic Judaism’s Teaching About Zionism
Basic Doctrine of the Gush Emunim
Ariel Sharon
Legalized Theft of Land is Covetousness
 
CHAPTER 13: The Land War

Zionism, by definition, is a movement that envisions the entire Middle East under Jewish ownership. Many Zionists teach that it is their duty to “redeem the land,” and by this they mean the land must come under Jewish ownership. The land is redeemed when it is taken from non-Jews, who are said to have “satanic souls,” and transferred—one way or another—into Jewish hands.

Judaism and the Traditions (Precepts) of Men

The underlying problem is that, regardless of their religious claims, these people do not believe either Moses or the prophets. Of course, we write from our Christian perspective. We do not expect adherents of Judaism to agree with Jesus or His followers who wrote the New Testament. Jesus said in John 5:45-47,

45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?

Jesus said that the Jews did not believe Moses, and that this was the reason they would not believe Jesus and accept Him as the Messiah. They believed only the traditions of men, which Jesus severely condemned (Matt. 15:1-8). Jesus concluded in verses 7-9,

7 You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.

These precepts, or traditions, were written down from about 50 B.C. to about 500 A.D. in a body of Jewish literature called the “Talmud.” There are actually two Talmuds: the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud, each developed in its own area. This is the sacred literature of Judaism. It is NOT the Bible, not even the Old Testament. In Professor Graetz’ book, History of the Jews, Vol. 2, page 634, we read that . . .

“. . . the Babylonian Talmud rather than the Jerusalem Talmud became the fundamental possession of the Jewish race, its life breath, its very soul.”

Dr. Israel Shahak writes on page 5 of his very scholarly book, Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel,

“Jewish fundamentalists believe that the Bible itself is not authoritative unless interpreted correctly by talmudic literature.”

Dr. Shahak was an Israeli citizen in Jerusalem for over 40 years until his death on July 2, 2001. He was a professor emeritus of Organic Chemistry at Hebrew University as well as a human rights activist. Dr. Shahak further writes on page 25,

“The teachings of the biblical prophets, the books of Job and Ecclesiastes and numerous other parts of the Bible are studied neither in the heders [elementary schools] nor the yeshivot [talmudic schools of higher learning] and are therefore unknown to the Haredim [fundamentalists].”

Dr. Shahak is telling us that the religious rabbis do not normally study the Bible itself. They study the traditions of men, which is what men SAY the Bible teaches. The Talmud is often diametrically opposed to the teaching of the prophets themselves.

The Talmudic teachings seldom reflected the real teachings of the Bible. It is often assumed among Christian circles that Jews only need to add Jesus to their Judaism in order to get the perfect religion. This is not true. The Talmud plus Jesus does not equal Christianity.

Jesus, prior to His birth in Bethlehem, was the Lawgiver, the God of the Old Testament. Jesus came to manifest to the world the true meaning of the Scriptures, including the Law. He did this by example and by teaching. His teaching contradicted the chauvinistic teaching of the religious leaders of the day. For this reason, instead of repenting of their false teaching and rebellion against God, they crucified Him.

Classic Judaism’s Teaching About Zionism

After the fall of Judea and the cessation of the temple rituals in the first century, the rabbis could not help but understand that God had done this to them because of their sin. However, they never believed that they sinned in crucifying the Messiah. Yet the famous Talmudic passage in Tractate Ketubot, page 111, laid the foundation of Jewish thought on the Messiah and the Holy Land. Dr. Shahak writes about this on page 18 of his book,

“. . . God is said to have imposed three oaths on the Jews. Two of these oaths that clearly contradict Zionist tenets are: 1) Jews should not rebel against non-Jews, and 2) as a group should not massively emigrate to Palestine before the coming of the Messiah. (The third oath, not discussed here, enjoins the Jews not to pray too strongly for the coming of the Messiah, so as not to bring him before his appointed time) . . . During the past 1,500 years, the great majority of traditional Judaism’s most important rabbis interpreted the three oaths and the continued existence of the Jews in exile as religious obligations intended to expiate the Jewish sins that caused God to exile them.”

Yet there was one dissenting rabbi named Moshe Nachmanides, who died in the year 1270. Speaking of this rabbi, Dr. Shahak says (p. 19) that he . . .

“. . . opined that Jews should not only emigrate to but should also conquer the land of Israel. Other important rabbis of that time and for many centuries thereafter ignored or strongly disagreed with the view of Nachmanides.”

“In the 1970’s, seven centuries after his death, Nachmanides became the patron saint of the NRP {National Religious Party in the Jewish State] and the Gush Emunim settlers.”

The Gush Emunim (“Block of Faithful”) is the primary settlement movement in the Jewish State that is messianic in its ideology. That is, while they reject Jesus as the Messiah, they are messianic in that they are looking for another messiah that is more to their liking—such as Barabbas, Bar Kokba, or the Eliezar ben Jair, the leader of the Assassins (Sicarii) at Masada.

The Chief Rabbi of Palestine from 1920-1935 was Avracham Yitzhak Hacohen Kook (1865-1935). He was the primary rabbi who developed the most extreme form of Zionism. In 1935 his son, rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook succeeded him at his death as head of the NRP until his own death in 1981 at the age of 91.

In 1977 the NRP formed a “holy alliance” with the newly-formed coalition of extreme Zionist parties founded by Ariel Sharon with the help of Menachem Begin. It is called the Likud Party. This was when the Gush Emunim began to exert a huge influence on Israeli policies, particularly in regard to the settlement movement in the occupied territories.

Basic Doctrine of the Gush Emunim

Rabbi Kook was primarily influenced by the ideas of Rabbi Yitzhak Luria, who was the founder of the most influential school of Cabbala or "Kabbalah" (Jewish mysticism) in the 16th century. Luria’s book, The Gates of Holiness, taught that all non-Jews have satanic souls. According to Rabbi Hayim Vital, who was Luria’s chief interpreter,

“Souls of non-Jews come entirely from the female part of the satanic sphere. For this reason souls of non-Jews are called evil, not good, and are created without [divine] knowledge.” [quoted from Shahak’s Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, p. 58]

This same teaching was echoed by Rabbi Schneerson, who was the head of the Lubovitcher Hassidic movement and lived in New York until his recent death. On page 59, 60 Dr. Shahak quotes from Schneerson’s book of recorded messages entitled, Gatherings of Conversations:

“. . . the body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the world . . . An even greater difference exists in regard to the soul. Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness.”

This teaching is not new in the circles of Judaism. The Talmudic writing called Midrasch Talpioth says,

“Jehovah created the non-Jew in human form so that the Jew would not have to be served by beasts. The non-Jew is consequently an animal in human form, and condemned to serve the Jew day and night.”

Since it seems to be insulting to a Jew to equate Zionism with racism, we will not do so. We leave this for the reader to discern. But the basic doctrine of the Gush Emunim is that other people’s land belongs to Jews alone. They get this teaching, not from the Bible, but from the Talmud, where we read in Schulchan Aruch,

“All property of other nations belongs to the Jewish nation, which consequently is entitled to seize upon it without any scruples. An Orthodox Jew is not bound to observe principles of morality towards people of other tribes. He may act contrary to morality, if profitable to himself or to Jews in general.”

This Talmudic teaching is their “tradition” of what the Old Testament teaches. As a Christian, I disagree with that tradition, even as I disagree with the Christian tradition that the Jews are to be admired for their Zionistic zeal. In my view, the Bible calls this theft. Later, on page 61 of Dr. Shahak’s Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, he mentions:

“Ariel Sharon was the Rebbe’s favorite Israeli senior politician. Sharon in turn praised the Rebbe publicly and delivered a moving speech about him in the Knesset after the Rebbe’s death.

This sheds much light on the personal ideology of Ariel Sharon in his treatment of non-Jews. It explains why the Arabs hate him above all Israelis.

Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon’s own autobiography, Warrior, tells us much about him, although he omits many things and lies about that which he is forced to admit. He was just 20 years of age in 1948, so he was too young to join the terrorist organizations of Begin and Shamir during the 1940’s. But he then joined the military and soon rose to higher ranks.

On October 14, 1953, Ariel Sharon, commander of “101 Unit,” was just 25 years of age when he dynamited 56 houses of Kibbiya (or Qibya) one night, killing 67 civilians who were trapped inside and not allowed to leave. Sharon tells the background of this raid in his own words, writing on pages 85 and 86 of Warrior,

“At times the successes were mixed with tragedy and sometimes controversy, as happened at the village of Kibbiya in mid-October. The raid on Kibbiya was mounted in response to a particularly horrendous incident at the town of Yehud, where terrorists murdered a young mother named Susan Kanias and her two infants, one and three years old, while they were asleep. The police investigation indicated that the killers had infiltrated from the direction of Kibbiya, a Palestinian village near the border . . . .

“The paratroop officer and I were informed that General Headquarters had decided to carry out a retaliatory operation against Kibbiya . . . .

“This would be the first major Israeli reaction to Arab terrorism. . . .”

On page 88, Sharon continues the story:

“The orders were clear. Kibbiya was to be a lesson. I was to inflict as many casualties as I could on the Arab home guard and on whatever Jordanian army reinforcements showed up. I was also to blow up every major building in the town. A political decision had been made at the highest level.”

In Sharon’s book he excuses himself, claiming he did not know there were people in the houses. He says on pages 89, 90,

“According to the radio, sixty-nine people had been killed, mostly civilians and many of them women and children. I couldn’t believe my ears. As I went back over each step of the operation, I began to understand what must have happened. For years Israeli reprisal raids had never succeeded in doing more than blowing up a few outlying buildings, if that. Expecting the same, some Arab families must have stayed in their houses rather than running away. In those big stone houses where three generations of a family might live together, some could easily have hidden in the cellars and back rooms, keeping quiet when the paratroopers went in to check and yell out a warning. The result was this tragedy that had happened.”

Sharon tries hard to make people think this was just a “tragedy,” over which he had no control. And yet he says specifically that his orders were to inflict as many casualties as possible. Where did he expect those casualties to come from, if not from civilians? It was, after all, a “reprisal raid” for an attack on a civilian Jewish woman and her two children, killed by an Arab “terrorist” who had no right to oppose Zionist immigration and conquest of his own land.

The incident forced David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, to make a public apology for Sharon’s actions. However, Sharon makes it clear that he was only acting under orders—Ben Gurion’s orders! Frankly, I believe he tells the truth here. In fact, Sharon’s willingness to murder Arabs is why he rose in the ranks of the military. Sharon writes a very revealing paragraph on page 250 of his book, Warrior,

“Years before, not too long after I had taken over the paratroopers, Dayan had once said to me, ‘Do you know why you’re the one who does all the operations? Because you never ask for written orders. Everyone else wants explicit clarifications. But you never need it in writing. You just do it.’ Now it was almost twenty years later and absolutely nothing had changed. Anyone other than Dayan would have carefully formulated an order describing what should be done and defining the parameters of the intended action. But from him there was only a signal, the nod of a head. That meant, as it always had, ‘Do what you want. If you succeed, fine. If it backfires, don’t start looking to me for support’.”

So we see the typical way in which Israeli politics was conducted in the years that the Labor Party was in power. They supported terrorism, but did not want to be held liable for their terrorism. So they hired Sharon as their “hit man” to do the dirty work for them. He was happy to do it without written orders, so this would always maintain the fiction that the political leaders were not responsible. It is called “plausible deniability.”

Sharon’s account of his own innocence is contradicted by Alexander Cockburn’s Feb. 6, 2001 article for Upstream, entitled “Ariel Sharon—the People’s Choice?” where we read,

“Sharon’s order was to penetrate Qibya, blow up houses and inflict heavy casualties on its inhabitants. His success in carrying out the order surpassed all expectations. . . Sharon and his men claimed that they believed that all the inhabitants had run away, and that they had no idea that anyone was hiding inside the houses.

“The UN observer who inspected the scene reached a different conclusion. ‘One story was repeated time after time: the bullet splintered door, the body sprawled across the threshold, indicating that the inhabitants had been forced by heavy fire to stay inside until their homes were blown up over them.’

“The U.S. Department of State issued a statement on 18 October 1953, expressing its ‘deepest sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives’ in the Qibya attack as well as the conviction that those responsible ‘should be brought to account and that effective measures should be taken to prevent such incidents in the future’.”

Sharon, of course, was never brought to trial, nor was he held accountable in any way. Ultimately, he was elected Prime Minister. Such murders continued unabated, all justified as retaliatory strikes against “Arab terrorism.” Sharon himself has never wanted peace and has actively worked against any peace arrangement, believing that the only solution is to drive all Arabs off the land. This has been the consistent policy of the Gush Emunim’s settlement movement, backed by Sharon.

Legalized Theft of Land is Covetousness

Zionism started out as a movement to allow Jews to purchase land in Palestine and live peaceably with their neighbors who may not want to sell their family inheritance. But as time progressed, Zionism became degraded into sheer covetousness. To covet another man’s land is sin. In fact, covetousness is the most insidious form of idolatry (Col. 3:5). There is nothing wrong with desiring someone else’s land, if one abides by the basic laws of humanity. If you want land, then buy it. If you steal it or obtain it by fraud, then it is covetousness and idolatry. Zionists may object to this, but nothing will change this simple fact.

Their main thrust has been to confiscate land and establish Jewish settlements in Gaza and the West Bank territory, while at the same time making laws extremely confining and oppressive in order to “encourage” Arabs to leave the country. These Zionists would like nothing better than to have peace—so long as the Arabs move out of the Jewish state and give their land to the “rightful owners.” They have no plans to rule the Arab population with justice and equity. How can you rule them with justice after you have stolen their lands and harshly repressed all who attempt to regain them? True peace is possible only when there is either justice or abject slavery of the victims of injustice.

The settlement movement itself has become the primary successor of the terrorist movements in the 1940’s. The settlement of Elon Moreh was built in 1979 upon land expropriated from the Arab town of Rujeb. The Israeli military stole the land on the grounds of “national security,” the catch-all phrase that seems to justify all theft. But it was later proven in court that the settlement was actually detrimental to national security, because in case of war, it would tie up troops there to protect the settlers. The high court on October 22, 1979 decided that Elon Moreh had to be dismantled.

Six months later, however, the extremists, led by Ariel Sharon and others, prevailed upon the Israeli Cabinet to expropriate all land that had been previously owned by Jordan, as well as all land that was not officially registered or under cultivation. No longer did the settlement movement have to justify their land theft on the grounds of “national security.”

Of course, much of the Arab land had been in their families for generations, extending far back into the days of the Ottoman Empire. Many of them did not have their land officially registered. Thus, April 1980 began the great Arab Land Grab, which is still the single most explosive issue today. It is a policy of legalized theft, and, having no effective legal recourse, those who object violently only give the Israelis more excuses to confiscate more land.

Out of the Elon Moreh case in 1979 the Peace Now movement was formed to counter the extremists in the settlement movement. To their credit, a huge groundswell of Israelis joined their ranks until violent Arab reaction of their own turned many Israelis against Peace Now. Many Israelis recognize that the Palestinians are being abused, but when Arab militants fight Jewish terrorism with terrorism of their own, they lose the propaganda war and expend the moral high ground on the morbid satisfaction of seeing Jewish blood spilt. Not being students of the Scriptures, they do not see that their tactics are of the old Jerusalem, rather than the New Jerusalem. Both sides are convinced that violence and terrorism is the way to resolve the issue. Neither side looks to Jesus Christ for the answer. And so, more and more blood will be shed until the people are satiated with their bloody religious principles.

By now, with all the violence on both sides, most Americans have long forgotten the original sin that started the conflict. The entire issue has been simplified to a few basic tenets, such as the Zionist claim of “the right to exist.” It is not a question of existence—as if the alternative to Zionism is Jewish “nonexistence” (i.e., genocide). It is not even a question of the existence of a state in which Jews may live. The question is whether or not Jews have the right to dispossess the Palestinian population by force and take all the land for themselves.

Shall Jews be given full citizenship, while all others—if allowed to remain at all—should be second-class citizens with fewer rights? Are Jews justified in treating Palestinians as Canaanites, making them “hewers of wood and drawers of water” (Joshua 9:27)? If so, does this also include the thousands of Palestinian Christians?
 
Consider the case of the village of Birim, a town that has been dead for over fifty years. Israel Shamir [http://www.hoffman-info.com/palestine41.html] wrote about this Christian village in his article, “Exposing the Big Lie About Muslims and Christians”:

“It was not ruined by war. Its Christian inhabitants were expelled from their houses well after the 1948 war. They were told to leave for a week or two for ‘security’ reasons. They had no option but to believe the Israeli officers and move out. Their village was dynamited, their church surrounded by barbed wire. They went to Israeli court, they went to the government, commissions were appointed and petitions signed. Nothing helped. Ever since, for 50 years, they have lived in the nearby villages and on Sundays they continue to visit their church. Their lands were seized by their Jewish neighbors, but they still bring their dead to be buried in the church graveyard, under the sign of the cross.”

It is refreshing to hear from Israelis who are concerned with the basic principles of justice for all people, instead of the narrow nationalistic view that whatever benefits Zionists is always good.

The same situation as in Birim still exists with the now-deserted Christian villages of Kafr Baram and Ikrit. In 1948, when the Israeli army asked them to evacuate for about two weeks, they left eighteen men to guard their property and sought shelter in a nearby village. In 1953 the Land Acquisition Act gave the “uninhabited” land to the government. The army blew up the houses as the villagers watched from a nearby “hill of tears,” and the trucks hauled away the ruins. Such has been common practice. Force the inhabitants to move away for a short time, then do not let them return, then finally confiscate “uninhabited” land.

Question: Did the biblical God approve of this? Will Zionist Christians also justify these land thefts in the name of Jesus Christ? Are Christians, too, mere second-class citizens in the eyes of God? Is the Kingdom of God divided into Jewish rulers and Christian hewers of wood and drawers of water? Was “the middle wall of partition” (Eph. 2:14) rebuilt in 1948? If so, who rebuilt it? Certainly not Jesus Christ. But the Church has conspired to help the Zionists rebuild it.

Lilienthal tells of another law that the Israeli government passed in order to “legally” expropriate Arab land. He writes on pages 116-118 of The Zionist Connection II,

“Under the Cultivation of Wastelands ordinance, the government was authorized to take over land not cultivated. Since the declaration of a security zone results in the area not being cultivated, it could then be taken over by the government and given to Jewish settlers, who were permitted to enter and cultivate it. By these and similar means, as early as 1965 some 3,125,000 acres . . . more than 60 percent of the land of Arab Israelis who had never left Israel, had been confiscated.

“Not only did the Palestinians lose their land, they also lost their right to work on the land . . . The minister of Agriculture under Regulation 125 has been permitted to expropriate ‘fallow’ lands. First, the owner is told he cannot work the land, after a certain period of time the area becomes fallow and the Agricultural Minister can then expropriate it. A former Minister of Defense said regarding this regulation: ‘The 125th Paragraph on which the military government bases itself in great measure is a direct continuation of the struggle for Jewish settlement and immigration’.”

It was the Zionists who thus took the land from the Palestinians—not the other way around. The Arabs did not drive the Jews out of Palestine. The Arabs did not settle the land until the seventh century A.D. It was the Romans who dispersed the Jews—or rather, it was God who sent His armies to do the job (Matt. 22:7). The Arab population is not at fault and should not be forced to give land to Jews who may covet it for themselves.

Modern Zionism is based upon the assumption that God gave Palestine to the Jews, and that this means the Arabs are living on land that is not theirs. Zionists justify all acts of violence, oppression, and unjust laws against the Arab population by this basic assumption. All Arabs living on land claimed by Israel are treated as if they had stolen land from the Jews. Anyone who disagrees with their claims or their immoral sense of justice is “biased.” (or Anti-Semitic - emphasis mine)

Well, let me make a point perfectly clear, in case the reader has not already discovered this: I am totally biased against violent Zionism that, in the name of God, perpetrates injustice upon the Arabs and upon peace-loving Zionists. I am biased by the divine law. I am biased by the prophets of the Bible. I am biased by Jesus and the writings of His disciples. Nothing in this old Jerusalem method reflects the Golden Rule in any shape or form. Nor did Jesus at any time advocate that the Judeans in His day uproot or declare war upon the Samaritans, who had occupied a large portion of the land for seven centuries. Not once did Jesus advocate violence against the Romans. I cannot comment extensively upon the moral principles of Judaism and its various branches, but there is no excuse for Christians to support this violence and theft.

If Christians must support this on the grounds that the Jews are God’s chosen people and are privileged to sin with immunity, then what will they say when the Jews lay claim to both Syria and Jordan, as well as Egyptian territory all the way to Nile River? Will they treat the Syrians and Jordanians in the same way they now treat the Palestinians?

Where will it end? When will the bloodshed and injustice cease? Ultimately, these extreme Zionists will demand to rule over the entire world, on the grounds that the God of Israel is to be the God of the whole earth (Is. 54:5). I do not doubt that the Kingdom of God will include the whole earth at some point in time. In fact, I look forward to that day myself. The problem is in the method of achieving that goal. Will it be done by the power of the sword or by the power of the Spirit? Will covetous men rule the world by fear, or will the overcomers rule in love?
Posted by Permission - Dr. Stephen Jones, God's Kingdom Ministries

Barber Comment

As you can ascertain from the article by Dr. Jones, there is a different view of the current crisis between Israel and Gaza (Palestinians) from that of Joel Richardson who takes the traditional dispensational pretribulational position - that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews by virtue of the Abahamic Covenant and the Controversy of Zion is the judgment of God upon the Arabs for their perpetual hatred of the Jews. 

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Is Prophecy Being Fulfilled Now In Iraq And Iran?

If you are a student of Bible prophecy, then I want you to get your Bible out and open it to Daniel chapter 8. Now, if you consult nearly any commentary on the Book of Daniel, you’ll find they nearly all interpret this prophecy as fulfilled in history. The prophecy begins with a ram butting to the west, to the north and to the south, which most believe refers to the historical conquests of the Medo-Persian Empire:

[B]ehold, a ram which had two horns was standing in front of the canal. Now the two horns were long, but one was longer than the other, with the longer one coming up last. I saw the ram butting westward, northward, and southward, and no other beasts could stand before him nor was there anyone to rescue from his power, but he did as he pleased and magnified himself. (vv. 3-4)...Read the full article.

Comment:

While I do not agree with Joel Richardson's Muslim Antichrist theory, I do agree with him that Daniel 8 is not about some ancient historical kingdom such as Medo-Persia and Greece. See my article in the Prophecy Section - Some Observations About Daniel 8.

Daniel 8 is about the time of the end, which is the last seven years before the Lord returns on the posttrib Day of the Lord. More specifically, the time of the end refers to the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord - the last 3 1/2 years plus 1 - but the Day of the Lord is not a normal earth day. It is something of a time warp. 

The events in Iraq and Iran are a harbinger of what is to come to fulfill Daniel 8.  

What Does the Bible Say About the Fate of Iraq (Ancient Persia)?

When President George Bush (43) decided to go war with Iraq, I wrote him a lengthy letter warning him about getting involved in Iraq because the Old Testament prophets tell us who and how Iraq is going to be destroyed and it is not going to be the United States that does it.  

The Coming Destruction Of Iraq (ancient Babylon)
March 17, 2003
Dr. Allen Barber

Notice I wrote the following article the day Bush decided to go to war with Iraq.

I call your attention to Isaiah 13:17-22:

“17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.  18 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.    19 And Babylon [Iraq], the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.    20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.   21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.   22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”

“This prophecy has never been fulfilled in past history for Iraq (Babylon) has continued as a nation since the tower of Babel even though they were conquered by other nations.  This prophecy of Isaiah says a time when come when God will rouse the Medes (Modern day Turkey, Iran, and the Kurds; also Central Asia and/or the states of the former Soviet Union) to wipe out Babylon (Iraq) to the extent that it will never be inhabited again.  The destruction is compared to Sodom and Gomorrah.”  The United States has the capacity to wipe Iraq off the face of the earth, but God says that task belongs to the Medes, not the U.S.”

“According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, the ancient Medes and Elamites merged into Persia (Modern Iran) and became part of that kingdom.”  We know that Russia is assisting with Iran’s nuclear program and that both Russia and Iran are involved in a future war against Israel.” 

“Another passage in Isaiah 21:1-10, mentions the Median (Iranian/Turkey/Central Asia Coalition) destruction of Iraq: 

“1 The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.  2 A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.  3 Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it. 4 My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me. 5 Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.  6 For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.  7 And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:  8 And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:    9 And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.   10 O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.”

“The double reference to the fall of physical Babylon could mean the first time the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon in the 6th Century B.C. and the future fall of Babylon in the end time (The period in which we live today) by the modern kingdom of the Medes. 

While Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied the destruction of physical Babylon, Revelation speaks of the destruction of the Mystery form of political and religious Babylon:

“1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.   4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.   6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.   7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.  8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.   9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,   10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come”  (Rev. 18:1-10).

“Notice in Revelation it refers to the city of Babylon and not the nation indicating something else is implied.  In my opinion, I believe Revelation is speaking of the New World Order that consists of the same religious and political spirit of ancient Babylon that Satan ruled over and spread the worship of the Sun-god deity throughout the world.  The mystery form indicates that the power behind it will remain hidden until the time comes for the unveiling of the Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet at the mid-point of the tribulation period.”   I do not believe the present situation involving the U.S. – Iraqi War is the fulfillment of Revelation 18 because that takes place at the end of the tribulation period.”

Jeremiah supports the prophecy of Isaiah in calling for the destruction of Babylon (Iraq) by the Medes:

“27 Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillars.  28 Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion.  29 And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant” (Jer. 51:27-29).

“Notice the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz are mentioned in the alliance with the Medes. Ararat is the modern nation of Turkey and Minni and Ashchenaz are Armenian nations of Central Asia and part of eastern Turkey and northern Iraq – the Kurds.”

“47 Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.  48 Then the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith the LORD.   49 As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth” (Jer. 51:47-49). 

Although it is not clear, the spoilers from the north could imply that Russia is involved with the future destruction of Babylon. 

From these Scriptures, it is clear that God will destroy modern Iraq (Ancient Babylon) with a coalition led by the Medes not the U.S.”  If I were going on pure logic, I would not pick Iran, Turkey, and the kingdoms of Central Asia to destroy Iraq, but the Bible is clear that God will use the Medes to totally wipe out Babylon from being a nation. 

Again, no one that I am reading is predicting this, but I will stay with the Word of God.   The only person that I have heard comment on this is Dr. Jimmy DeYoung.  Most are predicting that the U.S. will destroy the armies of Iraq within a matter of weeks.  That may happen, but I have problems with that scenario for the following reasons:

(1)    If the U.S. conquers Iraq and installs a democracy causing Iraq to no longer be a threat to Israel and the other Middle Eastern nations, that would seem to circumvent the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah for a future destruction.  However, world conditions could change that.  
(2)    The timing does not appear to be right for Iraq to be destroyed.
(3)    The U.S. is not God’s choice to destroy Iraq.” 

If America goes to war with Iraq and invades the whole nation, many innocent Iraqis are going to be killed – it will be unavoidable.  If the military plan backfires, many American soldiers are going to die, maybe record numbers.   This may be the military setback I have been predicting since March 1994 because our nation is guilty of much iniquity – turning our back on the grace, mercy and favor of the Lord. In addition trusting in our superpower status instead of trusting in the Lord’s protection.

Saddam is not going to give up or go into exile, and he will fight a much different war than he did in Gulf War I.  Then there is the unknown, the unforeseen and the unexpected in any war plans.  As a Marine in Vietnam, we planned our operations to the “nth” degree and we were always well prepared to execute it, but sometimes things did not go as we planned and the enemy surprised us.  Before we regrouped, we had sustained heavy casualties.

I pray this is not the situation with Iraq, but the thing that concerns me is the silence of China and the threat by the U.S. to unilaterally destroy the credibility of the United Nations – something the New World Order cannot tolerate.   This situation has all the markings of something ugly before the dust settles.  This may be the “attention getter” from the Lord God that either America repents or is destroyed. 

May God help us to fall on our faces and repent of our national and personal sins before our sins destroy us.  This is the time for the saints to pray and fast for REPENTANCE not only for our nation, but also for the Church.

I was listening to Fox News while writing this and Shawn Hannity says this is a righteous war, meaning that we are the righteous nation and Iraq is the evil nation.  I wonder how God sees it from His eyes.

Post Iraqi War Comment

While the United States did defeat the Iraqi army and captured Saddam Hussein later to be hung by the Shiites, we did not destroy the country thus we did not fulfill the prophecies mentioned in the above passages.  Now that the off-shoot of Al Qaeda, the ISIS insurgency, has conquered 1/3 of Irag and moving toward Baghdad combined with the insertion of Iran's Revolutionary Army with Obama's blessings, the biblical scenario of the Medes destroying Iraq (Babylon) seems to be fitting into place. However, the final destruction of Iraq will not occur until the Great Tribulation. This situation in Iraq could be a warning from God that the long predicted tribulation  period is about to commence.

We shall to wait and see.

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I wrote the following a few months back and will renew the series soon. 

Gog and Magog, Daniel and Revelation

As I announced a couple of weeks ago, I am going to write commentary on Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39, Revelation 20), Daniel 2, 7-8, 9-12, and Revelation - selected chapters that deal with the Seal, Trumpet and Bowl Judgments. I do not have a set outline to write from, but will follow the Holy Spirit's lead gleaned from over 40 years of study and research of these passages. It should be interesting so hope it will be a blessing to those who participate in the study of these prophetic teachings.

I have just completed reading Sir Isaac Newton's little known work on Daniel and Revelation, Clarence Larkin's (a Pretrib scholar) book on Revelation and Thomas Horn's book, Zenith 2016.  Sir Isaac Newton's book was disappointing as it is obvious he was an historicist meaning he believed most if not all the books of Daniel and Revelation have been fulfilled in history past. Writing like the intellectual and scientist he was, some of his commentary was difficult to follow and actually made no sense. However, he published the book in 1733 and therefore, did not have the advantage we do today of much prophecy either fulfilled or the visible stages set for their fulfillment. Clarence Larkin's book (when I was a Pretrib believer I promoted his commentary as the truth about end-time prophecy) was written in 1919 and like Newton did not have the insight of present world conditions. However, even though Larkin was a pretribber, he presents some interesting thoughts about the Antichrist, False Prophet and the Harlot Religious system.  He believed as I do that the Antichrist and False Prophet are "real" human personages not governments or systems.  Tom Horn's book, is an expose about the return of the Nephilim (offspring of the fallen angels that mingled with the DNA of the women of Noah's day) and the mystical Mayan calendar that ended in 2012 plus many other calendars and writings of both secular and religious personages that believed in the 2012 date for ending and restarting world history with an apocalyptic event. He cites many sources for a 3 1/2 year period culminating in 2016 (2012-2016). In addition, he devotes much space to the Great Seal of the United States being tied to the occult, specifically Freemasonry. In other words he believes the Satanic New World Order headed by the Antichrist will emerge from the United States for the founding fathers as he portrays them, setup the Capitol buildings in Washington, D.C. to reflect the cult signature, even to invite Lucifer's (Satan's blessings). As a result, the United States has been under demonic influence since its inception.  Whether or not he is right, one that is certain and that is, demons are clearly alive and active in the government of the United States.

The first articles on Gog and Magog will be posted soon so hope you enjoy the study.  In preparation for the series, notice in Revelation 20:7 where it says when the thousand years have expired, "Satan shall be loosed out of his prison and shall go out to deceive the nations, which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is the sand of the sea."

This is after the 1000-year reign of Christ Jesus on the earth and after the days of the tribulation and immediately before the Eternal Age (8th Age). As difficult as it seems, the nations that comprise Gog and Magog at that time, will form and exist to oppose the Lord Jesus during His Kingdom reign.  Gog and Magog in this passage represent the nations scattered throughout the earth that reject the Lord's reign over them and adhere to Satan's lies and deception one last time before the Lord rains down fire upon them and wipes them off the face of the earth and cast Satan into the Lake of Fire where the Antichrist and False Prophet have been for 1000 years. This is the last time Satan will ever be heard of in the history of heaven and earth. 

Revelation 20 cast great insight into Ezekiel 38 and 39 into identifying Gog and and Magog. Some things are certain, Gog is not the chief prince of Russia and Magog is not the nation of Russia. Gog is also not the Antichrist or Satan however Satan may have a part to play in both. Even though I have read countless books on Gog and Magog, I will endeavor to identify as the Holy Spirit provides the insight, who and what is this mysterious biblical personage and kingdom.