What the Bible says about light and seed
The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.” Matthew 13:24,25.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Monday, December 28, 2015
The word "Zionism" is very common today thanks to the United Nations' condemnation of it during their General Assembly debate on November 10, 1975.
Because of this, there is much confusion among believers as to the nature of Zionism and whether or not they should support it or stand against it. We, at Ariel Ministries, get many letters asking us to explain what Zionism is.
There is a lot of propaganda going on concerning Zionism; much of it is guilty of distortion and misinformation. In fact, anti-Zionism has become merely a new term for old fashioned "antiSemitism."
Some circles are claiming that Zionism is a world-wide Jewish conspiracy aimed at the undermining of Western culture in order to allow for a communist takeover. In these circles, Zionism is equated with communism. Much literature is being published propounding this by anti-Semitic groups, and this writer has had the ugly experience of having to see and read much of this hate literature. One of the most famous works that gives this view of Zionism is known as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This was actually a Russian forgery by a group of antiSemites who were attempting to propagate the theory of a world-wide Jewish conspiracy. It purports to be the record or "protocols" of Jewish elders who came together to develop a program for world domination, but has been proven to be a Russian forgery by Czarists who were trying to propagandize the masses against the communists. From this came the popular view that communism was a Jewish conspiracy.
On four occasions, when the Arab states failed to defeat Israel with the force of arms, they began a propaganda campaign to equate Zionism with racism. Thanks to Arab oil's power to bribe and to intimidate the nations, the victims of racism are now accused of being racists themselves.
The United Nations has ceased to be an organization seeking justice and peace for the world. It has become a tool for the destruction of existing nations. By condemning Zionism's right to exist, they have condemned Israel's right to exist. It is impossible to separate Zionism from Israel. By this one stroke, then, the United Nations legalized the destruction of Israel by her enemies. The United Nations is indeed guilty of playing into the hands of Satan who will, during the Great Tribulation, organize a world-wide invasion of Israel (Zechariah 12:1-3; 14:1-2). Although this verdict was repealed 17 years later, the damage was already done.
What Is Zionism?
But if Zionism is neither a world-wide Jewish conspiracy nor a Jewish form of racism, then what is it?
The root of Zionism is the word "Zion." Although the word "Zion" originally referred to the mount upon which the Jewish Temple stood, it eventually became equivalent to the name "Jerusalem." Zionism is concerned with the Land of Zion and with its capital, Jerusalem.
Zionism describes a feeling. It is an expression of the longing and yearning that the Jewish people have had in the past and still have for their homeland. Zionism existed during the Egyptian bondage. It existed during the Babylonian Captivity. It exists in these days of the Dispersion which began in A.D. 70. As soon as any Jew expressed a desire to go back to his Land—regardless of his reason—he was expressing Zionism. Any Jew who looked toward and identified himself with the Promised Land, whether he knew it or not, whether he admitted it or not, was a Zionist.
Zionism is neither a conspiracy nor racism. It is an expression of a yearning placed into every Jewish heart by God Himself. Unfulfilled Zionism is being outside the Land of Israel. Fulfilled Zionism is being in and living in the Land.
But what most believers want to know is this: Is Zionism biblical? To this question, every believer who takes the Bible literally and seriously must say "yes."
A typical Zionist passage of Scripture is found in Psalm 137:1-6:
By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down, yea, we wept,
When we remembered Zion.
Upon the willows in the midst thereof
We hanged up our harps.
For there they that led us captive
required of us songs,
And they that wasted us
required of us mirth, saying,
Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
How shall we sing Jehovah's song
In a foreign land?
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget her skill.
Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my
mouth, If I remember thee not;
If I prefer not Jerusalem
Above my chief joy. (ASV)
The longing to go back to Israel by the Jewish captives in Babylon is an expression of Zionism. The word Zion is used twice as is its equivalent, Jerusalem. Zion is to be remembered (v. 1), and so are its songs (v. 3). Jerusalem must not be forgotten (v.5), but preferred above all joys (v.6). It is impossible to be more Zionistic than the author of Psalm 137.
Another Zionist was Isaiah the Prophet, for he wrote in 62:1:
For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burneth. (ASV)
Many other passages may be cited, but these should suffice to show that Zionism is a biblical expression. Therefore, believers should be active in two things: first, to stand by the State of Israel; and secondly, to condemn all misrepresentation of Zionism as either a conspiracy or as racism.
Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers' households of the sons of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the city of David, which is Zion (1 Kings 8:1 NASB).
Sunday, December 27, 2015
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Thursday, December 24, 2015
'Fairy tale': Many pastors don't believe Jesus born of virgin
A live Nativity scene at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Stuart, Florida. (WND photo / Joe Kovacs) More people might come to church if Christians would drop "fairy tale" tidbits like the Nativity story. That's the belief of a minister in Cairns Church in Milngavie, Scotland. According to Scotland's Herald, Rev. Andrew Frater wants Christians to…
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Almonds trees in bloom
As people celebrate Christmas with all its symbols, regardless of what they think the exact time and year of God's divine condescension among us are, this is what this season represents to me as a spiritual reality.
As I was reflecting upon the incarnation of our Savior Christ Jesus as the supreme gift of our Heavenly Father to mankind, I could not help but think of the limited perspective that we sometimes have of the infinite measure of all of God’s attributes and works in the vast universe He created but also in each of our lives.
The first thing I consider when I ponder the miracle of the supernatural birth of Jesus-Christ is that God chose to manifest His presence in the flesh as a seed of the Holy Spirit in the chosen womb of Mary.
Imagine a little! The creator and sustainer of the endless universe becoming a frail human being Himself subject to the natural law of human birth and physical existence.
What is amazing is that as we follow the course of His birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and His coming back to take His own faithful ones to reign with Him, the same characteristic stages apply to us who have experienced the second spiritual birth and have passed from death to life, from the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light.
As the mature tree is essentially contained in the seed just waiting to develop through the different stages of growth, so was the life of the Lord Jesus and so is every one of our lives.
An illustration from the sharing of presents on Christmas day comes to mind. Imagine one of the present being a huge box with someone’s name on it. The person feverishly tears off the paper hoping to discover a big present that will provide a level of satisfaction commensurate to his perceived size. But as the box reveals another smaller box hidden under the packing peanuts, he suspects someone is playing a joke on him as he realizes from the sheer weight of the box.
As he keeps on opening another box, then another one, he finally opens the last tiny box and no matter what the value of the present, it leaves him or her with a sense of unfulfilled expectation and diminished satisfaction. Here in brief is how the acquiring and enjoying of material things which are supposed to fulfill our lives from the cradle to the grave end up being a great disappointment and a snare in the end. Not so with the present from our God, the free gift of salvation available to anyone willing to accept it.
Conversely, imagine that you received the gift of God, salvation by grace in a small box. After receiving and opening the gift, once your life is changed by that spiritual tiny seed, you realize that as you grow, the gift keeps on growing as you learn and mature into eternal everlasting life, the box of our life, so to speak, getting bigger and bigger.
Now considering another angle to giving and sharing presents.
Jesus talking about greed said that life doesn’t consist in the abundance of things. Luke 12:15.And He told the people to not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21.
Jesus is not only talking about treasures, but incorruptible treasures! What is He talking about? He is talking about treasures that have their beginning as an intangible seed beginning here on the earth and continuing in Heaven and/or enjoying all the stages of the growth of the seed in two dimensions simultaneously, in the physical body while at the same time in the invisible realm of the spirit.
He means treasures like the Christian virtues, generosity of spirit, goodness, mercy, humility, faith, wisdom, spiritual knowledge, love, patience, fruits of the Spirit, all intangible, but whose effects are felt when translated into good works and service to our brothers, sisters and fellow man. And of course, included are all the material gifts that he has blessed us with in superabundance to share with those less fortunate than us and to provide the means to advance the Kingdom of God, through preaching of the Gospel through gifts to missions throughout the world. Everything that will become the stones building the foundation of our sphere of influence in the coming Kingdom.
In I Timothy 6: 18, Paul tells Timothy to "Command those who are rich in this present world... to put their hope in God who richly provide us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up for themselves a firm foundation for the coming age so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life". It is obvious that one can build a house or a building only as tall and as large as the dimensions of the foundation supporting it, otherwise the building collapses.
In the Bible we can find several mentions of this manifestation of life as encapsulated in the title of Our Lord who is the Alpha, the beginning and Omega, the end and of course everything in between.
We can find the image of the seed in I Peter 1:23. “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is through the living and abiding Word of God.” Isaiah 9:6-7 promise of the coming Messiah follows this development: "for a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest upon His shoulders … there will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace."
Salvation, knowledge and wisdom are part of the incorruptible treasures that Christ talks about in Matthew. Talking about Christ, Isaiah 33:6 declares: “He will be a sure foundation for our times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge: The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.”
This salvation which starts as a spiritual seed planted by the Holy Spirit Himself in the hearts of men who have received Him on His terms is ever expanding and revealing the loving heart of our Heavenly Father at this time of the year and all year long. "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us". Romans 5:5
Paul prays for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:14-17 that: "He would grant you according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with power through His spirit in the inner man so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." This is also my prayer for all of us today and for the coming year.
Contrary to the philosophy of this passing and dying world, the present of eternal life in Christ Jesus started as a tiny seed, first the human seed inherited form our natural father and then the Holy Spirit seed that contained all that is necessary to fulfill the purpose for which our Father and Creator put us on this earth. See I Corinthians 15. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. (NIV)
So this Christmas season until the beginning of 2016 and beyond, I invite you to remember with grateful and humble hearts, that the tiniest and most humble manifestation of life, a human seed, a tiny baby in his or her mother's womb is infinitely precious and worthy of protection and nurturing because it was made in God’s image. Psalm 139.
I invite you also to let your hearts and minds expand onto other amazing dimensions of life and consider all the stages of the life of the Savior in His birth, His death, His resurrection, His going back into the glory of Heaven and His coming back to give us glorified bodies, for we have already been resurrected (spiritually) if we have been born again, starting as a tiny seed wrapped up in a small and fragile package that we all are, as pilgrims on this earth.
This season Jesus offers us hope, joy and peace in a world sadly lacking theses blessings.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13.
Lord God, our loving Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you for the gift of life present and eternal in Our Lord Jesus-Christ.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428793/democrats-and-totalitarianism-2016?5OJcwA893b4XyDYy.01
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” (Ephesians 4:17-18)
A question that troubles many Christians is why most highly educated leaders in science and other fields—even theologians—seem to find it so difficult to believe the Bible and the gospel of Christ. The answer is in the words of our text: They are “alienated from the life of God” because of self-induced ignorance. It is not that they can’t understand, but that they won’t understand! They “walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened . . . because of the blindness of their heart.” They don’t want to believe in their hearts, therefore they seek an excuse not to believe in their minds. They are “men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2 Timothy 3:8)
The sad truth is that Satan himself controls their minds. They may be ever so intelligent in secular matters, but the gospel, with all its comprehensive and beautiful simplicity, remains hidden to them. “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
Is there a remedy? Yes. “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). In this verse, the word “thought” is the same as “mind.” The weapons of truth, of prayer, of love, and of the Spirit can capture even such minds as these!
Monday, December 21, 2015
Turkey’s present political rifts with Israel and Iran’s advanced nuclear program, coupled with Iran’s stated intentions to wipe Israel off of the map, also increases the possibilities that Ezekiel 38 could occur soon. Russia, Turkey, and Iran are identified among the invaders in Ezekiel 38:1-6. They are among a nine member coalition that invades Israel in the end times to capture plunder and booty.
These developments above, along with flurries of other geo-political factors, have many prophecy buffs buzzing about the potential immanency of Ezekiel 38. However, we must avoid getting swept away in the sensationalism of newspaper exegesis, which is an attempt to connect current events with ancient biblical predictions. Current events can evidence the forthcoming of a Bible prophecy, but they have to match the predicted details exactly to warrant merit.
For instance, Russia intervenes into Syria. This hints that Ezekiel 38 is nearing because Russia’s military has moved into the Mideast theater. However, a few weeks later a Russian fighter jet gets struck down by Turkey. This prompts Russia to swiftly levy economic sanctions against Turkey, which result in a serious setback in their national relations. This friction is not conducive to the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 because Russia and Turkey are allies in the prophecy.
See how the headlines below and their correlating succession of dates evidence the flaws of newspaper exegesis. On September 30, 2015, Ezekiel 38 looked like it was about to happen, but less than 60 days later a serious schism develops between Turkey and Russia.
“Russia launches first airstrikes in Syria”
(CNN Politics 9/30/15)(ii)
“Putin condemns Turkey after Russian warplane downed near Syria border”
“Russia approves detailed sanctions against Turkey over downed plane”
In reality, Ezekiel 38 has significant preconditions preventing its prophetic fulfillment. Ezekiel 38:8-13 mandates that Israel must be dwelling securely, without walls, bars, or gates, and in the center of their land, probably alluding to the landmass described in Genesis 15:18. Additionally, the Jewish State must be in receipt of great spoil. In my estimation, Israel today is not fulfilling these conditions.
Israel is unable to dwell securely as a result of the hostile Arab volatility that surrounds them. Walls, bars, and gates exist in Israel today in order to protect the Israelis from being terrorized by Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and the Palestinians in general. In fact, Israel is probably the most fenced in country in the world. It has fencing at various stretches along all of its land based borders.
Additionally, the goal of the Ezekiel 38 invaders is to destroy Israel and take plunder and great spoil. Although Israel’s economy is flourishing, it’s debatable if it presently possesses the great spoil that Russia and their coalition someday come after.
Ezekiel 38 describes nine distinct populations by their ancient names including Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Libya but omits the historic name equivalents of Arab states and terrorist populations that share common borders with Israel. Some of those who advocate that Ezekiel 38 is imminent teach that the surrounding Arab nations are identified indirectly in Ezekiel 38:6. They teach that the clause, “many peoples with thee,” includes the neighboring Arab states. However, there are three potential problems with this line of teaching.
1. The Arab states and terrorist populations within them are pinpointed directly in a distinctly different prophecy described in Psalm 83. The Psalm lists ten entirely separate members not included among the Ezekiel 38:1-6 invaders. Thus, it is probable that they are not among the “many peoples with thee” in Ezekiel 38:6, but are “many peoples distinct from thee”, not listed in Ezekiel 38 among the invaders.
2. The hordes of Ezekiel 38 invaders must cross over much of the land possessed by these Psalm 83 nations and / or territories presently occupied by the terrorist populations in order to invade the nation of Israel. This beckons the question; why aren’t these nations, terrorists, or refugees listed among the Ezekiel 38 invaders?
3. Most importantly, Ezekiel 38 identifies nine specific invading populations, but oddly doesn’t mention any of the Psalm 83 Arab confederates among them. This conspicuous omission makes no sense when you consider that Ezekiel references all of the Psalm 83 members numerous times elsewhere throughout his prophetic book.
Case in point, Ezekiel lists Tyre 12 times. Tyre is a member of Psalm 83 and likely represents the Hezbollah today. He alludes to Philistia and / or Philistines 4 times. They are probably the Hamas terrorist organization. Edom or the Edomites are referenced 7 times. Asaph, the author of Psalm 83, calls them the tents of Edom and I interpret that as today’s Palestinian refugees.
The other Psalm 83 members like, Moab or Moabites, Ammon or Ammonites, Amalakites, Egyptians, Assyrians, Gebal (Lebanon), and the Saudis under the ancient banners of Dedan or the Ishmaelites, are also referenced elsewhere in the book of Ezekiel. Actually, all together the above Psalm 83 confederates are mentioned 89 times by Ezekiel.
Not one of those 89 references shows up in Ezekiel 38-39, with the exception of a potential Saudi contingent represented by Dedan in Ezekiel 38:13. But in this instance, Dedan appears to abstain from enjoining with the Ezekiel invaders. This suggests they play no military role in this invasion of Israel. Ezekiel 25:13 informs that many in Dedan will be killed in a war, which could be the result of the Psalm 83 war. If so, this might be the reason Saudi Arabia opts out of the Ezekiel invasion.
I believe the glaring omission of the Psalm 83 Arab confederates from the Ezekiel 38 list of invaders suggests they are not part of the Ezekiel 38-39 invasion. It is highly possible that they are defeated prior to fulfillment of Ezekiel 38. This article points out some, but not all, of the significant problems with teaching that Ezekiel 38 is an imminent prophecy.
……………………… (i)The the image centered on Hmeimim Air Base (Jableh, Syria) with concentric red and blue circles has been circulating in media since 27 November. Based upon data intel expert Sean Osborne has collected, he believes that this image is a fairly exaggerated depiction of the air intercept capabilities for the S-400 system components the Russians have actually deployed to Hmeimim AB. Osborne says, “I believe the Russians have deployed two distinct types of component missiles in their Almaz-Antey 5P85TE2 TELs. The longest range missile is the 40N6 which has a maximum range of 215 nautical miles. From Hmeimim AB this missile’s maximum range would be just shy of Tel Aviv. The other missile is the 48N6E2 with a range of approximately 130 nautical miles. From Hmeimim AB this missile’s max range would be in the vicinity of Sidon, Lebanon.”
(ii)Headline from this website: http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/politics/russia-syria-airstrikes-isis/
(iii)Headline from this website: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/24/turkey-shoots-down-jet-near-border-with-syria
(iiii)Headline from this website: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/12/01/us-mideast-crisis-russia-turkey-sanction-idUSKBN0TK4SD20151201#d11AlyjKA2lmpeG3.97
Sunday, December 20, 2015
- Reblogged from jpost.com via servehiminthewaiting.com
GOP contenders highlight Obama as a wedge in Jewish support
Washington Watch: Cruz ’n Jews
In Barack Obama, they found a leader who could channel their frustration. Obama’s foreign policy, based on denying the existence of radical Islam and projecting the responsibility for Islamic aggression on the US and its allies, suited their mood just fine. If America is responsible, then America can walk away. Once it is gone, so the thinking has gone, the Muslims will forget their anger and leave America alone.
Sadly, Obama’s foreign policy assumptions are utter nonsense. America’s abandonment of global leadership has not made things better. Over the past seven years, the legions of radical Islam have expanded and grown more powerful than ever before. And now in the aftermath of the jihadist massacres in Paris and San Bernadino, the threats have grown so abundant that even Obama cannot pretend them away.
As a consequence, for the first time in a decade, Americans are beginning to think seriously about foreign policy. But are they too late? Can the next president repair the damage Obama has caused? The Democrats give no cause for optimism. Led by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential hopefuls stubbornly insist that there is nothing wrong with Obama’s foreign policy. If they are elected to succeed him, they pledge to follow in his footsteps.
On the Republican side, things are more encouraging, but also more complicated.
Republican presidential hopefuls are united in their rejection of Obama’s policy of ignoring the Islamic supremacist nature of the enemy. All reject the failed assumptions of Obama’s foreign policy.
All have pledged to abandon them on their first day in office. Yet for all their unity in rejecting Obama’s positions, Republicans are deeply divided over what alternative foreign policy they would adopt.
This divide has been seething under the surface throughout the Obama presidency. It burst into the open at the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night.
The importance of the dispute cannot be overstated.
Given the Democrats’ allegiance to Obama’s disastrous policies, the only hope for a restoration of American leadership is that a Republican wins the next election. But if Republicans nominate a candidate who fails to reconcile with the realities of the world as it is, then the chance for a reassertion of American leadership will diminish significantly.
To understand just how high the stakes are, you need to look no further than two events that occurred just before the Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate.
On Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency voted to close its investigation of Iran’s nuclear program. As far as the UN’s nuclear watchdog is concerned, Iran is good to go.
The move is a scandal. Its consequences will be disastrous.
The IAEA acknowledges that Iran continued to advance its illicit military nuclear program at least until 2009. Tehran refuses to divulge its nuclear activities to IAEA investigators as it is required to do under binding UN Security Council resolutions.
Iran refuses to allow IAEA inspectors access to its illicit nuclear sites. As a consequence, the IAEA lacks a clear understanding of what Iran’s nuclear status is today and therefore has no capacity to prevent it from maintaining or expanding its nuclear capabilities. This means that the inspection regime Iran supposedly accepted under Obama’s nuclear deal is worthless.
The IAEA also accepts that since Iran concluded its nuclear accord with the world powers, it has conducted two tests of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons, despite the fact that it is barred from doing so under binding Security Council resolutions.
But really, who cares? Certainly the Obama administration doesn’t. The sighs of relief emanating from the White House and the State Department after the IAEA decision were audible from Jerusalem to Tehran.
The IAEA’s decision has two direct consequences.
First, as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday, it paves the way for the cancellation of the UN’s economic sanctions against Iran within the month.
Second, with the IAEA’s decision, the last obstacle impeding Iran’s completion of its nuclear weapons program has been removed. Inspections are a thing of the past. Iran is in the clear.
As Iran struts across the nuclear finish line, the Sunni jihadists are closing their ranks.
Hours after the IAEA vote, Turkey and Qatar announced that Turkey is setting up a permanent military base in the Persian Gulf emirate for the first time since the fall of the Ottoman Empire a century ago. Their announcement indicates that the informal partnership between Turkey and Qatar on the one side, and Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State on the other hand, which first came to the fore last year during Operation Protective Edge, is now becoming a more formal alliance.
Just as the Obama administration has no problem with Iran going nuclear, so it has no problem with this new jihadist alliance.
During Operation Protective Edge, the administration supported this jihadist alliance against the Israeli-Egyptian partnership. Throughout Hamas’s war against Israel, Obama demanded that Israel and Egypt accept Hamas’s cease-fire terms, as they were presented by Turkey and Qatar.
Since Operation Protective Edge, the Americans have continued to insist that Israel and Egypt bow to Hamas’s demands and open Gaza’s international borders. The Americans have kept up their pressure on Israel and Egypt despite Hamas’s open alliance with ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula.
So, too, the Americans have kept Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at arm’s length, and continue to insist that the Muslim Brotherhood is a legitimate political force despite Sisi’s war against ISIS. Washington continues to embrace Qatar as a “moderate” force despite the emirate’s open support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and ISIS.
As for Turkey, it appears there is nothing Ankara can do that will dispel the US notion that it is a credible partner in the war on terror. Since 2011, Turkey has served as Hamas’s chief state sponsor, and as ISIS’s chief sponsor. It is waging war against the Kurds – the US’s strongest ally in its campaign against ISIS.
In other words, with the US’s blessing, the forces of both Shi’ite and Sunni jihad are on the march.
And the next president will have no grace period for repairing the damage.
Although the Republican debate Wednesday night was focused mainly on the war in Syria, its significance is far greater than one specific battlefield.
And while there were nine candidates on the stage, there were only two participants in this critical discussion.
Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz faced off after weeks of rising contention between their campaigns.
In so doing, they brought the dispute that has been seething through their party since the Bush presidency into the open.
Rubio argued that in Syria, the US needs to both defeat ISIS and overthrow President Bashar Assad.
Cruz countered that the US should ignore Assad and concentrate on utterly destroying ISIS. America’s national interest, he said, is not advanced by overthrowing Assad, because in all likelihood, Assad will be replaced by ISIS.
Cruz added that America’s experience in overthrowing Middle Eastern leaders has shown that it is a mistake to overthrow dictators. Things only got worse after America overthrew Saddam Hussein and supported the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak.
For his part, Rubio explained that since Assad is Iran’s puppet, leaving him in power empowers Iran. The longer he remains in power, the more control Iran will wield over Syria and Lebanon.
The two candidates’ dispute is far greater than the question of who rules Syria. Their disagreement on Syria isn’t a tactical argument. It goes to the core question of what is the proper role of American foreign policy.
Rubio’s commitment to overthrowing Assad is one component of a wider strategic commitment to fostering democratic governance in Syria. By embracing the cause of democratization through regime change, Rubio has become the standard bearer of George W. Bush’s foreign policy.
Bush’s foreign policy had two seemingly contradictory anchors – a belief that liberal values are universal, and cultural meekness.
Bush’s belief that open elections would serve as a panacea for the pathologies of the Islamic world was not supported by empirical data. Survey after survey showed that if left to their own devices, the people of Muslim world would choose to be led by Islamic supremacists. But Bush rejected the data and embraced the fantasy that free elections lead a society to embrace liberal norms of peace and human rights.
As to cultural meekness, since the end of the Cold War and with the rise of political correctness, the notion that America could call for other people to adopt American values fell into disrepute. For American foreign policy practitioners, the idea that American values and norms are superior to Islamic supremacist values smacked of cultural chauvinism.
Consequently, rather than urge the Islamic world to abandon Islamic supremacism in favor of liberal democracy, in their public diplomacy efforts, Americans sufficed with vapid pronouncements of love and respect for Islam.
Islamic supremacists, for their part stepped into the ideological void without hesitation. In Iraq, the Iranian regime spent hundreds of millions of dollars training Iranian-controlled militias, building Iranian-controlled political parties and publishing pro-Iranian newspapers as the US did nothing to support pro-American Iraqis.
Although many Republicans opposed Bush’s policies, few dared make their disagreement with the head of their party public. As a result, for many, Wednesday’s debate was the first time the foundations of Bush’s foreign policy were coherently and forcefully rejected before a national audience.
If Rubio is the heir to Bush, Cruz is the spokesman for Bush’s until now silent opposition. In their longheld view, democratization is not a proper aim of American foreign policy. Defeating America’s enemies is the proper aim of American foreign policy.
Rubio’s people claim that carpet bombing ISIS is not a strategy. They are right. There are parts missing from in Cruz’s position on Syria.
But then again, although still not comprehensive, Cruz’s foreign policy trajectory has much to recommend it. First and foremost, it is based on the world as it is, rather than a vision of how the world should be. It makes a clear distinction between America’s allies and America’s enemies and calls for the US to side with the former and fight the latter.
It is far from clear which side will win this fight for the heart of the Republican Party. And it is impossible to know who the next US president will be.
But whatever happens, the fact that after their seven-year vacation, the Americans are returning the real world is a cause for cautious celebration.
Settler leader Dani Dayan appointed ambassador to Brazil
Despite petition against him, Israel expects Brazil to accept Dayan as envoy
Dayan, the onetime chairman of the Yesha council of settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), was named ambassador to Brazil four months ago, yet his credentials have yet to be approved by the authorities in the South American giant.
Brazilian officials are known to be uncomfortable with Dayan due to his rightist political views, namely his stated opposition to Palestinian statehood.
“I am confident that Dani Dayan will bring to the post his considerable experience and will deepen relations between Israel and Brazil,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this year.
Dayan, a resident of the Ma’aleh Shomron settlement, was the head of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria from 2007-2013.
With his ability to speak Spanish, English, and Hebrew he brought a new international face to the settler council and continued to represent it abroad as a foreign liaison, even after he resigned as its chairman.
He was among the top Israeli leaders invited to address the prestigious, American- based Saban Forum.
Dayan has been a member of both the Likud and Bayit Yehudi parties. He run unsuccessfully for this Knesset on the Bayit Yehudi’s list.
Outside of his political and diplomatic work, Dayan also has a background in hi-tech and is the founder of Elad Systems.
“I promised the prime minister that I would spare no effort or creativity in fulfilling the strategic task he has assigned me,” Dayan said. “Even though I did not commit that we would win a gold medal in next year’s Rio Olympics, we all hope that it will happen,” Dayan said.
Brazil has 200 million citizens and the Israeli government estimates that 40 million of them are pro-Israel Christians. It is the largest country in Latin America and the seventh largest economy in the world.
The previous ambassador to Brazil, Rada Mansour, returned to Israel earlier this week. Israel's main diplomatic mission in Brasilia has since been managed by his deputy.
In recent years, Israel's image has taken a beating throughout Latin America, particularly against the backdrop of the failed peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
During Operation Protective Edge last year, Mansour was summoned by the Brazilian authorities for censure over what they perceived as Israel's disproportionately harsh response to Palestinian rocket fire.
Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen sent a letter to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff not to approve Israel's appointment of Dayan as envoy to Brazil.
"Dayan has consistently acted with blatant disregard for international law and norms, and has been spearheading various initiatives that directly violate the Palestinian people’s basic rights," Jabareen wrote in his letter to Roussef.
Jabareen quoted from a New York Times opinion article that Dayan wrote in 2012 in which he defended the expansion of the settlements in the West Bank.
"Dayan is a settler who is ideologically committed to the development of the settlements – a policy Brazil recognizes as illegal under international law," Jabareen wrote.
"Approving his appointment as ambassador would legitimize his criminal ideology and practices, and send a resounding message that Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people has no consequences in the international arena," he added.
A Foreign Ministry official told The Jerusalem Post's Hebrew-language sister publication Ma'ariv that Jerusalem is still waiting for the Brazilian government's approval of Dayan as ambassador.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
In the past ten years a large percentage of churches in America, and in other countries have changed from a traditional New Testament church model to a contemporary Purpose Driven model, many with sorrowful results“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,” Ephesians 3:10 (KJV)
Contrary to Purpose Driven Church propaganda, millions have been leaving their churches after the change occurred. It is important that every church member know if their church is targeted for a Purpose Driven Church takeover. Initially, a small clique of church staff, possibly including the pastor or a new pastor, plans the change without telling the rest of the church membership.
Church Transitions, an associate of Saddleback Church in California, trains the clique initiating the change in eight published steps. The church membership is not to be informed of the transition until the fourth step. After the sixth step in the process of change, if there are some in the church who voice concerns, the following is suggested:
- Identify those who are resisting the changes;
- Assess the effectiveness of their opposition;
- Befriend those who are undecided about the changes;
- Marginalize more persistent resisters;
- Vilify those who stay and fight; and
- Establish new rules that will silence all resistance.
The Purpose Driven Deception – Exposing Rick Warren’s New World Order Agenda
Rick Warren is right in one way. It is the senior members of the church who do indeed hold a church up and keep it from falling into apostasy. While some PDC initiators may not implement the full PDC format, generally, these are the signs that your church is targeted for a Purpose Driven Church format:
- Change in music to a contemporary rock style.
- Removal of hymn books; eliminating the choir.
- Replacement of organ and piano with heavy metal instruments.
- Repetitive singing of praise lyrics.
- Dressing down to casual and informal attire.
- Eliminating of business meetings, church committees, council of elders, board of deacons, etc.
- The pastor, or a new leader with a few assistants, usually four, takes charge of all church business.
- A repetitive 40-day Purpose Driven Church study program stressing psychological relationships with each other, the community, or the world, begins.
- Funded budgeted programs are abandoned, or ignored, with ambiguous financial reports made.
- Sunday morning, evening, and/or Wednesday prayer meetings are changed to other times; some may even be eliminated.
- Sunday School teachers are moved to different classes, or replaced by new teachers more sympathetic with the changes being implemented.
- The name “Sunday School” is dropped and classes are given new names.
- Crosses and other traditional Christian symbols may be moved from both the inside and outside of the church buildings. The pulpit may also be removed.
- In accordance with Dr. Warren’s instructions, new version Bibles are used; or only verses flashed on a screen are referenced during regular services.
- Purpose Driven Church films, purchased from Saddleback, precede or are used during regular services.
- The decor, including the carpets, may be changed to eliminate any resemblance to the former church.
- The word “church” is often taken from the name of the church, and the church may be called a “campus”. Denominational names may also be removed.
- An emphasis on more fun and party sessions for the youth.
- Elimination of altar calls or salvation invitations at the close of the services.
- The elimination of such words as “unsaved”, “lost”, “sin”, “Hell”, “Heaven” and other Gospel verities from the pastor’s messages.
- The reclassification of the saved and lost to the “churched” and the “unchurched”.
- The marginalizing, or ostracizing, of all who are not avid promoters of the new Purpose Driven Program.
- Closed meetings between the pastor or chosen staff members without any reports made to the general membership.
- Open hostility to members who do not openly embrace the new program, or who may have left for another church.
What you can do to stop it:If your church is in the initial stages of change (music or the first 40-day program), your church could be saved by talking with other church members, and with activist intervention by 10-20 percent of the membership. If nothing is done at this early stage, then by the time the program advances to step four, there is little that can be done except look for another church. Your church has been stolen and become a Purpose Driven entity in association with Saddleback Church of Orange County or Willow Creek of Chicago.
You must educate yourself, and others, so that you can mobilize the membership to effectively resist. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7.
The Purpose Driven Church books and most of the programs are published by Rupert Murdoch, who owns 175 newspapers worldwide, and a large percentage of the television and communications industry. He also owns several magazines, some of which have been classified as pornographic.
Billions of dollars pour into the Purpose Driven Church movement. Dr. Warren has stated he intends to send one billion Christians into the world to bring in the “Kingdom of Heaven”. The entire movement appears cultish. Don’t be fooled by the Saddleback Website. You don’t catch many fish unless you have a look-alike bait!
Copied from printed pamphlet from: Southwest Radio Church Ministries, Box 100, Bethany, Oklahoma 73008, 1-800-652-1144 FREE, www.swrc.com 25 for $10 – 100 for $20 For more-in-depth information: “The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church”, by N.W. Hutchings – 1 copy for your gift of $15.
Additional source – Perfect Peace Plan