Three Biblical answers, that answer almost every “why?”
For the fifth time in my life first as a parent and now as a grandparent, I am busily answering the most popular question that children ask, “why?”. It seems like there is a point in the cognitive growth of a child where every statement made by anyone adult or child is followed by the inquisitive response “why?” Everything from the easy answers like explaining why we are having, what we are having for dinner, to more difficult questions regarding why is a friend having a baby or maybe why friends are moving away.
In the Bible, we as the children of G-D are many times like the children described above. We are very inquisitive often reading the Scriptures and then asking “why?”. Why does G-D do the things He does? Why did He create all that He created? Why did certain things happen? Why did He choose the people He chose to accomplish the things they did? The list of questions that we can come up with is never-ending. However, the answers to each of those questions usually come down to one of three answers.
We find those three answers all over the Scriptures but for the sake of this article we will look at one example with both answers are provided within one series of text. In Exodus 6, we find G-D speaking to Moses and G-D has just told Moses that He was going to cause Pharaoh to let Israel go and in doing so Pharaoh would drive Israel out of the land of Egypt.
In Exodus 6:2-3 which is found directly after the above takes place we find answer #1:
God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am Adonai. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, as El Shaddai. Yet by My Name, Adonai, I made Myself known to them.
Notice that G-D doesn’t just tell Moses what He is going to do. G-D goes further to explain what He is doing it. The first answer is for why G-D does things is that He desires us to know who He is. In order to understand why G-D does anything the first step is to know He exists. The book of Hebrews says it this way:
Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6
In Exodus 6:4-5 we find answer #2:
I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage where they journeyed. Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of Bnei-Yisrael, whom the Egyptians are keeping in bondage. So I have remembered My covenant.
Answer number 2 is that G-D is a covenant-keeping G-D in other words once He establishes a covenant or promise He always keeps that covenant. The book of Galatians chapter 3 verses 15-17 says it this way:
Brothers and sisters, I speak in human terms: even with a man’s covenant, once it has been confirmed, no one cancels it or adds to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. It doesn’t say, “and to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “and to your seed,” who is the Messiah. What I am saying is this: Torah, which came 430 years later, does not cancel the covenant previously confirmed by God, so as to make the promise ineffective.
The third answer for why G-D does what He does is found in Exodus 6:7:
I will take you to Myself as a people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Adonai your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
Here we learn that G-D doesn’t just want to be our G-D he also wants us to be His people. He has chosen us to be His people, and He wants us to know we are His choice. 1st Peter 2:9-10 says it like this:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were “not a people,” but now you are “God’s people.” You were shown “no mercy,” but now you have been shown “mercy.”
The bottom line is that everything that G-D has done since He first spoke the world into existence can be explained by one of the three answers we find provided in Exodus chapter 6 and reiterated many other places throughout the Bible.
He did things and still does them so that we will know Him, so He can keep His covenants with us and so that through knowing Him and His covenants we will become His people.
Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, #ManWisdom, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians, God Has No Plan "B", and his most recent book Galatians in Context.
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Three red cherries and a one-armed bandit
Slot-machines from a previous generation had a large metal handle on their right side. When this lever was pulled down, the one-armed bandit either swallowed your silver dollars or coughed up a trifling jackpot. For the rare winner, victory bells would ring on the machine and three cherries would line up on the glass-covered panel.
Today in the Middle East there are winners and losers. The slot machine’s bells are frantically ringing and three cherries have lined up. Syria is the slot machine in the present scenario, and the three Bing cherries are Russia, Iran, and Turkey.
Why does Russia love warm water?
Tim Marshall in his Prisoners of Geography (https://en.wikipedia.org/
Russia has three main ports open to world trade:
- St. Petersburg (often ice-bound)
- Vladivostok (ice-locked for several months each year, and accessing only the Pacific theater)
- Sevastopol in Crimea on the Black Sea, officially under Ukrainian rule until recently
Vladivostok is seldom in the news. But on February 26, 2014 Russian forces in green unmarked fatigues seized Crimea. Russia officially annexed Sevastopol (the home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Черноморский Флот) on March 18 of that year (www.washingtonpost.com/world/
Russia’s ‘drang nach Süden’ – its intense search for warm-water ports – has led it to the Syrian port of Tartus – strategically close to the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea and the Suez Canal. There it has constructed major military facilities which will significantly aid Russia in the Mediterranean against a potential clash with NATO forces. Jim Phillips, a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, says, “It is a thorn in the side of NATO, and an increased presence of Russian ships based in the Mediterranean will pose a big threat to the alliance on the its southern flank” (https://www.ibtimes.com/
In a scholarly article published by ISW (Institute for the Study of War) titled “Russian deployment to Syria: Putin’s Middle East game changer,” the authors conclude: “The Russian deployment to Syria is game-changing. It will alter the nature of international negotiations, compromise and weaken the cohesion and efforts of the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, strengthen the Assad regime, and initiate direct Russo-Iranian military operations for the first time. The U.S. and its partners must fundamentally reassess their approach to the Syrian conflict in light of this critical inflection” (https://www.files.ethz.ch/
For an up-to-date analysis of current Russian military thinking vis-à-vis Syria in light of the upcoming evacuation of U.S. forces, see http://iswresearch.blogspot.
- Russia in Syria is the first red cherry.
Hammer and sickle meet the Shi’ite Crescent
Over 2,500 years ago ancient Persia (modern Iran) marched its 500,000 strong army up to the shores of the Mediterranean and invaded Greece. The modern dream of Iran’s ayatollahs and its Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps is to conquer the world for its Shi’ite version of Islamist jihad. Its initial goal is an Iranian-controlled superhighway – a Shi’ite (or Shi’a) Crescent (http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/
From the perspective of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Shi’ite Islam’s triumphant message must press west and pass through the keyhole of Syria. For that to happen, a Shi’ite war of control must be about crushing the Sunni powers and influence of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Yemen, as well as the Sunni forces in Iraq, Lebanon and Kurdish enclaves. But the short-term strategic goal is to establish a land route all the way to Syria’s Mediterranean coast. That way, missiles and rockets can be loaded onto trucks in Tehran and driven by land right into Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s storehouses in Damascus or even to Hezbollah bunkers in Beirut.
Iran is funding and arming Lebanese Hezbollah to the hilt, and is doing the same for Islamic Jihad forces in Gaza. Iranian GPS systems are being flown directly to Beirut where Iranian-run factories in Lebanon are feverishly upgrading Shi’ite Hezbollah’s over 120,000 rockets and missiles, currently aimed at Israel’s population centers. Iranian Fajr-5 long-range multiple-launch rocket systems are flown into Damascus and then transshipped to Hezbollah launch sites (https://www.jpost.com/
Iran is striving to establish air and naval bases in Syria as Russia has already done (https://af.reuters.com/
According to Dr. Azeem Ibrahim (Ph.D Cambridge, International Security Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Adjunct Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College), “Iran now dominates, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, and may also end up doing so in Yemen. It is successfully extending the ‘Shiite crescent’” (http://english.alarabiya.net/
The brilliant commentator Charles Krauthammer spoke prophetically back in June 2017 about the current threat: “For Iran, Syria is the key, the central theater of a Shiite-Sunni war for regional hegemony. Iran (which is non-Arab) leads the Shiite side, attended by its Arab auxiliaries – Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Shiite militias in Iraq and the highly penetrated government of Iraq, and Assad’s Alawite regime (Alawites being a non-Sunni sect, often associated with Shiism.) This alliance operates under the patronage and protection of Russia, which supplies the Iranian-allied side with cash, weapons and, since 2015, air cover from its new bases in Syria” (Charles Krauthammer, “At stake in the Mideast is consolidation of the Shiite Crescent,” June 22, 2017;https://www.denverpost.com/
In January 2016, a confidant of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman claimed (in desert hyperbole which is not far off the mark) that the Arab world is being confronted not by a Shi’a Crescent (a sliver of moon) but “by a Shia full moon” (https://en.wikipedia.org/
- Iran in Syria is the second red cherry.
Turkey but no Thanksgiving – the resuscitation of the Caliphate
Sunni Islam’s dream of world domination through jihadi dictatorship (the Caliphate) crashed and broke into a thousand pieces on March 3, 1924. On that day Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first President of the Turkish Republic, constitutionally abolished the Caliphate. But some dreams die hard. The vision of a reborn and conquering Caliphate inspires and animates many jihadi Muslims. It is the crown jewels of such organizations as the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qa’eda and ISIS.
The current President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is actively pursuing a dominant role for Turkey over the entire Muslim world. Erdogan is seen by close associates as the up-and-coming Caliph of a resuscitated Caliphate:
erdogans-ambition-for-the- caliphate-and-the-failure-of- turkish-democracy.html
turkey/erdogan-trying-build- new-ottoman-caliphate-saudi- crown-prince
2018/11/27/opinion-erdogans- caliphate-dream-put-in-motion- in-turkey/
caliphate/erdogan-may-hold- referendum-return-caliphate- former-party-leader
History shows that Turkey’s pursuit of Caliphate glory has left a bloody trail of Christian Armenians and Greeks victims between the 1840’s and 1918. Here are some main milestones (https://en.wikipedia.org/
- Badr Khan in 1840’s – the slaughter of 10,000 Assyrian Christians by Muslim Kurds on behalf of the Turkish Ottoman authorities (https://en.wikipedia.org/
- Hamidian massacres in 1894-96 – 100,000-300,000 Christian Armenians by Turkish Ottoman and Arab soldiers (https://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Massacres_of_Diyarbak%C4% B1r_(1895); http://www.armenian-genocide. org/hamidian.html)
- Adana massacres in 1904 – 15,000-30,000 Christian Armenians by Turkish nationalists
- Greek genocide 1913-22 – 500,000-900,000 Christian Greeks by the Young Turk government
- Assyrian genocide 1914-18 – 270,000-750,000 Assyrian Christians by the Young Turk government and Kurdish tribes
- Armenian genocide 1915-18 – 850,000-1,500,000 Armenian Christians by the Young Turk government and Kurdish tribes (https://en.wikipedia.org/
Since 1984, Turkey has destroyed 3,000 Kurdish villages and implemented mass transfer of two million Kurds who became refugees in their own country. Turkish army forces conducted massacres of approximately 30,000 Kurds. And Turkey has clearly stated in the past week that it will shortly move into Syria with plans to slaughter the restive Kurdish independence movement.
Turkey’s State-owned Anadolu news agency on Thursday December 20, 2018 quoted Defence Minister Hulusi Akar (speaking of Kurds in Syria) during a visit to a Qatari-Turkish joint military base in Doha. “Right now it is being said that some ditches, tunnels were dug in Manbij and to the east of the Euphrates. They can dig tunnels or ditches if they want, they can go underground if they want, when the time and place comes they will buried in the ditches they dug. No one should doubt this” (https://www.reuters.com/
For more perspective see “Erdogan is not a benevolent sultan of old, he’s a monster that must be stopped” (Ben-Dror Yemini December 24, 2018:
turkey/turkish-military- considers-six-options-new- offensive-syria-hurriyet
A massacre of Kurds is set to be carried out by Turkish forces in the very near future
turkey-sends-more-troops-to- syrian-kurdish-area-as-us- pulls-out-monitor/).
The vacuum which will be created by the upcoming U.S. withdrawal of forces from Syria will open up opportunities for Turkey to once again butcher its opponents.
- Turkey in Syria is the third red cherry
A recent conference in Beersheva focused on the three “cherry” nations, offering perspective on the threats involved. The following article is helpful: “Iran, Turkey, Russia threaten Israel in Eastern Mediterranean” (Efraim Inbar, December 17, 2018;https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/
The Middle East abhors a vacuum
On December 19, 2018 US President Trump announced the upcoming withdrawal of approximately 2,000 US troops currently stationed in northeastern Syria (out of a present total of 2,600):
usa-trump-syria-evacuation/us- state-department-personnel- being-evacuated-from-syria-us- official-idUSKBN1OI1Z3
u-s-military-preparing-for-a- full-withdrawal-of-its-forces- from-northeastern-syria- 11545225641?mod=hp_lead_pos2
On December 23 a U.S. defense official announced that “the execute order has been signed” and that evacuation is proceeding.
How is this withdrawal to be understood in light of all the above history and context?
Getting serious about Syria
Many commentators and analysts have deep concerns concerning Trump’s decision. Here are two examples:
- Joost Hiltermann, “The Kurds: Betrayed Again by Washington” (December 22, 2018; http://on.theatln.tc/kir4jrN)
- Jean-Marc Mojon, https://www.timesofisrael.com/
us-pullout-strengthens-iran- land-bridge-to-the- mediterranean/
Kurdish former Foreign Minister of Iraq Hoshyar Zebari sees the American evacuation as having ramifications far beyond the Kurds. “This sudden change in policy is worrying not only to Syrian Kurds but to all the U.S. allies in the region…The message it sends is that there really is a question of trust. This will cause many governments to rethink their alliances with a superpower that can really can just abandon them and leave them in the lurch and throw them under the bus… Russia, Turkey and Iran will be the biggest beneficiaries…These are the new powers in the Middle East” (Liz Sly, “This time, the United States is betraying more than just the Kurds, allies say”; (https://www.washingtonpost.
On the other hand, some analysts see positive potential here.
- Caroline Glick, https://carolineglick.com/
- Lee Smith, “Trump’s Grand Strategy: Get the United States out of the Middle East, Now” (https://www.tabletmag.com/
jewish-news-and-politics/ 260390/trump-strategy-middle- east)
For some time U.S. President Trump has expressed his intention to withdraw American forces from Syria On April 3, 2018 he declared, “We were successful against ISIS. We’ll be successful against anybody militarily, but sometimes it’s time to come back home … So we’re going to be making a decision, we’ve had a tremendous military success” (https://abcnews.go.com/
“As far as Syria is concerned, our primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of ISIS. We’ve almost completed that task, and we’ll be making a decision very quickly in coordination with others as to what we’ll do … I want to get out. I want to bring our troops home” (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/
On that same day April 3, 2018, a few hours earlier in the same city the AmericanSpecial Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk said, “We’re in Syria to fight ISIS. That is our mission, and that mission isn’t over, and we’re going to complete that mission.” McGurk added that, while ISIS is on the run, it is not yet defeated.
On December 13 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu agreed to have Trump and Erdogan discuss the latter’s threat to immediately attack and destroy U.S.-backed Kurdish rebels in northeast Syria, where American forces are also based. The National Security Council arranged the call, while Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis prepared a list of talking points for Trump, urging Erdogan to back off from hostilities.
On December 14 President Trump spoke with PM Erdogan, but ended up ignoring the script. Erdogan challenged Trump, reminding him that his official reason for U.S. troops to be in Syria was to defeat the Islamic State. “Why are you still there?” Erdogan asked Trump, telling him that ISIS was 99% defeated and that the Turks could easily deal with the remaining terrorists. Trump quickly pledged to withdraw U.S. troops, shocking both National Security Advisor John Bolton and Erdogan (https://www.timesofisrael.
On subsequent tweets President Trump posted, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency” (December 19, 2018,https://twitter.com/
Six days after Trump’s decisive conversation with Erdogan, on Wednesday December 19 the President publically announced the coming troop withdrawals. One day later, on Thursday afternoon December 20 Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis went to see President Trump in a last-ditch attempt to change Trump’s mind. For 45 minutes Mattis argued that America needed to stand by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces(SDF), who had taken the lead in ejecting ISIS from its Syrian strongholds. The President refused to budge. At the conclusion of their discussion Mattis handed the President his letter of resignation.
The letter stressed that the issues at stake involved abandoning international allies and not sufficiently blocking hostile moves by authoritarian governments such as Russia (https://www.forbes.com/sites/
Mac Thornberry, top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, scored Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan – another surprise move by Trump that leaked in news reports on Thursday. “Reducing the American presence in Afghanistan and removing our presence in Syria will reverse progress, encourage our adversaries, and make America less safe,” he said (https://www.reuters.com/
David Phillips (a Professor at Columbia University, a former senior State Department official, and the author of the new book: The Great Betrayal: How America Abandoned the Kurds and Lost the Middle East) commented, “As soon as the US folds its tent and leaves, Turkey will immediately begin an air bombardment followed by a ground attack by the [Turkish-backed] Free Syrian army. Thousands will die, thousands will be displaced and will be given no haven within Syria. They will be turned away at the Turkish border … For more than three and a half years, the [Kurds] have been our boots on the ground and were the point of the spear in retaking [ISIS command center] Raqqa. Who is going to fight for us in the future when we throw our allies under the bus?” (https://www.theguardian.com/
“It’s a bad day for Israel,” says Ehud Yaari, a veteran Israeli reporter and fellow of theWashington Institute for Near East Policy. “Israeli decision-makers were left in shock by the US decision … Israel is being left alone on its most vulnerable front … The YPG [Kurdish forces] will be eradicated” (https://twitter.com/
On December 18 Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “I spoke with US President Donald Trump and yesterday with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who told me that it was the President’s intention to withdraw their forces from Syria and made it clear that they had other ways to express their influence in the arena … This is, of course, America’s decision. We will study the timetable, the mode of operation, and of course the implications for us. In any case, we will take care to protect Israel’s security and to protect ourselves from that arena” (https://www.timesofisrael.
Outbreak in Lebanon
The coming war between Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hezbollah and Israel is getting closer all the time. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) is interdicting and destroying Iranian, North Korean and Chinese ordinance in Lebanon and Syria on a regular basis (https://www.timesofisrael.
The words of the Psalmist prefigure this challenging situation:
God, do not remain quiet! Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still! For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate You have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.” For they have conspired together with one mind. Against You they make a covenant: the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre. Assyria also has joined with them, They have become a help to the children of Lot… who said, “Let us possess for ourselves the pastures of God” (Psalm 83:1-8, 13).
- In verses 13-18 of this psalm, the writer calls out to YHVH in intense intercession. We would do well to heed the direction of his petitions, and add them to our own as we pray about these matters.
- Also, in Ezekiel 38:5 Iran/Persia has a future military role against Israel. That is something worth praying about.
How should we then pray?
- Pray for your country’s leaders to receive God’s heart and strategies about these matters
- Pray for your own spiritual leaders to receive revelation about God’s heart and strategies here
- Pray for divine encounters and revelation for Israel’s leadership about these issues
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s army speedily and in our day
This article originally appeared on David’s Tent, December 26, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Avner and his wife, Rachel, live in the Beersheva region of Israel and are dedicated to stirring up the creative arts, worship, intercession, evangelism and the prophetic gifts within a Jewish and Israeli matrix. They oversee Final Frontier Ministries.
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The fall of man
‘And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.’ – 1 Timothy 2:14
The greatest historical downfalls of humanity came about through certain women taking the lead and their husbands heeding after them, be it Eve and her husband listening to her unto tragedy for all, or Abraham heeding his wife Sarah and bringing forth Ishmael and thus Islam and Al Qaeda and ISIS tormenting the world today, followed to a lesser degree by such as Mary Baker Eddy spawning Christian Science, or Batya Wooten birthing the Two-House Ephraimite heresy, or Ellen White, her talented but sometimes wild speculations and imaginings enthroned only by Adventists as prophecy, or even our own dear Jewess Miriam unwillingly becoming Mary the goddess of Catholicism.
The Biblical and divine order given us is this: “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Messiah, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Messiah is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). By the ignoring or reversing of this order we cause deception to spread and can lead many astray into error. We see this now in the extreme as the world unravels sexual identities and roles are reversed in rebellion, confusion, and chaos. We must not either identify with that lawlessness, nor compromise with it or, worse yet, contribute to it. Therefore, may men take hold of their God-given position of authority and responsibility, and women their God-given role of dignity and honor, celebrating our differences in harmony– not in uniformity. Equal does not mean the same.
This is what we find written in the New Testament: ‘A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” – 1 Timothy 2:11-14 ‘Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church’. – 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 I did not write that.
Here in Jerusalem we get all the “prophets and prophetesses” imaginable, and are mostly outlandish and their predictions seldom come to pass. If a ‘prophet’ is wrong about one point prophesied, he or she is a false prophet (Deut. 18:22). I have personally and publicly brought to order one ‘prophetess’ who gave widespread the very date of our destruction which, thank Heaven, did not come to pass. Of course, she claimed it didn’t happen because she prayed it wouldn’t, and played the Jonah card in her defense. No, there is no room for speculation games in this very serious business, for using the name of the Lord in vain bears consequences. Whether it be women or men such as Joseph Smith or Muhammad, errant teaching and false prophecy produce historical consequences. It is time for the wisdom that begins with a healthy fear of God to return to our congregations, and discernment in these days of great deception and apostasy.
Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published two illustrated books of poetry, and painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.
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Israel may now be very close to a major war
With our Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu having taken over the Defense Ministry of the Israeli government, he has now placed himself in the position to make all the military calls. I believe that Netanyahu knows that his time in the Israeli government is drawing to a close, but also that God may have kept him in the Prime Minister’s position for such a time as this, possibly for a prophetic purpose to be fulfilled while he is still Prime Minister.
[Cited from Arutz Sheva 7 Israel National News, January 3, 2015, by Mark Langfan … ‘Obama Threatened to Shoot Down IAF Iran Strike’ The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an had cited Kawaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach there targets in Iran. Following Obama’s threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.]
For as long as I can remember our Prime Minister’s primary concern has always been to totally stop Iran’s nuclear program. But he has also confidently believed that his big brother, the U.S. government’s military power with President Trump backing him, will also be there to help him, to protect him and Israel. But President Trump has just pulled out all the U. S. military forces from Syria. Are we about to witness some major collision? Will Israel suddenly be forced, with no other nation being there to help them, to single handedly take out the Iran nuclear facilities? Will the United States be one of those ‘young lions’ that just stands by, looking on, and saying to Gog, of the land of Magog, “have you come to take plunder?” Ezekiel 38:13
Why is Iran the first nation mentioned coming with Gog in this War, and coming just as foot soldiers? Ezekiel 38:5 If Iran still had nuclear power, they would have annihilated Israel. If Israel suddenly takes out the Iran nuclear facilities, will this be the hook in the jaws of Gog which God uses as the catalyst to bring about this major Middle East War, and also in His perfect timing?
If a military War, such as the Ezekiel 38 – 39 Gog Magog
War, happens suddenly, I believe that God will not allow any nation to be able to help Israel. When God brings the nation of Israel to Himself by sovereignly winning this War and saving Israel, then this will show His Israeli Jewish people that He has always been there for them, and that He has never left them. So are things about to change drastically here in Israel, and also in the United States? Only time will tell, and perhaps we will know very soon.
Have the Israeli Messianic pastors prepared their believers for the possible soon coming Gog Magog Middle East War, followed by strong Israeli Orthodox Religious persecutions?
I believe now is the time to be preparing the believers in Yeshua for the soon coming Ezekiel 38 – 39 Middle East War, which will almost immediately be followed by very serious persecutions from Israeli Orthodox Religious Jews.
When the God of Israel sovereignly wins this War, then the unsaved secular Israeli Jews, in gratitude to God for saving their lives, will do something, I believe, which they have never done before, they will give their support to the Israeli Orthodox religious Jews, who will very quickly gain great political power in Israel. With this newly gained political power, the Israeli religious Jews will strongly persecute those Jews in the more than 300 Congregations and also the Christian Chuches in Israel, whom they think believe in other gods, specifically in Yeshua. (The sad fact is that it is they, the Orthodox religious Jews, who have left the Word of God of the Tanakh, and mainly follow a non biblical Oral Law. Thus they cannot see, or perhaps even refuse to see Yeshua as their Messiah in the Scriptures.) And you must know that the Israeli Orthodox religious Jews already know exactly where every public Messianic Congregation and Christian Church is located in Israel.
With the soon coming persecutions by the religious Jews, I believe that the following scenario will also happen:
Then will come the Great Outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit of Love bringing in the Great World Revival, with the salvation of multitudes of souls, with great signs, wonders and miracles. This mighty move of God’s Love will begin from Jerusalem in the ben Hinnom Valley, and perhaps also other places in Israel, such as up in the Galilee, and will last for a couple of years, going worldwide, until the anti Christ finally takes over the Jerusalem Temple on Mount Moriah on Zion Hill, at the time of mid Tribulation. He will stop all sacrifices being done by the Israeli Orthodox Aaronic priests, and he will declare himself to be God. And he will set up ‘abomination of desolation’ in the Jerusalem Temple.
Lord Yeshua, help Your Body to prepare many small groups and home groups, active and functioning in every geographic area in this nation, with plenty of basic survival materials, such as water, stored food, gas masks for any possible biological or chemical warfare; and also with the things necessary for continued growth and discipleship. Also with quantities of evangelistic materials for the coming great harvest of both unsaved Jews and Arabs and people from the nations.
Make all this information available to every pastor and ministry leader, for them to be able to share the information with those in their congregations.
Lord Yeshua, help the pastors to encourage their believers to also invite other believers living in the same geographical areas to attend these small groups and home groups; for if the pastors do not encourage this, the believers will certainly do this on their own. Give us all a heart of compassion to really love and forgive each other, and also to love the lost Jews and Arabs now living all around us, and especially all the sick and hurting people.
Do your sheep know what to do when war comes?
Do your sheep also know what to do during the coming times of serious religious Jewish persecutions, after the Israeli religious Jews gain great political Power?
“But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.” John 10:12, 13
Bring up this topic for prayer in your different gatherings:
… Pastor’s Meetings!
… Men in Ministry Prayer Breakfast fellowship!
… National pastor prayer gatherings!
… All public and private prayer meetings!
… Women’s prayer ministry meetings!
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:3
Ezekiel 33:2-7 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them, ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.”
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Yeshua), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have Everlasting Life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16, 17
“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord (Yeshua) shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls. Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:13
RIchard has served the Lord full-time from Jerusalem since 1998, having made Aliyah to Israel in 1995. He been a writer for the Lord Yeshua since 1982. All of his books, including the newest one, ‘King Priest Yeshua from the Seed of David and Aaron’, along with other writings are free to read and download from his website.
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A sign spoken against
One thing about Christmas is that it is not a celebration of a shadow or type, looking for the One of whom Moses and the Prophets spoke. It is focused on Him who came — the Son has come, the Light shines brightly!
Ps 69: 5-9 (6-10 Heb) O God, You know my foolishness, and my sins are not hidden from You. Let not those who hope in You, O YHVH God of Hosts, be ashamed because of me; let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel. Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children (Mk 3:21; 6:3; Jn 7:1-5). Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me. (Rom 15:3)
Lk 2: 29-35 [Simeon] took [Yeshua] up in his arms and blessed God and said: Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel. . . .Behold, this One is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against, . . .that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
–Who is That Man?! Who is this child that was born, this Son that is given? (Is 9:6-7)
–just a man, a son of Mary?
–just a brother, of Yaakov, Joseph, Judah, Simon, and of sisters, too? They thought He was crazy.
–just a carpenter or a stonemason, son of Joseph? (Mt 13:54-57) They were all offended by Him and His wisdom.
–just a son of David, or one of the prophets and teachers (rabbis)? (Mt 22:42-46; 16:13-20)
–Jesus the Son bears the reproach of God His Father: YHVH is holy, holy, holy. Yeshua did not come to please Himself, but His Father – God – and those weaker than Himself, in order to build them up. Yeshua love His Father and His Father’s house – the Temple. Do we stand up for Jesus when He we hear others speak against Him, or say something not true about Him? Do we defend the congregation when we hear others speak poorly of it? Do we love Jesus; do we love the church?
–We are to go outside the camp where Messiah is and bear His reproach.
–He is the only one with the words of eternal life.
–He is the one who brings both Jew and Gentile into equal standing with God: this Jew; this crucified One.
–Yeshua – like His Father – is blamed for all the evil and suffering in the world, because He allows it, and does not prevent or stop it [yet]. He is the Scapegoat because He took our sins upon His own body on the cross, becoming a curse for us, so that we could become righteous and blessed!
–If Jesus is only a myth, then Israel as God’s chosen people – and this land as God’s promised land for His people – is also only a myth. If YHVH and Jesus is/are just a myth, then why is He blamed for everything. Thus, the Jews become the scapegoat, since they “invented this myth”; and Christians are hated, because they believe it. Why live, or die, for what is only a myth or a legend?!
–While we believe that this is no myth, but that YHVH God is the true God and Creator of all that is, those who do not believe in Him or in His words (written for us in the Bible) make up their own myth and expect people to validate it as a legitimate alternative to believe and live for. YHVH God is true, and His word is truth. YHVH God is not a myth or a legend, and neither is the Bible – both OT and NT.
–Great responsibility not to be a cause of stumbling for those seeking truth, for those seeking the true God, or of those whose hope is already in YHVH God of Hosts, the God of Israel
–It is essential to give our children and our churches proofs from the Bible concerning controversial issues, to enable them to stand against those who want to attack generally accepted truths handed down to believers from generation to generation – the faith which was once-for-all delivered to the saints.
—God will abase all pride because He – the great God – humbled Himself and was/is humiliated by the pride and foolishness of man.
–God Almighty came in flesh and blood; born as a baby, in poverty, in weakness.
–What reproach did Mary and Joseph have to bear for being chosen for such a miracle and done in such a way that Miriam was thought to have been unfaithful to Joseph and to the holiness of YHVH?
–If illegitimate, then Yeshua is unworthy and unacceptable to be in the assembly of God (Dt 23:2) But He is the Holy One of God, the Holy One of Israel! (Lk 1:30-35)
–What did the people of Bethlehem think when all the babies were killed by Herod because of hearing that the Messiah, the rightful King of Israel, had been born?
—God does not do things to satisfy our own understanding or expectation, but rather for us to take note that He has intervened in the affairs of man for His own holy name’s sake.
God is good; He is righteous; He is love; He keeps covenant and mercy to those who love Him and keep His commandments. He has a plan of redemption that He is fulfilling, and will fulfill fully. Yeshua was born according to God’s promise; Yeshua died and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; Yeshua is acting and governing today according to the will of the Father; and He will return at the set time which the Father has determined already. We are to remain faithful to the end, growing in trust and hope and love in the Living God. Blessed are they who are not offended in Him. (Mt 11:3-6)
We want to celebrate and to exalt our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah, who still today is the Rock of Offense for the falling and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against, that the hearts of many – including us in the Body of Christ – may be revealed. He is our hope and joy.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever should believe on Him should not perish, but inherit everlasting life.”
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, December 22, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.