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Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

Yes – I know – it’s that old chestnut, but I’ve been reading Ezekiel, initially to take a look at ‘end times’ prophecies concerning the nations and Israel.

But in Chapter 18  God sets out the principle that everyone is responsible for their own sins and we have a choice to follow His Laws or not. Further v.24 : But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does according to all that the wicked man does, shall he live? All his righteousness shall not be mentioned, in his trespasses and in his sin he shall die. v.25: Yet you say the way of the Lord is not equal: hear now O Israel; is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?

Reading this set me to thinking and one thought led to another and I began reflecting on a curious mind set that I find among pre-tribulation Rapture advocates – namely that God has a different gospel for Israel than He does for the Church.

I was taught early in my Christian life that the Church is under Grace but Israel is under the Law; the teaching went something like this : while we are living in the Church age, under grace, Jews may be converted and become Christians, making them part of the Church; but after the Rapture, God begins dealing with Israel under the Law again via the Great Tribulation, so that he who endures to the end of this terrible time will be saved and enter the Millennial Kingdom.

It’s the ‘enduring to the end’ part that seemed to lead to the ‘keeping the Law’ conclusion, so therefore it couldn’t be referring to the Church. The conclusion must be [in their minds] that God has two gospels going on – one for the Church and another  for Israel. One by Grace and the other by Works! But I think it most certainly is speaking of the Church – especially in the light of James’ explanation of faith and works. James 2:20-24. verse 22 is particularly relevant in the context of ‘enduring to the end’ because our faith is made perfect by our works.

A further complication arises , because if we think we don’t have to keep the Law [ the ten Commandments etc] to endure to the end, then it becomes a matter of ‘once saved, always saved’ so that it doesn’t matter how we live our lives – we will be saved in the end….. otherwise it isn’t grace .

I think this belief leads to the farcical acceptance of scandalous sin among ‘evangelical’ Leaders : because we are all under grace and musn’t judge another Christian – especially not a Leader or God’s ‘annointed’ ! But Jesus said “He that has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me” john 14:21  and “If you keep My commandments , you will abide in My love; even as I have kept My father’s commandments and abide in His love” John 15:10

You only have to study Jesus’ parable of the sower to see what happens in real life when the gospel is preached. I do not see a ‘once saved, always saved’ scenario there! From personal experience I know that Christians can and do fall away – I had friends who were definitely saved but who turned away from it all. One even regarded it as her ‘period of madness’ !!

It is dangerous to assume that a Christian living in obvious sin, without repentance, is still saved. Yes – we all fail and are weak in certain areas – but this is the age-old battle of the flesh with the spirit that Paul talks about in Romans: chapters 7 and 8   and we must walk in the spirit, and trust in Christ’s righteousness to keep us from falling. But that is different to deliberately sinning without repentance.

To return to the question of two gospels – or one gospel split into two as some say [ likewise splitting the Rapture of the Church away from the Day of the Lord] – there is a danger of thinking too highly of ourselves, ie the Church, than we ought. A read of Paul’s coverage in Romans chapters 9 ,10,11 of how we should view ourselves and Israel – especially 11:17-27, should be enlightening.

The New Testament is consistent with the Old and if we read Hebrews 11, we see that the faithful saints of old were indeed saved by faith; however – linking with the truth of Ezekiel 18, Hebrews also emphasises works. Jesus didn’t abolish the law – He fulfilled it !  He took the just penalty for sin that we deserve, but we are still expected to live according to His righteous Laws. The Apostle Paul set out the Jewish ritual Laws that we are set free from eg eating meats etc, but the Ten commandments – which Jesus summed up in the first two – loving God and loving one’s neighbour – are still in force for us.

God doesn’t expect us to do the impossible –  He has given the Holy Spirit to indwell, help and guide us. Indeed , if we truly love God, then we are truly willing to follow His ways and love His truth. We are also encouraged to defend the faith , which means speaking out when necessary.

I hope this hasn’t come across as ‘holier than thou’ because  I am only too aware of my own shortcomings and struggles – but we press toward the mark do we not?

As always – these are just my thoughts and I welcome any comments , especially if I’ve made any gaffs – highly likely considering my age ! Fings ain’t wot they used to be ….

Bless you for your indulgent time,   Eileen

 

 

 

 

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Although in the past I’ve written about Bible prophecies concerning Israel and the Last Days, I suppose I’ve avoided specifically addressing those pertaining to the world and its politics, because so many ‘prophetic’ ministries just end up tickling the ears as they almost fall over each other in order to tell us what the Lord has revealed or told them. eg the most recent Jewish Feast days and Blood moons fiasco. [I’m resisting the temptation to say ‘I told you so!’]  I’m sure they will have more future dates ready in their spiritual pipe-lines … while all the time denying they are date-setting of course.

On the other hand, I am delighted to say that I am finding more and more genuine, Bible – based prophetic ministries, who, far from promoting their own speculations, special revelations and theories to us, truly concentrate on what the Bible has to say. As they watch what is happening to our world and to the Church, it is becoming clearer to all Lovers of the truth, that God’s prophetic word is unfolding before our eyes.

It struck me the other day, on reading the first few chapters of the book of Acts, that the fulfillment of prophecy – as it was happening, then and there for the Disciples – was a major part of their preaching the Gospel. They confronted the Jews, and later the Gentiles,  with the scripture prophecies concerning Jesus.  They told them that what they saw happening was indeed the fulfillment of what God had long ago revealed through His Prophets and now through His Beloved Son.

And so, I believe it is in our day – we can use what is currently happening as a major tool in our witness to unbelievers, as faith in the Bible, God’s infallible word, has all but disappeared in our post modern world and church!  At the least it should make them THINK! Some fifty years ago , in my own atheist days, atheism was still  a minority view and non- militant and  those who were agnostic in the matter hedged their bets and wouldn’t have mocked Jesus and the Gospel story ‘just in case’ !  People in general accepted the Bible and it was referred to as the ‘Holy’ Bible – or The Good Book.  Most parents, believers or otherwise, would send their kids to Sunday School because they knew it would be a good influence.

But now, it’s a whole different ball game and those countries that were once custodians of the Gospel and considered ‘christian’ [in as far as ethics and morals were concerned] are becoming the enemies of the cross and the Christian way of life. Of course we know that all this is paving the way for the Man of Sin’s appearance on the world stage. Which I believe the Apostle Paul said is the second sign we are to watch for.

This is speculation on my part I admit – but could this eventual total apostasy of the [mainly Gentile] church be the reason God transfers His attention to the nation of Israel and entrusts the Gospel back into their hands, just as it was at the Church’s beginning?  Romans 11:22-27 seems to indicate this and would explain why the Book of Revelation deals with Jewish believers and their testimony and martyrdom and [so I’ve been told] not the ‘Gentile’ Church. Not because the Church has already been Raptured but because the last Gentile has come in, and we will eventually [ on the Day of the Lord] all be raptured together, at the same time, with the dead in Christ resurrected first. Otherwise – as I’ve said before  – the Rapture theory splits the one true Gospel into two – one for the Jews and the other for the Gentiles.

So  – back to what is happening now, prophetically: everyone seems to agree that all the signs are pointing to the fact that we are in the ‘beginning of sorrows’ and the birth pangs of catastrophe for this world are coming closer together and are fairly taking our breath away. I’ve often said that I am no expert in any of these matters – I just read and believe my Bible and praise and thank the Lord for my salvation. But He has promised blessings to those who love the Truth [of His word] and I have really been blessed by what I read and the ministries that I’ve found I’m in harmony with.

To that end I would like to recommend the following ministries which, as well as warning about what is happening, also encourage us to take heart, comfort one another and look up to our Redeemer ….   But of course, at this present time, most of these support a Pre-Tribulation viewpoint which I do not share; but I have high hopes that as events unfold, they will soon be changing their minds!

These can all be found with a Google search of their names or a search on YouTube :

John Haller – Prophecy Updates – You Tube

JD Farag – Prophecy Updates   – You Tube

Jan Markell –  http://www.oneplace.com    – Understanding the Times  – Radio broadcasts

Amir Tsarfati  – Behold Israel  – web site and videos

Jack Hibbs  – wwwreallifewithjackhibbs.org

These all cite the following Bible passages as being significant to what is currently taking place and what we’re heading for sooner or later  Psalm 83,[see note below]  Isaiah 17,  Zech 12,13,14  Ezek 37,38

Psalm 83: Amir Tsarfati thinks this was fulfilled in Israel’s 1967 six day war, but I’m not convinced. It doesn’t mention WAR specifically but indicates much conspiring and plotting by Israel’s enemies – which is certainly going on at the moment I think.

Please – as always – if you want to comment or put me right on anything do feel free  –  may the Lord bless and keep you, Maranatha!   Eileen

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Well folks, I guess I’m going to get political in this post …. with all the biased reporting going on in the media, I felt the need to register  my support for Israel and the truth.  I’m really glad to see that the voices that are pro-Israel are getting louder in the continuing conflict . However, I’m also grieved when naive and uninformed christians condemn Israel on the say-so of  Islam.  Anti-semitism is in full flow again it seems.

The media in general and the BBC in particular have always shown their dislike of Israel. For years now Jeremy Bowen has been demonising Israel in his reporting. And apparently the BBC among others will be broadcasting an appeal by DEC  [Disasters Emergency Committee ] for Gaza today, having previously refused to do so.  Today the BBC stated ” The BBC will continue to report impartially in our coverage of the story in the Middle East”   – are they kidding?  Their idea [or deceit] of unbiased reporting is to show one-sided graphic images and distressing scenes from sometimes ‘staged’ events together with voice- overs giving statistics, comparing casualty numbers as if that all proves Israel is the aggressor and guilty party- deliberately terrorising the innocent.  In the interests of ‘balance’ and BBC non-partisanship , a token Israeli family or govt. spokesperson is tacked onto the end or beginning of the reports.  No real, serious attempt is made to understand or report accurately the true situation. it is all taken at face value, which suits Hamas just  fine.

The world is ‘up in arms’, ironically, because of the reported loss of innocent lives and the appalling suffering of women and children. But has the media been fair and honest in it’s reporting? An Israel Defense Forces[IDF] spokesman says of the casualty figures: ” the UN numbers being reported are by and large based on the Gaza Health Ministry – run by Hamas”  and ” when militants are brought to hospital, they are brought in civilian clothing, obscuring terrorist affiliations”.  There also appears to be video evidence on youtube of ‘staged’ dead body scenarios by Hamas – so who would we rather trust?  Mosab Hassan Yousef, now a Christian, said in an interview :” They don’t care about the lives of Palestinians, or of Israelis or of Americans – they don’t care about their own lives”

Before I ever became a Christian , I too used to believe what the media said about the State of Israel and it’s supposed oppression of the Palestinian people. I always wondered why Israel, themselves so terribly terrorised and persecuted ,would act in the same way towards others – they of all people should show compassion shouldn’t they?  But, like the rest of the world I never understood the absolute deception that engulfs the world and the satanic influence behind it all.  Why would a tiny democratic country like Israel command such hatred ?  Why is the world anti-Israel and not anti-terrorist? Who is the true attacker or defender here?  Has Israel not the right that every country has to defend itself against attack?

Hypocrisy is at it’s height when we make one rule for ourselves and another for Israel!  Would we expect our own govt. to take appropriate action if another country bombarded us with rocket fire or would we just sit back and let rockets fall where they will?  Did we do that when Germany attacked us?  Israel would be very foolish if she ignored the situation – it would be suicide !

Now, the US President is authorising air strikes on Iraq – but hey, that’s ok isn’t it – because ISIS could threaten US interests and Personnel in that country ….  BUT – the US wouldn’t intervene in Syria, even though the ‘red line of using chemical weapons’  had been crossed.  So – self interest is the crossing line after all then? US assets etc must be protected at all costs.

It is well documented that Islam seeks the destruction of Israel, but they also want to build an Islamic Caliphate everywhere in the world – hence Muslims entrench themselves in democratic countries that they really despise. Where they gain local political power their aim is to impose Sharia law for all. They would force all people to become Muslim if they could. And why were they allowed to block the Blackwall tunnel with their Gaza protests? And Tower Hamlets seems to be a Muslim enclave these days….

Israel is a tiny democracy in the Middle East and poses no threat to anyone – she is in a land historically given to her by Jehovah God [ see my previous Post], the God of the Bible, Jews and Christians. Islam follows the ‘god’ Allah  and the religion of Islam where love and mercy do not exist.

Our country’s collaboration with the madness of political correctness reared it’s ugly head again recently with the arrest of Paul Weston, [Liberty GB] because he publicly quoted from Winston Churchill’s book, The River War, published in 1899. It set out Churchill’s views on Islam and it’s threats to societies. How times have changed eh?  I daresay eventually quoting from the Bible will be banned , because it speaks truth and is far removed from ‘political correctness’.  But then , the Christian gospel has always been an offense to those who have no love of the truth.

I admire those who are of a high public profile who are willing to speak out in defense of Israel’s position eg Melanie Phillips and I’m so pleased to see that Rev.TV is  making a stand too – good on ’em I say!

Although I haven’t put any specific links here – an appropriate google search will find most of what I’ve stated if you want to check anything out.

Thank God we know the end of the story and evil will not triumph over Israel … primarily because God will fulfill His own purposes and bring glory to His name with the return of Christ.

May God bless and keep you in these troubled times,    Eileen

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