Archive for February 22nd, 2010

More End Time Signs from the Holy Land

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

We are certainly seeing more signs of possible hostilities between Israel and her neighbors.

Lebanon Making Room for Syrian Tanks by Michael G. Mickey (2-19-10)

According to Israel National News, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa is reporting a parking lot is being prepared along the Lebanese-Syrian border for Syrian tanks to be deployed soon. Reportedly, a lot of explosives are being used to clear large rocks from the area to accomodate them which, if true, is another marked indicator that tensions in the Middle East are close to coming to a boil.

Through bible prophecy, we know the Middle East is going to be a hotbed of military conflict in the last days with one event believed by many to be on the prophetic horizon standing out more and more as a possiblity, namely the destruction of Damascus.

Isaiah 17:1: The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

Israel has been quite clear of late in signaling Damascus that any conflict between the two nations is going to be dramatic in scope as evidenced by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s comments made on 2-14-10, during which he indicated that any future war between the two longtime enemies will not only result in defeat for Syria but the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his family from power as well.

Lieberman’s warnings have apparently fallen on deaf ears, given Syria is still escalating an already tense atmosphere in the region which doesn’t bode well. If something as decisive as Israel plotting regime change for Syria in the event of war doesn’t make it as clear as crystal that a knockout punch is being planned for Syria, as well as its capital city of Damascus, I don’t know what would and yet the beating of war drums continues.

Given that Syria seems to be taking its cues from Iran in relation to brashenly provoking Israel, Tehran having openly called for Israel to be wiped from the face of the earth on a routine basis in recent years, there’s no telling what lies ahead in the near future in the troubled Middle East. Between Syria’s stalking behavior and the recent admission on the part of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Association) that it believes Iran is presently working to build a nuclear warhead, nothing should surprise us.

Psalm 122:6: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

Syria: Next war with Israel will be ruinous by Michael G. Mickey (2-20-10)

In yesterday’s commentary, I wrote of reports that Lebanon was blasting large areas of rock near the Lebanese-Syrian border to build a staging area for the deployment of Syrian tanks, presumably in preparation of Syria getting involved in what we can be sure is on the horizon, another military conflict between Israel and her enemies.

Today’s headline in The Jerusalem Post, perhaps by the design of its staff, seems to make reference to Isaiah 17. It reads “Syria warns: Next war will be ruinous”.

Ruinous? If that doesn’t take one’s mind to Isaiah 17:1, nothing will!

Isaiah 17:1: The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

In the Jerusalem Post article, we find that Syrian Prime Minister Naji al-Otari, after what has been a quietened level of rhetoric between the two nations following a period of ominous declarations made by each side several weeks ago, today stirred the coals of conflict once again, warning “Israel that any new Mideast war would be catastrophic for the region and beyond.”

The following is an excerpt from the JP article highlighting some of the recent saber rattling that has taken place between the two:

Syria’s foreign minister warned Israel earlier this month that any new war would reach Israeli cities, to which Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded that the Syrian army would be defeated and its regime would collapse in any future conflict.

Based on everything being said, both by Israel and Syria, the probability of a military conflict exploding in the Middle East at any moment, potentially elevating rapidly to prophetic, downright wrath of God levels is very high.

Today Damascus is here, but tomorrow? Who knows? Things are that tense.

Keep looking up! Our redemption draweth nigh!

Iran Launches Destroyer, Russia Lies to Israel by Chris Schang

In another sign today that Iran continues to put their military machine on the front burner it was announced by the Jerusalem Post that Iran had launched the first locally built naval destroyer. The Jerusalem Post article went on to report:

Iranian state TV on Friday reported that the country launched its first domestically built destroyer, calling it a major technological leap for its naval industries. Friday’s broadcast said the guided-missile destroyer called Jamaran is equipped with anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles as well as torpedoes and naval cannons. The report said the 94-meter destroyer weighs 1,500 tons and has a helipad and modern radar. The ship has a top speed of 30 knots and can carry 120 to 140 personnel.

As we know from recent headlines over the past six months to a year Iran has made outstanding claims on developing new military equipment. Iran has boasted of making stealth airplanes, long range missiles, stealth boats, and other advanced military equipment. What exactly Iran has actually done remains to be determined in the future when a possible conflict calls for these kinds of equipment to be deployed. Whether Iran can do so remains to be seen. In my opinion the Iranians come out with a new “military achievement” every couple of weeks in an effort to play a “psychological” warfare game with the West. Which is nothing but a game of chess on the psychological warfare front. In my honest opinion it appears that Iran is trying to intimidate the West and hopes that by making numerous claims of technological progress that they can hopefully ward off an attack on their vulnerable military and nuclear sites.

In the last Rapture Report I made the prediction that Russia would go ahead with the sale of the advanced S-300 anti-aircraft defense system to Iran as the Iranians had already paid for the system and that Russia stood to make a nice profit on the sale of the system. Well, it is being announced today in the Haaretz news agency that Russia will go ahead with the deal despite the opposition of the U.S. and Israel to scrap the contract. Russia has apparently decided that making money is more important than being a good global citizen and helping to reign in Iran on the nuclear issue. Instead, Russia has decided to fortify the illegal Iranian nuclear facilities with their advanced S-300 air defense system. This system will make any attack by the U.S and/or Israel much more complicated due to the precision of the advanced military air defense system. As I mentioned before, the Russians just can’t be trusted to be a good global citizen. This turn about in their decision comes right on the heels of their promise to Israel not to sell the system to Iran. The Haaretz news article reports:

Russia intends to fulfill a contract to supply S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran, Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Friday. Israel and the United States have repeatedly asked Russia to scrap a contract to sell Iran the truck-mounted S-300, which can shoot down hostile missiles or aircraft up to 150 km (90 miles) away. “There is a contract to supply these systems to Iran, and we will fulfill it,” Ryabkov told Interfax in an interview. “Delays (with deliveries) are linked to technical problems with adjusting these systems,” he added. He also cautioned against politicizing Russia’s arms exports to Iran.

Further:

The possible sale of the S-300s, which could protect Iran’s nuclear facilities against air strikes, is an extremely sensitive issue in Russia’s relations with Israel.

As we mentioned in the previous Rapture Report, Russia has a large part to play in the end times as they are the principal leader of the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog/Magog coalition of nations that try to invade Israel here in the last days. Russia has a long history of anti-semitism and hostility towards the Jews. It is my belief that one of the reasons God supernaturally intervenes in the Ezekiel 38-39 conflict is to judge and punish Russia for their longstanding anti-semitism and hostility towards his chosen people. The Bible even mentions that the Russian homeland will receive fire from Heaven as a result of this foolish plot to try to destroy the Jewish people.

“Carnally Minded” by Ron Graham

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5.

After a year in office it’s obvious President Barack Obama is still in love with himself. Sadly, approximately 46 percent of those polled in recent surveys remain totally enthralled with this man. But worst of all are those who profess to follow Jesus Christ yet remain devoted to this man and his agenda, even though Obama stands for everything God abhors.

Knowing that our God is a jealous God, and that He is the one and only true God, how then can professing believers follow a man who looks at himself as the world’s messiah? Where’s the loyalty to Christ? Do we just ignore God’s word and follow His nemesis? Either God’s word is true or it’s false, we must submit to God and His will through His word or we walk away from God and join the camp of the enemy. Is it possible for born again believers in Christ to be so thoroughly influenced by one of His staunchest enemies?

The answer to that question is found in our Bibles. What’s more, it’s as plain as the nose on Obama’s face. Both believers and unbelievers who voted for Obama are after the flesh as stated in the verse above. They also mind the things of the flesh. In other words they are carnally minded. Their minds are focused, even centered on what will benefit them, but certainly they are unconcerned in regards to the will of God. God’s word gives us direction yet many who say they are Christians voted for, and still support, Obama.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee;” Jeremiah 1:5. God told Jeremiah that He knew him before He formed him in the womb. We can certainly conclude from this verse that God knows all of us before we’re formed in our mother’s womb. Therefore He also knows each aborted baby before they are ever formed and ultimately destroyed. Yet many Christians keep right on with their admiration for a man who is 100 percent pro-abortion. If you voted for Obama you voted against God, plain and simple.

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Leviticus 18:22. God says homosexuality is an abomination to Him, yet these same Christians elected a man who has given himself over fully to condoning this horrible lifestyle. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” Romans 1:18. God destroyed whole nations and some cities of the past because of their flagrant sinful lifestyle of homosexuality because God calls this lifestyle an abomination to Him.

Many will tell you that one sin is the same as another in God’s eyes. Oh really? Well as far as other sins go, how many cities of our past human history has God destroyed for the sin of lying, stealing, or covetousness? People have condemned themselves and placed themselves in Hades for sinning against their Creator but has God purposely destroyed any other city, or nation for that matter, because of lying, cheating, stealing, even murdering? The whole world is turning a blind eye to the sin of homosexuality. But does the whole world turn a blind eye to any other sin?

As believers, we must stand firm on God’s word and make godly decisions pertaining to who we vote into any office. When a candidate for any office makes his platform as well known to the voting public as Obama did, a man who is diametrically opposed to God, it’s not hard to understand the mindset of the Christians that voted for Him. Those professing Christians who voted for Obama are carnally minded. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6. Over the past few months, some of the believers who voted for Obama have written to me expressing their shame in having had that carnal mindset. Praise God they woke up. But, as we can all see, the damage has been done.

What does it mean for a believer to be carnally minded? It’s a mindset that is contrary to God and His will for their lives. For a person to profess a relationship with Christ and yet to be so fixated on the world that their mind no longer relates to the will of God is to be carnally minded. How can a person such as this actually be born again? Those who are truly born from God are focused on God; their lives have been turned over to Him. They are willing to stand on His precepts no matter what the consequences. And they would never knowingly vote for someone who stands in direct opposition to God’s precepts.

There is no “in between” area to hope for here. Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me; Matthew 12:30a. We can’t be for Obama and with Jesus at the same time, that’s impossible. Jesus took a firm stand on right and wrong and thoroughly expects His followers to show the same regard for the things we know to be evil. Homosexuality is wrong, and it’s an abomination for a believer “in Christ” to vote for a candidate who openly condones such a abhorrent behavior. It’s wrong to kill the unborn. The baby in the womb is known by God. The baby is innocent of any wrong doing. Why would any believer hang on the side of such error, disregarding God’s inerrant word? Carnality. They are after the flesh, not the spirit.

Being carnally minded leads to death. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:” Romans 8:7a. If you don’t know what that word enmity means do yourself a favor and look it up in your concordance. In my Strong’s concordance it’s #G 2189. It actually means hatred. If you are at enmity with God it means you hate God. Wow. How many professing to being born again voted for Obama, the man who stands against the one true God? Many. Well then, how many Christians voted carnally in the last presidential election? Every professing Christian who marked Obama for President on their ballot sheet. Let me ask the question again but phrased slightly differently. How many Christians hate God? All who stand with any man who is at enmity with God.

We’ve now seen this man in action for a whole year and are faced with enduring three more years with a man who being duly elected president of the US is thoroughly content in his failure to follow God in any way. Obama is at enmity with God. In other words Obama hates God. If he didn’t he wouldn’t be so firmly entrenched in the issues that are obviously opposed to God (abortion, homosexuality, etc).

Obama actually had the audacity to make the claim that he is a follower of Jesus Christ, yet he stands against God in every decision he makes. Why then should he have received even one vote from those who profess to stand with God? That carnal mindset is the only answer. Here we are trying desperately to understand how God could allow this man into office to run a nation built on Christian principles, when all it takes is a little perusal through His word to find the answer. Carnality is at the core.

“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:” John 15:19a. The lost (nonbelievers in Christ) are of the world and they are perishing, and the world certainly loves their own. Believers should not be in love with this world, moreover this world should know that all Christians are opposed to every immoral and evil deed set down. But as long as Christians live with a carnal mindset the world will continue to love them just as they do their own.

“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8. All the while believers remain in the flesh, and carnally minded, they won’t be pleasing God. I wonder how many Christian believers actually understand that verse. Being born again means we are focused on pleasing God, not ourselves. No matter what befalls a true born again believer in Christ we will remain true to God and His word.

When we pursue earthly wealth and materialism to the point that God’s will is diminished in our lives, wrong decisions, like voting for someone with Obama’s credentials or lack thereof, can only lead to becoming even more carnally minded. But, if we are spiritually minded, our mindset will be one of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us into godly decisions. Obviously many who profess Christ as their Savior and Lord but are more concerned about the things of the world are not allowing the Holy Spirit a place in their decision making process.

Many lost people voted for Obama because they were afraid of losing their material wealth, they believed his lies. Nothing was as important as the financial situation in the minds of most who voted for him, and that goes for many Christians also. As long as believers stay in that mindset it won’t really matter who runs for the office of president. As long as the candidate relates to that materialistic mindset (the flesh), the other issues of the day will just fade away. The flesh will get in the way of every decision when the mind is in that carnal mode. This is enmity with God.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Romans 8:9. The apostle Paul is speaking here to the believers in Rome . He say that if we profess to be a follower of Jesus Christ but we haven’t His Spirit dwelling in us we are not His. If I may elaborate a little further on Paul’s comments, if we don’t have Christ then we are still Satan’s property. And obviously, being in the flesh will be a very natural and basically everyday occurrence.

“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.” Romans 8:12. As believers we owe no debt to the flesh or Satan, but to God. We are born from God when we became believers in His Son. We owe God a huge debt of gratitude that we can never repay. Why allow the flesh to reign over us since we owe the flesh nothing? To whom do we give our allegiance?

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:13, 14. Believers have spiritually “died” to sin and the power of the flesh, and in general to all spiritual association with the world. We now belong to Christ and our identification is in Him. We who are believers in Christ are no longer unregenerate (lost) nor should we live according to the flesh (carnally). We have been designated “sons of God”. As such we have put the flesh to death.

This mindset of living carnally and hence in enmity with God has corrupted many a believer. When we who are God’s children take a stance for evil we are in rebellion to God and consequently we are at enmity to God. If you are one of those folks that has placed Obama on a pedestal and elevated him to a status above God in your life because of your foolish tendencies toward wealth and materialism and your fear of losing what earthly possessions you’ve acquired, then Obama has become your god. Who then will you be relying on for your salvation? If you are at enmity with God Almighty you might want to re-think your claim to eternal salvation.

“…carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life… Romans 8:6. Where do you stand in relationship to your Creator God? Are you carnally minded? If you are, then you are living according to the flesh, and your mindset is flawed. Do you hate God? Surely you don’t. But if your mindset is carnal it’s time to make a change. A relationship with God is based on our faith in Him in all earthly endeavors. God is the believer’s providence and believers are saved to serve, not to strive for and attain earthly rewards such as wealth and power. Carnally minded or Holy Spirit filled? You can’t have it both ways.

God bless you all,
Ron Graham
twotug@embarqmail.com
All scripture is from the KJV

Original Link.

Will Ministers’ Housing Exemption be Erased?

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Satan’s minions are still hard at work, this time by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (whose very name is a perversion of the First Amendment’s “Freedom of Religion”).

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has filed suit to end the housing tax break provided to ministers.

The FFRF is arguing that since others are not afforded that accommodation, it represents a government endorsement of religion. But Theriot contends the Constitution has a special protection for religious freedom — so religion can get special attention. He further adds that the housing allowance is an accommodation, not an endorsement.

“The Supreme Court has upheld that rule of law in many different cases, like exemptions from Title 7, the prohibition on discrimination in the workplace, [and] also the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act that basically protects religious organizations from unlawful laws or discriminatory laws regarding land use,” [Kevin Theriot, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF)] explains.

The attorney stresses that many small-town churches can only attract pastors by providing housing or through the inducement of a tax exemption. If the FFRF were to prevail, the impact would be devastating on those churches. Theriot believes the case is yet another frivolous lawsuit from the Foundation.

Original Link.

Saudi Women to be Allowed to Argue Cases in Court

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

At last a step in the right direction.

Saudi Arabia is planning to bring in a new law to allow women lawyers to argue cases in court for the first time.

Justice Minister Mohammed al-Eissa said the law was part of King Abdullah’s plan to develop the legal system.

The law – to be issued “in the coming days” – would allow women to appear in court on family-related cases, including divorce and child custody.

At the moment, they can only work behind the scenes in government and court offices.

The new legislation will also allow Saudi women to complete certain procedures without the presence of a witness.

“In accordance with the new law, women will be able to complete their preliminary procedures with notaries by just presenting their IDs,” said Ministry of Justice official Osama al-Mirdas, according to Arab News.

Under a system of male guardianship, Saudi Arabian women are required to be kept separate from men they are not related to.

All are veiled to a greater or lesser degree in public, they are not allowed to drive, and women under 45 must receive permission from a male when they travel.

Opportunities for education and employment are also dependent on male guardianship.

But a number of steps have been taken to ease restrictions – for instance women are now allowed to stay in hotels unaccompanied.

Last year, a senior cleric was removed after criticising a new mixed-sex science and technology university.

The cleric, Sheikh Saad al-Shethry, had described the mixing of sexes in any university as evil and a great sin.

Original Link.

Homeland Security Chief: Domestic Terrorism is Top Concern

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists who are U.S. citizens or live in the country legally and plot against the U.S. are just as big of a concern as international terrorists.

She says that when she started as secretary a year ago, the focus was largely on international terrorists who want to harm U.S. interests. But in the past year, more of the violent extremism that has been seen overseas is showing up in the U.S.

She says officials need to drill down and analyze the factors that make a young person, raised in the U.S., migrate to extremist beliefs and actions. (janet, read the Koran. -ed.)

Napolitano was speaking to governors who are in Washington for their annual conference.

Original Link.