Events indicate the Bible’s relevance for today

Recent tragic news from Syria and developments in the Middle East can, in fact, give Christians a deeper understanding of the holy scriptures.

I’ll share my opinion on how this may be so but, first, we’re instructed to pray for those in power, including their need for wisdom in handling crises. Jesus’ brother James wrote to those following ‘The Way’,

If anyone lacks wisdom we should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault…(James 1:5)

He cautions that in so doing we need to believe and not doubt because such a person will not receive anything from God.  Political leaders would, therefore, show wisdom if they are able to believe and fully appreciate God’s Word, not only in living morally but also in dealing with international events such as those foreseen over 2,500 years ago  about a specific Middle Eastern coalition. We note that, in the end, God’s stated goal for three major people groups is as follows;

24 In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, 25 whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” (Isaiah 19 NKJV, Biblegateway)

There’s a long way to go before that outcome is achieved, incredible as it seems at present.  But current events do show the Holy Bible is not obsolete, or irrelevant for modern times. But this isn’t new!  Many Old Testament verses were fulfilled in 20th Century with the amazing ‘overnight’ creation of a nation-state and the consequential return of dispersed tribes belonging to the ancient Hebraic people. Nearly 2,000 years ago, after having destroyed their capital Jerusalem and sacred Temple because of an armed revolt against Rome’s authority, Emperor Hadrian kicked them out of their homeland after another revolt (for details see Timeline).

Hundreds of years beforehand, however, prophets heard and recorded what the Living God declared about events in the far, far distant future. The fulfillment of His promises through the establishment of modern Israel is something deserving fuller examination. So, too, is Psalm 83’s warning to those people surrounding Israel who plot to ‘wipe it off the map’. (The ancient tribal names may no longer apply but their rage continues within their descendants, as broadcast ceaselessly abroad.)

However, my focus is upon the Biblical references to other peoples on the fringes of the then-known world, as centred around the ‘cradle of civilisation’. They were in lands now known as Persia, Syria, western Egypt or Libya, Turkey as well as southern Russia and central Asia.

Whatever any migratory, trading or hostile connections may have been between those folk, it is a most remarkable fact that the Lord foresaw an alliance forming between them that would become enemies of the Hebraic people living in territory established by King David. Ezekiel, a major OT prophet, received detailed oracles about this coalition led by ‘Gog’. The only other mention of this entity is in the apocalyptic vision Apostle John had of the revelation that God gave Jesus Christ, as recorded towards the end of the Book of Revelation (Rev 20:7-10).

This prophesied coalition known as ‘The Ezekiel Alliance’ and its attack upon Israel is recorded at chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezekiel.  A concise historical analysis from Koinonia House may be read at The Treacherous Trio of Ezekiel 38 – Part 1 and at Part 2, then Part 3.  My previous coverage of this build-up may be found here and here.

The fact that Russia is now getting deeply involved and taking the lead in a strategic coalition that was identified millennia ago as a major player in the Middle-East, and furthermore which aligns itself against Israel, simply cannot be ignored. All political leaders would, therefore, be well advised to tread very carefully in dealing with this alliance.

For what it’s worth I’d like to add my ‘tuppence worth’ but it must of necessity be all too brief. Readers who like digging deeper than mainline media’s cursory overviews (eg. by visiting links suggested in an early blog Not on the 10 o’clock News), may be aware of the following.:

Israel

I’d ask that fellow believers consider their attitude toward modern Israel because some ministries are mistaken in this regard. For instance, a guest post on Cranmer’s blog has reported one ministry as strongly denouncing Israel at festivals over the Summer. I’m aware this may be a touchy topic, but Fran Waddam’s historical comments are helpful for those unfamiliar with the real, rather than revisionist, 20th Century history of Israel. It’s now followed by a CMEW item on Kairos Chaos in the Church, which I recommend. (NB: ignore any flash pop-up ads on Cranmer’s site.)

Syria & Iran

The outrageous chemical attack upon children could, in my opinion, be one way Iran’s leaders are testing President Obama’s resolve and poor credibility. (Iran’s active control of Syria was reported here.)  There are increasing concerns over the reliability of claims that it was done by Assad’s forces, and which doesn’t exactly stack up with signals intel and is voiced by, among others, Jerome Corsi and Walid Shoebat (here).

Iran would seize upon any attack by America as a pretext to attack Israel in a greater measure than done in recent minor occasions (Farsnews). They see such a war as facilitating the appearance of the Shiites’ Mahdi (as here). Thus, it isn’t far-fetched to suppose Iran may attempt the final, threatened blow to eradicate Israel.

Saudi Arabia

Obama’s credibility is non-existent as a result of his polices and actions on Egypt and in Libya, not to mention ‘Benghazi-gate’. Following his 2009 Cairo speech, a deep rift opened between him and the Saudis over his deep humiliation of president Mubarak. Fully aware of the dangers Obama was blind to, they endorsed the Egyptian army’s removal of Morsi and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Also, as members of The Arab League who have denounced Syria, the Saudis met with Russian leaders to sway their support of Syria’s Assad by tempting them with favourable oil/gas deals, as herein.

Egypt

The above quotation from prophet Isaiah is an oracle from the Lord about Egypt. Those closing verses allude to His end-time redemptive plan for three peoples, but its second verse is once again apposite: not as for the Ethiopian takeover 2,800 years ago but for these times too:

“I will set Egyptians against Egyptians;
Everyone will fight against his brother,
And everyone against his neighbour,
City against city, kingdom against kingdom…”

Islam & TerrorismHow to be succinct with what’s on my mind about Egypt? In Cameron: A war against Al-Qaeda… I  referred to Mark Gabriel’s experiences with the Muslim Brotherhood as an Egyptian professor of Islamic history. His exposure of Islam and Terrorism gave me grave reservations over Obama’s insistence upon the outlawed MB’s attendance at his 2009 Cairo speech. My initial points are as herein.

President Obama probably gambled upon the MB having become a peaceful democratic political party but his Muslim roots should have taught him to know better – much better. William Koenig in his Eye View from The White House, puts it this way:

The Egyptian apparent decapitation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership could have enormous impact on the future of many countries and derail White House/ State Department Muslim Brotherhood plan in the Middle East.

McCarthy’s ‘Reds under the beds’ witch hunts of communists was a false alarm by comparison with the MB infiltration of US politics and government. Where the totalitarian system of communism failed, another succeeded beyond its wildest dreams – and even Barack Hussein Obama isn’t entirely to blame! The infiltration started 60 years ago in response to the CIA seeking help against communists. George Bush and many in USA and Western democracies were bamboozled into mistaking Islamist intentions.

The MB’s objectives are known to many well-informed analysts and journalists but largely ignored by politicians and public. I cannot, therefore, recommend highly enough  that every reader take time to visit the following links, of which extracts are shown.

For further political developments see

Recommended Reading:

  1. Resetting US Foreign Policy by ‘ne plus ultra’ Caroline Glick; cogent as ever > ‘Obama’s decision to outsource the US’s Syria policy owed to his twin goals of demonstrating that the US would no longer try to dictate international outcomes, and of allying the US with Islamic fundamentalists…from his earliest days in office Obama insisted that, since radical Islam is the most popular movement in the Islamic world, radical Islam is good’.
  2. The Muslim Brotherhood: Origins, Efficacy and Reach by Raymond Ibrahim; a masterly paper from the well-connected author of The Al-Qaeda Reader covering the MB historically and throughout the Middle-East.
  3. History of the Muslim Brotherhood Penetration of US Government by Clare Lopez, formerly CIA operations officer and senior fellow at the Centre for Security Policy presents an exceptionally well-researched and informative paper > It is important to recognize the sophistication of the Brotherhood’s international strategy and how the takedown of U.S. national security defenses from within was critical to the current Middle East-North Africa (MENA) campaign to re-establish the Caliphate and enforce Islamic Law (shariah)….The careful insinuation of Muslim Brothers into positions from which they can exercise influence on U.S. policy began long before the attacks of 9/11, although their success has accelerated dramatically under the administration of President Barack Obama. The massive Muslim Brotherhood organizational network in the U.S., so patiently built up over the decades since that first Oval Office meeting in 1953, eventually gave it a prominence and (false) reputation of credibility that was unmatched by any other Islamic groups, moderate or otherwise. Using a combination of taqiyya (deceit, dissimulation) and intimidation, the Muslim Brotherhood succeeded not only in making itself the “go-to” authority on all things related to Islam, but in suppressing those who would speak truth about Islam—again, often by persuading the U.S.’s own senior officials to do the job for them: “by their hands”.
  4. The US State Department’s Islamist Plan by Dr Mordechai Kebar, Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam covers MB’s plans for Sinai and Egypt and reveals the grave concerns of Jordan’s king > King Abdullah openly calls them “wolves in sheep’s clothing” and “the Freemasons cult” (there is no worse expression in Arabic that the king could have used towards his citizens, MK.) because they do not want to reform the regime of the Hashemite monarchy; rather, they want to replace it and  turn it into a puppet after taking over the parliament and changing the  state into a “constitutional monarchy” with an Islamic constitution  written by the Brotherhood, of course. The king describes his battle with the Brotherhood with the expression “the most important battle confronting us in the entire region”, even more than Iran. He also does not hide his contempt for the American diplomats and officials who promote the Muslim Brotherhood out of naivety, as if the regime of the  Brotherhood is a type of Islamic democracy.
  5. Muslim Brotherhood: We’ve Got ‘Goods on Obama’ by Dr Jerome Corsi > In an interview with the News Agency Anatolia in Turkey, Saad Al-Shater, the son of imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat Al-Shater, said his father “had in his hand” evidence that will put Obama in prison. In a thinly veiled threat, Saad Al-Shater said a US delegation was sent to Cairo by Obama to press for the release of the imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including his father to prevent the release of explosive information. Arabic-speaking former PLO member Walid  Shoebat has translated the report by the Turkish News Agency Anatolia as follows…
  6. BREAKING NEWS – Corsi, “Egyptian government…intends to implicate Obama directly in series of financial transactions with the MB in Egypt” (video interview).

Is the use of chemical weapons in Syria of more importance than the eradication of Christianity?

Gillan Scott provides an excellent in-depth follow up to my brief note on Barnabas Fund’s call to prayer for the persecuted church. At least our people are not joking in poor taste on this issue as did the Obama Administration over the persecution in Egypt! (See Christian Post and Raymond Ibrahim) Please note readers’ comments too..

God and Politics in the UK

SaveSyria Chemical Weapon AttackThere is no doubt that it is an atrocity to use chemical weapons against anyone, even more so your own citizens.  It is right that governments and the UN, in the interests of peace and further loss of life, should be considering a response to the chemical attacks in Syria. However, anyone who has even a basic understanding of the situation in Syria will be able to see that it is a vastly complex and difficult situation and that there are no easy answers.

Past intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan have taught us that military intervention leads to unforeseen and unpredictable outcomes, many of which can be disastrous for civilian populations. Whilst the situation in Syria is horrendous, and the urge to intervene is a natural response, unless the UN or Western governments somehow manage to piece together a credible plan of action that will significantly improve the situation, any…

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Pray for persecuted Christians

This SundayBarnabas Fund is calling Christians around the world to pray, act and donate in a special show of support for our suffering brothers and sisters. The threat to the vulnerable Christian minorities in Syria and in Egypt is now at cataclysmic proportions.  

For details read Marked for Destruction: Christian targets daubed with a black X, which provides suggested course of action to contact national leaders.

Why the black X? The linked announcement explains that Barnabas Fund,

is using a black X for this campaign as a symbol of solidarity with Christians who are being targeted because of their faith. Islamists have daubed this sign on the walls of Christian homes and businesses in Egypt to identify them for attack, while Muslim properties have been painted with a red X for protection. 

The Fund’s latest email on global persecution by Islamic nations may be read here.

Please also note.:

The ‘Vicar of Baghdad’, Canon Andrew White, features in Edward Malnick’s article of last Sunday about The ‘almost unremarked’ persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

Joel Rosenberg reports in The Muslim Brotherhood’s War On Egypt’s Christians that over 200 churches and Christian-owned buildings have been attacked.

NIGERIA

Christians in Nigeria have endured murderous persecution for years at the hands of the Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group which the Obama Administration is on record as failing to censure or condemn but, instead, as urging the Nigerian government to respect its human rights!! 

Raymond Ibrahim reports upon this nonsense here and includes it in his latest update on Muslim Persecution of Christians.  This news confirms many suspicions that the US Administration is a lackey of the Muslim Brotherhood, does it not?

The US rebuke contrasts sharply with Open Doors’ report (here) that Boko Haram is under investigation by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. The Court’s preliminary investigation blames the Islamic sect for 1,200 deaths. Need I say more? [Latest attack is reported in Christian World, hat-tip Robert Spencer.]

So, persecution isn’t confined to only Syria and Egypt but is endemic across Islamic nations. Let us pray, therefore…

Christianity’s new season: blog’s new page and today’s headlines

Courtesy Watcharakun at Freedigitalphotos.comAfter updating this blog’s Prophecies & Visions hub with a page summarising recent words about A New Era in the Church, I dipped into a paper I’d bought earlier for Nina to enjoy the crossword.  Lo and behold, buried inside I find  apposite headlines covering comments made by:

Pope Emeritus Benedict: “I quit as Pope because God told me to”.

Archbishop Welby: Church ‘on edge of precipice‘.

The first reports Benedict’s interesting “direct rapport with the Lord”, of which the online version is more informative than the broadsheet. Fascinating how this claim accords with prophecies for a ‘new season’. The second is yet another indicator of the distinct trend that validates a prophetic word reported 20 years ago by Colin Winfield, The Separation of the Harlot and the Bride.

That word is remarkable in accurately foretelling today’s mix of apostasy and true faith, the insidious introduction of worldly norms against the worship and teaching of a holy God. Since finding that prophecy last year, I noted its ‘rationale’ supports the notion of traditional churches falling away and how new churches of those on fire for God and  maturing into anointed Children of God, are coming to the fore.

On the last point, I will somehow try to convey a sense of what we learned from Ian Clayton when he visited Guildford area this week, as at close of this post.

A ‘new spirit’ among Israeli Arab Christians

A brief post in the light of our recent considerations:

Thank you to John McTernan for this link reporting upon Israel’s Vice Prime Minister Mofaz meeting with young Arabic-speaking Christians in the Nazareth area. For the details see Israel Today article here, part of which reads,

“Civil courage is a very important thing,” Mofaz told Israel’s Channel 2 News. For decades Israel’s Christian community were too cowed by their Muslim neighbors to openly stand with Israel. “The Christian population is very special,” and it is great to see them opening up like this, Mofaz continued.

Jesus and Israel; then, now and forever

Courtesy of James Mark Long, www.propheticartists.comIn munching upon meditative ‘morsels’ from the opening of Hebrews 12, I didn’t expect my subconscious mind to mull over their meaning. I’d assumed those couple of blogs had put the subject ‘to bed’, so to speak – but no. That was on Thursday before going ‘incommunicado’ until Monday, as usual. Yet something started stirring in my spirit.

Two days later saw me digging into scripture before going to bed myself. How could I know I’d find out that its eye-opening conclusion is relevant to others.  So if that’s the case for you too, or if you’d notice a similar coincidence, the details are as follows.:

Pointer No 1

After having referred to the faith of Old Testament and New Testament believers – or a ‘cloud of witnesses’ – being perfected, I sensed a bigger picture of the Lord’s purposes. Having written about ‘original’ and ‘spiritual’ Israel I recalled Jesus’ reply to a question posed after His victory over death, and which I’ve often pondered.

During that 40 day period Jesus spoke about things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. (That is, of God’s rule in human hearts, lives and situations.)  Consider doctor Luke’s carefully investigated account, per Luke 1:3, of what had happened about 30 years earlier when Jesus gave his apostles this instruction (emphases mine):

 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:4-8 NKJV – Biblegateway.com]

As the purpose of this post is to highlight specific verses, I won’t go into any depth other than give pointers to ponder, and the following as a lead-in.

‘Israel’ would have meant not only the dominant Jews of Jerusalem and Judea, but also the other eleven historical tribes of Israel. Jesus had told his close followers about the Kingdom, presumably in greater depth than during the pre-Resurrection years of public ministry, and that they were about to receive the One who empowered His ministry direct from their heavenly Father Himself.

Thus, it was logical that the apostles were thinking they’d all be ministering in the power Jesus had exhibited. Consequently, it was reasonable to suppose they would then change the religious and cultural situation in Jerusalem and Judea.

No doubt they had in mind the greatest period in their history under King David, as well as Daniel’s prophetic vision about removing the power of the supreme earthly empire, Rome (see Daniel 7:27). But Jesus knew differently. Had they been incorrect in their logical conclusion of restoring the Kingdom to Israel, then Jesus would have said so and corrected them. (He’d done that when referring to returning to God – John 14:2)

Nor did He rebuke them for such an idea, or even remind them He’d already told them the Kingdom would be taken away from Israel and given, “…to people (ie. Gentiles) who will produce its fruit” (Matt 21:23).  No, He simply said it wasn’t for them to know the timing – and it was Father’s business and His alone, not even their Master’s!

Interestingly, the original Greek indicates a conditional ‘IF’ (ei) between those verses. In other words, “If (or when) the dipping in Holy Spirit happens, is it the time you-are-restoring the Kingdom to Israel?” (See Scripture4All Greek Interlinear Bible, Acts 1)

Therefore, the relevance of and restoration for Israel MUST be on God’s agenda!

Consequently, the perfecting of faith for living and departed Jews and Christians could well be part and parcel of that agenda. I think Jesus had already given the apostles a clue and they later shared it with Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, or He may even have revealed it to him personally.

Pointer No 2

Also,  Jesus would have had that in mind when describing the signs all believers should watch out for. He said there will come a time of, “great distress in the land and wrath against this people“.  In this account, Luke writes that Jesus went on to say,

“…And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled…”    [Luke 21:24 NKJV] 

Pointer No 3

In his magisterial letter to the church in Rome, Paul described the differences between the OT and NT faith and what had happened to the Jews as a result of rejecting Jesus as their Messiah. He stressed they’d not been rejected by the Lord,

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” [Romans 11 NKJV]

I trust that my referring to these scriptures makes sense. It’s offered simply for weighing and consideration, maybe as an aid to further scriptural meditation?  Yet more was to follow…

Courtesy Watcharakun at Freedigitalphotos.comIn flicking to and fro between these scriptures and adding to scribbled notes in my old NIV Bible, I spotted its note, Who Is Mechizedek? (see Topic). Hebrews 7 explains the similarities between this king of Jerusalem, who blessed  Abraham, and Jesus Christ. Perhaps he’s an influential connection between OT and NT witnesses?

Surprise!

ian-300x268Just before preaching the next morning, our minister mentioned having come from Days of Wonder meeting in Cardiff with New Zealander Ian Clayton, where he’d given some insights on Melchizedek!!!  Upon telling one of our group about this ‘God-incidence’, I was told the same  reference had unexpectedly popped up for a friend.   So the couple of days next week when Ian stops off outside Guildford during his tour of Wales, Scotland and Ireland should be very interesting indeed. I pray so Lord.

Pick your own parable

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;  

to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

Just after the morning rush hour along the A3 we arrived at a ‘PYO’, or pick-your-own garden and horticultural centre, to harvest some bags of strawberries and raspberries. We’d come here only the previous week with our 4 year-old grandson, but it was a Monday and there were few pickings after the weekend’s visitors had ‘grazed’ and left the fields bare but for unripe berries. But it was a useful time to teach Luca how to pick them.

So this time we went mid-week and arrived as the centre opened at the start of another very warm summer’s day – wonderful, at long last! The berries had basked but not baked in at least three hours warm, early morning sunshine. Nina headed for the strawbs and I went to the raspberries, only to find not so many ready for me!

And yet, in what I discovered I also found a parable from the Lord.

PYO1Ripening raspberries around the top and sides of the long rows of bushes need only a slight squeeze and tug off their stalks. Ripe ones come off very easily. Now, I always look within the bushes and at a lower level to search out any hidden from view under all the broad leaves.

PYO2Inserting my hand at waist height, and down to my knees, I slowly waved my hand inside the bush – ripe berries dropped into my palm! The motion had nudged them off their stalks. Completely effortless! The best, lush ones had been missed by previous visitors and were so ripe they were about to fall to the ground.

PYO4

I was blessed in this sign of the abundance that comes when we draw close and reach into our heavenly Father.

What He has for us is so readily accessible – it is at hand. All we have to do is hold out our hands, rather than pick and choose from what’s in front of our nose but not yet ready. If we take that, it may be ok but not as good as what is already available deeper in His Presence. So why be satisfied with less?

I recalled Proverbs 25:2 about the glory of God and that of a king, as above. Also, this occasion spoke of a recent debate about the Bible and nature of God between a blogger friend and a disbeliever. Today’s parable speaks of her gazing at this bush only to focus upon the many unripe berries. Even in selecting a reddening berry she’d squash it with a hard grip.  Luscious, ripe fruit is out of sight. It is hidden because mental blinkers prevent lateral looking. Its existence dare not be considered or sought for. Such an attitude stops oneself, and would prevent others, getting closer to the bush.

Thank you Lord that you’re closer than we can conceive, and readier to speak than we are to seek…

Another morsel on the cloud of witnesses

First, my apologies for having added a paragraph to my observations instead of drafting a new post. It is now deleted and follows below.

Upon re-reading the last post over lunch I believe there’s more to be considered about the role of the cloud of witnesses. (I’d stress I’ve not been watching Paul Keith Davis’  videos.)

Again, here’s what the God-breathed Word states at the juncture of Hebrews chapter 11 with 12, Apostle Paul’s summation on the Hebrew fathers of faith.

39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,  40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

The key is in the closing verse of chapter 11, emboldened above. It states there’s a direct connection between our attaining perfection in faith, and pre-Christian believers in the Holy One of Israel coming into the perfection of their faith.  That is, our destinies are directly linked with those who are already in heaven!

Huh? I need to recalibrate my brain to get a grip of that.

Verse 40 means God has promised Christians a far better deal than He’s promised the fathers of the Judaic faith because of our faith in Jesus. Yet, His goal for them is the same as it is for us, as herein; ‘that they should not be made perfect apart from us’. Thus, together with them we will be receiving the same promise – not one party (Old Covenant) without the other (New Covenant)!

This notion is more obvious in the original Greek of verse 40, ‘tou theo hEmOn  ktreitton ti problepsamenou  hina  mE chOris hEmOn teleiOthOsin’, as seen in it’s word-for-word direct translation below. The present continuous tense of ‘looking’ and ‘be being’, rather than using past tense, distinctly conveys an ongoing process, one that’s in play today, viz:

of God concerning us better something of-looking-forward-to that not apart from us they-may-be-being matured (Greek Interlinear Bible)

Clearly, therefore, God’s intention has always been to bring about at the end of the Age a highly prized unity in Christ Jesus for both Jew and Christian, or as some say; the original Israel and spiritual Israel. Or perhaps, the Bride of Christ and those invited to the Wedding; Jews who’ll look on Jesus whom their forebears pierced (Zecharia 12:10).

Furthermore, with the passage of time, this cloud now includes multitudes of Christians.

As Almighty God – and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who came in the body of a Jewish man – therefore sees hardly any distinction between Jew and Christian, then how dare some church leaders denigrate, even loathe, our Jewish brethren and their national state of Israel?

With this in mind, in the knowledge that several prestigious American churches declared their stance against Israel last year (Elliot Abrams’ CFR article), I’d draw your attention to the Jerusalem Declaration by representatives of mainline Protestant churches. For an introduction to the Protestant Consultation on Israel and the Middle East click here.

Who’s watching who? A crowd of witnesses!

Are you athletic – unlike me! – and enjoy running and other track events? Perhaps you’ve run in a marathon?  Do you have a school age child and support their sporting activities and events?  All participants in any sport and of any age enjoy being cheered and encouraged by onlookers – especially when the finishing line’s coming up!

I was reminded of that by Paul Keith’s conversation with Rick Joyner, as well as with Bobby Conner in April. Did you watch those videos (here and here)?  In my experience, Rick’s comment about the connection between what happened to him whilst writing a book and events in the Toronto Blessing is insightful.

All three men refer to Apostle Paul describing his faith in and work for Jesus Christ as being like running a race:

since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before uslooking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Emphases mine)

What was the reason behind this description?  The preceding part of the letter to the Hebrews is a detailed reminder of the hope and great faith of the heroes of the Old Testament.:

39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,  40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by… (Hebrews 11:39-12:2 NKJV)

On camera, the three modern-day prophets discussed not only the scriptural meaning of the ‘cloud of witnesses’ but also alluded to some examples of their having been seen today. It is a fascinating part of their discussion that I’d urge you not to overlook, and maybe revisit.

I know some believers may struggle with this as it seems contrary to the OT prohibition against consulting mediums and witches (here). That is, there’s a presumption that any experience of the ancient witnesses is the same as necromancy; ie. contacting the dead. But not so!

The reason for the prohibition against witchcraft, sorcery and necromancy is to protect God’s people from contact with and affliction by evil spirits.  Those activities attempt to manipulate not only people but also demonic spirits by summoning them from their realm into ours. Seeking contact with spirits and deceased persons is very costly for it comes with dangerous personal consequences.

We know that God is not God of the dead but of the living. Those who died in Him are still alive, although not in a fleshly body, as can be inferred from Jesus’ reference to  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Matthew 22:31-33).

If someone accidentally happens to encounter one of the heavenly saints then it is certainly not mediumship or necromancy. It is a gracious event initiated by God in allowing such a contact. Would critics say Jesus’ meeting with Moses and Elijah was necromancy? (see Matthew 17) Surely not!

A personal encounter

Let me share what happened at our church mid-week meeting a few months ago.:

We were discussing Exodus and I popped upstairs to get my annotated Bible. The stairwell leads directly into the lounge and as I descended to the bottom steps I felt as though I’d walked into, or rather through, something – like when you’re not looking where you’re going and bump into someone, and then look at them in surprise. Our leader noticed my glancing with a startled frown at the wall and sensed someone’s presence.

I reported the brief, finer details of what I’d sensed to our minister, who advised this is happening more often, especially where folk worship and discuss the scriptures, as one of her family found in Mozambique. This makes eminent sense because the patriarchs were intimately involved with the Lord and must have known of His plans for the far off future when His Kingdom will come in fullness upon the earth.

In view of the increasing acceleration toward that time the ‘cloud of witnesses’ must be getting more and more excited – exactly like people cheering competitors toward the finish.  Just like last year’s Olympics!

I pray this post gives another morsel to chew upon and digest, rather than spit out. And please take another bite…

Note: See White Dove Ministries’ webinar archive for more on the cloud of witnesses.

Paul Keith Davis and Rick Joyner discuss ‘Times and Seasons’

If you liked Paul Keith Davis’ teaching on the 3 anointings then you will like this 83 mins chat with his friend. (It is superior value to anything on the ‘one-eyed’ blind god we call TV.)  Their closing answer to an online question made it rather personal for us last night because we’d learned of Frances Metcalf’s profound ministry in the Lord through our local church.  May you be blessed in hearing these men of God.:

 

Topics covered:

  • current events – Church in transition – 2013-14
  • full discipleship foundations – contemplative prayer
  • angelic encounter whilst writing The Final Quest
  • Jesus knocking to come into what belongs to Him
  • the Rev ‘overcomers’ are not ordinary churchgoers
  • the greatest tribulation/opportunity in global history
  • confrontation with false teaching in spirit & power of Elijah
  • ‘koinonia’ (real fellowship) essential for preparing The Bride
  • role of past overcomers/witnesses in today’s acceleration
  • different destinies within heaven
  • 1st Century Apostolic ministry required for 21st Century
  • questions from online viewers – grace – true holiness – restoration of family structure – is USA in scripture (v good point from Rev 12) – increasing evil
  • Francis Metcalf’s experiences of rapture and translation, difference between them, an understanding of the message of Enoch.

The final four minutes are highly instructive and encouraging and I pray the Lord will give you an understanding and insights into these matters. The whole ‘webinar’ is a rich banquet. Thank you gentlemen.

Neville Johnson: prophetic word on a new move of God in the UK and Ireland

Again, I thank Tembissa for the thread of discovery to the following re-posted from James Bailey’s  Z3news.  It is interesting to note Neville Johnson delivered this in the same month as the prophecy sung over UK and Europe by Julie Meyer in USA (The Bridegroom Cometh).:

Neville_Johnson-311x350

At a meeting held in Sheffield England in October 31, 2012, the following prophetic words for the UK and Ireland were delivered by Neville Johnson, a former pastor and missionary from New Zealand.

WORD FOR UK:

There are seeds that lie dormant in the UK, many seeds. These are the seeds of godly men like Smith Wigglesworth. Men like John Wesley. Their seeds lie waiting for the rain to come. When it comes they will be available for the United Kingdom seven times greater than what it was before. So aren’t you glad you are alive in this generation? The church has been in decline, but God has not forgotten you.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when it comes it is a tree of life. God is coming to your nation, ready or not. I saw aspects of this in vision form. I saw how God was going to move across your nation and it was wave after wave after wave. It will be sustained and the fire will never go out. Revivals have come and gone but this is not revival, this is reformation and it is a different thing. God is going to take the very best of those seeds, the very best out of the former moves of His Spirit and combine them into one move.

Behold I will do something new. Now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)

One of the things I saw for this nation was mothers praying for their children who had strayed away from the Lord. There were thousands of them in this vision. God is hearing those prayers and He is going to get your children. He is going to form them into an army of the Lord. He is going to bring them in.

The Lord says at an acceptable time I have heard you. In the day of salvation I have helped you.

WORD FOR IRELAND:

I saw Ireland come alive in an unusual way because as God poured out His spirit the gospel was being portrayed in Irish dancing. I was watching this in vision form. Irish dancing once swept the world and it is going to sweep the world again taking the gospel. At the end of all of these performances people are going to flock to the altar to be saved. Eye has not seen nor has it entered into the heart the things God is preparing for you.

Author: James Bailey

James Bailey writes blog articles about current events and how they relate to the truth of the scriptures. His vision is to broadcast the good news of Jesus Christ through blog sites and other media.

Observations on the 3 anointings for End-times believers

Detail from Eagle-eyed by John Mark Long: www.propheticartists.comSome regular readers will have dug into the previous piece of exceptionally illuminating instruction from Paul Keith Davis. My hard copy of the original is underlined in several places.

So maybe these musings may bring more morsels for you to munch upon, along with your meditation on its scriptures:

1. Paul Keith’s opening reference to his study of Numbers chapter 10 mentioned the importance of blowing silver trumpets. In addition to Nathan Morris’ reference to his Christian inheritance (re. PK on Zebulun anointing here), this very subject was the first connection between both men’s teaching.

Nathan 2At the start of The Open the Heavens Conference Nathan was of the opinion that it should be renamed Open the Heavens Clarion Call.  Furthermore, all speakers had a common theme in their teaching. Not prearranged in advance, they all came ready to teach upon the Presence of Almighty God!! This led to the Lord blessing their meetings with the wonderful, tangible atmosphere of His Glory.

All that is directly relevant to Paul Keith’s concluding remarks, “Then will come the Ark of the Covenant”, which was where God would be seated. The vision and scripture he was given all revolves around ‘the cloud (of God’s presence) is moving’

2. My New Life Study Bible’s note for Numbers 10:11, where ‘the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle of the Testimony’ (NKJV), states,

This is the major turning point in the book, and one of the primary turning points of the entire Pentateuch (RB: the first five books of the Bible). Israel now departs from Sinai and moves toward the Promised Land.

The Israelites were the people out of the world God had picked to be especially dedicated to Him and His purposes. With the Advent of His Son Jesus Christ, the whole world of Gentile peoples is able to become His children because all believers in Jesus have the right to become Sons of God (John 1:12). Therefore, we can regard this passage as being applicable to the Church and indicating how it can move toward the End-times in Holy Spirit-led power. (Several posts on this blog have covered this ‘new season’.)

Paul Keith Davis3. The first tribe to move out with the moving cloud was that of Judah, of which the lion is emblematic, as PK explains. A few months ago this lion was spiritually perceived as being in our congregation. Unbeknown to each other, a male visitor and one whose integrity I can vouch for personally, both witnessed the huge Lion of Judah striding through the meeting!

4. As a writer too, I empathised with James Bailey’s comment in the meaning of the Zebulun anointing.

Paul Keith’s instruction along with Holy Spirit’s inspiration will bring immense insights into the Lord’s purposes and strategies. Although the holy scriptures convey an outline of these, their outworking in these times is being done in a way that will outwit satan. Scripture gives the ‘what’ and ‘why’, yet the Lord keeps the ‘how’ and ‘when’ of practical application close to His chest.

The Days of Noah

Days of Noah

I’m pleased to learn that Paul Keith his received further insight into what he and his wife experienced in 2007-08. Having understood the nature of the fallen ones and the fuller reasons for the Deluge, in The Days of Noah he tells what the Lord instructed him:

“I’ve dealt with the fallen ones, you’re going to have to deal with their offspring!”

His understanding of spiritual conflict went up a level. In an open vision he looked into the bowels of hell as a ‘manhole lid’ slid off and hideous evil spirits emerged to release realms of darkness through many people.

He was told the Sons of Light must respond in like fashion of receiving in-depth teaching and practical training in Kingdom realms, which involves not only people but also angelic interaction!

[Years later, Paul Keith saw similar images to that event when underwater footage was released of the source of the Deepwater Horizon oil-leak of April 2010 on the floor of the (nearby) Gulf of Mexico.]

Within a couple of days Paul Keith received confirmation of the truth of the vision. He was able to tell his wife what he was seeing as it happened, and on the CD he relates,

That was the Friday. On the Monday morning the Lord told me to type it up and send it to Neville Johnson, so I did that…(he’s in Australia so) normally if I send him an email he’s 3 or 4 days getting back to me.

Anyway I send him the email – and before the end of the day I get one back from Neville (he’s) somewhere around 12 hrs ahead. I send it Monday morning to me but it was Monday evening to him, his time – he sends me an email directly back.

He says, “‘You’re not going to believe this – this morning I had exactly the same experience – verbatim.  I even saw the same (evil) ones you saw!  So and so (a couple we both know) are here visiting me in Australia and I shared it with them at breakfast…now, (this evening) they are sitting with me when your email came through. I downloaded it and I told them, “You’re not going to believe this!”

Paul Keith then stresses; as scripture says, out of the mouths of two or three witnesses let a thing be established.

I know there are things being released from hell, but what we’re interested in is what’s coming down from heaven!

In closing, let me share a thought that dropped into mind  yesterday as our minster taught about the authority and dominion God gave Adam and Eve. The same was given to Noah and his clan upon emerging from the Ark (Gen 9). Although I think we’ve now entered the final ‘Days of Noah’ and things will become darker and perilous, believers will mature into Sons of God and emerge from the Tribulation in the rightful, Godly dominion that God intended humanity to have and display.

[See prophetic word from Neville Johnson for the UK and Ireland next.]

Tighten your seat belts!