Acclaimed mini-series ‘The Bible’ starts on UK TV this Saturday

Channel 5 is to broadcast the first feature-length episode of this acclaimed mini-series on Saturday 30th November at 9.00 pm – the eve of First Sunday in Advent.

More details on Channel 5 – this programme is billed as ‘breath-taking in scope and scale’ in its portrayal of major stories from the scriptures. Powerful performances, exotic locations, action-packed re-enactments and state-of-the-art CGI bring to life miracles,  iconic characters and tales of faith and courage from Genesis through to Revelation.

As a ‘blockbuster’, the series promises to be much grander than even Cecil B De Milles’ spectacular epic-film The Ten Commandments, which etched a mental image into many millions that Moses had possibly looked like Charlton Heston!

Be mightily blessed as you watch and may you be inspired to find out what it’s all about. But better than seeing is getting a grip on the Bible, digging hands-on into its thick, rich pages and checking it all out direct with its Author. In hearing from Him it’s not at all so impossible for Him to point out special scriptures for you personally in making passages stand out as though in 3-D!  After all, it’s the Best Instruction Before Leaving Earth!

You can see the Kingdom of God too, but you must be born again. (per producer’s website tweet)

Did my triple warning about Iran affect WordPress connections?

Publishing this and the previous post proved arduous. In telling why, it may cross your mind I could be getting a tad paranoid – but actually it’s funny; yet perhaps there’s a grain of truth buried away here…

Was what I was trying to write about so revelatory that another ‘invisible hand’ came in causing chaos to connections?? Perhaps it’s not such a daft idea, you know.

Guess what I was writing about the previous time this happened! The very same topic – Iran, and its leaders’ policy to bring about their notion of End-Times!!  Oh, that’s just a coincidence. Well, what are the odds of such a cross-connection between two lots of technical trouble; in addition to the other oddities that occurred recently?

For the record these are the previous posts: Joel Rosenberg’s Iran leader: We must prepare for the ‘End-Times’, my Iranian leader’s End-Times declaration which appeared after Sharanelle Clark’s Getting ready for His return. (For anyone wishing to check my   claims see my original support request and covering mammoth one of 373 posts.)

HA…in hindsight it really is amusing. Fortunately, I’d started drafting on Monday but noticed links were taking several seconds longer than normal to connect and load on-screen. The next day, however, when writing about the three times on which I’d written about Iran and Jerusalem the new paragraphs were lost as the system failed to save. It seemed doing that caused my connection to crash.  So it became an arduous and time-consuming task to get the additional material completed because I couldn’t check what was actually getting saved onto the server. It was as though another invisible hand had started playing mayhem with UK internet connections to WordPress servers to the great annoyance of users (see today’s support forum).

Yet when it was published late Tuesday afternoon my stats shot through the ceiling to almost double the daily average. Thank you readers and visitors. If you’ve not yet had opportunity to read it then here’s the link > The Invisible Hand re-appears!

Updates on the Iranian nuclear situation

For those who’d like to keep informed about developments there’s a mass of informed opinion about the Geneva arrangements. In addition to mainstream media reports and rolling news on World Watch Daily, here are links to articles I’ve found of interest.:

The Invisible Hand re-appears!

You may think this far-fetched – this is SO spooky, even for someone not fazed by the supra-natural, as hinted at in the story of my Journey.

Yet what happened late last Thursday is so weird it’s way beyond coincidental. Two years previously on that day this blog was launched with a ‘Welcome’, as well as some personal background. As recounted in the previous post, I’d mentioned watching a TV programme in 1980s about the Iran-Iraq war whilst flicking for the first time through a book I’d been given. But this time something exceedingly extraordinary happened..

Invisible Hand - globeI’d never have expected what I wrote about precisely 2 years ago, on an event seen over 25 years before, to be similarly repeated now! 

Remember, that was about elite units of Iranians and Iraqi enemy combatants, halting in their intense warfare to mount a full military exercise together to rehearse an attack upon and the capture of Jerusalem!

As mentioned in my mix-up over the blog’s birthday, my intention was to follow up on Baroness Warsi. I’d read the transcript of her recent Georgetown interview and noted part of her plans may line up with a recent prophecy for Britain. But in view of the ominous importance of what was going on with Iran and having blogged about the ‘Ezekiel 38 Alliance’, I once again needed to cover  that issue. (My early email updates to friends in 2009, starting with The End-Game is now in play, went on to cover President Obama’s back-door contacts with the Iranians in Today’s importance in History, which Debka had exclusively revealed along with clear betrayal of Israel, as their readers are reminded here.)

Thursday 21 November 2013

Therefore, after an unusually busy day I spent the rest of Thursday writing an Update on the ‘Ezekiel Alliance. After publishing and before closing down for the evening, I decided to check the latest news. On World Watch Daily I saw this leading headline:

Iran Launches ‘Massive’ War Drills: Codenamed ‘Towards Jerusalem’ 

The next day the headline had rolled down the front page, as below (click image for link to full story):

I recall reading elsewhere that these units were being deployed against undercover Saudi activities in distant parts of Iran.

Afterthoughts

So could the Almighty One be saying something in this highly unusual juxtaposition of timing regarding the strategies of those who oppose His plans and purposes for His people? People with whom He has not one but several personal, eternal covenants!

After realising how my thoughts and actions had been ‘engineered’ towards this global issue, I had to ask ‘Why?’.  My first impression was astonishment at how the Lord may have so muddled and juggled my days to bring me into this insight? I recalled that, in admonishing the early Philippian church to avoid grumbling and arguing (Phil 2:13), Paul wrote,

…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

I’m well aware that, on the other hand, in His sovereignty the Lord also lets those who prefer wickedness and hate Him get deeper in their prison (2Thess 2:10-12):

They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

His Will will be done on earth, as Nathan Morris heard at the start of 2012:

For I would know that My people would hear My voice, that I am setting the stage for that which I have foretold in My Word and it will quickly and swiftly come to pass. For the days are coming when the lawless one shall be revealed and the son of perdition shall take his stand…”

Therefore, could the dramatic cover of Victor Dunstan’s book be prescient? Does it prophetically indicate the Lord is going to get a tight grip on events in view of what USA, Britain and Russia have now done in the Middle East?

Today, I read Obama has done such an extreme about face at Geneva that he,

…secretly agreed to elevate Iran to the status of seventh world power, as a strong inducement for signing the interim nuclear accord!

Jerusalem and Riyadh are aghast at this development. Our Jerusalem sources report that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has kept it back from his cabinet colleagues, has been holding back-to-back confidential consultations with the heads of Israel’s security and intelligence services and the high IDF command to decide how to handle Obama’s sudden replacement of Israel with Iran as America’s No. 1 ally in the region.

Most immediately, a hostile Iran with a role in the ongoing US-sponsored negotiations with the Palestinians does not bear thinking off.

The Saudi royal house is deep in similarly anxious and angry discussions.

The whole ‘ball-game’ has now changed and many pundits are busily proffering opinion. But, as we keep watch, let’s also keep looking up to Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb12:2).

PS:

Last Thursday reminded me of how I’d been led through a string of coincidences over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Bells. (There were many more than are mentioned in that trilogy!)  Had one step not been taken, one item been missed, one event not actioned then the next step or event would not have happened and no insights gained. The whole was undeniably ‘God-incidental’.

Yet the way I was ‘set up’ last week was extraordinary! Had an awkward issue not needed attention, had I not mistaken the day the anniversary fell, had my starts at blogging not been thwarted, had I not been diverted from what I was to write, and had not the grave global issue of nuclear Iran coincidentally been taking place – then I would have spent last Thursday writing about the blog’s birthday and Baroness Warsi’s plans.

A weird mix-up resurrects this blog’s ‘Welcome’

After publishing the 2nd Anniversary item on Wednesday I discovered I’d done it a day early!

Weirdly, I was convinced Wednesday was 21st Nov and had worked with that firmly in mind. In fact, hectic events had skewed my week. After that weekend I was aiming to follow-up on Muslim reaction to Christian persecution. However, a major issue arose that took up an hour on Monday and over an hour the next day to resolve. So my writing schedule for the week went ‘up the spout’.  (I can only applaud the Halifax Bank for the most professional and courteous manner in which they handled my complaint, including an immediate compensation, including cost of calls!)

With 21st fast approaching and on Wednesday I’d be busy offline, my priorities changed with the ‘birthday blog’ getting drafted in short time-slots. (Evenings are always offline.) My fixation on the wrong date was soon explained: Our wall calendars start weeks on Sundays but I’d mentally mapped out last week by using a daily verse calendar in the bathroom. I didn’t realise its tiny page has weeks starting Mondays. So, glancing at these row of dates I could see 21st as being exactly mid-week, ie. Wednesday; so I presumed!

There may have been an ulterior and unseen reason behind this time-skew, however, as became clear at the close of the next day’s full blogging, when I realised it was the real 21st Nov. But I was left stunned by an extraordinary coincidence, which has yet to be recounted.

In trying to solve this puzzle I checked the date this blog went public, but found the very first post had disappeared from the sequential listing. I recalled trashing it after having copied it into the About hub for reference purposes. But then I found the original stored safely in the Posts’ Trash folder and its publication date retained, as here (click to see) >

The original ‘Welcome’ has now been resurrected and republished. In there I refer to a book read in the mid-1980s which plunged me into the deep-end of Biblical prophecy. (I wasn’t a Christian but the book had no direct influence in that regard.) That part of the resurrected post is reproduced below, but to which I’ve added an emphasis for you to note, as well as the Update from About/Welcome…:

Welcome….

…I was also well-informed on new-age spirituality and prophecies, as well as material  behind the supposed Da Vinci code.  As editor/publisher I was, therefore, well placed  for a friend in mail-order books to give me a new publication on geopolitics, The Invisible Hand (Victor Dunstan, Megiddo Press, 1984).

This gift claimed the Bible held coded and plaintext details of prophecies concerning the British Mandate in Palestine, as well as giving historical details on the Mandate. Whilst watching a documentary on TV about the then current Iraq-Iran war, I flicked through the book and noticed there were lots of references to the significance of Jerusalem.  I then heard the narrator refer to elite units from opposing forces rehearsing together an attack upon Jerusalem – despite their being at war with one another!  Upon looking up, my jaw dropped!  Wouldn’t yours?  So, this was a book to take seriously; it grabbed my full attention.

Consequently, I became aware of Middle Eastern matters, and related events globally, which suggest things may not be as they seem at first glance.  However, I was amazed to learn they’re of major Biblical significance.  Bemused, therefore, I began to watch…

UPDATE: Dunstan estimated all the prophecies would come to a climax in 1992 with Russia being the lead villain against Israel. However, he didn’t foresee the collapse of communism in 1989!  Yet that year proved pertinent because the ‘Middle East Peace Process’ had just got under way in October 1991 and led to the Oslo Accords of 1993. At the turn of the millennium, I discovered that John McTernan and William Koenig had been following prophetical developments since 1986 and the mid-1990’s respectively. In 1996 William published his work as Koenig’s International News (now Watch.org) and became an accredited White House correspondent in 2001, the year they co-authored Israel: The Blessing or the Curse. They’ve written other works and continue to monitor matters separately, as occasionally covered in this blog – see tags Koenig, McTernan.

> > Continue reading at > The Invisible Hand reappears! 

A profound sense of dismay is spreading among the Israeli people that they are watching the sunset of the golden years of the U.S.-Israeli alliance.

This report connects closely into my Update on the Ezekiel Alliance.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

sunset(Jerusalem, Israel) — A profound sense of dismay is spreading among the Israeli people.

The slowly but steadily emerging consensus is that the American government is poised to cut a disastrous deal with Iran that could potentially endanger the State of Israel, and that the perhaps the White House cannot be trusted as the supreme ally it has been for seven decades.

Sharp American critics of President Obama might be surprised that Israelis are only now coming to this conclusion. But keep in mind that most Jewish people tend to be left-of-center politically. They love Bill Clinton. They like Hillary Clinton a great deal. They had high hopes for Barack Obama. But those hopes have largely been dashed. Israelis were deeply grateful when President Obama made a state visit here in March. They hoped this represented a “reset” in U.S.-Israeli relations that have been strained over the last four or five years. Now…

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Update on the ‘Ezekiel Alliance’

World Watch Daily has a couple of leading headlines that could have been taken from 38th chapter of the prophetical book of Ezekiel. Quoting from Jerusalem Post, the lead headline says it all:

Netanyahu, Putin sharply divided over Iran nuclear deal

The article opens: ‘Significant divisions over Iran were on clear display in the Kremlin on Wednesday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued statements after nearly two hours of meetings…’ (Photo below June 2012)

The second headline from William Koenig’s team in The White House quotes The Tmes of Israel and opens as shown below:

France says Iran comments on Israel complicate nuke talks

‘Ayatollah calls Israel ‘rabid dog,’ drawing harsh response from Paris as new round of negotiations begin. The French government spokeswoman says President Francois Hollande believes comments by Iran’s supreme leader about Israel are “unacceptable” and complicate talks between world powers and the Islamic regime over its nuclear program…’

Developments

Further to last Thursday’s post about US  appeasement of Iran in Geneva (here), the following links bring detailed news and opinion on developments:

Special Report Tuesday states four new Iranian conditions may block nuclear accord and reveals (emphases added),

…That the radicals are calling the shots in Tehran was obvious to every Iranian from the large blow-ups of the intransigent ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad adorning Tehran newspapers in the last couple of days. President Hassan Rouhani may be elected president, but his campaign of smiles to the West has been superseded by the radical nuclear line espoused by the man he defeated at the polls.  Ahmadinejad is riding high again in Tehran.

According to Debkafile there’s, ‘a strange paradox of two leaders, Ayatollah Khamenei and Prime Minister Netanyahu, who are implacable adversaries in all else, maneuvering (sic) with all their might for the same object of taking the wind out of the sails of a potential nuclear deal between the six powers and Iran.
Khamenei is confident he can bring President Obama to heel and force him to live with key elements of Iran’s nuclear bomb program. Israel wants that program brought a lot closer to its dismantlement by tougher sanctions. He is seconded in this demand by France in public statements by its president Francois Hollande, and Saudi Arabia, which prefers not to admit to supporting the Israeli campaign….’

Their latest Exclusive Report claims that today,

The Iranian negotiators face the delegations of six world powers in Geneva Thursday, Nov. 21, with strict orders not to give ground on the two major sticking points holding up a first-step deal on their nuclear program: The heavy water reactor under construction at Arak for producing plutonium and Iran’s “right” to uranium enrichment. If Iran gains those two points, whatever concessions its negotiators may come up with are worthless, because they will leave Tehran in possession of two optional nuclear weaponizing tracks instead of one – plutonium as well as enriched uranium.

Debka states Tehran is fighting tooth and nail for Six-Power acknowledgement of its “right to enrich uranium” so Iran can come away with a “historic feat”. This will show the Iranian people that economic hardship suffered under economic sanctions was worth while.

BUT, existing infrastructure would enable Iran to top-up enriched uranium stockpiles to the amount needed for five nuclear bombs in less than 4 weeks! AND a second option of plutonium would also be available when the Arak reactor is finished! Can the Iranians be trusted? Debka then asks,

…what compromise can be expected when Washington failed to challenge Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s avowal on Day One of the Geneva talks that Iran will not step back “one iota” from its nuclear rights, and his grotesquely barbaric rant against Israel as “the roguish, filthy, rabid dog of the region,” whose regime is “doomed to extinction?”

This degraded language, not heard since the Nazi German era, informed the Obama administration in the harshest terms that for the sake of a deal, Iran will not give an inch under pressure, whether from economic sanctions or from Israel and parts of the American Jewish leadership.

Debka states, ‘Khamenei also blasted US government as unworthy of trust. If…Obama was serious in his often repeated commitment to Israel’s security, he ought to have protested in some way against Khamenei’s unspeakable rhetoric, possibly even delaying the proceedings before they started their second day in Geneva. But the Iranian leader apparently got away with it, judging from the Obama administration’s mild response…’

How peculiar that not only Iran’s tip leader, but also those of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt (and more) are all in agreement about the superpower that was, for decades, top-dog in the Middle East?  What’s the reason for this change? Could it be because America’s leaders have rejected the God and Jesus Christ, as their president did in his first inauguration by declaring the USA has never been a Christian nation (as here).

I recommend my readers use the above links to learn the rationale behind these claims. It reminds me of the great heavenly conflict with the demonic ‘Prince of Persia’, of which the prophet Daniel was informed by angelic messenger during deep intercession. (See Daniel 10:12, courtesy BibleGateway.com)

Conclusion

These serious matters are simply one demonstration of the Bible’s complete relevance for today. That is, it accurately forewarns of this dangerous situation for the Middle East and world peace.

Time for the Church to recover a vision of society transformed

Courtesy of James Mark Long, www.propheticartists.comAn exceptional address on transformation of society from Archbishop Sentamu, especially in emphasising, “We need to recover a prophetic imagination and Christian wisdom, and not get bogged down with what does not work. Rather we must concentrate on what works, and breathe new life into it.”.

God and Politics in the UK

John SentamuDespite my best efforts, I usually find it hard to get excited about the workings of the Church of England’s General Synod. Mostly there is a feeling of frustration with the focus on internal legislation, when the more important issues that the Church is facing (even more important than the long road to approving women bishops) don’t get much of a look in. This week’s Synod has felt very different. The overwhelming approval today of the Women Bishops package is a great relief as well as a sign of what can be achieved when members of Synod gets their act together and work towards solutions rather than staunchly fighting their own corners. Without the distraction of the Women Bishops vote, the first two days have produced some genuinely worthwhile discussion on the important topics of evangelism and Church schools. The subject of evangelism has provoked plenty of interest in the…

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Blog’s 2nd Anniversary – A huge thankyou to every reader

On the 2nd anniversary of this blog I wish to thank you, dear reader, immensely for taking the time to read or just to pop in and visit from time to time. I’m grateful to each subscriber for receiving ‘new post’ notifications, even if only to note the title and skim its introduction and then bin.

Two years ago today I said ‘Welcome’ to the cyber-world and one year later was most surprised to find nearly 10,000 hits over that time – as well as a fascinating numerical aspect on 2012. Now, after another year the number of hits has quadrupled and total number of posts and pages approaches 450.  So thank you indeed one and all.

In particular I’d like to thank Tony for many interesting comments and Gillan for letting me re-blog some of his solid coverage of political issues on the home front.

I trust you won’t mind my blowing the trumpet on what has been achieved with a sample of helpful and encouraging comments from supporters.:

>  “Thank you so much Richard for all the updates. It is interesting that as far as I know there has been little reporting of…on the BBC. We don’t have a daily newspaper so are always grateful for any updates. We’re very interested in Moslem/Christian matters as our son now has a degree in Arabic/Islamic studies, and a real heart for Arabic people.”  (Rosemary P)

> “Thanks to you for all you make available to us through your writings and research.  We are very grateful to you for those things you bring to our attention”. (Sarah B)

> “Congratulations on your very impressive blog – wow. I wasn’t aware of it until you emailed and I have been very blessed to see that you have put together an excellent resource on the times and seasons.” (David Stark, Glasgow Prophetic Centre)

> In good debate elsewhere: “…I was drawn to your blog on the grounds that my wife read it via Richard Barker’s excellent thought provoking blog…” (Keith Lannon, blogger)

> “Thanks Richard. Your website is an excellent resource.” (Nick White, writer)

So, dear reader, do keep reading and be free to comment. If you disagree or think my remarks may be rather intemperate, please say so.

As ever, I wish to express my huge debt of gratitude to Nina for her patience on days spent on my researching and writing – thank you and bless you sweetheart.

>> The next two posts tell of the peculiar circumstances behind publishing this post! <<

Firworks2

UK Minister and other Muslims alarmed over persecution of Christians

Could the wide tide of atrocities committed by Islamists wanting to return the world to the Dark Ages be on the turn?  Maybe many moderates are so appalled by what’s being done in the name of their god that they will be encouraged to make changes, perhaps even a long overdue ‘reformation’ of Islam? [See footnotes 1 and 2.]

Last weekend, I was given hope that change may be on its way by three instances of  Muslims being outraged at their co-religionists’ hatred of Christians. One came from the UK’s first Minister for Faith and senior minister in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Baroness Warsi [3]. I will consider this further and with a possible prophetic connection in another post.

Another came through contacts of Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of the Barnabas Fund, which supports Christians suffering discrimination and persecution in Muslim nations. Born of a Muslim family, his expertise in racial issues and pioneering approach within British churches and extensive knowledge on terrorism led him into advising the police and army on security issues (see biography).  He’s also worked in Iraq with Canon Andrew White, renowned across the Middle East for his reconciliation work with Muslim and Jewish leaders in Israel, Egypt and Iraq (website and books).

The third was found within an article by Dr Sadek Raouf Ebeid, an Egyptian Air Force Officer, about the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in Egypt. In a roundabout way let’s consider this first:

Egypt

It’s important to recall that Muslim protesters in Cairo were shielded during their prayers by Christians, mainly Copts. Apparently, the favour was returned on another occasion. (I became aware of the first claim through a local contact but some evidence for the second may be conflicting, as in this account.)

In view of the intense suffering of the Coptic Church at the hands of Islamists, and my reference to a leading source of its extremism at Al Azhar University (here), Dr Ebeid is very instructive about later changes [full details at 4].

He filed a complaint with Egypt’s Attorney General against Malik Obama (older half-brother of Barack Obama), accusing him of supporting terrorism in Egypt and for his involvement in managing a Sudanese terrorist connection to the Muslim Brotherhood. The official response to his application was very prompt which, he writes,

“Did not surprise me (because it) indicated that this case resonated well with the feelings of the majority of moderate Muslims in the Arab world. One has to admit that there are two distinct understandings of Islam.

A moderate, peaceful understanding of Islam that is lead (sic) by the Egyptian Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, an Egyptian Sheikh, who has studied philosophy in Paris and is currently the head of Al Azhar Mosque. I am proud to be the first to nominate el-Tayeb for the Nobel peace prize, for his role in spreading the moderate understanding of Islam, referred to in Arabic as “Al Islam Al Wasati”.

“The majority of the thirty-three million Egyptians who flooded the streets of Egypt in June 2013 were predominantly moderate Muslims.”

He continues,

“…any objective historian will admit (the event) was a human earthquake…that shook the ground of the Middle East, taking the Arab world out of the dark ages and into the Arab renaissance.

More than ever, Egyptians adhered to the moderate version of Islam, (Al Islam Al Wasati)…symbolized by the Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb. He was the man whom the military Generals in Egypt consulted with and whose blessings were obtained,  while etching into stone, the post-revolution road map.

“In contrast to the earlier teachings of Egypt’s deposed president Morsi, who was recorded in 2010, saying that Arabs need to nurse their children on hatred of the Jews, Egypt’s pending constitution has a third amendment guaranteeing the right of Jews to practice their faith in Egypt.”

That implies the same should be accorded to the Copts and which may be expected as official policy, as in Mubarak’s days.

Kenya, Pakistan & Iraq

Dr Sookhdeo opens his latest blog [5] as follows:

As shocking acts of Islamic terrorism continue to fill our news bulletins, it is extremely heart-warming for me to see that Muslim leaders throughout the world are now speaking out against those who are using violence in the name of Islam. (Emphasis added)

In citing atrocities in Kenya, Pakistan, Iraq and London he recounts the brave work of many moderates in unequivocally condemning maniacs who use Islam as an excuse for anti-human barbarity (my words). He writes,

On Kenya,

“Adan Wachu, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, said that the wanton and indiscriminate killing of innocent men, women and children goes against all Islamic teachings and tenets. He said that the county’s religious leaders were working together to counter violent extremism…”

On Somalia,

“In an unprecedented step, Somali Islamic scholars issued in September a fatwa denouncing (al-Shabaab). At a conference in Mogadishu convened by the Somali government, which is itself strongly Islamic, around 160 Somali religious scholars condemned al-Shabaab’s use of violence and concluded that it was not a legitimate Islamic organisation…”

On Pakistan,

“Allama Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, leader of (Pakistan’s) Ulema Council, a body of leading Muslim scholars, said that killing innocent people violates the tenets of Islam…Ordinary Pakistani Muslims have also demonstrated solidarity with their Christian compatriots by joining human chains around churches in a movement organised by Pakistan for All, a group that campaigns against attacks on minorities…”

On Iraq, ,

“Marking the third anniversary of the deadliest attack on Iraqi Christians since the 2003 US-led invasion, both Sunni and Shia Muslims gathered on 31 October outside the church in Baghdad that was besieged by an al-Qaeda front group in 2010. They lit candles and held up banners appealing for Christians to stay in the country…

On the UK,

“It is no small matter for moderate Muslims to take a stand over Islamist violence. They are putting their own safety at risk, as being Muslim does not protect them from becoming targets. In fact, the threat to a number of prominent British Muslims who condemned the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby is so great that they are now under police protection…” 

He names and admires four individuals in writing, “Despite the threats against them, the Muslim targets have remained resolute in speaking out against violent extremism.

In concluding, Dr Sookhdeo makes a Call for change.:

“…actions speak louder than words and it is time for moderate Muslims everywhere to heed the call of Aijaz Zaka Syed, a Muslim commentator on Middle East and South Asia affairs….whom he cites,

We may go on righteously protesting that this has nothing to do with faith. But like it or not, such reasoning does not cut it. The world judges us by who we are, not by what we claim to be. If we stand for peace and salvation, our lives must attest to it and our actions must show it. It is as simple as that. [6]

I cannot but concur with that commentator’s full article and Dr Sookhdeo’s exhortation,

One thing that Christians can do is support these brave Muslim leaders who are taking a stance against the violence that is claiming the lives of so many Muslims and non-Muslims. We can support them with our prayers and our friendship and by lending our voices to their courageous campaign.

Perhaps the vast majority of Muslims are now finding their co-religionists’ actions utterly repugnant. Perhaps they may realise the root issue is a spiritual one and be blessed by  personal revelations of Jesus Christ? I pray they find, as many thousands have already done, He is eager to show Himself and that He’s far more than a prophet…

To be continued…

Further Reading:

  1. Daniel Pipes: Can Islam Be Reformed?
  2. Item 1 subsequently debated here and here.
  3. Sayeeda Warsi: Extremists are driving Christians out of their homelands. We must act. Also see God and Politics in the UK
  4. Sadek Ebeid MD: Moderate Muslims vs. Obama Brothers
  5. Patrick Sookhdeo: Muslims take a stand against Islamist violence
  6. Aijaz Syed: With friends like these, Islam needs no enemies

Replay of Munich ’38 missed – only just!

A serious miscalculation by America has been averted – for the time being.

Like British PM Neville Chamberlain in Sept 1938, POTUS Barack Obama prefers peace rather than war with a totalitarian, supremacist regime. But as my parent’s generation learned, appeasement [1] comes only at a high price. A ‘peace for our time’  agreement with Nazi Germany wasn’t worth the paper it was written on [2].

Proviso

Let me clarify for first-time visitors and newer subscribers to this blog, I’ve no political axe to grind whatsoever. Over 25 years ago (when anti-Christian), I was confronted by  the singular goal of Iraq and Iran, although at war with one another! [3]  Therefore, I’ve been well aware of the Iranian regime’s ultimate aim – the destruction of the state of Israel.

It’s important to be aware of today’s situation’s connection to the ‘Ezekiel 38 Alliance’  that was foreseen millennia ago and recorded in the Bible [4]. This coalition is made up  mainly of Iran/Persia, Syria and Turkey along with its leader, Russia. They were seen as becoming united against, and seeking to destroy, Israel. These ancient and modern facts cannot simply be ignored.

Political leaders would, therefore, be well advised to tread very carefully in dealing with this alliance.

Summary

Last week, US Secretary of State Kerry’s headlong push for a disastrous agreement in Geneva with Iran over its nuclear ambitions has brought recriminations from national leaders and many well-informed commentators.

Although claiming to cover Israel’s back, Obama has been in secret, back-channel talks with Iran, especially since the election of President Rouhani [5]. His team had arranged for nothing important to be conceded by the Iranian’s for easing international sanctions. That is, it was not known this arrangement did not require Iran to reduce refinement of uranium and halt production of nuclear weapons [6], which was the rationale behind sanctions.

Israeli PM Netanyahu was reportedly ‘in a state of shocked disbelief’ and felt ‘misled’ by ‘messianic-complex’ Kerry [7], who is said to have threatened Israel with sanctions over its peace negotiations with the Palestinians, who are never, ever at fault! [8].  The US was accused of deceit because,

‘…the interim nuclear accord negotiated directly between Washington and Tehran was already secretly in the bag before the 2-day talks between Iran and the Six World Powers took place in Geneva on Thursday…’. [9]

Middle-East analyst Daniel Pipes foresaw the 911 attack and recently reiterated,

I wrote before the last presidential election that “Israel’s troubles will really begin” should Obama win second term. At Obama’s second inauguration, I predicted that he, “freed from re-election constraints, can finally express his early anti-Zionist views after a decade of political positioning. Watch for a markedly worse tone from the second Obama administration toward the third Netanyahu government.” [10]

America’s Arab allies in the Gulf were also horrified by the bad deal and felt cheated. In line with their strong reaction [11] to Obama throwing Egypt’s President Mubarak under the bus, Saudi Arabia has been arranging to buy nuclear warheads from Pakistan as protection from a nuclear-armed Iran [12].

Then when Iran and the Six met for 3 days in Geneva, France unexpectedly scuttled the deal at the last minute on behalf of the Europeans, Saudi Arabia, the UA Emirates and Russia [13]. Joel Rosenberg sees God’s hand in changing this situation [14]. Expecting a generous hand-out from the US and an easing of stringent sanctions, Iran’s President Rouhani urgently met Supreme Leader Khamenei and reminded him their ‘cupboard is bare’. [15]  Hoping to negotiate with more flexibility, he’ll have a tough time persuading Iran’s top dog.

The US ‘capitulated’ [16]. Disingenuous Kerry blamed Israel’s Netanyahu and claimed Obama is a man of his word, but was met with deep scepticism by their partners. This is no surprise bearing in mind not only American deceit in changing the deal but also over Obama’s credibility gap as a result of the Syria farrago [17]. On Sunday,

…Netanyahu hit back at his misrepresentation as the lone spoiler by revealing his contacts with the European powers represented in Geneva and his close cooperation with the Arabian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia.

“The world should pay heed when Israel and the Arabs speak with one voice. It doesn’t happen that often,” he said… Washington sources admit that the group effort by Jerusalem, Paris and Riyadh to defeat the Obama administration’s Iran policy was a groundbreaker. One source noted that it had attained the unheard-of level of coordinated Israeli-Arab-European teamwork for mobilizing individual US congressmen and senators against the deal with Iran and in favor of tighter sanctions. (Emphases added)

The game is clearly changing for the US in the Middle-East because Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu are on a two-day visit to Cairo [18]. This will conclude a major sale of advanced Russian weaponry to Egypt’s army and for Russian naval access to ports on the Mediterranean. (Obama chose to delay assistance because Egypt refused to acquiesce to his demand to reinstate the Muslim Brotherhood, probably because of his elder brother’s involvement with them!)

Yesterday, the Head of International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report of his visit to Iran on Monday. According to Debka, he pointed out that he had seen no changes in Iran’s nuclear activities in the three months since the election of Hassan Rouhani. Iran continues to enrich uranium up to the 20% level and his comments

…exploded the optimistic assumption at the root of the Obama administration’s soft policy on Iran, namely that Tehran had assumed a new, moderate face, amenable as never before to talking through a deal on its nuclear program. [19]

Yukiya Amano’s urgently arranged meeting with supreme leader Khamenei was meant to be an opportunity for him to signal that he approved of further efforts to overcome the impasse reached last week in Geneva.

A show of goodwill from Khamenei would have been used by the US administration to persuade Israel, France and Saudi Arabia to stop fighting the draft accord they’d thrown out. Iran’s Foreign Minister promised the Americans that if the IAEA chief came to Iran then an audience with Khamenei would be set up.  But the whole three days Amano  was in Tehran no audience materialised. He was fobbed off with paper and photo-op for ‘a roadmap for cooperation’. So Khamenei’s brush-off for Amano put paid to efforts to improve the stand-off.

Conclusion

So today it’s very interesting to read that a professor of law at Harvard has just asked: “Is this our Chamberlain moment?” [20]. Oh, what a surprise!

When published, the full details of the current state of affairs and how the crisis erupted must surely read better than any political thriller. Just let these links tantalise you…

Links for LOTS MORE details:

  1. ‘Appeasement’ in the mid-20th century
  2. Neville Chamberlain’s official statement
  3. Richard’s Watch: read about The Invisible Hand in Welcome..
  4. Richard’s Watch: Events indicate the Bible’s relevance today
  5. Charles Crawford: Iran at the UN – Diplomatic Chess
  6. Debka: Major Israel-US rift over allowing more uranium enrichment
  7. Joel Rosenberg: …Rapidly intensifying crisis in US-Israel relations
  8. Aaron Klein: Kerry threatening Israel
  9. Debka: Israel accuses US of deceit on nuclear deal
  10. Daniel Pipes: Obama turns on Israel
  11. Richard’s Watch: Deep US-Saudi rift emerges
  12. Joel Rosenberg: Arab allies of US horrified by deal…
  13. Debka: France’s last-minute hold-out aborts Iran deal…
  14. Joel Rosenberg: France scuttles disastrous nuclear deal…
  15. Debka: Iranian leaders urgently mull some nuclear flexibility…
  16. Israel Hayon: ‘US capitulated’ on Iran deal…
  17. Debka: Kerry bids from Abu Dhabi to break up broad front…
  18. Debka Exclusive Report 12 November 2013
  19. Debka: …Khamenei refuses to see nuclear watchdog director
  20. Gatestone Institute: Nuclear peace with Iran in our time

Could Obama restore Christianity?

Preposterous as that question seems, this guest post by T.E. Hanna complements the previous item about religio-political stirrings on this side of the ‘pond’.  Readers of long standing are aware of my reservations about POTUS’ claims as a fellow believer. (I recall the inordinate, idolatrous adulation given upon his first election. Incredibly one writer regarded him as C-in-C Theologian!!)  Yet, scripture and Christian leaders point out, as here, he needs our prayers…Lord, grant president Obama a Damascus Road encounter and full baptism in your Holy Spirit.

T.E. puts challenging and pertinent, provocative points which, in my humble opinion, merit careful consideration by American believers.:

HOW BARACK OBAMA IS RESTORING CHRISTIANITY

Author TE HannaHold on. Put the stones down for just a moment. Hear me out.

So you’re a fan of Obama? Fine. Not a fan? Still fine. I’m not particularly interested in political affiliation. I’m far more caught up in the need for the Christian body to reclaim its place as influencers of our nation at a cultural level rather than a political one. And let’s be honest… we’re not exactly making track records in that department.

In the face of our waning cultural influence, followers of Jesus increasingly rally to reclaim a “Christian nation” by working to pass pseudo-Christian legislation and thereby impose the illusion of a Christian presence. We do this, however, without ever really engaging the hearts and minds of individuals where the real influence of the Messiah comes to dwell. This is the problem: we don’t become a Christian nation by teaching people to “act Christian” as a form of civic obedience. We become a Christian nation by reaching the men and women of our communities with the life-altering presence of Christ.

In that regard, Obama is helping us more than we realize.

We Face A Rival Theology

One of the greatest challenges we face in recovering our Christian influence is in the way that the culture of our churches has merged nationalism with Christian theology. We engage the problems of our world very differently when we approach it from a nationalist mindset than we do when we approach it from the perspective of a culturally subversive community that functions as the front lines of a kingdom-not-of-this-world. At the root of this is what we might call a “competing eschatology”.

To quote Old Testament scholar Dr. Peter Enns:

Eschatology means: “We have brought you to where things are as they should be. You are at the place where you can now–finally–have reason to hope. Trust in us. Fear not.” Eschatology means the pinnacle of true humanity, where wrongs are righted, all is at peace, and the human drama comes to its fullest expression.

A nationalist eschatology adopts the utopian vision of government and seeks to bring about this grand pinnacle through the right means of legislation and leadership. It imbues humanity with hope through cultivating trust in those who lead and feeding us the ever-elusive promise of “progress”. In a nationalist eschatology, we place our faith and hope in the system and, if the system is broken, we place our hope in the righting of that system. In the current trend of Christian nationalism, we have bled our theology into this rival promise, looking to that same system to bring about the “utopia” of Christian transformation.

But Ours Is A Divine Narrative

Unfortunately, this rival eschatology is just that: a rival. As seductive as it is, it undermines the Christian hope passed down to us throughout history and embedded within the pages of God’s sweeping narrative of scripture. The Great Story we find ourselves in the midst of is not a story of powerful governments drawing humanity along to an ever brighter future. In fact, the pages of scripture unfold to tell us of a people at the outskirts of civilization, a nation constantly under the dominion of the powerful empire. It speaks to us of a promised messiah, the very being of God himself, who announces a heavenly kingdom before being crucified by an earthly one.

It teaches us of a heavenly calling to an earthly citizenry, the slow cultivation of a community of people who transformed an empire despite existing under that very empire’s persecuting power. It whispers to us of a God who works from the margins and engages the worldly systems through a transformed gathering of His children. It reminds us that to change our world, we must live as those whose citizenship lies beyond the soil upon which we tread.

Our eschatology does not look to presidents or kings. It looks upon the crucified Lord, King of the Jews, and King of all Kings. It looks to the coming heavenly kingdom, a kingdom not of this world.

Obama Reminds Us Who We Are

Regardless where one stands in their view of our president, we cannot help but look with dismay upon the past several months. In the course of this year alone we have faced the prospect of yet another war, the shutdown of our government, and the divisive controversy over healthcare. We have peeled back the curtain, stared the promise of nationalism in the face, and found it wanting. Despite efforts to the contrary, the Obama administration has exposed the vacuousness of the nationalist ideal. I love our nation, but it is not in government that we place our hope. It is in Jesus.

Today (Monday) we celebrate our veterans. We honor and recognize the men and women who fought to retain for us our precious freedom. We can honor them by using that freedom, not by turning to the empty promises of a rival eschatology, but by freely living as the men and women of God who model a different way; a Jesus way. In the midst of our nation, we are still foreigners, emissaries of a heavenly kingdom that is bursting forth all around us. We can yield ourselves to that kingdom, or we can yield ourselves to this one.

Only one truly offers us hope for humanity’s future.

Is a muscular defence of our national Judaeo-Christian heritage needed?

Courtesy of James Mark Long, www.propheticartists.comIn line with what many prophetical voices have brought from the Lord for 2013+, we are seeing a marked emphasis upon a ‘new era’ for the wider church. In tandem with this, secular and political opinions are being aired not so much on the irrelevance of Christianity but more for its values and how they can be re-applied within society. Gillan Scott brings a valuable contribution to this debate and generated further thoughts, including on Revival, in his blog’s discussion thread.

God and Politics in the UK

Fighter JesusAnother week goes by and a few more political types have decided to give their opinion on the state of Christianity in our country. It certainly is reassuring to know that if by chance the Archbishop of Canterbury misses his return flight in future after attending another international gathering of church leaders, UKIP leader, Nigel Farage is on hand to step in and give the Church of England some advice to keep it on the straight and narrow.

Farage in an interview with the Telegraph last weekend was more than willing to give Justin Welby a bit of help:

“We need a much more muscular defence of our Judaeo-Christian heritage. Yes, we’re open to different cultures but we have to defend our values. That’s the message I want to hear from the Archbishop of Canterbury and from our politicians. Anything less is appeasement of the worst kind.” 

The actual tenets of the…

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