Meeting Egyptian President el-Sisi, the man who wants to “rebrand” Egypt.

Important insights from Joel Rosenberg so be sure to link into his fuller background report covering Obama and the MB. Noteworthy that initials of the enemy of civilisation are this leader’s surname in reverse!

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

cEgypt-Sisi-smiling

(Central Israel) — This morning, The Jerusalem Post published a new column of mine. In it, I describe my recent meeting with the leader of Egypt and three distinct impressions of him that I walked away with. Below, you’ll find a few excerpts, and a link to the full column on the Post website.

I ask all Christians around the world to continue praying for the Christians of Egypt as they mourn those killed and comfort those wounded and traumatized in two savage suicide bombings there on Palm Sunday. Please also continue praying for the leaders of Egypt as they battle the radicals and work to improve security — and the economy — for Christians and all their citizens.

As I noted yesterday, these attacks were not isolated incidents. Rather, “they are the latest salvos in a dangerous new ISIS offensive to destabilize Egypt, and they underscore the urgency of close Egyptian security cooperation with both the U.S. and Israel to neutralize this jihadist threat.”…

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Did PM Thatcher describe the EU in terms of Daniel 7 prophecy?

Ever so rarely do I bother getting a Sunday paper: maybe I was nudged into getting last Sunday’s just to read this exceptionally remarkable quotation by Christopher Booker.:

‘In the only two speeches I have made in this referendum campaign, I quoted that startling passage from Margaret Thatcher’s last book in 2003 where she wrote:

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“That such an unnecessary and irrational project as building a European super-state was ever embarked on will seem in future years to be perhaps the greatest folly of the modern era. And that Britain, with her traditional strengths and global destiny, should ever have become part of it, will appear a political error of the first magnitude.”

‘Back in 1975, we may recall, when Mrs Thatcher had just become Tory leader, she played a very prominent role in the campaign to keep us in the Common Market. But after 11 years as prime minister, at “the heart of Europe”, she had completely reversed her view. This was because she had come to realise that everything she had originally been told about the real nature and purpose of the “European project” was wrong. (Emphases RB)

‘She had come to understand that its only real agenda in all it did was to work towards “ever-closer union”, under a form of governance like nothing the world had ever seen before.

‘The purpose was to weld all Europe together under a government that was “supranational”, never intended to be accountable or democratic and was based on gradually removing from member states any important power to govern themselves.’.

The phrase I’ve emboldened above in Christopher Brooker’s remarks could be his own perception of the late Lady’s opinion. Or perhaps it really was hers?

Nevertheless, it struck me as being closely similar to the description and explanation the OT prophet Daniel was given of an horrific beast seen in a night vision about the future and times just before Jesus Christ’s return.

Chapter 7 of his book recounts that dream of watching four beasts emerge from the sea (of peoples/nations) – first a lion, next a bear and then one like a leopard with four heads:

“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast – terrifying and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, it had ten horns.” (Dan 7:7 NIV)

The dream continued by focusing on a horn that uprooted three of the others and began speaking blasphemously and waging war against and defeating the saints. The court of ‘The Ancient of Days’ was convened and judgement made against this horned beast and, unlike the others, it was slain and its body cast into ‘the blazing fire’. Then Daniel saw ‘one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven’ (ie: Yeshua Ha Messiach, Jesus Christ); verses 13-14 refer:

“…He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His Presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Readers will recall that Jesus referred to Himself as ‘Son of Man’ and to Daniel’s book when teaching upon the forthcoming fall of Jerusalem His return (Matt 24).

But the distinct peculiarity of that symbolic, spiritual ‘beast’ was stressed again by the one who was with him and whom Daniel asked what they were watching. I’m copying verse 23 from my old NIV Insight Bible along with my emphasis therein:

“…He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on the earth. It will be (NB:) different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it…”

This imagery is similar to the legs and feet of the statue in king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which Daniel interpreted as signifying and prophesying about his and later kingdoms (see chapter 2).

Both refer to a trampling and crushing of people in their subjugation by rulers or peoples. That description is also said to be the definition of the Arabic term for ISIS terrorists – ‘daesh’. (For an informed opinion read here.) So, some scholars and commentators offer the opinion that scripture may refer to and foresee the existence of ISIS, and that the personification of Anti-christ will thus be a Muslim. Without emphasising that Arabic term, authors Mark Davidson and Nelson Walters, for example, have produced some historical considerations that build upon Joel Richardson’s thesis about such an identity.

However, the more we learn about what is happening in Europe the more inclined I am to think there may be more merit to the older, yet relatively modern, theological ideas that the one or other of Revelation 13 beasts will come out of the revived Roman Empire – the EU. After all, the second one has power over buying and selling and people would be unable to do that without having been given that beast’s mark, the number of which is 666. One of my earliest email refers to this number in connection with the appointment of the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy & Security, as the investigator Herb Peters discovered about 25 years ago. (For more see two-part email Not Many People Know, April 2009)

Furthermore, couldn’t the open and veiled threats emanating from our government and those in the EU be similar to the ‘trampling and devouring’ prophesied in Daniel 7:7 ?

Of course there’s much more to a deeper consideration of these scripture, but I offer my thoughts on this specific similarity for what they may be worth.

NB: please note I’m no fan of that past prime minister in view of the way the department in which I worked was ‘privatised’.

PS: I was going to schedule this for later but hit ‘publish’ and a few seconds later my email pinged ‘incoming’. I thought it was alerting me to this new post; but no – it’s announcing Mark Davidson’s latest The Brexit and The Antichrist – HOW VERY COINCIDENTAL!

UK/EU in/out #12: Euro-MP ‘spills the beans’ on EU

So amazed by what he read about the EU whilst holidaying here, Australian Ted Waters wrote a short summary of what he’d learned about the Union.

Why Vote Leave_D HannanNeil Mackereth had given him a copy of Amazon’s No 1 bestseller ‘Why Vote Leave’, by Daniel Hannon and which he’d highly recommended to me too. (For details click/tap book image.)  Neil’s own ‘Stay or Leave?’ summary on the Referendum and my recommending his book on Bible prophecy have appeared on this blog, and I’m grateful to those friends for permission to publish their remarks.

Neil had previously emailed me, “I’ve just finished reading a short and brilliant new eurosceptic book by Daniel Hannan MEP (Tory) entitled Why Vote Leave. It is a  very powerful, eloquent, and readable assessment and gives all the secular ammo and arguments in very digestible and shareable form. As you will see from the accompanying reviews, it has attracted enthusiastic praise from all parts of the conventional political spectrum – including from Lord Owen, ex-Labour Foreign Secretary and former supporter of the European project.”

Daniel is a columnist and Member of the European Parliament who wants us to vote so that he loses his job!  He came to the public’s attention in 2009 when he gave PM Gordon Brown a public lambasting after his speech in that parliament and which went viral on YouTube!

So Neil writes me that Ted, ‘…was so amazed by (the book) that he decided to research some of the key aspects (for accuracy) and then, to my surprise, to write a summary. To quote from his (Ted’s) email to me (Neil),

“He (Daniel) has a bias in that he believes, in my view correctly, that Britain should leave; but after reading his evidence based on facts, many of which I have verified from base references, it is clear that the decision taken later this month will set the scene for Britain to either become a state within a United States of Europe or remain independent.

“This is a decision that will affect the future of your children and grandchildren . The arguments supporting remaining an independent country I find compelling. In addition I can not imagine, however, any circumstance where Australians would vote in support of a proposal subjugating our parliament to the decisions of an unelected Commission supported by a judicially active Supreme Court located in another country.”

Note: emphases added by RB

Extracts from ‘Why Vote Leave’ by Daniel Hannon

Sovereignty

Europe is about supra-national coercion. Brussels has banned traditional light bulbs, high powered vacuum cleaners and other electrical appliances, has introduced the requirement to open a bank account with old utility bills, the end of weekly recycling and a ban on minimum alcohol pricing. Decisions taken not by a parliament but by bureaucrats in Brussels.

The question is, who runs Britain? A group of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels or the elected representatives in Britain? Who has primacy? The European treaties gives European law primacy over local laws in each country. This primacy does not only refer to sensible cross border issues: ie. international dialing codes or money transfer regulations but also to all businesses, including those that have no cross-border activity.

What makes the EU treaties unique is that they create a new legal order which member states must accept is superior to its own, and which is directly enforced by the national courts even when the national governments say otherwise. The supremacy of the EU law has never been agreed by the member states but is a doctrine invented by the European Court of Justice.

Even an explicit act of parliament is deemed inferior to EU rules. That is what loss of sovereignty means in practice. Since majority voting was introduced in the European Parliament in the late 1980’s the UK has voted against an EU legislative proposal 70 times and has lost the vote 70 times.

The UK is in a permanent minority because her interests and outlook diverge from the European-mean more than those of any other state

The European Parliament cannot, except in very special circumstances, propose laws. It’s role is to amend legislation put to it by the unelected European Commission.

In 27 of the states of the EU the written constitution is supreme and parliament is subordinate. Britain is the exception. The EU has a written constitution called the treaty of Lisbon. The constitution is interpreted by the European Court of Justice.

An example: When the EU bureaucrats wanted to extend their reach to include social policy and employment law Britain only agreed on the basis it had an opt-out. As soon as agreement was reached, 11 countries started agitating to include Britain even though it had an opt-out agreement. The judicial body decided that the provisions in the 1993 working-time directive was a health and safety policy not a social policy and that it applied to Britain. Therefore, Britain had to comply.

Since that decision it has extended its ruling to include travel to and from work within the 48 hour working week limit.

By remaining in, Britain gives up primacy of UK law over EU law in its own territory, gives up the right to sign bilateral trade agreements with non-EU nations and the right to decide who settles in the UK.

Would UK Businesses Be Better Off?

79% of all UK businesses are internal to the UK but 100% have to abide by Euro regulations. 10% do business with the Europe and 11% is with the rest of the world.

Since 1973 European commerce is controlled by the European Commission which imposed a common external tariff designed to redirect EU member trade from global to European markets. Europe was 30% of world trade in 1980 and is 17% in 2015. Every economic region in the world is larger in 2015 than it was in 2008 except the EU. The EU has had 8 years of economic stagnation. The major causes are European cost bases driven by over regulation, support for inefficient industries and the euro!!

Britain and Greece out of 28 members of the EU sell the majority of their exports outside the EU and in Britain’s case the spread is widening materially. In 2006 54.7% of Britain’s exports went to Europe . In 2015 it was 44.6%. The EU has free-trade agreements with only 2 of Britain’s non EU top 10 export markets. Britain’s trade is in surplus with the non-EU states and growing, whilst it is in deficit within the EU and shrinking. The trade deficit with the EU was £59 billion in 2015.

On leaving Britain would become the EU’s biggest customer worth 289 billion pounds. The remaining EU members would not engage in a trade war as they have more to lose than Great Britain.

The common fisheries policy only applies to the North Sea and not the Mediterranean or the Baltic. It is clearly anti-UK [AND brought the collapse of our fishing industry! RB]

Britain’s economy is Atlantic rather than European. It has no peer on the continent to its services industry.

Britain has no vote or voice at the World Trade Organization. Most international standards are determined by organisations where Britain has no voice. The common position of the EU works against Britain’s interest by protecting less efficient industries on the continent

Who Are The Advocates To Remain?

Any organizations advocating to remain in Europe have been set up by Brussels or are in receipt of substantial funding from the EU. Examples are the Confederation of British Industry received 936,272 euros, UK universities have received 889,889,754 euros from Brussels since 2008.

Evidence That The EU Is A Supra-national State

Is the EU a state? It has a government, a parliament, a Supreme Court, a central bank, a currency, a civil service, a President, a foreign minister, a diplomatic corps, embassies, legal personality, treaty making powers that govern all member states, membership of the United Nations, a flag, a national anthem, a criminal justice system, common citizenship, a passport and a national holiday. Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck!   The EU now has jurisdiction over foreign policy, immigration, criminal justice and social policy. It has a standardized driving license and is now aspiring to a common tax and social security system, a pan-European minimum wage, a federal police force, an army and fiscal and economic union.

The European Commission is the EU government. In most areas only the commission can propose new laws. It’s 28 commissioners are unelected!!

Quote from Tony Benn after visiting Brussels:

“My visit confirmed all my suspicions that this (joining the EU) would be the decapitation of British democracy without any countervailing advantage. There is no real benefit for Britain”.

In 2015, the Brussels bureaucracy over-ruled the elected Leftist government in Greece which had clear public support and prevented the Prime Minister from implementing the manifesto on which it had been elected.

Philosophical Differences

Most Continental leaders want a political union.

The UK is in a permanent minority because her interests and outlook diverge from the European mean more than those of any other state.

Britain is isolated within the EU because it differs politically and economically. Since majority voting was introduced in the European Parliament in the late 1980’s the UK has voted against an EU legislative proposal 70 times and has lost the vote 70 times

Britain has a legal system based on common law. Europe’s is based on civil law.

Common law assumes residual freedoms, that which is not explicitly precluded is implicitly allowed. Britain’s legal system is organic rather than prescriptive. Britain is the only member of the EU without a constitution which gives primacy to the UK Parliament not the Judiciary.

In the view of euro bureaucrats, “unregulated” means ” illegal”. The EU generated 52,183 legal acts between 2000 and 2013. The commission itself assesses that the EU increases GDP by 120 billion euros. In 2004 the Internal markets commissioner’s department assessed the cost of regulation at 600 billion euros

Budget Implications

In 41 of 42 years of membership Britain has paid more into the European budget than it has received in return. The exception was 1974 when Britain voted on withdrawal. For most of those years there have only been two net contributors, Britain and Germany.

UK gross contribution to the EU is £19.6 billion gross. This is equivalent to the combined revenue of vehicle excise tax (£5.9), capital gains tax (£5.4), air passenger duty (£3.2), inheritance tax (£3.9), and petrol tax (£1.2).  Food costs would go down by eliminating the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Europe has some of the highest food prices in the world. CAP consumes 40% of the EU annual budget. £4.6 billion of the UK gross contribution goes to CAP costs. In return UK farmers receive £2.9 billion in subsidies.

Energy cost would go down.  As a result of EU directives regarding renewable energy targets and direct legislation the UK pays 20% more than an equivalent firm in China, 65% more than a firm in India and 100% more than a firm in the US. This has contributed materially to the demise of the UK steel industry.

Conclusions

The referendum is about the EU that has taken shape, not some idealized version that we might have preferred.The major issues are about democracy, sovereignty, the EU’s declining share of the world economy, border controls and UK budget contribution to the EU.

A vote to leave will result in a trade only deal, similar to that of Norway,Iceland and Switzerland. A vote to stay will be a vote to be part of a continuing process of political, fiscal and military integration

I believe that Brexit would mean a more prosperous, more democratic and more free Britain.

POSTSCRIPT BY RB:

Having read and digested this summation of Daniel Hannon’s thoroughly informed argument, now read about post-Referendum machinations exposed in yesterday’s Daily Mail: It’s not just the plot to let in 1.5 million Turks! Daniel Hannon outlines TEN bombshells the EU’s keeping secret until after you’ve voted.

‘Embarrassing leaks have revealed that British Government officials colluded in Brussels to keep contentious issues about plans for making the EU into more of a superstate off the political agenda until after next week’s referendum…

  1. Banning hair dryers
  2. A bigger budget
  3. Open borders
  4. More bail-outs
  5. Deeper immigration
  6. Human rights
  7. Arts import licences
  8. Wrecking our ports
  9. Quotas for online TV
  10. A European army’ (in addition to NATO!)

Don’t say we haven’t been warned! We already know the EEC/EU’s horrific track record – why ever want shed-loads more ad infinitum?? Enough is more than enough – enough said?

Blog anniversary: ‘The Fellowship of the Secret’

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Funny the way things go but I didn’t realise ’til yesterday, when I started blogging more on the current theme, that a year ago today I introduced ‘The Fellowship of the Secret’, an e-book by my namesake Richard Barker.

Even ‘funnier’ are the facts I’m uncovering whilst trying to continue from what I’d jotted as of last night.  I was researching scripture and drafting a post to continue and conclude my current thoughts on the Kingdom, especially about the ‘mysteries’ Apostle Paul mentions. I’d previously checked last year’s piece and found the link to Richard’s book is no longer valid. Upon updating it yesterday I found his blog Fellowship of the Secret and decided to ‘follow’.

NOW, it’s getting much ‘funnier’ – even startlingly weird and very uncanny!…(and my email provider’s playing up and not failing to connect and download! So something’s afoot).:

Fellow WordPress bloggers are familiar with our administrative screen’s options of using either ‘My Site’ or ‘Reader’, which displays the latest posts of blogs we follow on WP.

For some purposeless reason I don’t recall, soon after starting this blog I went back into an open tab and opened up Reader – LO and behold, right at the top is one from Richard timed about the same time I started this post – UTTERLY EXTRAORDINARY. It reads:

‘The Fellowship of The Secret – Introductory Essay

‘Having completed my series of posts in which I have been commenting on Old Testament passages that particularly came to my attention during the writing of my book, I have composed an essay which will replace the preface in earlier editions of the e-book and the paperback version.

‘It sets out the background to the later edition and provides more insight into what I believe the process I am involved with is leading to. It will either whet your appetite for the book (e-version now free) or put you off entirely, since it challenges virtually everyone to review their current understanding of the Apostle Paul’s writings and that of their tradition.’ (emphasis added)

To read the latest from Richard click/tap Update for Revised Edition.

Finding it far from easy to think, because I’m ‘God-smacked at nature of this ‘coincidence’! The sheer serendipity demonstrates the LORD’s HAND MUST SURELY BE IN THIS – and is perhaps answering reservations and questions over what I propose writing on the ‘mysteries’ and recent posts. IN FACT, I extracted references on Richard’s book for this post from yesterday’s draft because the book seems especially significant at this time and needs announcing once again!

So, I’m SO stunned and left feeling sluggish with heavy limbs, like when Holy Spirit falls! Have had to take a break and share with Nina and visiting friend.

MOREOVER, a year ago my coverage of Richard’s book was surrounded with several God-incidents, as in God-incidents Validate Cycles… and Surprising Endorsement of ‘The Fellowship of the Secret’. The first introduces my namesake in some depth and then describes ‘The Fellowship of the Secret’ as follows:

‘(Richard) describes it as identifying, “the key that unlocks an age-enduring  mystery surrounding the apparent disconnection between OT prophecy and the out-working of the Church/Gospel age.” 

‘This claim, however, is not so new or surprising to those who study prophetic scripture outside the confines of the Catholic or Reformed churches, especially in view of the latter’s wide consensus on the cessation of Holy Spirit’s activity after the 1st Century.

‘In the overview of his e-book Richard focuses upon Paul’s statement in Ephesians 3:8-11 about his personal revelations. I especially appreciate this conclusion regarding the mutual failure in Jews and early Christians to understand one another:

“…Christendom’s part pertains to a failure to grasp the “the fellowship of the secret” – its implications to broader providence and God’s as yet unfulfilled terrestrial promises to the nation He first chose for Himself.”

‘Dipping into the extracts Richard’s put online, I like his hammering home on what the Church has lost and missed, and especially note the following from the first chapter ‘The Hidden Dispensation’ of ‘The Fellowship of the Secret’:

“The New Testament “elephant in the room”: the biblically unexplained and largely undebated non-fulfilment (or subversion) of scriptural prophecy regarding the terrestrial and political aspects of the Jewish apocalypse pertains to a secret disclosure, revealed to and through Paul of which I was previously unaware but now realise is the key to understanding Old Testament prophecy…”

‘Preceding that section Richard’s remarks are of direct relevance to recent posts on this blog about keys to and unsealing of the Book of Daniel, with emphasis added:

“In the religious sphere an on-going learning curve has been guaranteed through the intentionally cryptic profundity of Holy Scripture that was never intended to be entirely unravelled until the end of the age, for it contains at least one significant mystery (or secret) that was not to be disclosed until such a time (Dan 12:1-4 & 7; Rev 10:4,7)…”

‘I suspect that those who love to sink their teeth into a theological treatise topped by a prophetical icing will gain by reading my namesake’s e-book – especially in broadening  our own understanding of End-times. I certainly will.’

WOW!

What is the Lord saying to us and about to reveal? I suspect it may be quite startling and take the Church into greater depths of intimacy and of revelation upon re-instating its full nature and purpose. After writing this I note Richard’s remark in the first paragraph of his Update (emphasis mine):

‘A more serious consideration reflected on during the Christmas/New Year period (2015/16) is that whatever anyone else may currently think I perceive myself to be involved in a sacred task – to make known to as many Christians who will receive it, what I understand to be God’s intentions for the currently scattered assemblies of Jesus-followers in view of what (I merely surmise) He intends to bring about within our generation (cf. Acts3:21 Greek). So in effect, the book is an expansive “prophetic insight” in which its author came within a matter of a few days to a quite new understanding of certain biblical passages and events within Church history…’

We’re getting closer to the prophesied return of the Lord. Watch out world!

‘How the Church lost The Way…’ – book review

The following information received today is very useful preparatory reading for my follow-up to The Four Faces of God and Unity. It appears courtesy of PROPHECY TodayUK (click for original).

Paul Luckraft reviews Steve Maltz’s ‘How the Church Lost The Way…And How it Can Find it Again’:

How the Church Lost the WayIn this engaging and entertaining book, the author is very clear about his agenda: “to restore the understanding of the Hebraic roots of Christianity that has been lost, since the early days of the Church” (p 43). Equally clear is that in this book he has succeeded in making a considerable contribution towards what is an immense but vital task.

Maltz’s style is chatty, but not trite. He pulls no punches – he admits he may not just be upsetting the occasional sacred cow but disturbing the whole herd – but his aim is analysis, rather than attack. Certainly at every point he makes you think, and feel, and search for a proper response.

His title is apt in two ways, suggesting a straying from a correct path, but also reminding us that the early Christians were originally called The Way (Acts 9:2, 24:14), rather than the Church. Maltz points out that there has been a process of stripping out every trace of Jewishness from the established Church, starting early in its history and developing over time. The Body of Christ was meant to be One New Man (Eph 2:15) with both Jewish and Gentile elements in balance, and without this it is greatly diminished and largely unfulfilled.

How We Wandered

In Part One, the author tells ‘a tale of two summits’, taking us to two important councils: Jerusalem in AD 49 and Nicaea in AD 325. In an entertaining fly-on-the-wall (or rather peering-round-the-pillar) account, Maltz contrasts these two occasions, the former advocating the inclusion of Gentiles into the Church, the other the exclusion of Jews.

The most telling quote is from Constantine’s letter circulated to churches throughout the Christian world concerning the timing of Easter: “Let us then have nothing in common with the most hostile rabble of the Jews” (p48).

In chapter 2, Maltz provides a fascinating potted history of the main Greek thinkers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, highlighting their ‘big ideas’ and the equally big consequences of those ideas on Church history. He demonstrates how the early Church fathers reconstructed Christianity in Platonic terms, mixing the Bible with Platonic thinking.

As we are shown the long slide away from our Jewish roots into Greek dualism we are given excellent summaries – neither too long nor too short – of Philo (and allegory), Origen, Augustine, and Aquinas. In each case there is just enough detail to convince us that “the great doctrines of Christianity had become a philosopher’s playground” (p42).

This may only be an introduction to a very large topic, but the main point comes across clearly. The Church is “far more Greek in its outlook than people could ever imagine and this is not a side issue, but very much a key battleground for the truth” (p60).

Reclaiming Our Heritage

Part Two is largely comprised of a series of vignettes highlighting different aspects of the Hebraic worldview that we need to reclaim.

Maltz starts by looking at the Bible itself and how it should be interpreted from a Hebraic perspective, and then goes on to examine the Hebrew language, family life and marriage, the Sabbath and especially the Jewish festivals and calendar. This latter section is the longest and most informative. The Jewish biblical festivals are “so instructional, so rich in meaning, so bursting in Jesus, that it can do us nothing but good to be aware of them” (p106).

Part Three revisits the idea, mentioned earlier in the book, that the body of Christ is meant to be One New Man. Here is a fascinating discussion on what this should entail, namely a balance between the two distinctive elements of Jew and Gentile. Not a blurring into one but a partnership, and a preparation for heaven!

No Apology Needed

At one point towards the end the author seems to apologise that he has meandered all over the place (though he adds hopefully, not randomly). In fact, there is no sense of meandering as you read through this book. It can be taken as a whole, or in parts. Although there is no index, there is an appendix of recommended further reading, helpfully arranged to coincide with the chapters of this book.

It covers its main themes well, and also ends with a plea for each Christian believer to take personal responsibility to examine the Bible through the eyes and experiences of the early Jewish believers, rather than the contact lens of Greek philosophy. (Amen: emphasis RB)

If we all individually re-evaluate our image of God and attitude to worship and fellowship then, as the subtitle suggests, the Church can find The Way again.

God's Signature - cover‘How the Church Lost The Way’ (190 pp, paperback, £10) is the first of Steve Maltz’s three books on the state of the Western church which are available from Saffron Planet Publishing. His website is Saltshakers. (Update: see Comments re availability on Kindle.)

Steve’s work will be featured in Prophecy TodayUK over the next few weeks. For more about Steve on this blog see my introductory remarks about ‘God’s Signature’ in Holy Treasure of ‘The Open Door’ (reading from sub-heading ‘A Deep Insight From Hebrew’).

Although I haven’t yet read this book on the Church I’m sure it’s as easy, enjoyable reading as ‘God’s Signature’.

PS: see also Jeff Benner’s brief intro’ on errors in Bible translations, About the Ancient Hebrew Research Centre (thank you Nelson Walters at The Gospel in the End-Times).

God talks back

Yes, when anyone’s ready and willing to listen Father talks back to us, often simply whispering in our ear. Read this enticing ‘trailer’ by a daughter of The King to the story He told and unfolded…

The Kingdom

hearingGodMy book “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams” starts with my great-great grandmother Anna, a deaf woman who lost her hearing soon after her arrival in New Zealand in 1875.  Anna spoke German and never did learn English. 

Her hearing and language difficulties must have impeded her relationship with others, and NZ would have been a horrible country for a German to be in during World War 1 in 1914-18.  She would have gone through that period with the mute button on.

How many of us go through our spiritual journey with God with the mute button pressed?  Not because we’re in hostile territory – but from a lack of belief.  I mean how many of us believe we can have a back and forth conversation with God?

I’ve recently finished reading a book at the moment by Mark Holloway called “The Freedom Diaries, God Speaks Back.” …

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“The books are being opened” – come, feast on Father

Feasting on FatherUpon receiving William’s news on Monday I sensed, “The books are being opened”.

It blessed me to learn that he too, like fellow author Neil, had been encouraged by events after my mentioning him in last Thursday’s blog. Both friends had emailed me earlier that week and Bill forwarded an interesting online article that deserved a wider airing.

Last week, I intended blogging about the Iranian nuclear deal but realised it had to be in 3 parts. The first wasn’t thought of until ‘getting out of bed’. What became the second part was meant to lead into a look at questionable details of that deal. That part reveals the synchronicity between the final accord and a highly significant period in the Jewish Calendar. Its cross-posting from Breaking Israeli News had been quickly done but needed a brief introduction on the Thursday before my main task of compiling the substantive ‘stuff’.

However, as told in IF, I hadn’t got out of bed…, I was inspired the previous evening to make a note for beginning the combined material – only to wake up, get waylaid and need to re-jig my plans for blog-day.

As I got diverted into new but directly relevant material, I recalled William Smith is an author too and therefore provided details of his book, ‘Feasting On The Father’. Little did I suspect that another ‘God-incident’ was getting under way!

It was ‘time’ for Revd Bill’s book too, because on Monday he emailed, “I want to say ‘thank you’ for advertising my book afresh…The timing was so incredibly significant to me”. He was visited by a friend who’d read it and believes it’s a vital word for the church today.

Bill remains convinced God had him write it for a needy church and many who agree   it’s an important essential word to the church encouraged him.

Some reviews:

So click on the above image to take a look inside and to get from Amazon, noting this fellow writer’s 5-star review:
“This book comes from a warm place. It is written for Christians but is accessible to all and draws on the simple yet profound symbolism of food and drink. It is a book of praise to God, using rich and often beautiful imagery and language. William Smith encourages Christians to thrive rather than just survive in life. Like any good read it is a book which challenges but is also often comforting. Littered with scripture references this is a book designed to help the reader draw closer to God.”

And another:
“A beautiful book, well written and inspirational, taking the reader on a journey into the depths of the love, grace and provision of a loving Father God to His children. A cracking read!!”

Bestselling and award-winning author Dr Mark Stibbe remarks,
“A stunning piece of work! I am constantly being sent manuscripts, especially by new authors. If I’m brutally honest, many of these offer only scraps of revelation. Just occasionally a book comes my way that offers far more than that – a true feast of Abba’s wisdom and insight. Bill’s book is a great example of this. I unreservedly encourage you to come to the table he has so meticulously and lovingly prepared. Come hungrily and you will not be disappointed. A banquet of brilliance awaits.”

Description:

‘This book is an in-depth Bible study, centred on Song of Solomon chapter 2 and revealing the heart of a loving Father throughout the scriptures. Far from being academic theory, the teaching is a heart-to-heart talk and passionate exploration of how to enjoy God’s intended relationship every moment of our lives.

‘The Bible is essentially a love story – a book that reveals the heart of a Father towards his children. God does not keep his distance from us, nor is it his desire to punish us. On the contrary, his love compelled him to send his only son into an imbalanced world – to suffer in our place, and to bring us back to the Father as royal sons. Now, we are welcome to the table of the King of Kings…

‘The truths explained in this book have the power to change your life. Once you have feasted on the Father, you will not want to look back.’

Personal note:

One Saturday morning several years ago Nina and I took a quick drive to a meeting in Portsmouth convened by a couple we knew connected to Toronto Airport Fellowship. At the first coffee break a couple joined us at our table and got chatting.

Sharing a connection with the Gathering Place, Blandford, opened up conversation and  ‘Revd Bill’ and I have since kept in touch. He’s a most encouraging supporter of my efforts at keeping the church informed and I’ve quoted him on several occasions.

SO Bill, this is to acknowledge your long-standing, unstinting support with immense gratitude.

IF, I hadn’t got out of bed…

…last Thursday and got waylaid, then all this wouldn’t be in my head.:

IF – I’d not changed ‘tack’ in that day’s blogging, two ladies 25 miles away wouldn’t find something in common at the day’s end.
IF – on going to bed the previous night I hadn’t jotted words to start the ‘morrow’s blog, I wouldn’t have been so amazed the next day.
IF – upon waking I hadn’t realised that opening note needed new introductory material for the planned blog, and…
IF – a friend had not emailed me a couple of days ago, then I wouldn’t already have the background material to hand. However,
IF – his material had a brief summary too, then I’d have the necessary introduction.
IF – he’d not emailed that missing material as I was starting the day, then my originally planned blog would be very delayed.
IF – he and I had not kept in contact, then I wouldn’t have changed my planned post to one about a book.
IF – I’d not posted that unplanned blog, then a certain subscriber wouldn’t have told their family about the book.
IF – things had not happened and I’d not made certain choices last Thursday, then the book’s author, Neil Mackereth, wouldn’t have responded the next day with news of an amazing ‘coincidence’!!

So what happened?

SignsOn closing down for the evening I let Neil know a reader had notified me they’d ordered a copy of ‘SIGNS’ – on that evening Neil’s wife attended a ladies meeting at a Winvin (Winchester Vineyard church) member’s house.

One lady told her that her mother up in the Midlands had just texted to ask if she was aware that a member of Winvin had written a book called ‘SIGNS’?  “No” was daughter’s reply –and that set the conversation going!  The mother is the one who’d read my post and ordered Neil’s book!

How often do we think or hear, “If only…then this wouldn’t have happened”? It’s usually in a negative vein regarding unfortunate circumstances.  But it happens positively too – and can be directed by the Lord.  (How often do we realise and appreciate this?)

A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)

AND not once but twice that day – but that’s yet another true story…(next)

Tracing the above connections further we’d find: had we not attended a conference at Winvin many years ago, we wouldn’t have attended occasionally; had we not been aware of what was going on there, we wouldn’t have learned about Neil’s End-times courses; had I not attended them then we wouldn’t have known one another.

It’s well to consider and meditate upon the making of family and friends relationships, connections and events and thank the Lord for them all.

Last Thursday’s events are an excellent example of serendipity with good chains of choices/consequences (I had about 20 which could be drawn like a couple of decision trees in connection with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Bells.)  For those timings where the Lord is obviously involved I call them ‘God-incidence’. (For more on this concept click here.)

And as in the hymn penned by William Cowper, “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform…”.

With ISIS on the rampage, “is this the end of Christianity in the Middle East?”

Joel RosenbergIn reviewing NY Times’ article Joel urges believers not to be discouraged but to note what’s happening is as prophesied in scripture. Therefore, we are not at the ‘end of Christianity’ in its heartland. Read also A devilish plot to avoid the ‘Lake of Fire’ and mini-series Global satanic strategy on this blog.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

(source: New York Times) (source: New York Times)

(Denver, Colorado) — In my recent novel, The Third Target, a New York Times reporter  criss-crosses the Middle East, trying to understand and explain to the world the rise of the Islamic State and the objectives of its leaders. Among the questions my fictional character — J.B. Collins — is trying to answer:

  1. Why are ISIS jihadists are so blood-thirsty?
  2. Why do ISIS leaders want to establish an Islamic kingdom or caliphate?
  3. Are ISIS leaders are really serious about slaughtering and/or enslaving all of the Christians of the region, in addition to annihilating Jews and all Muslims who don’t subscribe to their theology or eschatology?

What he discovers is evil beyond his worst nightmares — a Satanic movement determined to rob, kill and destroy everyone in its path, and particularly Christians.

Now, in real life, a must-read feature story has been published in the New…

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Prophetic, Historic Days – Part 1: SIGNS and personal connections.

We are NOW at an exceptionally significant time in history – one where international events are being aligned with elements of biblical prophecy.

As the Lord Jesus Christ instructed His first and subsequent followers,

“Learn this parable from the fig tree: when you see its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near – at the doors!…

“Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, he finds you sleeping! And what I say to you, I say to all, ‘Watch!’.” (Mark 13:28-29, 33-37)

Serious students of prophecy will be well aware of scripture and be monitoring events but those who are new to such matters may like to know and learn more.

Therefore, I can highly recommend a new book by Neil Mackereth, whose thoroughly interesting End-times courses I attended in mid-late 2011. After a 50 mile round-trip on a weekday evening I always came away satisfied with having had a hearty scriptural meal. It was at this time I kept being nudged inwardly to ‘go public’ with my emails to church friends on the subject of End-times.

I’m privileged to have read an early draft of my friend’s book, shown below. Neil’s easy-to-read narrative conveys his fascination with the subject. Thus the inquisitive keep reading… For example, I learned an amazing connection between where Jesus said Satan lives and has his throne (Rev 2:13) and the Nazi hatred of Jewry. (See related discussion thread at https://tpuccio.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/pray-for-the-safety-of-your-family/)

Also, the glossary of terms is an excellent reference tool for everyone interested in Christian prophecy. Signs As a matter of ‘coincidence’ I was about to blog about atomic Iran after last week’s news. Also, I thought it would be a good time not only to comment about its recurrence in my writing but also to help readers unfamiliar with prophecy. If I could somehow do that they’d be able to grasp why current events are significant. But that would be a huge divergence and take too much time. Continue reading

Review – Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy

D.C. Nesbitt’s excellent review of the Magna Carta exhibition takes my brief coverage full circle: from last-minute insertion on the charter to introduce observations and prophetical points on the general election results to this re-blog’s opening reference to David Cameron’s opinion in 2012. Also, I endorse the reader’s recommendation to watch David Starkey’s programme on iPlayer.

the Exhibitionologist

Whether or not David Cameron knew what he was letting himself in for when he appeared as a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2012 is anyone’s guess. As anyone who watched the interview or subsequently read about it will know, there was at least one topic of conversation that he was not expecting to come up. Letterman was keen to see if he embarrass his guest by quizzing him on the history the country he was Prime Minister of, and much to the delight of the audience, he succeeded. When asked what the Latin name of the most famous document in British history – the ‘Magna Carta’ – meant in English, Mr Cameron could not muster an answer. Probably better than his lousy guess at who composed ‘Rule Britannia’ (“Edward Elgar”), but enough for many people in Britain to let out a great sigh, or to mumble something mocking about his Eton…

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Magna Carta Unravelled – a new book

Regarding the previous posts on the 8th centenary of Magna Carta, anyone interested in its relevance in the suppression of freedom today may like to know about a recent book, Magna Carta Unravelled.

Only this past fortnight we have an example of the importance of this matter. A former lawyer, now Principal of Oak Hill Theological College in London, has stated the PM’s proposals for new “Extremism Disruption Orders” could be a “disaster area” for people from all mainstream religions, and none. In some settings, traditional Christian teaching could effectively be made a criminal offence!

No doubt Rev Dr Mike Ovey’s previous parliamentary experience drafting anti-terrorism legislation relating to the IRA has given him solid grounds for his deep reservations on this issue. (See Telegraph religious affairs editor John Bingham’s latest – published on Magna Carta’s anniversary – and earlier posts.)

Magna Carta Unravelled

The ethos of Wilberforce Publications, is to put the spotlight on aspects of contemporary politics, society and culture in the light of Christian thinking and examine their impact on individuals and communities. Published jointly with Voice for Justice UK on the charter’s anniversary, this new book is available in paperback/e-book and is described as follows:

magna-carta-3dMagna Carta is not only one of the most celebrated documents in British history, but stands as a foundation of political and religious freedom throughout the world. Yet the liberties and freedoms fought for and heralded in Magna Carta are under severe attack as controversial issues of religious freedoms, human rights, equality legislation and freedom of speech present significant challenges for our society today.

In the year of its 800th anniversary ‘Magna Carta Unravelled’ traces the Christian origins and legacy of this great Charter of liberty, focusing on the current challenges to individual liberty examined by experts with unrivalled backgrounds in politics, academic philosophy, the law and the church.

‘Magna Carta Unravelled’ is an invaluable resource, offering penetrating insights from a variety of perspectives for those seeking a thoughtful approach to issues of freedom in our nation today.

In the opinion of HH Judge David Turner QC.,

“Magna Carta continues to compel Christian people to fearlessly explore what makes for human flourishing in a liberal democracy. Any wake-up call – such as this book – is rarely comfortable, occasionally inconvenient, always unsettling; but the issues discussed, of conscience, belief and freedom, refuse to be silenced.”

Contributing authors include:

  • Baroness Cox
  • Professor Roger Trigg
  • Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
  • Barrister Paul Diamond
  • Philip Quenby
  • John Scriven
  • Rev. Lynda Rose
  • Robert S. Harris