“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know Me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 38:14-16.)
“In that day,” declares the Lord, “will I not destroy the wise men of Edom, those of understanding in the mountains of Esau? … Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever. On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them…. “The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head… But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and Jacob will possess his inheritance. (Obadiah 1:8,10,11,15 & 17.) Do read the full chapter to keep it in context.
Pointers for prayer: Once again, as you read through this week’s report please pray in line with the Word of God over these issues. We can see God’s blessing upon much of the Land of Israel today ~ we need only look at how the dessert has blossomed this past 67 years, and the way Israel has done amazing things throughout their short history of being back in the Land. However, there are many areas within Israel that we know need prayer.
Pray that the heart of the nation of Israel would indeed seek to observe carefully all God’s commandments, not out of duty, but out of desire. May they desire to be a blessing even to their enemies (which they often are, yet goes unreported). Likewise, pray that we, the Church would be faithful to the Lord God, and seek also to be a blessing to Israel.
Middah K’Neged Middah
In my report written on September 17th, 2015, I wrote an article entitled, ‘Syria… why now and why so late?’ You can read that report here. In Hebrew, the phrase ‘Middah K’neged Middah’ means ‘measure for measure’ or literally ‘reaping what you sow’. Other phrases such as ‘what comes around goes around’ or ‘poetic justice’ could also be added. This is a principle in the Bible that has been called ‘measure for measure’ or ‘reciprocity’. As you will see later from an article that Hatikvah Films sent out, which included a message by Zalmi Unsdorfer, in many ways, it reinforces my thinking and compliments what I have been writing on these past few months. In regards to Syria and the huge wave of refugees, are we reaping what we have sown? In the mass panic Europe is facing, is this due to our past actions? More on that shortly. However, in these strange days that we are living in, we do need great wisdom and discernment, as it is too easy to put two and two together and come up with ten. Many alleged prophets have come, and many have gone. Certain extreme ‘religious leaders’ have declared the end of the world was about to happen, yet neglected the teaching in the gospels that ‘no man knoweth the hour’.
In 1843, many people sold their homes and businesses because of one man who convinced them of the ‘imminent return of Christ.’ They were the followers of William Miller, an American farmer and self-taught bible scholar from New York. Miller understood the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 to refer to the number of years until the return of Christ. Though Biblical scholars had almost universally agreed that the prophecy referred to the time of Antiochus Epiphanies, Miller insisted it was for fulfilment in his day. Miller had allegedly worked out from the Scriptures that Jesus Christ was going to return between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. His teaching gained a wide following. Despite the great excitement, March 21, 1844 came and went without any events. Miller was devastated, but a new date was set of October 22, 1844. When nothing followed in1844, many of his ‘flock’ abandoned the movement.
Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah Witnesses, also predicted that Jesus would return in 1914. Amazingly today, the JW cult is still widely followed by many. The date of Christ’s return by the JWs was then changed from 1914 to 1925, 1941, and 1975, yet on every date given, it was proved to be false. In 1992, another self-proclaimed prophet, Harold Camping gave dates that came and went as to Christ’s return. Like the Adventists and JWs before him, he focuses on ‘hidden meanings’ in texts and pointed to the year 1994 as ‘THE year’. As with the rest, September 6, 1994 came and went, yet like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, he then claimed the end of the world would be on October 20th, 2011! After his billboards warning of pending doom popped up across the country in 2010 and 2011, Christian leaders from across the spectrum widely dismissed his prophecies while atheists and revellers poked fun at his prediction. Some also criticized Camping’s use of millions of dollars in followers’ donations to advertise Judgment Day. Camping’s own day of ‘meeting the Lord’ came on December 18, 2013 when he died aged 92.
We have had many preachers these days proclaim prophesies that haven’t materialised, such as the end would come during the ‘four blood moons’, and so, as I’ve mentioned many times in past editions of these reports, we simply cannot put a date to any ‘end time prophesy’, after all Yeshua Himself declared, no man knows the hour (Matthew 24:36). However, Yeshua in verse 42 of Matthew 24 goes on to say, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” So without doubt, we need to keep watch and be ready.
With the recent Russian alliance with Syria and Iran, one of which Syria’s Assad stresses “must work”, are things moving up a notch? This alliance with Russia, Iran and Iraq does appear to take the Middle East crisis up another level. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said last Sunday that his coalition with Russia, Iran and Iraq must succeed in Syria’s war, suggesting the alternative would be a region in chaos – yet surely that region is already in total chaos? Assad went on to state, “The alliance must succeed, otherwise we are facing the destruction of the entire region and not just one or two states,” Mr. Assad said in the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network interview. It was his first public comment since Moscow began airstrikes in Syria in support of his regime last week. Assad praised Russia, saying it had the vision and fortitude to defeat rebel forces seeking to topple him.
With these three nations coming together, are we seeing a new shift towards ‘end days fulfilment of the old Gog and Magog prophesy’? For some, it appears that it is getting hard to deny the fact that what is going on is Biblically related. Could Gog and Magog be Russia? And if so, with Russia signing a military pact of potentially epic proportions with Iran, could a showdown soon hit the borders of Israel?
A year ago, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu may have still thought he could derail the Iran nuclear deal. Israel has been on high alert now for some time with the civil war in Syria. Now, a year later, could Israel be getting ‘boxed in’ looking potentially helpless against Iran’s reintegration into the world system and with Russia, Syria and Iran linked together, could we be seeing the presence of some superpower? Remember, Israel is a tiny nation – 0.1 percent of the vast Middle East. It is now, more than any time in its history, that Israel need to turn and trust in the God of Israel.
At the same time, I believe the Church at large needs a shake and awaken themselves to the days we are living in. I’m not stating, nor will I ever state that ‘the end of the world in nigh’ – and most importantly – as already mentioned, we need to pray for great wisdom and discernment in these days. However, we also need to arouse ourselves out of our slumber, as we are truly living in strange times.
In relation to this, after reading the latest update from Hatikvah Films, my heart appeared to miss a beat when I read their article. Part of that article (printed here with permission) reads, “Daily throughout September we were flooded with news of mass migration of an almost biblical magnitude…” Writing on the issue of the Palestinian flag being allowed to fly at the UN they write, “We saw the absurdity of non-nation entities raised up and recognised within the UN. The raising of the flag although symbolic has huge ramifications. How long before Hamas, Hizb’allah, ISIS or any other faction of society requests for their flag to be raised at the UN? Recent signs in the heavens have been quite simply remarkable. Whatever one thinks of these signs, and how much emphasis is put on these events, there is a widespread recognition that they are significant, rare moments in the history of the universe. The Bible does say there will be signs in the heavens (Luke 21:25) but it does not spell out exactly what they mean. In another development, Russia is now very active in Syria and across the Middle East. They are diametrically opposed to the USA’s foreign policy and position across that region. Could this be the beginnings of Ezekiel 38? We serve a God of principles who said He does not change. Could Obadiah 1:15 be relevant to us all at this time? Or has it been happening throughout history and we’ve just not been looking for it?”
These are indeed very interesting observations, and have been issues that I have pondered on personally for some time. However, what really spoke to me in the article was what follows. “If this is indeed true, recognising nations that God does not recognise as nations could result in catastrophic consequences. We see in Volume 1 of ‘Blessing, Curse or Co-incidence?’ that God’s Laws (principles) affect nations…” They then quote a recent article by Zalmi Unsdorfer, entitled, ‘ Has Europe been Cursed? which highlights some of the recent events that I have written on in past editions of this report. It reads, “The EU has been at the forefront of anti-Israel activism, supporting declarations of unilateral Palestinian statehood on sovereign Jewish land. Europe’s academia and trades unions are unashamed patrons of the world BDS movement. Their aims are twofold. To delegitimize Israel as a sovereign Jewish state and to destroy her economy with sanctions and discriminatory labelling of her exports.”
The article continues, “How does the God of the Exodus judge a nation that denies the legitimacy of His people’s borders? Answer: He makes a mockery of their own borders. How does the God of the Exodus judge a nation that seeks to destroy the economy of His people’s state? Answer: He makes a mockery of their own money. That’s my answer to ‘why this and why now?’ Middah K’Neged Middah. Last year, at the height of his polling lead to win the UK general election, Jewish opposition leader Ed Miliband demanded that his Labour Party MPs must support a parliamentary vote to recognize ‘Palestine’ as an independent state. Against all predictions he lost the subsequent general election in a major upset. If that wasn’t enough, he has now been replaced… Is it a coincidence that the Labour party which was so anxious to recognise the PLO as a state now has a leader who doesn’t accept the legitimacy of the English queen? If, on the eve of that Palestine debate with Miliband on sure course to win the election, you would have presented this scenario as a crystal ball to Labour Party members they’d have laughed at you.” To read the full article by Hatikvah Films click here.
What can we do regarding Western Media bias?
With reports coming out of the so-called ‘West Bank’, we are being inundated once more with what can only be described as ‘shoddy journalism’. Western Media reporters appear to sanitise terrorist crimes against Jews, at least, that is when they bother to report them. They also appear to dehumanise Jewish victims when referring to them by generic designations with distinct derogatory nuances, yet make sure the whole world knows when Arab Palestinians are killed. I need to point out here – this is not about Jews killing Arabs or Arabs killing Jews – we are saddened whenever there is a loss of life, however how that news is reported needs addressing and action needs to be taken. In a report on Britain’s ITV News channel on Tuesday evening, it reported that, “Fresh violence has erupted in the West Bank, sparking fears of a new Palestinian uprising. Clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians broke out on Tuesday following the funeral of schoolboy Abed a-Rahman Abdallah. Thousands turned out in Bethlehem to pay their respects to the 13-year-old and express a sense of outrage after he was shot by Israel security forces in the Occupied Areas. Shortly after he was laid to rest, boys his age were among those who picked up slingshots and headed towards the lines of security forces, who responded with stun grenades and tear gas.” What are these ‘Occupied Areas’ they keep referring to, and who occupies them? Also, why did this one death get headline news, yet nothing was reported regarding the death of two Israel Jews by an Arab Palestinian only days earlier?
Actually, that’s not quite true… as the BBC did sort of report it, but it took BBC News three attempts to correct their offensive headline on what was the cold blooded murder of Jews in Jerusalem. This simply isn’t good enough… it’s shoddy journalism. The BBC stated, “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.” As Facebook’s Gideon Ugohemenu pointed out in his blog, that’s a bit like imagining the BBC reporting 9/11 like this: “19 holiday makers die in plane fire after New York buildings collapse.” This is clearly not funny, nor was it meant to be – but neither is western media reporting on what is clearly inaccurate at best, and biased at its worse.
Many Western media sources call Fatah the ‘moderate party’ when comparing them to Hamas etc., and yet less than four days after Fatah terrorists murdered an Israeli couple in front of their four young children it appears that the Arab Palestinians are ‘itching’ for a third Intifada. On Saturday October 3rd. 2015, a 19-year old Arab Palestinian from El-Bireh near Ramallah murdered two Israeli men and wounded a woman and a baby with a knife in the Old City of Jerusalem. The terrorist, Muhammad Halabi, was shot and killed by Israeli police officers after he grabbed the gun of one of his victims and fired at the security forces that had arrived at the scene of the attack. A day before he embarked on his murderous mission he wrote on his Facebook page “The Third Intifada is here.”
Halabi appeared to be influenced by the incitement campaign about the Israeli threats against the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount – again, one should question “what Israeli threats?” Shortly after the deadly stabbing attack more Arab Palestinian violence was reported in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. The light rail in Jerusalem was once again stoned by Arab Palestinians in northeast Jerusalem and a second stabbing attack by an Arab terrorist moderately wounded a 15-year old Jewish boy in the Mamilla mall, which is located close to Jaffa Road in what is classed as ‘West Jerusalem’. At the same time, Palestinian Arabs fired at an IDF checkpoint near Beth El in Samaria and several other shooting attacks were reported in the Israeli city of Lod, Jerusalem, Ma’aleh Adumim and Cochav Ya’acov.
In another inaccuracy by ITV, they showed film clip of the Golden Domed Mosque or the Dome of the Rock whilst referring to their report on the violence at the Al-Aqsa mosque. Clearly they don’t know one from the other. There is indeed great need for prayer in these situations. But action needs to be taken too regarding how these events are being reported. You can write to ITV News here with any future complaints. A BBC complaints page can be found here.
And Finally… Netanyahu’s silent outcry
On October 1st, 2015 the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought the United Nations General Assembly to a deathly hush in his address on their own “Deafening Silence” towards Israel. Watch his complete speech here: http://cs.pn/1JGcBLU or a shortened version here:
(Middle East News Correspondent)
Tweet me @David_CFI
Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Israeli Embassy London, The Jerusalem Post, i24news.tv/en/ & Israel National Radio