Articles of the Day 9/12/16: No Fear
Current Major Trends To Watch
(⇑=increasing, ⇓=decreasing ⇔=no change)
Deepening Russian involvement in the Middle East– ⇔
Temple Mount tensions– ⇔
Palestinian terror– ⇔
Palestinian incitement– ⇔
US retreat from Middle East– US refuses to respond to Iranian speed boat provocations. ⇑
Pope Francis active in politics– ⇔
Northern border tension– Mortar fire from Syria continues against Israel. ⇑
Southern border tension– ⇔
One world government advancement– ⇔
One world religion advancement– ⇔
Inner Ring (Countries or terror groups that border Israel)
“Last week, the Israel Air Force struck Assad regime artillery guns on no fewer than three occasions, in response to stray mortar shells fired from Syria that exploded on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.”
“Soldiers also uncover 2 pipe bombs, 2 Molotov cocktails; in separate raids, four Palestinians arrested for rioting.”
But the Palestinians want peace don’t they?
“While much of the Islamic State’s terror activity has been in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group has also made inroads on the Sinai Peninsula. It is from there, The Jerusalem Post reports, that the IDF is expecting an ISIS terror attack on Israel during the next six months.”
The good news is Israel and Egypt are working together sharing intelligence on the ISIS threat. An attack could still yield some success however.
“$40 million of the annual total goes to terror group’s tunnel digging work, which employs 1,500 Palestinians.”
“During the current terror wave, the IDF’s Central Command has noticed that many civilians are having trouble explaining to security and rescue forces where terror attacks occurred, which prolonged the time it took for the forces to arrive. In light of this, the IDF initiated a new project that is aimed at making it easier for civilians who are unfamiliar with the area to explain where they are located.”
“Stratfor amplified recent reports that Hezbollah has been setting up bases on the Golan and in other parts of southern Syria where it has strong forces on the ground supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad just as its patron Iran does. If Assad manages to stay in power, he will likely have to surrender control of the Golan to Iran and Hezbollah to threaten Israel.”
Outer Ring (countries or terror groups that are close to but not bordering Israel)
“On September 4, after one month of costly operations, the pro-regime coalition, backed by intensified Russian airpower, succeeded in pushing back rebel forces from the Aleppo military base, an important access point to the city’s southwest. A photo circulating on social media that was flagged by observers suggests that Russian special forces may have assisted in this operation. Heavy clashes continue in Aleppo’s neighborhood of Ramouseh, also in the southwest. Pro-regime forces have blocked the Alramousa road, the last supply route into the rebel-held part of the city that was opened one month ago.”
“In Saudi Arabia itself, the government seems unable to cope with the crisis. The ‘Arab News’ says that 31,000 Saudi and other foreign workers have lodged complaints with the government’s labour ministry over unpaid wages. On one occasion, the Indian consulate and expatriates brought food to the workers so that their people should not starve.”
What happened to the oil rich kingdom? This is troubling because the Saudis help prop up the Egyptian government.
“Since the international nuclear deal with Iran was implemented in early January, the number of incidents involving U.S. and Iranian ships in the Gulf has approximately doubled.
The Navy has counted at least 31 interactions with Iranian naval forces deemed “unsafe,” “unprofessional,” or both, according to a defense official.
That’s about as many such interactions that occurred all of last year, according to statistics provided to Fox News.”
That’s because the US government and military project weakness instead of strength. Iran does not fear the US.
“The 2 superpowers and former foes have found themselves on opposing sides of the Syrian civil war but have avoided direct clashes.”
“The defeat of the IS in northwest Syria and its retreat from the area has created a situation where the remaining forces on the ground are either pro-Russian (the Syrian regime and its allies), pro-United States (the Kurdish and CIA-supported rebel factions), or pro-Turkish (the so-called coalition of the Free Syrian army). This creates a potential situation for a political settlement between the Syrian warring parties imposed by the regional and world powers: Turkey, Russia and the United States. As this analysis is being published, however, an accord has been elusive.”
“Iran is actively supporting proxies in major conflicts in the following areas: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories. In addition, there is evidence that Iranian agencies are active among Shi’i populations – as yet without major effect – in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action adopted in October of 2015 has produced no major impact on the pattern of Iranian regional commitments. However, the release of tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief has enabled the Iranians, who were in some danger of overstretch, to now freely commit to supporting more strongly their various allies and proxies in the Middle East. This paper will look at Iranian aims and strategy and will then focus on Iran’s involvement in a number of Arab settings.”
“Helping the Assad regime establish full control in Damascus is only one part of Iran’s plan to create a regional Shiite crescent, and any ceasefire plan that furthers such goals could spark wider sectarian conflict.”
“Q. I believe that to go in the rapture you must believe there will be one. How can anyone expect to receive something when they don’t believe it exists? The rapture fighters and non believers will get what they believe in. I pray and hope all will come to believe in the catching away of the saints, but I firmly believe you must believe it to receive it. What say you?
A. I agree where unbelievers are concerned, but as for the Church, I disagree. The rapture is one of God’s promises to the Church and comes with being a member thereof. (We become believers by being born again.)
In 1 Thes. 4:16-17 Paul said,
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
Paul didn’t say, “we who are still alive and are left and believe in the rapture” or anything to that effect. He said, “we who are alive and are left.” Period. And in 1 Cor. 15:51 he said, “Listen I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.” The Greek word translated “all” means “each, every, any and all.”
In other words, believers will not all die first, but we will all be transformed from perishable to imperishable and from mortal to immortal (1 Cor. 15:53). This means very believer who is alive and still on Earth when the resurrection of Church Age believers occurs will be taken in the rapture at the same time, whether they believe in it or not.
By the way, these verses also deny the validity of the so-called partial rapture theory which holds that only worthy believers will be taken. In our own strength none of us is worthy, but because of the blood of Jesus we are all worthy.”
Q. Not too long ago I sat under some teaching about the Bema Seat judgment. The teacher said that if we weren’t “redeeming the time” we won’t lose our salvation, but we would not receive any rewards. He said that according to Hebrews 10:31, it was a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God and that is exactly what we will be doing if we aren’t redeeming the time. He also said that the Lord won’t wipe every tear from our eyes until after the 1,000 year reign of Christ. So until then we will feel sorrow for lost loved ones and friends we fell short on preaching the gospel to. That is our punishment for not redeeming the time like we should have. Is this teaching true?
A. This interpretation really plays into people’s fears, but a study of the relevant verses shows there’s no Biblical support for it. It is true that some of our “works” will be burned up in the fire at the Bema Judgment (1 Cor. 3:10-15)
But the Bema Judgment is where winners receive their rewards (1 Cor. 4:5), not where losers receive their punishment. Remember, it comes after the rapture, when we’ll be in Heaven in our perfected state.
The works that will qualify for rewards are the things we’ve done at the Lord’s direction and in His strength. In John 15:5 He told us that apart from Him we can do nothing. The works we do on our own initiative and in our own strength are like the branches that are pruned and thrown in the fire (John 15:6). So the basis for the judgment will be the motives of our heart, not the outcome of our actions.
The phrase “redeeming the time” comes from the King James translation of Ephesians 5:15-16. The idea is if we just continue living our life the way we always have, the time we spend on Earth as believers will be wasted. But if we’re careful how we live and make the most of every opportunity we’ll be redeeming time that would otherwise be wasted.
In Ephesians 5:18-20 Paul gave some examples of how to do this, and they’re all about expressing the gratitude we feel for being saved.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Hebrews 10:31 the writer was referring to people who “trample the Son of God under foot, who treat as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctifies us, and insult the Spirit of Grace” (Hebrews 10:29).
As is true throughout the Book of Hebrews, this verse is meant as a warning to people who think they have to add their own effort to the Lord’s death in order to earn or maintain their salvation, and has nothing to do with rewards.
The setting for Revelation 21:4, where John said the Lord will wipe every tear from our eyes, is at the beginning of the Millennium, not the end, and is a promise to the Church that the old order of things has passed away.