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MA50 Sept 2011. BLOW A TRUMPET IN ZION

 

My Friends,

                           Maranatha!         

And Shalom!  Yes I must wish you shalom (peace), for we’re into September. And this month, stretching into October, promises to be a very turbulent period.

One main source of this turbulence is the PALESTINIAN bid to gain UN recognition of unilateral statehood for “Palestine.” The Palestinian Authority want the UN to impute statehood to a Palestinian state - without compromise or negotiation with Israel.  And a majority of the nations in the US are disposed to give their endorsement.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas will ask the international community to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state on the first day of the annual opening gathering at UN headquarters in New York. The expected date for the UN vote is between Sept 20 & 27.

A conflict between Israel and Sinai & Gazan militants has been raging since mid-August, but it is merely a prelude to a bigger storm that’s brewing. Massive Arab demonstrations in Judea and Samaria are planned in the build up to the Sept vote. And both the Israel Defence Forces and the Palestinians are preparing for a war in the period following the vote.

What makes this anticipated vote so significant is that it is in direct confrontation with God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). Yahweh the LORD has warned clearly and strongly:

"Watch!  For in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations, and bring them down to the valley of Y'hoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land." - Joel 3:1-2

THE FESTIVALS OF THE LORD

A significant factor in Sept-Oct, is that the anti-Israel UN vote will likely take place just prior to Israel’s Biblical Festival of Trumpets – which is also Rosh Hosanna (new year) (Sept 28/29); and then the Day of Atonement (Oct 8); and the  8-day Feast of Sukkot – Tabernacles (Oct 13-20).

These three Autumn festivals of the LORD are full of prophetic significance. Just as the four Spring festivals were all fulfilled by Y’shua the Messiah, these three will be fulfilled by His coming and Kingdom.

 

 

 

 

The Festival of Trumpets is a warning of dangers and things to come. It is also a reminder to us that the Master is coming with the sound of trumpets, and that the Rapture is scheduled. It may be this year, it may be next year, or the next; it may take place on the actual day of trumpets, or any other day – but it is scheduled, and it will not be postponed even for a single day beyond the appointed time.

(At the end of this issue I have included a summary of the seven festivals, which have a great significance even for believers today ).

 

 

COMET ELENIN   

This year there have been reports about a space object - evidently a comet - that is at present racing through our solar system for a rendezvous with Earth in October. 

There have been diverse opinions about Elenin in astronomical and scientific circles – some saying it will be insignificant.  Astronomers have produced computer models that show four previous Elenin-Earth-Sun alignments have coincided with four recent major earthquakes - in Chile (Feb. 27, 2010), New Zealand (Sept. 4, 2010), New Zealand (Feb. 22, 2011), and Japan (March 11, 2011) - even though Elenin was much farther from the Sun than it is now.

We are told that Elenin’s next strong alignment with Earth and the Sun occurs between Sept. 26 - 28. (28th is the Day of Trumpets.) And Elenin crosses earth’s orbit on Oct. 1-17 (during the Feast of Tabernacles). Super earthquakes could possibly occur on these dates.

Another alignment, on Nov 5, as Elenin heads away, could cause debris to be torn from the comet to become asteroids that could target the earth.

We don’t have long to wait now to see whether Elenin is a threat, or a non-event. But it may possibly be a “sign in the sky.”  

You remember our Master’s words of prophecy:

“There will be mighty and violent earthquakes in various places, and plagues, and famines; and there will be terrors, and great signs from heaven ...  And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and upon earth despair among nations, with perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.

“Men's hearts will faint from terror, being apprehensive of what is coming upon the world; for the very powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:11, 25-27)

All the other things in that passage are increasingly evident today, so why should we not expect to see “great signs from heaven” in these days?

We are certainly seeing many other warning signs around us, and around the world, today.  Here is a rundown on some very significant developments.

 

 

EUROPE STRUGGLES WITH BIRTH PANGS 

The European Union is going through upheavals with its financial crisis, riots, and protests.

TIME magazine (Aug 22) had the front page headline, THE DECLINE AND FALL OF EUROPE (AND MAYBE THE WEST). The article's headline is "THE END OF EU­ROPE." And then it bleakly says: "Its economic union is unraveling, London is ablaze, and the continent's once dependable trading partner, the U.S., is too feeble to save the day or the euro. Say goodbye to the old order."

Daniel describes the endtime Roman Confed­eration as being brittle - a mixture of clay and iron. And that is what we see in the European Union today.

As the European debt crisis deepens, there are cries all over the EU for full economic integra­tion in Europe.

Recently, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a letter to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy stating that they want a new "economic governance" for Europe.

Many pro-EU critics are already howling that Sarkozy and Merkel have not gone nearly far enough. The critics are proclaiming that with­out full economic integration, and the creation of "Eurobonds," Europe is doomed. Germany is strongly opposed to issuing mutual Eurobonds, as Europe could end up like the US -needing to print huge amounts of bogus (inflated) money.

A Daily Mail article entitled Rise of the Fourth Reich, says, "Germany is using the financial cri­sis to conquer Europe," and it contains an assess­ment of what deeper economic integration for Europe would mean. Fiscal union will mean a loss of sovereignty, a one economic policy, one taxation system, one social security system, one debt, one economy, and one finance minister. The article says all of the above would be German.

We are, in fact, witnessing a Europe struggling to give birth to the Beast kingdom that will rule the world in the second half of the Tribulation.

EU members are losing their sovereignty as the Roman superstate is created.

Economic integration in Europe certainly will not be easy. There is still a lot of resistance in the EU to the idea of a "United States of Europe," and many in the northern countries are strongly opposed to further economic integration with the financially irresponsible nations of southern Europe. There is a very real chance that the EU could break up and the euro could implode. But the leaders of the EU are struggling to keep it all together.

In the end, the real goal is to unite the entire world. Regional governments, such as the EU, are seen as intermediate steps toward a truly global government. The globalists hope one day to have a truly global economy that uses a new global currency. Globalists are convinced that they are doing this for the good of mankind. They believe that war and poverty can be wiped out if we are all under one giant government.

Setting up a "one world government" may seem like a good idea, but the truth is that it would set the stage for a greater oppression than we have ever seen before.

PROPHECY: "And in the latter period of their rule ... a king (Antichrist) will arise, insolent and skilled in intrigue. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will destroy to an extraordinary degree and pros­per and perform his will; he will destroy mighty men, and also the holy people." (Daniel 8:23-25)

But soon the Kingdom of Messiah Y'shua "will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever." (Daniel 2:44).  Amen!

"THE GATHERING STORM"

Renowned Christian author, Joel Rosenberg writes:

"This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'In a little while, I will once more shake the heavens and the earth. I will shake all the nations....I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms." (Haggai 2:6-7, 21-22)

In the last few weeks, the U.S. stock markets have tanked. Americans have lost more than $2.3 trillion in personal wealth. Our economy has nearly stalled. Some 14 million American are out of work. We may be facing a double-dip recession. Our debt is exploding. And Washington is nearly paralyzed with partisan gridlock, even as Iran is building nuclear weapons, Syria and Libya are slaughtering thousands, Egypt has imploded, and Israel is increasingly threatened. Put it simply: Storm clouds are gathering. The winds are picking up. The tectonic plates beneath us are shifting. America is being shaken. Israel and the Middle East are being shaken. The Church is being shaken. Why? Where are we headed? What is God doing? And what is He asking followers of Jesus Christ to do?

“You know what time it is, and that it is high time for us to wake up from slumber; for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11)

THE GLOBAL ECONOMY 

is now threatened by a new Global Financial Crisis. It’s because of the huge European and US financial debt. 

In  the  US,  after  a  fierce  battle,  the Congress allowed Obama to borrow another $2.4 trillion.

When Obama was inaugurated in Jan 2009, the national debt was $10.4 trillion. It will now set to become $16.7 trillion.

US BORROWING TOPS 100% OF GDP

AUG. 4/11. After the government's debt ceiling was lifted, US debt immediately shot up $US238 billion to reach 100% of gross domestic product

“U.S. IS A PARASITE ON GLOBAL ECONOMY”

Russian PM Vladimir Putin accused the US in early August of living beyond its means. It is “like a parasite” on the global economy and “dollar dominance was a threat to the financial markets. They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy,” he said.   -  news.yahoo.com

EUROZONE

The former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, has said the Eurozone is breaking apart due to variations between economies in the north and south
of Europe. 
- euobserver.com/9/113397

IMF ISSUES WARNING ABOUT EUROPEAN BANKS

AUG 28/11. The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde has called into question the health of European banks amid a stark warning about a global economic slowdown.

Her comments - unusually strong for such a senior policy-maker - risk further spooking investors, who already have concerns about the exposure of European banks to sovereign debt.

 

MARKET CRASH 'COULD HIT WITHIN WEEKS' 

By Harry Wilson, and Philip Aldrick

AUG 24/11. A more severe crash than the one triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers could be on the way, according to alarm signals in the credit markets.

Insurance on the debt of several major European banks has now hit historic levels, higher even than those recorded during the financial crisis caused by the US financial group's implosion nearly three years ago.

Credit default swaps on the bonds of Royal Bank of Scotland, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Intesa Sanpaolo, among others, have flashed warning signals. Credit Default Swaps on RBS were trading at 343.54 basis points, meaning the annual cost to insure £10m of the state-backed lender's bonds against default is now £343,540.

The cost of insuring RBS bonds is now higher than before the taxpayer was forced to step in and rescue the bank in October 2008, and shows the recent dramatic downturn in sentiment among credit investors towards banks.

"The problem is a shortage of liquidity  –  that is what is causing the problems with the banks. It feels exactly as it felt in 2008," said a senior London-based bank executive.

"I think we are heading for a market shock in September or October that will match anything we have ever seen before," said a senior credit banker at a major European bank.   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8721151/Market-crash-could-hit-within-weeks-warn-bankers.html

Take comfort !!!  

GREENSPAN:  “NO CHANCE OF DEFAULT,

US CAN PRINT MONEY”

AUG 7/11. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Sunday ruled out the chance of a US default following S&P's decision to downgrade America's credit rating.

"The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default" said Greenspan on NBC's Meet the Press.

Oh, is that so?  And why is China and other investors already dumping their dollars!!

 

VIOLENCE AND CORRUPTION

AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH

“Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight; the earth was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become; for all humanity on the earth had corrupted its ways. Then God said to Noah,

'The end of all people has now come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them. Watch! I am about to destroy them along with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood …” (Genesis 6:11-14)

I don’t need to remind you that this generation is increasing in both violence and corruption. But two recent upheavals grimly illustrate the fulfilling of the Messiah’s prophecy in Luke 17:26:

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.” (Luke 17:26)

LONDON BURNING – PURE ANARCHY

The riots last month in England were not merely unruly protests scenes. It was an outbreak of arson, looting and lawlessness that caught Britain’s leaders by surprise. In four nights of mayhem, hundreds of stores across London, Manchester, Birmingham and other British cities were torched or ransacked by mostly young hooded hooligans. Some innocent people barely escaped with their lives from burning buildings.

The anarchy was triggered by the police killing of a man in London, but that released, says TIME magazine, a wave of “recreational violence.” That’s putting it gently. The  British PM, David Cameron declared more forcefully: “This is criminality, pure and simple.”

 

 

 

INDIA –

THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

 

In recent months India has been rocked by a string of big corruption scandals; and wide-spread protests to them.

Last April, the 74-year-old Gandhian anti-corruption activist, Anna Hazare, began a “fast until death” in New Delhi, in an effort to push the government into enacting tough anti-corruption laws. He demanded that a committee drafting the new law be made up of activists as well as politicians. Hazare ended his fast after the government agreed to introduce measures to stem corruption.

On Aug 4, the Anna Hazare camp rejected an ineffective government bill, and burned copies of it. He then began a hunger strike which ended after 96 hours, as ministers agreed to meet all of his demands.

Hazare’s initiative managed to inspire, mobilize and gain huge public support even among ultra-modern Indians.

The "Anna Hazare fast" can be described as the first real "social networking movement" in India.

When there was no real progress made, Hazare began a third fast on Aug 16; but he and hundreds of supporters were arrested for attempting to start a hunger strike without permission.  This sparked massive protests around the country.

The government then gave orders to release Hazare from prison, but he refused to leave unless permission was given for him to continue his fast. After a couple of days the government backed down and permitted Hazare and his supporters to congregate at public grounds where he continued his fast for 12 days until the government “relented.”  The new deal, however, is not the real victory he fasted for.

A climbdown from the hardline positions had been made at protracted negotiations between the Team Anna and the government after it became apparent that some of the demands were not just unworkable, but also unconstitutional. In the end, a face-saving exit was all that could be won.

Hazare described the development as only a “half victory.” “The complete victory is still to be won,” he said from the stage at the Ramlila grounds after receiving a letter from the Prime Minister and a copy of the Parliament’s resolution.  The battle continues!

The world is indeed corrupt as it was in Noah’s day, but for all who embrace Y’shua the Messiah, God has given many precious and magnificent promises to preserve them in the midst of this corrupt world.

“He (God) has given us His precious and magnificent promises in order that through them you might become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”  (2 Peter 1:3-4)

 

 

THE September U.N. VOTE 

Although a majority of the nations are expected to vote for the declaration of an independent Palestinian state, at least one Arab nation – Jordan, has announced that it will vote against. The reason is obvious: Jordan itself has a huge Palestinian population problem.

This UN resolution would be all about bashing Israel and nothing else. It would have no constructive purpose, and will have no effect on the ground other than to help incite a third Palestinian intifada. 

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd advocates that Australia should abstain from voting, but as a leading news commentator has well said: “There is absolutely no good reason why Australia should not vote against this resolution. To do otherwise would be dishonourable, and bad policy. Our friends are our friends, after all, especially when the whole world is against them.”

U.S. WILL STOP AID TO PALESTINIANS

IF THE UN BID PROCEEDS

AUG 26. The United States will stop all financial aid to the Palestinian Authority if they proceed with plans to ask the UN for recognition of an independent state, warned Daniel Rubinstein, the US Consul General in Jerusalem. He also told the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat that the US would veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

PALESTINIANS FAR FROM READY FOR STATEHOOD

Extracts from an article by Efraim Inbar, professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, in bitterlemons.org, and published in The Australian / August 30/11.

Earlier this year, Mahmoud Abbas made the decision to

cut off the Palestine Liberation Organisation's negotiations with Israel and go to the UN to bid for state recognition. There, a US veto at the Security Council is expected, while at the General Assembly a large majority is likely to endorse a motion recognising a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.  Such a resolution is not binding in international law.

The UN lacks legitimacy. It is a morally bankrupt insti-tution, giving equal voice to the worst aggressors and human rights offenders. It is unclear how a resolution at the UN, a powerless institution, could make a dent in a century-old ethnic conflict in the Holy Land. What can it do to implement the General Assembly recommendations? The only consequence is negative, reinforcing of Palestinian intransigence.

Unfortunately, General Assembly resolutions cannot fix a Palestinian national movement that is hopelessly fractured and dysfunctional.

The UN cannot turn the Palestinian factions into one political entity. The UN cannot deliver a state. It can change neither the facts nor Palestinian behaviour.

The Palestinians had two historic opportunities to build a state, in 1948 and in 1993, but both were squandered by terrible leadership. Recently, we have observed somewhat more successful efforts at state-building by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. While he is arguably the best thing that has happened to the Palestinians in their short history, his popularity among his people is quite low, indicating the dysfunctional character of Palestinian politics.

Can the PA survive without begging for international support every few months? Can it cut down its bloated and corrupt bureaucracy to enable it to build a healthy economy?

The PLO leadership realises that its options against Israel are limited and that another terrorist campaign would be extremely destructive to the Palestinians as a whole.

And the Arab world, in the throes of a socio-political crisis, is hardly able to do anything but pay lip-service in support of a Palestinian state

The upheaval in the Arab world indicates there is greater need for caution. Unless we see the emergence of a more pragmatic Palestinian leadership, the conflict will continue.

Full article>  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/still-far-from-ready-for-statehood/story-e6frg6ux-1226124769220

ISRAEL’S THREE BIG CONCERNS

Foreign Editor of The Australian, Greg Sheridan reports: “I spoke at length to Efraim Inbar of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies at Israel's Bar-Ilan University. He recognises three big trends from the Arab Spring which promise complications, if not outright trouble, for Israel in the months ahead.

1.         The first is the weakening of the Arab states. Weak states cannot control their borders, their weapons or their radicals.

2.         The second trend is the final upset of the old Arab order. The three main Arab states -- Egypt, Iraq and Syria -- are all weakened and the region is increasingly dominated by non-Arab players, such as Iran, Turkey and, indeed, Israel. The two main Muslim nations that were Israel's allies -- Egypt and Turkey -- have in their different ways turned against Jerusalem.

3.         And the third big trend, in Inbar's view, is the decline of US power, influence and prestige in the Middle East. The Americans sacrificed a friend, in Mubarak, but took no action, not even the deployment of rhetorical enthusiasm, against a long-time enemy, Syria's Assad.

Barack Obama came into office with several clear-cut policies for the Middle East. They have all failed. Chief among Obama's policies were initiatives to engage Iran and Syria. Neither of these engagements yielded one ounce of benefit for the US or for anyone else, apart from the governments of Iran and Syria, in the Middle East.

On the Israel/Palestine issue, Obama has been wholly ineffective. His initial stress on halting Israeli building within its existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank was completely counter-productive. Not only did this have absolutely no effect on the amount of land used for settlements, which does not increase when building occurs within existing boundaries, but it made it virtually impossible for the Palestinians to negotiate directly with Israel, because they could not demand from Israel less than Obama demanded.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/freedom-for-extremists-could-make-sinai-the-new-somalia/story-e6frg6ux-1226123116294

PROPHECY:  “O God, do not keep silent!  Do not be quiet, and do not be still, O God! For look, Your enemies are roaring; and those who hate You have raised their heads.

“They craftily plot against Your people, and conspire against Your hidden, treasured ones. They have said, 'Come, and let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more’.”     (Psalm 83:1-4)

 

IRAN: “ERADICATE ISRAEL”

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran is determined to eradicate Israel.  (see item below). A statement from the Iranian Armed Forces' Headquarters late last month claimed that the ongoing revolutions and popular uprisings in the region have created the ideal situation for Muslims to finally clinch a victory over the Zionist regime and to free the holy Quds (Jerusalem) from the “Zionist occupation.”

AHMADINIJAD:  “PA STATE IS FIRST STEP TO

ISRAEL'S DEMISE”

AUG 26/11. As Palestinian Authority officials prepare to make their statehood bid at the UN, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the creation of a “Palestinian state was only the first step to the destruction of Israel.”

Ahmadinejad, restating the position he outlined after taking office in 2005, said Israel was a "tumor" to be wiped off the map, and urged Arabs in PA administered areas not to settle for a two-state solution, but to strive for a complete return of what they consider their land.

"Recognizing the Palestinian state is not the last goal. It is only one step forward towards liberating the whole of Palestine," Ahmadinejad told worshippers at Friday prayers on international Qods Day -- an annual show of support for the PA cause.

"The Zionist regime is a center of microbes, a cancer cell and if it exists in one iota of Palestine it will mobilize again and hurt everyone."

"It is not enough for them (Palestinians) to have a weak, powerless state in a very small piece of Palestine. They should unite to establish a state, but the ultimate goal is the liberation of the whole of Palestine," he said. "I urge the Palestinians never to forget this ideal. Forgetting this ideal is equal to committing suicide. It would be giving an opportunity to an enemy which is on the verge of collapse and disappearance." – Arutz Sheva

http://au.mg1.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=2952r7av0gngt

Ahmadinejad may rant and rave, but the Almighty Ruler of this Universe has news for him:

PROMISE: “Thus says YHWH, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the laws of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; YHWH of Hosts is His Name. If these laws vanish from before Me, declares YHWH, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever.”      (Jeremiah 31:35-36)

  EGYPT STRUGGLES FOR STABILITY

Egypt is struggling with internal tension especially as it prepares for elections scheduled for November. Its direction is being increasingly influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. Radicals are calling for the severing of Egypt’s peace agreement with Israel. 

It is almost certain that only US influence is causing the Egyptian military to hold to its peace treaty with Israel at present. The Egyptian army is US-trained and equipped, and to some extent even US-funded, and it wants to maintain that American connection. And the price for that is the peace treaty with Israel.

The frame of mind in Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, however, has been increasingly Islamist. The young, secular protesters of Tahrir Square are hopelessly dis-organised and divided, the Muslim Brotherhood, which exercised brilliant tactical quiet during the big demonstrations, has now come to the fore and looks set to win well over a third of the vote in parliamentary elections.

MANY CALL FOR SHARIA & ISLAMIC CALIPHATE      

JULY 31/11. Tens of thousands of Egyptians poured into Cairo's now-famed Tahrir Square to demand their nation become subject to Sharia Law and form the cornerstone for a new Islamic caliphate.

The demonstrators, who were led by the increasingly powerful Muslim Brotherhood, demanded that Egypt's interim military regime give way to an intolerant Islamic dictatorship.

Demonstrators were shouting and holding up signs reading: "Egypt will return to Sharia Law!", "Liberals and secularists are the enemies of Allah!", & "The solution is Islam!"

After Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February, the international media made much of how conservative Muslims, Coptic Christians and Egyptian secularists worked together for the common goal of democratic freedom.

The prevailing assumption was that Egypt would serve as a model of how a diverse, but tolerant Middle East society could throw off the shackles of dictatorial oppression and build something better. But Egyptian commentators are now saying that what is happening in their country more closely resembles the Iranian revolution of 1979.

A broad coalition of Iranians overthrew the regime of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. The shah was briefly replaced by a secular, democratic government. But Islamists quickly hijacked the revolution, and Iran today is ruled by a religious council and is subject to the strictest interpretation of Sharia Law.

Egypt's one hope at this point is that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamist movement currently lack a charismatic leader like the Iranians had in Ayatollah Khomeini.

But the chances of a free democratic Egypt are very slim!

CAIRO CONCERNED OVER TERROR THREATS TO SUEZ CANAL

AUG 26/11. The latest tensions in the Sinai Peninsula and the concerns over the growing presence of terrorist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda are having an effect on Egyptian operations in the Suez Canal.

According to reports coming in from Egypt, officials fear that terrorists are planning an attack in the canal, and they have taken measures to protect the area, such as increasing security presence and deploying units throughout the canal.

Reportedly, the Egyptians’ main concern is that Al-Qaeda terrorists will try to attack a Western ship as it is crossing the Suez Canal.

Terrorism in Egypt, and especially in the Sinai Peninsula, has been a headache for Egypt’s ruling military. Since the uprising which ended the Mubarak regime, the Sinai Peninsula has been in a state of anarchy with terrorists, some of them, affiliated with Al-Qaeda, having infiltrated the region. - Arutz Sheva

SINAI has become the new arena for terrorism, and Israel has declared the Egyptian-Sinai/Israel border unsafe, and regards the Sinai as now a danger zone.

FREEDOM FOR EXTREMISTS COULD MAKE SINAI THE NEW SOMALIA

On August 27, 2011, Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor of The Australian, wrote:

“One immediate result of the Arab Spring is a brand new franchise operation for al-Qaeda. In Egypt's Sinai desert, which borders Israel, a group has arrived announcing itself as al-Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula. Another group calls itself al-Shabab al-Islam (Youth of Islam). Al-Qaeda central has not yet granted formal recognition to its aspiring Sinai franchise. But really, it's only a matter of time.”

Sheridan points out that in both Libya and Egypt, prisons were emptied. Many innocent people had been wrongly incarcerated in those prisons. But there were also many, many extremist jihadists who have now gone back to the life of murder, suicide and caliphate building, which is their true love.  This could turn the Sinai into a new Somalia – a violent feral state.

The Sinai is of iconic significance to the Middle East. It is the one example in independent Israel's history of the land-for-peace formula actually working. Now the Israel/Egypt treaty is under deep threat. Israel will need to build a security fence along the Sinai and devote many more military resources to its southern flank.  Full story>

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/freedom-for-extremists-could-make-sinai-the-new-somalia/story-e6frg6ux-1226123116294

EGYPTIAN FRONTIER NO LONGER A BORDER OF PEACE

AUG 24/11. Israel-Egyptian frontier units are on peak alert following specific intelligence that Palestinian Jihad Islami was preparing to launch another cross-border terrorist attack from Sinai.

Chief of Staff, Gen. Benny Gantz, announced that Israel's Defence Forces were no longer treating the Egyptian frontier as a border of peace because of new threats – a radical change of outlook after three decades since a peace treaty was concluded.

The new situation was exemplified by the terrorist attacks Palestinian gunmen launched from Egyptian Sinai on Aug. 8 killing eight Israeli civilians and injuring forty.

The IDF is elevating the army's mission from border defence to a more proactive offensive role - the warding off of cross-border attacks. The border forces will receive infusions of extra combat manpower, intelligence systems and weapons - tank units, armoured infantry, airborne radar, and early warning electronic capabilities that will be strung along the 200-kilometer length of the Egyptian-Sinai border.  –Arutz Sheva

 

“EGYPT-ISRAEL PEACE TREATY NOT AS SACRED AS THE KORAN”

AUG 26/11. Arab League Secretary-General, Nabil Elaraby, says the 1979 peace treaty is 'not sacred,' and is subject to annulment or amendment if breached by either side. Nabil declared the Egypt-Israel peace treaty is not as sacred as the Koran, or the New Testament.   – .haaretz.com

Egypt’s treaty with Israel will soon be broken; and as Jeremiah, and Daniel (11:40-43) both indicate, Egypt will become the King of the South who rises up against the Holy Land. Awful times are ahead for Egypt:

PROPHECY: “Egypt rises like a flood, and like the rivers whose waters surge about; and he says, 'I will go up; I will cover that land; I will destroy the city and its inhabitants’.”  (Jeremiah 46:8)

“For this is the day of the Sovereign Master, YHWH of Hosts; a day of vengeance, so that He may take vengeance on His foes. The sword will devour until it is satiated and has drunk their blood; for there will be a sacrifice for the Sovereign Master, YHWH of Hosts, in the land of the north by the River Euphrates …  ‘Pack your bags ready for exile, O daughter dwelling in Egypt, for Memphis will become a desolation. It will be burned down and bereft of inhabitants’.” (Jeremiah 46:10, 19)

“And the land of Egypt will not escape.” (Daniel 11:42)

“Egypt will become a desolate wasteland. Then they will know that I am YHWH. Because you said, ‘The Nile is mine, and I have made it,’  therefore, be sure, I am against you and against your rivers and I will make the land of Egypt a total desolate waste from Migdol to Aswan, as far as the border of Cush (Ethiopia). No foot of man will pass through it, nor will the foot of an animal pass through it. No-one will live there for forty years.” (Ezekiel 29:9-11)

 

LIBYA.

After the ouster of Colonel Gadhafi, and the consolidation of the victory of the “rebels,” the work of rebuilding the nation is under way. But the fear of many international observers is that Libya is likely to follow the pattern of Egypt – euphoria followed by the infighting of the “liberators,” resulting in Islamic dominance.

Ultimately Libya will join the Northern Confederation of Rosh, as Ezekiel foretells:

 

“O Gog, chief prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws and bring you out with your whole army - your horses and horsemen all fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing swords. Persia (Iran), Cush (Sudan~Ethiopia), and Put (Libya) will be with them, all with shields and helmets.” (Ezekiel 38:3-5)

 

   SYRIAN CLIMAX AHEAD

The crushing of town after town, and the ruthless slaughter of thousands of Syrians by Bashar Assad’s regime continues. Encouraged and aided by Iran’s radical regime, Assad is holding out against civilian protests, and condemnation of the UN, Turkey and many Sunni Arab nations.  In late August, Assad saw his own capital rallying against him with big demonstrations in central Damascus. The situation is explosive .

Assad May Opt for War to Escape Russian, Arab, European Ultimatums

AUG 30/11. debka.com reports: In the last two days, three international heavyweights - Russia, the European Union and key Muslim nations – gave President Bashar Assad tough ultimatums for ending his ferocious crackdown.

Nevertheless, yesterday, his troops shot dead another 17 people in Syrian cities - even as he received Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who arrived in Damascus with a last warning from President Dmitry Medvedev: “Recall your soldiers to their bases immediately and implement changes or Moscow will endorse UN Security Council sanctions stiff enough to stifle the Syrian economy.”

Those sanctions are only a step away from a resolution authorising NATO, together with Muslim and Arab nations, to intervene militarily in the Syrian crisis.

Our military and intelligence sources disclose that Turkey, as a NATO member, and Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council, have been in discussions this past week on the form this intervention would take:

1. The long-considered Turkish plan to send troops into northern Syria and carve out a military pocket from which Syria's rebels would be supplied with military, logistic and medical aid.

2. Ankara and Riyadh will provide the anti-Assad movements with large quantities of weapons and funds to be smuggled in from outside Syria.

3. The Turkish military incursion would be matched by Saudi troops entering southern Syria at the head of GCC contingents. They would move in via Jordan and establish a second military enclave under GCC auspices.

The third option came up in Tehran on Aug. 25, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad heard some straight talk from the visiting Emir of Qatar.

Our exclusive Iranian sources reveal that the Qatari ruler slapped down a blunt warning: Assad was finished, he said, and advised Iran to face up to this.

For the sake of even minimal relations with the Arab world, Iran must ditch the Assad regime in Damascus or face the real danger of the Syrian crisis deteriorating into a regional conflict.

Ahmadinejad turned the emir down flat, according to our sources. He said Iran would never renege on its pact with Assad. Well-informed military sources warn that Assad will not be cowed by the international, military and economic noose tightening around his neck. He is far more likely to try and loosen it by lashing out against his enemies, starting with Israel. And Iran will certainly be a willing supporter of such belligerence, starting a war which could spread like wildfire across the region.

*          *          *          *          *

Ultimately, Syria does not have much future. The capital, Damascus, at least, will be destroyed.

PROPHECY: “The oracle concerning Damascus. Look! Damascus is about to be removed from being a city, and it will become a heap of ruins.” (Isaiah 17:1)

In spite of all the turmoil and violence in the Middle East, the Gospel is penetrating those lands, and many souls are being saved.  It is the grace of the Lord, delivering souls from the bondage of sin and spiritual bondage. In spite of persecution, the Messiah, Y’shua, is setting captives free.

“The Spirit of Adonai YHWH is upon Me, because YHWH has anointed Me to bring good news to the meek - the poor and afflicted. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to those who are bound; to proclaim the favorable year of YHWH and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to console those who mourn in Zion, giving them beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of YHWH, that He may be glorified.”  (Isaiah 61:1-3)

 

 

 

The Festivals

 

of the LORD 

 

    “The appointed times of YHWH”

              “The Holy Seasons.”

 Read Leviticus  23:4 to 44

 

What significance do the Old Testament

festivals have for us today?

This is a brief summary of the seven Old Testament festivals.

An in-depth study can be rewarding, and there are a number of books

written by Messianic authors, which elaborate fully on the subject.        

 

1.    PASSOVER -  PESACH   -  Leviticus 23:5

14th of 1st month (Nisan).  (round about April)

 

For Israel, Pesach looks back to deliverance from Egypt. It represents freedom from bondage.

On 14th of Nisan, each Israelite family sacrificed its chosen lamb, and sprink-led its blood on the doorposts and lintels of their homes.

That night the Angel of Death passed throughout Egypt and struck down the firstborn son of every home where the blood was not applied. The blood of the lamb was the provision for the salvation of God’s obedient people, as the angel passed over the homes where the blood was applied to the door frames.
 

 

For the church, Passover prefigures our redemption and freedom, for our Passover Lamb was Y’shua the Messiah, and He was slain at Calvary for our deliverance  from  the  bondage  of  sin.  And His shed blood covers all who   

“apply it” to their lives by faith in the Lamb of God.
 

“For you know that it was not with perishable things like silver or gold that you  were redeemed   from the futile way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of the Messiah, a Lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19) 

“The Lord’s table” is a typical remembrance of Pesach, for it commemorates Christ our Passover Lamb, in a simple but sublime and beautiful way.

 

 

2.     UNLEAVENED BREAD -   HAG HAMATZAH  - Leviticus 23:6-8 

15th to 21st of 1st month. (about April)

 

For Israel, this holy week, beginning   the day after Pesach, was a solemn time to emphasise the need for sanctification – separation from all evil.

Leaven is a symbol of sin, and in preparation for this 8-day Passover/Unleavened Bread season, all leaven had to be removed from the peoples’ homes.         

For the church, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is fulfilled through Christ who is made to us, sanctification (1 Corinthians 2:30).  And this appointed week is a reminder of our responsibility to be holy, for our God is holy.

Why should we not have a special season of ministry and emphasis on holiness?

 

  3.      WAVING OF FIRST FRUITS  - YOM  HABIKURIM - 

in the 1st month.    Leviticus 23:9-14  (during the Passover week)

 

For Israel, the day of waving of the sheaves of the first fruits meant thanksgiving and dedication of the barley harvest.  It was held on the day after the first Sabbath after Passover – which means,  it was on the first day of the week which began at sunset on Saturday.  Sheaves of the first fruits of the harvest were brought to the priest who would wave it before the LORD, and an unblemished lamb would then be offered as a burnt sacrifice lamb.

   For the church, the Day of First Fruits was fulfilled by the resurrection of Christ  –  His was the First Fruits of the Resurrection. And of course, Y’shua rose on the first day of the week, fulfilling this festival exactly to the very day.

“But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, and He became the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep - (believers who have died) ... The Messiah is the firstfruits; then those who belong to the Messiah, at the time of His coming.”  (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23)

 

4.      PENTECOST – SHAVUOT  - FEAST OF WEEKS

FEAST OF HARVEST.  Leviticus 23:15-22

Shavuot occurred 50 days after the waving of first fruits  - in the third month - Sivan.  (around June)

Shavuot is linked to the earlier waving of the first fruits, as its date is calculated - 50 days - from that event.  It was celebrated with much excitement in Israel because it signified the completion of the early firstfruits harvest from the fields.  Two loaves of bread, made with leaven from the wheat harvest, were waved before the LORD. 

 

 

  For Israel it was a thanksgiving and dedication of the wheat harvest, and it was an agricultural holiday. Traditionally, the rabbis have tied the giving of the Law at Sinai, to Shavuot.

As part of the Jewish ceremonies, there was the reading of the Book of Ruth, because its story took place around harvest time.

The story of Ruth contains the message of redemption of a Gentile. Ruth chose to become an Israelite at heart by clinging tightly to Naomi the Jewess and her God – the God of Israel. 

For the church, Pentecost was fulfilled by the formation of the church – the Bride of the Lamb - exactly on the day of Shavuot.

Pentecost opened the way for believing Gentiles to be included with believing Jews, in the redemptive plan of God, in the one “new man” - the Body of Christ.  (Eph. 2:15)

Whereas Pentecost is traditionally listed in the “church calendar,” most evangelical churches neglect this wonderful event, and hardly acknowledge the day of Pentecost. Why should we not celebrate the formation of the Church?

 

5.     THE DAY OF TRUMPETS -  YOM TRUAH   

1st  of 7th month  (Tishrei).   Leviticus 23:23-25  (around Sept-Oct.)

For Israel, the Shofar (Trumpet) is blown on this day so that everyone might know the Time of Judgment is near.  It begins the “10 days of awe” that are a preparation for the Day of Atonement. Yom Truah is, in fact, a warning of the coming “Day of Jacob’s Trouble” -  (the Great Tribulation).

For the church, the Day of Trumpets anticipates the Rapture. It will be fulfilled at the return of Christ when the Lord comes with the sound of trumpets.

For the world, Trumpets is a warning of the Hour of Trial that is coming on the whole world.  (Rev 3:10)

 

 

NINE REASONS FOR BLOWING THE SHOFAR

1     For the Coronation or the arrival of a king .                           

Y’shua is the King of the Universe.

2     To call to Repentance. 1 Peter 4:17, James 4:8

3     To remember the Covenant-keeping God who descended on Mt Sinai.  Exodus 19.

4     To issue a warning  of danger:

       "I appointed watchmen over you, and said, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But you said, 'We will not listen'." (Jeremiah 6:17)

5      To signal the rebuilding of the temple.  

6      To cause the people to stand in awe of God.

7      To warn of Judgment – the Day of the LORD.

8      To anticipate the ingathering of Israel –the latter rain harvest.

9      To announce the Resurrection -  the   shofar of the  Rapture/Resurrection.

 

It is a blessing to celebrate the Festival of Trumpets in a New Testament way – as a Second Coming festival. This is, I believe, a very appropriate time to herald the soon return of our beloved Saviour.

“Awaiting and looking for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Y'shua the Messiah; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness (all wickedness), and purify for Himself a people who are uniquely His own; people zealous to do good works.”  (Titus 2:13-14)

 

 

6.    DAY OF ATONEMENT - YOM KIPPUR  

10th of 7th month  (Tishrei).   Leviticus 23:26-32  (Around October)

For Israel, Yom Kippur was a day of fasting when atonement was made for the sins of the entire congregation. It was the one day of the year when the high priest entered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled the blood of the animal sacrifice on the Mercy Seat.  Yom Kippur is the most holy day on the Jewish Calendar. It is also called Shabbat Shabbaton – the Sabbath of Sabbaths. On this day the people of Israel were to afflict their souls, and repent of their sins.

In past Israel, Yom Kippur looked forward to the great day when Y’shua, who is both our Sacrifice and our Great High Priest, would make atonement for sinners of all ages.

            Christ has for sin atonement made,  what a wonderful Saviour.

                We are redeemed, the price is paid,  what a wonderful Saviour!

For Israel, Yom Kippur will be fulfilled when Y’shua the Great High Priest of the New Covenant appears to Israel, and Israel receives His atonement.  (Romans 11:25-27)

For the church, Atonement was fulfilled was when Y’shua entered the holy of holies in heaven on our behalf.  (Hebrews 9:11-14.  2:17).  Why should Yom Kippur not be a special day in the church, when a powerful Gospel message is preached to make sure every person in the church is included in the Atonement?

 

7.   TABERNACLES (Booths)  -  SUKKOT   -  

15 - 22nd  of the month (Tishrei). Leviticus 23:33-43  (usually in October)

For Israel, Sukkot was  a celebration of God’s provisions throughout the 40 years of wilderness wandering, when the people lived in booths – huts made of tree branches, or tents. But it also looks forward to the Millennial age when Messiah tabernacles (dwells) in the midst of His people, and Y’shua will be King over all the earth. (Rev. 21:3)

During the Millennium, the Festival of Tabernacles will be obligatory for all nations. (Zechariah 14:16-19)

One of the ceremonies carried out at Sukkot, during the Temple period of the time of Y’shua, was called The Pouring Out of the Water.

In this ceremony the priests marched from the Temple Mount down the Kidron Valley to the Pool of Siloam where pitchers were filled with water.  The priests then marched back up to the Temple Mount. There they poured out the water into the large laver in the Temple compound which was followed by great rejoicing. The rabbis interpreted the pouring out of the water as a symbol of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Israel in the last days.

Y’shua observed Sukkot, and on one occasion during the pouring out of the water, He gave an invitation, saying:

“If any one thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scriptures says, from within him shall flow rivers of living water.”  (John 7:37-39)

Y’shua was referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer.

So for the church, Sukkot is a reality!  The Holy Spirit tabernacles in all believers. They are, each one, a temple – a tabernacle of God; and corporally, they are the Body, the Temple of Christ.  (1 Corinthians  6:19)

Why don’t we celebrate and proclaim the coming Millennium in these days? It is not far off. It will begin seven years after the Rapture.

ARE THE FESTIVALS MANDATORY?

For Israel, Yes!  For the church, No!   BUT …  all the feasts point to realities in the Messiah; they have been, or will be, fulfilled in Y’shua.  They are all shadows and types of Messiah and His work. So in one sense, if we have the reality, if we have Christ, we don’t really need the type.   But there remains the need to remember and express thankfulness to our beloved Redeemer. 

The apostle Paul has encouraged us to observe Pass-over and the unleavened bread, in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8. 

“Our Passover Lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed for us. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old yeast, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

This is not a “You must keep the Feast” command. Rather it is as the Saviour said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24-26)

Under the New Covenant we are free to keep the Feasts -the Festivals - in a New Covenant way, but there is no compulsion, except to  ...

“Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19)

So if our heart wants to observe the festivals, let us do so in a spiritual way as our Father leads us.   Amen! 

 

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