WHAT OF THE NIGHT?”
what is left of the night?”
What do you think?
How much time is left? How many more signs do we need? How many more
tragedies do we need to witness before we are convinced that we are
indeed in the end times, and that the coming of the Master is drawing
aren’t you? I don’t mean watching television. I mean, watching
developments in the light of the Word of God, and giving a warning to
all around us that the Day of the LORD is near.
I know ... many
people will not listen. It was like that when God spoke through
“I appointed watchmen
over you, and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said,
will not listen’.”
Well, we can
understand when the world says, “We will not listen to your ramblings!”
But it seems that many Christians are neither watching nor listening,
even though trumpets are sounding every day, pro-claiming the climax of
Our Master could ask
the church today;
“What! Could you not
watch with Me for one hour?”
And Y’shua the
Messiah says to His disciples today:
“And what I say you,
I say to all, Watch!”
My friends, the last
two months has seen horrific conditions - excessive storms, floods,
typhoons, hurricanes, heat waves, forest fires, and earthquakes.
We are witnessing
alarming developments in the Middle East, with Israel being
forfeit its claim to the Temple Mount; Hizb’allah and Hamas building up
for a confrontation with Israel; Russia supplying anti-aircraft missiles
to Syria; the US pouring billions into the Middle East to build up the
military forces of “moderate” anti-Iranian nations, as well as Israel.
We see Russia’s new posturing as a superpower, its buildup in the
Mediterranean with new bases at Syrian ports; and its tensions with US,
UK and the EU; and also its declared intention to make Russia the
world’s greatest military aircraft producer.
We have also seen a
threatening stock market crash, with the nations getting the jitters.
And lots more has happened. But again, Y’shua says:
“Let not your heart
be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me … I will come again and
receive you to Myself.”
(John 14:1, 3)
So, “As for me, I
will watch expectantly for YHWH; I will wait
for the God of my salvation.”
And I will “redeem the time.”
“Blessed are those servants whom the Master will find watching when He
r r r
GREAT SPIRITUAL INCREASE
TRIBAL PEOPLE READ GOD’S WORD FOR THE FIRST TIME
PLANS FOR THE OLYMPICS IN BEIJING
‘JESUS FILM’ IN
PROGRESS IN BIBLE TRANSLATIONS
WEATHER IS BREAKING RECORDS AROUND THE WORLD
PERU: POWERFUL 8.0 EARTHQUAKE
HURRICANE DEAN’S SWEEP FROM CARIBBEAN TO MEXICO
DEATH TOLL MOUNTS IN DEADLY WILDFIRES
Dutch Catholic Bishop:
“Christians Should Pray to Allah”
“GIVE ME SCOTLAND OR I DIE!” – John Knox
POTTER COMING TO SUNDAY SCHOOL
“DANGEROUS” MIDDLE EAST SUMMIT AHEAD
HEAVY LOSSES SWEEP WORLD STOCK MARKETS
SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
THE OLD & THE NEW COVENANTS
And now, before
sharing more bad news, let me bring some points of
GOOD NEWS – and encouragement from what
our Heavenly Master is doing in these days.
GREAT SPIRITUAL INCREASE
The Republic of Cuba
is a secular state. The Cuban people live in abject poverty, and the
larger faith communities have faced intense opposition amidst claims of
theoretical religious rights. But at the same time, WorldServe’s
Cuba Director Darryl Wright says, their team is reaping a harvest of
revival amongst the evangelical churches.
“It began to
accelerate into a house church movement. There were about 1,100 churches
and house churches in 1990, and today they’re drawing close to 17,000
churches and house churches. That’s revival!”
WorldServe and the American Bible Society teamed up to deliver a
landmark gift to the growing church. “It’s not just the largest shipment
of children’s Bibles. It’s the largest shipment of Bibles in the history
of Cuba – more than twice the previous largest shipment. Other groups
have sent in large sums of Bibles, but 200,000 Bibles in one year is the
largest shipment in the history of the island.”
TRIBAL PEOPLE READ GOD’S WORD FOR THE FIRST TIME
Two Bible translation
projects are already having an impact on tribal people in Brazil.
President of WordWinds International, Jarrette Allen, says their
Tembe translation project just completed the New Testament. And that’s
another work: “We finished the Gospel of Luke in the Kuikuro language.
And because of translating the Gospel of Luke this past year, the
Kuikuro heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the first time in human
PLANS FOR THE OLYMPICS IN BEIJING
Many Christian groups
are gearing up for the Olympics in Beijing beginning August 8, 2008.
They see it as the
greatest opportunity of these early years of the 21st Century to reach
millions of people. The challenge is to get people trained and equipped
for this ministry. The Chinese church also sees it as a tremendous
opportunity to cooperate with overseas groups in a great evangelistic
outreach to people from around the world.
government is also challenged to control the increasing activities of
overseas groups as well as house churches as the
It is now recognized by the government and Chinese groups that the
number of Christians has reached
a phenomenal number after the decades of persecution and restrictions.
FILM’ IN 1,000 LANGUAGES
JULY 25, 07. The
“JESUS” film reached a major milestone in July with the completion of
the 1,000th language of the film - Lanka Kol, spoken by more than one
million people in India.
The 2-hour docudrama
about the life of Christ based on the Gospel of Luke, is the most
translated film in movie history. The JESUS film, produced by Campus
Crusade for Christ, opened in theaters in the United States in 1979 and
has since achieved more than
More than 200 million
decisions for Christ have been made as a result of the film, including
about 14,000 people who made public decisions for Christ when a
missionary team showed the JESUS film to Nigeria’s Idoma people group
have plans to continue translating the JESUS film into 500 new
languages. That includes every language with more than 100,000 speakers.
PROGRESS IN BIBLE TRANSLATIONS
Languages spoken in
Languages with some
or all of the Bible:
in progress in languages without
of millions of people:..........
Bible translation work to begin:
for people groups
totaling 196 million.
“The Spirit of the
Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good
news to the poor.”
(Isaiah 61:1. NLT)
“The gospel must
first be preached to all the nations.” - Y’shua
- VISION 2025 – WYCLIFFE
WEATHER IS BREAKING RECORDS
AROUND THE WORLD
The climate this year
is being called a
The world has
experienced a string of record-breaking weather events from early 2007,
from tropical storms, hurricanes, typhoons, tornados, to floods, heat
waves, forest fires, snowfalls in South Africa, and to the Arabian
Peninsula’s first tropical cyclone.
Asia’s worst monsoon
flooding in recent memory has affected 30 million people in
India, Bangladesh and
Nepal, destroying croplands,
livestock and property and raising fears of a health crisis in the
Heavy rains also
doused southern China in June, with
nearly 14 million people affected by floods and landslides that killed
There had also been
abnormally heavy rains in northern Europe,
UK, N Korea, Sudan, Mozambique, the Sahel of north Africa, Uruguay, the
their wettest May and June since records began in 1766, resulting in
extensive flooding, more than $6 billion in damage, and nine deaths.
swung from its driest April since country-wide observations started in
1901 to its wettest May on record.
S America, Uruguay had its worst
flooding since 1959, in May.
Huge waves swamped 68
islands in the Maldives in May, and the
Arabian Sea had its
first documented cyclone in June,
There have been
extreme heat waves in southeastern Europe
Russia. In many European countries, April was the warmest ever
recorded. The World Meteorological Organisation said global land
surface temperatures in January and April were likely the warmest since
records began in 1880, at more than 1C higher than the average for
South Africa and
South America this year there was
Although the recent
wacky weather has no clear-cut cause, the extreme weather is getting
more scientists to sound the alarm.
Y’shua the Messiah
prophesied about endtime weather conditions?
“There will be mighty
and violent earthquakes in various
places, and plagues, (pestilences,
malignant, contagious or infectious diseases, and deadly, devastating
epidemics), 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.”
(Luke 21:11, 25-26)
In addition to the
devastating floods in many places, there was also a
super fire in
August. Such Prophecy are not new, but they do emphasise that ...
“… the whole creation
groans and suffers the pains of childbirth … For the intense longing of
the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.”
(Romans 8:22, 19)
PERU: POWERFUL 8.0 EARTHQUAKE
AUG 15, 07. A
powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Peru, on 15 August,
killing more than 500 people, injuring at least 1,500 people, and
leaving thousands homeless.
In the oasis city of
Ica of 120,000 near the epicentre, a fourth of the buildings collapsed.
At least 200 people were buried in the rubble of a church where they had
been attending a service.
“The dead are also
scattered by the dozens on the streets. We don’t have lights, water,
communications. Most houses have fallen. Churches, stores, hotels -
everything is destroyed,” the mayor said, sobbing. At least 15 major
aftershocks followed, some as strong as magnitude-6.3.
President Alan Garcia
thanked God that the earthquake had not caused “a catastrophe with an
immense number of victims.” In 1970, a 7.9 earthquake high in the
Peruvian Andes triggered a landslide that buried the town of Yungay and
killed 66,000 people.
There were also
powerful earthquakes in ...
S. Pacific. 7.2. Aug 1, 07
Indonesia: 7.5. Aug 8, 07
HURRICANE DEAN’S SWEEP FROM
CARRIBEAN TO MEXICO
AUG 19-23, 07.
Hurricane Dean, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, began near
Haiti and Jamaica, where it claimed 12 lives. It then side-swept the
Cayman Islands; and as it moved westward, Dean strengthened into a
monstrous Category 5 hurricane (the highest category), and then began to
slam the coasts of Mexico and Belize with winds up to 165 mph (265 kph),
and gusts that reached 200 mph (322 kph).
In Mexico, tens of
thousands of people were evacuated ahead of the storm, as workers
hammered plywood over the windows of hotels along the tourist strip,
where Hurricane Wilma caused $3 billion in losses in 2005.
Dean toppled trees
and houses and created havoc as it crossed Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Mexico’s state oil
company, Petroleos de Mexico, evacuated all of its 14,000+ offshore
workers in the southern Gulf of Mexico, including the giant Cantarell
oil field, which Dean was soon pounding after weakening as it crossed
the Yucatan peninsula. (Shutting the 407 oil wells resulted in a
production loss of 2.7 million barrels of oil and 2.6 billion cubic feet
of natural gas per day.) The hurricane then moved across the Gulf into
Hurricane Dean was
the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall since
record-keeping began in the 1850s.
Category Five storms
are rare - only three have hit the US since record-keeping began. The
worst storm to hit Latin America in modern times was 1998’s Hurricane
Mitch, which killed nearly 11,000 people and left more than 8,000
missing, most in Honduras and Nicaragua.
DEATH TOLL MOUNTS IN DEADLY WILDFIRES
AUG 24. Forest fires
are again ravaging swathes of southern Europe.
A multitude of blazes
killed at least 63 people in
where fire fighters have battled multiple forest fires since June,
after several heat waves and months of drought, and temperatures
recently touching 40C (104F). Tens of thousands of hectares (acres) of
forests and dozens of houses have been burned.
Many people have been
trapped by fires fanned by winds of up to 87 kph. The fires moved so
fast that people were cut off before they could escape. At least nine
people are reported to have burnt to death in their cars as they
attempted to flee the flames. Fire crews said they had found at least 30
bodies in villages near the town, as they searched burned out cars and
were also hit
by fires at the same time.
For an expanded
account of recent Prophecy, please see
Prophecy July and August 2007.
Dutch Catholic Bishop:
“Christians Should Pray to Allah”
AUG 14, 07. The Roman
Catholic bishop of Breda in the Netherlands wants Christians to pray to
Allah. He says Holland should look to Indonesia where the Christian
churches already pray to Allah. It is common in the Arab world for
Christian and Muslim Arabs use the words God and Allah interchangeably.
Petrus Maria Muskens told Dutch TV: “Allah is a very beautiful word for
God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will call God ‘Allah’?”
Muskens says it could
take another 100 years, but eventually the name Allah will be used by
Dutch churches. And that will promote rapprochement between the two
Muskens worked in
Indonesia more than 30 years ago. “Someone like me has prayed to ‘Allah
yang maha kuasa’ (Almighty God) for eight years in Indonesia, and other
priests have for 20-30 years. In the heart of the Eucharist, God is
called Allah over there, so why can’t we start doing that together?” he
In the last part of
his statement, he said:
doesn’t care what we call Him.”
An Islamic American
Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper thinks it is a great idea. “It
reinforces the fact that Muslims, Christians and Jews all worship the
same God,” Hooper told FoxNews. “I don’t think the name is as
important as the belief in God and following God’s moral principles. I
think that’s true for all faiths.”
That’s false! It’s
the ecumenical attitude today! God has more than 200 names or titles in
the Scriptures including Elohim, El Shaddai, Adonai, Shepherd, Judge,
Father, Counselor, Comforter, Advocate, and the Most High.
But the personal Name
of God is YHWH – Yahweh – which means “The eternally-existing One.”
This is His “memorial Name to all generations.” (Exodus 3:15)
According to Yahweh
Himself, His Name is
“You shall not take
the Name of YHWH your God in vain; for YHWH will not hold him guiltless
who takes His name in vain.”
For a study on the Names
of God, see our new edition of,
“THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES,”
It is on our website, and
we trust to reprint it soon.
SCOTLAND: DOCTORS BANNED FROM
LUNCH AT DESK
AUG 14, 07. Doctors
and health workers in Scotland have been banned from eating lunch at
their desks during the Ramadan fast - in case it offends their Muslim
Willful blindness has
now become standard practice in cases like this; the officials who
instituted the ban openly admit they did it out of fear, even while
parroting the usual “politically-correct tolerance-speak.”
Health chiefs believe
the sight of food will upset Muslim workers when they are celebrating
the religious festival Ramadan. The lunch trolley is also to be wheeled
out of bounds as the 30-day fast begins next month. Also all vending
machines should be removed from areas where Muslims work.
“GIVE ME SCOTLAND OR I DIE!”
– John Knox
(1514 – 1572) was a Scottish religious reformer who took the lead in
reforming the Church in Scotland.
He is widely regarded
as the father of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland and of the
Church of Scotland. Well might this great reformer, John Knox, cry out
Scotland or I die!”
POTTER COMING TO SUNDAY SCHOOL
The new “Mixing it up
with Harry Potter” study guides from the Church of England is a 12-part
series that will use scenes from the J K Rowling’s Harry
Potter books and
movies to help children discuss big issues such as death, sacrifice,
loneliness, fear, mercy and grief. “Jesus used story-telling to engage
and challenge his listeners,” said Bishop John Pritchard of Oxford,
speaking on behalf of the curriculum.
better than a good story to make people think, and there’s plenty in the
Harry Potter books to make young people think about the choices they
make in their everyday lives.” http://tmatt.gospelcom.net/column/2007/08/08/
“The time will come
when people will not tolerate sound doctrine ... They will
turn away from hearing the truth, and will turn aside and listen
“DANGEROUS” MIDDLE EAST SUMMIT AHEAD
President George Bush
has called for a high-level summit as a major step towards a two-state
solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
With only 16 months
left in office, George Bush and Condoleezza Rice have been urging PA
chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli PM Ehud Olmert to meet
regularly in the hope of creating a dynamic that will lead to a
breakthrough at November’s conference.
While the summit,
under the chairmanship of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, will not
immediately create a Palestinian state, the plan is evidently to forge
establishment of a Palestinian state.
Abbas has been
meeting with Olmert, and also with Jordan’s King Abdullah, reportedly
discussing plans for the summit.
leaders warn that the summit will mark the climax of a heavy series of
pressures upon Israel to agree formally to the formation of a
Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza - just kilometers
from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Ben Gurion International Airport.
IDF (Israel Defence
Force) Col. (res.), Moti Yogev, says the Bush Administration, working
under the pressure of the 2008 elections, is planning to hit the Iranian
nuclear infrastructures. This is why the President is in such a rush to
give the Palestinians and the moderate Moslem states weapons deals, and
a Palestinian state - in order to silence them in anticipation of the
planned attack on Iran. Yogev says, Bush and his partners, Abbas and
Olmert, all have an unpleasant political situation, and this is prodding
them to take steps they hope will improve their standing.
Yogev says we must be
very far from being complacent, however: “[Israeli Cabinet ministers]
are again working, trying to give between 70 and 90% of Judea and
Samaria to the PA for a state.
“True, some say the
present government does not have the political strength to pull it off.
But what is now on the agenda is just a signature on a
for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
“Even if the
implementation is put off, it will still be an international Israeli
commitment, and this is very grave. In addition, if it is marketed as a
way of saving Israel from the Iranian nuclear threat, it will be very
hard to convince the average Israeli of the dangers of abandoning most
of Judea and Samaria - despite what has happened in Gaza.”
The only way to stop
this, Yogev writes, is for the “nationalist, religious, Zionist camp to
wake up, unite as one, and work together ... We have the strength to
declare firmly that the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel,
and that any thought of giving it to ‘moderate’ murderers is immoral and
will not bring peace or security.”
MK Yuval Shteinitz (Likud)
told Arutz-7 that the summit is something that must be strongly opposed:
“This summit could well lead to a Palestinian state, with clear Hamas
and Iranian influence, right on the doorstep of Tel Aviv. Even if it
just serves as a small support for this idea, the summit is something
that we must not allow.” (Shteinitz served as head of the Foreign
Affairs and Defence Committee in the previous Knesset.)
Though plans are
proceeding apace for the summit to be held, several major stumbling
blocks remain - including the refusal of
to announce its participation, and the questionable status of Mahmoud
abound as to whether
are on the
them OR to a resumption of
the latter, then Mahmoud Abbas could find himself a target of
assassination; a statement by Hamas elements accuses him of “launching a
war against Hamas together with the Zionist occupation forces.”
NEGOTIATIONS OVER TEMPLE MOUNT
Under the 1993 Oslo
Peace Pact, negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians began with
the easier issues, and left the sticky issues (Jerusalem, and
Palestinians statehood and refugees, to the last). When these issues
came up for serious negotiation at Camp David in 2000, the talks broke
down, and intifada followed. This time around, the concerned parties are
seeking to thrash out the principles for a final solution
The hot topic in
Israel right now is the negotiations going on between PM Olmert and Arab
According to a report
in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Acharonot, Olmert is willing to
discuss joint Israeli-Arab control over the Temple Mount compound.
Several reports say
that Palestinian negotiators who are drafting an agreement behind the
scenes with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office, have made clear they
will not accept any final peace deal with Israel unless the Jewish state
forfeits the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.
A chief Arab
negotiator told WorldNetDaily that “there can be no agreement
with Israel unless we get complete sovereignty of the Mount. Once
Palestinian control over the [Temple Mount] is fixed, then we will make
assurances for Jewish visits to the site.”
The same negotiator
said aides from Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization have been working out
the details of a “final status” agreement, which they intend to present
in November at a U.S.-sponsored international summit on the Middle
East. Other issues on the table reportedly include the division of
united Jerusalem and permanent borders between Israel and the PA.
Asked whether Olmert
is willing to forfeit the Temple Mount in an agreement with the
Palestinians, David Baker, a spokesman for the prime minister, had no
position today remains as solid and unyielding as it was when Arafat
scuttled the talks at Camp David in July 2000.
And while the
terrorism over the last seven years awakened many Israelis to the true
goal and nature of the “Palestinian” leadership and people who
consistently supported and celebrated “suicide” and massacres, it has
driven others to advocate
There are now
influential Israeli leftists urging the government to relinquish
Israel’s claim to Mt Moriah that God calls “My Holy Mountain.” (Psalm
“GIVE THEM THE MOUNT”
Ha’aretz in mid-August, commentator
Akiva Eldar said; “Give them the Temple Mount!”
Eldar argues that
religious Jews won’t agree to surrender the Mount, and neither will
extremist “Palestinians.” So the answer is for Olmert “to take away the
main contentious elements preoccupying the religious extremists ... and
to hand them over to the
secularists.” The Temple Mount should be offered to the PLO at the
November conference, and taken away from the Jews altogether, he says.
Eldar, is a
diplomatic affairs analyst who also views the Christian Zionist-Israel
relationship as an “unholy alliance.”
‘SECRET’ PLAN WOULD GIVE
JUDEA AND SAMARIA TO ARABS
Recent reports say
that President Shimon Peres has quietly drafted a plan for the Jewish
State to evacuate and transfer to the PA nearly the
entire area of Judea
and Samaria, along with several Arab-Israeli cities located within
Peres presented his
soon after he
took office as President last month. Olmert is said to be considering
the plan and he “agrees with much of its contents.”
Peres’ plan calls for
Israel to hand 97% of the West Bank over to Abbas, with Israel retaining
a small number of the territory’s Jewish communities.
In exchange for
Israel keeping some land, the Jewish state will give the PA control of
Arab Israeli cities north of Tel Aviv which, together with the evacuated
West Bank territory, would amount to the equivalent of 100% of the West
The West Bank is
within rocket range of Tel Aviv and Israel’s international airport; and
it is home to some of Judaism’s holiest sites.
HISTORY OF THE TEMPLE MOUNT
in the time of Abraham, was a part of the Jebusite city of Salem.
In 1017 BC, King
David bought the threshing floor of Araunah the Jesusite, and the whole
temple mount of Mount Moriah, for a place of sacrifice – for 600 shekels
of gold. (2 Samuel 24:24. 1 Chronicles 21:18-26, 2 Chronicles 3:1).
The First Jewish
Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was
destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.
The Second Temple was
rebuilt in 520-515 BC after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian
captivity. It was expanded and embellished by King Herod. That temple
was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Both temples stood for
about 400 years.
The Jewish Temple was
the centre of religious Jewish worship, and housed the Holy of Holies,
including the Ark of the Covenant where the Sh’khinah - God’s Presence
dwelt. It served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices
and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.
The Mosque of Omar –
the Dome of the Rock – built in AD 691, now sits on the temple mount,
marking the place where Muslims believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam,
ascended to heaven.
Nearby is the Al Aqsa
Mosque which was constructed around A.D. 709.
Jerusalem is not
mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Mohammed took a journey
in a single night from “a sacred mosque” – believed to be in Mecca in
southern Saudi Arabia – to “the farthest mosque” and from a rock there
ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with the
Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
under Israeli control, Jews and Christians are barred from
The Temple Mount was
opened to the general public until September 2000 when the Palestinians
started their intifada by throwing stones at Jewish worshipers, after
then-candidate for prime minister Ariel Sharon visited the area.
Following the onset
of violence, the new Sharon government closed the Mount to non-Muslims,
using checkpoints to control all pedestrian traffic for fear of further
clashes with the Palestinians.
The Temple Mount was
reopened to non-Muslims in August 2003. It still is open but only for a
few hours on Sundays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 12:30
p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim holidays
or other days considered “sensitive” by the Muslim Waqf.
During “open” days,
Jews and Christian are allowed to ascend the Mount, usually through
organized tours and only if they conform first to a strict set of
guidelines, which includes demands that they not
to the site. Visitors are banned from entering any of the mosques
without direct Waqf permission.
“Great is YHWH; and
greatly to be praised,
in the city of our
God, in His holy Mountain.
Beautiful in its
elevation, the joy of the whole earth,
is Mount Zion on the
sides of the north,
the City of the Great
Zion is a term that
refers to Jerusalem, and particularly to the Temple Mount where YHWH
now has a
well-trained army, 13,000 strong, and is preparing for a confrontation
with Israel. The “disengagement” (from Gaza in 2005) has “boosted the
terror groups’ morale and capabilities.”
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in mid-August that Israel was the
standard bearer of Satan and the Jewish state would soon fall apart.
DEVELOPS 900-KG ‘SMART BOMB’
Iran has developed a
2,000-pound (900 kg) “smart bomb” according to a Defence Ministry
statement. The guided bomb, named Qased (Messenger), was developed by
specialists within the ministry and is now operational. It could be
dropped from F-4 and F-5 jets.
SENDS MISSILES TO SYRIA
delivering 50 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria on 20 Aug. The Pantsyr–S1E
anti-aircraft missiles are part of a $900 million contract signed
earlier this year between Syria and a Russian state arms firm.
Daily Telegraph August 21, 2007
TO BUY ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILES
The Israeli Air Force
will buy advanced US-made Patriot PAC-3 missiles from Lockheed Martin,
capable of intercepting aircraft and long-range ballistic missiles,
including the type used by Syria.
ANIMAL SACRIFICES ON MOUNT
A radical member of
Israel’s Sanhedrin says sacrifices should be renewed on the Temple
Mount. “When the people of Israel were in the Diaspora, sacrifices were
not possible, but now they are,” he said.
HEAVY LOSSES SWEEP WORLD STOCK MARKETS
This is how one
newspaper described the scary stock market plunge in mid-August.
It began in the U.S.
where domestic financial markets fell 11.1%, and more than $100 billion
was wiped out. But the crisis there quickly affected global markets,
and stock plunged around the world.
In the UK shares fell
3.1%, and £110bn was wiped off the value of leading shares. In Japan,
the Nikkei index closed down 2%; in Hong Kong 3.7%; Singapore lost
almost 3.7%; India’s Sensex index lost 4.3% of its value. France’s
Cac-40 index was 2.6% lower; Germany’s Dax-30 was down 1.7%. Australia
stock was down by 5.5% - $35 billion wiped out.
Australian home loan
firm RAMS saw its shares sink 36% after it had failed to refinance
$A6.17 billion ($US5 bn; £2.5 bn) in debt after the credit crunch
spurred by the crisis in the US housing market.
The financial market
volatility was triggered by the US sub-prime mortgage sector, which
offers higher-risk loans to people with a poor credit history.
As US interest rates
rose and the housing bubble burst, a growing number of sub-prime
borrowers defaulted on their loans. This led to extensive financial
difficulties for a number of investment funds with heavy exposure to the
sector - and triggered fears of a wider financial crisis.
No-one knew how deep
the stock market would crash – and how far the crisis would go.
One executive of a
mortgage business in the US said: “I think I’ll take the rest of the
year off until this thing sorts out. It’s full-on panic mode here, with
mortgage companies closing every day.
In response to the
plunge, and trying to ease fears over available credit, the US Federal
Reserve along with other world central banks injected over $400 billion
into the financial system to prop it up. But all steps only seemed to
make markets more nervous.
It was only after the
Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben S Bernanke, reduced the Reserve’s discount
rate from 6.25% to 5.75% that a rebound began on Wall St (the US stock
market). And markets around the world began to recover. But fears
strategist Adnan Kacukalic said the rebound could be short-lived with
further fallout from the sub-prime mortgage scandal in the US. The
basic problems have not gone away!
The basic problem is
debt. The world is awash in debt, from individuals to governments. The
US itself has debts amounting to many trillions of dollars. It only
stands to reason that there must be an accounting time.
The Book of James
warns of the “Last Days” …
“… the rich will
“weep and wail because of the miseries that are coming upon you.
Your wealth has become rotten,
and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold
and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will testify
against you and will consume your flesh like fire. You have hoarded
wealth in the Last Days!”
And the destruction
of our great commercial system (Babylon) is also described in
“And the kings of the
earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived in luxurious
her, will weep and wail over her, when they see the smoke of her
burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment,
saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city!
For in one hour your judgment has come.’
And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one
buys their merchandise any more.”
The message in all of
this is that the world’s economic and financial system is extremely
fragile. The debt is so enormous, that the whole system must crash
sooner or later.
The economic rulers
of the world are planning a New International Economic Order. And that
will become the reality at the time the Antichrist takes control of the
world. And then, “woe, woe” to all who take the mark of the Beast.
messenger followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great city,
because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the fury of her
“Then a third
messenger followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone
worships the beast and his
receives his mark on his forehead or upon his hand,
he also will drink of
the wine of the fury of God, which has been poured full strength
into the cup of His wrath; and he will be tormented with burning sulphur
before the holy angels and in the Presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of
their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day and night
for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who
receives the mark of his name’.”
My dear readers, that
time may be very near. And now is the time to make sure you and your
loved ones belong to the Saviour. It is time to “put your house in
See also this
HOUSE IN ORDER?
(Maranatha Hope of Glory
#5 - April 2000).
r r r
SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES
BETWEEN THE OLD & THE NEW COVENANTS
series on the New Covenant, by Don Stanton
“For it is written
that Abraham had two sons, one by the
and one by
son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by
the free woman was born as a result of the promise. This is
allegorically (symbolically, figuratively) speaking, for these women
represent two covenants: the one proceeding from Mount
Sinai brings forth slavery; this is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai
in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in
slavery with her children. But the other woman corresponds to the
Jerusalem above; she is free, and is our mother.”
While there are
similarities between the Old and New - both have commands, and some
commands in the New Covenant are the same as those of the Law of Moses -
these two are very separate systems.
The above passage in
Galatians defines the Law of Moses as bringing slavery, but the Law of
the Messiah – the New Covenant - brings freedom – the freedom to live
the Spirit-filled life. That’s why Y’shua said;
“If you remain in My
word, then you are truly My disciples, and you will know the
Truth, and the Truth will set you free … If then the Son makes you free,
you will be free indeed.”
(John 8:31, 32, 36)
We are indeed under
But grace and freedom does not mean lawlessness. There is a
Law of the
“… the law of the
Spirit of Life in the Messiah, Y’shua.”
Y’shua said: “If you
love Me, you will obey what I command.”
Fruchtenbaum, a Jewish Messianic believer, made this observation:
“Nine of the Ten
Commandments are to be found in the Law of the Messiah, but this does
not mean that the Law of Moses is still in force. The Law of Moses has
been rendered inoperative and believers are now under the Law of the
“If we do not kill or
steal today, it is not because of the Law of Moses but because of the
Law of the Messiah. On the other hand, if someone steals, he is not
guilty of breaking the Law of Moses, but of breaking the Law of the
“Some commandments in
the Law of Moses are intensified by the Law of the Messiah. For example,
the Law of Moses said in Leviticus 19:18: ‘Love your neighbor as
yourself’; this made man the standard.
The Law of the Messiah said in John 15:12: ‘Love one another, even as I
have loved you’; this makes the Messiah
the standard in that He loved man enough to die for him.”
Some Old Covenant
dietary laws are still valuable today, but dietary codes are not
mandatory in the New Covenant. Paul’s exhortation on food is in Romans
“Now accept the one
who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing
judgment on disputable matters. One person believes he may eat all
things, but he whose faith is weak eats only vegetables.
The one who eats everything is not to regard with contempt the
one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat everything is
not to judge the one who does, for God has accepted him.”
(Romans 14:1-3.) See also verses 20-23.
THE SABBATH QUESTION –
On the seventh day of
Creation, God rested.
God there, right from the beginning, set an example and established a
principle. Six days work, one day rest.
Later, the 7th day
Sabbath Law became mandatory for Israel, as it was a sign between Yahweh
“Also I gave them My
Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I
am YHWH who sanctifies them.”
Shabbat was given as
a gift to Israel from God. It was a gift that helped restore and
maintain the faith of the Jewish family. It was intended to be a
blessing that would bring refreshment and spiritual growth to each
family, and to the whole nation.
As a part of Israel,
Y’shua and the apostles observed that Sabbath. But when it came to
Gentile believers, no commandment on the Sabbath was given to them. It
is conspicuously absent in the epistles, and it was not an issue at the
Council of Jerusalem where the apostles and elders met and discussed
Gentile believers, and issued instructions for them.
“For it seemed good
to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than
these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and
from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep
yourselves free from such things, you do well.”
nor Sabbath was enjoined upon the Gentile believers. And neither were
Gentile believers commanded to worship on Sunday. In the epistles, the
only mention of the word Sabbath is in Colossians 2:16, where it says:
“Therefore let no one
act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival
or a new moon or a Sabbath day.”
And there’s also
Paul’s adjudication in Romans:
“One man regards one
day as more sacred than others; another man regards every day
alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. He who
observes one day as special, does so to the Lord; and he who does
not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats,
does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who does not
eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.”
So the apostles did
not reiterate the 4th commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify
it.” The Gospel was now going to the whole world, and the LORD, and the
apostles, knew it would be impossible for all the church to keep the
Sabbath at the same time, or even on the same day. And besides, like
circumcision, it was a covenant ordinance for Israel.
undoubtedly recognised that God would not enforce Shabbat - the sign He
had given to the nation Israel – upon the Gentiles in the pagan world
where mostly there was no weekly holiday at all. They recognized that
Shabbat was indeed a wonderful gift from God for Israel. And one day,
God would give such a gift to the Gentiles also.
In the New Covenant,
the Holy Spirit indwelling believers would lead them into the truths
they needed to know, from the Scriptures. And the Holy Spirit would
reveal the reason why God had given laws; and why He set an example by
resting on the seventh day after six days of work.
To put it simply, God
does not want people to have to work seven days a week! Man needs time
to recuperate from the stress and strains of daily life. He needs to
relax and spend time with his family, and with God.
Today, in most
Western nations, it has become possible for most people to have
days. And in most other nations people have one day off.
means much more than having a day off. We need rest for our minds, for
our souls, and nourishment for our spiritual lives. And on the day off
we should be able to have more time with God.
Just as circumcision
is not wrong for Gentiles, it is not wrong to have a Sabbath rest on
Saturday, or any other day of the week if you want to. And I don’t think
any reader should object to the principle of giving prime time to our
Heavenly Master. After all, it is in His Presence that we enter into His
is inherent in
for believers, even as it was in the Old Testament.
“Return to your rest,
O my soul, for YHWH has dealt bountifully with you.”
Our spiritual Rest is
in the Person of the Messiah. And Y’shua has promised to give us His
“Come to Me, all
you who are weary and burdened, and I will
give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am
gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.”
This spiritual rest
should be a continuous, moment by moment experience, even in our busy
“Therefore, since the
still stands, let us be afraid of the possibility that any one of
you should seem to fall short of it.” “Now it is we who have believed
that do enter
“For he who has entered
rest has also
ceased from his own works, just as God did from His. Let us
therefore be diligent to enter
so that no-one will fall short by following the same kind
(Hebrews 4:1, 3, 10-11)
Do Gentile believers
to observe a
rest day? This is like asking, Does a believer
to go to
church? Does a believer
to pray and
read his Bible? Does a believer
to tithe? Does
to be baptized? Does
to “break bread”
The New Covenant is
not a set of “musts” and “have-to’s”! It is a life of fellowship with
the Heavenly Father. Sabbath (or the Lord’s Day) for a Gentile believer
is not an observance of a set, inflexible “holy day” that must be
“kept”, otherwise you’re condemned - like it was in Israel under the
Law. (For an Israelite, to break the Sabbath was very serious indeed.
There was a death penalty attached. (See Numbers 15:32-36)
But Y’shua said: “The
Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”
Sabbath is there for
man’s benefit and blessing. Our Father wants us to be blessed by the
rest He provides. And He invites us to enjoy as much of it as we desire.
But it is not
mandatory to have the rest day on Saturday or even Sunday. In the
Persian Gulf and in most Middle East countries, the “Lord’s Day” has to
be on Friday, as that is the weekly holiday, and the only day possible
for most believers to meet. (Hebrews
In Israel, Saturday
is the national Sabbath. (Israel was, of course, commanded to keep the
Fri evening to Sat evening Sabbath as a perpetual observance.
In some countries where there is a six-day working week, only Sunday is
OF REST IS A BLESSING, NOT BONDAGE
God does not want us
to be in bondage, but He does want to bless us with a day of rest.
(Romans 14:4-6, Colossians 2:16-17).
So on whatever day is possible, it will be a blessing if we sanctify the
day to the Master, and thank Him for His Rest.
(For any readers who
are convinced that Sabbath
observed from Fri. eve to Sat. eve, I say dear friend, I respect your
belief on the matter. But I believe, in the church, it is the observance
of the principle that brings the blessing, rather than the exact timing.
If Fri. eve to Sat.
eve Sabbath was mandatory for the church, as Seventh Day Adventists have
taught, then why would God pour out His Spirit in revival on people who
were not observing that timing? We know that YHWH
various nations and poured out blessing. And none of those powerful
revivals, as far I am aware of, ever led to a restoration of Fri eve to
Sat eve Sabbath. Thus I say it is the
Sabbath that brings a blessing to believers - and to families in
r r r