Archive for February 2010

A study in Revelation…

February 8, 2010

Revelation 

Escape the Coming Wrath! 

Lesson 23           Chapter 14:14-20           The Coming Judgment of the World! 
 

1. Read verses 14-20. 

  •  
      Jesus’ first coming was one of humiliation, a time when He “although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:6-8). 
  •  
      Jesus came the first time as a servant; He will return as the sovereign King. In His first coming, He came in humility; in His second coming, He will come in majesty and splendor. The first time He came to earth, “the son of Man [came] to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10); when He returns, it will be to “judge the living and the dead” (II Tim. 4:1). Jesus came the first time as the sower; He will come again as the reaper.1 
  •  
    1. Read Genesis 15:16. The sin of the Amorites included child sacrifice, idolatry, religious prostitution and divination. God was patient with the Canaanites (Amorites) even in judgment. What do you think it means for sin to “reach its full measure?”

 
 
 

  •  
    1. Read James 1:13-15.

 

  •  
    1.  
      1. Does God tempt us?

 

  •  
    1.  
      1. What do we have within us that causes us to give in to temptation (Jeremiah 17:9)?

 

  •  
    1.  
      1. What is the end result of “full grown” sin?

 

  •  
    1. Read Genesis 1:15-17; 3:1-19; and, Genesis 5.

 

  •  
    1.  
      1. Describe the three stages of man’s rebellion—desire, sin, death—as pictured in Eve’s sin.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  •  
    1.  
      1. What was the end result of Adam and Eve disobeying God (Gen. 5)?

 
 

  •  
    1. Read Genesis 6:5-7. From these two verses we see the extent of God’s grief over mankind’s sin.

 

  •  
    1.  
      1. From this chapter, what was the result of man’s rebellion against God?

 

  •  
    1.  
      1. Read Genesis 9:8-17. What sign has God given to the world to remind us of both His mercy and His judgment?

 
 

  •  
    1. Read Romans 1:18-32. Here God gives us a picture of the downward spiral of sin. In your own words, describe this downward spiral from knowing of God’s existence (verses 19-21) to total depravity (verses28-32).

 
 
 
 
 

  •  
    1. Read Romans 2:1. Are any of us in a position to judge others? Why or why not?

 
 
 

  •  
    1. Read Romans 3:10-18. Describe the totality of man’s sin.

 
 
 
 

  •  
    1. Read Romans 3:23. Who is guilty?

 
 

  •  
    1. Read Romans 6:23. What do we all deserve?

 
 

  •  
    1. Read Joel 3:12-13 along with Matthew 13:39-42. What is being described in these verses?

 
 
 

  •  
    1. Back to Revelation 14. Who does John see “seated on the cloud [who] was one ‘like a son of man’” (Daniel 7:13)?

 
 

  •  
      The familiar phrase I looked, and behold often introduces a new and important subject in Revelation (cf. 4:1; 6:2, 5, 8; 7:9; 14:1). What caught John’s attention was a white cloud, an image drawn from Daniel 7:13–14: 
  •  
            “I kept looking in the night visions,
  •  
            And behold, with the clouds of heaven
  •  
            One like a Son of Man was coming,
  •  
            And He came up to the Ancient of Days
  •  
            And was presented before Him.
  •  
            And to Him was given dominion,
  •  
            Glory and a kingdom,
  •  
            That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
  •  
            Might serve Him.
  •  
            His dominion is an everlasting dominion
  •  
            Which will not pass away;
  •  
            And His kingdom is one
  •  
            Which will not be destroyed.” 
  •  
      John saw sitting on the cloud one like a son of man—the Lord Jesus Christ, coming to establish His kingdom in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. The brilliant, white cloud symbolizes His glory and majesty (cf. 1:7; Matt. 17:5; 24:30; 26:64; Acts 1:9). He is ready to take the dominion of which Daniel prophesied; the reaper is sitting as He waits for the proper time to stand and begin the reaping. That reaping (the seven bowl judgments) will be followed by Christ’s return to establish His kingdom. 
  •  
      The description of Christ as one like a son of man also derives from Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 7:13). It was the Lord’s favorite title for Himself during His incarnation (e.g., Matt. 8:20; 9:6; 24:27, 30; Mark 2:10, 28; 8:31; 9:9; Luke 6:22; 7:34; 9:22; 12:8; John 5:27; 6:27, 62; 8:28), when He “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and [was] made in the likeness of men … [and was] found in appearance as a man” (Phil. 2:7–8). Why the text does not use the definite article and read the son of man is not clear. Yet the phrase also appears without a definite article in its only other appearance in Revelation (1:13). Perhaps the article was omitted to strengthen the allusion to Daniel 7:13. In any case, there is no doubt that the one like a son of man is the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the last time Scripture refers to Him by that title, and it presents a marked contrast with the first time the New Testament calls Him the son of man. Then He had nothing, not even a place to lay His head (Matt. 8:20); now He is about to take possession of the entire earth. 
  •  
      The reaper is further described as having a golden crown on His head. This crown is not the diadēma worn by a king (cf. 19:12), but the stephanos worn by victors in war or athletic events; it is the crown of triumph (cf. 2:10; 1 Cor. 9:25; 1 Thess. 2:19; 2 Tim. 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 5:4). It pictures the Son of Man not in His identity as the sovereign ruler, but as the triumphant conqueror victorious over all His enemies (cf. Matt. 24:30). 
  •  
      The reaper also had a sharp sickle in His hand. A sickle was a long, curved, razor-sharp iron blade attached to a long, broomsticklike wooden handle. Sickles were used to harvest grain; as they were held with both hands spread apart and swept back and forth, their sharp blades would cut off the grain stalks at ground level. The picture is of the Lord Jesus Christ mowing down His enemies like a harvester cutting grain.2  
  •  
    1. Why is He carrying a sickle?

 
 
 

  •  
      A sickle was a long, curved, razor-sharp iron blade attached to a long, broomsticklike wooden handle. Sickles were used to harvest grain; as they were held with both hands spread apart and swept back and forth, their sharp blades would cut off the grain stalks at ground level.3  

      (m) Read Acts 17:29-31. 

  •  
    •  
      1. What does God command everyone to do?

 

  •  
    •  
      1. What does it mean to repent?

 

  •  
    •  
      1. Who will judge the world one day?

  

  1.  
    1. There are two harvests suggested in verses 14-20. The first is the “grain harvest.” The second is the “grape harvest.” In verse 15, MacArthur notes, “the verb translated is ripe actually means ‘dried up,’ ‘withered,’ ‘overripe,’ or ‘rotten.’ The grain (the earth) pictured here has passed the point of any usefulness and is fit only to be ‘gathered up and burned with fire’” (Matt. 13:40). Thus, when Jesus swings the sickle over the earth do you think this is the ingathering of His children or does it refer to coming judgment? Explain your reasoning.

 
 
 
 

  •  
      “The harvest is ripe!” (vv. 14–20) The Person pictured here on the white cloud is undoubtedly our Lord Jesus Christ (see Dan. 7:13–14; Rev. 1:13). We have had the image of the cup, and now we have the image of the harvest, both of the grain (Rev. 14:14–16) and of the grape (Rev. 14:17–20). Again, this anticipates the final judgment of the world.  
  •  
      While winning lost souls to Christ is sometimes pictured as a harvest (John 4:34–38), this image is also used of God’s judgment (Matt. 13:24–30, 36–43; Luke 3:8–17). God permits the seeds of iniquity to grow until they are ripe, and then He judges (Gen. 15:16).  
  •  
      The grape harvest is often a picture of judgment (see Joel 3:13ff, which anticipates the Day of the Lord). In actuality, Scripture portrays three different “vines.” Israel was God’s vine, planted in the land to bear fruit for God’s glory; but the nation failed God and had to be cut down (Ps. 80:8–16; Isa. 5:1–7; see also Matt. 21:33–46). Today, Christ is the Vine and believers are branches in Him (John 15). But the world system is also a vine, “the vine of the earth” in contrast to Christ, the heavenly Vine; and it is ripening for judgment. The wicked system—Babylon—that intoxicates people and controls them, will one day be cut down and destroyed in “the winepress of the wrath of God.”  
  •  
      Some see in this image an anticipation of the “battle of Armageddon,” when the armies of the world will gather against Jerusalem (Zech. 14:1–4; Rev. 16:16). Certainly, John is using hyperbole when he describes a river of blood four feet deep and 200 miles long (see also Isa. 63:1–6). Today, God is speaking to the world in grace, and men will not listen. One day hence, He must speak in wrath. The bitter cup will be drunk, the harvest of sin reaped, and the vine of the earth cut down and cast into the winepress.4  
       
  1.  
    1. The angel in verse 18 comes from the altar. Who is under the altar and for what have they been calling out (Rev. 6:9-11)?

 
 
 

  1.  
    1. Clearly the grape harvest mentioned in verses 17-20 refers to coming judgment. To what event might this refer (Joel 3:1-2, 11-13; Revelation 16:16; 19:11-21)?

 
 
 

  •  
      Here is one of the most tragic and sobering statements in all of Scripture. Simply, and without fanfare, it records the executing of divine judgment. The frightening details of that judgment are unfolded in chapter 16: loathsome and malignant sores on the worshipers of Antichrist (v. 2), the death of all life in the world’s oceans (v. 3), the turning of the world’s rivers and springs of water into blood (v. 4), the intensifying of the sun’s heat until it scorches people (v. 8), painful darkness over all of Antichrist’s kingdom (v. 10), the drying up of the Euphrates River in preparation for a massive invasion by the kings of the east (v. 12), and the most powerful and destructive earthquake in history (v. 18). Those seven rapid-fire bowl judgments mark the first phase of the final reaping of the earth… 
  •  
      As John watched, another angel appeared, the sixth one in the vision. He is given the interesting designation of the one who has power over fire. That title is closely connected with the fact that he came out from the altar. This heavenly altar has already been mentioned in 6:9–11: 
  •  
    •  
        When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. 
  •  
      It most likely is emblematic of the Old Testament brass incense altar (Ex. 40:5), where twice daily priests burned incense to be offered in the Holy Place as a picture of the people’s prayers, since the martyrs underneath it are viewed praying and prayer is associated with incense (5:8; Ps. 141:2; Luke 1:10). Those martyred saints are praying for God to take vengeance on their tormenters and send His wrath. 
          This altar is also described in 8:3–5: 
  •  
    •  
        Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake. 
  •  
      Every morning and evening the Old Testament priests would take hot coals from the brazen altar (upon which sacrifices were offered) and bring them to the incense altar. There they would ignite the incense (Ex. 30:7–8; 2 Chron. 29:11), which would rise toward heaven, symbolizing the prayers of God’s people (5:8). At that same time, the people outside would be praying (Luke 1:10). 
  •  
      That the angel had power over the altar’s fire (the definite article is present in the Greek text, which literally reads “the fire”) indicates that he had been ministering at the heavenly counterpart to the earthly incense altar. Unlike the angel in verse 17, this angel does not come from the throne of God, but from the altar associated with the prayers of the saints. His appearance means that the time had come for those prayers to be answered. The time had come for God to take fire associated with intercession and use it for the destruction of His enemies and the enemies of His people. 
  •  
      Leaving the altar, he called with a loud, urgent, commanding voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” In answer to the saints’ prayers, the time for the reaping of judgment comes. Unrepentant sinners are depicted as clusters of grapes, to be cut off by the reaper’s sharp sickle from the vine of the earth; that is, from earthly existence. The word ripe is not the same Greek word used in verse 15. This word refers to something fully ripe and in its prime. It pictures earth’s wicked, unregenerate people as bursting with the juice of wickedness and ready for the harvest of righteousness… 
  •  
      All the enemies of God who survive the seven bowl judgments will be gathered like grape clusters from the vine of the earth and flung into the great wine press of the wrath of God. A wine press consisted of two stone basins connected by a trough. Grapes would be trampled in the upper basin, and the juice would collect in the lower one. The splattering of the juice as the grapes are stomped vividly pictures the splattered blood of those who will be destroyed (cf. Isa. 63:3; Lam. 1:15; Joel 3:13). 
  •  
      The wine press will be trodden outside the city, as the Lord protects Jerusalem from the carnage of the Battle of Armageddon (cf. 11:2; Dan. 11:45; Zech. 14:1-4). That battle will take place in the north of Israel on the Plain of Esdraelon near Mount Megiddo (about sixty miles north of Jerusalem). It will rage the entire length of Israel as far south as Bozrah in Edom (cf. Isa. 63:1). Jerusalem will be spared to become the capital of Christ’s kingdom.5 
  •  
      (f)   What is the condition of the grapes? What does their condition imply (Gen. 15:16)? 
       
  •  
      (g) The angle swung his sickle and gathered in the grapes and they were thrown into the great winepress of God’s wrath. Read Revelation 19:15-16.  
  •  
      1. What does the winepress symbolize? 
  •  
      2. Who will be treading it? 
  •  
      3. How does this influence your concept of the love of God? Explain how    judgment and wrath are actually an aspect of the love of God. 
       
  •  
    1. Read I Thessalonians 1:10. How can you avoid the coming judgment?

 
 

  •  
      Unregenerate humanity faces a frightening future, as this incredible scene indicates. Those who refuse to repent, even after repeated warnings, will learn firsthand the sobering truth that “it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). They would do well to heed the psalmist’s admonition: 
  •  
    •  
              Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry,
  •  
    •  
      •  
                and you perish in the way,
  •  
    •  
              For His wrath may soon be kindled.
  •  
    •  
              How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
Advertisements

We the people must be heard

February 8, 2010

The great peasant revolt of 2010

BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER 
07/02/2010 21:26 

The belief in moral hollowness of conservatism animates the current liberal mantra that Republican opposition is blind obstructionism.

Talkbacks (1)

‘I am not an ideologue,” protested President Barack Obama at a gathering with Republican House members two weeks ago. Perhaps, but he does have a tenacious commitment to a set of political convictions.

Compare his 2010 State of the Union to his first address to Congress a year earlier. The consistency is remarkable. In 2009, after passing a $787 billion (now $862 billion) stimulus package, the largest spending bill in galactic history, he unveiled a manifesto for fundamentally restructuring the commanding heights of American society – health care, education and energy.

A year later, after stunning Democratic setbacks in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, Obama gave a stay-the-course State of the Union address (a) pledging not to walk away from health care reform, (b) seeking to turn college education increasingly into a federal entitlement and (c) asking again for cap-and-trade energy legislation. Plus, of course, another stimulus package, this time renamed a “jobs bill.” This being a democracy, don’t the Democrats see that clinging to this agenda will march them over a cliff? Don’t they understand Massachusetts?

Well, they understand it through a prism of two cherished axioms: (1) The people are stupid and (2) Republicans are bad. Result? The dim, led by the malicious, vote incorrectly.

Liberal expressions of disdain for the intelligence and emotional maturity of the electorate have been, post-Massachusetts, remarkably unguarded. New York Times columnist Charles Blow chided Obama for not understanding the necessity of speaking “in the plain words of plain folks,” because the people are “suspicious of complexity.” Counseled Blow: “The next time he gives a speech, someone should tap him on the ankle and say, ‘Mr. President, we’re down here.’”

Time magazine blogger was even more blunt about the ankle-dwelling mob, explaining that we are “a nation of dodos” that is “too dumb to thrive.”

Obama joined the parade in the State of the Union address when, with supercilious modesty, he chided himself “for not explaining it [health care] more clearly to the American people.” The subject, he noted, was “complex.” The subject, it might also be noted, was one to which the master of complexity had devoted 29 speeches. Perhaps he did not speak slowly enough.

Then there are the emotional deficiencies of the masses. Nearly every Democratic apologist lamented the people’s anger and anxiety, a free-floating agitation that prevented them from appreciating the beneficence of the social agenda the Democrats are so determined to foist upon them.

THAT BRINGS us to Part II of the liberal conceit: Liberals act in the public interest, while conservatives think only of power, elections, self-aggrandizement and self-interest.

It is an old liberal theme that conservative ideas, being red in tooth and claw, cannot possibly emerge from any notion of the public good. A 2002 New York Times obituary for philosopher Robert Nozick explained that the strongly libertarian implications of Nozick’s masterwork, Anarchy, State and Utopia, “proved comforting to the right, which was grateful for what it embraced as philosophical justification.” The right, you see, is grateful when a bright intellectual can graft some philosophical rationalization onto its thoroughly base and self-regarding politics.

This belief in the moral hollowness of conservatism animates the current liberal mantra that Republican opposition to Obama’s social democratic agenda – which couldn’t get through even a Democratic Congress and powered major Democratic losses in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts – is nothing but blind and cynical obstructionism.

By contrast, Democratic opposition to George W. Bush – from Iraq to Social Security reform – constituted dissent. And dissent, we were told at the time, including by candidate Obama, is “one of the truest expressions of patriotism.”

No more. Today, dissent from the governing orthodoxy is nihilistic malice. “They made a decision,” explained David Axelrod, “they were going to sit it out and hope that we failed, that the country failed” – a perfect expression of liberals’ conviction that their aspirations are necessarily the country’s, that their idea of the public good is the public’s, that their failure is therefore the nation’s.

Then comes Massachusetts, an election Obama himself helped nationalize, to shatter this most self-congratulatory of illusions.

For liberals, the observation that “the peasants are revolting” is a pun. For conservatives, it is cause for uncharacteristic optimism. No matter how far the ideological pendulum swings in the short term, in the end the bedrock common sense of the American people will prevail.

 

The ankle-dwelling populace pushes back. It re-centers. It renormalizes. Even in Massachusetts.

Out of Zion this Shabbot

February 5, 2010
OUT of ZION  Ministries
  Apt # 2,  9 Sachlav St,  Ramat  Almogi,    Haifa  34792,     ISRAEL.       
Tel:  972 4 8245590          Email: kiwi@netvision.net.il             Website: www.out-of-zion.com

Oversight Board :  Pastor Mike Fryer,   Sid Roth – Messianic Vision,  Motte Sircus 

The CARMEL ALERT  Feb 5th 2010
A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those committed to praying
 for Israel  and the salvation of the Jewish  people

A Messianic Ministry Based on Mt Carmel
Address:

David’s Comment: Let’s Call a Spade “a Spade” – Time For ‘Profiling’
On Christmas Day yet another demented Muslim attempted to blow up a commercial aircraft carry 300 passengers.  Were it not for the terrorist’s comical incompetence, 2009 could have ended with the disastrous loss of the lives of 300 innocent people and the US $100 million plus Airbus 330 that they were flying on.  Almost immediately a number of agencies began an investigation into how a young Muslim man whose name was on several watch lists, was able to board the aircraft without the explosive devise he had concealed in his underwear being discovered by security checks we all have to endure.  It has since been revealed that he tried to board the flight without a valid passport, which begs the question, ” how on earth was he allowed into any airport departure lounge without a valid passport ?  You and I couldn’t travel with out a valid passport, so how is that a suspicious young Muslim terrorist can ?

Oops !!!  Now I am in big trouble.   In these days of criminally stupid political correctness it is almost illegal to use the words Muslim / Islam and terrorist in the same sentence.  In some US states I could go to prison for doing so. This stupidness began when Political Correctness replaced free speech and President Bush, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and other political compromisers declared Islam to be a ‘religion of peace and love’.  This blind foolishness now has President Obama identifying the al-Qaeda-trained Islamist terrorist who tried to blow up the airliner over Detroit as an ‘isolated extremist.

Its time to call a spade  “a spade” !  Almost every trouble spot on planet Earth today has Muslims on one side of it. Almost every act of blooded terror is carried out by adherents of the Muslim faith.  You don’t have to be a rocker scientist or brain surgeon to come to the realisation that the most efficient and cost effective way to ensure our security at our airports and other places where crowds gather is to engage in a process that is called Profiling.  This method of preventative security has been perfected by the Israeli security sector.  That should come as no surprise as Israel has been the No 1 target for terrorists foe over 100 years now, so as you would expect, the Israelis have security down to a fine art.  And Profiling is a key dynamic of the Israeli success story.

What exactly is profiling ?   Terrorism statistics show facts like the average age, gender, religion, country of origin and social situation of the people who have carried out or who planned to engage in acts of terrorism.  These facts show clearly that the people most likely to be planning to blow up the aircraft that you are preparing to fly in are 20 – 30 year old Muslim males who live in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, and even the UK.   Without using up too many brain cells it seems logical and efficient to treat all travellers fitting this description as potential terrorists and check them accordingly. 

In many countries profiling is deemed racist and in contravention of a persons human rights.  But I ask you what about the human rights of the other innocent passengers to travel without the risk of being blown out of the sky ?  Here in Israel all passengers are thoroughly screened at the entrance to the departure hall and if anyones answers place them in a profile that is suspect, then they are thoroughly searched ( even strip-searched if deemed necessary ) to be 100% sure that the person poses no danger to the other passengers or aircraft or ship. 

Are certain racial groups ‘picked-on’ ?   –  Sure  they are

Are some innocent people subjected to this kind of scrutiny  ?  –  Sure they are

Are the rest of the passengers safer ?   Absolutley YES  !  El Al has been the safest airline to travel on since drastic security and profiling was introduced after a number of El Al aircraft were hi-hacked by the PLO and other Muslim Arab terror groups.  Many people fly on El Al, even at a higher price, because of the safety factor created by the intense security and profiling.

I travel by air extensively and yes the security does get frustrating, but I grin and bear it and I often try to calm down other passengers who get upset by the security measures.  When I tell them that  few minutes of inconvenience are preferable to being killed in a terror attack, most people do realise I am right and calm down.  What is ludicrous is when old people or mothers with babies, who are the furtherest away from the terrorist profile,  are treated the same as a 25 year old Pakistani Muslim male, because of the fear of being accused of profiling.  I have even heard of mothers having to drink from every one of their babies milk bottles, to prove that it is milk inside and not some explosive chemical.

Come on world –  WAKE UP !    We are not living in the days of Tom Sawyer anymore.  The world changed dramatically after Israel’s miraculous victory in the Six Day War of 1967.  That is when modern terrorism came of age and the danger has been steadily increasing ever since.   Lets save lives and minimalise the inconvenience to innocent people by following the Israeli example, and assist our security personel to function effectively by allowing them to utilising passenger profiling.  

Lets call a spade a ‘spade’  –  Islam is a menace to the rest of the World and profiling will make the World a safer place !

The Lord bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel.  Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God.  Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims,  and please remember to pray for all of the soldiers in the IDF -they are defending and fighting for the Kingdom of God.

Shabbat Shalom …. David & Josie 

THIS WEEKS NEWS REPORTS 

1.  Palestinians Present Deceptive New Conditions For Talks With Israel   Israel Today News   Feb 1st
     Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday slightly altered his preconditions for peace talks with Israel by telling London’s Guardian newspaper that he will return to the negotiating table if Israel implements an immediate 3-month halt to all Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and the eastern side of Jerusalem.  Previously, Abbas had demanded that Israel freeze all Jewish construction in those areas indefinitely.  The announcement effectively puts the ball back in Israel’s court, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to either come up with an acceptable counter, or be branded an obstacle to peace for refusing to meet with the international community views as a reasonable demand by Abbas.
    In reality, if met, Abbas’ new demand would effectively end Jewish building in the areas listed above, including much of Jerusalem. While Abbas sweetened the offer by saying it would only be for three months, he knows well that if talks resume, the international community won’t let Israel resume building even if the Palestinians remain non-compliant with their obligations.  By meeting the new demand, Netanyahu would also effectively be surrendering Israel’s claim to the eastern half of Jerusalem, making it nearly impossible for him to insist that the holy city remain undivided and under Israeli sovereignty.   Netanyahu has already implemented a temporary 10-month building freeze in Judea and Samaria that many in Israel fear has set a precedent that cannot be reversed.
Please pray that PM Netanyahu will refuse these conditions
 
2. Israelis No Longer Trust Palestinians to Make Peace   Israel Today News  Feb 1st
    The “peace” wave that swept through Israel more than a decade ago and converted many to the idea of “land-for-peace” is now officially over, according to the results of a public opinion poll published last Thursday.   Conducted on behalf of the official Knesset television station, the survey revealed that an overwhelming 79 percent of Israelis no longer believe it is possible to achieve true peace with their peace partners in the Palestinian Authority.  Nearly as many respondents (76 percent) said they don’t believe “moderate” Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad even want to make peace. 
      In response to the poll’s results and the clear revelation that Israelis no longer trust the Palestinian Authority, many have begun to question why Israel’s democratically-elected government is going to such pains to entice Abbas back to the negotiating table. The answer, of course, as most Israelis know, is foreign diplomatic pressure. Most Israelis today view the land-for-peace formula as flawed, as well as the decision to prop up the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole representative of the Palestinians and therefore Israel’s peace partner. That decision was made despite the fact that the PLO had succeeded in killing more Jews than any movement since the Nazis ruled in Germany.
Please pray that even more Israelis, particulalry the left wing liberals will also wake up to this truth

3.  Berlusconi Doubts Wisdom of Gaza Pullout   Ha Aretz News   Feb 1st
     Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi hinted in an interview published Sunday that the Gaza pullout (“Disengagement”) was a mistake, noting that it ended in “burned synagogues” and missiles being fired into Israel.  Berlusconi arrives in Israel Monday for a three-day visit. He will be accompanied by eight Italian cabinet ministers, who will for the first time participate in a joint cabinet meeting with the Israeli cabinet.  The meeting will also highlight bilateral cooperation in the fields of science, technology and culture. A special conference will be held bringing together leaders of Italian business, industry and science and their Israeli counterparts. Three laboratories that were funded by the Italians will be dedicated in the course of the visit. 
    Speaking to Haaretz regarding the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Berlusconi criticized Jewish growth in Judea and Samaria: “Israel’s settlement policy could be an obstacle to peace. I would like to say to the people and government of Israel, as a friend, with my hand on my heart, that persisting with this policy is a mistake. I welcomed Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu’s courage in his announcement of a 10-month [Jewish residential settlement construction] freeze. It will never be possible to convince the Palestinians of Israel’s good intentions while Israel continues to build in territories that are to be returned as part of a peace agreement.”  Berlusconi added, however, that “at the same time, what happened in Gaza should prompt some thought. It is not [acceptable for Israel] to evacuate communities [and then have to] face burned synagogues, acts of destruction, and inter-Palestinian violence and missiles being shot into Israeli territory.”
Please pray that other world leaders will also come to the same conclusion & support Israel’s right to live in the land

4.  Ramping Up  For War    The Omega Letter Intelligence Digest  Feb 3rd
    There’s something strange taking place in the Middle East. All the signs are pointing toward an imminent outbreak of hostilities against Israel. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted Sunday as saying that Iran will deliver a harsh blow to “global arrogance” on February 11.  It is not clear whether he’s referring to the ongoing demonstrations in Tehran.  Iran’s opposition group, called the “Green Way“, has also designated February 11 as the day Iranians demand the rights back as citizens.   Whatever the February 11 date signifies, it is worth noting that the US has just ordered Patriot missiles dispatched to the area. Four countries, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait will be receiving the missiles.
    Washington also has two ships in the Gulf capable of shooting down Iranian missiles. US officials say the move is aimed at deterring an attack by Iran and at reassuring Gulf states that the US will protect them against Iranian missiles.  In addition, US intelligence has gathered detailed war plans drawn up by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas that the US has already shared with Israel. The plan calls for five Hezbollah brigades to sweep down into northern Israel and sees five sectors in the Galilee as part of a general Israeli-Arab uprising against the Jewish state.  Debka reports that Iranian Revolutionary Guard instructors at specially established training facilities near Tehran are already well advanced in training those Hezbollah fighters. Debka-File has even published a battle map showing the objective of each brigade complete with detailed topographical and demographic studies.
      The entire scenario seems to be confirmed by reports of two explosives-packed containers that was washed onto beaches in Ashdod and Ashkelon just north of Gaza. Iran had previously used floating barrels dropped by merchant vessels at prearranged locations to deliver explosives to their Palestinian surrogates in Gaza.  These containers may well have washed up on the beaches as a result of miscalculation the current.   
One thing is certain — something is up.  But what?
Please pray that when war does come, the Lord of Hosts will go to battle against Israel’s enemies

5.  US  Intelligence Finds 5,000 Hizballah Trained to Seize Galilee Towns   DEBKAfile Special Expose Feb 1
    Solid US intelligence gathered over months on detailed war plans finds that Iran, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas have drawn up to send five Hizballah brigades sweeping across the border to seize five sectors of Galilee, while also organizing a massive Israeli-Arab uprising against the Jewish state. Hamas would open a second front in the south and in the east. Syria is expected to step in at some stage.  This plan with attached special map was first published exclusively by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 430 on Jan. 22, 2010. Key excerpts appear here.  
    Iran’s Revolutionary Guards instructors at especially established training facilities near Tehran are already well advanced in training a cadre of 5,000 Hizballah fighters in special operations and urban combat tactics to standards equivalent to those current in similar US and Israeli military forces. At the outset of the course, the group was split up into five battalions, each given a specific northern Israeli sector for capture with details of its topography and population for close study. 

1st Battalion:   This unit will break through the Naqura-Rosh Haniqra border pass and sweep south along seven kilometers to seize Nahariya, the Israeli Mediterranean city of 55,000 – or parts thereof.    UN peacekeepers have their headquarters at Naqura, the other side of Rosh Haniqra, and Israel defenses there are lax, so no military or geographic obstacles to this Hizballah drive are anticipated. This battalion will capture a large number of Israeli hostages for use as live shields against an Israeli counter-attack.  A small group of 150 fighters, trained by Revolutionary Guards marines, will also try and reach the coast by swift boats. They are already standing by in Lebanon.

2nd Battalion:   This unit is assigned to capture the northern Israeli town of Shlomi, 300 meters southeast of the Naqura border pass and home to 6,500 inhabitants. Holding this town and its environs will give Hizballah control of a key road hub and stand in the path of Israeli reinforcements heading for Nahariya through routes 89 and 899 from key Israeli bases in the Galilee and Upper Galilee regions to the east.
Please pray for all the enemies plans to be exposed
 
6. New Natural Gas Finds off Haifa Could be Worth $7.54 Billion    ICEJ News  Feb 4th
    A Canadian oil company announced on Tuesday that it has found two more huge fields of up to 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources off Israel’s northern coast, which could potentially be worth up to $7.54 billion. The Bontan Oil and Gas Company has been searching for natural gas off the coast of Haifa and will have a 71.625% interest in the prospects through its 75% equity share of the Israel Petroleum Company which has rights to drill and permits to explore in Israel. The prospects are located just south of the Tamar and Dalit prospects where natural gas estimated to be worth up to $40 billion was found last year. In other news, foreign investments in Israel totaled $533 million in December, the Bank of Israel reported on Tuesday. Direct investment, mostly in biotechnology companies, “increased at a faster rate in recent months than previously,” the Bank of Israel said.
Please pray that this gas will be a real blessing to Haifa and the whole country

7.  First Time  –  Jew Wins Arab Nobel Peace Price   Ha Aretz News   Feb 3rd
    An American professor has become the first Jew to win  the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine, popularly  known as the “Arab Nobel Prize.”  Stanford professor Ronald Levy,  who heads of the university’s Oncology department, told Haaretz that as  an American Jew married to an Israeli it never crossed his mind  that he might win the Saudi-financed competition.  After he was  informed of his victory, Levy rushed to check the contest Web site,  where he found his picture and biography already on the homepage. The  prize committee had posted Levy’s biography exactly as he submitted it,  with one glaring exception: the line showing his post-doctoral work at  the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot had been deleted.  The  prize, which included $200,000, a medal, and a certificate in English  and Arabic, also came with a dinner with Saudi King  Abdullah.
     Levy told Haaretz he was certain his wife and daughters  would not be able to attend the ceremony, as their passports are full of  visas from Israel and his wife and one of his daughters were  born in Israel. To his surprise, when he went to the Saudi consulate in  Los Angeles, the attendants stamped their passports, and no one asked  any questions.   In spite of their fears before the trip, Levy said  his family was treated to royal hospitality during their entire stay  in Saudi Arabia. He said that even when people were aware of his  religion and his family’s background, he was treated no different  than anyone else. Also, Levy said Saudis were fascinated with hearing  what he and other visitors think of their country, and if their  expectations were proved wrong or not.
     Levy’s victory is the  first time in the award’s 30 years that a Jew has won, which Levy says  he took as a sign that Saudi Arabia is becoming more open.
Levy  won the prize for his part in the development of a drug used in the  treatment of many types of cancer that is being widely viewed  as revolutionary.For over 30 years, Levy has researched methods of using the body’s immune system to fight cancer. His  research led to the development of the concept that a drug made from  antibody could be used to fight cancer.
Please pray for the full reconciliation of the descendants of Isaac & Ishmael

***************