Signs of Times


Shalom Partner and Friend of Israel,

We need to remember the words of Mordecai to Esther; "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" Esther 4:13-14

Winston Churchill called WW II the "Unnecessary War", because he said that if the world had taken Hitler seriously in the beginning when he made his outrageous claims, they could fairly easy have stopped him before he was able to launch the war which killed 50 million people.

Today history is repeating itself with Iran…

For years Iran has slowly but methodically built up their military strength. Recently they have begun to declare that their goal to destroy Israel is soon within reach. The leaders of Iran and especially their newly re-elected President Ahmedinejad have a clear religious vision and even believe that the long awaited Islamic hidden Twelfth Imam or the Mahdi, will appear to destroy Israel and rule the world. This Islamic doctrine is taught to all children in the public schools in Iran.

It must be remembered that since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, Iran has spearheaded a different Islamic agenda to wipe out the State of Israel than what the Arab world practiced in the four different wars that they lost against Israel. From the beginning Iran boldly declared that the reason the Arab world had lost all of these wars was because they did not serve Allah wholeheartedly. They also said that it will take patience and a long term strategy to defeat Israel.

Right now there is a spiritual and military showdown taking place between little tiny Israel and Iran. It is the Prince of Persia rallying the worldwide forces of radical Islam against God's chosen nation.

1 Chronicles 12:32 says, "…the sons of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel, should do." These were people who saw with prophetic vision and responded with action. The sons of Issachar had analyzed their times and had perceived correctly what those times were all about. They knew what to do because they understood what was happening.

The Sons of Issachar understood the times…

They knew what Israel ought to do and became part of David’s Army to elevate him to the throne of Israel.
By reading the entire 12th Chapter of Chronicles you will see that many of Saul’s fighting men discerned the times and knew it was David’s time to be King and consequently left Saul. By not looking to the natural realm, they were able to forsake the palace with Saul for a cave with David. Take note of the fact that many of those who did not discern the times and remained with Saul died. Also take note of the fact that even though Jonathan, Saul’s son knew it to be David’s time, but family ties to his father cost him his life.

Yeshua (Jesus) wanted that we should discern the times…

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied: "When evening comes you say; it will be fair weather, for the sky is red, and in the morning, today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast. You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky… BUT you cannot interpret the signs of the times." Matthew 16:1-3

Why is it important to discern the times for Israel?

Some people have the concept that the Jews knowingly rejected their Messiah. The truth is, absolutely nothing about the man from Nazareth even remotely resembled the concepts of the coming Messiah. For this reason, the possibility that this man might have been their long awaited Deliverer never even passed through most of their minds. In fact, when others suggested such a thing, they pronounced those people either insane or ignorant of the clear declarations of the prophetic Scriptures. After all they were convinced that anyone who was even superficially with those Scriptures would know that Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth could not possibly have been the King!

What about the believers today…

Is there ever a remote possibility that Believers today could make similar mistakes? Is it possible today that our understanding of the ‘signs of times’ could be as far removed from the truth as was that of God’s people during the first coming? If our answer to these questions is a definite NO, then maybe we should consider the frailty of men and angels when faced with Satan’s power to deceive.

In the beginning, Satan was successful in deceiving one third of the angels who were living in the very presence of God (Revelations 12:4). Finally, Satan will be loosed from his 1000 year imprisonment at the end of Messiah’s millennium reign on earth. Even after mankind has enjoyed the government of the Lord Himself for so long, Satan will succeed in deceiving so many men that their number will be ‘as the sand of the sea’ (Revelation 20:6 – 8). What deception?

What about Satan’s power to deceive us today? Are we more holy or less susceptible to deception that the holy angels who lived before the Lord? Do we possess a better understanding of God’s truth than what the people on earth will possess after having lived for a 1000 years under the direction of the Lord and His glorified saints?

These events should cause us to wonder and fear, and to humble ourselves before the Lord, since it is pride that deceives us (Obadiah 3). Only the Lord can preserve us from the "strong delusion" that He Himself sends into the world to try men’s hearts and to cleanse the earth from those who have not received the love of the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2: 9 – 11).

Some might ask "how could we be incapable of recognizing the fulfilment of Biblical prophecies since the events will be so obvious? Could anything be more ‘obvious’ than what happened in the first coming – God Himself, the creator, descending from heaven to live among men, raising the dead, walking on water, creating eyes, arms, and legs, and speaking with an irresistible anointing? Neither this nor anything else will be obvious to us if we are blind to the truth. A blind man doesn’t see anything.

We remind ourselves that…

Yeshua the Messiah came the first time to earth as the Lamb of God, to lay His life down as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. This act should not be mistaken for an expression of weakness. It was in fact the crushing blow to Satan himself and to his hold upon mankind. This atoning sacrifice need not be made again.

When Yeshua returns the second time to earth, He will not hang upon a cross, nor will anyone spit in His face. His enemies will be hiding in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains from Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. (Revelation 6:15-16) He will sit upon a white horse and the armies in heaven will follow Him. (Revelation 19:11-16) When He sets His feet again on the Mount of Olives, it will be as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, (John 1:29, Revelation 5:5) to fight against the enemies of Israel and to establish His throne in Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:1-4, 8-9)

God loves people more than it is possible for the human mind to grasp. He is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, and kind. He makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45) We know that there is no partiality with God. (Romans 2:11) We know that it is not God’s will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

We know that Arab souls are just as precious to God as Israeli souls. We mourn the loss of all innocent life and pray for God’s protection of the innocent on both sides of the conflict. Yet none of these things mitigate our strong conviction that God is not neutral in wars or attacks on Israel. Israel is the one nation on the face of the earth to whom God has promised a specific piece of real estate.

The gift of the land of Canaan to Israel was unalterably confirmed by God’s word, command, statute, everlasting covenant, and oath. (Psalm 105:7-11) Due to Israel’s sins, God plucked them from their land and scattered most of them among the nations of the world. Yet even in their absence, the land continued to be theirs by divine decree.

After 2000 years of dispersion, God gathered the children of Israel out of all countries and brought them back into their own land in fulfilment of His prophetic word. He did not do this for Israel’s sake, or on the basis of Israel’s worthiness, for Israel stands equally guilty with all other nations before a just and holy God. He did it for His holy name’s sake and to reveal to the nations that He is God. (Ezekiel 36:16-28)

God’s desire is that we know what is coming…

An awareness of this fact is actually a vital key to understanding our days. Unless we are thoroughly convinced of this, then we will only half-heartedly seek understanding, as so many people do today. Let’s consider here just a few proofs that God really wants us to understand the times that we are living in:

1. Approximately one third of the Bible is directly related to the events of the last days.
2. Yeshua tells His disciples… "When He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth… and He will show you things to come." John 16:13
3. Amos 3:7 tells us that, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing unless He revealed His secret to His servants the prophets." And He asks in Genesis 18:17b, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?"

To understand these very simple principles, we need to know that Israel is and is going to be the very vessel that God is going to use.

"And the word of the Lord came to me saying, ’what do you see, Jeremiah?’" And I said, "I see a rod of an almond tree." Then the Lord said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My Word to perform it." Jeremiah 1: 11-12

God is watching over Israel…

God has always had the return of Israel; to their God given land in mind… however this was to come to pass in ‘HIS TIME’ frame of 1948 and has always used powerful nations and people to guard over them - then and now. Wherever the Jewish people were scattered they were a blessing to that nation and we can see examples of this in Daniel, Joseph and through the centuries.

God protects His people and blesses the nations that care and protect them according to scripture; Genesis 12:1 and Psalm 122:6. We also see that when the nations expelled or mistreated the Jews, God removed His Hand from that nation.

For example in the Old Testament, when the children of Israel lived in Egypt, God prospered that land. But when the Egyptians mistreated His people through slavery, God removed Israel from that land and as they left so did His blessing depart from the land.

Spanish Inquisition of 1492

"In the same month in which their Majesties [Ferdinand and Isabella] issued the edict that all Jews should be driven out of the kingdom and its territories, in the same month they gave me the order to undertake with sufficient men my expedition of discovery to the Indies." So begins Christopher Columbus’s diary.

The expulsion that Columbus refers to was so cataclysmic an event that ever since; the date 1492 has been almost as important in Jewish history as in American history. On July 30 of that year, the entire Jewish community, some 200,000 people, were expelled from Spain. Tens of thousands of refugees died while trying to reach safety. In some instances, Spanish ship captains charged Jewish passengers exorbitant sums, then dumped them overboard in the middle of the ocean. In the last days before the expulsion, rumours spread throughout Spain that the fleeing refugees had swallowed gold and diamonds, and many Jews were knifed to death by brigands hoping to find treasures in their stomachs.

Picture this – 1492 the same year that the Jews were expelled from Spain - Christopher Columbus ‘amazingly’ discovers America which is the home today of 5 million Jews outside Israel. Like Mordecai said to Esther – help will come in another way! And America blessed by God. Although we had not seen America that way before, this began to make a certain amount of sense. God did bless that country sufficient to make it a central power in the world with the ability to give His revelation unprecedented exposure.

In the book of Jonah we can see that his mission was to go to a Gentile nation and be a light but when he disobeyed, God intervened with a storm. God used a storm to likewise push Columbus to discovering what we know today as North and South America.

1492 – The America’s discovered

Jews were instrumental to the planning and execution of Columbus's first voyage and even travelled with him on his journey. Columbus's letter reporting on his exploration was written to Luis de Santangel, grandson of forced Jewish converts in Spain, who was a primary financier of Columbus's exploration.

Prior to discovering America, Columbus found his fleet being tossed at sea by a violent storm on his return from the New World. On October 9, 1492 Columbus and crew faced a mutiny and crisis on board ship in the middle of the Atlantic. The ship wandered aimlessly as Columbus promised the crew that if they did not find land in three days, he’d turn the ship around and on October 12th land was spotted.

MORE IMPORTANTLY; we believe that America’s purpose was to protect Israel and offer a safe haven for the Jewish people. However will America still continue this today? In light of Mordecai’s words – if not... then help will most certainly come from elsewhere. God faithful to keep His Word and protect His people!

The most fortunate of the expelled Jews succeeded in escaping to Turkey. Sultan Bajazet welcomed them warmly. "How can you call Ferdinand of Aragon a wise king," he was fond of asking, "the same Ferdinand who impoverished his own land and enriched ours?"

Interesting Prayers and Writings of Columbus in Dairy:
"In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," (first entry into diary on August 3, 1492). "Save now this nation, once firm as a rampart, and clear as the sun; she is exiled, a wandering one." – Jewish prayer for the Intermediate Days of Sukkoth. "As thou didst save together God and nation, the people singled out for God’s salvation, so save thou us…they passed between the deep divided sea and with them for their guide, the light from thee so save thou us! Establish us as they chosen vineyard and make us as a tree planted by the streams of water…plant us we pray upon a faithful sod." – Portion of prayers recited on the day Columbus goes ashore on land of the New World. (New York Public Library)

From this we can see God was in control of the outcome and knowing that the Jews would be expelled from Spain he used Queen Isabella to subsidize Columbus first voyage and forced Jewish coverts to be the primary financiers of the discovery of America – a new safe home for the Jews.

Those who bless Israel – shall be blessed!

Rise and fall of Empires

The Turkish government banned immigration of Russian and Romanian Jews into Palestine in 1882 and not too long afterwards the great ‘Ottoman’ Empire fell.

King Edward of England expelled the Jews in 1290. And another example; as the Holy Land was again returned to "Christian" rule at the end of World War I, Great Britain was given a mandate by the League of Nations to create in the area of Palestine a home for the Jewish people. The British, however, soon began to bow to Arab pressure and made a series of compromises that continue to cause great unrest in the Middle East.

As Arab pressure mounted in the 1930’s England bowed to the Arabs again and began restricting Jewish settlement in the land. The flow of settlement was finally brought to a near standstill. This was at the precise time when millions of European Jews were fleeing for their lives from the coming Holocaust. By 1947, the area of Palestine had become too big a problem for England to handle. Great Britain today is small in comparison to what it used to be!

And Germany too…

In Germany the Weimar Republic for the first time abolished all official discrimination against Jews and for a short period of time Jews could live in relative safety. The republic was unpopular, however, and anti Semitism was popular and finally became an instrument in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933.

German Jews were immediately disfranchised, robbed of possessions, deprived of employment, barred from the schools, and subjected to physical violence and constant humiliation. Once World War II occupied the attention of the democracies, Hitler and his supporters attempted "the final solution," the complete extermination of the Jews (Holocaust). About 6 million Jews - almost a third of their total number - were massacred, starved, or systematically gassed in Concentration Camps. In addition to destroying so many individual lives, the Holocaust eradicated the communities of Central and Eastern Europe, which had been the chief centres of learning and piety for nearly a thousand years.

Establishment of Israel

The Western democracies all but closed their doors to refugees. Britain meanwhile had gradually abandoned the Balfour Declaration, reducing the number of Jews admitted to Palestine while making concessions to Arab leaders who had supported the Nazis in World War II. After repeated outbreaks of violence, investigations, and abortive British plans, Britain announced that it was giving up the mandate, and the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab areas. On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was proclaimed. Since then Israel has fought five wars against Arab coalitions to establish and preserve its independence (Arab - Israeli Wars). A peace treaty (March 26, 1979) between Israel and Egypt was not accepted by the other Arab states.

We are reminded that God calls Israel HIS Land…

"I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will fight with them there for My people and for My inheritance Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and divided My land." Joel 3:2

Israel has traded land for "peace" and with the help and pressure of world leaders. Much criticism of these policies can and should be expressed in the light of scripture and on the basis of the fruit that they have produced.

This is a time of war for Israel and a time of intensifying warfare in the natural realm and in heavenly places. As believers we are called to engage in spiritual warfare, because Israel is on the frontlines of the natural manifestation of this spiritual battle; because Israel cannot prevail without God’s help and because God is calling the CHURCH to stand in the gap for Israel in this hour. It is essential that God’s people have both a biblical perspective on war and God’s perspective on this current conflict.

The truth is that Israel is always at war…

The reality is that the annihilation of Israel is a primary objective of Islamic terrorists and the powers of darkness that inspire and empower them. Attacks on Israeli soldiers are perpetrated on Israeli soil and were launched from territory previously relinquished to Israel’s enemies in appeasement. Further forced withdrawal from its biblical homeland is against God’s plan for Israel and is a warning to nations attempting to pressurize Israel to do so.
Adonai Tsva’ot – Lord of Hosts

God is love - but He is no stranger to war. We are all aware of this aspect of God's nature as revealed in the Old Testament. God is referred to as either the God of Hosts or the Lord of Hosts 270 times in the Old Testament. Hosts are armies. It was He who taught Joshua to be strong and of good courage. (Joshua 1:9) It was He who trained David's hands for war and his fingers for battle. (Psalm 144:1) It was He who taught Israel how to battle against their enemies, and He who promised to fight by their side.

In Israel's greatest hour of need, Adonai Tsva’ot, (Lord of Hosts) will return and wage war to rescue His covenant people Israel for all eternity. (Zechariah 13:8, 9)

Israel is fulfilling Bible prophecy! Her re-gathering as a nation was one of the signs of Yeshua’s return to establish His everlasting Kingdom. (Matthew 24:32) "...I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David... that the residue of men might seek after the Lord..." (Acts 15:14-18)

God’s Kingdom began and will end in Jerusalem.

As believers today we too must remember that this is the same Name - that all in covenant with Him, can run to Him crying out in their hour of need and when all hope seems to be lost or defeat appears inevitable. May we all learn to cry out to our Warrior, the LORD of HOSTS - it is He, for the battle is His.

God bless you always with His perfect Shalom,
Alf & Julie Saunders

15th February, 2010

 






| ISLAMIC War Drums! | The Arab Spring FALLACY! | Arab Rejection of Israel! | Is ISLAM the Green Horse of Revelation? | The Sign of EZEKIEL | The Eternal Saves | Palestinian Refugee or Arab Pawn | The Palestinian Myth | The March to Armageddon | Are the Black Clouds Rising Again? | Prophecies of ISRAEL | What Lies ahead? | The Hijacking of the Temple Mount | Jerusalem The Eye of the Storm | What makes the nations hate Israel? | Betrayed! | Israel God's Ancient Pathways | The Curse of Hadrian | Israel God's Prophetic Blessing | The God of Israel | Woe will be the divide of Jerusalem! | Rumblings in the Middle East | Akedah - 'The Binding of Isaac' | Church verse Israel | The Budding of the Fig Tree | A Time of Jacob's Trouble | Israel Under Siege | Psalm 83 The Coming War | Where is the Body? | The Founding of a Nation | Roots of Anti-Semitism | Israel God's Miracle | If the Mountains could speak? | Holy Cities of Israel | Signs of Times | Who will be the donkey? | The Light of the World | God's Beloved Mountains | Israel, the Church and the Nations | One New man | Enmity | The Valley of Tears | Storm Clouds | Gate of Mercy | The Ancient Womb | God in the MIDST | Epicenter! | The End is in the Beginning | for the least of My brethren |
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