Am I back or not?

Okay, okay, I’m a lousy blogger.  Hashem knows I get ticked off when the blogs and podcasts stop updating regularly (Derek and Sharon, I’m looking at you!), so you’d think I’d be better about it, but no.  I don’t just miss a few posts now and then, I go completely off the radar for half a year.

To be fair, though, it’s not my fault.  It’s his:

“I swear, coppers! The baby made me do it!”

Yes, Sara and I have been busy on our latest joint project, for those of you who don’t already know from following one of our Facebook accounts:  Building a human being from scratch.

And dang, we did good.  The kid’s already eighteen pounds and only four months old.  We’re already putting him in clothes designed for one-year-olds.  He’s like in the 98th percentile size-wise, and already eager to crawl and walk.

This is, of course, not our first child, though he is my first baby.  I got a daughter as a bonus to the marriage.  She’s ten now, already mothering her little brother, and generally being an incredible help to us.  Thanks, Leah!  I love you.

So yeah, between a new baby and an unexpected move, I’ve been just a tad busy.  I’ve also been doing a lot of research for an upcoming project which has eaten up my spare time.  More on that later.  For now, I’ll just say that in one area, some threads that I’ve been studying for a long time have come together in a most wonderful way, while in another couple of areas, I’ve had to make some major shifts in my eschatology.  Not on premillennialism or prewrath, mind, but in some areas which will greatly impact the writing of part 2 of When the Stars Fall.  I’m actually very glad that I did not finish it when I intended to, since now I can include the new material.

I have not been completely absent from teaching, though I did take a few weeks off.  Those who are interested can find my synagogue teachings on Revelation and now the latter chapters of Daniel (Rabbi Gavri’el did the first six chapters while I was dealing with the move) in their usual place on Cyber-Synagogue.

The world, of course, hasn’t exactly kept still in my absence from the web.  I could go on at length, but I’ve found some Youtube videos that sum up the wierdness of the last six months far more succinctly than I could manage:

I can’t vouch for the rest of this gentleman’s channel because, well, I haven’t had the time to really go through it yet.  But he does do a darn fine job of showing just how much is going on using regular news sources, so at the very least, those videos are worth a gander.

Another thing I’ve become fascinated by of late is the phenomenon of strange sounds being heard all over the world, as illustrated by this vid:

Is it just me, or do some of those sounds come across as giant, duper-deep horns?  Specifically, shofars.

I don’t know exactly what’s causing the sounds, and certainly at least some of the sounds are hoaxes, but I have to admit that I am fascinated by the possibility that the ancients heard these sounds and recorded the event in, among other places, the Bible.  More on that another later.

Yes, I’m teasing.  Sorry about that.

So yes, random post, less Messianic than just weird and prophetic, but hopefully just the first of many more now that we’re settled in our new place and the kid is starting to keep some semblance of a schedule.  I appreciate the patience, and hopefully I’ll have more than a teaser soon.  In the meantime, I wish everyone a happy Independence Day!

Shalom!

“. . . For All Flesh Had Corrupted Its Way Upon the Earth.”

Dr. Frankenstein at his microscope

Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories.

The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases.

The revelation comes just a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare ‘Planet of the Apes’ scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far.

Last night a campaigner against the excesses of medical research said he was disgusted that scientists were ‘dabbling in the grotesque’.

Figures seen by the Daily Mail show that 155 ‘admixed’ embryos,containing both human and animal genetic material, have been created since the introduction of the 2008 Human Fertilisation Embryology Act.

This legalised the creation of a variety of hybrids, including an animal egg fertilised by a human sperm; ‘cybrids’, in which a human nucleus is implanted into an animal cell; and ‘chimeras’, in which human cells are mixed with animal embryos.

via Embryos involving the genes of animals mixed with humans have been produced secretively for the past three years | Mail Online.

Interestingly, the article quotes Lord Alton as telling the simple truth about stem-cell research, “Of the 80 treatments and cures which have come about from stem cells, all have come from adult stem cells – not embryonic ones.  On moral and ethical grounds this fails; and on scientific and medical ones too.”

So basically what we have here is a situation where rather than pursuing the only form of stem-cell research that has actually resulted in a cure for anything, scientists arecontinuing to cite a nonsense reason (fetal stem-cell research) as an excuse and source of funding to perform experiments right out of a bad monster movie.

Yeah, there’s no possible way this can end badly, is there?

Shalom

Will the Real Nakba Please Stand Up! | FrontPage Magazine

Now here’s a fascinating bit of history I wasn’t fully aware of:

In fact, from the 1880’s onward Arab nationalists protested the use of the term “Palestine” because “Palestine,” as they explained, was really southern Syria (as-Suriyeh al-janubiyeh). Even the most vitriolic and vociferous Arab nationalist in Southern Syria, the Hajj Amin el-Husseini, opposed the Mandate because it created “Palestine” separate from Syria.”[i] The General Syrian Congress of 1919 stressed an exclusively Syrian identity for the Arabs of “greater Syria” (i.e., including Lebanon and Palestine): “We ask that there should be no separation of the southern part of Syria, known as Palestine . . .”[ii] George Antonius , as noted above, defined Palestine as part of Syria. Akhmed Shukairi, the PLO delegate to the UN, asserted in 1956, eight years after the birth of the State of Israel and the creation of the “Palestinian refugees,” that “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria.”[iii] As late as 1974 Syria’s President Hafez al-Assad asserted that: … Palestine is not only a part of our Arab homeland, but a basic part of southern Syria.”

This original “Nakba,” thus, was not the catastrophe that Ashrawi described in such searing terms. Rather it was a spontaneous rebellion by the Arabs of southern Syria (which would soon become known as British Mandatory Palestine), in protest against the division by the European victors of World War 1 of Arab-populated lands of the former Ottoman (Turkish) Empire into the British and French mandates of Palestine, Syria and Iraq.

This “Nakba” had nothing to do with Jews or Zionism, and nothing to do with demands by “Palestinian” Arabs for national self-determination or political self-realization. To the contrary, this original “Nakba” stands as historical testimony to the fact that the Arabs of British Mandatory Palestine saw themselves as Syrians. They had no perception of themselves as “Palestinians.”

via Will the Real Nakba Please Stand Up! | FrontPage Magazine.

I’d like to go ahead and get it on the record that I do sympathize with the Palistinian (or South Syrian, as the case may be) people for wanting self-rule.  When I was in Israel a few years ago, I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with some Palestinian Christians in Nazareth, and frankly liked them a lot.  I still have the little clay lamp they gave me, which I use every year in the cleasing of the leaven ceremony.

However, I also condemn the Palestinian leadership for their hypocritical refusal to acknowledge that Jews also have a right to self-rule (or even to exist), for constantly changing definitions, narratives, and even history to suit their political purposes, and for causing their own people to continue to live in a never-never land of eternal hatred and war by their hypocrisy and deceit.

Oh, and for persecuting the Palestinian Christians to the point where they were forced to flee Bethlehem, leaving the city of Yeshua’s birth bereft of His followers.

As always, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Shalom

UNESCO against the Jews – Israel News, Ynetnews

Western wall in Jerusalem at night

Image via Wikipedia

And the world’s war against the Jews continues apace:

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a decision calling on Israel to immediately cease all archaeological works in the Old City of Jerusalem. In particular, UNESCO, one of the UN’s most prominent and influential agencies, attacked the renovation of the Mughrabi Bridge that links the Western Wall plaza and Temple Mount.

The decision, initiated and promoted by Arab states, was adopted by consensus of the Western members of the commission. Indeed, the vote is the latest anti-Jewish initiative launched by the UN office meant to promote culture, education and science around the world. In fact, UNESCO’s robber barons are sanctifying the current global campaign aimed liquidating the legitimacy of the Israeli regime.

In 2009, UNESCO designated Jerusalem as “capital of Arab culture,” working with Palestinian Authority officials and key Arab figures to protest against what they described as “the Israeli occupation of Holy Jerusalem.” Other cities granted the title over the years were Algiers, Damascus, Cairo, Tunis, Amman, Beirut and Khartoum.

The Arabs find it difficult to convincingly portray Israel as usurper of the land as long as the world believes there is a huge connection between the people of the Bible and the land of the Bible. UNESCO is denying this connection by depicting Jewish history in the Middle East as no more than an insignificant, brief sojourn by arrogant colonizers.

UNESCO appears to deny that the Jewish people has laid its roots in Israel more than 4,000 years ago, or that 1,000 years before Christ, King David made Jerusalem the Jewish city par excellence, never entirely abandoned even in times of deadly persecution.

via UNESCO against the Jews – Israel News, Ynetnews.

Shalom for those who pray for the shalom of Jerusalem.

UN investigator regrets anti-Semitic cartoon – Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews

Human Rights Council - 16th Session

Image by United Nations Information Service - Geneva via Flickr

A United Nations human rights expert investigating Israel’s treatment of Palestinians expressed regret on Monday for posting an anti-Semitic cartoon on his blog, but rejected calls to resign his role saying critics were using a “careless” mistake to attack him.

US academic Richard Falk said he didn’t spot what he called “the anti-Semitic connotations” when he published a caricature showing a dog wearing a Jewish skullcap and an American flag eating human bones while urinating on a statue representing justice.

via UN investigator regrets anti-Semitic cartoon – Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews.

Oh, well, sure.  Who can be expected to see the anti-semetic connotation of something like that?

Shalom

‘Rapture’ real aftermath: Beheadings, shootings, mass graves

Harold Camping in 2008

Image via Wikipedia

Over here in the States, Harold Camping’s failed Rapture prediction mostly resulted in joking around at the expense of his followers–and to a lesser extent, at the expense of the Body of Messiah in general.  Elsewhere in the world, however, Camping’s campaign had far more dire consequences, as World Net Daily reports:

Prasch routinely travels and meets with members of the Christian body worldwide. A recent trip took him to Vietnam, where a large number of the Hmong tribal peoples of the nation’s Central Highlands are Christian.

They are referred to in the West as Montagnards.

They had heard of Camping’s prophecy and not having sophisticated methods for evaluating its validity, took it literally, he explained.

The result, for many, was death, Prasch reported in an email to supporters:

After listening to a translation of Camping’s prediction 7,000 of these people (known in the West as Montagnards) gathered on a mountain praising God their suffering at the hands of the communist regime was about to end because Jesus was returning that day in May to establish a new kingdom,.The police and military police slaughtered many of them at gunpoint – beheading two pastors. Others were arrested. I am told by Hmong pastors that so many were shot dead that they were buried in mass graves bulldozed over in an episode that I read about in Britain but did not understand the magnitude of until I got here.

Prasch reported that he spoke to a secret meeting of Hmong pastors to explain to them “false prophets and false teachers.”

“Due to a combination of poverty, ignorance and persecution these poor Christians don’t understand much so they believed Camping’s shortwave broadcast which is how most get their teaching,” he said.

via ‘Rapture’ real aftermath: Beheadings, shootings, mass graves.

We often forget just what a privilaged position Western Christians are when it comes to head-knowledge of the Word of God.  We typically have a half-dozen Bibles of various translations lying around.  Through the internet, we can access Bible software like e-Sword and the Blue Letter Bible, which make researching the Scriptures a snap.  We can walk into a bookstore or order online a commentary or devotional for the wages we get paid in an hour or less.

In other places in the world, they don’t have all of that.  I’ve been in contact with Christians in east Africa who are begging for Bibles because they don’t have enough to distribute to all of their teachers, let alone to all of those who are coming to faith in Messiah right now.  (If you read this, my friends, I’m not ignoring your emails; I’m just working my way through a large number of emails with very limited time.)  Contrast that with America, where we have a few dozen Bibles for every person who actually bothers to read it.

To those whom much has been given, much will be expected, and we have been given the greatest amount of information in the history of the world.  How much do we deserve our coming judgment as a nation for having squandered that gift and allowed false teachers like Camping to be the voice of Christianity to the rest of the world?

Shalom

New Apostolic Reformation and IHOP Summary

The IHOP logo
Wrong IHOP

I’d been pondering for a while whether I should post a summary of the New Apostolic Reformation and IHOP’s (International House of Prayer) history and background, especially since I’ve mentioned them a couple of times, but hadn’t had the time to do the research.  Fortunately, Herescope’s latest post just did the hard work for me:

  • IHOP is just one arm of a multi-faceted group (with many names, entities and offshoots) known as the “Kansas City Prophets” that has been around since the mid-1980s.
  • These Kansas City “prophets” are leaders who track a direct lineage back to the old Latter Rain cult.
  • John Wimber became an overseer of the KC group in the late 1980s when their cult excesses became public and controversial, and set them up under his Vineyard denomination.
  • John Wimber was a mentor to C. Peter Wagner and vice versa,[4] and the two of them have a history that tracks back into the mid 1970s at Fuller Theological Seminary where they concocted doctrines together.
  • C. Peter Wagner’s “Third Wave” movement, the predecessor to the NAR, was founded on Wimber’s signs and wonders mysticism.[5]
  • C. Peter Wagner’s “New Apostolic Reformation” was founded on the convergence of the mystical streams of John Wimber, the Kansas City group, and Fuller Theological Seminary.

I do recommend reading the whole post.  I’ll hopefully get some time to do some catching up on my own blogging tonight.

Shalom

Good News for Israel, for a Change

Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (We...

Image via Wikipedia

Given the amount of bad news floating around out there, I’m happy to have come across this recent article by Israpundit: Israel is Sitting Pretty.  Just a few highlights with my own thoughts:

Israel has successfully made the case that such a unilateral move by the PA [to establish a Palistinian state by U.N. fiat] would be a violation of the Oslo Accords which mandated no unilateral moves and a negotiated settlement. Israel has made it clear that such a move would result in unilateral moves by Israel and the end of the Oslo Accords. This means the end of the PA created pursuant to these accords. The primary unilateral move mooted by Israel is the extension of Israel law to the settlement blocs which would make the blocs sovereign territory of Israel. It would also replace occupation law over these territories. Many in Israel are demanding that Israel not stop there but that she should do the same for all of Area “C” over which she currently has full control pursuant to the Oslo Accords. These lands contain 300,000 Israelis and 10,000 Arabs.  Israeli grassroots are now mobilizing a major campaign to increase Israeli support for such a move.

One wonders if such a move would prompt Israel to push for more control of the Temple Mount from the Waqf–not that the Waqf officially reports to the PA, but the loss of the PA might put it in a more accomodating mood.

Syria is on the ropes and is expected to go down for the count. Turkey has been threatening to invade Syria ostensibly to set up a safe zone for refugees but she may remain there and perhaps end up controlling Syria and by extension, Lebanon. The US is coordinating all this with Turkey and Israel. Remember, Syria and Lebanon used to be part of the Ottoman Empire. The US and Saudi Arabia have been trying to separate Syria from Iran for years and this may just be the way to do it.

At the same time, there are reports that the US is propping up the Assad regime by calling for it to talk with the opposition rather than calling for it to resign. Elliott Abrams is critical with this realpolitik and writes

    “That is bad enough, but realpolitik must then be judged by its logic and its fruits.  There are none, except for undermining the moral position of the United States.  To repeat what has been written here before, the Assad regime is an enemy of the United States.  It has the blood of tens of thousands of Syrians on its hands but also of thousands of Americans, killed in Iraq by jihadis it led into Iraq for that purpose.  It is Iran’s only Arab ally, and provides Iran with a Mediterranean port, a border with Israel through Hizballah, and an arms trafficking route from Iran to Hizballah.  It supports and houses Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups.  The fall of the Assad regime would be the greatest blow we can strike against Iran and its terrorist allies today.

One of the big mysteries surrounding the Gog-Magog war described in Ezekiel 38-39 is the absence of Syria.  Most tie that into the apparent destruction of Damascus in Isaiah 17, but it’s also possible that Syria as a independent entity simply won’t exist anymore.

Canada’s Globe and mail recently reported

    ”The London-based World Energy Council says Israel’s Shfela Basin, a half-hour drive south of Jerusalem, holds 250 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil, possibly making the energy-vulnerable country (as expressed by The Wall Street Journal) “the world’s newest energy giant.”  With reserves of 260 billion barrels, Saudi Arabia would remain the world’s No. 1 oil country – though not, perhaps, for long. Howard Jonas, CEO of U.S.-based IDT Corp., the company that owns the Shfela Basin concession, says there is much more oil under Israel than under Saudi Arabia: Perhaps, he says, twice as much.”

It concluded that Israel should be pumping oil within three to four years. Israel, it reported, “will match Canada in oil exports to the U.S. and thus free its long-time friend from needing to deal with tyrants”.

That really would be good news, and might explain how Israel is put into a position to peaceably negotiate to rebuild the Temple.  After all, in the modern world, oil talks more than even gold.  And finally,

Saudi Arabia recently threatened to acquire nuclear weapons as a needed defense against Iran who will soon be nuclear. It is noteworthy that Israel has had the bomb for four decades but Saudi Arabia saw no need to acquire her own capability ‘til now.  Israel was not perceived as a threat. Saudi Arabia no longer looks to the US for protection because it is not reliable. In any potential war with Iran, the Saudis see Israel as an ally.

That’s very interesting, since it would explain why the King of the North in Daniel 11 might want to make a treaty with Israel to keep her out of the way of his wars with the King of the South, which was historically Ptolemaic Egypt but which probably includes Saudi Arabia and her allies today.

Shalom

Herescope: IHOP Enters Dominion/Christian Right Politics

"The Honorable Rick Perry (front right), ...

Gov. Rick Perry

As I sit at my desk listening to the sounds of fireworks celebrating the birth of a great nation, I’m also reading the Herescope blog, which I forgot to link to in my post on Thyatira where I mentioned the New Apostolic Reformation.  Here’s the latest news:

Texas Governor Rick Perry, in an historic move that has not taken place in our lifetime, is calling for a National Solemn Assembly called The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis, on Saturday, August 6, 2011, in Reliant Stadium (indoors) in Houston, Texas.

In a letter dated May 18, 2011 inviting the 49 other Governors to join him, Governor Perry cited the book of Joel as the answer for the challenges facing America.[3]

The NAR faithful are shaking the Tea Party trees to fill the stadium. This event is yet another prayer event with a Dominionist agenda: “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis.” The organizers are dubbing this event “a non-denominational apolitical prayer meeting.” But don’t be fooled. This is common fare for the NAR apostles and prophets in their bid to promote the Dominion Mandate of their apostles and prophets around the world.[4]

Christian Right politicians see this as an opportunity for securing much of the Christian Right vote, as well as politically acquiring access to the on-ground Network (NAR is a network) of the apostles and prophets, which is well organized even to the precinct level across America. There will be prayers, sermons, prophesies, and spiritual warfare to be sure, but there is only one reason for this event and it is Dominionism political activism pure and simple. Gov. Rick Perry may or may not make a run for the White House. But even if he doesn’t it serves the Dominion/Political Mandate of the NAR apostles and prophets and makes them more visual to the Christian Right political base. It garners more influence for them in national politics. And this is the crux of the matter.

via Herescope: IHOP Enters Dominion/Christian Right Politics.

I actually know people involved with the International House of Prayer, so I’m not posting this lightly.  And I know that a lot of my readers are wondering just what’s wrong with a Republican Presidential candidate calling for prayer for an ailing nation.  There are several answers to this:

First, Gov. Perry is not a conservative in the traditional sense of wanting limited government doing its proper role.  He oversaw the death of numerous bills to attempt to strengthen Texas’ southern border, but found time to pass an executive order–bypassing his own state’s legislature–requiring all schoolgirls to receive the Gardasil vaccine for cervical cancer, which is now being marketed as an STD vaccine.  It may be a good idea, but given that it comes with its own side-effects and at least one possible case of causing a horribly debilitating and chronic reaction, shouldn’t that be the decision of the parents?  So much for social conservatism.  (For more information on Perry’s decision and the lobbying connections behind it, read here.)

Second, anytime someone starts citing Joel as their mandate, start digging into what they mean.  Yes, Joel has the promise of the pouring out of the Spirit at Shavuot (Pentecost, for my Christian friends), but when you hear the NAR talking about Joel’s Army, understand that they are talking about the army of locust-like warriors which goes against Israel.  They are the Holy One’s army in the same sense that the pagan Assyrians and Babylonians were, His unwilling and unwitting instruments of justice who would be judged and destroyed in turn, not in the sense of the army behind Messiah in Revelation 19.  Discernment Ministries has an excellent .pdf explaining just what is wrong with this theology and a link to another article on the origins of IHOP.

Joels' Army. Still want to sign up?

Revelation 2 and 17-18 foretell of an incredibly powerful end-time entity which it calls a false prophetess and a harlot–a name given only to a once-faithful body that has turned from the truth into idolatry.  This Harlot will be so powerful that for the first half of his reign, it will actually ride on–read that, “control”–the Beast.  But then, when he has come to the height of his power, he will turn on her with the kings of the earth to destroy her.  I believe that in the NAR and its growing closeness with the Vatican, we are seeing the final form of the Harlot taking shape.  As I’ve pointed out before, this is not fundamentally a Protestant vs. Catholic issue, but an issue of perverting the Good News for the sake of power in this world.

For a long time I wondered why so many Christians who I consider to have discernment see the United States as the Harlot.  As the NAR and similar Dominionist movements take shape here in the country of my birth, it becomes easier to see the connection.  While I still believe that there will be a literal rebuilt Babylon in the Last Days, I also believe that when Mystery Babylon goes down, America will go down with her.

Not the happiest Fourth of July message, but there it is.  Today we’re celebrating the victory our ancestors won against a distant, overweening king.  Let’s not elect another one and so dishonor this day.

Shalom

Chavah Messianic Radio is taking over the whole world (via The Rosh Pina Project)

Something rather nifty to share.

Shalom

Chavah Messianic Radio is taking over the whole world Judah writes: Just a wee bit of exaggeration, but honestly, folks, I’m so giddy about this great new release of Chavah, the best darn Messianic radio on the web. I stayed up to 2:00am working on a very cool feature for Chavah, and I’m happy to announce the feature is now working and deployed – woot! But Judah, what is this amazing new feature, you ask in desperation, sheer astonishment, and simple awe of my programming skills? Community song requ … Read More

via The Rosh Pina Project