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