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May 2010 Issue

Counterfeit Christians
May 1st, 2010
A.W. Tozer

If we compare what we ought to be and could be with what we are, and we don't see that we are in a rut and we are not concerned, then one of three things may be wrong.

First, we may not be converted at all. I am convinced that many evangelicals are not truly and soundly converted. Among the evangelicals it is entirely possible to come into membership, to ooze in by osmosis, to leak through the cells of the church and never know what it means to be born of the Spirit and washed in the blood.

A great deal that passes for the deeper life is nothing more or less than basic Christianity. There is nothing deeper about it, and it is where we should have been from the start. We should have been happy, joyous, victorious Christians walking in the Holy Spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Instead we have been chasing each other around the perpetual mountain. What we need is what the old Methodists called a sound conversion.

There is a difference between conversion and a sound conversion. People who have never been soundly converted do not have the Spirit to enlighten them. When they read the Sermon on the Mount or the teaching passages of the epistles that tell them how to live or the doctrinal passages that tell how they can live, they are unaffected. The Spirit who wrote them is not witnessing in their hearts because they have not been born of the Spirit. That often happens.   

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Five Significant Events Looming on the Near Horizon
May 1st, 2010
Art Sadlier

We believe we are living in the last days of this age. As we compare today’s' headlines with scripture, we see the stage being set for the final drama of man's day. The unfolding events of this scenario are not always clearly recognizable. You can watch a master chess player as he moves the pieces on the board, his moves may make no sense to you, you have no idea what is going on. But the master is quietly setting up the board, suddenly he moves and checkmate! The game is over!
I believe our world is being setup for the coming Day of the Lord judgment. Let me suggest to you what I believe the not too distant future holds. These are possible (I think very probable) scenarios soon to unfold. I have come to these conclusions by placing today's unfolding events alongside the scriptures.
1 -- A coming war between Israel and Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Lebanon and Hamas. This will be the greatest war the modern state of Israel has seen. Hezbollah is reported to have as many as 60,000 missiles of all kinds and ranges, some with an explosive payload of up to a ton. Syria is believed to have biological and chemical weapons. Iran is supplying weapons and is trying to provoke a war to distract attention from their nuclear program. This will be a regional war with possibility of the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. It may be triggered by an attack of Israel on Iranian nuclear facilities, or it may be triggered by an attack by Iran, as a premptive strike to keep the IAF on the ground.  This war will have wide reaching consequences on the whole geopolitical scene, great turmoil will result. This will be especially so if chemical or nuclear weapons are used.

This is not the war of Ezekiel 38-39. There is a contrast between these two wars. The war of Ezekiel will take place when Israel is dwelling safely, that is not today, that will not happen until after the peace treaty is signed, and will take place early in the tribulation period. Another contrast is found in the nations involved, the nations in Ezekiel's war are named by Ezekiel. That list does not include Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah and Lebanon, the only one common to both wars is Iran.

This war, I believe will be the war of Psalm 83, and Isaiah 17:1 In Isaiah 17:1, the implication is that Damascus will be utterly destroyed. Israel has a program called the Samson option, the idea is, that if Israel knows that they are about to be nuked, they will strike first.
This is another war Israel should lose, but won`t, God will again intervene. Think tanks and those prognosticators in the know are predicting this war will take place as early as this summer.

2 -- The Coming Takeover of the PA and the West Bank by Hamas. For some time there has been a quiet war going on between Hamas and Fatah (the PA). Just as they did in the Gaza Strip, Hamas will, in a sudden and quick move take over the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Even now they are infiltrating the PA, and some of the PA militia have deserted to Hamas. The fact is that Hamas are far more popular with the Palestinians than Abbas and his Fatah.

Such a takeover would bring a tremendous change in the whole scenario. The peace process would be dead until another drastic change comes about. Don`t get too excited about Obama signing a peace treaty, that will be brought about by a European, not an American.

3 -- America`s further betrayal of Israel. General David Petraeus is apparently considering requesting that the Palestinian territories be placed under his command. Debkafile explains that this would be tantamount to providing the Palestinians with an American umbrella. American guns may yet be turned on Israel. America has already trained and armed, at a base in Jordan, a militia of 20,000 Palestinians. No doubt their guns will someday be turned on Israel. This is another event that turns the whole Mideast scenario upside down.

4 -- Israel has discovered a Tremendous Reserve of Oil and Gas. The big oil and gas exploring companies are rushing to get in on the action. The big companies only go where the action is guaranteed.

These reserves will make Israel a wealthy have-nation, like some of her Arab neighbours. Israel has received 3 billion dollars a year in aid from America. Israel has come to trust in America, God has warned Israel many times over the centuries, not to do that, not to make alliances with the nations around her. Israel is to trust in God alone.

Now that America is threatening to cut Israel off, I believe God is speaking to Israel through this new found wealth, "Israel you can trust me to meet your needs." God has been working with Israel for the last 60 years, demonstrating times without number that He is their God who will protect and provide for them. In this whole process God is at work, ultimately, to bring Israel to the place of faith and trust in Him. That process will not come to fruition until the end of the tribulation period (see Zechariah 13:8-9).
5 -- The Fall of America. Like the handwriting on the wall at Belshazzar`s feast, America is weighed in the balances and found wanting. The signs of America's fall are everywhere! It is the secularists that are sounding the warning the loudest. The warning of economic collapse, moral collapse, political collapse, civil war, natural disasters, terror attacks, nuclear terror that could cause the nation to collapse. An economic collapse would neutralize the military, causing America to withdraw into a shell.

America has no part to play in the end-time scenario; they are not even mentioned in scripture. The problem is that America is so incredibly powerful, politically, militarily and economically, that they stand in the way of the end-time scenario unfolding. We know that the God of prophecy can change that very suddenly. I think it is fair to say that God is against America because America has turned against God.

Nowhere is this more disastrous than in America`s betrayal of Israel. God has blessed America with more light of truth than any other nation in all of history, especially in the area of gospel truth which Israel is yet to embrace. A principle of scripture is that judgment is according to light received and turned away from. Woe to America and Canada. This collapse of America will bring tremendous chaos to the world!

All of these things could happen in rapid fire succession. The final drama will, I believe be set up by these events. They will prepare the way for two major events.

1 -- The Rise of Antichrist - He is awaiting the right major crisis. The world will be in turmoil and chaos and desperate for someone to look to for answers. This miracle working, charismatic, clever, deceiver will explode on the scene. The whole world will throw open their arms to receive him.

2 -- The Peace Treaty - The world will be plunged into incredible turmoil by these chaotic events. The war of Psalm 83 will be raging out of control. The gap between Israel and Islam will be wider than ever. The world will be caught in the vortex of an ever expanding war. The prospect for peace will be all but hopeless. The world will be facing a dark hour. The need and desire for peace will peak.

This man of sin, Antichrist will temporarily appease Islam, (See Daniel 11:38). He will deceive Israel, (John 5:43), they will be deceived into believing him to be their Messiah. The whole world will be deceived. (2 Thess. 2:9-11).
What should our attitude be in such an hour as this? Just prior to the Old Testament Day of the Lord, God said to Jeremiah. "...seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not: for behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord:" We stand on the threshold of the catastrophic tribulation period. If ever there was an hour to lose ourselves in the will of God, it is now! An hour to draw closer to the Lord, an hour to seek the lost!                                   

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Israel's Greatest Enemy
May 1st, 2010
Art Sadlier

This week, the intentions of the Obama administration are unfolding in a number of news reports.

Last week, Abbas urged the Obama administration to impose a solution to the Middle East conflict which would give his people an independent state, and rejected the idea of creating a state within temporary borders.

It has been reported that, US President Barack Obama told Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that he was committed to seeing the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state within two years. Apparently, Obama promised Abbas that the United States would make great effort to help see the Palestinian goal achieved.

If such a promise was made or implied, the PA will not negotiate but only wait for Obama to deliver.  What the PA is demanding will mean the end of the State of Israel. They are not only demanding land but the right of millions of Palestinians to return to Israel proper. These Palestinians would defeat Israeli's at the ballot box, effectively terminating the State of Israel.
In a further anti-Israel move, Obama has told several European leaders, if Israeli-Palestinian talks remain stalemated into September or October, he will convene an international summit on achieving Mideast peace. In other words, if Abbas doesn't get all he wants the negotiations will be stalemated and an international conference will be convened to force Israel to surrender. If Obama has promised to help Abbas achieve his goals, the talks are certain to be stalemated. Only a total surrender by Israel would prevent a summit which would also give Abbas what he wants.

In an even more ominous report, Abbas told the state-run news agency Xinhua, that the Obama administration had promised him it would work to prevent any provocative Israeli moves during the negotiations.

In other words the US administration would not allow Israel to defend itself in case of an attack by its enemies. Implying, that the US would decide what Israel can do or not do if attacked. In other words, the Obama administration will put Israel down on the ground and hold her there while her enemies attack her. The man who holds you, while your enemies hit you is your greatest enemy.

In doing this, Obama has now openly and squarely placed himself as the friend of the Palestinians and the enemy of Israel. Obama has identified his administration on the side of Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran. While these enemies of Israel stockpile thousands of missiles which have much greater range and explosive power and add modern weapons of war to their arsenals, including nuclear weapons, Obama is threatening Israel if they take any action.

In yet another news item we read, Washington and Cairo are negotiating an agreement which would see the Middle East become a nuclear-free zone, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Of course Israel is the only Mideast country with nuclear weapons. Obama is now zeroing in on Israel's effective deterrent, which like other nuclear powers; Israel has managed in a responsible way. This is the number one item on the Arab wish list, and always has been. This would be the final nail in Israel's coffin, the one thing that prevents her from being destroyed in a massive attack. Obama seems to be diabolical and relentless in his determination to eliminate Israel and to please the Arab world.

The message of the prophets concerning Israel in the last days is being fulfilled exactly as recorded. In Deuteronomy 23:9 we read of Israel, "...lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." Israel is totally alone and isolated today, the nations of the world are fully set against her.

The present scenario is leading to the fulfillment of Joel 3:2, "I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead (judge) with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.”

This will be the climax of man's day, as the Lord terminates the power and authority of the nations. At that time Christ will come and set up His Kingdom which will be an eternal kingdom of righteousness and equity.

In the meantime, America is positioning itself to come under judgment of God, what a judgment it will be.

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The Central Issue In Our World Today
May 1st, 2010
Art Sadlier

The Lord said through Zechariah 2600 years ago, “I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about ...” Zechariah 12:2.  In verse 3, He said, “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people:” After 2600 years that prophecy is being fulfilled in this very hour.

Today the whole world is under the illusion that if they can placate the Muslim world by dividing Jerusalem and the so called West bank, world peace will ensue. Peace, they believe, will come by removing Israel from a section of the Promised Land. Today the burden of the world is Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

God promised all of the land of Canaan to Israel. Later the Romans would rename it Palestine. Today there are a people who call themselves Palestinians, who claim to have descended from a Palestinian people who lived for thousands of years in a land called Palestine. That claim is a hoax.

There never has been in all of history a Palestinian people, nor a Palestinian nation, nor a Palestinian government, nor language, nor culture, nor economy. As late as the 1950’s the Arabs in the land refused to be called Palestinians. The term was used exclusively for the Jews who lived in the land.

A travel guide to Palestine and Syria published in 1906 illustrates the fact that the Jews were the predominant residents of the land. At that time, the Islamic Ottoman Empire ruled the region; the population at that time was about 60,000. There were 7,000 Muslims, 13,000 Christians and 40,000 Jews.

The Land of Palestine or Canaan was promised to Israel by God.

The lord said unto Abraham in Genesis 12:7, “Unto thy seed will I give this land:” notice the future tense. In Genesis 13:15, the Lord said to Abraham, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.” Notice three words, 

  • “ALL” = the land
  • “THY SEED”= the Jews
  • “FOREVER”= including our day

This promise is repeated many times in the scriptures.

Some say that Ishmael is also included in this promise that is not what the bible teaches. In Genesis 26:3 and Genesis 35:12 the promise is repeated, this time through Isaac and Jacob, Ishmael is not included in the promise.

Loss of Possession of the Land was promised for Unbelief and Disobedience.

The Lord said to Israel that if they would not trust and obey Him, “Ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.” Deuteronomy 28:63.  There would be temporary loss of possession, they would be driven from the land, and they would wander throughout the world in persecutions and troubles.

There was also the Promise of Ultimate Restoration and Blessing.

In spite of this chastening God said He would preserve Israel and ultimately restore her to the land, and to the promised blessing. Jeremiah 30:11, “For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all the nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will not make a full end of thee: I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” God’s promise cannot be broken. The Lord said in effect, in Jeremiah 31: 35-37, as long the sun or the moon or the stars shine, there will be an Israel.

There is a struggle going on in our world today, a struggle between God and Satan. That struggle involves Israel and the land, and it involves Israel and the nations.  In this struggle we see two re-gatherings of Israel, one in unbelief and one in belief. The first is almost complete with approximately half of the Jewish people now in the land. It was God’s powerful hand that moved the UN in 1948 to unexpectedly give the land back to Israel. It was God’s powerful hand that gave Israel incredible and miraculous victories over vast Arab armies in three major wars.

The second re-gathering is yet to come, at the close of the tribulation the rest of Israel will return and be redeemed and restored to a relationship with the Lord. See Zechariah 13:9, Ezekiel 20:34.

Today, Israel has returned to the land in unbelief. God returned to Israel, all the land that David possessed during his reign. This happened in the war of 1967, when God gave a miraculous victory to Israel.  He returned to them, Judea and Samaria, He gave them the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip,  the Sinai Peninsula, East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Miraculously, all of the land Israel had held under King David was now theirs.

Sadly, Israel has been re-gathered in unbelief, the day after Israel regained the Temple Mount they gave it back to Jordan. Later they gave up the Sinai to Egypt; three years ago they surrendered Gaza to the Palestinians. Now they have accepted a two state solution, which means the surrender of Judea and Samaria. All of this is being done in unbelief and disobedience; they fear their enemies more than they fear God. Just as at Kadesh Barnea, they are saying, we can’t trust God, we won’t obey God.

Just as in the case of Kadesh Barnea, God will judge Israel for unbelief and disobedience. Israel will yet learn obedience and faith during the chastening of the tribulation period. God hates unbelief and disobedience, He will not tolerate it in your life or mine, He will not tolerate it in the church, and He will not tolerate it in His people Israel. The severe chastening that awaits Israel is recorded in Zechariah 13:8-9 and Matthew 24:21.

Israel has been blinded by unbelief, the Arabs and the Nations of the world have been blinded by unbelief. Joel tells us of the judgment of God that will befall the world at the close of the tribulation period. “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead (judge) with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel 3:2.

Today the nations of the world are raging against Israel. Ahmadinejad, Obama, the PA, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the EU, Russia, Turkey, China and the other nations are all calling for Israel to surrender the Promised Land. Ahmadinejad is almost daily vowing to destroy Israel; the whole Arab world is closing in for the kill. David spoke of this situation nearly 3,000 years ago in Psalm 2, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?”

It is troubling to watch as the nations defy God in this matter of dividing the land of Israel, knowing the final outcome will be the great Day of the Lord judgment upon the entire world.  

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