Grace and Truth

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Little Children : the Victims of Political Correctness

Little children deliberately crushed in the streets of France by a truck driven by an Islamic terrorist and still our leaders and media spew forth leftist social platitudes and political correctness! Kids, think about it, children killed in another Islamic terrorist attack and STILL our leaders will NOT use the words “Islam(ic)” or “Muslim”.  Poor kids, they deserve better than that.  How many more of our kids will be laid on the altar of political correctness before anyone actually does anything?  In 18 months, France has been the target of three major terrorist attacks in which more than 230 people have died

 

The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, actually said:

“Times have changed and we should learn to live with terrorism.”

Really? That’s what it’s come to now?

Just give up and learn to live with terrorism, oh people of the West. Just give up and learn to live without your little child who was crushed in the street oh Mum and Dad.

It sounds to me like surrender. (I wonder what it sounds like to a potential jihadist?)

And surrender of course it is.

How do we fight a war that we cannot admit even exists?

How do we face up to the threat posed by Islam if we cannot admit the motivation behind these attacks in the first place?

You know the standard line we hear after every single terrorist attack: “police are searching for a possible motive…”; “He was possibly gay”; “His marriage broke up and he was depressed” …Hmmm, what could possibly be the motivation…? Here’s a clue : the Nice terrorists’ name is Muhammed Lagouaiej Bouhlel and he screamed “Allahu Akbar!” whilst driving into the crowd.

Every time someone actually drops the politically correct charade for a moment and admits the truth of the fact that Islam is NOT a religion of peace, they are apparently “playing right into the hands of the rhetoric of Isis”.

Well newsflash:

An act of war is declared when little children are crushed on our city streets by a truck!

I am sorry but the hash tags just don’t cut it anymore.

#JeSuisCharlie didn’t stop Islamic extremists from killing again in Paris, or in Nice.

#JeSuisNice wont stop the next one either.

But of course, France was surrendered, or rather betrayed, long ago by its leaders.

“Europe has become Eurabia as a result of France and Germany’s bargain with the devil as far back as the days of the 1974 OPEC oil embargo. In order to keep the flow of oil, agreements were made with the Arabs, which always included provision for mass immigration of North African and Arab populations into Europe. French leadership even allowed for the incorporation of Arab educational standards for French schools particularly in teaching of the Crusades, Islam and the Holocaust.” (Pastor Bill Randles, The Greatest Betrayal Ever Seen..France/Europe)

The Islamists/jihadists/terrorists know that France, and in fact, Europe, are toothless tigers.  Of course France and Europe will condemn these acts and speak very harshly against them. But that’s it. After all, they need oil.

It reminds me of what happened in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea by the Russians – NATO spoke very harshly against it. They condemned it. But that was it. Because Russia is one of the EU’s largest suppliers of energy .

So once again we are forced to endure the nauseating calls for tolerance, unity and love.

A local reader of The Age newspaper put it very well:

“There is something soothing in Paul McGeough’s declaration of Western impotence on terrorism (“Nice attack: There’s little leaders can do about the carnage”, 15/7, The Age). We are reassured by the thought of our inaction being validated. Similarly the “lone wolf” narrative helps us deal with our disbelief at any concerted attempt to kill innocents, or in any need for reform within radical Islamism. After all, “it’s just a mad man” and “who are we to criticise other cultures?”

If we delude ourselves into believing this, then we guarantee a soul numbing pattern of death and terror. Almost by definition, there is no hope of a decline in terror without an abandonment of this despondently apathetic outlook and cowardly refusal to confront the growing contradictions of our “tolerant even of intolerance” society.”

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

 

 

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The Root and Fruit of Humanism & Political Correctness

The news over the last few weeks of September was full of events with potentially major implications: the Pope’s visit topol in pic the US, Russia’s involvement in Syria, developments at the UN including the promotion of the Palestinian issue and even the last of the series of “blood” moons. But, here in Australia, two prominent news items during the first few days of October drew my attention and struck me as particularly significant. They were an anti-abortion “activist” from America denied entry to Australia while the other centred on all the hype surrounding the Australian Rules football finals.

 

The Fruit:

So why does the denial of an anti-abortion “activist” to enter Australia strike me as significant? The answer is simply that Australia is supposed to be a democratic country where freedom of expression is valued. In this case the politically correct machine sprang into operation to deny the activist entry. On TV an MP from Labour’s ranks explained that the authorities had been alerted to deny the man entry because a mature and sensible debate on the issue of abortion has been held and she more or less implied that, not only was the matter settled, but further discussion or other points of view, were not in the country’s interest. A similar situation arose a few months back when someone from the US wanted to put forward an argument against some of the mandatory vaccinations given to babies and young children. In that instance the medical fraternity sprang into action and the person was denied entry to Australia.

What about the Australian footy finals? Certainly in the state of Victoria, where the game was invented, there was a great build up to the finals with other news virtually taking a back seat. There was even the ridiculous and unnecessary action by the state government in declaring Friday 2nd, the day before the game, a public holiday! Apart from charlton hestondisrupting business, one wonders how it was supposed to benefit the players or fans for the game the next day – let alone the whole state of Victoria!

These two events are undoubtedly a product of current humanistic thinking and its offshoot, political correctness.

 

The Root:

What is humanism and where did it originate? My Little Oxford Dictionary answers the first part of the question by explaining that humanism is a “non-religious philosophy based on liberal human values”. I agree with the explanation that it is a philosophy based on liberal human values but challenge the idea that it is non-religious since it is clearly anti-God, especially our Judeo/Christian God, and has a “religious” life of its own. As to the second part of the question, we find that the origins of humanism, as we see it practised in the modern world today, can easily be traced back to the thoughts and practices of ancient Greece. So let us briefly look at some of the ideas put forward by those ancient philosophers and look at how their society behaved to see if any of it applies to us today. We will not only see that there are direct similarities between the two but will also get an idea of the future direction modern society is likely to take.

Firstly, the Greeks idolised the human mind. For instance, Aristotle’s concept of God was a perfect mind contemplating thinkeritself, because nothing less was worthy of its contemplation. Out of this the philosophy of rationalism developed: everything is rational but also relative so there is no absolute truth and man can do it his way. In order to enable people to function freely and without conflict the Greek philosophers came up with the idea of “democracy”. Today we see democracy promoted as the answer to a nation’s problems. It has been said of democracy that it is a bad system but is the best we have! Unfortunately modern democracy has developed further into the idea of a “collective will” which brokers no other points of view. It is also one controlled and manipulated by a few: as we see happening already. All of this of course opens the way for the appearance of a global dictator.

Next, and in addition to rationalism, was the emphasis on athletic contests, especially their games in Olympia, from which the modern Olympic Games are derived. The Greeks idolised athletic ability. I hardly need to point out the similarities we have today with the huge emphasis on sport: the most widely watched TV programmes are sports events, many of which are direct international events.

When it came to morality, the ancient Greeks were a pretty dissolute lot. The Greeks did not hold marriage in high regard. The relationship between a man and a woman was regarded as inferior to a homosexual relationship between two men which was seen to be more intellectually fulfilling. Even their art forms usually favoured the male body, often naked. Worse still, the Greek gods showed little in the way of moral guidance, displaying the basest of mankind’s failings: lust, immorality, vindictiveness, deception and more. And so mankind was left free to do his own thing and aspire to be his own god!

 

Conclusion

It is evident that ancient Greek thinking and practices have had an enormous influence on our society today and are everywhere evident in it where we see:

  • An open and deliberate rejection of God’s righteous and moral laws.
  • Carried to its ultimate conclusion humanism will believe anything but the truth.
  • The exultation of man will make way for the Antichrist, whose name is the number of man (Rev 13:18), who proclaims himself as God.
  • He (Antichrist) will have dominion over all who refuse the love of truth.
  • For this reason God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.

In this situation, as Christians, we are outnumbered and seemingly unable to halt the breakdown of moral values in our society but we do have one mighty weapon; prayer. It is indeed a difficult time, often depressing, but we can take heart that we have God to turn to. There is no doubt that the situation is going to become considerably worse, and quickly, but I believe that we can come out victorious, not through our own strength but with God’s help and by remaining faithful to Him always seeking truth.

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and Bible prophecy.

 


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The UN, The Pope, Israel & The Significance of 70 Years (Ten Shemitahs)

“Welcome to September 2015. There are numerous events that are quickly coming upon us that might – or might not – have bibsprophetic implications. All we are sure of is that this is a season to watch and pray. We prayed for the Church worldwide to do just that and to not be deceived by false prophetic messages.” Intercessors for Israel

Some significant known “world” events are about to take place shortly.

Readers will no doubt be aware of some, if not all and more, of the forthcoming events as noted below:

 

Extract From the “Prophetic Calendar 2015”

PLEASE PRAY!  The Kingdom of God days are right before us!   Pray for the peace, Shalom of Jerusalem Psalm 122 and confess Psalm 91 over Israel and the people in the land. We have been confessing these two Psalms over Israel over and over again as there is power in God’s word and God is faithful, He watches over Israel and His covenant with the people and the land.

September 13-14 – End of the Shemitah year. In 2001 and 2008, both Shemitah years ended with the beginning of Wall Street crashes.

September 15 – The UN General Assembly will begin.  This will mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Charter.

France plans to introduce a resolution would “set an 18-month timetable for Israelis and Palestinians to agree on a two-state solution. It would call for recognition of Palestinian statehood if the talks do not bear fruit.”

September 20 – The re-established and self-declared Israeli Sanhedrin composed of 71 sages are placing Pope Francis on trial. If Pope Francis chooses to ignore the summons, he will be judged in absentia.

September 23 – Yom Kippur and also marks the Jubilee of Jerusalem to the day.

September 23 – Yom Kippur – The Pope and Obama scheduled to meet. (This note added by this writer).

September 24 – Pope Francis will address Congress. This will be the first time a Pope has ever addressed Congress.

September 25-27 – The United Nations is going to launch a brand new sustainable development agenda for the entire planet. The agenda includes provisions regarding environment, economics, agriculture, education and gender equality. On September 25th, the Pope will travel to New York to give a major speech kicking off the UN conference where this new agenda will be unveiled.

 

Comment: The Significance of 70 Years (or Ten Shemitah Years)

70 years is a significant time period. Biblically it represents man’s promised lifespan – three score and ten – and 70 years was also the time the Israelites spent in captivity in Babylon for their transgression against God’s commands regarding the land.

Seventy years ago, 1945 being a Shemitah year, a number of significant events took place. Following is a list of some of them, one of which is already noted above:

  • WW II ended. Many nations have recently celebrated its ending; much of these celebrations have been conducted with pride and self-aggrandisement. God hates pride. It was pride that led to Satan’s downfall.

 

  • The US exploded two atom bombs in Japan, so bringing in the era of the atomic bomb. It was a horrific and barbaric act, especially when a second bomb was dropped after the results from the first were known. This writer is not a pacifist, but cannot condone the US’s actions then.

 

  • The United Nations charter was adopted. Undoubtedly the UN was set up with good intentions aimed at bringing order to the world, especially after the horrors of WW II. Unfortunately its record has not been good. Not only has it been in the forefront of plans to bring in “New World Order” agendas but it has failed miserably in administering its mandate, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, where it has mostly assumed a partisan position. For instance some 2300 Security Council resolutions have been passed since inception; a disproportionate number of which were directly and extremely hostile towards Israel.

bible_prophecy1

 

Currently: the World and the Church

  • The world is in a mess right now. Civil morality must surely be running at its lowest level since the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah, not far from the levels of violence and depravity seen then. The world’s economic situation is extremely fragile and likely to get worse. The security situation in the Middle East is out of control. Europe is facing a huge influx of illegal migrants. Africa is in a shambles and so it goes on!

 

  • Despite all the grandstanding and posturing by politicians, central bankers and security and military personnel, they clearly have lost control and don’t know how to resolve these problems.

 

  • Worst of all, the Christian churches are also in disarray with many succumbing to political correctness. Many are now only Christian in name and do not adhere fully to God’s word.

 

  • Yet for many, life somehow mostly seems to carry on as normal.

 

The Near Future: The World and the Church

  • The deal between the P 5+1 nations and Iran is likely to be ratified soon in the US and the UN. A number of nations in the Middle East, especially Israel, are vehemently opposed to it fearing for their safety.

 

  • Palestinian statehood is looming nearer. This will undoubtedly involve Israel being forced to give-up land and parts of Jerusalem.
  • The UN is to push the issue of gender equality (no doubt with an increased push for enforcing the special privileges to be grantedun to same sex couples). Christians will increasingly find themselves on the “wrong” side of these agendas.

 

  • Man, as represented through the UN, will continue to defy God.

 

Conclusion

Expect major problems and tumults in the near future as the world continues to defy God, especially regarding His land – see Joel 3:2. God will not stand idly by forever. We surely are in the season of Judgment.

(When we speak of God, we mean the One and only God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the Triune God.)

 

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in our series “Bible Prophecy”.

 

Related Articles:

The Shemitah

2014/2015 Blood Moons: A Wake Up Call

Bible Prophecy: Warning to Nations

Bible Prophecy: Significant and Dangerous Times for Israel


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Friend of God or Friend of the World?

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you knot know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4adultery

This is strong language…..Adulterers….Enmity with God…

Obviously friendship with the world is serious business in God’s eyes.

 

Definition of “The World”.

We all know John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

So God does love the world. However in this sense the scripture is talking about the world of people that Jesus died for. It was God’s love for all men under heaven that prompted Him to send His Son into this world to redeem us from the curse of sin and death that entered in with Adam.

However James 4:4 is talking about “the world” as a system. A system that is opposed to God.

 

The World is Opposed to God

Just as the devil is opposed to Christ and the flesh is opposed to the Spirit, so the world is opposed to all that is of the Father.

It takes its place in the “unholy trinity” as the very antithesis of all that is of the person of God the Father.  This opposition to the Father manifests in a determined effort to undermine the Bible, especially Genesis.  The creation account, the Flood have come under heavy fire in the last few years, even from Christians.

 

The World is Independent of God

tower of babelThe world system is not only opposed to God, it is also independent of God.

It is the spirit behind this system that attempted to build the Tower of Babel as a way to reach heaven without God. It is the spirit of independence.  It is the same spirit that drives the UN and all other organisations that attempt to play “god” in this world and to re-define “good” and “evil” independent of His laws. It is the reason that God warned Adam and Eve about partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” Psalm 2:2,3

Choosing the way of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is unthe way of opposition, independence and rebellion to God. Remember that to eat of that fruit was a sin, a breaking of a direct command of God not to partake of it.

The world is a system that is totally separate and apart from God. It’s a system that says “we don’t need God and His laws” and then makes their own.

 

The World is in Rebellion to God and His Laws

It is a system that rises up in defiance of God the Father, as Creator and Sustainer of Life.

God created male and female in His image and told them to be fruitful and multiply. This world system calls into question gender and sexuality. God says there are two genders. The world says there is a sliding scale with multiple gender possibilities. God says to male and female to pro-create, to bring forth life. This world says homosexuality is fine and promotes it as a way of keeping the human population under control.

This world undermines the very laws of nature. Breaking the laws of nature always brings death.

The Tree of Life and the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. The fruit of one is Life, the fruit of the other is Death.

This world is in open defiance to God.  The spirit behind it knows that God is its enemy.  God knows the world is in enmity to Him.  It seems that it is only the believers who struggle to realise this truth.

 

The World System Has its Own Philosophies and Principles.

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8

God has His principles, laws and the way of salvation clearly laid out in His word, the Bible. But this world rejects God’s Word and instead promotes the philosophies of man, which are opposed to Christ. Atheism, psychology, nihilism, post-modernism, you name it, they are philosophies of man and each are totally opposed to God and His Word.

These philosophies of man essentially become counterfeit gospels which are opposed to the true gospel of Christ. Satan promotes them through the media, social media, books, TV, Hollywood and false Christians.

And yes that includes psychology. This deception has infiltrated the Christian church and taken the place of true Biblical counselling, deliverance from demons and healing. Do not be deceived, it is a counterfeit of the gospel of Christ and brings believers in to bondage rather than setting them free.  I am aware at how deeply this has rooted itself in the Church and so I encourage further study of the roots of psychology. Briefly, it is founded and rooted in atheistic philosophy and no amount of applying Biblical words to this philosophy will change the fact that it is of man and is opposed, and therefore in enmity, to the gospel of Christ.

Man’s principles in his “gospel” include: tolerance over truth; love over sin; self over Christ; and the salvation of this planet over the salvation of man.

 

This World is Under Judgment

This world is under judgment my friends.

No amount of recycling and “climate change” theory will save it. It began in the garden of Eden. When man fell into sin, so too the creation fell with him. God cursed the ground at that point. Praise God that Jesus came and redeemed fallen man from the curse of sin, but this world has not be redeemed. This world and all its systems and man-made philosophies are under God’s judgment and are reserved for fire.

Jesus said “Now is the time for judgment on this world…” John 12:31

The unleashing of God’s wrath on this world because of sin is only being held back by one thing – His Word.

“…the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

But at the moment we can see the birth pangs of judgment are beginning all over the world. Jesus warned us of increasing earthquakes, pestilences, wars, rumours of wars and huge deception in Matthew 24.

 

Friend of God or Friend of the World?

faithfulGod considers friendship with the world spiritual “adultery”.  We cannot be divided, we are either a friend of God or a friend of the World.

Jesus is ever faithful to His Bride and He in turn wants us to be faithful to Him – the lover of our souls.

Just as a husband would be jealous if his wife had eyes for another man, so too “the Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously” (James 4:5) for our undivided, wholly devoted love.  And who can blame Him?  He has laid down His life for us! How much more should we be faithful to such a loving and gracious God?

Therefore “come out from among them and be ye separate.”

We are in the world, but we are no longer of the world. We are other-worldly now. Our true home is in heaven, not on this earth. Therefore I encourage you to look up, enlarge your vision. Be a Friend of God, rather than a friend of this world.

Let us be like Paul and be able to say:

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galations 6:14

 

Next post

A Tale of Two Tents

 

Other posts:

Overcoming the Fear of Man

Only One Life ‘Twill Soon be Past

Bible Prophecy: We Are Close to Christ’s Return


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The Shemitah

At this time there is a lot of discussion going on about “The Shemitah”. So what is it and why should we be interested in it?fact sh

Before I begin to answer these questions, I want to mention that the notes which follow will not attempt to cover this subject in great detail but will try to give a brief outline about it, so that readers will have a better idea of what it is. For anyone wanting to study it in greater depth, I would refer them to the many good publications available giving more detail about the Shemitah.

 

A Day of Rest

Without stating the obvious, everybody knows that the week consists of seven days – from Sunday, the first day of the week, through to Saturday the last day of the week. In the Book of Genesis we read that after six days, when God had finished His creation, He rested on the seventh day, blessed it and made it holy (Genesis chapter 2 verses 1 to 3).

When God rested on the seventh day following His creation, He thereby established the seventh day as a day of rest and holiness. But it was not until the Israelites had left Egypt in the Exodus that we learn where, for the first time, they were commanded to observe the Sabbath. There we read that the Sabbath was to be a day when the Israelites ceased any worldly activities, rested and devoted the day to the Lord; the Lord laying down severe penalties for anyone who did not observe it (Exodus 31:14 – 15).

For Jews, Saturday is the Sabbath, the day of rest, the day set aside to worship God. The word Sabbath is a Hebrew word meaning rest. Christianity has moved away from Saturday worship to Sunday worship. I am not going to go into any discussion here about which day is the right day to worship, especially as I believe that we as Christians should anyway be continually worshiping our God and not reserve that for only one day in the week.

 

A Year of Rest

So while we understand that every seventh day should be regarded as a Sabbath, what is not as well known is that every seventh year is a Sabbath year. (I use the present tense because it is a permanent requirement by the Lord even though it is not properly observed today.) In Leviticus chapter 25:1 – 4, we read where the Lord commanded the children of Israel that, when they came into the land He was to give them, the land itself was to observe a Sabbath to Him. They were to work the land for six years “But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath rest, a Sabbath to the Lord”.

Not only was the land to lie fallow, but the year was to be kept separate because, unlike any of the previous six years, no work was to be done: no sowing, planting or gathering was to take place. The lands, fields, vineyards and groves were to be left to the poor and anyone could eat from them (Exodus 23:10 – 11). In ancient times this could be easily done, but in this modern world it would be much more difficult to achieve and would be a somewhat radical undertaking. Yet the Lord commanded it and would undoubtedly prosper those who abide by it.

 

The Sabbath Year and Connection to God’s Judgment

In Leviticus chapter 26 the Lord tells the Israelites that He will bless them if they keep His commands: these include references to the land. However, as He did with His commands concerning the keeping of the Sabbath day, He also told them that He would punish them if they disobeyed Him regarding the rest the land was to receive, again laying down punishments they would get in the event of disobedience. In verses 33 to 35 of Leviticus 26, the Lord clearly told them what sort of punishment they could expect if they disobeyed His commands regarding the land. He said: “I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. Then the land will enjoy its Sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the Sabbaths you lived in it.”

Many years before they were taken into captivity in Babylon, the prophet Jeremiah was given a word from the Lord warning the Israelites that because of their disobedience they would go into captivity in Babylon for seventy years. They were also told that when the seventy years were completed they would return: their punishment would be over because the land would have received the rest it had been denied previously (Jeremiah 25:11 – 12).

It is an interesting historical fact that the Israelites were in the land for 490 years: from the time they occupied the land until they were led away in captivity to Babylon. In that 490 year period there were seventy Sabbaths. We know that the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon for seventy years, as prophesied by Jeremiah in chapter 25:11 – 12, that being their punishment and also the time required for “the land to enjoy its Sabbath years all the time that it lay desolate and they were in the country of their enemies.”

 

source: idisciple.org

source: idisciple.org

The Lord’s Release – Shemitah

In addition to the requirement to observe Sabbath years, the Israelites were also required to cancel all debts on the last day of each Sabbath year. The Lord commanded that on the last day of the Sabbath year, all debts were to be cancelled. In English this is referred to as “the Lord’s release” (Deut. 15:1 – 2). It is from the Hebrew for “release” that we get the word “Shemitah”. In the Hebrew calendar the last day of a Sabbath year is Elul 29 which, by the Gregorian calendar, falls mainly during the month of September, although on a few occasions it occurs during the first few days of October.

Although the last day of the seventh year was called the Shemitah, in time the whole year was referred to as the Shemitah year. The Shemitah is a reminder that God is the source of all blessings; both spiritual and physical and when God is removed from life then removal of the blessings will also follow.

 

The Shemitah and Israel Now

Now that many Jews are back in most of the land, and are themselves in control of it, do they observe the Lord’s requirements for the Sabbath year and the Shemitah day? The answer is basically no, although there are examples of some who have done so and are known to have prospered from it. However, the majority do not but, with the help of rabbis, many amongst them who are convicted to try to keep the Shemitah year and day, resort to all sorts of manoeuvring to get around the biblical requirements. For instance, some schemes involve “selling” land to foreigners or special courts at the beginning of the Shemitah year, continuing to work the land, and “buying” it back at the end of the year. They have devised similar schemes regarding the release of debts on Elul 29! The idea behind these schemes is that the law applies to Jews and not to foreigners or special courts; the latter being regarded as acceptable because they are not individuals, so are not bound by the Lord’s decrees.

So in a roundabout way many in Israel today are keeping the requirements of the Sabbath year including the release of debts on its last day. However, religious Jews do not accept these practices and one can only wonder what God thinks about all the scheming going on regarding the land and the release of debts on Elul 29. In the example of the exile to Babylon, we have seen that the Israelites were severely judged and punished when they failed to observe Sabbath years.

 

The Shemitah and Other Nations

The big question facing us now is: “Does the Shemitah apply to nations other than Israel”?

I cannot find a direct biblical answer to this question although we do know that God does punish gentiles and nations, including Israel, for disobedience towards Him. However, as Jonathan Cahn suggests in his book The Mystery of The Shemitah, throughout history there have been many recorded events that have occurred at the time of the Shemitah, or shortly afterwards, negatively affecting nations; too many to be written off as mere coincidence. These events have taken the form of economic or other problems or the start of wars. The other question we need to consider is whether the Shemitah applies when the Jews are not back in the land and in control of it as was the case before 1948. Even here the answer appears to be yes, especially when we look at the example of developments against the Jews of Germany in 1938, a Shemitah year.

 

When is the Next Shemitah?

It is important to note at this point, that going back to ancient records, Jewish scholars have been able to accurately identify when the fact sh 2Shemitah years occur. Even as I write now we are coming to the end of the current Shemitah year. It ends on Elul 29th which this year is from sunset on 13th September, 2015, through to sunset on 14th September per the Gregorian calendar; about a month hence.

Before listing some of the “upheavals” that have fallen at the end, or about the end of Shemitah Years, it would be well to consider the timing of the Shemitah years. They begin on Tishri 1, or Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish civil year, and end on Elul 29. It is important to point out here that in the northern hemisphere the Shemitah year begins and ends at the time of the summer harvests. As pointed out earlier this is usually during September.

 

Notable Events Which Occurred At or Near the End of Recent Shemitah Years

1973. The “Yom Kippur War” – October 6th to 25th. Although the war began badly for Israel, it managed to win that war but it took a heavy toll on Israel and Israelis. More importantly, the longer term aftermath of this war resulted in enormously negative consequences for Israel itself and the world at large – the rise of Arab hegemony. I consider its negative after-effects to equal those of WW1 and WWII.

1987. The big “Black Monday” stock market crash on October 19th occurred only four weeks after the end of the Shemitah year on September 23rd. In this instance the fallout from the crash turned out to be surprisingly small although it took two years for global markets to recover.

2001. The stock market plunge on September 17th and the following global economic and political uncertainty was undoubtedly triggered by the Al Qaida attacks in America on 9th September, 2001. The stock market was immediately closed and reopened on September 17th, the last day of the Shemitah.

2008. The infamous GFC – Global Financial Crisis. The stock market crash happened on September 29th 2008 – Elul 29th!

2015. 13 – 14 September ? ? ? September 17th is the final Day for US Congress to vote concerning the “Iranian Deal” – the deal aimed at curbing Iranian nuclear expansion. It is a bad deal for Israel and other Middle Eastern countries, yet is being promoted otherwise by the US Administration and the key nations involved in the deal – the P5+1.

Everyone can hardly fail to realise that the world is in turmoil, economically, militarily, naturally and spiritually and is surely ripe for judgment. The news is full of it; a lot predicting very difficult days ahead.

Thus the final question we need to ask is: “Are we likely to experience any major negative developments in the world this September or within a short time after the end of the Shemitah year and after the day of the Shemitah on 17th September?”

All I can suggest is: “Don’t be surprised if major upheavals occur during the coming months”.

In closing, I would like to remind readers that, as Christians, we need to remember Jesus’ injunction:

“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in our series “Bible Prophecy”.

 

Related Articles:

Blood Moons 2014/2015: A Wake Up Call

Bible Prophecy: We are close to Christ’s Return

Bible Prophecy: Warning to Nations

 


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World Outrage Grows Over Cecil the Lion

source:inquisitr.com

source:inquisitr.com

This case is outrageous. Infuriatingly so.

An innocent and beautiful lion was killed as a trophy for a rich man, yes.

But as reprehensible to me as that is, that is not what outrages me.

What outrages me is the hypocrisy of the moral-high ground that the media, government officials, social media and individuals are all taking.

How dare he kill a lion?” “He has no right to kill a defenceless animal.” “How dare he use it as a trophy?”

I actually don’t disagree with these statements, I hate hunting for sport. I hate that a defenceless animal is killed at the whim of a human-being sporting a gun. I surely do not understand how killing anything is considered sport.

But the self-righteousness of what I am witnessing makes me sick. It is incomprehensible to me that while the world becomes so “outraged” over the killing of one lion, an animal, outrage over the systematic killing of defenceless, innocent babies every day within our civilised society is almost non-existent.

The outrage over the death of a lion! To the point where the man who killed it has to go into hiding. Where is the outrage over:

  • 60 million babies aborted in the USA since Roe Vs Wade,
  • the estimated 80,000 babies that are aborted in Australia every year and the
  • 336 million babies aborted in China over the last 40 years?

One may argue that abortion has nothing to do with the killing of Cecil the lion and that the two issues should not be connected. After all one is to do with killing for sport, the other is “women’s healthcare”.

Agreed. They are not the same issue.

Of course they aren’t. One is to do with an animal’s right to live. The other a human being’s right to live.

The issue is completely different because of course human life is more valuable than animal life.

Isn’t it?

Guys?

How the hell have we come to the point where we are so outraged, so angry over the death of a lion that the man who killed it has to go into hiding, but at the same time we collectively don’t give a rats-you-know-what about millions of innocent baby boys and girls being murdered every day?

You tell me we haven’t lost our moral compass somewhere along the line. When we consider the life of an animal as of greater intrinsic value, as something more worthy to get outraged about than the life of millions of babies, then something is seriously, seriously wrong.

God help us


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Gay Marriage and the Church

One thing that bugs me about the debate over gay marriage is that when both sides bring the Bible into the discussion they always seem to miss something. And it’s something HUGELY important.

One side says it is about justice and equality. The other side says it is about the family and the rights of the child. Both sides are passionate, heated and emotional.

But it is important to see something bigger is going on: whilst there is much emotional rhetoric on both sides, the battle is actually spiritual.

There are two people who care more about marriage than even the most verbal and passionate of activists:

These are of course God and Satan.

I have heard both sides discuss Leviticus 18 & 20, the story of Sodom and of course Romans 1. I’ve heard Christians and non-Christians, gay and straight argue these scriptures.

And of course, whilst these scriptures are valid, something vital is constantly overlooked.  And that is the fact that the whole Bible, the whole story of redemption is about marriage.

It begins with a marriage – the Garden of Eden

It ends with a marriage – the marriage supper of the Lamb

And in between is the great and wonderful story of the redemption of humanity through marriage.

The Eternal Truths of Marriage

As followers of Jesus Christ in this post-modern age it is easy to miss the beauty and significance of the eternal truths displayed in marriage.

It is oft-repeated that Jesus never said anything specifically against homosexuality, thus saying in effect, that He condoned it. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact everything Christ said and did was in order to institute a covenant marriage-relationship between Himself, the Bridegroom, and His Church, the Bride.

Jesus used the Jewish marriage customs of the day to illustrate to His Jewish disciples the significance of why He came. We need to remember that Jesus is a Jew and it was to other Jews that He spoke. We, as non-Jews who have been grafted in, can often miss the significance of Christ’s words.  (I have written extensively about this here)

In point form here are just a few of the Jewish marriage customs showing forth Christ’s redemption:

  • The Bride-Price (Mohar)

In ancient Jewish customs the Bride-price was agreed upon by the father and the Bridegroom-to be.  The Bride-price was a very high price to pay. The higher the price that was paid, the less incentive for a young man to divorce his betrothed.  This gave the young woman comfort that her betrothed would in fact return for her after he had finished preparing a place for her in his father’s house.

Jesus Himself paid a very high price for His bride, the ultimate price – He paid with His own blood.  His life was poured out for her.  No higher price has ever been paid than what He paid.

  • Paid in Full

When the young man paid the price in full to the father of the bride the marriage covenant was established….

…and so we see Jesus.  Upon the cross He cries out with a loud voice “It is finished!” (John 19:30)

There He paid in full the debt owed, our debt, for the sin of mankind to the Father.

  • The Glass of Wine

After the bride-price was agreed and paid, the Jewish bride-to-be would be called in and offered a glass of wine to drink. To drink from the cup would show her acceptance of the covenant with the groom.

So too Jesus, the Bride-Groom, offered His disciples a cup of wine.

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.  Mark 14:23

Jesus gives the cup to his disciples at the last supperThis was Christ’s “marriage proposal” to His Bride.  Jesus offered to His disciples the Cup, and in doing so He was instituting the New Covenant.

The Old Covenant was between Jehovah and His Wife, Israel.

The New Covenant is between Christ and His Bride, the Church.

And every time the gospel is proclaimed throughout the world it is Christ once again issuing His marriage-proposal to the lost sinner.

Satan Hates Marriage

And of course, this is why Satan hates marriage. Because every time a man and a woman enter into a marriage-covenant with each other it is proclaiming the victory of the Bridegroom and the redemption of humanity through Christ’s Bride. Marriage is a prophetic sign-post pointing to Christ and His Bride. And more than anything Satan wants that sign-post removed from the earth.  This is the reason he is pushing the gay-marriage agenda so vehemently.

God Loves Marriagejewish-wedding-gift

And of course, this is why God loves marriage. Because He designed it to be a pointer to His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  He put it in this earth to point to the true marriage of Christ and His Bride.  He wants people to see marriage and to know there is something deep and mysterious shown forth that cannot quite be grasped.  Something that will turn people to Christ and be saved.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:31, 32

Marriage is the fight of our day. I urge you not to become side-tracked with emotional rhetoric, but to see this issue as it truly is – a spiritual battle.  And one in which the Church must be engaged. Care about this. Pray. Write to your MP’s too.  Encourage church leaders to speak up.  Pray, pray, pray.