We Have the Reality

482px-Dore_Moses_Striking_the_Rock_in_Horeb(“Every Day!” Author unknown, 1872)

“Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD!” Deuteronomy 33:29

Were God’s ancient people distinguished among all nations for their privileges and blessings? Then much more happy are God’s spiritual Israel. They are redeemed from a viler slavery than that of Egypt, and with a more glorious manifestation of power and grace.

Believers now have not the tabernacle in the wilderness, nor the temple at Jerusalem–but they have all the precious realities typified by them. They are not mere outer-court worshipers, but have access to the Holy of holies through the blood of the Lamb.

They are not fed with the manna of the desert, but with “the True Bread of Heaven.”

They do not drink of the waters of the rock of Horeb, but of the river of life flowing from the Rock, Christ Jesus.

They do not have in prospect an earthly Canaan, but a heavenly city, whose builder and Maker is God.

They do not have a temporal inheritance–but an incorruptible, undefiled and unfading inheritance!

Israel of old had the shadows, Christians now have the substance.

Surely God is good to Israel–to those who are pure in heart!” Psalm 73:1

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God Uses Evil?

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Originally posted on August 12th, 2017

In 1 Kings 22:19-23, there is a troubling passage in which we are told that God used a lying spirit to deceive Ahab. Does God really use evil, lying spirits to do His bidding? Why would God do such a thing? To find the answer to this question, we need to learn a little background about King Ahab, and also understand something about the sovereignty of God.

King Ahab was the son of Omri, and he reigned over Israel in Samaria for 22 years (1 Kings 16:29). Continuing the example of his father, Ahab did evil in the sight of God by worshiping Baal and “did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel that were before him” (1 Kings 16:33). Ahab again and again proved he was bent on evil, evidenced by his continued refusal to listen to the prophet Elijah’s warnings. Ahab accused Elijah of troubling Israel by the drought, but Elijah declared that it was Ahab’s own sin that caused the troubles for the nation (1 Kings 18:18). Since Ahab had declared war on God by killing His prophets (v. 13), God then brought the war to Ahab in the form of a contest (1 Kings 18:19-40) between the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal on one side, and Elijah on the other. When God miraculously verified Elijah’s status as His true prophet, Ahab should have repented, but he remained in his sinful rebellion, fueled by the wicked anger of his wife, Jezebel.

In many subsequent incidents, God again showed His power and mercy to Ahab, but the king refused to submit and obey Him. Finally Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, came to visit him and Ahab persuaded him to join in battle to take Ramoth-Gilead from the Syrians. Wisely, Jehoshaphat insisted that they seek God’s will in the matter, so Ahab brought 400 false prophets together, who all assured him that God would give them victory (1 Kings 22:6). Jehoshaphat recognized their falsehood and asked whether a true prophet of God could be summoned. Ahab acknowledged that Micaiah was a true prophet, but he hated him, because “he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad” (1 Kings 22:8).

Micaiah was brought before the kings and delivered God’s final warning to Ahab. He said that if they went to war, they would be defeated and left without a king. Ahab replied, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?” (1 Kings 22:18). Ahab was again rejecting the clear warning from God, and choosing a path of wicked rebellion. In response to Ahab’s constant choice of sin, God revealed some of the inner workings of the spiritual world.

God had already pronounced a death sentence upon Ahab (1 Kings 20:42, 21:19), but had given him opportunity to repent of his wickedness. With this final rejection of God’s counsel, God determined to carry out the death sentence. Since Ahab continued to prefer the lies of his false prophets over the truth given by God’s prophets, God chose to use the false prophets to carry out His plan. When God asked for volunteers to “entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there” (1 Kings 22:20), a spirit (fallen angel/demon) said he would be a lying spirit in the mouth of the prophets. God gave the spirit permission to proceed, and Ahab received the message he desired.

God chose to use a lying spirit because Ahab rejected God’s rebukes and warnings all through his life and the cup of God’s wrath was full. Since God is sovereign over all of creation, He is not restricted in what or whom He can use to accomplish His holy purposes. All of creation is under His authority, and He chooses to use people and spirits, both good and evil, to bring His divine plans to pass and bring glory to Himself. “He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:35). In the case of Ahab, God chose to using a lying spirit to accomplish His perfect and righteous plan (Psalm 18:30). The lying spirit will receive its punishment just as Ahab did, and those who repent of their sins will receive forgiveness just like Ahab could have. The real question is, “Will I respond to God’s warnings with faith and obedience, or will I reject His counsel and be rejected by Him?”

Why Should We Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital?

Jerusalem_Ugglan_2Jerusalem figures prominently in both biblical history and biblical prophecy, and it is currently the focus of much controversy and political wrangling. As of December 6, 2017, the United States has recognized Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel, acknowledging the facts of history but rankling the Muslim world. All politics aside, the declaration that Jerusalem is the legitimate capital of Israel is biblically and historically accurate.

King David first chose Jerusalem as Israel’s capital 1,000 years before Christ. The city was destroyed in AD 70, but, after World War II, on May 14, 1948, Israel once again became an independent state. The U.S. quickly recognized Israel’s restored status as a national homeland for the Jewish people. Then on December 5, 1949, Israel declared Jerusalem to be its capital again. Unfortunately, other nations have been slow in facing the reality of Israel’s independence and its right to choose its own capital.

In 1995, the United States Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which required the U.S. embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, for twenty-two years, implementation of that law was delayed on the grounds of “national security.” Now, finally, the U.S. has officially recognized the obvious—Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. This recognition accords with thousands of years of history and the wishes of Israel itself.

Of course, some are opposed to recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular (and Muslim terrorist organizations) are offended by the thought of Jerusalem being made the legitimate capital of Israel. This is due in large part to the place the Temple Mount holds as the third holiest Islamic site. According to the Qur’an (Surah 17:1), Muhammad made a miraculous night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem in AD 621. There he led worship at “the farthest mosque,” was lifted to heaven, and returned to earth to carry on his teachings. The Dome of the Rock, built in AD 692, marks the place where Muhammad supposedly ascended to heaven. Today the Temple Mount is under the control of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a trust established in 1187 to manage the Islamic structures in Jerusalem. Under their current rules, access to the holy sites is prohibited to all non-Muslims.

It is important to realize a couple things: first, the Israeli government recognizes the rights of Muslims to worship on the Temple Mount, and it works to protect them there. Second, the Qur’an upholds the rights of the Jews to the Promised Land, which includes Jerusalem: “And thereafter Allah said to the children of Israel, ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land’” (Sura 17:104; see also Sura 2:122; Sura 45:17; and Sura 57:26).

Normally, every country designates its own capital, and then nations with diplomatic relations with that country build an embassy in that city. For instance, when Brazil moved its capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia in 1961, all the foreign embassies moved as well. The only country in the world whose capital has not been honored this way is Israel. All of Israel’s government buildings, as well as the residences of the President and Prime Minister, are there. Yet not a single foreign embassy is in Jerusalem. We believe that Israel should be afforded the same right as every other country to choose its own capital.

The rebirth of Israel in 1948 was a vital step in the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. The dry bones began coming back together (Ezekiel 37). The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s true and historic capital is another giant step. The stage is being set for the rest of prophetic scriptures to be fulfilled. We may not know all the implications of current events on the prophetic timeline, but one thing we can say for sure is that Jerusalem is a special city. It is the only city in the world where God has put His Name: “In Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever” (2 Kings 21:7).

Got Questions

Be Friends With Israel, Or Be Destroyed

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Because Barack Obama has cursed Israel at the United Nations, America is now under a curse. Friday’s stunning betrayal of Israel at the UN Security Council is making headlines all over the planet, but the truth is that what Obama has just done is far more serious than most people would dare to imagine.
Over the past several decades, whenever the U.S. government has taken a major step toward the division of the land of Israel it has resulted in a major disaster hitting the United States.
This keeps happening over and over again, and yet our leaders never seem to learn. And despite the fact that President-elect Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and prominent members of both parties in Congress strongly urged Obama to veto Security Council resolution 2334, he went ahead and let it pass anyway.
Because the United States has veto power on the UN Security Council, nothing can get passed without our support. And it has been the policy of the U.S. government for decades to veto all anti-Israel resolutions that come before the Security Council.
But this time around, it appears that the Obama administration was working very hard behind the scenes to get this resolution pushed through the Security Council before the end of Obama’s term. At least that is what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is claiming…
“From the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “This is, of course, in complete contradiction of the traditional American policy that was committed to not trying to dictate terms for a permanent agreement, like any issue related to them in the Security Council, and, of course, the explicit commitment of President Obama himself, in 2011, to refrain from such steps.”
I am sure that there will be a tremendous amount of debate about to what extent the U.S. was involved in creating and drafting this resolution, but there is one thing that is exceedingly clear.
The ultimate decision as to whether or not this resolution would be adopted was in the hands of one man. Barack Obama knew very well that he had this power, and in the end he ultimately decided to betray Israel.
And now that our government has cursed Israel at the UN, our entire nation will be cursed as a result.
In the Scriptures we are repeatedly told that God will bless those that bless Israel and will curse those that curse Israel.
When Barack Obama blocked a similar resolution that France wanted to submit for a vote in September 2015, it resulted in America being blessed, and we definitely have been blessed over the past 16 months.
But now that Barack Obama has reversed course and has betrayed Israel, we will most assuredly be cursed. In the days ahead we will see how this plays out, and perhaps we can get some hints about what may happen by reviewing recent history.
There have literally been dozens of instances in recent decades when the U.S. has been hit by some sort of immediate disaster when it has made a move toward the dividing of the land of Israel.
The following are ten of the most prominent examples that stand out to me…
#1 The last time the U.S. government refused to veto an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council was in 1979. On March 22nd, 1979 the Carter administration chose not to veto UN Resolution 446.
Four days after that on March 26th, the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington. As a result of that treaty, Israel gave up a tremendous amount of territory. Two days later, on March 28th, the worst nuclear power plant disaster in U.S. history made headlines all over the globe. The following comes from Wikipedia…
The Three Mile Island accident was a partial nuclear meltdown that occurred on March 28, 1979, in reactor number 2 of Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station (TMI-2) in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States. It was the most significant accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history.[2] The incident was rated a five on the seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale: Accident With Wider Consequences.[3][4]
#2 On October 30th, 1991 President George H. W. Bush opened the Madrid Peace Conference which brought Israelis and Palestinians together to negotiate for the very first time.
In his opening speech, Bush told Israel that “territorial compromise is essential for peace”. At the exact same time, “the Perfect Storm” was brewing in the north Atlantic.
This legendary storm traveled 1000 miles the wrong direction and sent 35 foot waves slamming directly into President Bush’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
#3 On August 23rd, 1992 the Madrid Peace Conference moved to Washington D.C., and the very next day Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Florida causing 30 billion dollars in damage. It was the worst natural disaster up to that time in U.S. history.
#4 On January 16th, 1994 President Clinton met with President Assad of Syria to discuss the possibility of Israel giving up the Golan Heights. Within 24 hours, the devastating Northridge earthquake hit southern California. It was the second worst natural disaster up to that time in U.S. history.
#5 On January 21st, 1998 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the White House but received a very cold reception. In fact, President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright actually refused to have lunch with him. That exact same day the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, sending the Clinton presidency into a tailspin from which it would never recover.
#6 On September 28th, 1998 Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was working on finalizing a plan which would have had Israel give up approximately 13 percent of Judea and Samaria. On that precise day, Hurricane George slammed into the Gulf Coast with wind gusts of up to 175 miles an hour.
#7 On May 3rd, 1999 Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was supposed to hold a press conference to declare the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital.
On that precise day, the most powerful tornadoes ever recorded in the U.S. ripped through Oklahoma and Kansas. At one point one of the tornadoes actually had a recorded wind speed of 316 miles an hour.
#8 On April 30th, 2003, “the Road Map to Peace” that had been developed by the so-called “Quartet” was presented to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer.
Over the next seven days, the U.S. was hit by a staggering 412 tornadoes. It was the largest tornado cluster ever recorded up to that time.
#9 In 2005, President George W. Bush (the son of George H. W. Bush) convinced Israel that it was necessary to remove all of the Jewish settlers out of Gaza and turn it over entirely to the Palestinians.
According to the New York Times, the very last of the settlers were evacuated on August 23, 2005. On that precise day, a storm that would be given the name “Katrina” started forming over the Bahamas.
The city of New Orleans still has not fully recovered from the damage that storm caused, and it ranked as the costliest natural disaster in all of U.S. history up to that time.
#10 On May 19th, 2011 Barack Obama told Israel that there must be a return to the pre-1967 borders. Three days later on May 22nd a half-mile wide EF-5 multiple-vortex tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri. According to Wikipedia, it was “the costliest single tornado in U.S. history.”
The UN Security Council resolution that was passed on Friday is the biggest betrayal of Israel in modern history. As I explained in my last article, I believe that America’s reprieve is now over and all hell is about to break loose in this country.
When Barack Obama blocked the UN Security Council from dividing the land of Israel in September 2015, according to the Word of God we should have been blessed as a nation as a result, and we were blessed.
But now Barack Obama has cursed Israel by stabbing them in the back at the United Nations, and according to the Word of God we should be cursed as a nation as a result.
And as surely as I am writing this article, we will be cursed.