Monday, February 12, 2018

ISRAEL, Apple of God's eye---what does that mean?

Dear friends and readers,

Sometimes we in Christianity use Biblical terms so much that they become rote. One such example for some folks is a reference to "THE APPLE OF GOD's EYE". So the question becomes, what does that really mean and is it all that important?

The premier reference to that phrase is found in the Biblical book of Zechariah chapter 2 verse 8. The context is having to do with the City of Jerusalem. It is about to be measured by possible angels to determine the width and the length of the city. I say possible because "A MAN" with a measuring line in his hand (verse1) is referred to but also the prophet is being spoken to by at least one and possibly two angels. Skipping ahead to verse 8 we find the old Biblical crux of the biscuit. "For thus says the Lord of Hosts: He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you (JERUSALEM---my emphasis added); For he who touches you touches the apple of His eye"!

Do you remember flinching when drops are placed into your eye? Or as a child playing, when one of the other kids finger came dangerously close to your eye? You, as did I probably jerked away violently because the very center of the eye is one of the most tender, sensitive areas of the human body. It is simply not pleasant to have it touched. So why is it that God uses the eye as a figure of extreme sensitivity while referring to the Holy City of Jerusalem?

There are actually several Biblical references to the eye and many of them use the term "THE APPLE" of the eye. The Hebrew word behind the phrase THE APPLE is a translation of the word "ISHON" which itself is related to the word "ISH", meaning man. The etymological development of "ISHON" then becomes "the little eye of the man". THE APPLE is an ancient metaphor which means the PUPIL of the eye. The very center and therefore the most protected.

For my many years in law enforcement and also while working with horses and other livestock, I quickly learned that the very best place to look for either a blessing or a threat was to look directly into the eye of whomever I was dealing with at the time. The eye gives away intent. It is also a mirror of sorts because at close range when the light is directed toward you, one can see a tiny reflection of himself in another persons eye. Also of great interest to me is that there are tiny pinpoints of light in most peoples eyes. I have had the distinctly sad displeasure on many occasions to be with both people and animals when they breathed their last. I did not have to call a doctor to check for a pulse to know a person had passed beyond deaths threshold. I knew immediately when the light went out of the eye and it became dull in appearance. It has been said that the eye is the window to the soul and although that specific phrase is not found in the Bible, Matthew chapter 6 verses 22-23 are extremely illuminating (no pun intended), "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" That statement is ended Biblically by a hyphen not a question mark. It is a statement of fact.

As one of the five senses, the eye captures photos literally of every single thing a person sees. I am sure you have noticed that years after a particular event, a memory will suddenly come flooding back upon you and in most cases you can see that memory in livid original color. That's why as a pastor, I remind folks to be very careful of what they allow their children to watch on television because those memories will be with that child all the days of their lives. There are many memories in my own life from earlier years particularly in Law Enforcement that I sincerely wish I could forget. But they are always there, lurking just below the surface of my immediate awareness.

In the case of King David in writing Psalm 17:8, he is crying out to God for help in desperate times. He asks "Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings from the wicked who oppress me, from the deadly enemies who surround me". David wanted to be nearest to the most tender part of God even though he knew God the Father is Spirit. He asked to be in the apple of Gods eye rather than his heart which most other people would have chosen.

And even though God is Spirit He still has ultimate power, a fact of which King David was well aware. That is also why he asked God to cover him with the shadow of His wings. I remember reading a particularly sad story years ago about a huge forest fire. After the fire, inspectors came across  the thoroughly scorched body of a female bird with her wings spread in death. They heard small sounds and discovered several chicks still alive and well under their mothers wings. She had protected them unto her own death with the shadow of her wings. Basically that is exactly what our Lord Jesus Christ did on the cross of Calvary. He shed His own blood to cover the sins of mankind and metaphorically speaking, the shadow of His wings covers His followers.

We have a Jewish King (the ancient forefather in human form of Jesus Himself) crying out to God for protection and the safest place for him to be was the exact center, the pupil, the APPLE of God's eye. In the case of Jerusalem, God is telling us a very important thing that the world would do well to remember. Jerusalem is so utterly and entirely important to God, that anyone who touches it is like sticking their finger directly into the center of God's eye.

The lesson in this for all of us is that God's people, the Jews as the chosen of God and also members of the church (both Jew and gentile) who are seriously in repentance and followers of Christ, are literally as sensitive to God as is the very center, the apple of His eye.

As we are going through our normal trials and tribulations here on earth, when we begin to doubt, feel anxiety, fear, frustration, anger and generally feel alone, there is a God available to us who feels about His people as equally protective as the Apple of His own eye.

Have there been times as a believer that you turn every which way to try and resolve a problem and only then turn to God in prayer? I have, I will gladly admit it because we all need those kinds of reminders. God is there ALWAYS, His Son paid the ultimate price for our sins and for our very lives. The Holy Spirit has been given to us to guide, to protect and convict us when necessary.

The world thinks about alien forces from outer space and is constantly asking "are we alone"?

Followers of Christ KNOW we are not alone. The God of Creation who invented both time and outer space is with us and keeps us in the apple of His eye and under the shadow of His wings. But it is a good idea to ask Him---FIRST!

God bless you all today,
Pastor Rance.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

ISRAEL, is it really from God? A confused and conflicted church.

Dear friends and readers,

What is your position on Israel---as a follower of Christ?

ISRAEL is an enigma among many Christians today. What a shame because it should not be. On the other hand in the beginning of the first century, Acts chapter 2 tells the story of the fledgeling church immediately after the resurrection of Christ. Verse 1 tells the story for all to see. "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they we're all with one accord in one place".

Today roughly 2000 years later, NO ONE could accuse the church of being "WITH ONE ACCORD".  Denominationalism has taken over. In fact worldwide among an estimated 2.2 Billion believers, there are over 30,000 denominations ranging in size from huge to infinitesimal. But they are certainly not in one accord on many issues, the most prominent of which is ISRAEL!

But first let's set the prophetic stage by reviewing what God has to say about Israel; Genesis 12:3. The scene is one in which Abram (later called Abraham) is spoken to by God Himself. "I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed".  It should be noted that some versions of the Bible say "I will curse those who MAKE LIGHT OF YOU"! One way or another whether folks curse Israel of even make light of her they are stepping directly into the path of a divine curse by the Creator of the Universe. Heavy stuff to be certain.

Just as a reminder, Abraham had a son named Isaac who in turn had a son named Jacob who was later renamed ISRAEL by God. And then Israel became the father of 12 sons who became the fathers of the nation of Israel. To  both of Abrahams sons, Isaac and Israel,  God repeated both his promise of blessings and His grant deed to the land that Israel would eventually possess. I am sometimes asked where in the Bible do these promises occur? For your study and benefit I have listed them as follows; Genesis 13:14-17, 15:1-7, 17:1-8 and 15-19, 22:16-18, 26:2-5 and 24, 28:13-15, 31:13, 35:9-12. And God made an unconditional promise of blessing through Abrahams seed 1). To the nation of Israel to inherit a specific territory forever (Genesis 12:2, 15:18-21, 17:7-8). 2). To the gentile nations (Genesis 12:3). 3). To the church as in Christ ( Galatians 3:16, 28-29).

Abraham did in fact have another son by the name of ISHMAEL who Abraham loved very much. He also received Covenant promises from God but those promises were completely separate and distinct from Promises and Covenants made with Isaac and Israel. Our subject matter today is only the Covenant promises made in regards to the nascent nation of Israel.

If you believe in the Bible as all true Christians should, these promises are eternal and without dispute. But somehow along the way, massive numbers of Christians belonging to several large denominations have gone off the Biblical rail in regards to Israel.

All of the following major denominations have come out against Israel (and in many cases boycott) in the strongest terms. Despite the fact that Israel is mentioned in the Bible 2591 times. 1). United Church of Christ. 2). United Methodist. 3). Presbyterian Church USA. 4). British Methodist Church. 5). United church of Canada. 6). South African Council of Churches. 7). Malaysian Council of Churches. 8). Church of Sweden. 9). World Council of Churches Central Committee. And although this is no reflection upon individual churches within the Catholic Church, Frequently some of  the statements and stances taken by the current Pope towards Israel seem to be extremely anti semitic.

To put that in perspective for you, 31% of the entire worlds population (6.9 Billion or more) are among people who claim to be Christians. A large percentage of those are represented by anti semitic denominations who have blatantly disregarded scripture, the promises and covenants of God and for political gain or purpose have turned against Israel and sided with the so called Palestinian people.

I mentioned earlier that the name of Israel is listed in scripture 2591 times. Guess how many times PALESTINIAN is mentioned? ZERO! Although to be honest there is some contention about that. The pro Palestinian crowd likes to say that "Palestinian" is mentioned in Joel chapter 3 verse 4. Truthfully not so for the following reasons; Joel chapter 3 verse 4 does use the Hebrew word "PLESHETH" however that word has been mistranslated to "Palestinian" when in reality the actual word is translated as "Philistia or Philistine (Strongs # 6429). The Philistine people dwelt in the ancient area of Syria and were alternately enemies and on a very few occasions a tiny bit friendly towards Israel. Mostly enemy. The Philistine people are no more. They disappeared from the pages of history eons ago. NO TRACE LEFT of that blood line.

You may remember the name YASSAR ARAFAT? Until his death at the age of 75 on November 11, 2004, he was the President of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It was this man who dialed up an entirely false narrative and lineage for the current occupants of the West Bank and Gaza and insisted to the United Nations and the world at large that they are direct descendants of the original Philistine peoples. A false narrative in every single aspect. But people being people have a tendency to believe whoever it is that is last speaking and speaking the loudest. The reason Arafat promoted this lie is because if he could get the world to swallow it, he could make the case that the PALESTINIAN peoples ancestors pre dated the Israelis in the promised land. You know there is an old truth that bears telling; A truth that is only 99% truth is all lie! There is no relationship between the current Palestinian people and the ancient Philistines.

Also a subject of extreme contention is the ancient City of Jerusalem. The center of the city is the ancient Temple Mount upon which sat both the first and second Jewish Temples. 2 Samuel 24:24 records the fact that King David purchased the threshing floor that later became the Temple Mount from a man named "ARAUNAH" for 50 Shekels of silver. That was in the 10th century B.C.  His son King Solomon began building the first Temple on that spot and it was completed in 957 B.C.

Why is this important? Because other claims of the Palestinian leadership and many other Muslims of the Middle East is that Jerusalem and specifically the Temple Mount were owned by Muslims before Jews and in many cases they flatly deny any Jewish or Israeli history on that spot at all. However there is a small problem; Namely about 1500 years. The Prophet Muhammed (founder of the Muslim or Islamic religion) was not born until 570 A.D. and his life spanned only 62 years until his death on June 8 in the year 632 A.D.. The oldest standing shrine venerated by the Muslim peoples was in fact built upon the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the 7th century A.D. a very long time after King David purchased the ground. That building still stands and is called the Dome of the Rock, a shrine but not a Mosque. Many people believe that the Dome is situated exactly over the original Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple but I disagree with that for a variety or reasons. A subject for another article. One way or another Israel occupied the Holy Land and in particular Jerusalem centuries before Muhammed ever existed or founded the religion of Islam.

The City of Jerusalem is the capital of the modern nation of Israel as it was in ancient Israel. Not only the Bible but well established historical records confirm that statement as fact. Today the Palestinian leadership is trying to claim East Jerusalem as their capital. Within that area is located the Temple Mount and Israel will never give that land up. EVER! Nor should they. For the record, I do have sympathy for the so called Palestinian peoples. They were shafted big time but not by Israel, They were shafted by the other Arab and Muslim peoples of the Middle East and to this day are being used as political pawns by the enemies of Israel. They are being ruled by the leaders of HAMAS in Gaza and FATAH in the West Bank. Fatah still operates under the old PLO charter but now refers to itself as the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY (PA). Both of these organizations and their leadership have as a part of their original charters, the goal of the total and complete destruction of Israel. The people themselves have been brain washed by hatred and bigotry against a people (Jews in general) who have only one stated goal; To live in peace! You may want to notice that Israel does not call or consider her soldiers an offensive army. It is the IDF (Israeli DEFENSE force). It is reported that Israel has nuclear weapons. Have you ever one time seen or heard of Israel threatening any other nations with her armaments? No! They seek only peace with their neighbors.

I would like to see the Palestinian people have a homeland But not within the boarders of the land promised to Israel by God many centuries ago. I have written extensively about that in other articles so will not belabor the point now.

The fact that the Temple Mount and by extension, all of Jerusalem is so hotly contested today is one of the surest indicators that the world really is approaching if not already in the "END TIMES". This should be no surprise to any Christian who actually reads their Bible. God clearly declared through the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 12:2) "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem". That siege is on the horizon and has already begun politically. There are currently 193 member nations of the United Nations General Assembly. Plus two observer nations. 1). The Palestinian Authority 2). The Holy See.
What is the Holy See you say? Many people do not know that the VATICAN (Headquarters of the Catholic church---the Holy See) is in fact an independent nation tucked into a large enclave within the city limits of Rome.

Of the total 193 voting nations, 128 of them just two weeks ago voted against the United States moving it's Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Why? Because these nations do not want to give recognition to Israel that her ancient capital of Jerusalem is still her capital today. At this very moment there is such an uproar and furor over this issue that I believe Zechariah's prophecy is playing itself out before the eyes of the world. This is extremely serious stuff folks. Zechariah goes on in verse 3 to state "And it shall happen in that day that I (GOD) will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; All who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though ALL NATIONS OF THE EARTH ARE GATHERED AGAINST IT". Right now the United States and a few other nations are standing with Israel and in support of their capital city of Jerusalem. But that will change at some point in the future. Now please pay close attention to Zechariah chapter 12 verse 9; "IT SHALL BE IN THAT DAY THAT I (GOD) WILL SEEK TO DESTROY ALL THE NATIONS THAT COME AGAINST JERUSALEM"!

Scary and yet the peoples of the earth seemingly have no idea that the Creator of the Universe will do exactly as He has proclaimed. Which brings me back to the subject of the confused and conflicted church worldwide. Not the entire church because there most certainly are denominations and individual pastors who understand the importance of Israel and Jerusalem in the mind and heart of God. Many of these are called "Evangelical Christians". This is a trans-denominational, very large (and growing) group of churches, pastors and individual believers who understand that the Bible is accurate and that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. Also most Evangelicals do support Israel and Jerusalem as it's capital city.

For those who are members of denominations who do not support Israel, I can only say that you have been duped by false teachers. You are in big trouble. In my opinion you cannot claim to love Jesus Christ who is the Messiah of Israel and at the same time reject His natural brothers and sisters the Jewish people. You can in compassion try and help the Palestinian people but you cannot do so at the expense of Israel.

In closing this article I want to most emphatically point out a scripture to you in Matthew chapter 7 verses 21-23 (Jesus speaking) "Not everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day , Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; Depart from Me, You who practice lawlessness!"

The MANY who practice lawlessness obviously feel that they are followers of Christ. They most probably attend church, pay their tithes, help in the homeless shelters or do works of the Spirit and yet Jesus says He does not know them. While I am not the judge, it makes me wonder about what the Lord thinks about people who claim to follow Him but despise His place of birth, His natural brothers and sisters and His Holy City of Jerusalem as far as being the Capital of Israel is concerned. I can only urge everyone reading this article to take a serious look at scripture and ask yourself a question? Is it better for me to listen to false doctrinal narrative from my denominational leaders or to listen to the Voice of God Himself?

By reading this article you have been advised. There is an old saying that goes like this; "A little bit of knowledge can be the most dangerous thing in the world". Before you act or continue to act against Israel and Jerusalem please take the time to become well informed regarding what God has to say about these subjects. Your eternal destination could well hang in the balance.

God bless,
Pastor Rance.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Dear friends and readers,

As we close out last year and jump into 2018, many questions spring to mind about world events—many of which seem to be spinning ever rapidly out of control. On the surface, particulary in the United States things seem to be looking up as the new President is obviously trying to fulfill campaign promises. New tax laws, role back of silly regulations and a veritable smorgasbord of things WAY past due! That in itself is a breath of political fresh air. On the other hand this president is a polarizing force to reckon with and his enemies will always be his enemies. I am not a political writer and try my best to stay out of the fray in that regard. There have been past Presidents that I flatly did not like but I did always consider that part of my responsibility as a Christian was to pray for them and their families. No matter what political party is in office, that has to be the toughest job on planet earth. No matter what you might do as President at least half the people will love you and the other half hate you. But my article today has more to do with this President and his stance as a friend to the nation of Israel. And in my opinion, a friend he most definetely is. 

I have to admit that I was extremely skeptical that Trump would EVER really move the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem even though it was his promise to do so. My skepticism was rooted firmly in the reality that all of the past 4 Presidents made that same promise but failed to do so. Every six months each of them found reason to demure. So, why now would that change?

The obvious answer is that it was not in God’s timing and after all, it is He who is really pulling the strings of power here on earth. Many people, including those “of the book—the Bible” (both Jew and Gentile believer) have a tendency to look at personalities when in fact there is a cosmic plan in motion and that plan was sealed as an irrivocable deal by the one true God, long before He chose Abraham and subsequently his son Isaac and then Jacob to be the fathers of the Israelite people. This article is not about explaining the Covenants that God made with these men because they are easily looked up in any Bible, particularly the book of Genesis. My theme today is vastly different because I look at what is happening today in the world as moves on a gigantic heavenly chess board. 

But first a reminder; The New Testament clearly tells us that it is God Himself who puts leaders in office (Romans 13:1). While not clearly stated, that obvious fact is also clearly seen in the Old Testament as well. Do not mistake that to mean that God intentionally inflicted harm on entire nations through the hands of a leader or king who chose to be evil. Case in point; Israels first King, Saul was in fact chosen by God through the prophet Samuel. But Saul CHOSE to rebell and disobey God. Mankind, no matter the social station has a right to choose his or her own path. They can choose to be good or can choose to be evil. By the way, if you are a follower of Christ who is reading this, I sincerely hope you have not been tought that the words “OLD TESTAMENT” in any way infer that the tenets of that book are somehow passed away. The OLD TESTAMENT contains very many Biblical prophecies yet to be fulfilled. Not to mention a wealth of phenominal knowledge and wisdom from directly "on High"! Also we have the statement by Christ Himself that He did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17-22).  And both Jesus and some of His disciples quoted Old Testament scripture.

A case in point; I once knew a newly self minted pastor who tought his people to completely disregard the OLD TESTAMENT based solely on one NEW TESTAMENT scripture. The one in the book of (Mark 9:7) in which God is heard speaking and says “this is my beloved Son, hear Him”. Not only was this new pastor wrong and leading his people astray but he effectively chopped the foundation completely away from the New Testament. When a foundation is destroyed the building upon which it stands can no longer effectively stand! 

In regard to Israel, the capital of that august nation is now and has always been Jerusalem regardless of what is now seen as being politically correct. In fact there are a few facts that some folks in the church may not be aware of; For hundreds of years, Jerusalem was considered to be a back water little city characterized by almost zero infrastructure, bad roads and surrounded by miles upon miles of maleria infested swamps. With few exceptions over the generations (almost exclusively holy wars between Christian and Arab armies such as during the various crusades), NO ONE WANTED IT!!! It was only when the Jews began returning to the land they were promised by God that folks began to sit up and lust after the land and Jerusalem because?? What was the defining difference? History will clearly show that when the Jewish people were installed in their ancestral land, the land itself began to bloom and produce a bounty, the envy of all who witnessed it happening. Take away the Jewish people from the land and it ALWAYS fell back into swanp land unfit for human habitation. And, oh yes we could talk about the Jewish people being a stubborn and stiff necked lot at times and it was God Himself who punished them in those cases. But God never ever withdrew His covenents with His chosen people and the fact is that every single nation who ever tried to take that land away for themselves—themselves parished. That story is repeated constantly throughout history. Don’t think so?

Ask yourself a question? What ever happened to ALL of the following empires? And what did each and every one have in common? 1). Ancient Egypt  2). The Philistines  3). Assyrian Empire  4). Babylonian Empire  5). Persian Empire  6). Greek Empire  7). Roman Empire  8). Byzantine Empire  9). Crusaders  10). Spanish Empire  11). Nazi Germany  12). Soviet Union  13). and although still a vibrant nation, was it not after the British Empire sided with the Arabs against the Jews during WWII that nearly 3/4 of their worldwide holdings evaporated? What all those empires had in common was a plan in one form or another to either take the holy land away from the Jewish people of subjugate them through conquest. Where are everyone of those empires now? GONE!

And what happened to all the VASTLY SUPERIOR armies that tried to destroy Israel in her wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973? All soundly defeated by tiny little Israel. Not that Israel did not pay a price for victory because they certainly did. Each and every time. But the fact is that no one will ever destroy Israel or the Jewish people because “GOD SAID SO” (Genesis 12:3 ands Galatians 3:8).

In the closing chapter of 2017, within the United Nations, 128 countries voted against the United States because finally an American President had the Chutzpah to  recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And I think a few other countries will eventually come around and also move their Embassies to the Holy City of God. In line with the United States the nation of Guatemala recently made that very same declaration. Will it be without cost? No, in fact I have no doubt that war will once again break out over this issue. It is only a matter of time if you think about it. Israel is currently surrounded by enemies. Hezbollah, Hamas, Both jordan and Egypt who both have extremely strained peace pacts with Israel and both are under constant threat of themselves being taken over by Islamic extremist factions. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not much better off. They are riding a very sharp edged fence between appeasing their own Arab populations——many of whom are extremist Muslims with terrorist aspirations,  and trying to be a friend to the United States and at the least maintain an uneasy peace with Israel.

Both China and Russia are trying desperately to supplant the United States as the predominant world power. North Korea is threatening to nuke the United States, there are extremely unstable areas and governments all over northern Africa replete with forms of famine and pestilence. There is no organized government in Liberia. Syria is still melting down from vicious civil war. Iran is currently on the one hand, sponsoring terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas with an agenda of totally destroying Israel. And on the other hand trying to fend off hundreds and thousands of their own population who are rising up to demand basic human rights.  Turkey has in the past two years gone from a relative democracy to a total dictatorship with Islamic fundamentalist agendas and is beginning to threaten Israel and the west. 

But hey, other than that all is well on terrafirma!

I have no idea how all this will play itself out but my opinion is that war is coming during 2018. And also perhaps one of the biggest financial melt downs of all times. At the very moment the world is on the brink of terrible catastrophe. 

I sincerely hope that I am wrong. But stay tuned because at no time since WWII has the entire world been this unstable. 

I can only urge all Christians to do two things; PRAY and LOOK UP for our redemption draws nigh.

God bless,
Pastor Rance.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

So really? Donald Trump is a modern day King Cyrus?

Dear friends and readers,

Peace and grace to all of you this Christmas and Chanukah season,

As I research various articles, I look for central themes that keep popping up.When something big is thought to be either already in place or coming soon, invariably it will be discussed more and more in a variety of news formats and printed literature.

Just such a BIGGIE is popping up among both Christian writers and renowned Rabbinical authorities.
The subject matter involved is whether or not prophetically speaking, the election of President Donald Trump somehow signals a form of new advent of the famous King Cyrus. You will notice I did not say "reincarnation", something also speculated upon in some quarters but a subject matter that is decidedly UNBiblical in nature.

As we discuss this I will remind my readers that I do not publish articles that are in the least bit political in nature. That does not mean however that I do not discuss particular political figures but while doing so I make a sincere attempt not to malign these people or take sides in political arguments. In fact if I had to describe myself in political terms it would be as an avowed "Independent conservative". I reserve the right to exercise my vote for the best person for the job, regardless of whether they have an "R" or a "D" or any other initial preceding their names.

Having said that, I have noticed that several writers are attempting to compare the once great King Cyrus to the current occupant of the White House. Cyrus was a Persian King of great renown. It was King Cyrus, basically a secular leader who decreed that the building of the second Jewish Temple should proceed. You may recall that the first Temple was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Fast forward to Cyrus time and Nebuchadnezzar's home turf is now under Persian control with Cyrus as the "Grand Poobah" of the entire region, and a huge one at that. Cyrus felt some compassion for the Jews who had been displaced from Jerusalem and in fact the entire Holy land.

Interestingly, Cyrus was spoken about in the Bible by name long before he lived. By whom? By God Himself! In the book of Isaiah chapter 45 verses 1-8 the prophet speaking for God says" Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, who's right hand I have held---and then in verses 3-4 God says why He has named Cyrus in His holy word "---That you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel. FOR JACOB MY SERVANTS SAKE, AND ISRAEL MY ELECT, I HAVE EVEN CALLED YOU BY YOUR NAME---"! (My italics added for emphasis).

Abraham had a son called Isaac who in turn had a son called Jacob. Jacob's name was changed by God to ISRAEL and he became the father of the 10 tribes of Israel who were later lead out of bondage in Egypt by Moses. When God used the prophet Isaiah to prophetically call Cyrus by name, it was 150 years before Cyrus was born. (Is it really possible for anyone to doubt the Bible after something like that???). King Cyrus was about 50 years old when he made the decree to once again begin building the walls of Jerusalem and the Temple. That means God called him by name a full two hundred years before the event took place. Obviously a man called by God to perform a task of immense importance to Israel.

Now we have President Trump. A most unlikely man to run for President of the ONLY NATION ON EARTH capable of positively effecting the modern day nation of Israel. Not only an unusual man to run but one who every single pundit on the planet loudly proclaimed did not have a chance of winning. But win he did---BIG TIME! And now he is the one American President who had the Chutzpah to proclaim that Jerusalem is Israel's capital city. 4 previous American Presidents had the opportunity to do so every six months for several years but deferred. Why? Because it was not God's timing for them to do so.

Remember your Biblical numerology? the number 7 is the number of completion. President Harry S. Truman (against ALL advice of his government at the time) recognized the new State of Israel shortly  after it was announced by Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion on May 14, 1948. Truman was the first world leader to do so. The amount of years between Truman's recognition and Trump's recognition is 69 years on the Gregorian calendar. But and this is a big but. The Jewish calendar is different than the traditional Gregorian calendar. The Jewish month of Nissan (falling between March and Aril) is the beginning of the Jewish calendar. But the month of Tishrei (falling between October and September) is the official beginning the the Jewish New Year. Confusing? Probably. The issue is whether or not on the Jewish calendar, President Trumps proclamation recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, falls in the 70th Jewish year after President Truman's proclamation recognizing Israel's return from the scrap heap of history on May 14, 1948? There is only one nation to ever do so by the way---ISRAEL! I will leave it to the mathematicians out there to figure out the fine point of that particular argument.

The study of Biblical numerology is fascinating; For example, what if it really is 70 years between Truman's and Trump's proclamation regarding Israel? Is there any significance to the fact that undeniably 2018 is the 70th anniversary year since Israel became a Nation again after roughly 2000 years of anonymity? Is there any significance to the fact that the newly regathered, nascent Sanhedrin (religious ruling body of the Jewish people), have declared that the Jubilee year spans 2017-2018? FYI, Jubilee cycles are 50 years long and broken down into 7 year periods for a total of 50. Is there even a scintilla of significance to the  established fact that President Trump on his day of inauguration was exactly 70 years, 7 months and 7 days old? What do you think?

Frankly several authors have drawn all kinds of other similarities between King Cyrus and President Trump. In fact (if you believe in such a thing) the scholars who specialize in "THE BIBLE CODES" claim they have discovered evidence that links Cyrus to Trump. Those are the very same guys who say they found imbedded in the scriptures, references to President Trump being elected. I have done some study in the Bible Codes although I am far from an expert on the subject. My own investigation has lead me to firmly believe that the codes are real but normally I do not teach about them because it is such a complex subject that you almost have to be an expert on the issue to speak about it with any degree of clarity. But I don't discount them either.

I can however speak with absolute authority in regards to what the Bible says about leadership. So can you. Romans chapter 13 verse 1-2 makes it abundantly clear. "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgement on themselves"!

Do you love President Trump or do you hate him? Same question for President Obama before him? Like them or hate them, they were in fact appointed by God. The reasons may not make sense to us here on this earth but I have zero doubt there is a grand scheme working it's way through the cosmos and that it originated in the throne room of God. Far better to pray for our leaders whether we personally like them or not.

So, what do you think? Is President Trump a modern day King Cyrus? A leader who against all odds is a friend to Israel? A friend with enough guts to put it to both word and deed? Is it possible that God will use this man to somehow assist Israel in it's growing quest to build a third Temple?

No proclamations here my friends but certainly worthy of thought, wouldn't you say?

Have a great day in Jesus,
AND a fascinating time studying Biblical prophecy!

Pastor Rance.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Middle East briefing for 2018

Dear friends and readers,

The mysteries of the ages!  Does God give advance warning to certain men regarding horrible future circumstances?  We can begin with Amos 3:7  "Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets"!  Obviously God does give us a heads up about some future events.  So, is there anything on the immediate horizon to indicate that prophecy is about it be fulfilled?  But first let's see who is qualified to receive Godly insight.

2 Corinthians 12:2-3 contains a bit of information from the Apostle Paul that has stumped people for centuries.  He states "I know a man in Christ, who 14 years ago---whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows---such a one was caught up to the third heaven.  And I know such a man---whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows---how he was caught up into paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.  Of such a man I will boast; Yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities".

Was Paul speaking of himself or did he really know someone else who had this remarkable thing happen to them?

Paul is not alone, although he is in extremely famous company;  The Prophet Daniel was also given a vision but told in chapter 12 verse 4,  "But you Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end;  And many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase".  Then there is the Apostle John who wrote in the book of Revelation (Revelation 22:10) that the vision he had received was NOT to be sealed because the time was already at hand.  So, do only the great and Biblically mighty men of God receive advance knowledge of some future event or have there been others?

Ephesians chapter 4 verses 11-13 is the Apostle Paul telling the Ephesian church about Jesus.   He states "And He Himself (Jesus) gave some to be Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, and some to be Pastors and Teachers".  And then goes on to say that these gifts were given for the benefit of the church and those in it.  This was speaking of future events and the giving of future spiritual gifts so we know that there must have been other Prophets over the centuries.  Personally I have always maintained a skeptical attitude toward people carrying business cards identifying themselves as Apostles or Prophets but that does not mean they do not exist.

The reason that I belabor this point is because, like Paul (not putting myself upon that lofty platform), I too know a man.  I will not name this guy because he is still alive and wants no notoriety.  Neither does he care to receive harsh criticism that would certainly come his way if he identified what he had seen in a vision.  Roughly 35 years ago while transitioning from one career to another, this man had an incredible experience similar to the above stated Biblical giants but he did not see any angels, hear any voices or receive any instructions from "on High"!  What I can tell you is that this is a regular guy--nothing special, with no history of embellishment and at the time of his "vision" he knew only that Jesus Christ was Lord.  He had not read the Bible, he knew absolutely nothing about Israel (other than the fact that it existed), nothing about Biblical prophecy and in fact did not even attend a church.

During a short period back in the early 80's (2-3 days) he began to see an in color vision of absolutely horrifying worldwide destruction.   Abject fear and horrible terror permeated this otherwise normal guy.  When I say saw, it was for this man as though he were looking from the outside in, toward some virtual worldwide event with horrible, violent circumstances.  At the end of whatever it was that he saw, he relates that it was like someone drew down the shade on a window.  One moment this vision was there in living breathing color and the next it was----GONE!  The vision was as though he was looking at it from afar, rather than being a part of it.  When it literally disappeared from both his sight and his mind,  the only things he could remember were that it was huge and horribly destructive in nature, he remembered the absolute fear he had felt and he remembered one other thing.  The year of the happening.  2018.

This man relates that he did not feel he was able to share anything about this for roughly 35 years until October 2017.  He received no heavenly instructions to do any big publications or write a book or anything of that nature.  And I do not believe that he will.  But this man has literally been waiting all these years, knowing that 2018 will bring horrible changes to this world like has never been seen before.  He has no real idea what that might represent and even though this man has now been walking solidly with the Lord for many years, every attempt to ask the Lord to reopen this vision to him has been met with silence.  Just waiting, waiting for a very large shoe to drop. When asked if he believes what he saw might represent the rapture, his answer was a qualified no.  Although from my perspective, I suppose it could represent what might happen after the fact.  To a world that has just suffered the loss of as many as a billion people or so.  Who knows---just a thought!

So, we must ask ourselves a question?  Did this person really see what he claims?  After all he wants no notoriety whatsoever so what does he have to gain?    Or was this the result of some really bad dream brought about by too much pizza the night before?  Once again, who knows?  But, I for one have paid attention.  You might want to as well.  Or simply dismiss the entire thing as a guy slightly off his rocker for 3 days.  But of one fact I am certain.  2018 is now just 2 months away.  I am not sure if I am looking forward to it or feeling more than a bit of  trepidation.  Actually both! And another pressing question.  Is it possible that others may have seen these things for the future as well?

As a writer of Biblical prophecy, I can see that next year could very well bring some unpleasant surprises but I fall drastically short of making any predictions.   With that statement, lets take a look at what is happening in the Middle East and to some extent around the world and then you can decide for yourselves what potential scenarios exist if any.  Please remember that I am not a prophet so my opinion is simply that, nothing more.

1).   First, right here in the good ole US of A. The current President is extremely popular with a huge cross section of conservative voters and thoroughly hated by most of those on the left.  In addition he also has a great many opponents in his own political party.  I mention that because it seems no matter what the guy does domestically, he is fighting an uphill battle every step of the way.  On the one hand he wants to balance the budget but on the other has promised massive build ups in both infrastructure and military assets.  With a 20 Trillion dollar national debt, you cannot have both.  A huge build up  also means adding a huge amount to an already dangerously high debt ceiling.  Economists have been predicting a massive financial crisis in the USA for several years now and those who are making those claims are even more concerned by the day.  If the  "house of financial cards"  falls it will take down the economies of many other nations of the world.  Do you remember what happened shortly after 9-11?  Wall Street was so impacted that the nation barely escaped financial ruin through only one terror attack albeit a huge one.

The nation is swimming in another type of debt as well.  Billions upon billions of dollars annually in trade deficits with several very large countries.  The Government is trying to correct that but the fact is these efforts could easily ignite massive trade wars on a number of fronts.

2).  We (the entire world)  are closer to a nuclear holocaust than anytime since the Bay of Pigs in the term of the late President John F. Kennedy.  North Korea has verifiable nuclear assets and continues to  make threats.  Just one nuclear device launched in any direction could easily set off a regional conflict which could spread into a worldwide conflagration.  Iran is doing it's best to "hoodwink" the world while still trying to develop a nuclear arsenal and they work very closely with the North Koreans.

3).  China is trying desperately to achieve worldwide financial domination including replacing the dollar as the worlds currency with the Yen.  China is also pushing for physical dominance in the North China sea which threatens the  sovereignty of Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and others.

4).  Russia under President Vlademir Putin is once again in the ascendancy and has global aspirations as a replacement for the United States as world leader.  In my opinion Putin is trying to rebuild the old Soviet Union but this time under the flag of Mother Russia and eventually headed by a new era replacement for the Czar---namely himself.  Both the USA and Russia have tested new long range intercontinental ballistic missiles this past year.  Once again we are on the edge of absolute brinkmanship on nuclear steroids.

5).  Both India and Pakistan are nuclear nations who are located side by side and who are mortal enemies.  Pakistan could easily be taken over by military coup or those with extremist ideology which would put nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists.

6).  After over 13 years the United States is still embroiled in a no-win war in Afghanistan which could easily boil over into Pakistan and India on the East and even more so into China with a massive influx of war torn refugees.  Also Westward into Iran and Northward into several of the former Soviet "Stans" .  It would appear that the US is once again building up troop strength in that area of the world.  To what end?

7).  North Korea and South Korea are on the brink of war and have been since the armistice was declared invalid by the north in 1953.  Any kind of war between these two nations will absolutely spill over and involve the United States, China and Russia.  Catastrophe in the making.  Only a matter of time.

8).  Several nations on the African continent are once again at war or threatening to do so.  Drought, Plague and famine are once again threatening millions of people.

9).  Israel, the only Democracy in the entire Middle East is surrounded by extremely violent enemies.  Hezbollah located in Lebanon has over 120,000 missiles pointed at Israeli cities.  Both Hezbollah and Hamas on the Gaza strip are proxy armies of Iran.  Turkey to the north was a long time ally of Israel and a Democratic modern nation.  Now in just a couple of short years Turkey has been taken over as a dictatorship run by Muslim extremists with pure hated for Israel.  This is a powder keg ready to explode and one tiny spark is all it will take.

10). Saudi Arabia and Jordan are both royal kingdoms and both live in daily fear of overthrow by religious extremists.   At this moment Saudi Arabia has begun purges of wealthy aristocrats and even a few members of the Royal family.  Another powder keg and no one really understands why this is happening other than the fact that it destabilizes the Middle East to an even greater extent.  Yemen and Libya are not really legal forms of Government and are literally havens for every type of violent terrorist on the planet.  The Sinai peninsula is heavily occupied by remnants of ISIS, which  although loosing tactical ground in the Middle East is waging a deadly war on European nations plus the USA using proxies and homegrown terrorists.

11).  Syria is run by a tyrant and is awash with civil war creating death and destruction for untold millions of people with more reduced to incredible levels of poverty and homelessness.  Forced to leave their ancestral homes and countries to become an unending flow of refugees.  Not to mention more Christian martyrs than since the Roman Empire specialized in Gladiators and Colosseum entertainment with Christians being burned alive and fed to lions.  The evil government in Syria is being propped up by the Russian Government and that of Iran with ever increasing aid from Turkey.  The unholy alliance if three.  The very same three who will one day invade Israel.

12).  The war of Gog from the land of Magog (Ezekiel chapters 38-39) is in the forming stages as we speak.  A huge invasion army led by Russia and Iran and probably other groups located in and around both Turkey and Africa who will one day invade Israel.  Russia, and Turkey and Iran who have throughout history been violent enemies are now coming together in the Middle East and have forces very close to Israel's Northern boarder with Syria near the Golan Heights.

13).  In other areas of the world instability is a key words such as in Argentina which is a huge oil exporter, another Democracy recently taken over by extremist Socialist ideology and a virulent dictatorship.

Frankly this list is an abbreviated form of a world on the brink of war that could spill over and make both WWI and WWII look like child's play.  And in just one and one half months we begin the first half of 2018.  What will it portend for everyone on planet earth?

Is the fact that 2018 is the 70th year of Israel's independence an important factor?  Or will Jesus words be important (Matthew chapter 24 verses 34-35)  "Assuredly I say to you this generation  (believed to be the one that saw Israel once again become a nation),  will by no means pass away till all these things take place".  Is there any connection to His statements about "this generation" and Psalm 90:10 ?  "The days of our lives are 70 years---".  Let's see now, the year Israel became a nation---1948 plus 70 years?  Ah yes, that would also be 2018.  Please know that these are the questions I am asking myself, they are not statements of fact.

And what of the "man I know" who had that vision over 35 years ago?  Has he waited all those years in vain?  Or will 2018 signal unspeakable violence and terror for mankind?  Frankly I sincerely hope not but I am also looking at the world map and do not like what I see.   Nor the various circumstances, any one of which could ignite a raging fire from which it might not be possible to pull back.

Finally, I am normally a very positive guy.  My cup is the one that is 100% full. At the same time I do believe that worldwide circumstances are racing toward problems so severe that it will usher in the events necessary for the anti christ to step onto the world stage.  I don't know if 2018 will be that year but I am frankly, full of suspicions.

God bless,
Pastor Rance.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Israel, why are some people so blind? TO BIBLICAL TRUTH!!!

Dear friends and readers,

I cannot tell you how many articles I have written about Israel not to mention dozens of other writers who explain what is really happening with Israel both physically and spiritually.  And you know I do fully understand why the "WORLD" does not get it.  What I fail to understand is why so many self professing Christians simply cannot or will not believe what the Bible itself says about Israel.

Maybe it will always be that way?  I certainly hope not and I will (along with many others) continue to explain the truth.  But if this is so utterly frustrating to me, can you imagine how frustrating it must be to people in Israel?  You know right about now I could bury this article in scripture from both the Old and New Testaments---every bit of which will support Israel.  Fill it full and then some.  Painstakingly defend Israel from a Biblical view point and also tell about what is actually happening on the ground over there.  But I have learned that people who read about Israel generally fall into two very different camps.

1).  Hate Israel and the moment she is mentioned tune out regardless of truth.

2).  Love Israel and mostly already know and understand the scriptures that guys like myself include in our articles.  Very little middle ground.

So why do I even bother?  Why do we who do understand spend hours and hours of research, writing time and even longer in proof reading when it probably will change no ones mind?  Maybe it's a heart thing.  I know it is for me.  I know it is for the Lord because His Holy Word says so---repeatedly!   I know it was way back 2000 years ago for the Apostle Paul.  I know it was as long ago as about 3,500 years ago for Moses and succeeding generations of Biblical prophets.  You know the message about Israel has never changed.  Not once but somehow many within the church still do not get the picture.

Fortunately there are increasing numbers of believers who are having their eyes opened to the truth but I have to ask myself a question?  If the subject of Israel is so incredibly important to me and many others that I know, how is it that there are a reported 2 billion 500 million Christians on planet earth and still phony outfits like the United Nations can get away with distorting the truth, utter lies and false propaganda that is so completely ridiculous yet so many people suck it up like candy?

You know the Old Testament speaks of Watchmen on the walls.  Specifically in the book of Isaiah chapter 62: 6-7.  "I (God) have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;  They shall never hold their peace day or night.  You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him (God) no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth".  In the New King James edition, chapter 63 is entitled "THE DAY OF MESSIAH'S REVENGE".  And revenge someday their most certainly will be.  Clearly it is up to every single person who "make mention of the Lord".  To do what?  To plead the case for Jerusalem in the very throne room of God.  No, God doe's not need help.  He could do this all by Himself.  Yes, He has instructed us to pray.  I sometimes wonder if some folks ever think about the fact that God obviously wants a true and loving partnership with His created children?  You know, a teamwork effort?

I have one title, Pastor, plain and simple.  Can't tell you how many people carry around business cards identifying themselves as an Apostle or Prophet.  I generally throw those directly in the pig trough.  For you city folk that means the round file---garbage can.  If someone needs to tell people they are a Prophet or Apostle I can almost guarantee they are not.  Titles are a dime a dozen.  I tell you that because I would never dream of naming myself as one of God's chosen watchmen.  Still, while I draw breath I am going to do exactly what this scripture says because I do in fact make mention of the Lord every chance I get.  Are we as believers not supposed to do that?  And I know many more folks who feel exactly the same way but not nearly enough to change the evil tide of misinformation peddled nearly daily by news media around the globe who are in the pockets of corrupt politicians.  How about you?  Are you ready to stand up for Israel?  Frankly, to do otherwise is to stick your finger in God's eye!

Where is the outrage within the church when Israel is targeted for destruction by evil empires?  Oh yes, there is some outrage as should be the case when anyone is picked on.  Where is the challenge of truth against those who publish outright lying propaganda against God's chosen people and the boarders of land given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who's name was changed to ISRAEL by God Himself.  Where are the voices of literally millions of believers who have gone on tours to Israel and say they loved every minute of it?  How is it that false teachers have turned entire major denominations against Israel,  "THE APPLE OF GOD"S EYE"?  (Zechariah 2:8).  And why is it that those false teachers can get away with peddling that stuff without being caught "dirty" by all those people sitting in pews with Bibles on their laps?

What we see happening should not surprise us if we really are in the end times because the scriptures clearly state that the nations will turn against Israel.  (Joel 3:2, Genesis 12:3, Zechariah 12:1-14, Revelation 16:13-16, Psalm 83:1-18, Malachi 4:1, Ezekiel 38:1-23, Luke 21:24).  Shall I go on? Because there are very many more scriptures that any Bible reading believer cannot possibly miss on the subject of God's true love and heart toward Israel and His chosen people?  No, it should NOT surprise us but that does not take anything away from this being one of the chief travesties of all time.

Let's see, what did that say again in Isaiah 62?  "You who make mention of the Lord do not keep silent"!  I wonder what will happen at the judgement seat of Christ if that question is asked?  Oh, well maybe the Lord will forget or leave that one out?  Do I sound frustrated?  I am only a pleb (common person) when it comes to Israel.  We have only been there 9 times.  But do you know what I saw with my own eyes there?  Israel supplying electricity and water to Gaza.  Israel passing through truck loads (literally tons) of food and other supplies to them every single week.

Arab/Muslim cab drivers personally telling me that they would much rather live under Israeli sovereignty because their kids can go to school, they can have businesses, they are respected as citizens of Israel.  Did you know that the Israeli's nearly ALWAYS send relief and medical teams to other countries experiencing floods, earthquakes, plagues and food shortages?  Did you know they even send teams to countries who hate them?  Just last month Israeli teams were helping in Mexico during the big earth quakes (not that the Israelis are hated by Mexicans because that would be a real stretch of the truth).  But you get my point---I hope!  It is simply NOT the way it is portrayed in the press.

Does Israel sometimes make mistakes?  Certainly as do all nations.  Are they eating Palestinian children (as is taught in many of the PA schools)?  No that is so ridiculous it is not even worthy of discussion.

Did you know that leaders of Hamas and other terror organizations frequently send their own family members to Israeli hospitals?  Did you know that the Israeli hospitals treat these people with respect and give them the same level of care they give their own citizens?  And then guess what?  Those same leaders turn right around and preach hate toward Israel and encourage bomb attacks, rockets flying toward Israeli schools and people walking down the street peacefully to suddenly be struck down with a knife in their back?

The anti Israel rhetoric worldwide is at an all time high and becoming a mega blast, a literal cacophony of ugly hate filled, violent and threatening Anti Semitic verbal flotsam that is becoming dangerously close to starting a war that no one wants but few make any effort to avoid.  A great portion of this is being generated within the hallowed halls of the United Nations.  A totally worthless organization if I ever saw one. It amazes me that the UN human rights commission actually has members on it from Muslim nations that openly practice female genital mutilation, will not allow women to attend school nor go shopping without a male family member in attendance, practice honor killings of female family members who cannot even legally drive a car. What an awesome example to the youth of the free world.

In the Old Testament days King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines plus a torrid affair with the infamous Queen of Sheba.  (At the risk of cracking wise during a very serious article, can you imagine having 1000 wives telling you where to move the couch?).  Until the 17th century early tradition had it that Solomon housed his many wives and concubines on a small hill called the "HILL OF EVIL COUNSEL" which is still located south east of Jerusalem and just south of the  Valley of Hinnom.  If you recall this great and wise King was slowly drawn into idol worship at the end of his life by all these women, many of whom were from foreign Kingdoms.  Ergo---EVIL COUNSEL!

Additionally, It is believed to be the very last meeting place between Judas and some of the Pharisees  while making a pact for Judas to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.  After Judas killed himself, those same 30 pieces of silver were used to purchase a plot of ground also believed to be part of the site of the Hill of Evil Counsel.  On that same general topographical hill was supposedly located,  the house of the Priest Caiaphas who was instrumental in proclaiming the intended death of Jesus.  Not an awesome history for that particular plot of dirt.

As a final evil turn of fate, guess what is located on the Hill of Evil Counsel today?  United Nations headquarters Jerusalem!

This is either the worst possible slap in the face to Israel or depending upon the way you look at it, a major act of somewhat dark heavenly humor on the part of God Himself.

Folks, the Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew.  He still is a Jew and always will be one. The very roots of Christianity began in Jerusalem and a large portion of the first century church were Jewish.  There have always been Jews who recognized Christ as their Messiah albeit few in numbers until the rise of the current Messianic church which is now thriving and growing in Israel.  Romans chapter 11 is an in depth focus by Paul the Apostle regarding exactly what a follower of Christ is in relation to Israel.   It is impossible to read that chapter and come away  as an enemy of Israel.  But somehow that either happens or Romans is not being taught.

Coming into the end of time as the church knows it, Israel will have no other friends than true followers of Christ.  It is time for our voices to be heard.  It is time for all of us to be watchmen on the wall.

God bless,
Pastor Rance.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Israel in the Middle east, a VERY dangerous neighborhood!

Dear friends and readers,

I sincerely hope you are all doing well today and are enjoying your salvation.  Speaking  of salvation, can you believe that it all came about through the sacrifice of one man?  Makes me wonder if I would do what Jesus did for a bunch of total strangers.  How about you?  But hey, what counts is that we are about our Fathers business, keeping Jesus commands and doing everything we can to help those around us.

I want to talk to you today about one of my favorite subjects, ISRAEL.  Before I do, a great big "shout out" to all of you who are following my blogs and sharing them with your friends and neighbors.  The Lord just blessed me with a new reader in Malta which means now that folks in nearly 50 countries are tuning in.   Once someone from a new country locks on the upward spiral slowly begins.  There are now many readers in some countries and a few in others but that is the way it goes when writing on the Internet.  I now have over 130 lengthy articles on the net and am pleased when I see folks looking up articles that I wrote 2-3 years ago plus of course the new weekly editions.  Thank you one and all.

As usual a week cannot go by without Israel making news in some way.  Generally speaking, negative news because few news sources are positive about Israel in the slightest way.  Too bad to because the God of the Bible is extremely firm on what will happen to ANY enemies of Israel.  So, New York Times or Bible?  Take your pick because in few cases you cannot agree with both.

Let's take the new US President for example.  Setting aside all the personality stuff, I think he will actually get around to moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem one day but not anytime soon.  For now in the face of extreme problems with both Iran and North Korea, the USA needs all the help it can get from Arab nation partners in the Middle East and the day the Embassy moves is the day that help will disappear.  So, for now as only 1 vote, I can give President Trump a pass on this issue.  But not forever.  I wrote a letter to President George Bush years ago and told him in no uncertain terms that I was dropping out of his party permanently because he violated his word to move the Embassy. I actually received a letter back. A form letter but better than nothing---at least some overworked secretary responded. The fact remains that I have been an independent ever since.  As a Christian and an avid supporter of Israel, this issue is vital to me.

I have come to believe that once having sat in the big Oval Office chair, something happens to these guys---new Presidents.  An invisible source/power reaches up and grabs them.  The name of the source is "I will be the greatest President ever if I can make peace in the Middle East".  We could shorten that to the acronym "IWBTGPEIICMPITME"!  No that won't work, it sounds like something out of ancient Sandskrit.  I know let's make the acronym a simple "IKICBDBIHNRMBL" (I know it can be done but I have not read my Bible lately).  Whoops, far too long.  How about "JETA" (Just explain the advantages). OK, finally we have it.  The JETA syndrome!

Of course the US president is not the only one suffering from JETA!  Let's see, we have the Germans, the French, the English, several other NATO countries, The United Nations Security Council and oh that's right, lets not forget the Palestinians!  JETA is spreading.  Unfortunately not one single leader among them has read their Bibles either.  My Bible tells me (Daniel chapter 9) that there is one and  only one man in the entire world who will eventually bring peace to the Middle East.  Of course we don't know his name yet.  Maybe we do after all. That's right now I remember his name is "antichrist"!

Have you seen the new WONDER WOMAN movie yet?  Boy oh boy don't you love all these super heroes?  Superman, spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman.  Oh and Tony Stark, AKA Ironman?  Dude!

The list of the past US Presidents all the way back to George Herbert Walker Bush includes 29 continual years of Biblical blunder from 5 Presidents all of whom claimed to be Christians but who obviously were trying to be "Captain America".  Without reading the Bible.  How do I know that? Because the Bible is filled with warnings directly from God and He makes it crystal clear what will happen to nations who divide up His land.

Then on the super evil side is the infamous "antichrist"!  Arch villain and sworn enemy of mankind, not to mention sworn enemy of THE CHRIST!   The real Christ.  Son of God, Messiah of Israel?  I would be in such depression over recent news reports except for one thing.  I have read the back of the book.  As in "the BIBLE" which tells me that not only will NO President ever bring about true peace or most probably not even a a two state solution in the Middle East but neither will anyone else until the REAL evil one is let loose on planet earth.

Who could we compare antichrist to?  How about the big green guy, "the Hulk"?  Or a new ultra evil "Transformer" boss?  Maybe he is next in line---stay tuned for another movie.  You know they kind of fit the antichrist image in ways.  Cagy little dude who when ticked off becomes a giant green guy of ultimate destruction, who cannot be reasoned with.  Or some 65' Volkswagen turning itself into one humongous mechanical beast with an extremely bad attitude and "take over the world agenda".

How does that fit with the future antichrist you say?  Well, some of the super heroes turn from one thing to something quit different in the blink of an eye.  So too will the future antichrist!  Since this is not intended to be a Bible study, I will give you reference so you can look it up for yourself.  You can read all about the antichrist in the Books of Daniel and Revelation with brief mention in Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 8.  Basically at some point in the future someone will begin to dominate news cycles and he will be extremely charismatic and seem like a good guy coming on the proverbial ole white horse, with an agenda to make peace between Israel and her neighbors.  There is understandably all kinds of opinion and argument "out there" in the world of theology but many believe this guy is a throw back to the old Roman Empire and might even be a Jew himself.  That is only opinion and although worthy of note to say the least, the Bible does not specifically say that so I don't teach it.

On the other hand it is a very large stretch for me to believe that anyone but a Jew could ever convince Israel to give up her weapons in exchange for peace.  How and why do I think that would happen ? Ezekiel chapters 38-39 speak of a huge war  someday that will be waged against Israel and it describes Israel at that time of (all of Israel) dwelling in safety---in a land of unwalled villages, a peaceful people having neither bars nor gates.  Have you ever been to an Israeli city? Nearly every single house is guarded by walls, bars and gates.  Something very big has to happen to change all that and I personally don't think either the Rabbis or the Israeli Government would ever allow security changes that severe unless they thought it was being arranged by their long awaited Messiah.  And so who exactly is the "antichrist"?  The exact antithesis of the true Christ, the Messiah of Israel.  Hello!

Bottom line is that he "confirms a covenant (peace deal?) with many for one week.  Daniel goes on to explain all kinds of interesting stuff about Israel in the end times and it is clear that this "covenant "is for 7 years.  It may well allow Israel to build the third Temple but then this seemingly good guy goes completely ballistic when he is taken over spiritually by satan himself 3 1/2 years into the original 7 year contract.  He goes from ultimate good guy impersonating Messiah, to satan incarnate.

NOTE:  I am one of only a few theologians in this world who do NOT believe that the current Dome of the Rock is built over the exact location of the first and second Jewish Temples location for the Holy of Holies.  If that is true, there will be no necessity for the Dome to be torn down in order to build the third Temple.  The two, under such a peace deal could coexist which would mean the Dome of the Rock is actually located in what would have been the court of the gentiles.  I know, I know, call me crazy but maybe you should at least examine this possibility because I can never imagine ANYONE---charismatic antichrist or not, talking the Arab, Muslim world into tearing down their third most holy site for the sake of peace with anyone, let alone the dreaded enemy, Israel.  But that's a subject for another day.

So the drum beat continues.  Peace at any cost including a rapidly growing worldwide chorus of people and nations demanding that Israel give up land for peace including 1/2 of her ancient holy city and capital, Jerusalem.   NO peace deal is worth that since the God of Abraham , Isaac and Jacob (Israel) placed all that land and more in the custody of Israel and even she does not have a right to cede it to anyone else because in reality it belongs to God!

This week in the news, the organization Fatah has reportedly worked out a deal with Hamas which includes Hamas ceding authority and de-militarizing which would include giving up weapons that have historically used against Israel.   RIGHT!!!~  So if you believe that can I sell you a bridge to no where?  Then of course Iran says it is in fact keeping the deal President Obama made with them to stop their program of production toward  nuclear weapons capability.  But they refuse to allow the slightest inspections to confirm the fact.  Do they actually believe we are all "daft"?

North Korea continues to beat the war drums and have demonstrated that they do in fact have long range ballistic missiles and nukes plus have threatened to use those nukes on the USA, Japan and Israel?  More great news!

Russia and China publicly "make nice" about problems in Syria, North Korea, The North China Sea and other topics.  Does anyone actually believe either of them?

Going back to Hamas and the new Cairo accords reached this week with the P.A  (Fatah).  They promise not to attack any more Jews in the West Bank as part of the "NEW PALESTINE" peace deal?  That is nothing more than political speak for "when Israel is wiped out completely we will then have our NEW PALESTINE.  PLEEEEASE!

On other fronts, Hezbollah is stating it's determination to maintain the ability to attack America in addition to Israel. Yet another gift wrapped present.  The gift wrapping paper made of lies and empty promises.  The ribbon made of innocent blood.

And the pressure is growing daily from many Jews and also many Christians for Israel to begin construction of the third Temple.  You can imagine how well that is being received within the Arab, Persian, Turkish Muslim world.  NOT!

Did you see that both Israel and the USA  have dropped out of UNESCO this week?  That's UNESCO as in "United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural organization.   Well, it's about time!

And into all of this daily escalation steps a new US President who has clearly fallen pray to the "JETA" syndrome.  Just like all of his predecessors, who each and everyone thought they could do the impossible.  Without the antichrist on the scene (which I personally do not think he is yet), there will only be failure upon failure to achieve lasting Middle East peace.  Well, that is IF you think that peace for only 3 1/2 years is LASTING?

Yes, indeed, the Middle East is a very dangerous neighborhood. Stat tuned friends because it will only become worse from now on.

Please remember the admonition in Psalm 122:6  "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:  May they prosper who love you".

God bless and see you next week,
Pastor Rance.