As we move into the new year and toward Spring, we also see events around our world confirming the word of the Lord regarding the Last Days and His return: Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the [Messiah],’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs” (Matt. 24.4-8).
Succinctly, Yeshua/Jesus noted:
- False Messiahs – Don’t be deceived
- Wars and rumors of wars – Don’t be frightened
- Natural disasters – again, don’t be frightened
- Expect these things as ‘birth pangs: that is, with increasing frequency and intensity
While there are false messiahs aplenty—Jim Jones, David Koresh, the late Rabbi Menachem Schneerson of the Lubavitch sect of Orthodox Judaism, to the ultimate False Messiah/Anti-Christ yet to come—we are not to be deceived: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). When you know the authentic, you can spot a counterfeit every time. So let us be students—good disciples—of our Lord and ‘study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the word of truth’ (2 Timothy 2:15).
Wars, Rumors of Wars, and a Soon Coming Embassy
Lately a day does not go by regarding the tension between Israel and Iran (via Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, Assad in Syria), with skirmishes on the border to the looming threat of a future nuclear armed terrorist state in Iran. At this point I won’t say anything about John Kerry and the Obama admin paving the way for a Nuclear Iran, plus the 1.7 billion dollars in cash that was given to the corrupt Iranian regime, that abuses its own people who long for the freedoms we enjoy in the West. OK, I did say it. Anyway, we are where we are.
This week at one sunset I sat in my living room and heard, then saw Israeli F-16s fly over head, with full afterburners on (that means you could see the fire coming out of the back of the plane), conducting training runs. What is coming I cannot say exactly, but with the US sale of F-35s to Israel—fighter aircraft which are undetectable to radar—an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities (think “Israel’s 1981 attack on Iraq’s nuclear facility”) should not surprise us.
To add to the drama, it appears that within a matter of weeks the US Embassy will be moved to Jerusalem—right here in ‘my neighborhood’ of Armon HaNatziv—apparently on the Birthday of Israel. It is interesting that something that has gained world attention is literally right around the corner from where I live, and it is no secret that the enemies of G-d are certainly enraged at a political move that further legitimizes Israel as a state and Jerusalem as their eternal capital. So be it. Please pray for G-d’s will to be done, G-d’s people will be protected, and that cooler heads will prevail in the Muslim/Arab world. https://unitedwithisrael.org/israel-excited-about-us-embassy-move-in-may-arabs-express-ire/
The Temple Mount
Last week I, a media team member and a CFI representative from Scotland went to the most contested piece of real estate on the planet, Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, to take photos for CFI’s stock footage library. This is the area where Solomon’s first temple was erected, then destroyed in 586 BCE, then later Zerubbabel’s/Herod the Great’s temple complex was built, which was destroyed in 70 CE/AD. What is there today is an Islamic shrine called the Dome of the Rock—built on the site of the original temples—and the Al Aksa Mosque at the southern end of the 34 acre temple mount platform. We only got about two 10-minute sessions to shoot, due to schedules and a long line (even in February), but here are a few shots. We’ll get back up there soon to explore more, and I’ll write more on this then, but for your own research, here’s an excellent source I read recently: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7972069-the-beit-hamikdash
CFI work and Training on Video
Things are moving along at CFI. My work has lightened the load for some of my teammates, and allowed to focus more on projects, particularly Front Page Jerusalem. Be sure to check out the interviews: http://cfijerusalem.org/web/video/frontpage-jerusalem-radio
I am continuing taking photos and developing a library of daily Scripture ‘memes’ for CFI’s social media outreach, including FaceBook and Twitter; we are working to increase web traffic and interest in all of the projects under the CFI umbrella. You can take advantage and share some of these memes in your own ‘sphere of influence’ on your FaceBook or Twitter page! Go here: https://www.facebook.com/CFIJerusalem/ and here: https://twitter.com/CFIJerusalem . This is a great way to get the word out! 🙂
We are also training with video camera and lighting techniques, which fortunately, I do have a little background in from when I worked at a TV station in the late 1980s. The technology has of course progressed, but the basic techniques are the same. I am excited to see how the Lord will lead us in the particular aspect of ministry.
…and Here comes Purim!
If you have never heard of Purim (or aren’t quite sure how to pronounce it), it’s OK, we are all learning. You will find it in the book of Esther, the plot essentially being… a ‘Deep State’ government entity attempts to overthrow the will of the legitimate government through deceit and subterfuge to derail God’s plan and destroy the Jewish people. It is so effective that the only hope is that God Himself intervenes, which He does. Yet, one of the ironies of the Book of Esther is that God is never mentioned throughout the entire story. Lesson: just because God seems to be silent doesn’t mean He is not at work. There are a lot of “hidden things” in life, so also in the Book of Esther.
“Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur… 27 the Jews established and made a custom for themselves and for their descendants and for all those who allied themselves with them, so that they would not fail to celebrate these two days according to their regulation and according to their appointed time annually. 28 So these days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation, every family, every province and every city; and these days of Purim were not to fail from among the Jews, or their memory fade from their descendants” (Esther 9:26-28).
As believers in Jesus/Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, particularly those of us who are Gentiles (“all those who allied themselves with them”, v.27, cf. Romans 11:17), we are privileged to celebrate freedom, and to support Israel and the Jewish people. So, don’t miss this opportunity. Plus, like most all Jewish holidays, there’s food! And at Purim they have special pastries called Hamantashen, ie, Haman’s Pockets/Ears (see below), so don’t miss it.
Please continue to pray for our leaders in the US and Israel, and even those around the world like Guatemala, where each of us–whether individually, or collectively in our respective countries, determines G-d’s blessing and favor for us. Shalom.