Praising God on the Mountaintop so we can serve Him in the Valley

The Pyramids Behind Bars

The Pyramids Behind Bars

Good morning to my subscribers.  It is good to be in the house of the Lord – and the whole earth is His sanctuary to those who abide in Him through faith. May the Lord’s face shine on the desolate places today that all the world might know the Only-Begotten One. Daniel 9:17 NASB.

Today is my first day back in this country from a ten-day trip to a country on the other side of the world. Since away, I have pretty much been unable to access internet and other outlets normally available. It will take me a few days to get caught up on unread emails and some more days before posting to my blog.  I cannot wait to be fully engaged again as I seek to interpret the events of our world in light of the prophecies of Scripture. I must tell you — I have been to the mountaintop; that place where God transforms us from the inside out; that place where we are drawn-in to Him, revived and strengthened for serving Him in the Valley. Mark 9:9-10 NASB. I am ever more convinced that the spirit of antichrist is active (1 John 4:3 NASB) and at war with the Holy One and those who serve Him. Revelation 12:17 NASB. It is my joy to be one of many who wait for the day of the Lord’s coming and the defeat and imprisonment of the weak, deceiving one, who has made captive so many of God’s children. Revelation 20:3 NASB.  I shall stand with the body of Christ declaring that the “will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and that one day the good Lord Jesus will forever bind-up satan and his minions. I join the righteous as we declare victory in the blood of the Lamb and defeat of the dark one, and I pray to my Lord that I may prove worthy of suffering in His name. 2 Timothy 1:8 NASB. May my strength be in the fullness of His coming victory and may the Lord Christ make me ever faithful in my work against satan. Thank you, Lord, that it will not be in my personal righteousness that I will be victorious but only in the blood of the Lamb and the power of the word of testimony that He has given me. Revelation 12:11 NASB.

It is good to be on the side of the Lamb, and to find my only comfort, my only hope, my only resting place in the one Name, Jesus Christ, given to men that we might be saved.

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

Voices heard by Aaron Alexis – another is claimed

Ezekiel 28:14-15 (NASB) 14  ”You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you.

washingtonThere was a time when verse 14 above had a meaning quite different than I know it to be now. Originally, I assumed the Hebrew word translated “covers” referred to a protective type of covering, sort of like a mother might “cover” her child for warmth or protection. Then I looked deeper. “Cover” in the original language means to “overshadow, screen, cover . . .” as in Exodus 40:3, Lamentations 3:43-44 (see BDB Hebrew Lexicon).  That is, the anointed cherub (satan) is the one who “covers,” who is veiled, in the sense that he masks or overshadows himself so that his presence is not known. We find this precise meaning in Matthew 16:22-23 where Jesus is the only one who is aware of satan’s presence. Satan has “covered” himself through the one disciple least possible to be duped: Simon Peter, the Rock. The verse reads:

Matthew 16:23 (NASB) But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

Simon Peter has just proclaimed Jesus to be the “Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus affirms Simon’s knowledge as revealed by God and proclaims him as “petra,” the “rock” upon which Christ will build His church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:17-18). Seems like Simon would be the last disciple that satan would be able to deceive. How could Simon who has just recognized the voice of God not recognize the voice of satan speaking through his own mouth? Think about the “line” satan has drawn in the sand: Jesus has just stated the gates of hell will not prevail against His church; and satan immediately proceeds to speak through the very “rock” of the church!

If Simon Peter can be deceived, what about Aaron Alexis?

Does it make you wonder about the “voices” in the head of the Aaron Alexis?

Los Angeles Times, By Richard A. Serrano, September 17, 2013. WASHINGTON — Just five weeks before he killed 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington, Aaron Alexis told police in Newport, R.I., that he was hearing voices in his head, that he feared three people were going to harm him and that the voices sometimes came through “the walls, floor and ceiling” of a Navy base in Rhode Island where he was working as a civilian contractor.

And then we find the following about Alexis from the Detroit News:

The profile began to emerge Monday of the man authorities identified as the gunman in a mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., that left 13 people dead, including the 34-year-old man. While some neighbors and acquaintances described him as “nice,” his father once told detectives in Seattle that his son had anger management problems related to post-traumatic stress brought on by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Anger management problems?  Voices in his head? Hmmmh? I wonder what that should tell us?

Ephesians 4:26-28 (NASB) 26BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not give the devil an opportunity.

“Opportunity” translates from the Greek, “topos,” meaning “place, position, region” (Gingrich Lexicon). The NIV translates topos as “foothold”; KJV translates it as “place.” The point? Aaron Alexis gave satan a place in his mind. Satan “got in his head,” he ”pitched his tent” in Alexis’ anger. His anger became satan’s foothold, that place where satan establishes his residence in our minds and unless the light of God moves in to push back the darkness, the results, of late, have been death and destruction of the innocent.

Seems to me we have been here before:

When the Wolf Claims a Lanza

The Dark Night Rises … and Rises

Yes, I know, in the coming weeks our experts will tell us how we need to spend more money on mental health, have better security for our institutions, and better interviews and security checkpoints. Spend, spend, spend more money on this and that, and certainly that will solve the problems of the “Aaron Alexis’” of our society. The problem is spiritual; and that is our problem. We won’t consider that as an option, in fact, we can’t even ask the question. I wonder how long it will be before my next post on this same issue?

As I said, we have been here before.

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

 

Egypt’s Military – How long at the wheel?

obama.condemns.egyptReuter’s Reports:  “CHILMARK/VINEYARD HAVEN, Massachusetts - President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that the United States is cancelling joint military exercises with Egypt next month, saying normal U.S. cooperation cannot continue in light of the armed forces’ bloody crackdown.”  (Read more)

According to Reuter’s, “Stopping military exercises in Egypt was one clear way the White House could show its displeasure. It was the first significant U.S. move to penalize Egypt’s military rulers. Previously, the U.S. government had announced a decision to halt delivery to Egypt of four U.S.-made F-16 fighters.”

Perhaps a quick review of some key historical developments might be helpful:

  1. Egypt-Israeli peace accord signed in 1979 at Camp David, a consequence of which was the beginning of significant United States military aid to Egypt (and Israel). According to the Congressional Research Study (author Jeremy Sharp) #RL33003, p. 9, United States aid to Egypt and Israel in 1979 totaled $7.3billion, each. According to the same report, “Since 1979, Egypt has been the second-largest recipient, after Israel, of U.S. bilateral foreign assistance.”
  2. The United States aid to Egypt since 1987 has been $1.3 billion, annually.1  In addition to the aid of $1.3 billion, Egypt receives a significant portion of financing for its defense budget. According to CRS #33003, it is estimated that U.S. military aid covers as much as 80% of the  Egyptian Defense Ministry’s weapons procurement costs.2
  3. On February 11, 2011, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (1981 – 2011) “waived” his presidential powers over to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.3  Mubarak’s departure was in response to the developments in the Muslim world popularly known as Arab Spring. (Read more)
  4. On June 30, 2012, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Muhammad Morsi was elected president of Egypt in what has been described as the first democratic election in the history of Egypt. In November, 2012, Morsi granted himself unlimited powers to “protect” the nation from the Mubarak-era power structure which remained in place following his election. He also gave himself the power to legislate without judicial oversight. Egyptians erupted over his actions (except, of course, his supporters; members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis, and other Islamist groups). On December 8, 2012, Morsi rescinded his own actions, but mass protests had already begun and would only intensify. (Read more)
  5. On December 22, 2012, a new Sharia-based constitution was signed by President Morsi after its ratification by Egyptians in a democratic vote. The constitution had been drafted by the Islamist controlled Egyptian parliamentary and recommended for approval to the Egyptian people. (Read more)
  6. On July 3, 2013, the armed forces chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, announced that the constitution had been “suspended provisionally” and that Muhammad Morsi had been “unseated.” (Read more)  The actions of General al-Sisi were described by many to be the result of a military coup; by others as an act to restore democracy to Egyptian people.
  7. On July 14, 2013, over 640 members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Muhammad Morsi were killed by security forces in Cairo as they participated in peaceful protests. Reports estimated the wounded in the 1,000′s. (Read more) Other attacks against Christian targets occurred throughout Egypt in retaliation for the killings by the security forces:
    • Islamists staged revenge attacks on Christian targets in several areas, torching churches, homes and business after Coptic Pope Tawadros  (a member of the council that unseated Morsi) gave his blessing to the military takeover that ousted Mursi, security sources and state media said. (Read more)
  8. Military aid of $1.3billion to Egypt from the United States is in jeopardy. If a coup occurred in Egypt, United States law prohibits any further aid be given to Egypt. One report states:
    • The United States says the action does not fit the legal definition of a coup because the military acted not to take over the nation but to restore democracy. If the Obama administration labeled the action a coup, it would be forced to withhold $1.3 billion in foreign aid that the United States gives the Egyptian military annually. Egyptians who have risen up against the Muslim Brotherhood also reject the “coup” label. (Read more) To the contrary, read more.

So what does all this have to do with Bible prophecy?

Daniel 11:42-43 (NASB) 42“Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape. But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels.

The prophecy is that the land of Egypt will “not escape.” That is — Egypt will fall. The Egyptian military is Egypt’s protector regardless of the political leanings of the current president.  If the country falls, then the military has fallen. In addition, the Egyptian military is the protector of the “hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt.” Here is one article describing what is happening to the hidden treasures of Egypt during the chaos of Arab Spring and even more so the chaos ensuing at present. (Read here).

Yet, despite the value of the “hidden treasures” of Egypt, one cannot help but wonder if there is not another item far more valuable than ancient artifacts? Consider the Suez Canal, the producer of approximately $2.5billion annually, 10% of annual revenues for Egypt, which simply put is “worth it” to whomever controls the canal:

The Suez Canal (Arabic: قناة السويس‎ Qanāt al-Sūwais) is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the suez.canalMediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows transportation by water between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa. The northern terminus is Port Said and the southern terminus is Port Tawfiq at the city of Suez. Ismailia lies on its west bank, 3 km (1.9 mi) from the half-way point. (Read more)

Recently, political unrest in Egypt led to chaos even along the bordering towns of the Suez Canal. General al-Sisi made this statement nearly six months before Muhammad Morsi was unseated. Read the statement in light of Daniel 11:42 just quoted:

CAIRO — As three Egyptian cities [the three critical cities bordering the Suez Canal, Port Said, Ismailia and Suez] defied President Mohamed Morsi’s attempt to quell the anarchy spreading through their streets, the nation’s top general warned Tuesday that the state itself was in danger of collapse if the feuding civilian leaders could not agree on a solution to restore order. … With the stakes rising and no solution in sight, Gen. Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, the defense minister, warned Egypt’s new Islamist leaders and their opponents that “their disagreement on running the affairs of the country may lead to the collapse of the state and threatens the future of the coming generations.”  (Emphasis supplied) (Read more)

It appears that the General took things into his own hands when he “unseated” President Morsi on July 3, 2013. His actions placed him in the “driver’s seat” so to speak; for what purpose? To save his country from self-destruction.

How might we assess modern day events in light of prophetic Scripture?

  1. The spirit of antichrist is working in the hearts of Egyptians to bring about a total collapse of Egyptian society (2 Thessalonians 2:11 NASB; 1 John 2:18 NASB). The spirit of antichrist is working in the “sons of disobedience” (unbelieving humanity) to bring in the wrath of God (Ephesians 5:6 NASB and Colossians 3:6 NASB).  Death, violence, destruction, disunity, anger, and unrest are the odor of his breath; such is the case for Egypt today; and such has been the case for the Muslim world in general: “To date, rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt (twice), Libya, and Yemen; civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain and Syria; major protests have broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan; and minor protests have occurred in Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, and Western Sahara.” (Read more)
  2. Egypt will fall.
    1. The military will be unable to bring reconciliation between the Islamists and secularists (which includes both Muslim and non-Muslims). The prophecy tells us of this event.
    2. The military will likely continue its assault against Islamists to the point that the United States will be forced to withhold $1.3billion in aid to Egypt for no other reason than the political pressures applied upon it by Americans in general, and by the United Nations and the European Union in particular.  No matter how you look at it, democratic free elections brought in Muhammad Mursi; the people who elected him are now being targeted by the security forces of Egypt for no other reason than they support him. If Syria’s Assad and his military murdered people to keep him in office, and the United States condemned such actions, how can we not do the same in Egypt? And how else do we evidence that condemnation than by the withholding of aid?
    3. The economy of Egypt will fail. It is already on the precipice, and the withholding of United States aid will be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back.”  The continuing unrest socially between supporters of Morsi and supporters of the military will escalate resulting in the closing of businesses and an eventual impact upon all revenues, including oil and gas revenues impacted by the inability to export same.
      • The Suez Canal will be closed because of the inability of the military to provide safe passage for shipping vessels. The chaos and lack of leadership in Egyptian society will either close the canal or result in the captains of sea vessels opting for the long way around the continent of Africa to insure delivery of their cargoes. Already questions are being asked about the impact on Suez traffic of rebellion along the bordering cities, particularly Port Said.
    4. The 1979 Egypt-Israeli treaty will be terminated. With the Egyptian military no longer at the wheel to maintain the treaty, and with United States aid withheld, whomever is in control will have no financial incentive to maintain the treaty. Daniel 9:27 NASB will be fulfilled in this event.  The tribulation of Ezekiel 38/39 against Israel will be brought in through the doors of Egypt.
  3. The Antichrist will fill the void in the Middle East, perhaps beginning with Iran and Shia Islam, as Iran pulls the trigger upon Israel.  Other bible prophecies warn that he will conquer the world in the process. Revelation 13:7-8 NASB.

Stretching it you think? Perhaps, but not from where I sit. Look at the events in the Muslim world over the last two years. Look at the events of the last week – the military (and/or police) killing its own by the hundreds? Who would ever have imagined that the leader of the Egyptian military would warn his own people that unless they reconciled with one another the collapse of the nation was at stake? This has an uncanny resemblance to the prophesied event of Daniel 9:42.

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack Smith

 

  1.  Congressional Research Study (author Jeremy Sharp) #RL33003 []
  2. Ibid. []
  3. At his later trial, Mubarak claimed never to have resigned. This was key to his later prosecution because as president he supposedly had immunity for illegal actions []

Iran’s New leader — Rouhani the “lamb”?

Revelation 13:11 (NASB) 11  Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.

The link below is a post on the President-elect of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, by the noted “recovering” professor Dr. Timothy Furnish.

President-elect Hassan Rouhani of Iran

President-elect Hassan Rouhani of Iran

I encourage you to read it. It seems that the world is falling all over itself as we hear the words we have longed for from the leadership of Iran; words of peace and reconciliation (rather than the rising up of the 12th Imam of Shia Islam).  Rouhani vows he will take a position contrary to that of his predecessor, Ahmadinejad, and will build trust with the West and the powerful 5 +1  U N security council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany).

http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/152300.html

I commented on the History News article by Dr. Furnish. The summation of what I said is at Revelation 13:11: the beast has two heads, perhaps, the Ayatollah Khamenei and Hassan Rouhani. They seem so similar to the two “heads” of the beast from the earth. Their outward appearance is that of a lamb (they are harmless); but in reality they are the modern-day embodiment of the dragon (satan or his Antichrist).

How does that other verse go?

Matthew 7:15-16 (NASB) 15  ”Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16  ”You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

Jesus come quickly.

Blessings.

Jack

 

Islam’s Treatment of Women – Rape Permitted of non-Muslims

muslim.women.burqa.2Raymond Ibrahim reports on his website:

Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-‘Ajlawni, a Jordanian of origin who earlier lived in Damascus, Syria for 17 years, posted a YouTube video last week where he said he was preparing to issue a “legitimate fatwa” making it legal (in the eyes of Islam) for those Muslims fighting to topple secular president Bashar Assad and install Sharia law to “capture and have sex with” all non-Sunni women, specifically naming Assad’s own sect, the Alawites, as well as the Druze and several others, in short, all non-Sunnis and non-Muslims.

In the modern-day, the so-called religion of peace is adept at dismissing Qur’anic passages dealing with Islam’s heinous treatment of women. When a modern-day Sheikh advocates a Qur’anic instruction permitting precisely what is denied by Islam’s pundits, it is evidence that the religion of peace is anything but that. Here is the Qur’an’s passage that permits Muslim men to practice polygamy along with sexual prerogatives over any women that “your right hands own.”

If you fear that you will not act justly towards the orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four; but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one, or what your right hands own; so it is likelier you will not be partial. Qur’an 4:3 (Arberry translation)

The phrase “what your right hands own” refers to non-Muslim women claimed in victory, i.e., female slaves of war. In Ibrahim’s article, he refers to the fatwa of Sheikh Ajlawni prescribing Qur’anic treatment of Syrian non-Muslim women, victims of the rebellion against Assad. Ibrahim puts it this way:

Islam’s ulema, or “scholars,” are unanimously agreed that “what your right hands possess” is, according to Islamic law, simply a sex-slave. Linguistic evidence further suggests that she is seen more as an animal or a possession than a human—hence this inhuman fatwa.

You might be wondering what this has to do with Bible prophecy? There is but one passage that is specific to the issue of the antichrist’s treatment of women:

Daniel 11:37 (NASB) 37 “He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all. (Emphasis supplied).

For a complete discussion of the phrase, “He will show no regard … for the desire of women,” see this article. The point is that the antichrist and those who follow him will manifest a treatment toward women that will be disrespectful, abusive, violent and without regard to what a woman desires or considers to be of value. Islam fulfills this prophecy and the current article referenced by Raymond Ibrahim is evidence of Islam’s fulfillment.

 

Is Muhammad Morsi the Antichrist?

Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi

Today (Friday, 11/23/12) I received more search engine clicks on this blog using the above question than any other search engine terms since the site has been up (year, I think??).   When I initially read the question, I almost chuckled; but then I began to put the pieces together… and, to my surprise, they fit quite differently than my initial impression.  I hope that this brief post will help prophecy students consider an option to their end-times paradigm not given much thought before (at least by this student!).

If you are reading this post then I am assuming that you know who Muhammad Morsi is. I am also assuming that you know the reason why Morsi has received an avalanche of publicity in the past week. What you may not know is why Morsi received the most recent publicity (beginning Thursday, 11/22), and why the specific search engine terms (“Antichrist”) were used that directed so many people to prophecy blogs like this one.

Continue reading

No regard for the “desire of women” – Islam Fits the Profile

A most revealing prophetic characteristic is found nestled in Daniel 11:37 (NASB):

“He will show no regard … for the desire of women, …”

And although the correct interpretation of this characteristic is only one “piece” in the prophetic puzzle, it is an important piece. The entire 11th chapter of Daniel is important, particularly because this chapter is one of the key chapters that provides several of the characteristics of the Antichrist. The person in history that most scholars point to as the “antichrist-type” is Antiochus IV Epiphanies, the Syrian Greek ruler (175 B.C. – 164 B.C.) who was one of four generals to succeed Alexander the Great.1 Most of the first 35 verses of Daniel 11 detail the prophecy of  events historically fulfilled from the reign of Cyrus of Persia (576B.C. – 530 B.C.) through Antiochus IV.2 However, verses 36-41 refer, not to events already fulfilled, but to events yet to be fulfilled, i.e., the end-time (Daniel 11:40 states its application, “At the time of the end …”).   Continue reading

  1. Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, The New American Commentary, p. 298-304. []
  2. Ibid. []