As things come to a head with regard to the Middle East, keep these Scriptures in mind as they have to do with end-time prophecy regarding Damascus, Jerusalem, Russia, and other places.
Isaiah 17:1 - The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
(Understand that Damascus is one of the oldest, most continuously inhabited places in the world.)
Check out this YouTube video on the invasion of Israel and the destruction of Damascus: http://youtu.be/l2xbPRax3u4
Zechariah 14:1 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
Ezekiel 38 talks about Gog, which is modern day Russia, and its allies invading Israel "carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil" (Ezekiel 38:13). Check out the whole chapter here to see for yourself: http://bit.ly/15oTvea
The battle of Gog and Magog will basically be World War III as other nations besides Russia will be involved. But we see in Joel 3:16-20 the assurance that God will ultimately come to the defence of Jerusalem:
16 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
17 So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
Israel has two major world wars on it's horizon [(this battle of Gog and Magog, and then Armeggeddon) (in Meggido)] and the bible refers to this as the "time of Jacob's trouble". Israel's back will be pushed to the wall, and its resolve and endurance to the breaking point. But God will save His People out of this time of calamity, and He will fight for them. The battles have yet to be fought, but the outcome has been decided for the past 2,500 years.
And in case you're wondering why there is such a huge focus on the coming attack on Israel, it's partly because of the spread of Islam that dates back to the beef between Isaac and Ishmael (Isaac was the promise to Abraham by God and Ishmael was the son born to Hagar in an attempt by Abraham and Sarah to have a son when Sarah thought she could not bear a child, even though God promised them she would. When a feast was held to celebrate the weaning of Isaac, who was born 14 years after Ishmael, Ishmael caused trouble by insulting and mocking his little brother (Genesis 21:8-9). After Sarah, who by then had come to dislike both Hagar and Ishmael, saw what he was doing, she said to Abraham "Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac" (Genesis 21:10 RSV). ... And eventually the descendants of Ishmael would go on to create the Islamic religion, while the descendants of Isaac came to be Jews.)
Genesis 16:11, 12 describes how the Ishmael and his descendants would be:
11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her (Hagar), Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
And we see that even in today's news. Almost everytime we hear about Islam we hear about contention, disruption, and violence.
Believers in Christ, I know it's a great deal to take in, and I could say more, but let's just continue to pray that God's will is accomplished as these prophetic events unfold.
Could Assad be playing Russia and U.S. off each other to buy more time for himself as more and more people die on the grounds of Syria? But then again Assad would not want to bite the hand that feeds him, that is, the hand of Putin. Meanwhile.... The authority of the U.S. in international affairs is deeply in question right now. Some people think Obama cannot talk to America and the rest of the international players as a Commander-in-Chief. To some he seemed indecisive at first (do we use diplomacy or do we strike Syria?... if diplomacy fails then we'll use force?) Then Russia comes along and says "We are the nation that has the plan for dealing with Syria" ... "Peace talks" involving the United Nations are going on, but we all know that at some point if Syria continues to do whatever it's been doing, force will have to be implemented. ... And Israel is just watching and readying itself as its enemies gear up for what will soon be a coming war. Watch by 2014 something MAJOR will have happened, I promise you. We who are believers in Christ just need to watch and pray... watch and pray as certain events unfold.
#CNN #Syria #Russia #Israel #UN #UnitedStates #WorldWar3
Consider how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you. How you perceive yourself affects how you live your life and the decisions you make.
Ladies, listen up! One of Satan's lies to you to get you to compare yourself to other women or the prevailing culture around you is that you're not good enough. Truth: You don't have to try to "measure up" to what the world says you have to be if you know what the Lord says you are in Him.
Lie #2: You are how you look.
Truth: How your heart is towards God and people is what counts. You are beautiful inside and out. You were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:12-16).
Lie #3: You are where you live.
Truth: Even if you can't afford the big fancy house, that does not speak against your character. There are many people living in really nice houses, but it's not a home because there is no love there. I'd rather live in an average house where love dwells, than a fancy house where there is hate, discord, and confusion.
Lie #4: You are what you do.
Truth: You are not your job or occupation, or how much money you make.
Lie #5: You are your relationships. (Why aren't you dating? Why aren't you married? Why are you divorced?)
Truth: If God has it in His plans for you to get into an intimate relationship and then get married, your time will come. If not, perhaps God has given you the gift of singleness so you can serve the Lord in a particular fashion. Either way when you focus on God's plans and not just your own, He gets the glory. And ladies, no matter how bad a man has treated you (whether it be a father figure, or significant other), you are not damaged goods.
Lie #6: You are your religion. ("Godly women shouldn't have to experience this or that.")
Truth: No one is exempt from trials. But we overcome and gain victory in Christ Jesus.
Lie #7: You are your past (mistakes, sins, etc.)
Truth: There is great forgiveness in Christ and redemption by His blood.
Truth: You are made whole and complete in Christ Jesus!
Now, I know that I am certainly not the smartest or the wisest person on Earth, but I do know a little something about knowing the difference between being smart and being wise. According to Merriam-Webster, a few of the definitions for "smart" are: mentally alert, knowledgeable, shrewd, or intelligent. And one of the definitions for wise is: marked by deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment.
With these definitions in mind, I think I'll take the liberty to point out what might be an obvious truth to many: just because you are smart, it does not mean you are wise. To me, being wise means seeing opportunities to apply what you know in certain scenarios to produce a good outcome for yourself and/or for others. So you might be "book smart" as some say, but you are wise when you know how and when to apply what you know. Sometimes, we can gain wisdom from truly listening to those who have experienced what you have yet to experience yourself so we can avoid whatever pitfalls might be there during the experience. Moreover, it's not just about avoiding pitfalls, it's also about finding the greatest level of success. Then there are other times when you just have to experience things first-hand yourself then hopefully, you learn whatever lesson you needed to learn. I can honestly say that I recognize I am smart, but I also see that I need a whole lot more wisdom. I certainly have not "arrived." (Please pray for those who do think they have... I laugh as I write this, but at the same time I am so serious.) The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:12, "...let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." ["Lest" means for fear that — often used after an expression denoting fear or apprehension ("let him...take heed [for fear that he might] fall").] To provide a context for that verse of Scripture, Paul was talking about those who did not please God in the wilderness and those who tried to tempt (or test) Christ and failed.
Some people just think they know everything about everything, but they have to be careful because it is inevitable that they will slip up one day. After all, we are fallible humans, right? Those who think they know it all are experiencing pride. Pride can make people do foolish things. I don't stand by my own strength and knowledge, but I stand because Christ, my Rock, holds me up. The fear of (reverence for) God is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).
I hope I never lose the ability to tell when I should be applying what I do indeed know. Context always matters. I have to be careful that I don't try to apply what I know at the wrong time and/or for the wrong reason (ex. trying to justify myself or trying to prove a point just to make myself look good). Yes, I do believe I am smart, but I'd be wise to not rely solely on "smarts," but to trust in the Lord Who has allowed me to have opportunities to apply what I have learned from the best Book from which to gain "book smarts," His holy Word, the Bible.
Every encounter with God should be a learning experience. If you aren't learning anything, then I have the remedy for that: it's called listen more [with the heart] and talk less. Sometimes, if we are not careful, our "prayers" can end up being nothing more than some type of spiritual monologue. How does God get the most amount of glory from that? It's not supposed to be a one-way,"Here's what I want God" kind of street. It's supposed to be a two-way street. Let God speak to you through His Word, and through those who He uses to spur you on to good works in Christ. ... So... which street are you walking on?
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.