GET READY – A year of tribulations.

Amir’s 2016 New Year’s message

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“In this world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33)

Jesus is the truth and thus could never mislead or deceive His disciples. He wanted them to be well aware of the fact that together with the great blessing of belonging to the family of God as his sons and daughters comes the life in this dying and sin-saturated world. Jesus made sure that his followers understand the simple reality that in this world, as long as we live here, we should be expecting tribulation.

Make no mistake- in John 16:33 Jesus is not speaking necessarily about persecutions. Tribulations are troubles resulting from the Satanic driven, antichrist spirit that is in this world. Jesus gave a detailed description of the end time’s events and apart from the revival of the Fig Tree (which is the allegoric way of speaking about the return of the Jews to their land and the rebirth of that nation back in their land) all the other signs are pretty bad, scary and bloody.

“… Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the[c] Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour…” (I John 2:18)

Many times believers confuse terms that are mentioned in the Bible and as a result there is a lack of clarity about the exact meaning of specific verses.

The tribulations (plural) that Jesus refers to in John 16 are not THE GREAT TRIBULATION in the same exact way the antichrists (plural) John is talking about aren’t THE ANTICHRIST. However, the common thread we see is that the many small ones are the birth pains of the BIG ONE. They are of the same nature, just in a smaller scale.

 The tribulations we read about in John 16 are the wars, earthquakes, terror attacks, famines, diseases and total moral collapse accompanied by the amazing technological advancement of our society. If the smaller yet frequent tribulations are like birth pains then we must observe that the intensity and frequency are the greatest indication of the actual coming of the BIG BIRTH of the GREAT TRIBULATION which will start with the rise of the Anti-Christ yet culminate with the judgment of God upon the rebellious and ungodly world – known as “The Wrath of God”.

WHAT TRIBULATIONS?

SPIRITUAL/MENTAL DECEPTION OF THE WORLD

“…we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ…” (II Corinthians 4:2-7)

“…But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth…men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was…” (II Timothy 3:1-9)

 

THE MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS

 “…For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way…” (II Thessalonians 2:7)

Although the true identity of the antichrist will be revealed once we are taken from world, his spirit is at work already! The spirit of the antichrist is teaching people through words, symbols, songs and other modern means of communication. It is teaching that Satan is the god of this world, therefore God has no power over the world and no need to listen to His followers. Drugs, alcohol sex, corruption and abuse are creating a cycle of a damaged and deformed society. This deception started in Genesis 3 when the serpent suggested Adam and Eve not listen to God because He is not interested in their enlightenment. That which the world calls enlightenment is the sheer blindness. That which the world calls “the truth” is the biggest deception. Isaiah predicted that people will call evil good, and darkness light. millions of young people world-wide are on drugs and can’t see the truth!

“…Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;

Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;

Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!…” (Isaiah 5:20)

 

ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT

 Climate change trick – how tragic and ironic it was that as ISIS were massacring hundreds in Europe, the world declared that climate change is the largest problem of this world. This is a new trick to bring about global governance.

ONE WORLD RELIGION

A few weeks ago the Vatican suggested that Jews do not need to believe in Jesus and even linked Christian evangelism to Jews to anti-Semitism. Listen to my message on the rise of the one world religion and see the tactics of the Catholic Church to tell all other religions that Christ and the Church are not the only way. Just Do good, be good and feel good.

Unlike many Bible teachers that are convinced that the antichrist would come from a Muslim background, I believe that we are witnessing the fall of Islam. Hundreds of millions of Muslims are embarrassed by ISIS and are looking for answers. This search for identity will be used by the Vatican to introduce a new religion where all people of all faiths are welcome. No sober Jew will ever follow a Muslim as a messiah.

PHISYCAL CALAMITIES

“…And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows…”(Matthew 24:7)

 According to the statistics, we have a steady increase of 35% in number of earthquakes around the world. Some big ones are around the corner such as in the northwestern shores of the USA and others in Europe and Asia.

2016 will definitely have some major earthquakes, Tsunamis and unprecedented storms across the globe as part of the birth pains.

WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS

 ISIS served its purpose to bring chaos and confusion to the Middle East along with ethnic wars and the pretext for Russia and Iran to be present on the borders of Israel in preparation for the Gog and Magog War mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39. The defeat of ISIS on the ground will divert their focus to worldwide terrorism and America is on their agenda. Every possible secret service and intelligence agency is convinced that it’s not a matter of IF but rather WHEN.

Will a major terrorist attack during a year of presidential elections become the best pretext for the current administration major steps like strict gun control? Will this lead to a semi-civil war that will postpone the elections and leave Obama in power? I am more and more convinced that it is a very realistic option, as Obama served the global agenda more than any other president in the history of the USA.

Russia -Vladimir Putin is gaining more and more control and respect in the Middle East due to the apathy of the US administration and the impotency of the European governments. ISIS and Al-Qaida served as a great pretext to take advantage of the weakness of NATO and build a strong and substantial military presence in Syria and Lebanon.

Gas and Oil are in his mind. The plane the Turks gunned down was busy taking photos of the daily flow of oil from ISIS to Turkey, a secret deal that brings to ISIS around 10 million dollars a week. No one should deal with OIL and GAS without Putin’s supervision.

 Iran – The nuclear deal from this past summer is quickly filling up Iran’s empty cash boxes. In defiance to the world and to the USA, the Iranians are conducting missile tests as well as forbidden deals with Hezbollah and others. The Iranians are concerned about two things: the growing popularity of Putin on one side, and the growing popularity of ISIS on the other. They are counting on the current US government to guard them from any Israeli attack on their nuclear facilities. According to the Wall Street Journal from December 30th, 2015, during the period in which the United States was pursuing a nuclear arms agreement with Iran, President Obama ordered the National Security Agency to target Israeli leaders and officials. That of course was also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. Amazingly, America’s closest ally was spied on while the biggest enemy is getting a free pass to work its way to a bomb. Sad!

Turkey – The rise of Russia on one hand and the Iranians on the other caused Turkey, once the leader of the Sunni Muslim world and the seat of the last caliphate, to aspire to return to it’s old role. President Erdogan built himself a 1200-room palace and took upon himself the task to bring Turkey to the days of the Ottoman Empire. As such, Turkey must gain popularity among Sunni Muslims and there is no better way to do this than to stand against Israel. Any step that Israel might take in order to remove Damascus as an imminent threat will cause Turkey to join hands with anyone who will be part of the coalition.

USA & EUROPE – Election years in America and Europe experiencing the most massive influxes of immigrants since World War II, caused both to become impotent and avoid taking major steps to remove major threats. Everybody is happy to have Putin doing the dirty job on the ground in Syria. But remember apathy and impotency create vulnerability because it’s interpreted as weakness. Yesterday it was widely published that The United States and Russia may be hitting ISIS harder than anyone, with constant attacks from the air, but Israel is the only country the Islamic State group truly fears, according to a German reporter who spent 10 days with the terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria. When terrorists smell weakness, they take advantage of it and operate on it. Hundreds of ISIS, Al-Qaida and Hezbollah cells are all around the USA and Europe.

2016 will be the year for action as they are all losing ground in their home fronts.

SPIRITUAL DECEPTION OF THE CHURCH (Matthew 24:12)

 More and more teachings like “kingdom now” (Now is the kingdom of God – therefore no point wasting in believing the Jesus will return) and “replacement theology” (The church has replaced Israel thus Israel is NO LONGER God’s people), along side with “A-millennialism” (There will be no literal millennial kingdom) and “be good do good and feel-good” preaching will cause many to fall away! I believe that in 2016 we will see a great rise of anti-Bible and anti-Israel teachings. Much of the blame for the coming terrorist attacks will be on Israel and the Bible believing Christians. Bible prophecy will be less and less taught, and mega churches will grow even bigger as people will want spirituality without accountability. People’s love to God, His word and His people will grow cold!

Why? Because of the lawlessness. The chaos and fear will be a tool in the hands of Satan to turn people against God! We also see more and more pastors trying to become social networks stars!

HOW TO GET READY?

BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT – (Matthew 25:1-13 Galatians 5:16-24)

The Bible states very clearly that NOT all those who believe they are Christian will be taken by Jesus during the rapture. The parable of the ten virgins is a powerful example to the fact that people who’re not filled with the Holy Spirit and are not born from above would never see Him. The oil in typology is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Only those that will have the Holy Spirit in them would be taken by the bridegroom. Not only do we need to have the Holy Spirit, but we need to walk in the Spirit. We must feed our spirit with the Word of God and the things of God.

ABIDE – Be a doer of His word (John 15:4,7, I John 2:28, I John 3:24)

 Probably the greatest problem of the church today is the number of listeners vs. doers of His Word. To abide is to be found in Him. To be part of Him. To hear and do. To see Him working through us. Not to be like broken cisterns (Jeremiah 2:13).

Too many Christians are just listeners of the Word. They attend church, they receive the message yet they don’t apply it. We will NOT see Jesus if we are not abiding in him. The Bible says the abiding produces Holiness. “…Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord…” (Hebrews 12:14)

Holiness is not measured in church going but in the day-to-day life.

TRUST –  Crossing to the other side (Mark 4:35, Jeremiah 17:7-8)

 Jesus never told His disciples “lets try to cross to the other side”… It was a given: we are crossing to the other side. He never said that there would be no storms. He was disappointed that His disciples didn’t trust that He will bring them safely to the other side but rather asked Him if He doesn’t care that they were all about to perish…

When we go through hardships and troubles, we are being tested by the unbelievers. How can one put his trust in God during the good times, yet not trust that God will be there for him in bad times? In the midst of the coming tribulations our faith will be tested and our trust will be the best testimony to the unbelievers!

BE IN THE WORD – “…so you will perfectly know…”(I Thessalonians 5:1-2)

The only way we can resist the deception and scheme of the enemy is the way Jesus Himself resisted all temptation. It is to know and meditate on the Word of God. The Word of God not only nourishes our spirit and soul, but also equips us with the right knowledge and information regarding the things around us. As we can read in this portion – Paul says that there is no need of him to write cause they perfectly know. How can one know the plans of God unless you are in the Word?

DO OUR FATHER’S BUSINESS – Occupy! (Luke 2:49, John 20:21, Luke 19:13)

 We can’t anymore say that we are not destined to do the work of God because we have our own business or secular profession. Time is short and we must all be about our Father’s business and make His name known through our lives! Whether in our family, among our friends and/or in school or workplace – We cannot stay silent!

“…How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?…” (Romans 10:14)

 

HOLD ON TO THE BLESSED HOPE – prepare for His return (Titus 2:11-14)

Throughout the tribulations and pain we may need to experience – we must, more than ever before, hold on to the blessed hope which is the appearance of Jesus to His people. Let us not walk in this world as people with no hope!

BE A SHEEP – Support Israel (Matthew 25:31-46)

 As we are getting close and closer to the end – the isolation of Israel and the Jewish people will grow bigger and deeper. Satan wants to destroy Israel simply because the country and its people are the biggest proof to God’s existence and faithfulness! If you care and help the brethren of Christ in the flesh – you will be held as a sheep!

(31) “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. (32) All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (33) He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. (34) “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. (35) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, (36) I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

(37) “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? (38) When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? (39) When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

(40) “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

The sheep, which are the pro-Semites, are clearly stated to be the righteous ones. Will they be saved, then? Just because of their pro-Semitism? This cannot be, for that would mean their salvation was purely on the basis of works.

This passage is an example of James 2:14-26, proving one’s faith by one’s works. Because these gentiles are already believers in the Lord Jesus the Messiah, they will refuse to join the policy of the Antichrist in his attempt to destroy the Jews. So while Jews will undergo a great persecution, those believing gentiles will do what they can to help the Jews under those conditions. Their works towards the Messiah’s brethren will prove their faith. In this manner, they are the ones who will be watching, ready, and laboring in accordance with the admonitions of the parables. Because they are saved gentiles, they will be allowed to enter into the Messianic Kingdom, and they will be the ones who will populate the gentile nations during the messianic age.

(41) “Then He will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (42) For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, (43) I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

(44) “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ (45) “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

(46) “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

On the other hand, the goats will be the anti-Semites, who, because of their disbelief in Jesus will join the ranks of the persecutors under the antichrist’s authority. They will show their lack of faith by their works; they are the ones who will not be watching, ready or laboring in violation of the five parables. For this reason, they will be killed at this point and will be excluded from the Messianic Kingdom.

The ultimate and final result after the Kingdom is in verse 46. The believing gentiles will enter into eternal life while the unbelieving gentiles will enter into eternal punishment.

Remember, in His first coming, Jesus, the Great Shepherd, came to save the world and not the church. Thus, both the sheep and the goats were under His care. He led the sheep, sent to the lost sheep and lived among the goats as well. Even on the cross, not wanting anyone to blame the Jews for His death he said “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)

Yet in His second coming, He will judge those who turned against His lost sheep, and will bless those who understood that “He who touches Israel, touches the Apple of God’s eye”. (Zachariah 2:8)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The True Meaning of Hanukkah

Amir’s commentary as Israelis and Jews worldwide commemorate Hanukkah Sunday

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Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a holiday based on the story and tradition of the Jewish people’s defeat of the Seleucid Empire (Syrian-Greeks) in the Holy Land. In the 2nd century BC (165) a small army of Jews called the “Maccabees” stages a rebellion against the Seleucids during their attempts to Hellenize the Jewish people and Land of Israel.

A Jewish tradition at the time was to light Chanukiah (Hanukkah Menorah) in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem daily. As tradition tells, when the Maccabees liberated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, a miracle occurred as only one day’s worth of oil for lighting the Menorah lasted for eight days.

Hence the tradition of eight days and nights, each night during the holiday one additional candle lit commemorating and remembering the strength of the Jewish people and God’s deliverance from their enemies.

Hanukkah means “dedication” and refers to the rededication and liberation of the Promised People’s Holy Temple and center of worship to God.

Modern festivities include eating of latkes, potatoes pancakes and donuts, as they are cooked in oil. Young children typically light the candles and sign traditional songs, playing with the “dreidel” a spinning top with Hebrew letters with the acronym of “a great miracle happened there”.

While the holiday is a minor holiday in Jewish tradition, in Israel the holiday is a time of unity and ceremonies held through out the nation.

John 10: 22-23 records, “Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.” (NIV) As a Jew, Jesus most certainly would have participated in the Feast of Dedication.

The same courageous spirit of the Maccabees who remained faithful to God during intense persecution was passed on to Jesus’s disciples who would all face severe trails because of their faithfulness to Christ. And like the miracle of God’s presence expressed through the eternal flame of God burning for the Maccabees, Jesus became the incarnate, physical expression of God’s presence, the Light of the World who came to dwell among us and give us the eternal light of God’s life.

May we all remember the two most important things from this holiday:

Dedication –“… I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God…”(Romans 12:1-2)

Being the Light – “…You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven…” (Matthew 5:14-16)