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If my people, who are called by my Name, humble themselves and pray (Part One)

The text, for those who have trouble with a rather individual cursive, reads as follows: Scandal after Scandal. No institution safe....

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Psalm 83 war and ISIS. The Terrorist Question.

There is already a great deal of speculation about the Psalm 83 war. Until now, it has been assumed that the nations involved would be commanded by their official governments. Recently,  we have seen many of these governments destabilised. In most, if not all, of the countries surrounding Israel there are significant terrorist presences..

Psalm 83 describes an alliance of Nations conspiring against Israel which has never taken place. However, prophetic scholar Bill Salus, has observed  that the Psalm could be seen as a prophetic. In short, it describes a war that has yet to happen.

I have begun to wonder whether the Psalm describes an alliance of terrorist groups within the listed nations. The war were not require the approval of official governments. All it would need is sufficient terrorist support backed by military units sympathetic to their cause acting in alliance with a central command.

I.S.I.S could be such a suitable command. In recent days, it has begun to describe itself as, 'The Islamic State'. If sufficient people rally to its cause,  then I.S.I.S could cause a great deal of trouble before its eventual defeat.

To put it more simply, will Psalm 83 be a war of terrorist conspiracy against Israel and not a war of national governments?

If I am right, then we could see the Psalm 83 war within months, rather than years, and possibly, within weeks.

I do not claim a revelatory, prophetic insight. It is simply a question that came to me whilst I was considering the prophetic significance of recent developments in the Middle East.

If I.S.I.S are defeated before provoking the Psalm 83 war, my question still holds good as another terrorist centre of command could, and probably will, arise. If I.S.I.S are defeated after provoking the Psalm 83 war, then we can expect to see major changes in the map of the Middle East.

I would not be surprised if it resulted in the rebuilding of the Temple, the extension of Israel's sovereignty and a significant period of peace. This peace will not last.

I would also expect to see a corresponding revival of the Christian church and then an in-gathering of converts to the faith even, and especially even, in the Western Church.
 The nations and peoples of Psalm 83 I have to update this with a link to an article in the Daily Mail. It seems that ISIS have been rebuked, but have they? The Taliban have issued a coded rebuke, but it is also an invitation to consult together. ISIS may not be popular with some Islamists but they are slowly being recognised.

Just look again at the opening of Psalm 83:

O God, do not keep silence;
    do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
    those who hate you have raised their heads.
They lay crafty plans against your people;
    they consult together against your treasured ones.
They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
    let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”
For they conspire with one accord;
    against you they make a covenant—

I'm not saying that this is it, I don't have that authority. But it would be a foolish man who ignored these developments.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

What the blind can teach us about walking by faith - and why so many churches are empty.

A bit late for church on Sunday, but it was God's timing , all the same. As I drove down Trinity Street towards the church, I saw one of our elderly members walking away from the church. This was most unusual for a faithful member.

We are currently meeting in the church hall, as we have scaffolding up in the main building whilst workmen carry out essential repairs.

I parked my car and walked back to meet with him. He is almost blind, somewhat deaf and quite elderly. It turned out that as he could not get into the main entrance and he only knew how to get to the hall from the church, he was going home. He thought that if he entered the church from the side (North) door he would have to negotiate some very difficult steps, for him, so he was returning home.

By then two more of our congregation had arrived and we convinced him to let me take him, by car - it was quicker -, to the hall and that this would avoid any steps. I eventually arrived with him holding on to my arm.

It was during the service as we sang 'By Faith' that I realised what the Lord had shown me.

Blind people need a mental map to help them get around their homes, streets etc. This is made up, not of visual cues, but cues from the other senses. It get harder if they are deaf as well. They also need to trust friends, family and neighbours more than most of use do. Finally, they may also have the help of a guide dog.

Our brother simply did not have the mental map to get him, by another route, to the church hall. He had no guide dog, he thought that he was alone, so he gave up and was going home.

When we walk by faith, we also need a map. God has provided us with one. It's called 'The Bible '. 

When we walk by faith, we need to trust our brothers and sisters in the Lord all the more and not less. It's called being built into the Church.

When we walk by faith, we have one other guide, a Guide God. He's called 'The Holy Spirit'.

If we take away reading the Bible and the faithful teaching of the whole counsel of God and listen to false teachers or no teachers;

If we take away a loving Christian fellowship and treat Church as a club or don't even go;

If the Holy Spirit is quenched, derided and mocked, or simply not listened to;

Then we cannot walk by faith, and like our elderly brother, we will have no choice but to give up and go home.
And this is why so many Western churches are empty.