Prophecy in the news
"Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book:
for the time is at hand." - Rev 22:10 

Updated 01/06/07
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Wars and rumours of wars
Hamas threaten "cash or intifada"
As the French government continues to press for the lifting of the economic boycott against the Palestinian Authority, members of the movement are also calling for the lifting of the boycott in their own unique way. The official European Union line is that monies due to the Palestinian Authority will be transferred via a temporary international mechanism (TIM for short), until such times as the group renounces violence, recognizes Israel's right to exist and abides by former agreements made with Israel by the PLO. But other pro-Palestinian countries, such as France, Russia, Norway, etc, have been pressing for a lifting of the boycott despite Hamas having agreed to none of the above. In fact they were pressing for a lifting of the boycott even after Hamas had announced they had ended their "cease-fire" with Israel. Regarding this development, there was absolutely no word of condemnation of Hamas from any world leader, not even Solana, who just stated that he was sad that another opportunity for peace was being lost. Well France, Italy, Russia and Norway had better look out, for if they don't get the boycott lifted soon, Hamas is - shock - going to resort to violence...

Quote: "Hamas leader Khaled Meshal has warned that Israel could face another Palestinian uprising unless the West lifted its aid embargo and conditions in the Gaza Strip and West Bank improved. Meshal told the Palestinian daily al-Ayyam in an interview published on Monday that continuation of a Western economic embargo of the Palestinian government and military actions by Israel would "give notice to a huge explosion that would not only affect the Palestinians but also the entire region, especially the Zionist entity."

It's unbelievable to think that democratic nations could even support such a tyrannical regime as the Palestinian Authority, whether governed by Hamas or Fatah. Both terrorists organizations have proven that they are equally capable of causing mass destruction of human life. But looking at it from a spiritual perspective, it's not really that surprising. France has a massive anti-Semitic problem. Just within the last week, two major attacks were perpetrated. In two separate incidents, a French Rabbi was punched and a Jewish girl was attacked by two immigrants who drew a swastika on her chest. The French government has refused to admit the latter was even anti-Semitic in nature. World leaders have refused God's good laws and are legalizing sin, and as a result I believe we can only expect problems like what we are seeing now. The scourge of Islamic terrorism, disrupted weather patterns, economic hardship, and even nature is starting to rebel against us. It's all happening just like God promised...

Leviticus 26:16-20 
I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror ("appointed" - not coincidental), consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you (Islam?); and ye shall flee when none pursueth you (security cameras, biometric IDs?). And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass (drought?): And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits (honeybees deserting their hives?).

Source Haaretz, Arutz 7, Israel Insider

Sponsorship for ALT Fun Run
I hate asking for money! But if anyone would like to support the Lord's work by sponsoring me in the May Day fun run in Belfast, your gift would be very much appreciated. The money is not for me or this website, God has blessed me much. But the sponsorship money will go towards my Auntie's charity, Adventure Leadership Training. The fun run is a three mile run through Belfast on May 7th, so don't think I'm doing anything spectacular. I'm no athlete! :) 

ALT is a Christian Charity based in Annalong which aims to bring together people from the community, to work together in various activities and share their faith with others. We are aiming to build a £3m facility in the region, which can be used by the whole community as a base for such work. If you feel you would like to sponsor this event, and support the Lord's work, ALT will greatly appreciate your kind gift. If you would like to donate, you can do so online through a PayPal link on the Funds page on the ALT website. It comes up my email address on the PayPal site, as it used to be my account, but I gave it to ALT as I no longer used it.

Thanks very much.

:Len Magee albums online!!!
Just a quicky before I'm off to the meeting. Len Magee's sister, Lesley Wells, sent me an email this morning saying that it is now possible to order all of Len Magee's songs online! I spent my childhood listening to the music of Len Magee. He wrote some amazing songs. Some of my favourites are "Prince of Peace",  "Water into wine" and "Travellin' man". Over the last few years I managed to get all Len's albums on LP, and recorded them onto my computer. I definitely recommend you order the whole collection on CD.
Revived Roman Empire
Israel seeks increased role for EU at Rafah
This link from my friend Darrell...

Israeli officials are seeking an increased role from the European Union at the Rafah border, in an effort to clamp down on weapons and cash smuggling between Egypt and Gaza. Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, helped secure the historic agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and the EU became the first third-party body that Israel had permitted to get involved in the conflict. Around ninety EU personnel monitor the Rafah border, but the EU does not have the power to confiscate smuggled goods. Israel has become concerned at the amount of money flowing through the border, which helps fund Hamas' terrorist regime, and heavy weapons manufactured by Iran and Syria. The EU's Rafah border mission is set to expire on the 24th of May. 

Quote: "Jerusalem - Israel has asked the European Union to expand the powers of its monitors at Gaza's border crossing with Egypt to help prevent militants from bringing in money and equipment, EU diplomats said yesterday. "There is some flexibility" to negotiate the mandate of the monitors, said a senior EU official involved in talks, a month before the expiry of the current mandate at the border. But the official said the bloc would not accept changes that transform the monitoring mission into one with expansive executive powers. European and Israeli officials sought to play down any discord, but one Western diplomat involved in the matter said preparations were under way in case the EU decided to pull the monitors out of the Rafah crossing with Egypt altogether.

There is no doubt, the EU's involvement on the Rafah border, although largely symbolic at present, is a major step towards the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy. For I believe that it will be the European Union that will be the one to broker a peace agreement between Israel and many nations. Europe is the biggest benefactor for the Palestinian Authority, and Europe is Israel's biggest trading partner. How the peace agreement finally comes about, and what circumstances bring it about, is not yet known. But as we have seen with Lebanon and Beit Hanoun, it mightn't take much for the EU to decide it needs to be involved in a greater way in the Middle East, to foster an environment in which "peace" can take hold. 

Source The Peninsula

Widow of Turkish martyr forgives attackers
The Turkish government have arrested a group of five men and women they believe were responsible for the horrific attack of three Christians working at a Bible publishing company in Malatya. Turkey has a secular government but the majority in the country are Islamic, and Christians are a persecuted minority. The three Christians were holding a Bible study in their offices for several Turkish men who it was believed wanted to become Christians. After the Bible study began, the three Christians were bound and brutally tortured for three hours by their attackers, the assault being recorded on the Muslims' mobile phones. Police received a tip off and the Muslims were caught while attempting to escape. I must give you a warning, for the description of their martyrdom is this article is particularly graphic. The comments of Susanne Tilman regarding her husband's murderers have made the front page of Turkey's largest newspaper, calling for them to be forgiven rather than calling for revenge against the Islamic assailants. 

Quote: ""Please pray for the Church in Turkey," wrote Pastor Fikret Bocek. "Don't pray against persecution, pray for perseverance." "This we know. Christ Jesus was there when our brothers were giving their lives for Him. He was there, like He was when Stephen was being stoned in the sight of Saul of Tarsus," the letter said. "Someday the video of the deaths of our brothers may reveal more to us about the strength that we know Christ gave them to endure their last cross, about the peace the Spirit of God endowed them with to suffer for their beloved Savior. But we know He did not leave their side." "We pray – and urge you to pray – that someday at least one of those five boys will come to faith because of the testimony in death of Tilman Geske, who gave his life as a missionary to his beloved Turks, and the testimonies in death of Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel, the first martyrs for Christ out of the Turkish Church," the letter said.

The letter, written by Turkish Christians to the worldwide Church, states that persecution against Christians in Turkey has increased since the Turkish National Security Council made a decision in 2001 to consider Christians as great a threat to security as al-Qaeda. As I have said before, similar views have been expressed by our own leaders, including the Pope, Prime Minister Tony Blair, and former Home Secretary David Blunkett. Although we may claim to enjoy the freedom of democracy, we are really only a government away from experiencing the kind of persecution on the scale of that seen in Turkey. But on a more positive note, as the Pastor wrote, do not pray for an end to persecution but for perseverance. For in spite of tremendous persecution in countries like China, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc, thousands are being saved and they are crying out for the Word of God. It's not really about us, that is what the devil wants to put an end to, and let's not give him opportunity to get what he wants.  

Acts 5:38-39
And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

Source WorldNetDaily

EU Parliament slams Poland over gay rights
Sorry I've not put many updates on the site. I've been very busy in work the past week, and I needed a rest. These links from my friends Tony and Cheryl...

The European Parliament in Strasbourg has approved a resolution Wednesday condemning Poland's prohibition on the promotion of the homosexual lifestyle in schools. The Parliament held an hour long debate, which resulted in MEPs from Poland and Northern Ireland walking out in protest, while members of other European states stayed to defend what the Parliament labelled "homophobic" views. The European Parliament plans to send a fact-finding team to Poland, and will take any state that "discriminates" against homosexuality to court.

Quote: "Beginning the debate in the EP France's MEP Rour Martine called statements in defense of the traditional family by Polish parliamentarians, "diatribes" and noted that they "must stop", adding that they were "repulsive" and "hateful". "These are not Europe's values," she proclaimed. The statements from France were supported by Sophia in't Veld of the Netherlands who also accused the Polish government of "hatred" and demanded action rather than words from the EU governing body. Italy's Giusto Catania joined in the attack on Poland adding an attack on the church as well which he said never stopped in expressing hatred toward homosexuals.

How have we come from a situation where homosexual acts were once a punishable offence, to where homosexuality is paraded for all to see, lauded by the media and propagated in schools with the backing of the state? Homosexuality was decriminalized in our country about two decades ago, but this current Labour government has done more for the homosexual cause than any other, repealing legislation prohibiting the promotion of gay lifestyles in schools and most recently legalizing gay marriage and criminalizing homosexual "discrimination". Today's news confirms to me that these laws aren't coming from Britain, but from the EU and ultimately Satan himself. But it's not just European's that are facing a homosexual onslaught, the US may soon vote on a new "Hate-Crime" bill which will give special protection to homosexuals in federal law. Christian organizations are warning that Christians who "discriminate" against homosexuals by refusing them membership of their church, or preach that homosexuality is an offence to God, could find themselves in court with this law.

Quote: ""Most persons who are concerned about imminent passage of the federal 'anti-hate' bill don't realize that S. 1105 in the Senate and H.R. 1592 in the House are actually amendments to a federal hate law passed in 1969. During the height of the civil rights movement, 'Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 245' stipulated that no one could verbally '... attempt to ... intimidate' another person (chiefly black) away from enjoyment of their federally protected right to equal employment, public services, housing, voting rights, jury privileges, etc. If the government finds such verbal 'intimidation' in a state and state officials are not enforcing these guarantees, the federal government can invade states' rights in local law enforcement, upholding Title 18," he said. Now, in 2007, he said, "the present hate bill grants [special rights] to homosexuals, transvestites, and transsexuals."  

So it seems the laws which were good and originally intended to protect the innocent and prosecute the guilty are now being twisted to protect the guilty and prosecute the innocent. And if we don't face it in all its fury before the rapture, you can bet the tribulation saints will have a time of it when it comes to standing for Christ. It seems even in Josiah's day, the homosexuals were sticking up their noses at God, building their houses right beside the Temple. Would to God that we had a few more parliamentarians like Josiah...

2nd Kings 23:7 
And he [king Josiah] brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.

I like what Larry Norman says in his song, Satan can only take away so much, but there are some things that he cannot take away. He can't take away the Church (for the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it - Matthew 16:18), he can't take away the Bible (for God's Word cannot pass away - Matthew 24:35), and he can't take away the Lord from those that believe.

Source LifeSite, WorldNetDaily

Peace process
Abbas meets the Pope in Rome
President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is in Rome, as his tour of European nations draws to a close. He met with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and Pope Ratzinger at the Vatican. The Pope and President Abbas hailed the new initiatives aimed at reviving peace in the Middle East, but even as they spoke, Hamas members were declaring an end to their five month "truce". The truce, as HonestReporting reveals, exists only in the minds of those who want to believe it - namely the mainstream media. Kassam rockets are still fired into Israel on a daily basis, and several attacks including a suicide bombing were recently thwarted by the IDF and Egyptian intelligence. Yesterday's attack it seems was intended as a cover for a botched kidnapping attempt on Israeli soldiers operating near the Gaza Strip. Abbas and Prodi exclaimed that they hoped the outbreak of violence was only temporary, while Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, urged all sides to show restraint...

Quote: ""This is very bad news and we hope very much that this is not an end of a process that has been maintained with peace and moderation for a long time," Solana said. "I plead with everybody on both sides to really behave in a constructive manner because there is a window of opportunity in which things that are positive may take place," he told journalists in Luxembourg. "Everybody has a responsibility not to contribute to make difficult or impossible these movements in the right direction."

Javier Solana had stated that the resumption of aid to the Palestinian Authority would be based on deeds and not words. But so far Abbas and Haniyeh have shown little interest in ending the attacks against Israel, despite promises to the contrary. Abbas had called for an end to rocket attacks earlier in the month, as had Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. But despite Hamas declaring an end to their "ceasefire", it seems the EU is bent on pressing ahead with its devilish plan to hand yet more land to the Palestinian terrorist organizations...

Quote: "Despite Tuesday's incident, Prodi said he had assured Abbas that the Italian government favoured the "resumption of financial aid to Palestinians" and that it would raise the issue with the European Commission. After a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, EU foreign ministers expressed the hope that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would lead to "an end to the occupation that began in 1967 and the creation of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state, living side-by-side with Israel and its other neighbours in peace and security."

Source Turkish Press, EJPress

Peace agreement
Israel-PA discuss state in secret EU location
My heart did a somersault when I read this article from YNet News. The al-Quds (Jerusalem) Newspaper has revealed that Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been holding secret talks regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state at an undisclosed location in the European Union. A Palestinian source revealed that the meeting reflected the willingness of Israeli and the Palestinian leaders to establish an independent Palestinian state by the end of George Bush's presidency next year. The revelation of these secret talks contradict Israeli President Ehud Olmert's statement that he would not discuss final status issues until Palestinian terrorism was halted, but the Prime Minister's Office had stated they hoped such issues could be discussed by this summer.

Quote: "The final borders of the future Palestinian state, the plight of Palestinian refugees, the status of Jerusalem and the future of Jewish settlements built in the West Bank were on the agenda, the Palestinian daily added. The report quoted a senior Palestinian official as saying that the meeting reflected the willingness of Israeli and Palestinian leaders to fulfil US President George W. Bush will to establish an independent Palestinian state by the end of his presidency next year. The report also said that Israel initially resisted the meeting but acquiesced to pressure from Washington and the European Union.

Earlier in the year we had the revelations that Israeli and Syrian officials had been conducting secret talks in Switzerland. It was revealed by Haaretz that these talks had resulted in a peace plan being formulated by the group, but the meetings ended upon the commencement of the Second Lebanon War last July. Ibrahim Suleiman, the Syrian American who was involved in the secretive meetings, briefed Knesset members on his progress at the start of this month. Whether anything comes of these meetings in the European Union is another matter, but the fact that the EU is directly involved in them is extremely significant. According to Daniel's prophecy, it will be the European Union that will confirm the peace deal between the Israel and the "many" (the Arab League?), which will signify the beginning of the tribulation period.

Daniel 9:27 
And he (Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many (nations) for one week (seven years): and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Source YNet News

Babylon the Great
Islamic forum talks of conquest of France
I thought this article was real interesting. As French citizens vote for a new President, Islamic members of an online al-Qaeda forum have been conspiring the conquest of France in the name of Islam. France experienced severe unrest several years ago, when Muslim youth went on the rampage. The violence was inspired by Islam, but was panned off by the media and governments as a failure of social integration and depravity - sorry I mean deprivation. Around Christmas 2005, Muslim youths burned thousands of cars, and what was not widely reported is that they also burned churches and Christian schools and businesses. When a firecracker was thrown through the window of a mosque in retaliation, it was reported by the mainstream media. The violence lasted for nearly a month, and as I said at the time, there is no way a riot could last that long without some serious organization. The riots we had in this country even used to stop for an hour while the World Cup was on television. It was later revealed that these French youths were communicating by mobile phones, and speeding about in cars and motorbikes. The violence later spread throughout France (so much for the "deprived areas" excuse), and even to Belgium where Muslim youths told police their country now belonged to Allah. Muslims invaded France during the Dark Ages but were repelled at the Battle of Tours, but now al-Qaeda is planning how it can conquer the country in the name of Islam. But the Muslim fascination with France isn't what caught my eye in this article, it was a quote by a Muslim who states that the Qur'an predicts the Islamic conquest of the Vatican...

Quote: "The post took a nostalgic look at the battle of Tours in 732, in which Muslim forces, commanded by Rahman al-Ghafiqi, who invaded a portion of France, were repelled by the Frankish general Charles Martel ("the hammer"), and forced to retreat. The battle stemmed the medieval Islamic conquest of Europe. "The Islamic army was left with a large number of martyrs, especially the great shahid (martyr) Abdul Rahman a-Ghafiqi… this battle is mentioned in history, and is known at the battle of Tours," the post explained. "We ask that Allah sends us a genuine Rahman al-Ghafiqi, to finish what he started in Europe, and conquer the Vatican as promised in our beautiful Islamic verses," the post concluded. 

I have heard of this "prophecy" before, but it brought to mind that Scripture in Revelation about the fall of Babylon. There has been much dispute over the identity of Babylon in the book of Revelation. Some believe it refers to the actual city that has been rebuilt by Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Others believe it may be a commercial city such as New York or something on a similar scale, due to the description given in the book of its destruction. I don't know whether physical Babylon will have any part in end time prophecy, it's entirely possible it could have. And the UN is active in pouring millions of dollars into the rebuilding of that city. There does seem to be two Babylon's mentioned in the book of Revelation. Chapter 17 describes Babylon as a Harlot that has committed fornication with the kings of the earth, and is become drunk on the blood of the saints. She is later destroyed by the ten kings that pledge allegiance to the Beast. Revelation 18 seems to describe the destruction of a physical city. Spiritual apostasy in the Scriptures is always presented as adulterous women. We have Jezebel in Revelation 2, and Israel and Judah portrayed as adulterous women in Ezekiel 23. Some speculate that the terminology mentioned in Revelation 17 closely identifies the Harlot Babylon with the Vatican and the city of Rome. That is my own view also. It is interesting, therefore, that the Qur'an should mention a "prophecy" of the destruction of that city in the last days...

Quote: "Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and head of The European Council for Fatwa and Research and the founder of European based International Council of Muslim Scholars (Imams) posted a fatwa on the website, in 2002 about the "signs of the victory of Islam" in Europe. Also citing a well-known Hadith, Al-Qaradhawi wrote: "... The Prophet Muhammad was asked: 'What city will be conquered first, Constantinople or Romiyya?' He answered: 'The city of Hirqil [i.e. the Byzantine emperor Heraclius] will be conquered first' - that is, Constantinople... Romiyya is the city called today 'Rome,' the capital of Italy... and we hope and believe [that it too will be conquered]." Al-Qaradhawi elaborated on what this Islamic ruling means in the current period of history, "This means that Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice... I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology..."

Constantinople is of course modern day Istanbul, Turkey. When it comes to Islamic "prophecies", we of course have to be very careful. The Qur'an is not the inspired Word of God, and if we are to interpret Biblical prophecy correctly, I believe we must look solely to the Scriptures. Studying the Qur'an may give insight into how end time events may play out from an Islamic perspective, but that is the best we can do. It is God who knows the end from the beginning.

Source YNet News, Front Page Mag

Dividing the land
US had plan to attack Israel in 1967
A top-secret study by the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington has revealed that the US had concrete plans for attacking Israel in the event of an all out war, in order to enforce the status quo in the Middle East. The American's had two strategies, one that favoured Israel in the event of an Israeli defeat by the surrounding Arab nations, and one that favoured the Arabs if Israel attempted to to take control of more territory in the Middle East. The US wanted to keep Israel within the bounds of the 1949 armistice lines. The General in charge of Strike Command in the US, which would have initiated the armed intervention between the Arabs and Israelis, was asked to refresh the war plans. A preliminary paper was drawn up on June 5th, 1967, but the plans had to be shelved when the Six Day War began - on that same date.

Quote: "On June 6, when the success of the Israel Air Force was known, and as the divisions under IDF Generals Israel Tal, Ariel Sharon and Avraham Yoffe advanced into Sinai, the Joint Chiefs sent McNamara top-secret memorandum No. 315-67, recommending that the United States not intervene militarily, that it continue to work through the United Nations and bilateral diplomatic channels, including consultation with the Soviets, to stop the war, and that logistical support for all sides be suspended. The American sigh of relief at the demise of the worst-case scenario - the danger that Israel would be destroyed - was replaced by the fear that the Arab defeat had been so crushing that the Soviets would intervene on their behalf, or at least would reap a diplomatic profit.

The Six Day War resulted in Israel capturing the Gaza and the Sinai desert from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria, despite overwhelming odds. Israel could have went on to overthrow these countries, but their goal of preventing an impending Arab attack was completed. It is surprising to hear that the US had plans to attack Israel. After the Second World War, the British prevented thousands of Jews returning to their ancient homeland. Britain's treatment of the Jewish people after the war, I believe, resulted in the the collapse of the British Empire. Had America done the same during the Six Day War, the I have no doubt the same would have happened to them.

Genesis 12:3 
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Source Haaretz

Regathering of Israel
Israel remembers its fallen
Israelis will observe a minute of silence at 8pm tonight as the nation remembers its fallen on Remembrance Day. Over 22,000 Israelis have died defending the Jewish state since the declaration of independence on May 14th, 1948. Israel has survived at least half a dozen wars with its Arab neighbours. Around six thousand soldiers lost their lives in the War of Independence, fighting against an Arab population that outnumbered them 100 to 1, and consisted of the nations of Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Some of the nations such as Egypt and Transjordan had much better military equipment that the Israelis, but in spite of this, Israel was successful not only in defending the nation from its Arab enemies, but gained much land as a result. A tiny country of 800,000 in 1948, the population of Israel now stands at over 7 million. Tomorrow the nation will celebrate Independence Day, the 59th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel.

Quote: "Rabbi Goren explained, in a 1974 speech, how he came to set Remembrance Day just before Independence Day: "The merit of doing this fell in my lot.. We first thought of setting Remembrance Day on Lag BaOmer, the day that historically symbolizes the Bar Kokhba war, and that which is still celebrated by Jewish children as the day of Jewish strength. In this way, we thought that we could combine the heroism of our early ancestors with that of our own children in this generation. But doubts crept in. Would we not cause harm to the general significance, shrouded in mystery as it is, of that historic day? "One of the Fast Days, or during the Three Weeks in which we remember the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temples, was then proposed. But we could not accept the fact that the Day of Remembrance would be solely a day of mourning. It was felt that this day must be more than that. We must remember, we must grieve, but not only that - it must [also] be a day of... majesty and vision. "We realized, therefore, that we could not assign this day to any existing holiday. But the first Independence Day was rapidly approaching, and so we did what we did - without announcing it formally and without setting any specific format for the day. I went to Voice of Israel studios on the day before Independence Day and read aloud the Chief of Staff’s Daily Military Order, which he wrote according to my request. And so I became the narrator and the one who set Remembrance Day on what became its date."

The existence of the state of Israel is much more than just a miracle. It is the direct fulfilment of prophecy, a promise of God that we have been privileged to witness in our lifetimes. Nations have tried to destroy the Jewish people. The nations that persecuted them have been destroyed themselves. The Jews were driven out of their homeland into over 100 different countries of the world, and after 1900 years they are returning in their thousands from those selfsame countries. 

Jeremiah 16:14-16
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

The Hebrew language became all but a dead language after the Diaspora. Today Hebrew is a living language and the mother tongue for people living in Israel...

Zephaniah 3:9-10 
For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.

The Romans renamed the land of Israel, "Palestine", in an attempt to blot out the remembrance of the Jewish people. Today a Jewish state exists in the same region, with the name of "Israel"...

Ezekiel 37:11-12
Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

During their 1900 years of separation, the land of Israel was barren and desolate. Today it blossoms as the Rose, and exports around 85% of the world's fruit. 

Ezekiel 36:35-36 
And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.

And what does all this prove? What the Scriptures say, "the Lord liveth" and He is fulfilling His ancient promise to His people. All these prophecies have been literally fulfilled in our lifetimes, there is no disputing it. If these Scriptures prove that God exists and that what He says He will do, then it is important to know what the Bible states concerning you. The Bible states that to be righteous and just, God must judge our sins. The punishment for sin is eternal banishment from God in a place called the Lake of Fire. But God loved us so much, He sent His Son Yeshua (Jesus Christ) to take our punishment for us, so that we would never have to be in that awful place. Jesus Christ died on a Roman cross 2000 years ago, and bore God's wrath for the sins of the whole world upon Himself. God was satisfied with the price Jesus paid for our sins, and raised Him from the dead. Jesus Christ loves you, and wants you to be with Him in heaven for eternity. All God requires is that you accept that what His Son accomplished on the cross was for you, and He has promised that whoever comes to Him for salvation, He will not turn away (John 6:37). 

Source Arutz 7, YNet News

Peace process
Israel welcomes Pakistani offer of mediation
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf offered his services as mediator between Israel and the Palestinian Authority today, if it would advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. Pervez Musharraf has been criticized in the past by Islamic states for his relatively pro-Israel stance. He became the first Islamic leader to address the American Jewish Congress in 2005, and there were rumours that Pakistan was considering normalizing relations with Israel as Musharraf met with Israeli governmental contacts. 

Quote: "Earlier this year Pakistan hosted a conference on the Middle East which included representatives from Indonesia, Egypt, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey. Israel holds full diplomatic relations only with Egypt, Turkey and Jordan; Saudi Arabia and Israel are officially enemy states observing an armistice, Malaysia holds no relations with Israel and Indonesia has no official relations, even though in 2006 a trade agreement was signed between the two countries. Israel did not issue any official response to Musharaf's statements.

But after criticism from hardliners, Musharraf responded that Pakistan would not normalize relations with Israel until Palestinians had a state of their own - which it seems may be never. Israelis have welcomed Musharraf's offer, but do not believe he could make real progress in an intermediary role as Pakistan's relationship with Israel is not strong enough.

Quote: ""Israel believes that moderate Muslim countries like Pakistan can play a very important role in helping and strengthening the Middle East peace process," Regev said. "Having said that, experience has clearly demonstrated that the most successful mediators have always been those that have established and solid relationships with both sides.

"Established and solid relationships with both sides". There's only one regional power that fits that description in my mind. It's not the US - especially after Afghanistan and Iraq, etc. There aren't many Islamic states that have normalized relations with Israel, let alone enjoy the trust of the Israelis. To me the European Union is the only power that can say that it has well established and solid relationships with both Israel and the Palestinians. And to me that fits the Scriptures, that the Antichrist will be of the people that destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, and that he will grow great towards the south and the east (Daniel 8:9), and the pleasant land (Israel).

Daniel 9:26 
And after threescore and two weeks (69th week) shall Messiah (Jesus) be cut off, but not for himself: and the people (Romans) of the prince that shall come (Antichrist) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (Temple); and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

In other news, I checked up on the Israel trip this afternoon. The October trip has been postponed until May 2008. So perhaps in the will of God, "Next year in Jerusalem".

Source Jerusalem Post, YNet News

Peace process
Abdullah: Israel and Jordan "have the same enemies"
King Abdullah II of Jordan has urged Israeli politicians to agree to the Arab peace initiative today, during a meeting with an Israeli delegation in Amman. According to the Israelis the king spoke very frankly about the situation now facing nations in the Middle East, and that unless Israel agreed to make peace with their immediate neighbours, other undesirables could make life difficult for them both. Abdullah told the Israeli delegation, which comprised of Acting Israeli President Dalia Itzik and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzachi Hanegbi, that the two nations had "the same enemies", and asked if the Israelis really wanted to see the Iranians "on the banks of the Jordan" river.

Quote: "Jordan's King Abdullah II yesterday told a delegation of Knesset members that "we are in the same boat, we have the same problem. We have the same enemies." The king reiterated the comments a number of times, which those at the meeting said referred to Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. Abdullah also emphasized that he spoke not only for Jordan but for a group of states in the region. The king asked at one point: "Do you want Iran on the banks of the Jordan?" Advertisement Former Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin said in response: "I have seen Jordanian openness that does not hesitate to scold extremist Muslims." MK Shlomo Breznitz said that the comments raise the first hope that moderates plan to set the tone in the Arab world. "The style and daring are new," he said.

The king stated that Israel had an unprecedented opportunity to make peace in the region. He also said that the initiative was not cast in stone but only represented talking points, and that Israel could agree to compensate Palestinians demanding the "right of return" instead of re-housing them in Israel. It certainly is interesting days. The Bible states that Jordan will be the only country that will be spared the "wrath" of the Antichrist and his armies, which makes me think that the Antichrist will be European and will be in favour of keeping the peace in the region - thus sparing Jordan, which has been favourable towards Israel recently. Other hostile nations such as Egypt, Sudan and Libya will be overthrown (Daniel 11:42-43). Most Egyptians still regard Israel as an enemy, so it wouldn't take much for Egypt to renounce the peace treaty, and subsequently come under control of the Antichrist's armies. 

Source Haaretz

Howard warns Australians over water supplies
This link from my friend Anna...

There's been so many news articles today, it's been hard to decide what to put on the website. Articles about Islamists murdering more Christians in the Philippines, news about Islam and the Qur'an and its anti-Israel ideologies, the UK tracking people suffering from dementia and news of another anti-Semitic attack in France. As I've commented on these sorts of articles quite recently, I have decided to put something slightly different on the site today. But all these things remind us that we are now living in the days the Scriptures foretold - Christians being beheaded for their faith, the rise of global hatred against the Jews and the Mark of the Beast system coming into place. World conditions are ripening for the arrival of the Antichrist. Environmental conditions are also worsening, which brings me to today's news article. Prime Minister John Howard has warned Australians that the country risks the onset of famine, unless they have significant rains before May. Howard said that there was enough water in Australia for basic human consumption in cities, but stated that food production could suffer if the rains failed this year. Cotton, wine and rice crops are expected to be well down on last year, wiping millions of dollars off the Australian economy.

Quote: ""This is very much in the lap of the gods," Howard said. Australians could face major food price rises if no water is allocated to Murray-Darling Basin farmers, irrigators warned. The country's worst drought in 100 years, which began in 2002, eased and then reappeared in 2006, and has already severely reduced production of major irrigated crops.

Not so long ago I commented on the article about honeybees deserting their hives, which could cause food prices to increase significantly, and according to Albert Einstein even threaten the existence of life on earth. The Bible states that famine will play a big part in the end times, and all these combining factors show us that we cannot take basic necessities for granted. I watched a BBC news report at my friend Cliff's house. Orla Guerin (the one and only) was in Zimbabwe covering the crisis there. She stated that the price of a loaf of bread in parts of Zimbabwe now costs "the same as a day's wages" - her words, not mine. Revelation says that during the tribulation period, a measure of wheat will cost a penny (a day's wages in John's time - Revelation 6:6). Revelation also tells us that the great river Euphrates (in Iraq) will one day be dried up, so that the Kings of the East can make their journey towards Israel. Whether this will happen by man's intent or through environmental conditions we are not told, but what is clear is that this prophecy can be fulfilled and will come to pass.

Revelation 16:12
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

Source CNN

Revived Roman Empire
Blair backtracks over EU referendum
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has announced that a revived EU Constitution would not require a referendum. EU ministers are expected to press for existing EU treaties to be "amended", and that since Europe's relationship with member states will not be changing, the public do not need to give their consent to the deal.

Quote: "Asked whether the treaty he had in mind would need a referendum, he said: "No. If it's not a constitutional treaty, so that it alters the basic relationship between Europe and the member states, then there isn't the same case for a referendum." The Financial Times said Blair expected to agree "the basic outline agreement for a treaty" at the EU summit on June 21-22. Breaking the logjam over the European constitution would be Blair's final act on the European stage before he bows out after a decade in power in Britain, the newspaper said. "Sort it out, then move on," Blair told the newspapers.

But even before France and the Netherlands rejected the original European Constitution, the Prime Minister didn't intend to hold a referendum. The Labour government only consented to the idea of a referendum after pressure from the opposition parties, and even then, the referendum they agreed to was not legally binding. The British government could have written the Constitution into UK law, even if a majority of people were against it - if they could make the case for it of course. Before the EU Constitution was rejected, all sorts of reasons were given by politicians to get the people to support it - it couldn't be rewritten, it would spell disaster for the economy, France would cease to exist politically, etc. But the people did reject it, because they don't want an EU super-state. Well I think the EU elite have realized they made a big mistake - they asked the public what they thought. This time around, they will try to get the Constitution adopted by stealth. Blair claims the new treaty will not change Europe's relationship with member states, but the appointment of an EU Foreign Minister will have a significant affect on British foreign policy. Imagine if the UK was forced to toe the line with other EU states that don't have such a favourable view of Israel? Or if Iran attempts to wipe the Jewish nation off the map, will Javier Solana (who is slated to fill the role of EU Foreign Minister) forbid the UK from going to war?

Source Reuters

EU criminalizes Holocaust denial
After six years of talks, the European Union has finally agreed to make Holocaust denial a criminal offence. Holocaust denial is already a criminal offence in France and Germany, but other states such as Britain have been less enthused by the idea of making it a crime to deny that Nazis caused the deaths of over 6 million Jews. The UK is afraid that jailing people who deny the Holocaust will infringe on civil liberties, but I find that hard to believe considering the same nation was more than willing to pass an Incitement to Religious Hatred bill, which could have landed many law-abiding Christians in jail. Perhaps the real reason is that Britain is full of Holocaust deniers, and that to start trying them in the courts could prove too controversial. There are that many politicians who have anti-Semitic views, it wouldn't surprise me if they also denied the Holocaust.

Quote: "EU justice and interior ministers said the rules call for criminalizing "incitement to hatred and violence and publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivializing crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes." The mass killing of Jews during World War II was the only genocide specifically mentioned in the rules. Demands from Baltic nations that major Stalinist atrocities be included were rejected. German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, whose country holds the EU presidency, said a compromise was reached to organize a public debate on genocide and other hate crimes not mentioned in the draft rules.

There is a very good reason why Holocaust denial ought to be made a crime. I must admit, I didn't fully understand why at first. But the Jews believe that anyone who denies the Holocaust occurred, must by implication call for another one to take place. A prime example of that is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He doubts the Jewish Holocaust took place, stating it was an elaborate Jewish hoax to pave the way for the creation of the "Zionist state". But he then he invites a second Holocaust saying that Israel ought to be "wiped off the map" as the state has no legitimacy on what the Arab's term "Palestinian land". And so it is with many groups, such as neo-Nazis, etc. Well, now that the EU has decided that Holocaust denial is a punishable offence, who is going to fly over to Teheran and arrest the big man?

Quote: "Consider this passage written by an Egyptian columnist for the state-controlled newspaper Al-Akhbar, Egypt's second-largest daily, and published in April 2002: The entire matter [of the Holocaust], as many French and British scientists and researchers have proven, is nothing more than a huge Israeli plot aimed at extorting the German government in particular and the European countries in general. But I, personally and in light of this imaginary tale, complain to Hitler, even saying to him from the bottom of my heart, "If only you had done it, brother, if only it had really happened, so that the world could sigh in relief [without] their evil and sin."

Psalm 83:4-8 
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek (Jordan); the Philistines (Gaza) with the inhabitants of Tyre (Lebanon); Assur (Syria) also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.

Source YNet News, Weekly Standard

Peace process
Abbas claims deal to end rocket attacks
The deal has been denied by the Syrian-sponsored terrorist organization Islamic Jihad, but Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has claimed that he has successfully brokered a deal with Hamas and other groups to end rocket attacks against Israel. Since the Gaza disengagement in August 2005, Palestinian terrorists have fired Kassam rockets at Israeli towns on a daily basis. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal told Russian President Putin that his group was prepared to halt the rocket attacks against Israel, if the international community lifted the economic boycott of Hamas. President Abbas also urged terrorist organizations to end the "useless rockets". Mahmoud Abbas is currently on a tour of the European Union, enlisting support for the Palestinian unity government. 

Quote: "Amr said Hamas was gradually coming round to meeting the international community's demands to recognize Israel and he hoped this would convince the West that Palestinians were really seeking lasting peace. "We hope that these countries will understand that this is the significance of the unity government," he said. Asked if Abbas's efforts to convince the Europeans were bringing results, Amr said: "Progress is not yet great. (But) more and more European countries -- Spain, France and Norway -- are normalizing relations with this government."

In other news, members of the Arab League have formed a contact group that will negotiate with Israel over the Arab peace initiative. Israeli President Ehud Olmert announced earlier in the month that Israel was willing to make contact with the Arab League in order to discuss the "peace offer". The group consists of just Egypt and Jordan, both of which already have peace agreements with Israel. But according to the Saudis, it seems the Arab League will be doing the talking and Israel the listening.

Quote: "Egypt and Jordan - which have had ties with Israel since 1979 and 1994 respectively - will try to initiate direct talks with Israel, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said. They will "call on the Israeli government and all Israelis to accept the Arab peace initiative and to take this chance to resume the direct and serious talks on all levels", he said at a news conference in Cairo.

Source Zee News, BBC

3 dead after attack on Turkish Bible publisher
Islamic extremists in Turkey murdered three people in a Turkish publishing company today, after it was thought the organization had been printing Bibles. Turkish nationalists had previously been protesting outside the building in Malatya, accusing them of proselytising. The three victims had their hands and feet bound, and their throats cut. Another man, thought to be one of the attackers, leapt from a third floor window to try and escape. Last week, another Christian working for an electric company in India was also murdered, during an encounter with Islamic extremists. Manzoor Ahmad Chat had survived a previous murder attempt a year ago, when government forces clashed with a Muslim mob at Manzoor's home. He was kidnapped last Friday by his Muslim antagonists, and suffered a martyr's death.

Quote: "Manzoor Ahmad Chat had been seen last shortly after he left on a scooter to take care of his responsibilities for the Power Development Department in the Kakapora district, according to reports from Salem Voice Ministries, which works to spread the Gospel throughout India and other third world nations, focusing on the Muslim community. "While he was going he met two believers and reminded them about the prayer meetings. But on the way he [was] kidnapped by the militants," the report said. His headless body was found a day later, with his head found close to a nearby mosque, according to the ministry. He disappeared on Friday, and on Saturday, "people of the Pinglena village found the headless body from a nearby paddy field," according to Salem's report. "He seemed to have been brutally tortured and finally slaughtered."

In Pakistan, a Christian family of five are facing a minimum three years in prison and possibly the death penalty, after Muslims accused them of blaspheming the prophet Mohammed. Daniel, an eleven year old child, refused to play with other Muslim boys. As a result they beat him up, and when Daniel's family confronted the mob, they accused them of blasphemy and contacted the police.

As a Christian, I do not hate Muslims, nor any person. Jesus Christ commands us to love our enemies, even those who despitefully use us and persecute us (Matthew 5:44). The Lord also said that if people do persecute us, that we should not be amazed, for they also persecuted God's prophets before us (Matthew 5:12). The Islamic world is not the sole source of Christian persecution, but it does count for a lot of it. But in spite of this persecution the Church continues to grow. These things are already happening in predominantly Muslim countries, and the Bible tells us in the book of Revelation, John the apostle saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus (Revelation 20:4). Some people tell me they are preparing for the tribulation period by stockpiling food and building shelters. I don't think this is the appropriate response, even if we did have to endure the tribulation period. It is said of the martyrs of the tribulation period that they "loved not their lives to the death" (Revelation 12:11), and like martyrs before us like John Hus, we should commit the safe-keeping of our lives and souls to the Lord Jesus and be faithful witnesses for Him.

Source International Herald Tribune, WorldNetDaily, SPCM

UK journalist blames Israel for "death" of Johnston
Former ITN and BBC news correspondent Alan Hart has hit out at Israel for the "reported" slaying of BBC reporter Alan Johnston. The BBC reporter has been missing for over a month since his kidnap in Gaza, and no terrorist group initially admitted responsibility for the kidnapping. A previously unknown organization, the Tawhid al Jihad Brigades, did announce during the week that it had killed Alan Johnston in protest over Israel's continued detention of Palestinian prisoners. The BBC have stated they have not independently verified this claim, but with no word from Johnston in such a long time, I am beginning to wonder whether he is alive or not. Hart believes that Alan's kidnap cannot have been carried out by an Arab group, for they would have too much to lose from his demise. So instead of condemning the Palestinian group that reportedly carried out the murder, he suggests that if anyone is to be blamed, it should be Israel and the "Bush and Blair regimes" that want to "break the will of the Palestinians to continue their struggle for an acceptable minimum of justice".

Quote: "There is a case for saying (repeat "a" case) that the party with most to gain from Alan Johnston's permanent disappearance was Israel. It would not be the first time that Israeli agents had dressed as Arabs to make a hit. If Alan Johnston is dead, it's my hope that the BBC at executive management level will rise above its fear of offending Zionism too much and allow its reporters (Frank Gardner and Jeremy Bowen are second to none) to make a full, thorough and honest investigation.

If Alan Johnston is dead, Hart hopes the BBC will commission an investigation into Israel's involvement! Unbelievable. And I don't think Jeremy Bowen could make an honest investigation to save his life, he is as bad as our friends Hart and Johnston when it comes to anti-Israel bias. Earlier in the week, the British National Union of Journalists voted to boycott Israel over its "savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon", and urged the UK government to impose sanctions on the Jewish state. Hart's diary shows us just how twisted the minds of some of these UK reporters are.

Source Alan Hart Diary

32 killed in attack in US University
I was deeply shocked when I heard about this news last night. A gunman has taken the lives of 32 people in a horrendous attack on a University Campus in Virginia that lasted over two hours. The attack occurred between 7 and 9am yesterday morning at Virginia Tech, in what has become the deadliest shooting in US history. President Bush has said he was "shocked and saddened" by the news, and that he was praying for the families of those who have lost loved ones. Britain's Queen Elizabeth has also expressed her grief at the news, who is planning to visit the state in May to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. But through all this carnage, come stories of bravery and courage, of people willing to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of others. One such person was an Israeli Professor, who threw himself in front of the gunman to save the lives of his pupils.

Quote: "Professor Liviu Librescu threw himself in front of the shooter, who had attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, but all the students "lived - because of him," Asael Arad, an Israeli Virginia Tech student told Army Radio. Librescu's wife, Marlena, told the NRG Web site that her husband had loved his job with "all his heart and his soul."

I couldn't help thinking about this, and wondering what goes through the mind of someone who is willing to take the lives of others in such a horrendous incident. It is not believed the attack was terrorist related. My thoughts go to the Columbine massacre, and the fact that yesterday's attack came on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Columbine massacre came on the 110th anniversary of Hitler's birthday. The Columbine massacre was carried out by individuals who were into neo-Nazism. Rachel Scott was killed by the gunman for professing her faith in Jesus Christ. I also couldn't help thinking about the horrific violence portrayed in games and movies now, and that perhaps the gunman may have been influenced by that. Whatever the cause, it shows us how depraved mankind has become, and makes me thankful that God will ultimately judge this world in righteousness by that Man that He has ordained.

Acts 17:30-31
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Source Sun, Blayney, Jerusalem Post

UK journalists to boycott Israel
The British National Union of Journalists have voted on a resolution condemning Israel for its part in the conflict with Hizbullah last summer. The NUJ is Britain's largest journalist trade-union, and plans to boycott Israeli goods, and is calling on the UK government to impose sanctions against the Jewish state. The vote was not clear-cut, and many journalists did criticize the NUJ for straying too far into politics, but the motion was passed 66-54 votes. The declaration of the results brought both applause and gasps of disbelief from the audience.

Quote: "The boycott motion was the third clause of a larger anti-Israel resolution proposed by the union's South Yorkshire branch that condemned Israel's "savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon" last summer and the "slaughter of civilians in Gaza" in recent years. Motion 38 also called for supporting the NGOs Jews for Justice, the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and the Council for the Advancement of British-Arab Understanding. After an hour of debate, a motion to sever the boycott clause from the condemnation motion was adopted. The motion condemning Israel's "savage" behavior toward Palestinian civilians in the wake of "the defeat of its army" by Hizbullah passed by a wide margin.

Interestingly enough, the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign is a UK organization that believes that Israel is a "racist, apartheid state", so now we know where the NUJ gets its anti-Israel bias from. So much for journalists "reporting" the news. As we saw last year during the conflict with Lebanon, some reporters were actively trying to "make" the news. From manipulating photographs of Israeli attacks in Lebanon to show more damage than really was done, to posing long-dead bodies for the camera as Israeli kills and even reporters playing dead for the camera. We even had the claim that Israel used Depleted Uranium shells against Hizbullah positions, a claim that was later proven untrue. The Second Lebanese War showed us first hand the bias - sorry "ingrained anti-Semitism" - that exists within the mainstream media. And even as reports come in that BBC news reporter Alan Johnston may have tragically been killed by his Palestinian captors, the NUJ had this to say.

Quote: ""  

Source Jerusalem Post, BBC, UN

Israel marks Holocaust Remembrance Day
Sirens sounded across Israel today as the Jewish nation marks Holocaust Remembrance Day. Thousands of Israelis have gathered at the Auschwitz death camp for the annual "March of the Living", commemorating the Jewish people's victory over their Nazi oppressors. The Vatican's Ambassador to Israel has changed his mind about attending the ceremony in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. Monsignor Antonio Franco had objected to visiting the Museum, which is critical of Pope Pius' conduct during the Second World War. He will now attend the event.

Quote: "Every year, marchers walk three kilometres (two miles) from the infamous Auschwitz gateway with its chillingly-false "Arbeit macht Frei" (Work Brings Freedom) sign to the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria of Birkenau, where they hold a memorial service. The aim, organisers say, is not only to mourn for those who were massacred but also to "bear witness to the undying spirit of the Jewish people." The march marks "Yom HaShoah" or Holocaust Remembrance Day, which began in Israel at sunset on Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was the Prime Speaker at a ceremony in Yad Vashem last evening. He said that not everyone had learned the lesson of the Holocaust, that anti-Semitic views were rife in many respectable academic institutions, and that the world needed to do more to prevent another Holocaust from happening.

Quote: "Olmert, a keynote speaker at the ceremony, warned of those who "had not yet learned the lesson the Holocaust. Many gather at respectable academic institutions, with hatred of Israel blinding them." "Most of the world population is aware of the Holocaust and aware of the evil agenda of Holocaust deniers," he said, "they withhold from the Jewish people the right to a sovereign state. They are the first to find an excuse for any atrocity committed against Israeli civilians and the loudest in censuring defensive operations of the State of Israel." Yad Vashem Committee Chairman Tommy Lapid echoed these sentiments, noting "(Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad thinks six million Jews are not enough."

His views reflect those of the Israeli public, of which a third fear the possibility of another Holocaust taking place. Two thirds believe that another Holocaust will not take place. Those are interesting statistics, for the Bible states that another Holocaust will occur - during the tribulation period, and two thirds of Israel will be wiped out.

Zechariah 13:8 
And it shall come to pass, [that] in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off [and] die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say, The LORD [is] my God.

I have decided to go to Israel for a holiday this year, God willing. I have been thinking this way for some time, but if all goes to plan, hopefully I will be able to go. I was praying yesterday about it, and asked God for a sign if it was His will, and He gave me a verse in Nehemiah.

Nehemiah 11:1-2
And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts [to dwell] in [other] cities. And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.

Source Turkish Press, YNet News, YNet News, YNet News

Scientists worried mobiles are affecting bees
Questions have often been raised in the past on whether prolonged use of mobile phones can affect human health. Within the last five years in the UK, I have noticed a vast amount of mobile phone towers being erected in my home town of Bangor. After I use my mobile phone sometimes my ear feels cold. The magnetic radiation affects my monitor screen in work, and I sometimes wonder what it is doing to my brain. While there has been no conclusive proof that the microwaves cause permanent cell damage, it seems scientists are starting to worry that the humble mobile phone may be causing a much greater problem that isn't as readily apparent - the disappearance of pollinating bees from their hives. Countries that have a greater mobile phone usage such as the US, have recently lost vast numbers of bee colonies across half their states. The bees just seem to disappear, and the hives they belong to can no longer function. Some research is pointing to the fact that these abandoned hives may be located in places where mobile phone use is frequent, and mobile phone signals may be disorientating the bees from finding their way home.

Quote: "The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left". No one knows why it is happening. Theories involving mites, pesticides, global warming and GM crops have been proposed, but all have drawbacks. German research has long shown that bees' behaviour changes near power lines. Now a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a "hint" to a possible cause. Dr George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: "I am convinced the possibility is real." 

Jesus Christ said that one of the characteristics of the last days would be famines in various places. In the West we are very privileged, we currently have so much food we don't know what to do with it. In many places in Africa, people don't even know where their next meal is coming from. Famine to them is part of everyday living. I don't think many Europeans could even imagine living like that. But what about paying around £30 to buy a loaf of bread? According to the book of Revelation it will happen, and as Einstein states it may not take very much to push us over the brink.  

Revelation 6:5-6 
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny (a day's wages), and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

Source Independent

Dividing the land
Abbas to ask for control over Judean towns
Palestinian officials have briefed YNet News on some of the items on the agenda for tomorrow's meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Yesterday Israeli officials confirmed that Olmert intended to speak with Abbas on the logistics of the creation of a Palestinian state, including its legal, economic, and governmental makeup. Palestinian officials close to Abbas have stated that the President intends to ask Olmert to hand over security control of several West Bank towns, including Ramallah, which contains Fatah's headquarters, and Bethlehem. 

Quote: ""We will present our plan to the Israelis. It clarifies how we intend to impose order and security in the towns that Israel would be willing to hand over to us," he said, "including what we plan to do regarding all the wanted people in these places." He refused to detail which cities were included in the request, but Ynet has found that Abbas and the delegation will initially ask for control over Ramallah, where the Muqata's and Abbas's offices are, and Bethlehem, which is regarded as a relatively peaceful town. Later on, the Palestinians will also ask for control over another town in the north of the West Bank: Qalqilya, Tulkarem, Nablus or Jenin.

While the mainstream media calls these lands by other names, it is important to remember they are mostly all Biblical places. Nablus is the modern name for the city of Shechem, where Jacob once pitched his tent. Bethlehem's name hasn't changed, and Ramallah is the modern name for Ramah where Samuel the prophet lived. The West Bank is of course modern Judea and Samaria. It's not the first time Israel has handed control of Samarian cities to the Palestinian Authority. Israel had planned to hand control of five cities to the Palestinian Authority in March 2005, but the agreement was postponed after a Palestinian suicide bomber took the lives of five Israelis on February 25th. They later handed control of Jericho and Tulkarem to the Palestinians, but delayed handing over Qalqiliya, Bethlehem and Ramallah due to security concerns. Meanwhile the king of the Ammonites, Abdullah II, has invited Israeli, US and Palestinian peace delegates to Amman in his attempt to push the peace process forward. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is also expected to meet with her Jordanian counterpart tomorrow...

Quote: "The king plans to discuss "means of reviving the peace process on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative" that was readopted in an Arab summit conference Riyadh at the end of March, a senior royal court official said. Abdullah urged Israelis earlier this week to respond to the Arab blueprint, which he said provided for a "rare opportunity" for achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

So an awful lot is going on in regards to the Middle East peace process. Solana had initially hoped that a breakthrough would have come last December, but the talks on the Palestinian unity government failed. Now it seems there is a greater opportunity that ever for a peace agreement to be brokered. WorldNetDaily reported in January that the EU was expecting a major change on the ground in a few months, and it seems that change may now be coming.

Why is it important to remember the ancient Biblical names and places? Because God hasn't changed, and neither has His plan for this world. News about the "West Bank", "Nablus" and "Ramallah" may seem like a very modern problem, but if we examine Scripture we know that we are now living in the last days before the return of Christ. For the Bible states that the world will be in siege against Judea - which of course is the modern West Bank, and that half of Jerusalem will go into captivity - which of course is East Jerusalem, now under Jewish control. The Gaza Strip has been given to the Palestinians, they are no longer "in siege" against it. All that remains is Judea and East Jerusalem. Men like Prime Minister Olmert only see the material, they don't see the spiritual. They don't realize they are dividing God's land, and that this problem will only grow worse until Christ returns to set up His Kingdom. 

This brings us to another problem. Perhaps you also only see the material, and not the spiritual. You see a modern-day conflict, but not the spiritual battle that's going on in the background. Perhaps you don't realize that Jesus Christ is soon coming back, and that those who haven't trusted in Him for salvation will be lost for eternity. Jesus Christ came to this earth 2000 years ago and died for you. He took your sins upon Himself, and took the punishment you deserved from God for them. He rose again from the dead proving God was satisfied with His sacrifice, and now sits at the right hand of His Father in Heaven. But only until the day when He returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and brings real and lasting peace to this earth. Have you trusted in Him for salvation? If you are a Christian, are you ready to go to meet Him?

Zechariah 12:2 
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

Mark 13:14-18
But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

Source YNet News, China Daily, SMH, CBC, People's Daily, Haaretz

Peace process
EU sees renewed hope for peace in Middle East
Link from my friend Jim...

EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner has stated that the European Union sees a renewed momentum for peace in the Middle East, following recent developments in the region. The announcement came as the EU Commissioner met with "moderates" in the Palestinian Authority during the week, namely the Finance Minister Salam Fayyad.  Ferrero-Waldner said the Arab Initiative - recently renewed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the fortnightly meetings between Olmert and Abbas, and the formation of a Palestinian unity government were signs that progress is being made. Javier Solana, the High Representative for the EU Common, Foreign and Security Policy, has stated he hoped the Quartet (EU, US, UN, Russia) could meet with Israel and moderate Arab nations before the summer. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert's Office also believes that final status issues could be on the table by this summer.

Quote: "Olmert's office on Friday said said such "final status" issues would not be on the agenda on Sunday. "We are not there yet. It could be possible to get to that point within the next few months, by summer," a senior State Department official told Reuters. "I think it has to be an effort by Israelis and Palestinians but also by Arabs too."

Israeli officials have also announced that Prime Minister Olmert is considering forming a working group with members of the Arab League. The group would discuss the implementation of the Arab Initiative, which offers Israel normalized relations with moderate Arab states, in return for a full withdrawal to the 1967 armistice lines and the "right of return" for thousands of Palestinians and their families to Israel proper. Olmert recently objected to letting even one Palestinian refugee return to Israel, but stated a future Palestinian state should deal with that issue.

Quote: "A senior Israeli official close to the deliberations said the proposed working group talks were "an option" under active consideration and that "initial contacts" have been made to follow up on the Riyadh summit. Another senior Israeli official said support was growing within the Israeli government to agree to the working group talks, and Olmert planned to make a final decision before a committee of Arab League members meet on Wednesday at the ministerial level in Cairo. The Israeli officials spoke on condition of anonymity because a final decision has yet to be made. Olmert's office declined to comment. 

Source Jerusalem Post, YNet News, Alert Net

Peace process
Olmert and Abbas to talk on future Palestinian state
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is due to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Jerusalem on Sunday, the first meeting of their fortnightly talks on the stalled Middle East peace process. Olmert and Abbas agreed to hold regular talks during US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's trip to the region, and the EU has stated that it will monitor the discussions to ensure progress is being made. The captivity of Corporal Gilad Shalit is expected to be discussed, along with the legal, economic and governmental structures of any future Palestinian state.

Quote: "The prime minister's spokeswoman Miri Eisin said Olmert and Abbas will "start talking about what a Palestinian state would look like." Eisin said this would include "the type of legal system, economic system [and] government system that it would have." She said Olmert would not discuss with Abbas "the three hardest, central issues" - borders, Jerusalem and refugees.

If this is meant to be the "Roadmap to peace", then I think Olmert must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. The US Administration suggested not so long ago that the international community should now move to stage two of the roadmap, seeing both sides had failed to implement phase one - an end to terror and a halt in settlement expansion. But if the Palestinian Authority can't even renounce violence, what hope is there of there being any agreement on the final status issues? The Bible states in Zechariah that during the tribulation period, the nations of the world will gather together to make war against Jerusalem to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth. This suggests to me that final status issues will never be completely resolved. There may be some sort of peace after Ezekiel's war and the invasion of the Antichrist. But it will not be a permanent solution, and as predicted, it will all unravel in the middle and towards the end of the seven year period.

Zechariah 14:2-3 
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. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 

Source Haaretz

Peace process
Suleiman: Syria will not start war
Link from my friend Darrell...

Syrian American Ibrahim Suleiman briefed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee this afternoon on the prospects of a peace agreement between Israel and Syria. Suleiman chaired secret talks between the two nations over the last few years, but the meetings ended after the outbreak of war between Israel and Hizbullah. Although Syria was not directly involved in the war last August, it is believed Hizbullah and Hamas could not have carried out their attacks on Israel without the support of President Bashar Assad. Israeli newspaper Haaretz published details of the meetings earlier in the year, which it was believed would end the possibility of both sides coming to any sort of agreement. Suleiman is once again advocating that the secretive talks resume, well away from the gaze of the mainstream media. He believes peace between Israel and Syria is possible within six months, but that Israel must be the one to make the first move...

Quote: ""Why should Assad make the first gesture to Israel? He is not occupying Israeli land; it is Israel that is occupying Syrian land," said Suleiman. He also warned against an Israeli offensive, saying that although Syria was not planning to wage war on Israel, the country would defend itself at any cost should Israel decide to attack Syria. "Syria is not planning to attack Israel… but make no mistake, if Israel attacks Syria, Syria will defend itself. Suleiman claimed that because the IDF was "humiliated last summer," chances for a campaign against Syria were high, in order to restore the country's military pride.

In this regards I believe Suleiman has got it drastically wrong. While Israel is occupying what was formerly "Syrian land", Israel was not the one to start that war. If Syria had not attacked Israel in 1967, Israel would not now be occupying "Syrian land". Why do so many people have such a short memory about this conflict? Syria is the nation that has never recognized Israel's right to exist, and Syria should be the nation to offer peace to Israel. Assad knows he cannot win a war against Israel despite the nation's failure against Hizbullah last summer, and that is the reason why Syria is not willing to "start the war" on this occasion. But Assad doesn't need to appear to start a war, he only need give the signal to some of his Islamic terrorist organizations to start putting the pressure on Israel. And that is why the chances of war between Israel and Syria are high at present, not because the "Zionist" state is planning some contrived way of regaining their credibility in the eyes of the world. Suleiman believes Syria will not attack Israel, but the Scriptures state that many Arab nations will stage an invasion of the Holy Land at a time that Israel is unprepared, and could result in the destruction of the city Damascus. Just last month it was revealed that President Jacques Chirac had given the green light for Israel to attack Damascus during the Second Lebanon War, as payment for the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Harari. The report was later denied by the French government...

Quote: "French President Jacques Chirac told Israel at the start of the war in Lebanon that France would support an Israeli assault on Syria, it was reported on Sunday. Army Radio reported that in the message, which was delivered by Chirac to Israel via a secret channel, the French president suggested that Israel invade Damascus and topple the regime of Bashar Assad. In exchange, Chirac assured Israel full French support for the war. According to the message delivered from Paris, Syria was responsible for the flare up in the North and encouraged Hizbullah to attack.

Isaiah 17:1-3
The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.

Source YNet News, Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem Post

Vatican to snub Holocaust Memorial Day
The Vatican Ambassador to Israel has stated he will not attend this year's Holocaust Remembrance Day at Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Centre. Monsignor Antonio Franco has told the Jerusalem Post he will not be attending the ceremony, in protest over a photograph of the late Pope Pius XII and a caption commenting on his dubious reaction to the murder of Jews by the Nazi regime. The previous Vatican Ambassador to Israel had requested the caption be changed to show the Pontiff in a more positive light. The Holocaust Museum said they would change the caption when the Vatican opened its archives from the Second World War period. But this never happened and the caption was never changed. So now Franco must snub the deaths of six million Jews, because of his own religion's willingness to embrace the Nazi regime.

Quote: "The role of the Holocaust-era Pope has long been controversial. "In 1933, when he was Secretary of the Vatican State, he was active in obtaining a Concordat with the German regime to preserve the Church's rights in Germany, even if this meant recognizing the Nazi racist regime," the controversial caption reads. "When he was elected Pope in 1939, he shelved a letter against racism and anti-Semitism that his predecessor had prepared. Even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican, the Pope did not protest either verbally or in writing. In December 1942, he abstained from signing the Allied declaration condemning the extermination of the Jews. When Jews were deported from Rome to Auschwitz, the Pope did not intervene. "The Pope maintained his neutral position throughout the war, with the exception of appeals to the rulers of Hungary and Slovakia towards its end. His silence and the absence of guidelines obliged Churchmen throughout Europe to decide on their own how to react."

The reason for the Catholic Church's silence on the horrors of the Holocaust is because the Vatican and the Nazis were essentially fighting for the same cause. The Vatican was prepared to sanction Nazi atrocities, if in turn Hitler re-established the Pope's Holy Roman Empire. It's not the first time Rome has courted controversy over its Nazi past. Last month German Bishops also toured Yad Vashem expressing grief over the slaughter of the innocent, but later told Palestinian journalists in the territories that Israel was behaving just like the Nazis. When it comes to the Holocaust and the Vatican, it seems the Nazis are alive and well. 

Source Jerusalem Post

Pope defends theistic evolution
Pope Ratzinger has defended his beliefs in theistic evolution in an article in a German book called "Creation and Evolution" today. The Catholic church has so far refused to be drawn into the Creation-Evolution debate, preferring instead to praise scientific achievement while maintaining that "science" cannot answer all our questions on origins. Theistic evolution is the belief that God used the process of evolution to create the world.

Quote: ""Intelligent design" (ID) argues that some forms of life are too complex to have evolved randomly, as Charles Darwin proposed in his 1859 book "The Origin of Species." It says a higher intelligence must have done this but does not name it as God. Scientists denounce this as a disguised form of creationism, the view that God created the world just as the Bible says. US courts have ruled both creationism and ID are religious views that cannot be taught in public school science classes there. In the book, Benedict defended what is known as "theistic evolution," the view held by Roman Catholic, Orthodox and mainline Protestant churches that God created life through evolution and religion and science need not clash over this. "I would not depend on faith alone to explain the whole picture," he remarked during the discussion held at the papal summer palace in Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.

Even the author of this secular article seems to understand that the Bible teaches God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. And the Pope, in all his wisdom and Scriptural knowledge, chooses to believe that God used a process of death, disease and decay to produce something He called "very good"? The event mentioned in the above article refers to the US Judge John E. Jones' ruling in December 2005, that schools in Dover District, Pennsylvania could not recite a disclaimer to pupils attending classes that taught the theory of evolution. The Judge slammed the attempt to bring Intelligent Design into the National Curriculum as promotion of religion and a violation of the separation between Church and State. 

Quote: "But the judge said: "We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to a pretext for the board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom." The disclaimer, he said, "singles out the theory of evolution for special treatment, misrepresents its status in the scientific community, causes students to doubt its validity without scientific justification, presents students with a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory, directs them to consult a creationist text as though it were a science resource and instructs students to forgo scientific inquiry in the public school classroom and instead to seek out religious instruction elsewhere."

Ironically, I agree with what the Judge states. You cannot divorce the Creator from His creation. If you teach that the universe was created by a God, then the next logical question is, Who is that God and why has He created us? That's what the Bible states - the heavens declare the glory of God. If they didn't, they wouldn't be doing the job God had intended for them to do. But we must ask another question. If Intelligent Design is true - and there is much more evidence for Intelligent Design than there is for evolution, then where does this place the separation of Church and State? If true science points to the existence of a Creator, and it is not permissible to teach that there is a Creator, will Judges prohibit the teaching of science? That is the next logical step.

Psalm 19:1-3
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. [There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard.


Peace process
Suleiman in Jerusalem for Syrian briefing
Ibrahim Suleiman, a Syrian American diplomat who held covert talks between Israeli and Syrian leaders over the last few years, flew into Jerusalem on Tuesday for a not-so-secretive meeting with the Israeli government. Suleiman will hold informal talks with former Israel Foreign Ministry director-general Dr. Alon Liel, and will brief the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee on his contacts with Syria on Thursday. 

Quote: ""This is a very exciting visit," Liel told Ynet. "He has been here in the past, but never openly and publicly. He's certainly not accustomed to such visits. He's, by nature, a man of covert diplomacy." "What we need to do now is let the Israeli public hear him, and collect information and see if the change in Syria that he alludes to is really taking place. The Israeli public needs to be the judge," he said.

Suleiman had been involved in secretive talks between Syrian and Israeli officials for several years. It is thought that the dialogue between the two nations had resulted in a theoretical peace plan between Israel and Syria, which would see the Golan Heights demilitarised and the creation of a peace park in the region. The existence of the talks were initially denied by both Israel and Syria. Then they stated the talks were undertaken without knowledge of the Israeli government. Both these claims were later retracted when Suleiman revealed Ariel Sharon and the US administration received regular briefings on their progress. The Israeli government finally stated that the talks did take place, but no agreement was reached. Suleiman originally said he believed the revelation of the talks by Haaretz would put an end to the dialogue with Syria, but it seems Suleiman may now be able to carry on his work in a more public manner.

Source YNet News

Peace process
EU to monitor Olmert-Abbas talks
German media outlet Der Spiegel has revealed that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have agreed to let the European Union monitor their fortnightly talks on moving the peace process forward. Der Spiegel said that Olmert had agreed to this after German Chancellor and EU President Angela Merkel stated regular meetings with no progress could be counter-productive, and that the EU may be able to mediate between the two leaders.

Quote: "Berlin - The European Union is to monitor talks between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a concession wrung from Olmert by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her recent visit, according to a news report. The German news magazine Der Spiegel reported Friday that Olmert had agreed in confidential talks with Merkel to make concessions to the Palestinian side. According to the unsourced report, Merkel had warned Olmert and Abbas that repeated meetings without progress would be counterproductive.

Progress is also apparently being made on the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit. Hamas has revealed it has handed Olmert a list of Palestinian prisoners which it demands should be released in return for the Israeli hostage. The list is rumoured to contain around 1300 names, including many terrorists directly responsible for the murder of Israeli civilians. Israel has not yet agreed to the list, but Hamas leaders state that if Israel accepts it, a deal could be done within a week. Israel has stated that serious negotiations on the creation of a Palestinian state cannot begin until the hostage crisis is ended.

Quote: "The sources said the prisoner swap deal will include children and women and leaders from different Palestinian factions including Marwan Barghouti of Fatah, Ahmed Saadat, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and Hamas deputies and ministers who were detained after the capture of Shalit. The sources said the list includes names of 1,300 prisoners. The release of Gilad Shalit is a precondition for any possible progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. A swap could also help the new Palestinian unity government, a coalition of Hamas and the Fatah movement, in its quest for international acceptance.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also signalled during the weekend, that he wants rocket attacks against Israel to come to an end. Palestinian terrorists have launched over 200 Kassam rockets against Israel since last November. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ivanov earlier in the year, that his organization would end rocket attacks against Israel if the international boycott against Hamas could be lifted.

Quote: "At a graduation ceremony for his presidential guard, Abbas was quoted by the official WAFA news agency as saying it was necessary that "all parties work with maximum effort, especially the presidential guard and national security forces, to spread security and safety in the homeland, end security anarchy and stop useless rockets."

Source EarthTimes, KazInform, YNet News

Orthodox gather in Jerusalem for "Holy Fire"
Orthodox Christians are gathering in Jerusalem today for the annual "miracle" of the "Holy Fire". Thousands of Israeli police are being deployed in the old city, restricting access to vehicles and those who have permits to visit the site. Every year the Greek Orthodox Patriarch descends into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and recites certain prayers while the congregation chants. After the prayer is finished, an unusual flame emanates from the stone on which they believe Christ's body was laid, and ignites two candles held by the Patriarch. He then proceeds out to the congregation, and the unusual fire held by the Patriarch ignites candles held by the Orthodox pilgrims. Other unusual events happen in the building, with "fire" seen to be descending from above and blue flashes of light appearing. The fire apparently does not burn, and many people are seen to be placing their hands and heads in it, with no ill effects...

Quote: "The Holy Light is not only distributed by the Archbishop, but operates also by itself. It is emitted from the Holy Sepulchre with a hue completely different from that of natural light. It sparkles, it flashes like lightning, it flies like a dove around the tabernacle of the Holy Sepulchre, and lights up the unlit lamps of olive oil hanging in front of it. It whirls from one side of the church to the other. It enters some of the chapels inside the church, as for instance the chapel of the Calvary (at a higher level than the Holy Sepulchre) and lights up the little lamps. It lights up also the candles of certain pilgrims. In fact there are some very pious pilgrims who, every time they attended this ceremony, noticed that their candles lit up on their own accord! For a few minutes after Holy Fire appearance, if it touches the face, or the mouth, or the hands, it does not burn his divine light also presents some peculiarities: As soon as it appears it has a bluish hue and does not burn. At the first moments of its appearance, if it touches the face, or the mouth, or the hands, it does not burn. This is proof of its divine and supernatural origin. We must also take into consideration that the Holy Light appears only by the invocation of an Orthodox Archbishop.[1]

Lilia, my friend from Canada, emailed me about this event a while back. The "miracle" of the "Holy Fire" has supposedly has been happening for over a 1000 years, yet it is still largely unknown in Western Europe. But I don't believe the reason for that is because the West doesn't believe in miracles, as stated on the website. Belief in the supernatural and superstition flourishes where ignorance of the Scriptures has free reign, and that is why Satan is able to deceive these dear Catholic and Orthodox people (for the Catholic church also teaches its followers to believe in questionable "miracles"). It is very unlikely that Christ was ever buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, its geographic location does not fit the description given in the Scriptures. So why would God perform a most notable miracle in this place? And what is the purpose of the "Holy Fire" miracle? The Scriptures command us to test the spirits to see whether they be of God or not, 1st John 4:1. 

I believe the reason for this "Holy Fire" is, that the Orthodox and Catholic churches maintain religious rites and rituals that keep their adherents in spiritual bondage. This "miracle" gives the illusion that these people are truly following God. Unfortunately this phenomenon of "signs and wonders" is not limited to Eastern Europe. Since the Toronto Blessing a few years back, a belief and worship of the supernatural (signs and wonders that are not of God) has flooded Western Christendom also. The Bible also reminds us that during the tribulation period, the False Prophet will be given power to call down fire in the sight of men, and its purpose is to deceive people to worship the Beast and ultimately Satan himself. Let us be very careful to examine the Scriptures in light of what we see and hear, and let us believe not every spirit (1st John 4:1), for as the Bible states, many Antichrists (people taking the place of Christ) are gone out into the world.

Revelation 13:13-14 
And he (False Prophet) doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 

Source Haaretz, Holy Fire

Peace process
Assad offers assistance on Gilad Shalit
Syrian President Bashar Assad has said that he is willing to work for the release of the Israeli captives that are being held by Hamas and Hizbullah. His comments came during US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the country, a move which has irked both the US and Israel, who see Assad as one of the prime sponsors of terrorism in the region. Her trip follows that of US Pastor Rick Warren, who visited Assad last year and praised Syria as a tolerant nation. As Rick Warren flew home to brief his congregation on his visit, a prominent Lebanese Christian politician was shot dead by Syrian terrorists. It also follows visits earlier in the year from several European Foreign Ministers, including Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy.

Quote: "On Wednesday Pelosi said that she brought a message to Assad from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that Israel was ready for peace talks with Syria. However, Olmert's office said in a statement later this would only be possible if Assad stops supporting Hizbullah and Hamas. Olmert's office said it had no comment Thursday due to the weeklong Pessah holiday. After meeting for three hours with Assad, Pelosi said that he is "ready to engage in negotiations for peace with Israel."

Rumours of peace? Perhaps. I think Assad has become fairly confidant that the West is not interested in "regime change" in Syria, and that if he co-operates in the Middle East peace process, Western leaders will make it worth his while. Solana told Assad in February, much to the ire of Israeli politicians, that the EU was working towards Syria regaining the Golan Heights. The only "hardliners" that Syria has to "win over" are the US and Israel, and Pelosi's visit goes someway toward removing one of those obstacles. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, I suspect, is willing to do a deal with Syria but can't admit that publicly. Assad's offer to negotiate on the release of the Israeli hostages is likely to sweeten that deal. It's not that I support Pelosi's visit to Syria, or that I believe Assad genuinely wants peace with Israel. I think it's more of a case that each has what the other wants, and both may be prepared to give up something of their own to get it. The Bible states that during the tribulation period, the Antichrist will divide the land of Israel for his "own gain", and I believe we are starting to see what that gain will be.

Source Jerusalem Post

Wars and rumours of wars
British sailors on their way home
President Ahmadinejad announced to the world yesterday that he was releasing the fifteen British sailors that were captured by the Iranian coastguard last month. The sailors were captured by Iran while inspecting ships in Iraqi waters, and were held hostage for nearly two weeks in the capital Teheran. The British government and the EU's Javier Solana had urged the immediate and unconditional release of the British personnel, but Iran largely ignored those pleas. Yesterday President Ahmadinejad announced at a conference that he was releasing the service personnel as a "gift" to the British people, to commemorate the "passing of Christ" and the birth of Mohammed. The former US Ambassador to the UN had this to say about the whole situation, and I must say his thoughts agree with my own...

Quote: "However, former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said President Ahmadinejad was the clear winner and had been strengthened in his pursuit of nuclear weapons. "President Ahmadinejad comes out of this as a winner on two counts," he said. "He won by seizing British hostages and he won by unilaterally deciding to release them, having found out the answer to the question I think he was posing, which is - how strong a response will Britain make to this act of taking captive these 15 service members? "The reaction was - not much at all. I think Ahmadinejad is actually emboldened in his pursuit of nuclear weapons, and I think that means more trouble ahead for all of us."

I listened to Prime Minister Tony Blair's briefing on the television last night, after the announcement of the sailors' release. I'm not a big fan of the Prime Minister, but on this occasion I thought he spoke well, in not giving any credence to the Iranian government on their release. Sadly I cannot say the same for the 15 British sailors, who had nothing but praise for Ahmadinejad. While I don't know how I would react if I were in the same situation, I don't believe it is right to thank a government for releasing captives that never should have been taken hostage in the first place. Especially a government that is bent on the destruction of Israel, is developing nuclear weapons and supports terrorism in the Middle East. 

Quote: "Before leaving, one of the 15, Lt Felix Carman, told Iranian television: "To the Iranian people, I can understand why you were insulted by our apparent intrusion into your waters. "I'd like to say that no harm was meant to Iranian people or its territories whatsoever, and that I hope that this experience will help to build the relationship between our countries." The only woman in the group, Leading Seaman Faye Turney, said: "Apologies for our actions, but many thanks for having it in your hearts to let us go free."

Awww... That President Ahmadinejad sure is a charmer. It's possible the sailors were instructed by the British government not to make a big issue of this. Either that, or their response smacks of dhimmitude and cowardess. Unfortunately, as a Briton, I believe we may have brought all this on ourselves. The President of Iran mocked the UK for sending a "mother" on such a dangerous mission to the Gulf, and scored a political victory against us, presenting the release of the captives as a goodwill gesture to the "British people". And as long as Britain turns its back on God, we will continue to be humiliated by our enemies. How we need to be walking with God, if we are going to have any victory in our lives.

Deuteronomy 1:42 
And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I [am] not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.

Source BBC

Peace process
EU backs Arab peace initiative
I missed this news article on Saturday...

European Foreign Ministers have expressed their full support for the Arab peace initiative, adopted at the Riyadh conference last week. Arab leaders resurrected the plan five years after Israel's initial rejection in 2002. The Arab initiative calls on Israel to withdraw from all land captured during the Six Day War, and absorb hundreds of thousands of Palestinians that were displaced following the wars with the Arab states. Moderate states would then offer Israel a normalization of relations.

Quote: ""There is full support for the Riyadh consensus," said a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, referring to the agreement reached by the Arab League in Saudi Arabia this week to revive a five-year-old Middle East peace plan. "The EU will continue to be extremely proactive to ensure that this window of opportunity is not missed."

It's not the first time the EU has backed the call for Israel to cede its land to Arab nations. Javier Solana said last month that the EU would like to see Syria "recuperate" the Golan Heights, in return for Syrian co-operation in Iraq. Although this agreement was supposed to be a peace initiative, I couldn't help thinking it was a veiled threat. Some Arab ministers stated that Israel must accept the Arab League plan or the consequences would be war. Others said that Israel must accept it in principle, and the details could be negotiated afterwards. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated the plan had some "positive elements", but that Israel could not absorb even one Palestinian refugee, for then Israel's fate would be sealed and the Palestinians would vote Israel out of existence. But Olmert has stated he believes a peace agreement in the Middle East is possible within five years...

Quote: "Though Israel rejected the plan, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in interviews published Friday that the Jewish state could clinch global peace with its enemies within five years. On the final day of their meeting, the EU ministers were briefed by Solana on his discussions at the Arab League summit.

Which brings me again to Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy. I came across this commentary today written by Mark Mardell, the BBC's Europe Editor, who was with Solana as he toured the Middle East earlier in the year. Mark looks at the influence of European Foreign Policy in the world, and Solana's future role as European Foreign Minister.

Quote: "The plan is not just to give Mr Solana a nicer, or more logical title. It would be a powerful new role. At the moment he answers to the Council, in other words the governments of the 27 EU countries. This wouldn't completely change, but crucially, under the constitution's proposals, he would take over all the functions of the commissioner for external relations, currently the Austrian Benita Ferrero-Waldner. This would give him access to a bigger budget, an embryonic diplomatic service and a seat on the commission, as vice-president. This is important because the commission can propose laws and policies. He would have the legal basis to become more of a player, rather than a follower of policy set down by others. Being at the pinnacle of two streams of power is known in the jargon as "double-hatting".

So it seems Solana is in the right place at the right time to have a great influence in the Middle East peace process. Whether he ends up being the prophesied Antichrist or not, we cannot tell. But his role in Europe is full of prophetic significance, and I couldn't help but think of a few particular verses upon reading the above passage...

Daniel 7:25 
And he (Antichrist) shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (3.5 years).

Revelation 12:3 
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

Revelation 13:2 
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Source DW-World, Jerusalem Post, BBC

Temple Mount
Police prevent goat sacrifice on Temple Mount
Israeli police prevented Jewish groups from attempting to sacrifice a goat on the Temple Mount this afternoon. Tonight begins the eve of Pesach (Passover), when the Jews commemorate the night in which the Angel of Death passed over the camp of Israel. The Israelites were commanded to sacrifice a lamb, and put its blood on the lintel and on the doorposts, and the Lord said that when He saw the blood, He would pass over that house. But the Egyptians did not put lambs blood on their doors. Like Bishop Jeffrey John, they would have thought that was nonsensical, for the Egyptians despised shepherding and Moses' God - "who is the Lord that I should obey Him?", Exodus 5:2. As a result of Pharaoh's hardened heart, the Bible states that there was not one house in Egypt in which there was not a man dead.

Quote: "Right-wing activist Noam Federman was detained for questioning Monday afternoon after police at the Dung Gate of Jerusalem's Old City prevented Federman and several other activists from entering the Temple Mount compound, where they reportedly intended to sacrifice a goat. Israel Radio reported that the goat would be handed over to the Jerusalem Municipality.

The newly-formed Sanhedrin had also purchased a flock of sheep to carry out an animal sacrifice on the Temple Mount to commemorate this event, but Israeli authorities have not granted them permission to go ahead with the ritual, citing security fears. But the group did succeed in parading two sheep on the route towards the Temple Mount.

Quote: "Despite the ruling, the followers decided to hold a colorful procession yesterday in Jerusalem, heading to the Western Wall along with two sheep. The Temple Mount Movement followers present were joined by partners from the Temple Institute, which has for years prepared the traditional holy tools and utensils for the Third Temple, according to Torah specifications. The spectacular display did not, however, persuade authorities to allow the participants to perform the practice.

The Passover was the first feast that the Jews were commanded to keep, and it is the longest held religious ceremony in the history of the world. The Lord instructed the Jewish people that they were to keep this feast to remind them and their children how they were once slaves in Egypt, and how God delivered them from their enemies and brought them into the promised land. Over 4000 years later, men and women are still being freed by the blood of the Lamb. Egypt in the Bible is a picture of the world, and the cruel bondage of sin. The occupants of the house had to take an unblemished lamb (Exodus 12:5), and this of course speaks to us of the perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29) Who is without sin (Hebrews 4:15). When God saw the blood of the lamb on the doorposts He passed over that house (Exodus 12:13), for the lamb had given its life in the place of those in the house. When we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Lord sees the blood of His Son upon us and passes over us, for Jesus Christ has already born the punishment for our sins that we deserved. The Passover lamb was eaten in haste, with their shoes upon their feet and their staff in their hand, for they were to be ready to leave at a moment's notice (Exodus 12:11). Likewise, those who have trusted in Jesus Christ must be ready to leave at a moment's notice (John 14:3), for the Lord will soon come to take us out of "Egypt" to our promised land of heaven.

Exodus 12:13 
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

Source Jerusalem Post, Haaretz

UK priest: Christ's atoning death "repulsive"
As millions of Christians across earth commemorate Passover this week, remembering the day on which the Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself as a sacrifice for sins for the world, it seems not all religious leaders in Christendom will be celebrating. Bishop Jeffrey John, an openly homosexual priest that was ordained by the Church of England several years ago, has said during an interview with the BBC that he believes the idea that God could punish Jesus Christ for the sins of the world is "repulsive". The interview is to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, in which Jeffrey John is expected to criticize ministers who use the holiday to preach the Gospel... 

Quote: "Christian theology has taught the doctrine of "penal substitution" - that humans, alienated from God by their sins and unable to save themselves, could only be forgiven by God sending Christ as a substitute to suffer and die in their place. "In other words, Jesus took the rap and we got forgiven as long as we said we believed in him," said John. "This is repulsive as well as nonsensical. It makes God sound like a psychopath. If a human behaved like this we'd say that they [sic] were a monster."

Unbelievable. Bishop Jeffrey John essentially denies the basic tenet of the Gospel and the whole teaching of Pesach (Passover), that when God looks upon the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, His judgement passes over us. And to think that the BBC has the gall to broadcast such an interview on Easter Sunday of all days. Once again the Corporation has demonstrated flagrant disregard for its own guidelines, which state that it should not broadcast anything that offends the views and beliefs of those belonging to a particular religion or denomination.

Quote: "5.1 The Corporation shall do all it can to secure that all programmes broadcast or transmitted by or on behalf of or under licence from the Corporation as part of the Home Services:- do not involve improper exploitation of any susceptibilities of those watching or listening to its religious programmes or any abusive treatment of the religious views and beliefs of those belonging to a particular religion or religious denomination;

The programme is called Lent Talks, and will be aired Wednesday (4th of April, 8:45pm), and repeated again on Saturday (7th, 5:45am) and Easter Sunday (8th, 7:45pm). Submit your feedback to the BBC here. For those who trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, there is forgiveness. But for men like Jeffrey John, all that awaits him is God's fiery indignation which shall devour him as an adversary, because he has trampled underfoot the Son of God (Hebrews 10:26-29).

John 3:14-16
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Source WorldNetDaily, Bilderberg, BBC

Tsunami wipes out villages on Solomon Islands
An earthquake measuring around 8 on the Richter Scale struck the Solomon Islands this morning. The quake struck the islands, situated off the North East coast of Australia, triggering a large tsunami that has devastated several villages. It is thought that at least ten people may have been killed, but it is feared that the death toll could rise.

Quote: ""There wasn't any warning - the warning was the earth tremors," said Western Province's Premier Alex Lokopio. "It shook us very, very strongly and we were frightened, and all of a sudden the sea was rising up," he told Radio New Zealand. He said the water "moved toward the island and hit all the houses on the coastal area, and all of their property was washed away to the open sea."

Ever since the Asian tsunami in December 2004, many people are afraid that such an incident could occur again. The Asian tsunami was triggered by the largest earthquake ever recorded, measuring around 9 on the Richter Scale and lasting for around 10 minutes. Jesus Christ states that an increase in earthquakes will be one sign that we are nearing the tribulation period, and the book of Revelation states that the biggest earthquake the world has ever seen is yet to come. With an increase in earthquakes predicted, it seems inevitable that we will also see an increase in tsunamis like today's, striking fear into the hearts of unbelieving men.

Luke 21:25-27
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Source BBC

Peace process
Solana: Stage being set for comprehensive peace
I'm feeling a little drained both mentally and physically today. Myself and a friend went up Slieve Donard (pictured right in the background - our highest mountain) yesterday, so I am feeling sore, tired and a little frustrated. And I can think right now of half a dozen spiritual applications to that, but as I'm feeling frustrated right now I don't feel like taking my own medicine! Pilgrim's Progress is one of my favourite books, and I remember thinking when I was coming down Donard, about the time Christian came down the Valley of Humility. They said that it is hard to go down in that valley without catching a few slips on the way. In other words its easier to be humbled by our own sins, rather than to be like Jesus Christ who was humble yet without sin. Coming down the mountain yesterday was impossible without losing my footing a couple of times. After coming down the Valley of Humility Christian met with Appolyon (the devil - Revelation 19:11), and they said that was due to his slips. Likewise in the Scriptures we are warned not to give the enemy occasion to blaspheme by our sins (2nd Samuel 12:14). But Christian resisted him and got the victory. Unfortunately I've also caught a few spiritual slips today. The other mention of mountains in Pilgrim's Progress, was when Christian arrived at the Delectable Mountains. This was "Immanuel's land" - a place of comfort for weary pilgrims, and from here Pilgrim could see a great distance, even so far as the Gates of the Celestial City with the aid of a looking glass. In the same way, the Scriptures are our "looking glass" ("now we see through a glass darkly" - 1st Corinthians 13:12), and through them we can see the whole panorama of prophecy unfolding. 

Which brings me to my links from Jim. Javier Solana, the High Representative of the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, believes that the stage is now being set for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. 

Quote: ""The Arab League for the first time in many years has assumed the responsibility to be more active in the peace process," Javier Solana said. "If you put that together with the reaction of (Israeli) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the two things... are beginning to construct the dynamic that could lead to the settlement of a crisis that has been with us for many years." 

The title of this article is extremely interesting, for it reminds us that this unfolding of the peace process in the Middle East is indeed a "stage", on which the Antichrist himself will emerge. Solana left out one key ingredient in his "dynamic", the European Union. Throughout Israel's long history of failed peace processes, the EU largely took a back seat. Now Europe is calling the shots, and that can only mean that we are nearing the time of Jacob's trouble - the tribulation period. But as rumours of peace emanate from Israel, rumours of war are also abounding. As the standoff over the captured UK sailors continues, the head of the IDF's military intelligence, Major General Amos Yadlin, has stated that Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are preparing for a possible US strike against Iran this year.

Quote: ""Their preparation is defensive ahead of war... They fear a war initiated by the Americans because they understand that there might be an attack against Iran over the summer, but not by Israel," Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin told the Cabinet. "We are closely following these preparations, for fear that one of the sides misinterprets certain moves in the region. I bring up the Six Day War in this context - when you reach a war no one is interested in as a result of the involvement of many players. "We need to be ready, and at the same time be careful that such steps do not cause others to get the wrong idea about our moves," he added.

Clearly the "stage is being set" for the outbreak of both war and peace. War - which will eventually culminate in Gog's war of Ezekiel 38-39, and will prepare the way for the coming of the Antichrist and his peace treaty with Israel and the Arabs. Which happens first I am still not certain. 

Source Jerusalem Post, YNet News