Sunday, April 30, 2017

Israel on Sunday, April 30

Landing in Israel this afternoon. Wish my good wife Laurie was with me!

Blessings on her head!

Steve Martin
Love For His People

Saturday, April 29, 2017


‘THE PROGRESS Judaism has made in the young Israeli state is unprecedented in all of Jewish history.

‘THE PROGRESS Judaism has made in the young Israeli state is unprecedented in all of Jewish history. By virtue of this, Israel has become a world cultural center that attracts visitors from all the world – not only Jewish ones – who come to see and learn.’. (photo credit:REUTERS)


BY   jerusalem posT
APRIL 25, 2017 

On Independence Day (May 2, 2017), we should note that the rapid rebirth of Israel has no parallel in human history.

On Independence Day the State of Israel will enter its seventieth year. 
This is a landmark year, and one which allows us to pause and look back 
at our state’s first decades in perspective.

Granted, by regular standards 70 years is a short period in the span of a 
nation’s lifetime, but for the State of Israel this was an intense period, 
both of activity and creativity, and of facing existential challenges of 
every kind. This intensity would befit a nation four or five times its age.

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Over these years the young state faced the formidable challenges of 
absorbing immigrants from the four corners of the earth after 2,000 
years of exile, including survivors of the Holocaust. The immigration 
was on an unprecedented scale in proportion to the population of the 
young state. It quadrupled its population in a short time and required 
the development of infrastructure, housing, transportation, 
communications, water and agriculture practically out of thin air and 
in a very short time, in a land with little in the way of natural resources.

The state withstood the test. Thanks to its own industry and hard work, 
in several years it developed the foundations of a leading world nation, 
in cultural and scientific development, in technological and agricultural 
innovation, in economic stability and modern infrastructure and in 
existing and new technologies.

This too would be considered respectable progress for a nation four or 
five times its age.

The young state had to meet the challenge of bridging the cultural gaps 
which developed as a consequence of Jewish populations being dispersed 
across the globe over two millennia of exile. Within a short time and 
with minimal resources, a unified society was successfully consolidated, 
thought admittedly more than a few mistakes were made in the process.

The amazing thing is that this young state, literally from its first day, 
wasn’t afforded a single moment of peace or tranquility. The day after 
its independence was proclaimed, it was attacked by five armies and 
had to fight for its survival in a war which hasn’t ended yet, and in 
which our enemies give us no rest. The only thing that changes is the 
form this war takes: from invading enemy armies to terrorism to 
organized uprisings; from suicide bombings to car-ramming attacks
 to stabbings. Israel’s history already includes several wars which 
threatened its existence, among them the Six Day War and the 
Yom Kippur War. Ours is a unique state which must invest six percent 
of its gross national product in defense. This is twice the percentage 
that either the US or Russia expend. Only Saudi Arabia spends more. 
Additionally, the IDF is the most moral army in the world, and it 
demands of itself ethical standards on the battlefield which have no 
parallel in any other army on earth.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the vision of the Jewish 
state is evolving, numerically and culturally, into the center of the entire 
Jewish world.

According to the figures of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, out 
of 14.4 million Jews worldwide, 6.3 million live in Israel as compared 
to 5.7 million in the United States. The progress Judaism has made in 
the young state is unprecedented in all of Jewish history.

By virtue of this, Israel has become a world cultural center which attracts 
visitors from all the world – and not only Jewish ones – who come to see 
and learn. “For from Zion will come forth Torah.”

It is impossible to comprehend the miracle of how in such a short time, 
a young and tiny state successfully withstood all of these challenges 
simultaneously. And this is in spite of the fact that numerous mistakes 
were made along the way. Israel is a young state which looks and acts 
like a veteran, mature state.

On Independence Day, we should note that the rapid rebirth of Israel 
has no parallel in human history. Especially in light of the fact that the 
Jews were a persecuted nation dispersed across the world for 2,000 years, 
and only a handful managed to live in the land of Israel during the exile.

This unique phenomenon has spellbound men of spirit from the entire 
world and of all religions. They cannot remain aloof to this, and they 
are constantly trying to understand the secret of this magic.

So what can we say to our state on its birthday? On one hand, the 
State of Israel has many good reasons to be satisfied with itself, as an 
established and mature state. On the other hand, it cannot afford to 
“grow old” and to think it has reached its peak, and that after it has 
“done its share” it can sit back and enjoy the fruits of its success.

It has to remain young, vibrant and energetic, and hungry for the new 
challenges which will surely knock on its doors. Israel can also count 
on its enemies, who haven’t yet reconciled with its existence, to never 
give it the deceptive luxury of getting too comfortable.

On Independence Day we have to remind ourselves that the vision of 
the Jewish state is an eternal vision which has no bounds and no end. 
There is always where to make progress and more to do. And we will 
not allow ourselves to be satisfied with less than perfection.

The author, a rabbi and colonel in the IDF reserves, is the rosh yeshiva 
of the Meir Harel Hesder Yeshiva Modi’in – Ofakim.


Kim Jong-un, North Korea leader

Kim Jong-un, North Korea leader. (photo credit:KNS / KCNA / AFP)


 APRIL 29, 2017 

The statement also claimed that Israel, while working with the US, was the Middle East's only illegal owner of nuclear weapons.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman hurt the "dignity of the supreme leadership" 
of North Korea, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Saturday. 
The comment was in reaction to Israeli remarks on how the Jewish State is affected by 
North Korean tension with the United States late last week. 
In the interview, Liberman stated that Kim Jong-un was "undermining international stability" 
and "leading a radical and insane society."

Liberman: Crucial to place more pressure and sanctions on Iran
Liberman: Ties between Israel, Arab states 'more crucial for them than us'

"The reckless remarks of the Israeli defense minister are sordid and wicked behavior and 
grave challenge to the DPRK [North Korea]," the North Korean statement read.

The statement also claimed that Israel, while working with the US, was the Middle East's 
only illegal owner of nuclear weapons.

"This is the cynical ploy to escape the world denunciation and curse as disturber of peace 
in the Middle East, occupier of the Arab territories and culprit of crimes against humanity,"
 the spokesman said.

The access to nuclear power is a "righteous right for self-defense to cope with the US 
provocative moves for aggression," the statement read.

The statement threatened Israel and anyone who "dares hurt the dignity of its supreme 
leadership," with "merciless, thousand-fold punishment."

The statement ended with a warning to Israel to "think twice about the consequences to 
be entailed by its smear campaign against the DPRK [North Korea] to cover up the crimes 
of occupying Arab territories and disturbing peace process in the Middle East."

Last Tuesday a senior IDF officer told reporters at a special briefing that ongoing tension 
between North Korea and the US could impact Israel’s security.

The officer referred to the developing diplomatic rift between the US and the peninsula 
following North Korea’s recent and defiant attempts to extend its nuclear activity, despite 
repeated warnings from the West.

He explained that Israel could bear the brunt of such an escalation in the relations between 
Washington and Pyongyang should it occur, because the US would have to divert security 
resources from the Middle East to Korea.

Joy Bernard contributed to this article.

Prophetic Word: Shake off the Spirit of Python Into the Fire CHRISTY JOHNSTON CHARISMA NEWS

I believe that many in the body of Christ have been facing resistance from the spirit of Python. (Pixabay)

Prophetic Word: Shake off the Spirit of Python Into the Fire

Have you felt as though you have been easily distracted from your purpose and vision? Have you felt worn out and beaten down in recent months? You started off the year strong, but somewhere along the way it felt as though the wind was knocked from you—either through circumstances or just feeling weary and exhausted with no explanation of why?
This accurately describes our own (mine and Nate's) experience in the past few months. I believe the Holy Spirit led me to the story in Acts 16:16-40 to give me the right tools for the opposition that has come against us, and I want to share them with you. I believe that many in the body of Christ have been facing resistance from the spirit of Python. Acts 16:16 in The Passion Translation (TPT) tells it like this: "One day, as we were going to the house of prayer, we encountered a young slave girl who had an evil spirit of divination, the spirit of Python. She had earned great profits for her owners by being a fortune-teller."
This verse, and those to follow, tell us a lot about the effects of Python. I want to give you a brief outline of what Python is; but the emphasis of this word is not on Python itself, but on the supernatural tools and strategies from these verses that God has given us to overcome and break free from this demonic oppression.
About Python
Paul and Silas were on their way to the house of prayer but were sidetracked in their path by this slave girl. The spirit of Python seeks to distract and then enslave. Its objective is to distract those on their way to prayer; those who are on their way to their calling. It wants to keep you out of the secret place through annoyances and disturbances. It will throw circumstances and diversions your way to have you focused on the "noise," and in turn, draw you away from going to the Father in prayer. Python operates through false prophecy and counterfeits. Verse 17 (TPT) says: "She kept following us, shouting, 'These men are servants of the Great High God, and they're telling us how to be saved!'"
At first glance, this statement seems a little confusing because it appears to be truth, but let's be clear: The enemy will contort the Word of God for his own purposes, to mock and taunt, which is exactly what was happening here. The ambitions of Python are to wear you down through mockery. It will scorn you personally; it will mock the call of God on your life and have you question if the dreams in your heart are possible. It will shout over you relentlessly until, just like Paul, you become weary and greatly frustrated. It will accuse you in the public forum, and it will have people surround you with lies and judgments.
Python will also seek to expose you, strip you and beat you until you are raw (see Acts 16:22). Its intention is to rob you and divert you from your destiny; coiling its lies around your heart until finally you are enslaved in its chains. But you do not need to fear! For greater is He within you than he who is in this world (see 1 John 4:4).
Keys to Victory Over Python
1. Speak Your Authority
Many of us, when faced with opposition, have a tendency to run from confrontation rather than face the fear head on. Refrain from speaking negatively about the circumstances around you. Don't be distracted by the noise. This only weakens you. Instead, focus on who you are in Christ and declare your victory through His name. Paul showed us how to firmly turn toward the attack (see Acts 16:18) and ultimately away from the distraction; commanding it to leave in the name of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 12:11 (MEV) says, "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony ..." One of your greatest weapons is the word of your testimony. By declaring the name of Jesus, His blood makes you (as a son or daughter of the Most High God) inherently victorious over the enemy every single time, but you need to speak your authority.
2. Lift Up Your Victory Song!
If you have been beaten down and the coils of despair have been strangling the life out of your dreams and hopes, it is time to sing. Despite what circumstances have come against you, your song of worship to the Father is a warfare tool of heaven to burst through the atmosphere of heaviness.
In Acts 16:24, we see Paul and Silas in the after-throes of their battle with Python, bound by their hands and feet in prison. Yet The Passion Translation says they were "undaunted." They began to sing, and it was their songs of worship that captivated an entire jail of prisoners. In verse 26, it tells us: "Suddenly, a great earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All at once every prison door flung open and all the chains of all the prisoners came loose."
Your song of victory before the breakthrough comes literally shakes the foundations of the ground and sky; causing every chain that has restrained you to come unstuck and every door that has confined you to come unlocked. Psalm 108:2 (TPT) says, "Awake, O my soul, with the music of His splendor. Arise my soul and sing His praises! I will awaken the dawn with my worship, greeting the daybreak with my songs of light!" Your song will cause the light to burst through the night.
3. Shake It Off
I believe the earthquake was a supernatural sign of shaking off the spirit of Python. In Acts 28:3, Paul encounters another snake, but this time a physical one. As he was gathering a pile of brushwood for the fire, a venomous snake latched onto his hand. In verse 5 it says, "But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed."
Among the very few natural predators of a python is an eagle. They have distinct ways of attacking the snake—especially if it is in pursuit of eaglets in their nest. They will shake it vehemently or drop it from a great height. They show the snake no mercy—and neither should you!
The question is, how do you shake it off? Do you recall Paul and Silas were on their way to pray before they encountered this opposition? Acts 4:31 gives us an amazing account of the manifestations of what prayer can do: "After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly" (emphasis mine). Prayer literally shakes off the attacks from your life and drops the snake into the fires of God.
Lastly, let's not forget the incredible miracle breakthroughs that are promised to you on the other side of this opposition. All of the prisoners that were with Paul and Silas that day were set free; along with the jailer and his entire family who gave their hearts to Jesus. Your breakthrough is not just for you, but for others. Those around you who have been in captivity and are lost are meant to be freed through your breakthrough as well.
Mighty ones, it is time to speak to the problem, turn your affections towards the Father and command Python to leave in the name of Jesus! As you pray and lift your songs of worship, you will see a breaking through of the night season and the shaking off of all that has been opposing you. 
Christy Johnston was born and raised in Australia. After living the majority of her life plagued with insecurity and fear, she came to learn the power of her identity in Christ. She now lives with the mandate to breathe fresh hope and life into God's sons and daughters through her passion of writing, uncovering the truths of living in grace and freedom through our identity in Christ. Nate and Christy have two daughters, Charlotte and Sophie, and currently live on the Gold Coast in Australia.
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UMC Rules Against Apostasy, LGBT Bishops As Clergy - JESSILYN JUSTICE CHARISMA NEWS

LGBT members of the UMC clergy, including Karen Oliveto. (Courtesy)

UMC Rules Against Apostasy, LGBT Bishops As Clergy

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The United Methodist Church Judicial Council ruled lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual members could not be consecrated as clergy.
The ruling came after married lesbian Karen Oliveto was consecrated as bishop last year. Despite the ruling, Oliveto can still serve as bishop until it is determined she violated these standards.
"The Judicial Council had a difficult task of ruling on the narrow basis of church law that has been carefully developed over the years to protect the rights of clergy accused of wrongdoing—sometimes well beyond the bounds of reasonable doubt and to the point of sidelining concern for victims," UMAction Director and 2016 General Conference delegate John Lomperis said in a release. 
"I celebrate that these landmark rulings should now make it significantly easier to bring accountability for pastors who choose to violate biblical standards for sexual self-control. We are slowly but increasingly strengthening biblical accountability in our church," the statement continued.
According to the release, this binding ruling clarifies several matters in United Methodist church law: Because of church standards only recognizing monogamous, heterosexual marriage and disapproving of sexual relations outside of it (Paragraphs 161B, 161F, 310.2d, and 2702.1b of the UMC's governing Book of Discipline), which UMC clergy must vow to uphold, any "partnered homosexual ... does not meet the minimum standards" for ordination, and a minister found to be "openly homosexual and partnered" cannot be made bishop.
To be disciplined for violating separate provisions prohibiting the ordination of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" (Paragraphs 304.3 and 2702.1b), it can be enough to prove that a minister is in a same-sex civil marriage.
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How Old-School Tent Revivals Will Make a Comeback on the Airwaves - JESSILYN JUSTICE CHARISMA NEWS

How Old-School Tent Revivals Will Make a Comeback on the Airwaves

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We're crying out for revival every day, but Third Day put their hearts' prayers into words in their latest single, "Revival." 
The lyric video, which released Friday, calls for all of those who want a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit to say, "amen!" 
The folksy song declares, "Ain't gonna find it in a politician/Not from the government or any law/Can't get it going by your own religion/Only by the Spirit and the word of God!" 
Watch the video and catch the fire.
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Prophecy: The Lord is Decreeing Triumph Over the U.S.- BOB ESCHLIMAN CHARISMA NEWS

Lana Vawser wrote Friday the Lord is preparing a "spring cleaning" in America where He will root out the weeds that have been growing in the cracks in America's foundation. (Public domain image)

Prophecy: The Lord is Decreeing Triumph Over the U.S.

The Lord is decreeing triumph over the United States of America, Lana Vawser wrote in a powerful new word she shared with Elijah List readers on Friday.
"I watched as angels of triumph that had been positioned all across the United States began to stomp upon the nation with their feet," she wrote. "As they stomped their feet and the intercessions of the people of God were rising up to Heaven, I saw a great and mighty shaking that was happening and increasing in the nation."
But, as the angels stomped their feet, Vawser wrote she also saw cracks beginning to appear in the ground, exposing "all of the hidden things" under the surface. These cracks spread "far and wide across the United States," but she was struck also by how deep they went, as well.
"The shaking was going deeper and deeper and deeper and I heard the words, 'I am going to the foundations,'" she wrote. "'I am going to the roots. I am uprooting and exposing the weeds and the snares in the foundations. I am uprooting and exposing the weeds in the roots and foundations.'"
This major spring cleaning, Vawser said, comes with an urging that Christians continue to pray as the Lord establishes His truth for the new day. She said the Lord also urged for prayer as He breaks the spirit of false accusation hanging over our nation.
A revival of courage is coming, she added, and "the dreamers" are arising in the U.S. She closed out with the following:
"People of God in the United States of America, the nation is being shaken, but more and more ground is being taken. Don't leave your post. Stand strong, keep praying, it has started to rain! 
"I heard the Lord say, 'The cloud the size of a man's hand has risen up out of the sea! Now the rain is about to get a whole lot heavier to bring refreshment and greater healing to My people and the nation. Do not put up umbrellas of offense as I move in unexpected ways. Stay close to Me, crying out for eyes to see and ears to hear, asking Me for wisdom and eye salve; that you would discern and see the truth of the new thing that I am doing and springing forth.'" 
Click here to read the entire article at the Elijah List website. 
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Friday, April 28, 2017

Day to Praise - Celebrating Isaiah 66:8 through Psalms 113-118 May 2, 2017

Visit the Day to Praise website and learn more on how you can be part of a global movement in praising God for the miracle of the State of Israel in our lifetime.

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Traditionally, synagogues in Israel and around the world corporately pray Psalms 113-118 (known as Hallel) during Biblical Feasts, Chanukah and a modified version of Hallel every month on the Festival of the New Moon.

A year after the establishment of the State of Israel, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel decided that these series of psalms should be invoked on Israel’s Independence Day. Central to all the reasons in instituting Israel’s Independence Day as a minor holiday within the sacred calendar of the Jewish people was the notion of thanksgiving.

With the destruction of the Second Temple, the exile of the Jewish people scattered to the four corners of the earth, trials and tribulations under foreign governments and the near annihilation of Eastern European Jewry in the Holocaust, it seemed that Jewish history was coming to an end. As the psalmists declares: They thrust so hard against me, I nearly fell, but the Lord came to my help. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation (Psalm 118:13-14).

On May 14, 1948, God changed the course of sacred history and the State of Israel was born in one day as stated in Isaiah 66:8. Indeed, the Jewish people experienced a dream-like state of wonderment as echoed in Psalm 126. The religious establishment recognized that the restoration of Israel back to its homeland had to be acknowledged in our corporate worship. Psalms 113-118 would be our national recognition of God’s providence working through His people and Zion.

“Praise the Lord, all nations; acclaim Him, all you peoples; for His loving-kindness to us is strong; and the Lord’s faithfulness is everlasting. Halleluya”

What is most interesting in the development of these series of psalms is that one of the five criteria in creating Hallel was the inherent notion of the birth pangs of the messianic era. How prophetic! The reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel and the ingathering of the exiles from the four corners of the earth are proofs that we are living in the beginnings of a redemptive age. Jewish history is alive and well! We are living in the beginnings of a very special season and through Hallel we acknowledge our sacred role in the unfolding of the miracle of State of Israel.

An essential characteristic of Hallel is the role of the nations in praising God with us. It is my belief that the time has come to invite the Christian world to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day with us by reciting these psalms. On May 2nd, 2017, I will have a special live-stream Hallel service where both the Jewish and Christian communities will be reciting Psalms 113-118 together. It is my hope that you will join us in Jerusalem on that day.

If your schedule does not allow you to come this year, I ask that you prayerfully consider to recite these psalms on May 2nd, 2017. You can do this in your personal prayer time, with members of your prayer team or have your church conduct an actual service.

As the psalmist declares – This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. What a sanctification of God’s name it would be when both faith communities can come together in a sacred moment to give praise and thanksgiving for God’s covenantal love for Israel! Please let me know you will be praising with us on May 2nd, 2017.

Shlomo Riskin
Chief Rabbi of Efrat
Ambassador for Jewish-Christian Relations