Monday, December 20, 2010

In the news:

It looks like a relatively slow news day, but there are a few items of interest:

Palestinian official says new intifada underway as mortars hit south

A leading member of the Palestinian parliament on Sunday declared that the various parties and movements (read: terrorist organizations) that make up the legislative body have decided to launch a new intifada, or uprising, against Israel.

Evidence of this decision by the Palestinian groups has been seen in the rising number of terrorist attacks of late. On Sunday evening Palestinians operating out of the Gaza Strip fired four mortar shells at communities in southern Israel. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

It appears to have already started:

7 mortar shells fired at Eshkol regional council from Gaza

Seven mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into the Eshkol regional council Monday.

Two weeks ago, in a similar incident, four to five mortar shells were fired into the same area and hit a residential area. One man suffered light wounds to his upper body.

The wounded man was airlifted by the IDF to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba while fully conscious.

Earlier on the day of the attack, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi warned that the security situation at the Gaza Strip border is very fragile and may deteriorate rapidly, Army Radio reported.

Southern regional councils situated near the border with the Gaza Strip also released a joint statement sayin "escalation is only a matter of time. The threat in the area is constant and growing."

And this:

Hamas-Gaza Mortar Fire at Israel Continues

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired seven mortar shells at Israel’s Negev on Monday morning; no one was hurt.

Five shells were similarly fired last night, also leaving no casualties or damage. They landed south of Ashkelon and in the western Negev. Two weeks ago, five shells were fired, wounding the security officer of one of the targeted towns.

The Israel Air Force attacked a rocket-launching terrorist band on Saturday night in central Gaza, killing five. The terrorists were members of Islamic Jihad and the Hamas-affiliated Popular Resistance Committees.

It looks like things are ramping up in and around Gaza. Perhaps this is a manifestation of the new intifada which is underway.

A quick update on Korea and that situation which could also be heating up:

South Korea begins firing drills from flashpoint border island

South Korea fired live artillery Monday in a drill from a front-line island where similar exercises sparked a deadly North Korean bombardment last month, pressing forward in defiance of the North's warnings to attack again.

The South sent fighter jets to skies along the border to deter any new North Korean attack and evacuated island residents to underground bunkers, nearly a month after the North's shelling of Yeongpyeong island killed two marines and two civilians. The North has said it would respond even more harshly to any new drills from the Yellow Sea island.

The North had warned of a catastrophe if South Korea goes ahead with the drills. The North says it warned South Korea before last month's shelling not to conduct similar live-fire drills from Yeonpyeong.

And the last article - below - is an interesting commentary from Jan Markell. As an introduction to this commentary, I would say it is directed to those Christians who are finding it difficult to maintain their normal lives these last days - as we watch the final countdown into the final prophetic events.

I have had a number of Christian prophecy-watchers send me notes regarding how hard things are for them right now - whether economically, physically or spiritually. Many feel as though they are under spiritual attack, as they try and draw closer to the Lord during these days, and as they attempt to spread the gospel in these last days:

The War Against The Saints

But if you hadn't noticed, the saints are under particular attack these days. The trials and testings seem to never end. One writes, Due to trials, God remains a complete mystery to me. Yet thankfully we have the promise of Heaven and Christ waiting for us and the constant heart of God with us as we struggle and grieve.

I have to agree...One thing that "the other side" hates, is Christians attempting to live a more Godly life, Christians attempting to witness for the Lord, and Christians watching and waiting for Christ's return. The enemy hates these activities and indeed attempts to get these Christians off track.

There should be some comfort in the fact that if you ARE experiencing some of these things, then you must be doing something right, otherwise you would probably be ignored.

Another writes, Thanks to your prompting, Jan, I try to maintain the eternal perspective and get my eyes and mind off of this earth. The enemy has come against my family but we are not giving up hope. All is, however, a great struggle.

So why are the saints being pounded? Here are some thoughts:

* We are in the last of the last days and the enemy would render us ineffective in sharing the gospel while there is still time. If we focus on our issues only, we lose sight of the lost as well as our assignment in these last days.

* You are doing something incredibly right. You need to be stopped or at the least, rendered less effective. Your testimony must be squelched.

* God is allowing the trial so you will learn to wait on Him.

Her last points are particularly germane and worth reading carefully:

* What is called the "remnant" is particularly hard hit. The remnant have a love for truth and love to pass it on. The enemy wants truth to be withheld because then one is susceptible to being deceived. The remnant is waking people up and thus the heavy guns are pointed at them. If they get distracted by trials, they are distracted from spreading both the gospel and the truth. The remnant is small in number but nonetheless, powerfully effective.

* Satan wants us all to doubt. Most today even doubt the concept of "the blessed hope" of Titus 2:13 -- the Lord's return. Take away our hope and you're one dejected, down-in-the-mouth Christian. Who would want to seek you out for anything? Your role of providing "salt and light" just turned to pepper and darkness.

* This is a fallen planet and all creation groans. Bad things happen to good people and to God's people. Believers are not exempt from some of the worst trials and groanings. But in the end, we win. Read the last chapter.

I believe all of us prophecy watchers are in focus by the enemy. It's ok, we know where we are headed and we know our fate.

As they say "keep your eyes on the prize". True words. We should be focused on OUR prize - Christ Jesus.


Because we will be in His holy presence very soon. The enemy cannot do anything to stop this. Period.

Keep looking up during these days, just as we have been directed:

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" (Luke 21:28).



Jill said...

JERUSALEM (AP) — An American tourist killed in a forest outside Jerusalem had deep spiritual ties to Israel through her involvement with an evangelical ministry that promotes Christianity among Jews.

'The enemy wants truth to be withheld because then one is susceptible to being deceived.' true.

Scott said...


Thats such a tragic story; and I didn't realize that she was involved in such a ministry. Well, she is in good hands now - thats all I can say at this point.

God Bless

Anonymous said...

Scott, this was such an excellent, excellent article! It really spoke to me and I wish every Christian who is suffering from spiritual attacks could read it.

There truly IS some comfort in knowing the reasons why, as this article demonstrated, and much comfort in knowing that at least we aren't alone! The Enemy's attacks are rampant during these last of the Last Days!

Thank you for this sooo much, brother!

-- Waiting4Jesus

Scott said...

Waiting -

Its my pleasure - and I can definitely relate. My wife always reminds me that whenever I preach somewhere, or do a bible study group - the attacks come very predictably. its uncanny. And no, we aren't alone and I agree - its extremely comforting to share these experiences and to know that we aren't alone in this.

God Bless