Tag Archive | Israel

History and The 9th of Av

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The 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz begins a special season for the Jewish faith (Israel) to which we, as believers in Christ, have been grafted in (Romans 11). The fast of the 17th of Tammuz, (Shivah Asar B’Tammuz), is the beginning of a three-week season of mourning that commemorates the destruction of Jerusalem and the First and Second Temples.

A 21-day period of teshuvah (repentance) is called Bein haMetzarim. This is translated “between the straits” (between the days of distress), or The Three Weeks. This twenty-one day period of mourning and fasting begins with the 17th of Tammuz and ends with the 9th of Av.

During this period, the Orthodox will limit celebrations and enter into a more solemn season of prayer.  This solemn rite is not without hope. Zechariah 8:19 prophesied an outbreak of joy and hope…

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:

The fast of the fourth month,
The fast of the fifth,
The fast of the seventh,
And the fast of the tenth,
Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
For the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.’

The Siege and Destrucion of Jerusalem. David Roberts, 1850This season is especially remembered because of the destruction of the First Jewish Temple (Solomon’s Temple) in 586 BC by the Babylonians, and the destruction of the Second Temple (built by Ezra and Nehemiah) by Titus and the Romans in 70 AD. Both events occurred on the 9th of Av, nearly 655 years apart. But the 9th of Av holds other significance in the life of the Jewish people. Other historic events of significance are associated with this day…

  • Rabbinic tradition says (Mishnah Taanit 4:6) that ten of the twelve spies sent into the Promised Land (all but Joshua and Caleb) brought back a negative report on the Promised Land (Numbers 13), and the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness ensued . The night the people cried out in unbelief marks the first 9th of Av becoming a day of mourning for all time.
  • Following the destruction of the Second Temple, the Romans subsequently crushed Bar Kokhba’s revolt, destroying the city of Betar and killing over half-a-million Jewish civilians (approximately 580,000). This took place on 9th of Av, 135 AD. Following the revolt, Roman commander Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Temple in Jerusalem, along with the surrounding area.
  • In 1096, at the decree of Pope Urban II, the First Crusade commenced, unleashing anti-Semitic fever across Europe resulting in 10,000 Jews killed the first month in France and the Rhineland.
  • Jews expelled from England… 1290.
  • Jews expelled from France… 1306.
  • Jews expelled from Spain… 1492.
  • HimmlerGermany entered World War I… 1914. Most historians also believe that the events surrounding the end of World War I led directly to World War II and the Holocaust, wiping out nearly 1/3 of the earth’s Jewish population.
  • Nazi SS Commander Heinrich Himmler received approval from Adolph Hitler for “The Final Solution” resulting in the Holocaust… 1941.
  • The deportation of Polish Jews by Hitler… 1942.

 … and I could go on.

Yet it was this season when they expected
the coming of Sar Shalom… the Prince of Peace!

I am praying in these days, as we move toward the 9th of Av (sunset July 31st through nightfall August 1st) that Jesus the Prince of Peace would protect Israel and His Church, and that soon He would come.

Across the Water

Dancing In The Latter Rain

tn-wildfires2For those of us living in East Tennessee, last year made us understand why rain is so desperately important. From the Smokies to the Tennessee Valley, wildfires as a result of the lack of rain brought destruction and death to many in our region. While Chattanooga faced wildfires up in the mountains surrounding our city, in places like Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville, hundreds lost homes, businesses, possessions, and some their very lives.

Rain brings nourishment to plants. Rain provides protection against fire. Rain cleans the air and atmosphere, and provides clarity and refreshing — not just to our air alone, but also to our spirits. How many times have we all experienced the lifting of our spirits after a shower or storm, to go outside as the sun breaks through, revealing an earth refreshed and alive?

The Bible talks about “the Latter Rain” several times throughout its 66 books. Now, in the natural order, the latter rain was the second of two rains received in Israel for the harvest. The early rain prepared the ground and watered the seed, while the latter rain brought the wheat crop to maturity and prepared the vineyards and olive groves for the wine and oil harvests. However, in the spiritual dimension, the latter rain always has to do with Israel’s obedience, and the subsequent possession of their land.

We can see, even in our recent history, that there have been two latter rain movements in our world…

  • In the late 19th and Early 20th Centuries, The Balfour Declaration was a letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, in which Balfour confirmed support for an Israeli homeland.

balfour_portrait_and_declaration

It was around this time that the Pentecostal Movement began to break out amongst Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians, being highlighted with such movements as Azusa Street.

  • Between 1948 and 1967. When the State of Israel was established in 1948, surrounding Arab nations and organizations mounted attacks over the subsequent years (the Arab-Israeli War, the Six-Day War, etc.). During those same years, as Israel took possession of their land, we saw social justice and civil rights happen under people like Martin Luther King, Jr. We saw revival happen under the likes of Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, and A.A. Allen. Events such as these became the forerunners and part of the Jesus Movement, adding names like Chuck Smith, Duane Pederson, Bill Bright, and others to the list of spiritual fathers to a generation.

Friends, we are in a latter rain period now.

kid-in-the-rain

So what does this mean to us? How should we respond to the positive (and negative) aspects of these Latter Rain times and Latter Days in which we live?

I invite you to join me this Sunday as I speak on The Promise of Change at Abba’s House in Chattanooga, TN. We are in ever changing times. With new leadership comes new direction, new policies and practices, and new hope. As our world changes, I will tell you what you need to be taking notice of with regard to Israel, the economy, and society as a whole. I hope you will join me Sunday at 10:30a.m. (EST)

If you aren’t in the Chattanooga area, please take advantage of our LIVE streaming at www.abbashouse.com/live

A Year of Change

FlagIn about two weeks, America will once again go through the pomp and ceremony of inaugurating a new president, meaning new leadership and new direction in our nation. While January 20 (and a few days following) will be filled with all manner of spectacles, traditions, and commentary, it will merely mark the beginning of an administration that came to power on promises of ending corruption, national security, and returning us to being a nation “of, by, and for the people.” President Trump will have his hands full, leading our country during a time of political unrest, social division, international instability, and unfettered terrorism.

So, “we the people”… what can we do?

First of all, we can pray. In I Timothy 2:1-2, Paul tells Timothy…

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Israeli Flag 1Prayer is not partisan. While I never voted for President Obama, and disagreed with him on much of his agenda, I prayed for him nearly every single day. I genuinely hoped and prayed that he would be a good and just president. My prayer is the same for President Trump. I pray that he will surround himself with Godly counsel, that he will listen to wise advisers, and that he will always put America’s best interests — spiritually, socially, and economically — first (this includes an unwavering support for Israel).

Second, I would encourage everyone reading this, regardless of what side of the aisle you fall on politically — give President Trump a chance. No man or administration has the ability to fix all that ails a nation overnight. Leaders rise and fall according to the will of God (Romans 13:1), and I believe that God has ordained President Trump for “such a time as this”. If you have honest disagreements with him or his policy, fine. I’m sure we all will at some point. There has not been a president in my lifetime that I agreed with 100% of the time. But honest criticism, reasoned viewpoints, and civil discourse should not fall victim to unbridled vitriol, (un)civil disobedience, and fake and deceptive news. If there is one thing I have learned with the popularity of social media, it is that you cannot believe everything you read.

Praying      Last, I would encourage all of us — as Americans — to be diligent in seeking after holiness, righteousness, and decency. Make a difference in your own circle of influence. Last year, I wrote a book called The Unraveling of America  in which I pointed to a number of political and social ideologies and entities in our world that have led to the systematic dismantling of our nation. With the advent of new leadership, all of these adversaries and ideologies are not going to mysteriously vanish. We must be diligent. We must be wary. We must hold our leaders to account for their decisions, actions, or lack thereof. We must follow the advice of Jesus who tells us to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

It’s time for our nation under God to once again rise up and be the “shining city on a hill”, not because of our perceived greatness, but because of the goodness and grace of God that He shed upon us.

Pemmaquid PointAmerica! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

~ from America the Beautiful
Words by Katharine Lee Bates
Music by Samuel A. Ward

Enemies Within The Gate

goebbelsJoseph Goebbels was propaganda minister for Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. He was the man responsible for propagating the demonic lies that led to World War II and the slaughter of millions of innocent people, including six million Jews. He said,

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

For at least the last decade America has repeatedly been fed “lies big enough” to now seem to be the truth to many citizens. Swallowing the propaganda of a progressive ideological agenda, our spiritual and moral base has eroded to the point that America is no longer recognized as the world’s leader in moral and spiritual convictions. America has become a caricature of her former self.

Sir_Winston_S_Churchill

It was Winston Churchill who said,

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth
has a chance to get its pants on.”

It is time for us to “put on our pants” and tell the truth before it’s too late. With twenty-four hour news cycles and a common stream of information on the internet, it is no longer acceptable to say, “I did not know what was going on.”

No nation or civilization has ever survived the radical decline we are seeing at this present hour! Edward Gibbon’s book, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, astonishingly parallels our own decline in America.

Listen to Gibbon as he speaks of the insidious termites that were eating away at the foundation of a decaying culture. He lists five marks of the decaying Roman culture:

  1. Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth
  2. Obsession with sex and perversions of sex
  3. Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original
  4. Widening disparity between very rich and very poor
  5. Increased demand to live off the state.

Gibbon goes on to say . . .

“It was scarcely possible that the eyes of contemporaries should discover in the public felicity the latent causes of decay and corruption. This long peace, and the uniform government of the Romans, introduced a slow and secret poison into the vitals of the empire. The minds of men were gradually reduced to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished, and even the military spirit evaporated. Their personal valour remained, but they no longer possessed that public courage which is nourished by the love of independence, the sense of national honour, the presence of danger, and the habit of command. They received laws and governors from the will of their sovereign, and trusted for their defense to a mercenary army. The posterity of their boldest leaders was contented with the rank of citizens and subjects. The most aspiring spirits resorted to the court or standard of the emperors; and the deserted provinces, deprived of political strength or union, insensibly sunk into the languid indifference of private life.”

Will America follow the footsteps of the Roman Empire? Will she permit the continual erosion of her proud heritage? I do not believe it will ever happen as long as we remember it is not just military might and economic strength that keep us safe and secure within our own borders.

America has lost its way morally and spiritually and that is where the danger lies. I contend that America has been invaded not by military forces, but by spiritual forces that are at work at this present hour to undermine the root system that has produced the fruit of freedom and liberty around the world. The bright light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has shown in the darkest parts of the world simply because believers united in a common cause of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

The culture war is going on in every segment of society, from the board room to the class room, and from the White House to the church house. We are seeing a major shift in attitudes and actions that once defined us as the greatest nation on earth. Main-stream media has aided and abetted the ongoing nudging of America toward a progressive agenda, effectively lowering our moral and spiritual standards.

Coptic ChristiansAs the foundation grows weaker, the attacks on Christianity grow bolder and are seen in all parts of the world. War has been declared on Christianity in every part of the Middle East, with reports of Christians being beheaded at the bloody hand of ISIS (or ISIS related groups).

In America, the assault on the lives of Christians happens so often it has almost become commonplace to the masses. The assault on traditional values can best be seen in a recent survey conducted by Gallup. In May 2015, Gallup conducted a survey showing that Americans are becoming more liberal on social issues. Based on the responses of both conservative, liberal, and moderate Americans, the survey reports:

“Americans are becoming more liberal on social issues, as evidenced not only by the uptick in the percentage describing themselves as socially liberal, but also by their increasing willingness to say that a number of previously frowned-upon behaviors are morally acceptable. The biggest leftward shift over the past 14 years has been in attitudes toward gay and lesbian relations, from only a minority of Americans finding it morally acceptable to a clear majority finding it acceptable.

The moral acceptability of issues related to sexual relations has also increased, including having a baby outside of wedlock– something that in previous eras was a social taboo. Americans are more likely to find divorce morally acceptable, and have also loosened up on their views of polygamy, although this latter behavior is still seen as acceptable by only a small minority.

AppealThis liberalization of attitudes toward moral issues is part of a complex set of factors affecting the social and cultural fabric of the U.S. Regardless of the factors causing the shifts, the trend toward a more liberal view on moral behaviors will certainly have implications for such fundamental social institutions as marriage, the environment in which children are raised, and the economy. The shifts could also have a significant effect on politics, with candidates whose positioning is based on holding firm views on certain issues having to grapple with a voting population that, as a whole, is significantly less likely to agree with conservative positions than it might have been in the past.”

Adapted from my most recent book,
The Unraveling of America
by Dr. Ron M. Phillips
with Dr. J. Tod Zeiger
© 2016 Abba’s House Media

Silent No More

I thought for this week’s blog, I would share this week’s show from Ron Phillips from Abba’s House. It is time to be silent no more. We must speak up for the soul of our nation…

The Unraveling of America

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As we celebrate Independence Day today, I find myself reminiscing about the qualities and people who have made our nation great. Character, integrity, patriotism, freedom, excellence, Godliness, exceptionalism are all words that come to mind when I think of the writings of our founding fathers. Names like Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams are synonymous with these aspirations. Others who followed in their wake — men like Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan — encouraged America’s citizenry to overcome adversity, stand for freedom and against tyranny, and shoot for the moon. One has but to visit our nation’s capital — places like the Smithsonian Institution, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery — to have a sense of where we came from, how hard we have worked, where our faith was founded, how much we have sacrificed, and what we have accomplished…

And we have but to watch the evening news to realize how far we have fallen.

Unraveling Flag - horiz

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil…” ~ Isaiah 5:20

We’re there.

Today, we are seeing America unraveling at the seams. We are seeing unprecedented evil – as the Bible defines it – being accepted and even welcomed in our culture. We are witnessing events and attitudes that I would never have imagined would be “acceptable” in my lifetime.

So who is pulling the strings?

The history we are seeing unfold before our eyes is startling, shocking, and disturbing. But current events beg the questions…

  • Do you know that two men changed all of culture as we see it right now?

  • Is the homosexual revolution all the result of a brilliantly devised marketing plan?

  • Did you know that Dearborn, Michigan is already “Islamicized”?

  • Is political correctness destroying America?

  • Why is there respect for Shari’a law in our government, but no respect for the Bible?

  • Did our forefathers really set up boundaries between the church and the state?

Yesterday (July 3), I released a word to our nation. My new book, The Unraveling of America, answers these questions and more. It is time to stand for righteousness. It is time to stand for truth. It is time to get honest about the individuals, entities, and attitudes that are tearing our great nation apart, and return our nation to the path of righteousness, justice, truth, and integrity that is our true destiny.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. ~ II Chronicles 7:14

It is time to expose the unraveling of America, and begin the healing of our Land.

Pastor Ron

For the sake of a Nation.

Chalk outline - cross“America is at a crossroads.”

I’ve heard that said more times than I can count. Every election cycle for the past two decades, that is the clarion call. And while that still does hold a modicum of truth, we have put ourselves in a position where we are now looking at the crossroads in the rear-view mirror. We have traveled far down the proverbial “slippery slope” — so fast, in fact, that we run the risk of blowing through the next crossroad without even knowing we passed it.

We have gone from standing at the crossroads to being in the cross-hairs…

The cross-hairs of judgment.

Our country has been invaded, not by an army of men, but by spiritual forces that are at work at this very hour, chipping away – bit by bit – at the underpinnings of our nation.

  • KS77810Do you know that two men changed all of culture as we see it right now?
  • Is the homosexual revolution all the result of a brilliantly devised marketing plan?
  • Did you know that Dearborn, Michigan is already Islamicized?
  • Is political correctness destroying America?
  • Why is there respect for Sharia law in our government, but no respect for the Bible?
  • Did our forefathers really set up boundaries between the church and the state?

On July 3 (this Sunday), I will be releasing a word to our nation. In my new book, The Unraveling of America, I pull back the curtain and expose those who are pulling the strings and unraveling the fabric of America. This book will give you truth and knowledge of our past, present and hope for the future.

 

Unraveling