Daily Archives: April 6, 2018

END TIMES AXIS OF EVIL: Putin Creates Powerful Alliance Between Russia, Iran And Turkey For Control Of Damascus And Syria

The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran met in Ankara for talks yesterday as they cemented their unlikely alliance over Syria in a challenge to US and western influence in the region.

“Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: “ Ezekiel 39:1 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: For those of you who think we might be putting a little too much emphasis and importance on the upcoming 70th anniversary of regathered Israel, today’s article should clear that up for you. Russia, Iran and Turkey forming an alliance just this week to take control of Syria absolutely leaps off the pages of the Bible. Putin supplies both Iran and Turkey with nuclear and military technology, as well as oil and gas. All three countries are mentioned in the Bible as Gog-RussiaPersia-Iran and Turkey/Meshech and Tubal . And obviously, so is Syria which figures quite heavily in Bible prophecy. We now have a little more than 5 weeks to go until May 14, and it’s anyone’s guess what will happen next. But buckle up because it’s gonna be something big. 

President Putin, President Erdogan and President Rouhani vowed to work togetherto create a ‘lasting ceasefire’, build a hospital for wounded civilians in Eastern Ghouta and allow refugees to return home.

But the deepening ties between the trio will be a concern to the US as its ability to influence the future of the country and the region wains and President Trump openly mulls pulling troops out.

Russia, Iran and Turkey have been drawn together in their support of Syria. Putin and Rouhani provide Assad with military support and Turkey has now joined their efforts because it wants to crush US-backed Kurdish forces massing on its border.

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1 (KJV)

Putin supplies both countries with sophisticated military equipment. President Erdogan recently signed a $2.5 billion arms deal with Russia for S-400 sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, which has caused consternation among Turkey’s fellow Nato members.

And Russia helps both countries on energy. It is also building Turkey a $20 billion nuclear power station, which began construction yesterday, and last year Putin signed a $30 billion energy co-operation deal with Iran.

Through these major deals Russia now finds itself in the position of having influence over Turkey as well as Iran. And these two countries in turn exert huge influence beyond their borders.

Turkey controls much of the flow of middle eastern refugees into Europe. It stemmed the influx after signing a deal with the EU in March 2016 – but if it reversed this agreement the political consequences in Europe would be enormous.

Iran has been accused of supplying arms to the Taliban by the government of Afghanistan and is fueling the conflict in Yemen.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, is an implacably opposed the Syrian regime and his administration provides significant backing for the rebels fighting it. Trump is also a staunch ally of Israel, most notably announcing the US is to move its embassy to Jerusalem – putting it in direct opposition to Iran, which has threatened to destroy the state.

Under Trump, the US has become a close ally of Saudi Arabia, whose Crown Prince Salman said this week that he recognised Israel’s ‘right’ to its land –  becoming the first Arab leader to ever make such an acknowledgement.

He compared Iran’s Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Hitler.

At the summit on Wednesday Turkey and Russia said they would work together to build a hospital to treat civilians injured in the fighting in Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.

The Syrian government has been carrying out an intense bombing and ground campaign against rebel-held areas in Eastern Ghouta which has left thousands of civilians dead or wounded and drawn international condemnation.

Russia and Turkey also said 160,000 refugees who had fled the conflict into Turkey had been able to return home. The Ankara summit at Erdogan’s presidential palace was the second such summit following one in November 2017 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi hosted by Putin.

‘We are determined to take Syria out of this quagmire. There will be no peace in turkey until there is peace in Syria,’ Erdogan said at a press conference in Ankara on Wednesday.

Turkish and Russian forces would work together to build a medical facility in Eastern Ghouta, as well as establishing ‘safe regions on both the Turkish and northern Syrian sides’ with facilities such as bakeries and plots of land to build homes and grow food.

‘It is about constructing houses [in the safe regions] so these people no longer have to live in tents and containers,’ said Erdogan. In a statement from the three leaders, they pledged to ‘continue their active cooperation on Syria for the achievement of lasting ceasefire between the conflicting parties’.

‘There is no military solution option for the crisis in Syria and we need to cooperate to put an end to the war in the country,’ said President Rouhani. ‘We have to follow peaceful methods, we need to help the Syrians go back to their homes as soon as possible.’

A third trilateral summit will take place in Tehran though a date has yet to be announced.

Putin’s two-day visit was his first international trip since securing a fourth term as president of Russia last month. On Tuesday, he and Erdogan revealed the delivery of Russian S-400 missiles would be brought forward to July 2019.

‘We have made our agreement on the S-400s. We have closed this chapter. This job is done,’ a defiant Erdogan told journalists during a press conference, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Putin added: ‘Our Turkish colleagues made a request in the meetings. We will accelerate the process.’ The leaders also made an appearance at the launch of Turkey’s first nuclear power station via video link on the same day.

Russian company Rosatom was granted permission by Turkey’s TAEK atomic energy authority on Tuesday to begin work on the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant’s first unit.  The plant will have a combined capacity of 4,800 megawatts across four reactors. source

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APRIL 6 RESURRECTION POWER

Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Matthew 28:18

Let us be confident, Christian brethren, that our power does not lie in the manger at Bethlehem nor in the relics of the cross. True spiritual power resides in the victory of the mighty, resurrected Lord of glory, who could pronounce after spoiling death: “All power is given me in heaven and in earth.”

The power of the Christian believer lies in the Savior’s triumph of eternal glory!

Christ’s resurrection brought about a startling change of direction for the believers. Sadness and fear and mourning marked the direction of their religion before they knew that Jesus was raised from the dead—their direction was towards the grave. When they heard the angelic witness, “He is risen, as He said,” the direction immediately shifted away from the tomb—“He is risen, indeed!” If this is not the meaning of Easter, the Christian church is involved only in a shallow one-day festival each year.

Thankfully, the resurrection morning was only the beginning of a great, vast outreach that has never ended—and will not end until our Lord Jesus Christ comes back again!

Dear Heavenly Father, speed the triumphant resurrection message into areas not yet reached by the gospel. Strengthen, encourage and equip Your servants for this awesome task.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

April 6 How to Be Least in Christ’s Kingdom

Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.—Matt. 5:19a

The result of a believer’s practicing or teaching disobedience of any part of Scripture is to “be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” “Called” does not refer merely to what people say about us, but what God says about us. Others usually know nothing of or don’t care about our disobedience, but God always knows and cares.

It is completely God’s prerogative to determine rank in His kingdom (cf. Matt. 20:23). Therefore He has a perfect right to hold those in lowest esteem who have a low esteem for the Word. This does not mean the Lord will take away the offender’s salvation; they are still “in the kingdom of heaven.” But it does mean they will forfeit certain blessing and reward to whatever extent they are disobedient and disrespectful. The apostle John warned his readers, “Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward” (2 John 8).

If we ignore or reject even the most minor aspect of God’s law, we devalue all of it (James 2:10) and join the ranks of God’s least. It should be the highest concern of us who profess to love our Savior and Lord never to prompt Him to call us the least.

ASK YOURSELF

Few of us would admit to devaluing the Word of God, but perhaps that’s because we limit to one or two the number of ways this is done. How might a person show disrespect for the Scripture ’s authority and teaching beyond the most obvious offenses?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 105). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

APRIL 6 ALL HAD A SHARE IN PUTTING JESUS ON THE CROSS

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.

1 PETER 3:18

There is a strange conspiracy of silence in the world today—even in religious circles—about man’s responsibility for sin, the reality of judgment, and about an outraged God and the necessity for a crucified Saviour. But still there lies a great shadow upon every man and every woman—the fact that our Lord was bruised and wounded and crucified for the entire human race! This is the basic human responsibility that men are trying to push off and evade.

Let us not eloquently blame Judas nor Pilate. Let us not curl our lips at Judas and accuse: “He sold Him for money!”

Oh, they were guilty, certainly! But they were our accomplices in crime. They and we put Him on the cross, not they alone. That rising malice and anger that burns so hotly in your breast today put Him there! The evil, the hatred, the suspicion, the jealousy, the lying tongue, the cheating, the carnality, the fleshly love of pleasure—all of these in natural man joined in putting Him on the cross!

There is a powerful movement swirling throughout the world designed to give people peace of mind in relieving them of any historical responsibility for the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But we may as well admit it. Every one of us in Adam’s race had a share in putting Him on the cross![1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

April 6, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

3  Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4  In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
5  To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 22:3–5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


Memory of the Past, Part One (vv. 3–5)

There are two ways of looking at the second section. Since it calls attention to God’s deliverance of the fathers, who trusted him in past days, it could be viewed as a bitter irony, that is, “You delivered them, but you have not delivered me; I am forsaken.” However, the verses can also be seen as a desperate grasping for encouragement by a recollection of God’s true character. God is utterly holy or righteous, says the psalmist. He is “the Holy One” (v. 3). Because of this quality, God has always shown himself faithful to those in the past who trusted him. “Will he not therefore also be faithful to me and deliver me, even though I am forsaken now?” the psalmist seems to be asking. In my judgment, the flow of the psalm suggests the second of these possibilities as the right one.[1]


4–5 The history of redemption reveals God as loyal and able to save. Israel’s trust (bāṭeḥû) in him was not put to shame, because when they cried, they were delivered. The act of “trust” was a confession of confident hope in God’s love for his people (cf. TWOT 1:102). The psalmist was familiar with the glorious acts of God in Egypt, the wilderness, and the periods of the conquest, the judges, and the kingdom. Israel’s “praise” came to God in his holy sanctuary as expressions of gratitude. They had praised him for his “holy” justice and righteousness as he vindicated them. They had praised him for his rule over the nations (Ex 15:1–18; cf. Pss 95–99) as he sovereignly dealt with enemies and adversities. But it seems as though God does not care to deliver him, as is brought out by the contrastive particle “yet” (v. 3). Whereas the “fathers” and Israel had occasion for praise, the psalmist felt himself cut off from God’s justice and from the communal experience of Israel.

The threefold reference to the “trust” of the fathers is symmetric with the threefold statement of his personal trust in the Lord in the phrase “my God.” The faith of the ancestors and the faith of the psalmist are one, but their experience is far different. God delivered his people, but the psalmist is left abandoned. In the MT, “you” stands three times in an emphatic position, twice as “in you” (well reflected in the NIV) and once “to you.”

The psalmist views God in contrastive terms to his situation:

his God has “forsaken” him (v. 1a)

Israel’s God is “enthroned” (v. 3a)

his God is “far … from saving” (v. 1b)

Israel’s God is “holy” or the “Holy One” (v. 3b)

his God is unresponsive to his “groaning” (v. 1c)

Israel’s God receives the “praise of Israel” (v. 3c)

It is in this light that we can more deeply appreciate our Lord’s cry on the cross, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34). On the cross our Lord was forsaken by and alienated from the Father. In this experience, symbolized by darkness, he was cut off from God’s mighty acts of deliverance done for his people. He was alone, separated from God the Father and from his people.[2]


22:3–5 / These verses sound like hymnic praise and a reference to God’s earlier saving deeds in their own right. In the context of this psalm, as we shall see, they serve to heighten the anomaly of God’s silence. Yahweh is the praise of Israel, whose praise consists of how in you our fathers put their trust, cried to you, and you delivered them.[3]


22:4, 5 But listen again! The Savior is still speaking to His Father, reminding Him that the patriarchs were never forsaken. Their believing cries for help never went unanswered. Not once were they disappointed when they cried for deliverance. In spite of their sin and waywardness, God never had occasion to forsake them. That sentence was reserved for the spotless Lamb of God![4]


22:4–5. David’s ancestors, putting their trust in the Lord, prayed in their distress and were delivered by Him. So David was encouraged to keep on praying.[5]


22:2–5 The thrust of these verses is “even though You have not responded to me, You remain the Holy One of Israel who has demonstrated His gracious attention time and time again to Your people.”[6]


22:3–5 Yet the Lord Has Been Our Trust. The singer knows himself to be a member of God’s own people, who is therefore the object of God’s special attention. God is especially present in Israel’s worship (v. 3), and has rescued our fathers when they called for help (vv. 4–5).[7]


22:5were not ashamed The ancestors’ trust in God was sure; God answered them, and they were not put to shame. In contrast, the psalmist is shamed (vv. 6–8).[8]


22:4, 5 our fathers. David could think of the time that Abraham was delivered from the five kings (Gen. 14), Joseph from the Egyptian prison (Gen. 41), and most of all Moses and Israel from the land of Egypt (Ex. 1–15).[9]


[1] Boice, J. M. (2005). Psalms 1–41: An Expositional Commentary (p. 194). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, pp. 237–238). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Hubbard, R. L. J., & Johnston, R. K. (2012). Foreword. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Psalms (p. 116). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 577). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 810). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 22:2–5). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 963). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[8] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 22:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[9] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 755). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

God is Holy

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:1-3 ESV)

In the English translations of the Old Testament when we encounter the word “Lord” we are actually reading the Hebrew word “Adhōnāy.” On the other hand, when we read the word “LORD,” it is is completely different Hebrew word, “Yehōwāh.” “Adhōnāy” is actually a title for God meaning “sovereign one.” “Yehōwāh” is the sacred name of God. It was the name He used to reveal…

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April 6 The Weight of Our Penalty

Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.

Hebrews 9:28

When the apostle Peter said that Christ “bore” our sins (1 Pet. 2:24), he used a term that means “to carry a massive, heavy weight.” That’s what sin is. It’s so heavy that Romans 8:22 says, “The whole creation groans and labors” under its weight. Only Jesus could remove such a weight from us.

When Christ “bore our sins,” He bore the penalty for our sins. He endured physical and spiritual death. When Jesus cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46), His was the cry of spiritual death. That was the penalty for bearing our sins.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 111). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

APRIL 6 PLAY WITH YOUR LITTLE BALL

It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.

—Isaiah 40:22

I don’t know where heaven is. I read that the people in the space program shot a gold-plated arrow sixty-some thousand miles into the air, and some are wondering if it might not be reaching heaven at last. I have to smile at that, because God does not dwell in space; space is nothing to God. The great infinite heart of God gathers up into Himself all space.

Our space program is like a baby playing with a rubber ball in Wrigley Field. He can’t do anything but bat it around and crawl after it. If he bats it away two feet, he squeals with delight as if he hit a home run. But way out there, 400 feet long, stretches the field. It takes a strong man to knock a ball over the fence.

When man sends up his little arrow, and it reaches the moon and goes into orbit round it, he boasts about it for years to come. Go on, little boy, play with your rubber ball. But the great God who carries the universe in His heart smiles. He is not impressed. He is calling mankind to Himself, to His holiness, beauty, love, mercy and goodness. He has come to reconcile us and call us back. AOG193

It’s so easy, Lord, for us to think too highly of our worldly intellect. Help me to see You anew in all Your glory, that I might see my comparative smallness and my need for You. Amen.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

April 5 Daily Help

LET not your exertions end in tears, mere weeping will do nothing without action. Get on your feet; ye that have voices and might, go forth and preach the gospel, preach it in every street and lane of this huge city; ye that have wealth, go forth and spend it for the poor, and sick, and needy, and dying, the uneducated, the unenlightened; ye that have time, go forth and spend it in deeds of goodness; ye that have power in prayer go forth and pray;—every one to his post, every one of you to your gun in this day of battle; now for God and for his truth; for God and for the right; let every one of us who knows the Lord seek to fight under his banner![1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 99). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

April 5, 2018 Evening Verse Of The Day

22:29 my lamp. David as the “lamp” of Israel (see note on 21:17) reflected the light of the glory of God, who was the “Lamp” of David himself.[1]


22:29 Both the Lord and his Word function as a lamp for his people (Ps 119:105).[2]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (2 Sa 22:29). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] Beyer, B. E. (2017). 2 Samuel. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 494). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.