Monday 15 October 2012

A Boycott Against Israel (NOT IRAN?)

United Church of Canada General Assembly recommended a boycott of products from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

This is a copy of the article published in the October 2012 ucobserver yet not found in their web site



The most controversial plank of the United Church's Mideast policy is a largely symbolic action with far-reaching consequences.  By Mike Milne

At August's General Council, the United Church voted to speak out, once again, against Israel's 45-year occupation of the West Bank. For the first time, it called for a boycott of products from Israeli settlements. But the question looms: will United Church people and congregations translate General Council's words into action?

Dedicated social activists, who have been pushing the church for over a decade to do more than just talk about peace in the Middle East, say yes. Others aren't so sure.

The newly minted United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI )-planning an inaugural  meeting in Toronto this month will likely push for congregational education and study programs on the issue. The Holy Land Awareness and Action Task Group, based in Toronto Conference's South West Presbytery, hopes the decision will reignite a Presbytery- based boycott campaign that fizzled shortly after its launch last year. General Council staff will provide information and resources across the church.

Nonetheless, as senior General Council program staffperson Rev. Bruce Gregersen told journalists after the final vote, General Council leads, but the rest of the church doesn 't always follow. "We don 't tell people what to do," said Gregersen. "What we can do is invite consideration; we can encourage." Commissioners made that point very clear, refusing to adopt the Mideast working group's report as a whole to form the basis of policy, but instead voting to "recommend the report and its policies to its members for study, prayerful discernment and personal action."

As with past contentious United Church stands, this one opened to mixed reviews. In Barrie, Ont., Rev. Susan Eagle of Grace United called Council's decision "a cautious step forward " and said a study group in her congregation will likely grapple with the issue.

Rev. Brian McIntosh of Toronto, a long-time member of the Toronto Holy Land awareness group and interim chair of UNJPPI, hopes both groups "will help congregations have the confidence that what we're doing is not strange for anti-Semitic."

In Arnprior, Ont., Rev. Andrew Love of Grace St. Andrew's United says some members of his congregation are "shaking their heads" over the church's decision but remain more focused on local issues. Love took a high-profile public stand against a boycott of Israeli products, formed an anti­boycott group called Faithful Witness and was closely aligned with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), a national advocacy organization for the Canadian Jewish community, during the lead-up to General Council. He now hopes to prepare resources to offer churches "more balanced information."

22 • OCTOBER 2012

A strong majority of General Council commissioners voted for an end to the Israeli occupation and a boycott of settlement products. But Council's decision-making process, which lets commissioners consider and alter proposals before they become official motions, using informal "warm or cool" polls, sometimes meant viewpoints were expressed through changes in wording or emphasis rather than being clearly articulated in debate.

In the first of three sessions on Israel-Palestine, General Council's working group of three volunteers and a half-dozen staff presented their report and two pages of suggested actions and policy -the fruit of about two years of research, discussion and writing. As well as supporting Israel as a Jewish state, the report rejected "apartheid" as a description of the Israeli occupation and stated that criticism of Israeli policies was not anti-Semitic.

Council heard from the working group, including former moderator Very Rev. David Giuliano of Marathon, Ont., Toronto minister Rev. Barbara White and Hamilton chaplain Rev. Thorn Davies. White said she was initially opposed to any boycott but decided it was the only way to "convey to Jewish and Israeli colleagues that something has to happen to allow justice for Palestinian people and the healthy unfolding of a Jewish state for Israelis."

Ecumenical guests from the Canadian Jewish community and Palestinian Christian partners also had their say. Dr. Vicror Goldbloom, chair of the Canadian Christian Jewish Consultation, admitted settlements are "a problem that needs to be resolved," but said a boycott would not lead to a solution. Ramzi Zananiri, a Palestinian working for the Middle East Council of Churches, cited statistics on West Bank settlements to illustrate a "policy of humiliation and subjugation of Palestinians with total control of their resources."

By the fifth day of the meeting, Council had voted to adopt 12 parts of a 13-part motion, including one "encouraging members of the United Church to avoid any and all products produced in the settlements."

Lengthy additions asked the church to denounce "aggression and incitement to violence coward the state of Israel and its people" and "the ongoing violence toward and promotion of hatred for residents of the occupied territories by some settlers." The action, however, could only be finalized when the rest of the motion was adopted.

By the second-last day of the meeting, all that remained was the question of how the working group's report would be applied. But some commissioners felt the call for a boycott had not been properly aired. Past moderator Very Rev. Bill Phipps spoke against the boycott and called on the church  "to support ... those people on the ground in Israel and Palestine who every day put their lives on the line to work together."

For others, it was rime for more direct action. "I think in a time when diplomacy and politics have failed to find a just peace, it is incumbent on the Christian church to engage in society and in political discourse and even take a side," said Rev. Ralph Carl Wushke of Toronto.

A final vote recommended that church members study the report, pray over the policy and suggested actions, and then decide what to do.

Supporting a boycott against Israeli settlement products puts the United Church beside the U.S. Presbyterian Church and United Methodist Church and the British Methodist Church, all of whom have taken similar actions.

Adoption of the boycott brought supportive words from Jewish pro-peace groups such as Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) and Canadian Friends of Peace Now. "Jews don't speak with one voice" on settlements or boycott action, said IJV spokesperson Sid Shniad. He promised the group's members will work with congregations studying the issue.

Giuliano said he got supportive messages from many in the Jewish community, and the United Church had to be true to its beliefs in spite of anti-boycott pressure. "The bottom line is, if the cost of friendship is abandoning other friends or selling out our convictions,
we can't do that in good faith."

The immediate response from CIJA, which led a high­ pressure campaign against the boycott, was "outrage." Two weeks after the Council, it called on the Canadian Jewish community, including lay and rabbinic leaders, for a moratorium on dialogue or partnership with all levels of the United Church.

CIJA's board of directors planned to meet in September and was likely to discuss how to stay connected with United Church people who worked against the boycott. CIJA may also launch an anti-boycott campaign encouraging Canadians to buy products of West Bank settlements and Israel.  UCO

GeneralCouncil's encouragement to "avoid any and all products produced in the settlements" raises the question: What, exactly, is made in the settlements? How about buying products from companies that operate in the area but also offer products in Canada that are made elsewhere?
The General Council Executive has promised clarification soon. In the meantime, here is a sampling of brands and products, available in Canada, that are connected to the settlements*:
·         Ahava beauty products
·         SodaStream home water carbonators
·         Shamir Salads
·         Keter Plastic (outdoor storage, sold through Home Depot)
·         Food additives patented by Adumim Food Ingredients, including fenugreek gum (common in salad dressings) and kombucha concentrate
·         Pampers diapers and Always pads (Avgol Nonwoven Industries sells to Procter & Gamble)

Pieta Woolley

*This list is based on research by the Interfaith Peace Initiative. End the Occupation, Meretz USA. Canadians for Justice and Peacein the Middle East, and the Coalition of Women for Peace


Sunday 7 October 2012

Prophecy Update - Special Message

Randy Thomas
Dear Reader,
Hi Folks! I just wanted to update you on a few things happening with the ministry. The new design for the website has been live nearly a month now. It is a work in progress and new material, pages, videos and sections are being added almost daily. I just finished and added our popular Prophecy Guide section and it looks better than ever, I also added just this weekend the Mission StatementStatement of Faith and the About Us sections. Soon I will add back in the Bible Commentaries and new sections like Prophecy Q & A where you can send in questions about Bible Prophecy and we will attempt to answer them and post them for all to see and learn.
Our store has had a complete makeover and redesign, buying and checking out our DVD’s has never been easier. Our store has a new name, “Reel Manna” and its own web address and domain. Our YouTube page just passed the half million mark in views in just over a year. This weekend I uploaded “Angels, Aliens and Armageddon” to our page so now anyone in the world can watch this movie free along with all our other DVD’s, your support allows us to do this, thanks!
Who can deny that we are living in the End Times, our time is truly, truly, short, let us make the time we have left count for all eternity.
According to the Lord's own words, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
God will come for his Church suddenly at a time when we least expect it.  For this reason, He instructs us to be ready, always prepared, and on guard for his coming.  As those around us turn their backs on God, worshipping themselves, other gods, or false prophets instead, we should be looking up.  We should have our spiritual lives in order, so that we might escape what is to come.  Especially as we are now witnessing the signs of the end times, God reminds us that we need to be in prayer constantly so that we will not be led down the other path and miss His coming.
It’s been said that Bible prophecy is often like a big jigsaw puzzle.
First, you gather and lay out all of your pieces. Second, you set in order the outline and corner pieces. Third, you group together pieces with similar content. Fourth, you methodically put the puzzle together, piece by piece, and section by section. Fifth, eventually you will end up with a few difficult pieces that at first don't seem to easily fit into your general scheme. So you have to examine those pieces from different perspectives.  Sometimes you will discover that by just looking at it from a little different angle it perfectly and beautifully fits into a spot you didn't even see before. The last days prophecy puzzle is almost complete, God Himself will soon put that last peace into place and all of sudden the entire end time prophetic scenario will come into sharper focus.
The last few years has seen a quickening of predicted bible prophecies, it’s as if time has been accelerated. Fulfilled bible prophecy has been happening at such a rapid pace that it almost makes one dizzy trying to keep up with it.
The restoration of the nation of Israel is the cornerstone of End Time bible prophecy and it’s often called God’s timepiece. You can pretty much tell what time it is on God’s prophetic time schedule by what is happening in Israel. Against all odds, Israel was restored as a sovereign nation again on May 14, 1948; and this after its people being disbursed and scattered around the world for nearly 2,000 years. Its rebirth is the closest thing we have to a modern day miracle.
The very next day six Arab nations simultaneously prepared to invade the tiny country to destroy it at its birth. In a sudden and unprovoked onslaught, the armies of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and volunteer forces from Saudi Arabia, converged upon Israel. It was David versus Goliath all over again. To any intelligent observer it was obvious that the Arabs would make short work of the undermanned and under- equipped Jews. If Israel was to survive it would take a miracle. By God's grace, the outnumbered and outgunned Israelis were victorious. Humanly speaking, there is no way to explain the well-trained, heavily armed Muslim army that outnumbered them ten to one. Israel has fought many wars since 1948 and continues daily to fight for its existence.
The Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah and even today they expect the return of their Messiah riding in on a white horse at almost any moment. They say they will know that it’s their Messiah because He will let them rebuild their temple.
The Muslims, the main enemy of Israel, are expecting their Messiah, known as the 12th Iman. The 12th Imam is said to be a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, having divine status as did each of this succession of sons. The 12th Imam is also called the Hidden Imam and the Mahdi (guided one). Mahdi will return when his followers create chaos and death in the world. Mahdi will return just before the end of the world. Mahdi’s appearance will supposedly be preceded by a number of prophetic events during 3 years of horrendous world chaos tyranny and oppression. Mahdi will supposedly force people to convert to Islam or be beheaded. Mahdi will rule over the Arabs and world for 7 years. Mahdi will setup a one world religion and government.
The Christians, the Bride of Christ, are awaiting the Rapture of the Church at any moment. Sometime after the Rapture the Tribulation period will begin, it will begin with the Antichrist guaranteeing and enforcing a 7 year peace treaty between Israel and its enemies and allowing them to rebuild their Temple, 3 ½ years later the Antichrist will enter into the newly rebuilt temple and declare himself to be God, committing what the bible calls the “abomination of desolation”.
 Meanwhile during this 7 year period God is pouring out His wrath upon an unrepentant world that will see nearly all mankind wiped out. At the end of this 7 year period the Antichrist and his followers will gather together in Israel’s valley of Megiddo to destroy Jerusalem and Battle God, this will be the mother of all battles and is known as Armageddon. Just when this battle seems like all is lost the Lord Jesus Himself will return on a white horse followed with his bride, the raptured Church also mounted on horses and end the battle of Armageddon defeating Satan and his armies. This is called the “Second Coming”
So to sum it all up and put things in perspective, we have the three largest religions in the world expecting their Messiah at any moment. Sadly, the Messiah that the Jews and the Muslims will meet will be the same person that the bible calls the Antichrist.
The world is waiting and expecting a savior to bring some kind of peace and balance to our unstable world that is quickly crumbling beneath our feet. We are experiencing a global economic failure that is causing nations to fail and we are beginning to see a re-alignment of the nations and a call for a one world leader and a one world economy just as the bible predicted. We are seeing religions that in years past would not even speak to each other now aligning with each other and calling for a one world religion. We are seeing catastrophic changes in our weather with earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, flooding, pestilence and droughts all happening with an increase in intensity and frequency.  Diseases and viruses are becoming drug resistant and we are seeing a huge increase in the number of violent and senseless killings and also a record number of thefts and crimes. The whole world is experiencing a sense of hopelessness and living in great fear and anxiety, our world leaders are perplexed, and every attempt to fix the economy or solve the problems in the middle east go down in flames.
The bible thousands of years ago, with 100 per cent accuracy, predicted the exact last days scenario that we are now seeing right before our very eyes. Shortly the Lord will come for His bride and Rapture the church off the planet, the disappearance of millions of people will most likely be explained away as a necessary global cleansing of people who were divisive and non-conforming.
Out of all the chaos and confusion that will ensue after the rapture there will come a man on the scene that will have all the answers to all the world’s problems? This man will bring a sense of peace and calmness, he will implement a one world economy and a one world religion and for the most part he will be a savior to the world. This man whom the world will worship as a God is in actuality a false god, a tool and instrument of Satan, a man that the bible calls the Antichrist.
How will this man bring world peace, how will this man bring the Jews and Arabs together, how will this man be able to convince and unite all the world’s religions into one? It’s quite possible that Satan will send forth his demonic forces posing as ancient aliens and the leader of these ancient aliens will be the Antichrist himself, with advanced knowledge and advanced technology these alien forces led by the Antichrist will do in seven years what it would take mankind hundreds of years to complete.
Of course if one reads the bible we know how it’s all going to end. Like the days of Noah, God warned the people for 120 that the flood was coming; God has been warning us for nearly 2000 years that he was returning. In precise detail he laid out the entire end time’s scenario and wrote down for us to read and hear what is to come and how we can escape all these things.
As the predicted birth pangsincrease in intensity more people than ever before from around the world are seeking answers. More people than ever before are looking and searching for answers and I am sure as prophetic events continue to unfold at this accelerated pace, even more people will visit Prophecy Update looking for answers. According to Google Analytics, Prophecy Update receives visitors from 163 nations around the world and each month we break new records in the amount of hits that we receive to the website and subscribers to the free Prophecy Update Newsletter is at an all-time high. Not too bad considering that there are only 195 countries recognized by the US state department.
Folks as you know, we have the answer and the answer is Jesus Christ, but many if not the majority of the world’s population including many churches, walk around in total darkness. They ignore the signs and refuse to even teach Bible Prophecy, so that means they ignore nearly one third of the Bible, no wonder the Bible says that in the End Times there will be a famine for the word of God.  "The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land--not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. Amos 8:11
Prophecy Update has been on line since 1999 and has grown every year, many similar web sites and ministries that started around the same time are no longer around. You can go to the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine at:  and type  to see how the site has changed and progressed over the years. Since the beginning of the year through today we have seen 569,485 unique visitors and have had 68,188,245 hits.
I want to take the time to thank of all you who subscribe to Prophecy Update and all of you who frequent the Prophecy Update website and take advantage of all the teaching resources that we have available and I do want you to take advantage of us! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement and financial support. Thank you for taking the time to forward the Updates to family and friends. Thank you all that use the Updates for teaching material and all that send in articles for posting. I do want to encourage you to forward us articles that you feel worthy enough to share with other readers or also if you are a writer and feel led to write a prophecy related article please send your submissions thanks!
I ask that you continue to keep this ministry in your daily prayers; secondly I ask that you would prayerfully consider becoming a financial supporter of this ministry. Many of you are already monthly supporters but we sure could use more, monthly supporters are the backbone and foundation of this ministry. You would think with so many visitors to our website that I would never have to bring up the subject of giving. I do so humbly and reluctantly, but in reality only about 50 to 60 dear and precious Saints give to this ministry with any regularity and I can actually name most of them off in my head because I am constantly giving thanks for them!
Every day I write the two daily newsletters, update the web site, research new material, work on new postings, edit material for the next DVD and read and answer as many of the nearly 300 emails I receive daily. I am not complaining one bit, I love every minute of it but please do not be offended if I don't answer your email promptly or not at all. It takes a lot of time and effort, but is a true labor of love to bring you the updates and provide all the contents of the web site.
The updates and the web site are provided free so that no one can be denied access to the Word of God. There is a charge to cover the cost of the teaching materials but even then we provide them free upon request. The web site is free of pop-up ads and commercial banners so that you can view the contents of the site without disturbance. We don't bombard you with offers and we don't plead and beg for money and tell you that we are going off the web if we don't get money. We don't have weeklong marathon fundraisers, nor do we have elaborate fundraising schemes. 
My prayer: Lord Jesus, I pray right now that you would touch the hearts of those that you would lift up to support this ministry and I pray that you would bless them and give them a heart and a fire and a passion to support this ministry. Lord Jesus I pray that you would bless them in return for their faithfulness beyond any measurable comprehension, wonderfully and abundantly exceeding any and all expectations! Lord Jesus I pray for those that already support this ministry through prayer and financial means that you would continue to bless them in the most amazing ways, that not only they would be blessed but also those whom you have surrounded them with! In Jesus Name...Amen!
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Angels, Aliens and Armageddon
The Coming Deception...
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
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. - Luke 21:25,26
One of the great characteristics of the end times is described in the New Testament as deception, or delusion, on a grand, perhaps unprecedented scale. The Lord Jesus warned that the deception that is coming in His Name and accompanied by great shows of power will be so convincing that even the very elect, that is, those who truly know Him, stand in danger of being carried away in the deception (Matthew 24:24).
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These DVD s are not just someone standing at a podium and speaking to an audience, they are full length docudramas just like you would see on the Discovery Channel or the History Channel. They make wonderful witnessing and teaching tools and many churches show them to their congregations and youth groups as well as using them in home Bible study groups.
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Another effective witness from Randy and Prophecy Update. The "There will be Tribulation" video describes the purpose and the sequence of events during the final seven years prior to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The linkage to many Old Testament prophecies clearly show the importance of the nation of Israel to this seven-year period. The pictures in the video document a world already full of tribulation- how terrible will be those seven years. Great teaching tool for small groups and youth ministers to present the gospel message through the topic of bible prophecy. - John Wicklund Chair- Olive Tree Ministries Board of Directors
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  There Will Be Tribulation Features Storm of a Different Kind an original song by award winning songwriter Terrance Alan featuring artist Chad Evans and "People Get Ready...Jesus is Comin"by critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and multi-Dove Award winner, Crystal Lewis.
"There will be Tribulation"This DVD covers the Tribulation from start to finish and include the following topics: the concept, the scope, the length, the starting point, common misconceptions, the Antichrist and the world's acceptance of the Antichrist, the events of the Tribulation and the chronology and God's purpose for the Tribulation.
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The first DVD, "The Great Unveiling" covers chapter one of the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. The book unveils his relationship to the church, to judgment and to the things to come in the future. The purpose of the Revelation is to reveal to his servants things that must soon take place.
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Friday 5 October 2012

Pre-Rapture Commentary: Living In The Danger Zone by Joseph Chambers


This High Sheriff is the Holy Spirit and He will reign supreme until the Bride of Christ is removed. During the Seven Years of the Great Tribulation the devil will reign over the world but he is utterly limited until the Spirit of God is withdrawn from His present task as the Restrainer. God’s perfect Word warns us of this perilous time and makes it clear that multitudes will follow the way of evil. The only souls that will escape are those that trust in the Lord alone and refuse to be compromised by the unholy crowd.

Listen as Apostle Paul speaks with his strong warning. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (II Timothy 3:1-5) When you look at the religious world you will see this exact picture. You know that the Apostle is addressing the church because of the words of warning to religious people.

There are several key things he says in the full text of this warning. He spoke of the glut of information in our world, the great learning and education, but then said, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (II Timothy 3:7) There is very little emphasis on the ultimate truth in today‘s world. The large number of translations (mostly mistranslations) of the Bible has left the church world with great reasons to debate truth.

Long ago I learned that there is no such idea as interpreting the Bible. The truth is that the Bible interprets itself. I cannot name one verse in the Holy Bible that needs my interpretation. God said what He meant and meant what He said. Isaiah spoke long ago to this truth. “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” (Isaiah 35:8) The Bible was written that no man has an excuse regardless of how simple they may be.

Today you often hear people saying, “Well that’s not my interpretation.” What they are saying is, “What I believe is different and your Bible Scripture is not important.” The only way a person can be deceived is if they do not take the Bible literally. Personal preference, past learning, a theological system of men or some escape idea are mighty powers in our present compromised churches. This confused theology will land a great company in a literal Lake of Fire. Remember, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25) The Word of God is always the final answer. Everything in this world system must be filtered through the Holy Book.

There is nothing needed in our world greater than preaching from the Bible, straight, sound, and anointed. We need men of God that live in the truth and allow it to flow out of them like a river. These must be compassionate ministers that weep between the porch and the altar. A minister that cannot weep has no place in the pulpit. Apostle Paul said, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” (Acts 20:27-29) The church is full of wolves in this last day.

Everyone of us are living in the “Danger Zone.” Our minds must be kept by the Holy Ghost. The natural man has no chance of surviving. The great Apostle Paul did not trust his own flesh so he said, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (I Corinthians 9:27) What an honest thinking man he was. Let’s follow his example. Do not trust your flesh.