Because of the breakdown of the Syria ceasefire the deployment of the 4th Armored Division to the Golan was rescinded so that the unit could take part in a major offensive in Aleppo. The Syrian Golan operation will now be delayed for some time.
Iraq has begun the final offensive operations against the Islamic State. The plan is to clear the countryside over about one month to trap the IS forces inside Mosul and then move directly against Mosul in about a month from now, annihilating the IS in Iraq by year’s end.
The IS is planning a suicidal defense of Mosul and it may be a prolonged fight, with little chance of escape and no intention to surrender by the IS foreign fighters.
America plans to send 500 combat troops for the Mosul fight in the coming days.
Syria is defeating the foreign backed rebels who are now making agreements for safe passage to retreat towards the Safe Haven created by Turkey. The US backed rebels in Homs province retreated to Idlib under a safe passage agreement yesterday.
A separate anti Islamic State offensive is to come on line in Syria at some point and the ISIL should be a foot note in history by next spring. Meanwhile the US seems to be doing all they can to provoke Russia and the US Russia situation will come to a head at some point.
In Israel a major political crisis is building around the Supreme Court’s order to demolish the Amona settlement built on private Palestinian land by December 25. Settler political parties are threatening to bring down the government if the order is carried out and this time they seem to be very serious.
Syria launched an offensive early this morning to liberate Aleppo which could delay any Golan operation for sometime yet.
Keep a sharp watch on Israel and the Syria / Russia – US situation as events progress and the Islamic State goes down over the coming months.
Dating the Festivals: There is a tiny handful of people who are mistakenly observing the Festivals a month early this year. It is very important to understand the principles for establishing the biblical new year.
Please read this article from last March again to refresh on this important matter, which a few have been misled about.
UCG News: UCG has begun pushing the “you must obey us to be right with God” falsehood very hard. Don Ward sermon
Don for your information, it is God the Father, His Word and Jesus Christ who are the Head of the Ekklesia not any man. It is the job of the elders to set an example and teach all people to live by every Word of God; not to decide right and wrong for themselves!
The idea that we must follow men even when they are inconsistent with the scriptures is the same nonsense pushed by all the other major factions; exalting men above God, making man sovereign and God subject to the whims of men.
Even Jim Franks who himself rebelled against UCG pushes this same false teaching claiming that COGWA members must do whatever HE says, and he does not seem to see the rank hypocrisy in his own position.
eNews from Ministerial and Member Services
Cape Girardeau, Missouri, elder Carl Hoffman died at his home Monday evening, September 19, 2016, at the age of 85.
On September 17, 2016, Len Parker was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Sandra, serve primarily in the Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire, congregation in the British Isles.
UCG has planned to hold one of their seminars in Charlotte on Sunday.
Long time readers know that I have posted on the Book of Ecclesiastes every Feast of Tabernacles for years now.
Ecclesiastes teaches us about the temporary nature of the flesh, which is also the lesson intended by living in temporary dwellings during this Feast, and teaches that the only things of lasting permanent value are the things of God.
Victor also mentions the Song of Songs for Passover – ULB, and the book of Ruth for Pentecost; books that I have been presenting on those occasions for years.
I give Victor full credit and applaud his recognition of this matter!
Victor Kubik writes:
From Ecclesiastes to Eternity
What is the connection between Ecclesiastes and the Feast of Tabernacles? Is there something relevant that we can learn from this book that ties into the meaning of this festival?
Solomon was a talented and ambitious man who built great structures such as the world-renowned temple in Jerusalem. He was rich and famous. He sponsored expeditions that traveled the seas to bring exotic plants and animals for gardens he had built in in Israel. Potentates such as the Queen of Sheba traveled from Ethiopia to have an audience with this very wise king.
Solomon could have anything he wanted, and God allowed him to have it, including wisdom initially granted him by God.
But something went wrong. Very wrong. When one starts reading the book of Ecclesiastes we confront a man in depression–one who is seeking the meaning and purpose of life. What happened? What went wrong? How could it go so wrong? He had everything a person could want and that was needed to make one happy and fulfilled. It did not.
Solomon uses the word vanity or uselessness, futility and vapor 38 times in Ecclesiastes–five times in one verse. He had come to see physical things and physical life as utterly useless and depraved. He already had everything one could possibly have, and even experimented beyond. Nothing brought satisfaction.
He came to see that eventually everyone gets old and dies, no matter how much they acquire or how famous they become. Death is the great equalizer between the least and the greatest. So what’s the point of having it all in this life?
Some commentators have called Ecclesiastes the strangest book of the Bible because Solomon’s state of mind and attitude are such an enigma. Dr. Abraham Cohen writes in the preface to the well-respected Soncino commentary on Ecclesiastes as follows: “It is the most difficult book in the Bible for the commentator. Its complexities and obscurities are so many and often baffling that the assumption of dogmatic certainty is unwise and unwarranted.”
Part of the difficulty lies in not comprehending the point of the Ecclesiastes because the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles, on which it was read, is not fully understood.
Here’s where this book becomes relevant to us. We are going to inherit this dream world from God. We will live forever. But there needs to be some understanding and instruction about handling this windfall.
In Deuteronomy 14, we are commanded to go the Feast of Tabernacles with this mindset of enjoying plenty and to spend the tithe that we have saved: “You will spend the money for whatever your heart desires . . . and you shall rejoice, you and your household” (Verse 26).
But there is one more critical element in verse 23 about attitude: “And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always” (emphasis added).
The Feast, which pictures eternity, salvation, peace and plenty, must include a proper relationship with our God. This relationship is built upon a family or “filial” fear that a child in a normal family has for his or her parents. Children have a tremendous respect and love for their parents and a desire to please them. They have a fear or an anxiety of offending their loved ones, not because of fear of punishment, but rather because of fear of displeasing the one who is, in a child’s world, the source of everything they have.
Solomon lost this awe of God and his childlike respect. He had drifted into materialism and tried to satisfy himself with all things physical and experiential, but it didn’t work and led to despair. So many in this world who are wealthy and super wealthy are not happy because wealth alone does not fill a hollowness in our life that can only be filled with God’s presence and a relationship with Him.
So, in Ecclesiastes, we see Solomon searching for life’s meaning and experimenting with pleasure. He then makes his observations of life and comes to the conclusion and our purpose for keeping the Feast. He states his conclusion in the last two verses of the book: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
God wants us to be fulfilled and satisfied, as He is the one who owns everything. God is love. He is the great Creator. He is the one who is always thinking outwardly. This is what we, too, will be doing for all eternity.
So, at the Feast of Tabernacles, we should take care not to just focus on the fun and food but to heed to the message of Ecclesiastes which shows the futility and emptiness of material pleasure as an end in itself. Take time to learn the spiritual values that bring eternal satisfaction. This is the important lesson of the book of Ecclesiastes and the Feast of Tabernacles.
You may wish to read the book of Ecclesiastes before the Feast and have a Bible study with your family. I found the conclusion of Solomon–which he came to in great pain–along with what we are commanded to learn about the Feast of Tabernacles to be a beautiful lesson of eternal life. Hence my sermon title: “From Ecclesiastes to Eternity.”
LCG News: LCG reports 7,800 registered for the Feast of Tabernacles this year, well below the 10,500 attendees claimed for last year.
Gerald Weston writes: “Dr. Winnail held a Leadership Conference in Joplin, Missouri in which 115 ministers, deacons and wives participated. In the U.K. Mr. Simon Roberts is transferring to the London area to take up the Shepherd’s Bush, Sevenoaks, and Hook congregations; and Mr. Adam West will then become the pastor of the Birmingham, Manchester, and Pontefract congregations.”