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Parallels of Truth
By Dr. William L. Sonny Payne

hurricane katrina

We have just witnessed one of the most devastating hurricanes in the history of our nation in Katrina. Winds of up to 165 miles per hour, torrential rains and ocean surges wiped out thousands of homes, flooded cities and killed numerous people, leaving multitudes homeless. The price of oil has jumped to over $70 per barrel, and gasoline prices have soared, all of this is taking its toll on our nation and its economy.

It is most interesting that hurricane Katrina hit southern Florida first, causing millions of dollars in damage. It then entered the Gulf of Mexico, gained in strength and intensity, until it became a category 5 hurricane. No human ingenuity could keep it from hitting the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastlines. The effects of this storm have been felt even up into the New England States.

Last year four hurricanes hit Florida, an earthquake hit California, Mount St. Helens erupted once again, and then on the other side of the world, in Asia, in December, a tsunami killed over 200,000 people, wiped out resorts, towns, villages and destroyed the economy of those countries. There has been unprecedented flooding in Europe this year, along with other major catastrophes. But what does it all mean? There have always been disasters. I think two things bear mentioning that are parallel and yet paradoxical in regard to these events.

1. I believe the increase in the number and intensity of these natural disasters are signs of God's forthcoming judgement upon our nation due to the rampant immorality and corrupt judicial systems, especially in the area of sexual perversion and homosexuality. When a nation becomes obsessed with sexual perversion, it is a major sign that God is about to abandon that society and give them up to their own lusts. God sent severe judgements upon Israel with famine, drought, hail, etc. because they had abandoned Him in order to fulfill their own selfish evil lusts. When they still would not listen He destroyed their cities and land and dispersed them into other nations. If we don't change our ways and turn to God then our nation is doomed for destruction.

Also, in regard to the above, I believe these natural disasters are also a precursor to the judgement that is coming to the church worldwide. There is as much sin in the church as there is in the world, and for the most part you can't tell the difference between many who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ from the rank sinner who has never been saved.

2. I believe that hurricane Katrina is a direct result of President Bush and the State Department demanding that Israel withdraw from Gaza and the continued effort to force a Palestinian state upon the Jewish people. Also, we realize that whatever happens in Israel has a dramatic effect on the rest of the world, plus, God judges a country based upon their treatment of Israel and the Jewish people. Avner Bosky, in Koenig's International News, drew some astounding parallels in regard to the Gaza pullout and New Orleans.

a. One commentator on FOX News, in referring to the people of New Orleans, said "It must be an emotional experience to walk away from their houses and not know if they will be able to live in them again." That is what happened with the Jewish population in Gaza the week before Katrina hit New Orleans.

b. The homes of the Jewish people in Gaza were destroyed by bulldozers. The homes in New Orleans were destroyed by the hurricane.

c. "Ivor Van Heeden, deputy director of Louisiana State University's Hurricane Center, recently said on FOX that there is a high probability that the hurricane will loosen many of the coffins in New Orleans and that corpses will be loosened and moved from their resting places. This past week bodies of Jews were exhumed from the cemeteries in Gaza and moved to other places."

d. "Whereas Gaza was placed under a state of emergency as its 8,000 residents were evacuated now New Orleans has been given orders for a mandatory evacuation of nearly 500,000 people."

e. "Whereas many Israeli Jews from Gaza are in temporary refugee camps and tent cities, there is talk of up to one million refugees needing to be settled in temporary camps in the Louisiana and Mississippi area."

natural disasters

We must also realize that the Port of Southern Louisiana is the largest in the USA, and the fifth largest in the world in regard to tonnage, plus about 25% of crude oil produced in the U.S. comes from the Gulf of Mexico. After Katrina hit, oil jumped to over $70 a barrel, and gasoline skyrocketed to over $3.00 a gallon, and, in some places, almost $6.00 a gallon. Is all of this accidental, or was the hurricane, as our President has been made to believe, due to global warming? I think not. These parallels between Israel and New Orleans are not coincidental. God, once again, is trying to get our attention, but are we listening? We cannot continue to force Israel to give up her land and expect God to bless us as a nation. Let's take a closer look at the Gaza Strip and its history and see what we come up with.


The first time Gaza is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis 10:19 in regard to the borders of the Canaanites before Israel entered the land. After Israel conquered the land of Canaan, the tribes were allotted their land. Joshua 15:1, 47 tells us that part of Judah's inheritance was Gaza.

"This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; ...Ashdod with her towns and her villages, Gaza with her towns and her villages, unto the river of Egypt, and the great sea, and the border thereof."

All of this becomes even more interesting as we examine the history of Gaza and its inhabitants. As we said before, Gaza was part of Canaan's land (Canaan was the son of Noah) until the Philistines came and took it from them. But who were the Philistines? We remember, according to the Bible, that the Philistines were always causing trouble for the Israelites. Samson, the judge of Israel, was taken captive by the Philistines, who put out his eyes. King Saul and King David were in constant conflict with them also.

The Philistines were descendants of Mizraim (the Egyptians) who was a descendant of Ham and they came from the isle of Caphtor, known today as Crete. They were neither Arab nor Semites, but an Indo-European maritime people who migrated in large numbers to southwest Canaan. They were there before Abraham came into Canaan. Genesis 10:13-14.

"And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, and Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim) and Caphtorim."

In Genesis 21:32, 34 Abraham makes a covenant with the king of the Philistines, Abimelech.

"Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines."

Even though the tribe of Judah was given Gaza as part of their inheritance, they never could conquer it. They did capture Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron for a short time, but the Philistines regained control of them. As we know, the Philistines constantly warred against Israel. Later Gaza was conquered by the Babylonians, the Assyrians, Romans, Ottoman Turks and finally the British. There was a Jewish population there until the riots of 1929. In 1946 the Jewish kibbutz Kfar Darom was established. When Israel's war of independence broke out in 1948, most Arabs who lived in the area in and around Jerusalem were told to flee until the Arab armies destroyed Israel, then they could return to their homes. Of course Israel was not destroyed but won the war.

Most of the Arabs who fled settled in the Gaza Strip in a refugee camp and the Arab leaders, instead of taking them in, began to use them as a pawn to the world against Israel. This has continued to the present day. In 1964 the Palestine Liberation Movement was founded, with Ahmed Shukairy as its first chairman. A little less than 10 years earlier he had denied the existence of Palestine. Now, they took on the name Palestinians, as if they were a separate cultural group of people, when in essence they were Arabs. It takes a language, dress, food, etc. in order for there to be a cultural people. These "Palestinians" dressed like Arabs, ate Arabic food, spoke Arabic, etc. They were Arabs, but the world began to buy into the lie that they were a displaced nation, and Israel was occupying their land.

It is amazing that the Arabs chose the name "Palestinians" which is anglicized from the Hebrew "P'lishtim", which is also anglicized and means Philistines. "P'lishtim" comes from the root "Palash" which means to roll (in dust) to roll (wallow) self. It also means "an entity that invades, seizes, and expropriates with force", i.e. an armed robber. (Quote taken from the book, Fascinating Torah Prophecies, by Rabbi Nisan Aryeh Novick). This is exactly what the Arabs have done with Israel and her land; they have invaded, seized, and expropriated it.

All of this becomes even more interesting when we look at the meaning of the word "Gaza". In Hebrew it is "Azzah, which is the feminine of 'Az'" and means "strong, vehement, harsh, fierce, greedy". The prime root of "Az" is "Azaz" which means "to be stout, harden, impudent, prevail, strengthen (self)". Once again, these meanings fit perfectly with the attitudes and objectives of the "Palestinians" (Arabs) in regard to Israel. Things have come full circle, in that after 3,000 years, when the Philistines continuously attacked Israel, driving her out of Gaza, so today, by the pressure of the U.S. upon the Israeli leadership, Israel has been driven out of Gaza once again, which rightfully belongs to her.

The Palestinians (Arabs) are claiming victory, saying they are the ones who have made Israel leave. Because of all that is happening, I believe we are soon to see a war in that region that will destroy the Palestinian lie. Out of this will come a short time of peace for Israel before the battle of God and Magog. We need to keep our eye on Israel as God continues to fulfill His prophetic word to her.

So what do we as followers of Jesus Christ do in all of this?

1. Pray that the leaders of our nation will wake up to what God is saying, obey His Word and quit pressuring Israel to give up their land and form a Palestinian State.

2. Pray that our nation sees God's hand of judgment and turns from their wickedness.

3. Pray that the leaders of the church will stop compromising God's Word, placating the people with fuzzy, feel good self-help messages, and will be filled with the fire of God as His Word goes forth in power to convict of sin and iniquity and bring repentance to the church.

4. Pray for the soon coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and that we will be ready for it when it comes.

There is coming a spiritual hurricane such as has never been seen on this planet, with winds and rain that will wipe out everything in its path that is not tied to, and ordained by Jesus Christ. It is going to sweep around the world, leaving many dead to themselves, and homeless, in that many of the churches they have been attending will not be able to stand in the face and force of this storm as the Lord Jesus calls His true Bride out of this present worldly church system, and prepares her for His soon return.

This coming storm is called in the Bible, "the latter rain of the Holy Spirit". It will be the Body of Christ's greatest hour as the Holy Spirit empowers her to not only have the character of our Lord Jesus Christ, but to truly be a miracle working church. That is what Ephesians 5:27 means when it says "That he might present it to himself a glorious church (glorious means miracle working) not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish".

Church, we are on the brink of the greatest move of God the world has ever seen. I cannot truly express the depth of what I am feeling as I write this to you. But let me say this. When the Lord comes, in the power of the Holy Spirit, our joy will be made full. We will not be able to contain ourselves because of it. Regardless of your situation right now, don't quit. Serve the Lord will every fibre of your being, because it will all be worth it. We are on the verge of a massive breakthrough as God is about to visit us with His Manifest Presence.

Finally, I pray that all is well with each of you who read this, that you have been blessed, informed and encouraged. We pray also for your families, that every need will be met, and that God's richest blessings be yours. How awesome it is to know that, together, we can be a part of ushering in the return of our precious Lord Jesus Christ, and because of our love and obedience to Him we will be able to stand in His Presence and hear Him say "Well done thou good and faithful servant".

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