Prophecy Update Newsletter
April 6, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Last Eight Days, Part 1 - Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/holidays-and-holy-days/the-last-eight-days-part-1/
10 Nisan, Palm Sunday
Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again." (Luke 18:31-33)
The time had come for the Lord to make His official appearance in Jerusalem. Having spent the bulk of His ministry in and around the Galilee, He now set His sights on the Holy City for what He knew would be His final showdown with the religious leaders. It was a long walk and would require most of the day.
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9)
As they came to the twin villages of Bethpage and Bethany on the Eastern slope of the Mt. Of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples ahead to fetch the donkey He knew would be waiting there, and as He crested the Mount of Olives, he saw the beautiful city spread before Him. Large crowds were arriving for the Passover, and many of them had already heard He had raised Lazarus from the grave. Surely this was the long-awaited Messiah. Some spread their cloaks on the road while others cut palm branches and laid them in front of Him as He rode down the western slope, across the Kidron valley, and into the city. There were large joyful crowds both in front of and behind Him spontaneously shouting the portion of Psalm 118 that was reserved for the entrance of the Messiah into the city.
"Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!" (Mark 11:9-10)
A contingent of the ever-present Pharisees was there, and some of them instructed Jesus to rebuke His followers. If Jesus was not the Messiah-and they didn't think He was-the crowds were committing blasphemy.
"I tell you," He replied, "If they keep quiet the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:40)
It was 483 years from the day Persian King Artaxerxes had issued the decree authorizing the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem after the 70-year Babylonian captivity (Nehemiah 2:1-10). It was the day ordained in history for the Messiah King to officially present Himself to Israel (Daniel 9:25), and instead of rebuking His disciples He rebuked the Pharisees for not knowing this.
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you." (Luke 19:41-44)
It was also the 10th day of Nisan, the day when God commanded the Jews to select the Passover lamb. Then for three days, they were to carefully inspect it to make sure it had no spot or blemish that would prevent it from being used in the Passover celebration on the 14th. (Exodus 12:3,6). Over the next three days, Jesus would be subjected to the most intense scrutiny of His ministry as the Jewish leadership tried to find some proof against Him.
Matthew and Luke take us right into their accounts of the Temple clearing, leaving the impression that it might have happened on that first Palm Sunday. But Mark makes it clear when Jesus finally entered Jerusalem He went to the Temple and looked around at everything, but since it was late, He took the disciples and went back to Bethany where they were staying (Mark 11:11).
Monday 11 Nisan. Clearing the Temple.
In the morning, Jesus left Bethany in the company of His disciples. He was hungry and seeing a fig tree went to pick some of its fruit, but there was none. He cursed the tree saying, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again" (Mark 11:14). Much has been made of this, the only negative miracle Jesus ever performed. Some scholars see it as a prophecy that Israel would soon wither and die, never again bearing fruit for the Kingdom. History has given evidence supporting the validity of their interpretation.
Upon reaching Jerusalem, the Lord headed straight for the Temple, and when He got there, He began driving out those who were buying and selling, overturning the tables of the money changers. He said to them, "It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7), but you have turned it into a den of robbers." (Jere. 7:11)
He was referring to the fact that the pilgrims who traveled a great distance found it safer to buy animals for their sacrifices in Jerusalem than try and bring them from home. The priests would only accept Temple coinage in payment for these animals and for offerings the people made. Some say they charged exorbitant prices for the animals and also maintained an unfavorable exchange rate for foreign currency. Most likely, this is what prompted the Lord's accusation.
Word that Jesus was at the Temple spread quickly. The blind and lame came to Him, and He healed them. The children who had also gathered around began shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David," a Messianic reference. The chief priests and teachers of the Law were indignant, but Jesus said, "Have you never read, 'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise' (Psalm 8:2)? Then He left the city and returned to Bethany. (Matt. 21:14-17)
Tuesday 12 Nisan. A Long Day of Teaching And Confrontation.
The next morning Jesus set out early for the Temple. After being challenged by the Pharisees again, He launched into a series of parables. A parable is a fictional story placed in an Earthly context that's designed to convey a Heavenly truth. Every character or event is symbolic of something else. Understanding what they symbolize helps us discover the Heavenly truth.
He began with the parable of the two sons, one obedient and other not. One son said he would obey then didn't. He represents the Pharisees. The other son said he would not obey but then did. He represents the tax collectors and prostitutes. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him" (Matt. 21:28-32).
Then came the Parable of the Tenants. It's about a landowner (God) who rented his vineyard (His Land) to tenants (Israel). But when harvest time came they refused to give him his share of the fruit (the salvation of mankind). They killed the servants he sent (prophets) and even killed his son (Jesus) to keep everything for themselves. Jesus asked them what they thought the landowner should do to them when he returns. They said he should bring them to a wretched end and rent his vineyard to other tenants who will give him his share. Jesus agreed and said, "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit"
The chief priests and Pharisees understood that Jesus was talking about them (Matt. 21:33-46).
In the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, which came next, Jesus spoke of the invited guests refusing to attend a banquet celebrating the marriage of a king's son. The banquet represents the Kingdom, the King is God, His Son is Jesus, and the invited guests are Israel. Enraged, the king sent his army and burned their city (Jerusalem). Then, as the time for the banquet approached he sent his servants to collect anyone they could find to attend as his guests. At the banquet, the king found a guest who was not properly attired and had him ejected. (Matt. 22:1-14)
Many Christians have misinterpreted this group of guests as representing the Church. But the Church is the bride, not a random group of last minute guests. And the guest ejected from the wedding is not a backsliding believer. Clothing is symbolic of righteousness, and our righteousness is by faith (Romans 3:21-22), not by works. The last-minute guests are Tribulation Survivors, and the ejected guest is an unbeliever trying to gain entrance to the Kingdom in his own righteousness, which is woefully inadequate.
At the time of the 2nd Coming Jesus will gather all Tribulation survivors together. Believers will be clothed in the righteousness of the Lord and ushered into the Kingdom, while unbelievers will be escorted off the planet to eternal punishment.
In an effort to trap Him, the Pharisees asked Him if it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. Responding with a question of His own, Jesus took a coin and asked them whose portrait and inscription were on the coin. When they said it was Caesar's Jesus said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's". They were amazed at His answers, so they left Him and went away (Matt. 22:15-22).
Then another group, Sadducees this time, asked Jesus about marriage in the resurrection. Sadducees didn't believe in a resurrection but told Jesus a story of a woman who sequentially married seven brothers, each marriage following the death of the preceding brother. It was an outlandish exaggeration of the law of levirate marriage, which provided that the brother of a deceased Israelite marries his brother's widow and have a child with her to produce an heir for the dead brother's inheritance (Deut. 25:5-6).
Jesus accused them of not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God. In the resurrection, there will be no marriage. Then He attacked their denial of the resurrection. He reminded them that in the Book of Moses (the Torah) God called Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. "He is not the God of the dead but of the Living," He said. The people listening were astonished at His answers (Matt. 22:23-33)
Then they asked Him which of the commandments is the most important. He replied, quoting Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matt. 22:37-40)
The first four commandments explain how we are to love the Lord, and the last six tell us how to love one another. Together they summarize all of God's word.
Then He asked the Pharisees a question.
"What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?"
"The son of David," they replied.
He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says,
"'The LORD said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet"' (Psalm 110:1)
If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions. (Matt. 22:42-46)
His examination was complete. They had found no fault in Him. He was qualified to be the Passover Lamb.
Now It's My Turn
Having defended Himself against all their tricks and traps, the Lord now went on the offensive with a scathing indictment of their religious practices. It was payback time for all the resistance they'd shown, all the criticism they'd leveled at him. He called them hypocrites who told the people to obey what they say but not to do what they do. He said all their actions are just for show to make themselves look pious and important. Not only would they not enter the Kingdom, but they prevented others from entering as well. He called them false teachers and blind guides, saying they were obsessed with little things but neglected the more important matters of the Law. He said they were like whitewashed tombs, all clean on the outside but full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. He called them snakes, a brood of vipers (seed of the serpent) and held them responsible for the blood of all the prophets their predecessors had killed (Matt. 23:1-36).
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem," He cried, "You who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" (Matt. 23:37-39)
Then He left the Temple and walked out of the city. But His day was not over. On the way back to Bethany the Lord gave four of His disciples a critical lesson on End Times prophecy. We'll pick it up there next time.
Trump: Assad regime 'crossed many lines' with chemical attack - http://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-assad-regime-crossed-many-lines-with-chemical-attack/
US president calls Syria incident 'an affront to humanity'; UN envoy says US may be 'compelled to take our own action'
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday denounced the Syrian regime's latest alleged chemical weapons attack as an "affront to humanity" and warned it would not be tolerated.
Speaking alongside Jordan's King Abdullah II at a White House news conference, Trump did not lay out in any detail as to how the United States would respond to the killings.
While continuing to fault predecessor Barack Obama for much of the current situation in Syria, he acknowledged that dealing with the crisis is now his own responsibility and vowed to "carry it very proudly."
Only days earlier multiple members of Trump's administration had said Assad's ouster was no longer a US priority, drawing outrage from Assad critics in the US and abroad. But Trump said Tuesday's attack "had a big impact on me - big impact."
"My attitude towards Syria and Assad has changed very much," he said.
Trump said of this week's attack that "it crossed a lot of lines for me. "When you kill innocent children, innocent babies - babies, little babies - with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines." US officials said the gas was likely chlorine, with traces of a nerve agent like sarin.
Since the attack Tuesday in rebel-held territory in northern Syria, Trump has been under increasing pressure to explain whether the attack would bring a US response. After all, Trump's first reaction was merely to blame Obama's "weakness" in earlier years for enabling Assad.
Obama had put Assad on notice in 2013 that using chemical weapons would cross a "red line" necessitating a US response, but then failed to follow through, pulling back from planned airstrikes after Congress wouldn't vote to approve them. Trump and other critics have cited that as a key moment the US lost much global credibility.
"I now have responsibility," Trump said. "That responsibility could be made a lot easier if it was handled years ago."
Yet he was adamant that he would not telegraph any potential US military retaliation, saying anew that that was a mistake the Obama administration had repeatedly made.
"These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated," he said. "The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this horrific attack."
Asked whether the attack, which Washington has squarely blamed on Assad, could trigger a change of policy on the Syrian conflict, Trump replied: "We'll see."
"I'm not saying I'm doing anything one way or another, but I'm certainly not going to be telling you," he told reporters.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was more explicit, threatening direct action.
"When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action," she told a Security Council emergency meeting.
At least 72 people, among them 20 children, were killed in the strike on Khan Sheikhun, and dozens more were left gasping for air, convulsing, and foaming at the mouth, doctors said.
It is thought to be the worst chemical weapons attack in Syria since 2013, when sarin gas was used.
"If we are not prepared to act, then this council will keep meeting, month after month to express outrage at the continuing use of chemical weapons and it will not end," Haley said. "We will see more conflict in Syria. We will see more pictures that we can never unsee."
She also lashed out at Russia for failing to rein in its ally Syria.
"How many more children have to die before Russia cares?" she said.
"If Russia has the influence in Syria that it claims to have, we need to see them use it," she said. "We need to see them put an end to these horrific acts."
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Russia needed to "think carefully about their continued support for the Assad regime."
"There's no doubt in our mind that the Syrian regime under the leadership of Bashar al Assad is responsible for this horrific attack," Tillerson said.
Early US assessments show the attack most likely involved chlorine and traces of the nerve agent sarin, according to two US officials, who weren't authorized to speak publicly about intelligence assessments and demanded anonymity. Use of sarin would be especially troubling because it would suggest Syria may have cheated on its previous deal to give up chemical weapons.
After a 2013 attack, the US and Russia brokered a deal in which Syria declared its chemical weapons arsenal and agreed to destroy it. Chlorine, which has legitimate uses as well, isn't banned except when used in a weapon. But nerve agents like sarin are banned in all circumstances.
As Trump and other world leaders scrambled for a response, the US was working to lock down details proving Assad's culpability. Russia's military, insisting Assad wasn't responsible, has said the chemicals were dispersed when a Syrian military strike hit a facility where the rebels were manufacturing weapons for use in Iraq.
An American review of radar and other assessments showed Syrian aircraft flying in the area at the time of the attack, a US official said. Russian and US coalition aircraft were not there, the official said.
Britain, France and the United States presented a draft resolution demanding a full investigation of the attack, but Russia said the text was "categorically unacceptable."
The draft resolution backs a probe by the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and demands that Syria cooperate to provide information on its military operations on the day of the assault.
Russia's Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the council that the proposed resolution was hastily prepared and unnecessary, but voiced support for an inquiry.
"The main task now is to have an objective inquiry into what happened," he said.
Negotiations were continuing on the draft text after Russia's foreign ministry said in Moscow that "the text as presented is categorically unacceptable."
Will Trump Turn Damascus Into A 'Ruinous Heap'? - By Michael Snyder - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1139
Rumors of war are percolating in Washington D.C., and if the Trump administration is not extremely careful it may find itself fighting several disastrous wars simultaneously.
Just one day after threatening North Korea with war, Donald Trump has committed to taking military action against the Assad regime in Syria.
Trump is blaming the chemical attack in Syria's Idlib province on Tuesday on the Syrian government, and he is pledging that the United States will not just sit by and do nothing in response.
Trump has called the attack a "terrible affront to humanity", and he is placing all of the blame on the shoulders of the Assad regime.
But now that Trump has committed the U.S. to take military action in Syria, what is that actually going to look like?
According to the Daily Mail, at this point Trump is not giving any hints as to when or where he will strike Syria...
He did not want to say in front of the cameras how he plans to respond to the crisis.
'I don't like to say where I'm going and what I'm doing,' Trump reminded. 'I watched past administrations say, "We will attack at such-and- such a day, at such-and-such an hour.'
But it isn't difficult to imagine what Trump may decide to do. Past presidents have always favored using airstrikes to make a point, and that is what many of the "analysts" on television are recommending.
Unfortunately, there would be great risk in targeting Syrian forces, because contingents from Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and elsewhere are mixed in among the Syrian military.
So could you imagine what it would do to our relations with Russia if airstrikes against the Syrian military resulted in Russian deaths?...
President Trump has several options in Syria, none without great risk.
One is military action against Syria's air force - grounding the helicopters and fixed wing aircraft that are believed to have dropped the deadly agent - and the runways from which they operate.
Yes, such strikes risk Russian casualties. But Moscow has consistently blocked U.N. action on Syria but proven unable to contain Mr. Assad's bad behavior. And President Vladimir Putin would be forewarned.
Grounding Syria's air force, moreover, would help distance Mr. Trump from Mr. Putin, a politically useful benefit at this time.
And even if Trump did conduct airstrikes, there would be a limit as to what they could accomplish. President Assad would still be in power in Syria, and the Syrian government would still be winning the civil war.
Trump could potentially send in special forces with the intention of assassinating Assad, but that would not necessarily topple the entire regime.
The truth is that the only way to change the outcome of the war and to guarantee regime change would be to send in U.S. ground forces on a large scale.
And just introducing them into the country would not nearly be enough. In order to end the war, Trump would have to commit to taking and holding Damascus.
In Isaiah 17, we are told that someday Damascus will be "taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."
Much of the city is already a heap of rubble, but if the U.S. were to start conducting a concentrated bombing campaign against the city it is easy to imagine how the entire city could soon come to resemble a "ruinous heap".
Of course the toppling of the Assad regime has been the goal all along. Back in 2011, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hatched a plan along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey to use the "Arab Spring" as an excuse to try to remove Assad from power.
Since 74 percent of the population of Syria is Sunni Muslim, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were very excited about the prospect of dealing Iran a major blow by transforming Syria into a full-fledged Sunni nation.
So Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Arab countries spent billions of dollars supporting and arming the "rebels", and at first everything was going great.
But then Russia, Iran and Hezbollah all intervened, and now the tide of the war has completely turned.
The only way that the original plan can succeed now is for the United States to enter the war, but with Trump as president nobody thought that was going to happen.
But now this latest chemical attack has changed everything, and Trump appears poised to take military action in Syria.
And I have a feeling that this new attack is another false flag, because it wouldn't make any sense for the Assad regime to use chemical weapons at this point.
Thanks to the assistance of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, the Assad regime is winning the civil war, and the only thing that could possibly turn the tide now would be military intervention by the United States.
So if Assad did actually use chemical weapons against a bunch of defenseless citizens on Tuesday, it would have been the stupidest strategic move that he possibly could have made.
In any controversy such as this, you always want to ask one key question: Who benefits?
Of course the answer to that question in this case is exceedingly clear. The radical Islamic rebels that are being backed by Saudi Arabia and Turkey will greatly benefit if they are able to draw the western powers into the war on their side.
But what would the U.S. have to gain by getting involved in such a war?
I don't know if most Americans understand how dangerous such a move could be.
The Russians are not going to just sit there while U.S. bombs are dropping and their personnel are being killed. And of course the same thing could be said about Iran and Hezbollah.
Do we really want to risk a potential military confrontation with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah just to make a point in Syria?
To me, that would be exceedingly foolish.
And even more disastrous would be a decision to fully commit the U.S. military to toppling the Assad regime.
That would require going all the way to Damascus, and it is very, very doubtful that the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah would just willingly stand aside and allow that to happen.
For quite a while I have been warning that the situation in Syria could potentially spark World War 3 if everyone was not very, very careful.
If U.S. warplanes try to strike Syrian military positions, the Russians could easily decide to start firing back.
And considering the anti-Russian hysteria that we are already witnessing in Washington D.C., how will our leaders respond when CNN starts showing U.S. aircraft being blown out of the sky by Russian missiles?
As I discussed in Part I, there is very little for the U.S. to gain by going to war in Syria.
Unless it can be shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Assad regime is actually using chemical weapons, the Trump administration should not even be thinking about military action, because getting the U.S. military involved in the Syrian civil war would be absolutely disastrous.
So let us pray for peace, and let us hope that cooler heads will prevail.
Does Daniel's Vision Predict Assad's Downfall? - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/86257/assad-may-be-nero-of-the-east-tyrant-whose-downfall-brings-messiah-in-jewish-prophecy/#e8AyZz0kOKlCD6Eu.99
"And Hashem said unto her: Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." Genesis 25:23 (The Israel Bible™)
A Jewish text enigmatically describing the fall of the eastern tyrant Nero as presaging the rise of the Messiah may refer to Syrian leader Bashar al Assad, according to both Jewish and Arab sources.
The Jewish text predicting the rise of an 'Eastern Nero' and his destruction is known as the Otzar Midrashim, which relates the story of a Talmudic sage who received an angelic message regarding the coming of the Messiah.
This will be for you a sign: when you see that the Nero of the East has fallen in Damascus, the kingdom of the east will fall, and then the salvation of Israel will grow, and the Messiah of the House of David will arrive and [the Jews] will go up to Jerusalem. (Otzar Midrashim)
The rule of the original Nero, who was an emperor of ancient Rome, is associated with tyranny, extravagance, cruelty and madness. Strangely enough, it was the Arabs who first identified Bashar al Assad with the Nero of the East. In a political cartoon widely circulated in the Arab world in 2012, Assad was portrayed as Nero fiddling while his country lay in ruins around him.
Jewish observers quickly found another clue to the parallel. Soon after the cartoon came out, Rabbi Avraham Feldman of the Ohr Yerushalayim Yeshiva in Jerusalem noted that the gematria (Hebrew numerology) of niron mizrachi - "Nero of the East" - equals that of the name 'Bashar Assad'.
Assad, who inherited power from his father, has held onto his leadership through a brutal and bloody civil war which has claimed the lives of nearly 300,000 Syrians and forced millions more to flee, creating a worldwide refugee crisis. Media critics of his regime have been violently subdued and thousands of protesters killed outright by the military.
Nonetheless, there are signs that the long-time enemy of Israel may, as the prophecy predicted, be falling. On Tuesday, a horrific chemical attack in Syria's Idlib province killed over 70 people, including many children; world leaders jumped to condemn Assad's regime, which both US and UN investigations have concluded is behind the massacre.
Dov Bar Leib, an end-of-days blogger, is sure that this ancient source is may be referring specifically to Assad and his imminent downfall.
"Assad is unique in the Arab world. Unlike most leaders of Muslim-majority countries, Assad is not a religious Muslim," Bar Leib explained to Breaking Israel News. "He is a westernized secular leader. In Hebrew, secular is chiloni which comes from the word 'Hellenized'. Assad is a mixture of Greece and Arab, Edom and Ishmael. He is the Greek Nero in the Middle East."
Bar Leib explained that this unusual characteristic of Assad is also referred to in the Book of Daniel.
And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom. Daniel 2:41
Bar Leib believes this verse clearly refers to Syria and Assad, describing the Arab leader as a "mixture of modern iron and old-world clay". "Syria is where the conflict between iron and clay is taking place," he said.
The parallels between Nero and Assad are striking. Assad's extreme policies have led to the destruction of his country. Similarly, Nero was accused of setting the fire that destroyed most of Rome in 64 CE in order to make room for a new palace, which he began building as soon as the flames died down. Like Nero, Assad is accused of murdering his own subjects wholesale. And like Nero, Assad was an aristocrat born to the throne whose rule was plagued by civil unrest and rebellion.
Though the reincarnation of historical figures is not discussed in modern politics, Bar Leib explained that the connection to historical figures is a necessary part of the tikkun olam ("fixing of the world") that precedes the coming of the messiah.
"In the End of Days, all of the great ancient leaders who harmed Israel will come back in order to be destroyed, thereby fixing what they did in their previous lifetimes," said Bar Leib.
For Assad, as an incarnation of Nero, his fall necessarily means Israel ascending. Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, a medieval French rabbi known by the acronym 'Rashi', explained in his biblical commentary that as one nation rises, the other must fall, bringing a further proof from Ezekiel.
I shall be filled with her that is laid waste. Ezekiel 26:2
Syria, formerly a formidable existential threat to Israel backed by Russia, is now a shadow of its former might. As the Arab Nero, Assad's impending downfall, achieved with little direct intervention by Israel, may indeed portend a prophetic era of Jerusalem rising.
The Accuser and the Advocate - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
When the cherubim were created, Satan was one of them. He is described as being beautiful to behold. "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou has walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee." Ezekiel 28:13-15. By his own choice he is the most evil and hateful being to be found anywhere and is responsible for sickness, temptations, and all forms of evil that plague mankind. Don't blame God if you're going through sickness, bereavement, or any other problem in life. Satan is either directly or indirectly behind your troubles The word "iniquity" is translated from the Hebrew word 'evel which means "injustice, unrighteousness, wrong, violent deeds of injustice". Those are very descriptive words for Satan. Pride set in and he desired to be like God. That combination of iniquity and pride was his downfall. He could no longer be a part of the angels who chose to serve God Almighty, but it might surprise you to know that he still has access to Heaven. There he accuses us of sin before God and his goal is to turn all humanity against God.
Satan began his lies and deception against humanity in the Garden of Eden. He lied to Eve and even accused God of deception. God had told Adam and Eve the truth, that they would die if they ate the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. That lying serpent made the forbidden fruit look tempting, but Eve told him that God said they would die if they ate it or even touched it. "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4-5. Eve believed the liar rather than God and Adam followed her in sin. They tried to hide from God, which is impossible. Then came the finger pointing. Adam blamed Eve and even blamed God. "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." Genesis 3:12. Adam made a choice but he blamed others for causing him to fail. Eve blamed the serpent although she knew she wasn't to eat the fruit of that tree. "For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." 1 Timothy 2:13-14. They each made their choice and we now live in a fallen world. Satan has never stopped lying to us and he continues to lie and accuse us before God.
It was Satan who tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and it was Satan who accused Job of loving God only because God protected him. "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." Job 1:6-7. The term "sons of God" always refers to angels and we see that Satan was right there with them as they stood before God. Satan had been roaming the earth and God asked him if he had considered Job who was a "...a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" Job 1:8b. That's when Satan began his accusations against Job. "Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou has blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land." Job 1:9-10. God allowed Satan to trouble Job with some tough trials, but in the end Job remained true to God and regained all he lost. Are you going through some struggles right now? Don't blame God. Blame the accuser, Satan. He has no love for you and will do anything to get you to turn away from God. Don't allow this evil being to come between you and God who gave His life for your salvation.
Satan's lies and accusations aren't just aimed at us mere humans; he was even prideful enough to think that he could tempt Jesus to bow before him. Just before Jesus began His ministry on earth He went into the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days. Satan is no match for God, so he waited until Jesus' human body was weakened and then attacked with temptations. Jesus was hungry, and that evil accuser tempted Him to prove who He was. "And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread." Luke 4:3. More temptations and accusations followed, but Jesus answered every one with Scripture. Can you do that? Satan will always see your weak points and try to tempt you to fail in your walk with God. He will place thoughts in your mind that you're a failure or tempt you to sin by making it look as if sin isn't so bad. Sin is always bad. Scripture is your defense and if you've memorized verses you can quote them in order to gain victory over sin. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13. Write God's word on your heart and always turn to God in times of temptation. Those temptations come from Satan accusing you and trying to make you stumble. He's a liar and hates all humans. Don't allow his lying tongue to pull you into sin.
Satan goes by many names, and one of those is the "great dragon". After the Rapture those who are left on earth will face horrendous evil which is caused by that creature known as the serpent, Lucifer, the Devil, the prince of the power of the air, the great dragon, and the accuser of our brethren to name a few of his descriptive names. In the end he will lose and be permanently cast out of Heaven. "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down which accused them before our God day and night." Revelation 12:9-10. The accuser of the brethren will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire along with everyone who rejects Jesus Christ for salvation. Don't allow him to deceive you or cause you to reject God. You have a choice, so choose wisely.
Satan, the accuser, will soon be reckoned with. Until then, what do we do? Are we at his mercy? Well, there is no mercy in Satan, but we do have an Advocate. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:". 1 John 2:1. John wrote this letter to Christians and gives us assurance that our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is our Advocate with the Father. An accuser blames you and wants you punished, but an advocate is someone who stands up for you and pleads your case. If you have accepted Christ for salvation, then He stands up for you when Satan accuses you of failure. As Christians we need to live our life as sinless as we can but it's impossible for us to never stumble and fall into sin. When that happens our first response should be to reach out in faith to our Advocate. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:8-9. Satan is the accuser, but Jesus Christ is our Advocate. He loves us and shed His blood to take our sin away. Do your best to flee from temptation and sin, but when you stumble confess your sin to Jesus and His righteousness will cleanse you. He is your Advocate with the Father.
If you've rejected the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ then you have no Advocate before the Father. Your sins cannot be forgiven and Satan's accusations will not be rejected. If you've rejected Christ's free gift of salvation you will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire with the accuser, Satan. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. If you have accepted Christ for salvation then live as close to Him as you can. Don't give Satan reasons to accuse you, but always remember that Jesus Christ is your Advocate and the propitiation for sin. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:10.
Your choice must be made while living this side of Heaven. If you choose to reject Jesus Christ as your Saviour then you have no Advocate before the Father, only an accuser.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
6 spiritual strategies for a spiritual war - Greg Laurie - http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/6-spiritual-strategies-for-a-spiritual-war/
Greg Laurie has encouragement for believers living through last days
I think we all would agree that the church is under attack in every way imaginable right now, both literally and figuratively. The church is under attack around the world as Christians are being slaughtered because they are followers of Jesus Christ.
Then we look at our own country and see persecution getting stronger here as well. This is a sign of the times. The Bible tells us that persecution is one of the signs we should look for to alert us to the fact that Jesus Christ is coming back again. In Matthew 24 Jesus said, "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me" (verse 9 NIV).
Every Christian will face persecution in some way, shape, or form. It may show itself physically, but it also can show itself verbally. People have laughed at Christians. They have mocked Christians. They have ostracized Christians. They have terminated Christians from their jobs. They have ridiculed Christians in classrooms. If you're a Christian and that has happened to you, here is what I want to say to you: Congratulations. Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven" (Matthew 5:11-12 NIV). Rejoice. This is a badge of honor. The Bible tells us, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV).
That is a promise we Christians rarely claim. We love to claim a lot of other promises for provision and blessing and protection. But who wants to be persecuted? Yet who does it happen to? Those who live godly lives.
Ultimately, this is a bigger than traditional values, cultural values, or even Western civilization. As Christians we stand on what the Bible says. This is the Word of God, and we believe it. At Harvest Christian Fellowship, we sing these lyrics by the Newsboys in our worship services: "We believe in God the Father, we believe in Jesus Christ, we believe in the Holy Spirit, and He's given us new life. We believe in the crucifixion, we believe that He conquered death. We believe in the Resurrection, and He's coming back again. We believe."
The things that are happening in our culture today might be frightening at times. But consider this. Just as it seems things are coming apart, in another way they are coming together. Bible prophesies are being fulfilled before our very eyes. So what should we do in light of all that is happening? I have a few thoughts.
First, don't panic. God is still on the throne. The fact is the church often thrives when it is in sharp contrast to the cultures around it. Think about what the first-century church faced. They were living in the most pagan culture imaginable. They could not go out and vote for who the next Caesar would be. It is not as though they could live their lives openly as followers of Jesus. They were persecuted. They were hunted down. They lived in the backdrop of cultures like Athens, Corinth and others that worshiped false gods. Immorality was rampant. Yet in relatively short order, the church turned their world upside down. How did they accomplish this? It wasn't through protests, boycotts, or marches. The first-century Christians outlived, outloved, outprayed and outgave the nonbelievers.
Second, we need to remember that Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (NIV). In God's sovereign will, he works together for our good and his glory. Joseph said to his brothers who betrayed him, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20 NIV). Psalm 119:91 says, "Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you" (NIV). God is in control.
Third, we need to show this culture what a Christian marriage looks like. Marriage is a big deal to God. Of all of the pictures, of all the illustrations he could have chosen to illustrate his love for the church and his church's love for him, he chose marriage. He says, in effect, "Look at how that Christian husband loves his wife. That is how I love the church. Watch that guy. You see that Christian woman, the way she loves her husband and respects him? That is how my church loves Me." A Christian marriage should be a testimony and an example to a nonbelieving world. Keep it together. Keep it strong.
Fourth, we need to show the love of Christ to everyone. We need to meet people where they are. God loves everyone, no matter what they have done. The gospel does not define us by our temptations but by the righteousness of Christ. We are not against any particular group. We welcome all people. We love all people. We want to reach them. At the same time, that doesn't mean we condone. It means we are to speak the truth in love. We should love someone enough to tell them what the Bible says.
Fifth, we need to engage all people with the gospel, because everyone is searching. Deep down, everyone is searching for a relationship with God. It may seem like certain people never can change, but no one is beyond the reach of God. There was no more notorious sinner in the days of the first century than Saul of Tarsus. But God took hold of him and transformed him. It was so unexpected that a lot of the Christians didn't even believe it at first. God can change anyone.
Last, we need to pray. When the disciples were told by the authorities they were not to preach anymore in the name of Christ, what did they do? They prayed - for more boldness to preach in the name of Christ. Then they went out and did just that. When a law was made that no one could pray to anyone except the king, what did Daniel do? He prayed. And we need to pray, no matter what. We need to pray that America has a spiritual awakening.
That is really our only hope. This is bigger than politics. This is bigger than culture. This is a spiritual war we are engaged in, and we need a spiritual solution. America needs a revival as never before. We need to pray for that. And we need to pray for the church as a whole.
Daily Jot: Why Rice is a Constitutional crisis - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
In response to a reporter's question about how President Donald Trump feels about the Rice spying scandal, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, "I am somewhat surprised in terms of the level of interest that I've seen from the press corps at one set of developments versus another set of developments." He repeated after another question: "I'm -- somewhat more from a media standpoint -- somewhat intrigued by the lack of interest that we've seen in some of these public revelations..." In this briefing, the reporters went on to what they must have considered more important questions about Trump drawing money from his own blind trust. They are abrogating their duty as a free press.
In reality, it is very curious that the news media doesn't blow up on Susan Rice. In a day where every scandal becomes a throwback to Watergate, there appears to be very little written about the latest "Spygate." In fact, several news outlets such as CNN, refuse to cover it. CNN Tonight's Don Lemon announced he would ignore the Rice story at all costs. CNN's Chris Cuomo claimed the story was "demonstrably untrue" and called it a "fake scandal." New Day anchor Alisyn Camerota called on Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to write-off the scandal as "unimportant." CNN's chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, a former White House political appointee of the ex "president," said the story is "ginned up."
Charles Hurt, who covers politics for the Washington Times, Fox News and Breitbart, points out that "Most of the media, of course, is so desperate to destroy Mr. Trump and cover up anything that might reflect poorly on [sic] the ex "president" that they would rather talk about phantom "Russia" connections instead." He further wrote, "But an administration actively spying on political opponents during a presidential election, unmasking US citizens and then punishing them with selective leaks to the press? That is a real scandal. And a constitution crisis that raises dire questions about whether any American citizen is safe from the espionage thuggery of the politically powerful."
The right to privacy is guaranteed by the Constitution's 4th Amendment, stating: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." A president spying on citizens and an incoming president is unconstitutional. The free press ignoring it is a sign of a coup or shadow government. Ecclesiastes 8:11 says, "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." This is a Constitutional crisis and the evil is aimed at all American citizens. It's the seedling of dictatorship trying to choke out the tree of Liberty.
Daily Devotion: Wholehearted Devotion - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene. . . . -Mark 16:9
Of all the people Jesus could have appeared to first after His Resurrection, He appeared to Mary Magdalene. It is interesting to think about, because among the Jews of the day, the testimony of a woman was not held in high regard. In fact, some of the rabbis falsely taught that it was better for the words of the Law to be burned than to be delivered by a woman. Yet Jesus chose a woman to be the first herald of His Resurrection.
It is also worth noting that women were the last at the cross and the first at the tomb. Mary had courage that many of the men did not have when Jesus was crucified. She stood by Him through it all. In fact, the Bible tells us that after He was crucified, Mary "observed where He was laid" (Mark 15:47). She watched as they took His crucified body from the cross and wrapped it and placed it in a tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea. And Mary, along with the other women, was at the tomb very early on Sunday morning to demonstrate her love for Jesus by anointing His body with spices (see Mark 16:1-2).
And her love was rewarded. God said, "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13). God rewards the person who is diligent. And for those who will take time in their day to seek the Lord, for those who will take time to read His Word, for those who will take time to wait upon Him, He will reveal His truths to them.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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