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Prophecy Update Newsletter
August 12, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Sign of Christ's Coming - Alf Cengia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8289
I've been reading through my Morning and Evening Spurgeon Devotional. He was called the Prince of Preachers for good reasons. I love his grand language and his pastoral insights. He was a man of great faith who worked tirelessly for the kingdom of God.
A recent Morning Devotion particularly warmed my heart. It was titled: "Watchman, What Time of the Night?" Spurgeon wrote in part:
But, watchman, when comes the morning? The Bridegroom delays. Are there no signs of His appearing as the Sun of Righteousness? Hasn't the morning star arisen as the pledge of day? When will the day dawn and the shadows flee away? O Jesus, if You don't come in person to Your waiting Church today, still come in Spirit to my sighing heart and make it sing for joy.
Now all the earth is bright and glad
With the fresh morn;
But all my heart is cold, and dark and sad:
Sun of my soul, let me behold Thy dawn!
Come, Jesus, Lord,
O quickly come, according to Thy word.
Charles Spurgeon eloquently stated what we wish for: Maranatha, please, Lord, come soon! The interesting thing to me is that Spurgeon was a Historic Premillennialist. As such he was also a posttribulationist. Dennis Swanson wrote an informative article on Spurgeon's eschatology which you can read online.
Despite being a posttribulationist, Spurgeon expected Christ's any-moment coming. J Barton Payne was another posttribulationist who believed in imminence. Others were Robert Murray M'Cheyne and the Bonar brothers.
However, the Coming of the Lord they expected imminently was the Second Advent just prior to the Millennium. Their view of imminence wasn't connected to the rapture of the church. The reason they could simultaneously believe in the Second Advent and imminence is because they were Covenant Theologians.
Covenant Theology presumes the Church is a continuity of Old Testament Israel. Most prophecies don't fit well into the scheme of a predominantly Gentile Church. Therefore CT proponents must spiritualize texts which speak prophetically of Israel. This system facilitates historicism, amillennialism, postmillennialism, preterism, and pretty much anything else.
Even though some believed in Israel's salvation in some form, they missed the full meaning of the prophetic points of God's plan. Had they understood the prerequisite for Christ's Second Advent as it pertains to Israel, they wouldn't have held to imminence.
As an example of CT thinking - a reviewer of a recently published book of essays honoring a Progressive Dispensationalist, complained about its dispensational presuppositions. He noted that a pre-commitment to dispensationalism imposes discontinuity throughout redemptive history.
Whatever his concerns: dispensationalism teaches one way of redemption. The notion of One People of God also does not preclude a special function for redeemed national Israel. In fact continuity in redemptive history demands Israel's future restoration because God promised it.
The Bible affirms Israel will seek God because of its afflictions (Deut 4:30-31; Hos 5:15). Compare also Zech 12:10 with Matt 24:29-30. Israel will be restored when it seeks Christ (Matt 23:39).
God will act to restore and cleanse Israel for His name's sake (Ezek 36:22-38). Israel will possess the land forever (Jer 7:7, 25:5; Amos 9:14-15). God will never reject Israel's descendants for what they have done (Jer 31:31-37, 33:19-25). The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (Rom 11:28-29).
If God's cursing of Israel is valid (Deut 28:37) then so are His promises of restoration and blessing (Zech 8:23). Throughout all these texts, dispensationalists "presuppose" that God means what He says. His holy name is at stake. If God can renege on Israel's redemption then our salvation is in peril as well.
If God meant what He said about Israel's redemption, then it follows that other statements are true. These include prophecies concerning Israel immediately prior to the Second Advent. Compare Zechariah chapters 13 to 14 with the Olivet Discourse and Revelation chapters 16 to 19.
Historical prognostications regarding Christ's Second Advent failed because the main ingredient was omitted. The Millerites and Adventists failed for the same reasons Harold Camping consistently failed. They left national Israel out of their calculations.
The Second Advent couldn't have occurred during Spurgeon's, M'Cheyne's or Ryle's day because Israel didn't exist as a nation in the land. The emergence of dispensationalism has sharpened the distinction between the church and Israel and highlighted the dynamics preceding Christ's premillennial coming.
Despite the horrors of the 1st and 2nd World Wars, we understand that the Second Advent couldn't have occurred then. Israel was missing. Yet these two conflagrations (some say it was a continuous one) helped set up the restoration of Israel.
The Jews have endured centuries of persecutions and pogroms, including the Holocaust of WWII. Israel survived large-scale attacks the same year it became a nation. Since then it has managed to overcome multiple treats to its existence in a hostile environment. Who would have thought?
Through all this Israel has been castigated by the nations for its alleged human rights violations. This includes churches, political parties and a host of activists. Even World Vision has been indicted for its anti-Israel stance. Ironically, nations such as Iran consistently escape scrutiny.
How is it that some Christians defend Islam, yet have no qualms indicting Israel? Doesn't this seem odd if Israel is no longer prophetically relevant?
Syria and Iraq have fallen. Turkey's recent turmoil has cemented Erdogan's Islamist regime. The current U.S. Administration further enabled Israel's number one enemy, Iran (and Hezbollah). Russia's interests in the Middle East (Turkey and Iran) has left pundits (including Israel and Europe) wondering and debating its next moves. Then there's the growing belligerence of China and North Korea.
As I write this, the world is like an out-of-control car sliding on ice. It will only come to a stop once it has collided. Some European leaders have identified similar dynamics which were present prior to WWII. Only this time Israel is present in the land.
Scripture speaks of a future global conflagration involving Israel. The world is currently obsessed with castigating Israel. Israel's Islamist terrorist concerns have become the world's problem. Are we possibly seeing end time events occurring in our time? Shouldn't we be paying attention?
My prayer is that those who diligently study God's Word as it speaks of grace, salvation and other eternal truths would begin to treat Scripture concerning Israel in the same fashion. It is a mistake to ignore Israel.
I mentioned the rapture earlier. Unlike Spurgeon, pretribulationists have legitimate cause for expecting Christ's return for the church at any time. The rapture is an imminent event (1Thess 5:2-3 etc) because it occurs before God's wrath.
The period preceding Christ's premillennial return is characterized by global turmoil initiated by the opening of the seals (Rev 6). Yet the Faithful Bride has been promised exemption from God's eschatological wrath (1 Thess 5:9) and from the time of trial which will come upon the whole world (Rev 3:10).
The closer we move towards this period the nearer we come to the rapture of the church. And so we can rightly proclaim Maranatha!
Come, Jesus, Lord,
O quickly come, according to Thy word.
Watchman Warning: Peace Takes Two - by Hal Lindsey - http://www.hallindsey.com/hlr-8-12-2016/
A massive international scandal sits in the middle of one of the most watched conflict-zones in the world. But in the United States and Europe, no one seems to notice. Led by the French, the world is about to make a major push for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
But here's the scandal. The Palestinian Authority is not a government. It's little more than a badly organized street gang. It has neither the authority nor the ability to make or keep a peace deal with Israel. It is a complete sham - as I'm about to show you.
We can expect a fight over Palestinian sovereignty at the United Nations this fall. This summer, the French hosted a meeting of several nations to prepare a plan for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The United States was there, but Israel was not invited. Though Brexit took the Europeans' peace initiative off the front burner, they still plan to push it.
The United States will also be trying hard to broker a peace agreement. The Administration desperately wants a foreign policy win before the end of President Obama's term early next year.
At the end of July, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. At that meeting, Abbas said he fully supports the French initiative. According to U.S. State Department spokesman, John Kirby, "The Secretary and President Abbas discussed regional challenges and constructive ideas for the way forward to support our shared goal of a two-state solution."
Kirby added, "Secretary Kerry stressed the United States' commitment to this issue, and they agreed on the importance of continuing to work with key partners to advance the prospects for peace while opposing all efforts that would undermine that goal."
What you will not hear from the State Department or the mainstream press is that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is an illegitimate leader. He was elected to a four-year term as President in January 2005. That was eleven and a half years ago. They haven't had a presidential election since.
The Palestinian National Authority (in other words the "Ruling Elite") voted to extend Abbas's term - for one year to 2010. Later, the Palestinian Central Council (more elites) voted Abbas into office "indefinitely."
If you regularly watch "The Hal Lindsey Report," you have probably heard me say that real Islam is not compatible with real democracy. Abbas and his "indefinite" term is just one more example.
Another example is the terrorist organization which is also a political party - Hamas. In the Palestinian parliamentary election of 2006, Hamas won handily. But it didn't really matter. Until that election, the Palestinian Legislative Council served as the Palestinian legislature. But after that election, it ceased to exist! Abbas didn't want to deal with a Hamas-led legislature, so they stopped functioning. Shouldn't that register as a major scandal?
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization runs Palestinian affairs internally, and represents the Palestinian people to the rest of the world. But they do so unlawfully. Their members are not elected by the Palestinian people. They choose themselves. Again, this is more like a street gang than a legitimate government.
The Palestinian Authority is utterly corrupt from top to bottom. Money earmarked for schools, hospitals, and public relief go straight into the pockets of the ruling elite. There are dozens of examples.
Earlier this year, Najat Abu Bakr, a member of Abbas's party, accused him of using public funds to invest in a private water project. His cronies issued a warrant for Bakr's arrest. But she was a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Even though that legislative body has not been functioning since 2006, she was still immune from arrest. That's because in a culture of corruption, leaders put themselves above the law. In this case, it worked against them.
The rest of the world puts up with these shenanigans because they fear that real elections would result in Hamas coming to power throughout the Palestinian territories. The United States and the United Nations believe Abbas is the best they're going to get from these people. For that reason, they have chosen to hold their collective noses, ignore his corruption, ignore the fact that he holds his office illegally, and try to make a deal with him.
But even if they broker a deal with Abbas, he won't stay in power long. The people's loyalty still belongs to Hamas. When national elections are held again, expect to see Hamas come to power. And Hamas what will be there except promises that when it does, it will nullify every peace deal on the books.
Israel is being pushed hard by the U.N., the U.S., the E.U., and others to make peace with the Palestinians. But what entity actually represents the Palestinians? Who is Israel supposed to make peace with? The Palestinian Authority has no elections. It has an unelected, illegitimate leader. It has no real legislative body. It is utterly corrupt and dysfunctional, and seems doomed to fall to Hamas. Meanwhile, Hamas is a terrorist group unabashedly calling for the utter destruction of Israel.
Israel longs for peace with its neighbors, but it can't make a unilateral peace agreement. Peace takes two sides.
In the midst of all this confusion among the Palestinian and Muslim people, God has predicted his unbreakable plan for Israel's soon salvation,
"For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the (gentile) world, what will be their acceptance but life from the dead? And if their first peace of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if their root be holy, the branches are too ... for I do not want you, brethren, to be ignorant of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel UNTIL the full number of Gentiles have been saved; just as it is written:
'The DELIVERER will come from Zion, HE will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is MY Covenant with them, when I take away their sins.'
"From the standpoint of the Gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of GOD'S choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of GOD are irrevocable." (Romans 11:15-16; 11:25-29)
Israeli-Saudi Ties Warming; Hezbollah and Iran Livid - By P. David Hornik - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/73735/israeli-saudi-ties-warming-hizballah-iran-livid-opinion/#zOghGowr0uIZHalx.97
The Israeli society that I encountered embraces a culture of peace, has accomplishments it wants to (protect), wants coexistence, and wants peace.
Those words weren't spoken by an enthused congressman after a trip to Israel. They were spoken to BBC Arabic by Abd al-Mujid al-Hakim, director of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Policy in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, and a member of a Saudi delegation that recently visited Israel.
The delegation, which included academics and businessmen, was led by Dr. Anwar Eshki, a retired Saudi general and former top adviser to the Saudi government. About a year earlier Eshki had shaken hands and shared a stage in Washington with Israeli Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold-seen as a major breakthrough at the time. But a public visit to Israel of this kind, which could only have been carried out with the approval of the highest level of the Saudi government, is a historical first and still has a taste of the surreal to it.
During the visit Eshki met again with Gold; with Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, responsible for Israeli administration of the territories; with Palestinian officials in Ramallah; and with opposition Members of Knesset.
One of those opposition MKs, Issawi Frej of the far-left, mostly Jewish Meretz Party, said:
The Saudis want to open up to Israel. It's a strategic move for them. They want to continue what former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat started (with the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty). They want to get closer with Israel, and we could feel it clearly.
What's going on?
Israeli commentator Yossi Melman, while noting that the visit marks a new plateau in the increasingly overt Israeli-Saudi ties, points out:
[O]n a covert level, according to foreign reports, the ties being cultivated are even more fascinating. Intelligence Online reported that Israel is selling intelligence equipment, as well as control and command centers, to the Saudi security forces. Previously, it had been reported in the foreign media that the heads of the Mossad, the organization responsible for Israel's covert ties, met with their Saudi counterparts. Media outlets affiliated with Hezbollah even reported that officers from the two countries' armies had met.
What's going on, in other words, is that Israel and Saudi Arabia have common enemies in the region, and with American power withdrawing, Israel's power constantly growing, ISIS threatening, and the Obama administration having paved a path to nuclear weapons for Iran, the Saudis-like Egypt, Jordan, and other Sunni states-are casting their troubled gaze toward Jerusalem.
Or as Melman puts it:
Israel and the Saudis share a fear for Iran's nuclear program and Tehran's efforts to increase its influence in the region. They also both have an interest in weakening the standing of Hezbollah, "the forward headquarters" of Iran on Lebanon's Mediterranean coast. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks often of Israel's ties with the "Sunni Bloc," and hints that the Saudis are included in this group.
It appears that he need hint no more.
Last week's Saudi visit to Jerusalem-a dramatic, even stunning confirmation of Israel's cooperation with that bloc-did not go unnoticed, of course, by the rival Shiite bloc. And they're not happy about it.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah accused the Saudis of "normalizing for free, without receiving anything in return.... It seems the future of Palestine and the fate of its children have become a trivial matter for some Arab states recently."
The Saudi visit, he said, "couldn't have taken place without the agreement of the Saudi government. We know how things work there. In Saudi Arabia a person will be lashed for so much as tweeting."
But if Nasrallah is not pleased with this development, his boss-Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei-is even less thrilled.
As Khamenei tweeted on Monday: "Revelation of Saudi government's relations with Zionist regime was stab in the back of Islamic Ummah."
None of this means that the Sunni Arab part of the Ummah is ready to warmly embrace Israel. While in Israel last week, Dr. Eshki-like Egyptian and Jordanian officials before him-said that real "normalization" would have to await a resolution of the Palestinian issue. It's code for: "We're not really ready to accept a Jewish state in our midst."
Still, considering that Israel and Sunni Arab states used to fight wars every few years, a reality of nonbelligerency and pragmatic ties is a major improvement for Israel. Whoever is the next U.S. president might want to cooperate with the Israeli-Sunni alliance against Iran instead of giving the mullahs a "sunset clause" leading to nuclear night.
Another War Between Israel and Hezbollah Is Inevitable - By Michael Rubin - http://www.newsweek.com/another-war-between-israel-and-hezbollah-inevitable-489451?rx=us
On July 12, 2006, a Hezbollah unit crossed into Israel from Lebanon and ambushed two Israeli Humvees, killing three soldiers, injuring two and capturing two. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called Hezbollah's raid "an act of war."
When Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in May 2000, the Lebanese government refused to take responsibility for its own territory and instead ceded de facto control to Hezbollah.
The Israeli government held Lebanon as a whole responsible for the attack because Hezbollah's attack was launched from Lebanese territory and Hezbollah was a Lebanese group. Simply put, Lebanon couldn't have it both ways - embracing Hezbollah when it was politically expedient but distancing itself to avoid accountability.
What followed was a 34-day war. It was brief but bloody.
Hezbollah had stockpiled between 10,000 and 12,000 short- and medium-range rockets and a smaller number of longer-range missiles. It had placed several in underground bunkers designed and perhaps even built by North Korean engineers in the caves and mountains of southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah launched several thousand missiles into Israel, killing several dozen Israelis and striking cities like Haifa, which had not been hit in an Arab-Israeli War since Israel's 1948 War of Independence.
As Israel pounded Lebanon, taking out missile batteries and Hezbollah positions, the United Nations and a wide array of international diplomats demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan dispatched a three-member team to the region to urge all parties to exercise restraint.
On July 14, 2006, French President Jacques Chirac condemned Israel's retaliation against Hezbollah in Lebanon as "completely disproportionate." Russian President Vladimir Putin called Israel's "use of full-scale force" unacceptable, a somewhat ironic statement given that, a decade later, he ordered the Russian air force to carpet-bomb Syrian towns and villages without any attempt to distinguish between combatants and civilians.
Even the State Department got in on the game. "It is extremely important that Israel exercise restraint in its acts of self-defense," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters on the first day of the war. President George W. Bush sought to be assuring and said, "To help calm the situation, we've got diplomats in the region."
For then-Senator Hillary Clinton, diplomacy could not come quickly enough. "We've had five and a half years of a failed experiment in tough talk absent diplomacy and engagement," she told NPR. "I think it's time to go back to what works, and what has historically worked and what can work again."
Eventually, diplomats got their wish. The United States joined the international chorus calling on Israel to stand down, no matter that Hezbollah still posed a potent threat. On August 11, 2006, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1701, which called for a cease-fire and demanded that "there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than the Lebanese state."
It was rhetoric that diplomats could celebrate, but the reality was far different. "No army in the world will force us to drop our weapons, force us to surrender our arms, as long as people believe in this resistance," Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said.
Just a month after the cease-fire, he claimed to have restocked his arsenal in full and also claimed to possess 25,000 rockets. In the ultimate irony, the Lebanese defense minister blamed Israel for failing to finish off Hezbollah. "The army is not going to the south to strip Hezbollah of its weapons and do the work that Israel did not," he said.
Ten years on, it's perhaps wise to sit back and consider the price of a premature cease-fire. Forget, for a moment, that Hezbollah has shed any pretense of being a Lebanese nationalist organization and instead fights in Syria on behalf of the Syrian government and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Today, analysts and experts place Hezbollah's arsenal at between 120,000 and 130,000 rockets and missiles. Whereas in 2006 Hezbollah could strike only northern Israel, today its rockets and missiles can imperil every inch of the Jewish state.
U.N. and European diplomatic guarantees turned out to be nonexistent, and U.S. diplomats ignored Hezbollah's rearmament once headlines moved on. The Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, arguably President Barack Obama's signature achievement for the second term, has only made matters worse, as it has infused Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah's main suppliers, with cash.
When it comes to extremists' threats, the key to peace is seldom through diplomacy, nor do even playing fields resolve conflict. Rather, it's through a decisive, disproportionate and overwhelming victory in which as many potential attackers are eliminated as possible. Too often, cease-fires bring not peace but rather a shield behind which provocateurs can hide from the consequences of their actions.
Hezbollah is a formidable force today not only because of Iran's massive infusion of arms and equipment but also because of the fickleness of diplomats a decade ago. Had President George W. Bush held firm to his principles, and had Rice prioritized what was right above the affirmation of her peers, there would be no Sword of Damocles hanging over the region.
Alas, because of decisions a decade ago, the question is not whether a new Israel-Hezbollah conflict will occur but how many orders of magnitude greater the damage will be.
This week on 'The Hal Lindsey Report' - Hal Lindsey - www.hallindsey.com
December 5, July 14, July 24, July 26, August 4, and August 5, 2016. Those are some of the most prominent, but just a few of the dates that Islamic terrorism struck Europe.
Not the U.S. Not the Middle East. Not Africa. Not South America. Not Asia. Just Europe.
And just this year, which is barely half over.
No, you're not imagining it. Terrorism is increasing around the world. And increasing rapidly.
According to the nonprofit investigative group, Project on Terrorism, deaths from terror attacks have increased 800% since 2010. It reports that the number of deaths increased from 3,300 per year in 2010 to more than 30,000 per year today. That is massive.
When terrorists entered a Catholic church in a town in Normandy, France, during mass on July 26 and slit the throat of the priest as some of the nuns were forced to watch, perhaps Europe started to wake up.
Both the Archbishop of the diocese and the Cardinal in Paris finally articulated the obvious. This was the act of Satan. And those who choose to follow that path are in Satan's grip. The Cardinal suggested that Islam worships a "Moloch." That's a reference to an ancient demon god whose worship included parents burning their own babies as sacrifices to him. Of course, the offering of children by Muslim parents to die in Allah's cause is an obvious parallel.
The Cardinal shocked the media with his absolute political-incorrectness! But he spoke the truth!
Maybe we're finally beginning to summon the courage to do the same here in America.
Andrew Bieszad is a graduate of the venerable Hartford Seminary with a master's degree in Islamic Studies. Hartford is a Congregationalist seminary. The famous American preacher, Jonathan Edwards was a Congregationalist.
Writing for the National Association of Scholars, Bieszad warns that American religious academia "...has refused to question Islamic teachings, and has thus become a participant in promoting Islamic orthodoxy at the expense of academic integrity."
And he's talking about America's religious universities and seminaries!
Even Pope Francis adamantly refuses to admit that the ideology and theology of Islam has anything to do with the terror and chaos it is wreaking on Europe and the world. Instead, he attempts to equate Islamic "fundamentalists" (terrorists) with Christian fundamentalists (conservative Christians).
Pardon my French, but that is pure stupidity. (Or maybe devious deception.) Christian fundamentalists don't lop off the heads of people who disagree with them. But for those who want to reject Christ, it makes a great excuse.
On the other hand, that's pretty much what the Koran demands.
Of course, the world's press absolutely loves the Pope for saying it because they believe Christians are as dangerous as Muslims.
Folks, the Bible teaches that a coming world religion will draw people from all faith traditions into a new spiritual unity. They will adapt old creeds to a new orthodoxy. It will be one that eventually centers on the worship of Antichrist.
The true believers of Jesus Christ need to wake up and take a look at what's happening in our world.
Speaking of noticing what's going on. I have some amazing news for Christian believers who are washed clean in the blood of Christ. God ain't mad at you!
For those of you who have accepted the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary, yet walk around daily waiting for the other shoe to drop, stop it!
The "propitiation" of Christ's death has set you free. It turns away the wrath that God feels toward the curse of sin. It conciliates and reconciles you with a pure and holy God.
It means that God is not mad and you can rest peacefully in your relationship with Him. His justice is satisfied because the perfectly righteous man, Jesus Christ, took the wrath of God's offended righteousness and justice in the place of all men. You are free to rest in the security of His salvation and to live in the joy of His forgiveness.
God wants you to be powerful in Him (we're going to need that power to face what's coming) and that requires that you trust in His saving grace.
This week, I'm going to draw from my book, Amazing Grace, to tell you how to rest in that grace.
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, The Word Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
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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
Being at Peace - By John Lysaught - http://raptureready.com/soap2/lysaught64.html
It seems like the entire world is spiraling out of control. Those of us in the U.S. have it pretty good-for now, compared to Christians who are giving up their lives in regions of the world (where being a Christian equates with sure torture and death).
When I think we have it bad, I just think of those Christians who are at risk every day. It is all relative though, isn't it? We get upset when we see little Johnny getting in trouble at school for bringing his Bible or praying at lunch.
Yet I recall reading a news wire recently of a Christian family not faltering on their faith in a Muslim country-even after the rape of the mother and daughter in front of the husband/father and then the torture and death of the rest of family. None of them denounced Christ. I'm not dismissing our plight here in our country, but it begs the question: When will greater and greater repression start occurring here in the U.S?
Are we right to throw our hands up in anger and dismay when little Johnny can't pray over his lunch in the cafeteria at school? Absolutely. If we don't stand for these seemingly small or minor infractions against our faith, this will only snowball down the hill until we face unfathomable acts against-whether it means being locked up in jail for our faith or watching our loved ones get tortured to try to get us to denounce Jesus.
We can only hope and pray we are taken up in the Rapture before it gets back to the times of ancient empires of burning Christians at the stake as street lamps along roads. The slope of the demise of this world was very gradual and unnoticeable, but it has pretty much been on a steep downgrade for a few years now. And is just getting steeper and steeper as we approach the cliff.
Like a frog being put in a pot of cold water with the temperature slowly rising and unbeknownst to the frog, the next thing it knows is it is being boiled; we to are the frogs of this world. We only now know, as we look back over the last few years, how far down this world has gone and as Christians we are just now realizing we are about to be boiled in hot water by the world.
We don't know the time of our deaths, nor do we know the time of the Rapture, but until one or the other happens, we must survive this world and find peace in the face of hypocrisy and repression in knowing Christ has already conquered death.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 - "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all."
In Strong's Concordance (1515) one of the notes on "peace" means to rest. This of course begs the question of what rest is.
Matthew 11:28-29 talks about rest in the Christ, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. The word "rest" in Christ in these two verses (Strong's Concordance, 379) reference refreshment.
Therefore when we seek peace from the Jesus we are looking refreshment from Him. When we seek to survive this world, we can be assured that when we seek peace or rest in Christ, it is offered to us freely. I don't know about you, but the world runs me down just about every day and I need peace from Christ.
Terrorism is rampant. Evil is growing and getting bolder. Abortion rights are a rally call to justify murder. Public expressions of our faith are attacked and holding fast to our beliefs, our following of the Bible, is chastised to a point of marginalizing us as bigoted, ignorant, and not progressive in terms of what society deems as okay and just.
Is it wearing on us? Yes, it is. Not only are we in a spiritual battle with evil (Ephesians 6:12), we also must face and battle unsaved men and women. Man opposed to Christ seeks to sway society and shove their evil agendas down our throat to either get us to turn our backs on Christ or to get us to shut up so Satan can continue to devour as many as He can (3 Peter 5-8) before his time is up. With the peace of Christ, we can survive this world and have peace.
1 Peter 3:1 - "Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it." This verse is an example of seeking peace through God. In my search of versus, I couldn't find any saying otherwise. I didn't see any verse saying to conform to society, but to NOT conform to the world (Romans 12:2).
We are charged by the Bible, by God, to seek the will of Him so we can avoid being sucked into the vacuum of this world and the evil it holds itself too. By no means should we let the world drag us down, but instead pursue the peace of God at all times. By doing this, our focus will stay on God, not mankind, and the things of God will be in our hearts and minds.
The world tries to keep us in check, to keep us down. In our own country, look at the freedoms and repression we have allowed the government to bestow on us in the name of security and progressive ideas. These two things work in tandem to continue to walk us more and more toward having most everything in our lives controlled.
This includes our freedom to worship and evangelize the world with the Word of God. Being able to pray in public, mention Jesus at work, display our crosses, etc. are being taken away from us for the "betterment" of society and not to offend others (i.e. control society at large).
We are stuck in this whirlwind of chaos and we must find and keep our peace in Christ to not be affected or swayed by this. We must remain bold in our beliefs. Acts 28:31 tells us that the apostle Paul preached and taught about Jesus with boldness and was not stopped from doing so.
Shouldn't we have such boldness? God was with Paul, as He is with us. Mankind was unable to forbid Paul of speaking of Christ. To have his boldness would be awesome but the repression being pushed on us scares us of the consequences we will face, so we back off.
I admit I'm this way in some situations, but in others, I am bold. I do let fear get in my way a lot of the time. I do fear possible repercussions if I open my mouth to speak about Christ. My heart is bold, but by the time my thoughts gets to my vocal chords, the "umph" is gone. Then I curse myself for not speaking up and for passing up the opportunity to impart God's message of salvation and His wisdom when the opportunity was there.
I know I'm not alone in this because even Peter, who walked with Jesus, denied Him (Matthew 26: 69-74). This is no excuse, but shows we are fallible humans. Yet Peter recovered and was a great champion for the Lord in due time. We can be, too.
We can be bold through finding peace in God and receiving rest in Him as we conduct daily battles for our hearts, souls, and minds. Nowhere in the Bible does it say this will be easy. It will be difficult at times and we will face trials and tribulations as we live for and follow Christ.
The world wants us to hold our tongues and practice our faith behind closed doors and to keep the love and message of Jesus away from those who have not yet been introduced to Him.
We must hold on to Christ and fight, even if it is one person at a time, one situation at a time, to ensure we are not influenced and swayed away from our path with Christ leading to everlasting peace and love in heaven.? No one knows when we will be taken up in the Rapture but we must keep watch on hold fast to Christ.
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 24:44).
Daily Jot: FBI confirms IS at the border, White House in denial - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Despite constant denials from the "president" and his administration that the Islamic State is a threat, indications are quite the opposite. Beginning 18 months ago, The Daily Jot reported that IS operatives were setting up camp just 8 miles south of El Paso, Texas. Several sources, including the watchdog group Judicial Watch, law enforcement, and various state and government officials all confirmed that IS was operating in conjunction with the Juarez Cartel, a human and drug trafficking gang. Now Judicial Watch reports that the stories are confirmed by a captured IS operative in Ohio, even still the White House denies the presence of IS and its infiltration of the Southern US Border.
On April 15, 2015, The Daily Jot quoted Judicial Watch, "Mexican intelligence sources report that ISIS intends to exploit the railways and airport facilities in the vicinity of Santa Teresa, NM (a US port-of-entry). The sources also say that ISIS has "spotters" located in the East Potrillo Mountains of New Mexico (largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management) to assist with terrorist border crossing operations. ISIS is conducting reconnaissance of regional universities; the White Sands Missile Range; government facilities in Alamogordo, NM; Ft. Bliss; and the electrical power facilities near Anapra and Chaparral, NM." Fast forward to today.
Amidst White House denials of IS at the border, there is an arrest in Ohio. 35 year old Erick Jamal Hendricks was arrested last week and charged with conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic state. The Department of Justice (DOJ) says in its complaint that Hendricks created a sleeper cell with at least ten members, and that some of his jihadist "brothers" are just south of the US border in Mexico. The compaint says Hendricks tried to "recruit people to train together and conduct terrorist attacks in the United States." One of those recruits confirmed that IS had people across the border in Mexico and they were likely connected to the Garland, Texas terrorist attack in May 2015.
Some 18 days after Judicial Watch exposed, and The Daily Jot reported, that there was an IS terrorist cell 8 miles from the US border, the Garland, Texas attack occurred. Now a DOJ arrest and affadavit confirms a connection between IS in Mexico and this terrorist attack in the US. But the White House is still in denial. The "president" and the current Democratic candidate for President, Hillary Clinton, both are on the same page when it comes to immigration, border security and the Islamic State. Why are these leaders intent on denying that IS is using Mexico as a staging ground for attacks in the US? Will Clinton protect our national security? As Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you."
Daily Devotion: Missing the Point - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Then the LORD said, "You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn't I feel sorry for such a great city?" -Jonah 4:10-11
Have you ever been angry with God? Be honest. Maybe you were hoping something would happen in your life, and it didn't happen. Or maybe you prayed for something, and God didn't answer your prayer in the way you wanted Him to answer it. Then again, maybe God blessed someone else when you thought you were more deserving of that blessing.
Jonah was angry with God. While he was sitting outside Nineveh, waiting for it to be judged, the Bible tells us, "The LORD God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah's head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant" (Jonah 4:6). Then the Bible says the Lord brought a worm that ate the plant, causing it to die. So Jonah said, "Death is certainly better than living like this!" (verse 8).
Jonah seemed to be more concerned about losing his shade than he was about the people of Nineveh. He missed his comfort. He missed the whole picture. The people of Nineveh repented of their sins. They called it what it was, and God sent His healing.
The problem with Jonah was that he was preoccupied with himself. While God had spared thousands of lives, Jonah missed his shade. Here was a man who survived three days and three nights in a fish's stomach, a man who repented, prayed, and preached the truth to the people of Nineveh, a man whom God used to bring about a spiritual awakening. Yet he fell into sin.
It's a reminder that no matter how long we have known the Lord, we can still mess up. No matter how long we have known the Lord, we still may need to be revived again.
FROM THE HEART
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