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Prophecy Update Newsletter
September 14, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Unbelievably Amazing Destiny of the Church - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/unbelievably-amazing-destiny-church/
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6-7).
Even after years and years of answering questions about it, I am still amazed at how little most Christians know about what's ahead for the Church. I realize that many Church leaders have become earth centered, focused on meeting growth and financial goals in the here and now. In fact a recent Barna Group survey revealed that the top five indicators pastors use to judge their success are attendance, giving, number of programs, number of staff, and the square footage of their facility.
To me that's a shame because the Church is supposed to be a heaven centered organization focused on getting people ready to go there soon. Bringing people into the kingdom and preparing them for eternity should be the Church's number one priority (Matt. 28:19-20). You would think it would at least be in the top 5 indicators of success, but it isn't.
Paul said we should fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, because what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Cor. 4:18). To me that means we should pay more attention to our next life than we do to this one. After all we're going to spend a whole lot more time there. The problem is, most Christians know so little about our next life that even if they wanted to focus on it they couldn't tell where to begin.
Therefore, I invite you to spend the next few minutes thinking about something that will have eternal significance to you; the unbelievably amazing destiny of the Church.
Where Do We Go Next?
Let's begin at the beginning. When Jesus died for our sins and rose again He freed us from the penalty thereof, giving us the assurance of eternal life with Him. This is not only true of the Church, but of all those who believed in a coming redeemer and died before the Church came to be, and all those who will come to believe in Jesus after the Church has departed. Hebrews 10:12 tells us Jesus offered one sacrifice (Himself) for all time. That covers everyone from the first man to the last.
Those who either lived in the time before the Church or will live in the time after it, were (will be) required to give evidence of their belief that Jesus died for them by obeying God's laws, and can suffer a lapse of faith, even to the point of losing their salvation. I assume you know this to be true about Old Testament believers. Matt. 25:1-13, Rev. 14:12, Rev. 16:15 tell us it's also true about post Church believers.
The only requirement God has imposed on people who live during the time of the Church is that we believe in the one He sent (John 6:28-29). What's more, He has accepted the responsibility for seeing to it that we don't suffer a lapse of faith and has put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come (2 Cor. 1:21-22) so we can't lose our salvation. This manifestation of His grace is unique to the Church.
Also unique to us is the authority He gave us to become members of His own family (John 1:12-13). He made good on this by legally adopting us as His children, brothers and sisters of Christ (Romans 8:29) and co-heirs with Him (Romans 8:17, Galatians 4:4-7).
At the same time, He chose to begin seeing us as we will be after we've been perfected, calling us "a new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17), "holy and blameless, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish"(Ephes. 5:25-27), and having the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). He knows we'll be that way in the future, after He changes us from mortal to immortal, but He began seeing only the "future us" from the time we believed. He attributes our post salvation sins to the sin that still lives within us, and not to the perfect creation He now considers us to be (Romans 7:18-20).
These are the first indications that God looks upon the Church differently from any other group of humankind. If that was all He has done for us, it would be far more than we deserve. But in truth, it's only the beginning. The real differences will come into effect after He takes us to our eternal home.
Unlike Israel, the Church's destiny is not tied to a specific location on Earth. In fact our destiny is not on Earth at all. Our citizenship is in heaven, Paul said, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20).
While at present the Lord's Kingdom is in this world, Jesus said it's not of this world (John 18:36). In other words we don't belong here. The Church has no homeland on Earth. We are sojourners in a foreign land, and our heart's desire should be to go home where we belong. That doesn't mean we can't have a good life while we're here. It means we should know that, even on its very best day, life here can't begin to compare with being home.
Home At Last
Our journey home will be a short one, and it will take many of us by surprise, although we've been warned that it shouldn't (1 Thes. 5:4). One minute we'll be here, going about our business, and in the next we'll be there, having been changed from mortal to immortal and from flawed to perfect in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:51-53).
Jesus said He will come back to take us to a place in His Father's house that He's been preparing for us ever since He left (John 14:2-3). This is where we'll be safely hidden away while His Father visits the most extreme series of judgments in the history of mankind upon the rebellious world (Isaiah 26:20-21). This series of judgments is called the wrath of God in the Bible (Rev. 6:17). It will take seven years to complete and the Lord promised to deliver us from all of it (1 Thes. 1:10, Rev. 3:10).
During that time the Church will experience a series of events that couldn't possibly be more different from those taking place on earth. For the first time in our lives we will actually be face to face with the Lord and receive our welcome into the Kingdom, the voices of untold numbers of angels singing and shouting for joy ringing in our ears (Rev. 5:11-14).
We will have a joyful reunion with those whose spirits preceded us, and who will have received their resurrection bodies at the same time as ours were being changed (1 Thes. 4:16-17).
In describing this change John wrote, "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2) and Paul said, "He will transform our lowly bodies so they will be like His glorious body" (Phil. 3:21). Try to imagine a glorious body just like the Lord's, with abilities comparable to His.
We will attend an awards ceremony called the bema judgment where the Lord will reward us for the things we did at His direction and in His strength during our time on earth (1 Cor. 3:10-15, John 15:5). Jesus called these rewards "treasure in heaven" and said we should be more focused on storing them up than we are on storing up treasure on Earth (Matt. 6:19-21). That old saying "we can't take it with us" is certainly true, but the Lord said we can send it up ahead.
Our relationship with the Lord will be formalized. The Bride of Christ will become the wife of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6-8, Rev. 21:9). We'll be seated at His right hand, above all the ranks of angels, assuming our role as co-regents with Him (Ephes. 1:18-21, Ephes. 2:4-7).
So This Is Where We Live
We'll be shown our eternal home, the New Jerusalem. From the description in Rev. 21 it appears to be extravagant beyond all known standards, being made of the purest gold and and precious gems. The overall dimensions of the New Jerusalem seem extravagant as well. It will be almost 1400 miles in length and width and just as tall (Rev. 21:16-17). If it was located on Earth it would be much bigger than Israel, as big as western Europe, and nearly half as big as the USA. At nearly 1400 miles tall, it would extend into space well beyond the upper atmosphere and be 4,000 times as tall as the world's next tallest building.
Based on these dimensions, I don't believe the New Jerusalem will be on Earth, but instead will descend out of Heaven at the time of the 2nd Coming into an orbit in close proximity to Earth. Some speculate it will be triangular in shape while others say it will be a cube, but the Bible does not reveal its shape. (If it was a globe it would be 2/3rds the size of the moon.)
Our home won't need either the sun or moon to shine on it because the glory of God will give it light. In fact the light from our home will be sufficient to provide light for Earth as well (Rev. 21:23-24). Remember, in Matt. 24:29 Jesus said the sun and moon would not give their light after the end of the Great Tribulation. So we will be the light of the world after all (Matt. 5:14). There won't be a temple in the New Jerusalem because the Father and Son will be our Temple there (Rev. 21:22) just as we have been their temple here (1 Cor. 3:16).
The Bible doesn't provide any description of our individual quarters but from the general description of the city I think we'll find them to be just as opulent.
Some have asked why we will need such a spectacular home, and truth be told we probably won't. But remember, the kings of the Earth live in palaces that provide luxurious comfort far beyond their needs. Members of their families live in a way the rest of us can only dream about. How much more so should it be for the family of the King of the universe.
But more importantly, giving us only what we need was not the Lord's objective in building the New Jerusalem. Right from the beginning, His objective where the Church is concerned has been to demonstrate to ages yet to come the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephes 2:7). And wouldn't you expect Jesus, one for whom cost is truly no object, to throw the budget out the window when it comes to building something that will express His love for His bride?
Some wonder how we'll occupy ourselves in our new life. The Bible doesn't offer any detail on this, probably because there is no way we could compare life here with life in the hereafter. Paul, who did get a glimpse of it, said;
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
What we do know is that no group before or after us has ever been so blessed while on Earth, and His word tells us that no group before or after us will ever be so blessed in eternity. And the best part is we don't have long to wait to start receiving it all. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.
DISCLAIMER: We love Michael Snyder and appreciate his well-written and insightful articles, but we have to agree to disagree when it comes to his viewpoints concerning the Rapture and the Tribulation. We want to make it clear that we in no way endorse or approve of his Post Tribulation viewpoint nor his new book, "The Rapture Verdict." We believe that the Bible clearly teaches that the Church will not go through the Great Tribulation, but will be Raptured prior to the beginning of this time of Jacob's Trouble. Furthermore, we believe the Bible teaches that the Tribulation period can't even begin until we are taken out of the way! Some pre-tribulation ministries have completely banned Michael Snyder. For the time being, we will continue to post his very popular articles, but only with this disclaimer included.
Palestinian Authority Races to Get A UN Security Council Resolution Before Obama Leaves Office - By Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/palestinian-authority-races-to-get-a-un-security-council-resolution-before-obama-leaves-office
A little more than four months from now Barack Obama's time in the White House is scheduled to end, and the Palestinians know that their best chance of getting a UN Security Council resolution addressing their conflict with Israel is rapidly slipping away. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both greatly wooing the Jewish vote, and they both are making very strong pro-Israel statements these days. To many of you it probably isn't a surprise that the Palestinians are not exactly thrilled with the prospect of a Trump presidency, but the truth is that they are very leery of Clinton as well. If you doubt this, just check out this Al-Jazeera article. At this point the Palestinians are pretty much convinced that any action at the UN Security Council must happen while Barack Obama still holds the reins of power, and so they are in a race against time.
At a minimum, the Palestinians would like a UN Security Council resolution condemning any new Jewish settlement activity in the West Bank. And that is precisely what they are pushing very hard for right now...
The Palestinian Authority intends to accelerate its attempt to pass a United Nations Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, according to WAFA, the Palestinian News and Information Agency.
"The Palestinian leadership and in cooperation with the Arab League and the Arab ministerial group will hold contacts at the international level to speed up convening a Security Council session that should pass a resolution to stop settlements, which pose unprecedented and serious threat and creates a situation that would result in grave consequences," said Nabil Abu Rude, who is a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Needless to say, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is steadfastly against such a resolution, and he is alarmed by statements made by Palestinian leaders that seem to indicate that they want to remove every single Jewish person from territories under their control...
The Israeli leader also addressed the longstanding Palestinian Authority demand for a Jew-free Palestinian state; a requirement famously expressed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas when he exclaimed, "In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands."
"I think what makes peace impossible is intolerance of others. Societies that respect all people are the ones that pursue peace. Societies that demand ethnic cleansing don't pursue peace," Netanyahu stated in the video.
If we see a UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlement in the West Bank that would be significant, but there is another possibility that would be absolutely earth-shattering if Barack Obama chose to go that direction. Up until now, the U.S. government has always used their UN Security Council veto power to block any resolution that would formally establish the parameters for a Palestinian state and grant them East Jerusalem as the capital of that state. But earlier this year the Obama administration signaled that such a resolution was now on the table, and at this point Obama has just four months left to make a decision one way or the other.
If Obama decides to pull the trigger, such a resolution would be legally binding on the Israelis and the Palestinians, and neither Trump nor Clinton would be able to go back and change it once it is done...
This leaves only one option that isn't seen as unrealistic, unpalatable, or insignificant: to set down the guidelines or "parameters" of a peace agreement-on the four core issues of borders, security, refugees, and Jerusalem-in a US-supported UN Security Council resolution. Once passed, with US support, these Security Council-endorsed parameters would become international law, binding, in theory, on all future presidents and peace brokers.
Top US officials see a parameters resolution as Obama's only chance at a lasting, positive legacy, one that history might even one day show to have been more important to peace than the achievements of his predecessors.
Back in March, 388 members of Congress from both parties (including Nancy Pelosi) sent Barack Obama a letter urging him not to support such a resolution. So there is a considerable amount of political pressure on him not to do this.
But at this point he is a lame duck with nothing to lose. He always said that a Palestinian state was high on his list of priorities, and this is his final chance to do something about it.
If we do see a UN Security Council resolution, it is likely that it will upset both the Israelis and the Palestinians...
Any resolution the US supports will contain clauses that are difficult for each side to accept. The most troublesome issues for Israel are that the borders will be based on the pre-1967 lines and that the Palestinian capital will be in Jerusalem. The most onerous clauses for the Palestinians relate to recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, the absence of a timeline for Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, and a resolution of the refugee problem that would rule out anything but symbolic return to Israel.
And instead of promoting peace, it would actually just set the stage for a major war, but Obama doesn't really understand the dynamics of the Middle East. He just wants to "leave a legacy", and at this point negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are completely dead.
The only way that Obama is going to get something done before the end of his second term is at the United Nations.
There are five countries that have veto power on the UN Security Council, and the United States is the only one that has been standing in the way of a Palestinian state.
Obama has hinted that next time the U.S. may not use the veto power, and nobody is quite sure precisely what would happen if a resolution was put for a vote during the coming months.
Of course supporting a UN Security Council resolution formally dividing the land of Israel would be the worst move that Obama would make in his entire presidency, and this is something that I detailed on international television last month...
We are going to find out what happens one way or the other very soon, because January 20th, 2017 is just a little bit more than four months away.
Let's pray that Barack Obama makes the correct decision.
US, Israel finalize massive military aid deal - http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-israel-finalize-massive-military-aid-deal/
Ten-year, $38 billion agreement - 'single largest pledge of bilateral military assistance in US history' - to be signed Wednesday in State Department ceremony
Israel and the US on Tuesday finalized a 10-year defense deal, described as Washington's largest aid package to any country in history.
The defense package, known as the memorandum of understanding, "constitutes the single largest pledge of bilateral military assistance in US history," the State Department said Tuesday.
The deal is set at $38 billion and will be signed on Wednesday in a ceremony at the State Department in Washington. It replaces a previous deal that is set to expire next year.
The acting head of Israel's National Security Council, Yaakov Nagel, who touched down in Washington earlier Tuesday, will sign the agreement on behalf of Israel.
Under the terms of the deal, Israel pledged not to seek additional funding from Congress for the next decade. The agreement also includes a provision curtailing Israel's ability to spend the funds on its own arms industry over the next six years - a key area of dispute during talks. Washington had wanted Israel to spend a larger amount of the funds on American-made products. Currently, Israel can spend 26.3 percent of US military aid buying from its own domestic defense companies.
The US also reportedly wanted to remove a clause in the memorandum that allows Israel to spend $400 million a year on "military fuels."
The new aid package will see Israel receive $3.8 billion annually - up from $3 billion - starting in 2019 and through 2028.
According to earlier reports, Israel had asked for a separate, $400 million deal for missile defense spending - which could have raised the total amount to more than $4 billion annually. However, the final figure was set without that provision. "There was no higher figure ever discussed," the former Israeli national security adviser Ya'acov Amidror said Tuesday, describing the deal as "the best possible" accord.
The US has either jointly developed or financed all three tiers in Israel's missile defense program - Iron Dome (short-range missile interceptor), David's Sling (medium range) and Arrow (long range).
On Sunday, the Washington Post said that the aid deal - months in the making - had been held up by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was advancing his own bill for annual aid to Israel, which included a sum greater than the one reportedly being offered by the White House.
"I'm offended that the administration would try to take over the appropriations process. If they don't like what I'm doing, they can veto the bill," Graham said. "We can't have the executive branch dictating what the legislative branch will do for a decade based on an agreement we are not a party to."
Graham said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had informed him that his opposition to the deal was holding it up. "The Israeli prime minister told me the administration is refusing to sign the MOU until I agree to change my appropriation markup back," Graham said. "I said, 'Tell the administration to go F themselves.'"
According to Channel 2, Israel is effectively siding with the White House in the spat with Graham, making a commitment not to seek more financial support from Congress, with the exception of during wartime.
The aid package is seen in Israel as key to helping it maintain its qualitative military edge over potential threats in the region, including from an emboldened Iran flush with cash after many nuclear-related sanctions were ended over the past year in a deal signed with world powers.
For the US, Israel is a rare island of stability in a region in turmoil, as well as an ally on non-nuclear security issues in the region, including cyber warfare and efforts to rein in Islamist terror groups. Missile defense technologies developed in Israel using US funds are available to US defense contractors involved in the development. Some of these Israeli-made technologies are set to be deployed to protect US troops and allies in other global trouble spots.
In April, more than 80 of the 100 sitting US senators signed a letter calling on President Barack Obama to increase foreign aid to Israel and immediately sign an agreement on a new package.
Prophetic Lost Stone from High Priest's Breastplate Believed Found After 1,000-Year Journey - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel." Exodus 28:9 (The Israel Bible™)
Sometimes incredible stories are actually true, and in this case, experts agree that a small onyx stone, claimed to be given to a Knight Templar over 1,000 years ago and handed down through one family from generation to generation, is actually what the present owner claims: a gem from the breastplate of the High Priest in Jerusalem.
A Magical, Prophetic Stone?
The stones of the choshen mishpat, the High Priest's breastplate, were referred to in the Bible as the urim v'tummim, a phrase that defies translation.
And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aharon's heart Exodus 28:30
The Talmud (Yoma 73a) describes how questions were put to the breastplate, and the stones would light up to spell out the answer. The book of Samuel lists the urim v'tummim as one of the three forms of divine communication: dreams, prophets, and the urim v'tummim.
And when Shaul inquired of Hashem, Hashem answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. I Samuel 28:6
According to the Talmud (Yoma 21b), the urim v'tummim were lost when Jerusalem was sacked by the Babylonians. The Book of Ezra mentions that individuals who were unable to prove, after the Babylonian captivity had ended, that they were descended from the priesthood before the captivity began, were required to wait until priests in possession of urim v'tummim were discovered.
In addition to the 12 stones mounted on the breastplate were two sardonyx stones fixed in gold settings on the shoulders of the High Priest.
And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, to be stones of memorial for the children of Israel; and Aharon shall bear their names before Hashem upon his two shoulders for a memorial. Exodus 28:12
Experts believe this is one of those stones. If this is so, contained within it is the power of prophecy and it may play an important role in returning the Priestly Caste to serve in the Temple.
Discovery: Too Incredible to Believe
In 2000, Dr. James Strange, a noted professor in religious studies and archaeology, traveled to South Africa. An acquaintance suggested Dr. Strange contact a family she had met there and if he could, help them with a pro-bono appraisal of a gemstone. They were of humble means and Dr. Strange was a certified appraiser whose services were highly sought after.
Dr. Strange met with the family, intending to humor them. Instead, he was astounded by what they showed him. "I was indeed amazed at the gemstone," Dr. Strange told Breaking Israel News. The stone itself was nothing special. A semi-precious sardonyx, it had little intrinsic worth.
But Dr. Strange was puzzled by the object he held in his hands. "I was unaware that anyone in the late Middle Ages had the technology to cut a hemisphere in such a medium, so I tried to exhaust all other explanations," he said.
Even more astounding than the cut of the stone was the inexplicable inscription inside the stone, visible through the clear surface: two letters in ancient Hebrew. Dr. Stone wrote in his appraisal of the gem, "There is no modern or ancient technology known to me by which an artisan could produce the inscription, as it is not cut into the surface of the stone."
Dr. Strange was an expert but when faced with such a mystery, he sought help. He turned to Ian Campbell, Director of the Independent Coloured Stones Laboratory in Johannesburg and a leading South African gemologist. Campbell was equally dumbfounded.
He studied the stone, trying to ascertain its origin. The owner's story placing it on the High Priest's breastplate were too incredible. But the family had documentation that traced its descent from a Crusader-period male ancestor who had been in the Holy Land in the Middle Ages and claimed the stone was a reward from the High Priest. Could it be true?
The Thousand-Year Story
According to the Auret family tradition, the ancestor, named Croiz Arneet deTarn Auret, received the stone from "the High Priest" in gratitude for his part in freeing Jerusalem around 1189. The custodianship of the stone was passed on in the Auret family through the male line until the nineteenth century. That tradition was broken when Abraham Auret passed away in 1889, bequeathing the stone to his daughter, Christina Elizabeth.
After her marriage to William James Hurst, the stone left the Auret name, and has been passed on from mother to daughter ever since. Meticulously recorded family trees and genealogical reports corroborate the story. The stone was passed on as an inheritance and is presently owned by an elderly woman in South Africa, who wishes to remain anonymous.
It has been strongly transmitted to each member of the family through the centuries that it was God's hand that inserted the mysterious inscription inside the stone.
The mystery of the writing remained. Dr. Strange noted that the stone had no external markings, so it clearly hadn't been set in a ring or a necklace. He was forced to conclude that it had probably been set in a large plate or breastplate. He dated production of the stone to approximately the 5th century BCE.
As an appraiser, Dr. Strange could not erase all doubt, but he could certainly evaluate it as a one-of-a-kind. He appraised the stone's value at $175-$225 million.
The gemologist, Mr. Campbell, photomicrographed (photographing via a microscope) the stone, confirming it had not been cut open to make the inscription. When asked to estimate the value of the stone, Mr. Campbell wrote, "How does one logically go about putting a value to something like a proven religious artifact that is a 'one of' article?"
He estimated that $200 million was a "fair starting point".
The owner of the stone also consulted Professor M. Sharon from the University of Witwatersrand. The professor, an expert in ancient Hebrew, was given a photo of the stone. The blurry photographs hinted at something astounding but he had to be sure. Intrigued, he asked to examine the actual stone.
In his written report, he said that when he held it to the light, he was amazed to see very clearly inside the stone itself, two letters in ancient Hebrew. The letters seemed to be engraved or burnt into the heart of the stone.
"Due to the clarity of the letters and their fine definition it would be incredible if they are a coincidental natural formation in the stone," he stated in his notarized report. "The lack of any apparent sign of interference with the surface makes the existence of the letters inside the stone a real enigma."
He noted the inscriptions in ancient Hebrew script of what he described as "the equivalent of our 'B' and 'K'." He identified the style of script, dating it to be from the year 1000 BCE, give or take 200-300 years.
In 1994, Dr. Joan Goodnick Westenholz, who served as Chief Curator at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, examined the stone. She concluded, "It is a unique object that has no similar or identical counterpart; it is the only one of its kind in the world."
Dr. Goodnick Westenholz believed that the gem was "priceless", estimating the date of the stone's production to be approximately the 7th century BCE. She noted the inscription "in the shape of a possible letter is a ninth century form of an archaic Hebrew letter bet."
In her notarized report, she observed next to the letter bet "what can be perceived as the image of a wolf." She noted that the wolf corresponded to the blessing Jacob gave Benjamin.
Binyamin is a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he devoureth the prey, and at even he divideth the spoil. Genesis 49:27
But Is It True?
Dr. Westenholz , Dr. M. Sharon, and Ian Campbell have since passed away, but Breaking Israel News was able to confirm that their statements and documentation were genuine. Campbell's apprentice, Jeremy Rothon, confirmed the original appraisal and told Breaking Israel News that he was well aware of the stone's heritage. It had made an enormous impression on Campbell and he had discussed it at length with his student.
Dr. Strange remembers the stone very well, and is more convinced than ever of its authenticity. "A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then," Dr. Strange told Breaking Israel News. "I calculated then that if it were a fraud, then one or more very similar others would show up on the international market rather soon, but to my knowledge none has."
He called for new examination of the gem. "I think this object needs a new appraisal and as many scientific tests as possible to determine whether it is genuine," said Dr. Strange. "If it turns out to be an artifact important to the history of the Jewish people, then that is truly wonderful. If it turns out to be a masterful fraud, then I will be pained that I was duped."
The Journey Home
The present owner has contracted with a South African businessman to find investors who are willing to purchase the stone and bring it home to Israel. Both parties prefer to remain anonymous. When he saw the stone and understood what it was, the businessman was dismayed, understanding that it could easily turn into a commodity, an object of greed. He recognized that this small stone was an enormous part of Jewish history and set out to find an investor who would recompense the owner with the intention of bringing it to Israel and donating it to the Temple.
"I've been involved with deals like this before," he told Breaking Israel News. "There are pieces of Egyptian heritage in museums all over the world. People find something and sell it, without thinking about what it is. That is what is done and it is a shame, even more so with this stone. Several people have been trying to buy or sell this stone, turning it into a business. All I really wanted to do was get the stone back to Israel where it belongs."
Many people have begun to discount the Jewish connection to Israel and the Temple Mount, claiming the Jewish Temples are fairytale accounts. This small stone and its miraculous engraving that once lit up the High Priest's breastplate are proof that the Temple stood in Jerusalem, and may signal the return of more artifacts that have been misplaced, waiting to return home.
Nearing Midnight: The World Has Lost Respect for the U.S. - Todd Strandberg - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
The world's opinion of the United States as a serious world power has eroded markedly under the Obama Administration. America's overall image around the world remains largely positive. But when it comes to political and economic might, more people rank Russia and China ahead of the U.S.
Obama acts like America is some type of giant candy store. He thinks if he gives out enough free lollipops to all the other nations, they will repay his generosity with respect. This appeasement approach always fails because it never satisfies aggressor nations.
Last year, the White House headed a deal that gave Iran $100 billion in economic sanctions relief. A few months ago, the U.S. gave payments to Iran, totaling $1.3 billion. The money was said to be for the settlement of old deals from the 70s, but anyone with common sense knows it was for the release of five hostages.
All this money has not turned the mullah's of Iran into our friends. It has given them more impetus to flex their collective muscles. Currently they are working to capture a fresh batch of hostages. They are also harassing our ships in the Persian Gulf; four such incidents have been reported in less than a month.
In the most recent incident, the USS Firebolt was shadowed by seven Iranian vessels. Three of the vessels came within 500 yards and shadowed Firebolt for eight minutes. Then one of the Iranian vessels broke off and raced in front of Firebolt and "came to a stop directly in front of the ship" at a range of 100 yards, according to the official.
The most embarrassing encounter we've had with Iran is the January detainment of our American sailors. One of our ship's boats inadvertently entered Iranian waters due to navigational errors. The Obama Administration tried to claim that when Iran detained American sailors to just help them out.
A most precarious and demeaning situation emerged when the Iranians forced the sailors-at gun point, to make statements on camera which violated articles 13 and 17 of the Geneva Convention. The Iranians think this was such memorable event that they are building a statue of American sailors groveling on their knees.
The Russians have also been harassing our military forces. Last week a Russian fighter jet carried out an intercept of U.S. spy plane flying over the Black Sea. A U.S. Defense official said that there were multiple interactions between the two aircraft, and called the intercept by the Russian jet "unsafe and unprofessional." The incident lasted about 19 minutes and the Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter came within 10 feet of the US Navy P-8 surveillance plane.
While Russian jets are doing barrel rolls over our recon jets, we have the Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter nagging Moscow; telling them to not "interfere with our democratic processes." This was a reference to the FBI investigation into allegations that Russia hacked into computer systems of the Democratic National Committee.
Russian President Vladimir Putin knows that it's difficult to be absolute about hacking so he has been able to mockingly deny that his government had any involvement in the hacks. In one interview Putin said, "It's important" the contents of the DNC emails were made public.
The level of disrespect for America has risen to the point that Obama himself is having to deal with it. On his trip to the Group of 20 summit, Obama had a very awkward start to the meeting. The Chinese would not allow a staircase to be driven to the main doorway on Air Force One, forcing him to exit from a door in the plane's belly.
White House officials attributed the dispute to inexperienced, overzealous security officials rather than any premeditated effort to humiliate Mr. Obama. But the images of Chinese guards shouting at reporters and hassling the president's national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, are hard to explain away.
The chaotic arrival ceremony in China was a minor blip when compared to the verbal abuse Obama received from Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines' president, Duterte, said Obama was the "son of a whore"-when he learned that the American president was going to asking him about the killing of drug dealers. The ugly personal outburst forced Obama to cancel the meeting.
The status of America has fallen so far that people don't even realize the greatness of our past. After World War II, the U.S. had an economy that was larger than all other nations combined. Even though Bible prophecy made no clear mention of the U.S., many end-time writers find the need to include Uncle Sam in prophecy.
Thanks partly to Obama, there is no need to wonder about America's prophetic role. After the Rapture, the president will have the well-earned privilege of standing with those left behind to experience hell on earth. He can then stand in the front row of a group photo op at a future Group of 20 (G20) meeting, and own all of what he has purchased when he sold out America.
"Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein; and he that rolleth a stone, it shall return upon him. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Prov. 26:27; Gal. 6:7).
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
Why You Should Be Paying Attention to America's Quiet War on Cash - Shaun Bradley - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=646
A new war on cash is being waged that threatens freedom in a more subversive way than ever before.
Banks and governments around the world are cracking down on the use of paper money, and in turn, eliminating any anonymity left in the current system. Through strict rules on cash transactions and civil asset forfeiture laws, for example, the system has already instituted penalties for using cash.
But as payments evolve into a purely digital network, the consequences of this new paradigm are being brought into the spotlight.
The ability to track, record, and mediate transactions of all individuals is a power dictators throughout history could have only dreamed of. Those who value privacy are turning to alternatives like cash, cryptocurrencies, and precious metals, but these directly threaten central bank dominance.
This ongoing tug-of-war in financial innovation will determine whether we enter an age of individual empowerment or centralized enslavement.
As mundane as it may seem, the main reason for this push to go cashless is directly tied to what world central banks are doing to prop up their economies. The manipulation of interests rates to zero or even negative has left central banks no ammunition to fight off the next recession.
Without the ability to cut interest rates even further, stimulating economic growth is nearly impossible.
The decisions made in response to the 2008 crisis have led to a perverted environment in which customers could be charged just for holding money in their accounts.
As long as individuals have the ability to move their funds into paper currency and escape the losses, banks are still limited to how far they can push the envelope.
Regardless, the federal government continues to pressure banks into issuing "Suspicious Activity Reports" for withdrawals of even as little as $5,000. That amount will undoubtedly decrease if and when more people resort to stuffing cash under their mattresses.
Kenneth Rogoff, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, noted in a recent paper how a cashless world would expand banks' options:
"In principle, cutting interest rates below zero ought to stimulate consumption and investment in the same way as normal monetary policy, by encouraging borrowing. Unfortunately, the existence of cash gums up the works. If you are a saver, you will simply withdraw your funds, turning them into cash, rather than watch them shrink too rapidly.
Enormous sums might be withdrawn to avoid these losses, which could make it difficult for banks to make loans."
Conditioning the public to believe privacy and mere possession of cash are criminal acts is key to the establishment's push into this new digital model.
The media's focus on cash and Bitcoin being used to fund cartels, terrorism, and gang activity is just a smokescreen for the real agenda of complete control -- especially considering the big banks have already been caught laundering money for cartels and terrorist groups.
The disruptive role cryptocurrencies and precious metals will play in this grand scheme is yet to be seen, but for now, they're the best competition to the fiat dollar hegemony.
Bitcoin has been the trailblazer of blockchain technologies. With its mobility and limitless applications, it has created an entire frontier for entrepreneurial innovation.
Bitcoin's peer-to-peer network promotes free association, free trade, and increased privacy without needing a government or bank stamp of approval. With the help of free-thinking developers, the cashless revolution could take shape as an open-sourced network that empowers people in incredible ways.
The cashless central bank knockoff being put in place is nothing more than a trojan horse that, over time, will reveal itself as obsolete, like all other centralized models.
The transformative effect on communication that will come with the development of the internet offers some idea of what the blockchain will do for the financial sector. Peer-to-peer banking has done a better job of encouraging small business growth and entrepreneurship than any government policy ever has.
The rapid rise of Bitcoin's price created a frenzy of interest, but the volatility and hacking scandals that followed have stalled the momentum. If cryptocurrencies are going to have a real chance as a viable alternative to government paper, they have a lot to prove before they can win over the masses.
The blockchain ecosystem needs time to stabilize, and the public needs a chance to educate themselves on its potential. Until then, a balance between this new technology and more stable, time-tested assets can create a foundation for those seeking financial independence.
Gold and silver bullion shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to personal finance; with a hard asset that preserves wealth, losses from inflation and negative interest rates can be a thing of the past. Not only have they outlasted every government fiat currency in history, but they also provide a way to hold value off the books and transact anonymously.
With precious metals, there is no counterparty risk, and their worth isn't dependent on any government, bank or company. Having tangible assets directly in your possession assures the purchasing power of your savings is secure.
Euro Pacific Capital CEO, Peter Schiff, warned about not diversifying out of fiat currency:
"People should have an escape valve for their money, their assets. If you have substantial financial assets, the government is going to confiscate the purchasing power of those assets and spend it."
The government's crusade to restrict financial freedom is just beginning; as always, fear and propaganda will be used to condition the masses into submission. The personal responsibility needed to protect yourself from the inevitable changes in the system can be overwhelming, but without taking the proper steps, the current ruling class will make the decisions for you.
A cashless society is sold as a way to protect your identity, prevent crime, and create a safer world, but there is always a tradeoff.
The only cashless model that can succeed is a decentralized one that can sustain itself without bailouts or manipulation. Banks and governments aren't motivated by some noble vision for society; like all humans, self-interest is paramount.
If their power monopoly is threatened by cash, free speech, drugs, or anything else, that threat will be demonized and attacked with no mercy.
Although this technology based future has many unknowns, hopefully, the path we choose will create opportunities for entrepreneurs to make real progress against this financial oligarchy.
Daily Jot: Good citizenship matters - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
There are many articles and books being written about how the United States is under judgment and how the nation needs to repent. The news media and politicians usually are angered greatly by these assertions. "Certainly, it is those right wing Christian lunatics at it again," they might say. Everyone and anyone has license to ridicule those who believe that the moral decay of our nation starting at the very top--not only in this particular leadership, but several previous ones--is any reason that our nation is facing sure financial crisis, a breakdown of the family, a marriage crisis, a murder crisis, especially of the unborn, and continuous threat from Islamic terrorists.
In all fairness, perhaps Christians blame God too much for this condition. Much of the problems of this nation have been brought on by ourselves--we, as citizens. There are just certain principles that apply. If you spend more than you take in, you are in debt; if you allow the breakdown of the family structure, your society will reflect it; if your choices go against good wisdom, there are consequences. Enough people doing the wrong things brings an entire society down. There is also a collective nature to a society that God judges as a reflection of the people. Now is when people hit the unsubscribe button and run out of the room screaming, "I'm a good person. I didn't support these rogues. Its not my fault."
Examples of God judging the nations is seen throughout the Old Testament. God judges nations because the people of the nation, and His people specifically, are not living righteously. The nation suffers because of the condition of the people, and the nation also suffers because of the condition of the leadership. One good example is found in Ezekiel 22:30, "And I sought for a man among them, that should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Another is Proverbs 29:2, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn." You see, both people and leaders share responsibility.
Set aside politics and the United States. Let's look at the Kingdom of God. If followers of the Messiah do not impact their society, what will that society look like? Jesus told us in Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." He later says that we are the light of the world, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." These are commands for action. It is those who know Jesus who are to impact the world. Good citizenship in the Kingdom of God translates to good citizenship in your nation. When it is not exercised in deed and in accountability, the nation declines or faces judgment.
Daily Devotion: The Right Perspective - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Are our loved ones watching us in heaven? How much are they aware of what's going on in our lives?
Revelation 6 gives us a little insight on this topic. In verse 10, we read of those who have been martyred for their faith. They are saying with a loud voice, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" They are aware that the injustice they experienced has not been avenged. They are aware of the fact that time is passing. They are asking the Lord to intervene.
This is a good indication that in heaven we may know more than some people think we will know.
Often people go to extremes on this topic. Some think that our loved ones are watching everything we do and sending us messages and such. Others will say that people in heaven are oblivious about what's going on-that they've had a heavenly lobotomy and are sitting on clouds sleeping. These people reason that if there is no sorrow or tears in heaven, our loved one can't be aware of what's going on here on earth because they would be saddened by our suffering.
But both of those extremes are incorrect. From this passage in Revelation we know that there is some level of awareness of happenings on earth. To what degree, we don't know. But if we are being watched by our loved ones in heaven, I believe they would see everything with an eternal perspective. That is the key.
My grandson Christopher sometimes comes to me with his little battery-operated trains. "Papa, it is broken!" He is sad. His world has just ended. He doesn't have my adult perspective.
I have a screwdriver. I have more batteries. I have got him covered. I am going to fix it. He doesn't have to worry about it. He might be sad, but I am not, because I know the outcome.
It's all about having the right perspective.
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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