Prophecy Update Newsletter
October 11, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Tin-Foil Hat Brigade - Pete Garcia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8320
You know who you are. You're the person other people tip toe around when it comes to discussing current events or religion. You are the person who can spend hours devouring scripture or news with equal vigor, pointing out 'last days' events to anyone who would listen to you. You are semi-shunned at church. You are disinvited from church socials, because you are just too intense and narrow-minded. You're called a 'conspiracy theorist' or a 'Jesus Freak' behind your back. You're always going on about the Lord's return and that "Rapture thingy". Admit it. You are one of them, one of those "prophecy nuts".
Isn't it ironic how that we live in the most prophetically active times since the days of Christ, and yet the world has somehow reached the pinnacle of its skepticism and cynicism? Now, I'm not even talking about the unbelieving, Christ rejecting world. They have always been skeptical and mocking of our faith. But it would seem that the trend these days within the majority of professing Christendom, is to join in on the mocking of those who believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture and literal understanding of future events as laid out in the Bible.
When Christ walked the earth, the dominant world super-power at the time was Rome, and they worshipped the god's such as Diana and Jupiter. Furthermore, Jesus Himself performed hundreds of miracles, the biggest of which was bringing Lazarus back from the dead, and then resurrecting Himself, after the most brutal, public, and painful death a person could have...being publically flogged, then nailed naked to a cross to suffocate to death. No faking that. And yet, the nation was not convinced.
For the last 150 years, Christianity has spent a significant amount of time and energy trying to defend itself against secular science and academia. But by spending so much time and energy trying to quantify and validate our belief, we have in large part, neglected the supernatural aspect of our faith; primarily that we worship a God who exists outside of time and space. Even though our faith isn't indefensible by any stretch of the imagination, we still believe in things that can't be tested in a laboratory.
Yet, why do so many professing Christians find it ridiculous and hard to believe, that the Church age will also come to an end?
Instead, when we bring the idea up that Christ will soon return for His Church and we are relegated to the 'tin-foil hat' group who go around promoting conspiracies? Is Christ's return for His Bride a conspiracy?
But it is a biblically based one, and Satan hates it. In fact, he has invested almost two thousand years trying to debunk it...yet, it will not go away. What I don't understand though, is that these same Christians who will give credence to the prophecies that foretold Christ's first coming, seemingly apply a completely different standard of interpretation to the prophecies concerning His second coming, and thus, become dismissive of them. Two of the biggest groups of Christian skeptics, are the Preterists, and Amillennialists, who in varying degrees to try say that all that 'prophecy stuff' has already happened, and the world will just keep going on in endless cycles.
But considering that all of the prophecies concerning Christ's First Advent were literally fulfilled, let us use an equal standard of measure concerning Christ's Second Advent. To do that, we take Christ's own words;
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3
Now, consider these two points;
In Matthew 26, Christ has been taken and brought before the Sanhedrin, where they are conducting an impromptu and illegal court session, bringing in false witness after false witness, trying to throw anything and everything at Him to see what would stick. Yet through it, Christ remained silent, letting his accusers hurl their baseless charges at Him. But at a certain point, the Pharisee's had become incensed at the lack of His participation...
And the high priest arose and said to Him, "Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?" But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." Matt. 26:62-64
According to Numbers 23:19, God is not a man that He should lie, so Christ here, under oath to Himself, swore that He would return, and even they (those that pierced Him) would see Him coming with clouds and in power and glory.
The Book of Revelation was written in the mid 90's and here is the message John received on the isle of Patmos, some 35 years after the siege at Jerusalem, and 63 years after His crucifixion;
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7
And since those who had crucified Him had already died, and you and I exist today, wouldn't that include our eyes? I don't know about you, but I know I have not yet seen Him come back, so this MUST still be a future event, destined and determined to happen by God.
Then we have the Apostle Paul's epistles, which overwhelming teach an expectant, imminent return of Jesus Christ for those that are His. We are referred to as a 'bride' (2 Cor. 11:2), Christ's body (Col. 1:18), and simply the Church of God (1 Cor. 10:32). And so it was Paul's ministry to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:8), and he taught us that Church will not be subject to the coming wrath, but will be delivered beforehand. (1 Thess. 5:1-9)
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thess. 4:15-17
Satan hated Christ's first coming. God told him about this at the Garden in Genesis 3:15, and ever since, Satan has been invested in trying to corrupt mankind to the point for which a Messiah could not come out of the race of man. But as God began narrowing down which tribe from the race of man the Messiah would come, Satan also began focusing on whom his wrath would target, which we know now was the Hebrews, then Israel, and then the Jews.
But Christ came and did exactly as was prophesied, even confounding the rulers of that age by dying (allowing them to kill Him), because that would once and forever, secure His victory over sin, death, and hell.
However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Cor. 2:6-8
But even more so, Satan hates the fact that Christ will come again, this time to dethrone him as the defacto rule of this age. (2 Cor. 4:4) Satan despises the Church, because we are untouchable in regards to our salvation. But like I mentioned in the previous brief, our eternal security is not going to prohibit Satan from doing his best to render us ineffective. That is the only tool he has left in his kit bag against Christians. So he has invested much energy in turning the world's opinion against even the possibility that Christ could/would return.
The Pre-Tribulation Rapture then is just icing the cake, because when we are caught up, we will be transiting through Satan's domain. (Eph. 2:2, 6:12), and will be victoriously paraded in front of the entire Satanic host as Christ's prized possessions of untouchables. In fact, I think that Michael the Archangel makes the announcement with a shout, so that all the angelic hosts of heaven will line our parade. The Rapture will be then, a divine rubbing of salt in Satan's wound. After all, aren't we supposed to be salt and light? And as much as salt is a preservative, it's also an irritant...and we have been an irritant to Satan and his agenda now for 2,000 years.
The Bible contains literally hundreds and hundreds of promises from the Lord, concerning His coming back to earth to deliver His people and to establish a kingdom here. The only problem is that many professing Christians have quit believing in them, and thus have quit looking for the Lord to return.
They have become embittered toward the whole subject, and not only are not looking, but do not even want to talk about it. This has always puzzled me, because as Christians, our great hope is Christ, and ultimately heaven. Yet many Christians have become all too invested in this life, not realizing, that our time here on earth, is but a fleeting moment on the timeline of eternity.
We will spend infinitely far more time in the next life, than we ever could in this one. Yet, so few Christians have anything invested into it. They've bought into the skepticism of preterism, or the man centered theology of Dominionism. Many have bought into the notion that we are the kingdom now...despite the world crumbling around them. Many have relegated His return as an unimportant or trivial secondary issue, ignoring the passages where Christ chastised the Pharisees for not knowing the times in which they lived. (Matt. 16:1-4) And so the number of faithful, watching believers today continues to dwindle down to a remnant. Even Christ wondered if there would be faith on earth by the time He came back. (Luke 18:8)
So knowing what we know from Scripture, Christ will return again one day, first for His Church, and then secondly in judgment with His Church. (Jude 1:14; Rev. 19:7-10, 14) Furthermore, even if we are almost 2,000 years removed from when Christ walked the earth, the implications are that we have more information now, than we ever did to validate our supernatural faith. As the most prosperous nation, we were blessed with a complete Bible, religious liberty, and the nation of Israel stepping back into history, after a 1,900 year diaspora. If believing those things makes me a 'prophecy nut' sign around my neck, then I will gladly wear it. If it puts me in the "Tin Foil Hat" Brigade, then sign me up, because...
Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Luke 12:37-40
The Dangers of Demanding the Quick Creation of a Palestinian State - By Stephen M. Flatow - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=712
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas suffered chest pains this week and was rushed to a hospital in Ramallah. The episode was an important reminder of the dangers and risks Israel will face if it heeds demands for the quick creation of a Palestinian state.
In recent weeks, the S. Daniel Abraham Center has been sponsoring full-page ads in The New York Times calling for a Palestinian state. The Obama administration this week issued an overheated condemnation of Israel for approving the construction of a handful of houses for Jews, because that construction might interfere with the emergence of a Palestinian state.
And there have been reports that the United Nations, perhaps with the support of President Obama, will soon issue some new Palestinian statehood resolution.
Abbas is 81-years-old. His recent heart episode illustrated the fragility of his health. And, at his age, if it's not his heart, it will soon be something else. One of these days, and it won't be long, he will no longer be physically able to govern the Palestinian Authority (PA).
So, let's imagine for a moment if Israel were to listen to Obama, the U.N. and S. Daniel Abraham and permit the creation of a fully sovereign Palestinian state. And then imagine if, shortly after signing a statehood agreement with Israel, Abbas is incapacitated. What would follow?
There are, I think, two possibilities.
The most likely scenario is that the terror group Hamas would take over. It has the troops and weapons needed for a coup. They already defeated Abbas's Fatah forces and took over Gaza nine years ago.
And Hamas has widespread support among ordinary Palestinians judging from the results of the few elections that Abbas had permitted over the years.
So Hamas, which openly advocates the annihilation of Israel and the genocide of Israel's 6.4 million Jews, would be in control of a full-fledged state with borders straddling Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The new Hamas regime could bring in tanks and planes, not to mention missiles from North Korea and "volunteers" from Iran. A lone Hamas terrorist with a shoulder-fired rocket would be within striking distance of planes taking off from Tel Avivs Ben Gurion Airport.
Perhaps after he brought down a plane or two, the U.N. would pass a resolution expressing concern about "the escalation of Israeli-Palestinian violence."
The other scenario would involve some non-Hamas official from the PA succeeding Abbas. Now, if Abbas had spent the past 23 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords educating the Palestinian public to embrace peace, perhaps there would be a chance of a peace-minded leader emerging to succeed him.
But instead, PA schools became anti-Israel indoctrinating centers, PA summer camps were used for teenage military training, and the official PA news media saturated Palestinian society with glorification of terrorists as "heroes" and "martyrs."
PA cartoonists drew images of Jews that rivaled those of the worst anti-Semites through the ages. Then-Senator Hillary Clinton called the PA's anti-Jewish education "child abuse."
Considering the ideas and values that the Abbas regime has propagated for 23 years, which is more likely; that his successor will be moderate, reasonable, and devoted to coexistence with Israel, or that his successor will be extreme, violent, and dedicated to destruction of the Jewish state?
One can understand why the Obama administration, the S. Daniel Abraham Center, and J Street have in effect adopted "Quick, give him a state!" as their motto.
If Abbas doesn't get a state right away, he may not be around to get it at all. And then Israelis (and American Jews) would see, once and for all, how foolhardy it would be to put Israel's fate in the hands of unstable Palestinian dictators.
Have the End Times Begun? - Jay Johnson - https://sputniknews.com/radio_connecting_the_pieces/201609301045875460-have-the-end-times-begun/
End time prophecies are drawing near as American forces reach Dabiq, a place that the Prophet Mohammad specifically noted. Christianity says that Damascus will be in ruins, while Albert Pike said that Islam and Israel would destroy each other.
One night, the General decided that he had the solution to the problems that the America was facing, so he decided to take the fate of his nation into his own hands. He crafted a number of orders for the men on his military base to follow. He then ordered his pilots to drop a nuclear bomb, thus kicking-off World War III, which, at least according to his calculations, would have America come out on top, and allow it to survive a nuclear holocaust with an acceptable loss of only "10-20 million people". Of course, no one else in his chain of command subscribed to his crazy ideology of a first strike, and that is why he took in initiative. Now, if you think this plot sounds familiar, that is because it is. It is the 1964 Stanley Kubrick movie - "Dr. Strangelove". In that movie, a crazy man kicks off a series of events that destroy the planet, and despite the best efforts of other people to stop the looming apocalypse and the subsequent lessons that should have been learned, the leaders continue to fight and even propose a Nazi Übermensch/harem like program where -"200k people should be saved...the gender ratio should be ten females to each male" and the women selected for their sexual characteristics, and the men selected on the basis of their physical strength, intellectual capabilities, and importance in business and government." Crazy, right?
Speaking of crazy, a few weeks ago, in August, Turkey invaded northern Syria. The generally accepted idea, at the time, was that it was joining the West's fight against the Islamic State, although many analysts point to invasion as more of a "taking the fight to Turkey's proclaimed enemy - the Kurds, in order to not let them establish a territory of their own." Of course, as the Middle East Online wrote - "The Kurds were the only effective force on the ground in the fight against ISIS." So, just let that sink in. The only group on the ground taking the fight to the crazies was now being attacked by a nation-state.
Then, a few weeks later, a ceasefire was negotiated between the two major powers in the region- America and Russia. ABC reported that - "The United States and Russia have hailed a breakthrough deal to put Syria's peace process back on track, including a nationwide ceasefire, improved aid access and the joint targeting of banned militant Islamist groups." Of course, this wasn't the first ceasefire, but the document that was signed in Geneva was hailed as a major step forward. There was optimism in the air.
Then, not even two weeks later, everything changed. CNN reported that - "US, British, Danish and Australian aircraft may have incorrectly assessed intelligence and targeted a site that killed more than 60 Syrian (Syrian Arab Army soldiers) near Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria." That's right. Although it is unknown as to why it actually happened, the fact remains that it did happen. And although mistakes do sometimes happen, it also just so happens that the Islamic State was able to capitalize on this "mistake", as they launched an attack immediately afterwards. And of course, this meant that the ceasefire was dead.
Immediately afterwards, several things may or may not have happened. Sputnik reported that -"The Syrian intelligence possesses an audio recording of conversation between Daesh terrorists and US military prior to the Washington-led coalition's airstrikes on the government troops near Deir ez-Zor". While Farsnews reported that-Russian warships fired three Caliber missiles at the foreign officers' coordination operations room in Dar Ezza region in the Western part of Aleppo near Sam'an mountain, killing 30 Israeli and western officers.... Several US, Turkish, Saudi, Qatari and British officers were also killed along with the Israeli officers. The foreign officers who were killed in the Aleppo operations room were directing the terrorists' attacks in Aleppo and Idlib." Get that? Foreign officers, from countries that, at least on paper are fighting the Islamic State, were directing the terrorist attacks in Syria. So, who exactly ARE the bad guys?
And hidden among all of this, there are rumors that America has now established up to 7 bases in Northern Syria. Of course, Reuters reported back in March that - "The United States has nearly finished setting up an air base in Kurdish-controlled northern Syria and was proceeding with the construction of a second base for dual military and civilian use," so, this isn't new news. But, the fact that America has boots on the ground is troubling, considering that in 2013, President Obama said - "He did not "foresee a scenario in which (there would be American) boots on the ground in Syria." And yet, here we are. So, why is this important?
Well, according to The Express - "US special forces are encircling a jihadi stronghold in Syria claimed by ISIS to be in old Islamic prophecy as the site of the final battle - triggering the apocalypse." The article goes on to note - "Dabiq - a tiny town in northern Syria - will see a "Major apocalyptic showdown with the armies of the infidel" that will result in the collapse of civilization....and Turkish troops backed by American commandos are understood to be just three miles from the town." That's right. In fact, the town is so important that - "ISIS even named its terrorist propaganda and recruitment magazine after the settlement. Jihadists believe the Prophet Mohammed remarked that "the last hour will not come" until an army vanquishes the Romans at "Dabiq or Al-A'maq". Romans, in this case, could arguably be Americans, or westerners, or even Christians.
But, it isn't just Islamic prophecy at play here. Christianity also notes that Syria plays a role at the end of times. Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city on the planet, and has witnessed at least five thousand years of human history. An unfulfilled biblical prophecy notes that-"The city of Damascus will become a heap of ruins, utterly destroyed. Few, if any, buildings will be left standing." And as crazy as that sounds, just search for images of the cities of Syria to see what they look like. In fact, the final battle is called Armageddon and according to the bible - "the [kings of the world] will meet and fight at place called Meggido", which apparently is in Northern Israel and is only an 8 hour drive from Dabiq.
Religious prophecies aside, there is a third prophecy about end times that could be about to come into play. Albert Pike, author of Morals and Dogma, an esoteric philosophical book about Freemasony, allegedly predicted three world wars and wrote about them in a letter back in the 1870s. He wrote - "The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the 'agentur' of the 'Illuminati' between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other. Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustion...."
As news events continue to come at a faster pace, maybe we should take a moment to appreciate the gravitas of the situation. Deutsche Bank may be the new Lehman Brothers, kicking off the next round of a financial meltdown that could bleed over into the real economy, thus leading to more people not working and more difficult times for the average man. The armies of the world are not only gathering, but are fighting in one, very small country. Not against each other, at least not yet. Terrorist attacks and general uprisings are starting to become an everyday news item, not only in America, but in Europe as well. All of these things, and more, are also mentioned by end of times biblical prophecies.
Will ISIS Prepare the Biblically Promised Land for Israel at End of Days? - By Rivkah Lambert Adler - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"And ye shall inherit it one as well as another concerning which I lifted up My hand to give it unto your fathers; and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance." Ezekiel 47:14 (The Israel Bible™)
Could ISIS have an unexpected role to play in preparing to restore the original borders of the Biblical Promised Land to Israel? That's exactly what Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel suggested on a recent radio show on the Land of Israel network.
Rabbi Gimpel suggested that ISIS could be seen as a divine tool used to prepare the region for a second-stage fulfillment of Genesis 15, which promises Abraham that his children will inherit a plot of land significantly larger than the current State of Israel.
In that day Hashem made a covenant with Avram, saying: 'Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates. Genesis 15:18
The Biblical prophecy in Genesis 15 promises the Children of Abraham all the land from the Nile River to the Euphrates River. This includes all of modern-day Jordan and Lebanon, the majority of Syria and parts of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Yet, two chapters later, we see that the promise of a wide swath of land in the region is reduced to just the Land of Canaan.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. Genesis 17:8
What happened in between these two chapters that dramatically reduced the territory promised to Abraham's descendants through his son Isaac? Ishmael was born.
In his book The Ishmaelite Exile: The Truth Behind the Headlines, Rabbi Yechiel Weitzman explained that "God's promise is kept in its entirety, albeit in a divided manner. The territory within the bounds of the promise is the possession solely of Avraham's offspring. This includes Ishmael, who took the larger share."
This is clearly the case, as the State of Israel currently has dominion over only a tiny fraction of the territory that stretches from the Nile to the Euphrates. The rest of the land is dominated by Arab countries. However, Rabbi Weitzman reassures his readers that "in the future these areas will also revert to the ownership of the nation of Israel."
Rabbi Gimpel suggested one scenario for how that could happen when he said, "I'm watching ISIS and they're destabilizing pretty much, if you look at a map, all of the Biblical Promised Land from the Nile to the Euphrates. That entire region is being destabilized by ISIS. [T]his destabilization is just making empires fall and monarchies fall."
He offered an example of how ISIS activity has dramatically weakened at least one of the countries that is part of the larger territory promised in Genesis 15. "I mean Syria is an absolute shambles. To see the aerial footage of what Syria looks like now, it's like an apocalyptic movie, but in real life. All of the building are empty and half-destroyed and crumbled. And it's happening all over the Promised Land, from the Nile to the Euphrates."
If ISIS succeeds in toppling existing governments in the region, it could pave the way for Israel to step in and take over, without having to go to war against strong and stable nations.
Rabbi Gimpel pointed out to to Breaking Israel News that, according to some rabbinic opinions, Ezekiel 47, specifically verses 15-20, outline the expanded boundaries that will be part of the Land of Israel in Messianic days.
And this shall be the border of the land: on the north side from the Great Sea by the way of Hethlon unto the entrance of Zedad; Hamath Berothah Sibraim which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazer-hatticon which is by the border of Hauran. And the border from the sea shall be Hazar-enon at the border of Damascus and on the north northward is the border of Hamath. This is the north side. And the east side between Hauran and Damascus and Gilead and the land of Yisrael by the Jordan from the border unto the east sea shall ye measure. This is the east side. And the south side southward shall be from Tamar as far as the waters of Meriboth-kadesh to the Brook unto the Great Sea. This is the south side southward. And the west side shall be the Great Sea from the border as far as over against the entrance of Hamath. This is the west side. Ezekiel 47:15-20
This idea, that in fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, the Jewish people will expand the borders of Israel in Messianic days, may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. Although he did not speak to the plausibility of ISIS serving as a divine tool to restore Israel, End of Days expert Rabbi Pinchas Winston did indicate that more land in the region will come under Jewish dominion at the End of Days.
Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News, "We were promised ten lands but only received seven upon entry. We will get the other three after Moshiach (Messiah) comes."
Nearing Midnight: A New Cold War - Todd Strandberg - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
Ties between Russia and the U.S. have greatly deteriorated in the past few years. The down- turn started in 2012 when Russian General Nikolay Yegorovich Makarov said that there is a possibility of a preemptive strike on new missile defense sites in Eastern Europe. Also that year, nuclear armed Russian forces began shadowing the American border.
Relations between the two nations went into a nose dive in 2014 when Moscow annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea on the basis of a referendum. Over the next two years, six rounds of sanctions were imposed on Russia. The first three rounds targeted individuals close to Putin by freezing their assets. The other three sanctions cut off Russian corporations from Western financing.
Another strain has been a series of hacking attacks by Russian agents. In October 2014, Russian hackers exploited a software bug to spy on computers used by NATO, the European Union and Ukrainian energy companies. Hackers linked to Russian intelligence services stole and leaked 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, warned Russian not to "interfere with our democratic processes."
Edward Snowden, the contractor for the United States government who copied and released hundreds of thousands of pages of secret government documents has added to the strain. He fled to Hong Kong and then to Russia; in July of 2013 Russia granted him political asylum
The Syrian civil war is the current source of tension between Washington and Moscow. The government of Syria receives technical, financial, military and political support from Russia, while the U.S. favors several rebel groups. The U.S. blames Russia for indiscriminate bombings that have killed civilians.
The mistrust is taking its toll on previous treaties. Last week, Putin cited Washington's "unfriendly actions" as the reason for him ending a pact on the disposal of nuclear material. Under the agreement, Russia and the U.S. each were to destroy 34 metric tons of plutonium, enough material for about 17,000 nuclear warheads.
I find it strange that Obama would be at odds with Vladimir Putin. In his nearly eight years in office, he has made friends with nearly every dictator on the planet. He even refuses to directly condemn Islamic terrorists. I guess it is just fitting of his destructive nature that he would choose to lock horns with a guy who controls thousands of nuclear weapons.
The liberal media has given very little coverage to the souring of the relationship between the U.S. and Russia. Since the press operates under the idea that Obama is a faultless president, a return to the Cold War under his watch is unthinkable.
It should have been obvious to all that Obama and Putin hate each. They were engaged in a death stare as the two leaders met at the G-20 summit in China. Our former Cold War presidents had many meetings with their Soviet counterparts during some trying times, but I've never seen footage of one that looks like it was about to turn into a boxing match.
The Russian press has no delusions about the rising tension. Several news organizations in Russia have issued a chilling warning that war with the West could be imminent. Zvezda, a nationwide TV service run by the country's Ministry of Defense, said last month, "Schizophrenics from America are sharpening nuclear weapons for Moscow."
Obama may hate Putin, but he has avoided getting into armed conflict with him. Many members of his administration have called for action that would put Russia and the U.S. in direct conflict with each other. The New York Times recently published the audio of Kerry in which he says he had "lost the argument" for the use of force against the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
"I think you're looking at three people, four people in the [Obama] administration who have all argued for use of force, and I lost the argument," Kerry said. "I've argued for the use of force."
The strain between Russia and the U.S. would get even worse if Hillary Clinton were to win next month's election. She has a much deeper hatred for Putin and she is a war hawk. When Clinton was secretary of state, she pressured Obama to take more aggressive military action in a variety of conflicts, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, and Syria.
Bible prophecy tells us that Russia will someday lead an attack against Israel. The growing hostility between the U.S. and Russia may not be the catalyst. But if Putin did have any hesitancies about upsetting America, that is clearly no longer a factor.
"After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought" (Ezekiel 38:8-10).
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
The Messiah in Yom Kippur - Written by Robin Sampson - http://www.theignorantfishermen.com/2009/09/messiah-in-yom-kippur.html
Christians know that Jesus has provided our atonement: "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:23-24). God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. Jesus' death surpasses and replaces the atonement ritual of the Jewish Temple. The book of Hebrews explains the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement as a pattern of the atoning work of Christ. Jesus is our high priest, and His blood shed on Calvary is seen as symbolized in the blood of bulls and goats. As the high priest of the Old Testament entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of his sacrificial victim, so Jesus entered heaven itself to appear before the Father on behalf of His people (Heb. 9:11-12) (Killian n.d.).
The Old Testament tabernacle was designed, in part, to teach Israel that sin hindered access to the presence of God. Only the high priest, and he only once a year, could enter the Holy of Holies, and then not without taking blood offered to atone for sins (Heb. 9:7). Hebrews notes that the levitical offerings could effect only the purification of the flesh. They ceremonially cleansed the sinner, but they could not bring about inward cleansing, the prerequisite for fellowship with God. Just as the high priest had to be sinless to enter the Holy of Holies and live, so Yeshua had to be sinless to live after He entered the grave.
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb. 9:11-14).
The high priest had to offer sin offerings each year for his own sins and the sins of the people. This annual repetition of the sacrifices served as a reminder that perfect atonement had not yet been provided. Jesus, however, through His own blood effected eternal redemption for His people (Heb. 9:12).
The Old Testament offerings served as a pattern and a prophecy of Jesus, who, through His better sacrifice, cleanses the conscience from dead works (Heb. 9:13-14). God always determined what was an acceptable offering and what was not. He finally provided His Son, the Lamb of God, as the sacrifice for the sins of the world (John 1:19; 3:16). The moment Jesus died, the veil of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Matt. 27:50-51). The earth quaked beneath men's feet. This event is important because it established Jesus as being the new High Priest and Lamb of God. No longer must there be an annual sacrifice for sin on our behalf; instead, He has made payment for us once and for all. Jesus, through a new and living way has entered heaven itself, the true Holy of Holies, where He ever lives to make intercession for His people. The believer need not stand afar off, as did the Israelite of old, but may now through Christ approach the very Throne of Grace! Yes, it is now possible for each of us to have direct access to God through the blood of Yeshua HaMashiah (Jesus Christ)!
The Two Goats
After purifying the holy place and the altar of burnt offering with the mingled blood of the bullock, the High Priest went to the eastern side of the court in front of the Temple. Facing him were two identical goats. Nearby was a lottery box especially designed for this ceremony. In the box were two tablets (lots). One bore the name "For God," the other "For azazel" (the scapegoat). The high priest shook the box and withdrew the tablets, putting one tablet in front of each goat. The goat labeled "for God" was sacrificed. The priest laid his hands upon the goat's head labeled "for azazel" and confessed over it the sins of Israel. The scapegoat symbolically bore the sins of the nation of Israel away from the people. This goat, commonly called the scapegoat (i.e. escape goat), was then driven into the desert.In the same way Jesus was brought before Pilate and stood before the people just as He was about to be led forth, bearing the iniquities of the people. These two goats were required for one sacrifice (Lev 16:17, 21-22). Both sacrifices were fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua. How can resurrection be portrayed in a sacrifice? By using two animals, one killed, the other set free, representing Jesus' death and resurrection. And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness (Lev. 16:7-10).
And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness (Lev. 16:18, 22).
Tradition states that a cord of red wool was tied on the horn of the scapegoat, before it was let go in the wilderness. When the red wool turned white, it was a sign that God forgave the people's sin. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:18).
The Priests used to bind a shining crimson strip of cloth on the outside door of the Temple. If the strip of cloth turned into the white color, they would rejoice; if it did not turn white they were full of sorrow and shame (Tractate Yoma 67a). Jewish literature explains the Shekhina glory of God left the Temple forty years prior to its destruction. Three signs occurred to show evidence of this:
1.) The western candle of the menorah refused to burn continually.
2.) The doors of the Temple would open of themselves.
3.) The red wool no longer turned white supernaturally.
This is especially significant because it indicated that God was no longer forgiving the sins of His people. The people were sorrowful because they began to realize more and more that the sacrifice of Yom Kippur did not have the power to cleanse their sinful hearts. That very year Jesus started His ministry, the very year that the blood of bulls and goats was no longer accepted as a sacrifice for the atonement of sin!
The Second Coming or Judgment?
The entire ten days from the first day of the Feast of Trumpets through the Day of Atonement are known as Days of Repentance or Days of Awe. These days are possibly a picture of the Rapture (Feast of Trumpets), the Tribulation (days in between), and the second coming (Day of Atonement). Another theory claims these are a picture of the Second Coming (Feast of Trumpets), the Judgment (Day of Atonement). Second Coming?
Our Messiah made two promises before He returned to our Father. He would send the Comforter (Pentecost) and He would come again. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:3). The Day of Atonement just may be the day of the Second Coming when Jesus will physically return to earth! The Bible clearly states Jesus will return immediately after the great tribulation. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory (Mark 13:24-26).
Day of Judgment?
The apostle Peter wrote about this awesome day of judgment. He declared, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming."
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2 Peter 3:10-13).
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:31-34).
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10).
In the coming judgment, there is forgiveness and mercy and grace to those who have already received Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Who gave His life as a ransom for us! Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Rom. 5:1-2).
Daily Jot: So many divisions, so little time - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The Pharisees tried to claim that Jesus was casting out devils by the power of the prince of devils. Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in Matthew 12:25-26, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?" It is in this example the very point that division results in destruction. And it is at this point where America stands today. It is divided. The enemies of America are succeeding in dividing our nation into little segments that cause confusion, anger, bitterness and more. We must attain clarity or we will face destruction.
There are those who have worked for centuries in causing this division. They are those who pit people against one another. They are those who instigate race issues, social issues, financial issues, religious issues and so on. They are those who point the finger at everyone else and accuse them of doing the very thing that they themselves are doing. The American ideal throughout history has been one of freedom of speech, religious expression, self-preservation and the pursuit of life. These are freedoms inspired by the Lord, for He is freedom. Yet the very ones who claim others are trying to take their "rights" away, are the ones who wish to place those very rights, those freedoms of others, in chains.
We tend to watch politics. We look at how Democrats and Republicans fight it out and unscrupulously exist to undermine one another with the very citizens they represent caught in the middle as pawns on a giant national chessboard. We look at the extraordinary confusion created by this infighting among citizen representatives. There is massive confusion emanating from the pulpit of so-called "men of God" about whether to participate in the governance of our country, to spend our time on self improvement because that's what God wants, to join church country clubs that line pockets with money, but do only enough to help the needy that it makes those giving feel good about themselves. We have issues.
People, we need to repent of these issues and divisions. Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." The divisions we face as a nation right now can destroy us. There are those who foment such division that their result is theft, death, and destruction. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." Golly folks-the confusion around the elections, around doctrine, around right and wrong is not of the Lord. It is of Satan. The divisions we see are not of the Lord. They are of Satan. We must see things more clearly, test our hearts, understand the scripture, discern the spirits, otherwise destruction awaits. Shut out the noise of the world. Pray for clarity. Act on the Lord's word. Be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Daily Devotion: The Foundation for a Successful Marriage - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock. -Matthew 7:24-25
If you are building a house, the most important time is when you lay the foundation.
First you make sure the blueprints are right. You turn them in to the city for approval. You plan out the electrical wiring and the plumbing work, you make sure everything is right, and then you pour your foundation.
If your foundation is poured properly, you can proceed with the framing and the roofing and all of the subsequent work. But if you get the foundation wrong and it is not done as it should be, you are going to have to tear it up later and start again.
I know it is fun to decorate and choose paint colors and landscaping, but none of that is as important as laying the foundation. The same is true of marriage: the most important part of it is the foundation. We want to build our marriages on our relationship with God, using the Bible as our blueprint.
We have seen the films about how love is supposed to be. They call them "romcoms," romantic comedies. We have heard the emotional songs about love. We look at celebrities and perhaps wish we could have a life like theirs.
But if you use this culture, this world, or Hollywood as an example, you are not going to have a successful marriage. One day storms will come. Hardships will come. Temptations will come. Challenges will come. Health issues will come. And if the foundation of your marriage is not built upon the rock of Jesus Christ, it will not stand.
Don't look to culture for cues on how to succeed in marriage. Look to a reliable source: the Word of God. The Bible tells us everything we need to know about how to have a strong and lasting marriage.
FROM THE HEART
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