Prophecy Update Newsletter
November 9, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Alas, Babylon - Wendy Wippel - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8333
Good morning, and welcome to a New World order. Some commentators seem to see it as the onset of a 21st century Reign of terror. Huffington Post called it a "nightmare". Foxnews called it a "media primal scream that registered 11 on the Richter scale". Obama lackey, Van Jones called it a "white-lash" against a changing country. But nobody really saw it coming.
The next president of the United States is a rich, rude, pompous, inarticulate womanizer with no political background to bring to the job and a really bad comb-over.
And I have to admit that though my primary vote was given to someone else, yesterday I did vote for him. I kind of had to hold my nose, but I did fill in the little Trump circle on my ballot.
(This is Mississippi. No fancy machines here.)
My preferred candidate won.
But I realize your results may differ. This election was brutally divisive. Even in my own Bible study small group -a group who has been together as a group for nearly ten years-individuals had different opinions.
Although that meant either voting Trump or not voting at all.
And unless you've been living on the moon you are aware of the general rancor that has permeated our Sweet Land of Liberty since the first primary. One that became progressively irrational until we had people vandalizing election offices, stealing each other signs, and finally, electrifying signs to teach their differently-opinioned neighbors a lesson.
(It was a Trump sign. I admit, I laughed real hard at that video when it went viral.)
The Media, obviously, with their opinions and a microphone, stoked the flames, calling him a psychopath, painting him as a closet member of the KKK. Even, at one point reporters deciding, as a group, that Trump was dangerous (to their view of utopia, apparently) and agreeing to work to prevent his election.
That's not how this works, is it? Aren't they just supposed to report what's going on?
And, of course, we had the usual list of A-list celebrities that vowed to leave the country if this day ever dawned.
Amy Schumer, for example. She recently told BBC Newsnight that anyone who doesn't like Hillary Clinton is uninformed, and that she would be moving to Spain if Hillary loses. "It's beyond my comprehension if Trump won. It's just too crazy,"
Jon Stewart's moving to another planet. Why? "Because clearly this planet's gone bonkers."
Chelsea Handler? She's going to Spain. She promises. "I did buy a house in another country just in case, so all of these people that threaten to leave the country and then don't, I will leave the country."
Neve Campbell: Because Trump's honesty "is terrifying," she told Huffington Post UK.
Lena Dunham is moving to Vancouver. "I know a lot of people have been threatening to do this, but I really will."
Al Sharpton: "If Donald Trump is the nominee, I'm open to support anyone, while I'm also reserving my ticket out of here if he wins," he said at a press conference.
Actress Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black): "[I'll move] to a mental hospital for a while because you're like 'why is this happening?'".
Amber Rose (a model): "I can't even think about it! I'm moving, I'm out! I can't. And I am taking my son with me!".
Samuel L. Jackson says he'll move to south Africa. He also offered the opinion that Trump was just running for popularity.
Cher said she's moving to Jupiter.
George Lopez told TMZ, "that if Trump won, he won't have to worry about immigration, we'll all go back,".
Streisand vows to move to Canada, Raven-Symone does too. Who? Singers.
Miley Cyrus is just getting out of here. Who? Pop star. Where would she move? Unspecified.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg going's to New Zealand. (Maybe she can get a spot on their supreme court. And her on their supreme court for our supreme court would be a bonus.)
My response? So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye . And don't let the door hit you on the way out.
What kind of candidate Trump was, we all saw. And I have to admit, I spent a lot of time, courtesy of Trump, wincing during all those debates. And my favorite candidate was and still is Carly Fiorina.
But what kind of president Trump will be is still to be seen.
The pundits are now calling this the great presidential upset in all history. One that was at root, a rejection of neoliberal autocracy and a desire for a return to our constitutional roots. A grassroots uprising that ultimately took the media, who did their best to whitewash Clinton's history right into the white house, by complete surprise. A decisive condemnation of the current administration, in fact, with the Grand Old part retaining but the house and the senate. One liberal reporter actually cried as she reported election results.What I know for sure is that it is Yahweh who puts rulers in place and takes them out. Daniel said that.
And I know that the liberal media, AKA Babylon (their worldview completely upended) weeps this morning, and that has to be a cause on our end for jubilation.
Donald Trump is 45th US President. Clinton cedes - http://www.debka.com/article/25765/Donald-Trump-is-45th-US-President-Clinton-cedes
For his victory speech, Wednesday, Nov. 9, President-designate Donald J. Trump, 70. took the platform at campaign headquarters in the Hilton Hotel in New York along with Vice President Mike Spence and their families to inform an audience roaring "USA!" that Hillary Clinton had "congratulated us" on our victory and "I congratulated her for a hard campaign. We owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to this country."
Trump stressed the motif of unity. "I say to all Republicans, Democrats and Independents, let us come together as one united people, I will be president for all Americans. To those who chose not to support me I am reaching out to you for your guidance and help so that we can unify this country." He called on people of all religions, race and background to work together to build the American nation and use the untapped potential of every American. He pledged to rebuild national infrastructure and inner cities, take care of "our great veterans, double our growth and "get along with all nations who want to get along with us."
debkafile reported earlier on this extraordinary day:
Before the votes from all 50 US states were finally tallied, the Republican candidate Donald Trump had ramped up the 270 electors he needed to open his path to the White House and defeat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
This climax marked the end of America's epic roller-coaster battle for the presidency that broke all the rules of past US electioneering campaigns. While the votes were still being counted, the mood swings at the New York headquarters of the two rivals contrasted starkly. Clinton's followers gathered to celebrate certain victory were bewildered and incredulous and began heading for the exits, while jubilant crowds gathered to hail Trump.
Donald Trump did more than beat a partisan rival. He confounded the majority of pollsters and pundits and the mainstream media. They all proclaimed him the worst disaster threatening America and the world, and gave their undivided support to his rival. He stood up to them all, adhered to his chosen role as rank outsider and t his uncouth style of oratory to make war on the ruling establishments and their norms, including the Republican Party which gave him the nomination.
While long rows of pundits and analysts proclaimed Hillary Clinton the certain winner throughout this gloves-off campaign, Trump struck an authentic chord of popular anger and frustration with the system which he constantly declared rigged. One woman interviewed on the street on voting day said he had her vote because "He's not a politician, he's an American like us."
This sense packed his rallies to overflowing across the country. It was the powerful catalyst that brought Trump to victory - even more than the email and corruption scandals dogging Clinton's campaign. His indefatigable energy electrified his audiences and sustained him as he slogged for nearly two years up to the finish line. Most of the time he fought solo amid contempt for the vastly expensive campaign machine which served his rival
Trump is projected to start his term in the White House on Jan. 20 with the huge asset of a Republican majority projected in the Senate and House or representatives. He is therefore gifted with every advantage for meeting his pledge to the American people of a revolution for raising up the forgotten sections of society.
While still to come, that revolution has already making vibes outside the USA with stocks tumbling on global markets.
There is no point in guessing the nature of his team. Just as he put together in total privacy a small, tight team of advisers to support his run for president, so too can he be expected to stick to that mode of operation in the Oval Office.
He has his work cut out to start "draining the swamp," without delay, immediately revoking Barack Obama's presidential directives on a host of controversial issues, and convening Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The Obamas backed Clinton's run to the hilt because they knew that President Trump would blot out all they had accomplished in their eight years in office.
He also faces the herculean tasks of rehabilitating US armed forces, rebuilding the American economy, creating the millions of well-paid jobs he promised his voters, and showing the world a strong America. He also pledged to install a fair judge to replace the late Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court as a high priority. He also committed to devise a solution for illegal immigrants and renegotiate more beneficial trade deals with foreign countries.
Strong floodlights will accompany every move he makes after Jan. 20. If he fails to make good on his mega program, he will risk losing a second term at the White House.
Analysis: A Trump presidency puts the Iran deal on the rocks - Tovah Lazaroff - http://www.jpost.com/Us-Election-Results/A-Trump-presidency-puts-the-Iran-deal-on-the-rocks-472131
If Trump holds true to his campaign promises, his presidency could likely end the US conflict with Israel on two key issues: the Iran deal and West Bank settlements.
Over the last eight years the disagreement between the two allies over these topics was cannon fodder for the often acrimonious relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama.
Netanyahu's persistent campaign against the agreement even took him to Washington, where he addressed a joint session of Congress, in a plea for the US politicians to halt the actions of their own president.
During the election, Trump minced no words in showing his disdain for the June 15th agreement between Tehran and the six-world powers, including the US, that was designed to curb Iran's nuclear capacity.
He promised to tear up the deal, which he said gives the US nothing in return for a contract that will allow Tehran to produce nuclear weapons even if it complies with the terms of the agreement.
"It's the stupidest deal of all time," Trump said.
"It's a one-sided transaction where we are giving back $150 billion to a terrorist state," he said.
Iran has already taken Trump at his word. Within hours of his acceptance speech early Wednesday morning in New York, Iran demanded that the US to maintain the deal.
"The United States should fulfill its commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the nuclear deal) as a multilateral international agreement," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif was quoted as saying while on a visit to Romania.
He was not the only one who wasted no time in reminding Trump of pre-campaign promises.
Most of the settler leaders issued congratulatory statements to Trump, expressing their enthusiasm for the new page in US-Israel relations that they foresaw with his entry into the White House.
Under his leadership, the Republican party changed its platform during the election to eliminate any mention of the two-state solution. It recognized Jerusalem as the united capital of the Jewish state, and issued an affirmative statement that Israel was not an occupier in the West Bank, otherwise known as Judea and Samaria.
Trump has also promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Since 2009, Netanyahu has pledged his support to the two-state solution, but has insisted that Jerusalem would remain Israel's capital and that Israel has a right to continue to build in Judea and Samaria.
Some of the settlers said that a Trump presidency would allow them to annex Area C of the West Bank. Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that this was the time for Israel to retract the idea of a Palestinian state.
In the days leading up to the election and until its last hour, there were those in the United States and indeed throughout the world, that expected Wednesday to dawn with a Hillary Clinton presidency.
As a former First Lady, US Senator and Secretary of State, they were reassured by the notion of someone with so much foreign policy experience at the helm of one of the world's super powers.
While they might be gasping at the sudden void of experience at the top, the dramatic turn around of a Trump presidency has some beneficial aspects for Israel.
It places a right-wing government in charge of the United States, which could work in conjunction with a right-wing Israeli leadership.
Unlike Obama, Trump, whose party also controls the House of Representatives and the Senate, would have more freedom to act on his policy initiatives than his predecessor, who fought repeatedly with the Republican Congress.
The timing could not be better. It comes as the Palestinian campaign to force Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines is gaining steam and as Iran's is increasing its activities in the Middle East.
In spite of the anti-Semitic overtones of some of Trump's campaign choices, his presence in the White House could end the daylight between Washington and Jerusalem.
With regard to Iran, it could help decrease the threat from Tehran, and stymie Palestinian diplomatic warfare against the Jewish state.
For those on the Israeli Left, who believe that Israel's rule of the West Bank is a threat to Israel's future as a Jewish and democratic state, a Trump presidency is one more setback in a long list of defeats it has suffered.
But for those on the Right, it falls like a rainstorm after a long period of drought.
The war against history - Clifford D. May - http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1116/may110916.php3
"He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past." This, as you may recall, was the slogan of the totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell in 1984, his classic novel.
Today, various groups of Islamists - which we can define as those committed to Islamic supremacism - are operationalizing this concept, attempting to alter the historical record in support of their totalitarian ambitions.
Six months before the attack of Sept. 11, 2001, Taliban leader Mullah Omar ordered the destruction of Afghanistan's ancient Buddhas of Bamiyan. Why? Because those monumental statues were reminders of a time when the country was not Islamic.
In 2012, Ansar Dine, a jihadi group affiliated with al Qaeda, destroyed ancient shrines, tombs and mosques in Timbuktu. Why? Because they represented a version of Islam marinated in African culture - and were therefore seen as heretical.
Most infamously, the Islamic State has been demolishing the religious and historical heritage of Syria and Iraq, turning into rubble such sites as a temple in Palmyra dedicated to the Canaanite god Baal, Christian churches in Nineveh and shrines built by Muslims whose interpretation of scripture differs from that of the would-be caliphate builders.
UNESCO, a United Nations agency whose ostensible mission is to advance world culture, has been taking a less kinetic - but perhaps no less effective - approach to this war on history. The intention is to establish that Jerusalem's holiest sites belong to Muslims and that Jews and Christians have no valid religious or historical claims in that ancient city - never had, never will.
A resolution to this effect, backed by seven Muslim-majority nations on behalf of Palestinian leaders, was passed by UNESCO members last month. Only the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia voted against it. Twenty-six countries chose to abstain - as if they didn't know the truth or as if the truth were a matter of no consequence.
Some prominent individuals have been speaking out. Irina Bokova, UNESCO's own director-general, said that the vote violated the organization's responsibility to "bridge the divisions that harm the multifaith character" of Jerusalem.
A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that "the shared heritage of the three monotheistic religions of the holy sites should not be put into question."
More than three-dozen members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, deplored the resolution. "World bodies do not have the right to rewrite history," said Rep. Alcee Hastings, Florida Democrat. Rep. Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, called the resolution "a dangerous effort to erase history." Rep. Ted Lieu, California Democrat, labeled it "rabidly anti-Semitic and anti-Christian." Rep. Peter Roskam, Illinois Republican, recognized it as a "drastic violation of international religious freedom."
Last month, Palestinian Authority officials also announced the "Balfour Apology Campaign," a separate but related attempt at historical manipulation. To jog your memory: The Balfour Declaration was a letter written 99 years ago this month by British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour recognizing the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in part of their ancient homeland.
It was adopted by the League of Nations, the international community of that era. The Palestinian Authority and its allies are now charging that the Balfour Declaration was "a crime" - and demanding an apology.
In truth, the Balfour Declaration expressed progressive views. For centuries, most of the Middle East had been ruled by the Ottoman Empire. But the Turkish Sultan, Mehmed VI, made the mistake of allying with the Germans in World War I. Not long after the conclusion of that conflict, his once-powerful empire would be dismantled by the victorious British and the French.
They were hardly saints but they were prepared to grant autonomy to peoples who had long been Ottoman subjects. The Balfour Declaration also spoke of the "civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine."
Three years later, the League of Nations gave Britain a mandate to govern Palestine. The eastern three-fourths of that territory became what is now the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Other new Arab nations on territories formerly under the Ottoman yoke include Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
In 1947, the U.N. proposed the founding of two states in western Palestine - one Arab and one Jewish. Palestinian Jewish leaders accepted this "two-state solution." Palestinian Arab leaders (they had not yet appropriated the name "Palestinian" as theirs and theirs alone) rejected it. The following year, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq attacked the fledgling Jewish state.
The conflict ended not with a peace agreement and borders but only a truce and armistice lines - lines that held from 1949 until 1967 when Israel fought another defensive war against its neighbors, one that ended with Israel taking Gaza from Egypt and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from Jordan.
This should not be forgotten: During the years of Jordanian occupation, Jews were banned from Jerusalem's Old City and prohibited from praying at the Western Wall. Numerous Jewish religious sites in Jerusalem were desecrated or destroyed.
And now a U.N. agency is endorsing a falsified version of that city's past while the Palestinian Authority portrays the Balfour Declaration - a statement in support of a diverse Middle East - as a criminal act.
It doesn't end there: The Palestinians are now also reportedly considering asking UNESCO to demand that the Israelis turn over to them the Dead Sea Scrolls, nearly 1,000 religious texts, most in Hebrew and Aramaic, dating back to the time of the Second Temple.
One is tempted to say "you can't make this stuff up." But, of course, you can. Orwell did. The question is whether we've learned anything since.
Nearing Midnight: What's with this BCE and CE Nonsense? - Todd Strandberg - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
For many years, there has been a continuous effort to remove any reference to Jesus Christ in society. The major battles have long been lost with the Bible, and with prayer prohibited in schools and various other government organizations. The enemy is so dedicated to oppose the Lord Jesus, it is now going after the most trivial references to His holy Name.
Among the more irritating manifestations of anti-God political correctness is the attempt to replace the terms AD and BC with CE and BCE. CE stands for "common era" and BCE for "before the common era."
Even the most obscure symbol of Christ is under attack. The Swedish Transport Administration has banned outdoor Christmas lights because they don't want to upset Muslims. It came up with some weird concern over the weight of the lights:
"Poles are not designed for the weight of Christmas lights, and we have to remove anything that should not be there. We guarantee safety first," says Eilin Isaksson, national coordinator at the STD.
Many churches are hosting Muslim refugees, and they regularly take down altars and crosses. Pastor Joachim Deterding is the overseer of a Protestant church in Oberhausen Germany. When his church provided temporary shelter for 50 refugees from the Middle East, he had the altar and pulpit removed to make the refugees feel more at home.
Unless these guests are all vampires, they shouldn't have any problems with the image of a cross. Many of these Muslims are actually worse than vampires; they treat kindness with disgust. If the sight of something related to the Bible is going to cause Muslims to flip out, we may have an indication that these people are not compatible with our Christian culture.
It is an absolute disgrace for Christians to be so timid in their deals with Islamists. We are told to let our light shine to the unsaved. Jesus warned what would happen to anyone who was too ashamed to defend the gospel:
"For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:26).
The hostility that Christianity faces has no equal in any other religion. Christmas has become almost totally secularized, and yet people still oppose it. Christmas lights, flying reindeer, and talking snowmen have zero connection to the birth of our Savior.
Years ago Saturday Night Live came up with a Hanukkah Harry character. He was a parody of the modern-day image of Santa Claus, delivering toys to good Jewish boys and girls. There is no Ramadan Randy because Muslims would not tolerate any attempt at applying secular figures to one of its holidays.
I have never heard anyone question why we have planets named after Greek gods. You don't have people saying, "We can't name a planet after the god of war. Let's rename Mars to Flemington after Scottish scientist, Alexander Fleming-who discovered Penicillin.
Even the most hardcore atheists should perfectly happy with the AD and BC date system. If we are basing our timelines on Jesus' birth, we might as well keep his name. The Muslims have their own yearly calendar. The current Islamic year is 1438 Hijri (Anno Hegirae or AH), which is the year of the migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina. Of course, you are never going to see a movement to change the Islamic year to something more secular.
The enemy of truth will never be content with even with the mildest form of Christianity. The name of Jesus sparks fear in the hearts of all who are under the judgment of sin. King Herod feared the baby Jesus and wanted to get rid of him. The King Herod's of today have the same mindset. Their fixation on opposing our Lord shows that Jesus is the only way of salvation.
If Jesus was a fake, the lost would just laugh Him off with all the other pagan gods. Because He is the only path to God the Father we need to resist those that seek to defame His name.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
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
Life's Most Important Choices - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/spiritual-life/lifes-most-important-choices/#more-30562
Recently I've been asked about witnessing to "unsaved believers" as one writer called them. I usually refer to them as Christians-in-name-only. They call themselves Christians and do some things that make them appear to be Christians. They go to Church, make regular contributions, sign up for volunteer service projects, even teach Sunday School, but they're not born again. Being born again means you know you're a sinner in need of a savior. You believe Jesus died for all your sins and have asked Him to be your Savior. According to Jesus, people who are not born again will be denied entrance into the Kingdom (John 3:3) no matter how "good" they've been on Earth.
Very few Christians-in-name-only have actually refused to be born again, they just don't think it's necessary. They were taught that they're saved because they were baptized as infants, or because they belong to a certain church or denomination, or because they try to live a good life. They're relying on what someone has told them instead of learning what the Bible says. With all the necessary resources at their disposal, they've staked their eternal destiny on the opinion of someone who might not be saved himself rather than do their own homework.
They're very difficult to witness to because they don't think they need it. Someone once said, "There is no greater obstacle to learning the truth than the belief you've already learned it." The only thing we can do, which turns out to be the best thing, is pray that the Holy Spirit will open their hearts to the truth while there's time.
They don't realize that there are only two alternatives available to mankind. We either choose God or we choose Satan. If we fail to choose God we're choosing Satan by default. There is neither any middle ground nor is there another alternative. In Ephesians 2:1-5 Paul made God's perspective on this very clear.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
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.
We evaluate people based on how we think they compare to others, but God's standards are very different (Isaiah 55:8). Even the good things non-believers do are disgusting to him (Isaiah 64:6) and further the enemy's cause (Matt. 7:21-23). This is not a benign issue, and it's not a case where someone can sit on the sidelines and not participate. In God's sight people who fail to personally accept His pardon for their sins have chosen to align themselves with His enemy and will be treated accordingly. They will have failed to meet His only requirement, and nothing else will suffice.
Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6:28-29)
Believing there's a God is not enough. Neither is believing in God. You must believe God sent His Son to Earth to die for your sins so you could go to Heaven to live with Him.
You can't experience God in your life but reject the pardon He provided for your sins. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me" (John 14:6). If someone is experiencing God in their life, they're also feeling the call of the Holy Spirit to come to the Son, and by failing to do so they're rejecting the Father (John 5:23). The Son is the only way.
And Two More
Most of the people who visit this site have made the choice to accept the Lord's pardon for our sins and have been born again. Once we're born again there are two new alternatives to choose from and those are to either live the balance of our life in His will or continue living in our own will (Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:22-24). If we choose to live our life in His will we can bear much fruit for the Kingdom and will receive eternal rewards. If we choose to live in our own will we can do nothing of value for the Kingdom, no matter how good our lives and deeds are perceived to be on Earth (John 15:5). We'll still be saved and we'll go in the rapture but we'll have nothing to show for the time we spent as believers here (1 Cor. 3:10-15).
Most believers make the wrong choice in this regard, and there are several ways to do that. Some continue living their lives the same way they always have. To the casual observer they look just like their unbelieving counterparts, except for an hour or so on Sunday mornings. They're hiding their light under a bushel.
Others set out to show the world just how good a Christian they are. They take on great challenges and appear to do mighty works, but the focus is always on them, not the Lord. Applying the world's standards of success to their Christian life they completely miss the point. It's not what we can do for Him that matters, it's what we allow Him to do through us.
Still others wrap themselves in a cloak of self righteousness. Like the Pharisees before them they make a great show of living a "good Christian life" while condemning those who don't, at least in their opinion. They're known primarily for what they're against, instead of what they're for.
None of these choices can result in lives pleasing to the Lord because they're all self centered instead of being God centered.
Those who choose to live in His will discover that He gives us supernatural strength to accomplish His will. In Romans 12:1-2 we're told to offer our whole lives as living sacrifices to God as our spiritual act of worship. We're not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. This is how we discover His will for us. Right after that is a list of seven spiritual gifts that strengthen us to accomplish His will. Romans 12:6-8 lists gifts of prophecy, service, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, and mercy, and He gives each of us one or more of them.
These are all gifts that bring us great satisfaction as we administer them, so don't get the idea that living in His will means living a life of deprivation and hardship. John 10:10 says He came so we can have life and have it abundantly. Romans 8:28 says God is working everything together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Psalm 37:4 says when we delight ourselves in the Lord He will give us the desires of our heart. And Phil. 4:4-7 says we're to rejoice always, to pray about everything and not be anxious about anything. In doing so we can live in a state of peace that surpasses human understanding.
Learning to live in God's will can be scary at times because we're used to acting independently. But after we get the hang of it, we find it's one of the most exhilarating experiences we can have. Blessings come in so many different ways and at the most unexpected times, we're literally driven to our knees in gratitude time after time. There truly is nothing like it.
What Does It Take?
Living in His will takes a little getting used to but it isn't as difficult as it sounds. It involves letting the Holy Spirit guide us away from obviously inappropriate behavior, and responding to the Lord's calls for action. In Micah 6:8 He gave us three basic principles to follow in acting out His will in our lives. They're the guidelines that keep us from going out of bounds.
He Has Showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
When we're in God's will, we'll be acting justly toward everyone, knowing He will never involve us in anything that violates His law. When we're in God's will, we'll love to do things for others that demonstrate His mercy. We're not called to be agents of His wrath, but to show forth His love. And when we're in God's will we'll always be humble, knowing that whatever good we're doing is at His prompting and in His strength.
With rare exceptions, God doesn't suddenly uproot people or put them through a time of discomfort when they offer their life to Him. Neither does He suddenly impose a lot of rules or discipline upon us. After all, our sins are already paid for. Living in His will is mostly a matter of learning to listen for His voice and doing what He says. Like everything else, this becomes easier with practice. It's important to remember we're only responsible for making the effort. The results are His responsibility.
He won't have us start telling others how to live their lives, but He will give us guidance on how to live our own. For example, since His word says to give to every one who asks (Luke 6:30) He may start prompting us to respond generously whenever someone comes to us for help. And since it says to not let the Sun go down on our anger (Ephes 4:26), He'll prompt us to forgive as we've been forgiven.
When you first make the commitment to live in His will, He'll start with small things to get you used to listening, so if you even think you've heard His voice, do what you think He said to do, asking Him for the strength to do it. And what ever happens, don't take any of the credit for a positive outcome. The Lord gets the credit, you're just following orders.
As you learn to respond to little promptings, you'll receive bigger ones. Then one day you'll realize you've gained enough experience at living in the Lord's will that you no longer have to wonder about whether you're doing it. You'll find your actions and His will have become one and the same.
I know we don't have much time left, but don't make the mistake of thinking it's too late. Begin implementing Romans 12:1-2 in your life today and you'll be amazed at how much the Lord can do with a willing follower, no matter how short the time is.
Daily Jot: Clexit - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Several analysts characterized Donald Trump's presidential victory as similar to the recent Brexit vote where Great Britain rejected globalism and left the European Union. Perhaps the Trump victory should be characterized as Clexit-the mass exit of the American people from the Clinton brand of morally bankrupt and corrupt politics. According to exit polls, some 80% of evangelical Christians turned out with a strong vote for now President-elect Trump. The Wall Street Journal reports that born-again Christians voted for Trump in numbers larger than they supported the Republican presidential candidates in the past three elections. This proves the power of Christian's in this nation when they move in unity.
Clearly, American Christians sent a message to those who call evil good and good evil: that we are not going to take it anymore. The demeaning of Israel with the elevation of her enemies; the possibility of a Supreme Court bending our laws against life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the loss of our jobs and dignity to globalism; unsecured borders; massive crime; race-baiting; bribery; socialist health care; Islamic terrorism; the disrespecting of God in the public square; the destruction of marriage-are the sum of the parts that equaled the whole result of this election. Christians stepped up and voted for the imperfect candidate to save the country from one of the most evil agendas in our history.
Now that we have seen how God can work though us when we are obedient; how prayer and action is honored, may the hope of unity found in Ephesians 4:14-16 be our mantle going forward: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supply, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, make increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
You see, we have our work cut out for us. We have bought some time. There are only promises of a better, more righteous future for our nation. We must hold accountability-not the type of accountability of judgment and condemnation to our fellow citizens who disagree with us and are blinded by the god of this world, but the accountability of the standard of Christ in whom we believe and are disciples. From Supreme Court appointments to the treatment of Israel to freedom of religion, we must stand in the gap and make the hedge. We must be ever vigilant that our nation is fully advantaged by the mercy our Lord has bestowed upon us. Let us continue to pray, act, repent, and seek the Lord that he may forgive our sin and heal our land. Happy Clexit!
Daily Devotion: Little Messes - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, "It is written, 'My house is a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.'" -Luke 19:45-46
My wife Cathe and I are polar opposites when it comes to cleaning. My approach could be summed up by the procrastinator's motto: Never do today what you could put off until tomorrow. Cathe's approach is to constantly clean and organize so that over time, little messes don't become big ones. Obviously, her approach is the better one.
In Luke 19, we find the story of Jesus' cleaning the house of God as He went into the temple and drove out the moneychangers. These temple merchants were taking advantage of people and keeping them from God, and this angered Jesus.
This is the second time in Scripture when Jesus cleansed the temple. In the gospel of John, we read that He used a whip to drive out the moneychangers. Little messes turned into big messes, so Jesus arrived to clean house again.
I believe there is a parallel to our own lives. When we come to Christ initially, we ask for His forgiveness and He pardons us of all our iniquities. In fact, we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." What a wonderful thing it is to realize that God has forgiven us of all our sin. But as a little time passes, sometimes some of those old sins can find their way back into our lives. And that so-called "little" sin begins to grow and becomes a problem.
Does your temple need cleansing? Are there some things in your life that shouldn't be there right now? Are there some vices, some bad habits that have found their way back into your life? If so, deal with them now. Don't let little messes turn into big ones.
FROM THE HEART
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