Prophecy Update Newsletter
November 29, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Hell Hath Opened Her Mouth Wide - By Pastor Mike Taylor - firstname.lastname@example.org
13 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at:
14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
14"Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
15And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:
16But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness." (Isaiah 5:14-16)
There seems to be a great division on beliefs in the presence of what is called in the Bible, 'Hell" and if it actually exist. Just as Satan has propagated the supreme lie that he doesn't exist in the minds of those who are in rebellion against a Holy God, so does the same arch enemy of what is holy, tries to convince these same people that there is no such thing as "hell". Even some denominations and religious leaders diminish the horror of what hell really is!
First, let me quote a minister that doesn't believe in an eternal hell and that God is a God of Love,
"For centuries, many ministers have been preaching "hellfire and brimstone" sermons and promoting a religion of fear by teaching that the unsaved face an eternity of torture. The common teaching is that incorrigibly wicked people will be tormented forever in some fiery, macabre manner in a terrifying place called hell. This horrible fate usually conjures up in people's minds visions of an ever-burning hellfire where sinners are continually roasted on spits, and a devil with horns and a tail runs around sticking his captives with a pitchfork."
They just can't believe that a God of love would banish anybody to such a place.
It is hard to convince some folks that God is not only a God of love, but also the God of judgment. He is a God of justice, a God of consuming fire, and a God who will not allow sin into His presence. Are we talking about the same God who passed judgement on ancient people who rebelled against Him?. Do you mean the same God that told the Israelites when they entered Canaan to not spare man, woman, or child from the sword, but to slay them all? Do you mean that God?
Some denomination and well meaning Christians believe that hell is a synonym of the grave. They go to great lengths to prove that Hades, the grave, and hell are all the same thing. Then why does so many Old Testament and New Testament writers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit make so much about the wages of sin and the eternal destruction of the soul in hell? Let's take a journey to look at some of the scriptures that point to the fallacy of not believing that the penalty for not having Jesus Christ cover your sins with His own shed blood is an eternal home in hell's unquenchable fire.
EXACTLY WHAT IS HELL?
The word "hell" appears 54 times in the Holy Bible. Hell is clearly defined in your Bible as a place of torment and burning. Only a fool who rejects what he reads would say hell is the grave or only separation from God. But there are denominatons that dismiss the concept of an eternal living hell, and those who try to make it a biblical metaphor and a loving God would not send anyone to such a place. But is that true? True, God is a loving God and He desires that all come to repentance and be saved.
" The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2nd Peter 3:9) But God has a limit to His patience, as noted in many passages found in you Bible.
But what does some of the leading religious leaders in our modern times believe about the concept of hell?
What some have said about hell:
Billy Graham - The fire is symbolic when Jesus talks about hell fire. He does not believe it is literal fire, but rather he believes the fire could possibly mean a burning thirst for God that is never quenched.
Pope Benedict - Believes in literal hell fire that is eternal.
Pope John Paul II - Heaven is not a physical place nor an abstraction, but that fullness with the communion with God. Hell is the ultimate consequence of sin itself. He says hell is not a place, but rather the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God. Hell is symbolic. People that aren't "recognized" say it is separation from God, no fire. And then you have those troublemakers that agree with Jesus and the rest of the testimony contained in the book.
*Purgatory - An intermediate state between heaven and hell. You burn there until you are pure and then enter into heaven. (Studies in the book.com)
"The people that are always trying to air condition hell are the ones that are going there." - Ruckman
But God does not send us to this place that Jesus spoke of where the worm dieth not, nor fire quenched. YOU DO, out of your own self will to reject a free offer of salvation found only in Jesus Christ you choose to live eternally in hell's torment.
43 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:43-48)
Jesus was obviously not advocated to cut off a member of your body and a person take these verses literally, but making a point that if you live like the devil, you will make your home with him in the end of time. He speaks of fire unquenchable and where the worm that eats your flesh, dies not. Jesus is quite literal here.
Jesus speaks of a very descriptive place that our Lord does not wish to send anyone to, as that is not His will, but it is our will, our choice to reject the only provision of escaping such a place. See, God hates sin and cannot be in its presence. God is love, and He extends that love when He sent His only Begotten Son to die in our place. Remember in my last message that the whole of the Bible is "all about JESUS" If you failed to read that message, go here:
So God's love is conditional in that He will only allow us into His presence on one condition, that our sins be forgiven. More on that in a minute. But let us explore. Is there a penalty, a torment and a real place called hell? Jesus told His disciples concerning speaking the truth of God:
27What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 10:27-33)
So here I am speaking from the housetops using the internet to warn all who will listen about a place so horrible that I wouldn't want my worst enemy to endure.
Let us give you more biblical support for the truth God warned us about.
Where is Hell located?
It is below your feet right now, in the heart of the earth (Isaiah 14:9-15 Psalm 139:8, Proverbs 15:24" The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath." Jesus spoke of this very fact in the lesson of the Rich man and Lazarus.
When Jesus spoke of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus being separated by a huge gulf and the rich man being in torment, was He just telling a story? Was He stretching the truth, just to make a point? Let's look at the passage. This is Jesus speaking. Luke chapter 1
16:19 "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."
Since our Lord was sinless and only told what is true, it would make sense that He would not tell a falsehood, just to make a point. Jesus spoke of things spiritual that were being played out in the natural realm. Do we think that He was just joking and He didn't mean it as He spoke it, and exactly as we take it? This place of the abode of the dead, encompassed hell and paradise, as the above verses speak of, but Jesus emptied Paradise when He was raised from the dead.
8 "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things)." (Ephesians 4:8-10)
But hell and it's torment is still there, as it has not been emptied as of yet.
Did you know that below your feet are millions and millions and millions of souls crying, screaming, weeping, wailing, and gnashing on their teeth, and begging for a drop of water for their tongue because they are tormented without rest with fire and brimstone and they know they are not getting out? Did you know the only consolation one can find in hell is to think about (which I assume is hard to do because of the torture) one's life on earth (Luke 16:24-25)?
What Hell is like:
The Party in Hell has been canceled due to fire (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, 13:28). Some impudent people speak of joining their friends for a party in hell, but there will be no joy, no happiness, no light, no love, no friendships, and no party in hell........only torment! Scripture gives us details about hell.
There is darkness, weeping and gashing of teeth (2 Samuel 22:6, Psalm 18:5) There are sorrows in hell (Job 11:8 )
Hell is deep (Psalm 86:13) Lowest hell (Psalm 116:3 )
There is pain in hell (James 3:6)
Your tongue is set on fire in hell (Isaiah 33:10-17 )
There is a devouring fire, and everlasting burnings (Matthew 25:41 )
Everlasting Fire (Revelation 14:9-12, 20:10) You are tormented with fire and brimstone in God's presence (Revelation 21:8)
It is a lake of fire and that is the second death
Who goes to hell? (Psalm 9:17, Psalm 55:15) All the wicked and all the nations that forget God (Proverbs 27:20) Hell is never full (Isaiah 5:14) Hell has enlarged herself to make room
(Isaiah 14:15 )The Devil will go there - he is not there yet, but he will be.
(Revelation 20:10 Ezekiel 31:16-17) Casted into hell (2 Peter 2:4)
The angels that sinned have been cast down to hell, and are chained there until the day of judgment (Revelation 20:11-15, Isaiah 24:17-23 )
The angels that have yet to sin and rebel will be shut up in hell (Revelation 11:7, 17:8) The antichrist is right now in the bottomless pit and will descend out of the bottomless pit, but will be thrown into the Lake of Fire when Jesus comes to put down all rebellion and sets up His Kingdom.
Whoever is not found in the book of life,
14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15)
That's just a quick glimpse of the huge amount of scriptural support and I encourage you to take a bible in hand and look each verse, the surrounding context and prove to yourself the concept of a devil's hell waiting for those who reject the only provision of escaping this eternal doom and everlasting destruction.
THE MAJORITY OF MANKIND WILL GO TO HELL
But with all these biblical verses to support the truth of the concept of hell spoken in your Bibles, a majority of mankind will end up going to this awful place. Why? Free will and being deceived by Satan the devil. Men revel in their wickedness and the lust of the flesh. Those who reject God's provision will have to face the consequence of their own choice. We can accept His offer of salvation, or reject it. Unfortunately, most human beings will reject Jesus the Messiah. They will not obey Him. In this generation, more than 90 per cent of the world's population are outright idol worshipers, godless, secular or atheists.
Remember when God destroyed the world by a devastating flood in the Antediluvian age? He only saved 8 souls and some animals (2 by 2 of unclean and 7 each of clean animals) to repopulate the earth. So when God judges this earth again by fire, sadly only a remnant of all the people who have ever lived will find their way to heaven and the goal of salvation.
SOME BELIEVE THE SOUL OF MAN WILL BE ANNIHILATED?
There are some Christian fundamental churches that believe that when God sends those who have not accepted His free pardon and extention of His grace and mercy, found in His only Son, they will cease to exist and be destroyed. They don't believe that men will be tormented for all eternity in a devil's hell. They believe they will be annihilated and will be no more, either in body or in spirit. But what are the truth found in your Bible?
Does the spirit of man live on even after death? Some believe that they do not...they point to what Solomon said:
" For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten." (Ecclesiastes 9:5)
They call this soul sleep, meaning the mortal man is forgotten and knows nothing, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. True, the mortal body dies and goes to dust, but does that mean that the spirit is not still alive and fully conscious? Let me refer you to a website that supports what I have believed and gives many more scriptures that prove that man at his creation, each of us, are created in the image of God and at that moment will live forever, either in a glorious state, or a eternally damned state of separation from God.
"Without a doubt the human soul is immortal. This is clearly seen in many Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments: Psalm 22:26; 23:6; 49:7-9; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:46; and 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Daniel 12:2 says, "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt." Similarly, Jesus Himself said that the wicked "will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life" (Matthew 25:46). With the same Greek word used to refer to both "punishment" and "life," it is clear that both the wicked and the righteous have an eternal/immortal soul.
The unmistakable teaching of the Bible is that all people, whether they are saved or lost, will exist eternally, in either heaven or hell. True life or spiritual life does not cease when our fleshly bodies pass away in death. Our souls will live forever, either in the presence of God in heaven if we are saved, or in punishment in hell if we reject God's gift of salvation. In fact, the promise of the Bible is that not only will our souls live forever, but also that our bodies will be resurrected. This hope of a bodily resurrection is at the very heart of the Christian faith. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
While all souls are immortal, it is important to remember that we are not eternal in the same way that God is. God is the only truly eternal being in that He alone is without a beginning or end. God has always existed and will always continue to exist. All other sentient creatures, whether they are human or angelic, are finite in that they had a beginning. While our souls will live forever once we come into being, the Bible does not support the concept that our souls have always existed. Our souls are immortal, as that is how God created them, but they did have a beginning; there was a time they did not exist." (Gotquestions.org)
So taking that thought further, if we are to always live after creation in some form, whether physical or spirit, then each man and woman must decide where they wish to spend eternity. Remember, the reason any of us were born is to make a decision of what we will do concerning the Man/God Jesus Christ...will we accept His gift of salvation bought in His own blood, or by our own free will and rebellion, refuse that gift and exclude our sins being forgiven?
6 "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:6-9)
BOOK OF REVELATION DESCRIBES MANKIND'S ETERNAL HOME
Prophecy in your bible consist of 26-27% of fulfilled and unfilled prophecy. Many of the Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled, some are waiting to be fulfilled. But Revelation past the 4th chapter is prophecy of the future. But the end result of the whole of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is where men choose to spend eternity...either in glory with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, or banished to outer darkness and cast alive into what the Bible calls the "Lake of Fire".
4"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had receivedhis mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." (Revelation 20:4-5)
A glorious picture of those who have overcome this world by the blood of the Lamb. It speaks of the first resurrection that began with Jesus resurrection and will end when He comes to set up His Kingdom for a 1000 years. Fast forward from Revelation chapter 4 of the 24 elders sitting on thrones, a clear picture of the Church rewarded and sitting on thrones, now we sit in judgment of men and angels as Paul spoke of in 1st Corinthians:
2 "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3, Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" (1st Corinthians 6:2-3)
The book speaks of a glorious future for those who have accepted Jesus as personal Savior, but it also gives a damning description of those who reject Him.
GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT OF GOD
This is found at the Great White Throne judgment that brings all the lost of all the generations of mankind, from the beginning of creation till the last person born human on earth.
12 "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:12-15)
What are these books that are opened that God will judge all of mankind that have rejected His free offer of mercy and grace? My discernment on that is they are the books of your Bible...God's Word. It was designed and written as a love letter for God's love for mankind, sending His only Begotten Son to die in our place and to save them from their sins. But now, they are opened as their judge. They have committed the "unpardonable sin" that cannot be forgiven. They have rejected the only way to enter into the presence of God Almighty, Jesus Christ and refused the call of God's Holy Spirit that was drawing them to a knowledge of their condition and need for a Savior.
16 "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.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
If anything is certain about the future, there is a judgment according to whether they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior or reject that message, for all who ever lived and died. How can anyone who reads the words of his bible and ask God to give him discernment of what those words mean, take their own "immortal" soul and risk spending eternity away from all source of goodness, love, joy, peace and happiness and spend in a devil's hell?
I've often wondered when I read these words, when God talks about the "Lake of Fire", what could be the source or synonymous of that everlasting punishment?.Obviously, it is very hot and causing excruciating torment for those who are so unfortunate to receive this for their banishment from the presence of a Holy God. The Bible is clear of its eternal destruction of the soul's of men. I don't know, but theorize it would be something along the lines of our own sun. It is thermo-nuclear and we don't know what the interior of that ball of exploding gases are comprised of....but think of it, how would a person endure being at the center of something like our sun? Would you even want to know?
But take heart, my reader. You don't have to spend eternity in a devil's hell and be cast into a "lake of Fire" to endure torment and separation from God for all eternity. For at the end of the Book of your bible, there is an invitation to all who will listen to the call of the Holy Spirit:
16 "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17And the Spirit and the bride (the redeemed church) say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:16-17)
How can we know the way?
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." (John 14:6-7)
I beseech all who read this message, to open your heart and your mind, and let the Holy Spirit who is calling all who will listen to repent of their sins, and change their mind about the life they have been living, to embrace Jesus, the Son of the Living God who died for your sins and mine.
Make no mistake, to do otherwise will bring you to the edge of hell, as the mouth of hell has opened it's mouth wide to receive you.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your redemption through the only way to enter heaven's glory, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, email me at email@example.com , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , for more biblical studies concerning the soon return of our Lord Jesus. God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Jimmy Carter: US must recognize a Palestinian state - http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Jimmy-Carter-US-must-recognize-a-Palestinian-state-473972
Former US president Jimmy Carter has called on the outgoing Obama administration to take steps toward recognizing a Palestinian state before leaving office in January.
The 39th US president made the call in an op-ed published Monday in the New York Times under the title "America Must Recognize Palestine."
"We do not yet know the policy of the next administration toward Israel and Palestine, but we do know that the current administration is keen on achieving a two-state solution," Carter wrote.
"That prospect is now in grave doubt," Carter said, pointing toward the uncertainty surrounding incoming US President-elect Donald Trump's exact policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Carter urged the US to push for a UN Security Council resolution "laying out the parameters for resolving the conflict." The resolution, he added, should "reaffirm the illegality of all Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 borders, while leaving open the possibility that the parties could negotiate modifications."
Carter, who in recent year has been viewed as harboring an anti-Israel stance, asserted that his "primary foreign policy goal of my life has been to help bring peace to Israel and its neighbors."
In his op-ed, Carter praised the Obama administration as well as other previous administrations for their role in trying to reach a peace deal, but said that the prospects of such a agreement are now growing slim.
He made the charge placing the onus on Israel, and criticizing Jerusalem's policies without mention of Palestinian terrorism or Palestinian rejections of past offers.
"Israel is building more and more settlements, displacing Palestinians and entrenching its occupation of Palestinian lands," he charged.
This process, Carter claimed, will bring about "a one-state reality that could destroy Israeli democracy and will result in intensifying international condemnation of Israel."
American recognition of an independent Palestinian state will make it easier for other countries to follow suit, Carter argued.
"I fear for the spirit of Camp David. We must not squander this chance," he said in reference to the 1978 peace accord between Israel and Egypt that was signed during his presidency.
Israel has urged outgoing US President Barack Obama against backing any such attempt to place outside influence on the conflict in the final weeks of his term.
Carter has been one of Israel's most ardent critics in recent years and last year President Reuven Rivlin refused to meet him when he visited the region.
An Israeli diplomatic official told The Jerusalem Post's Hebrew sister publication Ma'ariv at the time, that the Foreign Ministry recommended Rivlin not meet with Carter, in order to transmit the message that those who harm Israel will not meet with the president.
Is the Obama administration at a boiling point with Israel? - http://www.jpost.com/Jerusalem-Report/At-boiling-point-with-Israel-472488
Speculation has been rife for some time that President Barack Obama will use the presidential interregnum to make a legacy statement on Israel-Palestine. On the cards are a presidential speech that would lay out a suggested framework for a two-state solution, or, in what would be a diplomatic bombshell: using the UN Security Council to push a resolution that would either condemn settlements or even lay down guidelines and a timetable for a final-status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Over the past year the Obama administration has ratcheted up the pressure with increasingly harsh criticism of settlement construction and comments questioning the future of Israel as a democratic and Jewish state.
Things came to a head in early October with a series of stinging statements following the approval of 98 new homes in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh. The construction was announced a month after Obama signed off on a ten-year $38 billion military aid package, two weeks after Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and just days after the American president had made a lightning trip to Israel for the funeral of Shimon Peres.
"It is deeply troubling, in the wake of Israel and the US concluding an unprecedented agreement on military assistance designed to further strengthen Israel's security, that Israel would take a decision so contrary to its long-term security interest in a peaceful resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians," said State Department spokesman Mark Toner.
"Furthermore, it is disheartening that while Israel and the world mourned the passing of President Shimon Peres, and leaders from the US and other nations prepared to honor one of the great champions of peace, plans were advanced that would seriously undermine the prospects for a two-state solution that he so passionately supported."
The White House too issued a notably caustic response. "We did receive public assurances from the Israeli government that contradict this announcement," said White House press secretary Josh Earnst. "I guess when we're talking about how good friends treat one another, that's a source of serious concern."
Martin Indyk, Obama's former special envoy to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians told The New York Times in the wake of those statements that the administration has been escalating its rhetoric in opposition to West Bank settlement activity for more than a year, but Israel isn't listening.
"At a certain point," he said, "the administration may well decide that there need to be consequences for what it now sees as an effort to close off the two-state solution."
A clue as to what those consequences may look like came in an October 6 editorial in The Times titled 'At the Boiling Point with Israel.' "The best idea under discussion now would be to have the United Nations Security Council, in an official resolution, lay down guidelines for a peace agreement covering such issues as Israel's security, the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and borders for both states," the editorial stated, adding that "another, though weaker, option is for Mr. Obama to act unilaterally and articulate this framework for the two parties."
Netanyahu is clearly feeling the heat. In a meeting with settlers in mid-October he reportedly described the presidential interregnum - the period between the US elections on November 8 and the presidential switch-over on January 20, 2017 - as a sensitive period. Warning that Obama could "endanger the settlement enterprise," Netanyahu, according to a report in Haaretz, said, "We need to act wisely, and you, of all people, ought to understand that."
While Netanyahu denied those comments, his office later issued a statement in which it said the prime minister had warned the settlers that: "In the past, there were presidents who at the end of their term in office advanced initiatives that were not in line with Israel's interests."
"The prime minister added that he hopes this won't happen again, and he expects the US not to change its traditional policy of the last several decades and to prevent anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council," the Prime Minister's Office's statement read.
"Netanyahu is worried," Prof. Eytan Gilboa, an expert on US policy in the Middle East, tells The Jerusalem Report. "I'm sure he has all kinds of signals from Washington suggesting that this will happen. I would be worried as well."
Gilboa notes the personality clash between Obama and Netanyahu, saying there is strong motivation in the administration to settle the account with the prime minister.
That account is one created by years of abrasive relations between the two leaders and turbocharged by Netanyahu's March 2015 speech to Congress against the Iran nuclear deal.
Obama's main motivation will be to explain why he failed to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians, which along with the Iran deal was his main foreign policy agenda, explains Gilboa, and secondly to blame Netanyahu for the failure.
"There is a very strong personal element which I think will disappear regardless of who the next president is. I think the personal animosity and especially the poison that was created by Netanyahu's speech to Congress against the Iran deal created a very bad personal relationship. I don't think Obama will acknowledge that, but I think this is his main motivation.
What Obama chooses to do could very much depend on the outcome of the elections.
Hillary Clinton has already said she wants to reset relations with Israel. Any extreme action on the part of Obama would contradict that, and in the event Clinton wins, Obama would have to consult with his Democrat successor. If Trump, on the other hand, were to win the ballot on November 8, Obama wouldn't care less. Gilboa adds that it would even provide him with some "added motivation to come up with some kind of initiative."
Dennis Ross, a former Middle East adviser to both Obama and Clinton, while the latter served as Secretary of State, said in late September at a conference on the US-Israel relationship that "if Trump wins, the president would be more inclined to go for a Security Council resolution to try to do something that binds, creates standards for the future that the next president couldn't undo. If Clinton wins, I suspect he would be more sensitive to her concerns as to whether this helps or hurts her."
Regardless of who wins, any major speech or document would be perceived as a fundamental statement on how negotiations should take place - all the more so a Security Council resolution - and would leave the next president with less freedom.
Meanwhile, senior diplomatic sources in Jerusalem were only willing to say that there are concerns but would not specify what Israel feared could happen and what steps it is taking.
Israel can be expected to exert pressure via Congress and the Jewish lobby. A bipartisan letter submitted by 88 US Senators on September 20 before the prime minister's New York meeting with Obama called on the president to uphold US policy vetoing any "one-sided United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding the Israeli- Palestinian conflict."
The letter quoted Obama's speech to the UN General Assembly in 2011, in which he said, "Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations."
Two days later, Netanyahu addressed the assembly and used almost identical language, praising America's consistent support for Israel at the United Nations as one of the pillars of the US-Israel relationship and clearly making a call for Obama not to take the Security Council route.
"I appreciate President Obama's commitment to that long-standing US policy," Netanyahu told the assembly. "In fact, the only time that the United States cast a UN Security Council veto during the Obama presidency was against an anti-Israel resolution in 2011. As President Obama rightly declared at this podium, peace will not come from statements and resolutions at the United Nations."
Netanyahu also reportedly raised the subject with Obama in New York and in subsequent phone calls with Secretary of State John Kerry, but failed to receive a commitment that the US would not allow a Security Council motion to pass.
But Netanyahu will also be gambling that even if Obama does opt to take the Security Council route, he won't, at the end of the day, allow a resolution that would divert from traditional American policy, namely, a resolution that would break the land for peace mold, redefine the vague withdrawal from territories of Resolution 242 replacing it with a reference to the 1967 lines, and explicitly state that settlements are illegal.
"I don't think there is cause for great concern," Netanyahu's former National Security Adviser, Ya'akovAmidror, tells The Report.
"I see no reason for Israel to be overly worried. It may be unpleasant, and it would be better if it didn't happen, but I don't see the Americans putting anything extreme on the table."
Amidror also points out that regional circumstances could also impede Obama's intent to go via the Security Council.
"I think it would be ridiculous if that is what the UN were to discuss at a time when the battle is ongoing for Mosul, when there are so many deaths in Syria, when refugees are pouring into Europe, and when Turkey doesn't recognize the Lausanne Treaty that delineates its borders," says Amidror.
"Either way," he adds, "what the Americans have put on the table until now hasn't brought the Palestinians to negotiations and whatever they bring to the table won't get them to negotiate.
All avenues point to a speech being the likely option, if Obama wants to build his peace-making legacy.
But even then, says Gilboa, that would be a violation of custom and there is no precedent for an American president to come out during the interregnum with a new initiative during that time period that would affect the policies of the next president.
If I were advising Obama," says Gilboa, "I would tell him, 'If you want to do it, do it in a speech after the next president is in place or write it in your memoirs.'"
Magog Alliance Rising - Turkey Shifts To Russian Alliance - Tom Olago - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=834
Turkey's half-century old EU membership bid is currently tottering on the brink of collapse, after the European Union's legislature asked the bloc to freeze membership negotiations with Turkey over the government's heavy-handed crackdown following a failed coup in July.
In response, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to open Turkey's borders to allow migrants to reach the EU, a move that would tear up the landmark deal that has reduced the flow significantly.
Last year the continent experienced its worst refugee crisis since World War II, with more than a million people fleeing war and poverty to land on Europe's shores mostly via Turkey.
In a bid to stem the flow, Brussels and Ankara agreed to a $6.4 billion deal in which Turkey would take back migrants in exchange for money, visa-free travel and the opening of new chapters.
According to Weston Williams in a report compiled for the scmonitor.com, Turkish president Erdoan indicated in a recent interview that he was fed up with waiting for the European Union to accept Turkey as a member state, indicating that he would be willing to consider joining the Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative to the Western bloc.
After more than a decade of negotiations, the president said that there was no reason to sentence Turkey to even more years of diplomatic wrangling just to become part of an international organization that has been consistently slow in welcoming Ankara into its ranks.
After the EU officially formed, Turkey applied for full membership of that organization in 2005, and has remained in negotiations ever since.
"Turkey must feel at ease," said Erdoan in the interview with Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. "It mustn't say 'for me it's the European Union at all costs.' That's my view....Some may criticize me but I express my opinion," said Erdoan. "For example, I have said 'why shouldn't Turkey be in the Shanghai Five?'"
The Shanghai Five is the old name for the SCO, which consisted of 5 members until Uzbekistan joined the political/economic/military pact. The five-country treaty was signed in 1996, largely thanks to Russia and China.
Could such a move actually materialize, perhaps triggered by a final fallout between the EU and Turkey over a spate of irreconcilable differences? If so, what would its significance be, if any, in the larger scheme of things?
Ricky Scaparo took a look at the Bible prophecy angle shortly after the attempted coup in July with an examination of what Turkey's role is and why it matters.
2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel foretold of a time when a coalition of predominately Muslim Nations would gather together to invade the nation of Israel. This well-known conflict is known as "The War of Gog and Magog."
According to the book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, this confederacy of nations will attack Israel during a relatively peaceful period that appears to be generated by a recent conflict resulting in a "state of peace" for the Jewish nation.
According to the prophet, "After many days you shall be called. In the latter years, you shall come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered out of many peoples, against the mountains of Israel which had been always a waste. But its people were brought out of the nations, and they, all of them, are dwelling safely ... and you shall say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates'" (Ezekiel 38:8, 11, MEV).
The nations cited by Ezekiel are each referenced in the Old Testament, yet they all represent nations which exist today. Long before Russia became a major world power, most Biblical scholars identified Magog as the nation of Russia and Gog as the ruler of Russia. These other nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 are:
" Magog (also said by other experts to include Meshech, and Tubal) = Russia
" Persia = Iran
" Cush = Ethiopia
" Put = Libya
" Gomer = Turkey (Some have identified as eastern Europe)
" Beth-Togarmah = Turkey (also said by other experts to include Armenia, and the Turkish-speaking people of Asia Minor).
The Bible indicates that in the "latter days" the Lord will put a "hook in the jaw" of these nations listed, including the nation of Turkey and, according to the prophet, "you shall ascend and come like a storm; you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you." (Ezekiel 38:9)
So Turkey will be significant in the near future in the context of Biblical prophecy. She will unite with several other nations and attempt to destroy the nation of Israel but will ultimately fail. So just what will befall these nations in that war?
Israel will not need to rely on America, Britain or any of her allies to defend her because God Himself will step into the scene spectacularly and overcome Israel's enemies through a mixture of several strategies: civil wars, pestilences, overflowing rain and hailstones, fire and brimstone (Ezekiel 38: 18-23).
There are other perspectives of how the Biblical prophecies could yet pan out with regard to Turkey. Britt Gillette for WND.com reported the views of Joel Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of "The Islamic Antichrist" and the director of the new teaching series "The Coming Battle for Jerusalem."
Richardson argued in July that the failed coup in Turkey would empower Islamism within the once secular country, leading to massive global consequences.
"Whether we are speaking of the role of the nations in last days Biblical prophecy, or merely examining current Middle East geopolitics from a secular analysis, understanding what is presently unfolding in Turkey is absolutely critical," Richardson told WND.
"For the past 20 years, American foreign policy has looked to Turkey as the model for what we would like to replicate throughout the region. Turkey, it was thought, was a model of success of a moderate Muslim nation."
As Richardson observed, the Turkish Republic was conceived by its founder as a deliberate counter-example to the problem of radical Islam. The military was specifically designated as the guardian of the Republic's secular basis.
Richardson suggests this process, though initially successful has finally broken down through a systematic but subtle and gradual takeover of Islamists. Their vehicle of choice was using the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which Erdoan also used to crush dissent ruthlessly.
"When government protests broke out in Turkey in 2013, Erdoan led the charge to respond violently," Richardson recalled. He further condemned reports which portrayed the defeat of the coup as a triumph for "democracy." He observed AKP supporters did not chant slogans in support of freedom or liberty, but instead called "Allahu Akbar!"
"It is important to note that just ten years ago, shouts of the Arabic phrase 'Allahu Akbar' in Turkey, even among more Islamist Turks, would be extremely rare," said Richardson. "Turks pride themselves in being above the barbaric and uncultured Arabs. No more. The popularity of overtly Islamist sentiment should be deeply troubling to the whole world."
Richardson argues that (Christian) believers should be deeply concerned over these developments because there is an important prophetic significance to the rise of Islamist sentiment in what was once the Eastern Roman Empire.
"What is also fascinating to note is that within Islamic eschatology, there is a prophecy that says that Constantinople, (now called Istanbul) would be conquered by the Mahdi, not through military action, but simply through shouts of, 'Takbir' (Allahu Akbar)," Richardson told WND.
"Surely for the increasingly apocalyptically minded Muslim world, this prophecy may be seen as having been fulfilled in our midst....Turkey has fallen to the Islamists. Erdoan is one step closer to his goal of becoming the Caliph of the Muslim world."
Being passionately anti-Israel would certainly help him achieve that goal. Britt Gillette, founder of End Times Bible Prophecy cites a Jerusalem Post article quoting Erdoan stating that Israel should be barred from the United Nations: "How is such a country, which does not implement resolutions of the UN Security Council, allowed to enter through the gates of the UN (headquarters)?"
As Gillette also noted: "Yet today's headlines indicate a marked increase in friction between the nation of Turkey and its supposed ally Israel. As Islamic radicalism has enjoyed political success in recent years, Turkey is becoming more and more anti-Western in its foreign policy. And its hardline Islamic leadership's shared disdain for Israel may well be the deciding factor which drives it into the arms of the Gog/Magog alliance".
But doesn't Turkey's position in the NATO Alliance count for anything? Previously perhaps, but hardly anymore. According to David Romano for rudaw.net, Turkey's NATO membership also increasingly makes a mockery of the alliance's charter and places significant liabilities on the shoulders of other members.
Romano further pessimistically notes that today, in contrast, it seems increasingly clear that President Erdoan will never relinquish power. His purges and complete subversion of democratic institutions and individual liberties may take decades to repair, if ever.
Just the temperament needed for a ruler with enough dictatorial inclinations to potentially lead Turkey into rebellion against NATO and into the waiting arms of a Russian and/or Chinese-led military alliance.
Romano notes that the NATO charter lacks any provisions for expelling members, however, and such a public break is probably not in any member's interest. The better approach would be to disband NATO and put together something new.
American policy makers will protest that Washington can't afford to lose Turkey. This ignores the fact that they have already lost the Turks to Mr. Erdoan and his ilk - they just haven't officially left yet.
Nearing Midnight: Pre-Tribulation Pondering - Terry James - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
Listening to the "experts" thinking aloud on what this election means is exercise in frustration, if not futility. The talking heads across the cable and broadcast spectrum attribute Donald Trump's win to everything from the late FBI turn of events to news media's biased poll-taking and misreading of exit polling. These throw in that those in charge of the losing campaign just didn't understand the people of middle America. They didn't see the people's pent-up rage against the Washington establishment--the D.C. insiders.
All of these elements no doubt contributed to this election--as many of the pundits put it--eventuating in a totally unexpected outcome. But, it is the never-mentioned aspect of this election dynamic that is frustrating to me as a Christian. It is this that produces a sense of futility.
No one in media is talking about the 81% - 84% (depending upon the figure you accept) of "evangelicals" who turned out in this election. Christian participation just isn't figured in at the highest levels of broadcast and cable punditry.
This means, to me, that the experts believe this election had nothing to do with our being fed up with the social debauchery and degradation that has been taking place, particularly over the past almost eight years. The homosexual, transsexual, same-sex marriage agenda, with mandated same-sex, multiple-occupancy public restrooms, had no influence on the voting this election year, the experts are saying with their silence. We, the voters--who are Christians and came out in numbers that have not been seen in many elections--apparently weren't (according to the pundits) making a statement that we are fed up with our White House being bathed in rainbow colors emblematic of the homosexual lobby. We aren't sick and tired of having the homosexual rainbow flag flown atop that same American presidential edifice, is the message of the pundits' silence.
This electoral landslide against the candidate and party that have crammed down America's throat all of this hellishness--mostly through presidential, executive order-fiat--had nothing to do with the social issues, I guess we are to take away from this silence.
That we are disgusted with small bakery owners being publicly humiliated and fined for refusing to bake same-sex wedding cakes obviously isn't considered worth mentioning in the analysis of this election results. The absolute horrors and atrocities that we learned about involving Planned Parenthood and the selling of human baby body parts didn't, in the thinking of the post-election, political analysts, figure in our collective voting statement.
It was all about terrorism, wallet issues, and building back America's defense, while determining to "drain the swamp."
These were all important issues in my own thinking, as in the thinking of many other Christians, while election day approached. But, in addition to stopping a further tearing down of America's founding structure, I wanted--and continue to want--a government that will stop the anti-godliness, down the road of which the administration of the last eight years has deliberately moved this nation.
As expressed previously in these commentaries, it was God's people praying the prayer of 2 Chronicles 7:14 that turned this election so dramatically. This is the answer the pundits are seeking when they ask incessantly about what happened that the news media types missed. How could this election have turned out so differently than expected right up until 9 p.m. EST Tuesday, November 8?
The fact is that the throne room of Heaven was deluged day and night with God's people imploring Him for mercy--asking that He hear from Heaven and answer our prayers. This, of course required repentance--not of America's population, but of God's people. It is more than obvious that He did hear and answered in a spectacular way. God cannot lie, and He promised He would answer such prayer--uttered under biblically prerequisite conditions.
Now, the question is: Will we who are called by His name continue to pray and to follow up on those prerequisite conditions? How we respond will determine how our nation--and our lives--fare over the coming days, months, and, perhaps, years. We have proof that our Lord answers prayers in a spectacular way. The pundits will never see it, but we who did and are doing the praying certainly understand. We can further understand God's influence in this election by the truly Christian people He has placed among the soon-incoming power elite.
So, in this pre-Tribulation time, we have a window of opportunity to honor our Lord's merciful answer in giving us a leadership that promises a return to founding principles. Along with that merciful action, it is also obvious that we have been given a course-correction, a return to the moral pathway--out of the depravity foisted on us in recent years.
We don't have to wonder about how to honor His mercy and kindness in having answered our prayers. His number-one priority has always been and will always be the salvation of souls. We are expected to honor His decision to give America a reprieve--I have no doubt--in order to, first and foremost, lift Jesus Christ so that the Holy Spirit draws all to Christ for salvation.
Just beneath that all-important mission for God's people in America is to let the pastors of our churches know that the true, Christ-believing bodies of worship should be devoted to teaching and preaching truth. That is, we are now, more than ever, to be the Philadelphian church and not the Laodicean church. (Read Revelation chapter 3.)
There is no doubt that we see this gracious, merciful, moving of God's hand in America. However, there are also signals that are growing stronger by the day that we are in times at the very end of the age.
Jesus forewarned in the Olivet Discourse that there would be great ethnic strife. We have been seeing it manifested in American cities. The seas and waves of humanity are "roaring" in America and in Europe. This election has intensified that roaring, I believe.
People who refuse to accept the election results are exemplifying the apostle Paul's perilous times characteristic "incontinent"--or, "out of control." Jesus said societal conditions will be exactly like now when He intervenes catastrophically into the affairs of mankind. That will happen with the Rapture.
With the United States now seeming to be headed back toward the America we once knew and loved, with the promises of the new administration, we can enjoy our moment of gratefulness this Thanksgiving season.
However, this time of national renewal is also likely to be a time like described by Jesus--a time that will bring His next catastrophic intervention into the affairs of mankind. That time might just be upon us.
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 24: 44)
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
Opening the Tomb of Jesus - By Eric Metaxas - http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/30123
The Historical Reality of Our Faith
For a sixty-hour period beginning on October 26th, researchers had unprecedented access to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site long-venerated as the place where Joseph of Arimathea placed Jesus' body on Good Friday.
Then on October 28th, the tomb was resealed and may not be re-opened until, as the Nicene Creed says, He comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
As National Geographic told readers, "While it is archaeologically impossible to say that the tomb recently uncovered in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the burial site of . . . . Jesus of Nazareth, there is indirect evidence to suggest that the identification of the site by representatives of the Roman emperor Constantine some 300 years later may be a reasonable one."
First some history: According to the historian Eusebius of Caesarea, the Roman emperor Hadrian, about 100 years after Jesus' death and resurrection, had a temple dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite built over the site of Jesus' tomb. This was not by accident.
Two centuries later, the emperor Constantine had the pagan temple demolished and in the process, discovered what was believed to be the tomb of Jesus. Constantine ordered a church to be built around the tomb.
The church we see at the site today is not the original. That one was damaged by earthquakes and fires. It was repaired but later demolished by a Fatimid caliph in the early eleventh century and then rebuilt again and damaged again, so forth and so on.
Yet the pilgrims kept coming, so much so that in the 16th century the burial bed in the tomb was covered in marble to keep people from taking home souvenirs.
This is a great story, but is there reason to believe that it's the site of God's mightiest work, the raising of Jesus from the dead?
What researchers found was "perfectly consistent with what we know about how wealthy Jews disposed of their dead in the time of Jesus."
Wealthy Jews like Joseph of Arimathea.
The presence of other tombs nearby shows that "this area was a Jewish cemetery outside the walls of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus," which is consistent with the Gospels' account of Jesus' burial as well as with Hebrews 13:12, "And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate."
Dan Bahat, the former city archaeologist of Jerusalem, put it this way: ""We may not be absolutely certain that the site of the Holy Sepulcher Church is the site of Jesus' burial, but we certainly have no other site that can lay a claim nearly as weighty, and we really have no reason to reject the authenticity of the site."
Like I said, it's a great story. But it's also a reminder that Christianity is a faith rooted in real time. The events that began on Good Friday and culminated on Easter Sunday took place, not in some mythological time, but in human history.
Think of Luke's gospel and its companion volume, the Book of Acts. Luke names specific Roman emperors and governors, not Zeus and Hermes. As I recently related on BreakPoint, his description of the riot at Ephesus in Acts 19 included details that only someone intimately acquainted with the city could have known.
It could hardly be otherwise. We are saved by a historical act: the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.
And one day, that history will culminate in his return in glory. We know this because the tomb that was opened last month was empty.
Daily Jot: Making Trump's refugee point - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Was the campus policeman who shot dead 18-year-old Islamic Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan a bigot, a racist, a xenophobe? He pulled the trigger. Killed a young college student armed only with his car and a butcher knife. Could there have been another way? Maybe the policeman just didn't understand the need for tolerance and acceptance of a young person in a strange new land. Or just maybe President-Elect Donald Trump's idea is not so far-fetched of stopping Islamic immigration from known terrorist countries until there is a proper and thorough vetting process. Just ask the 11 victims at The Ohio State University's campus who were run down and stabbed just because they are non-Muslim Americans.
Who is a racist xenophobe? You and me for being concerned that the US "president" is resettling terrorists in our country who will attack our sons and daughters because they are different than the Islamists that are being resettled? Donald Trump for wanting to pump the breaks and determine who is being resettled and if their beliefs align with American ideals? No, let us put aside the politically correct nonsense that people like the "president" and Hillary Clinton, and soon to be Chairman of the Democratic Party Keith Ellison (another Islamist congressman), and call a bigot a bigot. If we the people do not look at this from a critical perspective, we are endangering the lives of our children and the future of our country.
NBC News reports that law enforcement officials said that Artan was a Somali refugee who left his homeland with his family in 2007, lived in Pakistan and then came to the US in 2014 as a legal permanent resident. Interesting. Both Somali and Pakistan are terrorist supporting countries. How did this kid become a legal permanent resident coming from those areas? NBC News reports that Artan wrote on what appears to be his Facebook page that he had reached a "boiling point," made a reference to "lone wolf attacks" and cited radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. The post said, "America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah [community]. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that." Trump's point made.
The politically correct crowd label people racists, bigots or xenophobes because they would err on the side of caution before allowing radicals to resettle in peaceful areas. It would be my wish that every refugee that comes to this country would come to the knowledge and acceptance of Jesus Christ. Folks like Artan need Jesus Christ. They are so passionate about their own false religion that they will kill and be killed for it. Think of how on fire they would be for the truth if they only knew it. But they generally hate us because of Christ. So who is the bigot? Keep trying to bring people to their senses. As in Romans 14:16-17, "Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." You are not a bigot for trying to preserve life, especially eternal life.
Daily Devotion: Surprised to Be Chosen - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. -Luke 1:29
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would be the mother of the Messiah, she was honestly surprised that God would select someone like her.
Though Mary was a virtuous woman, she was not a sinless woman. Mary was a sinner just like us. Privileged? Yes. Called by God? Yes. Sinful? Again, yes. Later, in what has been called the Magnificat, or Mary's Song, she said, "My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior" (Luke 1:47). Even Mary needed a Savior.
When people are truly godly, they never boast of their devotion. They will not speak of what they have done for God. Rather, they will always speak of what God has done for them. That is why John described himself in his Gospel as the disciple whom Jesus loved. John boasted of God's love for him rather than his love for God.
Had Mary been like many other young women of her time, she would have married a poor man, given birth to numerous children, and wouldn't have traveled more than a few miles from her home. Then she would have died like thousands of others before her, another person who entered and left the human stage. But God chose her, despite the fact that Mary was a nobody living in a nothing town in the middle of nowhere.
Mary was handpicked to fulfill prophecy: "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). I seriously doubt that Mary, in her wildest dreams, ever read that verse and thought, That is me. I'm going to be the virgin Isaiah spoke of. I'm going to be the mother of the Messiah.
God can use you where you are.
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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