Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Overcomers Will Soon Be Gone - Joseph Chambers - http://www.pawcreek.org/the-masterpiece-overcomers-will-soon-be-gone/
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
It takes my breath to know it is "Home going time." The world is becoming so filthy that our Father must call a halt to the downward trend. The world is insane over pleasure because it is their survival. People in many cases are making so much money that they are searching for ways to spend it. The Father has planned this day all the way back to creation. He created Adam and Eve to be the grand family of His Son. He charged them to multiply so that the family could be large and joyous.
The Rapture is the final moment of six thousand years of multiplying His happy crowd to love and relish. We are not an accident but a "planned multitude." He is getting us ready so we can fly to His planned celebration. The Bridegroom will be ready and the hour will be well planned. The angels are busy preparing every mansion and the wedding party will soon be there. There has never been an event to compare with the "Wedding Supper."
Nine Absolutes for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
There is an unprecedented level of love that Jesus Christ, in His exalted glory, clearly reveals for His Body, the church. These seven letters show that great love, His complete knowledge of His church, His correction, and above all His great plans for the church's future. He corrects because He will judge and reward nothing but faithfulness. There is a consciousness all through these letters of the impending tribulation and a desire to help His Saints escape that dark hour and be found ready for the Rapture of His espoused bride. In every letter, He ends with a promise for the overcomers. The very word overcomer carries a dire warning of troubles to face and a glorious victory for facing those troubles and challenges with triumph.
Every one of the seven churches has had a counterpart in every hour of the church dispensation. Often, the Smyrna churches were hidden away in mountains or meeting in secret in the cities. The Thyatira churches were loving the woman Jezebel and reveling in the careless living she championed. The faithful of the Lord Jesus Christ were, in many cases, serving Christ in spite of rejection and suffering the hatred of those that compromise. There has always been a remnant in spite of all hellish actions on the part of the enemy within and the enemy without. The Lord of the church walked among His pilgrim people, whether it was in a cave, a dungeon, or a cathedral. These letters represent the most current and absolute facts about His relationship to His church in the entire Word of God.
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." Revelation 3:1-3
Church historians believe that the Sardis church represents the church of the reformation. Of course, that would only reflect the major events of Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other reformation leaders. It was during this period that smaller groups, mostly rejected and persecuted, were the real Biblical churches walking in fundamental Christianity. We will see references to those groups in Revelation 3:4. The churches of the reformation never truly turned from many of the doctrines and questionable teachings of the dark ages. There was almost no prophetic preaching that included this Book of Revelation and this great hope of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Replacement theology that relegated Israel to the ashes was still believed and preached by many. Post-millennialism or A-millennialism was the major doctrine of the reformation churches. Justification was a major step forward, but New Testament Evangelism and Spirit-filled churches were still left for future progress. This period covered the years 1517-1790.
The Lord said, "Thou hast a name that thou livest and art dead." This statement could not describe the above truth better. The Lord pleaded, "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain." He makes great references to the Rapture, "...thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." There have been Sardis churches all throughout the church age and there are a multitude of these churches at present. He will shortly come upon them as a thief.
"Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation 3:4-6
Here are those remnant saints that refused to be bound by the doctrines of men. These are saints of God, which have not defiled their garments. These are the Rapture-ready saints "...and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy." If you will take a look at the elders in chapter four after the rapture, you will see the faithful company. These seven letters show that the great Lord of the church maintains perfect control. He knows our thoughts afar off and His judgment is perfect. History reflects a pilgrim church far out of the mainstream, but faithful to the Word of God.
2 Peter 3
9 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.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
Two books that every Christian should read are Foxe's Book of Martyrs and The Pilgrim Church. There are powerful records of that pilgrim church where literally millions of saints have been killed for their faith. The Anabaptist Christians existed over hundreds of years and covered several different periods of these churches. The Waldensians and Albigenses were some of God's choice saints. There were thousands of lesser groups that filled communities with revival and then filled the same communities with their blood of martyrdom. There were a host of such saints whose names will not be honored until that marvelous day of reckoning. Every overcomer will be greatly rewarded and will be the hero of our future.
Do not miss the great promise to the church of Sardis. Remember that the seven letters contained many promises, all of them are really for all of His church. He said to those faithful to Him and that are overcomers of the flesh, the world, and the devil, "But I will confess His name before my Father and before His angels." That has to be the highest honor in the world.
"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." Revelation 3:7-9
This church is the perfect model and type of the church age existing from the end of the eighteenth century (approximately A.D. 1790) until the Rapture. The open door of evangelism, missions, and the general spiritual atmosphere has been phenomenal. The early church periods, typified in Ephesus and Smyrna, have been the only periods with which to compare. The dark ages snuffed out the light and, by God's grace, the world witnessed a marvelous reoccurrence of revival. It is clear from Scripture and the history of this period that the move could have been more expansive and supernatural. He stated, "For thou hast a little strength." Both periods that include the Ephesus and Smyrna churches as well as the Philadelphia churches have faced many difficult periods of false religious, false prophets, and satanic attacks. Every one of the struggles has been duly recorded, and the false crowd will be required to worship before the feet of Jesus. Most of our church world has become so accepting of the false doctrines that they think a mixture is acceptable with God. The statement above is wonderful proof of our God's total commitment to pure truth.
I often hear Christians erroneously say, "I eat the meat and spit out the bone." These seven letters are positive truth that we should reject all Biblical error and have neither time nor space for heresy. The Philadelphia church period is extremely strong in denouncing the synagogues of Satan. A little error may not harm a few strong souls but always destroys a multitude in the end. Error progresses downhill and creates more and more damage as it worsens. The Lord promises great benefits and blessings to the defenders of His Infallible Word. He will show the world His love for His revelations.
"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation 3:10-13
21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
As I previously mentioned, the coming tribulation is evident all throughout these letters to the church. It has been made plain in the Second Testament that His saints are not appointed to wrath, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" I Thessalonians 5:9. The term overcomers was very appropriate as the constant reminder that something was pending, and being overcomers was a prerogative for His church. He told the church of Thyatira that those that loved the woman Jezebel and her deception were going to be cast into the Great Tribulation. There is only one Great Tribulation. He warned the church of Sardis that were overcomers, "I will not blot out his name." We will discuss a similar warning to the church of Laodicea.
His promise of the Rapture before the Tribulation to the church of Philadelphia is one of the surest in the entire Second Testament. The words are plain that a great event is about to happen on this earth "which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth." The entire world and all of mankind is going to be put through the utter judgment to try their souls unto life or death. There is only one way of escape, and He made it clear that we are the company that has the privilege. Even within the church there is a narrow margin. A very specific crowd will escape, and He describes them plainly. "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour." No way to doubt or to swing a deal. The overcomers will be out of here before the terrible wrath of God is poured on this earth. It is a powerful promise from the Lord of the church and cannot be broken.
The Master adds a warning, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. And in the daytime he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the Mount of Olives. And all the people came early in the morning to Him in the temple, for to hear him" Luke 21:36-38. The Bible affirms to us that the entire judgment period begins with His church. He states, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God ..." I Peter 4:17a. The promises that end each letter grow in beauty and purpose to excite His saints. We were never meant to live gloomy lives. The word hope in Scripture means "joyous anticipation." Hope is the certainty of the promises that cannot fail to fill the hearts of the faithful. The Lord will have a new name, the people will speak a pure, new language; and His saints will be identified with His Son's new name written in eternal glorified bodies. Hear carefully what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God" Revelation 3:14.
He uses one of His most magnificent names as He begins His last letter to the last of the church age. Not only is this the last of the church age, it is the most dire warning to the church world from then until now. He says this letter is from "The Amen." I'm always amazed at the doomsayers when they predict the world's ideas of destroying His earth. "The Amen" is going to take care of that, and He will have the last word. He is also named "the faithful and true witness." The names of our Lord used in each address to the churches serve to strengthen the commendations and condemnations. The truths He speaks can be rejected only by absolute judgment. Every word will be fulfilled and every correction will be obeyed or serve as witness in the coming judgment. These great teachings are not suggestions.
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." Revelation 3:15-18
17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
This church is in dark trouble. The meaning of her name is an expression of her character. The "church of mob rule," is a period in which every man is a law unto himself and where the Holy Scripture has been reduced to a cafeteria diet. This "pick and choose" treatment of the Word of God is death to the soul in every case. This church period is the last of the church age and shows that the prophetic words of Jesus Christ, as recorded in Matthew, has indeed occurred, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matthew 24:12. The fire of the Holy Ghost is gone, and the church world is spiritually dead, although it numbers a multitude.
His judgment of this condition is severe. Our present church life is a confused dichotomy. We have the experimental element where doctrine is unimportant and the systems of theology where experience is rejected. Both extremes are contrary to Scripture. A lukewarm church life can be attributed to both extremes. The best theology is death without experiencing the life of the Holy Spirit. The experience of religion without the guideline of great truths is also death. These two mindsets have plagued the church in every period of church history, but have certainly reached a zenith in this last church. He condemns the coldness of such church life and rejects it from the body life of His own Rapture-ready Bride. He said, "I will spue them out of my mouth."
Such churches are normally the richest of all. All worldly church members normally want a church free of strong guidelines, where self can reign unchecked. It does not matter much in what extreme direction a church may go as long as there are no restraints on self. Any system of religion will grow, prosper, and become great if the cross life is absent. The one area that unconverted or unsanctified flesh cannot handle is the separated life of Bible righteousness. This Laodicean church has made the cross life the worst enemy and has championed unsanctified living. The Lord's words make that very plain, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." Spiritual death has robbed this church of life because the spiritual is only present in death to self.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation 3:19-22
His love is the love of a Father that cannot bear to offer the ones He loves an unmanly devotion, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten." Who could ever want a love that allows the one loved to destroy themselves? But, His love was not a distant love but a love of one standing at the door. The Lord is ready to so consume with love that His rebuke is nothing less than joy. His love walks in the midst of His church offering His great promises.
This closing statement to the church shows the perfect unity of the seven letters. All of His overcomers will be judged individually and rewarded individually, but there is still a unity in His promises. This last inclusiveness is to all overcomers. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."
Every identification of the Lord to His church recalls a portion of His revelation in chapter one and every promise is part and lot of the total of all seven. Also, in each ending to all seven churches, He states, "what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Notice, He says "churches" in the plural. They are separate and different but all part of one church. It's important that no correction is rejected. All of each letter is a final warning and promise. The Rapture is at hand and there will be no additional warning before He appears.
After the Rapture - By Dick Ainsworth - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/12/03/after-the-rapture-dick-ainsworth/
Satan knows that his time to control, tempt with sin, deceive and influence mankind on earth is short (Revelation 12:12); and this father of lies (John 8:44) is bombarding the 7.4 billion earthly inhabitants with every lie and deception he has in order to try to lure people away from the Saving Grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The subject of this article deals with one of his deceptions that doesn't get a lot of exposure in the Bible teaching and study classes, or in books and other Christian media and teachings: After the Rapture.
God's Word tells us to take care of our own eternal salvation first before we set out to save the world (Luke 6:42). For years it has bothered me to be in an end-times discussion with other Christian believers when the mention of wars and rumors of wars, hurricanes, pestilences, earthquakes, locusts, 100-pound hailstones and so on comes up. Someone just about always ho-hums it all away with a remark like, "I really don't care about that stuff because I'm not going to be here anyway!" It is my opinion that Satan is placing thoughts and beliefs like that in us in order to lead true believers away from witnessing to the left behind.
I believe the work of God's raptured Church doesn't end when we depart forever from this present earth. The estimated billions who are left behind have one last chance to spend eternity with the Lord, and it is up to us to prepare their way. We won't be able to help them directly face-to-face after we have been raptured out, but here is a brief look at what we can do now and what they will be confronted with in the 7-year tribulation.
The Holy Spirit will be very active during those 7 years, along with the 144,000 witnesses (Revelation 7:4, 14:3) and the two prophets (Revelation 11:3-12). But there are many, many things we can do now to steer the left behind away from Satan's deceptions. We can divide our works into two categories: (1) the physical, and (2) the spiritual.
Let's first start with the physical:
The Bible tells us that there will be apostasy and a "falling away" (2 Thessalonians 2: 3) prior to the rapture, but there will be massive revival after the Church is removed from earth. When some of those left behind finally see the light, then it is very important to keep those new believers alive into as much of the 7-year tribulation period as possible. Each of these new believers will spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others, so they must live as long into the 7 years as possible to reach as many as possible. Granted, many new believers will be martyred in those days, but they must convert as many as possible before their time comes.
Many of these new converts will also witness to others that were left behind, and so the revival grows. The 144,000 plus two will do so much, but I believe God wants the new believers to do what they didn't do in the pre-rapture days on earth.
In these pre-rapture days we need to be stockpiling supplies, materials and equipment to help new followers of Christ exist during the 7 years to do God's Work while still on earth. After the rapture one might check the local churches on that first Sunday. If the church and its parking lots are empty, then they surely have gone to spend eternity with the Lord. But if some of the churches are well attended, then the wrong gospel was taught; and they, pastors included, all missed the calling out from Christ.
With the true Church gone, the government in place plus it's collection of groups and followers will go on a Bible-burning spree to aid Satan's efforts to replace God. There will be "free" Bibles left behind in homes of the raptured, but many of the people left behind will have other things on their minds. Satan's people will be collecting those same free Bibles for a different reason.
Some of the other items to stockpile now are long-term storage food, water purification gear and additives, camping gear, solar-powered radios and equipment, medical and first aid supplies and manuals, outdoor survival manuals, guns and ammo, etc. Some of you may not like the guns and ammo items on this list, but bear in mind what Revelation 13: 16-18 says about not being able to buy or sell without the 666 mark of the beast.
Money and currency will be nearly worthless at this time, so new believers will have to form their own underground economy and establish barter systems. Another new believer may have something you need, so you can swap a gun or some ammo for it. Another good reason to have the guns and ammo in your stockpile is protection from wild and domestic animals that will attack you for their next dinner. The eco- system will be in an uproar, and wildlife and domestic pets will be starving. In those instances your pet dog or cat may attack you and your family due to starvation. So you might be forced to shoot Old Yeller.
Now let's touch on the spiritual category and what we need to leave behind for the left behind:
After the rapture of Christ's church, there will be a number of vacant church buildings. Since many present-day Bible scholars believe (as I do) that we are presently in the Laodicean church era (Revelation 3:14-22), thus there might not be a large number of empty churches after the rapture. The Bibles, tracts and other Christian-based literature in these vacated buildings will be quickly gathered up and destroyed by the evil people now in charge. Who is going to object or stop them? All the Christians are gone.
Those Bibles and related materials will be replaced with literature authored by Satan, his "staff"-the antichrist and the false prophet (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10). They will deceive many, but some will remember that crazy uncle that kept harping to them about the rapture and the end-times that follows.
A lot of those left behind will be bewildered and confused as to where all of those crazy uncles went. The "new church" will have answers like "the space aliens got them" or "the new world leader chose to rid the world of evil people so he used his godly powers to make them all disappear." But some of those left behind will realize that their crazy uncles weren't so crazy after all. Those with a clear conscience will still know good from evil, right from wrong. And they will need that, as the earth will be dominated with continuous and intensified sin of the worst kind. Stronger-than-ever evil temptations will be the norm, which includes those left behind being bombarded by Satan, whose time is short (Revelation 12:12).
This will lead to new believers forming home churches. This is where Bible study should head the list of activities, which will go hand-in-hand with group prayer and worship, also good Christian fellowshipping and setting up a barter system and underground economy. But home churches won't last long, as these new believers will lose their homes. If you can't buy or sell without the 666 mark, you can't pay your rent or make house payments. If your house is paid for, you can't pay your annual property taxes. People that don't pay their taxes will lose their homes to the new government.
All of the utilities will be shut off due to non-payment. And your local Wal-Mart will just be a memory. The new "greeters" at their front door will now be equipped with scanners to detect the mark, and security cellphones to report those without the mark so they may be arrested. So now maybe you might understand why I listed camping gear, water purification supplies, survival manuals, guns & ammo, long-term storage food, etc.?
Now let's take a brief look at what life might be like during these painful and horrific times:
With all the Christians gone, the hospitals and clinics will be gutted of good God-fearing doctors, nurses and staff. The same is true of the police, the fire departments, the military and the governments (both elected and appointed). Imagine what the Senate, Congress, all levels of judges, etc., will be doing to our laws when all the Christians are gone? We can't leave our families and friends to go through all of this without making an effort to save them after we have been raptured.
I have been storing up supplies and materials for nearly 20 years (before the Y2K craze), but a very important item I am leaving is a box containing personal letters from me plus exceptional articles from pastors, teachers and theologians. I want those who find this box to know about the Rapture Ready website (www.raptureready.com), as I believe you can read their articles continuously for a year and not cover it all. But I'm not sure what will happen to this website after the rapture. Rapture Ready suggests you print off hard copies now. I have been doing this for several years.
One series of present articles is currently on my most urgent list. It is a series of articles by Alice Childs entitled "The Tribulation Chronicles." As I write this article, she is now in her 6th week with more to come.
If Satan knows that his time is short, then we know our time is short also. But those who will be left behind aren't on the same eternal time calendar. This is working well for Satan and his minions, but we must act as Christ's alarm clock and point as many as possible in the right direction. Eternity is forever either in heaven or hell. And so far Satan has the biggest team with plans to increase his numbers. There are no free-agent drafts here. Once you are on a team, it is forever!
FOCUS ON JESUS Ministry
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Why It's Precisely the Right Time for Trump to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel - by Dovid Efune -
Ahead of his expected recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump has faced a virtual torrent of criticism.
He should pay the critics no heed. The move is not only morally the right thing to do, it's also a political masterstroke. Let me explain.
Generally, the critics can be divided into two categories.
The first group - among them the Ramallah-headquartered Palestinian Authority and Gaza Strip-ruling terror organization Hamas (along with various Arab and Muslim states, and even the US State Department) - has made the case against recognition as being vital to prevent the inevitable violence and outrage that will follow as a result.
But Arab blackmail doesn't feel like a compelling argument against implementing American law and doing what's right - certainly for the United States. In addition, neither of these entities has much of a track record in furthering the cause of peace.
The second group, who are generally supportive of the move, have questioned the timing - ahead of the expected unveiling of a White House peace initiative in the coming weeks.
The timing, however, appears to be very well considered. It's highly appropriate to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at the outset of a peace push for the following reason:
When Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, whom Trump has tasked with the Mideast peace brief, embarked on their "listening tour" soon after the president took office, they were advised by at least one regional actor that, in the words of Albert Einstein, one can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results. In many ways, it seems that this word of advice - frankly, a matter of common sense - has served as a guiding principle in the nascent peace efforts.
From what we have seen so far, the peacemaking team has sought to implement new approaches on at least four fronts.
Firstly, there's the "regional approach" concept, which was mentioned by both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump in their first White House meeting. The practical manifestation of this alignment between Israel and the Sunni Arab states has yet to be clearly presented, but remains a constant subject of peace discussions.
Second is the commitment to push the parties to the table without imposing a predetermined outcome. "We're trying to find a solution that comes from the region, not to impose," Kushner told attendees at the Saban Forum over the weekend.
Third, there's the focus on "bottom up" actions, seeking to build cooperation between the Palestinian and Israel people themselves by appealing to interests. This "economic peace" concept was behind the US-facilitated landmark water deal inked in July by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is the administration's willingness to apply pressure on the Palestinian Authority. Whereas some past presidents have handled PA leaders with kid gloves, Trump has taken a far more forthright approach, bringing up prickly issues like PA payments to terrorists without thinking twice.
This is vital because, as has been very well documented, the greatest obstacle to progress in the region has been Palestinian intransigence. The Israelis have shown - perhaps mistakenly - an incredible capacity to offer painful concessions for the cause of peace, including land transfers, prisoner releases and dangerous security arrangements, often at great political risk. Time and again, these gestures were rebuffed, and the Palestinians were excused as being the weaker, aggrieved, more delicate party.
The Palestinians first introduced the Trump administration to their duplicitous strategies when PA President Mahmoud Abbas told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in June that they were ending the terror payments, only to recommit themselves to the sponsorship shortly afterwards.
But now we have a White House that favors results over process, and understands that presenting the Palestinians with real, permanent and painful costs for their rejectionism may provide the best opportunity for progress. Both carrots and sticks are necessary, and the White House appears to be preparing one hell of a stick.
There's the ever present threat to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the threat to shut down the PA office in DC; the specter of White House support for the Taylor Force Act, which will see significant cuts to US financial aid to the Palestinians; Trump's unwillingness to specify the two-state solution as the only solution to the conflict; and even the threat to withhold funds from international bodies that give the PA and the PLO full membership, which was circulated in the administration's early days. In addition, the Palestinians will not be quick to forget that it was a matter of months before they were even able to establish contact with Trump's team. They should not be taking that access for granted.
The Israelis have long been concerned - with due reason - that the Palestinians have never intended to pursue a genuine peace and that the peace process is seen as a tactic to secure more land from which to launch continued attacks on the Jewish state. Leaders of the PA have paid lip service to the peace initiatives over the years, but the statements in the PA's founding and guiding documents, its glorification of terrorists, the curriculum taught in its schools and its constant incitement on social media, among other things, have all long-told another story.
Here we have an administration that for the first time seems prepared to call the Palestinians' bluff. The recognition of Jerusalem at the onset of a peace initiative - and the lining up of further potential repercussions - shows the Palestinians and the international community just how serious the president is.
It's a thoroughly worthwhile and commendable move.
Nearing Midnight: God Declared Out of Order - Terry James - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Anti-God forces are still on the move, forging ahead with even increased intensity in their madness. We read about it every day or see it on our television and/or computer monitors. Anti-God forces' determination to unseat the Creator of all things has not abated. It is, as said, intensifying.
We can go back much farther. But a modern starting point to see this intensification involves the 1962-63 decisions by the Supreme Court to attempt to kick God out of classrooms by banning Bible reading and prayer from public schools. Then, we consider most often the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 that gave us not only the right, but the commission, to allow the murder of babies in their mothers' wombs.
God was, in these cases, ruled out of order by the Supreme Court justices. They, we can infer, believe they know better than did the Founding Fathers of America-and, better than God, as well.
The humanists continue in their incessant drive to remove all influence by the One who gives and allows each heartbeat, each breath for every living being upon the planet.
As example, it is interesting that while Sweden has allowed so many Muslims into their country that they are taking over, the most prominent Christian body in that nation, at the same time, seeks to rule God out of order. Many among the Lutheran Church-more than six million membership among ten million citizens of that country-are declaring, in effect, that the order God established is wrong and they are out to rectify the situation.
The following news excerpt explains.
The Church of Sweden is encouraging its clergy to use the gender-neutral term "God" instead of referring to the deity as "he" or "the Lord".
The decision was made on Thursday, wrapping up an eight-day meeting of the church's 251-member decision-making body. The decision will take effect on May 20 during Pentecost.
It is the latest move by the national Evangelical Lutheran church to modernize its 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted.
The decision to update the book of worship gives priests new options on how to refer to God during their services.
Priests can now open their services by referring to the traditional "Father, son and Holy Ghost" or the gender-neutral phrase "in the name of God and the Holy Trinity". Other gender-neutral options are available for other parts of the Church of Sweden liturgy. (Church of Sweden to stop clergy calling God 'he' or 'the Lord' in bid to crack down on gendered language, The Telegraph, November 26, 2017)
God is thereby ruled out of order by the high, ecclesiastical body in the nation that seems to have developed spiritual dementia. God's Holy Scripture refers to Him as "He." But, Sweden's Lutheran top echelon, now led by Archbishop Antje Jackelen, who was elected Sweden's first female archbishop in 2013, says it is wrong to refer to the Lord in the masculine gender.
Obviously, the radical feminist agenda is on track and growing in Europe. That agenda, instigated and fueled by the same creature who first beguiled the first woman, continues to seduce and deceive. God is out of order, is Satan's number-one accusation.
He told Eve "Yea, hath God said?" He continues to whisper, even shout, the same question. He thus declares on every continent, at every opportunity: God is out of order!"
Again, in Sweden, Muslims are taking over. Swedish women, I've read reports, are dyeing their hair black in many instances, and even wearing berkas, to keep radical Muslim men from raping them-thus, because blonde hair and blue eyes, to these radicals, gives license to rape, since the women are obviously, in their view, infidels.
That mankind has come to such a reprobate mindset should not surprise. Insanity has set in on a planetary scale. The lines between truth and lie, between good and evil, have become so blurred as to make God, Himself, almost unrecognizable. Paul, the great apostle, wrote the following prophetic Truth, which we've looked at a number of times.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:28-32)
The reprobate (upside-down) thinking has set in across the globe. The radical, feminist, mindset is one proof that it has done so. They who hold to such upside-down thinking have ruled God out of order.
Paul writes concerning those who rule God out of order, and who, instead do things which are right in their own eyes: "But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things" (Romans 2:2).
Daily Jot: US recognizing Jerusalem moves prophetic clock - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
By the time many of you read this Daily Jot, President Donald Trump will have announced his intentions to move the US Embassy in Israel to the nation's true capitol-Jerusalem. This is one of those campaign promises made by many presidents, but President Trump aims to fulfill it. It is an announcement that may have great prophetic consequences. Already, the Arab world is lining up to voice its protest. The so-called "Palestinians" are calling for three days of rage-interesting-only three days when they have been terrorizing the Jewish State for decades. Turkey's "president" Tayyip Erdogan is calling for an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit. These all have prophetic implications.
Jerusalem, located on the Moriah mountain range, always has been the spiritual center of God's people. Jewish tradition recalls that the dust of Moriah was used to create Adam; it was on Mt Moriah that Adam is said to have first offered sacrifice to God. After the flood, Jewish tradition also tells us that Noah's son Shem established a school to study Torah, calling it Shelem. Later, in Genesis 22:14a, "Abraham called the name of that place Yehovah Yireh." This was the mountain Zion, referred to in Genesis 22:14b as "the mount of the Lord." The two names were combined to form Jerusalem. This is also the site of the future Jewish temple and the city of the crucifixion of Christ.
Since then, this area has been one of the most contested lands in the world. Islam claims that Ishmael, not Isaac, was bound and placed on the altar, and, therefore, Jerusalem is one of Islam's holiest sites. Rome ruled over Jerusalem as the land bridge and trade route from Europe to the East to Africa. Catholics claimed the area during the Crusades, where Jews and Muslims were killed for the right of the site. Islam reclaimed Jerusalem and when Israel again became a nation, it reclaimed East Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967, thus establishing the current sharing of the city with hostile Arabs, mainly from Jordan, calling themselves "Palestinians."
Turkey's Erdogan, a champion of the Palestinian state, has warned Trump that the announcement would be a grave mistake. A spokesman for Erdogan said, "Jerusalem is our honor, Jerusalem is our common cause, Jerusalem is our red line." Here's where the prophetic clock ticks forward: Noah's grandsons from Japheth-Gomer, Magog, Meshech, Tubal are specifically mentioned in the end time prophecy of Ezekiel 38 as part of a coalition led by Gog of Magog against Israel. All these nations are located in what is now modern Turkey. The announcement of the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capitol in any shape or form may cause this end time Ezekiel 38 alliance to begin to coalesce.
Daily Devotion: The First to Hear - By Greg Laurie -
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. -Luke 2:8-9
When God's Son was born in a manger in Bethlehem, an unlikely group was the first to hear the news. If it had been up to me, I would have chosen to dispatch an angel to the court of Caesar Augustus. "You call yourself the savior of the world, Caesar? Well, check this out. The real Savior of the world has been born!"
Or, the angel could have appeared to the high priest, scribes, and scholars and announced the news that the Savior had been born.
Instead, God chose to deliver His message to shepherds who were "living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night" (Luke 2:8). To be a shepherd in that culture was to be at the bottom of the social ladder. Shepherds were despised-so much so that the testimony of a shepherd wasn't allowed in a court of law.
Shepherds basically did the work that no one else wanted to do. They had dirt under their fingernails. They were hardworking. And they probably felt right at home when they learned that this baby was born in lowly circumstances. They would have related to this. God was speaking their language.
This became the modus operandi of Christ throughout His ministry. He always went to the outcasts, to the hurting, to the ordinary people. He went to people like the woman at the well who had been ostracized because of her multiple marriages and divorces. He went to people like the tax collector Zacchaeus who was perceived by his fellow Jews as a traitor. Our Lord always had time for people like that. He was described as the friend of sinners.
In the same way, those lowly, despised shepherds who kept watch over their flocks, were visited by the Lord.
FROM THE HEART
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