The World Stage is Set - By Rick Segoine - https://www.raptureready.com/2023/12/04/the-world-stage-is-set-by-rick-segoine/
All of the insane wickedness that is happening all over this little planet we call home can be a bit overwhelming at times. Yet, at the same time, thanks to Jesus, it is possible to be at peace and filled with hope (Philippians 4:7).
One thing is absolutely a certainty. We are not getting farther and farther away from all Bible prophecy being fulfilled. No, we are getting closer and closer to all Bible prophecy being fulfilled, and you can see it happening in real-time.
Having spent a great deal of time studying Bible scripture, Bible history, and history in general, as well as recent history and current events, this is what it looks like to me at this point in time. This is what it looks like as of December 2023.
The world stage is set, and what it is set for tells us a lot of other things as well, in regard to what is happening and what is about to happen in this beautiful world we live in.
The world stage is set for the “antichrist” to step out onto the stage and reveal his identity. He will do this by brokering a seven-year peace treaty between the tiny little nation of Israel and the enemies that surround her, as well as her enemies all over the rest of the entire world (Daniel 9:27).
He will be celebrated as a hero by the unbelieving Christ-rejecting world.
The antichrist will usher in the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” or “Great Tribulation,” spoken of by many Old-Testament prophets, the Apostle Paul, and Jesus Himself in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and Mark and with great detail in the Book of Revelation – the book of prophecy given directly to His disciple, John, by Jesus Himself.
In relation to the prophetic timeline, the only thing that has to happen before the antichrist is revealed is the Rapture of the remnant church.
And when that happens, the restraining power of the Holy Spirit will also be removed (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
The world is set to change radically, and here are some indications why:
Hatred for the Jews and for the nation of Israel is flying off of the charts. An intense, actually unfathomable amount of pressure is being put on Israel and its leaders and its people. This pressure is worldwide and led by the so-called U.N.
Zechariah 12:3 “On that day when all the nations of earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.”
Israel is being pressured not only to take part in a two-state solution, which makes a mockery of the eternal covenants that Yahweh, the Holy God of Israel, made with Abraham, but pressure also to basically give up their right to even defend themselves from the most hideously evil and barbaric attacks. Genesis 17:7 “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant.”
There are those such as Biden and a few other national leaders who claim to understand Israel’s need to eliminate completely the rancid evil that is embodied by Hamas, yet the actions of Biden betray his words.
Biden and his political agenda-driven ilk pretend to support Israel and, at the same time, put pressure on Israel to ceasefire and press on with a two-state solution. A two-state solution is a non-solution that Hamas never has wanted and never will.
Hamas, like Hezbollah, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, the PLO, Iran, and many other Islamic nations, will accept nothing less than total annihilation of the state of Israel as well as all Jews everywhere on Earth. Many world leaders seem utterly unable to get that through their thick heads.
For Israel, it really is a matter of survival.
Then there are those who don’t even pretend to understand and just blame everything on Israel every time.
They (like the Jew-hating leaders of the U.N.) even blame Israel for the cruel, beyond brutal, evil demonic murders and rapes, tortures and beheadings of little babies, kidnappings, and all of the destruction that the sub-barbarians known as Hamas carried out gleefully on October 7, 2023.
We live in a depraved, reprobate world where off-the-charts evil actions carried out by the likes of Hamas are swept under the rug, a world where an enormous number of human beings really do see evil as good and good as evil (Isaiah 5:20)
All over the world, people are screaming ceasefire and free Palestine.
The loudest screamers are the Islamic descendants of Ishmael, many of whom have been brainwashed from early childhood to hate Israel and to hate all Jews.
The Islamist screamers are being aided by the brainwashed leftist liberals of the Western world. Useful idiots that haven’t the slightest clue what they are even screaming about.
They join in the genocidal Islamic chant, “From the river to the sea, all of Palestine will be free,” without knowing what river (the Jordan) or what sea (the Mediterranean) or any of the actual history of Israel itself or of the mostly Arabic people displaced by the wars against Israel.
The many wars since 1948 were ignited by coalitions of armies from Arabic nations. Now, these “refugees” are referred to as Palestinians for political purposes. This, even though Palestine was the name of a geographical territory and not an actual nation.
Many of those most useful of the useful idiots are college students who have had their minds hijacked by Marxist/Globalist professors who have infiltrated “higher” education over the last few decades in America and other Western nations like the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe as well.
These young people have been fed a steady diet of rewritten history and trained in a Pavlovian manner to respond self-righteously with anger, indignation, and virtue signaling toward whoever the chosen target is at the time and whenever they are given cues by their puppet masters. Right now, Israel is the target of the venom being spewed.
And then there are those who are simply paid to scream and shout, spout hatred, and carry signs. Paid by men like George Soros, who bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the dark lord in the “Star Wars” movies. Darth Vader’s evil mentor.
The godless, corrupt, morally bankrupt U.N. always sides with anyone and everyone who hates Israel, falsely accuses Israel, wants to carve up Israel, and wants to kill every last Jew on the face of the earth.
Because most of the Israelites themselves have not accepted Jesus as their Messiah just yet, they do not have the benefit of the Holy Spirit to guide them to the truth in all things. Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 9:27-28 speak of the Jews receiving Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah at the end of the tribulation.
However, because they do not yet trust in Jesus, they will be susceptible to a false peace treaty presented by the antichrist.
According to Bible prophecy, the leaders of Israel will be fooled, and they will sign on to this false peace accord that the antichrist will then betray at the halfway point of the seven-year Tribulation (Daniel 9:27).
Even now, the whole world screams for peace. They scream for peace as things appear to be getting so much worse. The screaming just keeps getting louder, but the ones doing the screaming – because so many of them see evil as good and good as evil – are screaming at and blaming the victims. This, of course, plays right into the hands of Satan.
Wars and rumors of wars. Threats and warnings of World War III. Threats of nuclear warfare. Threats of warfare generated from orbit using laser weapons of mass destruction and electromagnetic pulse weapons known as EMPs.
Threats from Iran to blow Israel off of the face of the earth.
Statements by Israeli leaders that they would do whatever it takes to ensure their very survival, being surrounded on all sides by hatred and taking seriously the genocidal threats from the Ayatollahs and leaders of Iran.
And Israel has the nukes if they are actually backed into that corner.
And, lest anyone forget, the yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy referred to as the “Burden of Damascus” (Isaiah 17:1). “Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”
So many threats and so much fear, and add to that all of the horrendously evil things the Globalists are doing to cause fear on so many other levels as well.
The unbelieving Christ-rejecting world is desperately looking for a hero and will soon embrace the antichrist as that hero.
Speaking of the globalists, they have all of the technology in place to install a world monetary system and implement the mark of the beast to control all buying and selling, as well as control every aspect of the lives of everyone on the planet.
That is, everyone who survives their depopulation agenda. And yes, they are still pushing the COVID-19 clot shots as safe and effective, even in light of the ever-growing mountains of evidence proving the exact opposite is true.
The multi-billionaires’ club of globalist elitists harbor grand ambitions to control everything and everyone on Earth to the minutest detail.
The leaders of Islam and their dedicated followers have equally grand ambitions to control everything and everyone on Earth through violently imposed Shariah Law.
Both of these very different organizations, with their tyrannical mindsets, have this in common:
Total lack of respect for any and all everlasting covenants made between the Creator of the Universe and the nation of Israel.
The world stage is set.
The remnant church of believers will soon be departing this world and going to the place prepared for us by Jesus. We will be meeting up along the way with everyone who died believing in Jesus. From that point, we will forever be with Jesus, and we will be given eternal bodies like His. Bodies that will never get sick, never die, and will not be tempted by sin (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
After the wrath of God is poured out in the seven-year Tribulation to put an end to all of the evil in this world and those that perpetuate that evil, Jesus will come back to Earth and establish 1,000 years of true peace.
The remnant church and the dead in Christ who rise at the Rapture and are given eternal bodies will help Jesus in all manner of ways during this seventh day of God’s “Week of Creation” (Revelation 20:1-6).
We are in the times that are like the times of Noah, right before the flood (Matthew 24:37).
Also, like the times of Lot, right before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We are in the time of the “birth pains” described by Jesus in Matthew 24:8. The contractions from those birth pains are drawing very close together, and the crowning could take place any day now.
The world stage is set.
Our Heavenly Father is the Director.
It is He who will call the next scene into action (Matthew 24:36).
Your friend in Jesus,
Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to our Heavenly Father except through Him. If you have never called on Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, today would be a perfect day to call out to Him. (Romans 10:9-10) teaches us how.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Israel's Position for Next Phase of Conflict Is Strong – Alex Traiman - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=6534
On Oct. 7, on the Jewish holy day of Simchat Torah, Hamas took Israel by surprise with an attack it will never forget. More than 3,000 terrorists and Gazan civilians crossed into Israeli territory and committed the most heinous single-day massacre in the history of the Jewish state. Some 1,200 people were killed, thousands more were wounded and as many as 240 were taken back to Gaza as hostages. Thousands of rockets were launched into Israeli territory.
The brutal attack was a declaration of war, and immediately Israel readied for battle. Devastating airstrikes on the Gaza Strip began within hours and continued for weeks. Soon after, tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers launched a ground incursion to target Hamas’s military leadership, uncover a vast underground tunnel network and weapons caches, and search for the hostages.
The entry of the Israel Defense Forces into the Strip was the first time that any Israelis had set foot in Gaza since Israel’s full military and civilian withdrawal from the area in the summer of 2005.
The Gaza Health Ministry—an organ of Hamas—accuses Israel of killing over 10,000 people and destroying tens of thousands of buildings since the beginning of the war. Gaza Health Ministry stats are unreliable, unverifiable, and do not distinguish between militants and civilians. Yet they give some indication as to how much damage Israel has wrought within Gaza.
The ground incursion began in the northern half of the narrow enclave. The IDF methodically moved south along the coast and then encircled Gaza City—the Strip’s largest city—from the south. Gazan civilians heeded Israeli warnings and moved south along protected humanitarian corridors, emptying out the north so Israel could specifically target those seeking a fight.
Israel currently controls as much as a third of the Strip and was beginning its move toward the south, where many of Hamas’ senior leadership are now believed to be operating.
Hamas needed a pause
Hamas has been taking a severe beating and desperately needed a pause in the fighting. Enter the hostages. With its terror militia on the run and its rocket supply rapidly dwindling. Hamas used its collateral, the hostages it took for just such a purpose, to convince Israel to halt its momentum.
Hamas dangled a promise to return 50 hostages for 150 convicted terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons and a four-day pause in the fighting. The two sides negotiated terms, which included the possibility to extend the ceasefire by an extra day for each additional 10 hostages Hamas can deliver alive.
For Israel, the terms represent a high-stakes risk-reward scenario. The rewards are obvious and immediately tangible. The return of 50 hostages provides relief to many of the families who have been reliving the trauma of Oct. 7 for 50 days since the Simchat Torah massacre. The entirety of Israeli society wants the hostages home.
Yet the risks are also profound. The pause provides a terror group on the run a desperately needed opportunity to regroup, rearm and redeploy, potentially placing IDF soldiers at greater risk when fighting resumes. The prisoners Israel released back into society—at a 3-1 ratio—are terrorists, many convicted of attempted murder. Like prisoners released in the unconscionable 1,000-1 trade in 2011 to recover kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit—who was held in Gaza for five years—many are likely to commit new acts of terror following their release, threatening the lives of more Israelis.
(Hamas terror mastermind Yahya Sinwar was one of those released in the Shalit deal. Worse, Sinwar was treated and had his life saved in an Israeli hospital in 2007 after suffering from life-threatening neurological symptoms.)
And nobody can predict what the current trade might mean for the safety of hostages who remain in captivity after the initial deal.
Israel negotiated from strength
While all Israelis want the hostages back, not all support the dangerous trade. Yet the War Cabinet, the full Cabinet and the Knesset all backed the deal. While opponents of the deal claim that Israel negotiated from a position of weakness, the exact opposite is true. Israel negotiated the hostage deal from a position of great strength.
First, the IDF is one of the world’s strongest militaries. It is absolutely destroying Hamas, with only a portion of its military might. Israel and Hamas both understand well that a four-day pause does little to change Israel’s overall strategic advantage on the battlefield, even if Hamas manages to regroup and rearm.
Israel’s moral superiority
Second, in placing such a high value on retrieving its hostages, Israel has once again demonstrated its moral superiority. While Hamas values martyrdom and a culture of death, Israel values life. And it will risk life and limb to save one of its own. That is a message being heard loud and clear inside Gaza, where civilians recognize that Hamas has invited death and destruction into the Strip, and does little to protect its residents.
It is a message that is reverberating around the world as well. The return of Israeli hostages to the headlines reminds the international community that Israel was severely victimized on Oct. 7 by a brutal terror organization.
That Hamas has been essentially forced to give up 50-70 of its bargaining chips for only 4-6 days of pause in the fighting demonstrates how desperate a situation Hamas is actually in.
Netanyahu shames Hamas in Gaza
Adding insult to injury for Hamas was a surprise visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the strip on Sunday, where he held situational assessments and met with IDF soldiers who continue to hold their positions.
Netanyahu’s visit sent clear messages both in Israel and Gaza. First, Netanyahu has not-so-subtly signaled that as the head of the strongest military force in Gaza, he is now the Strip’s sovereign leader. From this point forward, it is Netanyahu who will determine the fate of Gaza, not Hamas.
The visit is a terrible embarrassment to Hamas, and this is the reason they have not openly commented on it. The visit would have gone viral globally and been more difficult to ignore had Netanyahu opted to record statements in English, in addition to the statements he made in Hebrew while with the Israeli soldiers.
IDF pressure campaign to resume
Second, as Netanyahu repeatedly told the soldiers, as did Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Gaza the day before, the military campaign will resume as soon as Hamas is no longer able to deliver hostages. Gallant has repeatedly insisted that it was IDF pressure that forced Hamas to negotiate the return of hostages, and he continues to insist that further IDF pressure will lead to the release of additional hostages in the days and weeks to come. The defense minister has stated that fighting in Gaza is expected to continue for months yet. Netanyahu and Gallant have no choice but to beat Hamas at its own game.
Understanding Hamas’s strategy
On Oct. 7, Hamas intentionally launched an attack so heinous that Israel would have no choice but to retaliate on an unprecedented scale. And it is obvious that the IDF—as one of the world’s strongest and battle-ready militaries—has enough might to defeat a terror entity with fewer soldiers and inferior weapons.
Hamas understood from the outset that it could never defeat Israel on the physical battlefield. Instead, it sought to use the war to defeat Israel on the psychological battlefield and in the realm of public opinion.
A weakened and divided Israel?
In the weeks, months and even years leading up to the attack, Hamas and its backer, Iran, recognized severe political divisions inside Israel. They believed bogus assessments by anti-government forces that the divisions had weakened the military. Hamas believed that this supposed weakness would lead to mistakes on the battlefield that would further eat away at Israel’s waning cohesion.
Hamas also believed that their network of underground tunnels and stash of improvised explosive devices would create enough surprise launch points and booby traps to cause large numbers of Israeli casualties during a ground invasion. Hamas hoped that such casualties would weaken Israeli determination to fight.
Hamas also hoped it could shut down the Israeli economy and homefront by firing thousands of rockets and constantly sending Israelis running to bomb shelters.
And, Hamas believed that by taking hostages, they could force Israel to negotiate on highly unfavorable terms.
Provoking civilian casualties in Gaza
But most importantly, Hamas wanted the IDF to enter the densely populated (not one of the world’s most densely populated areas as many claim, but certainly dense enough) urban arenas in the hopes that Israel would kill as many Gazan civilians as possible. This in turn, they hoped, would cause the international community to turn on Israel, and further delegitimize the Jewish state.
For decades, Palestinians have aimed to delegitimize Israel, as their primary tool to harm the Jewish state.
A rude awakening
Yet Hamas’ strategy has not proven sound.
First, the attack on Oct. 7 was so heinous and so barbaric that even those who disapproved of years of Israeli policy toward Palestinians had little choice but to side with Israel and express their outright support for the full dismantling of Hamas. In the opening weeks of the war, Netanyahu ran a masterclass in international diplomacy, inviting the leaders of the free world to see the carnage for themselves, and recruiting their steadfast support.
Support has lasted for seven weeks already, much longer than Hamas would have hoped.
Once the ground fighting began, the IDF moved slowly and methodically through the Strip. While thousands of Hamas soldiers have been killed, Israel has lost significantly less than 100 soldiers, exponentially lower than what Hamas would have expected. Meanwhile, morale among the soldiers and trust in the battle plans has grown stronger with each day.
The IDF’s Iron Dome missile defense system shoots Hamas’s Kassam rockets out of the sky with over a 90% interception rate. Israel has successfully weathered the storm of rockets with very little damage and barely any casualties.
A gold standard for modern warfare
Furthermore, the IDF has gone out of its way not to harm civilians. To date, the IDF has done more to avoid civilian casualties in this conflict than any military in the history of warfare. Militaries will soon study Israel’s methods as the gold standard for conducting war.
Israel has been making its case on the international stage more strongly than ever before. World leaders have no choice but to see the efforts Israel is taking to provide humanitarian aid, provide advance warning to residents ahead of strikes and guarantee safe corridors for travel out of danger zones.
At the same time, the world is now seeing Hamas using residential neighborhoods, schools, mosques and hospitals as firing zones and military command centers in a desperate and obvious attempt to inflate civilian deaths.
Will Gazans flee the Strip?
More than 1 million Gazans have been displaced, and currently sit near the Egyptian border. As the IDF continues to move south, there is likely to be increased international pressure to open the border and allow safe haven and even resettlement for Gazan residents who wish to leave the Strip.
Perhaps Hamas’s largest miscalculation, however, was their wrongheaded assessment of Israeli cohesion, or lack thereof. While politics fueled by election cycles and a toxic media caused unceasing bickering in the Jewish state, the foundations of the nation remained strong. Rather than weaken the country, the Oct. 7 attack galvanized and unified the nation against a common enemy.
Israel is stronger today than it was on Oct. 6. Israelis are prepared for the resumption of the military campaign following the pause, and support the military objective of dismantling Hamas and removing it from political power in the Gaza Strip.
The severity of the IDF’s response in Gaza is obvious to Iran and its other terror proxies. As such, Hamas has not (to date) received the support it may have expected from its fellow Iranian proxy, Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. While Hezbollah has fired 1,000-plus mortars and anti-tank guided missiles at Israel, it has hesitated to rush in with an attack that would draw the type of response now unfolding in Gaza.
A war about Iran, not Palestinians
That said, the border continues to heat up and a larger regional conflict cannot be ruled out. From the beginning, it was assumed that Israel preferred to tackle the terror threats at its borders one at a time, and it appears that strategy is playing itself out.
Yet as Hezbollah, and Houthis in Yemen, attack Israel—the latter firing ballistic and cruise missiles at the country and hijacking Israel-linked ships—the battle dynamic shifts further out of Hamas’s favor. With fighting predominantly localized in Gaza, the battle has been characterized until now as part of a protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As other Iranian proxies continue to ramp up their attacks, both on Israel and American installations throughout the Middle East, it becomes clearer that the war is not between Israelis and Palestinians, but between Israel and Iran via its numerous terror proxies.
The days ahead
Many unknowns remain, yet the pause in the war provides an important opportunity for assessment.
Hamas certainly did more damage on Oct. 7 than any Israeli would have imagined, igniting the current conflict. Yet while Israel has been forced to fight Hamas on its own turf in more ways than one, Israel has responded with overwhelming military precision and force, diplomatic support and most importantly, domestic resolve.
On top of that, IDF pressure has forced Hamas to send more than 50 of its hostages home. May the rest come home in the days ahead.
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It Should Come as No Surprise That Israel Is Once Again The World’s Tipping Point – By Franklin Graham - https://harbingersdaily.com/franklin-graham-it-should-come-as-no-surprise-that-israel-is-once-again-the-worlds-tipping-point/
As Christmas approaches, the world is on edge. Following the slaughter of more than 1,400 Israelis—including women and children—by savage Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, the state of Israel launched retaliatory strikes across the Gaza Strip to destroy the entrenchments of militants who butchered unsuspecting civilians and carried off more than 200 hostages, including Americans and Brits.
The conflict threatened to escalate, as the United States sent carrier strike groups to the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf and warned against intervention by Iran—who supplies arms to Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists.
It should come as no surprise that the Middle East—specifically focused on the nation of Israel—is once again the world’s tipping point. Modern Israel was born in 1948, and in my lifetime, tensions between Arabs and Israelis have erupted into battle at least seven times, including the Six-Day War in 1967. The Bible is clear that in the days before the return of Christ, the end-time battle of Armageddon will happen on the plains of Megiddo in Israel, as the anti-Christ and his evil forces seek to destroy Jerusalem, literally the “City of Peace.”
International conflict has defined Israel’s history since the reign of King David and his son Solomon. The people of Israel endured captivity and exile from a succession of hostile world powers, including the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.
The Roman general Pompey conquered Jerusalem in 63 B.C., so it was under the oppressive thumb of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus that a Jewish King, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was born in the small village of Bethlehem to a poor Jewish couple from Nazareth. They came to take part in a worldwide census ordered by Augustus. God moved the entire world in order to get two small people to travel 70 miles to fulfill His Word given to the Prophet Micah 500 years prior:
Micah 5:2 KJV – “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
God has given me a heart for Israel. When I was 19, I helped lead Christian tours in the little town of Bethlehem. Six miles south of Jerusalem, Bethlehem is in a zone now called the West Bank, which today is governed by the Palestinians.
The birth of Christ was the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies, in which God promised a Jewish Messiah, a Savior, a coming King whose rule would extend worldwide. “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).
Those promises were misunderstood by some who believed the Messiah would be a military king, delivering Israel from despised Roman rule. But of course, Jesus’ Messianic reign wasn’t about political change. He was sent by the Father to set mankind free by saving souls from the tyranny and slavery of sin, dying on a Roman cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and rising from the dead on the third day!
The Prophet Isaiah foretold the Suffering Servant’s true mission in perhaps the most well-known of the Messianic prophecies: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6).
God the Son won the most important battle ever fought, the victory of the cross where our Savior endured the wrath of God for sin, so we might receive forgiveness and the gift of everlasting life.
For the past 2,000 years, His rule and reign has extended into the hearts of an untold multitude of people. We know the Lord will continue to patiently wait for repentant sinners until His return: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 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.” (2 Peter 3:8-9).
When that day comes, Israel will be front and center. Revelation 14:1 tells us there will be a special role for 144,000 Jewish people, 12,000 from each tribe, as the Lord prepares to return and establish His Kingdom on Earth, judging the wicked and delivering the righteous.
As Jesus’ millennial reign on Earth comes to its conclusion, ready to usher in the new Heavens and the new Earth, world powers will come together for one last battle to destroy the city of Jerusalem. But of course, it fails. “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:7-10).
In the meantime, we are instructed to intercede for the Jewish people: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).
Reach Out - By Nathele Graham - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
Christians are very blessed. We have so much to be thankful for. We may not have a lot of monetary wealth, or our health may be failing, but we have the promise of eternal life with Jesus. At this time of year, we should be more aware of that promise.
In the United States, we just took a day to give thanks. Did we give thanks, or did we just chow down on the feast? If we did give thanks, who did we thank? Did you thank God for providing the means for the feast, or was He never in your thoughts? Too often, we forget that without God, we would have nothing.
Even atheists benefit from God’s blessings. Jesus told us to be kind to all people “that ye may be the children of your father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). God loves everyone and blesses even those who deny Him.
One way to thank God is to reach out to other people. Christians are admonished to share what we have with fellow believers, but I’ve noticed that most Christians think that our giving is only to be given to the unsaved. That’s a very nice thing to do, but we’re told to share the Gospel with the unsaved, and we are to help fellow Christians in need. All too often, a Christian who is in great need is ignored. That’s a very sad situation.
The unsaved should be able to look at how the Christian community loves and cares for each other and see Christ living in us. Then, an unbeliever might start asking questions about why we care so much for brothers and sisters. Our love for Christ should urge us to be like Him. Too often, we get so busy in our own shopping, cooking, and celebrating that we forget that there are fellow Christians who are going through great sorrow, or are physically hampered and need brotherly love to help them.
Depression is a common problem at this time of year. If we live long enough, we will all face celebrating Christmas without someone we love. Depression is actually a very selfish thing. It’s all about “I.” I lost my spouse. I lost my child. I am lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the feelings, but no amount of self-pity will bring that loved one back. It will only make you miserable and more depressed. Some people are too proud to admit they have a need, but if you hide your feelings, how can anybody know you need help?
Fellow Christians should be the first to help a brother or sister through the holidays and all throughout the year, but we are all just people and get tunnel vision when the holiday hustle and bustle comes along. If you’re one who is in need this time of year, or any time of year, look around you. There are plenty of people in your own congregation who just might be as lonely as you. Invite them to share time with you.
The early Christians had similar troubles, but these early believers took care of each other. “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common” (Acts 4:32).
Nobody went hungry because they shared what they had. As more and more people embraced Christ, the congregation in Jerusalem grew, and some believers were being neglected. “And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration” (Acts 6:1). Seven men were chosen to oversee the way everyone was treated and be sure all were cared for.
Today, the church has willingly given the care of Christians to the government. This allows us to ignore the needs of our brothers and sisters. You might be surprised to find out that there’s a college student in the congregation who is far from home this Christmas. He or she misses Grandma’s special pumpkin pie or their mother’s special turkey dressing. Maybe they miss just talking with their grandparents, and the separation is weighing heavily upon them. Reach out to them. Maybe there’s a man who is facing the holidays without his wife for the first time in 50 years. Reach out to him and help ease his sorrow. If you reach out to others, you show Christian compassion.
If nobody reaches out to you, then you reach out to others. You be the one to offer a willing ear to listen to the college student or the widower. Don’t wait for someone to reach out to you. Doing for others is one way we show Christian love and also help ourselves. You can be sure that there are rest homes filled with lonely people who could use some cookies and a smile. Maybe someone who is bedridden would like you to read to them. Ask the pastor of your church if there is anyone in the congregation who may need some extra holiday love. Then invite them to go shopping or to join you in some other activity. It’s possible that you have a neighbor who might want a ride to church.
There are many ways of reaching out. You’ll find that reaching out to others is a cure for your own loneliness. It’s easy to come up with excuse after excuse as to why you can’t reach out. Too often, Christians leave it all up to others to help. They drop a little extra in the offering plate, hoping that the church will use that offering to help someone. Maybe you fill a shoebox with things to be sent to children in foreign lands, forgetting that there are children in your own congregation who might be in need.
I heard a story once about a congregation that decided to help a local family in need. One family scrimped and saved in order to be able to put as much in the special collection as possible. All the while, they thought of the needy family and how happy they would be with the gifts of food and gloves. Eventually, the day came when it was revealed who in the community would receive the offerings. As it turned out, the family who had sacrificed so much was the one chosen to receive. They didn’t even know they were needy but gave as much as possible.
Isn’t that a lesson to us all? If we don’t look to our own lack of resources but reach out to others, we are richly blessed. I know a lady who is such a blessing to others. She has two friends who are blind. She makes sure to check in on them and to help with whatever need they might have. That’s showing Christian love, and I admire her for all she does. She doesn’t brag about it, but I’m sure her giving ways have helped her through the loneliness after her husband died.
Too often, we tend to think we need to send money and buy things for unbelievers, but the example in scripture is to care for our brethren.
When Barnabas looked for Saul (later known as Paul) and found him in Tarsus, they traveled together to Antioch. While there, some prophets came from Jerusalem “and there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar” (Acts 11:28). Even though all people would be affected by this “dearth,” what did the disciples do? “Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea. Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul” (Acts 11:29-30).
Christians were taking care of Christians. Over the years, we seem to have forgotten we are to take care of each other. Agabus and his friends reached out for help, and help was given. Paul learned from this. There came a time of need in Jerusalem. Was it a famine? Maybe it was the fact that the church in Jerusalem had so many Christians they were caring for that they needed assistance in helping them. Whatever the problem, Paul knew that Christians needed help. He reached out to various congregations and asked for help. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
He didn’t take shoeboxes to children but took help to fellow Christians. Too often, Christians in our own congregations are overlooked when there’s a need. It’s easier to drop money into a red bucket while someone rings a bell or fill a shoebox than to invite a widower to dinner. Look around you and reach out to your fellow Christians.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do anything for non-believers. If sharing a meal in order to share the Gospel is what is required, then by all means, do it. But don’t forget to share the Gospel! Reach out to others in order to help them in times of need, but also, don’t be shy about reaching out to others and asking them to help you in your time of need.
No matter what, always reach out to Jesus and invite Him to be a part of your holiday celebration.
God bless you all,
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Daily Jot: Weaponizing the courts against you - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
A hallmark of authoritarian regimes is making a list of civilians and using it to control them. The Department of Justice (DOJ), under the guise of investigating former President Trump, is weaponized against American citizens by using the court system to obtain such a list. The Press Coalition, involving 20 mainstream media outlets, went to court and wrestled away from the DOJ the previously withheld search warrant by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump. Smith obtained the warrant in January against X (formerly Twitter) to seize all content, records, and other interactions between Trump’s Twitter account and other Twitter users. Anyone following Trump on Twitter is on the DOJ list.
The DOJ was forced by the Press Coalition lawsuit to release the warrant on November 27. The warrant required Twitter to disclose “All business records and subscriber information, in any form kept, pertaining to the SUBJECT ACCOUNT [sic Trump’s Twitter account], including identity and contact information (past and current), including full name, email address, physical address, date of birth, phone number, gender, and other personal identifiers, All usernames (past and current) and the date and time each username was active, all associated accounts (including those linked by machine cookie, IP address, email address, or any other account or device identifier), and all records or other information about connections with third-party websites and mobile apps (whether active, expired, or removed).”
This extensive warrant also included credit cards, bank account numbers, all IP addresses, all communications, as well as all other information sent from or received by Trump’s Twitter account from October 2020 to January 2021. This means that Twitter gave the DOJ all of Trump’s account activity, including “all users who have followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked or unblocked” Trump’s account. The warrant was issued by the US District Court for the District of Columbia and signed by Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell, appointed by President Barak Obama in 2010. Howell is noted for being the “supervising judge” in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US elections and ruling in favor of the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Before Howell came to judicial power in Washington, DC, she held various positions in New York, hence the cozy connection with Special Counsel Jack Smith. This warrant revelation demonstrates how the Democratic Party is using political appointments and the judicial system as a weapon against American citizen’s Constitutional rights. They are not only persecuting Trump, they are building a list of enemies for their designs of tyrannical power. This is a danger to all citizens irrespective of political affiliation. It is weaponizing the court system against dissent. They are making an example of Trump, hoping you will fall in line. It is time to standfast on the Word of God for as Christ said in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Pray and act for the wonderful God-given liberty we enjoy is under attack.
Daily Devotion: A Lesson from Mary - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. —1 Corinthians 1:27
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/a-lesson-from-mary-2/ - Listen
There are a lot of misperceptions about Mary. On one hand, people place her on a pedestal. And on the other hand, she is ignored and misunderstood. But Mary was a godly person living in a godless place.
And she showed us that it’s possible for someone to live a godly life even while living in the midst of an ungodly environment. Mary lived in Nazareth, which, for the most part, was not a popular destination.
God could have chosen someone from Rome to bear the Messiah. After all, Rome was ruling most of the world at that time. God could have chosen someone from Jerusalem, the spiritual capital of the world. Or, God could have chosen someone from Athens, the intellectual and cultural capital of the world.
But God didn’t choose someone from any of these places. Instead, He chose a young woman who was living in Nazareth.
Roman soldiers overran Nazareth, an obscure place known for its wickedness. That is why Nathanael, when he heard that Jesus was from Nazareth, said, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46 NLT).
Yet God chose Mary and this obscure place to accomplish His purpose. He chose an unknown teenager living in an unknown place to bring about the most known event in human history: the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It seems that God goes out of His way to choose the most unexpected people to accomplish His plans. The Bible is filled with examples of the most ordinary individuals being chosen by God to do the most extraordinary things.
Mary was genuinely humble. She was surprised when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, . . . for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David” (Luke 1:30–32 NLT).
When we think of certain men and women of the Bible, we see them in their greatness because of what God did. But remember, when God called David, he was a shepherd boy whose father didn’t even acknowledge him. Yet God instructed the prophet Samuel to anoint David as the next king of Israel.
When God chose Gideon, he was hiding from his enemies. And when God called Simon Peter, he was out catching fish. But the Lord raised him up to be one of the great apostles. And God chose Mary to bring about the arrival of the Messiah.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful” (1 Corinthians 1:26–27 NLT).
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