Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
GOD CREATED A FAMILY - by Pastor Mike Taylor -
14" For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:14-19)
Have you ever considered how small amount of time or distance can change the outcome of a whole host of different events? Let's take for example a runner in a 100 yard dash. The winner of the race can come in first by only a fraction of a second. I've seen winners made for less than one hundredth of a second and I remember watching Michael Phelps win his swimming race in a past Olympic contest for just that amount. The guy who came in second touched that wall one-one hundredth of a second behind him.
What about when a person takes a plane trip? If you are flying from the Midwest, say St. Louis and going to New York and flying nonstop and the pilot decides to put the plane on autopilot, do you realize that if he makes an error on the flight path of just one degree, which is a small amount, very small, that you could end up in Philadelphia which is a distance of 100 miles from your intended destination.
These two simple illustrations make a point that a "Christian" has to monitor their position in their walk with Christ at all times in relation to their final destination. What happens if a person is headed for the wrong destination? Can a person think they are headed in the right direction but be deceived? Can he lose his way? Or is the path he is following the right path at all. Is He really a Christian? This follows those who put their trust in the wrong place, either in their church, their priest, sacraments, traditions, or anything outside of the only Way back to God, being Jesus Christ our Lord. We can learn a lot from the passage concerning the sheep and the goat judgment given by Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 25.
Jesus made mention of those who profess Jesus, in name only, but live and act like the rest of the world. They follow tradition, they follow their church leaders, their bishop, or the pope. They have a form of godliness, but as was written, when Jesus accused the religious authority of His day of hypocrisy and a form of godliness when He said in Matthew:
8 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart stays far from me.
9, But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men."(Matthew 15:8-9)
These are the ones that Jesus said He would cast out into outer darkness, as they had a form of godliness, but denied the power thereof. He will separate His true sheep from the imposters who profess in name only, but have no faith in Jesus Christ, but in their church.
The point of all this is that we should know where we are going and our final destination and that has everything to do with what we do in the here and now as men and women of free will. Although, God has a built in safety net, as we don't rely on our works to save us, as we live by faith, not by works, lest any man should boast. Yet we don't want to abuse God's grace. We want to make every effort to be going in the right direction. If we have the right direction and destination, it makes all the difference in monitoring our spiritual condition, so that we arrive safely at our destination.
WHAT IS YOUR DESTINATION....DO YOU KNOW? ARE YOU SURE?
For that we have to begin at the beginning, hopefully in an abbreviated version.
"God said; let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him: male and female, created He them" (Genesis 1:26-27).
Right from the get go man is in an exalted position. He is greatest on the recently God created earth. He's stronger than the animals, the birds, or anything in all creation. The strong implication here is the man was created after the "God Kind" in shape and in form. All through the Bible, you can find many, many scriptures that point to one future event when Jesus Christ returns and we are changed, both the dead and the living, back into what we sprang from....God!! John the Apostle of our Lord Jesus made it clear that when Jesus returns, we shall be even as He is, when he penned in 1st John:
1 " Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.."(1st John 3:1-3)
GOD FORMED THE PERFECT MAN
A second implication is found in this verse,
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)
What makes man different and unique in all of creation is that man has MIND, not instinct, as do the animals. He clearly has the ability to reason, to gather information and to make decisions. No where in all of creation did God take such a personal involvement with His creation, as He did with creating man. God imparted to man a spirit, a power of mind and no other aspect of creation has this distinction. Man is a creature of free will that God allowed man to either follow after Him as an obedient son, or follow what he thought was "right in his own mind". We know from studying scripture that our first parents were deceived and their act of free will to disobey allowed sin into the world. But moving on:
As a result of man having a mind, ability to reason, possessing a spirit, man also has spirituality. He has personality. He is capable of holiness, of love, of dominion, and of responsibility. We are not born with these traits. A little baby does not possess these qualities at birth. They are developed and acquired, but they are not given.
The implication of this line of reasoning is made more evident in the following passage:
"Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
This chapter begins with our justification, which occurs when Jesus Christ comes into our hearts to change us into a new creature. Reading on:
"Through whom (by Jesus) also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulation knowing that tribulation produces perseverance." (Romans 5:2-3)
Notice the process of growth in man. Tribulation, the sufferings of this present life, the trials, the pressures of being in an evil world, produces perseverance. Reading on:
"Perseverance (produces) character; and character (produces) hope. Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us." (Romans 5:4-5)
So it leaves one with the thought that this process is acquired and sets character in the mind. So from the beginning, when God breathed the breath of life into man, He gave him a spirit, he gave him a mind, and the power to gain characteristics such as love, dominion, and responsibility.
Let's make a third implication. With the character that is developed will be due to man's choice of who he wants to most like. The world gives choices of being conformed to this world and the lusts thereof. But for a true Christian, it is conforming to the mind and characteristics of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
JESUS, THE SECOND ADAM FROM ABOVE
All through the Old Testament there are scriptures that prove that man was made in the image of God, but beginning with the New Testament, the image of God makes a very decided shift. Jesus the second Adam, the man from Heaven, (as the Bible calls Him) or as John said "the eternal Word, is in the image of God in the flesh. Not mankind in general.
Now get this, for lack of a better word, Jesus was a "prototype". He was a full, functioning form of a NEW type. This is what I mean by a shift in emphasis of what man is to become. Jesus was the first, the example of becoming the image of God. Jesus was the prototype, the goal of our redemption, our salvation and our glorification. This is the final goal of born again man
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."
"And have put on the new man, who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (meaning us, man).(Colossians 3:1-4,10)
This points to that the NEW man in not just in the image of God, or just a general picture of God, as man was formed to look like, but specifically to be formed into the image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He, Jesus, becomes the goal of the redeemed man, unto salvation.
Now putting on the characteristics of this evil world requires no special skill. Just blend in, do what is popular, or go along with the crowd, and you'll take on the characteristics of this lost and dying world. It is virtually effortless. But to put on Christ requires diligence, work, prayer, communion with God, and power from His Holy Spirit. We can't do it alone. Satan would have us for lunch.
As we are being brought to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are seen in the New Testament as the created work of God. It is stated in a number of different ways, as those in Christ are a new creation.
15 "And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."(II Corinthians 5:15-19)
God has a desire for the work of His hands. Scripture says that we are His workmanship; He is the potter, we are the clay. We are being renewed in the spirit of our mind. We are being created through Christ Jesus unto righteousness and true holiness.
"Therefore leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go onto perfection: not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, but of faith toward God.' (Hebrews 6:1)
The implication is that sanctification after being justified by the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is a creative process of character building. This is a process which begins with repentance and being baptized, and ends with our glorification at His return for His saints at the Rapture and beyond. It is a process of completion, a process of perfection. It is a process of being sanctified unto good works according to His commandment. It is a process of character building. Each of these is synonymous with each other.
8 "Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author (captain) of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
14,In as much then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same: that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:8-14)
Therefore in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation (atonement) for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted." (Hebrews 2:17-18)
Now the key for you and me in this passage is the word "author" in verse 10. In the KJV, it is translated as "captain". It's the word "Achegos" from Greek. It is translated variously as captain, pioneer, trailblazer, or founder/author. The ultimate meaning of various translations of this one word is that something is begun by someone, so that others may enter into it. Christ is our "achegos". He is the trailblazer, pioneer, founder, and captain of our ship.
Now let's look at the exciting part. He was the trailblazer, the pioneer and the founder who began a work and blazed a trail that we might enter into His salvation. He set the pattern that we might enter in. He entered into a family once again that we might also enter that family by following Him. In this He was perfected. He was made complete by completing His work here on earth, that He could fulfill the role as our Savior and as our High Priest. He was fully able to pioneer the road that leads to our salvation. Now the whole reason for all of this, why He became a man, taking on human traits, and fully sharing in our humanity was for Him to able to bring many sons and daughters into glory by following His trail. Paul wrote of it in one of most favorite chapter. Romans 8,
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Romans 18-21)
Now taking all the scriptures that we just quoted, is not the implication here that since we are able to enter into which He began and share that with Him, that we are going to enter into the same kind of glory that He Himself also has as the opening scriptures testify? Praise God! Are you excited yet? Now just to clarify, as some have postulated, to the likes of Benny Hinn, that we will be little "gods" running around here on earth and in the realms of heavenly glory. That is not what this is meaning. But taking what was spoken by John in the verse quoted above and knowing that we will be like Jesus, as we will be the same in Spirit, in thought, in purpose, and in presence of the mind of Christ. We will be glorified, as He was glorified. We will enter into what we have been promised through His shed blood, and that is being in the family of God. We will be sons and daughters to the King of the Universe, as Jesus our Kinsman Redeemer has bought back, with His own blood that which was lost by the first Adam through sin, as sin will be eliminated from us.
Let's look at a key word in Hebrews 2:11. The word is "sanctified". It's the stage that all Christians are dealing with right now. You are familiar with the word justified? That's when we accepted the Lord's sacrifice and confessed our sins. The next step is sanctification leading to our ultimate goal of glorification. Sanctification bridges the gap between being set right with God through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, and entering into glory to share all eternity with Jesus Christ, and God our Father. Sanctified means to be set apart or to become holy, as He is holy. To sum this part up, Jesus was the focus of our justification. We are living and enduring sanctification through life's experiences. He is the author, the trailblazer, the pioneer, and the founder of our salvation. He has already passed this way and will lead us to glory. We are saved by the result of the work of our High Priest. We are saved by His life.
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Romans 5:10)
Now let's turn to the crux of this lesson. Let's discuss our final destination. Let's discuss our glorification.
"20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." (I Corinthians 15:20-23)
A SIMPLE ANALOGY
Let's ask ourselves a question. What kind of fruit does a peach tree bear? What do apples, or pears, or maybe plums produce? Apples don't produce pears on their trees, or peaches bear plums. No, as it is so, Jesus is the first fruit and He will produce Sons and Daughters to glory after His Kind. Let's look at another illustration. When a woman is to give birth to her baby, she doesn't give birth to a dog, cat, or anything else, but a human baby. Evolutionist will argue about this, but the fact is, no one that is human has given birth to anything but a human baby. It is exactly that same with us. When God, so to speak, impregnates us with His Holy Spirit (a deposit) and we are in the womb of the Heavenly Jerusalem, when we are glorified or raised from the dead at His coming for us at the rapture, we will be like He is, not something else. WE will be exactly what we have sprung from, and that was God.
God gives us natural illustration of this natural world to make His point clear so that we can understand what He is doing. He is reproducing Himself and we will be members the family of God.
"But some men will say, how are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Foolish ones, what you sow, is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be; bet mere grain, perhaps wheat, or some other grain."(I Corinthians 15:35-37)
Think of the line of reasoning here. You put a dead seed into the ground and when it becomes a full plant producing its own kind, but with a very different body. And so it will be with our glorification, a body that has continuity with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
35 "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." (I Corinthians 15:38-44)
The principle here that God has given each of us a body suitable for its part in His creation. It is only logical that God will give us suitable body for our resurrection life as sons and daughters of God. It will be glorified. It will be like God our Father and like our redeemer, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Remember when Jesus was speaking with Nicodemus and told him that "ye must be born again"....what did Jesus say? John 3:
7 "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:7-8)
Remember Jesus, when He was resurrected could walk through walls, or appear and disappear at will? Jesus was now Spirit, but could be handled and described Himself as flesh and bone...not flesh and blood, as the life of the mortal is in the blood, and Jesus was no longer mortal, but glorified with a new resurrection body. The same body we will have.
Finally, from the scriptures we will be like Christ in every detail that relates to character, composition, and family. As to personality, He will be Himself, our Lord, King and Savior. He is our creator, by John 1:1-3. He will always have preeminence over us because of the His character and being our King and Lord. But we will have ours! He is God, but we will we be part of the God family.. That just blows my mind and should yours.
Final scripture in closing:
" I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:1-2)
If no one has a spiritual goal then they will be conformed to this lost and dying world. It is all around us and we can absorb it like a sponge. The only right goal is be fully encouraged by the right preparation. Being not conformed to this world, but being conformed to Jesus Christ and consciously, consciously choosing to be like Him!
When we were born, we didn't have a choice of who our parents were, our surroundings, or our inherited traits. We were a slave born into bondage to Satan the devil. But when God intervened and by His Holy Spirit called each one of us to repentance, then God began to reveal Himself to us. He freed us from that bondage to Satan, so that we could consciously choose, by an act of free will, to be transformed into the image of His Son and we leave this world and its pleasures behind. As I've said, we don't know what we shall be, or look like, or the power or authority that will be given us. It is all in God's sovereign will and power. He can bestow blessing, honor and glory to whomever He chooses. He can and will make us Kings and Priest to God and we WILL rule upon this earth to the glory and honor of Jesus Christ our Lord, and Almighty God our Father. It's promised to us, His Body the Church, the Saints of the Living God through mercy and grace by the sacrifice of our Jesus Christ on Calvary's cross. It will come to pass, and my friend, it may be sooner than anyone can even imagine.
WILL YOU BE IN THAT FAMILY??
If you're reading this and have a background within the true Church of the Living God of every born again, washed in the blood of our Lord and Savior,, then what I've written will be well known by you as you have believed your Bible, but the reason for this study and the person I am reaching out to, the person this is directed to, is the person with the clean slate concerning their relationship with Jesus Christ and God our Father. Meaning they have had none and are searching. Maybe you are that person now reading this article and the Holy Spirit is using these words to put a need, a hunger, and a conviction about the way your life has been up to this point. Do you feel like you're on a dead end road? Does life seem to be without joy or purpose? What I'm going to do is ask you to answer some simple questions right now, in your heart and be honest with yourself.
Are you struggling to find an answer to that empty feeling you have inside? Have you depended on drugs, or alcohol to numb the feeling of hopelessness that has paralyzed you? Has the world got you painted into a corner with no hope?
Is your life full of disappointment and pain? Or have you known the name of Jesus because of your denomination, but never have made a profession of faith in Jesus, the Son of God? Call upon the name of Jesus in true remorse for how your life is been up to this point. Believe what the Bible says, that Jesus died for your sins, my sins, the sins of this entire world. He was nailed to a cruel wooden instrument of Roman death; He was buried for three days and nights, and rose on the third day, which was the sign of Him being the Messiah. He sits now at the right hand of the Father making intercession during our prayers. And He's coming again....soon. His Holy Spirit will guide you into a deeper, more satisfying relationship with the King of the Universe that you ever received from an empty, hollow relationship with the god of this world, Satan the devil. Do it now, while it is still available.
Maybe you have never been good at prayer, or speaking to someone you can't see. But He can see you. He can fill you right now. What it takes is for you to see Him, see Him in your mind's eye, and in your heart with a faith as small as the grain of a mustard seed. What it takes is for you to be sorry for your mistakes, your sins, and know that you cannot enter into a life of joy and happiness in what people call "heaven" on your own. It's impossible, as God will not allow a mere mortal into His presence with unforgiven sin in their life. It's take a sacrifice, a Holy Sacrifice that will satisfy the requirement to forgive and it takes blood of a perfect sacrifice to complete that forgiveness. That is where Jesus comes in. He is what was required. He was the ONLY sinless mortal who ever lived. You see, God knew that man could not, would not be able to save himself, so God in His mercy, became a man. He left glory on high to be born into our world for one purpose...to DIE for you and for me, as that perfect sacrifice. Repeat this simple prayer right now believing in your heart and a humble, contrite spirit.
Jesus, I call upon you, and ask that you free me of this world and it's evil. I ask you to come into my heart. Forgive me of the sins I have committed. Make me a new creature to be conformed to your image. I believe that you died and rose again for the salvation of the world, and for me. I confess my sins and believe in the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is sitting at your right hand on your throne. I believe He is coming back soon, and I want to make a commitment to purify myself, just a He is pure. Amen.
"Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies Himself, just as He is pure." (1John 3:3)
If you made that prayer honestly, earnestly, then believe now that Christ came into your heart and you will feel a burden lifted from your shoulders. Let each one of us purify him/her self so that we may be glorified to be sons and daughters of God within His God Family. For we shall be part of the huge family of God, if we believe on the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, wishing you well. If there is anything that I can pray with you about, counsel you from the Word of God or if you have a need, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , for more lessons taken straight from your Bible. God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Palestinians' New Year's Resolutions - by Bassam Tawil -
The Palestinians are celebrating the beginning of 2019 by promising Israel more violence, a "revolution until victory," and another year of conflict and suffering. The messages that the Palestinians are sending to Israel offer anything but hope. On the contrary, they are making it clear that Israel should expect yet more bloodshed. Some are also reminding Israel that the Palestinians' real goal is to "liberate all Palestine, from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea," (meaning the annihilation of Israel).
Palestinian leaders and various political and military groups are not seizing the opportunity of the arrival of a new year to reach out to their Israeli neighbors with message of conciliation, peace and coexistence. Palestinian leaders are not offering their people a better life, prosperity, security and stability. Instead, the leaders and groups are promising Palestinians more suffering, violence and misery, and are pressing their people to continue the fight against Israel. They are urging Palestinians to continue hating Israel and the US. They are urging Arab countries not to make peace with Israel: they consider normalization with Israel an act of treason.
The largest Palestinian group, Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, is celebrating these days the 54th anniversary of the launching of its first terrorist attack against Israel. Then, Fatah terrorists infiltrated into Israel from Jordan and attempted to sabotage the National Water Carrier. The event took place on January 1, 1965. The explosive device, which did not explode, was discovered by the Israeli army. For Fatah, a group that is often described by some Westerners as moderate and pragmatic, the attack carried out 54 years ago "ignited the Palestinian revolution" against Israel. The Fatah anniversary celebration coincided with the beginning of the new year.
The words and photos published by Fatah that refer to the 54th anniversary of the launching of its first terrorist attack against Israel serve as a reminder that this group continues to glorify terrorism and terrorists.
A cartoon published on Fatah's official Facebook this week depicts "Palestine" as a single entity, the exact shape of Israel, while making no mention of the existence of Israel.
The Fatah flag features a grenade with crossed rifles superimposed on a map of Israel.
A poster appearing on Fatah's Facebook page under the title, "Revolution Until Victory," features a Palestinian in military uniform with a grenade in his hand. The accompanying caption reads: "Fatah will continue with the revolution, and will continue to carry the torch of armed struggle."
Another Fatah poster praises members of the group's armed wing, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who were responsible for a series of terror attacks that killed and wounded scores of Israelis during the Second Intifada.
Fatah is also celebrating the anniversary of its first terror attack by threatening that "millions will march on Jerusalem and die as martyrs."
This threat is taken directly from the words of Yasser Arafat, who used to incite Palestinians in public speeches with his famous battle cry: "To Jerusalem we march, martyrs by the millions."
Mahmoud Aloul, deputy chairman of Fatah who is seen by many Palestinians as a natural successor to Abbas, declared in a speech during a celebration of the anniversary of the first terror attack on Israel: "The Palestinian revolution has been continuing for 54 years. The revolution will continue until the aspirations of our people are fulfilled." He went on to praise the terror attacks carried out by Fatah against Israel and described them as "achievements" and victories." Aloul also hinted that the armed struggle against Israel will continue: "We have clearly stated that all forms of resistance are legitimate."
Fatah has chosen to celebrate the anniversary of a terror attack with images and rhetoric that promote violence and bloodshed. Fatah has nothing to say about building hospitals or schools for its people. Its leaders also have nothing to say about improving the economy and the living conditions of Palestinians. The message Fatah is sending to Israel: "We do not recognize your existence and we will continue the armed struggle against you."
Similar messages were made by other Palestinian groups as the world prepared to receive the year 2019. Take, for example, Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that has been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007. The group is currently celebrating the 31st anniversary of its founding, and the only messages it has for Palestinians and Israelis are those of violence. Like its rivals in Fatah, Hamas is also using the occasion to launch scathing attacks on the US and call for thwarting any peace plan presented by US President Donald Trump.
"The Hamas project is to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea," said Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official. "The Palestinian resistance won't accept anything other than that." Hamas, he added, is preparing "surprises" for Israel in the West Bank. When Hamas talks about "surprises," it is referring to terror attacks against Israelis similar to the recent ones carried out by the group's terrorists in the West Bank.
Another major Palestinian terror group, Islamic Jihad, sent the following message to Israel on the eve of New Year: "The armed resistance will remain the main priority of the Palestinians."
What do we learn from the Palestinian messages on the eve of New Year? The Palestinians are determined to continue the fight against Israel. They are also determined to reject any peace plan presented by the US administration. They are determined to continue raising new generations on the glorification of violence and terrorists. They are determined to continue denying Israel's right to exist. These messages demonstrate, with no room for doubt, that any talk about resuming a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is one thing only: a colossal fraud. Palestinian leaders will never return to the negotiating table when they are pushing their people, day after day, to ensure that more Israeli blood runs in the street. The year 2019 will not be different from previous years: the Palestinians make it clear that their true intention is to carry a rifle and see Israel removed from the map.
Nearing Midnight: Gog-Magog on Automatic Pilot - Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Most who will read this commentary are certainly at least cursorily familiar with the term "Gog-Magog." This is the prophecy most who look at end-times matters from the pre-Trib perspective believe is the first foretold event that will likely be the prophecy to be fulfilled following the Rapture of the Church-either that attack on Israel or, possibly, the destruction of Damascus, Syria.
Likewise, most are also familiar with the term "automatic pilot." This is the switch on an aircraft pilot's flight-control console that, when activated, causes the plane to fly without outside help. That is, the aircraft flies the course the pilot sets in the flight plan with pilot's hands off the controls.
I think we have just witnessed the automatic-pilot setting switched on that will culminate with the fulfillment of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. This is a plan of movement foretold long ago, and the course will be followed no matter what. Any external forces that are applied attempting to divert that course will fail.
It was astonishing to many that U.S. President Donald Trump, almost without forewarning, announced that U.S. forces and diplomats will be pulled from the Syrian theater of conflict. This, although he had said as part of his campaign for the presidency that he planned to remove America's forces, which he believed had spent too much American blood and money in the war-torn area of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is, in fact, following up on that campaign declaration.
In so doing, he has caused many staunch supporters, including the likes of talk show host Rush Limbaugh, to say that they think it is a mistake to make this move at this time.
Yet Mr. Trump is making the move without much consultation with anyone, so far as we can tell. This is believed to be one reason General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis is leaving the administration as secretary of defense. Whether it influenced the removal of General John Kelly as chief of staff is a matter of much conjecture. Certainly, it seems a strange course of events for one who has been as forthcoming (transparent) as President Trump.
To those who are considered more or less expert observers of biblically prophetic development, the move to remove American forces and diplomatic service types from Syria invites Russia, Iran, and Turkey to fill the power vacuum created with the evacuation. These three actors on the geopolitical scene in the Middle East are the key nations many, including this writer, believe Ezekiel the prophet referred to in his chapters 38 and 39 prophecy. Russia (Rosh), Iran (Persia), and Turkey (Torgomah) are slated to attack over the mountains of Israel to take "great spoil."
Not coincidentally, many believe, Israel is developing significant accomplishments in the production of oil and gas in the Golan area and in its Mediterranean coastal waters territory. Plus, Israel's technological achievements in practically every area are becoming legendary. There is "great spoil" to be had as we move forward into the new year.
Whatever else is to be considered, the fact that America is being removed as a blocking agent to what goes on in the immediate area north of Israel is most relevant to prophetic development. The United States, by name, is not mentioned anywhere in prophecy yet to be fulfilled. The nation's absence is particularly intriguing in the matter of the Gog-Magog assault.
The only reference anyone can find of any realistic possibility of the presence of America is when the nations observing the attack send their note of diplomatic protest.
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? (Ezekiel 38:13)
The phrase "all the young lions thereof" are thought by many to refer to the nations that have sprung from the British Empire, which are thought to be "the merchants of Tarsish" entity that precedes the "young lions" reference.
At the very least, this abdication of American power from this region that has such prophetic significance portends dynamic prophetic movement for the immediate future. It is happening, again, as if on automatic pilot. Protests by people on the president's side politically and by those who are rabidly against him don't seem to affect his decision.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other diabolists have praised the move. This would seem to give credence to the ludicrous claim by Trump's political enemies that Mr. Trump colluded with Russia in "stealing the 2016 presidential election." Still, even that collateral political damage consideration-that this proves collusion-has no seeming effect on Trump taking America out of the picture as a direct actor in the Syrian matter and, most likely, the Afghanistan matter.
The whole thing appears to be on automatic pilot.
God doesn't cause individual leaders to make mistakes in the sense that He manages them a moment at a time. That would take away the free will in their ability to do right or wrong and to make decisions on a personal level.
Now, I know I'm getting into some deep water here-and probably some trouble.
What I mean is that the Lord doesn't make these leaders think in one direction or another. God does know the end from the beginning, however, so He has given his prophets like Ezekiel the thoughts these human leaders will have. God will put "hooks" in the "jaws" of Gog (Ezekiel 38:4). Ezekiel tells us that the leader called "Gog" will have things come into his mind "and he will "think an evil thought" (v. 10).
This seems to indicate that God is making Gog take the action he will take. However, I view it as God simply knowing what this leader will do. God's holy will is bound to be done no matter what in the prophecy. The prophecy will be on automatic pilot at that point of the fulfillment process.
The year 2019 indeed looks to be one for students of Bible prophecy to "watch"-as given in Titus 2:13, which can be most comforting as the new year proceeds. In that sense I can say without reservation, Happy New Year!
Falling Into Place - The Top 10 Bible Prophecy-Related Stories of 2018 - By Jan Markell - www.olivetreeviews.org
Almost one-third of the Bible relates to eschatology or Bible prophecy. I think we can conclude that a lot of what is happening today foreshadows "things to come."
Here are my observations on activities that relate to Bible prophecy in 2018. I am just discerning the times, not engaging in newspaper exegesis. I encourage everyone to be like the sons of Issachar in I Chronicles 12, who understood the times.
Some of the predicted signs will manifest in the Church Age. Most are Tribulation events that are casting a giant shadow today.
1. Nationalism is Scorned and Globalism is Celebrated
Globalism took center stage in 2018, so much so that President Donald Trump stuck it to the globalists by once against stating that he is a nationalist.
Additionally, Europe is reeling. The yellow-jacket rioters are stirring up trouble thanks to the globalists as they move from country to country, destabilizing Europe. Europe almost needs a savior. France's Emmanuel Macron keeps making astounding one-world statements, including wanting to offer Israel a peace plan. If the Antichrist is to come out of Europe, that continent is preparing the way for him.
The globalists will recover as they will get their "paradise" during the 7-year Tribulation. This year they even enlisted entertainer Celine Dion to seduce children with New World Order children's clothing. They are desperate. Donald Trump is the disrupter-in-chief. Disrupter of the New World Order.
2. Israel Celebrates Her 70th Anniversary and America Moves Her Embassy to Jerusalem
In Matthew 24:34 Jesus gives a prophecy that the generation living during predicted events will not pass away until the events occur. Israel became a nation in 1948. Psalm 90 says a generation is 70 years. The Bible refers to the Tribulation as the "70th Week of Daniel."
Israel's re-birth is a reminder that God keeps His promises. Donald Trump kept a promise and moved the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on her 70th anniversary.
The dry bones came to life in May of 1948 and the country celebrated it's 70th anniversary last May. This is the miracle of all time. They stood up on their feet a great army and in 2018 were declared the eighth strongest nation in the world!
3. In 2018 "Birth-Pangs" Became Apocalyptic
Throughout the year, we watched heart-wrenching photos and videos of unprecedented disasters that are just a foretaste of what will happen in the Tribulation or the "Time of Jacob's Trouble." Many commentators called these global disasters "apocalyptic" or "of biblical proportion."
4. U.S. Troops Pull Out of Syria
In late-December President Trump stated that he will pull all U.S. troops out of Syria. While opinions vary and Christians and Kurds will be further slaughtered by evil forces, this opens a pathway from Iran to Israel. Iran now has a perfect land bridge to Israel. Russia, Turkey, Sudan, Libya, "and many nations", will join in this attack.
This action could further cause Israel to strike Damascus and fulfill the Isaiah 17:1 prophecy.
5. The Decline of the Character of Mankind; A Depraved Mentality (Romans 1); Lovers of Self (II Timothy 3); Godlessness, Immorality and Lawlessness Abound - A Return to the Days of Noah
In 2018 we watched:
* Massive voter fraud
* Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is falsely accused in the name of politics
* Witches curse Kavanaugh and President Trump in public ceremonies
* Literal demonic hatred expressed towards Christians and Conservatives
* Clergy bless abortion clinics
* Drag queens appear everywhere and heavily at children's events and one seminary in St. Paul, MN
* Child drag queen performer "Desmond the Amazing" is declared by some to be the "the future of America."
#6. The Tragic Rise of Evil
The Bible says that in the last days "evil will wax worse and worse." (II Tim. 3:13) This year we have seen paganism and witchcraft soar as Christianity declined and Millennials said they did not need God.
More than 60% of Americans embrace some kind of "New Age" belief.
It is now cool thanks, in part, to Hollywood, to believe in things that are dangerous. This is a foreshadowing of the sorceries of the Tribulation.
There is a growing love of evil while good is denounced (Isaiah 5:20).
The perpetrator of mass shootings such as the incident in Florida last February, state they heard voices telling them to perpetrate such acts.
And the Arch of Palmyra that was a part of the Temple of Baal appeared in Washington, D.C. in September.
#7. Shocking Escalation of Apostasy and Mocking of Bible Prophecy
Just when you think apostasy and false teaching can't get any worse, it does! The New Apostolic Reformation is a global movement ravaging many churches with strange signs, wonders, and miracles that are not of God. Some of these folks celebrate their out-of-control "drunk-in-the-spirit" activity. Who could have imagined that India's Kundalini spirit would actually enter the evangelical church?
Evangelical churches have almost all caved to social justice rather than sound preaching. People are left without a church as they appeal to church leadership, but in vain.
Many churches are willing to "refashion Christianity" thanks to Andy Stanley and "unhitch from the Old Testament" as he recommends.
Bible prophecy is almost impossible to find in a church pulpit. Even my annual conference is regularly hung as a "hysteria conference" where all such signs as those outlined here are proven wrong year after year.
#8. Intrusive Technology Invades Homes and Paves the Way for the Antichrist
This year we have learned we are being watched or listened to 24/7 by big tech. This was also the year the tech companies admitted they had an agenda.
Artificial intelligence can far exceed the human brain and A.I. can make images of people that look human.
Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, and more, are the new "masters of the universe" but hate righteousness and will likely hand their tools over to the Antichrist.
#9. The Crisis in the Vatican
If the False Prophet comes out of Catholicism, we have seen its evil in the last year with one scandal after another. Pope Francis seems to look the other way, focusing on his own agenda.
The Pope is the ultimate globalist who could easily slide into the role of the sidekick to the Antichrist. Even some Catholics protest that their leader focuses only on global warming, immigration and Socialism.
This is the Catholic Church's worst crisis since the Reformation.
#10. Third Temple Talk Activity Accelerated
The Antichrist will allow the third Jewish Temple to be built in Jerusalem early in the Tribulation. Preparation for that Temple accelerated in 2018. The Temple Institute announced the birth of a perfect red heifer in Israel that could be used in Temple ceremonies.
The Sanhedrin hosted the dedication of the altar for the Third Temple with 70 nations invited to observe in December.
While the third Temple has nothing to do with believers, still such activity is again a Tribulation event that is casting a shadow today!
These are just ten issues that I felt needed to be highlighted as we begin a new year. Things are all falling into place.
Jesus is coming, perhaps today. God has allowed some to see the stage being set that indicates we are in the last hour. We are privileged to know what time it is. Many do not!
It is one-minute to Midnight. Headlines are a herald of His coming. Somebody get excited about that.
Daily Jot: 2019: Disruption Ahead - Bill Wilson -
All indicators point to 2019 being a year of political, social and economic disruption in America. The coup of the Republic that began with the 2010 elections will continue to become more hostile in 2019, dividing Americans and causing uncertainty in the country. The game plan of the coup-makers is evident: they will attempt to disrupt government and society with brash accusations, labeling, propaganda posing as news, calls for impeachment, and ongoing "investigations" where every little detail will be broadcast as if it were the last nail in the political coffin. The landscape for Christians and Jews in America will become more perilous as freedom of religion and of speech will face ongoing challenges.
Take, for instance, a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released "exclusively to The Hill" that indicated some 60% of US voters surveyed say that President Trump should be either impeached and removed from office or formally censured. The poll has many flaws, yet it was promoted by the coup-makers as larger than life. First, only 39% of the respondents said Trump should be impeached or removed from office. Those saying Trump should be censured were "between 14 and 22 percentage" as reported by The Hill. Adding the two results together brings the number to "nearly 60%." These are the same pollsters who predicted Hillary Clinton to win the presidency. They skew their sampling toward left-leaning voters.
Elizabeth Drew, "a political journalist who for many years covered Washington for The New Yorker," wrote a column for The New York Times in which she cited more criminal investigations of Trump colleagues and increasing pressure by the public, making impeachment of Trump "inescapable." Of course, she didn't mention that the criminal charges against Trump's associates had nothing to do with the Russians influencing the 2016 election, or that polls show far less than a plurality that the public believes Trump should be impeached. See how these stories get twisted? NBC News produced the headline "Democrats quest to topple Trump gets real in January, here's why."
The Hill carried an article by former moderate New York Republican Congressman John Le Boutillier predicting 30 items of political disruption in 2019, the first being Trump's presidency will not survive. The stories will keep coming until either the American public rejects or gives in to the coup mantra. Meantime, every social and political concept of what is good and right will come under constant attack. You will need to be discerning, wise and courageous to withstand this onslaught. Ephesians 6 tells us we fight against the principalities of the rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. Verse 11 exhorts: "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." It says to stand with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and prayer, speaking boldly as you ought to speak. May we do so.
Daily Devotion: God Gives Second Chances - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time. -Jonah 3:1
If we learn anything from the world changers of Hebrews 11, we learn they were flawed people. They were far from perfect. In fact, they failed often. The men and women we read about in what I call the Heroes Hall of Faith are not there because they were great people; they are there because they had faith in a great God.
Consider some of the world changers mentioned there and in other places in Scripture. Abraham, the father of faith, lied twice about Sarah being his wife because, well, he lacked faith. Their son Isaac did the same thing. Sarah laughed at God's promise of a child and then denied she laughed. Isaac's son Jacob lied and connived.
Noah got drunk. Samson was a very immoral man. Gideon was afraid. Rahab was a prostitute. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Elijah was suicidal at one point. Jonah ran from God. The disciples fell asleep while they were praying. The Samaritan woman was divorced more than once.
So what's your excuse? Think about it. These people messed up, but God gave them second chances. Maybe you need a second chance. Maybe you've had a lapse of faith.
We all fail in life. We all have lapses. Simon Peter openly denied the Lord, but God gave him a second chance. Jesus recommissioned him at the Sea of Galilee. What about Jonah? He ran from God, but God got his attention in the stomach of a great fish. Jonah came to his senses and was given a second chance. God gives second chances.
You can have a second chance, and God can use you. Maybe you feel like your story is over because of mistakes you've made or a sin you've committed. Get up and run again. Your story isn't over.
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