Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Jesus is Coming Soon! - By Dr. David R. Reagan -
We are living on borrowed time
Many people believe there is nothing that can be known about the timing of the Lord's return because Jesus said He would return like a "thief in the night" (Matthew 24:42-44).
But Paul makes it clear in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 that Jesus' statement does not apply to believers: "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief..." He then proceeds to explain why: "for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober." Paul is referring, of course, to the light of the Holy Spirit who indwells all true believers and who can enlighten us through our study of Scripture to know the season of the Lord's return (1 John 2:27).
As a matter of fact, God is obligated by His character to warn the world of the imminent return of His Son. The reason is that Jesus is returning in great wrath to "judge and wage war" (Revelation 19:11), and God never pours out His wrath without warning.
God does not wish that any should perish, but that all should be brought to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, God always warns before He executes His wrath. He warned the world through Noah for 120 years. He warned Sodom and Gomorrah through Abraham. He sent Jonah to warn the pagan city of Nineveh, and He sent Nahum to the same city 150 years later.
Likewise, God is warning the world today that His Son is about to return. He is calling the world to repentance. The message of the hour to unbelievers can be summed up in these words: "Flee from the wrath that is to come by fleeing into the loving arms of Jesus now." Jesus came the first time as an expression of God's love; He came to die for the sins of Mankind. But when He returns, He will come in vengeance to pour out the wrath of God on those who have rejected God's love and grace.
The soon return of Jesus also carries with it a message for believers. Lukewarm Christians and carnal Christians are being called to commit their lives to holiness: "The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts" (Romans 13:12-14).
God's Method of Warning
God is alerting believers of the soon return of His Son through what are called "signs of the times." These are prophecies concerning world events that we are told to watch for, prophecies that will identify the season of the Lord's return.
The Bible is full of these signs. There are about 500 prophecies in the Old Testament that relate to the Second Coming of the Messiah. In the New Testament, one out of every 25 verses is concerned with the return of Jesus.
In fact, there are so many signs that it is difficult to grasp all of them. The best way I have found to do this is to put them in categories:
1) The Signs of Nature - We are told to watch for earthquakes, famine, pestilence, and signs in the heavens (see Matthew 24:7 and Luke 21:11).
This is the least respected category of signs for several reasons. For one thing, many people simply shrug their shoulders and say, "There have always been natural calamities, so what else is new?" Note that Jesus says these signs will be like "birth pangs" (Matthew 24:8) - that is, they will increase in frequency and intensity as the time draws near for His return. In other words, there will be more intense earthquakes and more frequent ones. That is exactly what is happening today.
Another reason these signs are given little respect is because most Christians are so rationalistic that they do not really believe in the supernatural, and they therefore find it difficult to believe that God speaks to the world through signs of nature. Yet, the Bible teaches this principle from start to finish.
God dealt with the world's sin through a great flood in the days of Noah (Genesis 6). He called the nation of Judah to repentance through a terrible locust invasion (Joel 1). In like manner, He called for the nation of Israel to repent by sending drought, wind storms, mildew, locusts, famine and pestilence (Amos 4:6-10). The prophet Haggai pointed to a drought as evidence that God was calling the people to get their priorities in order (Haggai 1:10-11).
The New Testament begins with a special light in the heavens marking the birth of the Messiah (Matthew 2:2). On the day that Jesus was crucified, there was three hours of darkness and an earthquake (Matthew 27:45-51). And when Jesus returns, the earth will experience the greatest earthquake in its history as every mountain is lowered, every valley is raised, and every island is moved (Revelation 16:17-21).
God has always spoken through signs of nature, and He continues to do so today. We had better pay close attention to them.
2) The Signs of Society - Jesus said that society will become increasingly lawless and immoral as the time approaches for His return. In fact, He said it would become as evil as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:12,37-39).
Paul paints a chilling picture of end time society in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. He says it will be characterized by three loves - the love of self (Humanism), the love of money (Materialism), and the love of pleasure (Hedonism). He then points out that the payoff of this carnal lifestyle will be what the philosophers call Nihilism - that is, a society wallowing in despair. Men's minds will become depraved (Romans 1:28), and people will call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).
We are seeing these prophecies fulfilled before our eyes today as we watch our society reject its Christian heritage and descend into a hellish pit of lawlessness, immorality, and despair. Even worse, we are exporting our nihilism around the world through our immoral and violent movies and television programs.
3) The Spiritual Signs - There are both positive and negative spiritual signs that we are to watch for. The negative ones include the appearance of false christs and their cults (Matthew 24:5,11,24), the apostasy of the professing church (2 Thessalonians 2:3), an outbreak of Satanism (1 Timothy 4:1), and the persecution of faithful Christians (Matthew 24:9).
These negative spiritual signs began to appear in the mid-19th Century when Christian cults started forming. First came the Mormons, then the Jehovah's Witnesses, and then a great variety of spiritualist groups like the Church of Christ Scientists and the Unity Church.
The apostasy of the mainline Christian denominations began in the 1920's when the German school of higher criticism invaded American seminaries and undermined the authority of the Scriptures, teaching that the Bible is Man's search for God rather than God's revelation to Man.
During the 1960's Satanism exploded on the American scene and has since been exported worldwide through American movies, books, and television programs. Dabbling in the occult has become commonplace in the form of astrology, numerology, crystal gazing, transcendental meditation, and channeling. The whole trend has consummated in the appearance of the New Age Movement with its teaching that Man is God.
As society has secularized, true Christianity has come under increasing attack. Judeo-Christian values, once the foundation of Western Civilization, are now openly mocked, and those who still adhere to them are castigated as "intolerant fundamentalists" by the media.
The positive spiritual signs include the proclamation of the Gospel to the whole world (Matthew 24:14), a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-32), and spiritual illumination to understand prophecies that have been "sealed up" until the end times (Daniel 12:4,9).
As with the negative signs, we are seeing these positive signs fulfilled in our day and time. Through the use of modern technology, the Gospel has been proclaimed throughout the world in this Century, and the Bible has been translated into all major languages.
The great end time pouring out of the Holy Spirit that was prophesied by the prophet Joel has also begun. Joel called it "the latter rain" (Joel 2:23), and he said it would occur after the Jews had returned to their land. The state of Israel was re-established in 1948. In 1949 God anointed two ministries that would have a worldwide impact - the ministries of Billy Graham and Oral Roberts. Then, in the 60's, came the Charismatic Movement which prompted renewal in worship and gave emphasis to the continuing validity of the gifts of the Spirit.
The acceleration in the understanding of Bible prophecy began in 1970 with the publication of Hal Lindsey's book, The Late Great Planet Earth. It seemed to open up to popular understanding many prophecies that had been "sealed up" until the end times (Daniel 12:4, 9). Remarkably, it became the number one best seller in the world - with the sole exception of the Bible - for the next ten years!
4) The Signs of Technology - The book of Daniel says that there will be an explosion of knowledge in the end times and that people will move about quickly (Daniel 12:4). There are many Bible prophecies that cannot be understood apart from modern technology. For example, how can the whole world look upon two bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8-9)? Modern television satellite technology makes it easy. How can the False Prophet build an image of the Anti-Christ that appears to be alive (Revelation 13:15)? The answer, of course, is the science of robotics. How can the False Prophet require all people on earth to take the mark of the Anti-Christ in order to buy and sell (Revelation 13:16-17)? It would not be possible apart from computers and lasers.
Jesus said that the Tribulation will be so terrible that all life on earth would cease to exist if He did not cut the period short (Matthew 24:21-22). How could all life be threatened prior to the advent of nuclear weapons? Another reference to nuclear power is likely contained in Luke's statement that men in the end times will "faint from fear" because "the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (Luke 21:26). That certainly sounds like a reference to the splitting of the atom.
5) The Signs of World Politics - The Bible prophesies that there will be a certain pattern of world politics that will characterize the end time geopolitical map.
The focus will be the re-established state of Israel (Zechariah 12:2-3). It will be besieged by a menacing nation from the "remote parts of the north," the nation of "Rosh" - or modern day Russia (Ezekiel 38:2,6). There will also be a threatening nation to the East that will be capable of sending an army of 200 million - namely, China (Revelation 9:13-16 and Revelation 16:12-13). A third source of danger to Israel will be the Arab nations that immediately surround it. They will covet the land and will try to take it from the Jews (Ezekiel 35:10 and 36:2).
Another key player on the world political scene in the end times will be a coalition of European nations that will form a confederation centered in the area of the old Roman empire (Daniel 2:41-44, Daniel 7:7,23-24, and Revelation 17:12-13). This confederation will serve as the political base for the rise of the Anti-Christ and the creation of his worldwide kingdom (Daniel 7:8).
Other international political signs include wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6), civil wars (Matthew 24:7), and general international terrorism and lawlessness (Matthew 24:12).
6) The Signs of Israel - The signs related to the state of Israel are prolific and very important.
The most frequently repeated prophecy in the Old Testament is the prediction that the Jewish people will be regathered from the "four corners of the earth" in the end times (Isaiah 11:10-12). The Bible states that a consequence of this regathering will be the re-establishment of the state of Israel (Isaiah 66:7-8). The Scriptures say that once the Jews are back in their land, the land itself will experience a miracle of reclamation (Isaiah 35). The desert will bloom and people will exclaim, "This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden" (Ezekiel 36:35).
Another end time miracle will be the revival of the Hebrew language (Zephaniah 3:9). Most people are not aware of the fact that when the Jews were dispersed from their land in 70 A.D., they ceased to speak the Hebrew language. The Jews who settled in Europe developed a new language called Yiddish - a combination of German and Hebrew. The Jews who migrated to the Mediterranean basin created a language called Ladino - a combination of Hebrew and Spanish.
Other significant signs of Israel that we are told to watch for in the end times include the re-occupation of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24), the resurgence of Israeli military strength (Zechariah 12:6), and the re-focusing of world politics on Israel (Zechariah 12:3).
All these signs have been fulfilled in this century. The nation has been re-established, the land has been reclaimed, the ancient language has been revived, the Jews are back in Jerusalem, and Israel is the focal point of world politics.
Jesus says in Luke 21:28 that when these signs begin to happen, we should "straighten up and lift up our heads" because "our redemption is drawing near."
The Key Signs
The most important signs are the ones that relate to Israel because God uses the Jews throughout the Scriptures as His prophetic time clock. By this I mean that very often when the Lord is revealing an important event that will take place in the future, He will point to the Jewish people and state that when a certain thing happens to them, the important event will also occur.
A good example of this principle can be found in Daniel 9 in the famous "Seventy Weeks of Years" prophecy. The prophet tells us to watch for a decree to be issued that will authorize the rebuilding of Jerusalem. He then says that the Messiah will come sixty-nine weeks of years (483 years) after that decree is issued to the Jewish people.
There are two key prophecies which relate the return of Jesus to events that have occurred in Jewish history since 1948. These two events clearly established the period in which we are now living as the season of the Lord's return.
The State of Israel
The first is the re-establishment of the state of Israel which occurred on May 14, 1948. Jesus singled out this event as the one that would signal His soon return.
His prophecy is contained in the fig tree parable (Matthew 24:32-35) which He presented in His Olivet Discourse. The day before He delivered this speech, He had put a curse on a barren fig tree, causing it to wither (Matthew 21:18-19). This was a symbolic prophecy that God would soon pour out His wrath upon the Jewish people because of their spiritual barrenness in rejecting His Son.
The next day Jesus reminded His disciples of the fig tree. He said to watch for it to bloom again. In other words, He said watch for the rebirth of Israel. He indicated that when the fig tree blooms again, He would be at the gates of Heaven, ready to return (Matthew 24:33).
Equally significant, He added an interesting observation: "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (Matthew 24:34). What generation? The generation that sees the fig tree blossom.
We are that generation. The fig tree has blossomed. Jesus is at the gates.
The City of Jerusalem
The second key event was prophesied by Jesus in the same speech, as recorded by Luke: "[The Jews] will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24).
The first half of this prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D., forty years after Jesus spoke the words. In that year the Romans under Titus conquered Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews among the nations. Jerusalem remained under Gentile occupation for 1,897 years - until June 7, 1967, when Israel won the city back during the Six Day War.
The Jewish re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem is proof positive that we are living in the season of the Lord's return. Jesus said it would mark the end of the Gentile Age.
A Call to Action
There is no way to escape the conclusion that we are living on borrowed time. The signs of the times are upon us, and they are shouting for our attention.
Are you ready? If Jesus were to return today, would He be your "Blessed Hope" (Titus 2:11-14) or would He be your "Holy Terror" (Revelation 6:12-17)? If you have never received Him as your Lord and Savior, now is the time to act. Repent of your sins, and call upon the name of the Lord that you might be saved (Acts 2:14-39).
And if you are a Christian, are you living as if Jesus might return any minute? Have you committed your life to holiness? Are you praying for the lost and witnessing for the Lord when you have an opportunity?
Are you yearning for the Lord's return? Can you say with Paul that you are a candidate for a "crown of righteousness" because you have lived your life "in the love of His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8)?
The Palestinians' Uncivil War - by Khaled Abu Toameh -
The Palestinians' major ruling groups, Fatah and Hamas, are now saying they are done with each other: that the divorce is final.
Recent days and weeks have witnessed the two groups maligning each other beyond anything previously seen. Fatah and Hamas have reached a new level of mutual loathing. At times, it even seems as if Fatah and Hamas hate each other more than they hate Israel.
Many in the West say they would like to see Israel and the Palestinians return to the negotiating table. They want Israelis and Palestinians to resume the so-called peace process. They are hoping that Israel and the Palestinians will manage to reach a historic agreement that would end the Israeli-Arab conflict and bring real peace to the Middle East.
The region, however, does not need a "peace process" between Israel and the Palestinians. It needs one of a different type. The "peace process" that the Middle East is crying out for is one between Palestinians and Palestinians, one that would end their bloody, internecine war.
Before pushing "peace" upon Israel and the Palestinians, it would be helpful if the international community first tried to help the Palestinians stop torturing each other. The Palestinians cannot make peace with Israel while they are busy killing their own people. The Palestinians cannot make peace with Israel when their leaders lead only themselves -- to money and power.
The political struggle between Fatah and Hamas is not a normal dispute between two rival parties in parliament. Rather, it is a rivalry between two large groups and governments that have tens of thousands of armed men at their disposal and massive arsenals of weapons.
The biggest losers from this internal bloodletting are the Palestinians living under these leaders in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas-ruled Gaza.
Fatah, the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), is the dominant party that controls the PA. The PA has tens of thousands of policemen and security officers (in the West Bank) who are funded and trained by various Western countries, including the US and UK.
Similarly, Hamas has thousands of security officers and militiamen who help it maintain a tight grip on the Gaza Strip.
In 2007, two years after the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Hamas overthrew the PA regime in Gaza. Since then, Hamas has been the unchallenged ruler of the Gaza Strip, home to nearly two million Palestinians. It took Hamas less than a week to remove Abbas's government from power and seize control of the entire coastal territory.
The dispute between Hamas and Fatah is not over who will bring democracy and a better economy to the Palestinians. Let us make this clear: they are not fighting over who will improve the living conditions of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by building new schools and hospitals. They are not fighting over who will introduce major reforms to the Palestinian government and end financial and administrative corruption. They are not fighting over the need for freedom of expression and a free media.
Instead, this is a struggle over money, power and ego.
The Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, are furious with Hamas because it forced them out of the Gaza Strip 11 years ago. Abbas and his senior aides and advisers have yet to overcome the deep humiliation they suffered when Hamas militiamen overthrew their regime in the Gaza Strip and killed several PA and Fatah men. Abbas seeks to shame his rivals in Hamas. He seems to want Hamas to pay a steep price for expelling him and his regime from the Gaza Strip.
Abbas is also apparently disturbed because Hamas defeated his Fatah loyalists in the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections. The result of that vote, too, was humiliating for Abbas and his regime.
Last year, in the context of his hitherto unsuccessful effort to undermine Hamas and end its rule over the Gaza Strip, Abbas imposed a series of sanctions that included the suspension of salaries to thousands of civil servants living there. Abbas also stopped paying Israel for the fuel and electricity it had been supplying to the residents of the Gaza Strip.
These punitive measures, however, have backfired, further undermining Abbas's credibility among his people. He is now being accused by many Palestinians of being fully responsible for the suffering and misery of his people in the Gaza Strip. He is being accused of imposing a blockade on his own people and of being an Israeli "collaborator" for conducting security coordination with the Israeli security forces in the West Bank.
Hamas leaders have also called for bringing Abbas to trial on charges of "high treason" -- a crime, according to Palestinian laws and traditions, punishable by death.
Hamas says that Abbas is a dictator and traitor because of his refusal to share power with anyone and his "close relations" with Israel. Hamas leaders never fail to broadcast that Abbas's four-year term in office expired in January 2009. Abbas, the Hamas leaders correctly argue, is not a rightful or legitimate president. If Abbas were to sign a deal with Israel, people could come along later and say that he lacked the legal authority to do so; they would be right.
Recently, Hamas has been condemning Abbas for his decision to dissolve the Palestinian parliament, which, in any event, has been inoperative since Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip. This decision, according to Hamas, proves that Abbas is an autocrat and dictator, who presides over an authoritarian regime.
Hamas also claims that Abbas is a traitor because his security forces conduct security coordination with Israel and continue to arrest scores of Hamas supporters in the West Bank.
Abbas, for his part, has made similar charges against Hamas. He recently hinted that Hamas was working for Israel. Abbas, in a speech, referred to Hamas as "spies" (he used the Arabic word jasous) -- the word Palestinians use to label Palestinians accused or suspected of collaborating with Israel.
Hamas officials have responded by likening Abbas to Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan who came to power with the help of the US and Western countries. What they are saying is that Abbas is a puppet in the hands of Israel and the US.
Abbas was expressing outrage over the recent detention of some 500 of his loyalists in the Gaza Strip at the hands of Hamas. The men were reportedly rounded up by Hamas because they were planning to hold a big rally to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the launching of Fatah's first armed attack against Israel.
Abbas and his advisers have, in turn, repeatedly accused Hamas of being in collusion with the US and Israel to create a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. According to Abbas and his representatives, US President Donald Trump's administration and Israel are working to establish a small and isolated Palestinian state there, thus permanently detaching it from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders are now saying that they have cut off contact with Hamas -- permanently. Hamas leaders, similarly, are saying that as long as Abbas remains in power, the dispute with Fatah will continue.
The leaders of Hamas and Fatah are making their mutual distrust unmistakably clear. They probably have good reason to believe that their suspicions are not misplaced; after all, they know each other better than anyone else does. If they are right, what is the point of presenting any peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians? Who is Israel supposed to make peace with? With the discredited 83-year-old Abbas, who will never be able to win the backing of a majority of his people for any peace agreement with Israel? Or with Hamas, which forever informs the world that it will never make peace with Israel because it cannot accept the presence of non-Muslims on what it perceives to be Muslim-owned land?
In order for any peace process to move forward, the Palestinians first need to stop attacking each other. Then, they need to come up with new leaders who actually give a damn about their people. As these two conditions seem rather unrealistic at this point, any talk about the resumption of an Israeli-Palestinian "peace process" sounds like nothing so much as a big joke.
God's Clock is Ticking - By Daymond Duck -
Those who say the clock is ticking are often calling attention to the fact that time is short or time is running out.
They are conveying the idea that something is coming to an end and those involved need to make a maximum effort to use their time wisely.
The Bible contains prophecies that allow interested parties to know when the return of Jesus is approaching, but not the exact day or hour.
History has reached the point where major prophetic events are coming on the scene.
Dozens of signs indicate that God's prophetic clock is ticking and everyone should use their time wisely.
First, the recent wild swings in the price of stocks worldwide can be seen as a reminder that there will be a global economic collapse after the Rapture.
Thankfully, the markets settled down some, but when the Dow Jones stock market falls more than 4,000 points in one month and the headline on a tabloid reads, "Dow on Track for Worst December Since 1931," people should sit up and take notice.
Second, the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade featured a queen from the LGBT community that believed she was selected because her values aligned with the values of the judges.
The Tournament of Roses Parade has now had three LGBT weddings on floats (1989, 2013, 2014), the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has had a same-sex kiss, and the 2018 Miss Universe pageant has had a transgender contestant.
It is looking like the Days of Lot have arrived.
Third, Atheists and Freethinkers in Grand Junction, Colorado put a sign on a billboard that reads, "Make Christmas Great Again-Skip Church."
They said they posted the sign because the Church discriminates against non-Christians, and because Catholics and Jehovah's Witnesses are riddled with corruption and sexual abuse.
It is looking like the Days of Noah have arrived (wickedness, unbelief).
Fourth, in mid-Dec. 2018, it was reported that Russia, Iran and Syria said if Israel attacks a target in Syria, they will attack a similar target in Israel.
In essence, they were saying it will be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
On Dec. 25, 2018, Israel fired several missiles with bunker-buster bombs at Syrian and pro-Iranian military targets in the suburbs of Damascus.
Syria responded by firing a powerful long-range missile at Israel that fell in an open field without doing much damage.
The next day, Russia said if Israel launches any more air strikes in Syria, the Syrians will retaliate by launching long-range missiles into the heart of Israel.
The Bible teaches that Israel and Syria will get into a war at the time of the end and Damascus, Syria will be destroyed in one night.
Fifth, on Dec. 26, 2018, it was reported that the UN is working with a global firm called Accenture to develop and implement a global ID system and data base that will be forced on everyone on earth by 2030.
God is in control, but if the UN can meet this goal by 2030, it means the Rapture is getting close.
Sixth, on Dec. 27, 2018, it was reported that Venezuela hired a Chinese company to create a national ID system, that the company they hired recommended a system similar to China's social credit score system, and more than 70% of the Venezuelans are already signed up.
The social credit-score system is based on support for the political system.
Venezuelans that support the political system will get a high social credit score and Venezuelans that oppose it get a low social credit score.
The government intends to use a citizen's social credit score to determine that person's access to government benefits, food, medicine, etc.
This is not the Mark of the Beast, but it is a major step toward the Mark of the Beast, and the Rapture will be before something like that goes global.
Finally, on Dec. 27, 2018, it was reported that China is putting chips in clothing to track everywhere their citizens go.
China is also putting chips in hats and helmets that can read brain waves.
One must wonder if any of these clothes, hats or helmets are being, or will be, sold in the U.S.
No one knows how much time is left on God's prophetic clock, but there is probably not a lot of time on it; it is ticking and it is accurate, so we should use our time wisely.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
2019: What's Next? - By Hal Lindsey -
A New Year's Day Politico headline encapsulated the dread filling the political world: "Yes, 2019 Is the Year You Were Worrying About."
Markets are rattled by a looming trade war with China, a Fed that seems determined to relegate prosperity to America's rear-view mirror, and a level of instability in Washington rivaled in American history only by the run-up to the Civil War.... Any of these things could translate into a full-blown recession.... Meanwhile, the rest of the world remains dependent on the teetering American economy for their prosperity.
The North Korea denuclearization deal seems to be falling apart before it even begins.... China is building weapons designed to destroy US aircraft carriers.... The overall buildup of the Chinese military is one of the largest ever undertaken. It includes a heavy emphasis on space weapons and the destruction of the digital infrastructure that America and the West depend on for their very survival.... Russia remains a nuclear superpower, and its President, Vladimir Putin, seems determined to build a new generation of exotic superweapons.
In Washington, a power base entrenched for generations is intent on bringing down this President. They may or may not have legitimate legal arguments against him. We will see as reports finally surface in 2019. But instability in Washington - with fault on both sides - was the hallmark of 2018 and looks to grow even worse in the new year.
Bible prophecy is being fulfilled in dramatic, even spectacular ways. That's good news because it means that the return of Jesus is getting closer. But the Bible makes it clear that the buildup to Christ's return will be anything but pleasant. At some point, those of us who are in Christ will be raptured out of here. But between now and the rapture, difficulties will increase. America's power and influence may be destroyed even sooner than we had imagined.
What about you? What about your family, neighbors, and friends? What about your church and community? What happens now? What happens to you and those you love?
Here's the thing to remember. Psalm 23 still applies. "The Lord is my shepherd." He's still my shepherd, even in the end times. "I shall not want." He still provides for my needs even in economic hard times. "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake."
It's all still true. And if things become extremely bad, remember verses 4-6. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life."
I don't know what will happen in 2019. But I know goodness and mercy will follow me. And if you're in Christ, they will follow you, too. I believe we will continue to see a fulfillment of the general trends laid out in scripture. Yet, even with that, Jesus said there would be an ebb and flow like with the labor pains of childbirth. That means we can't make precise, year-by-year predictions.
But if you are in Christ, I know a great deal about your future. The big one is this. You're headed for heaven! The 23rd Psalm ends with an eternal beginning. "And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
Daily Jot: The coming idiocy - Bill Wilson -
Have you read the headlines lately? Do you see what this crop of Democratic representatives in Congress are promoting? Here's the short list: voting rights for noncitizens, an end to the electoral college, free college education, minimum mandatory income, up to 85% taxes, expanded socialist healthcare, abolishing border security enforcement (ICE), carbon taxes to change the weather (AKA: climate change), sex education promoting BDSM and other deviant sexual behaviors, banning gun ownership, support of Islamic terrorism against Israel, and more. Impossible, you say? Crazy? These things could never happen? Recent history indicates that there is no limit to the coming idiocy. Here is a brief rundown
In 1973, what seemed impossible happened-the Supreme Court legalized abortion. For decades, however, this government-sanctioned genocide was forbidden to be funded by tax dollars. After the immediate past "president" was elected, Planned Parenthood came center stage with even more tax support. Now, though they claim that no abortions are performed with the aid of tax dollars, the reality is that any federal funding helps them keep the lights on in their death clinics. And yes, your and my hard earned tax dollars are paying for it. Planned Parenthood has Capitol Hill briefings for Democratic Congressmen's staffers guiding them on how to use tax money to aid and abet killing babies.
Remember when the vast majority was against same sex marriage? Even over 60% of Californians were against it. Then along came the previous "president." What was unthinkable a decade ago, became the law of the land in 2015. The aggressive homosexual lobby protested, bought, and bullied their way to legal legitimacy. Along the way, religious free speech was characterized as homophobic and hateful. How about communism in the 1950s? Democrats claimed with full media support that investigations into communists were witch-hunts. Now there are Democrats openly proclaiming they are members of the House Progressive Caucus and many are Democratic Socialists. Everyone who disagrees with them is a bigot, racist, xenophobe, misogynist, homophobe or whatever. There is no limit to their political intolerance.
Remember when as First Lady Hillary Clinton tried to push through socialist healthcare? She got hammered. But she and her communist allies kept at it. Now it is the law of the land- in the dark of the night without one Republican vote. These are just the highlights of idiocy becoming reality over the past generation. Don't think that the incoming socialists are kidding around when they promote these things with the help of the news media. Idiocy has no limits, and the idiots are on a roll. What does it matter, some Christians will ask, stating ours is a kingdom in another world. Well, in the end, the Lord judges the nations as well as individuals. We are exhorted in Romans 12:21, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." We had better start pushing back in prayer and action now, before the coming idiocy becomes reality.
Daily Devotion: Smoke Signals to Heaven - By Greg Laurie -
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. -James 1:3
Pastor and author Chuck Swindoll tells the story of a man who found himself shipwrecked on an uninhabited island. He painstakingly built himself a small hut for his protection from the elements, where he could keep the few items he managed to recover from the wreckage. For weeks this man lived in his little hut, surviving the hot days and the cold nights, praying that he would be found, praying that a ship would come. But none came.
One day he was out looking for some food, and when he returned he was shocked to find that his little hut had caught fire and burned to the ground. He couldn't believe his bad fortune when he went to sleep that night. But when he woke up the next morning, there was a ship anchored at his small island. The captain of the ship told him, "We saw your smoke signal, and we came to rescue you."
What can seem like a disaster may end up being a smoke signal to Heaven. There are storms that come into our lives not as a result of our disobedience but actually because of our obedience. A good example of this is Job. What was Job doing wrong when all those calamities befell him? Nothing. God allowed them to bring about change in his life.
James wrote, "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing" (1:2-4 NLT).
Maybe you're in the midst of a storm right now. God has allowed it to make you more like Jesus.
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