Prophecy Update Newsletter
January 11, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Covenants, Israel and the UN - By Matt Ward - http://raptureready.com/soap2/ward79.html
January 15th looms before us. At a meeting of over 70 nations it would seem that Israel's future as a self-determining nation state is going to be decided.
This conference, if speculation is correct, is concerned with the ownership rights to Israel's land. Despite the fact that the intention of this meeting of nations is to decide Israel's fate, neither they nor the Palestinians will be in attendance; they will merely be briefed as to the conferences outcome after the fact.
Jerusalem is terrified that the summary position determined by this conference will then be immediately taken to the United Nations Security Council and translated into a legally binding resolution, all before Donald Trump takes office. Israel is afraid, with good reason, that a two state solution is about to be imposed upon them by force.
The world stands on the brink of calamity. Israel's land is guaranteed to them by God. Even though the Bible is very clear that the land of Israel will be divided before the end comes, that doesn't mean that there will not be very real consequences for the people and nations actively involved in making that division a reality.
Even the nations on the periphery of such a decision will be significantly impacted by such an act of rebellion.
Dividing the land of Israel and imposing a two state solution upon them would be an act of utter rebellion against the written word of God. The consequences for this rebellion will be very real and very significant for everybody involved.
In four separate and distinct covenants, each of which remain in force today, God guarantees the land as belonging exclusively to Israel. Instituting these Covenants with His people, throughout time, God has assured the Jewish people of their rights to this land again and again.
God did this through the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land Covenant found in Deuteronomy, the Davidic Covenant and the New Covenant, inaugurated by God's Son, Jesus Christ.
God fully intends to keeps His covenants, down to the last jot and tittle:
"For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." (Matthew 5:18)
The Abrahamic Covenant
Still in effect today, the Abrahamic Covenant was conferred on Abraham, Isaac and then onto Jacob. On Jacob's deathbed, whose name God changed to Israel, God again conferred this covenant, and confirmed it, with each of Israel's twelve children. These children went on to become the twelve tribes of Israel.
In the Bible there are two types of covenants; conditional covenants and unconditional covenants. A conditional covenant is an agreement dependent on both parties for its fulfillment. If either party fails to meet its obligations then the covenant is cancelled.
The Abrahamic Covenant is not a conditional covenant. It is an unconditional covenant. An unconditional covenant is an agreement between two parties where only one of the parties has to do something. The Abrahamic Covenant is not dependent upon Abraham, or his descendants, but on God. Abraham had to do nothing to ensure its fulfillment, the obligation and responsibility still rests with God even today.
The ceremony performed in Genesis 15 actually indicates the unconditional nature of this covenant. In Genesis 15 Abraham halved some dead animals and God alone moved between the dead animals that had been laid out on the floor. The smoking furnace and the flaming torch represent God, and God put Abraham into a deep sleep specifically so that he would not be able to physically pass between the animals.
God was binding Himself to this agreement with Abraham. In effect, God was saying "...if I do not fulfill the exact terms of this agreement then let what has happened to these dead animals happen to me!" God was staking His own life on its exact fulfillment.
This is one of the main reasons why Satan hates Israel and the Jews so much. This is one of the main reasons why Satan, the "prince of the power of the air," (Ephesians 2:2) and the "god of this age," (2 Corinthians 4:4) is so intent upon dividing and then destroying Israel.
The meeting of nations on January 15th and any subsequent UN Security Council resolution imposing a two state solution, should be seen in this light. If Satan can destroy the Jews and Israel, then he can prove God to be a covenant breaker. God, because of this covenant, would then be obliged by His own standards of holiness and justice to reap the consequences of this broken covenant.
In the Abrahamic Covenant, still in force today, God promised Abraham three main things; the land, descendants after him who would make a "great nation," and the promise of blessings and ultimate redemption.
This covenant will receive its ultimate fulfillment in the Messianic Kingdom (Gen.12: 1-3; 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-21: 22:15-18). All other covenants in the Bible are based on the foundations laid by this one covenant.
The Land Covenant (Found in Deuteronomy)
This covenant is crucial because it ensures Israel's inheritance, despite their potential future unfaithfulness. This covenant guarantees Israel's repentance and future restoration to the land in the millennial reign of the Messiah (Deuteronomy 30:1-10).
This covenant reaffirms that Israel as a land is Israel's eternal inheritance.
The Davidic Covenant
The Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7: 8-16), is also an eternal covenant. It guarantees Israel an eternal King who will rule from David's throne forever, in his eternal Jewish capital city, Jerusalem. This King to come is Jesus Christ. It will be a Jewish capital city in a Jewish state, not a nation split in two by the international community. Neither, at the time of the King, will it exist side by side with a Palestinian state.
Every Christian in the world today, most unwittingly, prays for the fulfillment of this Davidic Covenant from their very first experiences in Christianity,
"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven..." (Matthew 6:10).
This verse is a direct and explicit reference to the time yet future when a descendant of David will sit on David's throne and rule Israel and the world from Jerusalem. This did not happen during Christ's first incarnation, it is yet future, and therefore Israel's promise of the land and Jerusalem as their capital is still valid.
Jesus, when he returns, will be returning as a racial King - a Jewish King, and he will rule all with a "rod of iron" from an eternal Jewish capital city, in an eternal Jewish state.
The New Covenant
The New Covenant, ushered in by the Son of God Himself, is crucial to the fulfillment of the other Covenants that find their own ultimate fulfillments in the Messianic kingdom. The New Covenant, paid for and validated in the blood that Jesus shed on the Cross, makes the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land Covenant and the Davidic Covenants possible.
Everything hinges upon God's Son. Everything hinges upon Jesus Christ. It is the same blood that we claim as a propitiation for our own sins as Christians that will also provide the atonement for Israel's national sin in the very near future.
It is the same blood covenant that guarantees our own inheritance as Christians that also guarantees Israel's eternal right to the land, found originally in the Abrahamic Covenant. To reject Israel's exclusive and permanent right to the land as a Christian would therefore be to bring our own salvation into doubt.
This current impetus to punish and ultimately divide Israel, led by the administration of Barack Obama, finds its origins in the spiritual realm. Its demonically inspired aims are to discredit Gods Son Jesus, and to make God out to be a liar and a covenant breaker by dividing and then destroying Israel.
A consistent biblical truth though is that God does not lie. Indeed, God cannot lie,
"God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" (Numbers 23:19)
Very real consequences will follow for whoever divides the land of Israel, because God has guaranteed their exclusive right to that land. Those consequences will be severe,
"I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land." (Joel 3:2)
God is a faithful God and He has sworn over and over again to deliver Israel, physically and spiritually. Up to this point He has always made good on that promise.
God made an eternal covenant with Israel and He staked His own life on fulfilling that covenant:
"I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." (Genesis 17:7)
God does not change His mind, or revoke covenants; not for Barack Hussein Obama, not for the United Nations,
"...the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind." (1 Samuel 15:29)
Any imposition of a two state solution is wrong; more than that, it is a Satanically inspired rebellion of the very worst kind against the Apple of God's eye.
It appears, if speculation is correct, that very soon a chain of events may begin that will be hard to stop, triggered by the dividing of Israel's land. The Israeli government certainly believe that whatever is decided at this initial conference on January 15th will then progress directly into the UN Security Council.
This represents a significant moment of danger for the United States and the world at large. The land of Israel is a red line for God that is not meant to be crossed. Even though we know and understand from Scripture that these things will happen, it is indeed a terrible, sobering and frightening prospect to consider that it may be our nations and our leaderships that will force that fateful decision upon Israel, and then have to reap the whirlwind that comes from it.
As Christians it is incumbent upon us at this point to actively pray for Jerusalem. We should pray for Israel and for every Jew who lives there, as well as for Jews all around the world. For the Jewish people in Israel, it looks as though a terrible time of testing may shortly be upon them.
We are witnessing the tangible and real fulfillment of Bible prophecy in our own day, before our very eyes. It is the validation of our faith for all who are prepared to believe.
Keep looking up, because our own personal redemption is now drawing increasingly
"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:28)
The 70 Nations That Will Meet In Paris On January 15th Are Going To Publicly Commit To Dividing The Land Of Israel - By Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-70-nations-that-will-meet-in-paris-on-january-15th-are-going-to-publicly-commit-to-dividing-the-land-of-israel
A draft of the summary statement that will be released at the conclusion of the 70 nation conference in Paris on Sunday has been leaked. As you will see below, this communique is going to call for the division of the land of Israel, for the establishment of a Palestinian state, for the 1967 borders to serve as the basis for final negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and for the condemnation of any officials that refuse to support a two state solution. Of course this comes on the heels of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which many believe represented America's greatest betrayal of Israel. Israeli government officials are publicly warning that there is a possibility that the principles agreed upon at this conference may form the basis for another Security Council resolution before January 20th, and this is something that we should all be watching for very closely.
Haaretz exclusively obtained a copy of a draft of the summary statement that will be released following the conference on Sunday, and you can read it for yourself right here. Reportedly, there was a major meeting of diplomats last Friday, and the latest draft reflects feedback that was received from those diplomats during that meeting...
Last Friday, there was a meeting of senior diplomats from the dozens of Western and Arab countries that will attend the conference. The French delegate, Pierre Vimont, presented them with the first draft of the conference's summary communiqué and asked for comments.
According to Western diplomats, Vimont said France wants to reach a consensus among the participating states on a balanced statement that would stress the centrality of the two-state solution to the international community, but would take this month's transfer of presidential power in the United States into account.
In many ways, the document very closely tracks the language of UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Here are some of the things that really stood out to me in the draft...
-It makes a clear commitment to "two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security".
-It insists that there must be an end to "the occupation that began in 1967".
-It calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to publicly renew their commitment to a two state solution.
-It also calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to publicly renounce any of their officials that do not support a two state solution.
-It states that the 70 nations gathered in Paris only recognize the June 4th, 1967 borders, and that the only future changes to those borders they will recognize will come as the result of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And just like UN Security Council Resolution 2334, Jerusalem is specifically mentioned. So according to this document, Israel does not own the Wailing Wall, the Temple Mount, a single inch of the West Bank or a single inch of East Jerusalem.
-The summary statement will also call on all countries to clearly distinguish between the State of Israel and territories that would belong to the Palestinians based upon the 1967 borders in all of their dealings.
Needless to say, this is a horribly anti-Israel document and the Israeli government is already strongly denouncing it.
At this point, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is most alarmed about the possibility that this summary statement could be used as the basis for another UN Security Council resolution just a few days later...
Netanyahu fears that the final communiqué of the Paris conference will be adopted next Monday by the EU foreign ministers' council and the foreign ministers of the Quartet, and might also be the basis for another resolution at the Security Council, which is scheduled to convene next Tuesday for its monthly debate on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
"We find ourselves only a few days before the Paris conference and, only a few days later, a Security Council debate," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. "We are making a great effort to prevent another Security Council resolution."
By organizing this conference and trying to lead the way in the effort to divide the land of Israel, France is in danger of greatly cursing itself.
Recently I was asked why God cares so much about Israel. Well, I think that a very basic illustration can help us to understand this better.
If you want to greatly anger any man, just go after his home and his family. This will be true in just about any culture all across the globe.
Similarly, when the rest of the world attempts to divide the land of Israel and hurt the Jewish people, they are going after the family that Jesus was born into and the city where He will rule and reign for 1000 years after He comes back.
When Jesus was being crucified, Roman soldiers divided up his clothing, and that was a deeply disgraceful thing to do.
But now just before Jesus returns, the entire globe is trying to divide up His land and divide up the one city on the entire planet that He has identified as His city (Matthew 5:35).
Why are our leaders being so foolish? In the Scriptures, God specifically warns us that in the last days He will judge the nations for dividing up His land. This is what Joel chapter 3:1-2 says in the Modern English Version...
In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. I will enter into judgment with them there regarding My people and My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.
Those that bless Israel will be blessed, and those that curse Israel will be cursed.
And the 70 nations that are gathering in Paris, France on Sunday are literally in danger of cursing the entire planet.
Let us just pray that there will not be another UN Security Council resolution following this conference, because that would be absolutely disastrous for Israel, for the United States, and for the rest of the globe.
Your Tax Dollars At Work - Funding Palestinian Terror - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=926
Palestinian support for acts of terror knows no limits. Palestinians took to the streets and social media this week to celebrate the truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem in which 4 IDF soldiers were killed.
The street celebrations included the handing out of sweets while Palestinian social media promoted a post of Fadi al-Qanbar's (the terrorist who drove the truck into the soldiers) sister displaying a big smile and commenting "thank Allah for his saintly death" after news that her brother had died in the act of killing Israeli soldiers.
This was followed by another celebration in which the terrorist's mother was honored at a community celebration who proceed to throw flowers to the cheering audience.
In attendance of this celebration was the PA Prime Minister. Had any other government official in the world been present for such celebration their would be world outcry.
However the double standard towards PA leadership has been a fact of life for decades.
Sadly, this same government is being promoted as a partner for peace with Israel and will soon be granted a UN directive outlining a future Palestinian State.
For too long the US has turned a blind eye to Palestinian leadership corruption and support for terrorism, including social incitement, naming streets and parks after terrorists and promoting hatred of Israel in it's school textbooks.
However, one of the most serious abuses is the financial support of the families of terrorists, effectively granting pensions to the families of terrorists who have been captured or killed attacking Israelis.
To combat this abhorrent use of blood money funded by US tax dollars, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a major US Christian lobbying group, is calling on Congress to pass a law cutting off funds to the PA as a terrorist sponsor.
The recently proposed bill is known as the Taylor Force Act, in honor of Taylor Force, the American West Point Graduate who was knifed to death by a Palestinian terrorist.
The bill proposes to cut off any and all funding to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to make payments to captured terrorists and the families of terrorists who died murdering innocent Jews.
Pastor John Hagee, founder and chairman of CUFI, released a statement several weeks ago, "Americans cannot support an entity that sponsors terrorism and incites violence. The Taylor Force Act isn't about Democrat vs. Republican, it's about right and wrong.
Every member of Congress should back this legislation, and it should be one of the easiest decisions they make." To oppose this bill is to support payments for terrorists who have murdered innocents.
The director of CUFI, David Brog, added that, "We cannot ignore the fact that when we send hundreds of millions of dollars to the PA, we are subsidizing these terror payments. That's precisely why we must cut our aid to the PA until they stop funding terror.
Doing so won't harm the prospects for peace. On the contrary, forcing the PA to renounce terrorism in both word and deed is a fundamental first step towards achieving peace."
The UK government just froze part of its aid payment made through the Department of International Development because its own investigations found that, despite the controls in place, £25 million ($30 million dollars) of the money it was set to donate, or about a third, would be directed towards payments to terrorists.
Senator Coats referred to the funding of the Palestinian Authority, a terrorist state, when he said to the media, "To provoke, reward and provide incentive for terrorist acts through financial rewards is one of the most outrageous things I've ever come across."
With the Taylor Force bill, it is hoped that this cycle of compensation for terrorist violence may finally be put to an end. Even the Wall Street Journal has backed the bill and called on President Trump to support its passage.
New Star to Appear in Night Sky, Heralding Balaam's Prophecy of Messiah - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"He counteth the number of the stars; He giveth them all their names." Psalms 147:4 (The Israel Bible™)
Five years from now, the light from the ancient collision of two stars will reveal a brand-new star in the night sky. According to Jewish esoteric sources, this is precisely the celestial phenomenon which will accompany the arrival of the Messiah.
The new star, expected to appear in 2022 in a blaze of light called a nova, will be the brightest heavenly body visible in the nighttime sky for six months. It will be the first time in recorded history that a celestial event of this kind will be witnessed by the naked eye.
Beyond its scientific uniqueness, the appearance of the new star could have much bigger implications for the earth-bound, one prominent rabbi told Breaking Israel News, pointing to a Biblical prophecy of Balaam which hails the appearance of a new star as the precursor to Messiah.
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh; there shall step forth a star out of Yakov, and a scepter shall rise out of Yisrael, and shall smite through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of Seth. Numbers 24:17
Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, cited Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, known by the acronym Rambam, the foremost Torah authority of the 12th century, whose rulings are still used as the basis for much of Jewish law.
"The Rambam brings this verse about a star appearing as proof that the Messiah will come one day," Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. "But he says it will come from Jacob, and not from Esau. More specifically, from the tribe of Judah."
Even more incredibly, the Zohar, the foundational work of Jewish mysticism predicts, in detail, the color and type of stars which will appear. "The Zohar states explicitly that the Messianic process will be accompanied by several stars appearing. The Zohar goes into great depth, describing how many stars, and which colors they will be," Rabbi Berger explained.
The new star, announced last week by Larry Molnar, a professor of astronomy at Calvin College in Michigan, will certainly be unusual. It is a binary star, or two stars orbiting a central point. Molnar described it as "two peanuts sharing a single shell."
In his observations, Molnar noted that the orbital period was decreasing at an accelerating rate, leading him to understand that the two stars were moving closer to each other. Based on a previous case of binary stars, Molnar predicted the two stars stars would collide in 2022, resulting in a massive explosion.
"[The collision] will release as much energy as the sun releases in its entire lifetime," Molar said in a video about the discovery.
When the two finally collide, it will create a new star, a red nova. The star's brightness will increase ten-thousandfold, making it one of the brightest points in the heavens for six months, after which it will fade and remain as a smaller dot in the sky. It will be the first time in history that the creation of a new star will be visible with the naked eye.
"It's a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion," Molnar said. "It's never been done before."
Ira Machefsky, an amateur astronomer with 60 years of experience who runs stargazing tours in Mizpeh Ramon, a town perched on a huge crater in the Negev desert, has been following the story closely. He described the delicate balance between science and faith to Breaking Israel News.
"The Heavens, especially unique phenomena like this nova, are a manifestation of God's intellect. But this has to be understood in a specific manner in Judaism," Machefsky warned. "Astronomy and astrology are prominent in Jewish mysticism, since God works through nature. But at the same time, the term for pagan idol worship is avodat cochavim o'mazalot (serving stars and signs)."
Machefsky quoted the Talmud (Sukkoth 29a).
"Thus saith HaShem, 'Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the nations are dismayed at them, the idolaters will be dismayed, but Israel will not be dismayed.'"
"According to Hasidic philosophy, the wellsprings of knowledge will be opened up In the times of the Moshiach (Messiah)," Machefsky said. "It is truly amazing that astronomers can predict this when just a few years ago we wouldn't have known about this until the star suddenly appeared. Science has enabled us to share in God's natural processes."
For stargazers, the nova will be visible as part of the constellation Cygnus, adding a star to the Northern Cross star pattern. Though the nova will appear in a few years, the actual event took place 1,800 years ago. It has taken nearly two millennia for the light from the collision to reach earth.
Nearing Midnight: Death and the Cult of Celebrity - Todd Strandberg - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
The year 2016 is being reflected upon as a bad year for people who had attained celebrity status. Several major icons from the world of film, sports, music and television have died. The carnage was perceived to be so bad there were suggestions on social media that Time magazine's Person of the Year shouldn't be Donald Trump but the Grim Reaper himself.
The folks at the BCC keep a good record of obituaries, and they found that there had indeed been a spike in celebrity deaths. In the first three months of last year, there were five times as many deaths as in the first quarter of 2012. As the year 2016 progressed the number of celebrity deaths quickly flatten out; with the number of obituaries only being 30 percent more than the previous year.
A possible reason why there has been so much news on this subject is because we live in a culture that is fixated on celebrities. Someone who helped develop a vaccine that saved millions of lives can die without notice, but if a minor rock star dies from a drug overdose, people will mourn like he was one of their family members.
The death of famous people should only cause us to reflect on our own mortality and our need for the Saviour. The premature death a famous person should warn everyone that there is a narrow path to everlasting life.
"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:14).
Most of the celebrities who died last year should be shown as an example of what not to do. I can think of two major singers who had perverse lives and their deaths were directly related to their sinful lifestyles. The media coverage made them out to be angels because they sold a few million records.
The worst example of the cult of celebrity and its relationship with death is the story of Zsa Zsa Gabor passing. After she was cremated, her ashes were scattered from a Louis Vuitton bag because she was considered the queen of style. Gabor's husband, Frederic von Anhalt, gave a 40-minute eulogy that focused on Gabor's thirst for the limelight.
"I want to remember the way she walked the red carpet," von Anhalt said. "She loved it so much. Her life was only red carpet, nothing else." The priest at Gabor's memorial service gave the same glowing praise. "She epitomized and personified Hollywood glamour," Father Edward Benioff said. "She could write. She could act. She had many, many talents."
It may be true that Zsa Zsa Gabor was a queen of style and the embodiment of Hollywood glamour, but these are not qualities that are productive for the kingdom of God. If you have people boasting at your funeral how much you conformed to the world, you clearly made tragic choices in your life.
Debbie Reynolds died the day after the passing of her daughter, Carrie Fisher. The media said that this was "destiny" and "such a beautiful sentiment" that they died together.
These observations are just wishful thinking. Sure, they both had wonderful lives and meant very much to each other, but a positive outcome depends entirely on their standing with the Son of God.
We live in a world where even the worst of celebrities get positive press. When Fidel Castro died, he was hailed by many at the UN as an iconic leader of the 20th century. He was said to be an activist in pursuing independence, justice and development. In reality, Castro was an evil dictator who murdered in order to hold on to power.
I think it is a bad sign for anyone to make an annual list of dead celebrities. Author Tim LaHaye died last year, and I didn't see him on any list. He had one of the bestselling books of the last two decades, and he helped establish numerous productive Christian organizations. When I read that Alexis Arquette, a D-List transgender actress was on most lists, I thought, clearly LaHaye should out rank this weirdo.
The only list that dying should hope to be on is the one in the book of life. The money, fame, and power all become void in the end. The only thing that matters is Jesus Christ's saving grace.
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26).
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
What if 2017 is your last year on earth? - Greg Laurie - http://www.wnd.com/2016/12/what-if-2017-is-your-last-year-on-earth/
Pastor Greg Laurie notes, 'There are 3 things we can offer to God in this life'
In her December 1979 column titled "If I Had My Life to Live Over," Erma Bombeck wrote, "Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind. If I had my life to live over again ..." She went on to list a number of things she would do differently and then concluded, "Mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it."
In the New Testament we find the words of a man who knew the end of his life was near. He was none other than the great apostle Paul. Writing from the Mamertine Prison in Rome, he said, "As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me - the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:6-8 NLT).
Paul was in prison because he had faithfully proclaimed the Good News to people. He was chained up in a miserable, primitive place, and he was all alone. Yet his words resonate with joy and hope, not with depression and despair.
Heaven is what was before Paul, and he looked forward to it. Paul already had the unique experience of dying, going to heaven and returning to earth (see 2 Corinthians 12:1-4). That is why he wrote earlier, in the book of Philippians, "For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don't know which is better. I'm torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me" (1:21-23 NLT). Paul understood that heaven was a promotion. It was a coronation.
Paul knew he was leaving, and he had no regrets. Notice he wrote, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful." He had done everything God had called him to do. He had no regrets. He had lived life to its fullest.
If this were your last year on earth, would you be able to say the same thing? Have you been winning in the fight and struggle against personal sin? Have you kept up the pace in the race of life, or have you slowed down? Have you guarded and kept your faith in the way you live and tell others?
Are there things that remain in life to do? Of course there are for all of us. There are things we would like to do and places we would like to go. But I'm talking about important things.
There are three things we can offer to God in this life. We can offer our treasure. We can offer our talent. And we can offer our time.
First there is our treasure. I am speaking, of course, of our possessions, our resources, our finances. Wherever we put our treasure, our hearts will follow. If you want your heart to be in the things of God, then put your treasure in the things of God. Invest in the work of the kingdom.
Next, there is our talent. God has given to every one of us certain abilities, skills and even gifts, and we are to use those for his glory.
Finally, there is our time. Let's say that tomorrow morning you were to get a call from the president of your bank, telling you that an anonymous donor who loves you very much had decided to deposit 86,400 pennies into your bank account every morning. But there is a condition: You must spend all the money each day. You can't carry it over from one day to the next. What isn't spent will be taken away. So you get out your calculator out and realize those daily deposits total about $315,000 a year.
In the same way, someone who loves you very much deposits 86,400 seconds into your bank of time every day. They cannot be carried over from one day to the next. There is no such thing as a 27-hour day. You are given 24 hours each day to use as you choose. The Bible says, "Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days" (Ephesians 5:16 NLT).
So what if this were your last year on earth? This could be that year. That is a heavy thought for some. But someone's name will end up in the obituary column tomorrow and the next day. We always think it won't be us and that it certainly won't be someone close to us. But the fact is that it could be. So we want to prepare.
Maybe in this last year you have strayed. You know you haven't fought the good fight and haven't run the race of life. You haven't done well. Then make a recommitment as we enter into this new year so you can be confident that if this is your last year on earth, you will be ready to meet the Lord.
Here is my word of encouragement to you in this coming year. Keep your heart in heaven, because we never know when this could be our last year, our last month, or even our last day. When it is all said and done, the only thing that will matter is whether you accomplished the purpose God had for you. Are you doing that?
Moses prayed, "Teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom" (Psalm 90:12 NKJV). That simply means, "Help us live wisely. Help us live practically. Help us live spiritually." We have three things to offer to God: our treasure, our talent, and our time. Let's live each day as though it were our last. Let's be about our Father's business, seeking to glorify him in all we say and do.
Daily Jot: Last speech, shadow government ahead - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Breaking with tradition of a president giving his farewell speech from the White House, the outgoing occupant of the Oval Office used the symbol of his eight years in office as a backdrop-Chicago, replete with the highest murder rate in the country amid the strictest gun prohibitions, and quite possibly among the worst local economies in America. His speech was over 51 minutes--longer than the farewell speeches of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W Bush combined, and he referred to himself some 75 times. What he went on to say in this speech is about as incredulous as one could imagine, but its his story and he is sticking to it, damn the truth.
He said, "If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history - if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran's nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9-11 - if I had told you that we would win marriage equality and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens - if I had told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high." Applying some truth-45 million on government assistance; over 14 million left the workforce; his deal gave Iran nuclear capability; socialist healthcare is an abject failure; and he did more to destroy marriage and Christianity than all other presidents combined.
He outlined what "we" are going to have to do in the future-a new social contract to make sure our kids get a free education; update the social safety net to reflect the way we live now; update the tax code so corporations and individuals "don't avoid their obligations to the country that has made their very success possible"; unionizing all workers for better wages. Sound like a shadow government in the making? He also defined what "citizens" should do to bring about change and affirmed, "I won't stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my remaining days." Then he went on to lead his chant, "Yes, we can. Yes, we did. Yes, we can." This leaves the impression of his plans for the future-can, did, can, again.
He went on to reveal the world according to him: "Because of the extraordinary courage of our men and women in uniform. Because of our intelligence officers and law enforcement and diplomats who support our troops, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years." I guess the last 8 attacks by Muslims, some claimed by the Islamic State, were just workplace violence. Ephesians 5:6 says, "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." His deception, America's disobedience by believing him instead of God's word, has and will bring wrath upon us. He says "good bye." Many say "good riddance." We all should pray that God have mercy on our nation.
Daily Devotion: It's Never Good-Bye - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. -Revelation 21:4
The day my son Christopher went to heaven was the hardest day of my life, needless to say. Now birthdays are difficult. Christmas is difficult. Easter is difficult. It's amazing how every occasion is loaded with memories we didn't know we had.
That day I joined a club I never wanted to join: the club of those who have lost loved ones and, specifically, those who have lost children.
People pour their hearts out whenever I talk about this. They tell me their stories, and I have been in tears as I've heard from other parents who have lost children and have told me how Cathe and I have inspired them. I thank God for that. Despite this pain and tragedy, if we can bring a little hope or a little comfort to someone else, then I am thankful God has allowed us to have some joy despite this tragedy.
If it were up to me, I would have my son back in a heartbeat. But I am not given that opportunity, of course. So I simply say, "Lord, I don't want to waste my pain. How can I use it for Your glory?" There are a lot of hurting people out there. I know what they're going through.
I have found that talking about heaven is helpful to me. It causes me to focus and think about where my son is right now.
Maybe you have a loved one who is in heaven-maybe a child, maybe a sibling, maybe a parent or grandparent, or maybe a spouse. If he or she trusted the Lord, then you have hope. And that hope is in heaven.
It is not good-bye forever; it is see you later. We will see our loved ones again because, as Christians, we never say good-bye.
FROM THE HEART
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