Prophecy Update Newsletter
January 18, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Number One Prophetic Sign - By Britt Gillette - http://raptureready.com/featured/gillette/bg79.html
What is the number one prophetic sign? What sign more than any other, points to the soon return of Jesus Christ? While any number of signs are present, I believe one stands out above all others. In fact, Jesus Himself told us what it is.
When the disciples said, "Tell us the signs of your coming and the end of the age" (Matthew 24:3), Jesus detailed a number of things to look for. He then said, "When you see all these things, you can know my return is near. I'm right at the door" (Matthew 24:33).
He also said, "When all these things begin to happen, look up for your salvation is near!" (Luke 21:28).
This means the number one sign of Jesus' return is all the signs appearing together.
Both Jesus and the prophets told us what signs to look for, and the appearance of just one is reason enough to take notice. But the arrival of one sign after another should really get your attention. This convergence of signs is the number one prophetic sign - the number one reason to believe Jesus is right at the door.
The Convergence of Signs
The Bible tells us a number of events will take place just prior to the return of Jesus. Generations of Christians lived and died without witnessing one of these signs. Yet our generation is witness to all of them. Those signs include:
Israel Back in the Land - God promised to bring the Jewish people back into the land of Israel before He returned (Jeremiah 23:7-8). He said He would call them from "among the nations" (Ezekiel 39:28), from "the farthest corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:12), and from "north, south, east, and west" (Psalm 107:3). He promised to welcome them home from the lands where they were scattered (Ezekiel 20:34). When they did, He promised to return and establish His everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 11:11-12).
The Jews Back in Jerusalem - Jesus said armies would surround Jerusalem, destroy the city, and enslaves its citizens. This happened in A.D. 70 when the Roman legions did exactly that. Jesus then said people other than the Jews would control Jerusalem for a time, then the Jewish people would once again control Jerusalem. When they did, Jesus promised to return (Luke 21:24-28). Since 1967, the Jewish people have been in possession of Jerusalem.
The Gospel Preached Throughout the World - When asked about the end of the age and the signs of His coming, Jesus said to look for a very specific sign. He said the gospel will be preached throughout the entire world. Every nation will hear it. And then? And then, the end will come (Matthew 24:14). For centuries after the crucifixion, the gospel was confined to a small area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. In the past two centuries, Christians have brought the gospel to every nation in the world. Today, missionaries are in every nation. The Bible is translated in hundreds of languages, and the message of Jesus is sent around the world by radio, TV, satellite, and the Internet. Our generation is literally on the verge of spreading the gospel to every last person on earth.
An Increase in Travel and Knowledge - Six hundred years before Jesus, an angel gave Daniel a special message. He said "travel and knowledge" will increase in the end times (Daniel 12:4). For centuries of human history, dramatic gains in travel and knowledge did NOT take place. Yet the last two hundred years have seen explosions in the speed and frequency of travel as well as the amount and availability of knowledge.
Arrival of the Exponential Curve - Jesus said a variety of global signs will come before His return and the end of the age. These signs will be spiritual, natural, societal, and political in nature. And He said they would appear in a distinct way - "like birth pains" (Matthew 24:3-8).
This means the frequency and intensity of these signs will increase as we near His return. Our generation has seen the exponential increase in war and famine Jesus said to look for. In the 20th Century alone, more people died from war and famine than lived on the earth when Jesus spoke these words.
Israel Surrounded by Enemies - The Bible says enemies will surround Israel in the end times. Those enemies will say "Come, let us wipe away the nation of Israel. Let's destroy the memory of its existence" (Psalm 83:4) and "Let us take for ourselves these pasturelands of God" (Psalm 83:12).
Ezekiel said Israel's neighbors will say "God has given their land to us" (Ezekiel 11:14-17), and "Israel and Judah are ours. We will take possession of them. What do we care if their God
is there?" (Ezekiel 35:10). Ever since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, the daily headlines have included these Bible verses. Israel's Muslim neighbors claim the land of Israel for themselves, and they have no regard for the God of Israel.
Israel's Exceedingly Great Army - Ezekiel said, in the end times, Israel will field "an exceedingly great army" (Ezekiel 37:10). Zechariah said Israel will be like a fire among sheaves of grain, burning up the neighboring nations (Zechariah 12:6) and even the weakest Israeli soldier will be like David (Zechariah 12:8). Since 1948, Israel has fought no less than four conventional wars against its neighbors. Despite being outnumbered more than 50 to 1, Israel has achieved overwhelming victory every time.
Rise of the Gog of Magog Alliance - The Bible says a military alliance that includes Russia, Iran, Turkey, and a number of Muslim nations will attack Israel "in the latter days" (Ezekiel 38:8) when God brings His people home from among the enemy nations (Ezekiel 39:27). Today, we see those very nations coming together - an alliance that has never existed in world history.
Rise of a United Europe - The Bible says a revived Roman Empire will come to power in the end times (Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Revelation 17). According to Daniel, it will be a ten nation alliance of weak and strong nations. Some parts will be as strong as iron, while other parts will be as weak as clay (Daniel 2:42). We see the beginning of this alliance in the European Union - a coalition of weak and strong nations struggling to stay together.
The Rise of Global Government - The Bible says a single government will rule the world politically (Revelation 13:7), religiously (Revelation 13:8), and economically (Revelation 13:16-17) in the last days. It will rule over "all people, tribes, and languages" on the face of the earth (Revelation 13:7). Its authority will be so complete no one will be able to buy or sell anything without its permission (Revelation 13:16-17). For centuries, a true global government was impossible. Today, world leaders openly discuss it.
Denial of the Signs - Almost two thousand years ago, Peter issued a warning. He said in the last days people will mock the idea of Jesus returning. They will make fun of those who believe in the Second Coming and say exactly what we hear today - things like, "I thought Jesus was coming back? What happened to His promise? Generation after generation has said He's coming. Yet, since the beginning of the world, everything has remained the same!" (2 Peter 3:3-4).
Despite the naysayers, Jesus is coming, and ours is the generation that will witness His return. The convergence of all these signs confirm it. Jesus Himself said to look for these signs, and when you see them, He said you can know His return is near. He's right at the door (Matthew 24:33). In fact, He said the generation witnessing these signs will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34).
"But Britt," you might say. "These are the same signs you keep pointing out. You keep saying the same thing over and over." That's right. I do. And that's because the truth doesn't change. These signs were present yesterday, and these same signs will be present right up until the rapture. But keep this in mind - for 1,878 years of Christianity (A.D. 70 - A.D. 1948), none of these signs were present. Today, all of them are.
I repeat myself because this is a message people need to hear. It's the message every Christian should brand in his or her heart. Advertisers say you need to hear a message at least seven times before it sinks in. Looking around, I don't think it's sunk in. Too many people are asleep when it comes to the signs of the Second Coming.
Sadly, many of these people are Christians. If you're one of them, it's time to wake up. Jesus warned us not to be caught sleeping when He returns (Mark 13:36). He commanded us to watch. Today, the signs of His return are all around us. Jesus is coming, and it can't be said enough... Now is the season of His return.
Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus: One Man's Search for Truth and Life Purpose as well as Signs of the Second Coming: 11 Reasons Jesus Will Return in Our Lifetime. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.
Israel steps up shadow war with Hezbollah - By Ed Blanche - http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Voices/2017/01/17/Israel-steps-up-shadow-war-with-Hezbollah/6641484665638/
Israel's Institute for National Security Studies stressed in its annual strategic assessment, released Jan. 2, that Hezbollah remains the most serious threat the Jewish state faces.
It urged Israel's intelligence establishment to intensity efforts to block the transfer of advanced weapons systems to Hezbollah - a process that may already be under way with a spate of air and missiles strikes against Syria.
The vast majority of the arms supplied to Hezbollah from Iran pass through Syria. Hezbollah, a key force keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power amid the war in the country, is reportedly building military bases and seeking to establish a presence in the disputed Golan Heights, a strategic volcanic plateau that overlooks Israel's agricultural heartland.
Iran, Hezbollah's patron and arms supplier, is listed as the second-ranking military threat by INSS, in part because of its distance from Israel.
Combined, Iran and Hezbollah, which serves as the Islamic republic's strategic arm in the Levant, present a comprehensive threat to Israel that far exceeds any other. This ranges from Iran's growing ballistic missile force and the nuclear weapons Israel's military leaders are convinced it will develop in the coming years to Hezbollah's emerging tactical capabilities.
Much of that is due to advanced weaponry it amassed in recent years despite repeated Israeli airstrikes against weapons convoys and targeted assassinations in Syria and Lebanon of key figures in acquiring or developing Hezbollah's firepower.
Hezbollah is estimated - largely by Israel - to possess more than 130,000 rockets and missiles, including long-range weapons capable of destroying city blocks.
In recent weeks, the covert war between Israel and Hezbollah that has dragged on for five years apparently flared again, possibly this time with higher stakes.
There have been several missiles attacks reported in Syria, all presumably Israeli weapons launched from either the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights or from Lebanese airspace. These were apparently aimed at curtailing deliveries of advanced weapons to Hezbollah that in the past have reportedly included Soviet-era SA- 22 air defense missiles, which, for the first time, allow Hezbollah to directly challenge Israel's control of the air in Lebanon and Syria, and Yakhont anti-ship missiles that could be used against Israel's offshore gas facilities.
On Nov. 30, at least two missiles, apparently fired by Israeli jets in Lebanese airspace, hit a convoy of trucks outside Damascus, triggering speculation the trucks were carrying advanced weapons to Hezbollah.
On Dec. 2, Israel reportedly conducted two airstrikes using Popeye missiles around Damascus, one against a weapons depot manned by the Syrian Army's crack Fourth Armored Division at Sabboura, northwest of the Syrian capital. The other blasted several cars near the Damascus-Beirut highway.
In a 3 a.m. strike on Dec. 7, several surface-to-surface missiles hit installations in the Mezzeh military airbase at Damascus International Airport, where Hezbollah maintains a high-security facility for receiving arms airlifted from Iran before they are trucked to Lebanon. The missiles started several big fires at the airport, triggering major explosions.
In a separate attack on that date, Hezbollah facilities in and around the town of Zabadani, on the border with Lebanon and a key junction in the overland arms route to Hezbollah strongpoints, were hit. On Friday, Syria accused Israel of another missile strike on the Mezzeh base in a predawn attack that triggered multiple explosions and caused casualties.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged for the first time in April 2016 that Israel has been mounting airstrikes in Syrian territory to curb shipments of what he called "game-changing weaponry" to Hezbollah.
The Jerusalem Post suggested on Dec. 8 that the Israelis' strikes the previous day had targeted "the presumed base of the Syrian Army's secretive Unit 450, a branch of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Centre that is at the center of the Assad regime's chemical weapons program north of Damascus."
On the same day, Israel's hawkish defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, raised the ante by claiming that the Israeli Air Force had thwarted an attempt to transfer chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon.
If that is true, it suggests that Hezbollah and Iran may be prepared to escalate the covert efforts to upgrade Hezbollah's arsenal to a highly dangerous new level.
Lieberman often shoots from the hip and his comments may have had political overtones but it was the first time a top-level Israeli official had voiced such concerns.
These air and missile strikes constitute what the Israelis call a "campaign between wars," a concept that involves overt and covert operations designed to thwart emerging threats, particularly the acquisition of advanced weaponry.
This is a finely balanced confrontation short of war in which both sides observe certain restraints that will prevent hostilities escalating to all-out conflict.
But now Israel seems to be stepping up the shadowy conflict with Hezbollah, as Iran seeks to establish a presence in the divided Golan, a red line for Israel.
Lieberman warned that while Israel has no interest in intervening in the Syrian war, it would take action to preserve Israelis' security, particularly on advanced weapons transfers to Hezbollah. Israel, he declared, "will make decisions according to this policy without taking other circumstances or restriction into account."
Trump, the pistol and the olive branch - Caroline B. Glick - http://jewishworldreview.com/0117/glick011817.php3
It will soon be Trump v. the world. Quite literally. Will America fall further into submission or lead?
With a gun on his hip, on November 13, 1974, PLO chief Yasser Arafat stood before the UN General Assembly and made the West an offer that it didn't refuse.
At the end of a long speech in which he rewrote history to erase all connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel and criminalized the very notion of Jewish freedom, Arafat declared, "Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand."
Arafat's offer has served since that time as the foundation of European relations with the Palestinians and the wider Islamic world. It has also been the basis of US-PLO relations for the better part of the past four decades.
His trade was simple and clear.
If you stand with the PLO in its war to annihilate Israel and deny Jewish freedom, then PLO terrorists and our Arab state supporters will leave you alone.
If you refuse to join our war against the Jewish state, we will kill you.
Today, Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, is reiterating Arafat's offer.
Speaking Saturday at the Vatican after the Holy See decided to recognize "Palestine," Abbas said that if US President-elect Donald Trump goes ahead with his plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, it will "fuel extremism in our region, as well as worldwide."
Abbas's spokesman was more explicit. Saturday night, Osama Qawasmeh, spokesman for Abbas's Fatah PLO faction and member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, said that if the US moves its embassy to Israel's capital city, "The gates of hell will be opened in the region and the world."
Abbas and Qawasmeh also said that the PLO expects that members of the international community will make Trump see the light and abandon his plan.
French President Francois Hollande's "peace conference" on Sunday was the international community's way of fulfilling Abbas's demand.
As multiple commentators have noted, the conference's purpose wasn't to promote the prospects for peace. It was to constrain Trump's policy options for handling the Palestinian war against Israel.
By bringing together representatives of some 70 countries to insist that Israeli homeowners are the moral equivalent of Palestinian terrorists, Hollande and his comrades hoped to box Trump into their PLO-compliant policy.
Spelling out the demand Trump is required to accept, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc-Ayrault parroted the Palestinian threats.
Asked by the French media Sunday if moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem would provoke the Palestinians, Ayrault said, "Of course."
He then demeaned Trump's plan to move the embassy as nothing but the regular bluster of American politicians.
In his words, "I think he [Trump] would not be able to do it. It would have extremely serious consequences and it's not the first time that it's on the agenda of a US president, but none has let himself make that decision."
Ayrault is correct about Trump's predecessors.
To one degree or another, since the early 1970s, successive US administrations have joined the Europeans in selling Israel down the river to prevent Arafat's minions from pointing their guns at the American people.
Like the Europeans, the Americans have upheld their side of this bargain even when the PLO failed to uphold its end. For instance, in 1973 Arafat ordered his terrorists to storm the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum and take US ambassador Cleo Noel, his deputy, George Curtis Moore, and Belgian diplomat Guy Eid hostage. Arafat then ordered his henchmen to murder the diplomats after then president Richard Nixon rejected his demand to release Robert F. Kennedy's Palestinian murderer, Sirhan Sirhan, from prison.
Instead of responding to the execution of US diplomats by siding with Israel against the PLO, the US covered up and denied the PLO's responsibility for the attack for the next 33 years.
The US is still covering up for the PLO's murder of US embassy personnel in Gaza in 2003. At the same time, it is providing the PLO with nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in direct and indirect annual aid, including the training and provision of its security forces.
The Europeans for their part have egged the US along throughout the years. France has generally led European efforts to convince the Americans to side with Palestinian as well as Hezbollah terrorists in their war against Israel in the name of "peace."
Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the Paris conference as a "futile" relic of a period that is about to end.
Netanyahu said that the conference's goal of boxing Israel into an untenable framework for dealing the Palestinians was nothing more than the "final palpitations of a yesterday's world."
"Tomorrow," he intoned, "will look a lot different. And tomorrow is very close."
Trump will take office on Friday. Since he was elected, he has given every reason to believe that Abbas and his deputies and their European and American enablers will have to either put up or shut up.
Speaking of the president-elect, Henry Kissinger said that Trump is the first man in recent memory who doesn't owe anybody anything for his victory.
The only people he is answerable to are the voters who elected him.
Trump's electoral victory owes to his success in tapping into the deep reservoir of popular disaffection with the elitist culture and policies that have governed post-Cold War West. He has used the mandate he received from American voters to revisit the basic assumptions that have driven US policies for the past generation.
His skepticism at NATO and the EU are examples of his refusal to simply accept the received wisdom of his predecessors. Just this weekend he told Germany's Bild magazine that he continues to question the purpose of NATO, which is a drag on US taxpayers and doesn't fight terrorism.
He similarly restated his ambivalence toward the EU and that its open border policy has been a "catastrophic failure," and he expects more countries to follow Britain's lead and exit the EU.
Trump's position on the PLO and the Palestinian war on Israel is of a piece with his wider rejection of the common wisdom of Western elites. Just as he didn't hesitate to say that the EU mainly serves as an instrument for Germany to dominate the European market, so he has made no mystery of his rejection of the moral equivalence between Israel and Palestinian terrorists which forms the basis of the twostate formula.
Not only won't Trump join the Obama administration and the French in criminalizing Israeli homeowners, Trump is celebrating them. He has invited the leaders of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria - that is, the so-called "settlements" - to attend his inauguration.
And he appears dead serious about moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Under these circumstances, Israel has the opportunity and the obligation to end the PLO's ability to threaten the US, not to mention itself. It is Israel's duty to ensure that the next time the PLO tries to exact a price in blood for America's refusal to abide by the terms of Arafat's blackmail, his terrorist group is finally destroyed.
Similarly, Israel is now obliged to take the lead and abandon the PLO-friendly two-state policy, which blames Israel for Palestinian terrorism, and adopt a strategy that works in its place.
Netanyahu has refused to consider any alternative until after Barack Obama is out of office.
Consultations must be scheduled for Saturday night.
Will Trump Bow to Arab Intimidation on Jerusalem? - Mitchell Bard - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=941
President-elect Donald Trump has promised to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Predictably, cataclysmic warnings are coming from the Palestinians, Arab leaders and State Department Arabists.
For nearly 60 years, American presidents have wilted in the face of these threats. Will Trump be different? As someone who has up until now refused to back down from bullies, or to feel obligated to conventional wisdom, Trump -- one hopes -- will fulfill his promise.
The US Embassy is sovereign American territory. Since when do we let foreigners dictate where American sovereignty begins and ends?
Jerusalem is the only place over which blackmailers have succeeded in limiting our independence. Out of the 190 nations with which America has diplomatic relations, Israel is the only one whose capital is not recognized by the US government.
It is long past time to put an end to this absurd anomaly.
The fact that there is any hesitancy to move the embassy is itself a colossal US policy failure, and a glaring example of executive spinelessness. Where else does the US let its policy be dictated by threats of violence?
Giving in to blackmail from terrorists only emboldens them, and in the case of Jerusalem, they've learned that whipping up hysteria, and periodically resorting to violence, is sufficient to cow the world's only superpower.
With everything that's happening in the Middle East, does anyone really believe that the Muslim world is going to get upset over the moving of the US Embassy 40 miles down the road and acknowledging the fact that Jerusalem has been Israel's capital since independence, and will remain so in perpetuity?
Is ISIS, which is now fighting for its survival in Syria and Iraq, going to send soldiers to fight a jihad for Jerusalem? Are the Sunnis and Shiites, who slaughter each on a daily basis in a death match for regional supremacy, going to be distracted by the American flag flying over a building in Jerusalem?
Will the Gulf States that face Iran's hegemonic ambitions turn on the country that they need most to keep their royal heads on their shoulders?
And will the US move spark another intifada? Not likely.
First, Israel is much better prepared for the outbreak of violence than it was in the past.
Second, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been trying to stir up Muslim anger by regularly accusing Israel of threatening the Al-Aqsa Mosque -- and has failed.
Third, an escalation of terror will undermine the already unconvincing case that Palestinians are ready for statehood, and that Israel should capitulate to their demands.
Fourth, if an intifada breaks out, Israelis who lost interest in territorial compromise after the Gaza disengagement brought terror rather than peace, will be even more reluctant to support any withdrawal from the West Bank.
Fifth, an uprising will reinforce the belief that the Palestinians cannot be trusted to keep the peace even after an agreement because they will use any excuse to turn to violence.
The reactions to Palestinian threats regarding the embassy parallel those of Kerry and his predecessors to Palestinian irredentism.
Rather than tell the Palestinians that we will not tolerate any violence, and that we will punish them if they do not heed our warning, our feckless diplomats convince their political bosses that we must give in to their demands.
Usually, what follows is pressure on Israel to make concessions to appease Palestinian anger.
President Trump needs to take the same tough line that he has expressed toward the United Nations after its reprehensible adoption of yet another anti-Israel measure last month.
He should let the Palestinians and other leaders in the region know that no economic or military aid will be forthcoming to anyone who in any way threatens our embassy in Jerusalem.
An attack on the embassy is an attack on the United States, he should tell them, and will trigger a military response not only against the perpetrators but the organizations or governments behind them.
By moving the embassy, President Trump can send a strong message that America will once again behave like a superpower. We will no longer lead from behind.
The simple act of moving our ambassador down the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will show that, unlike President Obama, Trump cannot be blackmailed or intimidated, and that Iran, Russia, Syria, China, the Palestinians and our other enemies will no longer be allowed to ignore or threaten our interests.
Nearing Midnight: World's Greatest Threat - Terry James - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
Global order plans are up in the air while the would-be one-world architects contemplate the installation of America's 45th president. The soon-to-be new leader of the free world has made it clear he intends to keep America--at least--free of their insidious grab for America's wealth through their climate change and other such liberty-diminishing machinations.
The new-world-order builders fearmonger that America's refusal to submit to their plans is a formula for guaranteeing the demise of the planet.
Israel is, as usual, at the center of concern in the minds of the world's diplomats. The newly elected president will, he has vowed, move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will, if it eventuates, put the U.S. stamp of validation upon Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the Jewish state.
This rates as a threat to world peace in the minds of most all U.N. leaders. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared there will absolutely be no chance of peace between the Palestinians and Israel if this happens.
Russia has popped up as a perceived threat so great that some think Vladimir Putin could start World War III before the Trump inauguration.
Even Christian writers within pre-trib prophecy who are touted to be highly regarded journalists--observers of tensions that might lead to war--fear that Putin is on the verge of starting a conflict that might go nuclear at some point. To me, this flies in the face of things as they are foretold to be at the time of His next intervention into the affairs of mankind (the Rapture). The Lord said it will be a time of life going on possibly more robust than usual at the time He breaks in on the world like a thief in the night (Matthew 24:36-42, Luke 17:26-30).
This prophecy by Christ Himself precludes nuclear war occurring before the Rapture, from my perspective. However, the fear is expressed by some such as Joel Rosenberg that we are likely to, in the immediate future, face war that will take the world out of that think-not time Jesus talked about in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:44).
The new president-to-be, himself, is so feared as a threat that nearly half the nation seems to be having a collective nervous breakdown in anticipation of his assuming office.
A man was arrested in Ithaca, New York, a couple of weeks ago, for shooting to death a UPS delivery man, then running over the body. He did so, he told those who interrogated him, because he thought the man was Donald Trump, the president-elect.
There are hundreds of reports of people who have become mentally unhinged over this election result. We remember, for example, the man and his "husband" who verbally assaulted the president's daughter on a commercial flight, shouting that her father was going to destroy the nation. Those who see the Trump victory as the worst possible thing for life on planet earth, like the globalists and those who have near phobic fears of Russia, see 2017 as a year of unprecedented threat.
Wall Street and the economic gurus, on the other hand, seem to be seeing an opposite effect regarding Mr. Trump's rise to power. The year 2017 looks pretty good to these supposed wizards of the financial world, apparently, and we know this because we can see their vote through the stock market and other forums of fiscal prognostication.
Additionally--and this is the most telling, prophetically speaking, I think--the great, collective sigh of relief by other members of American society is overtly obvious. The sigh of the evangelical Christian segment of this half of the American populace leaps out--or should do so--at those who are students of Bible prophecy from the pre-trib view.
We are excited to get a "reprieve," as it has been termed. It appears, at least, that Christians who stand upon biblical principles and openly display their faith will experience a more tolerant acceptance from the incoming administration and the federal courts that should develop as a result. However, it must be noted that along with the sigh of relief there is developing a settling-back into comfortable complacency.
Based upon the level of observation I've done and the kinds of email and news stories I receive, it seems to me that the fervency of the prayers of God's people and concerns for aggressively pursuing a biblically moral agenda is just about nonexistent.
This, to my way of thinking, based upon prophetic Scripture, presents the greatest threat of all as we proceed into 2017.
Again, Jesus forewarned of just such a time, I believe.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24: 42-44)
For this reason, the threat to the world, populated mostly by those who don't know Christ for salvation, is at great risk. A complacent church is a threat greater in this way, perhaps, than the threats we most often consider.
Let us vow to make 2017 a year dedicated to actively carrying out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
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
Rare Temple-Quality Wine Anticipates Messiah Prophecy and Paves Way for Third Temple - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"And in this mountain will Hashem of hosts make unto all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined." Isaiah 25:6 (The Israel Bible™)
Last week, 30 bottles of wine were delivered to the nascent Sanhedrin, setting in place one more necessary element for the Temple service - and one which is specifically mentioned in prophecy as a precursor to the Messiah.
Grapes are one of the seven species in which Israel is especially blessed.
A land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey. Deuteronomy 8:8
But the fruit has more biblical significance than many realize. The return of grapes to Israel, notably absent during Islamic rule, when alcohol was prohibited, is prophesied by Micah to herald the coming of the Messiah.
But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-tree; and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of Hashem of hosts hath spoken. Micah 4:4
Wine is also integral to the Temple service. Though it is forbidden for priests to drink wine in the Temple, a wine libation was offered in the Temple every morning as part of the daily service. A quarter hin (approximately one quart) of wine was poured on the altar.
In preparation for the Third Temple, Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the Sanhedrin, set out to find wine that is kosher for use in the Temple. Wine has special status in Judaism, as it is required for the Sabbath, holidays like Passover, and rituals like weddings and circumcisions. The requirements for wine to be considered kosher for everyday consumption are more stringent than for any food. The process, from crushing the grapes until bottling, must be performed entirely by Sabbath-observant Jews.
The wine industry in Israel is flourishing, with hundreds of wineries producing over ten million bottles annually. But producing wine holy enough for the Temple has its own stringencies, and the vintage Rabbi Weiss sought could not be found in any store.
First, Rabbi Weiss had to find a suitable vineyard. Normally, grape vines are grown above the ground, on wires suspended between frames. Grapes for use in Temple wine must be grown directly on the ground, a method not often used nowadays.
But then Rabbi Weiss heard of a such a vineyard belonging to a pre-army high school in Yatir, south of Hebron. Moshe Hagger, the school's principal, worked professionally in a winery before entering education and the high school keeps a vineyard for educational purposes.
"The vineyard is organic, though this is for idealistic reasons and not due to Temple requirements," Hagger explained to Breaking Israel News. "No machines are used when we harvest the grapes or make the wine. The students stomp the grapes with their feet. We don't add any other elements or chemicals in the process. Fermentation is caused by the naturally occurring yeast on the skin of the grapes."
The modern state of Israel has led to the return of many of the Torah commandments connected with agriculture. During the shmittah (sabbatical) year, it is forbidden to work the land in any way. Some farmers rely on a loophole called Heter Mechirah, in which the land is symbolically sold to a non-Jew.
"In the shmittah year, we don't harvest," Hagger said. "I don't think we should sell the land for even one moment, even if it is a symbolic sale."
The small vineyard produced 60 bottles, 30 of which were acquired by Rabbi Weiss for the Sanhedrin. Rabbi Weiss opened one bottle and was amazed at the quality of the wine.
"I had hoped the wine would be exceptional. Not only was wine an essential part of the Temple service, but ancient Israel was known for producing the best wine," said Rabbi Weiss.
Archeological evidence shows that wine was produced throughout ancient Israel. Ancient stone wine-presses are found all over the country, proof that wine was made in Israel thousands of years before it arrived in Europe.
Last week, a special tithing observance, known as trumot u'maasrot, was held at the Psagot Winery in the Jerusalem Hills. Attended by rabbis and management of the highest kosher supervision, known as B'datz, thousands of liters of quality wine were spilled out. When the Temple is rebuilt, these tithes, along with other agricultural tithes, will be brought to the Temple.
Rabbi Weiss believes that the rebirth of Israel's wine industry is a sign of Messianic times.
"The quality of Israeli wine, absent from the world for so long, is clearly proof of the relationship between the Jewish people and the land," Rabbi Weiss told Breaking Israel News. "The pinnacle of that relationship is when the Jews bring the bounty of the land, like wine, to the Temple."
Daily Jot: Celebrating - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
15 years ago today, I began writing The Daily Jot. For months upon months there was this urge building up inside of me to put my journalism background into action about news events, but I wasn't sure how or what that would look like. After a lot of prayer and discussion, my wife Chris encouraged me to just start. I felt the Lord leading me to write about how current events are related to the Bible and to give people something that encourages and equips them to evangelize. The first Daily Jot was sent out on January 18, 2002 to about 34 people that I thought might be interested and who were on my personal email list. Little did I know that throwing that small pebble into the pond would ripple out to what it is today.
The concept was to write about what the Lord led me on each day-not to get ahead of myself or to get ahead of God, just let the Holy Spirit lead. The Lord led me to name this missive The Daily Jot. It is taken from Mathew 5:17-18 where the Lord says, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." The jot is the smallest letter, an iota. I wasn't to get lengthy in these writings. At first the Jot was just about 100 words, but soon I was led to settle in with the four paragraph, 600 words or so, format that could be read in three minutes.
As time passed, it was evident that prophecy and how news related to its fulfillment was to become a feature of The Daily Jot. The Lord pressed upon me Ezekiel 3:17-19, "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself." This is repeated for the righteous man who turns from his righteous ways. I consider it my calling in writing The Daily Jot.
During the past 15 years, I have tried to interpret the Bible from its context and apply it to current events with an eye toward how we are seeing prophecy unfold. The news in the Jot is confirmed by two sources independent of one another. I am not influenced by other Christian writers or by news commentators. I try as much as humanly possible to write what my Spirit is telling me. Sometimes I read the Jot back to myself and marvel about what has been written because it couldn't just be me. You will see that often I write counter to what the big boys are saying. I don't go along just to get along because of what the Lord gave me from Ezekiel 3. I would never want to mislead anyone or cause them to stumble. There is a lot more I could write on this day, but I just want to encourage you to celebrate with me today and praise the Lord in all that you do!
Daily Devotion: The First One There - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. -1 Corinthians 15:20
A question I'm often asked about Heaven is whether we will recognize each other.
While I can't cite any Scripture passage that absolutely guarantees we will recognize one another in Heaven, it's my belief that we will.
There are Scripture passages that would seem to point to that. When Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus during His transfiguration, they were recognizable to Peter. He was able to look at them and somehow know they were Moses and Elijah.
It's also interesting that after Jesus' resurrection, when He appeared to the disciples on the Emmaus road and walked and talked with them, they didn't realize that it was indeed Him until their eyes were opened. Therefore, Jesus was recognizable but not immediately recognizable. He bore in His body the marks of the crucifixion. This gives us a picture of a resurrection body that is similar to the old earthly body but is different at the same time.
We're also told in 1 Corinthians 13, "Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known" (verse 12). We'll have a new knowledge and understanding that wasn't possible before.
The Bible says that Christ has become "the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Corinthians 15:20). He was the first one there, so to speak. Considering the resurrection body of Jesus, I think we're given a broad outline of what our bodies will be like. The Scriptures say, "We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2). I think our resurrected bodies will be somewhat similar to our earthly bodies.
To live forever in this body would be a curse. But to live forever in a new body in the presence of God-that will be a blessing.
FROM THE HEART
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