Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Why the Rapture Hasn't Happened (Yet) - Pastor Greg Laurie - https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/74822-greg-laurie-why-the-rapture-hasn-t-happened-yet
When I first became a Christian back in 1970, lots of people were talking about the return of Jesus Christ. The top-selling book of that entire decade was The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey, which spoke in depth about Bible prophecy and the signs of the times.
Driving around the roads and freeways, you would see bumper stickers with slogans like "Maranatha," "Jesus is coming" and "In case of rapture, this car will be left unmanned."
There was a sense of expectancy among so many of us that we could be the generation that would see the return of the Lord.
That was 40 years ago. I've gone through quite a few "Jesus is coming" bumper stickers since those days.
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Was my hope displaced?
Did I get it wrong?
Did we misread the signs of the times?
Not at all.
God is not late, and the Lord will return to this earth at the appointed hour that has been predetermined in the councils of eternity. But there may be a reason why Jesus didn't come when we were hoping He would in 1970.
Consider this: Millions and millions of men and women, boys and girls have come to Jesus since 1970.
The Bible reminds us: "The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent" (2 Pet. 3:9, NLT).
It's all in the Lord's hands, of course, but I do believe that somewhere on this planet, there is a particular man or a woman for whom the Lord is waiting, and when that person finally places faith in Jesus Christ, we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, in what we call the rapture of the church.
Why do I believe this? Because all around me there are signs of the times. One of the "super signs" of the last days was the regathering of the nation of Israel in their ancient homeland.
That happened against all odds. It was an event without precedent in human history that a nation and a people who had been scattered throughout the four corners of the earth would gather again where they had once been and form a nation.
Jesus says the generation that sees this happen will not pass away until all these things have been fulfilled (see Matt. 24:34, Luke 21:32). Once the Jewish people returned to their homeland and became a nation on May 14, 1948, the prophetic clock started to tick. This is a very important date in Bible prophecy.
But the Bible not only says the Lord will gather the Jews back to their homeland again, it says Jerusalem will end up being a source of conflict in the end times. What's interesting to me is that on May 14, 1948, Israel did not possess all of Jerusalem. In fact, that didn't happen until the 1967 war, when Israeli forces captured the Old City and reunified all of Jerusalem, so the city was under Jewish control for the first time in centuries.
Of course, this is where the rub comes in. Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with many Arab leaders worldwide insisting that Jerusalem and the entire West Bank are rightly Palestinian territory and must ultimately be given back as a condition of peace.
But here's the problem: God gave Israel and the city of Jerusalem to the Jewish people. He made them that promise, and they're not going to give their land up again. Nor should they.
The Bible is the one book that dares to predict the future. Not once, not twice, but hundreds of times. We can look back now and see that many of those prophecies have already been fulfilled-but not all of them. Some remain to be fulfilled, and we may be the generation where that begins to take place.
It's not a big stretch for God to predict the future. He can speak to future things as easily as you and I might discuss the past or present. In fact, God can predict the future far more accurately than you and I can recall the past. He sees the past, present and future simultaneously. Tomorrow is like yesterday to God. Every day lies before Him with equal clarity. The Lord does not forget things, nor does He learn new things.
He literally knows everything-past, present and future. So let's just take out our checklist of events and see what has already transpired.
The Bible says Israel will be scattered to the four corners of the earth. Did that happen? Yes. Check.
Israel will be regathered as a nation. Did that happen? Yes. Check.
Israel will regain the city of Jerusalem. Has that happened? Yes. Check.
Israel will be isolated from the other nations of the world. Is this happening? Yes. Check.
Israel will be attacked by a nation to her north, bent on her destruction. Has that happened? Not yet. But we could easily envision such a scenario.
Jerusalem-not Rome, Paris or New York City-will be at the center of the conflicts of the world. We read in Luke 21:20: "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you know that its desolation has drawn near."
In Zechariah 12:2-3, God says, "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup of reeling before all the surrounding nations. And when there is a siege against Judah, it is also against Jerusalem. And it will be on that day that I will set Jerusalem as a weighty stone to all the peoples. All who carry it will surely gash themselves, and all the nations of the land will be gathered against it."
John Walvoord, a respected expert on Bible prophecy, made this statement: "The prophecies about Jerusalem make it clear that the holy city will be in the center of the world events in the end time. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs will focus more and more attention on Jerusalem. In all of the situations Jerusalem is the city to watch as the city of prophetic destiny prepares to act out her final role."
Israel is so tiny. At one point, the nation is only nine miles wide. Yet God says it will be at the center of the end-time events. And this is happening just as the Bible promised it would.
In Ezekiel 38, the Lord speaks of a large and powerful nation to the north of the newly established Jewish homeland, along with a number of this nation's allies, invading Israel. This has not yet happened. So let's see what Scripture says.
"And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Son of man, set your face against Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshek and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say: Thus says the Lord God: I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshek and Tubal. And I will turn you back and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet" (Ezek. 38:1-5).
Drop down to verses 8-11: "After many days you shall be called. In the latter years you shall come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered out of many peoples, against the mountains of Israel which had been always a waste. But its people were brought out of the nations, and they, all of them, are dwelling safely. You shall ascend and come like a storm; you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you. Thus says the Lord God: It shall come to pass on that day that things shall come into your mind and you shall think an evil thought, and you shall say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates.'"
Many believe "Magog" refers to modern-day Russia. The reasoning goes like this: Magog was the second son of Noah's son Japheth who, according to the ancient historian Josephus, settled north of the Black Sea. Tubal and Meshech, also mentioned here in Ezekiel 38, were the fifth and sixth sons of Japheth, whose descendants settled south of the Black Sea.
These tribes intermarried and became known as Magog. They settled to the north of Israel. In Ezekiel 39:2, God says to them, "I will turn you back, drive you on, and take you up the north parts and bring you against the mountains of Israel."
So all Bible directions are given in relation to Israel. And if you look to the extreme north of Israel today, you will find the mighty nation of Russia.
Now here is where things really get interesting. Look at the allies that march with Russia. We have Ethiopia (modern-day Sudan), Libya and Persia, which is modern-day Iran. These are all Islamic cultures, and they are all anti-Israel. Russia has had arms deals with Libya. And Persia? It wasn't until March 21, 1935, that Persia changed her name to what we now call Iran, a recent ally of Russia.
So here is the alliance God says will form against Israel, and there's nothing about it that surprises us. It's already taking shape before our eyes.
Consider this: When Magog and her allies attack Israel, God will intervene and decimate her army and the armies of the allies as well. And because of this, the Jewish people will give glory to God.
When you go to Israel today, you may be surprised to learn that most Israelis are not believers in God. Many of them are atheistic. Certainly, you will find very few Jewish people who believe in Jesus as their Messiah. There are some, thank God, but not many.
But when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon Israel after He drives back the invading armies of Magog, there will be a revival in Israel, and many Jewish people will come to believe Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus [is] the Messiah.
This outpouring of the Spirit on Israel, however, can't happen until the full gathering of the Gentiles is accomplished. What does that mean? Most people who read these pages are Gentiles, not Jewish by birth. As Paul explains in Romans 11, we have been effectively grafted into the promises God originally offered to Israel. Now is the time when God is working with the non-Jews, the Gentiles. But this time will come to a close, and then the Spirit will be poured out again on the land and people of Israel. But before that can happen, God needs to wrap things up with us.
In Romans 11:25, Paul says, "For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, lest you be wise in your own estimation, for a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."
In other words, the "partial hardening" will endure until the last Gentile person finally believes in Jesus-and then we will be gone. Raptured. We will meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever.
So that means when we see these events in the world beginning to happen, we need to look up, for our redemption is drawing near (see Luke 21:28).
When we speak of the rapture of the church, there are some who will say, "The word 'rapture' isn't even in the Bible." Maybe not, but the event certainly is.
First Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall be forever with the Lord."
Over in John 14:2-3, Jesus says, "In My Father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also."
That phrase "receive you" means "to take you by force."
And then in Matthew 24:40-42, Jesus says, "Two will be in the field; one will be taken, and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord will come."
John addresses it as well in 1 John 3:2, "Beloved, now are we children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
Paul speaks of this same event in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
Now imagine this for a moment. In an instant, all over the world, millions of believers are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
Let's just briefly consider some of the effects the rapture will have on each of us.
The rapture means no death. There is a generation that will not see death. These believers will go straight into the presence of God.
The rapture is instantaneous. It has been said that the twinkling of an eye (mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:51-52) is about 1/1000 of a second. How fast is a second? And this is a thousandth of that? If we have the privilege of being raptured, there will no real sense of departure and arrival; we will simply be there, in the Lord's presence.
The rapture is a transformation. In that moment, God will give you a brand-new resurrection body. Perhaps you struggle now with the effects of old age, disease or some other physical difficulty or problem. All of that will be gone in an instant. Age melts away. Disability disappears. Sorrows are replaced by pure joy.
Philippians 3:20-21 gives us these glorious words: "But our citizenship is in heaven, from where also we await for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our body of humiliation, so that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working of His power even to subdue all things to Himself."
The rapture will be a rescue operation. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Paul writes, "They themselves declare ... how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead-Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come."
From what is He rescuing us? The wrath to come. What does that refer to? The tribulation period, inaugurated by the emergence of the Antichrist and lasting for seven years. So God is sending his special operations team of Michael and His angels to evacuate the church-to get us out of here before the Tribulation begins. Sometimes there is confusion about the Second Coming and the rapture. Some people think it is one event. But the Bible is very clear; it speaks of two distinct events.
The rapture will be a stealth event; the Second Coming will be a very public one.
In the rapture, we meet the Lord in the air; in the Second Coming, He returns to the earth.
In the rapture, He comes for His church; in the Second Coming, He returns with His church.
In the rapture, He comes before judgment; in the Second Coming, He comes with judgment.
So how should this affect us today? How should I respond to these truths? Very simply, I need to walk with God.
We have a great Old Testament prototype of these things in the life of a man named Enoch. Enoch had what we might describe as a solo rapture. Genesis 5:24 says, "Enoch walked with God, and then he was no more because God took him." That phrase "God took him" could be rendered, "God translated him." In other words, God carried him over or across. Enoch didn't have to die like everybody else. He just took a walk one day and didn't come home. He started on one shore and ended up on another.
He walked with God.
Are you walking with God? Notice it doesn't say, "Enoch sprinted with God." He walked with God.
Many people have a burst of energy and say, "I love the Lord so much. I'm really going to follow Him." But all too soon, they crash and burn. Then they get up again and go for a while-only to crash and burn again.
"As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him" (Col. 2:6).
Here's the thing: Just walk with God.
Don't be in a big hurry. Be regular, be consistent and stay at it. Be disciplined enough to maintain that relationship. Walking implies steady effort and speaks of regularity-doing something over and over. You just stay with it, day by day, hour by hour, step by step, and seek to be consistent in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is coming back, and it could happen at any time. This year. This month. This week. Today. And when He comes, I want Him to find me walking with Him. Isn't that a great thought? You could take one step on earth, and then find that your next step is into His presence.
Come soon, Lord. Come soon.
Northern War? The Conflict That May Force Israel to Invade Iran - Emily Jones - http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/israel/2019/january/northern-war-the-conflict-that-may-force-israel-to-invade-iran
JERUSALEM, Israel-The nation of Israel must be ready to confront Iran directly and invade the Islamic Republic to stop it from forcing its way into Syria.
That recommendation comes from one of Israel's leading think tanks, The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
The group presented its 2018-2019 strategic assessment report Wednesday during an official ceremony with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. According to the report, Israel's greatest threat in 2019 is a northern war with Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Syria.
Israel Says it Has Found 'All' of Hezbollah's Terror Tunnels
"The gravest threat we face is not the third Lebanon war, but the first northern war - simultaneous conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran, which Hamas in the south is likely to join," Maj-Gen (res.) Amos Yadlin, head of the INSS said. "Israel of 2019 is a strong country, the IDF is extremely powerful and deters our enemies. The challenge is to take this strength and use it to reinforce correct policy."
While Israel is a force to be reckoned with in the Middle East, the report says there "is a potential for escalation toward a broad confrontation and a general war, more than one front at a time."
Iran is already supplying Hezbollah with more sophisticated weapons to use, which poses a major security threat to Israel.
"Iranian support for Hezbollah's power buildup in Lebanon is not new, but the quality of the weapons transferred over the past two years to Hezbollah is worrisome," the report said. "The main sources of concern for Israel are the project to convert inaccurate missiles and rockets into precision missiles, to improve Hezbollah's air defense capabilities, and to supply long-range sea-to-sea missiles to the organization."
The United States' pullout from Syria adds another dimension to a potential regional war.
"Israel must be prepared for the possibility that the war (Syria) will expand to Lebanon or Iran directly," the report said. The process of rehabilitation of the Syrian army has already begun, and it is liable to lead to a greater assertiveness of the regime against the actions of the Israeli air force in Syrian skies. Every effort should be made to avoid a clash with Russian forces there," the report said.
The assessment praised President Donald Trump for adopting a "tough policy" towards the Iranian nuclear threat and said the US has helped change some of the Islamic regime's behavior.
However, "it is important to understand that the United States is focusing its efforts on Iran on the diplomatic and economic levels and is not ready for a military confrontation," the report said.
While Iran's activity in the region could turn into a worst-case scenario for Israel, Hamas in the south is the most urgent threat because the conflict there can escalate in a matter of hours.
The report said the likelihood of another conflict with Hamas in 2019 is "extremely high." This is due to the deteriorating socio-economic condition in Gaza, increased pressure on Hamas from the Palestinian Authority, and Israel's decreasing deterrence since the war in 2014.
"The military wing of Hamas has not suffered a severe blow in the three rounds of conflict between the organization and Israel over the past decade, and it is important that it - and not the (Gaza) population - pay the price in the event of a confrontation," the report added.
While Israel will probably not go to war tomorrow, the report is clear: Israel must prepare for an all-out brawl with its neighbors.
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
As I noted last week, at the beginning of each year, it is my practice on "The Hal Lindsey Report" to review the previous year and highlight both major and minor events or developments that I believe have prophetic significance.
This week, I'll present the second and final part of "2018: The Prophetic Year in Review."
On May 14, 2018, Israel celebrated the 70th anniversary of its rebirth as a nation. On that day, the United States finally did what its Presidents had been promising to do for years. It officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel's actual capital, Jerusalem.
Since then, several other nations have followed America's lead or plan to do so. President Trump said the move only acknowledged "the plain reality, that Israel's capital is Jerusalem."
But at the end of the year, President Trump announced another move. It, too, is one that may have definite prophetic significance.
He said the United States will withdraw its military forces from Syria. The primary goal of the US had been to destroy ISIS and the President feels that has been largely accomplished.
However, by withdrawing a US presence, it leaves Russia, Iran, and Turkey as the three controlling forces there. Ezekiel 38 predicts that these three powers will form a coalition and one day invade Israel from the north. Syria and Lebanon, which is controlled by Hezbollah which is controlled by Iran, sit on Israel's northern doorstep.
By propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iran has prolonged that devastating civil war. More than half a million Syrians have died and more than eleven million have fled their homes. Five million have fled the country. Most of them ended up in Europe, which is on the verge of collapse from the weight of the migrant invasion.
In 2018, Israel had better relationships with several of the Arab Muslim nations than at any time in modern history. But as the year ended, that progress was placed in jeopardy by the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
It appears he died at the hands of Saudi operatives. And they may have been acting on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
It may well be that the Crown Prince had this man murdered. It is consistent with his family's philosophy and history. And that is an abhorrent deed.
But from the beginning, the mainstream media has deceived the public about Jamal Khashoggi. Only at the end of his life did he write a few columns for The Washington Post. But the American media claimed him as one of their own. TIME magazine made him their "Person of the Year" and called him a "guardian of truth."
But they downplayed the uncomfortable fact that he had been a longtime friend and associate of Osama bin-Laden. He publicly blamed the 9/11 attacks on "Americans who neglected the suffering of Palestinians for half a century."
Like bin-Laden, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood as a young man. Throughout his career he was an apologist and advocate for the Brotherhood. And, like Israel and Egypt, Saudi Arabia considers the Muslim Brotherhood its enemy.
Canada Free Press called Khashoggi "a cynical and manipulative apologist for Islamic terrorism, not the mythical martyred dissident whose disappearance the media has spent the worst part of a week raving about... [he was] not a moderate."
Also, though he worked in the Middle East as a journalist, Khashoggi was not a supporter of a free press. According to Canada Free Press, he complained loudly that the Saudi government allowed "some journalists to report positively on Israel."
None of that means that he should have been murdered, but it's an important part of the story and it should have been reported.
And it's telling that the western press took at face value the word of Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He was the first to point the finger at the Saudi government. Erdogan is a known liar and despot. After an alleged failed coup, he jailed more than 180,000 Turks. He professes to champion a free press, but more than 170 journalists are being held in Turkish prisons, on Erdogan's orders.
Unfortunately, some national leaders in our world do despicable things all the time. Why is the American media so vehemently against Prince Mohammad, yet turns a blind eye to other global villains, like the Chinese communist government or the mullahs in Tehran? Perhaps it is because in April of 2018, the Prince became the first Saudi royal to publicly say, "The Israelis have the right to have their own land."
But Syria and Lebanon aren't the only places Iran is exerting a controlling influence. According to the United Nations, if the civil war in Yemen continues, that country faces the "worst famine in 100 years."
The media blames this disaster solely on Saudi Arabia. But the Saudis did not cause Yemen's civil war, Iran did, through their proxy, the Houthi rebels.
Iran wants to control Yemen because of its strategic location. It borders the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. That connects the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Five million barrels of oil pass through this narrow strait every day.
Iran itself sits beside the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, where even more oil passes to the world daily.
With at least partial control of both straits, Iran could disrupt much of the world's oil supply. That could destroy the economy of Saudi Arabia, its mortal enemy. It would send the west into a deep depression.
In other words, by fighting Iran's takeover of Yemen, the Saudis are protecting the world economy. But you would never know it if you only get your information from the western mainstream media.
In 2018, Hamas intensified its efforts in Gaza to provoke war with Israel. It convinced Gazans to participate in its "March of Return." Hamas assured the Gazans that the March would be the beginning of the "liberation of all of Palestine, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River." In other words, the beginning of Israel's annihilation.
So thousands of Palestinians crashed the Israeli border fence day after day. They burned thousands of tires, creating massive clouds of dangerous smoke. They threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers and planted explosives along the border fence.
They flew kites and balloons with incendiary devices into the skies over Israel, causing wildfires and burning thousands of acres of grassland in the process. They fired almost 400 missiles and crude rockets at civilian population centers in southern Israel.
Besieged Israeli soldiers, guarding the nation's border with Gaza, responded with remarkable restraint. Yet the media blamed Israel for everything.
Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement that put it succinctly: "The border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip separates a sovereign state and a terrorist organization."
But the Israel Defence Forces weren't the only ones under attack in 2018. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a series of storms, as well. He was accused of crimes. (Sound familiar?) His wife was accused of crimes. His governing coalition fell apart late in the year. It didn't crumble because the liberal Knesset members were displeased. It fell because the very conservative Netanyahu was not conservative, or aggressive, enough for some members of his coalition.
Now, Israel is facing new elections in April, 2019.
In October of 2018, a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shouting anti-Semitic slurs, he began firing. He killed 11 and wounded seven. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history. But it was only one of an increasing number of attacks against Jews worldwide.
In November, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan tweeted a video of himself from a few years ago. In it, he laughingly scolded people for calling him an anti-Semite. He said, ...[when they] call me anti-Semite, stop it! I'm anti-termite!" The crowd roared with laughter.
To her credit, Chelsea Clinton publicly denounced him for it. She tweeted: "Comparing Jews to termites is anti-Semitic, wrong and dangerous. The responsive laughter makes my skin crawl."
However, the world's worst aggressor against Jews continued to be the United Nations. In 2018, the UN continued its unending onslaught of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic actions.
But perhaps a 2018 headline in The Jerusalem Post gave a glimpse into a future spiritual awakening among the Jews that is prophesied in Revelation 7. It read: "Study: One-fifth of Jewish millennials believe Jesus is the son of God."
Revelation 7:4 mentions the gathering of 144,000 Jews, during the Tribulation, who will go forth into the world and preach the Gospel. They will be from all the tribes of Israel.
Obviously, these revelations from 2018 are not a fulfillment of Romans 11, but it does indicate that there is a growing awareness among some Jews that there is more to the claims of Jesus Christ than they have been led to believe. And that may be a precursor to its fulfillment. It may be one of the most definite signs yet that we are getting extremely close to the end of this age.
As I said last week, it's past time to get ready to leave this world behind!
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
Satan Brings Nothing But Death - By Grant Phillips -
This year hasn't even gotten off the ground and a beloved pet of ours is gone. I had to take Mittens, our little black and white cat, to the vet this past Friday to be put to sleep. The agony of that experience still haunts me, and the pain is real.
I've had a lot of pets, cats and dogs but mostly cats, since I was a child, but I have never been as attached to any as I have Mittens. She lived four years and eight months, and during all that time she was my shadow (that is not an exaggeration). She and her sister Pepper have never been outside, so you can imagine the attachment, considering I've been retired five years and nine months.
I keep thinking about death and who is responsible for this curse on mankind. We all die. Some live many years and become old, while others' lives are cut short, as in the case of my little friend, Mittens.
We have all faced death one way or another, whether through a pet, a family member or a friend. My wife and I have been there and so have all of you.
I realize that the fall of Adam and Eve brought death not just upon them, but upon us all. However, the real malefactor is Satan. He has brought so much heartache upon all of mankind, only God could fix it, and He did just that through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Because Satan is consumed with so much pride, he temporarily ruined what God had created. Notice that I said "temporarily."
Through Adam and Eve we listened to Satan and were sucked into his vacuum of evil. Death fell upon God's creation. Because of the corrupted mind of Satan, everything dies. Wood rots. Metal rusts. Oceans are polluted. The ground is choked with weeds. Man and beast age and die. Actually, everything ages and eventually dies.
Death claims us all through, not only aging, but wars, sicknesses, pestilences, accidents, murders, and catastrophes of every kind. Everything that brings misery upon man and beast is the result of one fallen angel who we know as Satan (and by many other names).
Jesus said Satan is the father of all liars (John 8:44), but people still listen to him, just as Eve did many years ago. For example, God says that sex is to be between a man and a woman who are married to each other; i.e. husband and wife, male and female. Satan says all sex is permissible and brings joy, but what he fails to mention is that STDs, broken homes, rape, murder, slavery, divorces, abortions (more murder), etc. are just a few of the repercussions that follow.
It is amazing to me that many in our society actually worship this worthless angelic creature. Millions upon millions of people have already been led to hell because of this evil demon, and who knows how many more there will be before God closes the books. During this time of grief over Mittens, I wonder at the grief God must feel over these many lost souls.
It was no small matter for Jesus to offer Himself as the only way for this evil to be removed and complete happiness and joy to be reinstated for all eternity. Yet, most remain blinded by Satan's lies and avoid the Truth at their own detriment.
If the death of a beloved pet can break our hearts, don't you think God cares about us? Even more so, when we lose a family member, don't you think God longs for us to have peace, real peace? If you recall Jesus wept over his friend Lazarus (John 11:35).
It deeply saddens me that Mittens is gone, and it angers me that one mighty angel has brought such misery to all of God's creation. But then I think about the love God has for all His creation, and all that He has done to provide a future eternity absent of all tears.
Jesus sits in Heaven today reminding us all to look toward Calvary. Satan has brought nothing but death, but at the cross Jesus defeated death and gives life to all who will come to Him. Satan bruised Jesus' heel (Genesis 3:15), but Jesus will one day crush Satan's head (Romans 16:20). Satan thought the cross was his greatest victory, but instead it was his greatest loss. There is victory in the cross, but only for those who look beyond and see an empty tomb, and rest their faith in the Son of God.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot : As we march for life - Bill Wilson -
When I was growing up, sometimes I heard the expression "safer than a mother's womb" when someone was describing the risk associated with flying or driving a certain vehicle or performing a particular job on the farm. In 2012 there was a study partially funded with your hard earned tax money, saying that an abortion is actually safer than delivering a baby to full term. This does not pass the straight face test let alone any moral or ethics standards. Think about it. These death culture moderators in the news media and in liberal ivory towers were saying that taking a pre-born life is safer than delivering it to full term. This is an indicator of the absurd and twisted mindset that has permeated American society.
The study, obviously conducted by pro-death researchers from Columbia University and the Guttmacher Institute, says that there is one death of a woman giving birth for every 11,000 babies born. This compares with one woman in 167,000 who has died following a legal abortion. The Columbia researchers used "data" collected by the Guttmacher Institute to conduct their study. Guttmacher is a pro-abort non profit that takes government money and turns it into propaganda for the "reproductive health" industry, not really a trusted source of data. Notwithstanding, this is the type of waste of taxpayer money and research time that the pro-death lobby spends on propaganda to encourage killing the pre-born.
Quite frankly, the Supreme Court in 1973 got it wrong when it ruled that an abortion was a Constitutional right to privacy. Congress got it wrong when it just silently went along with it. Over the years polls have suggested that the majority of Americans are against abortion. Americans have been stonewalled by politicians and powerful eugenics lobbies in overturning that Supreme Court decision. The "Roe" in Roe v. Wade has consistently denied that she was even pro-abortion and says she was used by the abortion supporters against her will. Abortion is murder. Every woman that I have talked to who has had an abortion regrets it--they all know that the decision they made killed a life growing within them.
What does this say about an America that not only allows the legal infanticide of its pre-born, but receives studies from a biased source promoting the safety of killing? Psalm 106:38-41 speaks of a nation like this: "And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore, was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people...and he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them." This one issue alone should propel us en mass to stand against such evil because an unjust law is no law at all.
Daily Devotion: Storm Preparation - By Greg Laurie -
For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. -Matthew 5:45
Have you ever been out and about when an unexpected storm hit? When I was a kid living in Hawaii, storms would come out of nowhere. Then as suddenly as the storm began, it would stop and the sun would come out again.
Some storms are big, even scary. We remember Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Katrina, and more recently, Hurricane Michael. Storms can wreak havoc in our lives.
There are other kinds of storms we deal with in life, like a difficult or broken relationship, a financial crisis, legal problems, health problems, or conflicts at work. Storms will come into our lives, and once we accept that basic truth, it makes life a bit easier.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who are going through a crisis, and those who are going to go through a crisis. If you're between storms, enjoy it, because one will come your way soon enough.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of two men who built houses. One house was built on a faulty foundation of sand, while the other was built on a good foundation of stone. Jesus said of the house with the good foundation, "And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock" (Matthew 7:25 NKJV).
Notice Jesus said, "And the rain descended"-not if, but and. The rain will come. The Bible says that God "makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45 NKJV).
We don't control our lives, as hard as we may try. But we can control what we'll do and how we'll respond when the storms come.
FROM THE HEART
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