Prophecy Update Newsletter
January 19, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Land Nobody Wanted - Jack Kinsella - www.omegaletter.com
The land claimed by Israel is smaller than the state of Rhode Island. In comparison to the Arab Middle East, Israel is like a single piece of sod on a football field.
Carrying the analogy further, imagine that one team has to defend that single piece of sod from an opposing team that outnumbers them 650 to 1.
The other team, claiming unfair advantage, is demanding the single piece of sod be divided and half of it be awarded to them.
The referees agree, and penalize the defending team for refusing to concede half of its 1/6th of one percent of the field to the opposition [that outnumbers them 650 to one]. The crowd loudly boos the defenders.
That is roughly analogous to the rules of engagement under which the Middle East conflict is being played out.
The Arab side makes two concurrent claims; 1) Israel has no historical right to the land; and 2) Israel, by its existence, has dispossessed the indigenous Palestinian people, leaving them with nowhere to go.
Except for a few decades of Christian control during the Crusades era, the land claimed by Israel was under Islamic control for 1300 years. This is one of the principle arguments advanced in favor of the Palestinian claim that Israel has no historical right to the Land of Promise.
That argument is bolstered by the existence of an Arab mosque atop what the Jews claim as Temple Mount, a mosque that has graced Mount Moriah for some 1,350 years.
According to modern Islam, the mosque atop Mount Moriah is the third-holiest site in Islam. Recenty Islamic tradition says the al Aqsa Mosque marks the place where Mohammed ascended into heaven aboard a winged horse.
For that reason, it now ranks third in line behind Mecca and Medina as Islam's holiest cities.
In ancient times, Israel sat atop the most strategic crossroads of the known world. One couldn't get from Babylon to Egypt by chariot without passing through it.
Israel and Jerusalem have been fought over and conquered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Arabs, Turks, and finally, the British in 1917.
In each of its conquests, Jerusalem was strategic because of its strategic value as Israel's God-given capital. From Nebuchadnezzar to Titus, each successive conqueror acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews.
When the region was conquered by Islam, taking Jerusalem was a strategic, rather than religious necessity. Whoever controlled the Jewish holy city controlled the remaining indigenous Jews.
The reconquest of Jerusalem became a holy religious duty only after the Crusaders claimed the city for Christianity. Since the city was holy to Judaism and holy to Christianity, it became holy to Islam, as well.
But 'holy' doesn't mean the same thing to Islam as it does to Christians and Jews. To Christians or Jews, 'holy' means worthy of reverence, whereas to Islam, 'holy' means worthy of possession.
Under Islamic possession, Jerusalem was just another dusty city of the province of Southern Syria. In the four hundred years Jerusalem was under Ottoman rule until 1917, the city was never even a regional or provincial capital.
After the Ottoman Empire fell to the Allies in the First World War, British foreign secretary Lord Balfour put into writing Britain's support for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
When the League of Nations made Palestine a British mandate after the war, Lord Balfour's declaration was assumed as part of the deal and the allied powers of the Great War all agreed. By 1935, there were more than 300,000 Jews in Palestine. Tel Aviv, founded in 1909, had 100,000 people.
In 1947 Britain, which had been handed the Palestine problem by the now-defunct League of Nations passed it on, with relief, to the newly born United Nations. The UN agreed to partition Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a neutral UN zone containing Jerusalem, a city sacred to three religions.
The Jews were thrilled, the Arabs adamantly opposed.
In late 1947 the plan was ratified by the UN, and the State of Israel proclaimed on May 14, 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled the country.
The the British pulled out completely, and most of the Arab world- Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, as well as Palestinians- immediately attacked in an attempt to destroy Israel.
By the time of armistice in 1949 Israel held three quarters of Palestine- twice as much land as the UN had proposed- Jordan had taken the land on the West Bank of the Jordan River, and Egypt had taken the Gaza Strip.
It is at this point in the story of the Middle East that history ends and the modern myth of the Middle East is born.
The modern myth is that at the end of the Israeli War of Independence, the indigenous 'Palestinian' people were dispossessed by Israel and left with nothing.
The historical fact is that, until the mid 1930's, the term 'Palestinian' was a label applied to the Jews.
Until 1950, the name of the Jerusalem Post was THE PALESTINE POST; the journal of the Zionist Organization of America was NEW PALESTINE; Bank Leumi was the ANGLO-PALESTINE BANK; the Israel Electric Company was the PALESTINE ELECTRIC COMPANY; there was the PALESTINE FOUNDATION FUND and the PALESTINE PHILHARMONIC.
All these were Jewish organizations. In America, Zionist youngsters sang "PALESTINE, MY PALESTINE", "PALESTINE SCOUT SONG" and "PALESTINE SPRING SONG"
In general, the terms 'Palestine' and 'Palestinian' referred to the region of Palestine as it was prior to 1948.
Thus "Palestinian Jew" and "Palestinian Arab" are straightforward expressions. "Palestine Post" and "Palestine Philharmonic" refer to these bodies as they existed in a place then known as Palestine.
The adoption of a Palestinian identity by the Arabs of Palestine is a recent phenomenon. Until the establishment of the State of Israel, and for another decade or so, the term 'Palestinian' applied exclusively to the Jews.
The claims of the Arab 'Palestinians' to be a separate people is an utter fiction. There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Arab Palestinians.
Arab Palestinians are indistinguishable from Jordanians (recent British inventions all), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.
Syria was created by the British and subsequently given to France as the French Mandate. The Syrians declared independence after the British left in 1946, two years before Israel did the same thing. Jordan was created by the British in 1921.
The same British government that created the modern Arab world in 1920 at the San Remo Conference in Italy -- by decree -- also created a Jewish homeland the same way at the same conference.
And the Jewish Palestine of the Balfour Declaration as confirmed at San Remo encompassed a much bigger chunk of ground than Israel claims today.
Until the Jews renewed their claim to the land of Palestine, nobody else wanted it. The Jews petitioned for statehood on the principle that Palestine was "a land without a people" and that the Jews were "a people without a land."
Arab revisionist historians say that claim was 'a myth.' History and mathematics tell a different story -- if anybody were interested in the facts, that is.
In 1948, there were about 735,000 Muslim and Christian Arabs in Palestine. There were about 716,000 Jews. Since the same land now supports a population of more than 12 million combined Arabs and Jews, the argument that the Arabs were 'crowded out' by the Jews makes no sense.
The 'Palestinian refugees' languishing in 'refugee camps' in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere, were not interned by Israel. They were interned by their own governments after those governments lost the war with Israel.
Those Jordanian citizens that lived in Jordan's West Bank and the citizens of Egypt's Gaza Strip (who, on May 30, 1967 were still Egyptians), became instant 'Palestinians' on June 7, 1967.
From the moment of its declaration of statehood, the Jews of Israel have lived under the constant threat of annihilation by the surrounding Arab states.
As Golda Meir observed during the Yom Kippur War, "the Arabs can fight, and lose, and come back to fight another day. Israel can only lose once."
What makes this significant is that NONE of this is a secret. Knowing this, the entire world prefers the fictional account advanced by the Islamic world; that the Palestinians pre-existed the Jews, that the Jews stole 'Palestinian land' dispossessed its inhabitants and locked them away in refugee camps.
Remember the football field and the single square of sod analogy. To the world, dividing that single square of sod defended by a team outnumbered 650 to one that holds the rest of the football field is an example of 'leveling the playing field'.
It is nothing short of madness. But it is a madness that seems to have infected the world at large. The Islamic version of the Arab-Israeli conflict is a monstrous lie being advanced in favor of a claim to land that nobody wanted until the Jews did.
In the midst of a global war on terror, the world is prepared to countenance an openly terrorist government ruling over a 'people' that do not exist, (a people whose only goal is the ANNIHILATION of another people whose history is THE most documented record of ancient times) based on the argument that the Jewish claim to Jerusalem is historically invalid.
That lie is so delusional that it boggles the mind. Yet it is the basic reason for a global war on terror that now threatens to spill over into an all-out war of civilizations.
Israel, by its very existence, is a stench in the nostrils of the secular world. It is a constant reminder of the existence and reality of God, and therefore, man's accountability before Him. Paul explains it this way:
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind. . ." (Romans 1:28)
The secular world's war, blind anti-semitism so ingrained in its psyche it is blissfully unaware it even exists.
Any critically-thinking person can see the truth, yet the UN consistently finds the 'anti-truth' when it involves Israel. It is almost supernatural in its scope and breadth. In fact, scratch 'almost' from that last sentence.
It IS supernatural.
Israel faces Bedouin population time bomb - http://www.debka.com/article/25890/Israel-faces-Bedouin-population-time-bomb
First Sgt. Erez Levy, 34, an officer in the operations branch of the Israel Police, was crushed to death Wednesday morning, Jan. 18, in a car-ramming attack at the Bedouin village of Umm-al-Hiran in the southern Negev region. He was laid to rest that afternoon at the military cemetery in the city of Yavneh. He left behind a wife and two children, along with his parents and siblings.
Levy's murderer, a 47-year-old villager, who was a member of the southern branch of Israel's radical Islamic Movement, was shot and killed.
Levy, along with hundreds of other policemen and members of the Border Police, had reached the outskirts of the Bedouin village to provide security for the heavy equipment arrived to carry out a court-ordered demolition of houses built illegally on state-owned land.
For the sake of an orderly operation without casualties, the various authorities had negotiated for months with Bedouin leaders on alternatives. The day before the outbreak, understandings with representatives of the village were concluded and a deal signed, under which they agreed to relocate to prepared plots in the Bedouin town of Hura.
Wednesday dawn, however, found a large crowd descending on the village and a group of Israeli Arab lawmakers led by the United Arab Party's chairman, Ayman Oudeh, egging the villagers on to renege on the deal they had just signed for alternative housing.
In short order, the mob was rioting, throwing rocks and firecrackers at the police. The rampage culminated in a Bedouin ramming a jeep into a group of policemen, killing Sgt, killing Sgt. Levy and injuring a second officer.
Hours later, in an interview with the Army Radio "Galei Tzahal," another United Arab List lawmaker Jamal Zahalkeh, who was not there, claimed nevertheless, "The policeman wasn't run down, he was killed by gunfire from other policemen."
The evidence of helicopter video footage and witnesses on the spot confirmed that Yakub Abu Al-Kiyan picked up speed to deliberately smash his new jeep into the policemen who were standing at the side of the dirt road leading into the village.
It also shows how the officers hesitated to open fire, deterred by the recent case of IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria who was convicted by a military court of manslaughter for killing an injured terrorist. At Umm Al-Hiran, police fired in the air rather than the killer-driver's head as he raced towards them. Only after two police officers were down was he shot and killed.
In the face of this tragedy, the police face hard questions about how they managed a highly sensitive operation finally ordered by the District Court and Supreme Court after long hearings of the residents' petititons. Why did they fail to cordon off the demolition site and surround its perimeter with border police sentries? Why were no roadblocks and police vehicles in place around the village to distance politicians and other troublemakers, including including Arab Knesset Members?
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh bears responsibility for this bungled operation, as well as those Israeli Arab lawmakers who habitually exploit any opportunity for inciting trouble.
Whoever is to blame, it cannot be denied that the Bedouin population, which is largely concentrated in the Negev, is becoming a ticking bomb for Israel. Statistics show that less than 2% of Bedouin eligible for conscription sign up for military service, mostly in the Border Police's patrol or tracker units.
At the same time, the fact that their villages are crammed with firearms, along with their familiarity with army and police methods of operation, prevent law enforcement arms from cracking down on rampant crime in the south. And not just ordinary crime: Bedouin lawlessness extends to involvement in terror, religious radicalization, support for the fundamentalist Hamas, road deaths and the systematic violation of building and zoning laws.
It was only a matter of time before the lawlessness exploded into fatal violence. On Wednesday, it was 1st Sgt. Levy who paid with his life.
Palestinian Authority News Agency: Trump Responsible for Spilled Blood If U.S. Embassy Relocated to Jerusalem - by Jack Tonhaben - http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/01/19/pa-threatens-holy-war-if-us-goes-ahead-with-moving-embassy-to-jerusalem/
The Palestinian Authority has issued dozens of threats against the planned move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, warning that such an act would bring war and an end to all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
According to Palestinian Media Watch, noting that the PA often resorts to threats of violence when it seeks to thwart political action by Israel or other governments, the PA statements were made via official channels and on social media, as well as several Palestinian Authority officials on separate occasions.
The official WAFA news agency said in a clip aired on January 17 on Palestinian television that "the peaceful line of Mahmoud Abbas is liable to be cut off by the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem. Then the [spilled] blood will be the responsibility of American President [Donald] Trump."
Several Palestinian leaders have warned of a religious war should the US move its embassy.
Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Yusuf Ida'is "demanded that the sources of religious authority in Egypt, and particularly Al-Azhar and Dar Al-Ifta (Muslim religious institutions), speak about the danger of transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem. ... He emphasized that the decision to transfer the embassy means the destruction of the region and strife, and that this is liable to push the region towards a religious war," official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on Monday.
Last week, the PA mouthpiece reported, "Secretary-General of the [PA] Islamic-Christian Council [for Jerusalem and the Holy Places, Fatah Revolutionary Council member], and professor of international law Hanna Issa said ... that this step will have disastrous consequences for the peace process, the two-state option, and the security and stability of the region, and will lead it into a religious war."
Speaking on Saturday, the Palestinian Authority's mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, stated that the potential embassy transfer is "an attack on Muslims worldwide."
"The promise of the President-elect to transfer the embassy is not only an attack on the Palestinians, but rather on [all] the Arabs and Muslims. The Muslims and Arabs will not remain silent when they see the aggression realized at the moment of the transfer of the embassy to occupied Jerusalem," Hussein was quoted by Al-Hayat al-Jadida as saying, according to the PMW translation.
Fatah official Abbas Zaki warned that moving the embassy would mean that the PA is freed from all past agreements signed with Israel:
Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki emphasized that the Palestinian leadership will not allow the transfer of the American embassy, and will be absolved of the previous decisions and agreements. He also warned against turning Palestine into a war zone if the new American administration decides to transfer it. ... He warned against the terrible dangers whose course cannot be predicted. Zaki emphasized that no power in the world can prevent the Palestinians, Muslims, and Christians as one from carrying out their national obligation to defend their occupied capital.
Posts on Fatah Facebook pages have called on the Arab world to unite around the Jerusalem issue and lamented the Arab infighting that has sidelined the Palestinian cause, PMW noted.
A cartoon reproduced on a Fatah Facebook page on January 10 shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a kippah on his head and a Star of David on his tie devouring the Dome of the Rock while Arabs are busy fighting each other. On the bottom of the Dome of the Rock is written "Jerusalem," and on the cloud of dust the Arabs are raising is written: "The Arab state of affairs."
PMW noted that the amount of threats has not been equaled since those of September-October 2015 intended to dissuade Israelis from visiting the Temple Mount. A wave of violence that started then, known as the "stabbing intifada," claimed the lives of 43 Israelis and 269 Palestinians.
Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump - J. Lee Grady - http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/62476-why-you-must-pray-for-donald-trump
When President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in this Friday as our nation's 45th president, he will stand in front of the U.S. Capitol and place his hand on two Bibles: One that was used for Abraham Lincoln's inauguration in 1861, the other a gift from Trump's mother when he graduated at age 9 from Sunday school at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, New York.
Trump won't be hiding his affiliations with evangelical Christians at the ceremony. He will be surrounded by religious leaders, some who supported his campaign and others who criticized his rhetoric. They include Paula White, a Pentecostal pastor from Florida who is sometimes credited with bringing Trump to faith; evangelist Franklin Graham; Hispanic minister Sammy Rodriguez (who denounced Trump's anti-immigrant comments) and African-American preacher Wayne T. Jackson of Detroit. A rabbi and a Catholic cardinal will also join Trump on the stage.
Yet in spite of the two Bibles and the six ministers on the platform, many Christians aren't fully supportive of our next president. Most African-American and Hispanic Christians did not vote for Trump, younger Christian voters were skeptical of his campaign, and other believers opposed him because his views on women and immigrants seemed incompatible with Christianity.
So when Trump lays his hand on those Bibles and pledges to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," he will lead a divided nation. But if you are a Christian, you have an obligation to pray for your president no matter how you voted in November. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 commands us to pray "for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty."
Praying for our leaders is not optional. It does not depend on your mood or your opinions. Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly:
1. Pray for his protection. There will be more than 28,000 security officials at the inauguration on Friday, and Trump's decision to spend some of his time at his home in New York City will increase the security threat during his time in office. Pray that he and his family will be protected from assassins' bullets and terror attacks. May civility triumph over violence.
2. Pray that Trump will govern with God's wisdom. God rewarded Solomon because he asked for wisdom instead of wealth, long life or vengeance on his enemies (see 1 Kings 3:11-12). Pray that Trump will order his priorities like that. Despite Solomon's tragic character flaws, his legacy was wisdom. We can ask God to give our president the same grace.
3. Pray that God will set a guard over Trump's mouth. It is no secret that Trump often speaks (or tweets) before he thinks. He can be impulsive and short-tempered. Yet a man in his position must use discretion, or else his impetuous words can close doors and ruin diplomacy. The psalmist prayed: "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips" (Ps. 141:3). Pray this on behalf of our president.
4. Pray for wise and righteous advisers to surround him. Godly leaders cannot do their jobs alone. Even the best leaders have failed because they trusted the wrong people. Pray that Trump will not select his counselors based on party, race, pedigree or political cronyism but on godly character and proven wisdom. Pray especially that Vice President Mike Pence, who is an evangelical Christian, will rely on the Holy Spirit to advise the president.
5. Ask for the spirit of reconciliation. Some segments of our divided society want nothing to do with Trump now that he has won the presidency. Some media outlets have become downright hostile, breaking all rules of journalistic objectivity. Even some Christians will be tempted to harbor resentment and nurse political grudges throughout his term in office. Pray that God will grant forgiveness and healing so that leaders on all political levels can have constructive dialogue. And pray that Trump will reach out with kindness to Democrats, the media, minorities, immigrants, foreign leaders and Republicans who opposed him.
6. Bind all evil forces assigned to manipulate our president. The specter of Islamic terrorism looms over the United States, and dark forces have already infiltrated. On the other side, it is obvious that Russia desires to manipulate our nation. Our only hope lies in prayer to the God who is able to expose and outwit the schemes of the wicked. This is truly a time for spiritual warfare, and intercessors must not come off the wall in this hour. Pray that no foreign government, terrorist organization, multinational corporation or demonic principality will use Trump as a tool. We must stand strong against the spirit of anti-Christ that promotes dictatorship, persecution of Christians and hostility toward Israel.
7. Pray that Trump's door will always be open to the church. The loudest voices of secular culture-from Bill Maher in Hollywood to atheists in academia-would be happy if religion were removed from public life. Pray that Trump, who claims to have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, will unapologetically welcome Christian leaders into his company and seek their counsel.
8. Pray that our nation will enjoy God's peace and blessing during the Trump administration. God's will is for America to experience peace and prosperity so we can continue to export the gospel to the nations. This must happen whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House. As we cry out for God's mercy on our nation, pray that He will allow us to be a light to the world as we finance global missions, feed and heal the world's poor and share Christ's love at home and abroad.
'Social justice' incompatible with end-times focus? - Paul Bremmer - http://www.wnd.com/2017/01/social-justice-incompatible-with-end-times-focus/
Younger evangelicals shifting from emphasis of parents
Many young evangelicals in the millennial generation are shifting from their parents' theological emphasis on biblical prophecy to a focus on issues of social justice in this world, such as combating homelessness, economic inequality, racism and violence, the website Religion & Politics reports.
Michael Onifer, director of the Bethlehem Project and author of the book "God, Israel, and You: The Scandalous Story of a Faithful God," said the trend has positive implications.
"I'm very excited to see a generation that's looking to effect change in real-time as opposed to invest time and energy in the speculation of future events; and I think the church will be better by investing more time in engaging the world than we will in trying to understand end time prophecy," Onifer told WND.
Onifer clarified that he believes Christians should prepare for the afterlife, but he thinks they can't prepare without helping to make the world a better place in the process.
"If we're going to say sanctification is synonymous with preparing for the afterlife, then no one can really do that in a biblical sense without benefiting their immediate temporal surroundings," he said.
"So I would say to focus on the afterlife without benefiting your temporal, immediate existence is not biblical. I would say that would be some type of religious invention, but that's not biblical Christianity."
Onifer, who works in Israel and the West Bank regularly to develop Jewish-Christian relations, said he believes the social-justice focus is a reflection of God's heart. But he also acknowledged the possibility of the emphasis becoming "misguided and perverted."
For one thing, he said, Christians must understand justice from a biblical perspective.
"If we're going to engage in justice, it needs to be a biblical justice, not a modern, humanist sense of justice," Onifer warned. "It has to be a biblical understanding and implementation of justice, so that's got to be the context for social justice in the Christian world."
Shifting view of Israel
Onifer's other concern is that young evangelicals may not fully understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Surveys have shown American millennials overall are less likely to support Israel and more likely to support the Palestinians than previous generations. Likewise, millennial evangelicals tend to look at the conflict in a more nuanced way than previous generations.
Religion & Politics observed that young evangelicals' "concern for all parties in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict represents a dramatic departure from the worldview that characterized the previous generation of evangelicals, who saw unstinting American support for Israel as essential to fulfilling biblical prophecies about the Apocalypse and Jesus' subsequent return to earth."
This approach could be a good thing, but it is also fraught with perils, in Onifer's view.
"There's a lot of misinformation," he cautioned. "There are competing narratives, and so I'm glad Christians are considering the Palestinians in a way that they haven't before, but I'm concerned about the lack of historical context and the lack of information."
Onifer hopes young evangelicals, regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict, will recognize the Jews are God's chosen people, with a unique purpose they must fulfill.
"Within God's redemptive plan, the Jewish people have a unique presence in that plan that is not interchangeable with Gentile believers," Onifer insisted. "It would be the same as for me to think because my wife and I are equal as redeemed children of God, that I'm going to start bearing children. I can't take that purpose that God gave her. And so the Jewish people have a purpose that is distinctly theirs."
End-times, justice not at odds
Joel Richardson, an internationally recognized expert on biblical prophecy and the Middle East, said it is wrong to assume focusing on the end times and striving for justice in the world are at odds.
"The fact of the matter is that in everything we as believers say or do, we are to bear witness concerning the nature, the character, the spirit of the coming kingdom," Richardson told WND. "We are to demonstrate it here and now, as we eagerly await its reality.
"Thus, we fight for justice now, as we proclaim the coming kingdom of justice. We help to care for the needy now, because in the age to come, the needy who are in Christ will all be fully cared for. We fight to deliver those trapped in human trafficking now, not because we truly believe that we can eradicate human trafficking fully now, but as a sign pointing to the day when all the captives who are in Christ will be set free."
Richardson, whose latest book is "Mystery Babylon: Unlocking the Bible's Greatest Prophetic Mystery," said it is essential for the older generation of Christians to understand justice is central to God's heart and His purposes.
But he said it's equally important for the younger generation to understand Jesus will restore the Davidic kingdom of Israel when He returns.
"The fact of the matter is that at the very heart of the biblical end-time narrative is the return of Jesus to execute justice on the Day of the Lord," Richardson said. "According to Isaiah the prophet, the kingdom that Jesus will establish here on the earth has foundations of 'justice and righteousness' (Isaiah 9:7). Everyone can rejoice at the good news that this represents.
"It is not acceptable, however, to emphasize the portion of this prophecy that speaks of justice without acknowledging that this kingdom will not be established until Jesus restores the Davidic throne and kingdom in Jerusalem. After all, what does the full verse state? 'There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. (Isaiah 9:7)"
Therefore, Richardson warned young evangelicals not to forget about Israel's special place in the coming kingdom of God.
"As Gentiles, we are grafted into this coming kingdom, but the belief that we Gentiles have replaced or displaced Israel, robbing them of the future grace that the Lord has promised to corporate Israel has produced some of the most horrific failures of the Church in all of Church history," he said.
"If only the younger generation understood that the ideas which they believe to be far superior to the beliefs of their fathers were precisely the ideas that caused the vast majority of the church to either endorse or sit idly by as 6 million of their Jewish neighbors were massacred."
Quarter of Bible is prophecy
Carl Gallups, a nationally known Baptist pastor and radio host, shares the concern of Onifer and Richardson that a purely social justice-based approach to Christianity could be dangerous if it is not carried out in the proper context.
Gallups noted "a good one-quarter" of God's Word deals with prophecy, and a large amount of that prophetic material deals with the end times.
Therefore, according to the pastor, end-times prophecy must be an important part of a Christian's life.
"The balance, I believe, is this: We must live each day as faithful ambassadors of God's Kingdom," Gallups told WND.
"That heavenly assignment involves not only proclaiming the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ but also the understanding that we are to be the salt and light to the rest of the world along our journey. And, being the salt and light means we must be ever-mindful of the needs of the lost and any others who have desperate day-to-day needs."
Gallups, author of "When The Lion Roars: Understanding the Implications of Ancient Prophecies For Our Time," pointed out Jesus Himself modeled the proper balance of life and ministry while He was on Earth.
Jesus preached salvation and pointed to the prophetic developments of His day, but at the same time he ministered to the needs of the poor, the sick and those afflicted with demons.
"So, Christian living is not just about service," Gallups said. "Nor is it solely about discerning the prophetic times in which we are living. Neither is Christian living only about impacting our culture with the truth about 'right and wrong,' or taking sides with Israel, or expressing sympathy with the Palestinian people.
"And, believe it or not, it is not only about preaching the message of salvation - although this certainly needs to be our central focus - for it is the only focus that results in the eternal destiny of humanity.
"But, in reality, Christian living is about all of these things - in biblical balance - and brought forth to the world in which we live and administered in love and with purity of heart. This is the kind of Christian living that Yahweh honors; this is the kind of Christian living that truly impacts the world for the Kingdom's sake."
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
Clean out the High Places - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
The nation of Israel was ruled by many kings. Some were good and some were bad, but all were measured by the standard set by King David. When David came to the end of his life his son Solomon became king. Solomon was known for his wisdom, but he failed in many ways. He married pagan wives and allowed them to continue their pagan ways. When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king. Because Rehoboam had been raised around paganism he was not repulsed by it. During his reign the nation of Israel was split into two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom was called Israel and the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah. The Southern Kingdom was the one ruled by descendants of King David. Rehoboam ruled over Judah, but didn't honor God and led the people into abomination. Scripture tells us "And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel." 1 Kings 14:22-24. This describes full blown pagan practices which are inspired by Satan. This type of evil pagan worship still happens today. The sodomites were homosexual prostitutes. This also goes on today. If you're a part of these practices then shame on you.
When Rehoboam died his son Abijam (also known as Abijah) became king. His reign was short and he wasn't a honorable man. Scripture says "And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father." 1 Kings 15:3. Nobody is perfect but we all have a choice whether to follow evil or strive to live as God wants us to. Abijam chose to follow the evil ways of his father. He accepted and continued pagan worship and the government-sanctioned homosexual activity, both are abominable. Evil practices in Judah continued, but God didn't bring judgment upon them because of His promise that David's descendants would continue to reign and that the Messiah would come from his line. God has always been merciful. Even though God didn't destroy the land of Judah as He had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the evil that infested those cities, that doesn't mean He approved of the pagan worship and homosexual practices. He didn't approve then and He doesn't approve now.
When Abijam died his son Asa took the throne. Finally there was a king who wanted to do right in God's eyes. "And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father." 1 Kings 15:11. It's quite a compliment to be compared to King David. There had been pagan practices in the land for many years, but Asa began to clean house and lead the nation back into worshipping only God Almighty. "And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made." 1 Kings 15:12. Asa chose to serve God in spite of his family history. Every Christian should also remove sodomites and idols from their life. We can't control how other people think or act, but we can choose how we live our own life. Your parents may not serve God or live morally, but that's not an excuse for you to indulge in evil practices. Choose for yourself to do right in the sight of the Lord. Asa's father and grandfather and great-grandfather condoned pagan ways, but Asa took away the sodomites, idols, and places of pagan worship which were, and still are, sinful things that turn people away from God Almighty. Asa did all he could to be a godly leader and he did what was right in the eyes of God.
Sometimes removing evil means turning from people we love. King Asa was determined to get rid of the practices that were abominable to God, which included removing his grandmother. "And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron." 1 Kings 15:13. Here she is called his mother, but other Scripture says she was married to Rehoboam who was his grandfather. Many times generational indicators are left off, as in saying "his father David" when in fact David lived a few generations before him. In any case, she practiced evil and Asa wouldn't tolerate it. Even today friends, parents, or children may participate in activities that are abominable to God. We love them but their sinful lifestyles can't be condoned. Jesus knew that each person would have to make their own choice to follow Him. "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." Luke 12:51-53. Jesus comes first. In many cultures if you become a Christian you will be disowned by your family. That's a choice each person must make. In Asa's case, his grandmother embraced pagan ways and made idols. She had to either change her ways or be removed. God abhors idol worship and He abhors the practice of homosexuality. If you have a friend or a family member who embraces these ungodly practices you may have to make a hard choice when you clean out the high places in your life. Jesus said it wouldn't be easy to follow Him, but we must put Him first.
"And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: for he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: and commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers and to do the law and the commandment." 2 Chronicles 14:2-4.What are these "high places"? They were places of worship. Sometimes they were for worshiping God Almighty, but more often than not they were for the worship of pagan gods. The context of a verse will tell you if it refers to satanic activity. In fact, Asa left the high places that weren't pagan in nature. "But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all his days." 1 Kings 15:14. The verse in Chronicles says he took away the high places while the verse in Kings says they weren't removed. The satanic ones were removed while those for the worship of God weren't. When we accept Christ as our Saviour we need to clean out the satanic high places in our life and move away from the idols that we've worshiped. On the surface lifestyles seem to change, language is cleaned up, and we no longer visit certain websites that don't honor God. We look squeaky clean to other people, but if the high places aren't completely cleaned out they still have a grip on us. These are the corners of our heart and mind that we hope God doesn't see. Clean out those high places that are satanic in nature.
A king, president, prime minister, or even a dictator can't force a nation to turn their hearts to God, but a good leader should do all in his power to remove abominations from the land. The people of the United States of America have just elected a new president. Mr. Trump will soon take office from a man who has done everything possible to lead America down a path of destruction. Under Obama's administration we have seen human sacrifice (abortion) increase, sodomy legalized (same sex marriage), pagan worship accepted (the Ten Commandments replaced by statues of the baphomet), and Israel made to look like a villain. Obama's administration was one in a long line of administrations that have been against God. At long last Christians got fed up with the evil and corruption in our government and we cried out to God. He has given us a chance to return to Him and be a nation that blesses God, not Satan. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that Donald Trump is King Asa, but his intentions are in the right place. There are certain people in a rage against him, but look at who's throwing the tantrums. Hollywood, the purveyor of sin and perversion, is furious. Many "stars" "(shall we call them idols) are proud of their sins and serve Satan. They are very outspoken against Mr. Trump. Don't be duped. Hollywood is filled with sodomites and people who worship in the satanic high places, which they don't want removed. These people need our prayers, but not our attention. Continue in prayer for America and for Mr. Trump. Turn from the evil that has gripped this nation for too long. In the words of another great leader "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:14-15.
Satan has been busy corrupting the hearts of men for many years. His evil against humans began in the Garden of Eden and continues to this day. Every person has a choice between serving God or serving Satan. You can't have it both ways. Jesus said "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24. Who do you serve? If you claim to be a Christian then you need to examine your heart. Does it need cleaning? Does Christ reign over your life or do you have some high places that need to be removed? They may be hidden from the eyes of man, but you cannot hide them from our Lord. He loves you and paid the price for your redemption. Don't mock His sacrifice by harboring sin. Whatever the sin He will forgive you, but you need to go to Him. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. Confess your sin to Jesus and ask Him to clean out the high places that control you. You can't serve two masters, so choose the only Master who gives eternal life. You won't regret it.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12. This is a spiritual battle that we fight every day. One day very soon the Rapture will take Christians to be with Jesus. On the other hand you may die before then. Either way you need to fight this battle, clean out the high places, and serve Jesus before it's too late.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Revealed - How antichrist world order is achieved - Bill Wilson - www.harvest.org
Since the presidency of George HW Bush, America has been part of a conspiracy to establish a one world Marxist-oriented order under the theme of globalism. This phenomena has been underscored by the movement and resettlement of populations from one country to another, the export of jobs and businesses from industrialized nations to developing nations, the loss of jobs and declining middle class in developed nations, and an increase in poverty. Now, people are rebelling. We've seen it with Britain's exit from the European Union and with the Trump election. And there are what the news media calls elitists in Davos, Switzerland plotting a new course to continue this march toward an antichrist system.
These Davos elite are the political and business leaders of developed nations who assemble each year to plot their course toward a global economy. But this meeting has them scratching their heads as everything was on track until people rebelled. Now they are trying to figure out how to placate the people while still accomplishing their goals. For example, Bloomberg reports that Richard Baldwin, professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, said, "We need to go to a system where we are protecting workers, not jobs, and society will help people retrain or reorient. There may just be a need to man up. We have to pay for the social cohesion that we need to keep our societies advancing, and accept that this may be a higher tax burden on people."
That's not manning up, that's wealth redistribution while the elites skim their take. International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde confirmed Baldwin's remarks and added, "But it needs to be granular, it needs to be regional, it needs to be focused on what will people get out of it and it probably means more redistribution than we have in place at the moment." Bloomberg reports, Bridgewater Associates Billionaire Ray Dalio, said, "I want to be loud and clear: populism scares me. The No. 1 issue economically as a market participant is how populism manifests itself over the next year or two." Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said Trump was suspending the rule of law by bringing jobs back to America.
Vice President Joe Biden told the conference that populism threatens the collapse of the "liberal world order." These tyrants are enriching themselves at the dire expense of society and are setting the stage for an antichrist world order. America, irrespective of its flaws, always has been a beacon of freedom of speech and religion. An antichrist world order is a threat to both as is written of it in Revelation 13:17, "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." We know that such a system will come about, but we must also stand against it as those who don't are judged accordingly, and those who do are honored. These tyrants fear populists who stand up for their rights. Let's stand in vigilance.
Daily Devotion: Ready to Go? - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
I go 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, there you may be also. -John 14:2-3
When you go on a trip, you must have your bags packed and be ready to move. In the same way, as followers of Christ, we're going on a trip. We don't know exactly when it will begin. It could be 20 years or 30 years from now. Or it could begin in 20 minutes or 20 seconds. That is why the Bible tells us to prepare to meet our God.
The prophet Isaiah said to King Hezekiah, "Thus says the Lord: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live'" (2 Kings 20:1).
Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. The hope and promise to all Christians is that we have a place prepared for us by Jesus. He said, "I go 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, there you may be also" (John 14:2-3).
Are you prepared? Is your house in order right now? Are you ready? Maybe you're saying, "What do you mean by ready? How does a person get ready?"
You get ready by having Christ in your heart and knowing your sin is forgiven, knowing your life is right with Him.
You don't want to be living in a backslidden or compromised state. You want to be watching, ready, and alert-and even looking forward to the return of the Lord. In fact, I think that is something of a litmus test of your true spirituality. You will be homesick for Heaven. It is not that you have a death wish; it's that you are homesick for Heaven.
Is your house in order? Are you ready to go? Then you won't have to fear what happens beyond the grave.
FROM THE HEART
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