Prophecy Update Newsletter
January 25, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Jesus will set us free! - by Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2017/01/jesus-will-set-us-free.html
31 "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free......
35And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:31-32, 35-36)
Have you sat down and thought about why it is , that what you believe and why you believe it? The Bible is full of the reasons for Christianity, and its teachings...But if you are thinking about it right now, what is the one thing that stands out as unique about the Bible to you? What is it about our belief in Jesus Christ that makes it different than any religion found on this earth?
There are numerous answers to those questions. Some will find different answers that are just as valid concerning with being a Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ as another. But what makes it (in my mind) to stand out independent of all other religions on earth, it's an all or nothing perspective on Who and what we believe in.
Just think of all the many different details that surround our belief system in Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, and our Lord and Savior...if any of those details that surround the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus are false, then the whole Gospel message just falls apart. If the Bible did not tell the story exactly as it happened, how Jesus lived, what He accomplished in His life, what He did to save us from our sins, and to rise from the grave on the third day, according to the time line of facts that the bible lays out, then we are a people that are most certainly misled and the Bible account of the most important Man/God that ever lived, collapses in on itself.
12 "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished". (1st Corinthians 15:12-18)
There are many secular so-called Christian scholars who deny that the Resurrection was an actual event, but instead take a contemporary view of Greek philosophy which believes that the soul is immoral, but not the body. Which if you think about it, why are they even called Christian, or followers of Christ, when they deny the Biblical resurrection of Christ? They are actually Gnostics who deny Jesus is the risen Christ bodily glorified.
JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS OF THOSE BORN OF THE DEAD
But the bible tells us that one day, the spirit of man will be reunited with a glorified raised physical body for those raised belonging to Christ, at His appearing. It has and will come in stages....Jesus the first fruits of those who are born of the dead, then those who are raised to new life, at the catching away of the church at the appearing of our Lord. The Bible calls it by definition, 'harpazo" which literally means be "taken by force". Some call it the rapture. Then the next stage is those who are raised to life at the end of the Tribulation, who are the Tribulation saints who died in Christ as martyrs , and this is the first resurrection.
5 "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:5-6).
Christian doctrines mandates that all men will be resurrected, some in the "first Resurrection" from Jesus being raised, till the Tribulation saints are raised, this encompasses the first resurrection..But there is one final resurrection at the Great White Throne judgment. It will be those NOT found in Jesus Christ and they will be damned to an eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire where Satan, the Anti-Christ, and the false prophet end up, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
But note that the Resurrection of Christ, being the first fruits of those born of the dead, MUST have a real historical event, or the entire doctrine collapses. And as Paul tells us, then if there be no resurrection, then we are all (including himself) found to be liars, as Paul pointed out to the Corinthian Church:
13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins." (1st Corinthians 15:13-17)
In continuing our investigation that I started last sermon, was the "Apostles Preaching a Fraud", let us look even more closely into that aspect of our faith.
The New Testament story is based entirely on eyewitness testimony. The Apostles wrote what they saw. So if they did not witness an actual, bodily Resurrected Christ and yet claimed they did, then none of the rest of their testimony is reliable.
THE APOSTLES PREACHED A RISEN CHRIST.
Yet everyone of them (save John the Beloved) chose to die a martyr's death rather than recant their eye witness testimony. They recanted not one word of what they saw and heard. To further ram home the obvious point, if they knew their explantion was false, and their witness was a lie, why would they choose to be killed for a lie? Doesn't make sense does it?
Men throughout history have given up their lives for what they thought was true, which turned out to be false. Men die for an unworthy cause, which they believed was a true and a noble cause, but turns out was not true at all. But I know of no historical case, where a person would willingly die for something they knew to be FALSE. Reason being, the sympathetic nervous system has a fight or flight safety mechanism to preserve life at all cost. Courage makes you charge into danger for a just cause, knowing it could cost you your life, but no man in their right man charges into danger, when they know the cause is anything but truth.
To argue that the Gospel is not true means arguing that ALL the Apostles faced painful, torturous deaths that they could have avoided by simply recanting.
The skeptic denies the apostles eye witness testimony that was written down as a record for their belief in the Only Begotten Son of God, but fail to given an explanation for their skepticism for why would the apostles give up their way of life, for a life of misery, deprivation, heart-ache and pain at the hand of a pagan government, culminating in a torturous death just to spread a myth?
As we discovered last time, why would any man, on any level, being a reasonable, sane individual make up a story that ruined their lives, costing them their family and friends and trading it for a life of persecution ending with a miserable death as a criminal of the state? For what? So their names would be known 2000 years later and they would be famous?? Now does that sound reasonable to any person of logical deduction reasoning?
SOME DENY OBVIOUS PROOF, EXCEPT SECULAR WRITERS
Why is it that nobody denies the accuracy of some of the Greek philosophers writings, such as Plato, Socrates, or Homer? Or Suetonus, or Flavius Josephus (save the part where he actually refers to Jesus as a real historical figure)?
Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls our earliest Hebrew copy of the Old Testament was the Masoretic text dating around 800 A.D. The Dead Sea Scrolls date around the time of Jesus copied by the Qumran community, a Jewish sect living around the Dead Sea. But there are other text that confirm the validity of our faith.
We also have the Septuagint -- a Greek translation of the Old Testament dating to the second century B.C.
The oldest existing original manuscript of a New Testament book dates to 125 A.D. It was found in Egypt, some distance from where the New Testament was originally composed in Asia Minor.
In all, there are more than 24,000 ancient manuscripts against which to compare our modern Bible. Now that is a huge body of work and PROOF!
If you compare the amount of evidence for the existence of Jesus and His crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, the evidence is astounding the amount of material available to prove the whole of Christianity. When compared to other historical writings, such as Caesar's "Gallic Wars" (10 Greek manuscripts, the earliest 950 years after the original), the "Annals" of Tacitus (2 manuscripts, the earliest 950 years after the original), Livy (20 manuscripts, the earliest 350 years after the original), and Plato (7 manuscripts).
The New Testament manuscripts agree in 99.5% of the text, compared to 95% of say the Iliad. Most discrepancies of the New Testament are in spelling and word order. A few words have been added, but the minor changes does not change the doctrinal significance of the whole of the Gospel message.
Skeptics, liberals, atheist, and cults of false religions baseless claims that the Bible has been tampered with have been proven completely false by extensive, historical manuscript evidence.
We who are pre-Tribulation rapture believers would be completely refuted, if there is no bodily resurrection of Jesus. If the Resurrection is not a completely historical event then the tragedy is only compounded. (Not only are you putting your hopes in a false promise of redemption, but you are still dead in your sins). .If there is no resurrection, there is no Comforter in the Holy Spirit that indwells you as an earnest deposit in waiting your future glorification.
Yea, and we are then found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God :
15 "Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." 1st Corinthians 15:15-20)
Other confirmation come from the book of Job, the oldest book, chronologically, in the Bible, spoke confidently of his own resurrection:, even before the time of Abraham:
"For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." (Job 19:25-27)
But Jesus gave us additional revelation, a new 'mystery' for the Church, telling us exactly what happens when we die. There is no 'soul sleep' as those who read the OT prophets supposed.
Jesus spoke specifically that in the moment of death, our conscious spirit moves on...lives on, awaiting the resurrecion of the dead, which our spirit awaits the reuniting with our glorified body. Paul spoke of in a mystery of our glorious change in 1st Corinthians 15:52 :
" In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
But John reveals what the transformation shall be when he proclaimed:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1st John 3:2)
FRET NOT AS ONE WITH NO HOPE
But as Christian people, when a loved one dies, we are heartbroken...why is that? Even when we know that their race is over, and they have received exactly what we want to receive. We miss them, because we are deprived, for a little while, of their companionship. Amazingly, every one wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. But some erroneously believe they are only sleeping.
But we aren't 'sleeping' while we wait. During the Dispensation of the Church, the Apostle Paul noted that for believers to be 'absent from the body' meant to be 'present with the Lord.'
6 "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him" (2nd Thessalonians 5:6-9)
The Apostle Paul wrote of physical death as it pertains to believers, saying;
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." (1st Thessalonians 4:13)
JESUS WILL SET ALL OF US FREE AT HIS COMING
On this earth, in this life, we have a sure and lasting promise of a time that is coming when Jesus will ascend from heaven with the voice of an archangel and the Trump of God and "the Son will set us free".
14 "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Jesus has been resurrected, and history proves that many speak of a historical Jesus, who really lived on this earth...We have eye witness testimony of our Risen Lord by thousands of people who spoke with Him, touched Him, and ate with Him, after His resurrection. We have historians that give proof of the life and death of Jesus Christ, and we have the eye witness testimony of His Apostles who went to their death for One they lived and died for. Logic tells us, that they had to be telling the truth, as no one dies for a lie...the evidence if overwhelming.
And for us, living in the end of the Age of Grace, we have an even greater promise that will possibly be fulfilled in my lifetime. Jesus promised that from the blooming of the fig tree which is Israel, that a generation who sees this happen will see the return of Jesus Christ.
32 "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:32-36)
A generation is 70 years, and 80 years by strength. Anyone can do a quick math problem and add each number to 1948....it shows how close we could be. .Many Christians are watching the heavens looking for that blessed Hope to return to take His church out of this world. If you have followed any of my messages, you know I propose that it MAY happen on the next Feast Day to be fulfilled, the Feast of Trumpets...now no one knows which one, or which day, as there are two day of that particular feast day, as God has fulfilled each one on the very day of its observance by Ancient Israel....I will be looking to the heavens this fall, listening for a trumpet blast....I pray it is coming soon.....but we don't know the year...but we watch and pray.
But as a side note, I had one person give me an interesting observation....their question was something I had not thought about and they may be just looking for a clue to the time of Jesus' return, but the reader pointed out one current event related to our political climate on this verse:
52, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last TRUMP (my emphasis): for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1st Corinthians 15:52)
As anyone knows, we just elected as POTUS....the last TRUMP...was God sending us a message? I don't make any predictions, but I found it interesting.
But assuredly, the signs of His soon return are all around us....I believe that when the time of the Lord's return is close, God may just give us the same revelation He gave Noah before the flood...God told Noah, after 120 years of preaching a coming flood, that in 7 days, the rains would begin....will God give us a revelation of His Son's soon return, by bringing a man into the POTUS with the same last name, as the last "TRUMP"? We don't know, and again, I make no predictions..I just hope and pray it is so...but when it happens will you be found rising to meet him in the air? Because it is going to happen, maybe sooner than anyone thinks.
If not, you will be missing the greatest event in our history, next the Lord's resurrection. Better get ready for the time could come without any warning...How will you get ready?
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
Jesus will surprise those who are not looking for Him...it will be as a thief in the night.
1 "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." (1st Thessalonians 5:1-6)
So all that believe in Jesus, believe in His resurrection after being crucified on a Roman cross, are in the light, even as He is in the light, and we will not be surprised...we will be joyful and our hands lifted high in praise to His Holy Name. But to those who are in darkness and do not believe what I just wrote, then you will be sorely surprised and in remorse, when you finally understand what has just happened....but as a "watchman on the wall" our job, those who preach His soon return are to warn those who do not have Jesus in their heart and lives...
"When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." (Ezekiel 33:8).
So my friend, consider this a warning delivered in love, that the hour is close and very soon, our Lord will ascend from heaven, and ultimately..JESUS WILL SET US FREE. How about you?
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you are ready at the trumpet sound. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly ear. Email me at email@example.com , God bless you all.
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Israeli Defense Minister: Next War Will Be Fought 'Until Enemy Raises White Flag' - by Jack Tonhaben - http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/01/25/israeli-defense-minister-says-next-war-will-fought-enemy-raises-white-flag/
Israel will fight its next war "with full force," Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday, adding that the Israeli army will not stop fighting the next conflict until its enemy surrenders completely.
"There is no confrontation with half of the power or a quarter of the power, only at full force," Liberman said. "You don't stop in the middle - this is the instruction at the moment for the IDF. The next confrontation will be with full force until the other side raises a white flag. It must be a war with the most forceful possible profile," the defense minister said, according to Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv.
Referring to Israel's decades-long conflict with the Palestinians, Liberman said he "propose[s] to world powers not to touch the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Whoever wants to help us should forget the over-involvement of the powers that be, on this issue they have no understanding of the meaning of the conflict and they try to force themselves upon us without being asked to.
"I told them, 'show one case where you succeeded in the world, or when you succeed you should tell me,' " he added.
Commenting on the approval of new housing units in West Bank settlements announced by the government on Sunday, Liberman said: "We approved 2500 housing units, 900 of them for marketing. We also approved 866 housing units to the residents of Migron and we also made a decision regarding 20 houses in Beit El," a reference to two settlements where residents were evacuated by order of Israeli courts and are awaiting compensation in the form of new homes elsewhere.
"All the other [housing units] are in large blocs. I am also for building in Nokdim but we must work according to our priorities," Liberman, himself a resident of the small community of Nokdim south of Jerusalem, said.
In comments on Arab citizens of northern Israel, Liberman, who in the past called for an exchange of populations between Israel and a future Palestinian state, criticized Israeli Arabs who express support for Israel's enemies.
"There is no reason for us to continue funding the Triangle," the defense minister was quoted by Ma'ariv as saying, using the common term for Israeli-Arab cities and villages along the western edge of the West Bank. "I think those who during a time of war come out in support of Hamas and Hezbollah - there is no reason for them to be citizens of Israel," he said.
New challenges from Israel's east and north - By Eric R. Mandel - http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/New-challenges-from-Israels-east-and-north-479496
Even if Israel and the West prop up the carcass of a failed Jordanian monarchy, how long can it last, as it will appear to be another colonialist land grab?
With the emergence of Iranian hegemony from Afghanistan to Beirut, Israel's security and intelligence establishment is watching not only threats from Gaza and Lebanon, but also other areas of potential instability, including locations that have been quiet for years; the Golan Heights and Jordan.
The rise of Iran and the collapse of Syria have unnerved Sunni and Druse populations across the region, including those in Jordan and the Golan. They know that the United States and international bodies have acquiesced in the greatest ethnic cleansing of the 21st century, the removal of hundreds of thousands of Sunnis from Syria and Iraq.
As Hanin Ghaddar Friedmann of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy wrote, "As a result of these efforts, a corridor linking Qalamoun to Damascus, Homs, and an Alawite enclave is almost Sunni-free...
this gives Hezbollah safe access to the Golan Heights, potentially allowing the group to open another front against Israel... The result will be an endless war in a region that is already fragile."
Just as precarious and uncertain is the future of Jordan.
In desperation for answers beyond the mantra of an elusive two-state solution, experts have looked toward Jordan as a stabilizing pro-Western presence amid a sea of radical Shi'ite and Sunni jihadists. Some believe that a PA-Jordanian confederation is the best alternative.
But how stable is Jordan? Jordan is a very poor country with a radicalized anti-Israel Palestinian majority.
The nation has been inundated with refugees, first from the war in Iraq and most recently the millions fleeing a collapsing Syria. There are nearly 1.5 million refugees scattered throughout the country competing with Jordanians for jobs.
The recent Kerak attacks targeting Jordan's essential tourist sector highlighted the growing radicalization of Sunni radicals within Jordan. Youth unemployment is near 40%, further adding fuel to radicalization.
Jordan is vulnerable from both within and from without. The Hashemite monarchy, which hails from the Hejaz, is not native to the area. Palestinians, who control the economy but not the government, demographically overwhelm the ruling monarchy's Beduin brethren. The Muslim Brotherhood has a strong presence in Jordan and over the years has bred many Sunni jihadists who have joined Islamic State or were leaders of al-Qaida.
From the outside Jordan is facing ISIS-linked militants from Iraq and Syria, Hamas in the future from the West Bank, and Iranian-controlled Shi'ite armies to its east and north.
Israel's next war might not be limited to attacks from Gaza or Lebanon, but could also come from the old front lines of the Golan or Jordan. The 40 years of quiet in the north during the tenure of Assad the father are long over. But is the nearly 50 years of quiet along the Jordanian frontier, that began after the Black September, 1970 struggle between Yasser Arafat and the Hashemites, endangered by instability within the Hashemite regime? Jordan's greatest threat may be pressure from the do-gooding West encouraging elections in the Palestinian West Bank. Any election now will lead to a Hamas victory, and how long before a Hamas-controlled West Bank would direct its attention to undermining Jordan and encouraging its Palestinian populace to mutiny? As Reuel Marc Gerecht wrote in The Weekly Standard, "Not long ago, I asked a Fatah official how long he thought the Palestinian Authority could survive if Israel stopped supporting its security apparatus." The answer was, "We could probably last two [months]."
Which means that if there is a PA-Jordanian federation, which falls in some kind of coup or civil war analogous to recent events in Syria, both the West Bank and Jordan could fall under the sway of radical Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, or worse.
To Israel's north and east, groups ranging from Sunni jihadist Al Nusra to Shi'ite Iranian-controlled Hezbollah, both eye control of the Syrian Golan and desire to reconquer the Israeli Golan.
Conventional thought is that Israel's next war will come from the north (Lebanon), where hundreds of thousands of missiles can rain on a population that is still not prepared for the carnage, or may like clockwork erupt from the Hamas Islamists.
The Golan may be particularly vulnerable for the first time in a generation due to the presence of the joint armies of the Shi'ite militias from Iraq, Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Syria, all on the doorstep of the Israeli Golan and Jordan.
Attacks on the Israeli Golan from what is left of Syria could be in the form of a long war of attrition, much like the repeated attacks from Gaza over the years, or like the war of attrition on the Suez after the Six Day War. Even if the next war comes from Lebanon, don't be surprised to see the Golan as a new theater of war, creating a third front.
But it is a Jordanian front which poses the most dangerous challenge. America and Israel have pledged never to let the Jordanian monarchy fall, but it is built on an illegitimate foundation. Add to that a Palestinian majority even more anti-Israel than West Bank Palestinians, the destabilization by millions of poor radicalized refugees from war-torn Iraq and Syria, and Jordan starts looking a lot like pre-2011 Syria.
Even if Israel and the West prop up the carcass of a failed Jordanian monarchy, how long can it last, as it will appear to be another colonialist land grab? Some or none of this may happen, but what is certain is that Israel's regional vulnerabilities are increasing.
The $38 billion MOU between America to Israel was mainly to compensate Israel for the Obama created disaster of the Iran deal.
It did not address the Obama-created chaos on Israel's doorstep in Syria, Lebanon, or potentially Jordan, which will require billions more in aid to help stabilize America's indispensable ally in the region.
What will happen? Who knows. All contingencies must be considered. But what is sure with Iranian ascendancy is that there will be an unpredictable radical Sunni response throughout the Levant.
Israel forges ahead on new housing in disputed suburbs - By William Booth - http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0117/israel_forges_ahead.php3
Israel announced a bold plan on Tuesday to construct 2,500 housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a decision made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just two days after he spoke with President Donald Trump.
The move appears to be a clear sign that the Israelis no longer fear American criticism of settlement construction, which is condemned by most of the world.
For eight years, Netanyahu and his right-wing allies bristled at the harsh condemnations of settlement growth by former President Barack Obama's administration, which referred to the Israeli communities as "illegitimate" and "an obstacle to peace."
Trump, however, has signaled a more accommodating stance toward Israel. He has called for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a city claimed as the capital of both Israel and a potential future Palestinian state. Trump's pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is a hard-line opponent of the two-state solution and a supporter of the settlement enterprise in the West Bank.
"We're building --- and will continue to build," Netanyahu said Tuesday.
Netanyahu's promise to grow the settlements comes a little more than a week after diplomats from 70 countries met in Paris and criticized settlement building as a threat to a two-state solution. In December, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution condemning the settlements, and Secretary of State John Kerry spoke out against them in a speech after the U.N. vote.
Asked at his daily briefing whether Trump supported the newly approved construction, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that "Israel continues to be a huge ally of the United States" and that Trump "wants to grow closer with Israel to make sure it gets the full respect that it deserves in the Middle East."
Referring to a Monday announcement of a February meeting with Netanyahu, Spicer said, "We'll have a conversation with the prime minister."
But the potential sites could carry deep political resonance in the United States.
About 100 of the possible new units are in Beit El, a West Bank settlement supported by Friedman. The family of Trump's son-in-law and newly appointed White House adviser Jared Kushner has donated to the charities that support Beit El.
Palestinians called the Israeli move a possible sign of more-vigorous settlement construction.
"It is evident that Israel is exploiting the inauguration of the new American administration to escalate its violations and the prevention of any existence of a Palestinian state," said Hanan Ashrawi, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the Israeli plans undermine efforts to bring peace to the Middle East and will promote extremism.
The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, called on the international community to take a "real and serious position" against Israel's plans.
Jordan's information minister, Mohammed al-Momani, said the settlement plan "deals a tough blow to efforts to revive the peace process." The Europeans also expressed their concern. "It is regrettable that Israel is proceeding with this policy, despite the continuous serious international concern and objections, which have been constantly raised at all levels," the European Union's diplomatic service said Tuesday.
During the Obama administration, settlement construction announcements came under increasingly bitter criticism, with the State Department suggesting that the moves undermined Middle East peace and raised questions about Netanyahu's true commitment to a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
"We are returning to normal life in Judea and Samaria," Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement announcing the plans, using the biblical terms for the West Bank.
In the same announcement, Lieberman approved the construction of a Palestinian industrial park outside Hebron in the West Bank.
"It will be one of the largest industrial zones in the West Bank, in which we are planning to set up warehouse and fuel storage infrastructure, along with other elements," Lieberman said.
The announcement of 2,500 housing units comes just two days after a Jerusalem planning committee approved the construction of 560 housing units.
Israeli officials stressed that most of the 2,500 new units in the West Bank would be built in what they call "settlement blocs," densely populated lands that leaders here say will always remain in Israel, regardless of any future peace deal with the Palestinians.
"We hope that this is just the beginning of a wave of new building across our ancestral homeland after eight very difficult years," said Oded Revivi, foreign envoy for the Yesha Council, which represents Israeli settlers living in the West Bank. "We hope to continue building a peaceful future with the blessing of the new Trump administration."
The number of new units approved is large, but not unprecedented. During Kerry's nine months of ultimately failed negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, Israel agreed to release Palestinian prisoners. After Israel freed 26 Palestinians in October 2013 - many of them convicted of murder - Israel announced plans to build and market 3,500 units in the West Bank as a way to quell fierce criticism from Netanyahu's hard-line right flank.
Nearing Midnight: The Nations Gathered Against Israel - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
The world's hatred against the Jews has been as predictable as the tidal waves. Just as soon as the world gets over one bout of anti-Semitism, another wave comes rolling in.
For decades the horrors of the Holocaust made the foes of Israel very cautious. The passage of time has caused many to forget mistakes of the past. The enemies of the Jewish state have also been emboldened by a new angle of attack. The haters are now saying, "We're not anti-Israel, we're pro-Palestinian."
This mentality has brought us right back to the twisted thinking of Nazi Germany. Last week a German appellate court upheld the decision of a lower court-that three Palestinians who tried to burn a synagogue were not engaged in anti-Semitism; they were merely exercising their basic civil rights to protest against the Israeli government. Charges against the three were dismissed.
How can we possibly live in a civil society if Muslim terrorists are allowed to freely attack Jews? If Jews used force to confront those three hoodlums, I doubt the court would say they were exercising their basic right to defend their property. No, that would be anti-Arab racism.
All around the world, it's open season for anything connected to the Jewish race. Here in America, 27 Jewish community centers in seventeen states reported receiving (false) telephone bomb threats on the 18th of this month. It was the second wave of hoax attacks to target American Jewish facilities in less than two weeks.
The most troubling thing about these anti-Semitic attacks is the lack of concern. If someone paints a swastika on a synagogue, the crime is a one-day story. If someone says Muslims should not come to a nation, it is considered a hate crime.
Our former president, Barack Hussein Obama, was the most anti-Israel president in history. He failed to block two votes at the United Nations that denied the Jews biblical and historical ties to the land of their ancestors.
His administration backed the lie that the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, as well as much of the city itself and the lands known as Judea and Samaria are illegally inhabited by Jews. To side with Obama, you have to ignore the fact that there never was a Palestinian people and the fossil records that confirm the Jewishness of Israel going back some 4000 years.
I knew Obama would make one parting shot at Israel. At his last press conference he said, "I don't see how this issue gets resolved in a way that maintains Israel as both Jewish and a democracy." Of course, he was implying that Israel is an illegitimate nation that is only held together by force.
Pope Francis has also gotten his hands dirty by siding with the enemies of Israel. On January 14, the Pope received the Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas. It's bad enough that the Vatican is giving diplomatic recognition of a non-existent Palestinian state, but it also gives legitimacy to a man who decided he doesn't need to bother with elections to hold office.
I received a flood of emails about the January 15, 2017 diplomatic conference in Paris where 72 nations gathered to talk about how to make a Palestinian state a reality. Never mind that there are much bigger problems in the world like the division Cyprus, Russia's control of the Crimea, China's claim to international waters, and the mess of northern Syria. There are no campus demonstrations chanting, "Free Gaza from the tyranny of Hamas."
The Paris meeting turned out to be a pointless yak fest. Our new president, then still president-elect Donald Trump, saved the day by letting it be known that he did not take kindly to a major diplomatic move five days before he was to take office. British Prime Minister Theresa May also helped seal the meetings irrelevancy by only sending a non-participating envoy and saying it is now time to build a relationship with the new American administration.
A clear indication that we are getting closer to the end of the last days has been the demonic driven escalation on the hatred of Israel. The rhetoric attacking Israel has gone from initially being called an "occupier" to an "apartheid state. And to where she is now be called an "aggressor." Donald Trump may slow the momentum of this train of hate, but I don't think he will be able to derail it.
"On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations" (Zechariah 12:3).
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
On Foolishly Fabricating Fraudulent Facts - by Gene Lawley - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/01/22/foolishly-fabricating-fraudulent-facts-gene-lawley/
Rewriting history is a malicious activity in these days of twisted tactics that are designed to obscure the truth to benefit an alternative and divisive purpose. The father of lies is identified as the devil, and therefore we know that no lie is of the truth. Jesus said this:
"You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:44).
There is much falsehood in historical conclusions, in the reason wars are started, reasons for forming governmental agencies, in religious history, in political entities. The glorious and wonderful future claimed by the New World Order promoters, the globalists, carefully forget to tell us that if killing is necessary to achieve their goals, it is still a good thing...for those who control the others.
Only Jesus, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of peace, can achieve "peace on earth, good will among men." For example, only Jesus can bring about "a lion lying down with a lamb," or "a child playing beside the hole of an asp and not being bitten" in this present mortal world. That is predicted for the thousand years of His reign as King in Jerusalem upon His return to physical earth at the end of the seven years of tribulation.
There is a doctrinal belief theory that denies those things, claiming that Jesus now rules the earth from His throne in heaven. It is called Preterism and claims that all the prophecies of Revelation were fulfilled in the first century by the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70.
They also claim that Satan was bound and chained in the bottomless pit at the time Jesus was crucified. These are two good examples of "foolishly fabricating fraudulent facts." The Bible speaks of the thousand years, the Millennium, to be a time when Jesus is on the earth, reigning from His throne in Jerusalem, the city of David, and He is "ruling with a rod of iron" (Revelation 2:27, 12:5, 19:15).
Connected to that falsehood is the claim that Satan is now bound and chained in the bottomless pit sine the crucifixion of Jesus. Surprisingly, but really not, we find that Peter, some thirty years after the crucifixion, wrote in his first epistle, these words:
"Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
And Paul, also, wrote to the Ephesians about that same time, telling them to "put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11).
Somebody lied, and it was not Peter, Paul, or the Holy Spirit!
The facts on the ground-clearly visible-are that Satan is still very active in this world, Jesus is not ruling with a rod of iron from heaven, but as Paul says, "evil men are becoming worse and worse" (2 Timothy 3:13). God is allowing mankind to fully convict himself of his sinfulness before the judgment of God comes upon him. Yet, He is continually extending an open invitation to repent and turn to Him for mercy and salvation.
In the sight of their belief system, the devil does not get blamed. Who is the cause of the evil in the world, then?
Let's look at some biblical truths in regard to these issues that are not readily apparent without close observation. When Jesus died on the cross at Calvary, Matthew reports that an earthquake rocked the city of Jerusalem and...watch this...the veil in the temple was ripped apart from top to bottom:
"Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split" (Matthew 27:51).
Before the whole world, essentially, that Holy Place where only the high priest could enter but once a year, and not without blood, was opened by the hand of God. "It was the earthquake, of course," so they quickly repaired it and went on with the Passover activities in that religious place. The reality, however, was that God no longer was in that place. There were physical items there, yet, but the Spirit of God was gone.
Earlier Jesus had told the religious leaders, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up!" He was speaking of His own body, as recorded in John 2:19-20. Follow the progression of that purpose to the time of Pentecost when believers in Christ were indwelt with the Holy Spirit and their bodies became the temple of God's presence (1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:17).
The fact is that when Titus and his men destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70, there was no Holy Place there to be made desolate.
Let's look at this from another angle and with more detail in Daniel 9:25-26:
"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.
"And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined."
(After the destruction by Titus and the Romans, it was another sixty-five years before the Jewish resistance was overcome and they were finally scattered among the nations.)
This tells us that of the seventy weeks of years of judgment promised Israel, sixty-nine of them ended with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It also tells us that the city and the temple would be destroyed. This is a pronouncement of that A.D. 70 destruction that was to follow after the Messiah was "cut off." A future person, a prince of the people who destroyed the city and temple, would come forth later. He was not with them at the A.D. 70 destruction. Now, Daniel 9:27 tells us of that later arrival, as yet a future event:
"Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate."
Some observations are crying out to be heard. If the destructions in both verses are the same as the one in A.D. 70, then when was the temple rebuilt, and by whom, to be there for Titus and his men to destroy?
Also, if this event occurred at A.D. 70, then the beginning of that seven-year period of the covenant had to have begun three and a half years before A.D. 70. So, where is the record of a confirmation of a covenant being made sometime in A.D. 66?
Or, is this one of those times when Daniel 9:26-27 is called an allegory, and we skip by it? No, not so fast! I prefaced the title of this article with the word, "foolishly," because any lie will be revealed by the truth, for truth will win every time.
The truth is that a confirmation of a covenant with many, which indicates an agreement with Israel that allows them to rebuild their temple in this day has not yet happened. The stirrings of political entities once again may have meaningful significance, however. It is clear, however, that the prophecies of the end times were never completed in A.D. 70.
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Daily Jot: A call for media reform - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
In journalism school at The Ohio State University, I was taught very basic premises of reporting the news. The professors were sticklers for fact and the correct application of it. In one class, we were given the example of a race between the Soviet Union and the United States. The American won in this two-man contest. The headline in Pravda read: "Soviets finish second; Americans next to last in international race." We discussed how the headline was factual, but it did not reflect the truth. A little bit of truth makes a better lie. And the mainstream news media has been lying to you for decades. The lies are becoming so bold and slanted that we, as truth-seeking Christian Americans, must call for media reform.
CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and even FOX need to wake up to the difference between editorializing and news. They all interchange the two seamlessly. News should be unbiased and unreflective of the reporter's political viewpoint. The journalist's mission is to report the news without bias. Trouble is, these "journalists" have been taught by communists in our colleges and universities and they bring with them an inner bias that cannot be undone. They see the aforementioned race in terms of political right and wrong, and to them the American did finish next to last. It's all how you view the event. These "journalists" view their politics as right and just, so everyone who disagrees is a hater.
In my time covering politics, I would have been aghast if someone accused me of favoritism and bias. I took great measures to ensure that my stories reflected the unbiased truth. During the former "president's" last White House Correspondents Dinner, he described a free press as one that has the same goals as the White House, his administration, in particular. He said, "So I want to close my final White House Correspondents' Dinner by just saying thank you. I'm very proud of what you've done. It has been an honor and a privilege to work side by side with you to strengthen our democracy." He is describing a propaganda machine, not a "fourth estate" news media that held the administration accountable to the truth and the law. What he described is not a free press.
A free nation depends on a free media. But when the media crosses the line and becomes a mouthpiece for government, it is no longer free. Back to the story about the race-on inauguration day I watched as the mall from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial filled with people to hear President Donald Trump. During his speech the mall was full with a sea of people. Yet the media showed pictures of the mall before he began speaking while people were still gathering and tried to pass it off as a comparison to the crowds at the Planned Parenthood-Communist Party-sponsored women's march the next day. When called on it by Trump, the media cried that he didn't even give them a break on the first day. Then they published stories correcting Trump on his correction. It's the same concept as the Russian-American race headline.
If we do not have media reform as a nation, our freedoms are in jeopardy. Jesus said in John 8:32, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." He said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes unto the Father but by me." As Christian Americans, we know the truth. We should demand it of our media. How? Quit watching these news channels; don't buy their papers; don't believe anything they report. Find news sources that report the truth, and make sure others are verifying their stories. Don't be dupes by falling for stories that are not true. Practice discernment. We as Christians elected this last President. Our job is not finished. Let's demand media reform.
Daily Devotion: The Judas Awards - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. -Matthew 7:21
The music industry has the Grammys, the movie industry has the Oscars, and the television industry has the Emmys. I think the church could have its own award ceremony as well. The church could give away the Judas, a special award designated for the greatest actor of the year, the person who fooled everyone.
You see, Judas was a great actor. He was the first of many among Jesus' followers who were-and are-tremendous actors: people who talk the talk, but underneath they are phonies. They are fooling only themselves.
It's amazing to consider the fact that Judas was one of the original Twelve. With his own ears, he heard the great teachings of Jesus. He was there when Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. He was there when Jesus gave His sweeping overview of the future of the world, known as the Olivet Discourse. He heard Jesus say, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 7:21). He heard Jesus' words on hypocrisy.
Certainly those teachings would have applied to Judas. But amazingly, it seems as though none of them penetrated his hardened heart. And not only did Judas hear the great teachings of Christ, but he also personally witnessed many dramatic miracles. But still he did not believe.
It isn't miracles that people necessarily need to see. The real reason people do not believe today was given by Jesus in John 3:19: "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
People can say, "I'm just not convinced" or "There are too many hypocrites," but at the core of rejection for most unbelievers is the fact that they love darkness rather than light.
FROM THE HEART
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