Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Rightly Dividing God’s Word Keeps us Focused on Jesus’ Appearing – Jonathan Brentner - https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/https/jonathan-brentner-g8fgsquarespacecom/config/2021/1/26/rightly-dividing-gods-word-keeps-us-focused-on-jesus-appearing
As a child, I loved AWANA and grew up with its motto verse hanging on the wall of my bedroom. It read, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15, KJV).
The Greek word for “rightly dividing” literally means to “cut straight” with the implication of interpreting Scripture accurately. The English Standard Version translates the phrase as “rightly handling the word of truth.”
Over the many years, I have observed that much doctrinal error has arisen because of a failure to heed the instruction Paul gives us in 2 Timothy 2:15. Many fail to handle Scripture accurately because they do not make proper distinctions in their interpretation of it. They do this by either ignoring the overall context of a passage, failing to recognize the audience to whom the author is addressing, ignoring the dispensation to which the text refers, or by way of all of the above. As a result, they fall short of accurately handling God’s Word; they do not cut a straight path through it as prescribed by 2 Timothy 2:15.
Here are some examples of how teachers combine biblical teachings that Scripture separates.
THE COMBINING OF THE CHURCH’S MISSION WITH ITS HOPE
If you attend a Bible-believing church, you will likely hear at least one sermon each year on the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). There’s nothing wrong in emphasizing our task as believers to proclaim the Gospel and then bring the saints to maturity through the teaching of God’s Word. The problem is that so many churches emphasize the Great Commission while remaining silent on biblical texts pertaining to our “blessed hope.”
This silence leads to another dilemma in the church; it happens when teachers and pastors confuse or even combine the mission of the church with its hope. The prime example of this is C. Porter Wagner. During his life he authored eighty books and served as the Professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary's School of World Missions until his retirement in 2001. Sadly, he promoted the false teaching of Dominion Theology, which teaches that the church will succeed in bringing the entire world to faith in Christ and by itself bring in the millennium before Jesus returns to earth. I wrote about this doctrinal error in an earlier post, The Five Dangerous Errors of the New Apostolic Reformation.
Wagner impacted a great many churches during his lifetime, even those that reject his end times theology. In many cases, they have unwittingly combined the mission of the church with its hope. We see this when teachers take verses that refer to the millennium and apply them to the future success of missionary efforts. A prime example of this is Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, / as the water cover the sea.” This total covering of the planet with the Lord’s glory happens during Jesus’ reign over the nations, not during the church age. The same is true of Psalm 46:10, which also refers to the millennium rather than missionary efforts in our current day,
Some also error by making Daniel 2:44 a reference to the church age instead of the beginning of the millennium where it belongs. This confusion carries with it the errant implication that the church is God’s future kingdom that strikes down the kingdoms of the world with the spread of the Gospel. They wrongly see the fulfillment of Daniel 2:44 as taking place on the Day of Pentecost.
Please know that I strongly support home and foreign missions and have done so all my life. Missionaries have had a profound and lasting impact on me. Furthermore, in this late hour, it’s imperative that we share the Gospel with as many people as possible. I am not at all suggesting that we ignore the calling of the church to preach the Gospel and teach people the word of God.
However, when the mission of the church becomes its ultimate hope as we see happening today, much doctrinal error ensues and a Gospel devoid of its “blessed hope” tragically becomes the norm rather than the exception.
THE COMBINING OF GOVERNMENT AND INDIVIDUAL SAINT RESPONSIBILITIES
Does the Bible assign identical responsibilities to New Testament saints and those in government authority?
Most evangelicals today would answer “yes” to that question. Many politicians, despite their limited knowledge of Scripture and rejection of its overall message, often quote Bible verses in a manner that assumes God has identical expectations of governments as He does of individual Christians.
God’s Word tells us that the primary role of government during the church age is to punish those who break the law and in so doing protect its citizens (Rom. 13:1-7). God entrusts human governments with the responsibility of keeping its people safe from those who break the law or would cause them harm. Government leaders do so by enforcing laws so that those guilty of breaking its law receive just punishment while those who obey its statutes enjoy their protection (13:4).
National borders do not represent the evil invention of wayward humanity; both sovereign nations and secure borders originate in God’s sovereign purposes plan for humanity (see Acts 17:26). The Lord instituted human governments as well as national borders and He holds those in authority over the various nations responsible for keeping their citizens safe within those borders.
As followers of Christ, we have a much different role than that of the government. Jesus summarized our responsibility in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jesus did not give this command to human government; He gave it to His followers. The same is true of Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan.
The instruction for New Testament saints “to show hospitality to strangers” (Heb. 13:1) does not suggest that governments should welcome those who come into their nation illegally. The leaders of nations have a much, much different responsibility than believers, one that involves protecting it citizens and punishing those who break its laws.
For more information on this confusion of roles between the government and individual saints, click here.
THE COMBINING OF THE CHURCH AND ISRAEL
Replacement theology falsely claims that God rejected the people of Israel when they spurned their Messiah and replaced the nation with the church. Thus, the promises and covenants the Lord made with Israel now find their fulfillment in the church, albeit in a spiritual rather than physical sense.
This highly popular, yet erroneous teaching, fails to distinguish between Israel and the church as does Paul in Romans 11. In the first two verses, the apostle negates the idea that God has rejected Israel. In the rest of the chapter, he explains why the Lord set aside Israel for the time being although many Jews have come to faith and joined the church.
In Romans 11:25-36, Paul prophesies of a time when Israel will return to the Lord, which is also what Zechariah wrote about in 12:10 to 13:1. The key verse is 11:29, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” In Ezekiel 36:22-38, the Lord tells us that Israel’s future restoration vindicates His holiness. For more on this topic, click here.
This is so much more than just a matter of meaningless semantics. Those who miss the distinction between the church and Israel miss all the signs of that we live in the last days of human history and do not understand a key purpose of the tribulation, which is to bring Israel to repentance and salvation. Instead, they interpret the book of Revelation as allegory, which leads to many other errors as well as false hopes for the day in which we live.
THE COMBINING OF THE RAPTURE WITH THE SECOND COMING
During the past two or three decades especially, pastors and teachers have failed to “rightly” divide Scripture by claiming that the Rapture and the Second Coming are the same event. They are not.
The biblical descriptions of the Rapture and Second Coming contain many significant differences that make it impossible to reconcile them into one event. They cannot happen at the same time.
The resurrection of those who have died in Christ confirms that they cannot be the same event. The resurrection of the saints happens first in the event Paul describes in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. With the Second Coming, however, the resurrection of tribulation saints does not occur until after a lengthy sequence of events (Rev. 19:11-20:4), perhaps not until several days later.
This is just one of many distinguishing and significant differences that exist in passages describing the Rapture versus those of the Second Coming.
DO THESE THINGS REALLY MATTER?
“What’s the big deal?” you might be asking at this point, “Are these distinctions really that critical?” I would argue that they are extremely important. Here’s why:
The combining of the church’s mission with its hope has led to the current prominence of the New Apostolic Reformation doctrinal error that falsely teaches that the church will bring the entire world to Jesus and bring in the millennium without Him. The Bible does not teach this; it’s a serious false teaching based on new revelation that contradicts the words of Scripture.
The combining of the government’s responsibility with that of individual believers often arises from the previous error. Once believers regard the mission of the church as its ultimate goal, they soon adopt the posture that those in authority must behave in a manner befitting New Testament saints in order not to hamper the spreading of the Gospel. Those with this posture all too often elevate the perceived behavior of a politician above that of his or her agenda even if it goes against the moral teachings of God’s Word.
The combining of the church with Israel has caused many today to discard biblical prophecies regarding Jesus’ thousand-year reign on the earth, which in turn furthers the placing of the church’s mission over its ultimate hope. Through the use of allegory, amillennialists retrofit interpretations of prophetic passages that are foreign to the intent of the authors. This sadly causes believers to miss the many signs of the last days that abound in our world. They fail to see that the seven-year tribulation is approaching this world at warp speed.
The combining of the Rapture with the Second Coming takes the eyes of believers off the “blessed hope” of the Gospel at a time when the saints sorely needed this focus. This error facilitates hope in earthly outcomes rather than in eternal matters. Beyond that, such confusion does not provide relief from the anxieties created by the perilous times in which we find ourselves.
So yes, these distinctions absolutely matter. The failure to “rightly” divide Scripture in these areas results in an earthbound perspective that tragically divorces our ultimate hope in Jesus’ appearing from the proclamation of the Gospel. These shortcomings lead to a misguided focus on the temporal things of this life versus eternal realities (see 2 Cor. 4:16-18). If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that placing our hope in people or expected outcomes brings much disappointment and even despair.
You see, rightly dividing God’s Word in these key areas not only keeps us from doctrinal error, but it keeps us focused on our hope in Jesus’ soon appearing, which is absolutely essential in an increasingly hostile world running headlong toward the seven-year tribulation.
Iran Turns Gaza Into Storehouse for Weapons - by Khaled Abu Toameh - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17007/iran-gaza-weapons
s many in the international community express more and more concern about the economic and humanitarian crisis in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, the Palestinian terror groups there seem less and less concerned about improving the living conditions of their people.
These groups, specifically Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), are not doing anything to secure vaccines against COVID-19 for the two million Palestinians living under their rule in the Gaza Strip.
Instead, Hamas and PIJ are continuing to do what they have proven themselves experts at doing: prepare for war against Israel and endanger the lives of innocent civilians, Israelis and Palestinians alike.
In preparing for war, the two Iranian-backed groups are manufacturing and smuggling various types of weapons, including rockets and explosive devices, that they plan to use in their attacks on Israel. Instead of storing medicine and vaccines, Hamas and PIJ are busy storing rockets and explosive devices.
The weapons are stored in the homes of Palestinians and public institutions throughout the Gaza Strip, including schools, hospitals and mosques. Hamas and PIJ do not store weapons in their offices and installations because they are afraid of being targeted by Israel. By storing weapons among local civilians, Hamas and PIJ exhibit their total disregard for the lives of their people, who are being used as both cannon-fodder and human shields in a jihad (holy war) against Israel.
Significantly, international human rights organizations and "pro-Palestinian" advocacy groups around the world -- by ignoring the dangerous actions of Hamas and PIJ, not only against Israel, but against Palestinians as well -- are also showing disregard for the safety and lives of the Palestinians.
In the absence of international attention, Hamas and PIJ have turned the Gaza Strip into one big warehouse for stockpiling weapons of all kinds. The Palestinian terror groups that moan about a crippling economic crisis in the Gaza Strip somehow always seem to find enough money to purchase, smuggle or manufacture weapons.
The voices of the international human rights organizations and "pro-Palestinian" activists around the world are also not heard when Palestinians fall victim to the reckless practices of Palestinian terror groups.
Take, for example, the explosion that rocked Bet Hanoun, a Palestinian town in the northern Gaza Strip, the morning of January 23, 2021.
According to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Public Works and Housing, the explosion that occurred inside a house completely destroyed two houses and damaged 100 others.
At least 47 Palestinians, including nine children and 15 women, were wounded in the explosion, according to the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, a Palestinian organization.
The explosion, which Palestinians refer to as an "accident," was caused by weapons that were stored inside a house belonging to a member of PIJ from the Alkafarna family in Beit Hanoun.
Such "accidents" are not uncommon in the Gaza Strip. In 2009, a rocket fired by Palestinian terror groups toward Israel hit a house in the town of Bet Lahiya in the Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinian girls, aged five and 12. In addition, Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups have frequently violated the laws of war by firing rockets from within populated areas.
On January 2, another three children and a woman were injured in another "accident" in the Shajjaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City. The explosion was apparently caused by weapons stored by Palestinian terror groups in a house.
In April 2020, a Palestinian man was killed and three others injured in yet another "accident" in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City. Again, the explosion was apparently caused by weapons belonging to Hamas and PIJ.
Four months later, four PIJ militiamen were killed when a rocket they were handling accidentally exploded east of Gaza City. The militiamen were apparently preparing to fire the rocket into Israel from a residential area in the Gaza Strip.
Most residents of the Gaza Strip are too terrified to criticize the Palestinian terror groups for storing weapons in residential areas. After the Bet Hanoun explosion, however, several Palestinians condemned Hamas and PIJ for endangering the lives of innocent civilians. according to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm:
"Social media users and citizens directed sharp criticisms against the Islamic Jihad for its reckless behavior and its lack of concern for the safety of innocent civilians, due to its concealment and storage of explosive materials in the homes of citizens, which caused many victims in the past."
The newspaper quoted an unidentified witness as saying that the Bet Hanoun explosion occurred inside a house belonging to a family known for its close relations with Hamas and PIJ.
Maysara Alkafarna, a Palestinian who lives in the area where the explosion occurred, took an unusual and brave step by attacking the Palestinian terror groups over their disregard for the safety of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
In a post on Facebook, Alkafarna wrote:
"Until when will this disregard for the lives of people continue? Why should the hearts of an entire neighborhood be killed out of fear and their shouting reach the sky? Isn't it enough that they are already living in hunger and poverty? To our leaders: enough of your carelessness. You have destroyed us. We are not a field for experiments."
The Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, meanwhile, called for an investigation into the explosion. The organization revealed that a three-storey house was completely destroyed, while six adjacent houses were partially damaged, including a school, a youth club and a police station.
"The Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights views the explosion with concern," it said in a statement, adding that similar incidents have taken place in the past in residential areas in the Gaza Strip.
"These incidents violate human rights and international humanitarian law. Al-Mezan reiterates its call for a comprehensive and serious investigation into this incident, and for publishing the results of the investigation and taking the necessary measures to prevent their recurrence."
The explosion in the Gaza Strip occurred as leaders of Hamas, PIJ and other Palestinian factions are expected to meet in Egypt in the coming weeks to discuss preparations for holding new general elections. The Palestinian factions are not scheduled to discuss the consequences of the explosion, mainly because it is seen as an embarrassment for the terror groups that use the homes of civilians to store weapons.
Hamas has already expressed a readiness to participate in the upcoming elections. It is hoping to repeat its victory in the 2006 parliamentary election.
It is important to stress that Hamas is planning to participate in the election while continuing to store weapons in residential areas in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas can rest easy, knowing that the international community does not care if more Palestinians continue to pay the price for "accidents" caused by explosives and rockets stored inside the homes of Palestinians. Had the explosion in Bet Hanoun been caused by Israel, international media outlets would have been falling over themselves to shout about another Israeli "war crime." Perhaps it is time to heed the postings like those of the Alkafarna -- postings that call out the true enemy: Hamas, PIJ, and other Palestinian terrorist groups.
Archaeological ‘Breakthrough’: True Royal Purple Fabric Worn by King Solomon Discovered in South Israel – Judy Siegel-Itzkovich - https://www.israel365news.com/164714/archaeological-breakthrough-true-royal-purple-fabric-worn-by-king-solomon-discovered-in-south-israel/
let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner. Numbers 15:38 (The Israel BibleTM)
What did a fashionable King in Israel wear 3,000 years ago? The color purple as well as red and blue were prominent in their wardrobes.
Four years ago, archaeologists at Tel Aviv University (TAU) discovered reserved pieces of cloth from King David and King Solomon’s time at ancient copper mines in the Timna Valley in Israel’s southern Negev desert that had been colored blue and red with dye from various plants. Thanks to the very dry climate in the area, the colors have been preserved for three millennia.
Now, in a “breakthrough discovery,” the team have found ancient scraps of fabric dyed in true royal purple from shellfish. “The color immediately attracted our attention, but we found it hard to believe we had found true purple from such an ancient era,” said TAU’s Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef. According to the researchers, true purple [argaman in Hebrew] was produced from three species of mollusk native to the Mediterranean Sea – the banded dye-murex (Hexaplex trunculus), the spiny dye-murex (Bolinus brandaris) and the red-mouthed rock-shell (Stramonita haemastoma). The dye was produced from a gland located within the body of the mollusk by means of a complex chemical process that lasted several days.
According to the Song of Songs, King Solomon had a carriage made from wood brought from Lebanon whose seat was upholstered with purple cloth. Now, for the first time, rare evidence has been found confirming this.
While examining the colored textiles from Timna in a study that has lasted several years, the researchers were surprised to find remnants of woven fabric, a tassel and fibers of wool dyed with royal purple.
Direct radiocarbon dating confirms that the finds date from approximately 1,000 BCE, corresponding to the biblical monarchies of David and Solomon in Jerusalem. The dye, which is produced from species of mollusk (shelled animal) found in the Mediterranean, over 300 kilometers from Timna, is often mentioned in the Bible and appears in various Jewish and Christian contexts.
This is the first time that purple-dyed Iron Age textiles have been found in Israel, or indeed throughout the Southern Levant. The research was carried out by Dr. Naama Sukenik from the Israel Antiquities Authority and Ben-Yosef of TAU’s department of archaeology and ancient Near Eastern Cultures, in collaboration with Prof. Zohar Amar, Dr. David Iluz and Dr. Alexander Varvak from BIU and Dr. Orit Shamir from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). The unexpected finds are being published today in the prestigious journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) One under the title “Early evidence of royal purple dyed textile from Timna Valley.”
“This is a very exciting and important discovery,” said Sukenik, the IAA’s curator of organic. “This is the first piece of textile ever found from the time of David and Solomon that is dyed with the prestigious purple dye. In antiquity, purple attire was associated with the nobility, with priests and of course with royalty. The gorgeous shade of the purple, the fact that it does not fade and the difficulty in producing the dye – which is found in minute quantities in the body of mollusks and often cost more than gold – all made it the most highly valued of the dyes. Until the current discovery, we had only encountered mollusk-shell waste and potsherds with patches of dye, which provided evidence of the purple industry in the Iron Age. Now, for the first time, we have direct evidence of the dyed fabrics themselves, preserved for some 3,000 years”.
Ben-Yosef added: “Our archaeological expedition has been excavating continuously at Timna since 2013. As a result of the region’s extremely dry climate, we are also able to recover organic materials such as textile, cords and leather from the Iron Age, from the time of David and Solomon, providing us with a unique glimpse into life in biblical times. If we excavated for another 100 years in Jerusalem, we would not discover textiles from 3,000 years ago. The state of preservation there is exceptional and is paralleled only by that at much later sites such as Masada and the Judean Desert Caves. In recent years, we have been excavating a new site inside Timna known as ‘Slaves’ Hill.’ The name may be misleading, since far from being slaves, the laborers were highly skilled metalworkers. Timna was a production center for copper, the Iron Age equivalent of modern-day oil. Copper smelting required advanced metallurgical understanding that was a guarded secret, and those who held this knowledge were the ‘hi-Tech’ experts of the time. Slaves’ Hill is the largest copper-smelting site in the valley and it is filled with piles of industrial waste such as slag from the smelting furnaces. One of these heaps yielded three scraps of colored cloth. The color immediately attracted our attention, but we found it hard to believe that we had found true purple from such an ancient period.”
Today, most scholars agree that the two precious dyes, purple [argaman] and light blue, or azure [techelet] were produced from the purple-dye mollusk under different conditions of exposure to light. When exposed to light, azure is obtained, and without light exposure, a purple hue is obtained. These colors are often mentioned together in the ancient sources, and both have symbolic and religious significance to this day. The Temple priests, David and Solomon, and Jesus of Nazareth are all described as having worn clothing colored with purple.
The analytical tests conducted at BIU’s labs, together with dyes that were reconstructed by Amar and Sukenik, can identify the species used to dye the Timna textiles and the desired colors. In order to reconstruct the mollusk dyeing process, Amar traveled to Italy where he cracked thousands of mollusks (eaten today by Italians) and produced raw material from their dye glands that was used in hundreds of attempts to reconstruct ancient dyeing. “The practical work took us back thousands of years,” said Amar, “and it has allowed us to better understand obscure historical sources associated with the precious colors of azure and purple.”
The dye was identified with an advanced analytical instrument that indicated the presence of unique dye molecules, originating only in certain species of mollusk. “Most of the colored textiles found at Timna, and in archaeological research in general, were dyed using various plant-based dyes that were readily available and easier to dye with,” said Sukenik. The use of animal-based dyes is regarded as much more prestigious, and served as an important indicator for the wearer’s high economic and social status. The remnants of the purple-dyed cloth we found are not only the most ancient in Israel, but in the Southern Levant in general. We also believe that we have succeeded in identifying the double-dyeing method in one of the fragments, in which two species of mollusk were used in a sophisticated way to enrich the dye. This technology is described by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder, from the first century CE, and the dye it produced was considered the most prestigious.”
Ben-Yosef identified the copper-production center at Timna as part of the biblical Kingdom of Edom, which bordered the Kingdom of Israel to the south. The dramatic finds should revolutionize our concepts of nomadic societies in the Iron Age, he said. “The new finds reinforce our assumption that there was an elite at Timna, attesting to a stratified society. In addition, since the mollusks are indigenous to the Mediterranean, this society obviously maintained trade relations with other peoples who lived on the coastal plain. However, we do not have evidence of any permanent settlements in the Edomite territory. The Edomite Kingdom was a kingdom of nomads in the early Iron Age. When we think of nomads, it is difficult for us to free ourselves from comparisons with contemporary Bedouins, and we therefore find it hard to imagine kings without magnificent stone palaces and walled cities.”
Yet in certain circumstances, he continued, “nomads can also create a complex socio-political structure, one that the biblical writers could identify as a kingdom. Of course, this whole debate has repercussions for our understanding of Jerusalem in the same period. We know that the Tribes of Israel were originally nomadic and that the process of settlement was gradual and prolonged. Archaeologists are looking for King David’s palace. However, David may not have expressed his wealth in splendid buildings, but with objects more suited to a nomadic heritage such as textiles and artifacts.”
“It is wrong to assume that if no grand buildings and fortresses have been found, then biblical descriptions of the United Monarchy in Jerusalem must be literary fiction,” concluded Ben-Yosef. “Our new research has showed us that even without such buildings, there were kings in our region who ruled over complex societies, formed alliances and trade relations, and waged war on each other. The wealth of a nomadic society was not measured in palaces and monuments made of stone but in things that were no less valued in the ancient world – such as the copper produced at Timna and the purple dye that was traded with its copper smelters.”
Water Walking - By Hal Lindsey - https://www.hallindsey.com/ww-1-28-2021/
Never confuse planet earth with heaven. This is not the end-all, be-all of our existence. It’s just the beginning. But at the same time, don’t think of earth as God-forsaken. God is not only interested in our lives, He is active in them. He longs for us to reach out to Him in faith no matter what circumstances we face.
You’ve probably heard the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. There was a festival-like atmosphere as the bread and fish kept being broken and handed out to everyone there. It was such a glorious day, some people wanted to make Him king right then and there. The Bible says Jesus “immediately” instructed His disciples to get in a boat and go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. He stayed behind to send the crowds home and spend some time alone in prayer.
The Sea of Galilee is known for the sudden rise of violent storms. That night a powerful wind whipped up the waves around the disciples’ boat. They found themselves fighting for their lives. Then, a little after 3 AM, something even scarier happened to them. They saw what appeared to be an apparition moving through the mist across the water. One of them cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
But it wasn’t a ghost. It was Jesus walking on the shifting waters of the stormy sea. He called to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said, “Lord, if that’s really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus answered, “Come.”
Peter did it. He stepped out of the boat and onto the waters, moving toward Jesus. But then Peter’s focus shifted. Matthew 14:30-32 says, “But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind stopped.”
You might think Peter did okay. He didn’t go far, but for a moment, he actually walked on water. That’s more than the others. They had stayed in the boat. Why did Jesus rebuke him?
The answer is that Jesus stood there on the water knowing something that’s hard for us to fathom — “With God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27).
Jesus longs for each one of us to look to Him and believe. Maybe a storm is rising. And maybe you don’t even feel like you have a boat. But in Mark 9:23, Jesus said, “All things are possible to him who believes.”
These are difficult days for many. But no matter the circumstances, God is still God. Keep your eyes on Him.
Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Hair on Fire – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
My parents had a lot of really great friends. Our families were together so often that us kids were like brothers and sisters and the adults were our parents. These were friends that mom and dad had since they were children. They all grew up in the same farm area, and most remained there until they went home to be with the Lord. Warren and Sue McCarthy, Betty and Gene Flynn, Lloyd and Sue Pardee, and several others were regulars at the farm on the weekends. Often, we would have large meals together on Sunday and the afternoon was spent in a food coma with Gene and dad sacked out on our living room couches snoring away, while others visited and played. We also had many adventures, some good, some not.
We often went to Cook Forest, a state park in Northwestern Pennsylvania, for weekend camping trips. Packing for these trips was a great affair—making sure we had all our supplies, sleeping bags, saws, hatchets and axes for firewood, and lots of hot dogs, hamburgers, and marshmallows to cook on those wonderful, smokey campfires. Once there, we would find an appropriate camp site and begin the unpacking. A lot of packing and unpacking. It was still quite the wilderness there in the 1950s-60s. Primitive outhouses, hand pumps for water, Smokey the Bear signs. We had to make sure the food was secure at night because racoons and bear would be snooping around for whatever goodies they could get. If food wasn’t secure, at daybreak the camp would look like a war zone of leftovers strewn about and trailing into the forest.
One particular camping expedition, however, was particularly difficult. We were setting up camp, and of course, I wanted to help. So Dad sent me into Warren’s pickup truck to fetch a hammer out of the back. I was climbing around trying to find the hammer when I slipped and landed on the teeth of a large two-man saw. The saw tooth had went deep into the inside of my thigh. I was bleeding and we were too far away from any civilization to drive me to a doctor, so Sue used some bandages and tape to apply pressure and stop the bleeding. Never did get it checked and to this day I have a 1” X 1” scar that looks incredibly like an old saw tooth. But that was just the beginning omen of this ill-fated trip.
The Flynns’ were styling. They had a small camping trailer. We were all sitting around the table in that camper one night and the kerosene lantern wasn’t working right. Dad was pumping it, and in a flash, it exploded catching the trailer on fire. Amid the commotion, Dad picked me up by my hair, which had caught on fire, and threw me out the door and I hit the ground and kept running. And even though his arm was on fire, he made sure everyone else was out before he emerged from the smoldering remains of the camper. It was a trip to forget, but we all remember it. Gave new meaning to Acts 2:3: “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” I have no doubt, though, that the Holy Spirit was guiding Dad’s quick actions, the night I ran like my hair was on fire—because it was.
Daily Devotion: The Debt We Couldn’t Pay - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. —Ephesians 4:32
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/the-debt-we-couldnt-pay/ - Listen
One day Simon Peter went to Jesus and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21 NKJV).
Maybe Peter wanted to impress the Lord with his willingness to forgive. He probably thought Jesus would say, “Seven times! Let’s give Peter a round of applause. That is incredible! I can’t believe you with your forgiving attitude!”
But Jesus essentially said, “Seven times? I was thinking of 70 times seven.”
Was Jesus saying that we could forgive someone up to 490 times, and then on the 491st offense, we could nail them to the wall?
No. Jesus was advocating unlimited forgiveness. He was saying, “You forgive them over and over again.”
Jesus then went on to tell a story about a king who decided to collect what his servants owed him. But one of the servants who owed him a significant amount couldn’t pay the debt. So the king ordered that the servant, his wife, his children, and everything he had must be sold to pay the debt.
But the desperate servant threw himself down before the king and begged for mercy. The king, feeling sorry for this man, decided to immediately erase the entire debt.
Then Jesus continued with the story: “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. . . . He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full” (Matthew 18:28, 30 NLT).
When the king heard about what happened, he threw the unforgiving servant into prison until he paid the king everything he owed.
God has forgiven us of the most enormous debt imaginable: all of our sins. Therefore, if God has done that for us; then surely, we can extend that same forgiveness to others.
It’s only reasonable that we who are forgiven should also forgive.
FROM THE HEART
IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED THROUGH THIS MINISTRY, THEN WE ASK THAT YOU WOULD PLEASE REMEMBER PROPHECY UPDATE IN YOUR GIVING - WE ARE TRULY, TRULY, THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Prophecy Update has no corporate sponsors. This ministry is paid for and prayed for by readers and supporters. Without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update, Please pray about becoming a monthly supporter - thanks!
If ever there was a time to invest in God's Kingdom, it's now!
What on earth are you doing for Heaven's Sake?
"Share in the Blessings and Rewards that will last Forever!"
"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
1) We need your prayers!- We proclaim the Truth of the Word of God and we are under constant spiritual and sometimes even physical attack.
2) We need your encouragement!- We need to hear from you, let us know how the Lord is blessing you through this ministry so that we can share it with others.
3) We need your input! - If you have a prophetic article or story or if there is a news related item we missed, let us know.
4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
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