Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Daniel's 70 Weeks, Part I: The 12 Tribes of Israel - By Alice Childs -
The 12 Tribes of Israel
Introduction: Bible Reference, Chapter 9
Because Bible Prophecy encompasses such a broad expanse of the Bible (nearly ⅓ of the entire Bible is prophetic in nature), the entire scope of end-times prophecy will be impossible to cover in depth in this venue. Lord willing, what we can attempt to accomplish in this 4-part series will be to look at a broad overview of end times as they relate to Israel as we study, in particular, Daniel chapter 9. We will undertake this study with the hope and prayer that doing so will challenge and spur each one of us to continue our own in-depth study of God's amazing Word.
As we shall see, the Church is never addressed anywhere in the Old Testament. She (the Church), until God's perfect timing, remained a "mystery hidden in God" until such time as God was ready to reveal her. The Church was birthed at Pentecost (see Acts chapter 2) after the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back to Heaven of the risen Lord Jesus.
The passages in the Old Testament that refer to the (as yet) future time of Tribulation all deal with Israel, NOT the Church. Never forget that the Church and Israel are two separate and distinct entities each with their own calling, purpose, and destiny. The Church has never and will never replace Israel, and God has never and will never abandon Israel as His chosen people. God made an unconditional covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and although God "blinded Israel in part" because of her rejection of Jesus as their Messiah, He will NEVER renege on the unconditional covenants that He made between Himself and Abraham.
The Old Testament deals from mid Genesis on, exclusively with the nation of Israel; and although the book of Daniel also addresses the great Gentile world empires that affect the nation of Israel, nevertheless it is ISRAEL - the Jews, who are at the very center of the prophecy given in Daniel 9. We must always remember that from God's point of view everything is Israel-centric, because she is the earthly nation through whom God has chosen to reveal Himself.
The Church, on the other hand (made up of BOTH believing Jews and Gentiles who are born into ONE BODY upon salvation), is NOT an earthly nation but rather members of a Heavenly body (the body and bride of Christ). The Church's inheritance is not of this world. In the end, God will bring all things together for His glory and in His timing; but until the Kingdom Age begins, Israel will retake center stage on earth AFTER the Church will have been removed in the rapture.
Therefore, as we begin our study of Daniel chapter 9, always keep in mind that the focus of this prophecy given to Daniel is specific to "thy (Daniel's) people;" and who were Daniel's people? The Jews.
The incredibly detailed book of Daniel, particularly the 9th chapter, deals with the last seven years of human history under the rule of the fallen cherub Lucifer, who became Satan - the Adversary. The entire 9th chapter deals with God's plans for ISRAEL as given by the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel, who was in captivity in Babylon after the Southern kingdom of Judah had been conquered by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.
So, with this bit of background in mind, let's begin with a study of Daniel's 70 "weeks."
Grab your Bible, a notepad and pen (and maybe a cup of coffee or tea), and let's get ready to dig into one of the most ASTOUNDING prophecies ever given by God - a prophecy given to the prophet Daniel concerning the future and timeline of the people of Israel - the Jews.
Daniel's 70 Weeks, Part 1: The 12 Tribes of Israel
A Short Recap of History:
After the death of King Solomon, what had been (under the reigns of Kings Saul, David, and Solomon) the united kingdom of Israel, the kingdom became divided into two separate kingdoms: Israel was known as the NORTHERN Kingdom. This smaller kingdom still called "Israel" consisted of 10 of the original 12 tribes of the formerly united kingdom of Israel, and Judah, known as the SOUTHERN Kingdom, which consisted of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
ISRAEL (the Northern Kingdom comprised of 10 of the 12 tribes) was captured and carried into captivity by the Assyrians in BC 625.
20 years later, Judah (the Southern Kingdom comprised of the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah), was conquered by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, and Judah's inhabitants were taken captive into Babylon.
**An important note must be made here about the so-called "10 lost tribes of Israel." Many people erroneously speak about how it is impossible to know who is a true Israelite, since after being conquered by the Assyrians the 10 tribes of the Northern Kingdom were "lost" to history. This is simply not true. First of all, God NEVER loses track of anything or anyone.
And second, as we shall see, the Bible itself shows us that God not only knows where the descendants of each of the 12 tribes were then, but He also provided us with clear information on what happened to many of the Jews from the Northern Kingdom. God also knows where the descendants of each tribe are now and who they are. The descendants of the Northern Kingdom are not now, nor have they ever been lost. Here's why:
(1) A portion of all Israelites (Northern Kingdom) out of all the tribes went into Judah at the time of the division of Solomon's Kingdom in BC 975 (2 Chronicles 11:5; & 13-17).
(2) A number of them deserted from Israel to Judah in the days of Asa, the grandson of Northern Israel's king, Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 15:8-9).
(3) 96 years after the 10 Northern tribes of Israel were carried captive to Assyria, King Josiah observed the Passover at Jerusalem (which was located in Judah in the Southern Kingdom), and many were present from the "remnant of Israel" (2 Chronicles 35:17-18).
(4) In BC 605 when Judah was carried captive to Babylon, "many Israelites" were carried away with them.
(5) When the Jews returned to their land in BC 536 AFTER the Babylonian captivity ended, the empires of Babylon and Assyria had become ONE. The remnants of Israel were free to return to Jerusalem and their land, as were the remnants of the two tribes that were Judah - the Southern Kingdom.
The Prophet Ezra tells us that he took with him "some Israelites;" and when the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem was dedicated, they offered sacrifices for THE ENTIRE 12 TRIBES (Ezra 6:16-17).
(6) History says that the 10 Northern tribes of Israel were taken to Assyria, and prophecy says that any of their descendants still there are to be brought out of Assyria (Isaiah 11:11 & 16), the inference being that their descendants are still there among the people of the areas that made up the old empire of Assyria.
(7) ALL 12 TRIBES of Israel (the descendants of BOTH Israel and Judah) are going to play a pivotal role in the not-too-distant future during that time the Bible calls "The Time of Jacob's Trouble," which is also called "Daniel's 70th Week," also known in scripture as "The Day of the Lord." This is the same 7-year time period we know as The Tribulation.
With this vital background knowledge in mind, stay tuned for Part II, which will be the prophecy of the 70 "Weeks" of Years.
Almost Persuaded - Jack Kinsella - www.omegaletter.com
If I were to have to choose the saddest statement in all the Scriptures, it would be that of King Herod Agrippa to the Apostle Paul as recorded in Acts 26:28: ''Almost thou persuades me to be a Christian.''
In 1871, Philip P Bliss attended a service at which the Reverend Brundage concluded his sermon with the words, "he who is almost persuaded is almost saved . . . but to be almost saved is to be entirely lost."
Mr. Bliss was so moved by the thought that he penned the hymn, "Almost Persuaded".
The last verse goes like this:
"Almost persuaded / harvest is past! /Almost persuaded, / doom comes at last! / Almost cannot avail; / Almost is but to fail! / Sad, sad, that bitter wail / Almost, but lost!"
One of the most difficult things in Christian doctrine to get one's head around is the doctrine of the Trinity. We can do so in a general sense, but if you want to test yourself and see if you really understand it, try explaining it to someone else.
Man is created in God's image and after His likeness, so it stands to reason that a Triune God would create a triune man. The difference is that Trinity is the same God in Three Persons, whereas triune man is one person in three parts, body, soul and spirit.
Think of man as existing within three concentric circles. The outer circle is physical; it is the 'soma' or the body. It is the body that has the five senses, sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch.
These five are the gateways to the soul, or 'psyche'. The soul of man is often confused with the spirit, which can raise all kinds of misunderstandings. Every living person has a soul. And every living person has a spirit. But not every living person has a living (or, 'quickened') spirit.
The Apostle Paul explains,
"For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." (Romans 7:9)
Paul isn't speaking of physical death, obviously. He is speaking of spiritual death. Babies are born in God's image, a living spirit and incapable of willful sin.
Obviously, babies are unconcerned with keeping the commandments. But there is a point when a child matures enough to understand the choice between keeping the commandment and feeding one of the body's five senses.
Remember, it is the five senses that serve as gateways to the soul. These are the gateways through which sin makes its entrance.
"And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me." (Romans 7:10-11)
Paul was spiritually alive until he sinned for the first time. Until Paul knew what sin was, he could not sin. And he couldn't know what sin was until he understood right from wrong.
("Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet").
Sin entered into Paul through one of the five gates of his body. But it wasn't sin until it made the transition from the body into the soul. The body's five senses feed the soul's five senses; imagination, conscience, memory, reason and affection.
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
Dividing 'asunder the soul and the spirit' and of the joints and marrow (the body) and discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart (imagination, conscience, memory, reason and affection).
Are you still with me? We've only scratched the surface of man's complexity. The 'natural man' consists of a living body, a living soul and a dead spirit. The natural man is dead in the sense that he is dead to God and therefore incapable of grasping the things of God.
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1st Corinthians 2:14)
Unless and until the spirit of natural man is 'quickened' by the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Gospel is foolishness to him.
The spirit of man (pneuma) is 'quickened' (made alive by regeneration at salvation) when the Holy Spirit takes up residence. It is the spirit of man that provides the spiritual insight, or food for the soul.
When one's spirit is quickened, one gains a whole new set of insights; faith, hope, reverence and the both the ability and the need to worship and pray.
That is not to say that the natural man doesn't aspire towards obtaining the characteristics of the spirit -- the spirit of man longs for these things. We are designed with a God-shaped 'hole in the soul' -- the unregenerate spirit -- where the Holy Spirit belongs.
Since the soul can't help but notice it is incomplete, it is constantly in search of something to fill that empty, aching gap. Some folks fill it with drugs,(imagination) others with sex, (affections) others by replacing God with something else (reason), with false assumptions (conscience) or false experiences (memory).
The five gateways to the soul are as far as these folks get -- for reasons known only to themselves and God, they just can't seem to make it all the way into the inner ring of their soul where their spirit lies dormant.
They are almost persuaded.
King Agrippa believed the prophets, according to Acts 26:27. And so he was aware of Isaiah 53 which taught of the suffering Messiah. Paul preached first the suffering Messiah, then he preached Jesus Christ. "For the King knowest these things," Paul said.
Agrippa knew the prophets and the prophecies. He therefore knew that Christ had fulfilled those referring to His First Advent. Agrippa understood the Gospel as it was presented. He was "almost persuaded" but not quite. Why?
For the same reason that people are almost persuaded today. He didn't want to submit -- he was convinced by his conscience and his sense of reason, but he "wasn't ready." I've heard that excuse before and probably so have you. "I am almost ready, but not yet. But when I am ready I am going to do it right."
What it really means is "I love my sin so much I'm not ready to give it up."
Other people argue they have an intellectual problem with the Bible and so they just cannot believe. They are "almost persuaded" but they cannot accept the Lord. "Maybe later."
'Almost persuaded' is to be entirely (and eternally) lost. And later is always sooner than you think.
The Apostle James writes,
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (Jas 4:14)
In terms of eternity, James tells us, the periods of our individual lives are, in the grand scheme of things, like a puff of smoke.
Eternity is a long time.
By way of analogy, if a sea gull on the West Coast picked up a grain of sand and dropped it on the East Coast, and then came back and repeated the process every ten thousand years, when all the beaches of the West Coast were transplanted to the East Coast, well, that's the first ten MINUTES of eternity.
Jesus told a parable in Luke 12:16-18:
"And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"
You and I, everybody you meet, from the mailman to the guy next to you at work, has an eternal destiny. That destiny is either a joyful existence in the presence of God, or a Christless eternity in the place prepared for the devil and his angels.
And make no mistake about it. Hell is a real place. Jesus referred to it three times as a place where the worm dieth not and the fire is never quenched."
In Luke 16, Jesus tells of Lazarus and the rich man.
"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,"
We've discussed this passage before. Note that Jesus did NOT say, 'Learn the parable of the rich man'. Instead, the Lord was specific when He said 'there WAS a certain rich man.'
Jesus was speaking of a literal event of which He, as God, had specific knowledge. There WAS a certain rich man.
"And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."
Stop there. Note the following from Jesus' account. Before their Pardon was paid for, the righteous dead, like Abraham, Moses, etc, did NOT go directly to heaven, as do Blood-bought Christians of the Church Age.
Instead, they went to Paradise. Jesus did NOT say to the repentant thief, 'this day you will be with Me in Heaven'. He said, 'this day you will be with Me in Paradise.' (Luke 23:43)
Hell was at that time divided in two, one a place of comfort, (Abraham's bosom, or Paradise) the other a place of torment, but both located physically in hell. Note also that the rich man can see Lazarus, that he speaks of literal torment and literal flame.
Abraham explains the division of hell, and why Lazarus cannot come to him:
"And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." (Luke 16:26)
The rich man cries out,
"Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment."
Stop here again.
Note that the rich man remembers his life on earth. As he will for eternity. He remembers his loved ones, and is conscious of their destiny. He begs Abraham to do something, but Abraham simply tells him that "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them."
Now note something EXTREMELY revealing about the exchange. Abraham is Abraham. Lazarus the beggar, is Lazarus.
But the rich man has no name. He has his memories, he has his awareness of his surroundings, he knows the hopelessness of the situation and the only thing he wants more than a drink of water is to save his five brothers.
But HE HAS NO NAME! Why is that so important? Because he doesn't need one. Nobody will ever speak it again. There is no reprieve, no visitors, no hope and no need for a name. To all intents and purposes, he is dead. BUT -- he is eternally aware of it.
Eternally conscious, perpetually lonely, tormented alive, yet dead forever, remembering that one time when you could have escaped the torment.
THAT is what awaits the mailman, or the guy next to you, or your friends or relatives of whom we say, "I'll talk to him when the time is right" or when he says, "I'll think about it. Maybe tomorrow."
Then God says, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee."
It is a terrifying thought.
The facts are these. If heaven is real, then hell is real. If God is real, then Satan is real. The Bible is not a theological smorgasbord where one can pick and choose what to put on their plates and choose to reject other parts as unpalatable. The same Bible that reveals the existence of God and heaven also reveals the existence of Satan, hell and the Lake of Fire.
Despite the best efforts of false teachers to recreate God in their own image, hell is real, and was NOT created initially for man -- it was prepared for Satan and the rebellious angels.
Man was created in God's Image -- that is, with an eternal component that can not die. That existence continues somewhere; either in heaven with God, or eternally separated from God.
There is no third option.
That is why God places such great emphasis on the Great Commission. God knows what hell is really like, and gave His Own Son as a substitute sacrifice so that we could escape its torments.
Every person you see today, whether they are bagging your groceries or changing the oil in your car -- EVERY PERSON -- has an eternal destiny.
They will either spend eternity in unspeakable joy in the presence of the Father in Heaven, or they will spend eternity in equally unspeakable torment, separated from the Father, and remembering the opportunity they squandered to escape their fate.
For those of us that know the truth, that is an awesome thing to contemplate. It rekindles a sense of urgency for the lost. We are the watchmen on the wall.
It is incumbent upon us to be prepared, "and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" (1 Peter 3:15)
The Omega Letter exists -- not necessarily to preach to the lost -- but rather to equip the saved with the knowledge they need to "stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11)
The information in your Omega Letter is not for entertainment. We don't sensationalize events to sell subscriptions. Our goal is to equip the one-on-one evangelist to meet the challenges facing each of us as the clock runs down.
Because it IS running down. And its running down faster than we think. Too many of our family and friends are almost persuaded.
'Almost' isn't good enough.
Nearing Midnight: A Peace Agreement with the Palestinians is Meaningless - Todd Strandberg -
The leaders of the Palestinian Organization have had a series of childish fits in the wake of Trump's decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Palestinian leaders recently voted to suspend recognition of Israel until it reciprocates by recognizing a Palestinian state and recognizing Jerusalem as their capital. Now the Palestinians are saying they will go to the UN Security Council for a statehood vote.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has endless energy when it comes to complaining about Israel. Last week, he went on a 2 Â½ hour rant in which he called for discarding all past agreements with Israel. Abbas' Castro-esque speech was laced with fake history about Israel being a colonial project of the Europeans. He thinks the Palestinians are under constant attack by Israel even though they now live completely walled off from each other.
Abbas doesn't even know how to run a government. The Palestinian Organization is supported by Western and Arab donations. Most of the money is stolen or diverted to the production of tunnels and weapons. The liberal media ignore his support of terrorism and the payment of money to terrorists' families. He called murderers "heroic brothers" when they were released by Israel in 2013 as a condition for restarting peace talks. In December Abbas urged the Organization of the Islamic Conference to reconsider its recognition of Israel.
It has already been proven that Abbas doesn't want to be the responsible leader of a free nation. Under Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, he was offered an independent state in 2008. Abbas didn't take the offer. Instead, he asked to study the maps. Yasser Arafat turned down a similar offer because both men knew that the conflict with Israel is the only way to maintain their power.
There hasn't been an election in the West Bank for 13 years because Abbas knows that Hamas would win the election and then have him killed. He needs Israel for protection. Since most of the jobs come from the Jewish state, the boycott movement is doomed to failure.
When it comes to dealing with the Palestinian problem, liberal Jews are one of Israel's worst enemies. The Soros-family-funded advocacy group, J Street, touts itself as pro-peace and pro-Israel, but it does everything it can to undermine Israel's government. It released this statement on the Abbas speech: "Sunday's speech by President Abbas no doubt reflected his own and the Palestinian people's deep despair at the ever-deepening occupation and the lack of diplomatic progress toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
There is no logical reason for why so many world leaders kiss up to Mahmoud Abbas. The attention given to this buffoon is like if, during the Cold war, we found the closest living member of the Romanov family and declared them to be the legal head of Russian government. Moscow would mock such an effort to undermine the authority of the Communist government. Abbas represents people that don't even have a genetic link to the land they claim. The true Palestinians are Jews from the second and third century.
The Palestinian leader's meeting calendar is always full. Former Secretary of State John Kerry recently paid a visit to urge Abbas to resist President Donald Trump, telling the PA leader to 'stay strong' and 'play for time' - while suggesting he may make a second bid for the White House. I hope he does run on the Democratic ticket. Trump would have a great chance of winning against someone who is only running to solve the problems of a Middle Eastern terrorist organization.
It would be pure folly for Israel to enter into a peace agreement with the Palestinians, but the day will eventually come when its leadership will make such an unbelievable error. The Antichrist will be one of history's most cunning dealmakers. The reason why the peace process has been the longest-running negotiation process in living memory is because spiritual forces are at work to produce the seven-year covenant. We don't know the timing, but it is clear that we are drawing close to the climatic end.
"I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" (John 5:43).
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Daniel 9:27).
God's great promises and why change begins with you - Greg Laurie -
Pastor Greg Laurie shares message of hope for those in desperate times
I read the other day that $5.8 billion in gift cards go unclaimed every year. Think of all that money not utilized. Those gift cards are already paid for. They just need to be cashed in.
The Bible is filled with promises from God that we all too often disregard like unused gift cards. Someone has estimated there are 3,000 promises to believers found in the pages of Scripture. I don't know if that figure is accurate, but I do know there are numerous promises that God has given us in the Bible.
For example, God says we will never be alone in life. In Isaiah 41, the Lord says: "Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand" (verse 10, NLT). And Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV).
God also promises to get us through whatever we're facing. A while back, a young friend of mine had just received a round of chemo treatments and sent me a text asking me to pray that he could keep food down. I texted him my prayer for him. I happened to be writing down this promise from Isaiah at the time, so I included it in my text: "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you" (43:2, NLT).
God is saying: "I will be with you through the rough waters and the fires ... as you're getting your next round of chemo ... as you're facing that crisis ... when your world seems to be unraveling." It is during those times that verses of Scripture like these suddenly become what they've always been: great and precious promises from God. All we have to do is claim them for ourselves. Those gift cards, if you will, are already paid for. We just need to go and redeem them.
Do you have financial needs right now? Here's what God says: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33 NKJV). "All these things" is a reference to an earlier statement Jesus made when he said: "So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs" (verses 31-32, NLT). Jesus was saying: "Put God first. Seek him first, and all these things will be added to you."
In Malachi, God said: "'Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,' says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, 'I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!'" (3:10, NLT). God promises that if we are faithful in our giving to him, he will provide for us. He even says, "Put me to the test on this one." I find that very interesting, because God doesn't say that anywhere else in Scripture.
God also promises to forgive our sins. In 1 John 1:9, we are told, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (NKJV).
Speaking of confessing sin, it's easy to point fingers at everyone else and say they are the problem: It's them. The whole world is against me. I don't know why everyone dislikes me. I don't know why everyone's getting angry at me. They're all so wrong. Do we ever think, however, that it might be us? This comes as a revelation to some of us.
A wife says: "Lord, my marriage is in trouble. This lousy husband - he needs to repent." Or a husband says, "Lord, this ungrateful wife doesn't know how hard I work." Parents say: "These miserable children, Lord. They want so many things. Change them."
But do we ever stop and say, "Lord, change me"?
It's like the little boy who was sent to his room for misbehaving. He told his mom that he had thought it over and said a prayer.
She said: "Very good. You should pray that God will help you not to misbehave."
"Oh, I didn't ask God to help me not to misbehave," he replied. "I asked him to help you put up with me."
Sometimes we are always praying for someone else to change, but what about us? It starts with us.
I heard about two friends who had never flown before. They were afraid of jets, so they found a propeller plane that would be going where they wanted to go. They took their seats and were a little nervous as the plane taxied down the runway and took off. All of a sudden, they heard a loud noise. One of them looked out the window and saw that the engine on the other side of the plane had stopped. She turned to her friend and asked, "What do we do?"
Her friend replied: "I wouldn't worry about. That's on their side of the plane."
It's very easy to say, "If they would do this, then everything would be better." Maybe. But we can't control them, so let's just start with us.
We say our nation needs a spiritual awakening. True. We say the church needs a revival. Again, true. But revival starts with you. Revival is personal. Yes, it's good to pray for someone else to change, but pray that God will change you. Prayer does change things, but it's also true that prayer changes you. And sometimes prayer changes you and then you change things. Are you being the person God wants you to be? You can be the one who brings change. You can be the one who will make a difference.
Daily Jot: Christian Cliches' - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
I just returned last night from the Super Bowl where my focus was using the sport of football to teach leadership and character. Many have no idea the huge number of professional football players who are Christians and have an influence on this game. Yes, you hear about the disgruntled and the arrests, but rarely do you hear about the JJ Watts types of players who raise millions for charity and actually are the boots on the ground backing up the good work they are doing in their communities. Executive VP of NFL Football Operations Troy Vincent spotlights these men in a weekly Facebook and Twitter feed called Service Saturdays, if you are interested. But there is more to this. It's about overcoming evil with good.
Romans 12:29 instructs: "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Some translations say "conquer evil with good." Many Christians question why we should be concerned about government or organizations like the NFL when it doesn't appear to align with certain values. "Don't you believe that God is in control," is the question asked, or "Haven't you ever read Romans 13?" Yes, and its probably one of the most wrongly translated chapters of the Bible from the context that if God is sovereign and in control of all things, Christians don't have to concern themselves with the worldly aspect of governments or influential organizations. These kinds of Christian clichÃ©s wrongly leave the impression that our world is so ordered by God that we don't have to worry about living out our lives or fighting against evil when we see it.
This is not an "either/or" situation, but rather "both/and." God is in control AND Christians must act. Let me use a football analogy. The head coach has control of the team. The coach provides for the players. He gives them the playbook instructing them how to play the game. He has strong suggestions about off-the-field character and will discipline those who don't comply. On game day, his players must execute the plan to be successful. Players make mistakes, but Coach loves them and exhorts them to do better. A player may not match up well and could be harmed or harm the team. Coach intervenes. Coach does his best to protect his players from unnecessary risk and to see that they win. But players have to make choices and play the game. There are consequences to their decisions that impact them personally and the team.
God gives us the playbook through both his WORD and the Holy Spirit. It is up to us to live it out. Sometimes he intervenes to protect us or to teach us. He is sovereign and is in control. He also works through his people. How many times are we reminded to be salt and light, to overcome evil, to stand against the wiles of the devil, to make disciples, and so on? Without the light of Christ as carried by each of us, the world is a dark place. Without the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the world is a dying place. It is you, the vessel, who carries out God's plan here on earth. Just as the coach is in charge and depends on his players, God is sovereign and depends on you. This is not a clichÃ©, it is truth. That's why we concern ourselves with government, organizations, people and the world around us in general.
Daily Devotion: Make the Right Choice - By Greg Laurie -
It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. -Hebrews 9:27
What if your life ended today? What kind of legacy would you leave? What would you be remembered for? It isn't too late to change.
I read an article about an opera singer who didn't realize how prophetic his words actually were. Richard Versailles was a tenor with the Metropolitan Opera, and during a performance, he climbed a ladder as he sang the words "too bad you can only live so long." Suddenly he froze and fell to the ground. The production was stopped immediately, and he was rushed to the hospital. Soon after his arrival, he was declared dead. He didn't realize those would be his last.
For every one of us, there will be those last words, that last breath. It doesn't matter whether you are someone famous or someone unknown. Everyone will have that final breath. What if it were yours today? Where would you spend eternity?
The Bible says, "It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). There are no second chances after death. But there are thousands, maybe even millions, before. Once you die, that's it. There is no opportunity to try to work it out. It will be too late then. You determine, before you die, where you will spend eternity. That is when you decide.
Today you are living one of two ways. You are either living the right way or the wrong way. You are either on the narrow road that leads to life or on the broad way that leads to destruction. You are either living the happy Christian life, the joyful life, the life with purpose and meaning, or you are living the miserable, empty life separated from God. The ultimate destination is Heaven or Hell. You decide where you will go.
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
Prophecy Update is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt - non-profit organization, and all your donations are tax deductible.
If you have been blessed by Prophecy Update and would like to help support this ministry financially. You can make a secure donation online by going to:
Or Visit our website:
Or write us at:
P.O. Box 40516
Bakersfield, CA 93384-0516