Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Who is Jesus Christ? - Pastor Mike Taylor -
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:1-5)
That is the question. Who is this man Jesus Christ and what was He? Was He a mere man, a good teacher, a prophet, or something much more than all of that, or was He God in the flesh? Of all the names that you could mention, there is not one person on this earth that does not know the Name that is above every name. Many men and women have been introduced to the Son of God and many have believed on His Name, but on the flip side of the coin, there are many who are blinded by the adversary, Satan the devil which in the long run, they are not willing to give up their sinful lifestyle.
I was reading an article that spoke of Paul speaking to King Herod Agrippa, which proclaimed to the Apostle Paul as recorded in Acts 26:28: ''Almost thou persuades me to be a Christian.'' If I were to have to choose the saddest statement in all the Scriptures, it would be this statement. Many men down through the ages have come to the same conclusion, because they didn't want to give up power, worldly glory, fame, or the riches of this world. They refused the Holy Spirit drawing them, and in the final analysis, this is the one sin that will not be forgiven of mankind. They have blasphemed the calling of the Holy Spirit and rejected Jesus Christ as Savior.
History records in several documents of the real life of One, Jesus Christ. Josephus, the Roman historian told of the life and death by crucifixion of this man condemned by Pontius Pilate and believed by many to have been brought back to life. That is the secular versions that proclaim the humanity of our Lord, and there are many besides the one mentioned, but the Holy Bible is what to many who believe in this Name and to me and others like me, is the final authority of who this God/man truly was. The whole of the Bible testifies of the coming Messiah and is God's love letter to the world. When Jesus was on earth, He spoke of that very fact.
39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." (John 5:39-40)
If you search the scriptures you will find that Jesus fulfilled 353 different prophecies concerning His coming to the earth at this appointed time, that the Pharisees and Jewish authorities knew full well that it was the season of His appearing, but they didn't recognize Him, as He stood right in front of them. What are some of the scriptures that told of His coming?
"Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me" (Psalm 40:7).
"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10).
"...all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Jesus Christ, Luke 24:44).
"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." (Jesus Christ, Luke 24:27).
"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me." (Jesus Christ, John 5:46).
"To Him give all the prophets witness" (Acts 10:43).
Those verses are on the website that chronicles the 353 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled on this URL as I list them here, as they are too numerous to post in this message:
Scientifically speaking, what are the possibilities of one man completing all of the prophecies, let alone 8 of them? The mathematical computation is beyond the power of the mind to comprehend.
Professor of mathematics Peter Stoner gave 600 students a math probability problem that would determine the odds for one person fulfilling eight specific prophecies. (This is not the same as flipping a coin eight times in a row and getting heads each time.) First the students calculated the odds of one person fulfilling all the conditions of one specific prophecy, such as being betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver. Then the students did their best to estimate the odds for all of the eight prophecies combined.
The students calculated that the odds against one person fulfilling all eight prophecies are astronomical-one in ten to the 21st power (1021). That's 10 with 21 zeros after it...and that is for only 8, what do you think the amount of zeros of a number to fulfill all 353 of these prophecies? Are there that many zeros? Can the number even be understood?
JESUS REJECTED AS THEIR MESSIAH? WHY?
The Old Testament is full of the Words proclaiming the coming of the Messiah, so why did not the Jewish authorities believe in Him? Because He did not fit their image of what they were looking for. They were looking for a Warrior King, much like King David who would rid them of Roman oppression and free them to the glory days of King Solomon. They didn't think they needed a Spiritual Savior, as they believed the Law and Moses was enough. They believed they needed a physical savior, and Jesus didn't fit their preconceived notions.
But Jesus had a mission that was ordained before the foundation of the world. This was God's purpose all along. Jesus was to be the perfect sacrifice, as a Lamb of God, completely without blemish to cover the sins of the people with One death, and One resurrection to life. Jesus came to live among us for the sole purpose that His death would give those who believed on Him, life eternal.
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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He 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.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." (John 3:16-20)
The bible is full of references to the deity and the mission of our Lord to save this God forsaken world, that could not save themselves, no matter how good a man might be. Let us quote just a few of them that speak of what Jesus did for us.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." (Romans 1:16 )
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2nd Corinthians 5:21)
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." (Acts 16:30-31)
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
That is but a few of the numerous scriptures that speak of Who this man was, and that He was God in the flesh, who came in the image of the Father in heaven, and died a most gruesome death to satisfy the justice of God that through Jesus being the substitute payment for the sins of the world, we might find reconciliation back to the Father God.
JESUS, THE SECOND ADAM FROM ABOVE
Jesus was unique, as Adam being the first man who failed, Jesus was the second Adam who would not fail. As Paul spoke of Him in his epistles.
20 "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." (1st Corinthians 15:20-23)
Jesus died for the whole world, but if He had not risen, then we would still be in our sins. For the resurrection of our Lord was a promise of our future glorification that would be revealed at His coming for the Church of the Living God.
Upon the resurrection of our Lord to life, He became a new man, not like Adam in the flesh, but new in every way.
All through the Old Testament there are scriptures that prove that man was made in the image of God, but beginning with the New Testament, the image of God makes a very decided shift. Jesus the second Adam, the man from Heaven, (as the Bible calls Him) or as John said "the eternal Word, is in the image of God in the flesh. Not mankind in general.
Now get this, for lack of a better word, Jesus was a "prototype". He was a full, functioning form of a NEW type. This is what I mean by a shift in emphasis of what man is to become. Jesus was the first, the example of becoming the image of God. Jesus was the prototype, the goal of our redemption, our salvation and our glorification. This is the final goal of born again man
"And have put on the new man, who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (meaning us, man). (Colossians 3:10)
This points to that the NEW man in not just in the image of God, or just a general picture of God, as man was formed to look like, but specifically to be formed into the image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He, Jesus, becomes the goal of the redeemed man, unto salvation.
"Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (1ST John 3:2)
Now putting on the characteristics of this evil world requires no special skill. Just blend in, do what is popular, or go along with the crowd, and you'll take on the characteristics of this lost and dying world. It is virtually effortless. But to put on Christ requires diligence, work, prayer, communion with God, and power from His Holy Spirit. We can't do it alone. Satan would have us for lunch.
As we are being brought to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are seen in the New Testament as the created work of God. It is stated in a number of different ways, as those in Christ are a new creation.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new." (II Corinthians 5:17)
God has a desire for the work of His hands. Scripture says that we are His workmanship; He is the potter, we are the clay. We are being renewed in the spirit of our mind. We are being created through Christ Jesus unto righteousness and true holiness.
"Therefore leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go onto perfection: not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, but of faith toward God.' (Hebrews 6:1)
The implication is that sanctification after being justified by the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is a creative process of character building. This is a process which begins with repentance and being baptized, and ends with our glorification at His return for His saints at His coming for His bride and beyond. It is a process of completion, a process of perfection. It is a process of being sanctified unto good works according to His commandments. That's what I mean when I say it is a process of character building. Each of these is synonymous with each other.
"For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren", (Hebrews 2:10-11)
Moving down, "In as much then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same: that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14)
"Therefore in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation (atonement) for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted." (Hebrews 2:17-18)
Now the key for you and me in this passage is the word "author" in verse 10. In the KJV, it is translated as "captain". It's the word "Achegos" from Greek. It is translated variously as captain, pioneer, trailblazer, or founder/author. The ultimate meaning of various translations of this one word is that something is begun by someone, so that others may enter into it. Christ is our "achegos". He is the trailblazer, pioneer, founder, and captain of our ship.
Now let's look at the exciting part. He was the trailblazer, the pioneer and the founder who began a work and blazed a trail that we might enter into His salvation. He set the pattern that we might enter in. He entered into a family once again that we might also enter that family by following Him, the Family of Almighty God. In this He was perfected. He was made complete by completing His work here on earth, that He could fulfill the role as our Savior and our High Priest. He was fully able to pioneer the road that leads to our salvation. Now the whole reason for all of this, why He became a man, taking on human traits, and fully sharing in our humanity was for Him to able to bring many sons and daughters into glory by following His trail. Paul wrote of it in one of most favorite chapter. Romans 8:
8:18 "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
END OF THIS AGE IS NEAR
God has completed His work of salvation. Jesus has been the source of our salvation now nearly 2000 years, but God's patience will not always allow man to rebel against Him. God is Love, yes that is true, but God is also a God of justice, judgment, and a consuming fire.
25 "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:25-29)
If you are a follower of my sermons, then you have read where I just finished the book of Revelation, that shows that the coming of our Lord is very close, right at the door. When God releases His Divine, righteous wrath on this earth, then the suffering Messiah that Isaiah spoke of in chapter 53, will no longer be a meek, suffering Lamb of God, but will take vengeance on this earth as a roaring Lion of the tribe of Judah, who comes to devour the adversary.
SEEK THE TRUTH IN GOD'S WORD
Few people today desire the truth. I used to believe that people were just ignorant, and if they could only hear the truth of God's Word they'd repent and get saved. Not always true, as men have their own freewill. The truth is that most people are willingly ignorant of the truth, because of the wickedness of their heart (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus stated in Mark 7:9...
"Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."
You see, most religious people have churchianity without Christianity. They deliberately reject the truth of God's Word, following man's religious traditions instead. Romans 1:18 states,
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness."
Lost sinners have the truth, but they refuse to obey God's Word. Romans 1:20 tells us,
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."
There are no excuses!!!
God our Lord Jesus Christ will come and take vengeance on the whole of mankind that are left on this earth, save those who finally believe from the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish Evangelist, and the two witnesses preaching at the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, but their existence will be full of sorrow, pain and misery. Most likely those who accept Jesus will die a martyrs death, as the scripture speaks of being beheaded, but that is most likely the most quick form of death. Evil men can dream up many different ways to torture a soul to conform to their wishes, and all who do and accept this coming Mark of the Beast will be doomed for all eternity. Read my messages on Revelation on my blog and you will get a taste of the untold horror that is just around the bend, just out of site but closer than anyone believes or thinks is true. Jesus comes back in Revelation 19 and slays the bulk of what is left of humanity with just the Word of His mouth. This same mouth who created the worlds, will make short order of the destruction of His enemies.
11 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." (Revelation 19:11-15)
Jesus is coming my friend, to remove those who belong to Him, His bride who has made herself ready for His return. Those who are in darkness, will most likely stay in darkness. Only a remnant of the billions left on earth will find Jesus in this horrific time, known as Jacob's trouble, or most popularly called the "Tribulation and the Great Tribulation" of a coming 7 years of literal hell on earth.
My Lord is gentle, loving and kind, but His patience is about to come to a screeching halt and those who hear of millions of people suddenly vanishing off this planet will have no explanation, save the one they have been told all their lives, and they just would not believe it. If you are reading this now, and that event has happened, do you believe it now? Sorry to say, this God/man, Jesus Christ is as close as you believing in your heart and in your mind that Jesus is the Son of God who took away the sins of the world, to all who come to Him in faith through grace. We don't deserve it, I don't deserve it, and you don't deserve it, but Jesus did what no other man in the history of this world ever did.
6" For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." (Romans 5:6-11)
Jesus died for all mankind, for those who hear the call of His Holy Spirit, but some day soon, and I pray you are not reading this and that day has come, our Lord Jesus will come and take those who belong to Him, as the Bible calls the "Harpazo", or the removal of objects from one place to another, by force...Paul spoke is most dramatically.
51 "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
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.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1st Corinthians 15:51-55)
Jesus calls all who will embrace His plea, as God doesn't want anyone to perish.
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. " (2nd Peter 3:9)
But on the flip side of this same Jesus, this same God who is not willing to have anyone perish, is a God of vengeance and a God of judgment. He will come to take fiery retribution against His adversaries...You have to decide which Jesus you want to come face to face with. Your choice, Jesus the Savior of your soul, or Jesus your Supreme Judge to exile you to outer darkness, where the worm dieth not, and there is gnashing of teeth. I know that is a graphic picture, but that is the eternal fate of those who do not take this God/man Jesus Christ as their personal Savior..I have given you multiple scriptures that point to how to come to Jesus in humility and repentance of your sins. I implore by the Name of the Everylasting God, Jesus Christ, make that decision for the only Way to heaven, the only Door to eternal life, my Jesus...and I pray will be your Jesus as well..
This is pastor Mike Taylor, pray for your salvation and believing by faith through His grace and mercy, so you may join us in heavens realm. If you need prayer , counseling, or just a friendly, listening ear, email me at email@example.com , God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Erdogan, Pope Form Unholy, Anti-Trump Alliance to Control Jerusalem - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"So Esau went unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives that he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Avraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife." Genesis 28:9 (The Israel Bible™)
A meeting on Monday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Pope Francis may have grave implications for Jerusalem as both leaders appear to be building an agenda based upon their joint opposition to US President Donald Trump's recognition of the city as Israel's capital.
The meeting, which took place at the Vatican, was already significant in that it was the first visit by a Turkish head of state since diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Turkey were established in 1960. However, a statement released by the Vatican says that both leaders also used the occasion to discuss the "the status of Jerusalem, highlighting the need to promote peace and stability in the region (Middle East) through dialogue and negotiation, with respect for human rights and international law."
Both Erdogan and Pope Francis are opposed to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Erdogan responded to the move by calling for an emergency meeting of the OIC. The summit, held in Istanbul, declared "East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine" and called upon "all countries to recognize the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital."
The OIC also declared Trump's decision "null and void legally" and "a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts" that would give impetus to "extremism and terrorism."
Erdogan, who spoke by phone with the pope at the time expressing his concerns over Jerusalem, called upon the Vatican in Monday's meeting to help Turkey and the Muslim world "preserve Jerusalem's status."
"We need to work together to preserve Jerusalem's status," he said to Pope Francis. "The messages you will convey to the Catholic world on this are important," Erdogan said, emphasizing that both leaders had agreed to continue joint efforts.
Turkey currently holds the presidency of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a coalition of 57 Muslim states. Islam is currently the second largest religion in the world with 1.6 billion followers, and an alliance between Catholicism, which has 1.2 billion adherents worldwide could very well make a formidable force for advancing an anti-Israel agenda concerning Jerusalem. Moreover, Though the Vatican has enormous influence internationally, it has no military. This deficiency could be offset by an alliance with Turkey which has the largest military in the region.
Prolific end-of-days author and educator, Rabbi Pinchas Winston noted that an alliance between Catholicism and Islam was predicted as an essential step in the process of Moshiach (Messiah). Rabbi Winston referenced a work that goes into detail on the process of the Messianic Redemption called, Kol Hatur (Cry of the Turtle Dove). It was written in the 18th century by Hillel Rivlin of Shklov, a close disciple of Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, the leading rabbi of the generation known as the Vilna Gaon.
"This meeting doesn't make sense historically or logically since Islam and Catholicism have been at war for a millennium," Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. "It especially doesn't make sense since they fought over Jerusalem throughout the Middle Ages during the Crusades."
"But since we are in the age of Geula (Redemption), they are coming together, precisely as described by the Vilna Gaon."
Rabbi Winston explained that the coming of Moshiach primarily consists of two stages. The return to Israel takes place during the first stage with Moshiach ben Yosef (Messiah from the house of Joseph) and the second stage by Moshiach ben David (Messiah from the house of David).
"Moshaich ben Yosef and Moshiach ben Dovid are described as the shor (bull) and the chamor (donkey) for Moshiach on the side of kedusha (holiness)," he noted. "Their counterparts are Esau and Ishmael who are the shor and chamor from the side of tumah (impurity)."
"Just as the two Messiahs will appear in the end-of-days, Esau, which is represented by the Catholic Church and Ishmael, which is represented by Islam will appear together in the End-of-Days."
Despite their conflict with each other over the timespan of approximately 1,500 years, Ishmael and Esau actually forged an alliance almost 4,000 years ago when the latter married the daughter of the former.
So Esau went unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives that he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Avraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife. Genesis 28:9
Rabbi Winston explained that this unlikely union consisting of two opposing forces will be facilitated by the erev rav (mixed multitude), largely consisting of liberal, left-wing Jews.
"The function of the erev rav is to bring together Esav and Ishmael," he added. "Today, they are the people who object to Israel's connection to Jerusalem. The liberal left should object to Islamic values but they are connecting with Islam and bringing together East and West."
"The Vilna Gaon said that in the end-of-days, there will be a large number of Jews who will take up the cause of Esau and Ishmael at the gates of Jerusalem."
Pope Francis may actually view an Islamic global agenda as being worthy of support. The pope on Monday presented Erdogan with an "angel of peace" on a bronze medallion, that is seen embracing the northern and southern hemispheres while overcoming a dragon.
"This is the angel of peace who strangles the demon of war," the pope told Erdogan as he gave him the medallion. "(It is) a symbol of a world based on peace and justice."
Pope Francis presented Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas with a similar medallion at the Vatican in May 2015. At the time, the pope said that the "angel of peace" was "destroying the bad spirit of war" and praised Abbas for being an "angel of peace."
Nearing Midnight: When These Things... - Terry James -
God's Word lays out, in detail in many instances, how things will be as the time of Christ's Second Advent (Revelation 19:11) nears. We are given specific characteristics of the human condition leading up to the time of Tribulation. This is the time in which this present generation finds itself. We call it the Pre-Tribulation era. We also know it as the Age of Grace, or the Church Age.
As a slight preview of things to come from the James quarter, I'll announce here my next book, presently scheduled to be released March of this year. I say "my" book, but it is also "our" book.
I and my colleague/friends have put together a volume of fourteen chapters by some of the most outstanding writers, broadcasters, speakers and prophecy experts from the Pre-Trib viewpoint. These are colleagues and friends of many years who have combined their Holy Spirit-inspired thoughts and analyses on a most important topic.
It is the first prophetic indicator Jesus, Himself, gave as He sat answering His disciples' question: "What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
Jesus, of course, told them-and us by extension-to not be deceived. He went on to say that great deception and many deceivers will mark the very end of the age.
Our book's title is, therefore, Deceivers: Exposing Evil Seducers and Their Last-Days Deception.
Authors such as Dr. David Reagan, Jan Markell, Dr. Gary Frazier, Gary Stearman, and ten others have combined their talents and insights. They present a truly important work on what is possibly the most discernible signal in view today that we are on the precipice of Christ catching up believers in the Rapture.
Jesus began by forewarning of deceivers. He went through a litany of other signs that would be appearing as the wind-up of the age drew to a close. He then went into what the Tribulation itself would be like, explaining in considerable detail in some parts of the Olivet Discourse. A little later, He folded back into the mix things to come. He gave how prophecy would shape up and lead to that exact moment when He would say to the Church, "Come up here!"
That moment of Rapture will happen, I'm convinced-as I have alluded to on many occasions-when things become like they were in the days of Noah and of Lot (Matthew 24:36-42, Luke 17:26-30). The Lord included in all of this that there will be wars and rumors of war. The nations will be in distress with perplexity. The seas of people will be in a state of constant unrest.
Yet, this greatest of all prophets-because He is the very Creator of all that is-said that at the same time things are building toward the climax of the age, people will be conducting life in an economical uptick. They will be buying, selling, planting, building-doing all the things that are indicative of prosperity.
Folks, with the advent of the Trump presidency, we are, it seems to me, at the very point Jesus said the generation will be that will experience His next catastrophic intervention into the affairs of fallen mankind. The national and world economies are poised for boom, according to most every indicator. Even the mainstream media is beginning to very reluctantly concede this fact. It wants to give credit for it starting with President Obama, not with the actions of Donald Trump. Regardless, the media is reluctantly beginning to admit that America and much of the world are headed into an unexpected boom. This is exactly the condition the Lord prophesied will be prevalent at the time of Rapture, the way yours truly reads it.
The fact that deception is at the forefront of practically every facet of life today adds fuel to the fires of approaching apocalypse. The apostle Paul's foretelling of how end-times human beings will comport themselves is all the proof we need to point to the deception saturating this generation.
Paul said men (human beings) will be "lovers of themselves."
There are a number of ways deception can be seen in this end-times characteristic. I point to only one. Forgive me, Facebook fans, but a vast number who use the various social media spend time lying about who they are, their achievements, etc.-so much so, that some psychological studies indicate troubling cultural ramifications from the deceiving going on.
Many take "selfies" to add to self-aggrandized perceptions they wish others to form about them. These can be considered "lovers of self" and deceivers.
Paul prophesied that mankind will be "without natural affection."
I've often dissected this characteristic of end-times man as being involved in both homosexuality and abortion. Neither of these characteristics, championed by the progressives of our time, are "normal." Or, I should say these used to be considered abnormal.
We remember the deceivers within this end-times characteristic. The doctors and technicians within Planned Parenthood secretly were shown on hidden cameras to be harvesting organs from these tiny, helpless human beings. They were doing so, in some cases, while the hearts of the unborn were still beating. These are deceivers of first order!
Paul foretold that end-times man will be traitors, heady, and high-minded.
To me, all of this can be seen as wrapped up in these thousands and thousands of emails that are electronic conversations within government agencies talking about trying to disrupt the Trump campaign and the Trump presidency. Those responsible then tried to deceive Congress by telling congressional oversight people that the emails couldn't be found. A deception and a lie.
The 50,000-plus emails have since been found, but not without deep, technological probing and congressional threatening.
One man involved in all of the email intrigue wrote, or was heard saying, that they shouldn't be released because the American people wouldn't understand. This is heady high-mindedness and deception of unbelievable magnitude. These deceivers believe they are far above the average American citizen in knowledge and intelligence as to say what's best and what is not in keeping us ignorant. They are traitorous, heady, and high-minded.
The never-ending Russian-Trump collusion story has been proven a false accusation. The lie-the deception-that generated the special counsel investigation is based upon the so-called Russian dossier that was purely fiction. It was prepared and presented to and by American governmental services like FBI in order to begin the probe. Trump's political opponents were at the core of the lie. These were and are false accusers.
All of the above proves, to me at least, that we are at the very end of this Church Age. Jesus' words are appropriate here, like when we've used them over and over many times: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).
Rescued from Danger-Twice - Lee Strobel -
Late one afternoon when I was fourteen years old, I was home by myself, painting with oil colors on a large canvas in the basement. While acrylics dry fairly quickly, oil paints seem to take forever. Quickly growing impatient, I plugged in a couple of heat lamps to hurry matters along.
A short time later a pile of rags soaked with turpentine went up in flames. Then the table started on fire, and soon the entire corner of the wood-paneled basement was ablaze.
I ran to the telephone to call the fire department. When I returned, I saw that the fire was out of control, with orange and yellow flames lapping the ceiling, which was directly beneath the living room. I knew that if the fire burned through, the whole house would be consumed - and then I'd really be in trouble.
I grabbed a bucket of water from the laundry room, dashed over to the fire, and threw it on the wall where the flames were climbing. That hardly gave the fire pause. The enclosed basement was rapidly filling with a thick, black, sooty smoke. To make matters worse, the lights had shorted out.
Choking on the smoke and acrid fumes, I was quickly becoming disoriented. I couldn't see the stairs anymore. That's when a horrible realization hit - I couldn't save myself. I wouldn't be able to find the route out of the basement before I would be overcome. I was in a life-threatening situation.
Just then a police officer arrived and opened the door to the basement. He stepped onto the top stair and began shining around a big flashlight. "Police officer!" he called out. "Anyone down there?"
I could have analyzed the situation intellectually. Things were serious in the basement; if I stayed down there too much longer, the chances were that I would die from the smoke and fire. But the police officer knew the only escape route. He was a trained professional and fully capable of leading me to safety. What's more, he held a big flashlight to illuminate the way for me.
But it wasn't enough just to understand all of that. I had to take a step of action. I had to put my faith in that officer - a faith based on facts - by letting him reach out and rescue me. So I followed the light, and he put his arm around me and led me to safety, away from the inferno.
Many years later I was faced with a spiritually equivalent situation. After nearly two years of investigating the claims of Jesus, I knew he had unique credentials and credibility. And based on what he said, I realized for the first time that I couldn't save myself. I was guilty of sinning against a holy God. It was an open-and-shut case. And the penalty was eternal separation from him.
I was hopelessly disoriented and lost, but Jesus was calling to me and reaching out to rescue me. He was fully capable of leading me to safety. He knew the way to eternal life. In fact, he was the way. And he didn't need a flashlight, because as he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
And yet just knowing that wasn't enough. I had to act on it. I had to take a step of faith - not a blind or irrational step but one that was secure and firm because it was based on the history-proven trustworthiness of Jesus Christ.
So on November 8, 1981, I allowed him to drape his arm around my shoulder and lead me out of the darkness, away from the inferno, and into a place of safety.
Statistics show that 84 percent of Americans already believe in the credentials of Jesus Christ. They're convinced that he's God or the Son of God. Maybe you're part of that majority. But if you've never acted on that belief, it's my hope that you'll let him rescue you from your otherwise hopeless situation by praying to receive Christ as your forgiver and leader.
Daily Jot: Exposing Darkness - Bill Wilson -
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has released an interim report on "The Clinton Email Scandal And The FBI's Investigation Of It." The report is part of the ongoing investigations into Clinton, the FBI, and the Russian connections to the US presidential election. The Interim Report raises questions about the immediate past "president's" involvement in the FBI investigation of Clinton, despite his denials. It also lends insight into a vast network of government insiders who were using taxpayer money to work on behalf of Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump. These "smoking gun" revelations are informed through text messages by FBI agents and lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
The report details that on June 30, Strzok and Page discussed edits to then FBI Director James Comey's statement exonerating Clinton of any wrongdoing on the classified emails that were found on an unsecured server. They said that a reference to the "president" was changed to "another senior government official" to protect him from failing to report knowledge of mishandling national defense documents. The phrase was later deleted altogether from Comey's remarks. The report also documents, "On September 2, 2016, Page wrote about preparing talking points for Director Comey because "potus wants to know everything we're doing.""
This is important because the "president" lied to the American people about his involvement in FBI investigations. Daily News reporter David Martosko quoted the "president" as saying, "I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. ... I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation." These texts leave little doubt that the "president" was involved and wanted to be informed of the ongoing details from the investigation. This, and the recent memo release of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, indicate the possibility of a deep-rooted conspiracy to use the federal government to undermine a presidential campaign.
It appears that Clinton operatives, the past "president", and Clinton herself were using the FBI to clear Clinton of any wrong doing, to falsify documents implicating President-elect Donald Trump of illegal activities with Russia, and to use a secret government court to spy on Trump based on their falsified report. These are all illegal activities if and when they are legally proven. Americans have no idea the extent of organized crime certain politicians and political parties have established to the detriment of our nation, or the evil they have done and are doing. As is written of the end times in 2 Timothy 3:12-13, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." As we overcome evil with good, let us remember to do all we can, and then stand.
Daily Devotion: Cheap Imitations - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.com
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. -Philippians 3:8
In Luke's Gospel we find the parable of the prodigal son, a story Jesus told about a young man who wanted to get out of his father's house. He said to his father, in effect, "I'm out of here. I'm going to go out and do what I want to. Just give me my cut of the inheritance."
This son went out and blew all his money and ended up in rags, hanging out with a bunch of pigs. But one day he came to his senses and decided to return home.
It's worth noting that everything the prodigal was looking for already could be found in his father's house. Judging from his actions, he wanted nice clothes and great food, and he wanted to party.
What did he get when he finally went back home? He got what he was looking for. The first thing his father did was tell his servants to bring out the best robe and put it on him. His father also said, "Kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life" (Luke 15:23-24).
In the same way, everything we need in life is found in a relationship with God. However, we can discover this the easy way or the hard way. Someone might say, "All I want to do is have some fun. And I have the feeling that I'm not the only one." They will find out the truth the hard way. It isn't because I said it but because God says it. And He says it for our own good.
Any happiness this world might offer will be a dead-end street, because once you've had the real thing, cheap imitations never will suffice.
FROM THE HEART
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