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Daniel's 70 Weeks Part 3 - By Alice Childs -
Daniel's 70 Weeks - Part 3
As you have seen, we've taken a while to lay some groundwork and historical background for this study in Parts 1 & 2 of this series. Now we are coming to the meat of the study.
In the final installments in this study, we will be looking more in depth into exactly what these "weeks" of years are, and how astoundingly accurate they have been. Bear in mind that the book of Daniel was written three centuries BEFORE Christ was incarnated into human flesh and came to earth as our Redeemer. Knowing this will prove beyond any doubt the absolute infallibility of scripture and its divine authorship.
The prophecies contained within this book are both historically and mathematically precise right down to the most minute detail.
Many people feel that the verity (truth) of the Bible cannot be known or proven. These assertions could not possibly be more wrong. Biblical prophecy is so detailed, so precise in its fulfillment, that anyone who takes the time to truly study it can come to no other conclusion than that the Bible is a supernatural book given to man from a supernatural being. That being is none other than Almighty God-the Ancient of Days-the Great I AM who "was and is and is to come"- the eternal and everlasting God.
Only a fool would choose (in the face of such overwhelming evidence) to deny the provable truth of Biblical prophecy.
The book of Daniel is the linchpin of all end-time prophecies. Without the book of Daniel (among other Old Testament books), the book of Revelation would make little to no sense at all. Revelation is the UNVEILING of that which was first given by God to the Prophet Daniel when he lived as a Hebrew captive in the pagan land of Babylon, and then sealed "until the time of the end."
So, are you ready? Then grab a cup of coffee, your Bible, a notebook and pen and let's begin. Prepare to have your mind blown by the indescribable prophecy of the 70 "weeks" of years appointed to Israel.
Part 3: The First 69 "Weeks" Of Years
[Daniel 9:25] In this one verse, an incredibly specific prediction occurs.
In this verse lies a mathematical prophecy so detailed and so incredible that atheists and haters of the Bible have tried for years to debunk, always unsuccessfully. This prophecy gives the exact timing when the coming Messiah (Jesus) would present Himself as the promised Messiah to the Jewish people.
Let me take a moment to credit the author of the information that follows. I am indebted to the late Sir Robert Anderson in his seminal work "The Coming Prince" for giving us the following mathematical calculations in regard to Daniel's prophecies of the 70 weeks, detailed in Daniel chapter 9. It was Dr. Anderson who took the words of Daniel and did the calculation, along with the dates of history, and brought to light just how incredibly accurate God's information to Daniel actually is.
Note that all of these prophecies are based on the Jewish and Babylonian calendars which followed a LUNAR month. Therefore, a year in biblical terms is counted as having 360 days and NOT the 365 days that make up the Julian calendar that we use today. Hence, 69 "weeks" of 360-day years totals 173,880 days - EXACTLY.
As we see in this verse, the angel Gabriel revealed to Daniel that the interval between the command to rebuild the CITY of Jerusalem until the PRESENTATION of Messiah the King would be 173,880 days, which equals to 69 "weeks" of years TO THE VERY DAY.
**Note: The beginning point of these 69 "weeks" of years was to be marked by the command to rebuild the CITY of Jerusalem, and NOT the command to rebuild the TEMPLE. Work on rebuilding the Temple had already begun BEFORE the command was given to rebuild Jerusalem. (See the books of Ezra and Nehemiah regarding the rebuilding of the Temple.) It was the command to rebuild JERUSALEM that was to be the starting point for the beginning of the 69 "weeks" countdown.
The command to rebuild Jerusalem was given by the Persian King, Artaxerxes Longimanus, on March 14, 445 BC. The very day that Jesus presented Himself to the Jews (Zechariah 9:9) on Palm Sunday was April 6, 32 AD. Adjusting for leap years, we find that it is 173,880 days to the VERY DAY that Jesus rode into Jerusalem presenting himself as Israel's Messiah.
Again, these specific mathematical calculations were made and verified by the late Sir Robert Anderson in his groundbreaking work, "The Coming Prince."
Thus the Bible divides THE 70 weeks or heptads as follows:
(1) 7 "weeks" = 49 years (During the 49 years or 7 "weeks") Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in "troublous times." This was fulfilled as Ezra and Nehemiah record in their respective books.
(2) 62 "weeks" = 434 years thereafter Messiah was to come. This was fulfilled in the eventual birth, manifestation, and the presentation of Jesus as Israel's true Messiah whom they should have recognized from their own scriptures (Luke 19:40).
(3) The 69 "weeks" (7 + 62 = 69 "weeks") end with the Messiah being "cut off but not for Himself."
(4) The 62 "weeks" follow the initial 7, and so verse 26 of Daniel 9 deals with the events AFTER the 69th "week," but BEFORE the 70th.
The events in Daniel 9:26 include the Messiah being killed, resurrected and ascended, and the Temple being destroyed. The destruction of the Temple occurred in 70 AD along with the subsequent worldwide diaspora, as foretold by Jesus Himself (Luke 19:43-44).
This worldwide dispersion of the Jews would last from the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 until May 14, 1948 when the modern nation of Israel was reborn and recognized as a free and independent nation by President Harry Truman. (Read Ezekiel 37 regarding the Prophecy of the "dry bones" that presage the eventual regathering of Israel as a nation.)
As stated above, Israel was indeed regathered from amongst the nations of the world into which she had been driven, and returned back to her own land - the land of Israel - when she regained her status as a nation reborn in May of 1948.
As history confirms, both the city of Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the armies of the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 AD just as Jesus predicted they would be, and the Jews were again dispersed from their homeland, this time scattered "into ALL the earth " just as it was foretold they would be.
Israel's' final diaspora lasted from 70 AD until May 14,1948 when the Jews were officially returned to their land and became a nation once again just as predicted by both the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel (see Ezekiel chapters 36-37).
Just as Daniel and Ezekiel predicted, the Jewish people returned to their homeland of Israel still in UNBELIEF of the Lord Jesus as their Messiah.
Also, just as predicted, the city of JERUSALEM is still being "trodden down by the Gentiles" and will continue to be so "until the TIMES of the Gentiles" are fulfilled, which will occur at the END of The Tribulation, just BEFORE Jesus establishes His millennial Kingdom (Luke 21:24).
As we have seen, 69 of the 70 weeks of years that God appointed to the Jewish people have already been fulfilled with the rejection of Jesus, who has always been Israel's Messiah. With Israel's rejection of Jesus' offered Kingdom under His rulership as Messiah, the Messiah was indeed "cut off" by His crucifixion, and "not for Himself" - in other words, NOT because He was guilty of any offense Himself, but as the sacrificial Lamb of God to make atonement for the sins of the world, just as was prophesied in Daniel 9.
At the time of Israel's rejection of Jesus as Messiah and their subsequent rejection of His offer of the kingdom, Jesus' death stopped, halted - postponed the countdown and thus put on hold the continuance of the 69 "weeks" of years, 7 years short of the appointed 70 weeks. Israel still has 7 years left of her "appointed time."
We in the Dispensation of Grace - the Church Age - are now living in what Hal Lindsay calls a "parenthesis of time" - an indeterminate period of time BETWEEN the already fulfilled 69 "weeks" of years and the yet to begin 70th "week" of years.
Israel's last or 70th "week" will commence AFTER the ending of this current dispensation in which we are now living, which will end with the rapture of the Church (an event completely unknown to Daniel or any other Old Testament prophets).
The 70th "seven" appointed to the Jews will commence with the signing (actually the confirmation) of a "covenant" that will be made between Israel and many other nations, brokered by the coming Antichrist. It will be the CONFIRMATION of this covenant between Israel and "the many," brokered by the one who will turn out to be the Antichrist, which will be the event that will begin the countdown of those final 7 years that are to be the fulfillment of the final 70th "week" of years allotted to Israel, the Jewish people.
Now that we understand the detailed prophecies inherent in the divisions of the 70 weeks of years, we will now be ready to study the prophecy in more depth. In our final study, we will look at both the interval between the 69th and 70th weeks - the interval in which the Church is now living called the Dispensation of Grace, or the Church Age; and we will look into what will be coming to ISRAEL and the rest of the lost world during that final 70th "week" that has been appointed by God.
Israel-Iran Escalation - Looking At The Big Picture - By Yaakov Lappin - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2011#iFctTO57luyOe6u2.99
A day after Israeli, Syrian, and Iranian forces were involved in a major military confrontation--that left an Israeli F-16 shot down, along with an Iranian drone, and multiple Syrian air defenses destroyed--the dust has begun to settle and the bigger picture is emerging.
The escalation is the latest in an epic struggle building between Iran, which is trying to turn Syria into a forward Iranian military base, and Israel, which is determined to prevent this from happening at all costs. Iran is now trying to set new 'rules of the game,' and limit Israeli defensive operations in Syria.
For years, according to international media reports, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has conducted a massive number of low-profile military operations, targeting Iranian installations in Syria, as well as Iran's smuggling of missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon, via Syria.
Israel's campaign has generally taken place away from the media spotlight. Israeli defense planners call this campaign the 'War Between Wars.'
An alliance of state and non-state actors
To make sense of this picture, it is important to recognize that Israel is not fighting against traditional enemy states, but rather, against a regional axis comprised of state and non-state actors.
The head of this axis is the Islamic Republic of Iran. The members of Iran's coalition include the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad, Lebanese Hezbollah, and other Shi'ite militias, deployed across the Middle East, including in Iraq and Yemen.
This radical coalition controls most of Syria today, largely thanks to an alliance with Russia, which acts as the air force of the Iranian axis.
Russia has its own interests in intervening in Syria, and has tried to douse the flames of war between the Iranian axis and Israel, since a wider war could undo Russia's efforts to keep Assad in power. But Russia's influence has proven to be limited, while Iran is determined to spread its hegemony.
Iran has invested heavily in helping the Assad regime defeat Sunni rebels, in what is currently the world's bloodiest conflict. With more than half a million casualties in Syria, the Shi'ite axis has emerged victorious over the Sunnis. Tehran now seeks the next phase of its strategy: turning Syria into an Iranian province.
Israel's red lines
It seems likely that Iran seeks to send military divisions and brigades into Syria, establish air and naval bases, and flood Syria with more armed proxies and weapons. In this scenario, Iran's goal would be to create a large armed force under its full command, which it can use to threaten Israel.
Israel has no intention of letting this happen. The Jewish State has drawn clear red lines, and enforced them with military actions. These red lines ban the entrance of Iranian military forces and weapons into Syria. The red lines also place a ban on the production and transfer of weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Brig.-Gen. Amnon Ein Dar, the head of the Training and Doctrine Division in the IAF, provided a clue about the extent of this struggle, when he told Ynet on Sunday that Israel has conducted "thousands of operations" in Syria in the past year alone.
Enforcing these red lines requires advanced military capabilities, and coordination across the Israeli defense establishment, with the air force, navy, and intelligence units all working in concert.
Iran's victory in Syria
Now, with the Iranian-led axis approaching a victory against Sunni rebels in the Syrian war, Iranians are losing patience with Israel's campaign to stop their takeover of Syria. Iranian officials have recently warned that Israel will no longer be able to operate freely over Syrian airspace. Israel has shrugged these statements off.
Last week, according to media reports, Israel struck a major weapons production center near Damascus, likely used by Hezbollah and Iran. By sending the drone into Israeli airspace, the Iranians decided that the time had come to respond. Iran wanted to get its drone deep into Israeli airspace to prove that it can extract a price for IAF operations.
Hezbollah on standby
Until now, Hezbollah, deployed across Lebanon and Syria, has stayed out of this fight. But if Iran decides to again challenge Israel directly, it could order Hezbollah, armed with 130,000 projectiles, to join the action. Such an escalation could snowball into a dangerous regional conflict.
This is a scenario that no side seems interested in at the moment. While Iran wants to threaten Israel from Syria and Lebanon, the Islamic Republic also wishes to buy enough time--likely eight to ten years--to try and develop nuclear weapons.
Iran therefore has an interest in warding off a full-blown conflict that would threaten Iran's Syrian and Lebanese projects before it can break out to a nuclear bomb.
The Israeli Air Force has been working on an ability to strike several thousand targets in just 24 hours. If the situation escalates, Israel can use this level of unprecedented firepower to place the Assad regime in existential danger--the very regime that the Iranians have worked so hard to save.
This same level of firepower, guided by high-level intelligence, can similarly be directed against the rest of the Iranian axis.
Who won the battle?
Iran's drone was shot down within 90 seconds over Israeli airspace, likely disappointing the Iranians, who wanted to send it deep into Israel. And while Syria downed an Israeli F-16, the IDF is investigating to determine what appears to be an unusual sequence of events that led to the jet becoming vulnerable to enemy fire.
Israel had the final word on Saturday, because it inflicted a heavy price on the Iranian axis. The operators of the Iranian drone were likely killed in their caravan, though this cannot be confirmed. Up to half of Syria's air defenses and four Iranian military sites were destroyed.
The number of casualties suffered by Syria or Iranian Quds forces remains unknown. While celebrating the downing of the Israeli F16 as a major military accomplishment, Iran and Syria are attempting to downplay the scope of damage that they sustained.
The destruction of significant Syrian air defense systems is a painful blow, and a message regarding what might come next in the event of another escalation.
The Israeli strikes hinted at an ability to do far more significant damage, should Iran decide to escalate further. Iran has no assurances that its own territory would remain immune to Israeli firepower in the event of a future conflict. The stakes of this struggle remain very high. Iran will have to decide if it will again try to challenge Israel's freedom to operate over Syrian airspace.
The situation remains explosive. Israel does not seek war, but the signals coming out of Jerusalem indicate that it has no intention of backing down from its red lines.
Iran Unveils New Homemade Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missiles Amid Massive War Celebrations - Adam Kredo - http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-unveils-new-homemade-nuclear-capable-ballistic-missiles-amid-massive-war-celebrations/
As Tehran cracks down of protesters, military rolls out nuclear technology
Iran unveiled a series of new homemade nuclear-capable ballistic missiles during military parades held over the weekend, a move that experts view as a bid to bolster the hardline ruling regime as dissidents continue efforts to stir protest.
On the heels of an encounter between an Iranian drone and Israeli forces, Iranian leaders showcased their ballistic missile capabilities, which includes a nuclear-capable medium-range missile that appears to share similarities with North Korean technology, according to experts.
The nuclear-capable missile can strike Israel even when fired from Iranian territory, raising concerns about an impending conflict between Tehran and the Jewish state that could further inflame the region.
Iranian military leaders bragged the ballistic missile "can be launched from mobile platforms or silos in different positions and can escape missile defense shields due to their radar-evading capability," according to reports in Iran's state-controlled media.
The latest technology could further inflame tensions between Israel and Iran, which funds and controls terror organizations operating along Israel's border. Concerns that this nuclear-capable technology could be shared by Iran with its terrorist proxies are fueling longstanding concerns among the Israelis that an attack is imminent.
As Iranian dissidents continue to protest over the country's ailing economy, the ruling regime continues to invest millions of dollars it received as part of the landmark nuclear deal with the United States on its military technology, specifically ballistic missiles, which are subject to a ban under international statutes.
However, Iran has not only continued this work but also invested heavily in it since receiving the cash windfalls from the nuclear deal. Conservative estimates from open sources indicate the Iranian regime has spent at least $16 billion in recent years on its military buildup and rogue operations in Syria, as well as other countries.
"Thirty-nine years in, the Islamic Revolution has little to show for its decades in power other than growing the country's asymmetric military capabilities in order to continue their export of the revolution," Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran expert with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Washington Free Beacon. "The Islamic Republic has considerably grown the country's missile and rocket arsenal, both through production and procurement."
The two missiles featured over the weekend by Iran include the Ghadr, a medium-range ballistic missile that was modified and upgraded by the Islamic Republic
"The Ghadr can strike Israel when fired from Iranian territory, and in March 2016, was flight-tested while bearing genocidal slogans against the state of Israel," according to Ben Taleblu, who has researched Iranian missile procurement.
Iranian military leaders also rolled out a rocket called the Fajr-5, which is becoming a new favorite of Iranian-backed terror proxy groups operating against Israel.
"The Fajr-5 is an Iranian rocket that has been proliferated to anti-Israel groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. It can travel up to 75 km, and is therefore a long-range artillery rocket. It uses solid fuel for propulsion," Ben Taleblu explained. "Both the Qadr missile and Fajr rocket represents Iran's commitment to developing stand-off weaponry that it uses for purposes of deterrence and coercion."
The new weaponry could fuel ongoing efforts by Congress to crackdown on Iran's continued proliferation of ballistic missile technology, a large part of which has been incubated by the North Korean regime, which continues to have a technology-sharing agreement with Tehran.
Iran already has the region's largest arsenal of ballistic missiles and is seeking to continue building this technology.
The Trump administration has said that any effort to fix the nuclear deal with Iran must focus on constricting the regime's access to ballistic missile technology.
Nearing Midnight: Earth's Nuclear Destiny - Terry James -
There is increasing talk lately of fears of nuclear exchange. Critics of increase in nuclear armaments are also ramping up their rhetoric.
Russia has been found to have violated several elements of various nuclear anti-proliferation treaties and agreements. The latest is development of a nuclear-tipped torpedo weapon that can be launched into the shores of a country. North Korea is known to be acquiring technology that will speed up and greatly enhance their nuclear weapons capability. They are being aided and abetted by the likes of Russia and China, who have promised to act in concert with the international community to prevent Kim Jong-un from obtaining such technology and material.
Yet with all the illegal weapons procurement by America's antagonists and enemies, the criticism is of the Trump administration. The diatribe is aimed at the president because he has determined the U.S. must play catch-up in the arena of weapons development. This is because the previous president was on an eight-year-long campaign to decrease America's nuclear armaments-thus to, it was supposed, lessen the chances of a future nuclear conflict.
While America decreased in nuclear capability, the other side went on a tremendous building program, increasing their stockpiles and technological capabilities-even while having entered into agreements and treaties that were supposed to bind them to cutbacks in line with America's decreases and those of other Western nations.
Trump's decision to go in the opposite direction of Obama in the arena of nuclear development has, of course, evoked resistance just as has everything else he has done since the 2016 election.
President Trump's Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette explained at a Pentagon news conference why the United States is changing course.
Over the past decade, while the United States has led the world in these reductions, every one of our potential nuclear adversaries has been pursuing the exact opposite strategy.... These powers are increasing the numbers and types of nuclear weapons in their arsenal."
The president, during the State of the Union address Tuesday, February 30, declared that the U.S. will build a deterrent force "so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression."
Mainstream news media are accusing the president's actions-increasing the nations' nuclear forces-as reckless. They say, in addition to other things, that he is deliberately bringing the prospect of nuclear war back into the American psyche for the first time since the Cold War.
Those mainstream outlets are almost as one in declaring that it is dangerous for this particular president to have the sole authority to launch nuclear war. But, thankfully, Mr. Trump forges ahead, assuring that America's security, with strength through deterrence capability, is sufficient.
All that said, this is a dangerous world-as our current president recognizes. It is more than prudent to maintain such strength. It is absolutely crucial.
But, in the final analysis, it is the God of Heaven who continues to hold the key to the lock on the trigger to nuclear Armageddon. The Lord of all creation has determined that the most horrific of all weaponry hasn't been unleashed. If one studies the many near-accidents involving nuclear weapons, it is astounding that catastrophe hasn't resulted. Only God's staying hand has spared us.
In 1980, for example, a missile in a silo in northern Arkansas exploded because a wrench was dropped and ruptured the missile's thin metal skin. If the weapon at its tip had been armed, yours truly might not be here to write this piece.
There are still unexploded nuclear bombs off the eastern coast of America. Some were never found. These were deposited there because of accidental drops or aircraft accidents.
There have been false missile launches indicated on America's NORAD radar screens. Those with the launch codes had less than 10 minutes to decide whether to launch a retaliatory attack.
A Russian crew once came within minutes of launching a nuclear strike based upon a false command accidently issued.
The Lord is still in control. He will be right up until all of the weapons in the nuclear stockpiles are released. Yes. I do believe they will be used-practically every one of them.
Descriptions within the Revelation and the Old Testament books of prophecy indicate death on a sudden and massive scale. The effects of nuclear horror on the human body, some scientists believe, is graphically given by Zechariah: "And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth" (Zechariah 14:12).
The kings of the east as given in Revelation chapters 9 and 16 will kill one-third of all people living on the planet. This can be done only by employing nuclear weaponry.
Jesus said that if He doesn't return when He does, "there will no flesh be saved."
Further indication that the nuclear stockpiles will be used is something I heard Hal Lindsey say. It makes sense, although it could result from a supernatural rather than a nuclear event.
Hal said that during the Bikini tests in the 1950s, they put in the test areas old navy ships to be sunk because of their obsolescence. The military and scientists wanted to see the effects of an H-bomb on these vessels. In addition to the devastating explosion causing massive damage, huge chunks of ice, like hailstones, fell from the tremendous heights the nuclear cloud reached. These weighed 100 pounds and more, falling into the ocean and denting the solid, steel hulls of the ships.
Hal then reminded that the last great judgment of the twenty-one given in Revelation will be 100-pound hailstones falling upon mankind.
He believes-and I concur-that these falling on the millions of military personnel at Armageddon could well be the reason blood will flow to the height of bridle reins and for so many miles. The melting hailstones, having fallen from the sky because of nuclear explosions, mixed with the pulverized human carnage, could make such a "winepress event" exactly like God's Word describes the Lord's punishment for rebellious earth dwellers at that time as being.
Planet earth is destined for nuclear devastation, I have no doubt. But there is no need for anyone alive to have to endure that hell-on-earth experience.
Again, here is the divine formula for protection against such a destiny: "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).
How to love God -- and not invent your own - Pastor Greg Laurie - http://www.wnd.com/2018/02/how-to-love-god-and-not-invent-your-own/#Y5Y5xC22kc21E3zq.99
Valentine's Day is a holiday dedicated to love. But what is love? If you listen to the songs that have been recorded over the years about love, you would find some interesting definitions. In fact, it's kind of frightening to think that some people might come up with their view of love from movies and songs.
For instance, what do we know about love from songs? We know that "what the world needs now is love, sweet love." We also know that "love is a many-splendored thing." Another song tells us that "love is the answer." Perhaps the Beatles recorded the definitive song on the subject: "All You Need Is Love."
Various philosophers have opined on love as well. Plato called love "a grave mental disease." Oliver Wendell Holmes was more optimistic about love when he said, "Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness." And Erich Fromm called love "the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence."
The Bible says clearly that God is love. We don't have a greater example of love than what we have in God showing his love for us. The definitive statement on love is John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (NIV).
We have this amazing example of love in which God loved us. So how should we respond? We ought to love him back. In fact, the Bible says, "We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19 NKJV).
We can talk all day about love and how much we love God. We can sing about our love for God. We can speak about our love for God. But probably the best way to show our love for God is in what we do. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15 NIV).
Jesus also said, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind' " (Matthew 22:37 NKJV).
God wants to be No. 1 in our lives. He wants our faithfulness. He wants us to be loyal to him. How sad it is when a husband leaves his wife or a wife leaves her husband. How tragic it is when there is unfaithfulness in the marriage. But let me ask you this: How would you feel if your spouse left you for another - not another person, but a mannequin? You would think your spouse had flipped his or her lid.
Is it any stranger when we leave the true God for a false one? Any person, any pursuit, or any passion that takes the place of God in our lives potentially could be an idol.
I think there are a lot of people today who worship a dumbed-down version of God. Yet we find that the first of the Ten Commandments has to do with worshiping the right God: "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3 NKJV). We must reject every false god in order to worship the true God, who is the only God.
Jesus said, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24 NKJV). It is good to worship God in spirit. There is a place for emotion in worship.
We will watch a Super Bowl game where a lot of excited people are screaming, yelling, painting their faces and wearing the team colors. We'll think, "There is a fan for you!" It seems very normal to us. But when someone comes to church and lifts one hand to the Lord in worship, people look at that person and say, "Fanatic. That is so out of place."
Is it? Is there a place for emotion in worship? Yes, there is. We need to worship God in spirit.
Jesus also said that we must worship God in truth. There is a right way to worship the right God. And God doesn't like it when we think we need images or icons or statues to help us in our worship. And not only is God against material images that misrepresent him, but he is also against false mental images.
When we say things such as, "Well, my god is like ..." or "I like to think of god as a ..." we are making God a figment of our own imaginations. If the image of God is false, then the thought of God is false, and it will produce a character that is false.
Let me take it a step further. When someone says, "I believe in a God of love, not a God of judgment" or "I believe in a God of forgiveness, not a God who would send someone to hell," they are inventing their own god. And when they speak that way, not only is it unbiblical, but it is having another God before him. We cannot edit God.
God is zealous in his love for us, and he wants us to be zealous in our love for him. God loves us and wants an exclusive relationship with us. After all, doesn't a wife want her husband to be faithful to her? Doesn't a husband want his wife to be loyal to him as well? Doesn't a parent look out for his or her children and care about their welfare? Of course.
God was saying in the Ten Commandments, "I want your complete love. I don't want you to bow down before other gods."
We don't have to do certain things to be loved by God or to earn his approval. That has been accomplished at the Cross, where Jesus met the righteous requirements. We already are loved by God, and the things we do should be a response to his love for us.
God loves us, and we should want to show our love to him - not just in what we say, but also in how we live.
Daily Jot: Stepping closer to the end times - Bill Wilson -
There is a lot of debate about the role America and Russia will play in the end times. Prophetically and biblically speaking, however, there is no mention of either country in the Bible. Many try to make the connections symbolically, which may have some credibility, however remote. Nonetheless, from what we know today these powers are having a profound impact on the acceleration of Bible prophecy toward the end times. Russia, for example, politically ran interference for Iran to develop its nuclear weapons and missile delivery system. Under the previous US Administration, the ex-"president" not only opened the door for Iran to advance nuclear weapons development; he gave them billions to of dollars to complete it.
The Free Beacon reports, "As Iranian dissidents continue to protest over the country's ailing economy, the ruling regime continues to invest millions of dollars it received as part of the landmark nuclear deal with the United States on its military technology, specifically ballistic missiles, which are subject to a ban under international statutes. However, Iran has not only continued this work but also invested heavily in it since receiving the cash windfalls from the nuclear deal. Conservative estimates from open sources indicate the Iranian regime has spent at least $16 billion in recent years on its military buildup and rogue operations in Syria, as well as other countries." The result is Iran showcasing a nuclear-capable missile that can reach Israel.
The scale that was tipped against Israel during the eight years of the previous White House and a few years by the Bush Administration has been recalibrated by the Trump Administration. The decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the US embassy there was a symbolic gesture that sent a hard message to the anti-Israel Islamic countries who have enjoyed a friendly America over the past decade. Indeed, cutting funds to the terrorist sponsoring Palestinian Authority was another pro-Israeli move by Trump. Trump's support of Christian ideals, curbing globalism, and stopping open immigration from Islamic terrorist-sponsoring nations also sends a strong signal. The immediate past White House aligned America with the beast nations. The current White House has brought America into alignment with Israel.
In doing so, both of America's most recent Administrations have/are advancing prophecy by accelerating positions of nations mentioned in the accounts of the Day of the Lord. It is important that America do the right thing in the eyes of God. Jesus says in Matthew 25 that when the Son of Man comes in his glory, he will separate the nations like a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats-the goats on the left and sheep on the right. Verse 34 says, "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you form the foundation of the world." While our personal salvation is most important, so also are the leaders we choose. It's far better to be a sheep nation.
Daily Devotion: Be of Good Courage! - By Greg Laurie -
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:16
The apostle Paul had gone to Jerusalem to share the gospel, and the next thing he knew, he was locked up in a cold, damp, dark prison cell.
I'm sure that on his first night there, he was a discouraged man, because the Lord said to him, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome" (Acts 23:11 NKJV). That phrase be of good cheer could be translated, "be of good courage." I conclude that Paul was a little bit discouraged, a little bit frustrated.
Whenever we read in the Bible of angels of the Lord appearing and saying, "Fear not," it was usually because someone was afraid at that given moment. So when the Lord Himself said, "Be of good cheer, Paul," he needed that special word at that particular moment.
Verse 11 of Acts 23 also tells us, "But the following night the Lord stood by [Paul]" (NKJV). Sometimes it seems as though the Lord is the only one standing by us. But if everyone else forsook Paul, Jesus was company enough. If all the others despised him, the smile of Jesus was approval enough. Though his circumstances were less than ideal, I'm sure Paul knew it was better to be in that jail with the Lord than anywhere else without Him.
Jesus is there in your prison as well, whatever and wherever that prison is in your life. He knows what you're going through. You have a God who knows what it's like to face what you're facing. Therefore, go to Him. Bring your problems to Him. Bring your concerns to Him. Go boldly to His throne and receive the mercy and grace He will give to help you in your time of need.
FROM THE HEART
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"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
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