Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Watch Israel for Signs of the Times: Part 1 - By Gene Lawley - https://www.raptureready.com/2019/02/14/watch-israel-signs-times-part-1-gene-lawley/
Jesus challenged the Jewish leaders in Matthew 16:1-4, answering their request for a sign from heaven with these words:
"When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah."
Of course, Jesus did not elaborate for them what this meant. Would they search it out with a desire for the truth? John writes, in John 5:39-40, of another time when Jesus was more direct:
"You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life."
In these two examples, we have the key to the title of this article-"signs of the times" are told by what is happening in current events regarding the earth and people of the world and compared with the proclamations of Scripture.
Types or examples by people and events in the Old Testament of New Testament "look-a-likes" are numerous. One event and person that is duplicated, in type, of the outworking of God for Israel is that of Israel's experience in Egypt and of the part Moses had in their exodus.
Joseph was a type of Christ, as he was the pivotal person in Israel's salvation from the peril of starvation in the time of famine. It was 430 years that Israel was in the bondage of slavery in Egypt when God raised up Moses and led them out of that bondage. Moses told the people that "another Prophet like me" will come forth in the future.
The end of God's prophetic dealing with Israel in the Old Testament was with the writings of Malachi. It was 400 years later that Matthew's gospel opened the New Testament era with the coming of the Messiah as a babe in Bethlehem, just as the prophet Isaiah had predicted. Thirty years later, Jesus appeared as a grown man, beginning His effort to lead Israel out of the bondage of the law of works and slavery to sin.
Note the likeness of the slaughter of young boys under two years of age in both instances. Note also how they rejected Moses and God in their trek across the wilderness in those days, and then, the rejection of Jesus the Christ when He came, just as John 5:39-40, above, spells it out.
Therefore, God set them aside-temporarily-to take to Himself a people from the Gentiles.
Romans 11:25 tells us:
"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."
At the conference in Jerusalem, as reported in Acts 15:14, what that meant, regarding the Gentiles:
"Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name."
Notice, too, that Israel was set aside in part; that is, not every Israelite would be blinded to the truth of Jesus being the Messiah, so that some would receive Christ.
John 1:11-12 tells of that rejection plainly:
"He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name."
Remember that Paul wrote, in Romans 1:16:
"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."
The trail of the Jews does not end there; for God, when He judged Israel and "scattered them into all nations" just as the prophets Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah and others constantly predicted, He also promised to restore them to the land given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob many years before. Just one of Jeremiah's reports of God's promise is this:
"Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land" (Jeremiah 12:15).
It is not a casual statement that God "forgot" His promises when the Jews rejected His offer of salvation with Jesus the Christ. (Replacement Theology is an obvious deception from the devil so that man will not be looking for the returning of Christ.)
After their rejection of Christ at His trial and ever since that dispersion of Israel among all of the nations, the restoration of their nation was the next notable event on their calendar. When Jesus told us, in Luke 21:28, "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near," He was addressing His followers, then and now, and had just listed many of the turbulent physical, political and social tragedies that will occur in the last days. It compares favorably with the increased worldwide physical turbulences in the past ten to twenty years-earthquakes, their aftereffects, violent hurricanes, thunderstorms, snowstorms and their flooding results in an exponential manner.
Then, after those words, Jesus marked the time when the countdown to the end was to begin, with His parable of the blooming of the fig tree, a symbol of the nation of Israel. Since Israel became a nation among nations again, time has been closing in on the Day of the Lord when His judgment will begin.
What I have discussed above is a subject of history. It has already occurred. That is, the things are "beginning to happen." It has long been the recognition of prophecy students that God's "timepiece" is the nation of Israel-what is happening and going to happen to Israel.
Over the centuries of Israel's existence as a nation, the prophets repeatedly reported that God's plan, in response to Israel's continual rejection of the Lord in favor of the idols of their godless neighbors, was to scatter them throughout the world of nations. However, He also promised over and over that He would restore them to the land that He had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
More than a few, today, claim that God went back on His promise and has given those promises to the church, and Israel has no right to be in that land at all; it belongs to the church, they say. But why do they then say the land is owned by the Palestinians?
The very fact that the Jews are back in the land, even by the hand of secular entities, says volumes about the sovereignty of God. The clear answer is that God does not lie, ever, nor change his mind. Those are fixed attributes of His character; and if not, then mankind is doomed, for what do they say about His other promises of salvation through Christ's death on the cross of Calvary?
Numbers 23:19 properly refutes those believers in "Replacement Theology" by the power of His Word:
"God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"
The promises of God to "scatter them among all nations" is a repeated declaration throughout the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 28:64 looks forward to that possibility:
"Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known-wood and stone."
In His promises of restoration, God makes it clear that He does not do it because of anything those people have done, honorable or dishonorable, but "for His own names sake," that His own character remains unblemished and true.
After the fact seems to be the timing of this quote from Ezekiel 36:19, saying, "So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds."
This past-tense accounting has a contextual relationship with the following Ezekiel 37 account of the restoration of the nation of "dry bones" or emptiness, to a new nation, where the promise of the return of the Jews to their land is stated like this:
"Then say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again" (Ezekiel 37:21-22).
In His promises of restoration of the Jews to their land of promise, it is always from "all" or "every" nation to which they have been scattered. Thus, the promise was not fulfilled when Israel became a new nation on May 14, 1948. There are still thousands remaining in nations around the world. It is estimated that 600 thousand remain in America and about 350 thousand in Canada, for example. When will the "all" be fulfilled, then?
The coming seven years of tribulation is referenced as "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7), thus continuing the restoring to the land all Jews from around the world until the second return of Jesus Christ. When Paul wrote of the setting aside of the Jewish people for these many centuries, he explained it this way:
"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in" (Romans 11:25).
The reference to the Gentiles comes from God's declaration that He would "take from among the Gentiles a people for His name" (Acts 15:14). When Jesus returns to redeem His own at the Rapture, as recorded by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 5:1-4, the "fullness of the Gentiles" will have come in. The one thing in the account of the Rapture that involves Israel is her response at the confirmation of the covenant when the Jews cry out in relief, "Peace and safety," as Paul related in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3, which appears to be a triggering action for the Rapture's beginning.
(To be continued in Part 2)
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Trump Deal Of The Century Coming After Israel Elections - By Jackson Richman -
The United States is expected to recognize a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem as part of its highly anticipated peace plan to solve the 70-year-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an informed source hearing from top Trump administration officials told JNS.
The so-called "deal of the century," which is expected to be released after Israel's elections on April 9, will include U.S. recognition of Palestine with contingencies, according to the source, who was not provided the specifics behind the conditions.
The capital of the Palestinian state will consist of remote parts of eastern Jerusalem, said the source. The Palestinians have claimed that sector of the city as the capital of a future state, a position supported by most countries. But Israel considers the entire city, including its eastern part, to be the Jewish state's undivided capital.
The Trump administration officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017, in addition to relocating the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv the following May. However, the move by Trump did not recognize any boundaries of Jerusalem, which the president said would be resolved through negotiations. It also maintained the status quo for the holy sites in the city.
Additionally, the peace plan includes official U.S. recognition of large Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria, according to the source, who did not know which ones.
The rumored plan has been finalized, and U.S. President Trump "has been briefed on its contents," reported Fox News on Sunday. "It is between 175 and 200 pages, and fewer than five people have access to the complete document," added the news network.
"The plan is done ... [the president] is happy with the parameters of the deal," a senior administration official told the outlet.
'A closely guarded secret'
The aforementioned plan mirrors what has been previously speculated.
Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 reported last month, citing a U.S. source, that the proposal will include the formation of a Palestinian state in around 90 percent of the West Bank with part of eastern Jerusalem as its capital, while western Jerusalem would be Israel's capital.
The United States would also call for neighborhoods outside Judea and Samaria not to be extended and that towns deemed illegal by Israeli law shall be evacuated, according to Ravid's source.
That report also said that its source claimed that the Palestinian state would be constructed on land more than twice the size of Areas A and B, which are currently controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
Additionally, the Channel 13 report said that the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives would remain under Israeli control, but with administrative cooperation with the Palestinians.
U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt refuted that report: "While I respect @BarakRavid, his report on Israel's Ch. 13 is not accurate. Speculation about the content of the plan is not helpful. Very few people on the planet know what is in it ... for now ... ," he tweeted.
"Over the coming period, unnamed sources will peddle narratives to the media & others based on motivations that are far from pure. Peddling false, distorted or biased stories to the media is irresponsible & harmful to the process. Israelis & Palestinians deserve better ... " he added. "I highly recommend that people listen only to official statements directly from [the president], [U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman], [White House senior adviser] Jared Kushner or me about the plan."
In a few weeks, Kushner will reportedly travel throughout the Middle East to promote the plan.
"On his trip to the Middle East, Kushner is expected to discuss with Arab officials the economic parts of the peace plan, which will entail huge investment in the Palestinian economy--mainly in Gaza," reported Axios. "U.S. officials say Kushner will ask the Gulf states to contribute to the economic plan, but that he is not planning to discuss details from the political components of the plan during his tour of the region."
A U.S. State Department official told JNS, "The administration continues to place a high priority on achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future to both Israel and the Palestinians. We intend to release the president's vision when the administration concludes that we have maximized its potential for acceptance, execution and implementation."
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Nonetheless, it is far from certain the Palestinians will accept any peace plan, considering steps the Trump administration has taken to put them "in a weaker position heading into the final phases of this process," Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told JNS.
"The Trump peace plan remains a closely guarded secret," he said. "The op-sec has been remarkable and has prevented bursts of outrage from extremists on either side. For this, Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner deserve credit."
"One thing we do know about the plan: The initial steps have infuriated the Palestinian leadership," continued Schanzer. "The move of the embassy to Jerusalem, the defunding of UNRWA, the closing of the PLO office in Washington and the legislation to cut funding to the Palestinians in response to terror finance--all of these moves have put the Palestinians in a weaker position heading into the final phases of this process."
Finally, he noted, "whatever the Palestinians are offered now will likely be significantly less than what they have been offered in the past. But they will also likely be offered more in terms of economic inducements. This economic plan will give them a chance to build something to benefit their people in the long term. It is unclear, however, whether the Palestinians leadership will accept the offer without political and symbolic concessions on as well."
Prophecy fulfilled: Pope & top imam sign agreement - Olivier Melnick - https://www.wnd.com/2019/02/prophecy-fulfilled-pope-top-imam-sign-agreement/
In the story "A Man for All Seasons," based on the life of Sir Thomas More, the hero is portrayed as a man of principle envied by many of his contemporaries, including some of his rivals. Sir Thomas More was once described in these words:
"More is a man of an angel's wit and singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness, and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons."
Many around the world today see the current pope as a man for all seasons, but are they right in their assessments, and how does it all line up with Scripture?
Pope Francis just co-signed a document with Al Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb (once named "the most influential Muslim in the world"), titled "Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together." Ecumenically speaking, the document is a dream come true for mankind, and many have described it as a "historical breakthrough." I would venture to say that it might be a "biblical breakthrough," but not necessarily for the same reasons.
The document says of God: "He is the Creator who has formed us with His divine wisdom and has granted us the gift of life to protect it. It is a gift that no one has the right to take away, threaten or manipulate to suit oneself. Indeed, everyone must safeguard this gift of life from its beginning up to its natural end. We, therefore, condemn all those practices that are a threat to life such as genocide, acts of terrorism, forced displacement, human trafficking, abortion, and euthanasia."
The pope might be thinking that because God created all men equally (a biblical view I share with him), Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb shares his views - but just because the grand imam signed the document doesn't mean that he will uphold it.
Further down, the document speaks of freedom of religion: "Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race, and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept."
Here we see that the pope is taking a pluralistic position demanding that all men respect one another regardless of their beliefs since "The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race, and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings." The proverbial roads that all lead to Rome are no longer sufficient, now they all need to also lead to God. The same god for Roman Catholics and Muslims, that is!
As a matter of fact, al-Tayeb is on record for taking a position that is in direct opposition of the document he co-signed. He recently said, "Those learned in Islam [al-fuqaha] and the imams of the four schools of jurisprudence consider apostasy a crime and agree that the apostate must either renounce his apostasy or else be killed." Additionally, in a 2013 interview on Egyptian TV, he said that Muslims "suffer from global Zionism and Judaism," and "You shall find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists." One would think that statements like that would disqualify him from even being considered as a signatory on the "Document on Human Fraternity and World Peace."
Furthermore, he even refused to say that members of the Islamic State (ISIS) were not true Muslims - but in this case, I agree with him. I am under the conviction that if a Muslim were to take the words of the Quran literally, they would have no choice but to kill infidels and apostates - Jews and Christians alike. The vast majority of Muslims are nominal Muslims who are not necessarily well versed in the Quran, and as a result they "cherry-pick" verses they wish to apply. This can be said of all religions indiscriminately.
So, how can I possibly say that the new document might be a biblical breakthrough? Because from the standpoint of the upcoming eschatological one-world order, this is 100 percent in line with biblical prophecies. The one-world government is becoming more of a reality each day, and it will undoubtedly include a one-world religion (Revelation 13:11-18.)
The pope might be blinded by wishful thinking and a pluralistic, postmodern view of religion. The immediate future looks like global dhimmitude to Islam, but the end of the age will be more tragic for many. It will only bring two options: We either worship the prince of this world and end up with him in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10), or we worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through Yeshua the Messiah, and we spend eternity in His presence. Even the pope isn't exempt from making that ultimate choice. He is also responsible for leading billions to the true God.
Maybe it's time for the pope to reset his GPS (God Positioning Satellite)!
Temple Mount Prophecy Taking Place Precisely on Schedule - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone's hand against him; He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen." Genesis 16:12 (The Israel Bible™)
Christians, Jews, and Muslims have been battling over mountaintop land in Jerusalem for centuries. Recent attempts at a rational, politically negotiated solution have all ended badly. Perhaps what politicians should do is reference prophetic sources which describe in great detail the end-of-days Temple Mount agenda for all concerned.
When most people think of the Temple Mount they consider one building; the golden Dome of the Rock built by the Muslims in the Seventh Century. The Temple Mount Compound is actually quite large, comprised of 144,000 sq. m./37 acres of land, most of it either empty or covered in trees planted in the last few decades. Though Israeli and international law mandates allowing equality of religions and universal prayer at the site, the Israeli police cite security concerns for restricting the right to pray only to Muslims.
In a rare display of Islamic pluralism, a 2017 article in The Muslim Times noted that there is certainly room at the site to create a worship space, even a Third Temple, for the Jews. The editor, Dr. Zia Shah, suggested a multi-story structure to maximize the space.
"Every Jewish, Christian and Muslim denomination that has a sizeable presence in Israel gets a floor in the plaza free of charge, as their synagogue, church or mosque and in return they provide a public relations campaign to make the project a success. The state of Israel gets to choose the leaders of those denominations, giving the state and PM Benjamin Netanyahu some stake in the process."
Despite Dr. Shah's largesse, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, noted that the plan would be unacceptable to mainstream Islam.
"There is no way in Islam to accept such a plan," Dr. Kedar told Breaking Israel News. "The essence of Islam is that Judaism and Christianity are no longer relevant in the world. The reason Islam exists is to replace them. Any visible reminder that Christianity or Judaism still exists is proof that Islam has failed in its primary mission."
Jewish sources describe that in the end-of-days the descendants of Ishmael will have a place and a purpose on the Temple Mount. A surprisingly detailed description of the Messianic process is given in the Zohar Hadash, a collection of previously unpublished manuscripts pertaining to the Zohar printed in the late 16th century. In one section (Balak 68b), the Zohar Hadash describes a process that will begin in the 274th year of the sixth millennium. This works out to be the year 5774 in the Hebrew calendar which began in September 2013. Part of the process described included a "destruction" in a synagogue in "the south" in which five tzadikim (righteous men) will be killed.
Indeed, in November 2014, two Palestinian terrorists armed with knives, guns, and axes carried out a bloody attack in a Har Nof synagogue on November 18, 2014. Four Jews were killed in the attack, as well as, Zidan Saif, a Druze policeman. The following October, Rabbi Haim Rothman died from the wounds he suffered in the attack, bringing the death toll to five, precisely as predicted more than 400 years earlier.
The first five victims of the Har Nof Jerusalem Synagogue terrorist attack. (Credit: Breaking Israel News)
This same prophecy is repeated in other sources, adding that the "Sons of Ishmael" (Arabs) will make war against the Messiah, and will "come and bow down before God at the holy mountain in Jerusalem".
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific author and respected Torah scholar, noted the prominent end-of-Days role the Arabs are predicted to play on the Temple Mount.
"It is not a coincidence that Ishmael is on the Temple Mount," Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. "The Christians tried hard for centuries but mostly failed."
"The rabbinic tradition teaches the reason why Ishmael succeeded in having a place in Israel and the Temple Mount is by virtue of Ishmael's brit milah (circumcision). The Zohar related how the angel of Ishmael complained to God that since he performed brit milah, he should also receive a portion in Israel. God responded that the brit milah Ishmael and his descendants perform does not include priah (the folding back of the foreskin that is an essential stage in the circumcision and if it is not performed, the circumcision is not kosher). God described this form of brit milah as 'empty.' By virtue of Ishmael's brit milah his descendants will have a part in the land but since the brit milah was 'empty,' they will have the land when the land is empty."
Rabbi Winston cited another aspect of Ishmael's presence on the Temple Mount.
"Ishmael was circumcised when he was 13 years old," he explained. "For every year of his life before his circumcision, his descendants inherited 100 years on the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock was built in 648 CE. They lost control of the Holy Land in 1947 exactly 1,300 years later."
According to the Rambam, it was preferable that Muslims should be on the Temple Mount. The Catholic religion has elements of idolatry and the Muslim presence on the Temple Mount protected it from idolatry. But the Muslim lease to the Temple Mount was finished in 1947. Their job now is implicit in their name: Yishma El (God will hear). Their job on the Temple Mount is like the Egyptians; to push us until we cry out to God to save us and bring Messiah and to bring back the Temple.
"This is why there can't be peace with them based on reason or politics," Rabbi Winston concluded. "The only thing the Jews can do is what we were supposed to do; cry out to God."
Daily Jot: Again, the media fails - Bill Wilson -
At the risk of offending some who attended public school and to enlighten others, there are three branches of government in the United States-Executive (President), Legislative (Congress), and Judicial (Supreme Court). As a journalism student at The Ohio State University, we were often told of the fourth branch of government. It is an unofficial branch, called the Fourth Estate. One of the first uses of the term is attributed to Edmund Burke, the Irish statesman, who used it in a parliamentary debate in 1787 when he referenced the three estates of parliament then pointed to the press gallery as the fourth estate that was to hold the other three accountable. Today's news media fails this historic responsibility.
True journalism is to report the news from an unbiased vantage. Today's journalism blurs the lines between sensationalism, editorializing, agenda promotion, propaganda, and quite frankly, lastly-the facts and truth of news. One such technique is called "click bait," which uses a headline to get you to look at the story, but then the story says the opposite of the headline. Another is to bring in a bunch of so-called "experts" to analyze and debate the headlines. These are usually people with a biased agenda, but they are positioned to you as news analysts. Another technique is the "stand-up on sight" reporter, who comes across as an eyewitness, but views the event from a biased, agenda-driven lens.
Proof positive is a report by media watchdog Media Research Center that states: "It's been two days since NBC's exclusive reporting that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no material evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and as of yet none of the three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have given it even a single second of coverage in their evening newscasts. Considering these networks have given the Russia probe a massive 2,202 minutes of airtime, their silence on this major development is deafening...the Russia investigation accounted for nearly 19 percent of all Trump-related reporting between January 21, 2017 and February 10, 2019. However none of those three shows have even mentioned the investigation since NBC's report came out on February 12."
If we do not have media reform as a nation, our freedoms are in jeopardy. Jesus said in John 8:32, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." He said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes unto the Father but by me." As Christian Americans, we know the truth. We should demand it of our media. How? Quit watching these news channels; don't buy their papers; don't believe anything they report. Find news sources that report the truth, and make sure others are verifying their stories. Don't be dupes by falling for stories that are not true. Practice discernment. As a prophetic people watching for the return of Christ, we must work hard to heed the warning of Christ in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you."
Daily Devotion: Samson's Second Chance - by Greg Laurie -
But before long, his hair began to grow back. Judges 16:22
Samson was learning the hard way. There he was in prison, grinding the wheat with the mill, going around in circles. His eyes were gone. His hair was shaved. But it was starting to grow back.
One day the Philistines were having a big, drunken feast in the temple to worship their false god Dagon. Then some of the Philistines had an idea. They called for Samson to be brought out for entertainment. So they brought up Samson, who was being led by the hand by a young servant.
Then Samson said to the servant, "Place my hands against the pillars that hold up the temple. I want to rest against them" (Judges 16:26 NLT). The servant brought him over, and Samson put one hand on one pillar and one hand on the other. Then Samson prayed, "Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes" (verse 28 NLT).
Samson pushed, and the pillars came apart. The floor above collapsed, and thousands of Philistines who were partying away, worshipping a false god, fell to their deaths. Samson ended up killing more Philistines in the end than he killed during the rest of his lifetime. In a way it was a victory. But the sad part is that he died with the Philistines. God had said that Samson would begin to deliver Israel. Unfortunately, Samson didn't finish the job he started. He had a great beginning, but not a great ending. Yet God did give him a second chance.
Let's learn the lesson of Samson. It isn't enough to know what is right or even to be used by God for a time. We need to finish what we started.
FROM THE HEART
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