Prophecy Update Newsletter
February 16, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
What Events Will Lead Up to The Anti-Christ's 666 Global State (Part 1) - David Pepe - http://www.theignorantfishermen.com/2015/08/what-events-will-lead-up-to-anti.html
When the Rapture of the Church finally takes place - in which Almighty God the Son calls out His body (saints and ambassadors) - it (The Rapture) will be a wondrous sign unto the apostate western world more so than a sign unto the whole world. For all had better be prepared, for Almighty God's "Day of Wrath" is now at hand (2 Thess. 2:3-12)!
The official commencement of this horrific seven year period will be the breaking of the 1st seal (i.e., the "Confirming of the Covenant" - Dan. 9:27) by Almighty God's Lamb (i.e., The Lord Jesus Christ) in Heaven (Rev. 6:1). It is at this precise moment that the man of lawlessness (i.e., the anti-Christ) will be revealed unto the entire world (Dan. 9:27, 2 Thess. 2: 3-12). This revealing of the Anti-Christ and the commencement of this seven year tribulation period will begin when this man (i.e., the Prince which is to come) adds his human position of great power and authority to a covenant against Israel with an abundance of peoples and nations (Ezek. 38:8,11-12, Dan. 9: 27). Israel at this time of the confirming of this covenant will receive the super natural protection of Almighty God's Two Witnesses (Moses and Elijah) who will also begin their ministry at this time for 1260 days and possess Almighty God's Divine authority. These two Witnesses of Almighty God will be extremely more powerful and than the anti - Christ and his global confederacy against Israel and will be used throughout the first half of this tribulation period by Almighty God to make His RIGHTEOUS ETERNAL Person known to a full blown godless world and unbelieving Israel (Rev. 11:3-6). Israel at the Divine hands of these Two Witnesses will then have rest and dwell in their land in safety from their global enemies and global tribulation for a season because of the Two Witnesses ministry unto them (Ezek. 38:8,11-12, Rev. 11:3-7). This position of safety at the hand of Almighty God via His Two Witnesses does not mean that Israel's heart will be right with Almighty God, for it will not be (Ezek, 39:26, Rev. 11:8). Though they dwell in safety and unwalled villages they will be at war with these Two Witnesses and their Divine assignment and message that Jesus is the Messiah and to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven now is at hand (Deut. 4:30, Jer. 30:4-7, Ezek. 39:26, Dan. 9:27, 12:1, Rom. 1:18-32, Rev. 11:2, 8)!.
These two lamp stands of Almighty God (Moses and Elijah) will preach salvation in Jesus Messiah, re- institute the temple, its sacrifices and its priesthood. They will preach repentance and testify to ALL that the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Dan. 9:27, Matt. 24:15, 2 Thess. 2:4, Rev. 11:3-6). These two will then prepare the remnant of believing Jews and a chosen 144,000 Jewish men - from the 12 tribes of Israel - (Matt. 24:14, Rev. 7:4-8, 11:13) for their global ministry unto ALL of the nations of the earth and their Messiah's glorious and imminent return and Kingdom (Matt. 24:14, Mark 13:10, Rev. 7). It will be at this time - the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation period - that the WORLD will seek every and any opportunity to root out and destroy these two Divinely appointed vessels of Almighty God... all to no avail (Mal. 4:4-6, Rev. 7,14:1-4,11:3-8). While Israel dwells in safety under the Divine ministry of Moses and Elijah, the world will be experiencing the EXPONENTIAL Seal and Trumpet Judgments of Almighty God (Rev. 6-9).
It will be also at this time - at the beginning of this seven year period, while Israel dwells in their land in absolute safety (Ezek. 38:8,11,12,14) - that the WHOLE GENTILE WORLD will begin to be trodden down by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Rev. 6:1-8). It will be after their catastrophic ride throughout the entire globe that the world will lose ¼ of its total population (1.75 billion) to war, famine and pestilence. This ride will cause global markets to be wiped out and the global economy to implode and will effect every individual throughout the world. Billions will feel the effects of death and war and mankind will become extremely hard hearted and cold (Matt. 24:12). Confusion will EXPONENTIALLY abound as man's technological advances and communication is wiped out and as technological dependency detox sets in. Deception will now EXPONENTIALLY abound and be received as men seek to preserve their temporal lives at all costs and as the pressures to survive increase the works of the flesh will be revealed globally as never seen before (Matt. 15:16-20, Matt. 24:1-8, Gal. 5:19-21, 2 Tim. 3:1-5), for lawlessness, violence, rage, immorality etc.. will EXPONENTIALLY abound!
It will be following the Four Horsemen's HORRIFIC ride of doom and the opening of the fifth seal, that the sixth seal is now opened in which a GREAT GLOBAL EARTHQUAKE and signs in the heavens will gain the world's full attention! As the heavens depart as a scroll and EVERY mountain and island are moved out of their places it will send absolute terror into the hearts of every human being alive (Jew and Gentile) on planet earth (Rev. 6:12-17). For it is now - at this time - that the inhabitants of the world will FULLY comprehend that indeed they are now in the "Day of the Lord" and the"Day of Almighty God's Wrath" which has been spoken of since the days of Enoch! (Jude 1:14, Rev. 6:15-17).
The Trumpet Judgments
Following the Seal Judgments of the Lamb of God come Almighty God's "Trumpet Judgments" upon the earth's inhabitants, its vegetation, its water (fresh and salt) and the celestial lights in the first and second heavens (Rev. 8:1-13).
As we shall see, the first four of the seven Trumpet Judgments shall strike the earth and its inhabitants with EXPONENTIAL unparalleled global cataclysmic destruction. Let us take a look!
The First Four Trumpet Judgments
The First Trumpet Judgment destroys 1/3 of all trees and grass upon the face of the earth with fire! (Rev.8:7). That comes to roughly 133 billion trees. 7% of all land mass is covered with grass. This area covers 9.93 million sq/km or 3.8 million sq/miles. This total area - which is given over to fire - is roughly a little bit bigger then the total land mass of the United States which would include Alaska. Can you even imagine the smoke which is generated from this global inferno?
The Second Trumpet Judgment will cause 1/3rd of all the seas of planet earth to turn to blood (Rev. 8:8-9). The fall out of this catastrophic global devastation will also cause 1/3 of all the sea creatures to perish and 1/3 of all the world's ships and their crews to perish also! Some facts:
1. 70.8 % of the earth's surface is covered by water. 68% of that 70.8% is salt water. 1/3 of the seas or 22.6% of the world's surface area or 122 million sq/km or 47.1 sq/miles will be decimated and turned into blood! That is roughly the size of the Pacific Ocean! (How horrific!!)
2. The number of sea creatures destroyed by this trumpet judgment will be too innumerable to number. From the smallest creatures to the giant whales it must be in the trillions.
3. The total number of merchant ships that populate the world is about 55,000. This figure includes bulk carriers, dry cargo vessels, MPP's, container vessels, tankers, LPG's, LNG's, and most cruise ships; this number however does not include private vessels. The world's total number of ships of war is estimated at 4500. 1/3 of this total number (59,500) comes to roughly 19,833 ships that will be destroyed in this great Second Trumpet judgment not counting countless thousands of sailors lives that will also perish. Can you even envision such wondrous cataclysmic devastation that will ravish a sea mass the almost the size of the Pacific Ocean?
The Third Trumpet Judgment will cause 1/3rd of all fresh water to be poisoned with wormwood and become bitter. The effects of this judgment will cripple society and multitudes will perish because of their ingestion of these bitter waters (Rev. 8:11). In this period - due to the horrific consequences of the Seal and Trumpet Judgments - drinking water will be very scarce to come by.
3% of the entire world's water is fresh water. 1/3 of this water supply (33% of the 3%) will be poisoned killing multitudes of the world's inhabitants during this period.
The Forth Trumpet Judgment will cause the celestial lights (sun, moon and stars) to dim their light 1/3rd of their normal strength (Rev. 8:12)!
Up to this point, try to comprehend - if at all possible - the unimaginable and exponential ravishing affects upon the face of the earth by these Seven Seal Judgments and the first four Trumpet Judgments. Remember, that these judgments were ordered upon the inhabitants of the earth and their planet because of their exponential godless rebellion and violence against the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God (Gen. 1:31, Isa. 24:5-6, Rom. 1:18-32). These horrific global catastrophes - including the unimaginable devastation incurred by the Four Horsemen and the wrath of man - in which 1/4th of the world's population was slain - will bring to the fore front the unbridled passions and uncontrollable violence of humanity's godless and evil fallen heart (Ps. 7:9, Jer. 17:9-10, Matt. 15:17-20, Jude 1:10). Nothing manifests the human heart as tribulation does and reveals to all, our utter godless depravity with out the RIGHTEOUSNESS of Almighty God (Jer. 17:10, Matt 15:18-19, Gal. 5:19-21, Rev. 9:20-21).
These cataclysmic events will reveal and bring to the forefront humanities utter hatred and disdain for their Creator and His ETERNAL sovereignty (Rev. 9:20-21). As these events intensify, the world will outwardly manifest their ever hardening position towards Almighty God by their godless deeds and war against His redeemed. These will become absolutely callus, cold, hateful, unfeeling and violent towards one another (Matt. 24:12, 2 Tim. 3:1-7). Self preservation and individual survival during this time will make men violate and transgress Almighty God's absolutes and moral laws to places which they though never imaginable. Instead of repenting and crying out for Almighty God's mercy and pardon, these will continually harden their hearts as Pharaoh of old and instead of looking into God's perfect mirror of righteousness (Psalm 19:7, Rom. 10:2-4), they will seek a scapegoat and a villain for their entire calamity (Matt. 24:8-13). Since Israel - at this time - is unaffected by these horrific Seal and Trumpet judgments that take place during the first half of this tribulation period, the world's inhabitants will seek lash out after Almighty God's people (i.e., Israel). Israel has always been the world's most favorite scapegoat and during this time, this hatred will reach an all new exponential level. The WORLD - at this time - will greatly unite as one man and seek to destroy Almighty God's two witnesses (Rev. 11: 4-6) and the apple of His eye (i.e., the nation Israel) (Deut. 32:10, Psalm 17:8), but again, all to none avail (Ezek. 38:8, 11-12, Rev. 11:3-7).
Just when the inhabitants of the earth thought that it could never get any more horrifically worse, they are about to be visited by a host of ferocious conquers and tyrannical oppressors that know absolutely no mercy and transcend the limited boundaries of time and space. It will be at this time that Almighty God will not just be passing judgment upon the sons of Adam for their EXPONENTIAL transgressions, but also on the fallen hosts of Heaven's realm - the demonic legions of fallen angels. These demonic host have greatly feared and dreaded this present hour which is now at hand for in this time they indeed know their time is exceedingly short (Matt. 8:29, Mark 5:7, Rev. 18:2).
The Three Horrific Woes unto the Earth!
The word "Woe!", when used by Almighty God in this alarming and dreadful way should send ice cold shivers of fright up the spine of any individual, sane or insane. So dreadful, so unimaginable, so fearfully horrifying are these last series of Trumpet Judgments that an angel is sent by Almighty God to sternly warn the remaining godless and rebellious inhabitants of planet earth of what is yet to be!
Almighty God's Divine angelic air raid siren pierces through the world's darkness warning all of the pending doom which is now at hand.
"And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitors of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!" (Rev 8:13)
Trump & Netanyahu agree: Israel-Gulf peace first - http://www.debka.com/article/25927/Trump-Netanyahu-agree-Israel-Gulf-peace-first
"One state, two states, I like this state," Donald Trump joked, turning to visiting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when they addressed a wide-ranging, friendly news conference Wednesday, Feb.15, at the White House, ahead of their face-to-face talks.
Trump reacted positively to Netanyahu's proposal to broaden the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to a regional effort as a "very important" new idea "on a broader canvas" which he believed could succeed. Netanyahu said that the regional fears of Iran also presented an opportunity for cooperation against the Islamic State and radical Islamic terror.
debkafile reports that these sentiments reflected agreement in principle between Trump and Netanyahu to seek an Israeli peace accord with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates as the lead-in to negotiations for an accord with the Palestinians. Egypt, Jordan and Turkey with whom Israel already has normal relations would jump in later. This deal fits in with the US plan reported more than once on these pages for a regional peace between the Sunni Arab nations and the Jewish State.
Some of the spadework may have been performed by CIA Director Mike Pompeo who paid a secret visit to Ramallah Wednesday morning for talks with Mahmoud Abbas, after trips to Ankara and Riyadh, following which Turkey upgraded its diplomatic mission in Israel
This plan was the fulcrum for the president to push back against the two-state solution advocated by the Obama administration as the cure for the conflict. It remains to be seen if this plan takes on life outside the White House and in the region's capitals.
Trump realistically called on Israel to "hold back settlements," show flexibility and make compromises for a peace deal. He urged the Palestinians to "get rid of hate starting in the schoolroom." Whatever the Israelis and Palestinians agree to in direct talks - one state or two - "I will accept,." he said, adding "I believe we will have a deal that is better than many Israelis think."
In answer to a question on settlements, Netanyahu replied that he did not believe they were the core of the conflict and the issue could be addressed in peace negotiations. With regard to a two-state formula, the prime minister said this was a label and he preferred to deal in substance. An independent state was contingent on the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, giving up incitement to violence and Israel remaining responsible for security up to the Jordan River. "Do we want another failed state, another terrorist state?" he asked.
Netanyahu commended the US President for pledging that Iran must never, ever obtain a nuclear weapon and stressed that its missile program was a threat - not only to Israel and the region, but to America due to the ICBMs under development and Iran's plans for a nuclear arsenal.
President Trump greeted the Israeli leader with stress on the "unbreakable bond with our cherished ally, Israel" their cooperation against violence and terror and shared values in respect of human life. He said that his first sit-down with Netanyahu as president would be the first of "many productive meetings."
The president made the exceptional gestures of welcoming Netanyahu and his wife Sarah at the door of the White House, with the First Lady at his side. The couples exchanged warm embraces.
Melania Trump took a seat beside Sarah Netanyahu in the front row of the news conference. They were joined by Ivanka and Jared Kushner, who holds the post of special adviser to the president.
Netanyahu ends his Washington visit Thursday after meeting Vice President Mike Pence and leaders of Congress.
Nasrallah warns: Hezbollah's missiles can hit Israel's nuclear reactor - http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Nasrallah-warns-Hezbollahs-missiles-can-hit-Israels-nuclear-reactor-481789
Hezbollah leader says Wednesday's Trump-Netanyahu meeting signaled the death of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called on Israel to dismantle its nuclear reactor in Dimona on Thursday, warning that it poses a threat to Israel's existence should it be hit by one of Hezbollah's missiles.
Nasrallah made a similar threat against Haifa's ammonia tank last year, saying that a missile hitting the facility could have the affect of a nuclear bomb. Last week, a Haifa court ordered the tank closed, citing the security threat.
Speaking in a televised speech commemorating Hezbollah's slain leaders, Nasrallah said that Hezbollah sees Israel's emptying of the ammonia tank as a sign that it fears the Lebanese Sh'ite group.
"I call on Israel not only to empty the ammonia tank in Haifa, but also to dismantle the nuclear reactor in Dimona. Our military capabilities will strike Israel and its settlements," he warned.
Nasrallah also suggested that Israel has been emboldened by the election of Donald Trump as US president.
"Trump's election does not scare us, even if claims that he will give [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu the green light to wage a war on Lebanon turn out to be true," Lebanese news website Naharnet quoted Nasrallah as saying.
"Israel is continuing to launch threats against Lebanon and speaks of the third Lebanon war and of what it will do during this third war," Nasrallah stated. " We've been hearing these threats since the end of the July 2006 war. Every other day we hear statements about the third Lebanon war and about the coming vengeance. The new threats are based on the election of Trump, but the policy of the new American administration in the region is not clear," he added.
The leader of the Lebanese Shi'ite group downplayed the importance of Israel's superior air force in a potential conflict.
"Aerial war alone cannot decide the fate of the battle and cannot achieve victory," Nasrallah said. "Had it not been for the Syrian army's fighting on the ground in Syria, it would not have been able to achieve decisive victory," he added.
Discussing Wednesday's meeting between Netanyahu and Trump, Nasrallah said that the prospect of peaceful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians was now over.
"After what came out after the meeting between Netanyahu and Trump, I am not exaggerating if I say that yesterday there was a semi-official announcement of the death of the path of negotiations," he said.
Iran says Israel, not Tehran, biggest threat to global security - http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-News/Iran-says-Israel-not-Tehran-biggest-threat-to-global-security-481796
"The Zionist regime (Israel) poses the biggest threat to regional and international peace and security by possessing hundreds of nuclear warheads in its arsenal."
Iran on Thursday rejected US President Donald Trump's statement that its nuclear ambitions were a major security challenge and said its arch foe Israel was the biggest threat to global peace.
"The Zionist regime (Israel) poses the biggest threat to regional and international peace and security by possessing hundreds of nuclear warheads in its arsenal," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
Israel, believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, sees Iran's nuclear program as a threat to its existence. It refuses to confirm or deny it has nuclear weapons.
After meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday in Washington, Trump said the threat of Iran's nuclear ambitions was one of the biggest security challenges facing Israel.
"The bitter irony is that such baseless allegations are raised by the Zionist regime that is not committed to any international regulations," Qasemi said.
Iran tests more missiles 'capable of reaching Israel'
Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to a nuclear accord reached between Iran and six world powers in 2015, which he believes is insufficient to stop Tehran developing an atomic bomb. Under the deal, Tehran received relief from global economic sanctions in return for curbing its nuclear work.
Trump, who has also criticized the accord, assured Netanyahu that Tehran would never be able to build a nuclear weapon.
But Qasemi repeated Tehran's assertion that it had no such plans, saying a nuclear weapons program had "no place in Iran's defense doctrine".
"The accusations against Iran are in contradiction to multiple reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which have confirmed the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities," Qasemi said.
Trump put Iran "on notice" after a Jan. 29 Iranian missile test and imposed new sanctions on individuals and entities. Iran said it will not halt its missile program.
Temple of Ba'al Arch Erected for World Government Summit in Dubai - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/83746/new-world-order-forming-pagan-temple-baal-arch/#0vHMKeQmbEUifc4M.99
"For they have consulted together with one consent; against Thee do they make a covenant; The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moav, and the Hagrites." Psalms 83:6-7 (The Israel Bible™)
A replica of a Roman arch that once stood in front of the pagan Temple of Ba'al was erected for the World Government Summit in Dubai this week, creating a scene that one rabbi claims symbolizes the dangerous fusion of Ishmael and Edom against Israel.
The original Roman Victory Arch stood for 1,800 years in Palmyra, Syria, until it was destroyed by ISIS in October 2015. A full-size 28-meter tall replica of the arch was created last year by the Institute for Digital Archeology, a joint project of Oxford and Harvard universities, and has been displayed twice before.
The replica was erected for the opening of the World Government Summit that opened on Sunday in Dubai. Based in the United Arab Emirates, the summit is an international organization for global dialogue where leaders in government, business, and technology discuss how governments operate and how policies are made.
The first summit, held in 2013, was attended by former US President Barack Obama, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and other world leaders.
Though a Roman artifact recreated in a modern Arab metropolis may seem incongruous, Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific author and End of Days scholar, saw a deeper meaning in it that is incredibly relevant today.
Though Rome and the Arab Emirates appear in different parts of the world and at different points in history, Rabbi Winston sees them as connected ideologically and spiritually.
"Tradition tells of four exiles, the last being the Roman exile. Israel is being assailed by the Arabs but nowhere do we hear of a fifth, Arab or Ishmael exile," explained Rabbi Winston. "This Roman arch in Dubai symbolically ties them both together: Ishmael, the Arabs, and Edom, which was epitomized by Rome."
The original arch in Palmyra, built by Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, stood in front of a preexisting temple that was used by the Mesopotamians to worship the pagan god Bel, mentioned often in the Bible as Ba'al.
For he built again the high places which Chizkiyahu his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal. II Kings 21:3
"Just like the Romans, the Arabs are trying to control the world, and succeeding," said Rabbi Winston. "Even though it is the Arabs against the Jews, it is really the Arabs continuing the mission of Edom to conquer the world. This connection between Dubai and Rome is showing that Edom never ended. It just put on a different mask."
The first century Jewish sage Jonathan ben Uzziel wrote about how this Biblical alliance between Ishmael and Esau and would reappear at the End of Days. Clear evidence of the spiritual connection between these two seemingly disparate worlds can be found in the growing political cooperation between Rome and the Muslim/Arab world.
The bond has manifested in the strengthening of ties between the Vatican and the Palestinian Authority, as well as Pope Francis' meeting with the President of Iran.
Though Edom and the desire to rule the world is personified by Rome, Rabbi Winston explained that the archetype has Biblical roots.
"The push for one world government goes back to the Tower of Babel, trying to put the power in the hands of the wealthy, the powerful, and the arrogant," he said.
And they said: 'Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.' Genesis 11:4
"The Arab desire to rule the world is part of their religion and that is also very Roman," continued Rabbi Winston. "World rule is also the religion of the rich and powerful."
The motive behind world rule can sound altruistic, but Rabbi Winston noted a critical distinction.
"The desire to fix the world and to make it a better place resembles a Messianic movement," the rabbi said. "But unless it is based in God, it is twisted and turns destructive because it is based on ego. It has always attracted secular academia because it aggrandizes Human Intellect over the One who rules over us all."
The reproduction appeared for the first time in London on April 19 during the UNESCO Heritage Week, which coincided disturbingly with Beltane, a major pagan festival for worshiping Ba'al. The arch appeared again in New York City's City Hall Park in September.
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
God's Love is Perfect - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
God's love is perfect. Our human understanding of love is limited, but the standard of perfection is set by God. "But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also." Luke 6:27-29. Though Jesus said to love our enemies, too often we seek revenge on someone who offends us and we have a hard time forgiving others. Jesus didn't ask us to do anything He didn't do Himself. His love is perfect and His forgiveness is available to everyone who asks.
Sin is a problem for all humanity. Everyone sins. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23. This verse can be discouraging but God is always willing to forgive us. Nobody can possibly measure up to God's expectations, but even though we fail He still loves us. The problem of sin began in the Garden of Eden when Satan lied to Eve and Adam followed her in eating the forbidden fruit. This rebellion continues to this day. It's in our human nature to fight against God, and that rebellion is a death sentence. "For the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23a. Sin pays deadly wages but God takes no pleasure in people facing eternal death.
Pride was what caused Satan to defy God and that was his downfall. "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18. Satan exemplifies this verse and he still thinks he can win against God. There is a battle raging between Satan and God and the prize is human souls. Satan has wrapped sin in a package with pretty paper and ribbons to tempt us, but that only disguises just how ugly sin is. God knew before He created the world that sin would have a strong hold upon us, but because His love is perfect He gives us a choice. He could have programmed us to love and serve Him, but that wouldn't be real love. Unless there's a choice it's just control.
God doesn't keep secrets. He has given us the Holy Scriptures to guide us away from sin. That means we're without excuse when we rebel against God and commit sin. Keeping God's Law is impossible, although some people claim to be able to not sin. That in itself is the sin of pride. Our idea of sin and God's idea are different. God alone sets the standards, not humans. Sin involves more than just actions, but we tend to think that if we don't act on an ungodly thought we're okay. The Ten Commandments is a very short list summarizing the Law. It's impossible to even keep ten sins out of our life let alone the entire Law. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3. "Other gods" might include money, television, cars, sports, and anything else that you put ahead of God Almighty. No matter how hard we try not to, we all have something we put ahead of God. Remember, it's God's standards we need to live up to, not human standards. It's easy to point fingers, but the truth is that most of us have many things in our life that we put ahead of God. That's sin.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about man's standards as opposed to God's. He talked about the Ten Commandments. "Thou shalt not kill." Exodus 20:13. In pride we justify our own perfection by saying that the Hebrew word translated "kill" means murder and most of us have never set out to murder another person. That seems simple enough, but Jesus said that even calling someone a fool is worthy of hell. "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." Matthew 5:22. What names do you call someone who cuts you off in traffic? Do you call them a fool, or worse? It's easy to see that nobody lives up to God's standards of perfection. Can He love us anyway? Yes, His love is perfect.
Shall we talk about adultery? "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Exodus 20:14. That's right to the point and usually we think of this as a man lusting after another man's wife. Jesus said "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:28. Do you have a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue? Oh right, you just read the articles. Television promotes lust and so do movies. In fact, much of the "entertainment" we partake of promotes sin. This verse doesn't only apply to married men lusting after married women, but also applies to those who aren't married and also to women. The Apostle Paul said to take control over thoughts. "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5. If your relationship with another person isn't Biblically based, you need to take your thoughts before the Lord. He knows them anyway and loves you in spite of it. His love is perfect, but you need to seek His forgiveness.
It could be easy to get discouraged when we look at our life and compare our thoughts and actions to God's standards. God created us and Satan corrupts us. Is there any way to live up to God's ideals? No, not by our own efforts. We can try, but even the kindest person falls far short of God's standards. In order to restore the fellowship that Adam and Eve enjoyed with God prior to the Fall, God sent his Son to be the atonement for our sin. "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." John 3:16. Most of us have heard this verse quoted many times. There's no love greater or more perfect than God's love for you. He knows you sin, but His love is far greater than the sins in your life. He doesn't look for ways to condemn you, but He offers salvation. "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 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." John 3:17-18. Love is a choice and God chooses to love you. It's time for you to choose to love Him. If you don't, then you have condemned yourself to eternal death. You can't blame God for a choice you have made.
Don't wait until you've become "good enough" to ask God to come into your life. If you're waiting for your own perfection it will never come. God's love is perfect and is offered to everyone right now while we are still lost sinners. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8. Jesus loves us and it's only His righteousness that allows us to come before the most Holy God. You will never be good enough to stand before the throne of God by any effort of your own. Jesus chose to enter His creation to bring salvation to everyone who asks. When Christ died on the cross, you weren't yet born. Every sin you commit was in the future when He went to the cross, but He died for you anyway. Now, you need to accept the forgiveness He offers. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." John 15:13-14. Jesus did lay down His life for you. Accept His love and follow His commands. There is great peace in living your life for God. His perfect love far outshines the filthy lusts of this world.
There is no pleasure in sin. You might think you're having a wonderful time sowing your wild oats, but hangovers aren't fun. That's just one of the problems of sin. What about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases? When you choose to live opposed to God you choose to be diseased. Alcoholism leads to liver problems, smoking leads to lung disease, drugs open doors for demons to enter. Still, God has perfect love for you and is willing to forgive every sin. The wages of sin is death "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23b. You have to ask Him for His forgiveness. Then allow Him to change you. He will help you to overcome alcoholism, drug addiction, and every sin that has taken hold of your life. You may have to live your life dealing with the results of your sin, such as AIDS, but God's perfect love will see you through.
Prior to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, the Law required animal blood sacrifices to cover sin. There was no permanent solution so those sacrifices had to be made continually. After Christ's sacrifice on the cross there is a permanent solution. Jesus didn't abolish the Law, but through Him we are made perfect. "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" Colossians 2:13-14. By His perfect love He took our sin and nailed it to His cross. He did this willingly and He won't force this gift of salvation upon you. Accept it and apply it to your life. There is no other way to obtain eternal life than through faith in Christ's sacrifice. "Much more then, being now justified by his blood we shall be saved from wrath through him. 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." Romans 5:9-10. Only faith in His death, burial, and resurrection brings eternal life.
"And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." Romans 5:11. Turn to Him today and receive the forgiveness for sin that He offers. God's love is perfect.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: A great day for America - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The Abrahamic Covenant, made by God to Abraham and his descendants, is the foundation on which God's entire plan of salvation rests. Genesis 12:1-3 says, "...Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee; And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and you shall be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curses thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Over the past decade, America has not blessed Israel, and we have suffered great economic loss, strife and division. On February 15, that began to change under President Donald Trump.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House and President Trump in one of the most significant meetings in recent history. America changed course with its President stating that his foreign policy goals do not involve dividing Israel into two states to achieve peace with Palestinian terrorists, and hinted at a broader, regional approach involving other countries. Trump said that his Administration rejects the "unfair and one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations." Trump reiterated that his administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran and confirmed: "I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing-I mean ever-a nuclear weapon." Trump in one news conference committed to undoing almost every foreign policy of his predecessor's evil and malicious support of Israel's enemies.
Netanyahu said that to have peace, "First, the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state. They have to stop calling for Israel's destruction. They have to stop educating their people for Israel's destruction. Second, in any peace agreement, Israel must retain the overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River. Because if we don't, we know what will happen -- because otherwise we'll get another radical Islamic terrorist state in the Palestinian areas exploding the peace, exploding the Middle East. Now, unfortunately, the Palestinians vehemently reject both prerequisites for peace. First, they continue to call for Israel's destruction--inside their schools, inside their mosques, inside the textbooks. You have to read it to believe it."
There are many Christians who do not believe Israel is Israel and Jerusalem is Jerusalem. Some believe that Christians replaced Jews as God's chosen people. Others believe that the Israel spoken of in the Bible is a spiritual one. And there are many supersessionist beliefs in between them. But if you believe that the Bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God, then Israel is Israel-historically, physically and prophetically. The promise in the unconditional, one-way Abrahamic covenant is that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed. This is repeated throughout the prophets even unto the end of days. The sea-change in foreign policy by the Trump Administration toward Israel marks a great day for America.
Daily Devotion: The Last Thing God Wants to Do - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?" -Ezekiel 33:11
When the prophet Jonah very reluctantly went to the city of Nineveh and preached that God would judge them in forty days, the king of Nineveh repented of his sin and set an example for his subjects. All the people repented of their sin, and God's judgment was lifted.
In the same way, God told the people during Noah's time that judgment was coming, but 120 years passed before it happened.
The Bible says, "When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong" (Ecclesiastes 8:11). If we get away with something, we may think we'll never get caught. But one thing is certain: It may be ten years from now, it may be ten hours from now, or it may be ten minutes from now, but God will keep His word. We will reap what we sow. We can take that to the bank.
God is in no rush to judge us. But at the same time, there comes a moment when the hammer drops, when our number is up. Understand, God doesn't want to judge us. He says, "I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live" (Ezekiel 33:11). The Bible also says that God "does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent" (2 Peter 3:9).
The last thing God wants to do is judge you. The last thing He wants to do is see you go to Hell. The last thing He wants to do is see your life wasted and thrown away. You were made in His image. He cares about you. And that is why He sent His own Son to die on the cross in your place and in mine.
FROM THE HEART
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