Prophecy Update Newsletter
February 23, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Watching, Waiting, Wondering When - by Gene Lawley - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/02/19/watching-waiting-wondering-when/
Just like every other year, 2017 starts off with our wondering if this will be the time and season when the Lord will take out that final one from the Gentiles for His namesake, if...if...if...if....
I was looking at Ezekiel 37 recently, trying to see if there is some hint in the Old Testament prophetic accounts about the selection and ordaining of the 144,000 special Jewish messengers, as recorded in Revelation 7. That is the chapter in Ezekiel telling about the valley of dry bones coming to life, a unique portrayal of the restoration of the nation of Israel. I didn't find anything about the 144,000, but I did notice what was missing in the content of chapter 37 and those following it.
After the restoration of Israel, Ezekiel goes directly to the invasion of Israel by Gog of the far north, in chapters 38-39. The valley of dry bones account has its parallel in Luke 21:29 and following with the budding of the fig tree. But why did Ezekiel not mention those events in between Israel's rebirth and the Gog-Magog war? And of further interest is that he goes right into a detailed plan for the construction of the new temple. Temple reconstruction fits into the first half of the seven years of the covenant that is confirmed, according to Daniel 9:27.
Another interesting comment at the end of Ezekiel 37 is the promise there of a "covenant of peace" that the Lord assures Israel that it will be everlasting:
"Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore" (Ezekiel 37:26).
Is this indirectly referring to that covenant confirmation Daniel introduces in Daniel 9:27? That one is solely a product of the Gentiles (the United Nations, possibly) and is not everlasting, as it is for only seven years. Also, is the reference to establishing "a sanctuary in their midst forevermore" another reassurance to Israel to look beyond what is scheduled in their forefront during the seven years of the imposed covenant to that time when Jesus sets His feet on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4) and sets up His earthly kingdom for a thousand-year reign from Jerusalem and erases the desolation of the sanctuary caused by the lawless one?
What about the Rapture event? He doesn't mention it, nor what has and is happening since the rebirth of Israel. I had to conclude that Ezekiel was a prophet, primarily, to the Jews, and we look to Daniel to see the parallel of biblical history with secular history. Then we have the prophecies of the New Testament filling in the details and the end-time wrap up. Paul introduces the details of the New Covenant of Christ's redemption plan as mysteries that had not been told previously. Indeed, Peter says these are "things which angels desire to look into" (1 Peter 1:12).
After the conclusion of the Gog-Magog war, at the end of chapter 39 of Ezekiel, the Lord reviews again His sending Israel into captivity and why, and reminds them that He will no longer turn his face away from them, having restored them to their land. Why is it so hard for the "Replacement Theology" proponents to believe and understand that God does not make promises He does not intend to keep?
In order for the temple to be rebuilt, as the chapters following Ezekiel 39 so describe it, there must have been the "confirmation of a covenant with many" of seven years, as mentioned in Daniel 9:27. Halfway through that seven-year covenant, that descendant prince of the ancient Romans who destroyed the city and temple will desecrate this new temple, shutting down the sacrifices and declaring himself God.
Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 of this imposition, "...who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."
That is exactly what Isaiah 14:12-15 says is the ambition of Lucifer:
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit."
The central figure in all his claims is "I" just as this word connection indicates: Sin, Pride, Lucifer.
As believers watch, wait and wonder what all these things that are happening have to do with God's plan for our redemption, I am one who is convinced that God will not allow mankind to create circumstances in their own timeframe that will fulfill His plan that was made before time began. "Flesh and blood" is never allowed to inflict its "Adam-defiled" poison into His holy purposes.
The atmosphere of rebellion in America against what is intended to be a return to law and order, safety from the threat of terrorism, and a return to national stability of social and economic conditions is so radically contrary to common sense. It has all the marks of Satanic motivation-good is evil and evil is good (Isaiah 5:20). There is an apparent principle in God's economy that as people turn away from God, He, then, turns away from them, letting them "gorge themselves" with the degradation that their sinfulness so desires. Note, for example, in Romans 1:22-24, how that came about:
"Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man-and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts...."
Solomon recorded this truth, that "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 10:9), yet these "profess themselves to be wise."
We have thought that the "falling away" that must happen before the Lord comes back for the believers, as Paul reports in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, it means "falling away from the faith," but it could well include in its meaning the total rejection of all that even hints of God. That documentary I saw, years ago, of lemmings rushing pell-mell over the cliff to their deaths is a vivid reminder of what this culture is now portraying.
There is an answer for that emptiness of life and purpose, that sense of futility:
"On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink'" (John 7:37).
As Jesus cried out those words of anguish and longing for those who are lost those many centuries ago, His eternal plea still rings out today. Those who belong to Him realize that in these troubled times, He is our Blessed Hope, whose appearance we are expecting soon.
Contact email: email@example.com
Israel Air Force carried out airstrikes near Damascus on Hezbollah arms convoy and Syrian military target - http://beholdisrael.org/news-israel/news/israel-air-force-carried-out-airstrikes-near-damascus-hezbollah-arms-convoy-and
Airstrikes carried out overnight on Hezbollah arms convoy, Assad regime military compound hit; Reports claim strikes carried out from Lebanese airspace
The Israel Air Force carried out airstrikes near Damascus on Wednesday, targeting a Hezbollah arms convoy as well as a Syrian army arsenal.
Numerous Arab media stations reported the strikes early Wednesday morning, the IDF, as with majority of covert operations in Syria, neither denying nor confirming the strikes.
The strikes were carried out on an attempted arms convoy in route to Hezbollah on the Damascus-Beirut highway in west Syria, as well as near the town of As'saboura.
Reports confirmed that a Syrian Army's Fourth Battalion arsenal was hit, with numerous reports claiming the arms convoy was a Syrian army vehicle. Syrian media reported four explosions in the early hours of Wednesday at a Syrian Army military compound claiming Israeli Air Force jets carried out the strikes from Lebanese air space.
Syrian media reported that Israeli fighter jets fired two missiles, reporting no injuries or casualties.
The strikes come following two previous Israel Air Force strikes on Syria earlier this week. The first was in retaliation for mortar fire and gunfire at IDF soldiers on the border region with Syria Sunday morning. The Israel Air Force (IAF) strike killed four Islamic State affiliated terrorists, the first time the IDF has clashed with Islamic State affiliated terrorists in Syria on Israel's border.
One day later, the IAF carried out a second round of airstrikes destroying an ISIS-linked terror cell in southern Syria. The IDF stated on the strikes "The IDF will continue to spare no effort to defend the Israeli public while maintaining the military's freedom of operation in Israel's sovereign territory, and it will not hesitate to counteract terrorist organizations threatening Israel."
Prime Minister Netanyahu warned ISIS and all terrorist organizations against threatening Israel's borders, stating following the attack "We are well prepared on our northern border and will not allow Islamic State elements or any other hostile elements to use the war in Syria to establish themselves close to our borders. We will not let Islamic State operatives, or other operatives under the auspices of the Syrian war, establish themselves along our borders."
Will Israel Go To War? Airstrikes Hit Syrian Army As ISIS Nears Border, Arab Media Reports - By Tom O'Connor - http://www.ibtimes.com/will-israel-go-war-airstrikes-hit-syrian-army-isis-nears-border-arab-media-reports-2495967
Israeli warplanes struck positions held by the Syrian army near Damascus on Wednesday, according to local Arab media, as forces loyal to the jihadist Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, seized territory close to the Israeli-Syrian border.
Using Lebanese airspace, Israeli planes targeted the Syrian army's 3rd Division in the al-Qutayfah district east of Damascus as military forces attempted to transport weapons to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, according to Lebanese media outlet Al Jadeed. No casualties were reported as a result of the strike, according to pan-Arab media outlet Al Mayadeen.
The reported strike comes a week after Hezbollah General Secretary Hassan Nasrallah condemned President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting in Washington, saying the militants did not want another war but would defend themselves if Israel engaged.
Hezbollah, which has enjoyed Iranian support, was formed in the 1980s and played a crucial role in expelling Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon during the country's civil war. The group has routinely clashed with Israel and has supported Syrian President Bashar Assad against various armed opposition groups in the country's six-year civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians and displaced millions more. Netanyahu, who officially claims neutrality on the neighboring conflict, acknowledged for the first time in December that Israeli forces were behind previous air strikes on Hezbollah and the Syrian army.
The reported strike came as ISIS-affiliated forces advanced in Syria's southern Golan Heights region. A group known as the Khalid bin Walid Army launched a surprise attack on other opposition forces, taking several villages in the area not far from territory occupied by Israel. Israeli forces took the area after its 1967 war with Syria and other Arab nations, ultimately annexing it in the 1980s without international recognition.
In the first direct clashes between the forces since the conflict began, Israeli soldiers targeted and killed several ISIS militants in the Golan Heights region in November. Israel has also treated wounded Syrian opposition fighters as Tel Aviv has typically viewed powers such as the Syrian government and Hezbollah that are backed by Iran as a greater existential threat.
Assad has accused Israel of colluding with ISIS and other militant groups in Syria, something Tel Aviv has denied.
Archaeologists Discover Remains of Egyptian Army From the Biblical Exodus in Red Sea - http://archaeologyhub.info/archaeologists-discover-remains-egyptian-army-biblical-exodus-red-sea/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork
Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced this morning that a team of underwater archaeologists had discovered that remains of a large Egyptian army from the 14th century BC, at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, 1.5 kilometers offshore from the modern city of Ras Gharib. The team was searching for the remains of ancient ships and artifacts related to Stone Age and Bronze Age trade in the Red Sea area, when they stumbled upon a gigantic mass of human bones darkened by age.
The scientists lead by Professor Abdel Muhammad Gader and associated with Cairo University's Faculty of Archaeology, have already recovered a total of more than 400 different skeletons, as well as hundreds of weapons and pieces of armor, also the remains of two war chariots, scattered over an area of approximately 200 square meters. They estimate that more than 5000 other bodies could be dispersed over a wider area, suggesting that an army of large size who have perished on the site.
This magnificent blade from an Egyptian khopesh, was certainly the weapon of an important character. It was discovered near the remains of a richly decorated war chariot, suggesting it could have belonged to a prince or nobleman.
Many clues on the site have brought Professor Gader and his team to conclude that the bodies could be linked to the famous episode of the Exodus. First of all, the ancient soldiers seem to have died on dry ground, since no traces of boats or ships have been found in the area. The positions of the bodies and the fact that they were stuck in a vast quantity of clay and rock, imply that they could have died in a mudslide or a tidal wave.
The shear number of bodies suggests that a large ancient army perished on the site and the dramatic way by which they were killed, both seem to corroborate the biblical version of the Red Sea Crossing, when the army of the Egyptian Pharaoh was destroyed by the returning waters that Moses had parted. This new find certainly proves that there was indeed an Egyptian army of large size that was destroyed by the waters of the Red Sea during the reign of King Akhenaten.
For centuries, the famous biblical account of the 'Red Sea Crossing' was dismissed by most scholars and historians as more symbolic than historical.
This astounding discovery brings undeniable scientific proof that one the most famous episodes of the Old Testament was indeed, based on an historical event. It brings a brand new perspective on a story that many historians have been considering for years as a work of fiction, and suggesting that other themes like the 'Plagues of Egypt' could indeed have an historical base.
A lot more research and many more recovery operations are to be expected on the site over the next few years, as Professor Gader and his team have already announced their desire to retrieve the rest of the bodies and artifacts from was has turned out to be one of the richest archaeological underwater sites ever discovered ( via www.dailymedia.info ).
Fascinating Arguments for the Pre-Trib Rapture - By Dale Eliot - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/02/21/fascinating-arguments-for-the-pre-trib-rapture-by-dale-eliot/
The late Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost's many accomplishments could take up much space here. For instance just to mention a few, he was Distinguished Professor of Bible Exposition, Emeritus, at Dallas Theological Seminary. He was a pastor and an author of many books. But my focus here is just a small part of one of his books, his famous work, Things to Come, A Study in Biblical Eschatology.
If books were to be recommended for reading to anyone who has an interest in biblical eschatology, I think Things to Come, A Study in Biblical Eschatology is one that should be up there near the top. I read it many years ago, but still refer to it often.
One chapter titled "The Pretribulation Rapture Theory" has arguments in support of this position. Some of the reasons listed are common ones that I hear mentioned quite often, like, the work of the Restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2, distinctions between Israel and the Church, and distinctions between the Rapture and the Second Advent.
But some are reasons that may be new to some. I have selected some to list here. I might mention Dr. Pentecost's statement that we should all remember when studying Scripture, "These considerations all arise from the literal method of interpretation."
1) The relation of the Church to governments. This is a very good point. Think about it. In 1 Timothy 2: 1-4 we are instructed to pray for the government and those in authority, and in Romans 13:1, we are told to be in subjection to the governing authorities. Bu in Revelation 13:4 we are told that Satan, the dragon-will control the government during the Tribulation. How could the Church subject herself to a satanic government or pray for it, as we are instructed to now? It could not.
As Dr. Pentecost says, "Because of the relationship of the Church to governments in this age and because of the satanic control of government in the seventieth week, the Church must be delivered before this satanic government manifests itself."
2) The silence concerning the Tribulation in the Epistles. This could be an interesting study of its own. We find many examples in the Epistles that were written to give help and assistance to the church in how to endure persecution in this age. There is no teaching to the Church for dealing with the most severe persecution men will have ever known-the Tribulation. Dr. Pentecost rightly states "The silence in the Epistles which would leave the church unprepared for the Tribulation argues for her being absent from that period all together."
3) The waiting remnant at the Second Advent. I have read articles which say that all believers during the Tribulation will be martyred. That notion is false. Many passages like Malachi 3:16; Ezekiel 20:33-38; 37:11-28; Zachariah13:8-9; and Matthew 25:31-40 indicate that there will be a believing remnant in Israel awaiting His return. There will also be a remnant of believing Gentiles who survive the Tribulation. These groups of believers go into the Millennium in their natural bodies, but not having experienced death and resurrection. If the Church were on the earth at the time of the Second Advent (by the post-Trib theory) those people who get saved would be saved into the spiritual Body the Church and be raptured at that time. Consequently, there would not be any saved people left on earth.
Dr. Pentecost rightly states, "These considerations make necessary the pretribulation Rapture of the church, so that God may call out and preserve a remnant during the Tribulation in and through whom the promises may be fulfilled." (The promises in the Abrahamic, Davidic, Palestinic, and new covenants.)
4) The sealed 144,000 from Israel. When a person is saved while the church is still here on earth, he is saved into the church, whether Jew or Gentile, as indicated in Colossians 1:26-29; 3:11; Ephesians 2:14-22; 3:1-7. But during the Tribulation, Revelation 7:14 indicates that 12,000 Jews are saved out of each tribe to a special group of Jews. They are sent as representatives to the nations as witnesses of Christ. The Church was given this instruction to take the gospel to the world, indicating the Church must be absent.
5) The apostasy of the period. It's often mentioned that the Church is obviously absent from most of Revelation when all the Tribulation events are described taking place on earth. The only organized church mentioned is the Jezebel system, Revelation 2:22; Revelation 17 and 18. The believing witnesses, converted during the period, are said to have kept themselves from defilement by this apostate system, Revelation 14:4.
Dr. Pentecost states, "Since the Church is not mentioned as also having kept herself from this system it must be concluded that the Church is not there." (The Church has been translated out before the Tribulation.)
These are just a few of the arguments listed in a chapter in Dr. Pentecost's book. He presents the other Rapture theories also in subsequent chapters and presents the reasons why those theories don't work. Many other chapters deal with other eschatological issues. This book would be a valuable addition to anyone's library. It can still be found everywhere.
May those who come behind us find us faithful.
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
Righteous Men and Women Standing in the Gap - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
"And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Ezekiel 22:30. The Lord uses people to do His work, but so few are willing to stand in the gap. It would be easy for God to just do things Himself, but He chooses to involve humans to help accomplish His plan. Very few are found who are willing to step out on faith to accomplish God's will. Where are righteous men and women who seek God diligently, listen for His direction, and give their all to accomplish God's will? He could be calling you to do something you think is impossible. Take your fingers out of your ears and listen to Him.
We aren't born righteous. Because of Adam's sin we're more apt to follow the evil temptations from Satan than to seek God and follow His ways. In spite of our human failings, God is able to use men to accomplish His plan. Nobody lived in more evil days than Noah, yet he kept himself apart from the corruption of all creation. Because of his obedience to God, humanity was given a new start. "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." Hebrews 11:7. Jesus said the end days would be like those of Noah's day, and we see that happening. Will you, like Noah, separate yourself from the corruption around you? God needs righteous men and women to be examples to a lost and dying world. He needs you to stand in the gap.
It didn't take long until sin and corruption took hold again. Satan stays busy corrupting mankind. When the time was right, God called Abram from a heathen culture. Abraham wasn't righteous, but God saw past the idolatry and knew his potential. He called Abraham to be the father of a great nation. Because of Abraham's willingness to obey God, the nation of Israel was born. "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Romans 4:3. Through the nation of Israel God gave His greatest gift to mankind, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If Abraham had refused to leave the idol worshiping culture he lived in, God would have found somebody else. "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." James 2:23. Because of obedience, Abraham is remembered as a great man in spite of his failures. God can use you too if you're willing to obey Him. He can help you to step away from the sin around you and lead you along His path of righteousness.
Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God demonstrates that He chooses men to lead, but women are also given the opportunity to stand in the gap. Deborah is a woman who comes to mind when we think of people who obeyed God. "And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment." Judges 4:4-5. God revealed to Deborah that Israel was to fight against King Jabin of Hazor. She enlisted Barak to lead an army of men to fight against Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army. Barak only agreed to go fight if Deborah went with him. Deborah must have loved the Lord and served Him well because she agreed to go. Barak would face a fierce battle and he Deborah was close to the Lord and could give godly advice. Every leader needs godly advisors in order to make right decisions. "And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh." Judges 4:9. Deborah heard God's voice and wasn't afraid to speak His truth. God used her to righteously judge Israel and to inspire Barak to fight in battle on behalf of God. We all fight battles with the enemy. Satan wants to come between you and God. Fight the battle by studying God's word and applying it to your life. Surround yourself with godly men and women who hear God's truth who will give you godly advice. Today we seem more apt to look to Facebook friends for advice, but unless they are like Deborah and speak on behalf of God you are looking for help in the wrong place. The battle belongs to the Lord, but you need to arm yourself with His tools of battle...with His righteousness.
Another woman who stood in the gap was a young Jewish woman named Hadassah, better known as Esther. She lived in the very pagan Babylonian culture found in Shushan. Through a series of circumstances she married King Ahasuerus and became his queen. She had been advised by her cousin Mordecai to not tell anyone that she was Jewish. As it turned out, that was good advice. Eventually a man named Haman brought charges against all of the Jews and convinced the king that they should be killed on the thirteenth day of Adar. That's when Queen Esther chose to stand in the gap. Mordecai made her aware of the planned murder of her people and told her "For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14. God had allowed her to be the queen for such a time as that. Esther understood that she needed to bring Haman's evilness to the king's attention, but she hadn't been called to him for many days. If she approached him without being called he could have had her killed. Esther chose to stand in the gap. She was able to invite King Ahasuerus and Haman to banquets which she prepared in order to get Haman to show his true nature to the king. Haman did just as Esther had hoped and King Ahasuerus had him hanged. She also revealed that she was, in fact, Jewish and would be killed by the king's decree. King Ahasuerus repealed the decree. What if Esther had chosen to keep silent? Esther was in a unique position to speak up for the Jews, even though her life could have been in danger. Today we need to follow her example. Israel is in a war against satanic people who want to destroy them. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee." Psalm 122:6. The battle is vicious, but stand in the gap by praying for Jerusalem.
The people I've described stood in the gap and obeyed God. Were they righteous people who were a bit more perfect than others? No, they were just people who chose to obey God. Many others are named in the Bible who God sees as righteous in spite of their failures. We might look at Lot as being lost and beyond salvation. He chose to live in Sodom, a city filled with the filth of sin so great that God needed to destroy it. Yet, Peter says that Lot was a righteous man. "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." 2 Peter 2:6-9. Lot doesn't seem to have accomplished any special mission like Abraham or Esther, but if the Lord can see him as worthy of salvation, then you and I can take heart. He was in Sodom, but wasn't a part of the abominable sin there. The sin of this world grows darker each day. Even though we live here we don't have to partake in it. Only faith in Jesus Christ will make your righteous and save you from eternal death.
The men and women mentioned above were regular people living their daily lives...people just like us. Each and every day we are faced with a challenge to do what God asks of us or to fail. When God asks you to step out and witness to a neighbor or a co-worker, do you cower in fear of what they might think, or do you share the Gospel with them? Esther could have lost her life for speaking out on behalf of the Jewish people, but you probably just run the risk of being scoffed at. "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." Romans 6:13. God will give you courage when you need it, but you need to be willing to step out in faith. You may not be asked to build an Ark or be a war advisor, but winning souls for Christ is the most important task God has set before each Christian. "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." Proverbs 11:30. Study Scripture in order to have answers and pray. Let the Holy Spirit lead you.
God is always looking for righteous man and woman to stand in the gap and accomplish great things for Him. "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:" Romans 3:22. It isn't your own righteousness that qualifies you for service to God, but righteousness that only comes through faith in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. If you confess Him as your Saviour, then move away from unrighteous ties to unbelievers and stand firm upon His word. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14. Witness to the unrighteous, but don't yoke yourself with them. Everyone who saw the Ark being built saw Noah's faith in action. If Noah had joined with the unrighteous people of his day he would have failed in the task God called him to do and he would have died in the flood.
We can never be righteous enough by our own merit to stand before God...it's only the righteousness of Jesus that makes us worthy. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him: and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:7-9. We need to make God's ways our ways and think like Him. While we live on this side of Heaven we will never completely understand His ways, but we can draw closer to Him. Study Scripture, pray, and find ways to stand in the gap for Him.
"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:32. He's looking for sinners to repent and to be righteous through Him. He's looking for you to stand in the gap.
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: Is America set up for a coup? - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
My ministry partner of 25 years, William Agbeti, has been through six coups d'état in Ghana spanning from 1966 through 1981. Only one failed. I asked him to analyze the factors of those coups and compare them with the current situation in America to see if there were similarities. He said, "All the FACTORS that play out for coups d'état are currently PRESENT in the US. Most of these FACTORS are oftentimes masterminded. The stage is being set for perhaps America's first coup d'état." Agbeti went on to identify the various indicators already in place that may contribute to an overthrow of the US government in some form or another. Did the previous "president" set the stage for a third-world coup in the US? Read on.
Agbeti says, "Coup makers in Ghana belonged to one, part or all of the following categories of persons: disgruntled leaders, power-drunk individuals, stoogies fronting for organized criminals, over-ambitious adventurers, ex-heads of state with unfinished agendas, opposition members who have created a shadow government, die-hard individuals with sympathetic ears to foreign powers desirous of entrenching and superimposing their interests (or way of life) on a nation. Master minds, employing state oppression as an excuse, using mainstream mass media, institutions, and instigating groups of people to pour out into the streets to create well-organized mass revolts, easily paved the way for successful coups. These master minds belonged to shadow governments with hidden agendas."
Agbeti says there are several factors that lead to a coup, including "Disgruntled leaders and workers; Heightened trumpeting of corruption, inefficient governance and well-orchestrated and timely resignations; Readiness of the fourth estate of the realm (mainstream mass media) to establish and perpetuate evil government and governance; Organized mass revolts; Fearless or extraordinarily bold, self-proclaimed or secretly elected "insane" leaders ready to "free" the people; Organized murders, fake incidents, doctored statistics, rumor mongering, agitation of people through inflammatory statements; and Mass disbursements of funds to individuals, organizations, people's groups, both local and foreign."
In conclusion, Agbeti says if there is a coup in the US, "It may come in one of several forms: widespread civil disobedience that gives legitimacy to call for the resignation of Trump, "occupy" versions of coups, planned resignations from and rejections of Government appointments, massive funding of key institutions used by the shadow government to protest new government policies, etc." When you think about the George Soros-funded professional protestors and the vitriol hate of the malcontents in this country, the unthinkable factors described by Agbeti come into focus. There are strongholds in place that threaten our inalienable rights. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 says, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." Let us pray and act.
Daily Devotion: When We Don't Know Why - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7
I don't have neat, tidy little explanations for everything we face in life. If you had come to me when I first began preaching in my late teens and early twenties and asked me why something happened the way it did, I would tell you. But now that I've been preaching for a while, I don't have all those answers.
There are things that happen that I cannot explain. But I do know that we can give thanks-not for the hardship but because God is still on the throne. And ultimately, God even can work all things together for good to those of us who love Him. We can give thanks that the word oops is not in God's vocabulary. We can give thanks that no matter what happens to us on this earth, we still have the hope of Heaven.
The Bible says, "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and to "be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6). We are to give thanks, not for our problems but for the fact that God is still in control.
When we get sick, we pray that God will heal us, and many times He does. Yet sometimes He doesn't. Why? Because there is something on this earth called sin, and we all live under the curse of it. We all have to die sooner or later. It's a tragedy.
But here is the good news. As Christians, we will go to Heaven, no matter what. It may be hard. It may be difficult. But we will go to Heaven, we will see the Lord, and all of our questions will be answered.
FROM THE HEART
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