Prophecy Update Newsletter
February 27, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
World War IV: Conclusion - Pete Garcia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8396
We don't think of time as a weapon; it absolutely can be. For example, a siege on the town counts on time by waiting out its inhabitants so that they run out of resources and surrender. Knowing the future could also be a very powerful weapon. Although we as finite beings can't know the future, we serve a God who does. He exists outside of time and space, thus sees the end from the beginning just as clearly as He sees everything in between. He reserves this right for Himself alone, and even our chief adversary, Satan cannot know the day or hour for the Rapture of the Church.
Why is this significant? Well, God is precise. Not only is He precise, but He's already seen this all play out before, thus can utilize this foreknowledge to exact the precise execution of His will (Gal. 4:4-5). I believe that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is not just an event where the Church (the body) is brought back together with the Head (Christ). The trump, the shout, the meeting in the air while being simultaneously transformed from mortal, to immortal is all part of His battle plan (1st Cor. 15:51-56, 1st Thess. 4:13-18, Eph. 6:12-13).
But not just the Rapture of the Church, but for everything that follows it, because those events ALL hinge on the Rapture transpiring first. In a way, the Rapture is like the 'gate-keeper' for which nothing may proceed beyond until it is complete. But that does not mean those other prophetic events can't be prepositioned and readied for their impending eventuality.
Humanity has been moving at the speed of horse for the past 6,000 years, and it is only in this past century (20th) that events have gone into overdrive. Is there a reason for this? Why wasn't the car invented in the 5th century? Why wasn't the Internet invented in the 10th? Why now? Why us? Well, because that is the way God shaped events to turn out. Preciseness. And until the end, events are going to be non-stop and unrelenting. The following is the outline I believe the Bible lays out for us.
1. Rapture of the Church (the Gatekeeper Event)
a. Global Chaos window (length of time unknown)
b. The world begins to realign regionally, politically, economically, and militarily
2. Battle of Gog and Magog
a. Israel's enemies take advantage of this window of chaos (Ez. 38)
b. God supernaturally delivers Israel destroying the attacking militaries
c. Newly aligned world powers enter into mutually beneficial political covenant with Israel. This could include energy/security needs for Europe, since Russia is no longer able to provide the 40% natural gas she had been. This can run concurrently with the first Seal
d. Israel finally thinks she is getting what she has always wanted since 1948...global political recognition and acceptance at the world's table in conjunction with an agreement to grant a new temple on the Temple Mount
3. Seal Judgments
a. The Seven Seals opened by Christ
b. Seal 1 begins 70th Week of Daniel (See Gen 29:26-30, Daniel 9:27)
c. The Antichrist Covenant officially starts God's 'doomsday clock' countdown by seven years
d. 25% of the earth's population dies (Rev. 6:8)
e. 75% of the human population remain alive
1. Seal 1: The rider on the white horse (the Antichrist) revealed (Rev. 6:1-2)
ii. The 'Week' is divided up into two 3.5 year periods (each 42 months or 1260 day segments). The mid-way point is marked by the abomination of desolation (Matt. 24:15, Dan. 9:27)
iii. The latter half is known as the 'time of Jacob's troubles' (Jeremiah 30:7-11). This is when 2/3's of Israel's population dies (Zech. 13:8-9)
4. Trumpet Judgments
a. Seven angels blow the seven Trumpets (Rev. 8:2)
b. Another 1/3 (of that 75%) population dies (Rev. 9:15)
c. 1/3 of 3/4 (remaining 75%) = 1/4
d. This leaves only half the global population alive (so roughly 3.5 billion) by the end of the Trumpet Judgments
i. 1/4 [Seals] + 1/4 [Trumpets] = ½
5. Bowl Judgments
a. Seven Bowls poured out by seven angels
b. A solid assumption is that the earth's population is reduced by another 1/3 or 1/4th in the Bowl Judgments
c. If the above (b) is true, then by the Second Coming, only 25% of the earth's population remains
6. Armageddon / Second Coming of Christ with His Church back to the Earth:
a. ALL nations come against Israel (Zech. 14:1-5)
b. Earth's armies are destroyed (Rev. 19:19-21)
c. The antichrist and false prophet are thrown alive into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20)
d. Satan is bound and thrown into the Abyss. (Rev. 19:11-20:1-2)
e. Sheep and Goat Judgment ensues (the nations) (Matt. 25)
7. The Millennial Reign of Christ
a. Christ rules upon the earth (Psalm 2, Isaiah 2, 11, 65:17-25, Luke 1:32-33, Revelation 20)
b. At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan is loosed for a 'short season' in which he gathers another rebellious faction to come against Christ. This doesn't end well for them. (Rev. 20:7-10)
c. Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15)
d. Eternal state (Rev. 21-22)
There should be some flexibility in the outline above as some events may overlap each other. Other events may have windows of time built in that we aren't privy to see or know. Likewise, the geopolitical situation in the Middle East is changing even now, so at some point, Israel's guard is let down for some reasons we aren't able to understand just yet. But regardless, they will happen because God's Word says they happen for that we can be sure. With that said I believe that what we are witnessing today economically, politically, culturally, religiously, technologically, and militarily, is simply the finishing touches on the world that is being primed to enter into this final testing period for all who dwell on the earth.
Assessment- Imminent or Fixed?
Just because we cannot know the exact date of the Rapture, does not mean that God has not aligned it to occur on a specific day with significance to the Jewish/Scriptural Feasts of the Lord. We know at Christ's First Coming, He did so in agreement with many Old Testament Prophecies.
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5
Two schools of thought on the timing of the Rapture are;
Imminence: That it could happen at any moment and is not dependent upon any Jewish holiday or global event, but rather by the total number of Gentiles brought into the universal body of Christ. (Matt. 24:36, Mark 13:35-36, Rom. 11:25)
Prophetic Feast Fulfillment: The other view is that God uses times and seasons as markers, to which He knows exactly when and how this will align and fit in with His purposes. (Matt. 16:1-4, Gal. 4:4-5, 1 Thess. 5:1-3) So the Rapture isn't dependent on a particular number but on a particular date/time. A good summation is found here at GotQuestions.org
1) Passover (Leviticus 23:5) - Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening (John 19:14).
2) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) - Pointed to the Messiah's sinless life (as leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible), making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus' body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.
3) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) - Pointed to the Messiah's resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in 1 Corinthians 15:20 as the "first fruits from the dead."
4) Weeks or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16) - Occurred fifty days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and pointed to the great harvest of souls and the gift of the Holy Spirit for both Jew and Gentile, who would be brought into the kingdom of God during the Church Age (see Acts 2). The Church was established on this day when God poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 Jews responded to Peter's great sermon and his first proclamation of the gospel.
5) Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24) - The first of the fall feasts. Many believe this day points to the Rapture of the Church when the Messiah Jesus will appear in the heavens as He comes for His bride, the Church. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52).
6) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27) - Many believe this prophetically points to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus when He will return to earth. That will be the Day of Atonement for the Jewish remnant when they "look upon Him whom they have pierced," repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36).
7) Tabernacles or Booths (Leviticus 23:34) - Many scholars believe that this feast day points to the Lord's promise that He will once again "tabernacle" with His people when He returns to reign over all the world (Micah 4:1-7).
In His birth, life, and ministry Christ fulfilled both the Law and the Prophets flawlessly (Matt. 5:17-18). In His death, burial, and resurrection, Christ fulfilled the first of the three Feast days. But these aren't just Jewish Feast dates;
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, these are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts. Leviticus 23:1-2
Task and Purpose
What both views share in common is if the Rapture follows the pattern of Christ's fulfillment of major prophetic events falling on Feast Dates, OR whether the date is completely and utterly imminent- either way, we can't be certain. And maybe that is the point and thus fulfills the passage that 'no man knows the day or hour.' But just because we can't know, doesn't necessitate that the Rapture itself has to be random. Either way, it is unprovable and unknowable, and the second it happens, it will be too late to argue about it.
The only reason humanity in its current form has gone on as long as it has, is because God is longsuffering that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9) and this is the number one divine directive for our current dispensation. What I do believe is that in the aftermath of the Rapture, the Battle of Gog and Magog ensues. (Ezekiel 38)
The purpose of removing this unique body of believers (the Church) via the Rapture then is to keep His promise in John 14:1-3.
He then returns His focus back onto the nation of Israel. This renewed focus on Israel dovetails directly back into the 70th Week of Daniel, which is primarily about restoring national Israel back to Himself. (Dan. 9:24, Jer. 30:7-11)
The purpose of the battle of Gog and Magog then is to get Israel's attention focused back on Him by supernaturally delivering them (Ez. 38:16, 23). His focus back to Israel, and theirs to Him, He can finish what He covenanted with them in Dan. 9:24 (Daniel's people=the Jews, and his holy city=Jerusalem).
The reason for Gog taking advantage of this goes back to the struggle between East and West. The strength of the western world is incumbent upon a strong United States; economically, politically, and militarily. If the US collapses, it will drag everyone in the west along with her.
Put another way, since Israel's rebirth as a nation she has been under the sometimes careful, and sometimes lackluster protection by her biggest benefactor, the United States. So the only time that Israel isn't protected to one degree or another by some security arrangement is that short window of time between when the Rapture occurs and when the Antichrist-covenant takes effect. It's likely that at seeing this supernatural deliverance from Gog/Magog, Israel probably enters into the Dan. 9:27 covenant without even thinking the two are related.
Even time itself seems to be confirming the idea that this age we are in is about to come to its conclusion as we entered both a new millennium (the year 2000) and a new century (the 21st). While we don't know the exact day or hour the Lord will return, it seems that the consensus is growing in a shrinking group of watching-believers, is more of confirmation by the Holy Spirit within us, rather than anything we could contrive individually.
There is a war coming, like a storm on the horizon. Some can sense the change of energy in the air. Others can smell the rain. Still, others feel it in their bones. The ultimate battle between good and evil is drawing closer, and we can sense things picking up. The world continues in spiritual blindness, and thus will be as unprepared as those in Noah's day, or those in Lot's. Things will continue to get rough between now and then because the enemy knows his time is drawing short, but thankfully and by God's graciousness, we won't be here to endure it.
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. Revelation 3:10-11
Palestinian Terror Chief Calls for Iran to Join 'All-Out War' Against Israel, Jordan - by Deborah Danan - http://www.breitbart.com
The leader of a Palestinian terrorist group in Lebanon called for an "all-out war" with Israel and Jordan in which Iranian soldiers would fight to "liberate Palestine."
"I want to see the revolutionary fighters from [Iran] in the Galilee," Ahmad Jibril, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, told Hezbollah's Al-Mayadeen TV in an interview translated by watchdog group the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Friday.
Jibril said "an axis of resistance" should be formed against Israel that would include Syria, Iraq, Iran and Hezbollah. The aim of the resistance would be to fight for "the liberation of Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River."
After defeating Israel, he said, "we will enter Jordan, whether King Abdullah likes it or not."
He added that "The war with this enemy will be an all-out war ... in the Golan, in South Lebanon, in the Galilee ... [and] will be waged from Rosh Hanikra to Aqaba."
"Hezbollah is getting ready for it, and so are we," he added.
Jibril's remarks come in the wake of threats made by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, including, most recently, vowing that in a future war Hezbollah would not hold back from targeting Israel's vital infrastructure.
"In the face of Israel's threats to destroy Lebanon's infrastructure, we will not abide by red lines, especially regarding Haifa's ammonia and the nuclear reactor in Dimona. Hezbollah possesses the full courage for this," he said, according to an English translation of his comments reported by the Naharnet website.
Last week, Nasrallah made similar threats against Haifa and Dimona, warning that a strike on the ammonia plant would be akin to a nuclear bomb explosion.
During an official visit to Beirut, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday said that Palestinian factions were committed to preserving security in refugee camps around Lebanon.
Palestinian Official: 'I Pray to Allah that Iran will Produce 1,000 Nuclear Bombs' - http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/02/27/palestinian-official-pray-allah-iran-will-produce-1000-nuclear-bombs/
The Times of Israel reports: The Palestine Liberation Organization's envoy to Tehran said he hopes Iran will produce 1,000 nuclear bombs, adding that Israel is "truly terrified" of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
Although he did not explicitly call for Iran to use a nuclear bomb against Israel, Salah al-Zawawi (pictured) told the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese television station Al-Manar in an interview on February 20 that "if Iran produces a nuclear bomb - and I pray to Allah that Iran will produce 1,000 nuclear bombs," he hopes "it will be used to defend, at the very least, the Islamic Republic and its principles," according to a translation by watchdog group MEMRI.
Iran has denied seeking to produce nuclear weapons and signed a 2015 agreement with world powers that puts in place limitations on its nuclear program. At the same time, the Islamic Republic has continued to develop missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and a number of senior Iranian officials have called repeatedly for Israel's "annihilation," including its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Russia's Power Play in Middle East Brings Together Nations of Ezekiel 38 - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1048
Russia continues to expand its influence in the Middle East and is bringing together more and more countries into its fold.
Intervention in Syria has been the catalyst to re-establishing its power in the region not seen since the cold war days.
Iran has been a long-time partner with Russia but now we see new developments in both Libya and Turkey to also bring about a stronger alliance.
Iran saw a massive cash influx after sanctions were removed last year, thanks to the Obama administration, and as a result a substantial portion of this money will be put toward military modernization including an estimated $1 Billion air defense missile system supplied by Russia.
Part of this deal also includes the Russian S-300 air defense missile system, considered one of the most effective anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missile systems in existence. A clear response to Israel's threat the Iran will never be allowed to become a nuclear power.
Russia, in a bid to regain its previous influence enjoyed in Libya before the overthrow of the Ghaddafi government, has also reached out to a Libyan general named Khalifa Haftar who controls as many as 60,000 men in the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the east of the country.
Russia recently received General Haftar aboard its aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, pledging their support for his bid to control Libya, a move that would give Russia significant influence over North Africa.
A former colonel under Ghaddafi stated that "Haftar is going to facilitate Russian access to ports in Libya as well as open up airport runways to them."
In the case of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has thrown himself on the side of Russia as Turkey's relations with both Israel and the United States have soured.
In August of 2016, Erdogan praised Putin as his "dear friend" in a visit to St. Petership that saw the two leaders pledging to strengthen ties.
The 2015 downing of a Russian jet by Turkish forces seems all but forgotten as the two nations continue to strengthen their military ties.
Turkey's half-century old EU membership bid is also currently tottering on the brink of collapse, after the European Union's legislature asked the bloc to freeze membership negotiations with Turkey over the government's heavy-handed crackdown following a failed coup in July.
Turkish president Erdogan indicated in a recent interview that he was fed up with waiting for the European Union to accept Turkey as a member state, indicating that he would be willing to consider joining the Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative to the Western bloc.
2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel foretold of a time when a coalition of predominately Muslim Nations would gather together to invade the nation of Israel. This well-known conflict is known as "The War of Gog and Magog."
According to the book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, this confederacy of nations will attack Israel during a relatively peaceful period that appears to be generated by a recent conflict resulting in a "state of peace" for the Jewish nation.
According to the prophet, "After many days you shall be called. In the latter years, you shall come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered out of many peoples, against the mountains of Israel which had been always a waste. But its people were brought out of the nations, and they, all of them, are dwelling safely ... and you shall say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates'" (Ezekiel 38:8, 11).
The nations cited by Ezekiel are each referenced in the Old Testament, yet they all represent nations which exist today.
Long before Russia became a major world power, most Biblical scholars identified Magog as the nation of Russia and Gog as the ruler of Russia.
These other nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 are:
" Magog (also said by other experts to include Meshech, and Tubal) = Russia
" Persia = Iran
" Cush = Ethiopia/Sudan
" Put = Libya
" Gomer = Turkey (Some have identified as parts of eastern Europe)
" Beth-Togarmah = Turkey (also said by other experts to include Armenia, and the Turkish-speaking people of Asia Minor).
The Bible indicates that in the "latter days" the Lord will put a "hook in the jaw" of these nations listed and according to the prophet, "you shall ascend and come like a storm; you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you." (Ezekiel 38:9)
Some speculate that "hook in the jaw" could be Israel's newly discovered oil and natural gas riches which directly affect the Russian economy.
Other analysts believe Russia's alliance with Iran could be a "hook' if Israel pre-emptively attacks Iran's nuclear program, resulting in retaliation by Iran and the ensuing continued draws in Russia.
For now we see the alliance of nations forming exactly as Ezekiel described. Now we await the "hook".
Sabotage - By Daymond Duck - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/02/26/sabotage-by-daymond-duck/
Would Pres. Obama and former members of his administration deliberately sabotage the U.S.? Would they aid and abet an enemy (Iran) that has threatened to destroy the U.S.?
There seems to be no doubt about it. And since a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Matt. 12:25) the damage that they are doing could actually cripple or perhaps even destroy the U.S.
While he was president of the U.S., Mr. Obama, John Kerry and others negotiated a nuclear agreement with Iran. Israel strongly objected and Pres. Obama was livid. He even tried to bring about the downfall of the Israeli government.
About this time, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, an Obama advisor and head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, strongly criticized the nuclear agreement with Iran.
He also criticized Pres. Obama's policies in Syria and he accused the Obama Administration of covering up documents seized in the Osama bin Laden raid to mask the close relationship between Iran and al Qaeda.
These disagreements contributed to him losing his job.
But he soon started campaigning for Donald Trump who was running for President of the U.S. and he further angered the Obama Administration by criticizing Hillary Clinton.
On Nov. 8, 2017, Donald Trump was elected Pres. of the U.S. This was soon followed with reports that the Obama Administration was plotting to hinder Pres. Trump's pick to head up the NSA (Lt. Gen. Flynn).
Pres. Obama quickly acted to change a long-standing rule that prohibited the unauthorized distribution of federal information. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and Loretta Lynch, Attorney General, quickly signed off on it. This made it legal for the NSA to share certain information with the 16 other intelligence agencies.
Then someone listened in on a conversation between the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. and Gen. Flynn. And it is an established fact that the information was recorded on Dec. 29, 2016 while Pres. Obama was still in office, it was distributed to the 16 other intelligence agencies, it was classified information and at least some of it was illegally given to the press.
Dec. 29, 2016 is an important date because it shows that Lt. Gen. Flynn's phone conversation was recorded before Loretta Lynch signed off on the rule change (on Jan. 3, 2017) that legalized the dissemination of some kinds of federal information.
In addition to that, there is another law that makes it illegal to record American citizens who are not government employees. Lt. Gen. Flynn is an American citizen and he was not a government employee at that time.
Pres. Trump and others say those who did this committed a crime. But those who did this may be hard to catch because the information went out to the 16 intelligence agencies before someone gave it to the press.
Who did it?
One former intelligence officer told Fox News he suspects Obama Administration officials including CIA Director John Brennan and DNI Director James Clapper. Others include Pres. Obama's Foreign Policy Advisor, Ben Rhodes. But they are not admitting it.
Two weeks after Dec. 29, the Washington Post reported that the information came from an anonymous senior government official. Pres. Obama was still in charge on that date.
On Feb. 9, 2017, the Washington Post reported that nine Obama Administration officials referred to Flynn's calls.
On Feb. 14, 2017, the Washington Free Beacon blamed this event on Ben Rhodes and others.
On Feb. 15, 2017, retired U.S. Army Res. Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer said the Obama Administration was directly involved and it was James Clapper, John Brennan and Ben Rhodes.
It also appears that Pres. Obama is trying to sabotage the Trump presidency in another way through a group called Organizing For Action.
IRS records show that this group has 32,525 volunteers, 250 offices and millions of dollars.
Pres. Obama tweets from their account. They march, demonstrate and sometimes get violent.
If a kingdom divided against itself can't stand (and it can't), whose fault is it going to be if the U.S. is deliberately sabotaged, weakened and/or brought down?
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
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
Watchman Warning: A Cautionary Tale - By Hal Lindsey - http://www.hallindsey.com/ww-2-24-2017/
At a campaign-style rally in Florida last week, President Trump used Sweden as an example of what happens when immigration policies become too lax. He said, "We've got to keep our country safe. You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible."
The media focused on the words, "last night," but nothing out of the ordinary happened in Sweden the night before Mr. Trump's remarks. Some Swedes felt offended by the remark, and struck back. Former Swedish Prime Minister, Carl Bildt, tweeted, "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?"
Speaking on the Fox News program, The Five, Bob Beckel seemed on the verge of losing control, yelling, "This president flat-out lied!" But President Trump never said there had been a terrorist incident in Sweden the night before. It's easy to see how people got that impression, but they inferred it. He did not say it.
Later, the President tweeted an explanation. "My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews.com concerning immigrants & Sweden."
Beyond the smoke and dust of the bruhaha over exactly what he meant, there is an extremely important point. Sweden's immigration policy over the last 40 years stands as a cautionary tale for all nations. Sweden has long been a peaceful and prosperous nation. They used extremely controversial means to achieve their success, but they have had a lot of it. A 2005 commentary in the liberal London newspaper, The Guardian, called Sweden, "The most successful society the world has ever known."
That statement has never really been true of Sweden, but it shows the regard in which it was held not so long ago, particularly among liberals. Today things have changed. And the problem, as President Trump was trying to point out, largely traces back to irresponsible immigration policies.
In 1975, the Swedish Parliament decided to bring in massive numbers of Muslims from the Middle East. Since then, violent crime has risen 300%!
The number of rapes reported to police increased 1,472% - from 421 in 1975 to 6,620 in 2014. Sweden now has the highest per capita incidence of rape of any major nation on earth. A survey by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, an official government agency, shows that less than 25% of rapes in Sweden are even reported to police. Lest you think these are domestic issues, their study also found that, "In 58% of cases, the perpetrator was entirely unknown by the victim."
In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, prominent Swedish politicians, Jimmie Akesson and Mattias Karlsson, wrote, "Mr. Trump did not exaggerate Sweden's current problems. If anything, he understated them."
Just a couple of days after the President's remarks, riots broke out in an immigrant neighborhood of Stockholm. They set vehicles on fire, threw objects at police, damaged buildings, and looted businesses. The same area saw riots in 2010 and 2013.
As a Christian minister, part of my job is to point out the vast differences between the Gospel and other systems of thought, including Islam. But the United States government does not have my job. It can't take sides among religious faiths. Yet, it must keep U.S. citizens as safe as it can while adhering to the Constitution, the law, and our nation's core principles.
Here's the bottom line. The United States government doesn't need to address the relative merits or demerits of Islam. But it does need to carefully vet anyone who wants to enter this country from a nation known to be a hotbed of terrorism.
The White House has said that President Trump will probably issue a new version of his executive order on immigration sometime next week. The original order is tied up in the courts. It singled out seven nations - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. It was not a travel ban from these countries, but a 90-day pause. We can expect the new order to cover the same countries.
These nations are all predominantly Muslim. But the order was not a Muslim ban. The Obama Administration had already named these seven as "countries of concern." President Obama was not singling them out because they are predominantly Muslim, but because they are hotbeds of terrorism, and because of the difficulty in vetting people from these countries.
The Trump Administration took it a step further. It said it needs a 90-day pause in which to figure out how to safely allow immigration from these trouble spots. On a recent Hal Lindsey Report, I explained the reasons behind the choice of nations. "Each of them is known to have large numbers of terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers at every level of their societies. Six of the seven are either in the midst of, or in the immediate aftermath of, civil war. The seventh is the world's most prolific state-sponsor of terrorism - Iran."
The new Administration needs time to find ways to appropriately vet people from nations in the middle of such chaos. And, to use the President's words, it should be "extreme vetting." We know that ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terrorists regularly move among nations as immigrants. So, we must use every precaution. We don't want them to bring here the kind of chaos they say they're trying to leave behind.
Daily Jot: Oscary - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
I have to admit it. I didn't watch the Oscars. I haven't watched the Oscars since I was a kid, curious about all the pandering. I read about them. Each year, these people who make millions from folks going to their movies tend to want to tell us why how we live is wrong, that God and country are not important, that there is no God (unless it's the occult or money, or political religion), their god is the government. They tell everyone what they think is American and un-American as if they are the be all, end all source. In reality, what the House Committee on Un-American Activities investigated beginning in 1938-anti-American communism-would have no problem identifying those who were alleged to be disloyal and subversive today. The committee would just have to watch Oscar night in Hollywood.
Cloaked in esoteric ideals such as social justice, equality, love and peace for all, these people spread their hatred by maligning anyone who disagrees with them. They are the gods of America, after all. They make the most money using the least brainpower, so they must be smarter than anybody else. This has not changed since the communists were infiltrating the film industry in the last century. The only thing that has changed is that they are more open about talking about it. Yes, they call themselves social democrats or progressives, but just like their day to day lives, they are play acting. A social democrat or a progressive is still a communist at heart. And that's where the rub is. Americans have become so dumbed down about history and politics that they don't understand the threat of communism still exists.
These people are described perfectly in 2 Timothy 3:1-7," This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, loves of pleasers more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
It's scary how bold and deceived these people are. It's also scary that they are able to come into our households and spew forth their wickedness in the innocent name of entertainment. Others even go to the theaters and pay good money to watch them. I guess I'm pretty boring. I haven't been to a movie in a long time. And I'm pretty careful what I watch on TV or satellite. These people stand for the very darkness of the world and I see very little good in them. If we all would just quit watching them, quit going to their movies, perhaps their decline would be accelerated. The great thing about electricity is that we can turn it off when things get Oscary. We should be exercising that off switch more often.
Daily Devotion: An Invisible World - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. -Daniel 10:13
Sometimes we don't consider the fact that when we pray, spiritual warfare can be taking place. The prophet Daniel had been in the presence of God. And in Daniel 10, we read, "Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees. And the man said to me, 'Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you'" (verses 10-11).
In the beginning of this chapter, and earlier in chapter 9, we see that Daniel was in prayer. This angel was saying, "When you offered your prayer, it was heard in Heaven."
Sometimes our prayers may not be answered as quickly as we would like due to spiritual warfare behind the scenes in the supernatural world. Daniel was praying on earth, and God heard him in Heaven and dispatched an angel with the answer. Yet somewhere between Heaven and earth, between the visible and the invisible, this angel was accosted by an evil angel, and a battle took place. After twenty-one days, God dispatched a higher-ranking angel, Michael in this case, to help the other angel.
From this account, we see that supernatural activity can hinder our prayers from being answered. This is especially important to remember when we are praying for the salvation of those who don't know the Lord. A battle is taking place, and the devil is at work, wanting to keep them from hearing the gospel and from coming to faith.
When you pray and don't see your prayer answered, it simply means that you should keep praying. The answer might come twenty-one days later, thirty-one days later, or twenty-one years later. But we should not stop praying.
FROM THE HEART
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