Prophecy Update Newsletter
March 9, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
New Heaven, New Earth, New Jerusalem - By Ed Wood - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/03/07/new-heaven-new-earth-new-jerusalem-by-ed-wood/
Matthew 6:10 - "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven." (The speaker here is Jesus, responding to his disciples' request on teaching them how to pray.)
Isaiah 64:4 - "For since the beginning of the world [men] have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, [what] he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him."
1 Corinthians 2:9 - "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
Revelation 21:10 - "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light [was] like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. (An angel. The narrator is John the apostle, also author of the Gospel of John.)
I began this article right after taking my usual predawn walk. It's February in New England. The day is warmer than normal, but was still in the mid-thirties, the air crisp and refreshing. I was surrounded by the sounds of birds greeting the arrival of the new day, each with his or her own song.
A waning crescent moon hung to the south in a blue sky punctuated by high cirrus and lower alto-cumulus clouds, all of which promised a gorgeous sunrise. It did not disappoint when the still-hidden sun touched the clouds with an orange glow which changed to yellow and then white as it cleared the horizon.
My thought was, "How can it get better than this?"
The answer is, as we'll see, it's going to get a lot better! (But the road to that time will be rough, to be sure, as we've seen in my Olivet Series.)
The fact of the matter is that this small space and time of personal tranquility is becoming increasingly rare in a world that is, quite frankly, falling apart on every level you can imagine. You have only to watch the TV, listen to the radio, or read the newspaper to have that unceasing message driven home that the human race is one messed-up species.
Added to the mixture are the increase of stresses on Earth itself. Earthquakes, extremes of weather, and the global temperature rising as the planet's atmospheric greenhouse gases increase. Yes, I realize many think the latter is a bogus claim, but for me the science is unmistakable. Carbon dioxide levels are now at 400 parts per million which are historically high.
Since this gas is transparent to visible light and opaque to infra-red (heat), the visible sunlight gets through to hit the ground and the re-radiated heat gets trapped in. Now a modest greenhouse effect is good. In fact, without it, Earth would be a frozen ice world like Hoth of Star Wars fame. But too much of a good thing is not necessarily better. Now we can reasonably debate over how much of this is due to human activity and how much is due to natural causes, but from all the evidence, global warming is a real deal.
That being said, we must be on particular guard for those who would use this issue as an excuse to consolidate political or economic power for themselves in the promotion of global authority verses national sovereignty. My biggest problem with the green movement is that there is virtually no mention nor serious effort on its part to push development of the one technology that would drastically curtail carbon emissions from fossil fuels which is nuclear fusion
This is seven times more efficient than our current fission technology and the fuel source is hydrogen, one of the two components of plain water. Hydrogen fusion is also safer, cannot cause a melt- down, and does not produce the tons of spent nuclear fuel which has to be stored away for millennia in a containment system which does not current even exist. What are they waiting for?
The Bible does tell us though a one-world government is ultimately coming under the Antichrist, there is no reason for us to not to resist the any impetus toward global government by any faction as best as we can for as long as we can. However, let's concentrate on the purpose of this article which is to look ahead to a future so stunningly magnificent that we can only imagine it in a very partial manner. I'm sure John himself found himself quite limited in his description of the New Jerusalem and the new universe which will one day exist having only words available to describe it. Nevertheless, his account is still compelling and wondrous.
John's first impression of the New Jerusalem was one of a "bride adorned for her husband, (Revelation 21:2) and follows it in Revelation 21:10 as filled with light, the source of which is God himself, shining throughout its crystalline structure. Throughout the Bible there are many references to God and Jesus and light. Interestingly, even in our present universe, light always travels 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum, no matter where you happen to be or how fast you're moving.
If we expand the definition of light to include all forms of it above and below that which is perceptible to the human eye, it is omnipresent, even existing as a faint background radiation from the very fabric of space itself. In Einstein's famous equation of E = mc2, the conversion of matter to energy and vice-versa is based on the speed of light. Life needs heat so the molecular activity necessary for life can exist, plants need it for photosynthesis, and animals need the plants. It's that simple.
Now this is not to say God is a beam of sunlight or the hiss of that ancient background radiation, but for some reason he chose to apply the term light to a description of himself for us to ponder, appreciate, and wonder upon. Like the light he created, he is omnipresent and very necessary for all life anywhere it might be in all its many forms. We have here a tantalizing mystery the fullness of which may have to wait for the new life to come. How very appropriate that John describes the New Jerusalem is a brilliant city of divine light!
Next we learn of some more of its physical characteristics:
Revelation 21:23 - "And had a wall great and high, [and] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs.
The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred [and] forty [and] four cubits, [according to] the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was [of] jasper: and the city [was] pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city [were] garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation [was] jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof."
From the description, we see God's City is "foursquare," or cubical, each side measuring "twelve thousand furlongs." A furlong is 660 feet so 12,000 of them equals 7,920,000 feet or 1500 miles exactly. Now stop and think about that a moment - the New Jerusalem is a cube 1500 miles per side! To put this into perspective, it would cover about half the United States. Each side is about 70% the size of the moon, or about the size of Pluto! So, we are talking about a city of planetary dimensions!
We see it has twelve foundations of precious and semi-precious stones inscribed with the names of the twelve apostles, twelve gates made of single pearl with twelve angels bearing the names of the tribes of Israel, three per side of the city, which are inserted into a 216-foot-high jasper wall. The latter, when you think about it, is actually tiny compared to the overall size of the city, but the fact that it exists must have some significance the streets within are made of transparent gold.
In our modern age, cities artificially lit with bright lighting is commonplace, but in John's day light was limited to dim flickering lamps, torches, or the like. Imagine how the apostle must have wondered at the steady brilliance of God's heavenly city! Even to us I am sure it would be a stunning sight since the source of this light is not electrical in nature but, as we've already seen, a radiance emanating from God himself!
Before we see what comes next, let's consider the implications of a city of this immense size being able to land on Earth. From what we know about the physical laws of our present-day universe, it's not possible.
The Roche Limit
I'm sure just about everyone has seen pictures of Saturn. If you're fortunate enough to have or know someone with a telescope, odds are you gotten direct a look at it yourself. The first time I saw it in the days of my youth, I couldn't believe it was real. There it was, a small yellow disk encircled with marvelous rings just floating up in the sky. Saturn is not alone with a ring system, but the ones it has are the most impressive of the lot, easily seen in even a small telescope. In subsequent years we've gotten a much closer look, most recently by the wildly successful Cassini mission and its wonderful images sent back to our small world across anywhere from three-quarters to over a billion miles away, depending on its orbital location relative to Earth. The next likely question one would ask is, why do they exist at all?
There is something called the Roche limit which states that a moon or other sizeable celestial body can't remain intact should it drift to close to a planet (or anything else with a large gravity field like a star or black hole). The limit is around 1.22 times the primary's diameter and for Saturn with a diameter or 75,000 miles it works out to be about 92,000 from its center or 54,000 miles from its surface.
Get any closer than that and you would not want to be living in an outpost on that object because it would start coming apart under your feet. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration because in most cases it'd take quite a while for the disintegration. ( Probably wouldn't be a good idea to invest in real estate there at any rate!)
Scientists believe this is already happening to Mars' inner moon Phobos which displays strange grooves across its surface and is very near the Roche limit of 5000 miles from the planet. Given sufficient time it will one day break up into rings, or ring arcs.
The reason for this is actually not hard to comprehend if we observe how things behave in orbit. For example, the International Space Station, which is only about 250 miles up, goes around the Earth in 90 minutes. Weather satellites which are in geosynchronous orbits that keep them over the same spot relative to the Earth's surface are 22,300 miles up, completing one revolution in 23 hours and 56 minutes, same as one rotation. The moon takes roughly a month and is about 238,000 miles away. The rule is, the higher the orbit, the slower an object will go.
For small things like artificial satellites, spacecraft, small asteroids, and meteors, the Roche effect is too small to be a problem. For something really big, it's a whole new story. Bring the moon within 6000 miles of the Earth's surface and the parts of it which are on the side farther away will try to go into orbit at a slower rate than those parts on the nearer Earth. Ultimately would successfully go their separate ways because the tidal stresses would be stronger than the molecular forces which holds the moon together. The result would be a huge and respectably sized-ring around Earth.
If you think this is bad news for the moon, it is also bad news for the Earth because the increasing effects of the moon's gravity as it approaches would play havoc. We're not just talking about super-high sea tides, but land tides as well. Our planet would be subject to earthquakes beyond anything we have ever known since humans have walked upon it. It would not surprise me if the frictional forces generated liquefied Earth's surface into molten lava. Depending on the moon's trajectory, impact is a possibility and the results of that are easily imagined.
Since we already know the New Jerusalem is a huge object, it is probably safe to assume that even if present-day Earth's gravity didn't pull it apart and if it has a gravity field of some type of its own, the consequences to our planet would be similarly catastrophic. This problem doesn't even consider the problem of trying to land a 1500-mile-tall object on a planet only 8000 miles in diameter. The top of the city would reach 1500 miles up, far past our atmosphere, except for its lower levels, and beyond the orbits of the space station and low-Earth orbiting satellites.
In my opinion, John's vision of the New Jerusalem coming to Earth require a whole new set of rules. This appears to be exactly what God has promised to do.
"And he [God] that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new" (Revelation 21:5a).
After the seven-year Tribulation time, Earth is brought back to a near-Eden condition (Isaiah 35:1-10). The desert will bloom, people will experience miraculous healing (something that was prefigured prominently during Jesus' first coming). In this passage we see an interesting account of there being some kind of "highway" called the "way of holiness" where only the "redeemed" and "ransomed of the Lord" will have access to Zion with "everlasting joy upon their heads."
Is this yet another pre-figurement of what we see in below?
Revelation - 21:24-27 "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."
Or is the ancient prophet actually giving us a look ahead to the new existence in the new realm? We know that there will be redeemed saints on Earth during the Millennium from Revelation 21 and they will reign as "kings and priests" with the Lord during that time (Revelation 1:4-6). No doubt they will also enter into the age of the new heaven and new Earth, thus making their joy truly everlasting.
One may rightly ask why will it be necessary for the complete transformation of Millennial Earth into Eternal Earth because the former certainly sounds grand enough. The answer is - sin. The beautiful and bountiful Earth of the 1000-year rule of Christ will still bear the taint of sin introduced by Adam and Eve's initial rebellion which opened the door for the devil to walk in.
The evidence of this is found in Zechariah 14:16-19 and most notably in Revelation 20:7-15. In order for creation to be totally rid of this curse, a repair job isn't enough and a complete rebuild must occur. Sin and its author must be eliminated because primary effect of sin is death (Romans 6:23). I think that death actually extends far beyond that of the individual right across the entire universe.
Think about it: Nothing we know of last forever in our present cosmos. Plants die. Animals die. We die. Even stars and galaxies eventually die. Hot things cool off, cold things warm up. Our present realm is losing the amount of its usable energy and there is nothing that can reverse the process. The scientists give this a fancy name calling it increasing entropy or growing disorder in the universe. Barring divine intervention, it will eventually turn into a cold, dark nothingness. No stars, no planets, no life. Even matter itself may cease to exist entirely.
Yet we know from the Bible that all that the originator of evil and all that has fallen under his sway will be dealt with forever and the final enemy to be defeated will be death itself when sin is purged once and for all from existence.
1 Corinthians 15:26 - "The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death."
Only then can eternity come and only then will John's marvelous account of what Jesus revealed to him with God coming to live with us forever in his glorious city come to pass, a place of indescribable beauty where the very river of life itself flows from the Lord himself. Best part of all? It's where Jesus even now is building the mansions that believers will inhabit for all eternity and where we will see God face to face (Job 19:25-27;1 Corinthians 13:9-12).
In the new life in the new creation to come, the Bible tells us that the New Jerusalem will one day arrive on Earth, albeit a totally different Earth than the one that exists today. We know people will come to it from outside, which indicates that there must be a place from which they will come. That may sound fairly obvious, but it's significant because it leads us to wonder what kind of "place" it might be. For that, we can only speculate.
Personally, I envision something unlimited magnitudes above in magnitude and size of what we once had in Eden before our original parents opened the door to Satan and sin. Eden must have been absolutely stunning in its own right - no violent storms, no noxious plants or animals, and no death. It seems certain enough that all the best of Eden will be retained on New Earth and greatly improved upon. Whereas Eden had only two people to accommodate, New Earth will be host to billions of believers at least.
All of their time will be spent in God's Presence and light, whether in the New Jerusalem or out in the countryside. I imagine there will be a great deal of time spent just celebrating and rejoicing with God in New Jerusalem. When not there, perhaps the now-immortal saints will explore their new world, walk through its forests, climb its mountains, swim in its waters, and enjoy an everlasting fellowship with every other saint.
Perhaps we'll get to meet the greats of the Bible like Moses, Abraham, David, Ruth, Esther, and the apostles as well as those whose faith was known only to God and themselves while they lived their mortal lives. But I'm sure the dream we all share is to see our loved ones and fellow believers, young, immortal, and radiant and to know that we will never be separated from them again.
After our sojourn on this world which has never been kind to those who have put their trust in God, often making us strangers in a strange and often unfriendly land, we will at last be welcome and know without doubt that were are home at last!
Hamas said set to recognize Palestine on 1967 borders, but not Israel - By Dov Lieber - http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-said-set-to-recognize-1967-borders-but-not-israel/
In bid to bolster its regional legitimacy, terror group will also break off ties with the Muslim Brotherhood - report
Hamas is reportedly planning to endorse a state of Palestine along the 1967 borders - a move that would be a monumental shift from the group's long-held policy of reclaiming all of historic Palestine - though it won't recognize Israel's legitimacy.
The new policy will be announced in amendments to Hamas's charter that is to be published in April, after the group's political bureau completes its internal elections, the Pan-Arab daily a-Sharq al-Awsat reported Tuesday, citing sources within the Islamist terror group.
The new policy is being crafted in order to engage regional and international partners, such as Egypt, the report said.
The report follows a number of statements by senior Hamas leaders in recent months to the effect that the group will recognize the 1967 borders, but not the State of Israel.
Hamas is a terror group that seeks the destruction of Israel and has fought three major rounds of conflict against it since seizing Gaza in 2007. Over the years, it has fired thousands of rockets into Israel, tunneled under the border to carry out attacks, and orchestrated suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Israelis.
"All of Hamas bodies, whether affiliated with its political wing or military brigades, contributed to drafting the declaration," the Hamas sources said.
Talk of "the 1967 borders" generally refers to the pre-1967 lines between Israel and the territory it captured in that year's Six-Day War from Jordan (in Jerusalem and the West Bank), Egypt (Gaza and the Sinai) and Syria (the Golan Heights).
The amendments to the charter were reportedly worked out during a meeting in Doha, Qatar, which was attended by outgoing Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal; his projected successor, former Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh; and senior Hamas member Moussa Abu Marzouk. The report did not say when the meeting took place.
Hamas is also planning to officially break ties with its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the report.
The charter amendments will reportedly call for "separation from any foreign body or organization."
Hamas was founded in the late 1980s as the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood.
Hamas is also intending to declare that it only opposes "the Israeli occupation," as opposed to all Jews, in an effort to deflect accusations that it is anti-Semitic.
Hamas's current charter, written in 1988, contains a cocktail of Nazi, Communist and Islamist anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories, including that Jews were behind the French and Russian revolutions and the two world wars, that they control the media and the UN, that they infiltrated the Freemasons, and that they funded colonialism with their wealth.
In January, Hamas official Osama Hamdan told Al-Jazeera: "You will find in this document clear words that we [sic] against the Zionists, against the occupation of our lands and we will resist the occupiers, whoever they were. And we are not against anyone regarding to this religion or to his race."
While Hamdan sought to give the impression that Hamas is not anti-Semitic (he is not the first leader in the group to do so), Hamas's official media is rife with anti-Semitic messages, often wrapped in Islamist rhetoric.
In a live broadcast on Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV in January, Hamas MP Marwan Abu Ras accused Jews of recruiting prostitutes into the army "in order to lure Arabs into their traps," and claimed Jewish leaders send "AIDS-infected girls to fornicate with Muslim youths.
"My brothers, know that people, stones, and trees all hate [the Jews]. Everyone on Earth hates this filthy nation, a nation extrinsic to Mankind. This fact was elucidated by the Quran and the Sunna," Abu Ras said.
While Hamas leaders in the past have at times expressed to English-language news outlets they would accept a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, the group's official spokespeople and media frequently continue to promise to liberate the entire land of historic Palestine, including the entire State of Israel.
Hezbollah's Ongoing Threat To US National Security - By Steven Emerson - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1080
Most analyses of Hezbollah focus on the terrorist group's intervention in Syria, or its threat to Israel.
But the Iranian-backed organization maintains a significant presence in and near the United States, threatening national US security.
Current American proposals to strengthen our borders and immigration measures may be limited in addressing this important, yet poorly understood, threat.
A recent Al-Arabiya article examines Hezbollah's ability to build advanced tunnels on the southern US border, enabling Hezbollah terrorists and Mexican cartel operatives to infiltrate the United States.
Relations between Iranian-backed proxies -- including Hezbollah -- and Latin American drug cartels are well established. Mexican gang members learn from Hezbollah's combat experience and their use of advanced weaponry.
Hezbollah, in turn, derives a significant portion of its finances from the drug trade and other illicit activities.
In recent years, security officials in southwestern US states have noticed a rise in tattoos featuring Hezbollah's insignia among imprisoned drug cartel operatives.
This surprising trend indicates a strengthened relationship between the terrorist group and Mexican gang members. Additionally, Iranian operatives who infiltrate Latin America seek to convert individuals to its extremist Shiite ideology.
Over the years, pro Iranian websites have proliferated across Latin America, in an attempt to cultivate support for the Islamic Republic.
Powerful Latin American politicians also help Iran and Hezbollah penetrate the region, and threaten the United States.
In February, CNN received a 2013 secret intelligence document from several Latin American countries demonstrating ties between Venezuelan Vice President Tarreck El Aissami and 173 Venezuelan identification cards and passports issued to people from the Middle East -- including Hezbollah operatives. El Aissami "took charge of issuing, granting visas and nationalizing citizens from different countries, especially Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Iranians, and Iraqis," the report shows.
Furthermore, Iranian and Hezbollah operatives have cultivated and consolidated operating bases in South America, especially in the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
The region has a large Muslim population, with significant numbers of Hezbollah sympathizers, and is ripe therefore for recruitment, arms smuggling and drug trafficking.
Hezbollah continues to exploit other Lebanese Shiite diaspora communities, including in the United States, to strengthen its presence worldwide.
And in 2011, the United States disrupted a plot led by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in cooperation with a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington.
The problematic nexus between Hezbollah and Mexican drug cartels enables Hezbollah to make inroads into the United States through its porous border with Mexico.
Some American intelligence reports also show that Hezbollah maintains a significant network of sleeper cells in the United States.
Though Hezbollah has not conducted a major attack on US soil, the group could decide to strike key American sites should US-Iran relations deteriorate.
Preparations to combat Islamist terrorism broadly should strongly consider the nuanced and growing Hezbollah threat to US national security.
New Revelations on Revolutionary Guards Leading Iran's Ballistic Missile Drive, Nuclear Weapons Program - Through Control Over Docks - by Heshmat Alavi - https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/03/08/new-revelations-on-revolutionary-guards-leading-irans-ballistic-missile-drive-nuclear-weapons-program-through-control-over-docks/
Despite the United States placing the Iranian regime "on notice" for test-firing medium-range ballistic missiles in January, Tehran has taken no steps to change its behavior. Indeed, reports indicate that Iran test launched a new pair of ballistic missiles over the weekend.
New evidence was uncovered about the extent of control that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is leading the mullahs' ballistic missile drive, parallel to the nuclear program and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, has over this.
In London on Tuesday, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a press conference revealing that the IRGC has a growing grip over Iran's key economic hubs. The NCRI cited intelligence gathered by sources linked to the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) from inside the regime, particularly among the IRGC rank and file. The data obtained in recent months clearly proves the IRGC has full control over 90 docks, which amount to 45% of Iran's total official number of 212 piers.
The IRGC began setting up these "Bahman Docks" in 1982, by order of regime founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The group was instructed to manage its activities outside the authority of any state supervision and beneath the proverbial radar of international institutions.
Over the years since then, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has ordered the expansion of IRGC activity at these docks, and the further intertwining of the organization with the country's economy. The main goal today, and previously, is to bypass international sanctions.
As a result, the IRGC now has complete control over Iran's ground, sea and air borders, flooding the economy with a variety of imports without paying a single dollar in customs.
The IRGC has ports in Bandar Lengeh in Hormozgan Province, two docks in Abu Musa Island and another two in the Greater Tunb Island - among others.
In addition to exporting arms to Middle East militias, the IRGC takes advantage of these docks to smuggle oil, gasoline, natural gas, chemical products, cigarettes, narcotics, alcoholic beverages, mobile phones and pharmaceuticals. The IRGC reportedly pockets an annual revenue of around $12 billion from importing and exporting illicit goods through the docks.
According to the NCRI, the IRGC has also established a number of front companies tasked specifically with transferring weapons caches through the docks. This flow of arms continues non-stop, with only a small percentage having been discovered and blocked by the international community in recent years. And all this is in addition to the colossal official budget the IRGC receives from Tehran.
The new revelation is but another reason for the international community to take firm and swift action against the IRGC.
Be Faithful to Your Call - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremiah was called to be a prophet. This calling was ordained by God prior to Jeremiah being formed in his mother's womb. "Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Jeremiah 1:4-5. Like most of us, Jeremiah tried to make excuses as to why he couldn't do what God called him to do. "Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child." Jeremiah 1:6. This "child" was probably about 30 years old when he spoke those words! He tried to wiggle out of his calling, but he did go on to faithfully obey God in a very difficult task. God sees strengths in us that we cannot see in ourselves, and He knew Jeremiah was capable of delivering the message that God wanted him to deliver. Jeremiah was to warn the Southern Kingdom of Judah that they were going to face God's judgment if they didn't turn from their rebellion. God knew Jeremiah was the man for the job. "But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD." Jeremiah 1:7-8. We might look at Jeremiah as a failure because his words were ignored. Jeremiah could have given up after the first year of failure or he could have doubted that God had even called him, but he didn't. The thing that has to be understood is that Jeremiah did what God asked him to do. Whether or not the people listened wasn't his problem. Had Judah heeded the words he spoke and returned to a right relationship with God they wouldn't have spent 70 years in Babylonian captivity. God doesn't call us to be successful...He calls us to do His work. Jeremiah preached for many years with no success, but he was faithful to what God called him to do.
The Bible is filled with accounts of God asking people to do things that they didn't necessarily understand. For instance, Noah lived at a time when demonic wickedness was everywhere. In order to preserve the small remnant of His creation that hadn't been genetically corrupted, God would send a flood. Noah was directed to build an Ark and God gave him the building plans. Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives would enter the Ark along with some animals and they would be saved from the judgment. Noah was called to a great undertaking, and he was faithful to all God said. "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he." Genesis 6:22. Noah would have had a hard time understanding about the coming Flood and how the Ark would be used. The earth had been watered by a mist so rain and floods were unknown, but Noah got busy and didn't question why. Because Noah had been faithful to his call and did what God asked of him, you and I are here today. "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. Had Noah questioned God or decided to build the Ark according to his own way of thinking, all would have been lost. Faithful obedience to God will always prove to be best.
There are many accounts in the Old Testament where men and women were faithful to do God's will. They did what they were asked regardless of whether or not people heeded their warnings. God called Abraham to leave his home in order to establish the nation of Israel, Sarah was called to follow her husband Abraham and to give birth to Isaac, Moses was called to lead the nation of Israel out of Egyptian captivity, the shepherd boy David was called to be king and establish the royal lineage of the Messiah, Esther was called to reveal a plot to murder all Jews, and the list is long but inspiring. Each person did what they were called to do. God gives us the opportunity to be a part of His plan and it's up to us to hear His calling and be faithful.
The New Testament is also filled with accounts of people who were faithful to their call. For instance, God asked Mary to give birth to His Son. What an honor. When the time was right, Jesus began His ministry on earth and He began by calling men to follow Him. "Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men."Mark 1:16-17. These Peter and Andrew responded to His call and eventually twelve men became His disciples. Each man had strengths and weaknesses, but together they spread the Gospel and we are blessed today because of them. They weren't perfect men, but they were faithful to their call. Peter had his rough moments, though, but we can learn from those moments and take heart. After Jesus was crucified and had risen from the grave He met the disciples at Galilee. There He confronted Peter and called him to feed the sheep. Did Peter jump at the chance to serve Jesus? Well, as only Peter could, he shows us that our calling isn't greater or lesser than what someone else is called to do. After Jesus told Peter what his calling was, Peter saw John nearby and wanted to know what he was called to do. "Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?" John 21:21. Was Peter unhappy with his calling to feed the sheep, or was he excited and curious about what John was called to do? Whatever his reason Jesus made it clear that each had their own calling. "Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me." John 21:22. That advice is for every one of us. Be faithful to your calling no matter what others are called to do.
We all are called for a special task and God can use any quality we have to accomplish great things. When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians he talked of the various spiritual gifts and how important each one was. "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord...But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." 1 Corinthians 12:4-5 & 7. Paul went on to say that various gifts are given to members of the body of Christ, but these gifts should not bring division. If someone is called to preach, that's a wonderful calling but isn't greater than a person given the gift of prophecy. "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ...For the body is not one member, but many." 1 Corinthians 12:12 &14. We should never feel inferior because we don't have a powerful ministry that reaches thousands or millions of people. If you're called to that, good for you, but if you are called to serve food at the local homeless shelter witnessing to one person at a time, then do that as if you're doing it for the Lord. "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men" Colossians 3:23. Do what God asks you to do regardless of how small a task it may seem. You're important to the Body of Christ.
Don't be daunted by what you've been called to accomplish. If the task seems too big, be sure you pray and stay strong by studying God's word. If the task seems too menial, be sure you pray and stay strong by studying God's word. Let God judge your strengths and weaknesses and assign the task. He called Jeremiah to be a prophet and his calling was very different than what Ezekiel or Isaiah or Daniel were called to do. Noah could have laughed when God told him to build an Ark, but he was faithful to his calling and his family was saved from God's judgment. Maybe your calling is to be a Christian parent who raises Godly children. Don't look upon that as trivial. It could be that you're called to spread the Gospel to the far corners of the world, or maybe your mission field is in your own neighborhood. Remember each member of the body of Christ is there for a special purpose. "If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body" 1 Corinthians 12:15-19. Each part is important to the whole body. If a part is not there, the whole body feels the loss.
What have you been called to do? Each and every one of us is called to be a witness for Christ. Aside from that God has called you for a special purpose. Study His word so you can represent Him as best you can. Pray for His guidance and wisdom. Figure out what He wants you to do then be faithful to your call.
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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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
Tattletale - By Grant Phillips - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/03/04/tattletale/
The phrase, "You dirty rat," has often been attributed to James Cagney, but he never said it. Nevertheless, bad guys don't like "dirty rats". They're also called "snitches or squealers." The police agencies call them "informants." Any way you cut it, they certainly would not be safe in most prisons.
When we were youngsters, we called them "tattletales." Have you ever had someone tattle on you in your childhood days; a sister or brother? Maybe one of your fellow classmates turned you in. I recall one time in particular of being reported to the higher authorities (parents). Who hasn't experienced at least once being "ratted out?" Oh my, those were the days.
Have you ever considered the fact that Satan is the biggest tattletale of all? If you don't think so, you might want to talk to Job about that. The thing with Satan is he doesn't care about getting his facts straight either. But alas, what does it matter? We're all guilty as sin anyway (pardon the pun), when he points his gnarly finger at us when talking to God.
The Bible says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23)
It also says, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10)
Jesus even tells us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) that we're guilty of murder even if we don't commit the crime, but have hate in our heart toward another.
My goodness, we're guilty any way we turn aren't we? Maybe that's why we need a Savior.
But let's get back on track. I was talking about tattletales and Satan being the worse. I don't think Satan runs to God and "spills the beans" on those who are not Christians. They're already his anyway, and God only disciplines His own children. That leads me to say that I know Satan runs to God every time a Christian slips up.
Christians if you weren't aware before, know this, Satan loves to go to our Parent (God) and tell Him everything we've done wrong. However, always keep in mind that Jesus died for all our sins; past, present and future. That knowledge alone should have us thanking the Lord every day for His unmerited grace of which we know we do not deserve ... and knowing we don't deserve it, makes it even sweeter. This leads us to another point; because of His love for us, we should show our love for Him by obedience to His will.
What about the tattletale though? What makes a tattletale? It seems to me that in most cases jealousy and pride plays a big part in Satan's constant accusations. He had it all, and he lost it all because of pride. Apparently there isn't a humble bone in his angelic body. It's all about his pride.
I'm not saying it's always wrong to turn someone in to the higher authorities when the situation merits it. For example; if you witness someone breaking the law, you should be a good citizen and turn them in.
The tattletales I'm speaking of are those who are just petty, wanting to get someone else in trouble while elevating themselves in the eyes of the one holding authority. That is Satan.
Every time Satan accuses us, and his accusations are probably very accurate, he is just trying to make excuses to God, the highest authority. He is trying to show in our failures that we are no better than he. Even though he rebelled against God, so do we. The difference is, we have come to our Father and received eternal forgiveness by putting all our faith in His Son Jesus who died for us. Satan regrets none of his actions and is still trying to usurp God's throne.
Sometimes we Christians attempt to judge ourselves before God by the failures of our fellow siblings in Christ. This is wrong. This is exactly what Satan does, but Satan's accusations will one day end for good.
"Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down." (Revelation 12:10 NIV)
So remember brothers and sisters in Christ, everyday Satan stands before God pointing each of us out to our Father in Heaven as sinful failures. He calls out our name and spits out a list of atrocious sins that are ours. I'm sure he has tattled on me many, many times, but in my imagination I see God looking over toward His Son when the accusations are made. The Son quickly responds with something like, "This one is mine. I've paid their debt." Our Father God looks back at Satan and responds with something like, "You lose...again."
Good riddance, blabber mouth.
Daily Jot: Revolutionary feud deepens - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Over the weekend President Donald Trump made history by accusing the ex-"president" of wiretapping the president-elect's offices at Trump Towers. While some compare it to Watergate, where sitting President Richard Nixon had curried a national spy effort on those he considered his detractors, this "lame duck president" allegedly was gathering information that could be used to undermine Trump when he took office. It is the type of stuff spy novels are made of, yet it is playing out before our very eyes. The ex-"president" has set up a shadow government and is working with seditious forces to undermine the duly elected President of the United States. Trouble is, he has apparently walked the line of the law.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the ex-"president" was livid over Trump's accusations. A statement was issued immediately that the ex-"president's" regime had never approved wire tapping or spying on US citizens. This is an outright lie because there are multiple high-profile cases where the White House was caught intercepting phone calls and emails on our citizens. The Guardian published documents signed by Attorney General Eric Holder July 29, 2009 indicating the White House used the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to back door "authority" to collect information on American citizens. AP, CBS and Fox know first hand as their reporters were spied on, as were thousands of citizens.
Was the ex-"president" livid that Trump called him out, or because he got caught doing something he shouldn't have that may have legal implications? It would appear that the former "president" is walking a thin line between political opposition and sedition. Many are asking why this person is not arrested and brought up on charges of sedition, high crimes and misdemeanors. It is because there is no appearance on the surface of actual law breaking. Paid protesters, encouraging protesting, setting up offices to "keep an eye on" the Trump Administration, stirring up a willing media against the government are all disruptive and undermining actions, but not really illegal. Power and money drive this organization.
Dinesh D'Souza documented just how the progressives in the Democratic Party, the ex-"president" and Hillary Clinton use deception and denial to enrich themselves and garner power. In "Hillary's America," D'Souza documents how "progressives" seek to steal from the government and the people. He said, "The methodology of theft is very simple and involves five distinct steps. First, plan the theft. Second, recruit allies. Third, pitch or justify the theft. Fourth, carry out the theft. And finally, cover up the theft." When caught, they never give up the gig, but rather deny, deny, deny. And we see this play out every day in this deepening feud between the ex-"president" and Trump. Proverbs 14:8 says, "The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit." And, hence, we have the tale of two Americas and a revolutionary feud deepening.
Daily Devotion: An Essential for Ministry - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. -Matthew 9:36
Everywhere Jesus went during His earthly ministry, He was mobbed by people who were pushing and pulling, always wanting something from Him. They wanted healings, like the woman who had spent all her money on doctors and still was sick, or Jairus, who came to the Lord because his daughter had died, and he wanted Jesus to raise her from the dead. So many wanted a touch from the Savior.
Jesus saw their deepest need. He saw where they were hurting the most. He saw behind the façade, behind the defense mechanisms people put up. He saw the real cry of their hearts. He saw them as sheep without a shepherd, as people who were going astray, everyone turning to their own way. And He had compassion on them.
If you want to be used by God in any capacity, then you have to develop something called compassion. We see a pattern of compassion throughout the ministry of Jesus. We see it when He talked with the woman at the well in Samaria. The Bible says that He "needed to go through Samaria" (John 4:4). Normally Jews did not go to Samaria because there was a deep racial prejudice between Samaritans and Jews that was passed from generation to generation. But in spite of His busy schedule and all He had to do, Jesus knew there was a lonely, burned-out, hurting woman who would be waiting at the well.
Sometimes we see nonbelievers as the enemy: "Look at those sinners. Look at what they're doing." But let's remember something: Behind that sin there is an empty, searching, lost person that God loves.
We are called to appeal to these people with the message of the gospel, but we need compassion. Jesus had it overflowing from His life. Do we?
FROM THE HEART
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