Prophecy Update Newsletter
March 16, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Many Supernatural Events of the Rapture - Joseph Chambers -
1 Corinthians 15
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
It is impossible to separate the power of the Holy Ghost from the Rapture and Resurrection of the Saints. If the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was clearly the Divine function of His Spirit, then our resurrection is even more the sovereign work of the same Holy Spirit. Apostle Paul said it plainly, "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:11) This verse is not only speaking of His resurrection but also our present resurrected life with a clear secondary meaning in relation to our coming resurrection. You cannot separate our present Spirit anointed life from our future Rapture and resurrection. It is all the work of His Holy Ghost in us, shedding forth the power of His resurrection. If you do not have that power working in you now, you cannot expect to receive some kind of infusion when the Son of God splits the sky.
This future demonstration of this office of the Holy Ghost is breathtaking. The powers and supernatural activities of this event will expend the greatest display ever to occur at one moment of time since creation. In fact, I think it will be so similar to creation that we can learn much from that historical moment. The account of Moses in Genesis is a beautiful picture of sheer Holy Ghost creative power. When God the Father chose to create this earth, the Son of God was the Word and the Holy Ghost was His right arm. "And God said" was a statement which embodied the action of His eternal Son, who He called the "Word." John's gospel begins with this account, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (St. John 1:1-3)
But we must give His eternal Spirit His rightful place, also. Even before Jesus the Word spoke the first statement of creation, the Scripture stated, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:2) I love that statement, "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The triune God was creating this Universe and each member of the Godhead was powerfully involved. The Father made the choice, the Son spoke the Word, and the Spirit of the Father and the Son acted in supernatural powers and this cosmos "was created." Every sphere of life in this entire created universe is throbbing with His spark of life since that moment 6,000 years ago. If His presence was withdrawn for one minute, every expression of living cells, atoms, and molecules would fold in instant death. All life is the living manifestation of the whisper of life by His mighty Spirit.
Creation was an incredible moment of mighty acts of power. Our bodies are a living testimony of this power, as is all of creation. Every creature after his kind was created and Adam named them by their characteristics. Scientists baffle themselves in their study of life when they refuse to believe the account of Genesis. I have been reading a book entitled, The Body Electric. This capable doctor and surgeon speaks glowingly of the body's ability to heal itself and has proven that our body is not just a mechanical machine. His documentation of a current, which he cannot understand, acting in the human body amazed him. All I could think was how much he needs to meet this Creator I know, and then he could know. The mystery of life is everywhere and God's Spirit (the Holy Ghost) is the ordained source of every speck of that life. Nothing exists apart from our Great God.
The Holy Spirit fulfills this office of all life and resurrection as the Spirit of Jesus Christ. All the glory is given to Christ when the Scripture says, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (St. John 1: 4-5)
The glory goes to our Lord Jesus Christ who by His Spirit gives physical life to all creation, even the unsaved. " . . . For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45) Thank God that He not only gives us natural life and a natural world where His evidence is everywhere, but to the souls that surrender to His saving blood, He gives much, much more. It is impossible to be "born again" without the convicting office of the Holy Ghost and His renewing and sealing of our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ. His Spirit renews our spirit and we are quickened to life in His likeness. We become "new creatures." "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (II Corinthians 5:17)
1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
The Rapture and the Resurrection
No wonder the Holy Ghost is called "the Seven Spirits of God." Just as in the trinity we do not dare speak of three different Gods, so in the person of the Holy Ghost we do not speak of seven separate and different Spirits. The Holy Ghost is one, but His expressions and offices are set forth in the completed expression of "seven." He is the Spirit of Life and was active with Jesus Christ in His resurrection. He is to us the Spirit of Life and there is no resurrection without His anointed powers. Jesus Christ could not be held in death because there was no sin to grant powers of death to His enemy, Satan. If His resurrection was aided by the Holy Ghost even though He was without sin, ours is totally dependant upon the Holy Ghost because of the death which works in our sin nature. But our Lord by His blood has defeated death as our substitute and if we are cleansed by that blood then death has lost its sway. "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 7:24-25a)
Our resurrection and rapture is guaranteed by His New Testament covenant with us. To the Corinthians He said, "For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit." (II Corinthians 5:4-5) The Holy Ghost anointing upon our life is our "insurance policy" or "earnest" (guarantee). Multitudes of empty church people are going to be miserably disappointed after the rapture. You have no assurance of this glorious hope of the rapture if you have no fire of the Holy Ghost in your soul. His living and anointed presence working in your life is your certainty of readiness. It is not an experience we need but a total surrender to His will and leading. Our song must become, "Where He leads me, I will follow."
The Sheer Display of Holy Ghost Power
No one can possibly doubt the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost. The Bible is a catalog of incredible acts of Divine intervention, expression, and creation. From the parting of the Red Sea, where a host of tens of thousands of escaping Hebrews fled before the Pharaoh's army, to the event of three Hebrew boys that were unscathed by a fiery furnace, miracles are the common facts. Elijah was supernaturally transported from earth to Heaven, Lazarus was called out of a tomb after his body was already decaying, and Blind Bartimaeus received his sight by a simple command. All of these miracles and a multitude more fill the pages of God's Holy Bible. The Spirit of God was the Father's and the Son's manifestation of the Godhead's every supernatural act.
This future resurrection and rapture will be the church's grand finale of supernatural intervention. Nothing since creation comes close to revealing so much power in one moment of time. Every grave of every dead saint from all history [except Enoch, Elijah, Moses, and the saints that arose at His resurrection (Matthew 27:51-53)] will be opened as a testimony to his or her escape. Their dead bodies will be changed from the dust of death and in some cases gathered from seas or the winds to become glorified specimens of eternal lives. Millions of living saints will step out of their suits and dresses into transformed specimens of the same eternal glory.
There is no such thing as a secret rapture. There is no way such a display of Holy Ghost power can escape the attention of this world. Thousands of cars in the developed world or riding carts in the undeveloped world will suddenly be missing their drivers. Telephone lines will be jammed with frantic calls from hysterical husbands, wives, parents, children, etc. to make missing person reports. Big name politicians, who discover that their old grandmother that begged them to serve Jesus has disappeared, will drop to the floor of some government chamber unable to stand. The news will suddenly be filled with liberal ministers explaining the disappearance with deceiving words to cover their broken theology. The world will never be the same after that day. There will be millions that repent and prepare that day for what they missed.
7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
9 Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.
The Event Itself is Supernatural in Every Detail
The Apostle Paul declared this by describing the details, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (I Thessalonians 4:16-18) Our Father does not send His greatest archangel, but the Son Himself will descend into the mid-air. It's a little thing with God but it's a transcending matter to the church. Satan is the "prince of the power of the air." This evil personage of fallen glory has a kingdom of millions of fallen angels organized for warfare. They inhabit the air above us and even the saints with glorified bodies are no match for their skills. Michael, one of the greatest of angelic beings, refused to rebuke Satan in his own power but rested in the victory of the Lord. Jude, the brother of Jesus, stated, "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." (Jude 1:9) Our victory now and forever is Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
So Jesus descends into mid-air above us, but below Satan's kingdom, and leads His saints back to the mountain of His Holiness, Mount Zion on the sides of the North. (Psalm 48:1-3) The very nature of this victory is totally divine and supernatural. Someone has said that gravity loses its hold, but, no, my friends, gravity has no need of change. The earth's gravity or natural power has never hindered the acts of God. Nothing about this event is natural. Jesus had but to speak and the storm on the Sea of Galilee was quieted. Demons (fallen angels) begged for mercy at His feet. Death is already a vanquished foe, so His descent to rapture His Bride in waiting is but the first transcending act of His coming kingdom.
The Son of God shouts as He descends. Why does the Bible confirm that He shouts as He returns into mid-air? Consider that He shouts just to dislodge the army of the fallen angels or disorient them and confuse their battle plans. Of course, He shouts to wake the dead for He is the Word and when He speaks, there is creation in His voice. This shout will shake the universe and start the entire matter of resurrection. Every grave of every saint will hear that shout and the earth will literally cast out the dead. This is His earth and He created every atom of life. When He shouts, nothing in this universe will resist. His shout is a triumph over every foe.
His archangels are mighty spirits or created beings to whom He has given great power. The presence of an archangel giving orders suggests a host of angels at the archangel's command. So, indeed the Lord comes with a host, a multitude, and they will take up positions before every fallen angel in Satan's charge. Nothing could possibly be hated more by Satan than to see the church escape his accusations. The saints have always been "Satan's axis of enemies." He hates the saints that defy his effort to lead them to hell. This great host of our Lord's Heavenly army will compose His defense of the resurrected and raptured saints. We will not need to fight as we pass through the mid-air, meet our Lord, and follow Him to the Heavenly Jerusalem for the Judgment Seat of the saints and our celebration around the throne.
2 Timothy 3
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
The Mortal Will Put on Immortality
Of all the Holy Ghost powers manifested, nothing is more glorious than our change from the mortal to the immortal. Let's allow the Apostle Paul to describe this moment in our future. "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (I Corinthians 15:50-54) This passage reveals the indescribable facts of our coming change. Our bodies are destined to put on a "house not made with hands." (II Corinthians 5:1) Everything about our new house/body will be supernaturally constructed. Flesh and blood born of woman is a marvel and was originally created to live forever with the aid of the Tree of Life. This new body will replace the old so we can share in His resurrection likeness for eternity. While we will enjoy the Tree of Life in the new city, we will not need its fruit to live forever.
Consider our body that is made of billions of cells constantly dying and being renewed, replaced with new eternal ones. This body is a living organism created to constantly replace itself by its built-in creative powers. It is substantiated by a kind of supernatural life which proceeds from the Spirit of Life. We are already a marvel but this is only a taste of the new body. Every cell will be changed in a moment. The present corruptible body will be totally changed to an incorruptible body by the quickening of the Holy Ghost. The mortal will put on immortality and this change will be instantaneous. When Jesus descends into the mid-air and shouts the command, an explosion of resurrection will master the darkness of death. The saint, dead or alive, will be infused with this sheer supernatural power to step out of flesh and blood and step into flesh and spirit. All of this, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye."
Can you imagine a stubborn husband that rejected his wife's gentle witness and Godly life sitting beside her when this change occurs? A beautiful Godly woman will suddenly become a glorified radiant saint. That man will never have another comfortable day unless he is enabled to fall on his face in repentance and prepare to die at the hand of the Antichrist crowd. Encounters of this nature between the resurrected and the "left behind crowd" will be multiplied millions of times. "Death will be swallowed up in victory" right before a stunned world and this world will never be the same again. It will produce conviction and consternation far beyond any past human event of devastation and judgment.
Graves Opened and Saints Appearing
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ was God's "first fruits" of the coming resurrection of the dead in Christ. It was the type or example of how the future event will be manifest. The picture that Matthew gave us will be replayed and multiplied by millions. It will be sheer Holy Ghost power great enough to shake the cosmos out of its complacency of sin. I promise you that sin will never have the same satisfaction after this coming hour. Matthew alone described this first fruits resurrection of dead saints. He stated, "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matthew 27: 51-53) This is God's pattern.
This old earth will tremble like a dying man at the very moment the Lord shouts. Rocks will be rent and immediately "graves will open" all over this earth. Many graves will be in long lost graveyards, built over, paved over, under houses, commercial buildings, and highways. They will be opened wherever they are and the world will finally know that "Jesus is Lord." No wonder the Bible says "every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:11) This is a perfect moment for that confession, at least for millions.
The Resurrected saints will visit homes and marketplaces across this globe. Notice again, "They came out of the graves . . . and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." This is going to be one of the great moments of the coming Pre-Tribulation Rapture. No wonder the Bible says, "the dead in Christ shall rise first." Imagine an old grandmother knocking on the door of her favorite grandson that has put off surrender to Christ and now has missed the Rapture. When he sees her in her new body and senses the glory of her resurrection how his heart will smite him. Multitudes of those in these type encounters will have already made their last choice and have no hope. Many will still find mercy, get saved, and be killed by the Antichrist's throngs of thugs.
Never has an event of Biblical fulfillment exceeded the transcending moment of the Resurrection and Rapture. There are other wonderful truths that will also be grand in their fulfillment but this beginning of the end exceeds them all. The resurrection and rapture is like the opening of a long and glorious drama with each day revealing more and more of the accomplishment of His cross and redemption plan. This world as we know it cannot continue much longer. Even nature is groaning for redemption and the dead will be removed from its bowels of sorrow. The spiritual war that is being raged by Satan and his host is especially directed to defeat this prophesied event. Satan will fail and we will escape before his last acts of blasphemy. The Rapture is certainly at the door.
What You Need to Know About Israel's Prophetic Role in End-Times Chronology - Dave Williams - http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/standing-with-israel/63639-what-you-need-to-know-about-israel-s-prophetic-role-in-end-times-chronology
There is God-ordained order to Bible prophecy. Although we don't know the precise timing of all prophetic events, we can know the general schedule and why things are happening. Some people avoid studying prophecy because they think it is too frightening or difficult to understand. However, God gave us the Bible so we can read and understand what will happen in the future.
The following chronology will be helpful in showing the order in which prophetic events will occur. Parts of it are flexible. (For example, the Ezekiel 38 invasion of Israel could occur before or after the rapture. Even before the rapture, we could see preliminary signs pointing to future events.)
With this chronology, we get a picture of God's prophetic agenda in the last days. A precise timeline is difficult, but we can get a fairly clear idea of the main events yet to come. Notice that the first six events have already happened, and we are experiencing the seventh and eighth now:
1. God promised 490 years of His prophetic dealings with Israel and the Jewish people (Dan. 9:24).
2. God promised the Messiah would come 483 years after the command to rebuild Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25-26).
3. The command to rebuild Jerusalem was issued by King Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:7-8).
4. Exactly 483 years later, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt of a donkey, allowing public worship of Him as Messiah for the first time. Jesus was executed, rose from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit upon His disciples.
5. The world entered the church age, the mystery parenthetical age (Matt. 16:16).
6. Israel was regathered when Jews migrated from the nations to their ancient land. For the end-time prophecies to be fulfilled, Israel had to be a nation again. That happened May 14, 1948. The last days have begun! (See Is. 66:8; Jer. 31:8; Ezek. 20:34.)
7. Preliminary signs pointing to the coming final shabua intensify (Luke 21:11, 25, 28).
8. Apostasy, deception, false prophets, lawlessness and hypocrisy accelerate (Matt. 24:4, 23-26; 2 Thess. 2:3; 2 Tim. 4:3)
9. Terrorist groups are dealt a severe blow, probably by Israeli defense forces (Ps. 83).
10. A serious crisis unfolds in southwestern Iran (Jer. 49).
11. Damascus, Syria, is destroyed (Isa. 17).
12. Israel is invaded by Russia and Islamic allies, but God performs miracles on Israel's behalf (Ezek. 38-39). Bible commentators differ on the timing. It may happen before or after the rapture.
13. The bride of Christ, the church, is caught away. Nobody except the Father knows when this event will happen. It is typically referred to as the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51-55; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). This could happen without any advance notice and may happen before numbers 9-12 in this chronology.
14. The church is in heaven (Rev. 4:1 -19:14).
15. There is a resurgence of the Roman Empire (Dan. 2:41-43; 7:24; Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3).
16. The United States dramatically weakens as a new multi-region federation in Europe mounts after a time of European chaos (Dan. 7:7; Rev. 17:3, 7, 12).
17. The meteoric rise of a popular and magnetic but satanic world leader occurs (2 Thess. 2:7-12; 1 John 2:18).
18. A peace treaty (covenant) is established, signed and confirmed between Israel, Muslim nations, and other nations (Dan. 9:27).
19. The first half of time known as The Tribulation (the final shabua) begins (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21).
20. The Jewish temple is erected in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:1-2).
21. A total of 144,000 Jewish converts emerge as impressive evangelists for Jesus Christ (Rev. 7:4-8; 14:1).
22. Judgments on Earth begin to intensify (Rev. 6-19).
23. World religions accelerate into apostasy, blending into a "harlot" religion (Rev. 17:1).
24. Anti-Semitism reaches a peak beyond anything in the past. During Hitler's genocidal rampage, one out of every three Jews perished. Under the antichrist system, two out of every three will die (Dan. 7:21; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27; Ezek. 22:19-21; Zech. 13:8-9).
25. The Antichrist and his public relations man (a powerful and global religious leader) introduce a new economic society involving a "mark" on the right hand or forehead rather than cash (Rev. 13:16-18).
26. The Antichrist moves his image into the Temple and claims to be God. His religious promoter is "allowed to give breath to the image." From this exact point, there will be 42 months until Christ's visible return (2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:13-15).
27. Two supernatural prophets arise in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:3-12).
28. The second half of The Tribulation begins with increased disasters, calamities and judgments pouring out rapidly. Death camps are established for those who disagree with The Antichrist (Rev. 13-19). Based on today's population, approximately 3.7 billion will die from war, hunger, persecution, epidemics and geophysical changes during the final 42 months.
29. The battles at Armageddon take place (Joel 3:1-3, 9-16; Zech.14:1-4, 12; Rev. 16:12-16; 19:11-21).
30. Christ returns and is visible to the world. This is the Second Coming (Zech. 14:3, 5, 12; Rev. 19:11-16, 19).
31. The nations are judged by Christ. The Antichrist and his false prophet/promoter are thrown into the lake of fire, along with all who took their mark of loyalty (Jer. 23:5; Matt. 25:31-32; Rev.19-20)
32. Satan is bound for 1000 years (Rev. 20:1-3).
33. The millennial kingdom is established on Earth for precisely 1000 years, with Jesus Himself ruling from Jerusalem (Is. 2:2-4; 11:6-9; 65:20-22; Zech. 8:22-23; Rev. 20:4-6).
34. Satan is loosed for a final short season after the thousand years to test those humans not resurrected and their descendants who remained on the earth after Christ returned. A final rebellion will ensue (Rev. 20:7-10).
35. The second resurrection (for the damned) takes place after the thousand years, when those in Hades (hell's holding place) reunite with their bodies and are raised to attend the great white throne judgment. All Christ-rejecters will be declared guilty and banished forever (Rev. 20:11-15).
36. A new heaven and new earth with new Jerusalem as the capital city are established forever (Rev. 21:1-27).
Israel, Escalation, and a Nuclear War in the Middle East - By Louis Rene Beres - https://www.israeldefense.co.il/en/node/28836#p7wsYjImFJhlAd0g.99
Left to themselves, neither suitably deterred nor adequately disarmed, enemies of Israel could one day bring the Jewish State face-to-face with the measureless torments of Dante's Inferno, "Into the eternal darkness, into fire, into ice." It is essential, therefore, that Israel's strategic planners and political leadership now accelerate their basic obligation to strengthen the country's nuclear security posture, and to take all necessary steps to ensure that any conceivable failure of nuclear deterrence could not ignite a nuclear war. Significantly, any such failure would not necessarily be the result of some conspicuous "bolt-from-the-blue" enemy nuclear attack, but could also represent the unanticipated outcome of aggressive crisis escalations.
Now is the time for a detailed and precise enumeration of relevant scenarios. Accordingly, among the most plausible paths to nuclear warfighting in the Middle East are: (1) enemy nuclear first-strikes against Israel (not a present possibility, unless one were to include non-Arab Pakistan as an authentic enemy); (2) enemy non-nuclear WMD first-strikes against Israel that would elicit an Israeli nuclear reprisal, either promptly, or as an inadvertent consequence of escalation processes; (3) Israeli nuclear preemptions against pertinent hard targets in selected enemy states with manifestly recognizable nuclear assets (also not a present possibility, unless Pakistan were included as an enemy state); (4) Israeli non-nuclear preemptions against relevant hard targets in enemy states with operational nuclear assets that elicit enemy nuclear reprisals, either promptly, or incrementally via escalation (again, excluding Pakistan, not a present possibility); and (5) Israeli non-nuclear preemptions against military targets in enemy states without nuclear assets, that would elicit substantial enemy biological warfare reprisals, and, reciprocally, Israeli nuclear counter-retaliations.
Still, other more-or-less plausible paths to nuclear warfighting in the Middle East include accidental, unintentional, inadvertent, or unauthorized nuclear attacks involving Israel and certain identifiable regional foes. The very last scenario offered here - "unauthorized" enemy nuclear attacks - should bring to Israeli analytic consideration an always-possible Jihadist coup d'état in Islamic Pakistan.
Jerusalem must also bear in mind the potentially dire and starkly unpredictable prospect of a major escalation arising from any specific instance of WMD terrorism against Israel. In this connection, Israeli strategists will not only need to consider their terrorist adversaries as singular or isolated actors, but also as prospective members of possible "hybrid" combinations, ones fashioned with other sub-state terror organizations, and/or with certain likeminded states.
Already, Israel has had to deal with a distinctly unique form of nuclear terrorism in the form of enemy attacks upon its Dimona nuclear reactor. While never given any genuine public attention - most obviously, perhaps, because both attacks were actual operational failures - the significant fact remains that Dimona came under enemy missile or rocket fire in 1991, from Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and again in 2014, from Hamas. It is not at all unreasonable to expect that in the future, a more determined and capable adversary could produce some calculable breach of nuclear reactor containment, and thereby initiate a perilous spiral of potentially lethal escalation.
As long as Israel remains determined to survive at all costs, its leaders must be prepared to identify and catalog all those specific circumstances wherein the country could become enmeshed in an actual nuclear exchange, or in nuclear warfighting. These fearful circumstances will obtain as long as (a) pertinent enemy first-strikes against Israel do not destroy Israel's second-strike nuclear capability; (b) enemy retaliations for an Israeli conventional preemption do not destroy Israel's nuclear counter-retaliatory capability; (c) Israeli preemptive strikes involving nuclear weapons do not destroy enemy second-strike nuclear capabilities (not a present concern); and (d) Israeli retaliations for enemy conventional first-strikes do not destroy enemy nuclear counter-retaliatory capabilities (also, not a plausible concern at present).
From the plainly vital standpoint of Israel's nuclear security requirements, this all means that Jerusalem must now prepare to do absolutely whatever is needed to ensure the likelihood of (a) and (b) above, and also the corollary unlikelihood of (c) and (d).
Among other things, Israel needs its presumptive nuclear weapons to preempt enemy nuclear attacks. This does not mean that Israeli preemptions of such obviously intolerable attacks would necessarily be nuclear themselves - more than likely, they would be entirely non-nuclear - but only that they could conceivably be nuclear. Moreover, both Israeli nuclear and non-nuclear preemptions of unconventional enemy attacks could, at least in principle (and also in the future) produce some form or other of nuclear weapons exchange.
The actual outcome here would depend, in large part, upon the effectiveness and breadth of Israeli targeting, the surviving number of enemy nuclear weapons, and the demonstrated willingness of enemy leaders to risk an Israeli nuclear counter-retaliation. Arguably, especially in reference to a still-nuclearizing Iran, the actual likelihood of some nuclear exchange would be greatest wherever Israel's relevant foe were allowed to continue its overt or covert nuclear weapons development without suffering any preemptive military interference. Still, over time, and the July 2015 Vienna Pact on Iran notwithstanding, a truly nuclear Iran is perhaps already a fait accompli. Israel, therefore, will need to figure on how best to live with a nuclear Iran.
Leaving tactical details aside, this suggests prudent Israeli preparations for long-term nuclear deterrence, buttressed by increasingly advanced forms of cyber-warfare and ballistic missile defense. Always, for Israel, recognizable preparations for strategic dissuasion must be augmented by similarly observable preparations for denial.
For Israel, the sole military alternative at this point, an eleventh-hour defensive first strike against Iranian nuclear assets, would almost certainly carry unacceptable risks, both physical and political. Moreover, at this late operational date, it would prove exceedingly difficult for Jerusalem to make the necessarily supportive jurisprudential argument that its utterly massive preemption was a proper expression of "anticipatory self-defense." All things considered, Israel will have to forego any last-minute preemption against Iran, and rely, however reluctantly, upon some still-promising forms of protracted deterrence and mutual coexistence.
In the final analysis, Israel's most significant risks of a nuclear exchange or nuclear war will arise from certain predictable kinds of crisis escalation. These are "locked-in" competitions wherein Israel's core national obligation to avoid recklessness could be rapidly and irremediably overtaken by the presumed imperatives of "winning" through "escalation dominance."
Temple Mount Conflict Proves Islamic 'Replacement Theology' Seeks to Usurp All Religions - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/85155/temple-mount-conflict-proves-islamic-replacement-theology-seeks-usurp-religions/#FKdUWF6wcogGDTLv.99
"Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." Isaiah 56:7 (The Israel Bible™)
The conflict over the Temple Mount is a clear manifestation of Islamic replacement theology, a noted archaeologist told the Knesset on Wednesday. It is the site's holy status in Judaism that is the basis of Islam's interest, and this phenomenon has been seen throughout history, with Islam appropriating major Christian sites as well.
Asaf Avraham, former director of the Jerusalem Walls National Park of the Parks Authority, addressed the newly formed Temple Mount Heritage Foundation headed by Rabbi Yehudah Glick (Likud) and Shulamit Mualem-Rafaeli (Jewish Home). Avraham explained that the Islamic connection to the gold-capped Dome of the Rock, and indeed the entire Temple Mount Compound, is based on the sanctity of the Jewish Temple that previously stood on the site.
Avraham based his claim on thousand-year-old Arabic writings he discovered in the Muslim village of Nuva, located next to Hebron. The writings refer to Sachrat Beit El Maqdis, which translates to 'Rock of the Holy Temple'.
"This was one of the names of the Dome of the Rock in early Islam," Avraham explained in an interview with Arutz Sheva. "This is of the evidence from early Muslim literature which defines the Dome of the Rock as Beit El Maqdis (Beit Hamikdash - 'Temple' in Hebrew)".
Avraham's claim stands in direct contradiction to UNESCO resolutions passed last summer which effectively erased any connection between Judaism and its holiest site.
"There is no doubt that the original source of the place's holiness is the Temple," said Avraham. "When Muslims arrived in the seventh century, and probably even before that, they absorbed the Jewish faith which then entered the Muslim faith. You see it in the Koran which is heavily laden with Biblical stories. "
Avraham explained to the Knesset committee that Islam is a form of replacement theology, seeing itself as replacing Judaism and Christianity. "The first Christians saw themselves as the new Jews and this phenomenon also affected the Muslims, who saw themselves as carrying on the traditions of monotheistic faith and the true followers of the Bible. Muhammad was considered to be the Messiah, and they hoped that the Jews would cooperate with them. This is not a surprise, but the strengthening of an existing theory."
Replacement theology, also called supersessionism, is the belief that one religion has replaced another, making the previous religion obsolete. For thousands of years, this was a tenet of Christianity, defining the Church's relationship to the Jews. Subsequent to and because of the Holocaust, many mainstream Christian theologians and denominations have moved away from the theological belief, and today, most Christian supporters of Israel reject it entirely.
As replacement theology becomes less prevalent in defining the relationship between Jews and Christians, it becomes clear that it does define the relationship between Islam and other religions. Professor Ze'ev Magzhen, a professor at Bar-Ilan University and Shalem College, explained replacement theology's roots in Islam.
"Islam is very open and candid that they came to replace all previous religions," Magzhen told Breaking Israel News. "We see in Muslim literature a belief that Judaism was appropriate for the Jews at a certain time, but that time has passed.
"They also say the same thing about Christianity. Islam is the abrogating but never abrogated religion, what they call, 'al nasikh wal rer mansukh'. It abolishes what came before, but Mohammed was the last prophet, so it is now the only truth."
"The same can be said for both Christianity and Judaism in regards to how they viewed the religions that came before," the professor added.
The professor observed that the Islam has a history of usurping the holy sites of other religions, and in that respect, the Temple Mount is not unique.
"Muslims frequently placed mosques where churches used to be, or simply turned the church into a mosque," the professor said, citing the example of Hagia Sophia. Built in Istanbul the sixth century, Hagia Sophia stood as the world's largest cathedral for nearly one thousand years. In 1453, it was turned into a mosque.
"The Temple Mount can easily be seen as a physical manifestation of this replacement theology," Professor Magzhen concluded.
Yaakov Hayman, chairman of the United Temple Movement, attended Avraham's lecture in the Knesset.
"It is true that there is a Muslim minority who recognize the Jewish source of the site's holy status, and see it as their role to return it to us," Hayman told Breaking Israel News. "But the main Palestinian narrative, as seen in UNESCO, is driven by the element in Islam that seeks to replace Judaism, especially on the Temple Mount."
He contrasted the present Muslim-dominated reality on the Temple Mount with the Jewish vision for the site.
"It is intended as a House of Prayer for all nations," Hayman insisted. "Anyone who believes in one God and follows the seven Noahide laws will be part of the Third Temple."
When the Spirit of the Age Has a Cosmic Tantrum - By Jill Martin Rische - http://www.olivetreeviews.org/
NOTE FROM JAN: The Bible says that in the last days evil will wax worse and worse (II Timothy 3:13). I have been an occult watcher since the movement deceived me as a young college student. Fortunately, I saw the disaster with which I was flirting and was set free. But today's dark world is proliferating and is frightfully dangerous. I guarantee you that it is trying to encroach on your life.
Now witches are uniting to do their incantations and rid the world of President Trump. They meet again on March 26, April 24, and May 23 to do their demonic rituals. Christians should band together and pray against the entire Antichrist agenda.
I asked paranormal expert Jill Martin Rische to be my guest columnist with the cutting-edge article that follows. She is the daughter of Dr. Walter Martin. You can find her 700-page book, "The Kingdom of the Occult," at www.waltermartin.com .
Whoever thought an entire country could disappear down the rabbit hole? If only we were headed to Wonderland, like Alice and her rabbit! But America is going someplace far darker. The spirit of this age is furious and we are seeing a cosmic tantrum.
Hatred Off the Charts
Who could imagine that witches cursing Trump would be a top headline on Fox News or that media outlets would actually print the spell, with handy hints on how to curse your President? In what reality, does assassination lunacy go mainstream?
America -- and now the world -- has lost its collective mind because the prince of this world is enraged. Satan unleashed all his wealth and power, and he lost the battle for America. The result is a level of hatred most of us have never seen in our lifetimes. It is off the charts, foul-mouthed, irrational, and violent.
We are living a preview of Revelations 12:12, "Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"
God's Stunning Intervention
Satan's plan for America was globalism, humiliation, and defeat. Forces were aligned to take Israel out after the U.S. betrayed her and the United Nations voted to condemn her.
Only God knew that eight years of careful Obama sabotage would be rolled back in an instant. There is no doubt that on November 8, 2016, God intervened in a stunning way, reminding all of us that He raises up kings.
(Daniel 2:21) Satan's agenda was seriously harmed by the November election results but he is not going quietly into the night.
How Evil is Manifesting
Make no mistake -- this is war. It will not get better, it will not go away, and we are all in it. The spirit of the age cannot be ignored. "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, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Let's consider how Lucifer is demonstrating his cosmic tantrum:
The spirit of this age is everything the Bible warned us it would be.
How Should We Then Live?
Dr. Walter Martin puts it in perspective, "It is imperative that we return to the biblical standard of righteousness. It is righteous to preach Jesus Christ. It is righteous to reprove, to rebuke, to exhort. It is righteous, it is holy, it is just, and it is good to stand against the prince of darkness. And Christians, if they're going to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might are going to have to recognize that challenge and respond to it."
We've crossed the threshold of spiritual warfare on a global scale. Get ready to see the world rocked in a big way.
The Good News
The good news is that Jesus is coming back for us! We don't know when but we know that all these things are birth pangs -- and they hurt. It's hard to live in the swamp and keep your life free of the dirt and smell of evil. It's scary to think our families are targets. It's depressing to live in a vale of tears, but God is greater. As Pastor J.D. Farag said on our March 4-5 radio program, these very events are indicators that our Lord's return is very near. Listen here.
We are the winners. We carry the flag of the King on the battlefield, rallying the troops to Him. In the face of the enemy's rage, it is vital to put on the whole armor of God, get out there, and fight.
A Call to Action: What You Can Do
There is much we can do. We should never miss an opportunity to make our voices heard. Volunteer in a ministry at your church. Join a Bible study. Turn out -- armed with prayer -- at town hall meetings near you. If you're a pastor, ask to open with prayer. The sound of howling from the audience might be deafening, as one pastor found out recently at his town hall meeting, but God will use the name of Jesus for His glory. God gave a victory to Christians and to Israel in this last election, and we do not want to lose one inch of ground.
Start a Good News Club in one or more of your local schools. Remember, the Satanic Temple is targeting schools with their Satan clubs -- we don't want to be missing in action!
Stock local food shelves, support community thrift stores or visit the lonely in nursing homes near you.
Social media is a powerful tool and you can use it. Get on Facebook and set-up a new page targeting some kind of evil you hate. Approach people with love and a good measure of biblical wisdom, and tell God you can't wait to see what He will do. There is something for everyone -- some action you can take -- and you will be fighting the good fight, blessing others, and obeying Jesus.
Don't fall for the satanic lie that you are weak or a failure or too sinful to do anything for God. He loves you, forgives you, and will use you today. Go forward and don't look back.
Prayer is the key to strength, courage and victory. The Word of God is the sword that will drive evil back, and that includes the wisdom that comes from studying it. We are stuck here, for now, fighting the spirit of the age -- the prince of this world and all his forces -- but we are not alone. "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you....Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." (John 14:18, 27)
Learn more about this article's author, Jill Martin Rische, at www.waltermartin.com .
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
What's on the Other Side - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
How often have you wondered about life after death? If you ask ten people their opinion you'll probably get ten different answers. Some people will tell you that we become angels while others will say that there is nothing beyond the grave. Some even think that reincarnation is true. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many: and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:27-28. That discounts reincarnation. Truth is always found in the Bible. This verse says we don't die over and over until we get it right, but there is a judgment after death. Christ offered Himself as the sacrifice for our salvation.
Is it possible that we become angels after death? No. Angels are created beings and existed prior to God creating Adam. In the book of Job we're given an account of a very tragic time in Job's life. His children all died, he lost all of his livestock, and his health was impaired. Eventually God spoke to Job and wanted some answers from him. "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Job 38:4-7. When God speaks of the "morning stars" and the "sons of god" He's talking about angels, and they sang at the creation of the earth. That was prior to the creation of Adam so we humans don't become angels when we die. Our body goes into the ground, but our soul lives on.
Prior to Jesus' victory over the grave, a person's soul would go to a temporary place to wait. This place was composed of two sides. One side was a place of comfort, called Paradise or Abraham's Bosom, where those who had looked forward to the coming of the Messiah waited. The other side is a place of torment where souls who reject the Messiah await judgment and eternal death. Jesus gave an illustration of two men who lived very different lives on earth and both faced very different eternities. There was a rich man. His god was money and prestige. Jesus doesn't give his name. Then there was Lazarus who was very poor and in ill health. The rich man knew who Lazarus was but did nothing to ease his suffering. Both men died. Lazarus found himself in Abraham's Bosom but the rich man served the wrong god and found himself in torments. "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." Luke 16:23. This man had gained riches on earth but lost his soul. He was very much aware of his pain and suffering; he also could recognize people he had known on earth and was able to speak with them. "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." Luke 16:24. He should have made a wiser choice before he died. The rich man also remembered his family who were still alive and still had a choice of where they would spend eternity. "Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment." Luke 16:27-28. Even today we make our own choice as to where we will spend eternity. You cannot work your way into Heaven, nor can you work your way out of Hell. Purgatory is not Biblical nor is the idea of annihilation. This does illustrate, though, that after death we will recognize people and remember those who we have left on earth.
A misunderstanding people have about the afterlife is that it's an extension of this life. If you're "good" you go to Heaven. If you're bad you go to Hell where there will be one big party with all of your friends. In the above account of the rich man being in torments, we clearly see that there is no party. The rich man was miserable and was very aware of his misery. In truth his misery was just beginning. He's been in torments for over 2,000 years and is still very thirsty. At the end of time at the Great White Throne Judgment he will find himself cast into the Lake of Fire. "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:14-15. This will be a never ending place of fire and isolation. If you have not accepted Christ as your Saviour, this is what eternity holds for you. If you have accepted Christ's free gift of salvation you will have a mansion. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." John 14:1-2. Jesus is preparing a mansion for all who believe in Him.
The longer we live the more friends and loved ones have died. Can they come and visit us? No. As much as we yearn to see our loved ones they cannot come to us. Grief grips our hearts when someone we love dies and King David was no exception. He made a very bad choice and committed adultery with Bathsheba. Today this story would be featured in every gossip magazine. Bathsheba was married but became pregnant with David's child and David made sure her husband was killed to cover up the situation. That doubled his sin instead of making things right with God. When we sin we affect people around us and so it was with this child, who became very ill. Nathan the prophet confronted David about his sin and David was repentant and grieved over his sin and over the sick child. "David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth." 2 Samuel 12:16. David shouldn't have given in to the sinful lust and murder, but now all he could do was go to God and pray. This little boy did die and David's response surprised the servants who had been watching him grieve for seven days. David washed, went before the LORD and worshipped Him, then he ate a meal. The servants asked him why he had fasted and wept while the child was alive but didn't grieve after the child died. "And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 2 Samuel 12:22-23. This is an important lesson we all need to take note of. The child went to Abraham's Bosom upon death and David knew that the dead aren't allowed to come back from the grave. He also knew that because he loved God, he would one day go to be with that child. David repented of his sin and one of the most beautiful Psalms was written as David cried out to God. "...Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me." Psalm 51:1-3. David could only go to see his child if he had repented and asked God to forgive him. "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10. David would see his child again in Abraham's Bosom.
Jesus conquered death. On the third day after the crucifixion His sealed tomb was empty. As the disciples gathered in a locked room in fear and to comfort each other, Jesus appeared. "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." John 20:19. This gives us another clue about the afterlife. Jesus was able to enter a locked room but the disciples recognized Him. Thomas wasn't there, but a few days later Jesus appeared to him. Thomas was overwhelmed. "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God." John 20:28. When we see Jesus in Heaven I'm sure that our response will also be awe, joy, and worship. Jesus had appeared to them, but remember that He is God and He had a lesson to teach the men who would spread the Gospel. If you're in a locked room and someone who has died appears to you, this isn't of God. Rebuke the spirit in the name of Jesus. There is to be no communication between people who have died and we who live this side of Heaven. Because Jesus is who He is, He did appear on several occasions. He even ate food with them. From this we understand that we will be able to recognize each other after death and to socialize with each other. That is, we can in Heaven. If you have not accepted Christ as your Saviour then there is a different life awaiting you. One of torment. When Jesus died on the cross He took our sin upon Himself. We cannot enter Heaven if we die in our sin, but by truly accepting Christ's blood sacrifice we will never suffer with the rich man in torments. "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:6-8. Thank You, Jesus, for your sacrifice for me.
What's on the other side? Either eternal life or eternal death. It's your choice. There is only one way to live eternally in the presence of God, and that is by placing your faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians1:21. That is only true for someone whose sins have been forgiven. Don't delay in admitting you are a sinner and ask Christ to forgive you. It's an eternal choice that you can only make on this side of Heaven.
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: Extraordinarily disturbing news about our children - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
If we are to take a recent national opinion poll conducted by the American Culture and Faith Institute of 1,000 Americans 18 years or older at face value, the present generation of parents and the Christian "Church" in the US has completely lost the Millennial generation. This failure appears to be irreversible and by all indicators signals a prophetic shift away from God, the morals, traditional values, and belief in freedom necessary to sustain a Constitutional Republic. The survey showed that only 4%--that's four in 100-held a biblical worldview; they prefer socialism over capitalism by 44%; twice as many Millennials consider themselves liberals (a complete reversal over the previous generation).
The survey indicated nearly three out of every ten Millennials claim to be atheist, agnostic or non faith, a 35% increase over adults 30 or over. No wonder Millennials are accepting of "cheating on taxes, using non-prescription drugs for recreational purposes, and getting married to someone of the same sex; and being less likely to worship God other than within a church service." Some two-and-a-half more Millennials than older adults claim to be in the LGBT community. According to the survey, "The largest gaps between the beliefs of older adults and those of Millennials related to the nature of God; the existence of absolute moral truth; concepts concerning evil; and the personal importance of faith."
In analyzing the poll, George Barna, Executive Director of the American Culture and Faith Institute, says, "the current views of Millennials are so far to the left-of-center that even a typical amount of repositioning over time will leave the youngest generation considerably more liberal than desired, and more distant from traditional norms than has been the case during our lifetime...a person's worldview is typically developed between the ages of about 18 months and 13 years. There is usually very little movement in a worldview after that point. You could say with confidence that the worldview a person possesses at age 13 is probably the worldview they will die with. Unless pre-existing patterns radically change, we are not likely to ever see the Millennial generation reach even ten percent who have a biblical worldview."
History may judge us as having been the generation that lost America, but even more disturbing, we may have failed even our children in the mission Jesus Christ gave us-the Great Commission. This should be a sad wake up call to every pastor and every Christian in this country-that embracing bad doctrine, using the world's ways in marketing, making the "church" into a self-improvement program, and allowing government to take over the duties of the church may well have destroyed our children and the sustainability of this nation. In short, evil is out-evangelizing us and successfully condemning our children to hell. We have some ground to cover and only with God can we do it. But we better not be lax.
Romans 10:13-16 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord who has believed our report?" Isaiah knew the consequences of disobedience. Verse 17 says, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God." Obviously, this is a grave situation. We need to step up.
Daily Devotion: An Essential for Evangelism - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed-cut off from Christ!-if that would save them. -Romans 9:2-3
General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, once said that if he had his way, he wished part of the final training for Christians going into the work of evangelism would be for them to dangle over Hell for twenty-four hours. It wasn't so they would fear it for themselves, because they had the hope of Heaven. Rather, it was so they could see the reality of what awaits those who do not know Jesus Christ.
In Romans 9, Paul identified something that is essential for effective evangelism. He wrote, "With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed-cut off from Christ!-if that would save them" (verses 1-3).
In fact, if we are lacking this quality, then everything else really is of no consequence. Paul had a God-given burden for those who did not know Jesus Christ. He cared. It burned inside of him. And in his case, it was for his own kinsmen, the Jews.
Do you have a God-given burden for those who don't know Jesus Christ? And if you don't, do you want one? Be careful. If you ask God to give you this burden, you may be surprised at how quickly He answers you. The results could be life changing.
As I have said so many times, God is not looking for ability; He is looking for availability. In time He will help you in your ability. He will help you in your technique. He will help you in all those things. But what you need to start with is a God-given burden for the lost.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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