Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Elation and Empathy as the Rapture Nears - By Ronda Lane - https://www.raptureready.com/2017/11/08/elation-empathy-rapture-nears/
This is a study of the conflict between the elation of the rapture in comparison to the empathy for those who have not yet accepted Christ, knowing they will soon enter the most horrific time period ever known to mankind.
We believers are witnessing the last hours of the age of grace, and how all future end-time Bible prophecy is aligning. Current characteristics foretold of the last days are prevalent (2 Tim.3:1-5, Rom. 1:18-32, Jude 1:18, 2 Pet. 3:3-7, 2 Tim. 4:3-4, et al).
We witness these things, knowing that the rapture is imminent (no date is given, no preceding events which must occur prior to). Yet we know all that was foretold to occur AFTER the rapture, and we recognize these things are aligning in rapid fashion.
This gives most of us conflicting emotions.
First, we are thrilled and excited that we will soon meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-18), that we will soon receive the promised resurrected and incorruptible bodies (1 Cor. 15:49-53), and those glorified bodies will be like Jesus' very own (1 John 3:2).
God truly knows how we long for this, how "we groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23).
This longing and expectation grows stronger every day. God's word calls this an "earnest expectation" (Rom. 8:19), and says we are to wait "with patience" (Rom. 8:25).
We are told (and understand) that we are waiting for righteousness. "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith" (Gal. 5:5, KJV).
We know that, although we are saved, as long as we are still in these fleshy bodies so does sin also dwell with us (Rom.7: 14-25). It's a constant battle to die to self and to submit to the Lord's leading.
This "hope of righteousness" is what we desire even more than the promised eternal bodies, even more than being reunited with fellow believers who have gone on before us, even more than to enjoy the promised rewards. We will never be tempted to sin; sin will no longer dwell with us (or with anyone else in heaven).
No, we can't fully comprehend what that means since, for all of our lives, we've had sin dwelling and present with us and with all those around us. We witness all the world's woes that are because of sin.
Imagine... no more sin! Only righteousness!
It's no wonder we believers are so fired up and excited about the rapture. After all, what's NOT to love about our soon catching up out of this evil, vile, sin-filled cesspool? That is what this article is about. The ONLY thing that most of us are grappling with is those who have yet to come to Christ.
We women are more emotional and/or nurturing than men. God Himself made us this way for a reason. Yet we ALL (both men and women) are admonished to be empathetic to the sufferings of others.
"Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep" (Rom. 12:15).
There is more scripture devoted to how we are to behave towards others. But even more so, we (believers) have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who also leads and guides us into all truth (John 16:13).
He brings to our hearts and minds the empathy and consideration for the suffering of others. We recognize their current and/or physical suffering that we can witness with our eyes and ears, but we also recognize what is soon to befall the unbelieving world. The suffering to come (for them) will be horrific.
How could our hearts NOT break over this, especially if we have loved ones and relatives who have not yet come to Christ for salvation?
We can share the gospel with them (if they are even willing to listen at all). We can beg and plead with them, reason with them, pray for them (as we should), and yet... it's up to each individual to make that one most important decision of all: whether to accept/believe in Jesus for salvation, or whether to reject/deny Him (John 3:18).
We can't make the decision for them. God gave us all free will for that very reason. He loved us ALL so much that He gave His only begotten Son as a propitiation for our sins. Jesus, who never sinned, is the only One acceptable payment for our sins (Rom. 3:25, 1 John 4:10, John 3:16-18, et al). There is no other way (John 14:6).
We believers recognize how wonderful a gift He has given. What an opportunity to be grafted in as mere wild olives (Romans 11) and yet to be joint heirs with Jesus Himself! (Rom. 8:17, Titus 3:7, and others).
It's so difficult for us to comprehend how anyone would NOT want to accept and believe in Christ for salvation. I admit there are times when I just want to shake some and yell "WAKE UP." We wonder how could anyone "neglect so great salvation?" (Heb. 2:3).
The most common reason for those who reject salvation is that they believe they are 'good' people. Sadly, they compare themselves to others, and that is the standard by which they measure their sins and good deeds (2 Cor.10:12), when instead, it's the righteousness of God Himself that we must hold both our sins and good deeds up to, as our very best is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Rom. 10:3).
They do know in their hearts that we are ALL sinners (Rom. 3:23). Yet, that's where their desire to comprehend stops. For if they were to allow themselves to truly consider that no matter how 'good' they think they are, it could never come close to the righteousness of God.
The only way to deal with sin is to have it removed, washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 1:5, 1 John 1:7-9, 1 Cor. 6:11).
"And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Phil. 3:9).
And this is where the biggest struggle comes in. The one thing that stands in the way of the sinner and salvation is PRIDE. No wonder! Pride was the downfall of the devil (Isaiah 13:12-15, Ezek. 28:11-17, et al). Sadly, he had been given beauty, brightness, every precious stone as a covering, and an anointed place; and yet he chose willfully to sin. So as pride was his downfall, so too it's what he uses to lure mankind in.
Many may go so far as to admit being a sinner (if they even get that far), but to admit that they cannot, themselves, meet the righteous requirements of the One Holy God? That is the very thing they refuse to acknowledge.
Why? To admit this is to admit that they are enjoying the sins they wallow in, and they have a deep fear of being convicted of the sins, preferring to continue in those sins rather than deal with them in the only one way possible-through Christ alone.
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" (John 3:19-20).
A very dear relative came to visit me a few months ago. And he kept saying, "It's so quiet here! There's no TV, no radio... how can you stand it?" It was an eye-opening event for me. Why? Because I realized at that moment (as if a light bulb had been turned on) that MOST people spend every waking moment with NOISE and distractions... and not by chance, but on purpose.
Even most children and young adults no longer have creative, imaginative playtime, or quiet time to read or study, but expect to be entertained instead.
The modern person thinks they MUST have continuous entertainment to drown out... what? To drown out their conscience. To drown out the Holy Spirit who is trying to convict them of sin. To overtake any thoughts they may have of eternity. They refuse to even speak of "what happens when we die," or any such topic that may make them uncomfortable.
The devil has a tailor-made distraction (or multiple distractions) for each individual. Even believers can be derailed by distractions. It's vital that a person spend some 'quiet time' to reflect, and especially (for the believer) to study God's word. And yet we see that most professing believers don't even bother to study scripture nowadays, but instead prefer to listen to videos, audio podcasts, etc.
Sadly, many professing Christians live exactly as the unsaved world: TV, movies, music, hobbies, sports, entertainment of all kinds... and yet they claim to have "no time to study" God's word.
In fact, there is a large segment of our population who want to make it illegal to even mention scripture. While technology can be a blessing in the medical field, and to keep loved ones 'connected,' it can also be a terrible distraction from what we should be doing.
If Christians have fallen prey to 24/7 entertainment, is it any wonder that the unsaved are also using this very thing as an excuse to reject Christ? After all, if they allow themselves no quiet time to think, no solitary time, no distraction-free moments, how can they ever recognize their need for a Savior?
If we were to take an honest look at how the population lived even 100 years ago, we'd soon recognize why the world has changed so much. Back then (and for centuries prior) it was backbreaking work just to survive. We get an idea when we look at the Amish today who cut/season/stack and use wood to cook and heat with, who grow all their food themselves (both plants and animals), who can their own food, make dishes from scratch, wash clothing by hand with a scrub-board and use a clothes line to dry them. Some don't have running water and must still carry water in buckets for bathing, cleaning, drinking, etc.
When we think of modern conveniences, it seems to be a true blessing to not have to live with such toil to survive from day to day. But is it really a blessing when technology has taken over, not just the help with chores, but also the excess time that this frees up for entertainment? And yet people STILL claim they don't 'have time' to study scripture? Yet, when we use the Amish as an example, we see that even though the majority of their day is filled with hard work and wearisome tasks, they still make time to study and fellowship.
I'm not suggesting that we live like the Amish. I'm also not suggesting that we give up modern appliances and indoor plumbing, which truly are blessings. But I do suggest we make time to study God's word daily like the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11), and study like workmen (2 Tim. 2:15) so that we are not ashamed when the Lord soon appears to catch us up.
Spend QUIET time alone with the Lord in prayer as well.
I don't know how we believers can 'fight' society's desire for 24/7 entertainment. I know what we (ourselves, as believers) can do about that. We can spend more time in God's word and in fellowship with believers. But I don't know how we can reason with the unsaved who won't allow themselves five minutes of time to think, much less consider God's word and their own eternal destination. It really is up to each individual.
Sadly, it's part of the devil's end-time tactics to distract society to the point where they refuse to even spend a few moments alone in silence, lest the light of the gospel should shine in their hearts; lest they should even give themselves mere minutes to contemplate where they will spend eternity, and how truly sinful each individual is. They don't want to allow themselves even a moment to think about that.
We (ourselves) cannot wake them up from the technological entertainment 'bunker' they've willfully entrapped themselves in.
They've wrapped themselves up in this disease-filled blanket of distraction and entertainment so that they won't have time to THINK and consider their eternal plight. To them, it offers distraction, and they've mistaken it for comfort. Much like the cloth blankets that were used to comfort those during the plague, those same blankets meant to comfort one victim carried the micro-organisms of death within their fibers to the next victim... Such is the death trap of non-stop noise, entertainment, and the preoccupation with worldly and meaningless things meant to distract enough to never allow a moment to think earnestly.
What is our duty? It is to continue to share the gospel with the lost even if it seems not to penetrate the bunker of distractions the world has built around them; even if it seems as though no one is listening; even if we are treated with hostility, mocked, ridiculed, cussed out, spit on, or threatened. We were foretold of many of those things.
We know full well that to boldly stand for Christ will bring us much persecution, and not just from mankind, but also from spiritual attack (Eph. 6:12). Yet we willingly serve the Lord rather than mankind or our own fleshy desires (Gal. 1:10, Rom. 6:19, Rom. 8:1-14, 2 Cor.7:1 and so many others).
"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof" (Rom. 13:14).
Our job is NOT to make the decision for the unsaved. We can't. And though it's easy to become discouraged when so few are coming to Christ now, we must always remember it is their own decision to make.
Sadly, many are willingly ignorant (2 Pet. 3:5). They just don't want to acknowledge or give even a moment of time to consider. They are wrapped up in the blanket of worldliness which brings false comfort.
God's word says they are "without excuse" (Rom. 1:18-32). They actually DO recognize that God created all things and that they are accountable for their actions and thoughts... they just don't want to admit it because they love sin too much.
Scripture also foretold the perilous last-day characteristics (2 Tim.3:1-7, 13). We see these characteristics as prevalent today in society.
And finally, after we've attempted to share the gospel with the unsaved, what is the best we can do for those who are blanketed in worldly deception? PRAY for them. God's word will not return void.
And for us? We find comfort in God's word.
We can also take time to study scripture daily rather than be "plugged in" to society 24/7, rather than spend countless hours entertaining ourselves with distractions. Anything that takes precedence OVER time in God's word and prayer is an idol.
We are given the example of Moses, who chose "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Heb. 11:25).
In summary: It breaks our heart to see the unsaved world reject salvation in Christ. Some are our friends, relatives, parents, or adult children. That truly is a hard thing because we know the horrors to come in the tribulation, and we don't wish it on anyone, especially not loved ones. We also know how precarious life is... we never know how long a person will live. Many die young; not all live to be aged on earth.
Don't give up sharing the gospel, even if it seems they aren't listening. And don't despair when they refuse to listen. I know it's easier said than done. But we are to take EVERY care and concern to the Lord (Phil. 4:6-7, 1 Pet. 5:7, et al).
And for us? We (believers) should continue giving the gospel to the unsaved world. We should remain vigilant (1 Pet. 5:8), waiting with patience for the Lord (1 Thess.1:10; Rom.8:19, 23, 25; 1 Cor. 1:7-8; Gal. 5:5; 2 Thess. 3:5, et al).
We should study His word (2 Tim. 2:15, Acts 17:10-11).
We should comfort fellow believers (1 Thess. 4:16-18, Rom. 1:12, 2 Cor. 1:3-4, 1 Thess. 5:11, and others).
Pray (much scripture devoted to that), and also put on (and keep on) the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18).
That is plenty enough to keep us occupied with the Lord, as we eagerly await the rapture, rather than 24/7 entertainment of the worldly.
<3 Maranatha! <3
The Importance of the Golan Heights - Matthew R.J. Brodsky -
Analysis: Jerusalem is likely to keep treating Syria as an extension of Iranian territory
Like the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, President Donald Trump's recent recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights came as a surprise to many, even if the matter had already gathered steam on Capitol Hill in recent years. It was one of the least publicly discussed aspects of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first meeting with Trump at the White House in February 2017. So why is the Golan so important?
The Golan Heights and the area Israel came to occupy from Syria in 1967 is a rocky, elevated plateau that ranges in height from 400 to 1,700 feet. Mount Hermon in the north marks the high point, standing at 9,232 feet tall, and it contains an Israel Defense Forces strategic observation post. The Golan also overlooks the Sea of Galilee and the Hula Valley, which is Israel's richest agricultural land. Two of the main water sources for the Jordan River-the Dan and the Banias-come from the slopes of Mt. Hermon. Damascus is only 40 miles away from the Israeli-held territory.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the June 1967 War-the same war where Israel took the Sinai from Egypt, and the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt respectively. The territory that came under Israeli control represented less than 1 percent of Syrian land area, yet under Syria's control it served as a forward operating position where artillery regularly shelled northern Israel, and the Palestinian Fatah organization launched regular cross-border raids. Israel annexed the territory in 1981, but the international community didn't recognize the move.
An opening for Middle East peace came in November 1977 when, in an unprecedented move, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat spoke before the Israeli Knesset and created what became known as the land-for-peace formula in negotiations with Israel. Shortly thereafter, Egypt and Israel made peace, and Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula.
In March 1991, President George H. W. Bush told Congress, "The time has come to put an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict." The United States emerged as the world's sole superpower in the aftermath of the first Gulf war and sought to capitalize on the moment. The goal was to convene a regional meeting or conference designed to comprehensively settle the Arab-Israeli dispute based on U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which were passed in the wake of the 1967 and 1973 wars respectively.
Long considered the roadmap for Middle East peace, resolution 242 called for the "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict" to "secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." It also spoke of the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force." The resolution, however, didn't provide a formula for the depth of an Arab peace offer or the amount of territory Israel would return.
The Bush administration's Madrid Conference in 1991 paved the path for separate peace tracks between Israel, Jordan, Syria, and the Palestinians, during the Clinton administration. Having given up its claim in 1988 on what became known as the West Bank (as it was on the west bank of the Jordan River), Jordan became the second Arab state to make peace with Israel in 1994.
When Israel began negotiations with Syria shortly after the Madrid Conference, the assumption was that a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights meant an Israeli withdrawal to the 1923 international border. Throughout the 1990s, however, Syria's territorial demands expanded. Syrian president Hafez al-Assad wanted a "full withdrawal," including the caveat that the pullout should be "to the June 4, 1967 line." He also added the requirement of Syrian "access to the Sea of Galilee." By 2000, Assad insisted upon "shared sovereignty over the lake."
There are several differences between the 1923 international border that Britain and France drew between their mandates and the June 4, 1967 line. The 1923 border was drawn so that all the Sea of Galilee would be within Britain's mandate, which later became Israel. On the other hand, the June 4, 1967 line was a situation, not a border. It exists on no official map. It was simply where the Israeli and Syrian forces were positioned on the eve of the 1967 war. The difference between the two amounted to 25 square miles.
The disparity in what would constitute a full Israeli withdrawal can still be seen today in how the territory is accounted for. According to Syria, the total area of the Golan Heights occupied by Israel is 580 square miles. Israel claims it is closer to 500 square miles. For its part, the CIA World Factbook puts the number far closer to Israel's view.
Whereas Syria was focused on maximizing the amount of territory it could regain in a peace agreement, Israel was focused on another key component created by the Egyptian standard for its peace deal: normalization of relations. Sadat's peace initiative was part of a comprehensive change in Egyptian policy, in which Sadat sought to prompt sweeping reforms for his country. He closed the door on the Soviet Union and made peace with Israel. It amounted to Egypt's fundamental strategic realignment.
The focus shifted away from the land-for-peace formula to a land-for-realignment calculation among many in Washington as well. By 2007, U.S. statesmen began promoting the notion that Syria and Iran were merely allies of convenience and that Syria could be flipped from the Iranian orbit. Both Hafez al-Assad during the 1990s and his son Bashar, who inherited Syria in 2000, showed no indication they were willing to part ways with Iran. And if Sadat had flown to Jerusalem to make peace with Israel, Hafez al-Assad refused to meet with any Israeli leaders throughout the decade of negotiations, even as he demanded more than 100 percent of the territory beyond the 1923 international border.
With the elder Assad at the helm, Syria remained Iran's junior partner, continued to occupy Lebanon, and helped Iran run its favorite terrorist arm, Hezbollah. However, Bashar transformed Syria's relationship with Iran to that of a client state, even transferring Syrian missiles to Hezbollah during the 2006 war between Israel and the terrorist group, rather than facilitating the transfer of Iranian weapons to Lebanon as was standard in the past. The Syrian civil war that began in 2011 completed this transformation, turning Assad into an Iranian-Hezbollah and Russian puppet, as they are responsible for saving and propping up his regime.
Any form of Syrian strategic realignment under Assad is extremely unlikely-at least for the foreseeable future. Russia's Middle East stock is on the ascent, and Syria is ground zero for its wider regional designs. Iran, for its part, is embarked on a Syrian entrenchment enterprise that stretches well beyond the military realm. And Hezbollah, which began its covert involvement in the Syrian war in 2012, has created a new "Golan Terror Network" under the leadership of Ali Musa Daqduq, a longtime senior Hezbollah operative and commander trained by IRGC Quds Force commander (and Israel's archenemy) Qassem Suleimani.
Ever since the inconclusive end to the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, analysts have predicted another round was bound to happen sooner than later. Iran is now able to extend the Lebanese front against Israel to Syria. For Iranian leaders-pledged to eventually wiping Israel off the map-their expanded ring around northern Israel and the Golan provides an expanded opportunity to strike at Israel should the Jewish state act against their nuclear program. Had Israel given up the Golan Heights in previous negotiations, Iran would also be poised on the strategic high ground, putting Israel at an even greater disadvantage.
Russia sees value in the Golan Heights for quite a different reason from Iran. They are anxious to cash in on international reconstruction funds meant to rebuild Syria. The problem is that the United States won't allow funding to flow through Assad. Putin is also interested in increasing his Middle East portfolio and standing. He likely sees the possibility of hosting a peace conference with Israel and Syria as a panacea. The process itself would legitimize Assad's rule in the eyes of the international community, open up the spigots for international funding, and increase Russia's regional role. More recently, Putin indicated he would like to play host to Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
Israel, however, already reached several agreements regarding how far Russia would keep Iranian or Iran-backed forces from Israel but has proven incapable of enforcing them. Until Iran is removed from Syria, or until a prohibitive cost is imposed on Israel, Jerusalem is likely to keep treating Syria as an extension of Iranian territory, which means one can expect Israel to continue to strike at Iranian logistical lines, weapons transfers, and at any high-ranking member of the IRGC, Quds Force, or Hezbollah who feels lucky enough to poke his head up.
Leading Republican senators will try to pass a resolution in support of the Trump administration's recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. This effort is currently being led by Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.). The president, however, has the right to proclaim the territory as Israeli on behalf of America. But as seen with President Trump's decision to undo the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran, what is given by one American president can be taken away by another.
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
Last month, Russia began moving men and materiel into Venezuela.
The situation there was already tragic and dangerous. Now it is much worse.
The Russians are there to strengthen the disastrous, murderous regime of Nicolas Maduro. I suppose they're there to support a fellow socialist/communist, but the fact that Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves probably attracts their attention, as well.
Ironically, those oil reserves are not helping keep the lights on in Venezuela. Since March 7th, much of the country has been without power.
Until the blackouts, Venezuelans with US dollars were able to buy some staples. Many of them shared food and other essentials with their neighbors. But with the blackouts, stores remain closed. Trucks can't move what goods there are because there's no electricity for the fuel pumps.
Without power, there is no refrigeration. People are struggling to keep food edible. They are scavenging through trash and landfills.
With no power to pump water, the taps in their homes are dry. In Caracas, thousands trek daily to a nearby mountain spring. The lines are long. They spend all day waiting their turn, then carry home only a few gallons of water. And water is heavy and difficult to carry.
Sanitary conditions are atrocious. That leads to increasing outbreaks of sickness at a time when medical help is almost non-existent.
Despite all of this, Maduro's government has blocked international attempts to send aid to the Venezuelan people.
In the last few days, though, the Red Cross announced that it has received permission to begin moving aid into the country. That's big news. It will provide some minimal relief to the suffering Venezuelans. And it is a tacit admission by Maduro that his people are in dire straits. In many cases, they are literally starving.
Until recently, Venezuela's military has allowed Maduro to remain in power. But some ranking members of the military have begun turning against him.
That's when Russia stepped in.
Russia did the same thing in Syria to allow Bashar al-Assad to remain as dictator. That allows Russia to control some of the world's most strategic territory.
Now they are trying it in the Western Hemisphere.
Since the establishment of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, the United States has basically warned the world that it will not tolerate European nations interfering in this hemisphere of the world.
Russia's military presence in Venezuela is a direct challenge to America's sphere of influence.
President Trump has stated bluntly that, "Russia has to get out." When asked how he could accomplish that, he replied, "We'll see. All options are open."
Is another Cuban Missile Crisis brewing in Venezuela? Will the US blink first? Or will Russia?
It's troubling to note that even with President Trump's intensive push to update and upgrade America's armed forces posture, our assumed military superiority has slipped substantially over the last decade.
The Heritage Foundation recently observed, "The US military is only marginally able to meet the demands of defending America's vital interests."
Even the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was formed by Congress in 2000, recently issued a dismal assessment. They said, "With the advances made by the PLA Air Force (China's air force), the United States and its allies and partners can no longer assume achieving air superiority in an Indo-Pacific conflict."
Even though we spend more on our military than all the other nations combined (of course, we can't really know what Russia and China actually spend), the truth is that many analysts see our military as vulnerable.
There are a number of reasons why America has slipped so far in recent years. Not the least of which is that our armed forces must follow the rules and regulations of "political correctness." Those ridiculous, arbitrary edicts often put our service members and tactical efforts in mortal danger. (In just one example, in the previous administration, lawyers were sometimes embedded with fighting units to issue rulings over whether certain responses to aggression were appropriate and acceptable. If no legal specialists were present, the fighters waited for approval from their higher-ups! There are soldiers who have been court martialed for reacting inappropriately and not awaiting permission for their actions.)
When Russia or China wants to build a military establishment, they do so. In America, we have to wait years for environmental studies to make certain some obscure plant or bug isn't threatened.
I could go on, but you get the picture.
Russia says its defense spending amounts to just one-tenth of America's. But Russia isn't particularly concerned with the political issues requiring them to build weapons with such pinpoint precision that they inflict little collateral damage. Russia wants as much destructive power as possible.
And their current military establishment is built on the leftovers from massive levels of Soviet-era defense spending. Including thousands of nuclear-tipped ICBMs.
Likewise, the Chinese say their military budget is only half of that of the United States.
But their emerging advantage starts with their edge in manufacturing. They have an almost unlimited supply of cheap, skilled labor.
And they have had enormous assistance from several major American companies. Not long ago, it was illegal to export cutting edge technology TO China. Now, we import cutting edge technology FROM China.
China has a spy apparatus like nothing else in the world. (We now know they even had a spy working for decades for US Senator Dianne Feinstein. Whose husband's company, coincidentally, made billions of dollars from Chinese contracts! Go figure.)
China steals business and trade secrets as a matter of course. They also steal military secrets.
China's military goals are integrated into everything. Last year, a US tech company discovered hidden microchips on computer servers made in China. Some of those servers where used by the CIA to compress video from their drones. So, using chips illegally placed inside larger servers manufactured in China, Chinese intelligence agencies were able to monitor certain CIA operations.
Any technology or technological equipment manufactured in China is vulnerable to Chinese government interference. This is particularly worrisome since much of the technology for the new 5G standard for connecting phones to the internet is coming from China.
Right now, China is leading the technology race. From a Biblical prophecy perspective, all of these things are huge. The Bible tells us that Russia and China will be major players in the last days.
America will not.
Speaking of the last days power configurations, March 29th was scheduled to be British Independence Day. The day the United Kingdom formally left the European Union.
It wasn't. Because the UK didn't.
And now, no one really knows when or if it will happen. Three years ago, the citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. Since then, Parliament, with the complicity of the Conservative Party, has been doing everything it can to thwart that move.
As the British would say, Prime Minister Theresa May has made a right muck-up of everything, but even when she does present deals for the exit, Parliament rejects them.
Of course, I don't blame her exclusively. The European Union has been trying to make an example of the United Kingdom. They want to show other European nations what will happen to "rogue" nations who might someday dare to leave the confederation.
The EU (primarily egged on by Germany and France) is morphing into something immense and awful. But this shouldn't surprise us. According to the Bible, it -- or something like it -- will one day bring the Antichrist to power.
Finally, we often call the Jews "God's chosen people." What do we mean by that? What were they chosen for?
On this week's program, I am going to discuss four things that God chose the Jews to do.
I am also going to discuss why the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah even though He perfectly fulfilled more than 300 Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
I can sum it up in one word: Tradition.
I think it will help you answer many of the questions you may have concerning "God's chosen people."
Don't miss this week's Report on Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
School Days - By Grant Phillips -
I won't say all, but probably most adults can look back on their school years and wish they had appreciated them more. Rare is the student, although they do exist, that does not long for their school days to end so they can "do as they please." Then they arrive in the real world.
For many, school brings back pleasant memories, and for others the memories are most unpleasant, to say the least.
Many adults look back on school and say to themselves:
So many youngsters don't realize that the purpose of going to school is to be schooled; i.e. to learn. To be schooled is to be trained, instructed, educated, disciplined, taught, tutored, drilled or coached. The only words coming from the vocabulary of some though are words like; party time, class clown, goof off, etc.
Do you know that God sends His children to school? None of us have actually graduated, but some have done well and others have done poorly. The exception of course is Jesus. That's right, even Jesus as the Son of Man, who is God, went to school, and He is the only one who graduated. Before and after Jesus began His ministry He lived by one rule; i.e. "Not my will, but Thine be done." He always did the Father's will. Can we say of ourselves that we at least occasionally do the Father's will?
Our Father in Heaven has a plan for our lives.
"For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
By His Spirit He will guide us in glorifying His Son. In the Christian Academy of Life only true Christians are admitted, and in this school of life we are expected to mature as one of God's children. Some of us will excel as did Daniel. Some of us will be slow learners as was Hezekiah. Some of us will often fail as did Aaron, but whatever God has planned for us, we can rest assured that He is always there for us.
"The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever." (Psalms 121:7-8)
If your or my child fails in school do we disown the child? Of course not! Before I go any further, I want you to understand that if you are God's child and you are failing in your life, He will never ever disown you. He may discipline you, but He will never remove you from the Heavenly family and He will never give up on you.
The desire of our Father in Heaven is that all His children succeed, and success is measured by, "Not my will, but Thine be done." None of us will ever graduate as Jesus did. Only the Son is perfect, but He wants us to do well. We are even provided with His Spirit as our own personal Tutor.
Most Christians today are very much like the goof-offs we saw in school who never carried a book and never paid attention in class. They already knew it all (so they thought) and now are on the "I wish" list.
When in school we had to carry around and actually study language books, math books, science books, etc. The Christian has one text book. It is called the Bible. The Bible is the very Word of God and the instructor (teacher) is God the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately for some Christians they think they already know more than God so their Bible sits over in the corner somewhere collecting dust. Then there are others who indulge in the opinions of man but forsake the absolute Truth found only in the Bible. There certainly is nothing wrong in reading books written by man, but we should never do so at the exclusion of the Bible.
My personal advice to fellow Christians is to read the Bible every day, making certain it is the main course of every spiritual meal. Do not compare the Bible with what someone says, but compare what someone says with the Bible. The opinions of man are often helpful in our spiritual growth, but they can sometimes be harmful to us.
Every Christian is attending God's school until the day he or she goes home to be with the Lord. Life is all about lessons God wants us to learn and responsibilities He wants us to accomplish.
"But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills." (1 Corinthians 12:11)
In First Corinthians chapter twelve the Lord is telling us through the apostle Paul that He has different responsibilities for each of us in His Church. We are all different and have different gifts He has supplied to us. In considering this maybe we should consider where we are on that path. Are we growing or stuck in neutral? Either way, we will do well in God's school if we just live by the following Scripture passage.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: Taking a break - Bill Wilson -
With all the bad news in the headlines and on TV, you are bombarded every day with negativity. If you watch much TV, you are also barraged with drug commercials and what would have been considered in the 1950s as pornography. It's a good guess that not many people in this country like the direction in which it's headed. The liberals hate anything and anyone who disagrees with them. Conservatives just want to see the country back on a reasonable economic, ethical and moral track. Atheists and nihilists are combative about what others believe. Many Christians just roll up into their own little reality of waiting for things to happen rather than taking action. It's a confusing and perilous time we live in. Sometimes it's too much.
Life comes at us fast these days. Just a few days ago, it was Monday. Now Friday is here. Seems like yesterday. Cars move fast. People move fast. There are fast talkers. Just to listen to them can wear a body out. Do you ever feel like you need to take a break? Maybe you do. Maybe it is a good time to take a break. I don't mean checking out of life. But finding some time each day in your schedule to clear your mind, focus on your mental and spiritual health. For my wife, she takes a break by studying the Bible. I can walk by her while she is doing her morning devotional and she doesn't know I'm in the room. She begins her day with the Lord and that energizes her.
I begin the day writing The Daily Jot, which requires me to search the news, listen to the Holy Spirit, and also study God's word. It gets me going. But by the end of the work day, around 4:00 pm (as I start around 6:00 am), it is time to take a break. I'm fortunate enough to have a hot tub, so I get in the hot tub, turn on the Western Channel and let my mind wind down. There is always a moral lesson with the old westerns-the good guy wins out, the bad guy gets his, men act like men, and women behave like women. There is a lot to learn. There is a lot of reinforcement of what I already know. But there are times when I don't even look at the screen. My wife says she wonders what I am thinking because I appear far away.
There is a lot of praising the Lord for my life, my family, my church family, my work. There is a lot of thinking through some of the issues we all face on a daily basis. It is my way of recharging, because most of the time I go back to work after 5:00 pm. We would be healthier if we just worked a break into our daily schedules--Some time with the Lord or even just with your own private thoughts. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:13-15, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." Take a break. Ponder what you have learned. Be assured in Christ.
Daily Devotion: Where You're Supposed to Be - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.' - Psalm 122:1
Nehemiah was what we would call a layman. I personally don't like the term, which is used to describe someone who is not "in ministry." Sometimes we think pastors, missionaries, or people who work for churches are in ministry. But every Christian actually is in ministry.
Christians who flip burgers, work in the corporate world, in construction, in education, and so forth are in ministry. In a sense, ministry is simply service. It's when we say, "God, you put me where I am for a reason. I am available to serve you, and I want my life to bring glory to you."
God chose to use Nehemiah, the right man in the right place at the right time. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, the leader of the Medo-Persians. The cupbearer had to be someone the king could trust. Actually he had to be someone the king liked, because he spent a lot of time with the king.
Whenever food or drink was served to the king, Nehemiah ate and drank it first. In time Nehemiah became the confidant of the king. But despite his luxurious life, Nehemiah was concerned about others. The walls of Jerusalem were broken down, and he wanted to leverage his position of influence with King Artaxerxes to fund a building program to rebuild those broken walls. Nehemiah realized he was where he was because God wanted him there.
Have you ever thought about the fact that you're exactly where you're supposed to be right now? This is true of the neighborhood you live in, the place where you work, or the campus you're on. You might say, "If I could just change my circumstances . . ." But did it ever occur to you that you are right where you're supposed to be?
FROM THE HEART
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