Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Resurrection at the Rapture
- By Ronda Lane - http://www.raptureready.com/2018/04/04/resurrection-rapture-ronda-lane/
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25).
Israel knew of the resurrection of the dead long before the birth of Christ. Even Job (possibly the oldest book of the Bible) knew of the resurrection. (Job 19:25-27). Yet the resurrection occurring at the rapture was new material; it was a mystery not given until the age of grace, to Paul to give to the church, the body of Christ (1 Cor.15:51).
We see that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose (resurrected) the third day (1 Cor.15:1-4). His resurrection sets the precedent and the reason why we (grace/church-age believers) will also be resurrected. Christ defeated both sin and death. He paid for our sins with His precious blood, as only He was and is sinless, holy, and undefiled (Heb. 7:26). But we often stop at this and take for granted that Jesus defeated sin so that we can be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18, Rom. 5:10), without thinking about how He truly defeated death (for us believers) also! (1 Cor.15:20-26, 54-57.)
I'd like to write something a little different this year for Resurrection Sunday. Rather than focus just on the death, burial, and ascension of Christ Jesus (as we most often do this time of year), I'd like to focus on the resurrection and what this wonderful hope means to the believer.
By no means do I wish to in any way disparage or take away from the importance of the gospel - Jesus' death, burial, and ascension in 1 Cor.15:1-4. In fact, were it not for Christ Jesus willingly submitting to God's will and bearing the sins of the world upon His sinless body, shedding His precious blood, we would not have the opportunity to come to the Father without Christ! (John 14:6; Rom. 3:25, 6:23; 1 John 2:2, 4:10; John 3:15-18, et al).
But I wonder as I sit here (Saturday evening, the night before Resurrection Sunday) how often we believers actually study or ponder the resurrection promise given to us, which would not have been possible were it not for Jesus' own resurrection? I desire to write an article full of hope and comfort to fellow believers. This hope, comfort and wonderful peace in our hearts comes only from what He has done for us.
We find these truths in God's word, His promises that we believers are so assured by. One such promise is that of the resurrection and eternal life for believers! But keep in mind that this article is truly for believers only, as a far different future awaits the unbelievers.
For the unsaved world, and for nominal "Christians" (or even Christians in name only), there seems to be only two times of the year that it is 'socially acceptable' to speak of scripture, the gospel, and the wonderful hope we believers have in Christ Jesus. Resurrection Sunday is one of those times. There are hundreds of articles poured out each year during this season. And most all of them have to do with the gospel-that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose the third day (as found in Cor. 15:1-4).
Truly there is no better hope than that. Yet today, I'd like to focus not just on the cross and the burial, but also on the resurrection: first on just how Christ Jesus rose and ascended to heaven to the right hand of the Father (Matt. 26:64; Heb. 10:12; 1 Pet. 3:22; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33-35; Psalm 110:1; Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Acts 7:55-56; Heb.1:13; Acts 5:31; Eph.1:20; Heb.8:1; Col.3:1; Heb.1:3, and the following three verses):
"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God" (Mark 16:19).
"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Rom. 8:34).
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2).
All of the above is a study in itself, which deserves much more time and attention than I'm going to allot in this article. Thankfully, so many excellent writers cover this topic thoroughly during this time each year (and often throughout the year as well). And this wonderful gospel by which we are saved, if we have believed (as Paul set forth the words given of the Holy Spirit to write in 1 Cor. 15:1-4), is the foundation of our faith.
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Cor.15:1-4).
Because of His death, burial, and resurrection we have the opportunity to accept so great a salvation. And along with that salvation comes the promise of heaven, an eternity with Jesus, and the promise of eternal, glorified, and incorruptible bodies as well.
What will our resurrected bodies be like?
1 John 3:2 tells us this: "...we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
We know that, not only will we see Jesus as He is (which we look forward to with eager anticipation, being with our Savior), but we will also be like Him! We also see the answer to this question in the same verse: When will we see Him and be like Him? "when he shall appear."
We see this again in Colossians 3:4, "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."
The next question we may be asking is when will He appear? Let's look to scripture for the answer.
1 Corinthians chapter 15 is one of my favorite chapters in all of scripture (even though all of God's word is excellent). But in this chapter we first find the gospel (v.1-4), how Jesus' appeared to many in His resurrected body (v.5-8). Paul reiterates how he was called out to be an apostle (v.9-11). Then Paul wastes no time getting into both the resurrection of Christ and how we believers will also be given resurrected bodies at the rapture. Paul explains why we must receive resurrected bodies and when we will receive them throughout the remainder of the chapter (v.12-57).
That is quite a lot of verses of scripture devoted to the resurrection and rapture to discuss! It deserves an entire study and article about them alone. Please take time to study this chapter thoroughly (as many of you already have, yet why not take time to re-study again today?). There is only so much room here to discuss so vast a subject, but let's discover some key facts.
The rapture event itself is detailed in verses 49-53. Let's look at those first, as they sum up vital information.
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 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" (1 Cor. 15:49-53).
Here we see why we need glorified bodies: these corruptible flesh and blood, sinful bodies cannot enter heaven (v.50). So we must receive glorified, incorruptible bodies fit for heaven, and fit to be in the presence of the Lord. Next we see that those of us who are still alive (in human, fleshly bodies) at the time of the rapture will immediately be changed (v.51-52). Our fleshly, corruptible bodies will be changed instantaneously into glorified, incorruptible bodies. The event will transpire so quickly that it will happen "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye."
Next we see that so also will all those whose bodies have died (in Christ, over the last 2,000 years) will also have their bodies resurrected as well during the rapture (v.52). This same event is described in 1 Thes. 4 as well.
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
"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" (1 Thes. 4:13-18).
Many of them in Thessalonica had been wondering how this could be, since the souls of believers who had died (in Christ) went to be with the Lord immediately upon physical death of these fleshly, corruptible bodies. We know that to be absent from these bodies is to be present with the Lord right away! (1 Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:21-24, et al). Paul cleared up the mystery for them. Yes, the souls of those believers in Christ did indeed go to be with Him upon their physical, bodily deaths. But at the rapture ALL OF US (believers) will receive resurrected, glorified, incorruptible bodies.
In fact, Paul took pains to make sure they understood that their loved ones, fellow believers who had physically died and had already gone on to be with the Lord, would also receive their glorified bodies at the same event, the rapture. We see in 1 Thes. 4:14 that God will "bring with him" all that have died in Christ prior to the rapture - in fact, that those even receive their glorified bodies first (v.16) - "the dead in Christ shall rise first."
Then the progression of the event is that those of us who are "alive and remain" at the time of the rapture would then be "caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." Not only so, but from that point forward for the rest of eternity, "so shall we ever be with the Lord!" (v.17.)
Finally, we are exhorted to "comfort one another with these words." And what a comfort all of this is! The rapture, the resurrection, the receiving of our promised glorified, incorruptible, heavenly bodies, and to be with Jesus for eternity afterwards. I'd say that is a whole LOT of comfort!
And all of this will take place so quickly - "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." All of us who have believed on Christ for salvation over the last 2,000 years will be caught up together in the air at the same time. What a glorious event this will be! Those of our loved ones who are already in heaven since passing on will receive their glorified bodies at the same time we do. What a reunion that will be!
Yes, I'm excited to think about being reunited with my sister who passed on of cancer in 2003, my grandparents (so blessed that all four were believers!), and so many relatives and dear friends who've gone on before. But even more so am I eagerly anticipating being with our Savior-seeing Him as He is!
Oh, the joy that awaits us is far too exceptionally marvelous to even begin to imagine! In fact, we are told we truly cannot imagine these things in our current corruptible bodies and minds. The very best of our imagination of these things is like "looking through a glass darkly" (1 Cor. 13:12).
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
Yet we are given just enough information to know how truly wonderful the things that await us will be. Jesus likened the place He is preparing for us to "mansions."
"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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2-3).
Yet again we are promised in that scripture, not just the eternal rewards, but to be with Him (Jesus) as well! "that where I am, there ye may be also." We are promised other eternal rewards as well, one of which are crowns. Here is but one crown, and all who are also eagerly awaiting His appearing will receive this crown:
"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Tim.4:8).
There are more crowns in scripture as well. There are also other eternal rewards given at the judgment seat of Christ (the BEMA). This judgment is NOT about salvation. We are eternally secure in Christ if we believed on Jesus for salvation already. This judgment is for believers only - rewards (and loss of rewards) for how we served Him in our Christian life (2 Cor.5:10, 1 Cor.3:8-15).
Those things which we did for His glory are as "gold, silver, and precious stones." These are eternal rewards. Those things we did for our own selfish reasons and/or to bring glory to ourselves rather than to the Lord are as "wood, hay, and stubble." These types of things we will receive no rewards for.
We also know that we will be "clothed upon with our house which is from heaven" (2 Cor.5:2). This house is not made with hands, but is a "building of God" and "eternal in the heavens" (2 Cor.5:1). While this may be a difficult concept to grasp while we are yet here in these corruptible bodies of flesh, we do know that our eternal rewards and heavenly abode will be far superior to anything we can imagine here on earth.
In 1 Corinthians 15 we read of the differences in bodies. We now have an earthly body, but will receive a heavenly body at the rapture and resurrection (v.48-49). In the same chapter, we are told these human bodies are sown in dishonor, yet will be raised in glory (v.43). Sown in corruption, but raised in incorruption (v.42). Since we have not yet seen what our glorified bodies will be like, it's difficult to imagine.
God's word uses imagery such as a seed of bare grain (v.35-38). Our new, glorified bodies will be as different looking from what they are now as a grain of seed is to the full, mature plant that springs forth out of the ground. Even better, our glorified bodies will be fit for eternity in heaven with the Lord.
We are exhorted to be looking for this blessed hope of the rapture and resurrection always - to live our lives with this comforting hope foremost in our minds - looking forward to our heavenly future, eternity afterwards with the Lord!
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Pet.1:3-4).
What an excellent chapter is 1 Peter 1 also. We read numerous, comforting scripture within. It deserves an entire study and article alone as well. And yet I have space here to bring out but a few salient points.
In verses 18-19 we see that we are not bought with corruptible things, but rather we are bought with the precious blood of Christ. As we continue on, we see in verse 21 that as God raised Christ from the dead, so too are we given that same promise for our faith and hope!
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Pet.1:23).
Peter continues on (verse 24) to speak of mankind's human, corruptible flesh being as the flowers and grass which wither and fall away. Yet God's word is eternal (v.25)! He isn't promising fleshly, corruptible bodies of sin to live forever, but instead to be given incorruptible bodies-bodies like Christ's own body, which will never wither away as the grass, or as the fleshly, corruptible bodies do! We have so much to look forward to with the promised resurrected bodies alone! And much more is promised besides this.
Let's take a few moments (or more) to thank the Lord for His wonderful gifts and promises. First for salvation in Christ! For none of this awaits an unbeliever (quite the opposite). And also let's thank Him for the promises to come: the resurrected, incorruptible, glorified bodies we will receive; the promise of eternal rewards as well; and even more marvelous that we will be with Jesus forever after!
We are to be watching and waiting, looking for the things above; not consumed with cares of this world and cares of the fleshly, corruptible bodies we now reside in; always keeping in mind these are temporal, and that we have much better awaiting us!
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1).
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
Let's be mindful that when Christ arose He defeated death also-not just His own, but ours also!
"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (Phil. 3:20-21).
How near is the rapture and (at the same time) the resurrection of our bodies? The rapture is imminent. It could happen any day, any time, any hour! It could have happened anytime within the last 2,000 years had it been God's plan to do so. It could happen today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or anytime. We absolutely cannot set a date or time. But we can know from scripture that the rapture HAS TO happen PRIOR to two specific events:
#1. The rapture and resurrection has to happen prior to the antichrist confirming a seven-year false peace covenant (Daniel 9:27), which will kick off the clock for the 70th week of Daniel. 70 weeks (of years) were determined upon Daniel's people (Dan. 9:24-27). Who were Daniels' people? Israel. 69 of those 70 years have been fulfilled. The last week of years (7 years) is yet to come, but is on the near horizon.
Yes, the rapture HAS TO happen prior to then. Why? Because God's wrath will be poured out upon an evil, God-hating and Christ-rejecting world. Yet God has promised that we believers are delivered from this foretold wrath to come by Christ Jesus! (1 Thes.1:10, Rom. 5:9, 1 Thes.5:9.) We are not appointed to His wrath! But the unsaved world is that has rejected Him and is right now openly mocking Him, denying Him, and living in sinful rebellion as in the days of Noah and as in the days of Lot (Luke 17) right now!
Even the secular society notices that the world seems to have "gone crazy" in the last couple of years. These events and characteristics were foretold to be prevalent in society in the perilous last days (2 Tim. 3:1-7, 13; Rom. 1:18-32, et al). God will not be mocked (Gal. 6:7), yet that is exactly what the unsaved world is doing. Not only are they rejecting their only means of salvation in Christ, but are also mocking Him and believers (Jude 1:18, 2 Pet.3:3-4), attempting to censor and silence believers as well.
Lawlessness is another hallmark characteristic of the last days. The world is begging for God's wrath, and they are soon to get it (Revelation chapters 6-18).
Yet the church-the grace/church-age believers-are not appointed to this soon-coming wrath. So the rapture must indeed occur prior to the tribulation commencing.
#2. There is a second event that the rapture MUST occur prior to: the opening of Israel's eyes. Right now Israel is "blind in part" during this current age of grace (Rom. 11:25). There is an expiration time for this blindness. When? "Until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." When that event occurs, the rapture will transpire; afterwards, then Israel's eyes will start to be opened by God! (Rom. 11:26.)
We are currently witnessing 2 (maybe 3) specific Biblical prophesies aligning precisely as foretold. Let's start with the one prophecy that may be aligning before we go into the two prophecies that are definitely aligning.
Jer. 49:35-37 speaks on an area in Iran (formerly called Persia), which is now known as the Bushehr Province (formerly known as Elam). In this same area, two (or more) of Iran's nuclear reactors currently reside. The prophetic event is foretold to be of such force that all the winds will scatter the people of that area into all other nations of the world.
Right now (this week in the news) we are seeing that Israel has been sending planes to surveil the nuclear ambitions of Iran, and PM Netanyahu has been making it known publicly that Iran absolutely will not be allowed to bring their nuclear ambitions to fruition. It may be that Israel will strike this area in Iran, or it could be a chain reaction if other hidden nuclear facilities are struck in Iran. But at some point in the near future, Iran will be struck in the modern-day Bushehr Province.
Next are the two Biblical prophesies that are definitely aligned and ready for fulfillment.
The first of the two is Isaiah 17 where Damascus (in Syria) will become a ruinous heap overnight, to be uninhabitable. While there has been a 7+ year war raging in Syria already, and while much of Damascus already lies in rubble, this event is foretold to occur in one fell swoop overnight (Isaiah 17:1, 17:14). Why?
"And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us."
Because they have robbed and attempted to "spoil" Israel of what rightfully belongs to her.
This event in Damascus will likely be the catalyst for the 2nd prophetic event that is already aligned precisely as well. It may well be the excuse Russia uses to kick off the Ezekiel 38-39 war.
In this prophesy Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, and N. Sudan will come against Israel, invading on the "northern parts" of Israel in the "mountains" and on the "open field" (Ez. 39:2-5). God will destroy them handily. It will be so devastating to those who come against Israel in this attempted invasion that only 1/6 of the troops that invade Israel will remain alive (Ez. 39:2, specific wording in KJV).
There is much more that could be said about each of these three specific prophecies on the near horizon; but for this article it's relevant to point out that, by the time the Ezekiel 38-39 war ends, Israel will be having her eyes opened! (Ez. 39:22-29.)
Why is that fact so important? For the reasons we already noted. Israel's eyes are blinded in part right now in this current age of grace/church age. Yet once the fullness of the Gentiles comes in and the rapture occurs, then Israel's eyes will be opened again! So these two huge clues give us a look into the timing of the rapture. We don't know the day or hour (and cannot ever attempt to set a date or time), yet we know the rapture MUST occur before these two events transpire:
#1. The rapture of the church occurs prior to the tribulation, prior to God's wrath being meted out on the God-hating and Christ-rejecting world. We also know that, during the second half of the tribulation, Israel must flee to a place prepared for her By God. It will be the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7) to bring a 1/3 remnant of Israel through the fire and tribulation of those days (Zech. 13:8-9, Matt. 24:15-22, et al). That's Jacob's trouble (Israel), not the church. We are gone before God's wrath ever commences on this world.
~~~ AND ~~~
#2. The rapture of the church happens when the "fullness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11:25), which happens prior to Israel's eyes being opened.
So we are close. The rapture is imminent and the rapture is nigh. This should give believers such comfort because, as the rapture is nigh, so too is the resurrection of these vile, corruptible bodies of flesh. We've so much to look forward to. Because Christ defeated death for us on the cross, His burial and resurrection!
"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. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Cor.15:54-55.)
How near are we? We can't set a date, but we can know the season. The season is now; the rapture is SOON! So too our resurrection which occurs at the same time. When we see all these things aligned, we need to take notice and take comfort.
"Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thes. 4:18).
The Road to Nakba - Alf Cengia -
Traveling the Road to Nakba - what do we make of the Gaza protests?
When I was a kid my parents would watch the "Road" movies. These were light-hearted comedy romances (some claim they were satirical) starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. Examples of the title included: Road to Zanzibar; Road to Hong Kong; Road to Bali, and even Road to Utopia.
But the Road to Nakba isn't comedy-romance. It isn't satire. Neither is it a road to Utopia. It isn't a march to freedom, or a right to return from "stolen land." The road to Nakba isn't a peaceful march conducted by a peaceful people oppressed by a genocidal Israeli state.
What is Nakba? In a nutshell it's an historic "catastrophe." According to the Jewish Virtual Library:
The word "nakba" to describe the consequences of the 1948 War was coined by Dr. Constantin Zureiq, a Syrian historian who taught at the American University of Beirut. Writing in his 1948 book, The Meaning of the Disaster, Zureiq said, "The defeat of the Arabs in Palestine is not a small downfall - naksa ... It is a catastrophe - nakba - in every sense of the word."
Zureiq also wrote, "Seven Arab countries declare war on Zionism in Palestine....Seven countries go to war to abolish the partition and to defeat Zionism, and quickly leave the battle after losing much of the land of Palestine - and even the part that was given to the Arabs in the Partition Plan."
At the heart of Nakba participants and its various supporters is hatred of the Jew - and hatred of Jewish self-determination as a sovereign country in the region commonly referred to as Palestine. In fact a Gatestone Institute bullet point sums it up so well I could stop this article right here:
The mass protests are aimed at forcing Israel to accept millions of Palestinian "refugees" as a first step towards turning Jews into a minority in their own country. The next step would be to kill or expel the Jews and replace Israel with an Islamic state. Did they expect the Israeli soldiers to greet them with flowers?
The road to Nakba is paved with blood.
Not just the allegedly indiscriminate blood spilled by the Israeli Defense Force, either. The Palestinian leaderships have always traded in the blood of their people for the sympathies of complicit anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish entities.
Both Hamas and the PA want bloodshed. They incite their peoples to violence against Jews and Israel, hoping for their deaths. This, while trusting in uncritical support from the single-minded United Nations, surrounding nations (Turkey, Iran, Jordan), and professing Christians!
Following a familiar pattern, Israel's response to the rocket attacks from Gaza in 2014 was predictably called disproportionate force. On the other hand the fact that Hamas fired rockets into Israel from civilian areas in Gaza was ignored as far as possible. Prejudice of the Jewish state trumps concern for a Palestinian people violated by its genocidal leaders.
I've mentioned Anglican anti-Zionist priest Stephen Sizer many times. He recently conducted a "peacemaker" lecture tour in Australia. An online magazine (featuring his anti-Zionism book) has him calling for Christians to be part of the solution in ending the Israel Palestine conflict. He affirms that Christians should pray for peace.
Who would argue with that?
Yet Sizer is no peacemaker. He's an activist who once raised the question of whether Israel was involved in 9-11. Sizer and his colleagues inflame by misinforming those who are unfamiliar with the true dynamics driving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Before he gets to the pious prayer part at the end, he's already poisoned the Zionist well.
It's the usual stuff by the usual suspects.
The mention of Gentiles becoming Jews in the Esther story betrays the intent to redefine Jewish ethnicity. Try applying the same thinking to indigenous people around the world. The "One People of God" anti-Zionist argument allows for an assortment of Gentile nations - just as long as there isn't a sovereign Jewish state.
Of course Sizer cherry picks his texts. The ones he doesn't like he ignores or re-engineers to his liking. I often mention him because his anti-Zionist activity is particularly blatant. Yet he represents a number of anti-Zionist Christians.
Palestinian violence is OK for many Christians because Palestinians are allegedly reacting to an oppressive Israeli state. Said another way, the violence against Israel is understandable in context of "Palestinian suffering." There's an irony to all this given the history of the term Nakba.
The road to Nakba is just another winding track (among many others) leading to a wider road - the road to Armageddon. And, No! - Christian Zionists haven't paved it - contrary to Stephen Sizer's sensationalistic book. We're not that good.
We live in interesting times.
Scoffers say the Christian-Fundamentalist-empowered Donald Trump exacerbated the Palestinian conflict by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Palestinian leaders will embrace any excuse to incite violence. The Fundies couldn't organize the collapse of Syria, or the rise of Iran and (arguably) Turkey - propped up by a Russian-Goggish Overlord. Leaving aside the sudden Chinese interest in all this!
A sovereign God did that.
Hosea 5:15 notes that affliction will spur Israel to seek God. We read in Zechariah 12 and 14 that God will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all peoples. Those who lift it will be injured. He will gather the nations against Israel, and then destroy them.
In Ezekiel 36:22-28 God reveals that He will restore Israel for His name's sake. God will do all this because He promised to. It will be for the sake of His glory.
The Nakba "march" and its sympathizers are symptoms of anti-Semitism of the scale which will ultimately have eschatological ramifications. Unfortunately, revisionists who insist God has finished with Israel will avoid connecting the dots.
Deliberate anti-Israel activists who stretch the truth also run the risk of incurring the negative aspect of Gen 12:3.
I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Gen 12:3
On the other hand we should be eagerly looking forward to Christ's appearing (1 John 3:2).
Keep looking up!
Palestinians: Abbas Targets Hamas, Then Condemns Israel for Targeting Hamas - by Bassam Tawil -
The Palestinian Authority (PA), now calling for an international inquiry into the March 30 events along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, says that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have the right to demonstrate and protest against Israel.
Ironically, however, when it comes to areas under the control of the PA in the West Bank, Palestinians are banned from staging protests in front of President Mahmoud Abbas's "presidential" Mukata headquarters in Ramallah. In general, the PA leadership does not tolerate any form of criticism -- which happens to be the reason that protests against Abbas and his government are virtually unheard of.
The only protests the PA accepts and welcomes are those directed against Israel. Yes, in PA-controlled territories in the West Bank, Palestinians can stage daily protests against Israel anywhere and at any time they wish! They can throw stones at IDF soldiers and Jewish settlers, and the Palestinian policemen will do nothing to stop them. Does any Palestinian, however, dare to throw a stone at a Palestinian policeman? You guessed it. Definitely not.
In a similar vein, the PA security forces feel free to arrest any Palestinian they want, even for the most trivial infraction. They are allowed to hold Palestinians in detention without trial and deny them visits by their family and lawyer. They are allowed to arrest any Palestinian journalists they wish for posting supposedly critical remarks on Facebook. Rami Samara, for instance, was arrested by PA security forces on April 3. for criticizing "arbitrary measures" taken by the PA against Palestinian journalists. Unwilling to face the strong protests by human rights organizations and Palestinian journalists, Abbas ordered the release of Samara hours after the journalist was taken into custody.
Again ironically, hardly a day passes without the PA and its institutions condemning Israel for arresting Palestinians in the West Bank for security-related offenses. The PA often denounces the Israeli arrests as "abductions" and "violations of human rights" of Palestinians. Yet, this is the same PA that takes liberties in arresting and harassing Palestinians on a daily basis, mostly for being affiliated with rival groups, and for voicing criticism of the PA leadership and its policies - not to mention corruption.
When Israel arrests Hamas and Islamic Jihad supporters, the PA expresses outrage and demands the immediate release of the suspects. When the PA stages a campaign of arrests against its political opponents, however, suddenly, everything changes. Then, Palestinians are required to remain silent and even support their leaders and security forces for supposedly defending the national interests of the Palestinian public or "preserving law and order."
Consider, for example the following: just in March, Abbas's security forces in the West Bank arrested 210 Palestinians for allegedly being affiliated with Hamas and other Palestinian opposition groups. Another 121 Palestinians were summoned for interrogation by the PA security forces. The PA security forces also raided the homes of 49 Palestinians for various reasons, including critical comments on social media. At least eight detainees are said to be on hunger strikes in PA prisons in different parts of the West Bank. Among the detainees in Palestinian prisons are 25 university students, two school pupils, three journalists, one human rights activist, three school teachers, an engineer, two physicians and two university lecturers.
On April 4, the families of some of the Palestinians held by the PA security forces tried to hold a peaceful sit-in strike in front of Abbas's office in Ramallah to demand the release of their sons. The families, however, were told that it was forbidden to stage any form of protest in front of Abbas's headquarters for "security reasons." The families were told that they could instead go to one of the streets in the center of Ramallah and protest there. The only demonstrations that are permitted in and around Abbas's headquarters are those where Palestinians pledge allegiance to their 83-year-old president or to protest against Israel.
At the April 4 protest, the wives and mothers of the detainees complained that their sons were being held without trial and without family and lawyer visitations. The wife of Ziad Kilani, arrested last month by the PA security forces, said that she and her family do not know anything about their son and do not know where or why he is being held. Kilani's mother said that when she asked the PA security officers the reason for her son's detention, she was told that he was being held on the order of a top Palestinian official. She said that when she asked the official himself, he denied any knowledge of the matter.
The Palestinians say that the vast majority of the detainees arrested by Abbas's security forces are detained solely for their political affiliations. They say these "politically motivated" arrests are part of the PA's continued security crackdown on its political rivals in the West Bank, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Huda Na'im, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council -- the Palestinian parliament that has been paralyzed for the past decade because of the power struggle between Hamas and Abbas's ruling Fatah faction -- called for the immediate release of all the Palestinian detainees held in PA prisons. "The ongoing politically motivated arrests in the West Bank [by the PA security forces] constitute a crime against the Palestinian people, and only serve the interests of Israel," she said. Nai'm called on the PA to backtrack on its "treacherous practices. She also called for bringing the commanders of the PA security forces responsible for the arrests to trial for politically motivated arrests and torture.
Some may argue that the PA security forces are doing a good job by targeting Palestinians affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. One is left, however, with the nagging question: Why does the PA castigate Israel when it does the same thing against Hamas and Islamic Jihad?
During the March 30 events along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, several Palestinians belonging to Hamas and other armed groups in the Gaza Strip were killed by the Israeli army. The victims were not supporters of Abbas and Fatah. In fact, they were Abbas's enemies. Didn't Abbas recently hold Hamas responsible for the March 13 assassination attempt against his prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, during a visit to the northern Gaza Strip? Didn't Abbas threaten to take "legal, financial and national measures against Hamas? Didn't he threaten that "shoes will be pouring on the heads of the most junior and senior official in Hamas?"
Here is the situation: Abbas is arresting and torturing Palestinians on suspicion of being affiliated with Hamas at the same time that he is criticizing Israel for killing or arresting members of Hamas.
Abbas and his government want the international community to launch an investigation against Israel for killing a number of their Hamas enemies in the Gaza Strip. Abbas and his government say Palestinians are entitled to demonstrate near the border with Israel and endanger the lives of soldiers and Israeli citizens but are not allowed to stage a small protest outside his Ramallah office for "security reasons."
Abbas and his government actually owe Israel a massive debt of thanks for targeting their enemies -- the same enemies they just accused of trying to assassinate Abbas' prime minister in the Gaza Strip last month.
Instead, Abbas is busy inciting against Israel and accusing it of committing "massacres" against "unarmed" civilians in the Gaza Strip. Who is Abbas fooling? Doesn't Abbas see that even Hamas has boasted that several of those killed by the Israeli army were members of Hamas's military wing, Izaddin al Qassam?
Again, we are showered by Abbas and the PA leadership with deceit and dissimulation. Were it not for Israel, these Hamas men would have crossed the border from the Gaza Strip and killed not only Israelis, but the Palestinian president and many of his Ramallah-based cronies.
As the leader of the Palestinians, Abbas should be criticizing Hamas and other terror groups for sending children, the elderly, women and "unarmed civilians" to the border with Israel, where they are endangering their lives. Abbas, however, is terrified of Hamas. He is also afraid of his own people, whom he has taught to hate - more than they love life.
Abbas, of course, knows the truth: that Hamas is sending Palestinians to be killed and injured near the border with Israel just to be able to hold up dead Palestinian babies with which to blame Israel in front of the press.
Abbas, however, is not only hypocrite, he is a coward. He knows it is safer for him to turn the heat falsely against Israel -- the same Israel that is propping up his regime in the West Bank -- and ensuring that Hamas does not drag him to the center of Ramallah and hang him as a traitor.
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
If you are even remotely paying attention to the myriad issues being loudly debated on social media and in the mainstream media, you have probably picked up on the underlying importance of the current gun control fracas.
It may be just me, but it seems the "gun control" factions in the United States were awfully well-prepared and primed to jump on any "gun incident" that might come along. When the horrific mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February, it was a tailor-made crisis for them.
And they hearkened to the Rahm Emanuel/Hillary Clinton credo: "Never let a crisis go to waste."
Their teams of professional handlers leapt to action and marshaled a small group of anti-gun activists from among the thousands of students that had been on campus at Stoneman Douglas the day of the shootings. They began a non-stop barrage of mainstream media appearances, even a hastily-arranged "townhall" meeting on CNN. All of which were overtly anti-gun-rights in nature and goal.
The organizers, funded largely by George Soros and Michael Bloomberg-backed groups, were able to throw together a massive march in Washington, D.C., just 38 days later. The promoters claimed that it was just one of 800 such rallies across the world that included millions of protesters. It was even reported that one of those rallies was held in Antarctica and included two marchers.
As a side note, the "March for Our Lives" organizers initially claimed that more than 800,000 marched in Washington. That made it the largest rally ever held in the nation's capital. Later, though, it was quietly announced that the march had, in fact, been attended by less than 250,000. Which still makes it a significant achievement, though not quite so impressive as originally proclaimed.
As a parent and grandparent, I can honestly say that I am horrified by the thought of even one child dying in any sort of violence while at school. We have always thought of America's schools as a safe harbor for our children, a place we could send them for the day without worrying about their safety or comfort.
Sadly, those may be halcyon days that we will never know again.
But just because those times are apparently past does not mean that the narrative being promoted is entirely accurate, either. When the speakers at the "March for Our Lives" rally declared that all schoolchildren are targets now and that they are now fighting for their lives, I believe they were engaging in more than a little hyperbole.
The sheer facts confirm that they were.
According to such a reputable source as The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a school child is far more likely to lose his or her life on the way to school or on the way home than they are while at school.
In fact, a student is hundreds of times more likely to lose his or her life by suicide than by a school shooting.
According to the CDC, in 2015, almost 40,000 young people under the age of 24 lost their lives. By far, the largest percentage of deaths were in accidents, many of which were caused by drug or alcohol-impaired driving or by distracted driving from things like texting.
Unbelievably, the second leading cause of death among young people is suicide. The CDC says that an average of 4,600 young people (aged 10-24) commit suicide every year.
According to the CDC, in 2015, almost 40,000 young people died in the United States. That same year, 18 students died in school shootings.
In 2016, five students died in school shootings.
In 2017, seven students died.
So far in 2018, because of Parkland, the number is higher, 23.
Don't misunderstand me. The five dead in 2016 were five too many. No one, neither students nor teachers, should be shot at school. But they shouldn't FEAR being shot, either. In the big picture, school shootings kill very, very few young people.
School shootings are tragic and alarming, but, in reality, they are minuscule compared to even suicides among the young!
I don't intend to demean the students who marched or those who fear they may be shot at school. I am simply trying to put those fears into perspective -- for both students and parents. Danger lurks in more places than just our schools. In truth, our schools still remain one of the safest places for our children to be.
The CDC statistics emphasize that we all need to be more aware of what is going on in our children's lives. What are they watching on TV? What games are they playing? What are their friends urging them to do? What are their other influences?
Nearly 40,000 young people die every year. Each one is precious. Each one is important. Not just the few who die in tragic school shootings, but all of them.
The gun control debate illustrates a conundrum of our day. When many of us were young, we rarely locked the doors of our cars or our houses. Today, many children must pass through metal detectors just to get into school.
The real problem, though, is that people are out of control. We live in an age of intensifying lawlessness, just as the Bible predicted.
Today, the quest for "safety" pushes some to call for stricter gun laws -- or the confiscation of all guns. At the same time, it pushes others to buy more guns.
Are there some commonsense gun laws that can help make us safer? I'm sure. But, in fact, most of those laws already exist. The problem is that many of them are not uniformly or rigorously enforced (as Parkland glaringly illustrates).
Another problem is that various advocacy groups cherry-pick the information to press their point. Though we all understand that the abolition of the Second Amendment is the ultimate goal of the "gun control" advocates, the poster child of their complaints is the "assault rifle." That is a nebulous term that is almost universally misunderstood and misused. In most cases, true "assault rifles" are already illegal for consumer purchase.
The impression they give is that "assault rifles" are used to slaughter thousands of Americans every year. But the truth is that five times more victims are murdered by knives and machetes than by rifles of any sort. Almost twice as many people are killed by fists and feet -- being beaten to death -- than by rifles in the U.S.
But no amount of government restriction will solve the real problem. That problem is something the Bible calls "sin." People cannot be controlled completely. If a killer can't find a gun, he will use a knife, a club, even his fists and feet. The only hope against rampant sin is a return to the message of Jesus Christ.
The search for peace and safety grows more desperate every day. A few days ago, children marched in the streets. They said they were marching for their very lives.
One day, that same desperation will fuel the rise of the coming, ultimate archvillain, the Antichrist.
Now don't roll your eyes when I say this. It seems far-fetched now, but the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, just may have some prophetic significance.
I believe it has given those who want to deprive all Americans of their individual means of self-defense an extraordinary impetus for action. And though many anti-gun activists may be absolutely genuine in their concerns and goals, the sad truth is that it all plays into the plans of those who want to enable government to rule our lives without opposition.
The Bible prophets describe a coming government that will have unprecedented, unfettered control over every aspect of life.
Most of us already have a credit score. In the future, people may also have a productivity score, a loyalty score, and a sanity score. China is implementing an early version of such a system right now.
For the Antichrist to succeed in his quest to control the world, he must be able to control all individuals. That means he must eliminate all means of opposition and have methods available for eliminating people who don't cooperate.
Anything that diminishes our individual liberty and autonomy today, will make it easier for him tomorrow.
On this week's program, I will also discuss another disturbing development in Russia: the return of "The Jewish Question."
When NBC's Meghan Kelly recently asked Russian president Vladimir Putin about Russia's interference in U.S. elections, he deflected by suggesting that it could have been the Ukrainians or Tatars or Jews who have Russian citizenship.
The implications of his inclusion of Jews in his suggestion are confirmed by pro-Putin websites that have begun proposing that many of Russia's and the world's problems are caused by Jews.
Also, some Russian analysts are warning that Israel is actively practicing for war against Russia.
The "official" impugning of Jews and the suggestion that Israel is preparing to fight Russia may be telltale signs that Russia is laying the groundwork for invading Israel to address these supposed grievances.
If so, Israel's developing ability to relieve Europe of its dependence on Russia for natural gas may be the trigger that sparks a coming Russian invasion of Israel. Just as the prophet Ezekiel predicted.
Finally, on this week's program I will again remind you of the source of our great hope for the future -- The Great Snatch!
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Please check your local listings.
Daily Jot: The prophetic events of the week - Bill Wilson -
There seems to be a lot of confusion and misinformation about the Ezekiel 38-39 end time battle in which the Lord finishes the attackers of Israel, "Thus will I magnify myself and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations and they shall know that I am the Lord (38:23)," and speaking of his people, "Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord God (39:29)." These chapters reference the Day of the Lord where the Lord God crushes the enemies of Israel after they attack "like a cloud to cover the land." There is no mention of Russia or of the United States in this attack. And now for the "Yeah, buts..."
The "Yeah buts" are those who say that most Bible commentators and prophecy experts they listen to, say that it is Russia that leads the attack against Israel. This is clearly not the case. Ezekiel 38:2 says, "Son of man, set your face against God, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him." Verse 4 says, "And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into your jaws, and I willbring thee forth, and all thine army..." Verses 5 and 6 name who joins Gog--Persia (Iran), Ethiopia (Sudan), Libya (Libya), Gomer and Togarmah. Magog, Mesech, Tubal, Gomer, and Togarmah are all located in modern Turkey.
Bible scholars are divided over the use of the word "Rosh" in the Hebrew translation, which always is the Hebrew word for "Chief." Some "Scholars" insist Rosh is a people group. In attempting to connect Russia to this particular prophecy, some suggest that the Scythians, a nomadic people, settled in parts of what are now Russia, thus becoming the "Russian" connection. In the context of the scriptures, there is yet another clue. In Revelation 2:13, Jesus tells us that Pergamos is "where Satan's seat is." Pergamos is in Turkey, not Russia. The "Beast" of the end times is referred to in several places in the Bible as the Assyrian, an empire that once controlled many of these prophetic locations in Turkey, but not Russia.
This controversy is further flamed by interpretations of the Bible. The King James Version translates the word "Rosh" as "Chief." As does the King James 2000, American King James, New International Version, New Living Translation, English Standard Version, Holman Christian Standard Version, International Standard Version, NET Bible, God's Word Translation, JPS Tanakh 1917, Jubilee Bible 2000, and Webster's Bible Translation. Those who changed the translation to "prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal" include: Young's Literal Translation, World English Bible, English Revised Version, Darby Bible Translation, and the American and New American Standard Versions.
There is no doubt that Russia plays a role. Just this week, Russia's leader met with the leaders of Turkey and Iran to take a unified approach toward Syria. Russia is a traditional supplier of weapons to Israel's enemies; it blocks most UN actions against Israel's enemies. But as far as Biblical proof that Russia is leading the Ezekiel 38 attack, it is mere speculation. Turkey, however, is extremely significant and once was the home of the most antichrist political and religious system on earth, the Islamic Caliphate--the Ottoman Empire. The more important prophetic signal this week was that Turkey and Iran are at the same table working together. Jesus warns in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Study the word for yourself that you may discern these times. It is important.
Daily Devotion: Last Words - By Greg Laurie -
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. -Matthew 28:16
Last words matter. If someone on their deathbed has one last statement, we want to know what it is. In Matthew 28 we find the last words of Jesus to us, the final charge from the Lord before He left Earth. They are familiar words, words that many of us have committed to memory:
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV)
These words are a charge. They are a command. They are a commission. That's why we call these verses the Great Commission. We are all commanded to go and make disciples. Are you doing that? Are you making disciples of others? It takes one to make one. Before you can make a disciple, you have to be a disciple.
What do flight attendants say when they announce the emergency procedures for an aircraft? If an oxygen mask drops down and you're traveling with a child, put the mask on yourself first and then help the child. That seems counterintuitive. You want to put the needs of the child first. But you need to put your mask on first, because you can't help the child if you're blacking out.
The same is true of discipleship. I can't help someone else be a disciple of Jesus if I am not first a disciple myself. Every disciple is a Christian, but not every Christian is necessarily a disciple. If you're a true follower of Jesus, you should want to be a disciple.
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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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