Prophecy Update Newsletter
April 12, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Jerusalem, A Burdensome Stone - by Pastor Mike Taylor -
2 "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zechariah 12:2-3)
Many think that maybe I spend a lot of time on Israel with so much attention on the Middle East, and in particular the nation of Israel.
Prophecy has a habit of coming back to Israel, as this tiny nation is the linchpin in studying Bible prophecy and what is coming upon the earth, which may have already started as birth pangs. Jesus described the signs of His return in Matthew's Gospel:
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Matthew 24:3-8)
Jesus describes the events of His return as a man who is standing on the Mount of Olives in that perspective. Without Israel, prophecy doesn't make much sense. Many believe erroneously that the Church has replaced Israel as God's focus for the end times, so they have no use for prophecy. These blinded people are called Preterist. They believe that all prophecy has been fulfilled in 70 AD and Israel as a people have been cast away and replaced by the church. Of course, they are wrong, so why do I think that?
Center of Global Attention
In our modern world, you don't listen to the news very long, before it comes back to Israel. Israel is at the top of the world's agenda and my mission when I post such messages, is to keep my focus on documenting the world's slide toward the coming Tribulation using secular sources to demonstrate the accuracy of Bible prophecy when speaking of Israel.
Bible prophecy for the last days and through the Tribulation is centered around Israel beginning with Daniel's 70th week prophecy:
24 "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." Daniel 9:24-27)
This passage points that the End of this Age centers around Israel and she becomes the mile marker of where we are in prophecy. The closer she looks to be in trouble for her very existence and possible annihilation, the closer we are to the return of Christ , Who, according to scripture prevents that from happening.
The Eternal Generation
In a very real sense, what we are witnessing is not the actual fulfillment of prophecy for the last days. The next prophetic event to be fulfilled in the Church Age is the Rapture. Then the events of the Tribulation follow. Both remain future -- near future, we would argue.
So instead we are eyewitnesses to various stages of the coming process of the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. The Bible says that there are a number of seemingly unrelated events that take place in ONE generation, and I would argues WE are that generation that are seeing this events being played out, right before our eyes, on the world stage.
Bible Prophecy Demands A Jewish State
Some people scoff and say that their mother or grandmother was looking for the return of Jesus Christ and it didn't happened. So they say "What makes you so sure that His return is any closer than it was for them". I point out to them that in their time of their aged family when they were alive, there was one element that was missing. Israel had not been born a nation just yet, so Bible prophecy and the countdown to the return of Jesus Christ for His church and the beginning of the Tribulation was not in their radar screen, but it is on ours.
Bible prophecy makes numerous references to the existence of a Jewish state, we call Israel in the last days.
In the prophecy of the valley of dry bones, God makes a point of revealing this truth to His servant Ezekiel and by extention, to us.
"11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord." (Ezekiel 37:11-14)
And furthermore, the Bible also demands that Israel be in possession of the city of Jerusalem in the last days. Although Israel endures international disputes, but none the less, they captured the city and returned it to Israeli sovereignty. This happened in 1967:
6 "In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
7 The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.
9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." (Zechariah 12:7-9)
And because of Israel being in her promised land again, and capturing the Holy City of Jerusalem, the Bible prophesies numerous conflicts with her neighbors where God has judged their anger against Israel. Let's look at a few passages.
"Because you have said, 'These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them,' although the LORD was there, therefore, as I live," says the Lord GOD, "I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you." (Ezekiel 35:10-11)
"But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 36:8-11)
We await the next two wars that will involve Israel personally and she will be supernaturally saved by God Himself ..
2 "For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. " 9Psalm 83:2-8)
This passage describes the neighbors surrounding Israel coming again trying to drive Israel into the Mediterranean Sea, but God intervenes and they are not successful.
13 "O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
14 As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
15 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
16 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord.
17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth." (Psalms 83;13-18)
And we await the final conflict before the Tribulation begins, and it may be that the Church of the Living God may not even see this battle, as I believe that this will bring to bear the confirmation of a covenant already in place, by none other, than the Anti-Christ.
15 "And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes." 'Ezekiel 38:15-16)
Prophecy students will recognize this as the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel that will destroy 5/6 of the invaders carrying back the plague to their homeland as the survivors come to their countries.
Bible Prophecy Demands A Global Government
Throughout history, men have sought to rule the world. And throughout history, other men have resisted the attempt. In the last two global wars, the effort began with the conquest of Europe.
Following the last attempt, the Benelux Treaty brought together the first six European states, forming the nucleus of the modern European Union. Wars couldn't unite them. Peace did
23 " And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand." (Daniel 8:23-25).
The same global war was responsible for the creation of the United Nations. The UN created the template for a global government. But the UN is an organism with 191 heads and no brain. It doesn't take a political scientist to see it is a failed experiment.
How Europe will eventually replace the UN is unclear, but it is the most likely candidate -- the world would never accept the US or Russia. Europe would be far more acceptable. The Bible says it will happen.
1 "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." (Revelation 13:1-5) So begins the global government of the AC.
Bible Prophecy Demands a Global Economy
The global economy is a reality. The prophecy of the Mark of the Beast [Rev 13:17] demands a system whereby the buying and selling of individuals will be tracked and monitored. Those outside the economic system of antichrist will be 'unable to buy or sell'. In one of my last messages, I spoke of technology increasing at a lightning pace, to where even now, humans can have computer inplanted in their brains to compute thousands of times faster than a normal human, and this technology that was not possible just 50 years ago, has grown to where every man and woman on this planet can and will be monitored for compliance of the coming New World Order. Technology to accomplish this is in place.
Entry into the system requires some kind of mark of allegiance to the coming Antichrist. Tracking sales is a reality. Nobody can function in today's economy unless they are in the 'system'. If you doubt it, get a bank account without a Social Security number or try and buy a new car using cash.
Bible Prophecy Demands a Global Religion
The coming Mark of the Beast is an economic system to track all human activity, but is also a system of worship. Thre is coming a man, who may be on the scene right now, who will arise having two horns like a lamb but speaks as a dragon.
11 "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live."(Revelation 13:11-14)
There is only one religious system in place today, that could and will command allegiance from all those who are left on this planet after the removal of the Church of Jesus Christ. Some think it will be Islam, but I am a proponent that after the Gog-Magog war's total defeat of invading armies who are mostly if not majority Muslim by birth, Islam will be decimated and never to rise again. That leaves only one other religion with the clout to pull this off. That system is the Roman Catholic Church headed by the coming false prophet found in their leader of apostacy, the Pope in Rome.
A counterfeit Christianity preaching another Jesus and a different gospel has been the accusation of many concerning the Roman Church. They are already well entrenched in mainstream Christian denominations that teach salvation by works, church membership or ritual and have for centuries.
6 "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:6-9)
There are many religions that preach another Gospel besides what was first delievered to the saints and all of them are demon inspired, but we know of one religion on earth who has more adherents and has perverted the Word of God for nigh 1700+ years...Need I say more?
The war on terror has also created a global suspicion of fundamental anything.
What is a Fundamentalist?
Since we have been fighting the war on terror for a number of years, the world is suspicious of anything that is called "Fundamental".
To a Christian, a fundamentalist is one who practices the fundamentals of Christian faith, eschewing traditions of men and preferring the Word of God, but the world has a different perspective. .
The secular world looks at fundamentalists, be they Jewish, Christian, Muslim -- they're all bombers. Christian fundamentalists blow up abortion clinics, Jewish fundamentalists blow up Arabs and Muslim fundamentalists blow up anybody. That is the prevailing propaganda that fills our news reports daily and is a perception that is being fostered in the sheeple that are easily led astray.
It isn't a stretch of anyone's imagination for the sudden legitimization of "so called faith" no matter what flavor of the month is being presented, whether it be Jehovah, Jesus, Isa, or Allah. These will be eventually blended together and there is been a big push by one mainline religion to bring all religions home to the "Mother Church". It will promote a global ecumenical belief in one "god" for all. Those who hold the "old ways" will be considered fundamentalist and be eliminated.
WHERE ARE WE IN PROPHECY?
I get lots of email asking where we are in Bible prophecy right now. Israel was reborn in 1948. The Benelux Treaty was signed in 1948. The World Council of Churches was created in Amsterdam in 1948. The transistor -- the invention credited as giving birth to the Computer Age [making possible a global economy] was invented in 1948.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades [forerunner to the World Trade Organization] was signed in 1948. Where are we in Bible prophecy right now? Jesus said 'when these things begin to come to pass, look up'
28 "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28)
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."(Matthew 24:28-35)
Look at how things have progressed in the last almost 70 years since Israel became a nation. Are you astonished, or is it becoming the new norm to you? Jesus said this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled.
34 "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24:34-39)
I know I keep bringing this up and I wouldn't say it so much if where not so important for the salvation of mankind and not being thrown head long into the coming Tribulation. What is a generation, that Jesus spoke of? Psalms 90;
"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." (Psalm 90:10)
A little simple math will alert the Bible reader, that we are approaching 70 years since Israel was made a nation. This is not a prediction, as Jesus said in Matthew 24:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36)
"So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done." (Mark 13:20-30)
As noted, this development surrounds and swirls within the tiny nation of Israel. If you want to know how close we are in Bible prophecy, then watch Israel and compare it to God's Word.
Where are we in Bible prophecy right now?
Near. Even at the doors.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly, listening ear, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , God bless you all.
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET.
Tillerson in Moscow: Pushing on Syria where Obama failed - By Josh Lederman -
'The reign of the Assad family is coming to an end,' top US diplomat predicts at start of Russia visit
The Trump administration veered toward deeper conflict with Russia Tuesday as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow, gambling that an unpredictable new president armed with the willingness to threaten military action gives the US much-needed leverage to end Syria's carnage.
Yet there were no guarantees Tillerson's arguments would prove any more successful than the Obama administration's failed effort to peel Russia away from its Syrian ally. Tillerson's mission, coming days after 59 Tomahawk missiles struck a Syrian air base, also carries serious risks: If Russia brushes off the warnings, President Donald Trump could be forced into another show of force in Syria or see his credibility wane.
"I hope that what the Russian government concludes is that they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in Bashar al-Assad," Tillerson said before flying to the Russian capital, referring to Syria's embattled leader.
"The reign of the Assad family is coming to an end," he confidently predicted.
But Tillerson's claim is one President Barack Obama, too, argued for years, only to see Assad outlast his own term in office. And the Trump administration's nascent Syria policy seems to be increasingly centering on the same tactic Obama unsuccessfully employed: persuading Russia, Assad's staunchest ally, to abandon him.
The parallels haven't gone unnoticed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as US officials have accused his military of knowing about Assad's recent chemical weapons attack ahead of time and trying to help cover it up. Calling for a UN investigation, Putin held to his claim that it was actually Assad opponents who introduced chemical weapons into Syria's harrowing civil war.
"We have seen it all already," Putin said. Jabbing at US credibility, the Russian leader reminded reporters about unfounded US claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, used to justify America's 2003 invasion.
The escalating dispute over last week's events in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun has thrust Washington and Moscow into a level of tension rarely seen since the end of the Cold War. The animosity is especially striking given widespread speculation that Trump, who lavishly praised Putin during his campaign, would pursue rapprochement with Moscow.
Even on Syria, the positions appeared to be hardening. Only a week ago, top Trump officials had spoken off deprioritizing past US efforts to remove Assad from office and accepting the "reality" that 18 months of Russian military intervention had secured him in power. Since last Thursday's cruise missile strike, Tillerson and other US officials appear to have reverted to the past administration's rhetoric of insisting that Assad is on the way out, without outlining any strategy for making that happen.
The Trump administration's change of heart, apparently spurred in part by the president's emotional response to the images of chemical weapons victims, also is serving another purpose: defanging the perception of coziness between Trump and Moscow. As the FBI and multiple congressional committees investigate potential collusion between Russia and Trump's campaign, the president can point to his hard-line stance on Assad as fresh evidence he's willing to stand up to Putin.
Asked about Putin possibly skipping a meeting with Tillerson, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, "There is a bit of irony that for all of these talks that have been perpetuated about back channels and direct links, that now it's they won't meet with you." At a minimum, Tillerson will meet Wednesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and the two are expected to take questions from reporters.
As Tillerson landed in Moscow, senior White House officials briefed reporters on declassified US intelligence they said disproved Russia's claim that rebels were responsible for the chemical weapons. In an accompanying four-page memo, the US accused Russia of a disinformation campaign and aiding Syria in covering up the gruesome attack, which killed more than 80 people.
"Russia's allegations fit with a pattern of deflecting blame from the regime and attempting to undermine the credibility of its opponents," the report read.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon, "It is very clear who planned this attack, who authorized this attack and who orchestrated this attack."
Putin's government has been incensed by the Trump administration's public accusations, and even more so by US military intervention in Syria. The retaliatory strikes, which Obama declined to approve after blaming Assad for an even deadlier chemical weapons attack in 2013, hit an air base where Russian troops were also present, although none are believed to have been killed.
Meeting allies earlier Tuesday in Italy, Tillerson delivered an ultimatum to Russia: Side either with the US and its dozens of coalition partners or face the isolation of a partnership with Assad, Iran and Hezbollah. That may hardly be punishment for the Kremlin, which dismissed many of Obama's similar warnings about Russia being sucked into a quagmire in Syria with no way out while tarnishing its international reputation.
Trump may not have much to offer Russia currently. Even if Moscow cooperates, the allegations of election meddling have weakened the US leader's hand to deliver on any significant carrot, such as a loosening of the US and European economic sanctions stemming from Russia's actions in Ukraine.
And wielding the stick of potential military action is risky. Trump's cruise missile order restored the believability of Washington using its military might in Syria.
But if Moscow ignores Trump's entreaties or if Assad uses chemical weapons again, bad options await Trump. He can order more military action, with the danger of an escalating America involvement in a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people. Or he can hold back and risk losing face like Obama.
Putin seems undeterred. Hours after Tillerson's warning, his office announced Russia would host Syria and Iran's foreign ministers for a three-way meeting Friday, the day after Tillerson departs.
No sign Putin seeks to cool friction with US - http://www.debka.com/article/26009/No-sign-Putin-seeks-to-cool-friction-with-US
It is hard to see US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson coming way from the talks he is holding with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow Wednesday, April 12, with a neatly wrapped diplomatic package for cooling the boiling tensions between their governments. President Vladimir Putin seems more than ready to turn up the heat. Tuesday, he claimed he had information (no source cited) of a potential incident similar to the alleged chemical attack in Idlib province, possibly targeting the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. Speaking at a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Moscow, Putin said: "The goal is to discredit the government of Syrian President Assad. We have reports from multiple sources that false flags like this one - and I cannot call it otherwise - are being prepared in other parts of Syria, including the southern suburbs of Damascus. They plan to plant some chemical there and accuse the Syrian government of an attack."
Putin did not say whom he was accusing, but his prediction of another incident sets the scene for more Syrian government chemical attacks very soon, while blaming America and US-backed Syrian rebels for "provocations."
US Defense Secretary James Mattis, in contrast, appeared to be trying to pour oil on the churning waters, when he denied at his first news conference Tuesday that he had set any "red lines" and insisted that the Tomahawk missile attack on the Syrian Shayrat air base, which had destroyed some 20 percent of Assad's warplanes, was separate from the main US goal which was to defeat ISIS in Syria. But he also stressed that the Trump administration would not remain passive in the face of more chemical attacks.
On his way to Moscow, Tillerson gave Russian an ultimatum "to choose between aligning itself with the US and likeminded countries or embracing Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iran and the militant group Hezbollah."
The Kremlin's riposte greeted him before he landed: Foreign Minister Lavrov invited the Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers to Moscow on Friday. They would arrive on the heels of Secretary Tillerson's departure. Putin was sticking to his guns and making it clear that he was solidly supported by - and in control of - his allies.
Early Wednesday, ahead of the Tillerson-Lavrov interview, President Trump tried belatedly to mute the effect of the ultimatum which left Moscow no option but to ditch Assad or else. "We're not going into Syria," he said. Asked if the United States is going to get involved in Syria, Trump said: "No - only if I see them using gas..."
The two powers appear to have maneuvered themselves into a situation which could easily spiral out of their control. Suffice it for someone in Tehran to decide that this would be a good time to carry out a military operation, even a small one, against US forces in Syria, or hit Israeli or Jordanian forces along Syria's borders with Iraq, Jordan and Israel. Both Trump and Putin would be dragged into action by such events.
It is therefore to be expected that Tillerson, who failed to forge a unified front at the G7 foreign ministers' conference in Italy Tuesday, will leave Moscow empty-handed. The military tension in Syria and around its borders will therefore remain high, with US, Russian and the Israeli and Jordanian armies all on a high state of preparedness.
Israel's Prophetic Role in Fulfilling the Passover Right Before Jesus Returns - Kelly McDonald Jr. - http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/standing-with-israel/64052-israel-s-prophetic-role-in-fulfilling-the-passover-right-before-jesus-returns
"When the hour had come, He and the twelve apostles with Him sat down. And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will never eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Luke 22:14-16).
In the first part of this series, we reviewed the basic understanding of Passover. We also discussed the powerful revelation Jesus gave us at his last Passover on planet earth. He said that it would not be fulfilled until the Kingdom of God. There is a fascinating prophecy in Jeremiah 23:1-8 that helps us unlock the puzzle. I have included an excerpt from verses 5-8.
"The days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the earth. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely. And this is the name by which he will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, surely the days are coming, says the Lord, when they will no more say, 'As the Lord lives who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,' but, 'As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel out of the north country and from all countries where I had driven them.' Then they will dwell in their own land" (Jer. 23:5-8).
Just before and during the return of Jesus Christ to rule and reign on planet earth, the children of Israel and Judah who are scattered across the world will return back to the land. It will be so great that in the kingdom of God we will not discuss the Exodus from Egypt. Instead, we will discuss this final return from captivity.
There are parallels between the Exodus from Egypt and the coming return from captivity. For instance, 10 plagues struck Egypt. The first three hit Egyptians and Israelites alike. The last seven only were poured out on the Egyptians. In Rev. 18:4-6, an event that happens just before the return of Jesus, the people of God are commanded to leave Babylon and not share in her plagues. This refers to the seven plagues of God's Wrath found in Revelation 16.
A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the Ethiopian Jews who are returning back to the land. The prophecy in Jeremiah specifically mentions a return from the north. Just two years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu called for 'mass immigration' of European Jews to Israel. Just last year, a report was released detailing how many Jewish people in France are moving to Israel. We are seeing some Jewish people return now. Many more will return home.
As we remember the Passover season this year, let us remember the Lamb that was slain. But also, let us not forget the Lion that is returning to bring Passover to its full meaning.
Nearing Midnight: The Fallout from Turkey's Constitutional Referendum - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Turkey will hold a constitutional referendum on April 16th. Voters will decide on amendments that would change the structure of governance in the country from a parliamentary system to a presidential one-which will greatly increase the powers of the president. This special vote has been called by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to give him the power to combat terrorists.
Additionally, the changes would conveniently give Erdogan the sole authority to appoint or dismiss vice presidents, ministers and high state officials. He could legislate by decree and set Turkey's national budget without parliamentary approval. Erdogan would have the power to dissolve parliament and trigger parliamentary and presidential elections. He would also be able to run for two five-year terms, and subsequent terms by simply dissolving parliament before the end of his current term.
If the constitutional amendments are accepted, the parliament would lose all the authority to monitor the executive branch. Erdogan and his underlings would have a total liberty to act as they please. The parliament would continue to have the authority to draft and enact laws, but anything it passes could be struck down by the president. Since Erdogan controls the puppet parliament, there is little possibility of a conflict.
The citizens of the Turkey are basically voting to make official Erdogan's dictatorship. His willingness to put the matter to a vote, shows his intention to mask his despotism with flowery words.
The referendum will have little effect on the current mechanism of Turkey's government. Since the failed coup of last July, Erdogan has ruled the nation with an iron fist. The vote would only make permanent the emergency powers that the president has already assumed.
Independent media in Turkey have been all but silenced with over 160 media outlets and publishing houses closed down, and over 120 journalists and media workers currently jailed pending trial. Over 100,000 civil servants have been summarily dismissed or suspended without due process and over 47,000 people have been jailed pending trial.
Anyone trying to start an opposition newspaper can expect to be charged with supporting terrorism. If Turkish prosecutors have their way, some journalists could spend the rest of their lives in prison for daring to oppose the government.
President Erdogan may not recognize (admit) fascism in his own government, but he's quick to identify it in other countries. He scolded the Netherlands for allowing Will Geert to run for office. Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul, "I thought Nazism was over, but I was wrong."
When tensions erupted between Berlin and Ankara over the right for Turkish operatives to rally Germany-based Turks, Erdogan compared Germany's government with that of the Nazi era.
Erdogan also has very thin skin when it comes to satire aimed in his direction. When German comedian Jan Böhmermann made fun of Erdogan, the Turkish government demanded his arrest.
The negotiation process for Turkey's EU membership began in 2005, but has been at a standstill for years. The lack of freedom in Turkey was the main stumbling block. The passing of the April 16th referendum will likely make membership impossible. The EU would have to ignore a key rule that bans member states from being run by a dictator.
Erdogan has cleverly headed off an embarrassing rejection by calling for a referendum on EU membership. He can have his minions vote to walk away from EU membership, and then he can easily deflect criticism by saying he is just following the will of the people.
Turkey has a pinnacle role to play in Bible prophecy. At some point Russia and a horde of Middle East countries will launch a surprise attack against Israel. Erdogan has already made it clear that he is ready to join forces with Russia. If next week's vote sets up Erdogan as the absolute ruler of Turkey, there will be no political force left to prevent him from fulfilling his destiny.
"And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee" (Ezekiel 38:1-6).
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
What Is President Obama's Legacy? - http://christinprophecy.org/?sermons=koenig-on-the-obama-legacy
In 2008, while running for the presidency, Barack Obama promised change. After he was elected, he delivered on that promise big time, and in fact, far beyond anything most people could have imagined. President Obama left a legacy, one that can be evaluated from a biblical perspective.
Were his changes for the good of the nation?
This question was asked of Bill Koenig on our television program Christ in Prophecy. Bill has been a White House Correspondent for the last fifteen years. He is president of a news website called World Watch Daily, and he publishes a weekly report called "Koenig's Eye View from the White House." Bill is also the author of a telling book titled Revealed: Obama's Legacy.
[Note: Bill's answer below has been edited slightly for grammar and clarity.]
A Nation Rebels
Bill Koenig: No doubt about it. Every area of our lives that has mattered to us, especially as Evangelical Christians, has been negatively impacted. Even with Obama out of office, we are continuing to see his impact on a daily basis.
I think the number one way Obama has changed our nation concerns morality. Ever since the day Obama was sworn in - January 20, 2009 - and at the very moment he was being sworn in, his White House staff was busy putting up the LGBT agenda on the White House website under the Civil Rights category. I remember when I read the website I just couldn't believe it. On the very same day as Obama's inauguration, the nation plunged towards a totally immoral cultural upheaval. The White House website from day one announced to the effect a declaration of war against biblical morality.
In my book Revealed: Obama's Legacy, I made this statement: "Barack Obama has done more to promote immorality and perverse sexuality than any man in American history." Though I hated to ever have had to put it that way, that's what happened.
The nation continues to deal with battles over the "rights" of sexual perversion on a daily basis. Now eight years later, just think what it has become like for Christians in the workplace. Just think what it has been like for Christians in Obama's military. Look how difficult life has been for chaplains in order to just perform their service. In every area of our lives, Christianity has been treated as the enemy. Christians are considered the problem. Christians are considered the bigots.
Who would have ever imagined the day would come, and it did on June 26th, when the White House would be lit up with the colors of the moral perversion movement? Or, that there'd be a huge fight to allow transgender men to freely enter women's bathrooms? Even the sports leagues fought to make that happen. Almost overnight the country turned in favor of transgenderism when just a few years earlier we were very reserved about the topic.
Certainly, there's no doubt about it. The downward slide towards our nation embracing homosexuality occurred during President Bill Clinton's eight years in office. He made the last Sunday in June Gay Pride Day. President George W. Bush had nothing like that in June. When President Obama took over, the entire month of June was designated the LGBT Pride Month. A "Q" was later added in case a person didn't know what they were.
The nation's celebration of sexual sin just keeps getting worse and worse. Unfortunately, in my chapter "LGBT- He Owns It," I point out that no leader in the world has had a greater influence in the spreading of LGBT and same-sex marriage around the world as Barack Obama. Here in the US, we fight for morality in an already pretty substantial Christian population. But, what about the little countries around the world that hardly have any Christians? The celebration of sexual perversion just came right into those countries so quickly because there was no Christianity to restrain immorality. Every time Obama visited an African country he felt compelled to unload on them the need for homosexual acceptance, and he even used federal funds to enforce his position. Obama would use our taxpayer funding to tell other nations to get in line with the LGBT agenda or lose foreign aid from our country.
Just think about this. There's a terrible civil war going on in Syria. Iran threatens the world with potential nuclear weapons development. North Korea is led by a crazy man who actually has nuclear weapons. We have all these economic problems in America, but instead of dealing with any of these threats, Obama was totally obsessed with focusing on whether or not a man can go into a woman's bathroom.
How true what the Word of God says! If a nation rebels against God, He will take a step back and lower His hedge of protection, allowing the consequences of sin to multiply. Romans 1 actually states that three times. And the last time God steps back, Romans says He will deliver the nation over to a depraved mind. I think that's where we are now as a nation.
A Detrimental Legacy
Here are a couple of examples of Barack Obama's legacy's detrimental effect on the United States. For one, Secretary Gates in the Pentagon said that President Obama showed hardly, if any, emotion at all concerning the plight of the underfunded military. When it came to necessities in terms of our military readiness, preparation, and our budgets, Obama showed zero interest. But, he was very involved with getting rid of Don't Ask Don't Tell.
Then there is Islam. No doubt Barack Obama is a Muslim apologist. He shows no emotion about the plight of Christians being persecuted and slaughtered for their faith in the Middle East. But, he demonstrates a lot of emotion over bringing Islamic refugees from the Middle East and Northern Africa into America.
During Obama's years in office, the country has gone from basically accepting homosexuality to requiring a person to openly endorse it. Tolerance now doesn't mean to just accept something, that something also has to be publically endorsed. Tolerance is a one-way street for homosexual activists. They have no tolerance for any opposing views.
Middle East Blunders
What legacy did President Obama leave for Israel? Number one - the Iran Deal. He and John Kerry absolutely sold Israel down the river. Kerry used the political power that he wielded to influence the Democrats in the Senate to go along with his vain ambitions for curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu was treated very poorly by the Obama Administration. Obama held no press conferences at all with Netanyahu during the entire eight years of his presidency.
President Obama has made a great many blunders underestimating Islam. He called ISIS the junior varsity team. He moved our forces out of Iraq too quickly, announcing key dates beforehand. Now we've got Iran moving into Iraq and Iran is the one calling the military shots in Iraq because we've moved out.
The Democrats claimed the Russians interfered in our 2016 national election, but Obama was found to have interfered in the elections of Israel. No doubt about it! In fact, Obama spent, I think it was approximately in the $325,000-$350,000 range, in his attempt to have Netanyahu defeated in the last Israeli election. He sent a whole political team over there working funds through the State Department in order to defeat an ally. Unbelievable! To have a President of the United States attempting to basically overthrow the Prime Minister of Israel just staggers the mind.
In my book, Eye to Eye, I pointed out that God has placed remedial judgments upon our nation for our mistreatment of Israel. Certainly many of those judgments have happened during the Obama Administration. There are over 40 major catastrophes that took place in the United States during the Clinton to Obama administrations when we put pressure on Israel to divide their land.
The Lord meant it in Genesis 12 when He said that if anyone touched Israel they were touching the apple of His eye. No doubt about it! The God of Israel does not intend for Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem to become an Arab State. He didn't regather the children of Israel from the four corners of the earth and put the Jews back into the land of Israel for them to just turn it back over to the Arabs. It's just unbelievable how our nation has treated Israel under President Obama.
Unraveling a Legacy
Will America ever recover from President Obama's immoral legacy? Well, we are witnessing the byproduct of Obama's legacy right now as President Trump attempts to put his administration together. When it came to cementing his cabinet positions together, leaks were pouring out of our intelligence offices in the State Department. Obama has got a lot of people still in place in positions of power. The process of replacing them has been very slow, and some government positions are lifers. Shaking the tree loose of Obama's minions is going to be one of President Trump's number one challenges.
The other difficulty lies on the moral front. I've talked to other evangelical leaders on this, and they agree it's very difficult to take turf back, like for example the elimination of "Don't Ask Don't Tell." Can you really get that back? How does a society reverse same-sex marriage? Just say that you are going to take people's marriages away!
Obama's regulations that have been put in place over the last eight years are extremely difficult to unravel. Everything has to be challenged in court.
As challenging as the last eight years have been under the Obama Administration, the Obama legacy has left the United States facing one of its most challenging times.
Daily Jot: The brutal Islamic Slave Trade - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The United Nation's International Organization for Migration has posted a report on what it calls "shocking" events in Northern and West Africa. Its staff in Niger and Libya have "described as 'slave markets' tormenting hundreds of young African men bound for Libya." While this horror may come as a "shock" to the UN, it is commonplace in Islamic nations and Islamic controlled areas. Each year the State Department's Report on Human Rights points to Islamic nations as the most egregious violators of human rights because of human trafficking, violence against women and children, persecution of non-Muslims, and slavery. These very things are encountered each day in our ministry in Ghana.
Our ministry partner in Ghana, Pastor William Agbeti writes: "Quite recently, a Ghanaian lady smuggled to Dubai managed to send a voice-recorded appeal to a friend, who forwarded it to me for help. I, in turn, forwarded it to the police. In her appeal, the lady said she and numerous others were trafficked from Ghana to Dubai, under false pretenses. She ended up in the house of a Muslim man in Dubai as a sex slave and house cleaner. She is forced to work endlessly during the day, and at night she is subjected to extreme sex. She is not allowed to leave the house under any circumstance. Not even for medical attention. In a heartbreaking voice, amidst weeping, she appealed to the Ghanaian authorities to come to her aid. The police have not gotten back to me on the issue."
Agbeti continued: "Now, in our own ministerial quarters, a young girl also almost fell victim to the Islamic human trafficking. The traffickers took her money, warned her not to tell anybody, and set a date for her journey to "greener pastures". God loving her so much, she mustered up courage and approached us to seek a final opinion about the opportunity. Was she fortunate or what? To cut a long story short, the girl is currently under the care of our ministry, safely enrolled in a school, far from harm's way. We are responsible for her needs and school fees. These and other developments make our work quite dangerous but highly necessary as we seek to make the world a much better place to live in with your help."
The UN has similar reports. The Islamic slave and human sex trafficking trade is big business. In Libya and Somalia, for example, Islamists entice people unawares or outright kidnap them and hold them for ransom. If their families are unable to pay up, the victims are sold into slavery. They are used up, starved, raped, and are often murdered. This is reality. Islam protects and foments human trafficking and the modern slave trade. Unlike the Koran, the Bible says the theft of a man for profit is a capital offense. Exodus 21 lists judgments set before the Israelites. Verse 16 says, "He that steals a man, and sells him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death." God's freedom vs allah's slavery. Who in their right mind would consider Islam?
Daily Devotion: Surrender at Gethsemane - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch." -Mark 14:34
Have you ever felt lonely? Have you ever felt as though your friends and family had abandoned you? Have you ever felt like you were misunderstood? Have you ever had a hard time understanding or submitting to the will of God for your life?
If so, then you have an idea of what the Lord Jesus went through as He agonized at Gethsemane.
Hebrews tells us, "This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it" (4:15-16 NLT).
The Bible tells us that Jesus was "a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief" (Isaiah 53:3 NLT). But the sorrow He experienced in Gethsemane on the night before His Crucifixion seemed to be the culmination of all the sorrow He had ever known and would accelerate to a climax the following day. The ultimate triumph that was to take place at Calvary was first accomplished beneath the gnarled old olive trees of Gethsemane.
It is interesting that the very word Gethsemane means "olive press." Olives were pressed there to make oil, and truly, Jesus was being pressed from all sides that He might bring life to us. I don't think we can even begin to fathom what He was going through.
But look at what it accomplished. It brought about your salvation and mine. Because of what Jesus went through at Gethsemane and ultimately at the cross, we can call upon His name. Though it was an unfathomably painful, horrific transition, it was necessary for the ultimate goal of what was accomplished.
Maybe you are at a crisis point in your life right now-a personal Gethsemane, if you will. You have your will; you know what you want. Yet you can sense that God's will is different.
Would you let the Lord choose for you? Would you be willing to say, "Lord, I am submitting my will to Yours. Not my will, but Yours be done"? You will not regret making that decision.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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