Prophecy Update Newsletter
April 13, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
People Get Ready - By Darinda Sherbert -
In 1965 a song was released by a Rhythm & Blues musical group called The Impressions. The song was written by their lead singer, Curtis Mayfield. Mayfield's background was singing church gospel music. He wrote a lot of songs in the gospel style. The song was titled, "People Get Ready."
Looking at the lyrics from a biblical view, the song encourages believers to hold tight to their beliefs when times get bad, and promises victory for the good guys, and punishment for the bad.
Well, please let me tell you, dear readers, that it is most definitely time to "get ready."
We need to do this right now. And quickly. We can no longer "get ready" at our leisure. Our world is so totally out of control that you cannot even begin to keep up with the news because at least hourly, things across the globe are drastically changing. AND, the things that are constantly in flux all seem to have the potential for determining life, or death.
Whether you are a believer or a non-believer, the questions resonating around the globe seem to be focused on the end-times. Are the Bible's words really true? Jesus really the Son of God? Is Jesus really coming back to earth? Can He really save us from destruction? How can I be saved? Is there really such a time period called the end-times? And, are we really there now?
Let me offer some answers and some Scriptures to help you with these questions:
Yes, what the Bible says is really true. How do I know this? Because I know God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If you do not know God personally, you can validate the Bible through archaeology, and through manuscripts authored by other individuals documenting the history of the times. The Bible was written by the hands of a number of men, but every word in the Bible is inspired by God. (One good research tool would be for example, The Works of Josephus by Flavius Josephus.)
Yes, Jesus really is the Son of God. How do I know this? Because I know Him! Let's look at:
1 John 4:9 - "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
We are also told in John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
We can also read in Matthew 16:15-16 - "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Yes, Jesus really is coming back to earth. After He was crucified, died and was buried, He rose again! His death on the cross signified the end of the beginning. His resurrection was the beginning of the end. After Jesus' resurrection, he was talking with his apostles, and telling them that He was leaving to be with His Father, but that He would return.
John 14:1-3 - "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 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."
We also read in 1 Corinthians 15:22-24: " For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power."
Yes, He really can save us from destruction. Yes, He can, and He will. He has all power to do as He purposes, but saving us from the destruction coming in the end times does not involve saving our mortal bodies (we will live with Him with new, incorruptible bodies)...it involves saving our immortal souls. The Church is the Bride of Christ, and He does not wish for us to go through the days of the Tribulation.
We get a glimpse into the wrath of the Day of the Lord when we read Isaiah 13:9-11:
"Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible."
Then we can read how the Lord will snatch away (the Harpazo, Rapture) His believers, the Church-up to be with Him before the terrible judgment comes upon the unsaved sinners remaining on the earth:
1 Thessalonians 4:16 -18: "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."
How can you be saved? There is only one way:
John 3:16 " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Jesus Himself tells us in John 14:6: "Jesus saith unto him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
Again, Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:20 - "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hears My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me."
Call out to Him and listen for the voice of the Lord!
Well, if there might possibly be any shred of doubt left in your mind, please let me put that to rest...we are there! How do I know this? Because Jesus warns us about that in the Bible. He gives us things to watch for so we will know His coming is near - even at the door! Let's look at some Scriptures to help us understand this:
2 Timothy 3:1-5 - "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
Matthew 24:3-14 - "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? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
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.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
Please continue to read, in your Bible, on through Matthew 24:15-51, where Jesus gives many details about what is coming.
Additional details about the end times are given in Luke 21:25-27: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Let us not be deceived. Let us always watch and be ready. We do not know exactly when Jesus will come. Matthew 24:36 tells us, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Again we are told this in Mark 13:32: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."
We have already seen many signs, and there are more for which to watch. We hear people say that these things have all happened before, and the answer to that statement is this: "Indeed, many have." There is nothing new under the sun. But the key issue to remember here is that all of these things will begin to happen together when it is time. They will all begin to happen...at the same time...converging on one another. NOW is the time to seriously watch!
Please, also go to the book of Revelation and read that wonderful book. Yes, it is scary, and often hard to understand, but you will want to know. God sent us His Word, so that we would know
So, these facts being established, where does that leave us with the state of the world today? I do not write about politics - although they play a large part in the way things unfold in our world. But I ask you to realize (and it is my opinion) that it doesn't matter what political party is in power in any given country or nation in the world, and it doesn't matter who is president or prime minister or chief-in-charge of the countries and nations in the world.
It does not matter who is the aggressor or the one who rescues or the super power. The real Super Power is God. He alone is Sovereign, and He alone is in complete control of everything that happens. He raises up kings, and He takes down kings. He allows things to happen in order to bring about His perfect will to fulfill His perfect purpose.
As I write this, the United States has launched missiles into Syria from US Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea and destroyed the air bases that launched the chemical attack on Syria's own people. Russia is not pleased. Russia is sending a warship to the Mediterranean where the missiles were launched from. This is all that the news media will tell us at this time
The next step is not clear, but by the time you read this, it will all be old news. Whatever the outcome of this will be, it will all be allowed and directed by God. We need not fear if we belong to Him!
This earthly situation is certainly not our only concern. The entire globe is boiling over with hatred. Wars (or rumors of wars) are everywhere. Destruction, murders, suicide attacks, dissention, lies, persecution, deception and unrest stretch from one end of our world to the other. Violent weather, earthquakes and volcanoes rock the globe. Diseases, pestilences and famines abound.
Things are disintegrating quickly, and the spiral is definitely downward. Not a very hopeful scenario, is it? How can we cope with all of this uncertainty? How do we get through day to day? Where is our hope? Our hope is in the Lord. Stay focused only on Him. He tells us to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world! That means that we are to know in our hearts that we will be okay, no matter what comes, if we belong to Him. He has overcome the world (Satan's world), and all power and glory belong to Him! He will return for us, and we will live for eternity in the place He has prepared for us. It doesn't get any better than that.
God created the world in which we live, and thankfully, He also gave us an instruction book to go along with it. The Bible tells us how it all began, and how it will all end. Jesus outlines the end times for us, so we will not be caught unaware, and we will know exactly what to expect. If you haven't read it, it is the best Book out there. Hurry and get your copy today. Time is very quickly running out. People, get ready!
(All Scripture quoted is taken from the King James Version of the Bible.)
Damascus Official to UN: Israel Supported Islamic State by Bombing Syrian Army Targets -
Al-Jaafri made this startling accusation during a UNSC session dedicated to a debate about the situation in Syria and made further claims about Israel's alleged motives in helping the terror group.
Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari accused Israel of providing support to the Islamic State group in Syria on Wednesday, claiming that the Jewish state has indirectly but significantly aided one of the most malicious terror groups in the region.
Al-Jaafri stated that Israel had directly supported the terror group by bombing Syrian regime sites. The Syrian envoy made the controversial statement while participating in a UN Security Council session devoted to a debate about the situation in Syria and the process to halt the crisis in the conflict-worn country.
"The direct Israeli support to ISIL through attacking Syrian army sites in Palmyra city on March 17, 2017 added fuel to the fire and made things worse," al-Jaafari said, referring to the most recent strike by the Israel Air Force against a Hezbollah weapons convoy. The Syrian regime launched a surface-to-air missile towards Israel Air Force jets which was intercepted by an Arrow missile.
Another bold accusation al-Jaafari made was that Israel has treated injured al-Qaida terrorists.
Israel has provided humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees and victims of the Syrian Civil War and is known to have treated wounded Syrians who arrive at the border in the Golan Heights seeking assistance since 2013. Overall, Israel has provided medical care to an estimated 3,000 Syrians in the almost four years that have passed since then.
According to al-Jaafari, the United States was complicit in aiding the Islamic State group and other rebel groups fighting the regime, stating that "the same scene on April 7, 2017 when the US administration and its allies felt that the terrorist groups began to retreat, so they committed their flagrant aggression against al-Shayrat airbase under pretexts of using chemical weapons in the terrorist-held town of Khan Sheikhoun," he said.
Furthermore, al-Jaafari said the United States "fabricated" the Khan Sheikhoun attack to "rescue armed terrorist groups," and was moving from a stage of "proxy aggression" towards one of direct military action. Washington, France, the UK and Israel, as well as several Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Jordan, had supplied rebels and al-Nusra with chemical weapons to use and accuse the Syrian government of using them.
"This serious aggression had been plotted long in advance inside the secret rooms of intelligence agencies of Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Doha, Ankara, Amman, Washington, London and Paris," he said.
Abbas threatens 'unprecedented' steps to end split with Hamas - http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-threatens-unprecedented-steps-to-end-split-with-hamas/
But terror group spokesman warns divide with Fatah won't be resolved by means of pressure
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned that he will take "unprecedented steps" to end the political division between his West Bank-based autonomy government and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
Abbas did not explain, but could try to use financial pressure to extract concessions from the Islamic terror group Hamas which seized Gaza from him in 2007.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Thursday that "the language of threats and dictating orders" would not be accepted.
The escalating rhetoric comes ahead of a planned meeting between Abbas and US President Donald Trump that will likely focus on a possible resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations about Palestinian statehood. No date has been set, but a Palestinian advance team heads to Washington later this month.
Hamas control of Gaza weakens Abbas, undermining his claim that he speaks for all Palestinians.
Abbas and his supporters seek a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967. Hamas wants an Islamic state in historic Palestine, including present-day Israel, though a new political program suggests the group would accept a state in the 1967 lines, for now.
Hamas drove pro-Abbas forces from Gaza in 2007, a year after winning Palestinian parliament elections. Since then, repeated attempts at reconciliation have failed. A national unity government set up by Abbas in 2014, after a deal with Hamas, never got off the ground in Gaza.
Hamas refused to relinquish control to pro-Abbas security forces, particularly at border crossings with Israel and Egypt, while Abbas refused to incorporate tens of thousands of civil servants and troops hired by the Hamas government since 2007 into a new administration.
Last month, Hamas set up an administrative committee for Gaza, further angering Abbas.
The PA president signaled earlier this month that despite Hamas control, Gaza is economically dependent on payments from his donor-funded Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Citing donor concerns, the Palestinian Authority slashed by one-third the salaries of former government employees and members of the security forces who had served under Abbas in Gaza before 2007.
These 60,000 ex-employees continued to receive salaries for staying home after the Hamas takeover, as a way of ensuring their loyalty to Abbas. However, their spending also helped support the Gaza economy, inadvertently propping up Hamas.
Earlier this week, the Palestinian Authority noted that it spent $17 billion in Gaza since 2007, including for salaries and development aid.
Abbas told Palestinian diplomats in Bahrain on Wednesday that this policy would change.
"These days, we are in a dangerous and tough situation that requires decisive steps, and we are to take these decisive steps," Abbas was quoted as saying by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA. "Therefore, we are going to take unprecedented steps in the coming days to end the division."
Barhoum accused Abbas of trying to pressure Hamas ahead of his meeting with Trump.
Gog, Iran and the Middle East: A biblical perspective - N. Brad Carter Jr. - http://www.meridianstar.com/opinion/columns/gog-iran-and-the-middle-east-a-biblical-perspective/article_22e11a95-e3f8-5600-b903-c074cb4da970.html
Russian media Pravda.Ru announced that Russian warships returned to the Mediterranean Sea with the statement that "Today, (April 8, 2017) the frigate of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Grigorovich, joined the permanent formation of the Navy in the Mediterranean Sea." All of this is in response to President Trump's order to send Tomahawk missiles flying to Shayrat, Syria airbase as a national judgment by the USA for the war crimes of Syria in bombing the innocent civilians which included women.
All of this is in response to President Trump's order to send Tomahawk missiles flying to Shayrat, Syria airbase as a national judgment by the USA for the war crimes of Syria in bombing the innocent civilians, which included women, children and babies. The "substance" believed to be used in the bombs was a nerve gas called "sarin gas." The sarin gas agent poisoned Syrian masses in 2013 and 2017.
The U.S. missile action was taken against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It should be understood that the Russian military was attached to the Shayrat airbase when the Syrian forces bombed Syrian civilians. As a former specialist in the Army Chemical Corp and located at a research and development post I can assure anyone that the Russian personnel knew the location and disposal plan of the munitions as they went out from the Shayrat airbase.
It was approximately 535 BC when God inspired Daniel to reveal this truth regarding a "latter years" prophecy. (Dan11:40) "The king of the north (Russia) will storm out with ...a vast navy." And this Russian navy has been building since the near collapse of the Soviet Union and the associated financial ruin that Russia experienced in the 1990s. Russia has always been ice-bound in the north seas, but with the land grabbing of Crimea they gained access to the Black Sea and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea.
The Soviet Union and Syria entered an agreement in 1944, which matured in 1971, to allow the Soviet Union to open its naval military base in Tartus. This gave Russia a major port in the Mediterranean Sea that is a deep water port and at the same time in 2009 through military aid they gained a major port city of Latakia that has been developed into a major airbase. Latakia has become even more significant as it is the home of Russia's largest foreign electronic eavesdropping facility. And, in 2015 Russia opened an additional airbase in Shaayrat. This gives Russia two ports (Tartus and Latakia) in addition to two major airbases (Latakia and Shaayrat). It is very interesting that a people who avow "there is no God" are shown the development of their future by a God whom they disavow.
Believers today are seeing the news spoken yesterday. In fact the entrance of the Russian/GogMagog navy into the Middle East in alliance with Persia/Iran and other Islamic states is like reading a billboard sign with the hand writing on the wall of the palace. (Ezekiel 38) Yes! There is trouble in the Middle East!
The Bible includes other players in this war invasion by the Russia and Iran prophecy in Ezekiel 38 and 39. God states that Libya, Ethiopia, Turkey, Armenia and Georgia will all be involved. With this invasion (Ezekiel 39:1 & 2) God tells Russia in no uncertain terms that "I am against you, O Gog (Russian comrades)...and I will turn you back and leave but the sixth part of you upon the mountains of Israel." Five (5) out of six (6) coalition invaders of Gog's army will die on the mountains of Israel.
God says that the time for this battle will be in the latter years. (Ezekiel 38:8) You are encouraged to verify the scripture regarding the possibilities for invasion by the armies involved.
Understanding the Times - By Jonathan Brentner - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/04/06/understanding-the-times-by-jonathan-brentner/
In 1 Corinthians 10:6, Paul says that the sins of the Israelites in the wilderness happened as an "example" that we might not follow in their footsteps. On the other hand, we find many positive models of faith in the Old Testament we can follow such as some men from the tribe of Issachar.
In 1 Chronicles 12:32 we read this about them: "Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command." What did they understand? They knew it was time to make David king over all of Israel, not just Judah. They understood the times in which they lived.
The Pharisees, during the time of Jesus, lacked such insight. In Matthew 16:1-4, Jesus scolded them for not recognizing Him as their long-awaited Messiah. They correctly predicted the weather based on signs in the sky, but they missed all the signs identifying Jesus as the promised One of Israel. They failed to understand the times in which they lived.
What about us today? Do we understand the times in which we live?
There are eight times more references regarding Jesus' return to earth than for His first appearance. In Matthew 24, Jesus repeatedly instructs us to be watching and ready for His return. He said this after providing many signs of His return so we would know when that time was drawing near.
In spite of this, many believers remain asleep today. They hear no urgency regarding Jesus' return in their churches. Instead, many pastors downplay any imminence regarding Jesus' appearing. They tell us that Jesus will someday bring heaven to us, but not any time soon. Jesus' return is a far distant event, they tell us, without any relevance for our current lives.
This is NOT how the early church regarded Jesus' appearing.
Early Believers Eagerly Awaited Jesus' Appearing
If there is one thing that the Lord has impressed upon me during the past year, it's that the Apostles instilled an eager anticipation of Jesus' return in the hearts of early believers.
In 1 Corinthians 1:7 Paul said this, ". . . as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ." The apostle repeated this same thought in Philippians 3:20, "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." The sense in both verses is not just that of simply waiting, but of an eager anticipation of Jesus' return for them. The believers in Corinth and Philippi deeply longed for Jesus' appearing. They watched for it with great desire as well as fervent expectation.
We also see this same sentiment among the Thessalonian believers. Turning to Jesus, away from their idolatry, led to their eager awaiting of His return (see 1 Thess. 8-10). In Titus 2:13, Paul said that the result of turning to Christ signified, among other things, "waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." For these early followers of Christ, believing the gospel was synonymous with waiting and watching for Jesus' appearance.
A GEICO commercial portrays a spy fleeing from both armed men and a black helicopter. His phone rings as his adversaries appear ready to capture him. Thinking the call is from those coming to rescue him he answers the phone shouting, "Where are you?" We then see and hear his mom calmly talking about squirrels in the attic after which the narrator says, "If you're a mom, you call at the worst time. It's what you do."
Reflecting on what Paul said in the verses quoted above, we might expect him to say something similar: "If you believe the Gospel, you live in expectancy of Jesus' return. It's what you do." Passage after passage in the New Testament points to Jesus' appearing as our immediate expectation.
New Testament believers watched for and anticipated the appearing of Jesus as something that could happen at any moment.
The Early Church Also Watched for Jesus' Return
Many object to the idea of such imminency reasoning that if this was the expectation of New Testament believers, why did no one in the early church, after the time of the apostles, believe this?
Church history tells us a much different story than what many might expect.
The Didache, which means "teaching" in the Greek, is a brief document from the early decades of the Church that provides insight into its beliefs regarding Jesus' return or the Rapture, as we call it today. Scholars believe the Didache originates from as early as AD 70, although it likely was not formally compiled until around AD 300.
Chapter 16 of this short document contains instructions regard watching for the coming of the Lord, "Watch for your life's sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come."
Reflecting on Jesus' command in Matthew 24, the Didache reflects the same imminency regarding the Lord's appearing that we see in throughout the New Testament.
The church, well into the fourth century AD, remained almost uniformly premillennial. The early church looked for Jesus to return, setup His kingdom, and reign for 1,000 years. Prominent early church fathers such as Papias, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and Tertullian strongly advocated the literal interpretation of Revelation 19-20. They uniformly proclaimed their belief in Jesus' return to reign upon the earth!
Irenaeus, a prominent early church father of the second century AD, believed Jesus would return for His church before a period of tribulation upon the earth. In his famous book Against Heresies, Book 5, Chapter 29, he said this, "And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, 'There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.'"
Using the same terminology as Paul did in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Irenaeus said Jesus would take believers out of this world before a time of great tribulation upon the earth. Irenaeus, writing late in the second century AD envisioned the Lord coming for His church just as Paul promised in 1 Thessalonians 4. This would happen, according to Irenaeus, before a time of tribulation on the earth.
Another reference to the imminency of Jesus' return comes from a most interesting person in church history known as Ephraem the Syrian (also known as Saint Ephraim of Edessa). Born in AD 306, he became a monk, a poet, a writer of hymns, and a preacher. Some believe he attended the Council of Nicea in AD 325.
In his sermon entitled On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World, Ephraim clearly referred to the Lord coming for believers before the day of the Lord, before the tribulation. As such, he strongly encouraged believers to be ready for the soon appearing of Jesus to take His church out of this world after which the world would be engulfed in a time of great turmoil and suffering.
The belief in the imminency of Jesus' return for His church did not end with the apostles. It carried over into the early centuries of the church. As late as the fourth century AD, we find an example of someone warning believers to be ready for Jesus' return ahead of a period of tribulation upon the earth.
What Are the Signs Today?
Fine, you may be saying, but how does that relate to us today? Is there any evidence Jesus is coming soon? After two thousand years of waiting, should we still be expecting Him to appear at any moment?
YES! (I'm so glad you asked!) There are many, many signs we are living in the days leading up to the Great Tribulation and hence to Jesus' return for us just prior to that, known as the Rapture.
In Matthew 24:15, Jesus repeated Daniel's prophecy that a coming world leader, the antichrist, would defile the temple in Jerusalem during a time of tribulation upon the earth. Irenaeus, 150 years later, also wrote about how the antichrist would someday perform such an abomination in the temple.
Although the Jews currently have no temple, a group known as the Temple Institute is busily preparing for its construction. The architectural designs are complete as are many of the furnishings for the Third Temple. The altar is ready for sacrifices and if you are a Levite, you can attend a special school to train for serving as a priest in the new temple.
The signs Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:4-14 are coming true today as never before in human history. Indicators of Jesus' return to earth at the end of the tribulation abound today. Earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars, famines, and persecution of believers already occur with increasing frequency and intensity and will continue to do so all through the tribulation. Just like birth pangs, these signs are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity.
Ezekiel 38-39 speaks of a great war against Israel in the later days. Remarkably, we see the nations lining up exactly and precisely as predicted in these chapters. The nations prophesied to come against Israel have now joined forces as never before in history. The countries that remain on the sidelines during this conflict, including Saudi Arabia, are now aligning with Israel, at least to some degree.
Each day, we see increased tensions between Israel and the leaders of this coalition: Russian, Iran, and Turkey. The discoveries of rich deposits of natural gas and oil in Israel add to the intrigue and provide much motivation for these countries to someday attack Israel.
As Amir Tsarfati recently stated, today we see the history being written that will lead up to the great conflict of Ezekiel 38-39.
The Bible also predicts that a one world government and one world religion will engulf the world during the Tribulation. The foundations for both these realities are carefully being laid so that once the Church is gone, they can quickly be put in place. Not since the time of the Roman Empire has there been such an emphasis on unifying the planet under one world order.
With so many indicators of the approaching tribulation abounding today, why do so many preachers push Jesus' appearing to the far distant future?
Why do so few believers recognize the signs of Jesus' soon imminent return? Why do so few really understand the times in which we live?
I am often perplexed myself by these questions.
Why do so many pastors as well as believers do not understand the day in which we live and hence do not watch for Jesus' return? I will take up that topic in my next article.
Jonathan C. Brentner
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
Jesus Prayed for You - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you knew you were about to be arrested, falsely accused of a crime, put through a mock trial, beaten so badly that pieces of flesh were torn out and your bones showed, mocked, and ultimately crucified, what would your thoughts be? Most of us would run and hide. Our thoughts would be for self-preservation rather than helping others to cope with what was to come. Jesus knew long before the foundation of the earth was laid that Adam would sin and that mankind would need a Saviour. Jesus would enter into His creation in order to provide the only way that sinful humans can be saved. As Jesus began His ministry He chose a handful of men to learn from Him and to spread the Gospel after His blood sacrifice upon the cross. Jesus knew what He would face. The Child whose birth we celebrate had willingly left Heaven to be our Kinsman Redeemer, which would require Him to become the Sacrificial Lamb to take our sin away. "O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:55-58. His blood was shed for our redemption and three days later He was resurrected. Because He lives so will we if we place our faith in Him.
When Jesus knew that it was time for His sacrifice on the cross, He willingly went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Because of that sacrificewe are sanctified if we believe in Him. "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Hebrews 10:10. In Jerusalem He ate one final meal with His disciples and when the meal was finished Jesus told Judas Iscariot to go and do what he had to do...to go betray our Lord. After Judas left, Jesus spoke openly with the men who remained about what was to soon happen. Anyone today who claims to follow Him should read those words, beginning in chapter 13 of the Gospel of John. Write them on your heart. Jesus finished His talk with a prayer for those men who would spread the Gospel far and wide. Jesus also prayed for you.
"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." John 17:1-5. Jesus had done everything that He had been sent to do, and now the hour had come for Him to offer Himself as the sacrificial Lamb of God. He prayed that God the Father would glorify Him with the glory they shared prior to the creation of the world. Jesus is God the Son and existed prior to the creation of all things. We read in the book of Genesis that God spoke all things into existence, and the Gospel of John makes it clear that Jesus Christ is the one who spoke. Now it was time for Jesus to return to the glory He and the Father had shared in the beginning.
"I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kepht thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou has given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." John 17:6-12. Jesus specifically prayed for His disciples who had walked with Him and heard His teaching. These men would face some fierce trials, but Jesus knew each one and had chosen them because He knew they would be faithful. The exception was Judas. Jesus chose him, not because he would be a faithful follower but because he would fulfill Scripture "I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, he that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me." John 13:18. Judas had walked with Jesus and heard what He taught, but still he would betray Him. Just because someone claims to follow Christ doesn't mean they are a Christian. After Judas left Jesus prayed for those who remained. We can thank God that those men did what they were asked. Even Peter was not lost. He denied Christ and hid, but Jesus restored him and Peter became a strong leader among those early believers. He was faithful even to his own crucifixion.
"And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth: As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." John 17:13-19. These men would face great opposition as they carried the Gospel into the angry, fallen world. Their strength would be in God. Jesus prayed that these men would be sanctified, that means set apart from the world. Every Christian today needs to heed this prayer. Do you claim to be a Christian, but instead of living by God's word you follow the world? Maybe you're more like Judas than a true follower of Christ. God's truth hasn't changed so you need to separate from worldly ways and be sanctified through the truth of God's word.
"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou has loved me." John 17:20-23. Here is where Jesus prayed for you and me. Because Peter, James, John and the others shared the Gospel faithfully, nearly 2,000 years later people read God's word and believe unto salvation. Through the years many false teachings have entered into the various denominations. Shame on you if you follow New Age teachings, participate in yoga, or embrace sin because your denomination believes God's word has changed. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." Hebrews 13:8. Sanctify yourself through God's word and be separate from the world.
"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:24-26. Do you want to be with Jesus for eternity? Do you want to behold His glory? I do. Jesus prayed for you and me to be there with Him and I look forward to that time. The world doesn't know God; they follow Satan and his evil horde of demons. The world is not sanctified by the word of God and will hate you if you separate yourself from sin and follow Jesus. Jesus never said it would be easy. "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33. Only through Jesus can we know the love of God and not be a part of the sin of the world. Our victory comes only through faith in Christ.
After Jesus had finished His prayer they left the upper room and went outside. Jesus knew what He was about to face and He continued to pray to the Father. Jesus prayed that there would be another way for the redemption of mankind to be accomplished. "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." Luke 22:42-43. There is no other way for salvation than through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. If there were another way, God would have revealed it. Instead He sent an angel to give Jesus the strength to face what lay ahead. Don't think you can be "good enough" or that Allah, meditation, or any other satanic way will lead to Heaven. Satan is the father of lies and has deceived many people. Only faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross will allow you into Heaven.
Have you turned to Him for salvation? If so then be sanctified by His word and separate from the world. Study your Bible and apply it to your heart. When you stumble in your walk with Him, repent and ask forgiveness. He loves you enough to have given His life for you.
Remember, Jesus prayed for you.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Trump may end what Clinton started in Korea - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
North Korea communist dictator Kim Jong-un has been rattling the nuclear sabers and US President Donald Trump isn't taking any chances. Trump, in a show of strength and warning, dispatched a US Navy strike group into the west Pacific and there are reports that Seal Team 6 is training to assassinate Jong-un. Jong-un has announced his intent to explode another underground nuclear bomb this week, and has threatened a nuclear strike on the US, perhaps using a submarine. Trump told Fox News that Jong-un "is doing the wrong thing," but refused to go into specifics about his military plan. North Korea would not have been part of the nuclear club if not for former President Bill Clinton.
Let's roll back the clock to October 1994, where after 17 months of negotiations, President Bill Clinton committed the US to a nuclear deal with communist North Korea. Clinton is quoted as saying, "This US-North Korean agreement will help to achieve a long-standing and vital American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula." Heritage Foundation archives document in an October 20 letter to North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il, Clinton vastly expanded America's commitments under the formal agreement to finance fuel shipments and reactors, and to ease its long-standing trade embargo and move toward first-ever diplomatic relations with the North.
Clinton's long-held belief on nuclear weapons was that if everyone had them, nobody would use them and the world would be a safer place. On June 11, 1993, the US agreed to not use force or nuclear weapons against North Korea if it remained in the nonproliferation treaty. North Korea continued to develop its nuclear weapons program. On October 18, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed a deal to give North Korea light water reactor nuclear technology if it stopped building nuclear weapons, saying, "Today all Americans should know that as a result of this achievement on Korea, our Nation will be safer and the future of our people more secure."
In reality, the world is much more dangerous because of Clinton's reckless shenanigans. North Korea went on to develop nuclear weapons and to assist Iran in its nuclear weapons program. Where the immediate past "president" preferred the use of verbal diplomacy that allowed barbarians their way, Trump has shown no hesitancy to use military force against the world's bullies. While many in America look at Jong-un as a mentally-challenged little fat man always peering through binoculars, we need to realize that, thanks to Clinton, he has lethal power, and needs to be taken seriously. Romans 12:18 says, "If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men." Peace is a two-way street, especially when millions of lives are at stake. Sadly, Trump may be forced to end what Clinton foolishly began.
Daily Devotion: The Power of Christ's Words - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Christ' passionate love for the world is evident.
Christ' passionate love for the world is evident in His statements from the cross:
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34
Do you realize that you are in need of the Father's forgiveness?
"Today you will be with Me in Paradise." Luke 23:43
Have you realized and confessed Jesus as your personal Savior?
"Woman, behold your son." John 19:26
Jesus is concerned for us and provides for all of us.
"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Matthew 27:46
Jesus was forsaken so we don't have to be.
"I thirst!" John 19:28
This personal statement reminds us that Jesus is not only God, but He also was man. Jesus identifies with our needs.
"It is finished!" John 19:30
Jesus paid for our sins, and sin's control over our lives is broken!
"Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit." Luke 23:46
You can entrust your life into God's hands.
If you are reading this today and you've never committed your life to Jesus Christ, would you visit KnowGod.org and confess Him as Your Savior and Lord?
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