Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Featured Article: After Winter, Before Summer
Russia vs. Israel: How a War in the Middle East Could Happen
Israel Watch: Demons in the Halls of Congress
Go To The Source
Daily Jot: Sign of the times Daily Devotion: Courage in the Face of Criticism
After Winter, Before Summer - By Michael Hile - www.raptureready.com
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..." Ecclesiastes 3:1
The Song of Solomon talks about the bridegroom (my beloved) coming for His bride (my love, my fair one) after "winter is past" and when "the fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell" (SOS 2:10-13). The book of Luke tells us that "the kingdom of God is near at hand" when "the fig tree, and all the trees...shoot forth" and "summer is near at hand" (Luke 21:29-32).
The Season of His Coming
The statement "winter is past" lets us know that summer has probably not yet arrived, while "summer is near at hand" implies that winter has passed, and summer is close, but has not yet arrived. After winter but before summer is a period called "seedtime" in the Bible but is referred to as spring in modern usage. Spring is generally regarded as beginning in the month of March and ending in the month of June, depending upon the calendar system used.
"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." Genesis 8:22
As summer draws near, the first three spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits) have passed, and the fourth feast, Pentecost, is quickly approaching. Christ's ascension into Heaven was forty days after He rose from the grave on the feast of Firstfruits (resurrection day, traditionally called Easter). The feast of Pentecost, which is ten days after Ascension Day, occurs during the months of May and June each year, and is always fifty days after resurrection day. The anniversary of Christ's ascension and the feast of Pentecost occur during spring time; after winter but before summer.
Spring is the season when Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins of mankind, buried in a borrowed tomb and rose from the grave. His death, burial and resurrection were on the feast days, and He literally fulfilled the first three feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23:1-44). Spring is the season when Christ ascended into Heaven and "two men...in white apparel" (angels) standing near, asked the apostles: "Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus...shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:9-11). Spring is the season when "the day of Pentecost was fully come," and "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:1-4).
Spring is the season when the bridegroom, in the Song of Solomon, says to his future bride: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away" (SOS 2:10-13). Spring is the season when "the fig tree putteth forth her green figs," "her branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves," "summer is near" and "the kingdom of God is near at hand" (SOS 2:10-13, Mark 13:28-29, Luke 21:29-31). We are told, "when ye shall see all these things," you are to "know that it (the bridegroom and the kingdom of God) is near, even at the doors" (Matthew 24:32-33).
Modern-day Israel, sometimes symbolized by the fig tree in the scriptures, was absent from its land for nearly 2000 years before beginning to come back from its dispersion throughout the world (the Diaspora) in the mid 1800s. Then, through several miraculous events, the Jewish people acquired national status (statehood) on May 14, 1948. Is it coincidental that the season (spring) of Israel's birth date, over seventy years ago, corresponds with the season in which the fig tree buds, puts forth green leaves and begins to develop green figs? Is it pure happenstance that spring is also the season that the bridegroom comes for His bride, as pictured in the Song of Solomon?
Although no one knows the "day and hour" the Lord will return, will the bridegroom arrive at some future date in the spring to whisk away His ecstatic bride to the ultimate, consummate, wedding ceremony, as hinted at in the Song of Solomon? Is spring the season, before summer arrives, when the Lord will return to earth, in some future year, to set up His kingdom on earth?
The Lord has not given us concrete evidence of the time of His return; however, spring is the season for new life and new beginnings, and the Lord fulfilled much of His redemption plan for mankind during the spring season.
Spring, after winter but before summer, is an important season to be watching!
Is the Day of His Return Approaching?
Although no sign is given in the Scriptures concerning the time of the Lord's return, some believe Hebrews 10:25 implies that we will be able to see the day of His coming (the rapture) approaching:
"...Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching."
Believers would not be excited to see "the day of the Lord" (judgment) approaching, unless they were confident "the day of redemption" (rapture) would occur before "the day of the Lord" began, and they would not be present here on the earth when "the day of the Lord" was taking place.
That is exactly the scenario set forth by the Apostle Paul (1 Thess. 4:13-5:11), with the "resurrection" and "catching up" of the saints preceding "the day of the Lord," and both events surprising the unbelievers as "a thief in the night" (Matthew 24:43-44, Rev. 3:3, 16:15; 1 Thess. 5:2-4; 2 Peter 3:10). The description given by the Apostle Paul is also the order of events that we may see emerging today.
Prophecies that will take place during "the day of the Lord" are beginning to assemble themselves on the world stage and cast their shadows backward into today's news headlines. Anticipation of the approaching rapture of God's saints seems to be implied in Luke 21:28 as the day of redemption nears: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
The Times and Seasons of His Return
Christ told His apostles, as recorded in Acts 1:6-7, that it was not for them "...to know the times or the seasons..." for the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. Understanding the mystery of "the times and seasons" of the kingdom's restoration was not for the apostles to know, but it was to be reserved for and revealed to a future generation. However; Christ called the Pharisees and Scribes hypocrites for not being able to "discern the signs of the times" and for not recognizing "the time of their visitation" (Matthew 16:1-4, Luke 19:41-44).
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Luke 13:34,35).
Knowing "the times and seasons" of the Lord's return is similar to knowing Thanksgiving is near when the merchants start putting up their Christmas decorations. The appearance of Christmas lights and ornaments in the marketplace prior to Christmas, heralds the time and coming of the Christmas season and signals the approach of Christmas day; however, we know that the arrival of the Thanksgiving holidays is even closer than the advent of Christmas day.
In like manner, when we see the prophecies that will take place during "the day of the Lord" beginning to assemble themselves on the world scene, we can know confidently that "the day of redemption" is even closer, and the season for the "catching away" of the 'bride of Christ" has finally arrived. Christ told us "when these things begin to come to pass," we are to "look up and lift up your heads," for the day of our redemption is almost here (Ephesians 4:30, Luke 21:1-28).
Are You Awake or Asleep?
When the Lord returns for His saints, many will be distracted by the daily routines and pleasures of this world and will not be watching the signs that point to His soon return. Jesus told His disciples to be watchful and pray that they be accounted worthy to escape the judgment coming on the earth, for it will happen suddenly, like a trap that closes quickly on its prey.
"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:34-36).
The Apostle Paul admonished the saints in Rome to "wake up" because the time of their salvation (glorification at the rapture) was closer than when they first believed (justification salvation). The sanctification salvation process, which begins immediately after we confess our sins and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (justification), includes our daily walk with the Lord and is a work in progress until our death or the Lord returns in the air for his saints (glorification).
"...now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and...put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day... and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof" (Romans 13:11-14).
The guidance given by the Apostle Paul "to awake out of sleep" was an admonition "to set your house in order" and start watching "the signs of the times." Do not fall asleep spiritually, but stay awake, be alert and pay attention to the signs. Paul's reason for wanting the saints to wake up was because their salvation (glorification) was getting closer, and they would soon be standing in the presence of the Lord to give an account of their life.
A Thief in the Night
The timing of the rapture, also called the "blessed hope" in Titus 2:13, will be as "a thief in the night" to those not watching, but "the times and seasons" of the rapture will not be a surprise to those who are looking for His return (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6, Matthew 25:1-13, Luke 21:34-36, Rev. 3:3). Those who are "caught up," or raptured, will receive their glorified body and complete the glorification salvation process (Phil. 3:20-21, 1 Cor. 15:51-58).
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:11-14
When the Lord returns in the air for His saints, there will be two categories of people on the earth: the saved and unsaved; also called believers and nonbelievers. All of the nonbelievers will be caught off guard when the Lord returns for His saints "as a thief in the night." Some of the nonbelievers are also "scoffers" who mock and make fun of those who are watching the gathering signs of the Lord's return. Even among the believers, there will be those "watching," "those not watching," and a few "not watching but scoffing" (2 Peter 3:3-18, Jude 14-19).
"If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee" (Rev. 3:3). "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3:10-11).
Those who are watching will be "caught up" and will know when the Lord returns. Those who are not watching will be "left behind,' as when a thief comes unexpectedly and takes the valuable treasure, but leaves behind that which is worthless in value to him.
Those "left behind" will not know when "the great theft" takes place, unless they are near believers who are taken, while those "caught up" will immediately "stand before the son of man" and know they have been removed from the earth and have "escaped" the coming judgments (Matt. 24:21, Luke 21:34-36, Rev. 3:10-11, Rev. 22:12-14).
That is why Jesus and His disciples exhorted the saints over a dozen times to "watch" for the signs of his return and commanded them to "watch" and be "ready" when the "son of man cometh." Those who are watching will be rewarded for their faithfulness and will receive a "crown of righteousness" given to "all...that love his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8). Whatever your priorities may be, make sure you are ready and not one of those left behind, like the five foolish virgins whose lamps went out, and they lacked oil (Holy Spirit) in their vessels (Matt. 25:1-13).
In the Twinkling of an Eye
When the time of His coming arrives, "the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
After laying out the events of the resurrection and rapture, the Apostle Paul states boldly that his brothers in Christ were not in darkness, and the day of the Lord would not include them (children of light and the day) as it would the nonbelievers (children of the night and darkness), who would be overtaken as a thief in the night. Rather, Paul's brothers in Christ were told to be spiritually awake and to watch and be sober, while continuing to grow in faith and love, knowing they had the hope of salvation.
"But of the times and the seasons (of the resurrection and rapture), brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you...But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day (the day of the Lord) should overtake you as a thief (they would not be part of the day of the Lord). Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober...For God hath not appointed us to wrath (during the day of the Lord), but to obtain salvation (be caught up) by our Lord Jesus Christ...Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do" (1 Thess. 5:1-11).
Paul told his brethren to be comforted and to comfort one another concerning both "the day of redemption" and "the day of the Lord." Being comforted and comforting others, knowing "the day of the Lord" was coming, would only make sense if they (Paul's listeners) knew they were going to be "caught up" (raptured) before "the day of the Lord," and they were confident and assured they would escape God's wrath that would be poured out during "the day of the Lord" (Luke 21:34-36, Rev. 3:10).
The evidence is overwhelming that we are living in "the times and seasons" of the Lord's return, when they (U.S. and other Gentile nations) are saying "peace and security," in reference to the Israel/Palestinian peace process (1 Thess. 5:1-3). As the day of our redemption draws near, each of us should be asking ourselves: Are we "watching" for the Lord's return, and will we "be ready" when He returns "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump" (Luke 21:34-36, 1 Cor. 15:52, Rev. 3:3)? Don't be like one of the "foolish virgins" and be left behind. Make your reservation today!
Russia vs. Israel: How a War in the Middle East Could Happen - by Michael Peck -
A scary thought.
As the IDF official said, "We have proven over more than 70 years as a sovereign state that you don't push us around."
Could Israeli air strikes in Syria trigger war between Israel and Russia?
Israel remains determined to continue pounding Iranian forces in Syria in a bid to keep Tehran's forces away from Israel's northern border. At the same time, Russia has thousands of troops in Syria that could be caught in the crossfire-or even become belligerents if Moscow tires of its Syrian ally being pummeled.
And if Israel and Russia come to blows, would Israel's big brother-the United States-feel compelled to intervene?
Not that Jerusalem or Moscow are eager for such a fight. "Neither of us desire a military confrontation," a senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) official told me during a recent interview in Jerusalem. "It would be detrimental to both sides."
Yet Israel's policy boils down to this: it will do whatever it sees as necessary to eject Iranian forces from Syria. And if Russia doesn't like it, then that's just the price of ensuring that Syria doesn't become another Iranian rocket base on Israel's border.
Relations between Jerusalem and Moscow are far warmer than during the Cold War. The result is a strange embrace reminiscent of the U.S.-Soviet detente of the 1970s. On the surface, a certain friendliness and desire for cooperation. Yet beneath the smiles is wariness, suspicion and a clash of fundamental interests.
"No one in Israel is confused about who the Russians are and who they are aligned with," said the IDF official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "The Russians are not our allies, to put it mildly. We have one ally, and that is the United States. The Russians are here for totally different objectives. They are supporting a regime [Syria] that has an outspoken goal of annihilating Israel if it only could. They are also part of a coalition that supports Iran."
Just how easily Israeli military operations can trigger an incident became evident during a September 2018 strike on ammunition depots in western Syria. Anti-aircraft missiles launched by Syrian gunners accidentally shot down a Russian Il-20 surveillance aircraft, killing fifteen people. Israel denies Russian accusations that it deliberately used the Russian plane as cover, or failed to give Moscow sufficient warning of the raid. Yet Russia still blamed Israel for the mishap and retaliated by supplying advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.
Nonetheless, Israel sees value in Russia as a potential restraint on Iran, and a possible lever to get Iranian forces out of Syria. After a February meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Vladimir Putin to mend fences after the Il-20 incident, Israeli officials claimed Putin had agreed that foreign forces should withdraw from Syria. For Moscow, friendly relations with Israel offer more influence in the Middle East even as America may be scaling down its presence in the region.
Still, the Kremlin has denounced Israeli strikes in Syria as "illegitimate." Syria has been a Russian ally for more than fifty years, and it was Russian air strikes-along with Iranian and Hezbollah troops-that saved Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's faltering regime from ISIS and other rebel groups. At least 63,000 Russian troops have served in Syria since 2015. Though Putin has promised since 2016 that Russian forces would withdraw, Russia currently retains more than 5,000 troops and private military contractors in Syria, backed by several dozen aircraft and helicopters.
And Russia is in Syria to stay. The Syrian port of Tartus is Russia's only naval base in the Mediterranean: in 2016, Moscow and Damascus signed a forty-nine-year agreement that allows nuclear-powered Russian warships to operate from there. In addition, Russian aircraft and surface-to-air missiles, including the long-range S-400 air defense system, operate from at least two air bases in western Syria.
Israel can live with the Russians next door-but not the Iranians. Israeli officials warn of Tehran's plan to station 100,000 Iranian and allied troops in Syria. Hezbollah, with its estimated arsenal of 130,000-plus rockets, already menaces Israel's Lebanon frontier. Syria joining Lebanon as a second Iranian rocket base is the stuff of Israeli nightmares.
"We can - and we intend to - make it as difficult as possible and inflict a price tag that the Iranians aren't willing to pay," the IDF official said. And the Israeli Air Force has been just doing that, attacking "Iranian and Hezbollah targets hundreds of times," Netanyahu announced after a devastating attack on Iranian arms depots near Damascus International Airport in January.
"We continue to implement our plans," the IDF official replied when asked if Russia would deter Israeli raids into Syria. "Our activities suggest that, despite everything, we enjoy significant freedom of action."
But more telling was his one-word response when asked how willing is Israel to fight for that freedom of action.
Which leaves the question: Can Israel target Iran in Syria without triggering a clash with Russia?
There are deconfliction mechanisms in place, including a hotline between the Israeli and Russian militaries. "We are very strict about informing the Russians about our activities and that their operational picture is up to date," said the IDF official. Yet those procedures were not sufficient to avoid a downing of a Russian plane.
Perhaps that ill-fated Il-20 was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Still, it is not hard to imagine a multiplicity of equally fatal scenarios. Russian advisers or technicians caught in an Israeli raid on an Iranian or Syrian installation. An errant Israeli smart bomb that hits a Russian base, or a Russian pilot or anti-aircraft battery spooked by a nearby Israeli raid into opening fire. Or, perhaps Russia will just feel obligated to support the prestige of its Syrian ally and its shaky government. Just how incendiary Syrian skies are for everyone became evident in December 2017, when U.S. F-22 fighters fired flares to warn off two Russian Su-25 attack jets that breached a no-go zone in eastern Syria.
To be clear, the IDF is neither boastful nor belligerent about its capabilities versus Russia, a former superpower with the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet. The IDF official likened Israel to "The Mouse that Roared," the classic novel of a tiny nation that challenges the United States.
But if Israel resembles any mouse, it's Mighty Mouse: small, powerful and not afraid to use its fists. In fact, what makes a potential Israel-Russia battle so dangerous is that it is not hypothetical. After the 1967 Six-Day War, Soviet fighters were sent to Egypt. This led to a notorious July 1970 incident when in a well-planned aerial ambush over the Suez Canal, Israeli fighters shot down five Soviet-piloted MiG-21 jets in three minutes.
On the other hand, Russia doesn't need to fight Israel to hurt Israel. Indeed, the IDF official seemed less concerned about a physical clash between Israeli and Russian forces, and more concerned that Russia could choose to supply advanced weapons-such as anti-aircraft missiles-to Israeli enemies such as Syria and Iran. In the early 1970s, the Soviet Union supplied numerous air defense missiles and guns to Egypt and Syria, which inflicted heavy losses on Israeli planes in the 1973 October War. If it wants to, Russia can make Israeli air operations very expensive.
As always with the Arab-Israeli (or Iranian-Israeli) conflict, the real danger isn't the regional conflict, but how it might escalate. In the 1973 war, the Soviets threatened to send troops to Egypt unless Israel agreed to a cease-fire. The United States responded by going on nuclear alert.
Were the Israelis and Russians to come to blows, or if Moscow were to seriously threaten military force against Israel, could the United States risk a grave loss of prestige by not intervening to back its longtime ally? Could Russia-whose Syrian intervention is a proud symbol of its reborn military muscle and great power status-not retaliate for another downed Russian plane or a dead Russian soldier?
Which leads to the ultimate question: could tensions between Israel and Russia lead to a clash between American and Russian troops?
In the end, somebody will have to back down. But Iran isn't about to give up its outpost on Israel's border, and Russia probably can't force them to. Then there is Israel, which is grimly determined to stop Iran.
As the IDF official said, "We have proven over more than 70 years as a sovereign state that you don't push us around."
Israel Watch: Demons in the Halls of Congress - Jim Fletcher - Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com
The subversives in Congress continue their mayhem.
When Keith Ellison was elected to the House from Minnesota's 5th district in 2006, he became the first Muslim in Congress. Since then, Barack Obama has helped push this forward by allowing tons of Somali immigrants into that Minnesota district, and the result has been the election of the anti-Semite Ilhan Omar. Her outrageous statements about Israel include that the Jewish state "hypnotizes" other nations. This is classic anti-Semitic garbage. Her hatred of Israel is truly over-the-top.
Now, she's claiming that Israel occupies the "historical homeland of the Palestinians." She continues to push the envelope, and Democrat leaders like Nancy Pelosi let her. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post:
"In an op-ed published late Sunday on the Washington Post website, Omar wrote that 'the founding of Israel 70 years ago was built on the Jewish people's connection to their historical homeland, as well as the urgency of establishing a nation in the wake of the horror of the Holocaust and the centuries of antisemitic oppression leading up to it. Many of the founders of Israel were themselves refugees who survived indescribable horrors.
"'We must acknowledge that this is also the historical homeland of Palestinians,' she continued."
It's the historical homeland of both peoples? It is easily historically documented that it is in fact the ancestral home of the Jews, but the Palestinians are demonstrably a creation of political forces in the 1960s.
The fact is, Omar is a mendacious, aggressive Muslim who intends to join with her co-religionists to undermine the U.S. Constitution. Among the added outcomes is a hoped-for marginalization of Israel by her greatest ally.
As if these attacks on Israel aren't bad enough, the New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently called Benjamin Netanyahu a "Trump-like figure." She pushed the envelope by further attacking the Israeli premier:
"In an interview with the Yahoo News Skullduggery podcast, she added that Netanyahu's reelection is a part of 'the ascent of authoritarianism across the world.' Asked if she believes that the prime minister's talk about annexing parts of the West Bank should affect US policy toward Israel, the congresswoman responded, 'I think so,' and said that 'conversations are happening in our caucus.'
"She also gave a surprising answer as to whether she would support a move to cut military or economic aid to Israel, saying that 'I think it's certainly on the table.'"
This is the future of Washington, folks.
And Israel will suffer.
Go To The Source - By Alice Childs -
Brethren, if ever there was a time to share the truth of the Word of God, the saving gospel of Christ to a lost and Hell-bound world, it is now. If ever there was a time to shake off our fear and timidity to warn the lost that certain judgment is at the door, it is now. If not us, then WHO? If not now, then WHEN? Time is QUICKLY running out.
There is a burden that has been laying heavy on my heart for a while now. My spirit is heavy over the lack of scriptural knowledge that we-the Church, exhibit. My dear fellow believers, we should not waste what precious little time we have left depending upon outside extra-Biblical resources for our own knowledge, nor should we be sending the lost, the babes in Christ, or just the Biblically ignorant to ANYONE, ANYTHING, and ANYWHERE other than the Word of God alone.
As followers of Christ, we should NEVER depend on anything other than the written and preserved Word of God to find answers to any question or deal with any dilemma we may face, or to determine what sound doctrine is or is not.
Scripture alone above ANY website, blog spot, TV personage, YouTube teacher or anything else is the plumb line against which EVERYTHING must be measured. We must go the scriptures ourselves, and we must point all those we wish to reach there as well.
We all must learn to go to the Word of God Itself. Scripture ALONE must be our "go to" source for all things so that we may ALL be equipped to KNOW the truth ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES - NOT some maybe-maybe-not doctrinally sound Biblical alternative. Only when we KNOW the truth inside and out can we spot false doctrine and heresy. Only then are we Biblically equipped to expose that which is false and "earnestly contend for THE faith" (Jude 3).
If we've got questions about what the Word of God teaches on any matter, then - my soul, folks - let's GO TO THE SOURCE to get them answered - not to some website, blogspot, TV personage, mega pastor, writer, singer, YouTube guru, or anyone else.
We must learn to check EVERYTHING and EVERYONE by the Word of God. We are fallible. God is not. His Word is infallible, inerrant, and immutable. He ordained its translation into our language, and He has PRESERVED the verity, accuracy, and reliability of His Word. We can trust it. We can rely on it. We SHOULD rely on it alone.
Sadly, most believers today are LAZY. We don't WANT to take the time and effort it takes to really STUDY the Word. It's far quicker and easier for us to go to some other source to see what THEY SAY God says. Studying the whole counsel of God (how scripture aligns together from both Testaments Old and New) takes time. It takes diligent study and effort. We must learn to take the Bible literally at face value. We must learn to examine everything within its proper context.
We must learn to cross-reference passages, compare scriptures, wade through the Word to find out how SEEMINGLY contradictory or difficult passages are resolved once they are fit into the proper context of WHO is being addressed and placed into their correct dispensational time frames.
Diligent Bible STUDY takes much prayer and many long hours spent in getting to know well the foundational Biblical doctrines FROM SCRIPTURE for ourselves - not relying on someone else's ideas, opinions, assumptions, or biases.
This laziness on our part to actually and consistently examine scripture daily is why there is so much heresy, misapplication, and misinterpretation of scripture in the Church today. This extreme doctrinal ignorance has happened because WE have been lazy. We are not being good Bereans or searching the scriptures daily FOR OURSELVES to see whether or not all that we are hearing or are being told is true ACCORDING TO THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF SCRIPTURE. What is worse, we are leading the very people who NEED to learn from scripture AWAY from scripture itself and into some man-made alternative whose teachings are most likely unsound and error-filled.
Again, the responsibility lies upon each of us individually to verify everything that is being taught by anyone according to the scriptures - including what is taught here.
We urge you to check what I or any one of us writes to make SURE that what we teach aligns with the whole counsel of scripture rightly divided. This is our due diligence. God will hold each of us accountable for what WE have done or not done with the truth He has given.
My beloveds, time is far too short for us to do anything less than point a lost and Hell-bound world to the ONLY gospel that can save them. We don't have time, nor should we EVER send anyone to any other place than the inerrant, infallible, immutable Word of the Living God.
NO PLACE ELSE has the answers that those in danger of being left behind to face the coming Tribulation and an eternity in Hell need to hear. They need to hear what GOD says, not what someone else SAYS He says. Let's learn to take them to the scriptures - the SOURCE; for only in them can any of us find truth.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV).
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works " (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
"Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life"
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (John 5:39-40).
Daily Jot: Sign of the times - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
I was perusing the headlines this morning and it just came to me that there is nothing worthy of even covering or writing about. We have seen it all before, all too often, the lies, the twists, the turns, the visceral. It's the democratic American way to conduct a coup. The media is singled out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for being misguided and creating public misunderstandings about the obstruction portion of the Mueller Report. Yet the media twists the story to point the finger at the Justice Department for its timing on the release of the report. No one holds the media accountable. No one holds the coup makers accountable. The news goes on. The lies are perpetrated. The masses, like sheep, go along with it.
The media would define a coup as a use of force to wrestle power away from a leader of a country. In America's case, there has been no use of military force. The force applied is that of the propaganda of the media and the political visceral of the Democratic Party. Aiding and abetting the coup is the deep state, consisting of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA. Yes, any bystander could see by what little has been reported that insiders in the Federal government who did not want Donald Trump to become president were working overtime to manipulate and release information detrimental to Trump's incoming presidency.
The shenanigans by the Democratic National Committee, the immediate past president and the entirety of the Hillary Clinton campaign leadership have been exposed by Judicial Watch, a government watchdog organization, through Freedom of Information requests and ongoing legal battles. These truths are rarely covered by the mainstream media. So we have reports in the news every day about continued investigations into Trump, but only a rare one about the investigations into the real coup-makers. Meanwhile, the nation is being invaded by an anarchist and unlawful force on its southern border with Mexico-an invasion that the Democratic Party is supporting by its very own obstruction of any security measure against it.
These things should be obvious to anyone who is observing the situation. This column is not pro-Republican and anti-Democrat. The Daily Jot is aimed at telling the truth from a Biblical worldview. The goal is to inform you so that you can use the information to influence others for Christ, something that is becoming increasingly difficult because anyone associated with the truth is hammered for being a bigot, racist, Islamophobe, homophobe, misogynist, or some other "ist" or "phobe." 2 Timothy 3:13 says that the last days shall see perilous times where, "evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." America is not the center of prophecy, but will experience many of its ramifications. These are signs of the times.
Daily Devotion: Courage in the Face of Criticism - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews. - Nehemiah 4:1
Nehemiah and his fellow Jews had just begun to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem when the criticism began. Sanballat scoffed and said, "What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they're doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap-and charred ones at that?" (Nehemiah 4:2 NLT).
There's more than a hint of anti-Semitism in that statement. Even so, Nehemiah was determined to press on and do what God had called him to do.
It isn't fun to be ridiculed, is it? It isn't enjoyable to be laughed at. Look, for example, at the way Hollywood portrays Christians-the Hollywood that wants to set the moral standards for all of us to follow. They love to portray Christians as fools, buffoons, racists, misogynists . . . fill in the blank. In their minds, we Christians are everything that is wrong with the world-and don't even start with the preachers. That is a form of persecution.
Yet Jesus said, "God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way" (Matthew 5:11-12 NLT).
Maybe you're thinking, "Well, it's not such a happy thing when you are persecuted." Yes, but understand it's a confirmation that you're a child of God. Just make sure that you're persecuted for the right reason. Sometimes we're persecuted for being mean, harsh, or some other thing. If you're experiencing persecution, then make sure it's for righteousness' sake.
FROM THE HEART
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