Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Once Upon Elam - Steve Schmutzer -
Two years ago, the adult Sunday school class I teach voted to start a new study in the book of Daniel. I was wrapping up a year-long study in Jude, and several options were under discussion for where we might go next.
As I recall, it was the Daniel option I was most anxious about. It is a pivotal book of the Bible insofar as prophetic issues are concerned. I knew it contained information that had elicited much debate among reputable scholars, and I knew it would be no easy task to wade into this book's imposing content. A healthy part of me was quietly rooting for the class to pick an easier study.
No such luck.
Yesterday, I taught Lesson #100 in our study of "The Book of Daniel." We've just started chapter eight. At this pace, we'll finish this study roughly midway through President Trump's second term.
What a blessing this study in Daniel has been to me and to so many others! Though I've been teaching this class at my church for about ten years, this is the first study we've recorded and posted online. Those lesson audios are available at www.thewordwithsteve.com.
The first half of the book of Daniel is a truly inspiring character study. Daniel was chosen by God at a young age to be tested by profound trials, and to live a life of humility in a foreign and pagan land. I'm convinced we can all learn a great deal about character from the example that Daniel provides us.
It's the second half of Daniel that forms the bedrock of much of Biblical prophecy, and it presents the topics of Gentile empires, the antichrist, the Tribulation, Armageddon, the end of the world, and the Millennial Kingdom. Those are the more evident themes. Some not-so-evident prophetic themes may also be present including matters pertinent to the Nephilim, and possibly some references to UFOs.
For my part, I try not to be agenda-driven. While I have my own opinions based upon my years of reading and research, my goal with each lesson in this in-depth study of Daniel is to forthrightly present what I believe the book of Daniel is telling us.
To do this, I must consider the totality of the Scriptures. It's easy to find one verse or phrase and camp on that to the exclusion of other passages that speak to the same subject. My intent in this study is to gather in the greater context of God's Word and present the collective view via the lens of the book of Daniel.
And so it was when I came to the little-understood province of Elam in the opening verses of Daniel chapter eight. This obscure bit of geography is located along and above the northeastern edge of the Persian Gulf, and nearly all of Biblical Elam lies within modern-day Iran. In Daniel's time, Elam was part of the Babylonian empire's territory.
In chapter eight, Daniel is transported in a vision to Elam. Physically, he is probably in Babylon as Daniel 8:27 suggests, but God supernaturally overcomes his senses and comprehensions and relocates them to the palace of Susa in Elam. Daniel's perception was his reality. He perceived himself to be in a place roughly 250 miles east of Babylon.
So what's the big deal with Elam? Well - plenty, in my personal opinion. God's sovereign plan concerning the Jews finds Elam taking center stage at several key points in the Scriptures. Starting with Daniel's second vision in chapter eight, a chronological outline of Elam's role with God's chosen people unfolds which can be stated as something like this:
God provides prophecies of persecution
Daniel's second vision in Elam focuses on the empires of Persia and Greece as they relate to Israel. It was under Persian authority that the Jews returned to Israel and rebuilt their land and their city, Jerusalem.
But it's within the details of the breakup of the Grecian empire that future persecution of the Jews is announced to Daniel. The Seleucid kingdom was a territory comprised of northern Syria and most of Persia. It emerged after the death of Alexander the Great and his empire's demise.
Daniel 8:9 indicates a future ruler would emerge from this specific region north of Israel to bring great trauma and persecution to the Jews. The surrounding text says this despot would desolate the temple and violate the sacrificial protocols. Most scholars are divided here - is this a reference to Antiochus Epiphanes, the eighth ruler of the Seleucid dynasty (175 BC - 164 BC), or is it an indication of issues still future to you and I? Is it a reference to the final antichrist?
For various reasons, I am of the opinion that this text is referring to the antichrist. I'll be unpacking my rationale in the next couple of lessons I teach, but that's not the point of this article. It was in Elam that God provides prophecies of persecution to Daniel.
God provides protection from predicament
Elam gains the spotlight again roughly 85 years after Daniel's second vision. Now, Xerxes, the Persian king has his main palace in Susa. His queen is Esther - the Jewish Esther!
Here at the palace in Susa - in Elam - the riveting events of the book of Esther took place. Here is where human ambition and pride blended with hatred and fraud to incite a historic pogrom against God's chosen people. Here is where a dilemma arose that exceeded man's abilities to resolve. And here is where God masterfully moved the chess pieces and called "checkmate" on Satan's plan to destroy the Jews.
It is in Elam that God provides protection from predicament. The gravity of the threat was so great, and the deliverance from that threat was so profound, that the Jews remember the events of the book of Esther to this day. Every time the Jews celebrate the Feast of Purim, they remember the deliverance from their enemies - in Elam.
God provides permission after prayer
About 100 years after Daniel's second vision - or roughly 20 years after the events of the book of Esther - the scene in Elam had changed a bit. The Persian empire was still in power, but there was a new king on the throne in Susa. Artaxerxes was his name, and Nehemiah, a Jew, was his cupbearer.
Nehemiah was a loyal advisor and trusted servant to the king, but like other Jews, Nehemiah's heart was aligned with his homeland and his beloved city, Jerusalem. When he heard that the exiles in Judah "....are in great trouble and disgrace (and) the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates burned with fire," the news overwhelmed him (Neh.1:3-4).
Nehemiah did what all of us should do when we are moved deeply in our spirit - he prayed for many days on end. Four months later, he found himself before the king, and the king perceived he was sad. He asked Nehemiah what was wrong. The situation was a dangerous moment for someone with Nehemiah's responsibilities.
But Nehemiah came clean with the king. He told Artaxerxes the reason for his sorrow. He also told the king what he really wanted: to turn in his resignation as cupbearer, to go to Jerusalem, and to rebuild the walls of the city.
Amazingly, the king endorsed Nehemiah's plan, and he gave Nehemiah his full support. This signature moment marked the beginning of Daniel's "seventy weeks" (Dan. 9:25).
The book of Nehemiah builds further on the truth that God provides permission after prayer. The Jewish people, under Nehemiah's leadership, were able to rebuild Jerusalem's walls and restore the remnant which had returned from exile in Babylon. The timetable for the end times had begun - and it had started in Elam!
God provides plans of pursuit
Before Daniel's ministry, there was Jeremiah's. Daniel recognized the divine intentions of God within Jeremiah's prophetic words (Dan. 9:2).
We can regard Jeremiah's words today the same way Daniel did then. Some passages in Jeremiah speak to events that are future to us. These prophecies concern a little-known part of the middle East once called - you got it - Elam! It's the same spot where God gave Daniel his second vision, where God used an unlikely queen to thwart a madman, and where God used a penitent cupbearer to start the clock ticking to the second coming of Christ.
The eyes of the world are on Elam these days, though most people simply refer to this area as "Iran." But it's in the territory of Elam where Iran has one of its most strategic nuclear assets - the Bushehr nuclear plant. It's about Elam that world leaders now debate and deceive each other.
For those who support facts over fiction, it's no secret that Iran is building nuclear weapons, and it's no surprise that Israel's recent spy mission showed the world Iran has lied. As globalist rhetoric drowns out common sense, Israel is being threatened with annihilation and will soon be forced to act in self-defense.
Jeremiah 49:34-38 specifies a disaster in Elam which suggests radiation fallout and which could be as little as days or weeks away. The entire passage suggests a humanitarian crisis is looming.
But God has "fierce anger" on the leaders of Iran for their posture against His people, and buried within these few verses is God's commitment to "....pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them."
God's sovereign plan has always been to act in the most important needs of His chosen people. It was true in Daniel's time, and in Esther's and Nehemiah's too. Events in Elam now still reinforce this constant truth. We should not be unaware of what is happening in the bigger picture since God provides plans of pursuit in Jeremiah 49:34-38 which are there for us to read and understand.
God provides promises of prosperity
A time is coming when the fascinating and traumatic events of Elam will all be a distant memory. At that time - likely when the Lord sets up His Millennial reign - the Bible promises that those who had called Elam their home will return to it and receive great blessing.
At the tail end of the aforementioned verses of Jeremiah 49:34-38 is one more verse that closes out that chapter. It is God speaking, and in verse 39 He says, "Yet I will restore the fortunes of Elam in days to come...." It's an assurance of great prosperity and spiritual blessing.
Elam will yet be a recipient of God's concern and compassion as God provides promises of prosperity for this little-understood part of the world. Because Elam, from antiquity, has been a pivot point for God's dealings with Israel, it fits directly into God's prophetic plan yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Meantime, as the world careens towards The Day of the Lord, current developments in Elam portend disaster and prophetic fulfillment. As Christians, we are reminded that we serve the One True God who "....declares the end from the beginning" according to Isaiah 46:10.
These are indeed exciting times we live in. Even so - Maranatha!
Netanyahu: Iran seeking to deploy advanced arms in Syria to wipe out Israel - By Stuart Winer -
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that Iran is striving to deploy advanced weapons in Syria to destroy the Jewish state, and that it could threaten the entire region with a Mediterranean base.
Iran "has a terror network that is spread throughout the world," Netanyahu said. "It is now seeking to implant very dangerous weapons in Syria to be used against Israel for the specific purpose of our destruction."
Netanyahu spoke at a trilateral summit in Cyprus where he met with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
His comments came amid escalating tensions between Jerusalem and Tehran as the Islamic Republic has sought to expand its foothold in neighboring Syria, raising fears it could use bases for attacking Israel.
"Iran openly calls daily for our destruction, the elimination of Israel from the face of the earth, and it practices unmitigated aggression against us and against anyone else in the region," he said.
"It is in the interest of everyone to prevent this Iranian aggression," Netanyahu said. "If they reach the Mediterranean, they wish to establish military naval bases in the Mediterranean for Iranian ships and Iranian submarines. This is a palpable threat against all of us."
Netanyahu was in Cyprus to hold talks with Tsipras and Anastasiades on regional cooperation including a natural gas pipeline to bring supplies from Israel to Cyrus and Greece, then on to Europe.
The meeting came hours before US President Donald Trump was due to announce his decision on whether he would pull out of a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed between Iran and the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany, saw heavy economic sanctions lifted from Iran in return for a dismantling of the weapons-capable aspects of Iran's nuclear development program.
Netanyahu did not directly mention Tuesday's coming announcement, despite being a leading voice against the nuclear deal. His trip to Cyprus, however, is slated to be cut short, widely speculated to be linked to Trump's announcement.
"I think that everybody recognizes the malign intentions of Iran, and I think everybody also recognizes Israel's right of self-defense, which is really our common defense," he said.
Boarding a plane back to Israel, Netanyahu reiterated his comments and said Israel was prepared for military action if need be.
"We are determined to stop Iranian entrenchment near our borders and are able to take actions that could include butting heads," he said.
"We are ready for any scenario, even a confrontation," he added, according to the Hadashot news broadcaster.
Tehran vowed revenge after the T-4 army base in Syria was struck in an air raid on April 9, killing at least seven members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The strike was widely attributed to Israel, though Jerusalem refused to comment on it. T-4 was the base from which Israel said Iran launched an attack drone into Israel in February. Late last month, a second strike, allegedly conducted by Israel, against an Iranian-controlled base in northern Syria was said to have killed more than two dozen Iranian soldiers and destroyed hundreds of surface-to-surface missiles.
Iran's army chief of staff warned Monday that the regime would respond to any Israeli aggression "at an appropriate time."
Extraordinary Western military movements in Middle East before Trump's Iran decision - some via Israel -
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Unusual Western military movements in the Middle East in the past 48 hours may tie in with President Donald Trump's decision to jump forward his decision on the Iran nuclear deal. He released a Twitter post on Monday, May 7 saying: "I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00 pm." - i.e. four days before the May 12 deadline. DEBKAfile's Washington and military sources report exclusively that the president's announcement came against the background of unusual US, British and French forces heading for the Middle East and deploying in countries bordering on Syria. These startling events point suggestively in two directions:
Trump may have decided on the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran - although this is not definite.
He is moving ahead with this decision in the light of war tensions mounting between Israel and Iran and Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon.
Our military sources also reveal fleets of US warplanes and advanced surveillance drones working around the clock to track the slightest military movements around Syrian and Lebanese Mediterranean shores. They also report that Britain has in the last few hours transferred another squadron of advanced Typhoon fighter jets to the Middle East, with France adding Rafale and Mirage 2000 jets. Some of these flights reached their forward positions through Israel's air space.
Nearing Midnight: Israel Proves that Iran Lied about Nuclear Program - Todd Strandberg -
The Israeli government pulled off an amazing achievement in the field of espionage. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed dramatic intelligence which clearly shows Iran is "brazenly lying" about its nuclear weapons program and shows the country is not complying with the nuclear deal it signed in 2015.
The Israeli Mossad gained access to a "highly secret" location in Tehran that held a trove of documents. Netanyahu said the "half a ton" of files contained material spread over 55,000 files on 183 CD's.
"These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it says it never had a nuclear weapons program," he said.
Netanyahu briefed President Trump about the intelligence last Saturday and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday. European counterparts were also made aware prior to the speech, officials said.
Their revelation was a gut punch to the media and European leaders. The first couple of days they didn't know what to say about information that showed overwhelming proof that Iran was lying. Netanyahu had incriminating documents, charts, presentations, blueprints, and photos. There were even details about a desire to build missiles that could deliver a warhead to the other side of the globe.
After a couple of days, the press collectively decided that the "accusations" by Israeli President Netanyahu are simply old news. They argued that the document pre-dated the nuclear agreement. Netanyahu has already provided an answer to this excuse. "After signing the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran intensified its efforts to hide its secret files," Netanyahu said. "In 2017, Iran moved its nuclear weapons files to a highly secret location in Tehran."
Netanyahu did make the mistake of going on CNN with Chris Cuomo. Because the nuclear deal was signed by Obama, CNN is by fault on Iran's side. Cuomo turned the tables on Netanyahu by saying Israel needs to come clean about its nuclear weapons capabilities. After Cuomo repeatedly badgered the Israeli Prime Minister to the point of disrespect, Netanyahu won the argument with a final jab. "You can make all your assumptions. One thing is clear; Israel is not threatening the annihilation of another country," he said.
Iran is so dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the US, it regularly has demonstrations with protesters trampling on Israeli flags, and some chanting "death to Israel" and "down with the USA."
After we got fooled by North Korea with its nuclear program, it should be an obvious conclusion that Iran will pull the same stunt.
Iran has killed Americans on several occasions. In 2011, the Iranians tried to carry out what US officials called "an act of war" when it was discovered that Iran was plotting to hire a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador in a D.C. restaurant blast. The world just seems to have dementia when it comes to remembering Iran's past sins.
The Bible gives no indication that Israel is going to be destroyed by a nuclear holocaust. The fact that Iran has promised to bring about Israel's destruction should have leaders worried about conflict. Iran may decide to attack America to weaken its Jewish ally. Israel will certainly act to preserve itself from annihilation.
I was reading a financial article that said oil could rise to $300 a barrel if a major war was to break out in the Middle East. The glut of oil has dried up, and demand is very near supply. A disruption in the flow of oil is made certain by the eventual need for Israel to take action.
The most likely reason why our leaders are making such foolish decisions is the lack of prayer intercession. Where there is no prayer, Satan is allowed to influence world events. The Iranian Nuclear deal was so insanely flawed, it would require some type of demonic influence for its creation. Because we made so many immoral decisions, I don't see how we could turn the corner. Netanyahu's revelation only proves that the world is only willing to reaffirm its errors.
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Paul, Timothy, And The End Times - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/paul-timothy-and-the-end-times/
Paul's letters to Timothy are the instructions from a mentor to a young pastor, one of the first ever, and contain advice on what to do and how to do it, as well as what not to do. It's the kind of thing you'd expect given the relationship.
But for no apparent reason Paul tucked several warnings about the end times into various places in his instructions. These are things Paul knew Timothy wouldn't have to deal with because he clearly described them as characteristics of the Latter Days. We'll take them each in turn.
1 Timothy 4:1-2
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
When I read this one I always think of certain televangelists who espouse a perversion of the prosperity gospel. They know what they're teaching is a compilation of half-truths and outright lies, so in effect they're twisting God's word to steal from their followers. And without the least bit of shame they enjoy the lifestyles of the rich and famous at the expense of their contributors who, according to some reports, come primarily from the bottom 25% of the economic scale.
Taking advantage of their followers' lack of Bible knowledge and misguided desire for a more abundant life, these predators foist one get rich quick scheme after another on their desperate flocks, bilking them out of the few discretionary dollars they have and leaving them worse off in the bargain. And they do it in the name of God. It makes you wonder what He'll say to them come judgment time.
But the prosperity teachers aren't the only ones in this category. There are others who teach things they know are contrary to what the Bible says. Some of these things come under the heading of conditional salvation, grace plus works, partial rapture, and other false teaching that can steal the joy of your salvation and rob you of your certainty. Their objective is to imprison you within boundaries of rules they themselves can't follow. Read Colossians 2:8-23 for Paul's opinion on these modern-day legalists.
Then there are those who either treat the prophecies of our time as if they were already accomplished in history, or as if they're never going to be accomplished because they're all allegorical. These teachers also know what they're saying can't be reconciled with Scripture, but they ask you to believe it anyway, trusting in their superior intellect or advanced education instead of your own common sense. They take passages that can be clearly understood just as they're written by anyone with an average intellect and make them hopelessly confusing by violating the rules of context, re-defining terms, and making that which is real into something symbolic.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Just as you become convinced that Paul is describing the unbelieving world in our time and are vigorously nodding your head in agreement, he says that these people have a form of godliness but deny its power. Then you realize he was writing about those believers in name only, who spend 6 ½ days each week living lives indistinguishable from unbelievers, grabbing all they can get from our material world by any means necessary while contributing little or nothing to the work of the Kingdom. These people lead two lives, the one they're serious about, and the one that's just for show. Guess which is which.
Paul was not blind to the behavior of these people, nor was this the only time he warned us to stay from them. Listen to what he told the Corinthians.
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people - not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat (1 Cor. 5:9-11).
Notice he said "anyone who calls himself a brother" instead of "anyone who is a brother." I think he was doubting that someone who behaves in this manner could have been saved in the first place.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Here the focus is on the emerging church movement in all its various forms. In business schools, students learn to develop strategies based on a driving force. One such driving force is the market. A market driven strategy requires the business enterprise to focus on what they perceive to be the wants and needs of their target customers and adapt themselves to meet these needs in a more effective way.
Correctly predicting the growing demand for a religious organization that could meet the needs of a self-centered, self-sufficient generation, the leaders of the emerging church movement developed such a strategy. They took the focus off God and put it on the congregation. Entertainment replaced worship, philosophy replaced theology, and good works replaced victorious living.
Borrowing a phrase from Dominion Theology they began calling it "bringing Heaven to Earth" to make it sound more appealing to their idealistic target market. Little do their followers realize that for believers, these good works will be burned up in the fire (1 Cor. 3:14-15), and for unbelievers they'll be woefully insufficient for entry into the kingdom (John 3:3). God has His own strategy for bringing Heaven to Earth and it doesn't include the emerging church. Commenting on their works in his letter to Laodicea, Jesus said, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth." (Rev. 3:15-16) They're excited about the great entertainment, the stimulating talk, and the good works, but not about the Lord.
Irrespective of that, both the seats and the coffers soon filled, signs that their market driven strategy was working, and for many the emerging church was soon the place to be. This was especially true for those who had become bored with traditional Church and wanted a place where they could feel good and do good with no messages about sin and salvation to convict them. The gospel was not missed in its absence.
Besides, "All of our attempts to define the right form of the Gospel are just human interpretations," the movement's leaders claim. "We must avoid a naive or excessive confidence in any telling of the Gospel story, since no articulation of the gospel today can presume to be exactly identical to the original meaning Christ and the apostles proclaimed." In a sense, they're saying since it's impossible to know what the Gospel story really is we shouldn't put too much faith in it.
Learning about the rapidly approaching End Times and the need to be ready for it has also been skipped. Instead, the "excessive" study of prophecy is called a distraction from the real work of the Church. These things were done by design, since the goal is to have non-believers make up at least half of their congregations. The market is much bigger that way and the non-believers help move the believers away from theological absolutes, like the need to be born again and the importance of prophecy.
In the next verse of His letter Jesus offered additional criticism. "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." (Rev. 3:17) His letter to the Church in Laodicea contains no commendation for their works and offers no escape from the end times judgments, just a plea to be allowed back into their midst (Rev. 3:20).
But Wait There's More
Over fourteen years earlier in his second letter to the Thessalonians Paul had first warned us about the apostasy of the latter days, calling it one of the signs that would mark the end of the age. In 2 Thes. 2:1 Paul began to address their questions about two events, the (2nd) coming of our Lord, and our being gathered to Him (the rapture). He was responding to information they had received saying the day of the Lord had already come. He told them not to worry because several things had to happen first.
Paul didn't go into things like the regathering of Israel, the beginning of Daniel's 70th Week, or the building of a Temple. Israel had not been dispersed yet, and the Second Temple was still standing. He focused on events that are more gentile in nature.
A careful reading of 2 Thes. 2:3-8 shows the order in which he said these things would take place. He said the apostasy would happen first (verse 3), then the rapture of the Church when the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way (verse 7), and finally the revealing of the anti-Christ followed by the 2nd Coming (verse 8). (If you don't read this passage carefully, you could become confused by Paul's mention of the anti-Christ in verses 3-4. But verse 8 clearly places the official unveiling of the anti-Christ after the removal of the Holy Spirit.) Even a casual observation shows that we're well into the time of the first sign.
What should be our reaction to this? First is to remember that God's Word said this would happen so there's no point in bemoaning the fact that it's happening. Instead we should be encouraged to know the end of the Age is getting closer. Jesus said the true Church would become weaker and less influential as the end approaches (Rev. 3:8). As the world moves further and further from God, those of us who follow Him will naturally feel less comfortable and be less welcome here.
If you live in the United States, stop confusing your country with your church. No believer outside the US makes this mistake, and the fact is the Church has neither a home nor a land on Earth. Our citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20) and we look for a city whose architect and builder is God (Hebr. 11:10).
No matter where we live in the world we have to remember that we're aliens here, and our visit is about over. Soon we'll be going home where we belong.
In the mean time we have to stop depending on organized religion to meet our needs. In some places the Church is being forced underground. In others we're going willingly. But either way the gulf between religion and the Church is growing wider by the day.
If you can't find a God worshiping, Bible teaching church where you live, don't settle for what you can get. Gather a small group of like-minded believers and worship at home. Paul and Timothy didn't have a huge bureaucracy behind them. They didn't have million-dollar buildings or professionally designed programs. They didn't even have the New Testament. Yet they found a way to worship God, and to help others do the same.
Stop supporting groups who are trying to bring Heaven to Earth and start sending your treasure to Heaven. I could tell you stories all day along about what God can do with a hand full of people He can trust. Ask the Lord to identify a need for you to meet in His name and then work in His strength to meet it. Apart from Him nothing you do has any value to the Kingdom (John 15:5).
Dig into prophecy. It's the single biggest topic in the Bible and more is written about our life and times than any other period in history. Know what you believe and why you believe it.
Do these things and you can make the time we have left the most rewarding and enjoyable time you've ever known. You can almost hear the Footsteps Of The Messiah.
Daily Jot: Reversal of a disastrous prophetic move - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the previous US "president's" nuclear deal with Iran would enable the terrorist-sponsoring nation to finish building nuclear weapons. Last week, he continued to urge the current US President to scrap the deal by showing proof that Iran was continuing to develop its nuclear weapons program. President Donald Trump is now expected to pull out, while the so-called experts are playing their usual foreign policy scare card warning that breaking the Iran deal could cause a war. Let's remember that this terrible deal unleashed some $100 billion in sanction money to the terrorist state that arrived in cash on pallets AND will allow Iran to develop nukes in 10 years.
In 2015, the previous US "president" effectively cleared the way for billions of dollars to be pumped into Iran in reward for agreeing to delay its nuclear program for at least ten years. Also, The Times of Israel reported US officials confirmed that Iran was not forbidden to test ballistic missiles under the nuclear deal. Many analysts believed at the time that Iran would use the time and money to accelerate nuclear development. It was widely reported that Iran tested ballistic missiles in March 2016, including two with the words "Israel must be wiped off the earth" emblazoned on them. The missile tests were evidence that the White House narrative was deathly wrong.
The Lord says in Zechariah 12:3, "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." At the time, many found it hard to imagine how, for example, the United States would be gathered prophetically against Israel. The US had supported Israel since it became a nation. The previous "president" reversed this backing across the board by supporting the traditional enemies of God through the Arab Spring rebellions, the Iran nuclear deal, and much more. Left intact, his foreign policy may have had catastrophic consequences for America and its citizens.
This is why leadership is so important. The current White House is bringing America back into alignment with Israel. By ending the Iran nuclear deal, Trump may reverse the disastrous prophetic implications of his predecessor. It is important that America do the right thing in the eyes of God. Jesus says in Matthew 25 that when the Son of Man comes in his glory, he will separate the nations like a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats-the goats on the left and sheep on the right. Verse 34 says, "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you form the foundation of the world." While our personal salvation is most important, so also are the leaders we choose.
Daily Devotion: In His Time - By Greg Laurie -
He has made everything beautiful in its time. -Ecclesiastes 3:11
By nature, I'm an impatient person. I am always ready to go. When a pizza is delivered, I don't want to wait for it to cool down. Microwave ovens seem slow to me now, although we went for years without them.
In the same way, a lot of us grow impatient with God. The Bible says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV). If we rush things, we can ruin them. We can destroy what God is doing.
Someone might say, "Lord, I want to be used by You. When are You going to open the door of ministry for me?" Someone else might say, "When am I going to get married?"
Or, we may see someone getting away with a sin. We know what they're doing is wrong. We say, "Lord, how long are You going to let them get away with that?"
We can look at the state our world is in right now and say, "Lord, when are You going to come back and establish Your kingdom?"
We have to wait. The Lord is saying, "I will do this for you in My time."
We can grow impatient with God, and in our impatience, we can sometimes foolishly take things into our own hands and make them far worse. If you don't believe that, just read the story of Jacob. If things didn't go his way, he offered God a little assistance. The Lord wanted to bless him and give him a birthright. But through conniving, he made a mess out of his life, and he came to regret what he had done.
We need to wait upon the Lord. His timing is just as important as His will. He doesn't ask for us to understand. He just asks for us to trust.
FROM THE HEART
IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED THROUGH THIS MINISTRY, THEN WE ASK THAT YOU WOULD PLEASE REMEMBER PROPHECY UPDATE IN YOUR GIVING - WE ARE TRULY, TRULY, THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Prophecy Update has no corporate sponsors. This ministry is paid for and prayed for by readers and supporters. Without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update, Please pray about becoming a monthly supporter - thanks!
If ever there was a time to invest in God's Kingdom, it's now!
What on earth are you doing for Heaven's Sake?
"Share in the Blessings and Rewards that will last Forever!"
"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
1) We need your prayers!- We proclaim the Truth of the Word of God and we are under constant spiritual and sometimes even physical attack.
2) We need your encouragement!- We need to hear from you, let us know how the Lord is blessing you through this ministry so that we can share it with others.
3) We need your input! - If you have a prophetic article or story or if there is a news related item we missed, let us know.
4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
Prophecy Update is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt - non-profit organization, and all your donations are tax deductible.
If you have been blessed by Prophecy Update and would like to help support this ministry financially. You can make a secure donation online by going to:
Or Visit our website:
Or write us at:
P.O. Box 40516
Bakersfield, CA 93384-0516