Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Benefit of Studying Biblical Prophecy - Part 1 - Steve Schmutzer -
I was dismayed to see a reader's feedback to one of my articles, but it was not because he disagreed with my position or disliked the things I had to say. In fact, he was complimentary about how I'd arrived at my conclusions and how I'd expressed my views. What troubled me were his comments on the study of Biblical prophecy itself.
He stated that he "....also used to be passionate about prophetic issues," but he has since "wised up and realized the distraction it had become" to him. His conclusion was "....we need to focus on the issues of greater importance like reaching the unsaved, and teaching them the essential doctrines that are most vital to their faith." He had a couple of creative ways to tell me I was majoring on the minors - and for good measure he tossed in his academic credentials to assure me he knew what he was talking about.
It's not the first time I've received this sort of feedback. Usually, the rebukes are more direct and coarse. While it's probably not a viable statistical assessment, I've noted that many of those who discount the importance of Biblical prophecy also discount the importance of tact in explaining their views.
But - maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the one who's misled here!
Maybe I have come down with a case of the "prophecy bug" and I'm just resisting proper treatment. Maybe the apocalyptic themes of Biblical prophecy have so captured my affection for superficiality that they are keeping me from the issues I really should be emphasizing. Maybe my keen interest in the future is keeping me from being effective in the present.
Maybe if I matured more in my faith I'd see that God is focused on the church and any support I have for Israel is misguided. Maybe every part of God's Word really is "all about the Gospel." Maybe - just maybe, I should focus on Jesus' first coming and forget about His second coming. Maybe I'm exactly where Satan wants to keep me.
Or maybe not.
I've heard all this and much more like this many times. There is a constant stream of self-appointed advisors and experts who are happy to wax unendingly about all the things I'm doing incorrectly.
While I'm no authority on Biblical prophecy - I regularly follow those who deserve to be called that - I do confess to doing my part to evaluate prophetic issues constantly and carefully. I take seriously the command to "Study to show (myself) approved unto God...." (2 Tim. 2:15). As I do that, I share what I'm learning to the best of my abilities, and I leave the results of that to God.
I don't seek detours around the truth that "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16). As I responsibly place the prophetic Scriptures on an equal plane with other parts of God's Word, I see the mockers and doubters of Biblical prophecy for being the last days' indicators that the Bible declares them to be (2 Peter 3:4).
But let's get back to the primary issue here and ask ourselves, "Does the Bible have anything to say about the benefit of studying prophecy?" You bet it does! Let's go through some of those things:
IT URGES US TO LIVE GODLY
It's popular in many western churches to sing deliriously about near revivals. A sizeable portion of the modern church believes its calling is to usher in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ by continually growing its ministry. They see things getting better and better on their watch.
The assumptions behind such positions are often incompatible with Biblical truth. The prophetic Scriptures teach that societies and cultures will deteriorate as the end times get closer, and Jesus Himself said it would become more and more "....like the days of Noah" (Matt. 24:37-39). According to Jesus, "....the love of many will grow cold" leading up to the time of His return (Matt. 24:12), and He even wondered if He would "....find faith on the earth" (Luke 18:8). Call it what you will, but none of that is a positive trend, and it seems to me much of the church is out of touch with the truth.
That's why the study of prophecy urges us to Godly living. It helps us to see the present and pending times accurately, and it exhorts us to see ourselves as "aliens and strangers" (1 Peter 2:11) to this world and its ideas. As we eagerly look for the Lord's return, and as we see the moral decay around us, we should be motivated to walk faithfully with our Lord and Savior (1 Peter 4:7; Romans 13:12-14).
IT GIVES US COMFORT AND HOPE
In the movie "The Shawshank Redemption," Morgan Freeman's character, Red, says, "Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane." It made for a great movie line at a pregnant moment of the script, but Red is wrong.
Make no mistake - this world is a very sick place. I've felt physically ill by some elements of the news and the expressions of sin. The spiritual darkness in America alone is palpable, and merchants of depravity are "locked and loaded." They want a great deal more evil to be unleashed.
Hope, therefore, is a good thing - and the hope of leaving this planet and being with Jesus Christ keeps me going as it does for many people like me. For many of us, that real hope is centered on a wonderful theme of the prophetic Scriptures: our imminent rapture (Titus 2:13). Until such time, there is also real hope in properly understanding our true status in this life and the one to come (Philippians 1:21).
IT PROVIDES A BLESSING
Revelation 1:3 is straightforward: "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near."
This is the first of the "seven blessings of Revelation," but the emphasis here is on the proper study and application of the prophetic Word of God. You cannot get much clearer than this. God places a direct link between a right response to Biblical prophecy and receiving a spiritual blessing.
God grants a special favor on those who hear and also "take to heart" what is read. You can read the prophetic Scriptures to your cat, but your cat cannot take those things "to heart." But we can! And if we do, and if we properly value them and revere them and permit them to have their divine effect in our life, then we will be recipients of God's blessing.
IT GIVES US STABILITY
We are instructed to be Christians which are not "tossed to and fro" by false teachers and deceptive schemes (Eph. 4:14). While this is an important instruction concerning the entirety of God's Word, it seems especially applicable to prophetic themes.
One can take nearly any issue pertaining to the end times and find all sorts of interpretations and wild imaginations about it online. I've come to the conclusion that many people would rather embrace fiction than fact. I think it appeases something within them that the accountability of truth does not.
It is terribly important to acquire the stability that comes from a responsible and reverent study of Bible prophecy. When loons proclaim the next date and time of the rapture, it is the sound study of God's Word that tells us we cannot know this information. When blustery preachers pound the pulpit and proclaim that God has no more plan for the Jews, it is the calm assurance of God's covenant relationship with His chosen people that keeps our hearts firm in the faith.
Many examples of what it means to have stability in the midst of "the cunning of men" could be stated, but one point rises as self-evident here. The disciplined study of God's prophetic Scriptures provides a sure foundation to withstand the floods of deception that run rampant within the church today.
In the next installment of this article, I will explain some more benefits to the study of Biblical prophecy. Till then, keep your attitude humble, your eyes lifted up, and your mind and heart secure in Christ.
The Jerusalem Embassy and the Triumph of Truth - Caroline Glick - http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2018/05/16/caroline-glick-jerusalem-embassy-and-the-triumph-of-truth/
Monday's ceremony marking the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, had a clear message: It is time to embrace truth.
Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, put it plainly when he said, "In December last year, President Donald Trump announced to the world that the U.S. would finally recognize the truth: That Jerusalem is the capital of Israel."
Kushner noted that accepting this fundamental truth is a critical foundation of any future peace between Israel and its neighbors.
"As Israel turns 70," he said, "the search for a lasting peace turns over a new leaf, one of realism and of not being afraid to stand strongly with our allies for what is good, for what is right and for what is true.
"When there is peace in this region, we will look back upon this day and remember that the journey to peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued Kushner's theme in his speech.
Netanyahu said: "The truth and peace are interconnected. A peace that is built on lies will crash on the rocks of Middle Eastern realities. You can only build peace on truth. And the truth is that Jerusalem has been and always will be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state."
The ceremony Monday was a turning point in the Middle East, and in U.S. policy and leadership in the Middle East, because it marked the first time that U.S. policy has been firmly rooted in truth.
For seventy years, and particularly since the initiation of the peace process between Israel and the PLO at a ceremony on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993, U.S. government policy has been to ignore and deny the simple fact that Jerusalem is Israel's capital.
There were many reasons given to justify this unique - and, indeed, uniquely hostile - approach to Israel. Across 12 administrations, from Israel's founding until last December, the Jewish state has been the only state in the world whose capital the American government refused to recognize.
The Americans said the UN General Assembly had determined in 1947 that Jerusalem should be under UN sovereignty administered as a "corpus separatum," or area with no national sovereign. Put bluntly: they did not want to upset the Arabs. They said that since the Palestinians insist Jerusalem serve as a capital of a future Palestinian state, any recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would harm the prospects for peace.
The fact that the UN partition resolution of 1947 has no power of law, and was rendered null and void the moment five Arab states invaded Israel the day it declared independence, made no impression on American officials.
The fact that the Arabs needed the U.S. far more than the U.S. needed the Arabs also never made anyone in Washington wake up. They kept trouncing Israel's basic rights as a means to appease Arabs who should have been appeasing the Americans who protected them and developed their oil fields, providing them with trillions of dollars of unearned wealth.
The fact that the Palestinians rejected three Israeli offers of peace and statehood - offers which included concessions over wide swathes of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount - didn't cause the State Department or the Clinton, Bush or Obama administrations to rethink their discrimination against truth and Israel.
Indeed, the more extreme the Palestinians became, the more unwilling the White House and State Department were to provide even backhanded recognition of Israel's sovereignty over its capital city. The Obama administration was so hostile to the reality of Jerusalem's attachment to Israel that the State Department edited its photo archives to remove the word "Israel" from captions of photos taken in Jerusalem.
No one ever seemed to realize that giving the UN or the Arab world or the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) veto power over the basic fact that Jerusalem is Israel's capital did not advance the cause of peace. With Washington willing to sacrifice Israel's basic right to its capital, the Palestinians had every reason to believe that eventually Washington would be willing to sacrifice Israel's right to exist.
Kushner opened his remarks by noting, "Jerusalem is the eternal heart of the Jewish people." It was such a simple statement of fact. Jerusalem stands at the center of Jewish faith, national identity and survival. Jerusalem is central to every Jewish ritual from birth to death. For three thousand years, Jews have prayed in the direction of Jerusalem three times a day. It is impossible to imagine the Jews surviving two thousand years of exile only to return to reconstitute their national homeland without Jerusalem.
And yet, despite all of this, for seventy years no U.S. administration would base its Middle East policy on a basic recognition of one of the eternal truths in human history.
On Monday that all changed. And with that change, everything has changed. And there is no going back.
No future administration will be able to reverse Trump's decision without exposing itself as delusional and openly hostile to the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Whereas every president until Monday could say that he was pro-Israel while enacting a policy of deliberate discrimination against Israel, going forward, no such protestation will be taken at face value.
This change will require all administrations in the future to at least take the basic truth of Israel's sovereign rights into account when they forge their policies towards it and towards the region.
Monday's ceremony, unlike other memorable historic ceremonies involving Israel, wasn't about reaching for the sky without relation to the ground below.
The 1993 signing ceremony on the White House lawn, which initiated the peace process between Israel and the PLO, reached for the sky while ignoring completely the absence of firm ground. The only one who seemed aware of the absurdity of the notion that PLO chief Yasser Arafat - the architect of modern terrorism, a mass murderer, and a genocidal Jew -hater had suddenly become a man of peace was then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Throughout the hour-long ceremony, as everyone around him beamed and strutted, Rabin stood next to then-President Bill Clinton, swaying uncomfortably. Rabin twitched. He stared at the ground. He took out his glasses and started cleaning them. He pulled out his speech and then folded it up again.
Rabin seldom looked at the crowd. He never smiled. And when Clinton compelled him to shake Arafat's hand, bringing the crowd to its feet, Rabin looked like he was about to be sick.
Last week, Eitan Cabel, a long-serving lawmaker from Rabin's Labor Party, said that if Rabin knew the devastating toll the so-called peace process with the PLO would take on Israel, he never would have agreed to it. In his words, "I think if he knew what the price Israel was going to pay in the wake of the Oslo...[peace process with the PLO] if I said that the Oslo Accords would never have come out - in my estimation - he would not have accepted or made the Oslo agreements as they were."
But from the video of the ceremony, it is clear Rabin foresaw the devastation that permitting Arafat and his terrorists to enter Gaza and Judea and Samaria would wreak. It was written all over his face. He just couldn't stand his ground for the truth, surrounded as he was by men who wished to be deceived by Arafat's lies.
Rabin would no doubt have loved Monday's ceremony. The people in attendance certainly did.
Indeed, perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Monday's event was how extraordinarily happy everyone there was. To the extent that guests at normal diplomatic events - embassy parties, signing ceremonies, etc. - feel any shared bond with one another, they generally feel the fraternity of members of the select set deemed important enough to merit an invitation.
On Monday, the feeling was different. From the front rows to the nosebleed section, from the press box to the military officers in the stands, everyone was happy and moved by what was happening. People didn't act like elitists. There was no snobbery. Cabinet members walked around hugging attendees.
As one woman put it, "This isn't a normal happiness. This is no normal joy. I don't know that I've ever felt this way before. It starts in the pit of my stomach and goes up through my heart and my head. I just can't believe this is happening. I can't believe this is really happening."
It wasn't that the ceremony was fancy. It was devoid of opulence. No doves were sent flying into the sky. No random groups of schoolchildren were brought in to sit on the side, acting as props to demonstrate everyone's commitment to the future, as happened at the White House ceremony Rabin stared at the ground and fidgeted like a caged lion throughout.
Monday's ceremony was a simple affair. The embassy put up a big tent and rented stadium chairs. The guests were given water and pretzels, and a commemorative baseball cap and coin. One speech followed another. A singer performed a couple songs, and it was over. Ambassador David Friedman probably came in well under budget.
But it was spectacular all the same.
Because once it was over, everything had changed. After 70 years, the U.S. government, under President Donald Trump, had officially shifted U.S. Middle East policy.
What was heretofore predicated on denying the truth, is now based on acknowledging it. Americans, Israelis, and the nations of the world as a whole can only be grateful and hopeful today. The future is unknowable still. But grounded as it now is in truth, U.S. Middle East policy has a better chance of succeeding than it ever has before.
The Significance of The Embassy Move - By Jonathan S. Tobin - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2263
For decades, it was a consensus issue. Israel's supporters of all political stripes agreed that the refusal of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was an anachronistic outrage. That's why both Democrats and Republicans included a promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv in their platforms every four years.
But now that the moment has finally arrived, many of those who once agreed that a policy switch was both just and necessary aren't happy.
The reason is obvious: It's because of the identity of the man who finally kept his word. That Donald Trump is the one who fulfilled his vow, and gave Israel and its people a memorable 70th birthday present is a bitter pill for most American Jews to swallow.
Several presidents from both political parties promised to move the embassy, yet once they were elected, they broke that vow. The quadrennial bipartisan charade over Jerusalem had gotten so old that even most of those who ardently believed in the idea have grown so cynical about it that the mere mention of the issue sent our eyes rolling. It caused us to subsequently believe that anyone who repeated the promise was either a transparent liar or a hopeless idealist who would never have a chance to implement it.
The cynics were right to discount the promises made by some sincere friends of Israel, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, as well as some less than ardent admirers of the Jewish state, like Jimmy Carter and the elder President Bush.
Indeed, the effort to pass the 1995 U.S. law to force the moving of the embassy (which included a presidential waiver that was regularly invoked by each president before Trump) was primarily the result of a transparently cynical and largely unsuccessful effort to boost the presidential candidacy of its chief sponsor Sen. Robert Dole, who up until then hadn't demonstrated much interest in Israel.
But no matter who was doing the promising, the appetite of pro-Israel activists to hear the words about the necessity of recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish state never dimmed. Or at least it didn't until it turned out that the only person who actually meant what he said about Jerusalem was someone that most of the overwhelmingly liberal American Jewish community despised.
Had a Democrat done it, Jewish liberals would have celebrated along with conservatives and Israelis. But since it's Trump, the impulse to downplay the significance of the decision has overridden any other emotion or reasoning.
That's why it's necessary to remind everyone just why Jerusalem used to be a consensus issue. It's equally important to explain that it's not an accident of history that Trump was the one who kept the promise.
It's true that moving the embassy doesn't magically transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Still, the presence of a U.S. embassy in West Jerusalem doesn't foreclose the possibility of a two-state solution, assuming that's what the Palestinians actually wanted.
Moving the embassy doesn't mark the final triumph of Zionism. Nor will it compel the Palestinians to compromise and make peace if, as remains the case, they are still mired in a political culture committed to their futile century-old war on the Jews, which has left the peace process dead in the water since the second intifada.
Nor will the United Nations or the scores of nations that still refuse to recognize Israeli sovereignty over any part of the holy city change their stance as a result of Trump's decision.
But the desire to discount the importance of what he's done ignores the enormous symbolic importance of the world's sole superpower dropping the legal fiction about Jerusalem that has prevailed in the international community since 1948.
There may be a legal rationale rooted in the 1947 U.N. partition resolution that allowed nations to pretend that Jerusalem belonged to no one. But after 70 years, the double standard by which Israel is judged has more to do with lingering prejudice against the concept of a Jewish state than any desire to encourage peace talks.
The idea that Israel was a permanent addition to the Middle East--rather than a crusader state with a short shelf life--was given a huge boost by the U.S. investment in its future. For all of the credit given to President Harry Truman for recognizing the newborn state of Israel in 1948, the United States didn't begin to give it serious financial support until after it became a strategic asset--as opposed to a security basket case--as a result of its overwhelming victory in the 1967 Six-Day War.
But now Trump has gone further and made it clear that the United States will no longer pay lip service to an international consensus that still refuses to treat the Jewish state like a normal nation, entitled to decide where its capital should be and to respect the 3,000-year-old Jewish ties to the city.
Far from a technicality, the stubborn refusal of the world to treat Jerusalem as Israel's capital was important precisely because it validated Palestinian intransigence, in which the Jewish state's existence is a nakba or "disaster" that must never be treated as legitimate no matter where its borders are drawn. The embassy move is a necessary rebuke to a supposed moderate like Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who continues to deny Jewish ties to Jerusalem and spew anti-Semitic inventive.
Trump's move is a message to the Palestinians that America is no longer prepared to join others in indulging their fantasies. Trump has broken the dam. Slowly, other nations will follow with the moving of their embassies, and the symbolism of these moves is another sign that their nightmare vision of Israel's destruction must be discarded.
There is one final point to be made about Trump's role. Those who feel that his involvement detracts from what would otherwise be a glorious day in Jewish history need to understand that he is almost certainly the only person who would have made this decision.
Virtually any other politician, including some with long histories as genuine friends of Israel, would have listened to the foreign-policy establishment and America's European allies and gone back on their promise, as all of Trump's predecessors did.
Only someone like Trump, who distrusts the experts and disdains the established rules of politics, would have ignored the predictions that the world would end if the embassy were moved. Say what you will about the abnormal nature of his presidency, without a genuine outsider like Trump in the White House, this important victory for Israel and the Jews would have never happened.
Nearing Midnight: Jim Bakker Goes Full Circle - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
I'm sure most of you are familiar with the name Jim Bakker. He is known for hosting the evangelical Christian TV program "The PTL Club" in the '70s and '80s - up until 1987, when his empire came crashing down amid a sex scandal and charges of financial fraud.
The Bakker scandal got rolling when Jessica Hahn claimed that Bakker had manipulated her into having sex in a hotel room in 1980, back when she was a church secretary. At the time, Bakker was married to Tammy Faye. A $279,000 payoff to buy Hahn's silence only made matters worse.
The Charlotte Observer then reported that PTL Club's fundraising activities between 1984 and 1987 were used to sell $1,000 "lifetime memberships" entitling buyers to an annual three-night stay at a luxury hotel at Heritage USA. Bakker only built one 500-room hotel even though tens of thousands of memberships were sold. Much of the money paid Heritage USA's operating expenses, and Bakker kept $3.4 million.
The Bakker's lavish lifestyle was their final undoing. As part of the prosperity gospel, they believe in living high on the hog. It was reported that they owned several expansive and expensive homes - two in Palm Springs alone. PTL paid for an endless succession of maids and security guards. Their five pooches had an air-conditioned doghouse. Once, when the Bakker's needed their clothes in California, the church paid $100,000 to fly their wardrobes in by jet from North Carolina.
Tammy Faye was never charged with any crime. The feds threw the book at poor Jim. In 1989, Bakker was convicted on 24 counts of fraud, sentenced to 45 years in prison, and fined $500,000. A year later, another Jury found Bakker liable for almost $130 million in damages in a lawsuit filed by former contributors to his ministry.
Things turned around for Bakker when in 1991 another federal judge gave him a shorter 18-year prison sentence. That allowed him to be paroled after only serving nearly five years of his sentence.
For a while it appeared that Bakker had turned over a new leaf. Before going to prison, He told the judge, "I have sinned." In his 1996 book, I Was Wrong, he admitted that the first time he actually read the Bible all the way through was in prison. He wrote that he realized that he had taken passages out of context and used them to support his prosperity teachings:
"The more I studied the Bible, however, I had to admit that the prosperity message did not line up with the tenor of Scripture. My heart was crushed to think that I led so many people astray. I was appalled that I could have been so wrong, and I was deeply grateful that God had not struck me dead as a false prophet!"
Tammy Faye Bakker never returned to the world of sanity. She filed for divorce from Jim in 1991. An attorney in the divorce proceedings said Tammy Faye Bakker couldn't stand being separated from her husband or suffering the uncertainty of when he would get out of jail. She started a gay-friendly church that was way ahead of its time. I'll never forget being at the 2007 Christian Booksellers Association convention. Terry and I were there to promote one of our books, and right across from our table was a video of her. Tammy was talking in an absolutely incoherent langue, and we had to listen to this chatter for several hours.
The last thing I remember reading about Jim Bakker is that he was going to do some type of missionary work for the rest of his life. To my surprise, a few years ago, I just happened to be flipping through channels; and to my great surprise, I saw Jim with his new wife Lori, and they are co-hosts of "The Jim Bakker Show."
I'm all for people having a second chance at life. We worship a God who is in the business of repentance and new beginnings. The Jim Bakker Show looked alright until I spotted the buckets of freeze-dried food which Bakker was selling to his audience in preparation for the end of days. Apparently, another belief that Jim gave up with the prosperity gospel is the Pretribulation rapture.
In recent days, Bakker had provided the press with fresh material to dig up his old scandal. On his show, he suggested that if you want to survive the Apocalypse, the best thing you could do is buy one of his cabins in Missouri's Ozark Mountains. You can also pick up a six-pack of 28-ounce "Extreme Survival Warfare" water bottles for $150.
I just cannot believe that Christians would allow the disgraced Bakker to get back into the real estate business. The people who watch his show are old enough to remember his previous stunts. Bakker hasn't changed, but the world has. He just shows that the time is right for the World's Greatest Con Artist to appear.
Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud" (2 Peter 2:22).
Daily Jot: Replaced or Grafted - Bill Wilson -
The historic US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has drawn praise and excitement from many corners of Christianity, but criticism from other sectors. At the core of the debate is what is called Replacement Theology. Replacement Theology, also called Supersessionism, is the doctrine that the Christian Church has succeeded or replaced the Israelites as the definitive people of God and that the New Covenant supersedes the Mosaic Covenant. It gets into a lot of commentary about who are the Jews, how they were divorced by God, that Israel is not Israel and Jerusalem is not the same Jerusalem that is in the Bible. This is misguided. At the risk of drawing ire, let me explain my position.
The four main covenants that God made with Israel were The Abrahamic Covenant, The Mosaic Covenant, The Davidic Covenant, and, yes, the New Covenant. The Abrahamic Covenant is an unconditional pledge by God that he would make Abraham a great nation and by his descendants all the nations of the earth would be blessed. It is the foundation of God's plan of salvation. The Mosaic Covenant is a conditional two-sided legal agreement between God and Israel similar to a marriage contract where God's people must keep certain requirements to continue to inhabit the land. Exile from the land was punishment for not keeping the covenant, but a temporary one. According to the prophets, the people will repent at the end of days and be re-gathered to the land (Deuteronomy 4:29-31, Jeremiah 32:37-42, Ezekiel 36:24).
The Davidic Covenant is an unconditional promise (2 Samuel 7:8-17) built upon the Abrahamic covenant and provides a King from David's line to restore and rule over Israel in that land as long as the heavens and earth remain (Jeremiah 33:14-26). The New Covenant is also unconditional where God places his Word on the hearts of the Israelites; He is their God, and they are His people; God restores His people to their land; He brings justice to the earth through Messiah, and provides salvation to the Gentiles, which is the mystery of the Gospel found in Ephesians 3:1-7. The New Covenant is actually first announced in Isaiah 59:16-21, with verse 20 saying, "And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, says the Lord."
Jeremiah 31:31-37 is the most detailed of all references to the New Covenant, "Behold the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in that day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: which my covenant they broke...I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people...for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Jesus spoke of the New Covenant at the last supper as ratified by his blood. The New Covenant fulfills, but in no way replaces, the other covenants.
The New Covenant with Israel was through the mystery of the gospel, and would include the Gentiles into the full manifestation of God's plan of redemption, as fellow heirs, and of the same body and partakers of God's promise in Christ (Ephesians 3:1-10). In Romans 11, Paul warns the Gentiles to not cast away the Jews or "boast against the branches," "For if the root be holy, so are the branches (v. 16)." Paul says that Gentiles are grafted in and of the Jews in verse 23, "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again." Replacement Theology is built on the premise that God will not keep his covenants to restore His people to the land of Israel which is found throughout the prophets. Either you believe God keeps his word or you don't. Either you are grafted or you are not.
Daily Devotion: Remember. Repent. Repeat. - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love." -Revelation 2:4
If you're a Christian, can you remember what it was like when you first asked Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior? Suddenly you were introduced to a wonderful book called the Bible. Suddenly there was a user's manual for life, a book that gave you absolutes-black and white, right and wrong. Can you remember the first time you began to read its pages and it came alive for you? It spoke to your situation. It was as though it had been custom-written for you.
You didn't care who saw you reading your Bible. You were more interested in what God had to say. Can you remember how that used to be?
But things are a little different now. You still read your Bible-when you find the time. You are just so busy these days.
Listen to what Jesus said to His own church: "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works" (Revelation 2:2-5 NKJV).
In spite of all their activity, these believers had lost that first passion when Jesus was their all in all. In these verses, Jesus gives the three R's of revival: remember, repent, repeat. Remember from where you have fallen, repent and do the first works quickly, and repeat-go back and do what you did before. Let's put these into practice, because we need to be revived before God.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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
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