Prophecy Update Newsletter
May 17, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Are You Still Coming? - Jack Kinsella -
''Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.'' (2nd Peter 3:3-4)
Peter makes a couple of points up front. The first is that this is a prophecy directed to those living in the last days. The second is they are 'walking after their own lusts.'
What does 'walking after their own lusts' mean in this context? Have you ever thought to yourself, (either seriously or not) "I hope that the Rapture will hold off until . . . ".
The reasons can be legion: "Until I get married. Until my baby's born. Until I get that new promotion. Until I see my first grandchild. Until I retire.
Then, as the reality of your own mortality really sinks in, it becomes "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." And suddenly, you're not walking after your own lusts anymore. And you're pretty proud of yourself.
(I've noticed that as the years pile up, I don't walk after nearly as many lusts as I used to. The sin nature is willing, but the flesh is weak. It's not exactly virtue, but more a case that the closer I get to Heaven, the more practice the Lord thinks I need before I get there.)
From time to time, along comes some event or happening around which Bible prophecy watchers close ranks announcing, "This is it! He's coming soon!"
When the end doesn't come on schedule, they are discouraged. And worse, those with whom they shared their insights are now confirmed scoffers. Not to mention the disappointment of the believer himself, especially a new believer.
All that can be damaging beyond our capacity to comprehend.
Who are the scoffers that Peter is talking about? Most of us assume they are unbelievers and that this verse is talking about how hardened people will become to the Gospel in the last days.
If one reads it carefully, however, one realizes that Peter is talking to believers damaged by somebody misdirecting their faith away from Jesus and into believing in some personal interpretation of prophecy.
We've discussed in back in 2009 the teaching that we've already entered the Tribulation Period and that Javier Solana is the antichrist. Except that Solana's due to retire in October, coincidentally, JUST in time for the Rapture.
Every year at Rosh Hashana, (usually late September or early October) somebody announced they have cracked the mystery of the exact date of the Rapture than that it will either be the last day of the Feast of Trumpets or, alternatively, on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
These are usually accompanied by complicated calculations of days and weeks divided by months starting from some significant starting point - most recently, the 1967 capture of Jerusalem.
Nobody else can decipher the calculations, but the argument is so compelling that nobody bothers. Here is the logic.
"Every one of the major miracles in the life of Jesus corresponded to a major Jewish feast day. The only two feast days for which there is not a corresponding major miracle are Rosh Hashana - the Feast of the Trumpets - and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement."
This makes PERFECT sense to me. The Rapture begins with the blowing of the "last trumpet."
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1st Corinthians 15:52)
And Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. Jesus died to atone for my sins and on the Day of the Rapture, I will be caught up with Him, completing my atonement process! It is an entirely logical assumption. It is extremely compelling. Heck, it might even be right.
Except it isn't. Every year, both days go by and we're still here. We didn't go last time around. Probably won't go this time around. And it is just as likely that when we DO go, it will be Good Friday, Easter -- or maybe Labor Day.
Religion is bound up in calendars. If we're going to put our faith in a calendar date, it would be helpful to know which calendar God uses.
Does God follow the Jewish calendar? Then today is 22 Iyar, 5773. Does He follow the Gregorian calendar like we do? Then today is May 2, 2013. If God follows the Julian calendar, then today is April 19, 2013.
Other choices include the Islamic calendar, the Coptic calendar, the Chinese calendar, the Ethiopic, the Persian, Mayan, French . . . what about the digital ISO calendar? God invented DNA. Maybe He works off computer time.
But that's not the way people are wired to think. It is ENTIRELY natural for Americans to think of God as an American. From there, it isn't that far a stretch to assume He thinks like they do.
Then when He fails to conform to the image in which people have reconstructed Him, they become scoffers. Who are the scoffers? They aren't skeptics, or atheists.
Read Peter's assessment again. He tells you not only who they are, but WHY they became scoffers.
"And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2 Peter 3:4)
They are believers who got burned by bad doctrine.
As students of Bible prophecy, we have an awesome responsibility before God because we KNOW what the scoffers don't.
Bible prophecy is both the proof of God's existence and the assurance we have of our salvation.
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:" (2 Peter 1:19)
The same Voice that proclaimed,
"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
He also proclaimed,
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:28)
Bible prophecy is not gloom and doom, but is instead hope and a blessed assurance. It is proof positive that God remains on His Throne and that He WILL do all that He has promised.
Believers are instructed to await the return of the Lord for His Church, but our emphasis is supposed to be on Who is coming, not when. If the predicted date of the Rapture takes place on schedule, the timing is irrelevant, since the Church Age is over.
If it doesn't take place on schedule, the predicted date is only relevant in that it provides the skeptics with more ammunition to discredit both the Message and the messenger.
In many cases, when the date comes and goes without incident, it just means readjusting the Rapture from pre-Trib to pre-Wrath to make it relevant again.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 admonishes us; . .
"to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."
We are to be waiting for the Deliverer from wrath, not the wrath itself.
To the lost the Lord will come unexpectedly like a thief. But to believers who are expecting Him and do not sleep, Christ will not come "as a thief."
This does NOT mean that we are prepared because we KNOW the date of His return, rather, we are not surprised because we are EXPECTING an IMMINENT Rapture.
It is the job of the Church to prepare the world for the coming of Christ, not to warn the world of His exact itinerary.
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2nd Peter 1:20-21)
We're to be witnesses. Not storytellers.
Jubilee Call to Temple Mount Echoes Six-Day War Victory Cry - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your ceiled houses while this house lieth waste?" Haggai 1:4 (The Israel Bible™)
A call by Knesset members and major rabbis is expected to bring record crowds to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem's Jubilee next week. The United Temple Movements called the gathering as a joyous echo of the original declaration made by Israeli soldiers 50 years ago when they announced in victory, "The Temple Mount is in our hands."
"50 years after [IDF General] Motti Gur said to the nation, 'The Temple Mount is in our hands,' I cry out to you, men and women, religious and secular, come up to Jerusalem, to the Temple Mount, with massive joy, and children's laughter, in hope for the building of Jerusalem in completeness, our eternal capital, the most beautiful in the world," encouraged Miri Regev, Culture and Sport Minister (Likud), in a video urging Israelis to ascend on the momentous day.
This year, Israel marks the the 50th anniversary, or jubilee, of the unification of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War, an event of untold significance. On that day, Israeli forces took back the Old City, Western Wall and Temple Mount from the occupation of the Jordanian army. Jerusalem Day, this year accompanied by hundreds of celebratory events and commemorations, will begin on the evening of May 23.
Regev's video was part of series initiated by MK Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a Likud member of Knesset and advocate for multi-faith prayer on the Temple Mount. Glick enlisted politicians, major rabbis, and other public figures to call for large numbers of Jews to go up to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day.
According to the video, Israeli police forces, which generally discourage Jews from visiting the Temple Mount, especially in large groups, will allow special conditions permitting the gathering. Restrictions limiting the number of Jews entering the site will be temporarily lifted.
Moshe Feiglin, a political columnist and former Likud MK, appeared in one of the videos, calling out to all "those faithful to the Temple Mount and the Temple."
"It is clear that this is the correct thing to do, the blessed thing to do," he said. "The Temple Mount is not in our hands if we aren't there."
Feiglin told Breaking Israel News that the importance of the Temple Mount to the Jewish people is inestimable.
"The Temple Mount is the heart of the land and the people," he asserted. "We are showing that we love the place and we have not forgotten. It belongs to the Jewish people."
The timing is significant, coming one day after US President Donald Trump completes his first official visit to Jerusalem. However, Feiglin stated that the call was not political, but "fundamental to who we are."
"It is what we, as Jews, must do."
Among the rabbis who joined the call were Rabbi Dov Lior, Chief of Kiryat Arba; Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute; Rabbi Yaakov Meidan, head of the prestigious Har Etzion Yeshiva; Rabbi David Davidkovitz, Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, and Rabbi Yehudah Kroyzer.
Other major politicians who called out to the public were MKs Shuli Mualem and Betsalel Smotrich, both Knesset members for the Jewish Home party.
Trump to unveil plans for an 'Arab NATO' in Saudi Arabia - By Josh Rogin - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2017/05/17/trump-to-unveil-plans-for-an-arab-nato-in-saudi-arabia/?utm_term=.575b1ed24c41
When President Trump arrives in Riyadh this week, he will lay out his vision for a new regional security architecture White House officials call an "Arab NATO," to guide the fight against terrorism and push back against Iran. As a cornerstone of the plan, Trump will also announce one of the largest arms-sales deals in history.
Behind the scenes, the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have been conducting extensive negotiations, led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The discussions began shortly after the presidential election, when Mohammed, known in Washington as "MBS," sent a delegation to meet with Kushner and other Trump officials at Trump Tower.
After years of disillusionment with the Obama administration, the Saudi leadership was eager to do business. "They were willing to make a bet on Trump and on America," a senior White House official said.
In that meeting and during a follow-up meeting three weeks later, the Saudis proposed a broad elevation of the U.S.-Saudi relationship and proposed various projects to increase security cooperation, economic cooperation and investment, White House officials said. The Trump team gave the Saudis a list of Trump priorities, calling on the kingdom to step up actions to combat radical Islamic extremism, intensify the fight against the Islamic State and share the burden of regional security.
In recent weeks, the Trump administration has tasked various government agencies to develop a series of announcements Trump will make this weekend. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is now heavily involved. One main objective is to put forth a framework and basic principles for a unified Sunni coalition of countries, which would set the stage for a more formal NATO-like organizational structure down the line.
"We all have the same enemy and we all want the same thing," the official said. "What this trip hopefully will do is just change the environment."
The idea of an "Arab NATO" has been bandied about for years - and has always had strong Saudi support - but until now was never openly endorsed by the U.S. government. Officials said the concept fits three major tenets of Trump's "America First" foreign-policy frame: asserting more American leadership in the region, shifting the financial burden of security to allies and providing for U.S. jobs at home (through the massive arms sales).
The president is looking for an answer to the question of how the United States can eventually hand over security responsibility in the region to the countries that are there, officials said.
Reports from the region about early discussions of the project said that in addition to Saudi Arabia, initial participants in the coalition would include the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan, with the United States playing an organizing and support role while staying outside the alliance.
The White House admits that many of the details of how the new alliance will operate remain to be worked out. The countries of the region harbor deep historical grievances and don't agree on key issues, including the way forward in Syria. A 2015 effort by Egypt to establish a pan-Arab fighting force collapsed due to squabbling among the countries involved.
"This is the sort of gesture many of America's security partners have been looking to get from the United States for many years," said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center of American Progress. "The value of any such a pact would depend on the results it produces - whether it achieves greater stability, helps resolve conflicts like Yemen and Syria, and achieves progress in the fight against terrorist groups across the region."
The most concrete part of the idea is a mammoth U.S. arms package for Saudi Arabia that Trump will also announce in Riyadh. Final details are still being worked out, but officials said the package will include between $98 billion and $128 billion in arms sales. Over 10 years, total sales could reach $350 billion.
The sales include huge upgrades for the Saudi army and navy to include Littoral Combat Ships, THAAD missile defense systems, armored personnel carriers, missiles, bombs and munitions, officials said. Some of the production and assembly could be located in Saudi Arabia, boosting MBS's project to build a Saudi domestic defense industrial capability. But most of the items would be built by American defense contractors.
"The U.S. has sought for a long time to get the Saudis to do more to focus on its navy, to modernize and make the forces in the Gulf more effective," said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "From the U.S. perspective, the stronger the Saudi deterrent is, the lower the risk of any military confrontation with Iran."
The pending announcements of the new security framework and the huge arms deal are evidence that the Saudi courtship of the Trump White House has been successful beyond expectations. Whether that results in real stability in the region, real progress against terrorism or real deterrence against Iran depends on what happens after Trump's overseas trip is over.
60 Major Christian Leaders Call on Trump to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's True Capital - David Parsons - http://www.charismanews.com/world/64954-60-major-christian-leaders-call-on-trump-to-recognize-jerusalem-as-israel-s-true-capital
An alliance of some 60 influential American Christian leaders have signed a letter delivered on Tuesday (16 May) to U.S. President Donald Trump calling on his administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the U.S. Embassy there. Presented to the president less than a week before his visit to Israel, the letter declares, "the time has come, at long last, to uphold American law by moving the U.S. Embassy to Israel's eternal indivisible capital city of Jerusalem."
Referencing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, the letter notes that Congress has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and called for the U.S. Embassy to be moved there by May 31, 1999. However, due to presidential waivers issued every six months delaying the implementation of that law, Israel remains the only country where the U.S. government does not have its embassy in the functioning capital of the country. This "doublespeak" must end, the signatories to the letter insist. Thus, they urged President Trump to send the message early in his administration that the United States would stand with its closest and only true democratic ally in the Middle East by showing due respect for Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The letter is the latest initiative of American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI), an informal network of key Christian leaders representing some 60 million American Christians which is coordinated by the USA Branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. The ACLI letter is signed by an array of evangelical leaders representing diverse groups and denominations; among them are Dr. Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters; Dr. John Hagee, founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel; Gordon Robertson, CEO of Christian Broadcasting Network; Dr. Charles Stanley, president of In Touch Ministries; Star Parker, president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education; Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America; Dr. James Dobson, president of Family Talk Radio; and Janet Parshall, nationally syndicated talk show host.
Susan Michael, ICEJ-USA National Director, expressed concern that President Trump was being wrongly counseled to delay implementation of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act for another six months and to tie the moving of the Embassy to the conclusion of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
"Looking back over the past 24 years of unsuccessful efforts by three previous presidents to broker a final peace agreement, it is not a good idea to continue hinging this long-overdue decision on reaching such a deal. Now is the right time to honor our friend and ally by fully recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel," said Susan Michael.
Dr. Jürgen Bühler, president of the ICEJ, added: "The Evangelical Christians of America were the ones who voted President Trump into office, based in large part on his assurances that he would be the one to finally honor Jerusalem as Israel's capital. There is no better time than now for him to begin leading the nations back up to this special city. Jerusalem is already widely recognized as the de facto capital of Israel, so it is only right and proper to give the city the official status it deserves."
Nearing Midnight: Bible Prophecy Spells Doom for Crypto-Currencies - Todd Strandberg -
Financial bubbles generally occur once in a generation. When large numbers of people make bad investments, those experiences are enough of a warning to make caution a virtue.
Today we don't seem to have an ever-dwindling supply of caution. Some form of bubbles now come along every few years. In 2000 we had the Dotcom Bubble; in 2008 we had the Housing Bubble; and in 2017 we are in the middle of the Crypto-Currencies Bubble.
Interest in digital crypto-currency started with Bitcoin. In 2010, you could buy a pizza for 10,000 bitcoins, which someone famously did with the price in dollars less than a penny. I hope the pizza parlor kept their bitcoins, because now they are worth $18.45 million. As I'm writing, the price of one bitcoin is $1820.
The total value of all bitcoins in circulation now totals $29.600 billion. Their increase in value for just this year has been 90 percent. When you add all the other currencies that brings the grand total to $52.5 billion. This is a huge amount of money for a type currency that only has a five year history.
I cannot find a record of any other asset increasing more 200,000 times in value. Apple Computer, from its 1982 near-bankruptcy low is only up 765 times. People are talking as if Bitcoin's best gains are yet to come.
I read one report of a man taking out an equity loan of $325,239 on his house to buy 191 bitcoins. If Bitcoin reaches the $10,000 mark, he plans on moving to the West Coast and living in quiet luxury. If it drops below $100, that man may find himself living on the street.
Before people convert their life savings into Bitcoins, Ripples, Ethereum, or my favorite-Stellar Lumens, they may want to take an assessment of the risks.
The biggest threat to crypto-currency is someone breaking into the system and stealing your account code information. In the past few years, several exchanges have gone bankrupt after their systems were hacked. The biggest bust was at MT Gox; $450 million in bitcoins were stolen from customer accounts.
Once a hacker has your passwords, your pile of bitcoins can vanish without a trace. You can even be your own thief by losing your password. For example, in 2013 one user lost 7,500 bitcoins, worth $7.5 million at the time when he accidentally discarded a hard drive containing the digital key to his account.
Another problem with crypto-currencies is their unlimited number. About a year ago, there were about 400 types of these coins. When I last checked, there was 727 crypto-currencies. If this mania continues, there will soon be over a thousand digital currencies. As their numbers increase, people will have to start to question the value of wealth that is created from nothing.
The quantity of each individual coin is also a problem. The exchanges that manage them, create new ones to pay for operating costs. The quantity of some coins increases at a rate that is greater than 50 percent each year. This high level of inflation can only cause the value of each coin to go down.
Crime is becoming yet another problem for crypto-currencies. The untraceable nature of Bitcoin makes it popular with criminal agents. And it's becoming more common practice to demand ransom in bitcoin, too. This from the New York Times: "Those threats have increased with the advent of ransomware, malicious software that encrypts victims' data and prevents them from accessing it until they pay a ransom, often hundreds or thousands of dollars' worth of bitcoin, a crypto-currency."
I think the biggest threat to crypto-currency is the government seeing it as a competition to national currency. Lawmakers don't like any other monetary system stepping into their domain. As soon as Congress realizes it is losing tax dollars from people exchanging goods and services with crypto-currencies, they will move to ban the practice. The big banks are not going to stand for a system that cuts them out of transaction fees.
The state of Florida is working on legislation that will make it a money laundering offense to use virtual currencies to hide funds that are related to a crime.
Bible prophecy would seem to indicate that crypto-currencies are going to have a short life. Under the mark of the beast system, all transactions will be supervised by the Antichrist's government. The devil may be allowing this latest mania to flourish in order to fulfill his end-time plans. Once the crash comes, it will be easy to argue that all digital money needs strong central control.
"And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, o that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark-the name of the beast or the number of its name" (Revelation 13:16-17).
Are Scientists Playing God by Manipulating DNA Of Human Embryos? -
Some human beings think that they are close to achieving the power of God, and widespread fear exists that even this degree of power will corrupt.
Researchers at London's Francis Crick Institute have been given the green light to experiment with and modify human embryos in the same controversial fashion that giant dogs and mini pet pigs have been created in laboratories.
Known as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), the technology strategically identifies specific genes, alters them and changes a living organism's DNA.
Although banned in the United States, U.K. scientists are exploring methods of eradicating debilitating illness and abnormalities at the genetic, pre-birth level.
Naturally, many critics point to the fact that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and liken genetic modification of human beings to opening a veritable Pandora's Box.
It's important to recognize that science isn't an exact science. The methods are often theoretically and include a tremendous amount of trial and error.
Take, for example, researchers that attempted to cure cancer in laboratory mice at the genetic level. The gene they thought inhibited cancer cell growth ended up causing the mice to age and die prematurely.
Paul Knoepfler, U.C. Davis professor and author of GMO Sapiens: The Life-Changing Science of Designer Babies, pointed out that, ""If we go this route, editing the genes of embryos, think about the potential if a mistake were made for that person then to pass along damaged genes, which affects generations."
Another eminent problem will be the creation of designer babies. Whereas the majority of scientists believes in responsible applications of genetic modification research, others will inevitably view it as a way to make a buck.
If a gene can be snipped to cure Down Syndrome, others can be manipulated to ensure blue eyes, blond hair and children that top six feet.
Medical science advanced skin graft research for burn victims and plastic surgeons used the science to nip and tuck clients to look younger.
At the end of the day, genetic abuse isn't a negative possibility, it's a certainty.
Daily Jot: Analysis of the deep state danger - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
While I do not have any first hand, eyewitness information about FBI Director James Comey's firing or what President Donald Trump told the Russian Ambassador about the Islamic State, I can draw some conclusions about the frenzied firestorm facing Trump and the White House. It appears that there is a concerted effort by career employees within "government" to undermine a duly elected president from within. In addition, the Democratic Party is stirring the pot to foment revolution from the outside-primarily using spokespersons from the two states who overwhelmingly opposed Trump in the election-Communists/Progressives Maxine Waters from California and Chuck Schumer of New York.
Here's how it is working: The US has one of, if not the most, conniving, deceptive, and I must say, effective, spy organizations in the world as supported by unelected agencies such as the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, NSA, DIA, etc., etc. They are employing their cunning to topple this duly-elected Administration. The very idea of security-cleared intelligence insiders leaking to the Washington Post details of the conversation between Trump and the Russian Ambassador is an indicator of this. Others in the room point-blank said these unnamed sources' accounts were wrong. But it doesn't matter, the seed was planted in the media and has served its purpose.
Another example of this widespread conspiracy is found in Jerusalem where the official position of the ex-"president" was that the Western Wall-the holiest site of Judaism--is not part of Israeli control. A career diplomat stationed at the pro-Palestinian US Consulate in eastern Jerusalem contradicted Trump's position on moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. The Trump Administration disavowed the State Department bureaucrat's assertion (also repeated by "diplomats" at the east Jerusalem consulate). But not before an all to willing news media blew the story out of proportion. This is more evidence of the depth of institutionalized globalism and political correctness that has poisoned American government.
Add to the top of these deep layers of collusion against righting the good ship America, is the Democratic Party which has become synonymous with extreme leftist and communist ideals. In a copycat version of the ex-"president's" Arab Spring-designed to destabilize and topple governments across the Middle East and replace them with radical Muslim Brotherhood franchises--the Democratic Party (led in part by radical Islamic Congressman Keith Ellison, D-MN) has officially launched "Resistance Summer" to train activists to resist Trump across the US. Ellison said in a statement that it is the starting point to organize the resistance movement into a larger political force. As you see, America is under attack.
This is a civil war where the current weapons are deception and vain words launched by revolutionaries entrenched in government, the media, and in political parties. It truly is deep state danger to our way of life-a threat to the goodness of America, to our Christianity and mission work. We need to wake up and realize it. We need to take this seriously. Ephesians 5:6-7 says, "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not therefore partakers with them." Don't believe them. Call on the Lord. Trust in him. Currently, the opposition is loud, but has no teeth. We need to pray and stand by speaking the truth boldly and in love.
Daily Devotion: The Junk Food of Life - Greg Laurie -
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. -1 Corinthians 10:23
Have you ever filled up on appetizers? Maybe you've had a meal waiting for you, but then you started snacking. Suddenly you realize you've lost your appetite. I do this all the time. My wife will be cooking, and I'll start swiping a few bites of food. Before I know it, I'm eating my way around the kitchen. When she finally serves her wonderful, home-cooked meal, I'm not hungry anymore because I've filled up on other things while I was snacking.
We can snack on the junk food of life, as it were, and dull our spiritual appetites. They may not be bad things necessarily, but they can diminish our hunger for the Word of God.
It is not a sin to watch television, but it is a sin to watch some things on television. I will admit to you that after I have watched television for a while, I feel sort of brain-dead. Do I then have a desire to go read the Bible? No. I have diminished my spiritual appetite.
There are things we can do that keep the edge off our hunger for the things of God. For example, when I listen to praise music, it builds me up spiritually. It encourages me and even stimulates my appetite for spiritual things.
The Bible says, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify" (1 Corinthians 10:23). Or, as the J. B. Phillips New Testament says, "As I have said before, the Christian position is this: I may do anything, but everything is not useful. Yes, I may do anything but everything is not constructive."
We want to look for the things that will increase our spiritual appetites, not for the things that will diminish them.
FROM THE HEART
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