Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Cryptocurrency and the Coming Global Tyranny - By Britt Gillette - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/05/21/cryptocurrency-and-the-coming-global-tyranny-by-britt-gillette/
As the coronavirus swept across China in early 2020, several news outlets posted stories about the Chinese government laundering money - not in a traditional sense, but in a literal sense. With so many people touching paper currency, China cleaned and disinfected vast amounts. In other parts of the world, where governments haven't taken similar measures, many are making a personal choice to avoid paper currency because they're afraid of contracting the coronavirus. This fear of virus-tainted paper money is only the latest event driving the world toward an all-digital financial system.
In late March, as state lockdowns led to a massive increase in unemployment claims, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (known as the CARES Act for short). One of the highlights of the bill was a one-time $1,200 payment to most people over age 18 (with additional $500 payments for children). Believing these payments would "stimulate" an economy in freefall, Congress sought to get cash in the hands of workers as soon as possible. But two weeks after Congress passed the CARES Act, few people had received their stimulus payments. Even now, some people still haven't, and critics have attacked the government for its slow, bureaucratic response. With millions struggling to pay their bills, many believe a U.S. government-backed cryptocurrency could have delivered the payments faster.
So, what do virus-tainted paper currency and slow economic relief payments have in common? Both have led to a more aggressive push to create national digital currencies. Supporters (mostly government insiders) believe government-sponsored cryptocurrencies will offer greater benefits than the current paper currency system. But government-sponsored cryptocurrencies also create an unprecedented opportunity for government abuse.
The Call for National Cryptocurrencies
Adversaries of the United States view state-controlled cryptocurrency as a way to counter U.S. dollar dominance and a way to avoid sanctions. They also see it as a way to counteract the rise of Bitcoin and other private cryptocurrencies they can't monitor or control. It's no coincidence the nations most interested in launching state-sponsored cryptocurrencies are some of the world's most brutal regimes.
Need an example? Last month, Wang Zhenying, president of the Shanghai Gold Exchange, called for a new "super-sovereign currency system" to rival the U.S. dollar. Wang said no country should have the ability "to freeze the international assets of another country." What Wang really means is the United States shouldn't have that ability. I doubt he would protest if China had such power. After all, China is seeking that power by rolling out plans for its own cryptocurrency. No doubt, they hope it becomes a rival to the U.S. dollar.
China is currently testing a state-sponsored cryptocurrency through internal pilot tests in four different Chinese cities. Known as the DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment), current expectations are for a late 2020 rollout to the general public. The aim is to eliminate the use of Chinese paper currency and replace it with the new Chinese cryptocurrency, giving China insight into every transaction DCEP is involved in - whether or not the transaction in question takes place in China.
And again, China isn't the only nation interested in entering the cryptocurrency business. In February 2019, Iran launched a gold-backed cryptocurrency for internal bank transactions. In the second phase of their plan, they intend to make it available for use by individual citizens. In May 2019, CNN reported on Russia's plans to implement a gold-backed cryptocurrency. And, in September, North Korea announced plans to create a gold-backed cryptocurrency with the purpose of bypassing U.S. and international sanctions. Authoritarian regimes love the idea of their own cryptocurrencies. And once you study the implications, it's easy to understand why.
Government Cryptocurrency = Tyranny
The end of paper money and its replacement with government-sponsored cryptocurrency will put unlimited power at the fingertips of government leaders. Not only does cryptocurrency offer a way to permanently record every financial transaction, but it will also be able to track where you go and what you do. It will track the websites you visit and make note of who your friends are. While most of this information is already available through tracking of credit and debit cards, mobile phones, and social media profiles, a state-sponsored cryptocurrency will provide unfettered access to this information. It will create a closed, government-controlled economic system where you'll be dependent on the government's cryptocurrency to pay for all your needs.
If the government decides they don't like you, they can turn off your access and freeze you out of the banking system. They'll be able to decide what you can and can't buy. They'll be able to tell you where you can and can't go. In essence, they'll have complete control over your life. And while I'd like to think we can take measures to avoid it, the rise of government-sponsored cryptocurrency is inevitable.
Coming Soon... The End of Paper Money
The coronavirus will accelerate the adoption of state-sponsored cryptocurrencies and the elimination of paper currency. For instance, earlier we mentioned passage of the CARES Act and the weeks-long delay in processing stimulus payments. Advocates for a national cryptocurrency say the payment process could have been faster if every citizen had a "digital wallet" and the government could simply deposit the cryptocurrency with the push of a button. In the aftermath of the coronavirus, they'll push for such a system.
Think most people will oppose it? Think again. Adoption of such a system will be quick and easy. The government will simply launch a campaign to "claim your digital wallet." To incentivize people to do so, they'll provide an initial deposit of $10,000 (or $20,000, $30,000, or whatever amount it takes to get people to take action). Once everyone is onboard, they'll eliminate paper currency and other options for payment of goods and services. The result will be a government-sponsored cryptocurrency-only economic system. One the government controls from top to bottom.
But even if that doesn't happen, paper money will disappear anyway. How can I be so sure? Because new technologies will soon make it impossible to prevent counterfeiting. 3D desktop printing technologies will create objects where every molecule is perfectly positioned. With such technologies, counterfeiters will flood the world with perfect copies of every national currency. No one will be able to tell the difference between a fake dollar bill and a real dollar bill. When that happens, both the fake and the real will be worthless. World governments won't have a choice. They'll quickly do away with all physical currency, and all economic transactions will go electronic. The replacement will be either a series of national cryptocurrencies or a single global cryptocurrency.
The Coming Global Economic System
None of this should surprise you. Long ago, the Book of Revelation foretold the establishment of an end- times economic system eerily similar to a world dominated by a government-sponsored cryptocurrency. The Bible says a time will come when a global dictator will require everyone on earth to receive a mark on the right hand or the forehead (Revelation 13:16). Without this mark, the people of the world will be unable to buy or sell anything (Revelation 13:17). How will this work? It remains to be seen. But the worldwide rush to create government-sponsored cryptocurrencies provides us with a glimpse as to how such a system might work.
The Bible says the Antichrist will rule a global government (Revelation 13:7). In order to control who can buy and who can sell, the Antichrist will need a system capable of tracking every transaction on earth. He'll need a way to monopolize all financial transactions and a way to kick people out of the system if they don't do his bidding. A global government-controlled cryptocurrency will provide him with such a system.
So, what does all this mean? It means we're fast approaching a time the prophets warned about. We're in the midst of a global pandemic (Luke 21:11). Israel is back in the land (Jeremiah 23:7-8). The Jewish people are back in Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28). And the Gospel is being preached throughout the world (Matthew 24:14). The end times approach. The tribulation, the Antichrist, and global government aren't far behind. But this means the rapture is also near. So don't despair. While it looks like the world is falling apart, every Christian should be filled with peace. We know how it all ends. Jesus is coming (Revelation 22:20), and He's coming soon!
It Is Time to Set Up a New Global Health Body to Replace the WHO - by Con Coughlin -
No one should be taken in by Chinese President Xi Jinping's offer to cooperate with an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. By stipulating that the investigation needs to be carried out under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), China's communist leader is simply indulging in yet another attempt to conceal the fact that the global crisis originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
This has been the approach adopted by China's communist rulers ever since Covid-19 first surfaced in Wuhan late last year. Rather than alerting the rest of the world to the potential impact the virus might have, the ruling Communist Party of China concentrated its energies on covering up the origins of the outbreak, with the result that the rest of the world is struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic.
China's deliberate attempts to obfuscate the origins of the pandemic has provoked an outcry, with a number of nations, such as the U.S. and Australia, calling for a truly independent international inquiry to be held into how the pandemic started, as well as China's lack of transparency in alerting the rest of the world to the potential impact of Covid-19.
A total of 122 countries, including the U.S. and most European governments, have given their backing to an Australian proposal to set up an impartial, independent and comprehensive investigation into the handling of the Covid-19 outbreak. But the move has been bitterly opposed by Beijing, which claims the initiative is nothing more than a "political maneuver". The Chinese are particularly incensed by the lead role Australia has taken in orchestrating calls for an independent inquiry, and have responded by banning imports of Australian beef.
Mr Xi's offer, therefore, to support an inquiry by the WHO into the pandemic amounts to little more than yet another attempt by China's communist rulers to avoid proper scrutiny about Beijing's culpability for spreading Covid-19 throughout the rest of the globe.
The only problem for Mr Xi and his communist comrades is that the WHO, through its slavish devotion to Beijing, now finds itself hopelessly compromised by its close association with China's leadership, with the result that no one beyond the confines of Beijing believes the organization has the credibility to undertake an investigation that is truly independent.
This is certainly the view of the Trump administration, which has responded to the WHO's total failure to hold Beijing to account for causing the global pandemic by threatening to withdraw its support from the organization altogether.
The four-page letter President Donald Trump delivered to the WHO earlier this week on the eve of its annual conference not only accused the organization of being "China-centric", but stated that the organization had displayed "an alarming lack of independence" in its dealings with Beijing, and accused Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's pro-Marxist director-general, of presiding over "repeated missteps... that have been extremely costly to the world."
Mr Trump's misgivings about Mr Tedros could not be better founded: the WHO chief showed his true pro-Beijing colours early on in the crisis with his effusive praise for China's response to the pandemic, where he complimented Beijing for "setting a new standard for outbreak response."
Thus, with someone like Mr Tedros, with his clear pro-China tendencies, at the helm of the WHO, it is clear that the body is simply not fit for purpose, and that any attempt to reform it is doomed to fail.
A far better solution, one that will help to protect the western democracies from suffering any future catastrophic pandemics similar to the Covid-19 crisis, is to set up a completely new international health body -- one that, rather than subjugating itself to Beijing's pernicious influence, is genuinely interested in protecting the interests of the people it serves.
Viewing the World with Biblical Lenses - By Gene Lawley -
Our current world is in a "topsy-turvey" panic situation. The left is totally dedicated to somehow solving that "impending" climate-change disaster that is-in their view-about to suffocate us, or on the other hand, engulf us with roaring waves of water as the ice melts at the poles.
Then, a Corona virus comes along and explodes those issues in favor of a very real and present danger to civilization, worldwide. Their idea of a God in heaven, if that idea were ever to take place, has no ability to do anything.
If mankind wants to know his future, he can find it in the Bible, the Word of God, the God of the universe, the Sovereign Voice of Prophecy. Jesus said, in Luke 21:28, "When these things begin to happen, look up, for your redemption draws near."
God has a plan for the universe, and it has not changed from its existence before time began. These three verses give us some idea that we can know what is coming to pass, in addition to that quote from Luke 21:28 above:
John 16:13 - "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but what He hears, that He will speak, and He will tell you things to come."
Amos 3:7 - "Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets."
Habakkuk 1:2,5 - "O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, 'Violence!' and You will not save.'
"Look among the nations and watch-be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you."
To those thoughts we must also add the following from Romans 11:33-36:
"Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
"For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen."
Viewing the world through Biblical lenses is like thinking God's thoughts along with Him. That is how it seems to be when I am reading the Word as it is verbally inspired, or "God breathed" as I am reading it in its present tense. In other words, God is saying it in eternity now, but I am seeing it in present time. Therefore, we can view current and future events as they appear in the Scriptures with confidence that they are our future.
A very real and vital example that tells us about this Corona virus and whether or not it means this is the end of the age, and Jesus is going to appear at this time, is in Luke 17:26-30:
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
The picture shown here is as it will be when Jesus is revealed. It will not be the picture of devastation and doom that we are seeing today. There will be, then, a restoration of the economy and related lifestyles to resemble those in the passage above. (Incidentally, some have placed this passage's parallel in Matthew 24:37-39 at the Lord's second coming at the end of the seven-year tribulation. However, at that time there will be no such thriving economy, but devastation and a struggle to survive will be the conditions.)
Daniel 9:26-27 is the bullseye of the prophetic target that opens up the culminating end of this age:
"And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.
"Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering, and on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate."
We see that the time of this beginning point is when the Messiah was crucified. We also see here that one who is of the lineage of the Romans who destroyed the city of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 A.D. He will join with many to confirm a covenant-with many nations, no doubt, since it will have been the United Nations which established nationhood for Israel in 1948. This one who rises out of the ashes of the old Roman Empire is seen as a "prince," perhaps someone of a higher political stature than a person rising out of obscurity, at least at this point. Who is now hovering in the shadows just off-stage, waiting for that opening to come to him and he is elevated to leadership of the world?
The one who is to come will bring forward that sixth head of the Beast of Daniel's prophecy to the front page of today's current events. With whom the covenant is made is revealed when we see that a new temple is evidently allowed to be built soon after the covenant is in place, just as touched on above.
Again, as mentioned above, this points to a restoration of Israel as a sovereign nation. It also reveals who the "many" are who also confirm the covenant-the United Nations. God often made a promise to the Jews that after He scattered them to all the nations of the world, He would later restore them to their native land again in the latter days. Ezekiel prophesied in Ezekiel 37 of that restoration and ends that chapter with a promise of an everlasting covenant with Israel. This. Time-wise, parallels with the seven-year covenant the secular world will make.
The key figure in this context is that "prince" who arises with authority to take control, as the Scriptures indicate. How will that happen, we may wonder? It is also the timing of the Rapture of the saints; and the resulting "sudden destruction" the world will experience, no doubt will open the way for "someone" to take charge, for the world will be looking for a leader.
That mortally wounded sixth head of the Beast will arise as this person takes control and fronts his actions behind the face of the New World Order proponents who have been longing for a one-world government to give them elite status.
This coming lawless one is revealed coming forth on a white horse, "conquering and to conquer." This is a simple preview of what he will be doing throughout the seven years of the covenant period, although he will cancel the covenant halfway through it. That first seal opened by Jesus in Revelation 6 and the action portrayed in Daniel 9:27 displays the strange authority that will have been given to the Antichrist. Somehow, he will come to a world leadership position that is identified with his confirmation of the covenant with many other world leaders. There is no Scripture which tells of his being assassinated, then rising again to convince people that he is the Christ. Once the Rapture occurs, no Christian will be left on earth to challenge his authority, and the Lord will bring upon those who are left behind an evil, deceptive spirit to turn their hearts.
Currently, it is obvious that the "falling away" Paul writes of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 is underway, full bore. In that passage we see that the "falling away" leads to a complete "taking away" with the removal of all resistance against the evil that is overwhelming the world.
The covenant's confirmation is the pivotal event that triggers the Rapture, evidently, for Paul also writes of it in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 to 5:10, noting in 5:2-3, "For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night, for when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.
Who in the Middle East is fervently interested in "peace and safety" but Israel? That little country, the apple of God's eye, is the bullseye also of prophecy. And thus we see it as the focus of seven years of judgment, along with the whole world, from which God will salvage a third of the Jews and restore them to a relationship with Him. (See Zachariah 13:8.) In Zachariah 12:10 we read that the Jews will "look upon Him whom they have pierced, and mourn for Him as for an only begotten son." They will recognize Jesus as their Messiah during that seven years, at a feast of the atonement.
Closer at hand is the current epidemic of Corona virus. What do the Biblical lenses reveal to us about that issue? There is no direct reference to such things encountered by mankind during the ages particularly, but Biblical history shows that God deals with the sinfulness of man in drastic measures. The most destructive event, of course, was the flood of Noah's time. It was worldwide and so extensive that only eight people survived, though warnings were evident for about 120 years.
That event was brought on because people of the world were so degraded with sin that "every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts were only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). Is this world approaching such a condition? It may well be so. God is certainly shouting out a warning that His judgment has not been nullified whatsoever. At the least, this episode has the ability to shake the population loose from its grasp onto false gods and false doctrines and point them to the truth that is in Jesus Christ. A saying akin to that thought comes out of the wars of the 20th century, "There are no atheists in the foxholes."
The agnostics believe God created everything then left it to fend for itself, so I understand. But that is not so. God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). That is where we are today.
Contact email: email@example.com
God's Love is Deep - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
What is love? Can you define it in a few words? You may love your possessions or love your spouse, but is that love a sacrificial love? Is that love like God has for us? Anyone who has a baby can understand a little about sacrificial love a. Only someone who loves sacrificially would get out of bed at 2 AM to feed and change a diaper. When the baby cries out with a need, a loving parent puts aside their own comfort and tends to that precious baby. On a much greater scale, God's love for us is much deeper than a parent's love for their child. He knew our need before we cried out for help and gave us a solution. Sin separates us from God and most people live quite comfortable in sin. We don't even realize how miserable we are, but the sin we embrace is a death sentence brought about when Adam disobeyed God. Adam chose to do the only thing that God told him not to do...he ate the forbidden fruit. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" Romans 5:12. Adam's sin created a huge chasm between us and God...one that we can never bridge by our own efforts. Only God's love can bridge the gap caused by our sin. Only our faith allows us to cross that bridge.
God's love for His creation is very deep. He was willing to do much more than get out of bed at 2 AM to take care of the need of a crying child. Our need for salvation caused Him to step down from the Heavenly Realm and enter the lost and fallen world that we call home. Because we see things through human understanding we continually sin as if it's natural. Although we are numb because of our continuous sin, our soul cries out for help. God answered the cry of our soul by becoming human and giving us the only path to eternal life. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:5-8. Jesus Christ is God. He's the second Person of the Trinity. His love for us is so deep that He chose to take the form of a man in order to save us from our sin. That's an example of love and humility that we need to follow. In the beginning God created Adam then God took Eve out of him. When Adam sinned, we can only imagine how God felt. Any human parent of a disobedient child knows the hurt caused by rebellion, but God's sorrow was greater. God's ultimate creation had turned against Him and all of creation was affected by Adam's sin. Adam knew the consequences of his choice, but chose sin anyway. Don't feel too superior...we choose sin on a daily basis. That sin separates us from our Creator. God is perfect in every way and we humans can never live up to His perfection. What we think of as normal in life is too often the very thing that separates us from God. Is a white lie harmless? No, it isn't. A lie is a lie no matter what color it is. How about lust, anger, drunkenness, or sorcery? Anything that is wrong in God's opinion separates us from Him. "Not fair", you cry, but you're wrong. It is fair. God inspired the Holy Scriptures so we have a standard by which we can judge our own actions. We know when we sin. Just like Adam knew that he wasn't to eat the forbidden fruit, we know that "Thou shalt have no other God's before me" means to live our life in accordance with God's will, yet we place the god of pride, the god of sexual lust, the god of dishonesty, and many other false gods ahead of God Almighty. Still, He loves us enough to die for us.
How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss -
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
Jesus walked this earth for over thirty years. He became human, but He never sinned. He healed the sick, the blind, and the lame. He forgave sin and showed deep love to the people He met. That wasn't the reason He entered this world. He gave us the example of how we are to live, but His purpose was to shed His own perfect blood to purchase our salvation. To do that He had to take my sin and your sin upon Himself. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21. At that moment, God the Father could not look upon His Son. For the first time in all eternity, Jesus Christ felt the terrible emptiness and separation that sin causes. "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Mark 15:34. I'm so sorry, my Lord. It was my sin that held you there. Oh Lord, thank You for Your deep and unchanging love for me.
Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life -
I know that it is finished.
Is anyone old enough to remember Flip Wilson? In one of his comedy routines he said "The devil made me do it". Yes, the devil is behind all the evil in this world and tempts us to sin. Even though Satan puts temptation in the way, he can't make us choose to indulge in sin. We all have the choice whether to sin or not. Maybe you're tempted to give in to the lusts of the flesh or lash out in anger to someone who just happens to be in the way of your bad attitude. You don't have to sin. You can choose to say "Get behind me, Satan" and put God first. If you listen carefully, when you give in to sin you can hear your voice mocking Him and taking His sacrifice for granted. Even when we fail, God loves us. Jesus took all of your sin upon Himself when He went to the cross...sins past, present, and future. "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly triumphing over them in it." Colossians 2:13-15. When you humbled yourself before the Lord and admitted your need for Him, all your sin was forgiven. Keep looking at the cross. Today it's empty because Jesus conquered death. He suffered pain and separation while He hung there paying the price of our sin, but He stayed there until the task was finished. "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:55-57. Do you mock Him by continuing to sin? Do you take the suffering He went through lightly? The nails didn't hold Him there. He was held there by His deep love for you and for me.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart -
His wounds have paid my ransom.
All good things come from God. You may accomplish a lot in life...a great job, a wonderful family, a big house, and fancy cars, but all of that is nothing. The house will one day be gone and the car will be sitting in a junk yard. Don't boast and brag about these temporary things that you feel you've accomplished by your own merit. Boast in Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10. If you love Jesus you will give Him all the glory, honor, and praise for anything you might achieve in this life. We can thank Him for what He did by honoring Him through our life. Boast of what Jesus did and the eternal life that faith in Him brings. Boast of His deep love.
The song in this commentary is titled "How Deep the Father's Love for Us", words and music by Stuart Townsend. The words bring tears to my eyes as I am reminded of how many times I've failed to live my life to honor Christ. When I realize that in spite of my failures He still loves me, I am thankful. How can I boast in my own accomplishments? Eternity is all that matters, and Jesus paid the price for my ransom. Thank You, Jesus, for Your deep love for me.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Memorial Day - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
It was usually a really crisp morning, the kind where mud puddles had a very thin layer of ice on them. You could see your breath on the way out to the horse barn. The horses were always ready to eat and when they heard the door to the tack room open, they would whinny. I'd hurry up and get the grain to them, then the hay. My horse, Holly, came out of the stall as soon as she was done eating. It was Memorial Day, and we had something special to do-get ready for the Rootstown Memorial Day Parade. Our 4-H Club, The Wandering Riders, were a feature in the parade each year. And Holly needed to be cleaned up and ready to go. So did I. Everything needed to be meticulous. We were honoring America's heroes.
We would meet in the parking lot of the old elementary school. There were about 16 of us in all. It was always good to see Paul McCardle, Gary Urchek, Lorraine Linton, Lori Dunn, Lee Morris, John Lewis and the host of others. We would be seeing each other a lot during the upcoming summer. We wore white shirts, dark jeans, and we all had red vests that went along with our horses' red and white nose bands and breast collars. We transformed from the county's best horse 4-H Club to, at least what we thought, was the best 4-H parade unit. Everyone scurried about to get things "right." Then we would line up two by two, and wait. And wait some more. Then from somewhere up front there was a signal given that we were about to start the parade.
Eventually, we would solemnly file out through the main streets down to Homeland Cemetery. There, we faced the graves of those who served their country, many who died that we might live free. Our horses were to stand at attention, and we were to sit on them, also at attention, our hats removed, as the speakers honored America's finest. Afterwards, we would load up the horses and head back to the farm, where we had a cookout, usually with Warren and Sue McCarthy, Gene and Betty Flynn, Bob and Doris Harris and their families. Warren and Gene served at Normandy on D-Day. My uncle Bob Harris served in the Philippines. Decorated heroes, all these men knew the price of freedom and they understood their civic duty to their families, their God and their country.
I'm sure you have stories as well about the brave men and women who served in our nation's armed forces. President Ronald Reagan remembered veterans in his speech May 26, 1986. He said, "If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does." To me, there will never be peace on earth until the Lord returns. Jesus said, however, in Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Many have sacrificed themselves that we may have peace and freedom. Let us honor their deeds. We, and our horses, and our families did every year. And we still do today.
Daily Devotion: Asleep at the Wheel - by Greg Laurie -
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. -Romans 13:11
Last year a driver fell fast asleep at the wheel of a self-driving car on the Massachusetts Turnpike. His passenger also had nodded off. An eyewitness who filmed the incident told a reporter, "I did a double-take, looked over and sure enough this guy was just, head between his legs completely asleep."
That's how some of us are. We're asleep and don't even know we're asleep. And sometimes the last person to know they're asleep is the one who's sleeping. They don't even realize it.
In the same way, there are Christians today who are spiritually asleep at the wheel instead of walking in the Spirit. They're lethargic, passive, and even lazy spiritually.
Encyclopedia Britannica describes sleep this way: "A normal, reversible, recurrent state of reduced responsiveness to external stimulation that is accompanied by complex and predictable changes in physiology."
The apostle Paul had some words of warning for believers whose spiritual lethargy and laziness made them appear and act as though they had no spiritual lives. He wrote, "This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed" (Romans 13:11 NLT).
These words may have more relevance to an older believer than a younger believer because when you're a new Christian, you're full of energy. You want to do things for God. You want to read the Bible, go to church, and share your faith. You want to change the world.
In contrast, older believers sometimes want to take a spiritual nap. If that describes you then it's time to wake up. It's time for you to wake from your state of spiritual sleep.
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
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