Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Grieved & Vexed in Our Souls (as Noah & Lot) - By Ronda Lane - http://www.raptureready.com/2018/05/20/grieved-vexed-souls-noah-lot-ronda-lane/
While we await the rapture with much joyous anticipation, and see God's word unfold before our very eyes, we sometimes sit back in amazement that we are the generation watching end-time Bible prophecy align. Yet at the same time, there is also a seemingly paradoxical condition many believers are also perceiving - the grieving in our souls due to the wicked conditions in the world.
I hear it from many brothers and sisters in Christ of late. In countless conversations during fellowship, we converse of the following: We are eagerly awaiting the rapture, very much desiring to see Christ, be with Him, and be like Him (1 John 3:2, Phil. 3:20-21); yet at the same time, we are truly grieved and vexed in our souls while witnessing the unsaved world degrade into a state of wickedness we've never before witnessed. If you are feeling that same grievous vexing in your soul, you are not alone.
It isn't often that a particular section of scripture gets stuck on continuous replay in my mind-so much so that it pops into my mind several times a day for weeks. But this is true of 2 Pet. 2:5-9 for me lately. For the past month (or more) this scripture keeps popping into my head numerous times a day.
May I be so bold as to ask you to take a few moments and study 2 Peter chapter 2? Here's just a small part (only 2 verses) of it:
"And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)" (2 Pet. 2:7-8).
This scripture deals with how God delivered Noah and Lot prior to His righteous wrath being meted out on the wicked in the world. But the part that keeps continuously replaying over and over (to me) is the part of how Lot was "vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked" (v.7), and that what vexed and grieved him was the "seeing and hearing" of the unlawful deeds of the wicked "day to day."
Isn't this exactly what many of us are going through? It hits the nail on the head for many of us. We are so grieved daily by the wickedness we witness in the world. The exponential explosion of evil we witness each day in this world is reaching a fever pitch. The saturation of evil in society is being flaunted in our faces so often that we often have to wonder: "How long, O Lord?"
But then there are others who seem not to mind these things at all. I used to think: 'how faithful those people must be' for these wicked events not to even bother them. I wondered how could they not be affected by witnessing the news that millions of babies are being aborted? That the amount of pedophilia and human trafficking is (here in the US) at an all-time high? How could these things (at least) not grieve them and vex their souls? Was it because they just trusted it was all part of God's plan? I wondered....
As these things become more predominant in society, it's impossible not to be touched, grieved, and vexed in our souls by witnessing them. Yes, we do know that these things "must needs be" (as Matt. 18:7 and others tell us), even if we don't understand why. And yes, we understand "WOE to that man by whom the offense cometh" (same verse) means that God will deal with those evildoers who harm innocent children in such horrific ways; God will have vengeance upon them in His righteous wrath! Yet how could someone not be moved by the slaughter and torture of children?
I no longer think that those people are just so "strong in faith" that it doesn't bother them. In fact, just the opposite. I think (my own opinion here) that they really don't care about the plight of those innocent babes ripped apart in and from their mother's womb; that they are unmoved by the fact that demonically led adults are harming innocent children in the most horrendous, perverted, and insidious ways. Why? Simple reason: It isn't happening to THEM!
Yes, that's a strong statement to make. But it aligns with scripture given for the characteristics of the perilous last days found in 2 Tim. 3:1-5 and Rom. 1:18-32 - the self-absorbed, callous, uncaring egotistical folks who have no natural affection, sympathy, empathy, or even compassion for others-not even innocent babies and children.
In the meantime, we believers are truly grieved and vexed in our souls as we witness these atrocities. Those crimes against innocent children are the worst and most grievous crimes we witness, but there are many others as well:
How public schools have become cesspools of far-leftist indoctrination - anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-truth, and pro-sin, pro-evil propaganda machines. Even those dear children who are grounded in faith can succumb to the extreme pressure, not just peer pressure, but from 90%+ of the adult teachers in many public schools who are sold out to leftism, Marxism, Darwinism; they are foisting the devil's propaganda upon these children all day long-seven or more hours per day, five days a week.
The fact that the truth of creationism isn't even 'allowed' to be taught in public schools has caused many a child to doubt God's word after having sat under this force-fed anti-God propaganda shoveled down their throats day after day for 12-13 years (more if they go to most colleges today). That grieves us also. Many of us are homeschooling now or sending our children to good Christian schools (if one can be found).
There are many other things that grieve us. Censorship is one. Remember when social media used to be a place where friends and family connected? A place to share not just recipes and family photos, but also scripture? A place to fellowship with other believers? If someone was offended by what another person had to say, they had (and still have) the 'unfollow' or 'unfriend' option. Yet today, social media has become open season on conservatives, Christians, and Jews. It's often overwhelming.
It used to be strangers (or even bots) that would attack Christians on social media. Now? It's many unsaved people who now attempt to claim that ANY scripture is 'hate speech'. In some nations already it's illegal to quote certain scriptures! Leftist-run states in the US are now attempting to pass the same kinds of 'laws' against Christian speech today as well.
Some of these people on social media we may have known most of our lives, and they are just now coming against Christians and conservative values with a fervor that can be nothing other than demonically inspired. Seems that it didn't bother them for many decades until now (for some strange reason)? I don't think it's out of the blue; instead it's clear that the devil is stirring up hatred in the hearts of the unsaved world, readying them for the tribulation when (after the rapture) those who come to Christ during that time will not only be persecuted, but killed for their faith (Rev. 6:9-11, 20:4, et al).
Both Daniel 7:21 and Revelation 13:7 foretell a time in the tribulation when the antichrist will "make war with the saints" and overcome them and prevail against them. There are many scriptural reasons why the rapture is a pre-tribulational event. This is one of them. In Matt. 16:18 we are told that not even the gates of hell will prevail against the church. The church cannot be here during the tribulation, as clearly the antichrist beast government will be prevailing against the tribulation saints.
I've noticed another trend as well in secular society. It used to be that parents taught their children moral values as well as political ideology. Today? The opposite seems to be occurring. I've witnessed unsaved parents bowing to their teenage children's political ideology and lack of moral values. Secular modern parents are more concerned with whether their children like them, rather than raising them.
Some parents work two or more jobs just to buy their children whatever their hearts desire, and/or enroll them in every activity possible as status symbols of sorts. The more money that is spent on these children and the more praise lavished on them for little to no reason, the more these children feel entitled to what someone else has worked for. Yet, isn't this exactly what we should expect today according to 2 Timothy 3:1-5?
The concept of children ruling over parents isn't a new one. Secular adults have no moral compass without Christ (Rom. 1:18-32). We read in Isaiah 3:4-5 the following scripture (and it is strikingly similar to today's secular society):
"And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable" (Isaiah 3:4-5).
I started writing this article almost a month ago. I'd listed many more examples of the things that grieve us. Yet I had to revise it numerous times because there are just too many examples. The above example of the trends is just a few of the thousands (or more) of examples. The article would be book-length if we even briefly touched on just half of the topics relevant to the wickedness that grieves us daily. That's how bad it is.
Rather than to list the myriad wickedness that is grievous to us, let's instead focus on what God's word has to say about it all. There's a reason why God's word told us these days would be "as in the days of Noah" and "as in the days of Lot" in Luke 17. When we look back to Genesis chapters 6 and 18-19 (as well as the numerous times both accounts are reiterated in short, sprinkled throughout scripture), we can readily see that today we are grieved by many of the same wicked and evil goings-on in the unsaved world.
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).
In Genesis 18 we read the account of how God was ready to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah also "because their sin is very grievous" (v.20). Abraham pleaded with God to spare the place if there could be any righteous found in Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet there weren't even 10 righteous people in those cities (v.32). So we see not only was it grievous to Abraham, Lot, and Noah, but it grieved God as well.
What can we glean from both accounts? That the wicked, sinful condition of the world that occurred then (prior to God's wrath being meted out) is occurring now, just as Luke 17 foretold would be the case. And again, it is prior to God's wrath being meted out. This time His wrath will be poured out on a God-hating and Christ-rejecting world.
We can also deduce from scripture that we believers should be looking forward to the rapture (Titus 2:13, Phil. 3:20-21, 2 Cor. 5:2-4, and many others). We shouldn't be looking back on the world with nostalgia and love for the world that is soon to pass away (1 John 2:15, 2 Pet. 3:13, et al) as Lot's wife looked back (and turned into a pillar of salt; as per Gen. 19:26).
It's no mere coincidence that Luke 17:32 warns us again: "Remember Lot's wife." That one statement of warning should speak volumes to us to not look back with desire on this wicked world that is soon to be dealt with in God's righteous wrath! There is nothing here we should desire above being with the Lord, and being out of this evil, sin-filled cesspool.
While we recognize that the "sheep and goat" judgment (Matt. 25) is a judgment upon the nations not to occur during the age of grace; we could also look at it (what's occurring today) as a micro-taste of what's to come. We see the division of evil vs. good and the God-hating and Christ-rejecting world against Christians. The division has never been more apparent in our lifetimes.
Even those whom some might call 'nominal Christians' are being weeded out (likely having never believed in the first place). Those aren't looking forward to the rapture, but are rather more desirous to stay here where their heart is, on earth; their heart is tied up in earthy possessions and aspirations rather than desiring to be with the Lord (Matt. 6:19-21).
Then there are the teachers of false doctrine that grieve us as well. Much like the pernicious lava flow of the volcano erupting in recent days, smothering everything in its path, so too are these wicked false teachers proclaiming false doctrine and downright lies which spread as perniciously as the lava flow has done... destroying those who've bought into it, covering the hearts, minds, and eyes of the deceived like a creeping flow of lava. Pretending God's word doesn't really mean what it says; twisting it to claim God didn't say what He meant!
That's the same lie the serpent tempted Eve with in the garden: "Yea, hath God said?" Attempting to cast doubt on God's word. We believers know better! God's word is truth!
We arrive full circle back at 2 Peter chapter 2 again:
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not" (2 Pet.2:1-3).
Let's take care not to be as Lot's wife, turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah, burnt to a crisp, ruined and destroyed because of sin. Let's not long for the world we once knew.
It's easy to get caught up with the latest trend of "Make America Great Again;" but I wonder if we consider the abortions, the fact that God and His word have been kicked out of schools and public forums, how every wicked perversion is being touted as 'good', and every good thing is erroneously called 'evil' today?
Do we recognize that truth is called 'hate speech', and lies are erroneously promoted (from those who aren't Christians) as 'Christ-like'? How the rebellion against God and the rejection of Christ has never been more overt in US society? How the unsaved world is raising a fist to God in rebellion and screaming to shut us (true believers) up?
Do we really think God is going to bless this mess? Do we really think that now that Bible prophecy is aligned and beginning fulfillment (much like birth pains, one right after the other, closer and closer together) that God is just going to say: 'Okay, let's pause for a few decades and just put this on hold?' I don't think so!
Do we not realize why Jesus Himself (in Matt.24) used the example of birth pains (like a woman in travail or labor, whose contractions get closer together and more severe)? Do we really believe that somehow the world will do an about-face and forget about rebelling against God? Sorry... I don't see it in scripture. In fact I see the exact opposite.
What does scripture say? Besides the birth pains example, we also have 2 Timothy chapter 3-the numerous characteristics of those living in the perilous last days. We can put a check mark beside each one. What does that chapter say about what happens after those conditions (the perilous last-day characteristics) are prevalent? Does it say there will be a huge revival and everything will go back to the way it was in bygone eras? No, here's what God's word says:
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Tim. 3:13).
And what of Romans chapter 1, verses 18-32? When the Christ-rejecting and God-hating world becomes so depraved in wickedness and sinfulness that they want to pretend they don't recognize God created them and that they are accountable to a Holy and Righteous God? God then turns them over to a reprobate mind. God Himself gives them over and gives them up! They then become so morally bankrupt that they truly cannot delineate between good and evil, right and wrong; they have no moral compass without Christ.
There are myriad sins noted there, but once a society becomes so full of reprobate minds, there is no sin they will prohibit themselves from committing. The end result is sexual depravity, homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality... again nothing is prohibited in a reprobate mind. Not only do they not feel remorse or guilt over it, but they pat each other on the back for doing so wickedly! (Rom. 1:18-32).
So here we are again, full circle back to the accounts of the wickedness in the earth during the days of Noah and Lot. Instead of longing for the past life we enjoyed on this planet, we should be looking ahead to the righteousness of heaven where Christ dwells, and where we will soon be taken up to be with Him! While the past we knew (in our lifetimes) is much preferable to the present state of the world, it is nothing in comparison to the glorious things that Christ Jesus has prepared for us! (John 14:2-3, Rom. 8:14-23, Phil. 3:20-21, et al).
And as we are grieved and vexed in our souls by witnessing how horribly evil the world has become, let's also remember that this is all temporal! We have so much better to look forward to. This suffering (although at times it is tremendous suffering for some of us) is nothing in comparison to what awaits us! We cannot lose sight of this precious truth.
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom.8:18).
Let's not look back on this world with nostalgia. Let's not forget where this sin-sick world is headed!
"But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" (Luke 17:29).
When we study Revelation chapters 14 and 16-18, we can clearly see how the wrath of the Lamb will destroy the Christ-rejecting and God-hating world. When Jesus returns in Revelation 19, He will tread the "winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." There are many vivid descriptions in those chapters of how thoroughly Jesus will destroy the wicked when He returns at the Second Coming (and we will return with Him).
As we study Noah and Lot, there are so many reasons why we can take heart as to what both of them were going through. The grieving and vexing of their souls as they witnessed the final hours before God's wrath was meted out on the wicked is just one aspect. But far more precious is the promise God made to both of them to deliver them prior to the soon-coming wrath of their days. So too do we have that precious promise in Christ Jesus! He has promised to deliver us (church/grace-age believers) from the wrath to come as well! (1 Thes. 1:10, Rom. 5:9, 1 Thes. 5:9).
Noah forewarned the world in his day of the soon-coming wrath of God. The world didn't listen. He kept on building the ark, believing God's word to him that wrath was soon coming, and giving mankind only one way to be spared. So too are we warning the unsaved world today of the soon-coming wrath and the seven years of tribulation that follow the rapture. So too do we believers trust God's word and promises that Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come.
It's very likely that Noah got much the same response from the God-hating world as we are receiving from the Christ-rejecting and God-hating world today: Mocking, ridicule, threats of violence, hatred, being cussed at, maybe even spat upon, contempt, and flat out rejection of truth. And we are even told to expect that! (2 Pet. 4:3-4, Jude 1:18, John 15:18-19, 1 John 3:13, et al).
How sad that so many will perish in God's wrath needlessly. If they would only heed His word and come to Christ NOW for salvation, they would be spared the wrath to come as we church/grace-age believers are promised.
It's not just secular society that comes against us when we present the truth in scripture of the pre-trib rapture; but sadly, it's also many professing Christians who do not BELIEVE scripture! In the hundreds of conversations I've had with those who hold to a post-trib position, they either quote Second Coming scripture (the very few who even know any scripture) or (most often) they simply cling to whatever they were taught.
How sad is it when professing Christians don't believe God's word? Where can you go with a conversation when the person claims to believe on Christ for salvation, claims to believe that part of scripture, yet doesn't believe scripture pertaining to the rapture?
In decades past it used to be a discussion between pre-trib and post-trib believers regarding the timing of the rapture, rather than IF there is to BE a rapture... yet now, many of them toss out 1 Cor. 15 and 1 Thes. 4 altogether. How is it they can pick and choose what scripture to believe and what to discard? They must have no fear of God whatsoever to disregard His word!
Just as there was no fear of God in the eyes of the wicked prior to the flood and prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, so too today is the situation very similar. Here in the US there is so little fear of God in secular society.
How quickly this nation has fallen to unbelief; even Satanism and occultism is on the rise - this same nation which was founded on Christian belief; our founding documents giving reverence to our Creator, God; the last stanza of our national anthem (The Star Spangled Banner) giving reverence to trusting in God; even our money boldly proclaiming "in God we trust." Yet today, God is far from secular societies' minds.
Mankind foolishly has no fear of God. They've profaned His name, taking it in vain and using both the words "God" and "Jesus" along with cuss words. That's the only PC time for the unsaved world to mention the name of Jesus or God at all-when they are taking His precious name in vain! This grieves us as well.
And just as both Noah and Lot had to have been grieved because the foolish wicked didn't want to heed any warnings, so too are we experiencing the same thing today. It breaks our hearts that the unsaved world doesn't want to hear about their one and only means of salvation, Christ Jesus. They reject His free offer of salvation, and with that also reject His deliverance from the wrath to come.
Yet we believers know our final destination is not this world. This world is not our home (Heb. 13:14). We are just strangers and pilgrims passing through (1 Pet. 2:11, Heb. 11:13).
As we are grieved in our souls as were Noah and Lot, let's also take time to comfort one another as we are admonished to do (1 Thes. 4:18, 1 Thes. 5:11, 2 Cor. 1:3-7) with the truth of the rapture (1 Cor. 15:49-53, 1 Thes. 4:13-18, Titus 2:13) - knowing that now as we are grieved in our souls by witnessing the horrific sins of the world, this is just temporary! We will soon meet in the air and receive the promised redemption of these bodies!
Please, don't look back as Lot's wife did... there's nothing back there, nothing here on this earth worthy of our desire to stay. Let's instead look forward to being with Jesus! He is soon coming to deliver us from the wrath to come! He is soon going to change our bodies instantaneously from these sinful, corruptible bodies of flesh into eternal glorified bodies like His own! We've so much to look forward to in Christ Jesus!
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
The Feast Of Pentecost - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley -
Pentecost comes in the early summer (mid May-mid June). It's the only Levitical Feast Day between the three spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits) and the three in the fall (Rosh Hashanna, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles). The Hebrew name for this Day is Shavuot, which means weeks, so in Israel, it's often called the Feast of Weeks.
This is because it's supposed to occur seven weeks after the Feast of First Fruits (Lev. 23:15-16). Deut. 16:9 confirms this. "Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain." The first cutting of the grain took place on the Feast of First Fruits. Since First Fruits was the first day after the Sabbath that follows Passover, it was always observed on a Sunday. Shavuot, being seven weeks later, was always on a Sunday, too, and celebrated the beginning of the summer harvest.
But in 140 AD, following the final defeat of the Jewish nation after the bar Kochba revolt of 135 AD, the Sanhedrin changed the focus of Shavuot from the summer harvest to the giving of the Law. They did this because Shavuot was one of the three feasts all Jews were required to observe (Exodus 23:14-17 tells us Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles were the other two) and the defeated and dispersed nation would no longer have any national harvests to celebrate. From that time on, the countdown began from the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day the Israelites left Egypt. So now Shavuot can come any day of the week and takes place on the 6th day of the Hebrew month called Sivan, which is the traditional day Moses received the Law from the Lord. Making this change placed the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai exactly seven weeks after the Exodus from Egypt and preserved the Feast of Weeks in Jewish life.
Christians call this day by its Greek name, Pentecost. Pentecost comes from a word that means "50 days." That's because there were 50 days from the Sabbath that followed Passover to Shavuot (Pentecost).
Early Christians also changed the way the various dates are determined, although we've retained the Sunday requirement for Pentecost. Christians now start counting on the day we call Easter Sunday, which is officially the first Sunday after the first full moon that follows the Spring Equinox. We count Easter Sunday as day one, so Pentecost is always 49 days after Easter and always comes on a Sunday. By counting Easter Sunday on both ends of the span, we can arrive at 50 days (Pentecost) and still keep the celebration on the 7th Sunday after Easter.
What is Pentecost?
As I said, Jews now celebrate Pentecost (I'll just use its Greek name to avoid any more confusion than necessary) as the day Moses received the Law on Mt. Sinai and the nation of Israel was born (Exodus 19-20). Christians celebrate it as the day the Holy Spirit came upon the Disciples in Jerusalem and the Church was born. (Some scholars see the historical and prophetic fulfillment of Pentecost in these two events.)
Acts 2 describes that day for us. On Pentecost, the followers of Jesus were all gathered together in one place when a sound like the blowing of a violent wind filled the house where they were staying and what seemed like tongues of fire separated and came to rest on each of them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as He enabled them. Just before He ascended into heaven Jesus told them to expect this (Acts 1:8) and now it was happening. Since Pentecost was one of the feasts where attendance in Jerusalem was required, there were God-fearing Jews from many other countries in Jerusalem, swelling its normal population substantially. The sound of the wind had alerted those who were nearby and as they came closer to see what it was, each one of these pilgrims was amazed to hear the disciples, who were all Galilean, speaking in his own language.
Peter got their attention and explained what was going on. It was the first public presentation of the gospel since the Lord's death and resurrection, and when Peter had finished, 3,000 of those gathered around had accepted his message and were baptized, and the Lord continued adding to their number daily.
If you agree with my view that the parables of Matthew 13 describe the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and that the parable of the yeast (Matt. 13:33) predicts how the Church will be filled with sinners, you'll be interested in the fact that unlike all the other Levitical Feasts that call for unleavened bread (no yeast), Pentecost calls for two loaves of bread baked with yeast (Lev. 23:17). In the Bible leaven, or yeast, is a model of sin because it causes the dough to begin spoiling.
Other Jewish Pentecost ceremonies also reveal a subtle hint of the coming Church. In synagogues, the Book of Ruth is read on Pentecost. The story of Ruth has been called "The Romance of Redemption." It's about Naomi, a Jewish woman from Bethlehem who lost her land due to a famine in Israel and was forced to flee into neighboring Moab (Jordan), where there was no famine. Shortly thereafter her husband passed away leaving her penniless and alone in a foreign country.
After the famine had ended, she returned to Bethlehem accompanied by Ruth, a gentile woman who had sworn never to leave her. Ruth was a Moabite who had married one of Naomi's sons (who also died) making her Naomi's daughter-in-law and a destitute widow as well.
Once back in Bethlehem Naomi's close relative, a prominent Jewish man named Boaz fell in love with Ruth and married her. In the process he also regained Naomi's land as her kinsman-redeemer. Both these events were accomplished according to the Law. For Naomi it was the law of redemption (Lev 25:25), and for Ruth it was the law of leverite marriage (Deut. 25:5-6).
The modeling here is dramatic, with Naomi in the role of Israel, destitute and alone, Ruth as the Church, the gentile bride, Boaz as the Messiah, and the story itself as a prediction of the relationship that would involve all three of them. In the process of redeeming Israel, the Messiah takes a gentile bride. In doing so, He saves both from their destitute condition and restores Israel's Land. The identification of the Church with Pentecost began in the prophecies of Ruth. To learn more about these incredible prophecies, and enjoy one of the world's classic love stories, read Ruth's Story.
By the way, Boaz was the son of Rahab, the harlot from the Book of Joshua (read "The Gospel in Joshua ... The Story of Rahab" ). His great-grandson David became the King of Israel. Rahab and Ruth are both listed in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus (Matt. 1:5), and King Solomon named one of the pillars at the entrance to the Temple after his ancestor Boaz.
When's Your Birthday?
By tradition, Enoch, one of the patriarchs from Genesis 5, was born on the day later to be known as Pentecost. Enoch's name means "teaching," a primary function of the Church (Matt. 28:19-20). For this reason many scholars see him as a "type" of the church as well. Genesis 5:21-23 indicates that Enoch had a close relationship with God and was actually taken live (raptured) into Heaven before the Great Flood. Pre-Trib scholars see this event as one of several Old Testament hints that the Church will disappear from Earth before the Great Tribulation.
These same traditions also hold that Enoch was taken on his birthday. So here's a man, identified with the Church, perhaps being born and raptured on the day that would become Pentecost, the day the Church was born. Will the Church be raptured on our birthday, too? Personally I don't believe the Rapture of the Church will be the prophetic fulfillment of any of Israel's Holy Days. But if I'm wrong and the Rapture does fulfill a Levitical Feast, Pentecost seems to be the most obvious candidate.
As you probably know, I believe the reason no one on Earth can accurately predict the day of the Rapture is because it's a number specific event, not a date specific one. In Romans 11:25 Paul implied the church has a "full number," when its ranks will be considered complete. When that number is reached the Church will "come in," which means it will arrive at its scheduled destination, like when a ship "comes in." Jesus said the destination of the Church is His Father's house (John 14:2). Put it together, and I believe it means we'll be raptured as soon as the predetermined number of Christians has been born again, no matter what day it happens to be.
Soon And Very Soon
No matter what day it happens to be, one day soon now, all who are in Christ, having heard and believed the Word of Truth, the Gospel of our salvation (thereby receiving the seal of the promised Holy Spirit) will suddenly disappear from the face of the Earth along with all children and others who are intellectually incapable of making informed choices about their eternal destiny. In one instant we will have been going about our daily routines here on Earth and in the next we'll be standing in the presence of our Redeemer, our sins forgiven and forgotten, and all our imperfections gone. Among us will be all the faithful dead of the Church Age, reunited with perfected bodies and restored to eternal physical life. Together we will begin the most incredible journey of exploration and realization ever dreamed of, and it will last forever.
Neither we, nor the unbelieving world, will have received any advance warning of the timing for this event; it will have come totally by surprise. Maybe it will happen on Pentecost, maybe not. But one thing is certain, when it does happen, none of us will care one bit whether we had predicted it's timing accurately. We will only express in unimaginable joy our gratitude for being there. For it is by grace you have been saved through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephe. 2:8-9)
As it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him - but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit (1 Cor. 2:9-10). You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.
Nearing Midnight: The Gaza 'Demonstrations': Just Another Demonic Suicide March - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Nearly 100 Palestinians have been killed in clashes at the Gaza/Israeli border fence. For the past several weeks, the people of Gaza have hopelessly tried to breach the border and enter into Israel. A sane person would declare this to be a stupid endeavor; but, with each passing day, the Palestinians become all the more motivated in achieving an invasion of the Jewish state.
Hamas, the Islamic terrorist organization that rules Gaza, has made every effort to involve as many people as possible in the conflict. Schools in the Strip were closed. Fishermen were prohibited from working. Buses were chartered to bring people to the protests. The Gaza-ruling terrorist group even offered to pay people for attending - $100 per family. If someone gets shot, Hamas will pay them $300 to $500. If a protester gets killed, the family will receive a payment of $3,000.
The Israeli military has done everything possible to avoid bloodshed. The army has used drones and cannons to propel vast amounts of tear gas into the crowds. They've also used water cannons, foul- smelling liquids, and sponge-tipped bullets. A long line of razor wire was stretched out to prevent the Palestinians from reaching the main fence. They also dropped leaflets that warned people to stay away from the border fence.
No other nation on earth would have tolerated this type of action on its border without using deadly force. At least 52 of the 60 Palestinians reportedly killed in clashes ahead of the Jerusalem opening of the U.S. Embassy in Israel were members of Hamas. A dozen of them were killed trying to plant bombs on or near the border wall. Most were shot for hurling pipe bombs, firebombs and other deadly objects at IDF troops.
The liberal media has been absolutely disgraceful in how they have covered the conflict. They paint a picture of poor innocent Palestinians being slaughtered by the trigger-happy Israeli military. In an NPR interview, a reporter tells a young man that the Israelis will exploit the fact that he has a swastika on his kite. The man answered by saying, "This is what we want them to know, that we want to burn them."
When 45 Palestinians were killed in Syria in April, the world didn't protest those deaths. In that case, the Jews weren't involved, so there was no reason to care.
None of the reporters on the ground are based out of Gaza because they know Hamas would kill them. They use their press credentials to go into the danger zone to watch Palestinians act like animals, and then they go back to their safe Israeli hotels to write stories negative of the IDF.
Hamas has been 100% transparent that terrorism is their intention. Anyone monitoring Gaza TV would know this truth. The Mossad posted one of Hamas's operating plans for the Monday protest. Here is one paragraph that shows their true colors:
"Demonstrators are requested to act in accordance with the demand to bring a knife or a gun, to hide them under their clothes and not use them except where is needed to capture soldiers or residents of Israel. It is requested not to kill them, but to hand them over to the resistance forces, as this is an important bargaining chip of which Israel is afraid."
Israel has won all the battles to defend its border, but Hamas is slowly winning the propaganda war. The Jewish state has been bombarded with condemnations and accusations of excessive force from around the world. Two countries, South Africa and Turkey, announced they were pulling their ambassadors from Israel. The Israeli ambassador to Ireland received a formal dressing down. The US veto power is the only thing preventing the UN Security Council from passing a condemnation of Israel.
This illogical hatred of the Jews in handling the Gaza border conflict has the devil's fingerprint all over it. Satan is a master at deceiving vast multitudes to follow him into rebellion. He convinced a third of the heavenly angels to join his side, he was behind every dictator that tried to enslave the world, and he will soon organize the Battle of Armageddon. The most chilling example of Satan's skills is his very last rebellion. Jesus will have ruled on earth for 1,000 years with perfect peace. As soon as the devil is set free from his abysmal prison, he will quickly gather a large army of people to attack the Holy City.
The only thing holding back Satan is God's authorization. Bible prophecy and the growing madness in Gaza tell us that the go ahead will soon be given.
Revelation 20:7-10, "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth-Gog and Magog-to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
First Fruits' Ceremony Reenacted Overlooking Temple Mount - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
All the choice first fruits of every kind, and all the gifts of every kind-of all your contributions-shall go to the kohanim. You shall further give the first of the yield of your baking to the kohen, that a blessing may rest upon your home. Ezekiel 44:30 (The Israel Bible™)
On Monday, at the promenade in Armon Hanatziv overlooking the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a group of Kohanim (Jewish men of the priestly caste descended from the Biblical figure Aaron) recreated the ritual of the first fruits as it was performed in the Temple.
The event was organized by the Mikdash (Temple) Educational Center, the United Temple Movements and the nascent Sanhedrin, an initiative to reinstate the Biblically mandated court of 71 elders.
Rabbi Baruch Kahane led a group of four priests dressed in the Biblically mandated garments required for the Temple Service. Rabbi Kahane has played a central role in educating Kohanim in all aspects of the Temple service. The reenactment was intended as part of this essential stage of preparing for the future when the Third Temple will be built and these rituals will again be performed.
The Torah commands the bringing of the first fruits from the period between the pilgrimage festivals of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).
Thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which thou shalt bring in from thy land that Hashem thy God giveth thee; and thou shalt put it in a basket and shalt go unto the place which Hashem thy God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there. Deuteronomy 26:2
Bikurim (first fruits) are brought from the seven species that have a special significance to Israel: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olive oil and dates (honey).
A land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey Deuteronomy 8:8
A model of the ark of the covenant, the menorah (seven-branched candelabrum), a model altar and a rack for the show-breads were arranged also as an educational illustration.
The models were made from wood, however full-size versions made of gold and silver have been constructed and are ready for use in the Third Temple.
Two sheep were brought as an illustrative example but were not slaughtered. Instead, the proper cuts of meat were brought and arranged on the model altar. Show-breads were presented as were loaves of bread specially baked and presented as the two loaves of bread that are to be brought as a wave offering in the Temple on Shavuot.
Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto Hashem. Leviticus 23:17
At the end of the ceremony, the Kohanim performed the priestly blessing.
May the LORD bless you and guard you, May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you,May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace. Numbers 6:23-27
Daily Jot: Of discernment and trust - Bill Wilson -
Dad always said that we shouldn't discuss politics and religion with others-not in the sense of sharing Christ, but rather the divisive particulars of doctrine. Same with politics. Dad and Mom had many friends of different political stripes, but my parents were very conservative Republicans. I didn't know until much later in life the political persuasion of family friends. I will say that they all were very conservative, even though some were Democrats. "Best not to discuss politics and religion," Dad would say. Yet, at the dinner table growing up on our family farm in Ohio, we often discussed both. I got my grounding around that dinner table. It's where I learned discernment, and formed my internal justice meter.
Nowadays, it's very difficult to refrain from discussing religion and politics in public gatherings. The 24-hour "news" cycle, which really is a bombardment of editorial opinion disguised as news, has made it nearly impossible to avoid such conversations. The nation is truly polarized by this nonsense that countrymen allow themselves to believe. There is a lack of common sense. There is a lack of responsibility and ownership of one's own words and deeds. It's like the dad of the shooter in the most recent school massacre in Texas saying that his son shot up everyone in response to bullying. That's no reason to shoot anybody. I was bullied as a child, it didn't make me want to kill anybody. We talked it over at the dinner table.
All these crazy investigations over whether Russia influenced the election. It's nonsense, too. Nobody tells me how to vote. How about you? A bunch of crooks are trying to cover up their dealings by accusing others of what they were doing. Sure, a prosecutor can defend any charges against someone. That's why our laws say that we are innocent until proven guilty. Investigations after investigations are revealing little except about crooks trying to keep their power. People are sore about losing. Others are vindictive. Others have a political agenda that would undermine our freedoms. They are all working together for their own advancement. Like Deuteronomy 12:8, "every man did which is right in his own eyes."
There are a lot of problems in this world. They seem to get worse every day. It is the prophetic path to the return of the Messiah. We need to understand and discern the truth, even among the sources that we trust. As my friend Ronald Reagan used to say, "Trust, but verify." Let's also remember Proverbs 3:4-7,"So shall you find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." Pretty sound advice--maybe worth sharing when talking politics and religion around the dinner table.
Daily Devotion: No Other God - By Greg Laurie -
Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. . . . And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them. -Psalm 115:4, 8
Moses hadn't been away for very long when some of the Israelites approached Aaron and said, in effect, "We're kind of tired of waiting for Moses. We need a god that we can worship. Remember all the gods of Egypt? We need a god we can reach out and touch."
Aaron should have rebuked them and said, "You're crazy! Worship the Lord! Look at all that He has done for you!" Instead he melted all the gold they brought to him and made it into a golden calf for them to worship.
This seems alien to us. How could this happen? It's easier to do than we think. There were two phases to their idolatry. The first was more subtle and less obvious. The second was more blatant and radical. One will always grow out of the other.
The root of their open idolatry was the departure of their heart from the Lord and their leaning too much on God's instrument, Moses. Their first idol was Moses, and their second was the golden calf.
We can make idols out of people we admire. Have you ever heard of a sports hero? What about American Idol? We may say somewhat jokingly, "I idolize that person" or "He is a guitar god" or "That person is a sports god." But when we see the way some people behave, maybe that person really is a god to them.
We can do this in the church too. We can make an idol out of a man or woman of God, someone the Lord has used to bless us. News flash: They are human like you, and everyone will fail you in some way, shape, or form.
We don't need idols. Let's not make idols out of people. Let's not make idols out of things.
FROM THE HEART
IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED THROUGH THIS MINISTRY, THEN WE ASK THAT YOU WOULD PLEASE REMEMBER PROPHECY UPDATE IN YOUR GIVING - WE ARE TRULY, TRULY, THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Prophecy Update has no corporate sponsors. This ministry is paid for and prayed for by readers and supporters. Without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update, Please pray about becoming a monthly supporter - thanks!
If ever there was a time to invest in God's Kingdom, it's now!
What on earth are you doing for Heaven's Sake?
"Share in the Blessings and Rewards that will last Forever!"
"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
1) We need your prayers!- We proclaim the Truth of the Word of God and we are under constant spiritual and sometimes even physical attack.
2) We need your encouragement!- We need to hear from you, let us know how the Lord is blessing you through this ministry so that we can share it with others.
3) We need your input! - If you have a prophetic article or story or if there is a news related item we missed, let us know.
4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
Prophecy Update is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt - non-profit organization, and all your donations are tax deductible.
If you have been blessed by Prophecy Update and would like to help support this ministry financially. You can make a secure donation online by going to:
Or Visit our website:
Or write us at:
P.O. Box 40516
Bakersfield, CA 93384-0516