Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Understanding the Mystery of Pentecost (Part 1) - by: Gary Stearman - https://prophecywatchers.com/understanding-the-mystery-of-pentecost/
In Hebrew, the word Pentecost is "Shavuot," which means "weeks." In the Jewish calendar, the Feast of Weeks is the festival of the wheat harvest in the Land of Israel, which is always a metaphor of souls saved being brought into the household of God.
"9 Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. 10 And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee" (Deut. 16:9, 10).
As first given in Leviticus, it is seen as the culmination of seven weeks, plus one day ... the day after the Sabbath. These fifty days are mentioned in the New Testament as Pentecost, the Greek word for "fifty."
Of all the observances of the Jewish Festival Calendar, The Feast of Weeks is the most mysterious. In modern Judaism, Pentecost is always observed on two days, a mystery in itself. Because it floats on their calendar, it is called, "the festival without a date."
When most Christians think of Pentecost, they don't think of Jewish holidays at all. Quite naturally, their first thought is the Book of Acts. This book - the history of apostolic activity in the formative days of the Church - is founded upon the dispensation of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church on Pentecost morning. By itself, it is one of the most amazing events in the history of the world.
The Book of Acts opens near the end of the fifty-day period that began to be counted after the Feast of Firstfruits - the day that marks the resurrection of our Lord. Luke opens his narrative in Acts by referring back to his Gospel, calling it "the former treatise." At the end of that "former treatise" - The Gospel of Luke - Jesus ascends into the heavens after meeting with many people. He ended his appearances by saying "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Lk. 24:49).
Then, in Acts, after a 40-day gap, Luke writes:
"1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the Earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts1:1-11).
Jesus rose before their wondering eyes, received into a "cloud." Many believe that this event foreshadows the moment when Christians shall be caught up to be with Him. During the following ten days, they gathered and prayed until Pentecost:
"1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4).
FESTIVAL OF THE HARVEST
From its earliest days, Pentecost was known as a festival of the harvest. Long ago, the Omer was offered by the high priest, who stood before the Tabernacle, or later, the Temple. It was the token of the Festival of Firstfruits. In Leviticus 23:11, it is called, "the sheaf." In its most common sense, an omer was a dry measure that amounted to a little over two quarts. The offering of the Omer marked the first day of a fifty-day countdown to Pentecost:
"15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf [omer] of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: 16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord. 17 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 the Lord" (Leviticus 23:15-17).
The counting of fifty days from Firstfruits to Pentecost is typical of redemption in general. For the Jew, in the observance of the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), it has always represented the maturing relationship between God and Israel.
Think for a moment about the traditions that originated in the first years of the church. Its central doctrines were handed down through men brought up in the traditions of Jewish history and prophecy. Their lives had literally revolved around the keeping of the festival calendar. They had heard the teachings of Christ. Some, no doubt, had heard in person. They had listened to His parable of the harvest, when the good wheat and the tares, which had grown up together would be separated. They knew about the Festival of Harvest (Pentecost).
When Peter preached that historic sermon on the Day of Pentecost, he quoted the prophet Joel, whose entire book is centered around the harvest cycle.
When Joel wrote the prophecy, "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh," he set the theme of the harvest. Joel said, "The field is wasted, the land mourneth" (Joel 1:10). He said, "That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten" (Joel 1:4). That was a prediction of Israel's exile. The Jews must be scattered from their land, to suffer among the nations.
But that's not all. Joel also spoke of Israel's restoration and linked it to the time of the spring harvest.
"23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain and the latter rain in the first month. 24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten" (Joel 2:23-25).
This is a prophecy that began to be fulfilled in 1948. Furthermore, Israel was restored on May 14th of that year, during the season of the harvest cycle. This date, the 5th of Iyar in the Jewish calendar, was the 20th day in the counting of the Omer.
In Matthew 13:39, Jesus said, "The harvest is the end of the world." He indicated that end-time events would culminate in a great harvest of souls. Pentecost, the day following the seventh sabbath, marked the end of the grain harvest, at which time two loaves baked with leavening were brought to the Temple and held aloft by the High Priest. These two loaves symbolize the completed bodies of the redeemed. It seems quite reasonable that one is emblematic of spiritual Israel, while the other represents the church.
EARLY AND LATTER RAINS
Once the Holy Spirit was poured out in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, the prophecy of the "early rain" was fulfilled. Some day, the Holy Spirit will be poured out again in Jerusalem. It should be a fulfillment of the promise of a "latter rain." Will it also occur on Pentecost? In Peter's second sermon, he spoke of the ultimate fulfillment of the festival cycle. In Acts 3:19-21, he said:
"19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21).
The prophetic implications of the festival cycle lie in God's promise to restore the Earth to the state of glory that He originally intended. So that His people would always remember what He has in mind, He planted this prophetic scenario in their culture. At some future time known only to Him, the story will become a reality. The festival narrative is arranged around events in their calendar that foreshadow their future counterparts.
We find ourselves experiencing another wave of renewed excitement about the near possibility of the rapture of the church. Interest in the prophesied culmination of the church age has waxed and waned over the years, periodically rising to its present level when world developments seem to signal a radical change. At the moment, an imminent war in the Middle East, coupled with financial collapse on a global scale, have aroused the attention of Christians around the world.
Many years ago, we began to share our studies on the traditions of Pentecost, which demonstrated numerous remarkable connections with the prophetic conclusion of the church age. It is the fourth and central feast among the seven Feasts of Israel: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Tabernacles. The first three are spring festivals, representing the blood sacrifice and resurrection. The last three come in the fall, calling forth judgment and the establishment of the Kingdom. At the middle - in summer - is Pentecost. In the Bible, it is represented by two loaves of leavened bread, held aloft by the High Priest. Today's Jews celebrate it in a ceremony called, "decorating the bride." Most remarkably, it typifies the catching-away of the church.
Every year, we are reminded afresh of Pentecost's enormous significance in the panorama of biblical prophecy. Many years ago, we first brought you its amazing prophetic truths. Better than any other ancient festival, it embodies the elements that we associate with the catching-away, or rapture, of the church. We repeat them here to refresh your memory concerning the joys of this season and to remind you that the Lord is near, even at the door. Our studies have made it increasingly obvious that the Lord-specifically for latter-day understanding-has inculcated specific memorial elements into the Jewish traditions surrounding Pentecost. As we continue to investigate this important subject, we are repeatedly impressed by the strong connections between Pentecost and the coming change of dispensation that will move the world into the age of the Kingdom.
Watching this festival, we constantly stress the fact that it is the most mysterious of all the Jewish festivals. First called the "Feast of Weeks," it is the major harvest festival. But its associated symbols and metaphors invoke meanings far beyond the mere harvesting of grain.
Among the Jews, this is the festival that celebrates the giving of the Torah, or Law. This was the time, they say, when Jews gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai. There, they heard the actual voice of God, as He spoke the commandments. The Bible does not seem, at first glance, to make a clear connection between Sinai and Pentecost. Nevertheless, the link is there, if we take the time to look.
Furthermore, this festival presents the ceremony of the marriage between God and Israel. In this context, Passover (which precedes Pentecost by seven weeks) becomes the period of God's courtship of His wife. The spiritual picture that emerges is the establishment of a faithful and holy household. A bit later, we'll examine it in greater depth.
JUDGMENT OF THE FRUIT OF TREES
Traditional Jewish belief holds that Pentecost is the day when the fruit of trees is judged in heaven. Christians throughout the Church Age have believed that the fruit of one's life will be judged following the rapture. This, of course, is the picture given by the apostle Paul to the church at Corinth in II Corinthians 5:10: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
The resurrection of Jesus as the Omer or offering of Firstfruits began a countdown to the completion of the body of Christ. The good fruit of the righteous will be reviewed, then will come the judgment of the depraved world.
But there is more to add to this picture. Jewish families observe Pentecost by wearing bright and festive clothing. Homes are decorated with green plants and celebrative foods are prepared.
According to Hayyim Schauss, writing in The Jewish Festivals:
"The custom of decorating the homes and synagogues with green plants is variously explained. One theory is that the day is marked in heaven as the day of judgment for the fruit of the trees." Here is the theme of fruit-bearing, which points to the Judgment Seat of Christ following the rapture and resurrection. In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus likened true versus false teaching to the fruit of trees:
"15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Mt. 7:15-20).
Jesus teaches that false prophets can be known by their "fruits." The righteous will bring forth "good fruit." This "good fruit" is the "fruit of the Spirit," spoken of in Galatians 5:22, 23:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
Pentecost, associated with the giving of the Law, is a time for reviewing one's "fruit." To the Jews, the Law is seen as the way toward such "good fruit." But the apostle Paul wrote that only through the resurrection of Christ can we bring forth "fruit" unto God.
"Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God" (Romans 7:4).
By His resurrection, Christ became our "firstfruits." He laid the "foundation" that made it possible for the church to bring forth more "fruit." This principle is clearly stated in I Corinthians:
"11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is" (1 Cor 3:11-13).
The judgment of the fruit of trees corresponds to the reward of the believer in heaven, here likened to a building. The good fruit of the believer's life will be judged for its final worth. This is exactly the theme seen in the Jewish festival of Pentecost.
PENTECOST: FESTIVAL WITHOUT A DATE
Remember, Pentecost is called Shavuot (or Weeks), in the Hebrew. It is so named to reflect the nature of its dating. It always falls seven weeks plus one day after the offering of the Omer.
Since it is based on counting the seven weeks following the Feast of Firstfruits, the date of Pentecost is fluid. Thus, when the Jewish calendar was still based upon visually marking the appearance of the new moon, Pentecost could fall on the fifth, sixth or seventh of Sivan. The final determination of the date would depend upon whether or not the months of Nisan and Iyar were full thirty-day months.
To this day, if one calculates the date of Pentecost as actually instructed in the Bible, its precise timing is always something of a mystery. Symbolically then, it becomes a perfect model for the rapture, since its date is also beyond reckoning.
According to Hayyim Schauss, the date for Pentecost cannot be fixed. He calls it the "only Jewish festival for which there is no fixed date." The Books of Moses do not state on which day of the month Pentecost is to be observed. It says only that it is to be celebrated fifty days after the offering of the Omer [Firstfruits], the first sheaf of the grain harvest, which was to be offered on "the morrow after the Sabbath," as we have already seen in Leviticus 23:15-17, making it a Sunday.
Following the destruction of the Second Temple in A.D. 70, it became physically impossible to commemorate either the Festival of Firstfruits or the waving of the loaves at Pentecost. The calendar date for Pentecost then became fixed at the sixth of Sivan ... the date upon which it is remembered to this day.
THE TRUMPET AND THE BRIDE
Around the same time, Jews adopted Pentecost as the time to commemorate the giving of the Law. The 19th chapter of Exodus relates that the giving of the Law at Sinai came in the third month on the third day of the month. This places the event at the time of Pentecost. They call it, "the revelation at Sinai." This revelation and the symbols of harvest are intertwined to give full significance to the observance of Pentecost.
In the festival, they also commemorate the symbolism of the marriage between God, the Groom, and Israel, the bride. They view Mt. Sinai as an enormous ketubah, or wedding canopy. The two tablets of the Law that Moses brought down from the mountain represent the marriage contract.
As mentioned earlier, this image is developed at Passover, which becomes the time of God's courtship with Israel, and Pentecost comes to represent the marriage itself. In its traditional aspects, Pentecost pictures the catching away of the bride more clearly than any other festival.
We have noted before that the blowing of the ram's horn on Rosh Hashanah has been suggested as representing the final trumpet of resurrection. But does it really? Is it possible that the trumpet blast on Rosh Hashanah represents instead, a "memorial" of the heavenly Pentecost trumpet?
"In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation" (Leviticus 23:24).
Let us review the part Pentecost has played at the beginning of two dispensations - Law and Grace. The rabbis say that the Dispensation of Law began on Pentecost. On that day, a heavenly trumpet was heard at Mount Sinai. The Jews remember this as a time when their national identity took a new direction.
"And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice" (Exodus 19:19).
Many Jews say that this, the first mention of a trumpet blast in Exodus was regarded by the spiritual leaders of Israel as having occurred on Pentecost. Exodus 19:1 tells us that this event came about in Sivan, the third month.
Furthermore, the trumpet was blown, not by man, but by a heavenly being. It was God's own voice! Moses and the Chosen People had gathered at Mt. Sinai, on the third day of preparation, wherein they washed themselves, cleaned their clothes, and were forbidden to touch the mountain. When God came down, a trumpet sounded long and loud, filling the people with awe and terror. On that occasion, the fire of God's glory descended and God gave the Ten Commandments. Here, we find the only heavenly trumpet recorded in the Old Testament. The next such trumpet should sound on the day of rapture and resurrection, making the day of Pentecost an interesting possibility for that event:
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (I Thess. 4:16).
THE ORDER OF THE RESURRECTIONS
For the Gentile, Pentecost represents the relationship between Christ, the Bridegroom and His bride, the church. As mentioned earlier, the resurrection of Jesus was a literal Firstfruits offering that looked forward to the resurrection of all the faithful:
"20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection from the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power" (I Cor 15:20-24).
Here, Paul writes about Christ's resurrection in a specific way. Let's consider that word, "order." There is a specific order in the Jewish festival cycle and there is a well-defined order of resurrections. Paul, an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin, had been schooled in the Scriptures at the feet of Gamaliel. Without a doubt, he was intimately aware of the tiniest details of the Jewish calendar. Therefore, when he speaks of Christ as the "firstfruits" in the context of an order of events, he knows that the next event in that order is Pentecost.
But of course, this was not the Pentecost at which the Holy Spirit was given to the infant church. No, that signal event had already taken place over twenty-five years before Paul wrote these words. He must, then, be referring to a future Pentecost which would conclude the harvest - Christ's resurrection being the "firstfruits," and our resurrection coming at the end of the harvest. Might this possibly occur on a future Pentecost? Might this be the time when Christ will come to take home His followers? Remember, Pentecost is the formal conclusion of the grain harvest.
It seems that when Paul used the word, "order," he intended the reader to see the order of the Jewish festival cycle. It is at least possible he was suggesting that the resurrection could take place on a future Pentecost.
Apparently the early church thought so. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible offers the following comment:
"The Church Fathers highly regarded Pentecost. Easter was always on Sunday, so Pentecost was also. Between Easter and Pentecost, there was to be no fasting. Praying was done standing, rather than kneeling. During this time, catechumens [new converts] were baptized. Many expected, because the Ascension had taken place near Pentecost, that Christ would return in the same season."
Pentecost was a time of expectation for the early Church. They felt that Christ might come for His own during this period. Why did they believe this? Was it because of its closeness to the time of the Ascension, or was it because of something else they had been taught? Remember, Christ's actual Ascension took place forty days after His resurrection. Ten days later, the Holy Spirit empowered the church for its future role in the harvest of souls ... the fifty days till Pentecost.
Secret Deal Results in Saudi Arabia Challenging Turkey for Control of Temple Mount - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - www.breakingisraelnews.com
"All the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mixed peoples who live in the desert;" Jeremiah 25:24 (The Israel Bible™)
An article in the Hebrew-language Israel Hayom on Sunday reported on secret negotiations that have been held between Israel and Saudi Arabia since December that would result in including Saudi clerics in the Waqf council that oversees the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The Waqf has managed the Temple Mount since the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 1187, with the latest version instituted by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan after its conquest of the West Bank and East Jerusalem during the 1948 war. Accordingly, the King of Jordan currently supplies all of the funding needed to operate the waqf, which is in effect the civil administration for the holy site. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is in charge of Islamic religious affairs at the site. The Palestinian Authority has parallel organizations claiming an interest in these same matters which Israel does not officially recognize.
Israel Hayom cited top Saudi diplomats who remained anonymous as saying that senior diplomats and security officials from Israel, Saudi, and the United States were in dialogue concerning the implementation of President Trump's Middle East Peace Plan. According to the report, Jordan objected to the proposal but in the wake of recent Turkish interference in East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, the Jordanian government now supports having Saudi clerics as part of the Waqf council.
This seems to be a total reversal of the Jordanian Temple Mount policy. In February 2019, the Jordanian government, which controls the Waqf, enlarged its council from 11 to 18 members last week including Palestinian clerics or the first time. At the time, the move triggered a wave of Muslim violence on the Temple Mount. It was reported at the time that the move was an attempt by the Hashemite Kingdom that rules Jordan to ally with the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to prevent the Saudis from replacing them as custodians of the Jerusalem holy sites considered important to Islam. Rather than create an alliance, the restructuring of the Waqf council to include Palestinian clerics led to greater conflict as the PA tried to put Abbas loyalists in place, a move the Hashemite rulers of Jordan strongly opposed. The PA loyalists were also closely allied with Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who funded their organizations to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
As Turkey's influence over the Palestinian Waqf members increased, the Hashemite Kingdom let it be known to Israel and the US that they would be open to including Saudi Arabia in the custodianship of the Temple Mount as long as it is not to the detriment of their special status as custodians of the Jerusalem holy sites. The Jordanian government also required that the Saudi government will provide several million dollars to Islamic institutions in east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as a means of putting diplomatic pressure to remove the Turkish influence operating under the protection of the PA.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar , a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, explained the complex background and interests.
"You have to understand that the Sunni world today is sharply divided between pro-state organizations and movements which are by definition a rebellious, anti-establishment form of Islam," Dr. Kedar explained to Breaking Israel News. "The pro-state Muslims are headed and funded by Saudi Arabia and the anti-establishment Muslims, which include the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah, are headed ideologically by Erdogan and sponsored by Qatar. This is a giant struggle between two kinds of Islam: revolutionary Islam and state Islam."
Unfortunately, Turkey is now a factor in internal Israeli politics.
"Turkey infiltrated Jerusalem in a very big way, pouring millions of dollars into recruiting Palestinians and setting up his form of Muslim institutions," Dr. Kedar said. "This includes close ties between Erdogan and the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement which was banned by the Israeli government in November 2015 due to close ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood."
"The Palestinian Authority is, unfortunately, allying with Turkey for the money since they don't want to lose power and relinquish power to Hamas," Dr. Kedar noted. "Jordan is willing to ally with Saudi Arabia because of its economic difficulties."
"Israel wants to ally with Saudi Arabia because it is a pro-establishment form of Islam. You can talk with them. They are reasonable. It does not go against the interests of Israel. Since Israel and Saudi Arabia have shared interests, it is preferable that they have a say in the custodianship of the Temple Mount and a stronger influence on the Palestinians."
"It is important to have the status connected with holy sites but when faced with the existential threat posed by Turkey, Jordan will choose to ally with Saudi Arabia."
Nearing Midnight: Surging Spirit of Antichrist - Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Questions continue about what is going on in all of this geopolitical and cultural/societal intrigue in terms of Bible prophecy. What does it all mean? Why such a divide? Why such rage and hatred? People want answers, and the answer is spiritual. It is all there in Bible prophecy. It is altogether a major indicator of how near we are to the end of this Age of Grace.
The spirit of Antichrist is indeed surging. It's most revealed through the globalist mantra-that anyone who is in denial about climate change is, in effect, an apostate within their worldview.
But, in fact, another spirit of denial is the true obstacle to a pristine earth.
It is those who make such accusations against Bible-believing Christian, climate-change deniers who are at the heart of earth's many problems. Chiefly, the Antichrist spirit denies the Lord Jesus Christ and His very existence. These are the true deniers-those who believe and proclaim that they, not Christ, have a right to control the destiny of this planet He created.
John the apostle and author of Revelation-the vision of the Apocalypse-presents what God gave Him to tell us about the Antichrist spirit.
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:3)
Deniers of Jesus Christ-the powers and principalities in high places, those human minions and supernatural minions-and their incessant strategies and determination to keep God out of things manifest the spirit of Antichrist at an accelerating rate.
Christians are battling the Antichrist spirit at the highest levels-the evil within both human and demonic minions. Our would-be rulers (those denying, through being influenced by, the anti-Christ spirit that God should reign) hold powerful positions within the top strata of globalist echelons. It all revolves around worldwide satanic influence on matters involving the so-called deep state. It is Ephesians 6:12 we've been watching in action. Nationalism must go...boundaries must be erased. Sovereignty must be eliminated so global government by the elites might rule.
Once again, it's good to look at the Apostle Paul's warning:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
These powers that be in high places of government view the US as the problem rather than the answer to conflict throughout the world. It is the richest, most powerful national entity to ever exist, so must be brought down, its assets given to the global elite to use for their own purposes.
The current presidential administration has, in the obviously enraged opinion of the deep-state and leftist minions, sought to change the way things have supposed to be progressing since post WW II. The global order as run by the high echelon of the diplomatic types and the people with political power have had that drive for ultimate power disrupted. America is, in this internationalist, no borders, view, supposed to be in place to fund the UN and all of its globalist agenda plans.
Making America Great Again is not in their blueprint. This nation, therefore, is the chief obstacle, nation-wise, to Satan's plans in forming the one-world order he wants to set up for the coming Antichrist. That's why we've endured insane rage while the powers in high places strive to get power back into the formerly established order by getting rid of this president.
The satanic assault against American society and culture can't be missed by the spiritually attuned. Minions in high places have in recent years inflicted tremendous deleterious effects upon the nation's moral fiber established by the founding fathers and by Christian church influences. America's public, and even private, educational systems have become completely corrupted, first by the evolutional model, then by the Marxist educators at every level of the public school system.
The rage makes clear the existence of the Antichrist spirit in high places that continues to do everything to bring America and the world into the configuration Satan wants to establish for his soon-coming Antichrist platform. At the heart of the minions' (both human and supernatural) effort is destruction of moral values and norms based upon Judeo-Christian precepts/concepts. Cultures and societies throughout the world-especially in America-must be altered drastically to pave the way for the coming Antichrist regime.
These minions in the high places of wickedness are even now using the so-called pandemic in their incessant drive to bring about their version of Heaven on earth. They will succeed for a time, but not until the Holy Spirit as Restrainer of evil removes as God's Word foretells in 2 Thessalonians 2.
Just as we witness the Antichrist spirit surging, we, as born-again believers, should have a surging sense of excitement and comfort. Redemption is near (Titus 2:13).
Abounding Lawlessness - Signs of the Last Days and the Lord Jesus' Return - David Pepe -
Dear friends, The Bible speaks very clearly of these Last Days and testifies to this fallen world what the social conditions will be before Christ's return (Romans 10:2-4, 1 Tim. 3:1-7,2 Tim. 4:1-3, Jude, 1:10, Rev. 3:14-22). At present, today's secular progressive movement is being EXPONENTIALLY stoked by the super fallen intelligences of fallen angels (i.e., demons) while dominating and influencing the entire world via the supra 24/7 mediums of this global high tech day! These angelic fallen ones are setting the stage and preparing today's world for Lucifer's lawless minion and the global worship of godlessness and lawlessness; Satan himself and his lawless super -ultra fascist world leader will be the sole focus at that time of all worship and the demonic standard for that fallen world in the day (2 Thess. 2:3-12, Rev.13). Lawlessness fueled by lawlessness and deceived by lawlessness will only bring about EXPONENTIAL abounding lawlessness, ruin, anarchy, violence and ETERNAL ruin! Do not be deceived! All of today is heading to this very EXPONENTIAL lawless junction, where 666 will be received as normal and fully accepted globally by the remaining majority of the world's 7 billion inhabitants (2 Thess. 2:3-12, Rev. 11; 13)!
Some of the signs of these last days will be the EXPONENTIAL abounding lawlessness of society, ethnic groups rising up against ethnic groups; demonically led anti-marriage movements along with other apostate teachings. As we see this ever-growing lawless moment sweeping across and being received by our nation and the world, especially here in the West; be not deceived, for Almighty God's Kingdom is at hand! We today can see the very abundance of shadows of the things which are about to be! This lawless spirit dominates the West's progressive Left, but what is most alarming is how it has swept into moderate and some conservative circles as well. When we see these groups begin to embrace such lawlessness how long will it truly be until we are face to face with the Day of the Lord (Rev. 6-19)!
Liberalism - for the most part - rejects out right the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God. The root and source of this rejection - of these crucial moral laws and realities - is their subjective hatred towards the Creator of the heavens and earth (Romans 1:18-32). This base ideology is expressed and manifested in their disdain and hostility towards the American blue print drawn up by our Founding Fathers, which was based on the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.
Liberal /progressives reject these core moral absolutes and practice a sensual subjectivism that sees God-ordained absolutes through the prism of relativism and pluralism. They possess a fear of moral absolutes and believe that true freedom is to be free from any Divine instituted moral absolutes or laws that suppress their unbridled passions (Psalm 14:1-3, Isa 24:5, 2 Tim 3:1-7, Jude 1:10). They are lawless in all their deeds and hostile to any that impose a Divine reality or the adherence of moral absolutes (Rom. 1:28-32).
The Lord Jesus stated that you shall know men by their fruits and by their actions (Matt. 7:16-20). It is simple enough to see that where ever the "virtues" of secular liberalism are promoted and exercised that poverty, disease, anarchy, crime, social chaos, the break down of the family unit, violence, and horrific social devastation are to be found. When one rejects and abandons the core moral building blocks for a healthy society for a godless delusion of lawlessness, expect to find social devastation and chaos (2 Tim. 3:1-7).
What is most alarming is how the very people that impose their delusional solutions and remedies upon the American people seek also to fix these ills of society by applying the very same logic that got us to this social catastrophic point in the first place. By applying these lawless solutions, these excel the rate of today's social ills at EXPONENTIALY! Today's American social culture is at an extreme breaking point. The evidence is everywhere, yet the majority of American's live in the apathetic delusion that all is well and that we will remain and prosper as times past. Wake up America, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
Daily Jot: Where are the statesmen? - Bill Wilson -
As our nation is once again ravaged this year-first by COVID 19 and then by riots and unrest-leadership is lacking. Now before you get all riled up, think about it. The latest trend in political leadership is just to see who can out-smack talk the next person. Leadership plays the blame game, the label game, the investigation game. The only game in town that it doesn't play, is the "do the right thing game." Even President Trump carrying a Bible to church is criticized as if he has no right to carry a Bible. With all the problems we have as a nation, there is not a leader statesman-one who can cast a vision, unite the people behind it, and move it to reality. We are too divided.
It is no wonder that those who are earnestly protesting the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd are experiencing Antifa intermingled. One wants his voice to be heard about an unjust death, the guy next to him wants to burn down America because he thinks it's a fascist nation. Both are wearing masks, one because of COVID 19 and the other from wanting to hide his face. This is just an example of how things are divided. The divisions are everywhere. It is as if there is no point of agreement in anything. It's us against them, but that can even change based on the issue being discussed. Even when a leader tries to lead, his voice is drowned out by clanging cymbals of his opposition. No one listens. No one hears.
So where are the statesmen? Where are those who will rise above the political weaponization of words and cast a unifying vision that others can follow? It may be you. Each of us who are Christ followers, have at least part of the answer, at least part of the vision. We have the commandments of Christ that begin with love and showing love. As Christ told his disciples in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." He said in Mark 12:30-31, "AND you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength; this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."
If you follow these commandments, you are equipped to be a statesman. Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the full armor of God that you will be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Verse 17 says, "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." These assist you so that you may open your mouth "boldly, to make know the mystery of the gospel." You are the ambassador of Christ here on earth. You are the statesman, not in judgment, but in love; not in anger, but in truth; not motivated by political bias, but by the Word of God, which is Christ and his teachings. Statesmen do not get tangled up in the politics of the moment, but rather speak wisdom to the need.
Daily Devotion: Look Past the Present - by Greg Laurie -
So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. -John 11:5-6
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were personal friends of Jesus Christ, and He liked to spend time at their home in Bethany. If they had cell phones in those days, they would have had His number. (And they probably would have had a text thread going.)
So when Lazarus became ill, they sent word to Jesus: "Lord, your dear friend is very sick" (John 11:3 NLT). They didn't tell Him what to do. They figured He would take care of it. I think they assumed Jesus would heal him.
Mary and Martha probably looked up the road and said to their friends, "Hey, Jesus should be here any second. He'll come right down that road. He always has those 12 guys with Him, and they kick up a lot of dust. You'll see."
But then the story takes an interesting twist: "So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days" (John 11:5-6 NLT).
Now, that doesn't make any sense to us at all. When hardship hits, we say, "Lord, where were you? Why aren't you doing something? Why aren't you engaged here? Don't you even care?"
Yet God can be glorified through human suffering and bring good out of bad.
Mary and Martha wanted a healing; Jesus wanted a resurrection. He wanted to do more than they wanted Him to do.
We think that all the good times in our lives will bring hope. But in reality, hope grows in the garden of adversity.
We see the small picture, but God sees the big picture. We see the temporal, but He sees the eternal.
All of that will be made clear to us in that final day. But in the meantime, despite the hardships of life, we must remember that God loves us.
FROM THE HEART
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