Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The End of Days is Upon Us - by Pastor Mike Taylor -
"And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
9 And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." (Daniel 12:8-10 )
Understanding that the Bible is 25% + prophecy, and that to understand the whole of the bible, one must come to learn the meaning of the books of the Bible that deal with prophecy and it's fulfillment. The Bible has been and will be 100% accurate in its predictions of things to come. No other book gives the reader so much difficulty than the Book of Daniel and the last book of the Bible, Revelation. Each have symbols and passages that speak of things to come. Things that have been completed as prophesied and things yet to occur. In this message we will deal with the Prophecy noted in the title found in Daniel and then later, jump to Revelation and show their connection to the time of the end.
GABRIEL REVEALS THE FUTURE TO DANIEL
In Daniel, the prophet had a vision that started in chapter 10 and goes through unbroken till the end of the book in chapter 12. Even though there are chapter breaks in our bible, they were not there in the original manuscripts and proceed with one vision that Daniel had been given to him by the angel Gabriel.
In this vision, Daniel is given details that tells of the coming future events, long before they had even happened. Many of these verses in Daniel lay out historical events starting with the kingdom of Babylon and goes forward through the kings of Persia, Alexander the Great, the split of Alexander's kingdom into four regions by four of his generals, and proceeds to give details of each struggle of each ruler and king that sought power in the region of the Middle East, even unto the coming of the Roman Empire with it's Caesars ruling during the time of Jesus Christ and the subjugation of Jerusalem and Judea by it's forces.
Rome became the most powerful nation on earth during the time of this vision prophesied and would remain a regional power up until the time of Constantine, when things began to disintegrate. This implosion of the Roman Empire began in the year 330 A.D. It was in this year that Rome ceased to be the city from where all ruling was done and the base of the kingdom. It was at this time that Emperor Constantine moved the seat of power to Byzantium, later called Constantinople, in the west. Then Rome was to rise up and have indignation against the holy covenant, or the true Gospel or those who hold fast the true profession of faith. But how did they do this?
HISTORICAL RISE OF THE "HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE"
The Emperors of Rome began to be united with the Bishops of Rome who had departed from the true Gospel as they had turned to worshiping angels, saints, and martyrs. Superstitious ceremonies were woven into everyday life. Wakes and banquets for the dead were celebrated; the relics of the saints were collected and adored, and they pushed aside the council of Christ by uniting church and state:
20 "And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:20-21.) .
This move, of uniting the church with the state, was done to increase the stability and power of the state. "Thus the state within the state was abolished; the strongest political force then to existent, to wit, the church, was made the cornerstone of the state. Both parties, the emperor and bishops, were equally well pleased." (Historians History of the World pgs 639, 640, 642.)
This all began with Constantine, who had "converted" to Christianity, or the form that was evident during his reign that brought him more power. Christianity no longer was persecuted within the empire. It proceeded so to exterminate the heresy of Arianism held by the three powers that overran the "Eternal City" namely the Heruli, Goths and Vandals. Emperor Justinian decreed in 533 A.D that the Bishop of Rome would be the head of the entire "church" and rid the church/state of heresies. Many faithful were scattered abroad through the crumbling Roman Empire that refused to bow the knee to the newly created head of the "church", the Bishop of Rome. Thus began the transition of the Paganism of Rome into the Papal Rome.
(Notice to the reader: I seek not to make inflammatory remarks against any religion, but let history speak for itself and confirmed by bible prophecy. Sadly, one religion that is present on this earth has fulfilled the prophecy spoken of in Daniel and it begins and ends with the Catholic Church. So I must use their name.)
"And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate." ( Daniel 11:31)
History shows us that in 496 A.D. Clovis, King of the Franks converted to Catholicism, recognizing the Bishop of Rome as head over all the church, corrector of heretics and vicar of God on earth. Thus he places his armies at the disposal of the Pope to defend the faith, expand her borders and correct the heresies currently so popular in the Western Empire. Between 496 and 508 A.D., Clovis used his military forces to convert idolaters to Romanism, through alliances, capitulations, and conquests, the Arborici, the Roman garrisons in the West, Brittany, the Burgundians, and the Visigoths, were brought into subjection. They gave up their pagan attachments, but only to perpetuate its abomination in another form called Christianity. The Christianity of the Catholic Church was and still is only baptized paganism.
Many in the failing empire of Rome refused to submit to the Bishop of Rome, meaning the Vandals, Ostrogoths and Heruli, all avowed Arians, refused to acknowledge the Bishop of Rome as head over the churches and opposed the Catholic Emperor. Justinian sent his army with General Belisaris to take care of the opposition. After defeating the Vandals, and the Heruli only the Ostrogoths remained. The Goths retreated and allowed Belisaris to enter Rome unopposed. They then in a better season laid siege to the city: which they held for over a year. However, the siege that included the entire nation in its attempt was a bitter failure and that remnant of Goths that remained abandoned the city to Belisaris and disappeared from history. Thus by the year 538 A.D. there remained no opposition to the Pope of Rome to take the seat of the Empire to himself.
"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." ( Daniel 11:32) IN this verse we see a connection with Daniel 8:11-14,
"Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down.
v. 12. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.
v. 13. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
v. 14. And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." (Daniel 8:11-14)
Even during this time, called the Dark Ages, there were many that would not submit and did heroic deeds for the cause of the Gospel with self sacrifice who kept the pure Word of the Gospel alive. These were the Waldenses, Albigenses and Hugenots. Papal Rome would hunt down these groups and destroy them by whatever means available by sword, torture, fire, or being thrown off a cliff to their destruction.
"And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed." ( Daniel 11:33-35)
Highlighting the words in the above passage, "and by spoil, many days" refers to the many days to the much repeated 1260 years of Papal Supremacy over Europe. There would be war between the Protestant governments and the Papal Governments until those who would escape the persecution fled to a fledging country just discovered, the newly founded government of the United States of America. The end of papal supremacy was ended in 1798 when the Pope was taken prisoner by Berthier of the French army, and to all intents and purposes the power that had fueled the inquisition and the persecution of heretics was stopped. Papal power was broken and received a deadly wound. Although such persecution has existed and still does exist today in many places, the scope and control of such persecution is extremely limited in contrast to its jurisdiction under the Dark Ages.
Papal Rome has never regained the power she once had, up to modern times. But make no mistake, she lusts after regaining her former power and glory and works behind the scenes by mixing the religious affairs of the Papal state with the politics of the secular world. But mark this word, she will rise again.
"And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain." ( Daniel 11:36-39)
Who on earth would this describe, even in our modern era? You say the Pope in Rome and you would be right. The king of the north described here is the Pope in Rome, as she had conquered through various armies all the land surrounding papal Rome. As Daniel, when discussing the issue of Pagan Rome, outlined secular events involved in the rise of this power and then retraced the time and outlined specific characteristics of Pagan Rome, so in discussing Papal Rome here he outlined the rise of the power in Daniel verses 30-35 and then retraces his steps and outlines the characteristics of the Papacy in verses 36-39.
The Papacy had total control over the king and queens of Europe and on threat of excommunication, enforced their will on secular governments. This is true to the point of death, that no other god could be acknowledged, but the Pope in Rome. So in Daniel 8:25, 11, we see that the Papacy would magnify himself in his heart and also to Jesus Christ the Prince of the host, for he claims to be the Vicar of Christ, or God on earth. This man blasphemed God by taking attributes that are Divine and belong to solely to God in Heaven (John 10:30-31) and claiming to have the right to forgive sins. (Mark 2:5-7) This is an affront to the God of Heaven to do so. Further, the "church in Rome" decided to change the Sabbath to Sunday worship based on pagan practices of sun worship to lead men away from the Creator to the false god, the Pope in Rome and their sole power and supremacy. God has allowed this indignation to be accomplished and when it is fulfilled, the end will come.
NEITHER SHALL HE WORSHIP THE GOD OF HIS FATHERS.
This is attributed to the French Atheistic Revolution but in context references that "he magnifies himself above all other gods", even the God he claims to represent. His fathers worshiped the God of the scriptures, the God of heaven, however, the papacy regarded the gods of the pagans under a "Christian" garb. Also it claimed that the wafer was actually God and thus it is worshiped as though it is God, carried about as any pagan deity might be in celebrations and processions, and ultimately eaten that the devotee might possess it for their "salvation". This is but one of many of their rituals and doctrines that lead men away from God and to Rome.
The above verse speak of the desire of women which could mean several things. I've heard that the coming Anti-Christ, which the Papal Roman church could be a forerunner of such a system or the even the real deal, will be a homosexual. Hmmm, could be. Other interpretations is that during the time of Christ, that women dreamed of being the mother of the Messiah, so the man doesn't desire the Messiah produced by a virgin according to scripture. In other words, he doesn't truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ or desire to follow Him in spirit and in truth. Another interpretations, is the celibacy of the Catholic priesthood, if you can find one that is actually celibate to his calling and not found pleasure in little boys, or Catholic nuns. Not all priest do these things, but a subset have been found guilty and protected by their heirarchy in this church.
Further, the subsequent popes have elevated saints, and the worship of Mary. Even in places where there seemed no desire to follow the pagan practices of Catholicism had Mary worship developed and taken hold. In fact, in the religion of the American Indians, the Tibetan Dalai Lama and even the Hindus are the prophecies of a woman who is to come and bring peace to the world. Thus the world was being prepared in the most unexpected places to accept Catholicism as the world spiritual leaders. I'm sure the virgin Mary, should she be alive today would never have envisioned being elevated to the same level as the Messiah she brought into the world. Popes in Rome have made edicts and papal bulls to make Mary in an exalted position of Co-mediatrix, co-redemptrix with Christ.
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven (Jesus Christ) given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12).
To elevate any other mortal on earth, no matter their station in life or the righteousness imparted to them by God through Jesus Christ our Lord, is blasphemy against a Holy God.
THE FINAL ANALYSIS OF THE DOWNFALL OF THE "HOLY" ROMAN CHURCH
"In 1798 the king of the south, France began an ongoing war against the king of the north, Catholicism. Atheism continued to develop its ideology and reached another stage of growth at the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Communism continued the war against Catholicism attempting to bring the former empire of Papal Rome into its grasp, but in time, Catholicism mounted an overwhelming counterattack. The king of the north swept away the entire structure of the king of the south/communism, entering into all the countries of the former Soviet Union and her tributary states. This overwhelming attack came with the military and economic assistance of the United States of America. This alliance repeats the history of Clovis, when "arms shall stand on his part." Could this point to Revelation 13, teaching that soon the United States of America will speak as a dragon, and then force the world to also form an image to the beast? Daniel 11:40 is the first historical manifestation of this end-time unholy alliance." (Taken from The Final Rise and Fall of the King of the North by Jeff Pippinger.)
This quote plays back to my prior assertion that an unholy trinity will develop between Papal Rome and the United States of America and the coming Anti-Christ. Who the man is can only be speculation on anyone's part, I believe the man will not be fully revealed until the church is removed from this earth. He/She could be the POTUS, or the Pope in Rome, or some unidentified monarch/dictator of Middle Eastern descent.
But Paul warned that apostasy will come in the last days:
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, (apostasy) and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; v4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (II Thessalonians 2:3-4)
The Papacy will enter into God's church. This is done through the doctrines of Catholicism coming in and being accepted into the Remnant Church. That is, apostasy from the truth of God. Just as during the initial rise of the Papacy in the dark ages, those who were against the holy covenant united with the false church to promote its agenda. (This could also be applied to the inculcating of the false doctrines of Catholicism into Protestantism.)
Many shall be overthrown and many shall be taken in by the false doctrines that are coming in amongst them. These false doctrines that permeate the Catholic Church will be enforced by the alliance of the Papacy and the United States of America is my hypothesis.
Egypt shall not escape -
"He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape." ( Daniel 11:42)
Egypt is both a reference to Atheism, (symbolized in the Bible as the land of sin with her idols) and also to symbolize the secular world. Thus this reference is to state that after a Sunday law is enforced all the religions of the world will unite to accept it. Even secular countries, or non-Christian countries will come under the Papal decree enforced through her alliance with the United States of America. Papal Rome will wield power over the whole earth, as the verse speaks of power over silver, gold and precious things of Egypt (the atheistic world). This is referring to economic power. The Papacy will control all trade etc. in the world, through such laws as the prohibition to buy or sell without the mark of the beast. (Revelation 13:16-17)
"But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many." ( Daniel 11:44)
Daniel is being told that the papacy will be frustrated because of the witness of many saved individuals that believe the Gospel message, either by the 144,000 Hebrew evangelists, the two witnesses at the Temple Mount, or those saved because of their message. This is the Loud Cry of the fourth angel of Revelation 18, which comes against the Papacy's attempt to control the entire world and bring it under its false teachings. This group who are giving the Loud Cry are the only ones who stand in the way of full control for the Papacy. Thus their strong Biblical message under the power of the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit (See Revelation 18) causes much consternation and frustration for the Papacy. As seen before many will accept this message and "escape" from under its tyranny.
ISRAEL THE DOOR, JERUSALEM ,KEY TO END OF DAYS
8 "I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?"
9 He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end.
10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand." (Daniel 12:8-10)
The prophet Daniel did not understand, and was not given to him to understand, because the time of the end was far into the future. No one has understood this prophecy until one thing happened in our modern age. What happened is that Israel became a nation again, and the fig tree put forth her leaves. Jesus said:
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:32-35 KJV)
When Israel became a nation again, those that were alive to see its birth or born in that generation, that generation will still be alive when all things are completed. That tells me that Jesus will be reigning and ruling on this earth, and I may even be alive to see His coming. Why do I say that? Because the bible tells us that man is appointed 70 years, 80 years by strength. Not making any predictions or assuming a date or year of the return of our Lord Jesus, simple addition tells me the general area of the completion of this prophecy. In the last 70 years, Israel has become a stumbling block to all the world. Not a day goes by that Israel is not in the news in the negative and the world powers trying to force a peace treaty between the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel.
We see politics and threats of yet another war on the world stage daily. The former so called "POTUS" was trying to force Israel into a date with death, and world powers at the UN demonizing this small country and ignoring all the human rights violations of other countries that blatantly torture and kill Christians and Jews. We see the present papal office sticking their self-righteous nose into the affairs of the secular world and bringing doctrines that fly in the face of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. It all centers around Israel, because Jerusalem is the center of God's world here on earth. Satan hates Israel, hates God and hates anyone connected to them by biology or spiritual awakening to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who as we know was a Jew Himself while here on earth.
Remember in the first parts of this message that I spoke that Rome lusts to regain the power she lost during the 18th century in 1798 when the Pope was imprisoned? How will that be accomplished, if at all?
THE MERGING OF THE STATE AND THE PAPAL CHURCH
What I'm about to discuss here is not all my own thoughts, but the thoughts and beliefs of a brother I converse with in South America. When asked how this will be accomplished, the friend of mine had an interesting theory...Mind you, it is only conjecture on anyone's part how the coming of the Anti-Christ will come upon the earth, but his analogy leaves one wondering and scratching their head.
"And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." (Revelation 17:10-11)
Based on this passage which in reading it, is a most strange passage in the bible, but this is my friend's theory and it's most interesting:
"Most of Pre-millennial Protestants have nowadays a better and clearer sight than our brothers in the third century. We ought to be all expecting the Rapture of the Church. Most believers deem that it will happen after the Apostasy which shall take place just before the appearing of the eschatological Antichrist. But thanks to God there is diversity of opinions and some are getting aware that Apostasy is here today, and has infected at least 90 % of the local churches, and that a pope may be the eschatological Antichrist as our fathers of Reformation were wont to teach dogmatically. I will talk about pope Number 5, because he is the one who prepares the way for pope Number 6: the eschatological Antichrist. Number 5 is actually molding the proper profile that is convenient for Number 6 when he be ready to take control over the EU; the new Roman Empire which shall be the head of the New World Order. But before we go any further let us remind our readers the reason why I call Francis I the pope Number 5. We find it in Revelation 17:
9 "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space."
This is a mysterious passage, isn't it? However, there is a clue to that mystery which unfolds it and makes it crystal clear to anyone. I have this clue, and although I cannot say that it is for sure the right interpretation, nevertheless it is the most simple, literal and contemporary one you can find among the multitude of available interpretations. This is at least good hint! Time will tell after Francis I burial whether the Holy Spirit showed me the truth about the 7 kings or whether I was mistaken as many others..."
THE KINGS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
"According to verse 10 these 7 heads are also 7 kings. Now who are the kings of Rome? Everybody knows that for more than 15 centuries the real kings of Rome have been the popes, wherefore I do assume that these 7 kings are 7 popes. The angel says to John at the precise moment he gives him this vision that 5 kings are fallen.
What kind of fall can be deemed if we compare these 5 popes with the long list of the rest of them? The answer is easy: it is a fall from their traditional arrogance, it is a fall from their pretenses, and it is a (temporary and seemingly) doctrinal fall. Remember the Catholic church received a deadly wound in the 1700s that has not fully healed. As a matter of fact all popes before the ecumenical council of Vatican 2 proclaimed openly and dogmatically their absolute supremacy above all religions. They were the only and exclusive Church of Jesus Christ whose popes were the vicars whereof. They used to say and teach that without submission to the pope there was no salvation.
Protestants were just a bunch of heretics they had to fight, and the Bible societies were just devilish organizations. Since Pope Nicolas I (858-867) started to use the crown as a king founding his pretenses upon a forged document called "The donations of Constantine" which claimed that the emperor Constantine had made the popes heir to the entire Roman Empire, since then the Caesars in religious costumes have pulled it off. Till Vatican 2 the aim was to subdue all secular powers, all nations, and all kingdoms. They also increased at the same time their spiritual pretenses so as to fulfill their arrogance in issuing the dogma of papal infallibility in 1870.
Nevertheless, after WW II when their puppet (Hitler) fell. (Bear in mind that Hitler and his entire clique were all Roman Catholics who were never ever excommunicated). So when Hitler passed away they had to change their politics and profile. Until Pius XII (Hitler and Mussolini's friend), Rome thought she could re-establish her dominion by her dogmatic pretensions and the Jesuits cunning craftiness, but the victory of the Allies, the shame of the Nazi Holocaust and the new born Hebrew State in 1948 supported by the USA put an end to any public and dogmatic arrogance. They had to make a sudden cosmetic change so as to turn the Roman wolf into a harmless lamb; they definitely fell! So they descended from their clouds of arrogance and presumptions and since John XXIII they have been making a big show of humility and brotherly love.
Remember that according to the Roman canonical laws no priest loses his "holy unction" as long as he lives, even if he gives up his functions and does not minister sacraments any longer. That is why pope # 6 will step down for a while as the chief of the Roman Catholic Church so as to comply with the EU regulations, and this will entail new elections in Rome so as to replace # 6 by # 7. I believe that Number 7 will be the false prophet of Rev. 16: 13 and 19:20, if the 7 kings are the last 7 popes... In effect pope # 7 will exalt with all kind of signs and wonders former pope # 6, so that the entire world will be lulled into following the devilish agenda of the Antichrist.
Once Pope# 6 has full sway of the EU, he will become instead of president, the new Caesar. Then # 7 will step down and give him back his functions as a new pope: pope # 8. Then will come to pass what was the common to all emperors of the former empire: the Caesar was chief of the State and a god to be worshiped. But this pope after a short time as # 8 will claim to be the only true God and not only the Vicar of the Son of God. At that time he will break the covenant he had done 3 1/2 years before with the Jews, allowing them to rebuild the temple and perform their sacrifices and rituals in it, and he will come in the temple and set up a TV broadcast inside the holiest demanding the whole world to worship him in front of their TV sets (the image of the beast: Rev. 13:15, 14: 11). So the ministry of # 7 will be short; it will last until # 6 becomes the supreme leader of the EU and of the ecumenical Roman church which will have absorbed all religions.
Therefore it is written: "the beast that was, and is not, even is the eighth, and is of the seven", which simply means that the Caesar who existed during the former Roman Empire, does not exist when pope # 6 becomes the president of the EU (the new Roman Empire), but he makes part of the seven latter popes and become in fact the eighth because he retakes his functions after # 7 when he gets a total control of the new Roman Empire. This last Caesar will not only demand worship but he will also eagerly looking forward to get the people chipped in their right hand and forehead promoting the mark of the beast for economical transactions." (end quote)
Are you still with me? Troubling is it not? This present Pope is nothing but a forerunner of the coming man of lawlessness, using his Jesuit training to usher in the foundation of a New World Order and a One World Religion...Remember the UN with it's Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development that was discussed by many authors on this site, including myself? But how can you protect yourself from falling prey to this imp of Satan? By arming yourself with the truth of God's Word..by believing and accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth.
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (John 16:13)
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life"...(John 3:16)
Next time we explore how Daniel and Revelation connect to each other in prophecy...
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for you. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or visit me online for more biblical messages from the Word of God at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Can and will Iran strike Israel? - By Ehud Eilam -
Israel today has fewer people and resources than Iraq had in the 1980s, but Iran knows that Israel is a regional power with a formidable military.
In recent months, Israel bombed Iranian objectives inside Syria several times.
Iran absorbed casualties, serious damage and international humiliation. Iran is eager for revenge, but what can it do? Does Iran want to go to war? Iran still remembers the trauma of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, which cost Iran dearly.
Israel today has fewer people and resources than Iraq had in the 1980s, but Iran knows that Israel is a regional power with a formidable military.
In the war against Iraq in the 1980s, hundreds of thousands of Iranians were killed. Iran does not want to repeat this grim experience. In the war in Syria, Iran lost about 2,100 troops, a sensitive issue in Iran.
Many Iranians, including those who are against their regime, might separate between their loyalty to their homeland and their severe criticism of the regime. They could support the government, particularly if it seems to them that Iran was attacked and it must retaliate.
Yet as long as the fight between Israel and Iran is contained to Syria, then the Iranian regime will have a problem in mobilizing its people against Israel.
There is already opposition in Iran to their country's ongoing involvement in Syria, where Iran has invested heavily since 2011 - about $20 billion. This money was taken from the Iranian people, who struggle to make ends meet. The more money Iran pours into Syria, the greater the chance that the Iranian people might not tolerate it anymore and confront their regime. The Iranian aid, aimed at saving their Syrian ally, Bashar Assad, might eventually be one of the reasons for the downfall of the Iranian regime. The Iranian-Israeli collision in Syria could turn out to be an Israeli trap, as part of the Israeli strategic goal: to weaken the Iranian regime, hopefully to topple it.
Iran can hit Israel directly from Iran, with its SU-24, a long-range attack aircraft, but the aircraft might not have the range to reach and return from Israel, which is more than 800 kilometers west of Iran. If the SU-24 can land and refuel in Iraq or even closer to Israel, in Syria, it will be easier for Iran. Yet even then, some and maybe all the SU-24s might be intercepted by the Israeli air force (IAF), which has a very impressive reputation in this field and its forces, aircraft and air defense, are on high alert following the growing tension with Iran.
Iran also has the Shahab-3, a long-range surface-to-surface missile that could hit Israel.
Iran can't launch hundreds of those missiles at the same time, which will enable the Israeli anti-missile system, the Arrow, to intercept them. In spite of that, some Iranian missiles might penetrate. In addition, Israeli aircraft and Special Forces will try to destroy Iran's bases from which Iran can fire its missiles.
Iran might disperse and hide its launchers in its vast territory of more than 1.6 million square kilometers.
Iran might try to pound military targets, since Israel attacked Iranian military objectives in Syria, but Iran might hit Israel's population centers. In response Israel might not necessarily bomb Iranian cities, but rather strike key facilities that belong to Iran's energy industry.
The IAF might even strike Iran's nuclear sites. It could be another Israeli trap, pushing Iran to attack Israel so the latter will have an opportunity to bomb Iran's nuclear infrastructure.
The two states might be dragged into a war that will last weeks and maybe more, even if both sides are not interested in that. In such a case, there is a need of a broker, maybe Russia and/or the European Union, since they have ties with both Iran and Israel. Eventually a cease-fire, even if only an unofficial one, could be achieved, since Israel and Iran, like Israel and Hamas, don't recognize each other. If Iran raises too many demands, Israel might escalate the war in order to convince Iran to end the fight.
Iran might not seek to risk a war. Therefore, Iran can try to limit its retribution and exploit its proxies, its favorite mode of action. It can also conduct terrorist attacks worldwide without taking responsibility and/or use its quite advanced cyber capability.
The current stage is part of the long cold war between Israel and Iran, which started in 1979. Iran has several ways to strike its adversary, which in the worst case might lead to a war.
The writer, a national security analyst, formerly worked for the Israeli military.
Which Way? - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
It's easy to get lost when we travel in unfamiliar areas and people have always needed a way to find the right route to travel. In times past men would look to the North Star to guide them, or use a compass to aim them in the right direction. A map is always helpful in finding the right road to take or the best exit to leave the freeway to get to your destination. Today we can even use GPS to help us find our way along an unfamiliar route or in a new city. All of these things are helpful to find the right way to travel to get from point A to point B, but what about the more important paths in life? What guide is used to find your way to eternal life or make moral decisions? The moral decay in the world is appalling and people seem to have lost their moral compass and can't find the way to get back on the right track. We can be sure that people will become more confused as time goes on. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." Proverbs 12:15. Foolish people never seek after wise counsel but follow whatever path seems right to them. That's a bad way to live and one that brings unhappiness, disease, and ultimately death. The wisest counsel is found in God's word...the Holy Bible. Following God's way will lead to moral uprightness and eternal life.
People choose the way they will go, but too often they make their choice based on wrong directions or ideas. They usually choose the path that looks the easiest to travel or seems like more fun. That's how cults come about and grow into a blemish on society. You need to know what you follow so you can make a better choice in the way you go. For instance, Joseph Smith said he was given instructions by an angel named Moroni to find some golden plates which translated to the Book of Mormon. Today we know the cult he started as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or simply as the Mormons. They make statements that almost sound as if they are Christians, but they deny the deity of Christ among other mistruths. They follow religious works that are supposed to bring rewards, but the people who follow this cult are deceived. Jesus is God and He made it clear that He is the only way that leads to eternal life. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. People who follow Mormon teaching have a very different view of Jesus and are following the wrong way. They also add many things to Scripture that aren't Biblical. A person who doesn't study Scripture can easily be duped into this heresy. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8. There are instances of an angel speaking with people, but Scripture wasn't changed by what the angel said. For instance, Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah. This was a fulfillment of Scripture, not an alteration to it. The only protection against losing your way and following heresy is for you to know the truth, which is only found in God's word. Many people blindly follow the Roman Catholic teachings, which deviate sharply from God's pure truth. Very little of the Roman Catholic teachings align with Scripture but people continue to follow this way of men without question. When you don't have the proper road map it's easy to get lost and deceived. Scripture is our guide. Any path that leads away from Scripture is heresy.
Today there are people who would have us believe that it doesn't make any difference which path you follow. "All roads lead to Heaven" they say. They are deceived. Don't get lost on this wrong path. Had there been another way then Jesus wouldn't have had to shed His blood for our salvation. He is the only path that leads to salvation. "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:13-14. Why do you think few people find the narrow way? Many people are looking for a path that allows them to live a life of rebellion to God, but still want to make it to Heaven when they die. Salvation is by faith in Jesus alone, but if that faith doesn't lead you to the strait gate and the narrow way then you need to question yourself as to whether you have truly placed your faith in Jesus or if you just want fire insurance against the lake of fire. Did you just say the words "I believe" and then continue in sin? The words mean nothing if you don't mean them. If you follow the way of the world then you aren't following the way that leads to eternal life. Base all your choices in life on Scripture and you won't go astray.
We need to know how to make the right choices in life and that's where Scripture comes in. From the very beginning Satan has tempted people to rebel against God by making the sinful way seem fun. It isn't fun when sin leads to illness, prison, or deep emotional pain. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:12. Be careful when you feel temptation calling to you. Many young people graduate from high school and look forward to going away to college. The temptations they face will be great. Many teens will be on their own for the first time and will face making adult choices, and many of those choices are moral ones. Since the Bible has been banned from our public schools they no longer teach proper moral choice, but they do teach the way of the world. If parents haven't placed their children's feet firmly upon the narrow way that leads to life the temptations may be too great. The way of the world, which is ruled by Satan, can easily win. One choice to sin can lead to many more. Parties where alcohol and drugs are abundant will lead to sexual encounters. Sexually transmitted disease is devastating and unwanted pregnancy can lead to abortion. This is a chain reaction in the way of the world. It may seem right to ignore God's ways but you will always regret not following that narrow path.
Temptation will always be there throughout our life to draw us away from God. It's important to study Scripture daily as a guide to stay on the right path. Reading a chapter or two each day or studying a devotional will help to keep Jesus in our hearts as we go into the world. Going to a job every day can be challenging. You work with some people who aren't easy to be around and serving the public can be frustrating. There's a daily need to choose to follow Jesus. It's easy to get short tempered with others or to take long coffee breaks or lunch breaks, which is stealing time from your employer. When tempted to veer from the way you know is God's way, pray. "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..." Matthew 6:13a. Jesus gave us a model prayer, which is commonly referred to as The Lord's Prayer. Don't be afraid to use His words to guide your way. It is Satan who wants to get you off of the narrow path and onto the broad path of sin through temptation. The more sin you allow into your life the farther you will wander from Jesus. The problems will snowball as you walk farther down the way that leads to destruction. God's love is eternal and your sins will be forgiven if you ask. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. Repent and get back on the way that leads to eternal life. Better yet, don't get off of that narrow path.
To follow Jesus you need to learn to hear His voice. We learn to hear Him by studying and applying Scripture. If you study His word then you won't have to really think about what is the right choice in the path to follow. If you come to a crossroad you'll know what is right in the eyes of the Lord and you'll follow that path. Making those right choices give evidence that you've truly accepted Jesus Christ's sacrifice for your salvation. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John 10:27-28. We all make bad choices sometimes, but following Jesus is never a bad choice.
Which way will you choose? Will you follow Satan and go the way of the world? Many people choose that way and regret that choice for eternity. If you choose to follow Jesus then you choose the way that leads to eternal life. Don't get lost. Choose to follow Jesus.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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The Real Reason for School Violence - Dr. David R. Reagan -
Why have our schools become so violent? All across our nation people who are fed up with school violence are demonstrating in behalf of gun control.
But guns are not the basic problem. I graduated from high school in Waco, Texas in 1956. There were 450 in my graduating class, and on any given day there would be two or three dozen pickup trucks in the school parking lot equipped with gun racks. Many of those racks would contain three guns - a deer rifle, a .22 rifle and a shotgun. Yet, no one worried about some student shooting up the school.
One of my best friends who is my age grew up in Amarillo, Texas. When he was 14 years old, he rode his bike into town and purchased a rifle. No questions were asked. No background checks were made. The boy wanted a gun, and the store sold it to him.
A Radical Cultural Shift
So, what has changed in the 60 years since 1956? There is a poem circulating on the Internet that points to the answer. It has been around since the 1980's, and the author is unknown. It has been edited many times over the years. The latest edition is produced below.
The New School Prayer
Now I sit me down in school,
Where praying is against the rule.
For this great nation under God,
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the "unwed daddy," our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!
As this poem clearly indicates, the reason for school violence is not guns. The reason is that we have kicked God out of our schools.
I started public school in 1944, and until I graduated in 1956, we had a daily Bible reading and prayer. We had Easter plays and Christmas pageants. We were taught Christian morals. In fact, one of my English readers in high school consisted of Bible stories with a moral clearly stated at the end of each story. When I graduated from high school, we had what was called a baccalaureate service the day before our graduation ceremony. It consisted of a worship service and a sermon by a local pastor.
Since that time, our Supreme Court has outlawed Bible reading and prayer in the public schools. It has even declared it to be unconstitutional for the Ten Commandments to be displayed. The Court has also stopped the teaching of Creationism as an alternative to Evolution. In this regard, in the words of Romans 1:18, we as a nation are guilty of "suppressing the truth in unrighteousness."
Reaping What We've Sown
When we banned God from our schools and proceeded to teach children that they are descended from apes, why are we surprised when they start acting like wild animals? When we saturate them with violent movies, TV shows and video games, why are we surprised when they resort to violence?
This nation is raising a whole generation of moral pygmies, and all the gun control imaginable is not going to stop the violence.
We are reaping what we have sown. Theologians refer to the result as "abandonment wrath" - the kind of wrath exhibited by God when He turns His back on a rebellious person or society, allowing self-destruction.
We have thumbed our nose at God. We have barred Him from our schools. We have made a mockery of His Word. And He has responded by stepping back, lowering His hedge of protection and allowing evil to run its course.
Daily Jot: The spy within - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Facebook has become such an integrated part of American society that it is difficult to extract oneself from it, but Americans should consider alternatives. We now see the apologetic television ads saying that information is going to be more secure and that the platform will do in the future what it was built to do. That really gives me pause. The Facebook platform was advertised as a safe and secure place to build community with family and friends. In reality, it does build community, and it allows connectivity with folks that you may not always be able to keep in touch with, but it is not safe and secure. No matter what goes on in the future, all of us using Facebook have been compromised in so many ways.
Facebook was part and parcel to a data mining (sic spying) application developed and used by the immediate past "president." The working model collected information on Facebook users that would be valuable to the "president's" election campaign. In 2012, Facebook even expressed surprise that the "president's" campaign was "able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn't stop us once they realized what we were doing...because they were on our side," the campaign's director of media analytics, Carol Davidson, tweeted with a link to a talk she gave on how Facebook allowed the campaign to harvest data across friends networks.
To Facebook, it was OK for the leftist administration to use the data mined on Facebook, but it wasn't OK for the conservative campaign to use the same information. Cambridge Analytics, used by the Trump Campaign, became central to a Facebook media firestorm implying something illegal or unethical-a hypocritical double standard for sure. Especially when it is revealed that Facebook actually created partnerships with some 60 companies, according to the New York Times, to use personal information harvested from the network. Companies like Apple, Amazon, Blackberry, Microsoft, and Samsung were able to figure out what you want and put it in front of you. But wait, there's more.
If you have the Facebook app on your phone, your conversations also are likely divulging information without your knowledge. Sam Nichols of Vice.com reports that there are certain "word triggers" that cause the Facebook app and others to have access to the private data on your phone. He tested his theory using trigger words in his phone conversations and within hours, product adverts related to his conversations began popping up on his Facebook page. Don't forget, apps like this also have relationships with the government, and the previous administration was known for spying on reporters, politicians, and even citizens using Facebook, Google and others.
Jesus told his disciples regarding the end times in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." We all have been deceived to even begin to think that platforms like Facebook are safe, secure and private. In reality, they do not respect our privacy and we all need to be aware that these platforms are mining our personal data, putting us on lists, and using those lists for their agendas. Not even our conversations or information on our cell phones are exempt.
Daily Devotion: A Passion for the Lost - By Greg Laurie -
My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed--cut off from Christ!--if that would save them. -Romans 9:2-3
The apostle Paul had something essential for effective evangelism: a God-given burden for those who did not know Jesus Christ. In his case, the burden was for his own people, the Jews. He cared. It burned inside him.
General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, once said that his desire, had it been possible, would be to dangle his evangelism trainees over Hell for 24 hours. That way, they could see the reality that awaits those who do not know Jesus Christ.
That wouldn't have been necessary for Paul, who spoke of his love and burning passion for unbelievers. I think it is there for us in Scripture so that we don't become so obsessed with our own struggles and spiritual growth that we forget about people who need to know Christ.
I think Paul makes an amazing statement in Romans 9 when he says, in essence, "If it were possible, I would give up my hope of eternal life so that others who do not know could come to faith." That's a pretty dramatic statement.
As believers, you and I have a responsibility to those outside the church-those outside the faith. If God's love is really working in our lives, it should motivate us to do something for Him.
If you pray that God will give you this burden, then be careful. The results could be life-changing. You just may be surprised at how quickly He answers you.
FROM THE HEART
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