Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Is the Real Restrainer Now Restraining? - By Gene Lawley -
A simple meaning for "restrain" is "to hold back, or resist." In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 and 6-7, Paul introduces the restrainer into the end-time scenario:
"Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."
This is the fulfillment of that prophecy made in Daniel 9:27b and 11:36:
"...But in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate...." (:27b);
"Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done" (11:36).
It was the foretelling of the desecration of the temple and repeated by Jesus in Matthew 24:15: "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand) then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."
This is a future event, not at the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D., as some would have you believe. That event was done by the Romans with no spiritual intentions as to presenting anyone as God in the temple. Jesus foretold that event merely by saying, "Not one stone will be left upon another," (Matthew 24:2) picturing the Romans tearing everything apart for the gold, silver, and precious stones in the temple construction.
Let's return to the matter of the Restrainer, He who holds back the relentless push for evil to overwhelm mankind.
"And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way" (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7).
The falling away must come first, before the Day of the Lord. Then, the man of sin is revealed, the one who opposes God. Then, the One who restrains becomes apparent. Who is this?
In order to support their pre-conceived ideas, in my opinion, various names are forwarded as the "one who restrains," such as early church resistance to the Roman Empire. More recently is the claim that perhaps it is the angel, Michael, who is known to have resisted the devil in their confrontation over the body of Moses (Jude 1:9); but look how Michael handled that situation, for Jude reports that the angel said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you." So that leaves us to some form of deity, a member of the godhead, or as in the days of Noah and Lot, a direct involvement from heaven. Look at Luke 17:26-30:
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man. They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
In those early Genesis accounts, we are told that God put Noah and his family in the ark, after the creatures were loaded, and closed the door on them. Then the flood came. In Lot's case, the two angels led him and his family out of the city, and immediately, the city of Sodom and its inhabitants were destroyed. So, in those instances, the direct intervention of God also delivered those of faith.
In these days, the only One who is specifically left in the world is the Holy Spirit, who indwells the born-again believer. The wide range of ministry of the Spirit of God in the believer is a voluminous topic of study. The specific ministry to the individual believer in regard to this context is summarized in 1 John 4:4 where we are told, "...He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
The Scripture assures the believer that he is sealed by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ as Christ's down-payment on His purchase of that lost soul from his bondage of sin. So the question that might be raised, "Who can take away a member of the godhead?" is answered in the amazing mystery of the Rapture.
Jesus promised this in John 14:2-3: "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."
In a recent article, I wrote of observations that indicate the coming destruction of the United States of America, pointing out a whole spread of areas where falling away from faith and to lawlessness is now happening. It raises a question of whether that alone is representative of the whole world. Apparently, the evil forces behind these arenas of the falling away believe that as long as America stands, their cause will not climax in victory. Thus, we see a concentrated effort to bring America down to an entity without sovereignty.
One cannot deny the true meaning of that statement muttered by President Obama at the annual DC Correspondents' Dinner on April 30, 2016: "The end of the Republic has never looked better!" He was so caught up with anticipation that Hillary Clinton would be the winner of the 2016 presidential election that he could not contain himself. Thus, the goal of destroying the United States from her perch at the top of the nations is Satan's plan in his drive to pose as God in the place of the God of the universe. This is told of in 2 Thessalonians 2 and is referenced at the beginning of this article.
Topple the United States and the whole world will go down. Why? America is the only nation which allows its citizens the freedom of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as individual rights coming from God, not the state. That arrangement just cannot be allowed by those who envision a New World Order and a one-world government where no such freedom is planned-except for the elite. There is one thing, though, that is troubling to them-BUT GOD!
No promise made by God or Jesus, as different members of the godhead, will contradict the other. Thus, when the promise is made, "I will never leave nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5), it means just that. When the One who restrains (note the pronoun capitalization in the 2 Thessalonians context) is "taken out of the way," the believer goes with Him, meeting the believers from heaven who are being joined, their soul and spirit, with their resurrected bodies from their graves.
That is the picture Paul presents in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."
The current question is whether or not the growing resistance in state governments and churches against a full-blown pro-abortion effort indicates the work of the Restrainer of the last days which Paul writes of in 2 Thessalonians 2. The pressure to look upon a pregnancy as a type of disease, or merely a tumor-like growth in the womb, has awakened the moral sensitivities of many church members and leaders as well as state government officials.
As I noted in another recent article, the attack upon the only creation that was made in God's image could only be the work of Satan. His efforts to destroy mankind through direct destruction, as in abortions and in confusion of the sexes in the gender manipulation frenzy, may well be his final effort to oppose the Creator of the universe, Almighty God!
"Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done."
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2019 Mid-Year: Elections, Weird Weather & A Looming Peace Plan - A.V. Rauf -
We are fast approaching the halfway mark of the year 2019 and much has transpired as of late.
Most recently, Israel had to endure a rash wildfires coupled with an excessive heat wave in temperature as of over 1,700 fires were extinguished across Israel. Firefighters have battled wildfires that scorched almost half of the Ben Shemen Forest, the largest forest in central Israel. Several residents had to be evacuated in small towns nearby.
So massive have been these fires that the government of Israel has had to rely on assistance from neighboring countries including Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, and Italy to deal with the rapidly spreading wildfires.
The wildfires were reported during a sweltering heatwave that brought record temperatures to parts of the country.
In conjunction to the wildfires, for the FIRST time in the history of the Israeli government was unable to form a government after the most recent elections in which Benjamin Netanyahu won by a slim margin. He was unable to formulate the 61 seat coalition in the Knesset needed to form a government. As a result, NEW elections will now have to be held again for the first time ever in Israel on September 17th 2019.
It will be interesting to see who emerges in the elections this Fall all the while the Middle East has become increasingly brittle as Russian and Iranian forces are firmly entrenched in Syria and even Turkish troops are situated in the northeast.
The Bible mentions a coming war in the Book of Ezekiel Chapters 38-39 that clearly identifies these nations forming a coalition to attack Israel. Please see the post below for further insight.
As fires have been ravaging Israel, in the United States, over the last 30 days, there have been more than 500 tornadoes. That in itself is not normal. Since 1998, there has been on average approximately 279 tornadoes for the month of May. As a result there has been billions upon billions of dollars of damage and over a million cattle have already died due to the excessive flooding and rainfall the United States has been experiencing as of late. 38 fatalities have been reported as a result of this weather. Flooding has also been reported in several countries worldwide including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mozambique, South Africa, and even China.
As the month of June has arrived, all attention is shifting towards the Deal of the Century. An interesting article that is a "must read," in the Jerusalem Post reveals a lot of information regarding this plan:
Currently, Israel is extremely confident in her might and the prospects for peace have never been better or more advantageous the current President Donald Trump in the White House. Israel is confident that this peace plan is finally going to give them rest and world acceptance and on a religious front, usher in the arrival of their Messiah.
Nearing Midnight: Evil Pressure vs. Heavenly Restraint - Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
I've written elsewhere that I once heard an evangelist back in the mid-'70s preach during a city crusade that he believed the unthinkable would happen in America. It would take place just before the Rapture of the Church.
The evangelist believed that, just as the debauched society and, by then, totally anti-God governmental agencies would be about to grab Christians around their throats, the Rapture would occur.
A significant puzzlement to me is that so many who are truly born again (John 3:3) don't seem to concern themselves with the tremendous evil that is building. They don't seem to even notice that in the freest nation on the planet, the powers and principalities of Ephesians 6:12 are grasping to clutch and strangle believers.
Those who faithfully read articles such as those on Rapture Ready and other such forums exhibit concern for the evil pressures that are building. But God's people in general-and I'm talking about those who are born again (and only God knows those who are in His family)- show little concern, it seems to me, while the anti-God forces do their nefarious work.
This is attributable in large part to neglect in the pulpits of America. Pastors and Bible teachers would rather not touch prophetic topics-particularly not prophecy yet future. We've noted before that they find those biblical areas too frightening to their flocks, too difficult to understand, or just of no importance for these modern times. Besides, such troubling messages might drive down attendance, thus dry up offerings.
And the evil pressures build...
Again, all we have to do is to look at the political scene in the nation. One party has all but publicly committed to abandoning anything to do with the God of the Bible. As a matter of fact, that party is seeking to totally debauch our society and culture. This is obvious, yet the pulpits for the most part remain silent on the fact that this very condition for the end of the Church Age was prophesied. God's Word, through the Apostle Paul, forewarned and instructed those responsible for overseeing God's people in the last days:
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
Evil pressure builds within the church itself. Just a cursory glance at what's going on in some areas of a growing number of religious bodies that claim to be Christian lays bare the truth of Satan's assault.
One such organization claiming Christianity as its belief system shows the lateness of this Laodicean hour:
The Vision Church of Atlanta, Georgia, a progressive congregation, has added a psychic medium who claims to commune with the dead to their staff.
Lakara Foster, who holds a doctorate of ministry from the Interdenominational Theological Center, is now a licensed minister at the Vision Church of Atlanta, Rolling Out reported. She is also the creator and star of the YouTube series "The Gift," which she argues God told her to do. It follows her life as a medium, minister, and spiritual teacher.
"God told me to do the show. Honestly, I was reluctant at first because I felt very vulnerable and thought I would get a lot of pushback and negative feedback being a minister and a medium. I thought people wouldn't understand but I knew I still had to do it. I knew I had been called to do it. When I asked God, 'Why this gift? Why not singing?' God said, 'I promised my people eternal life. How will my people know that I've kept promise if you don't demonstrate your gift?'" she told Rolling Out. ("Vision Church of Atlanta adds psychic medium to ministerial staff," By Leonardo Blair, Christian Post reporter , Friday, May 24, 2019)
That the church medium is surprised she has received little to no pushback is itself surprising. The changes taking place within various denominations are becoming a ho-hum part of the quickly evolving reality. It would be a good bet, if a gambler, to wager that most Christians in the pews today would see little to nothing wrong with what this "psychic" said.
Pastors in the pews of Bible-believing churches are silent for the most part, for example. They just don't want to get involved in these extrabiblical machinations-only they're not extrabiblical. Read 2 Timothy 4:1-4 above once again. It is the minister's God-ordained commission to fight against such heresy, especially as the last days of the Church Age manifest.
After considering the evil pressures and actions assaulting this generation, it is true that there is opposite and equal reaction. This comes from God, Himself, it is obvious and provable through watching things going on, particularly within the American political war being waged. To my way of thinking, the fact that this president remains alive-that is, not assassinated because of the hatred cast his way-much less that he continues to work hard for the American people-is nothing short of miraculous. Every evil influence has been brought to bear in trying to destroy Mr. Trump and his family. The mainstream media, the entire entertainment industry, the increasingly reprobate opposition party, America's top intelligence agency heads, nearly half of the American populace, and even members of his own party who hate him spend 24/7 feverishly trying to remove him from office in whatsoever way possible.
The spiritual war going on is made obvious, too, by the fact that Christian leaders like Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, and many others have called for prayer for the president and for the nation. This call is as desperately needed as at any time in human history.
God, alone, is holding back the evil that is assaulting. This is undeniable to the Christian who believes in God's Word and applies himself or herself to study of the Word.
Why more Christians are comporting themselves as if in a stupor is extremely troubling. Don't be one of those who refuse to look up from your life's routine in order to see that Christ's promised redemption is drawing near (Luke 21: 28). Take part in the Lord's heavenly restraint through prayer and study, in order to discern the signs that Christ is about to return.
Israel Watch: Old Demons Resurface - Jim Fletcher -
It's no secret that anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide. Even here in America, horrifying realities are in play.
But in France, the problem is multiplied by the growing Muslim stranglehold on an ancient European country. One writer has suggested that the "old demons" are coming out again.
It is with this in mind that I want to write this week about the role of Jewish resistance fighters in France during World War 2. We are celebrating today the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Ahead of the invasion, much work was done to undermine the Nazi regime, along with the puppet Vichy regime.
The Jewish Resistance was called Organisation Juive de Combat, OJC, and played a big part in disrupting the Nazi agenda. Of course, they were literally fighting for their lives.
The Germans, upon conquering France in 1940, set up two zones: the northern section was Nazi-ruled, while the southern (headquartered in Vichy) was under the puppet government. According to an article from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:
"The persecutions of the Jews, in which the Vichy regime played a dominant role in its collaboration with the Nazis, started shortly afterward and followed a similar pattern to the persecutions in other occupied countries. First came 'Aryanization' measures, then the creation of detention camps, and finally massive deportations of Jews to the concentration camps in Eastern Europe. Out of a community of about three hundred thousand Jews in France on the eve of the war, 75,721, including 10,147 children, were deported. Most perished in the camps. Only about 3 percent returned. The consequences could have been even worse if not for the Jewish Resistance."
(One could see in this story the beginnings of the move to Palestine, as one of the nine Jewish resistance groups was called the "Movement of the Zionist Youth," MJS.)
The work of the resistance groups involved forging papers and organizing convoys to Spain and Switzerland; organizing guerrilla groups in the mountains and cities; and funneling money for the Resistance.
The 2,000 Jewish resistance fighters also helped provide intelligence that aided the Allies in the lead-up to D-Day. Of course, Israel continues this practice today, providing us with literally invaluable intelligence from their neck of the woods.
Let us celebrate the 75th anniversary of the greatest invasion in history, led by the Greatest Generation. That celebration also includes a deserved nod to the Jewish Resistance in France.
Daily Jot: Left's new case: Abortion good for business - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Some of the most insane ideas of the neo-communist left have been presented to America with a straight face-letting minor children decide whether they should have sex change operations, building a bridge across the oceans, not building a military base on an island because the weight may cause it to tip over-just to name a few. But now, they have gone the route that killing babies in the womb is good for American business and the well-being of all people. Yes, this is too crazy to make up. At the behest of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, The American Civil Liberties Union, and Center for Reproductive Rights, some 180 businesses have started a website called "Don't Ban Equality."
Somehow, CEOs of businesses like Bloomberg LP, Amalgamated Bank, Yelp, Square, Ben and Jerry's Homemade, Atlanta Records & Warner Music Group and others believe that snuffing out a baby in the womb somehow equates to equality for all. Their newly launched website says, "Equality in the workplace is one of the most important business issues of our time. When everyone is empowered to succeed, our companies, our communities and our economy are better for it.Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers.
"Simply put, it goes against our values and is bad for business. It impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.The future of gender equality hangs in the balance, putting our families, communities, businesses and the economy at risk. We, the undersigned, represent more than 108,000 workers and stand against policies that hinder people's health, independence and ability to fully succeed in the workplace." Restricting abortion, according to these mavens of society, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of their employees and customers-In other words, all of society.
According to these people, the future of the American economy rests on gender equality that hinges on legal abortion, and they believe that their families, communities and businesses are at risk if babies cannot be killed in the womb. What about the ability of that preborn to be empowered to succeed? How about the 70 million-plus aborted American citizens who could be contributing to society, but will never have that chance? This is a case where the shrill voices of those who wish to destroy families, communities and the economy as we know it, have crossed the line. If these people want equality, perhaps they should look to the real standard of equality as is written in Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus." That's true equality and freedom.
Daily Devotion: A Walk of Faith - by Greg Laurie -
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit. - Ephesians 5:18
The Bible tells us to be filled with the Spirit, but have you ever wondered what that actually means?
Some people surmise that to be filled with the Spirit is to have an emotional experience, and it can include that. But it doesn't always include that. Which means you can be filled with the Spirit and not have any emotional response whatsoever. Then again, you can be filled with the Spirit and feel a lot of emotion.
But here is the problem: All too often, some of the most bizarre, aberrant things we see happening in the church today are attributed to the Holy Spirit. People are saying the Spirit is telling them to do these things. But do we find these things in the Bible? The answer is no. So are these things from the Holy Spirit? I don't think they really are.
So what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? We could compare it to driving a car. We read in Acts 2 about the day of Pentecost, the story of the explosion of the Holy Spirit that set the church in motion. In the same way, when you get into your car and put your key into the ignition and turn it over, there is an explosion, if you will, that fires up the car. You don't need to keep turning your car on again and again once you're driving. You just need that initial explosion, and then you drive the car.
It is great when you have an emotional experience. But we must remember that the Bible says, "The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). By and large, the Christian life is a walk of faith, not a walk of feeling. Feelings will come and go. But the just shall live by faith.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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