Prophecy Update Newsletter
June 13, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
You ARE Worthy
- Jack Kinsella - www.omegaletter.com
"For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9)
There is a lot a information packed into this single verse. To begin with, it says 'for by grace you are saved THROUGH FAITH' - let's stop there for a second.
'Grace' (Gk charis) means benefit, favor or gift. It is from the word 'grace' that we get the word 'gratitude' or the sense of being grateful.
Note that grace alone does NOT save. Grace is both the extension of the gift and the gratitude of its recipient. To be grateful, one must first receive. While grace is extended to all mankind, not all mankind accepts it.
Not all mankind is grateful. Grace is extended to all, but salvation comes by faith. A simple concept, but many miss the big picture.
Let's look at the next section of the verse, 'And that not of yourselves'. What is not of ourselves? Grace? If it refers to grace, then the Lord has wasted words unnecessarily. Of course we can't extend grace to ourselves! It is not only impossible, such an extension of grace would be meaningless. We haven't the authority to save ourselves.
Read the verse again. "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." Since we already KNOW that grace 'is not of ourselves' that only leaves one other element that can be the 'gift of God' and that is saving faith.
So the Scriptures say that even the faith that saves us is a gift from God, and not something we conjure up as a result of our own works, 'lest anyone should boast.' This verse is the great equalizer of Christians.
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who has sent Me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)
We all come to the Cross the same way; recipients of God's extension of grace, which we receive by a faith which is God-given. None of us has any reason to feel superior. If we are saved, it is because we were drawn of the Father to the Son.
"It is written in the Prophets, "And they shall all be taught of God." Therefore everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me." (John 6:45)
Allow that to sink in. "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen." (Matthew 20:16)
And again; "For many are called, but few chosen." (Matthew 22:14)
And again; "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." (John 15:16)
"Among whom are ye also the CALLED of Jesus Christ:" (Romans 1:6)
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the CALLED according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
The goodness of God in converting and saving sinners encourages others to hope in His grace and mercy. Our faith, our conversion, and our eternal salvation, are not of works, lest any man should boast. These things are not brought to pass by any thing done by us, therefore all boasting is shut out.
It is the free gift of God, and the effect of being quickened by His power. It was His purpose, to which he prepared us, by blessing us with the knowledge of His will, and His Holy Spirit producing such a change in us, that we should glorify God by our perseverance to holiness.
'Holiness' (Gk hagiasmos) means 'purification' which is a PROCESS, also accomplished by God through Jesus.
"Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath BEGUN a good work in you will PERFORM it UNTIL the day of Jesus Christ:" (Phillipians 1:6)
There are no Christians more deserving than others. Because you have not yet achieved the state of holiness others have does not mean you are less favored. We all come to the Cross equally lost, and we all came away equally saved.
Salvation is an eternal state for which each of us were chosen before the world began.
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," Paul writes to Timothy, (2 Timothy 1:9)
"In hope of eternal life, which God, that CANNOT LIE, PROMISED before the world began. . ." (Titus 1:2)
We are eternally secure, because we are eternally saved, which was accomplished in the Mind of God when each of us was called -- BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN!
Let's bring it together. Nobody can come to Christ unless they are drawn by the Father, who provides us with both the extension of the offer of salvation and the faith necessary to receive it, a calling that was sealed in heaven before the world began, according to His purpose and grace.
Our salvation is immediate and eternal, but our purification is a process, which, having been begun in us at the moment of salvation, will be perform in us BY CHRIST until the day we stand before Him. Lest anyone should boast.
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 3:10-12)
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" (Romans 3:23-24)
"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:21)
Legalism runs counter to the clear teaching of Scripture. This is a very difficult doctrine to both teach and understand. It sounds like a license to sin. It is not.
It is an understanding that our relationship to Christ is unique -- that God knows our hearts, and has already judged us accordingly. So that sin cannot reign supreme in our mortal body and thereby render us useless to our calling.
The most effective weapon we have in our war with the enemy is the knowledge that he cannot take away our salvation. There is never a time when we are unworthy to tell others of Jesus Christ.
Paul tells us, "Finally, my brethren, be strong IN THE LORD, and in the power of HIS might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11-12)
Paul says we put on the 'armor of God' in a specific order. The certainty of the truth of Scripture, the breastplace of righteousness (imputed by Christ) the knowledge of the Gospel and the shield of faith. Our heads are protected by the 'helmet of salvation' - the certainty of our eternal salvation. These are all DEFENSIVE weapons.
Having secured our defense, we then take up our only offensive weapon, the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
If the enemy can convince us of our own personal unrighteousness (of which each of us is acutely aware) or cause us to doubt the truth of Scripture or of our faith (which is a gift from God, lest anyone should boast) or cause us to doubt our own salvation, then we will not be able to effectively wield the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
God chose each of us, and His plan is to use us to seek out those similarly chosen and introduce them to their Savior. That is our assignment on this earth. THAT is our 'calling.' To spread the Gospel.
That isn't Calvinism -- Calvinism teaches that because the Church was predestinated, we are under no obligation to lead people to Christ -- God has already chosen them so He'll sort it out.
There is a joke about the Calvinist who fell down the stairs, and remarked, "Thank God that's over."
Instead, the Scriptures teach that God foreknew who would be saved, therefore it is predestined. But God also knew who He selected to carry the Word to that person. And the enemy will work overtime to thwart God's will by convincing us we are not worthy to carry it.
As Christians, we have an awesome responsibility before God. We have been assigned to seek out the lost and offer them the Gospel. To accomplish our mission, we need to be fully equipped for the task.
That is what eternal security is all about. Not a license to sin, but rather a certain knowledge that our sin is forgiven.
Jesus said of His sheep (the Church) "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
"Give" (Gk didōmi) means 'to bestow'. It is a present-tense verb. The Scripture does NOT say, "I WILL give them eternal life," it says it has already been bestowed upon us.
Jesus said that no man can pluck His sheep from His Hand. I am a man. If I can sin my way out of His gift of eternal life, it is neither eternal, nor is it a gift. It then becomes wages, dependent upon my works.
But the Scriptures say; "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
And since I, a man, can, by my works, undo His Word, it means His Word is not true.
Our works are the 'fruits' of our labor for Christ. Our labor is to lead others to Christ.
"According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon." (1 Corinthians 3:10)
Our foundation is our salvation, but our obligation is to build upon that foundation by leading others to the Cornerstone of Life. But our individual salvation is already an accomplished fact.
When we stand before the Bema Seat of Christ, "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. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire." (1 Corinthians 3:13-15)
The mission of the Omega Letter is to provide each one of us with the information necessary to equip us for the work of one on one evangelism.
Henry Ford once said, "I'd rather have one percent of the work of a hundred men, than 100% of the work of one man." Ford was the father of mass production. In the time it takes for one man to build a single car, a hundred men can build a thousand cars.
Don't let the enemy render you powerless. You ARE worthy, not because you are you, but because of Him Who made you worthy according to His will and by His own Hand.
"Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth labourers into His harvest." (Luke 10:2)
You Won't Believe How Bible Verses Match Hebrew Years in Astonishing Prophetic Countdown - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"For the Lord GOD will do nothing but He revealeth His counsel unto His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7 (The Israel Bible™)
A numeric method of matching Bible verses to Hebrew years has led a prominent rabbi in Jerusalem to the discovery that there is a direct correlation between the two which could pinpoint the deadline for the messiah.
Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students at the Diaspora Yeshiva and a noted lecturer, recently revealed an amazing method of prophecy that can be accessed by simply reading the Bible. Rabbi Sprecher stated that according to Kabbalah, Jewish esoteric learning, every year has a corresponding verse in the Torah. According to Rabbi Sprecher, all that is required to find the verse that describes a particular year, whether it is in the past or the future, is to count verses from the beginning of Genesis until the number of verses equals the Hebrew calendar year.
Rabbi Sprecher explained that this is one of the reasons scribes who write Torah scrolls are called 'Soferim', which literally means 'counters'. Handwriting the sacred scrolls, Torah scribes count the letters and the spaces. With remarkable precision, Rabbi Sprecher noted that there are 304,805 letters in the Torah, 79,847 words, and 5,845 verses. He believes that the year correlating to the final verse in the Bible will signal the End-of-Days, quite literally.
"What that means is that the Moshiach (messiah) must come by the year 5845, since that is the year we run out of verses," he explained. "All we have to do is hang on for another 68 years."
The rabbi gave an incredible example of how this system works. World War II began in 1945, which was the Hebrew year 5699. The corresponding 5,699th verse in the Torah is disturbingly appropriate.
And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and a burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein...Deuteronomy 29:22
Rabbi Sprecher warned that the verses do not always reveal the entire truth. He explained that six years later, after World War II ended in 1945, people tried to understand the horrors they had just experienced. The war-torn world searched for the reasons behind the war and the Holocaust.
The secret things belong unto Hashem our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:28
"The Holocaust was too great, too enormous, for man to understand and ascribe a reason," the rabbi explained.
The rabbi jumped ahead to 1948, the year Israel became a state. The Hebrew year was 5708 and the verse is fitting indeed.
That then Hashem thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the peoples, whither Hashem thy God hath scattered thee. Deuteronomy 30:3
In 1950, Israel was inundated with massive immigration. Over 150,000 Jews made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) in 24 months, the most intensive period ever of Jews returning to their homeland. The verse clearly reflects this.
And Hashem thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.Deuteronomy 30:5
Another powerful example is the verse that correlates to 1968, the year after Israel's miraculous victory in the Six Day War. The verse corresponding to the year 5727 describes the aftereffects of the Six Day War in 1967, the reality Israel was presented that year.
Hashem thy God, He will go over before thee; He will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt dispossess them Deuteronomy 31:3
The verse describing to this year, 5777, is ominous indeed, written in language that does not bode well.
For a fire is kindled in My nostril, and burneth unto the depths of the nether-world, and devoureth the earth with her produce, and setteth ablaze the foundations of the mountains. Deuteronomy 32:22
This may describe the moment, in April, when for the first time the US military dropped its largest non-nuclear explosive device on Islamic State (ISIS) troops entrenched in tunnels dug into a mountain in Afghanistan. The Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the Mother-of-All-Bombs, succeeded in "setting ablaze the foundation of the mountain", killing all ISIS personnel.
Skeptics of Rabbi Sprecher's method of understanding the Bible, need only wait a little more time. Whether or not the technique is accurate will become clear on September 30, 2084, when the verses run out.
Lines in the Sand
- By Jonathan Spyer -
An alliance of pro-US Sunni Arab states is emerging
The decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen to cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar is the latest step in the re-emergence of a clearly defined US-led Sunni Arab bloc of states. The task of this alliance is to roll back Iranian influence and advancement in the region, and to battle against the forces of Sunni political Islam.
Little noticed by western media, this conservative Sunni alliance against Iran and Sunni Islamism has been under construction for some time.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the first to recognize the new regime of General Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi following the military coup on July 3, 2013. Financial support from both countries has been crucial in ensuring the avoidance of economic disaster in Egypt.
The Saudis and Emiratis were the moving force behind the interventions into Bahrain in 2011 and Yemen in 2015. In both cases, the intention was to prevent the advance of Iranian interests.
Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates maintained high levels of military spending over the last half decade, in spite of low oil prices. The two countries have sagely invested in air power and special operations forces - the areas most relevant to the type of wars being fought at present in the Middle East.
The results have been visible over the last two years.
The intervention to prevent the advance of the Iran-supported Ansar Allah militia toward the strategically crucial Bab el-Mandeb Strait was the first real 'outing' for Gulf Arab non-proxy military power (Operation Peninsula Shield into Bahrain in 2011 was a police action against popular unrest).
The results in Yemen have been mixed, but by no means constitute the debacle that the intervention has been presented as in some quarters. The Houthis remain in control of Tsana'a, the Yemeni capital. But the nightmare scenario in which an Iran-supported force acquired control of the narrow Bab El-Mandeb strait, through which all shipping between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea must pass, was avoided. Emirati and Saudi special operations forces played a key role in the fighting.
In Libya, Emirati air power, employed in support of General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army, has played an important part in Haftar's fight against Islamist militants. The Emiratis built a forward air base, al-Khadim, in Marj province 100 km from Benghazi. AT-802 light attack aircraft and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters operate from the base, according to satellite imagery published by IHS Jane's.
However, the election of Donald Trump appears to have sharply increased the scope and ambitions of the pro-US Gulf Arab states. It is clear that they identify a similar regional outlook to their own in Trump and key figures around him. This raises the possibility of a more assertive and clearly defined strategy regarding both the Iranian and Sunni Islamist adversaries.
At the Riyadh meeting on May 21st, 55 Muslim majority countries signed a declaration pledging to establish a 'a reserve force of 34,000 troops to support operations against terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria when needed."
According to the final communique from the summit, the leaders present 'confirmed their absolute rejection of the practices of the Iranian regime designed to destabilize the security and stability of the region and the world at large and for its continuing support for terrorism and extremism," and accused Teheran of maintaining a "dangerous ballistic missiles program" and of "continuing interference in the domestic affairs of other countries." A third of the document was devoted to criticism of Iranian regional activities.
The signing of the 'Riyadh Declaration' took place following the visit of Donald Trump to Riyadh. Trump, in his speech at the summit, accused Iran of '"spreading destruction and chaos across the region."
Declarations by Gulf states have not always been followed by concerted action on the ground, of course. But with the current emergent stand-off between pro-western and pro-Iranian forces in eastern Syria, and the incremental loss of territory by the Islamic State in that area, it is not hard to think of the type of roles which a standing Gulf Arab 'counter-terror' force would play, for example, in holding and administering Sunni Arab areas in cooperation with local forces.
An additional, un-stated assumption behind the emergence of this bloc is that the energies of the Arab uprisings that began in late 2010 are largely spent. A bloc led by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Sisi's Egypt will not seek to mobilize the revolutionary energies of populations. Rather, as with that of the Iranians, this alliance will be a top-down affair, featuring regular and semi-regular military forces carefully commanded and controlled from above.
In this regard, it is interesting to note that the main 'casualty' of the emergence of this alliance is Qatar, the country which above all others sought to fan the flames of the uprisings. Qatar, through its support for Muslim Brotherhood associated movements and via its enormously influential al-Jazeera satellite channel, tried to turn the energies of the Sunni Arab masses in Syria, Egypt and the Palestinian territories into political power and influence for itself (while, of course, harshly suppressing any attempts by its own largely non-citizen population to claim rights). This project has failed.
For a moment, a large Sunni Islamist bloc based on Qatari money and Muslim Brotherhood power seemed to be emerging. MB-associated parties controlled Cairo, Ankara, Tunis and Gaza. Similar movements seemed plausibly within reach of Damascus. But this bloc proved stillborn and little of it now remains.
The hour of the revenge of Doha's Gulf neighbors has thus arrived. The shunting aside of little Qatar, however, is ultimately only a detail in the larger picture. What is more significant is the re-emergence of an overt alliance of Sunni Arab states under US leadership, following the development of military capabilities in relevant areas, and with the stated intention of challenging the Iranian regional advance and Sunni political Islam. It remains to be seen what this bloc will be able to achieve re its stated aims. But the lines of confrontation between the two central power blocs in the region are now more clearly drawn than at any time in recent years.
Military crisis in Qatar may spark Gaza outbreak -
The electricity cutback in the Gaza Strip, engineered by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to flex muscle against Hamas rule, was just one piece on the checkerboard created by the crackdown Egypt, Saudi Arabia Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have imposed on Qatar for supporting terrorist groups like the Palestinian extremist Hamas. Therefore, Hamas leader Yahya Sanwar had little to expect from his mission to Cairo last weekend to persuade the El-Sisi government to ease its restrictions on the Gaza Strip.
He arrived at the head of a large mission, in which the group's military arm, Ezz e-Din El-Qassam was heavily represented. Their appeals to Maj.-Gen Khaled Fawzy, director of Egyptian General Intelligence, met with a list of tough conditions. When the Palestinian delegation balked, Cairo acted to tighten its blockade on the Palestinian enclave.
The Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip found themselves in the same boat as their old friend, Qatar, in the week that their internal rival, Mahmoud Abba, docked payment for the electricity Israeli supplies the Gaza Strip. The power supply was cut by 40 percent.
From 2015, the emir of Qatar remained the only Arab ruler backing the Palestinian extremist Hamas with occasional cash donations to Gaza City and permission for its top officials to set up shop in Doha.
This flow of aid was abruptly cut off by the land, sea and air blockade Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt clamped down on Qatar last week over its support for terrorist groups and ties with Tehran. Sheikh Tamim bin-Hamad Al-Khalifa defied the ultimatum they presented him, and so Qatar's banks and international assets have been losing dollars, its currency has plummeted and there is no money to spare for the Gaza Strip.
Qatar and Hamas are being pushed into the same corner.
The small Gulf island, which is the world's largest supplier of natural gas, was been told by the four leading Arab governments to expel Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas officials from its soil, after years of providing them with hospitality plus pensions generous enough for them to live a life of ease and plenty, while also running their terrorist networks across the region and beyond.
Qatar was also told to discontinue its propaganda campaigns against Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and shut down its main platform, the Al Jazeera TV channel; and hundreds of Egyptian and Saudi dissidents granted political asylum deported forthwith.
With nowhere else to go, these dissidents could potentially head for sanctuary in the Gaza Strip, making it a "little Qatar," which is why Cairo further tightened the Palestinian enclave's isolation by blocking all routes of access.
The Hamas delegation was likewise confronted in Cairo with tough demands by the Egyptian intelligence chief:
1. To turn in the Muslim Brotherhood fugitives they were sheltering in the Gaza Strip.
2. Not just to sever cooperation between the Hamas military arm and the Islamic State networks in the Sinai Peninsula, but to surrender to Egypt all the intelligence they possessed about the jihadists and their activities.
3. To discontinue weapons smuggling operations through Sinai.
After balking at the Egyptian demands, Yahya Sanwar was forced to leave Cairo empty-handed with regard to eased restrictions and humanitarian aid - only to find on his return home that the Egyptians had raised their biggest gun against the Gaza Strip: They had cut off power.
A humanitarian catastrophe now hangs over the two million inhabitants of the tiny Mediterranean enclave. Hospitals are cutting back operations, refrigerators are switched off, clean water supplies are dwindling because desalination plants are without power, raw sewage is dumped into the sea and sanitary conditions deteriorating.
Cairo asked the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and the Israeli government not to relent, but to keep the pressure on the Hamas regime high. Ramallah must continue to hold back payment to cover Israel's electricity bills, which suits Mahmoud Abbas' campaign for bringing Hamas to heel.
But for Israel, there is a dilemma. Nonetheless, the Netanyahu government is extremely wary of breaking away from the anti-terror line taken by Arab governments, because this could put paid to the delicate ties established with them - especially in the military domain - through long and laborious effort.
In Jerusalem, it is therefore ardently hoped that the Qatar crisis is quickly resolved and Hamas and Cairo can reach terms exponentially for easing the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
For the time being, there is no sign of this happening. On the contrary, there are indications of the crisis moving onto a military plane. Sources in the Middle East are not ruling out possible military action by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE against Qatar.
A military crisis centering on Qatar would be a catalyst for an outbreak of violence from the Gaza Strip. And indeed, after the failed Sanwar mission to Cairo and the reduction of electric power to the Gaza Strip, Hamas spokesmen warned that an "explosion" was imminent.
Nearing Midnight: The U.S. Embassy-Jerusalem Decision
- Terry James -
U.S. presidential candidate Donald J. Trump's declaration was loud and clear: "We will move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel's capital, Jerusalem!"
This was the candidate's core promise involving Israel throughout the long, disputatious, campaign season. It was at least a part of why many within the religious right supported the Trump candidacy.
So it was that when President Trump made the announcement after his trip to the Middle East and to Jerusalem a cry of betrayal went up from his base of support. His administration will not for the foreseeable future move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel's capital.
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump signed a temporary order on Thursday to keep the U.S. embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv instead of relocating it to Jerusalem, despite his campaign pledge to go ahead with the controversial move.
After months of fierce debate within his administration, Trump chose to continue his predecessors' policy of signing a six-month waiver overriding a 1995 law requiring that the embassy be transferred to Jerusalem, an action that would have complicated his efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. ("Trump delays moving U.S embassy to Jerusalem despite campaign pledge," Reuters, By Matt Spetalnick)
The White House was quick to report that the president was by no means lessening his support for Israel. Also, they made clear that the move of the embassy is only delayed. It will still be moved to Jerusalem is the word that continues to come from the administration-thus, though there has been no time table set for such a move.
White House sources said: "The question is not if that move happens, but only when."
The statement further said that the president's decision to defer the move for now was made "to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America's national security interests."
President Trump said at the 2016 AIPAC conference in Washington DC, "We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem." He remained silent about his pledge to make the move, however, following his November 8 election.
There are many within the Christian community who supported him who are worried that this means Trump is a wolf in sheep's clothing, as the saying goes. I am even getting emails, as I wrote last week, from those who are beginning to say he has Antichrist characteristics. Some especially look at his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with suspicion in that regard.
Some believe that the entire matter involving Trump's decision to remove the United States from the Paris Accords on climate change was to create a diversion from the supposed fact that he was betraying his campaign promise regarding the embassy move to Jerusalem.
I harbor no such suspicions-at least not to this point in observing this president's actions and activities. He has proven a man of his word to this point. He hasn't not moved the embassy-only delayed that move.
Considering the current climate of distrust and animus between the Jews and their enemy Muslim neighbors, it is, in my opinion, wise to proceed cautiously, while intending fully to move the embassy at the best possible diplomatic moment.
At the same time, I urge the president to move the embassy. It will be an act that shows the desire to bless Israel-never the wrong thing to do.
He has, in my estimation, been very forthright in stating why he made the decision to delay. We will see if he follows through on his White House promise: "The question is not if that move happens, but only when."
One thing is absolutely certain. God's touchstone city to the entire world will one day be the capital of the millennial earth. God has reserved great things for this place He calls "the apple of my eye."
Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain...And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. (Zechariah 8:1-4, 8)
I've Got Your Back
- By Grant Phillips -
What does the phrase "I've got your back" mean to you? To a policeman or a soldier it obviously means "I'm here to protect you" or "I'm on guard against any bad that could happen to you." That's probably what it means to most of us.
In the following passage, I believe Paul had this in mind. We as Christians should be "looking out" for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Common sense tells us that there are circumstances where I (for example) may not be able to help someone, but another Christian can. If you qualify as one who can help, the Lord will lead you to that person. When another brother or sister comes along that I am able to help, the Lord will bring us together. The main thing for each of us is to be ready and to be willing.
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1
This can be a very touchy situation. The first question that comes to mind is, "Am I going to appear "holier than thou" by getting involved?" First of all, let us not have that attitude toward any brother or sister in Christ.
The Lord knows the right person to send to help another believer, and He knows how to "open the door." He also knows the perfect time to bring the two together. Again, let us be willing and ready.
The most important phrase in this verse is "in the spirit of meekness." If we are condescending toward another instead of loving and gentle, we are the one who needs help from someone else.
Then we are warned to be careful that we are of the right mind and to beware of any temptation that could befall us.
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
"Bear ye" in this verse is saying to pick up with the hands and carry with endurance. So we would pick up our brother's load as Simon of Cyrene (Luke 23:26) picked up Christ's load, the cross, and carried it for Him.
The Greek word for "burdens" in this verse is baros, meaning a burdensome or extra heavy load. These loads represent problems folks really have a hard time dealing with.
For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. (Galatians 6:3)
It is unfortunate that some Christians would even think this of themselves. I'll say more about this later.
But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. (Galatians 6:4)
We each should check ourselves to be sure we are right with God, and if we are, then we can boast in Christ for what God has done.
For every man shall bear his own burden. (Galatians 6:5)
The word for "burden" in this closing statement is different than the one used in verse two. The Greek word for burden here is phorlion and it means, "of the obligations Christ lays upon his followers, and styles a "burden" by way of the contrast to the precepts of the Pharisees, the observance of which was most oppressive." In other words, this is a lighter load, comparing the light load Jesus lays on us to serve Him to the heavy load of the Pharisees' legal requirements.
Now I would like to provide this same passage again, but in another version that is easier for all to understand.
"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load." (Galatians 6:1-5 NIV)
Now referring back to verse two above, I've noticed over a period of many years some Christians who think somewhat highly of themselves and are not very loving toward other brothers and sisters in Christ.
These good folks have the attitude that if they go to church, don't smoke, don't drink, have not been divorced, and don't 'cuss,' they are great Christians, but those who are not in this category ... not so much.
I've seen these same people, who are supposed to be representing Christ treat other Christians (who don't meet their standards) very unkindly. This brings me back to the heading of this article, "I've Got Your Back."
In the Galatians passage we quickly looked at, the Lord is showing us the true meaning of "I've got your back." This is love in action for our siblings in Christ.
How can we say Jesus Christ is our Lord and treat any of our Christian family badly? It never ceases to amaze me at just how cruel some church people can be toward others. Just this week some Christians in the workplace have caused much grief to a fellow Christian employee. Galatians 6:3 leaps off the page.
We need to be very careful in how we treat others, especially a fellow Christian. We are all a part of the bride of Christ, and it really makes us look bad to a sin sick world when we don't show the love of Christ in our actions. No wonder a lost world calls us hypocrites.
Let each of us carefully consider Galatians 6:4 and Psalm 139:23-24 (shown below). Let us not give Satan any victory in our lives, but hold each other up. Let us be able to honestly say, "I've got your back" and not stab them in the back instead.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24)
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: Your right to property remains in jeopardy
- Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Americans are concerned about their right to privacy as government spying on citizens and intrusion into our private lives has increased. But it didn't happen overnight. On April 25, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed into law Public Law 106-185, setting up the framework for property seizure as a political tool and also to fund over zealous police forces. Section C parts 2 and 3 says the government can use evidence from a "complaint" to justify seizing the property upon "theory" that it was involved in a criminal offense. Section d part 1 says that the property owner has the burden of proof of innocence in court to retrieve his property. In 2011 alone, the White House used this statute to seized a record $1.8 billion in property.
On June 6, 2013 the UK Guardian interviewed NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowdon who had this to say: "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to...Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded. ...it's getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrong doer."
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Government has been taking great liberty to suppress your liberty. Probable cause must be supported by oath, affirmation and particular description and inscribed by warrant. Where are your Constitutional rights if government can record your every movement and seize your property from a mere complaint or theory? This must change. Yet, our elected leaders insist on chasing false narratives to stall badly needed changes to protect our rights.
Snowdon went on to say: "The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won't be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things... And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it's only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that... because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny." Galatians 5:1 says, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." In my opinion, it is not in the best interest of spreading the gospel or of overcoming evil to live under tyranny.
Daily Devotion: When Failure Is Good
- By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless-like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. -Ecclesiastes 2:11
Is success the most important thing in life? It depends on how we define success. Many people achieve their goals, but what cost did they pay to achieve them? Was it through deception and betrayal? Was it by abandoning their principles and sacrificing their integrity? Was it by neglecting their family and friends and even forgetting about and, in some cases, outright abandoning God? They may be successful. But ultimately they are failures. Success can be a form of failure.
King Solomon, who went on a sinful binge, of sorts, said, "Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless-like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere" (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11). He had seen it all and done it all, and it didn't satisfy him.
We can do worse than fail. We can succeed and be personally proud of our successes. We can succeed and worship the accomplishment rather than the One who helped us reach it.
Sometimes failure can be good because we can learn from our mistakes. And failure can be good even when we do something that is wrong-if we learn from it and if we learn to fail forward.
That means after we have done something wrong and have tasted the bitter results of it, we say, "I really don't want to do that again." So we put safeguards around our lives, taking precautionary steps to never fall into the same trap. If that is the case, then we have learned something from our failures.
FROM THE HEART
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