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Who are the "Sons of God" in Genesis Chapter 6? (Part 2) - Steve Schmutzer -
Part 2: Understanding the Biblical Message
In Part 1 of this series I stated my personal standards for teaching God's Word, and I outlined some sound principles of proper Biblical interpretation. While various protocols for studying and interpreting the Bible can be found, I believe the responsible ones largely conform to the rationale and standards I've shared.
With those issues behind us, let's return to the operative question, "Who are the 'sons of God' in Genesis 6?" Our focus is the first four verses of that chapter. Let's see if the rules and guidelines we considered in Part 1 will help to clarify the right answer.
We'll begin by asking a question and establishing a response to it: "What is the original meaning of the English translation, 'sons of God?'" This question assumes the Bible is capable of interpreting itself, and it specifically applies the interpretive principle that passages must be understood in light of their original Biblical meaning.
The original language of Genesis 6 was Hebrew, a language of greater dimension and richer hues than English. The Hebrew term for "sons of God" is b'nai Elohim, which Jewish scholars of the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) define as "heavenly beings."
A more technical dissection of b'nai Elohim reveals that b'nai is plural for "sons" and Elohim is plural for "God." Did you get that? Plural - for "God!"
"Elohim" first shows up in Gen. 1:1, "In the beginning, God..." The Bible unwraps the doctrine of the trinity right out of the gates. "Elohim" is used because the inspired writers of Scripture understood that God exists as a plural being.
I'm not off on a wild goose chase here. Since nothing is left to chance in the Bible, there's no room to teach it casually. God's Word must be handled on His terms, not ours.
God opens the Scriptures with a proper view of Himself, because a proper view of God leads to a proper view of everything else. When things start going sideways in the Lord's work and in the expressions of our faith, chances are good that someone somewhere forgot who God really is and how He needs to be revered.
Let's keep going. The term b'nai Elohim is also constructed in such a way as to mean a direct physical creation of God. In other words, whoever these heavenly "sons of God" are, they did not originate through natural processes like you and I who came from human parents. Rather, they began as the result of the supernatural, creative, ex nihilo ("out of nothing") activity that only God Himself is capable of. Plainly put, these b'nai Elohim were not present in one moment - but in the next one they fully were.
Now, angels are direct physical creations of God in this very manner, and moreover they are also "heavenly beings" as opposed to "earthly beings," like ourselves. This raises the next question which is this: "Is 'b'nai Elohim' used elsewhere in the Bible to refer specifically to angels or heavenly beings?" This second question correctly assumes the self-clarifying nature of the Bible, and it applies the next interpretive principle that passages must be in harmony with other passages on the same subject. One passage of Scripture is always supported by another.
We discover that the term b'nai Elohim is only ever used in the Bible to refer to angels or heavenly beings, the latter being in one form or another. As we've seen, it first appears in the book of Genesis (6:2 and 6:4). It's used next in Job 1:6 and 2:1 to describe occasions when the angels gathered to present themselves before God.
In these Job texts, Satan is part of this b'nai Elohim gathering too. This not only underscores the angelic nature of this Hebrew term, but it reinforces that it can accommodate a "fallen" element. This fallen element - as we will see - is also within the details of Genesis 6:1-4.
Later on in Job 38:7, b'nai Elohim reappears once more, this time during God's rebuttal to Job. In response to Job's many complaints, God dialogues with him. He reinforces Job's humanity while emphasizing His own divinity. It's a reality check for Job because despite his own traumas, he ends up seeing himself and God as he really needs to. Trials have a way of doing that.
Woven into this discussion is a moment where God rhetorically asks Job if Job was present during the creation of the earth, an occasion during which "....all the angels (b'nai Elohim) shouted for joy(?)" Here the Hebrew term is employed to describe the righteous angels who are celebrating God's creation, perhaps at a point prior to any of them becoming fallen.
The New Testament invites some other considerations. There is the passage of Luke 3:38 which reads, "The son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God (b'nai Elohim)."
"Aha!" some liberal commentators will cackle. "You see, 'b'nai Elohim' can mean other things!" They see Luke's passage as evidence that b'nai Elohim is not confined to "heavenly beings."
But, not so fast. Luke 3:38 concludes Luke's genealogical record of Jesus Christ, and the whole record's pattern is consistent with the sole exception of Adam. Every human named in the list is shown to be the direct descendent of another human. The only deviation from this model is Adam who descended directly from God.
Adam had no earthly parents like everyone else did. He was instead formed from the dust of the ground by God Himself, and so the original argument of "heavenly beings" is not only sustained by Luke 3:38, but it is reinforced quite elegantly. Remember, according to scripture the term "sons of God" (b'nai Elohim) is limited to those beings created directly by God. Being of "heavenly origin" in his own way, Adam fits these parameters just fine.
Let's take these considerations one final step, because I would be irresponsible to not address the use of b'nai Elohim in those portions of the New Testament where believers are also thus described (John 1:12, Romans 8:14-17, 23; Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:5). In a spiritual sense, the definition of b'nai Elohim applies here too because believers are new creatures created directly by God. Seen this way, believers are "heavenly beings" which are born of above through a sovereign and exclusive act of God. Salvation is a supernatural transaction, executed entirely by God. It transcends all boundaries of natural and measurable form.
But here is an extremely important fact to consider: it is only after the death and resurrection of Christ that believers are called b'nai Elohim. At no time before this point are natural humans given this distinction, no matter how faithful they were. The Biblical record is clear on this. This pregnant detail warrants careful consideration insofar as the historical timing of Genesis 6:1-4 is concerned. The context of Genesis 6:1-4 was thousands of years before the cross.
So, while flying high over this landscape and looking down upon it, the options are very limited to reasonably fit the meaning of b'nai Elohim into the context of Genesis 6:1-4. The greater counsel of Scripture moves the intent of this Genesis text away from any human definitions.
If one obstinately insists that b'nai Elohim in Genesis 6:1-4 refers to humans, then they must also accept the ramifications of their choice to overlook the ways the Bible affirms its divine origin. It's a decision to willfully ignore the proper rules of interpretation, and this amounts to setting up one's own will against the will of God. That's a very bad place to be.
I feel there is only one interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4 which adheres to the duty of properly engaging the Word of God, which aligns with all the other confirming passages, and which applies the responsible rules of interpretation, and that is this: it's talking about angels. More specifically, as the context of Genesis 6:1-4 clearly communicates, the b'nai Elohim here are fallen angels, a specific distinction which Job 1:6 and 2:1 supports.
The essential pieces of the puzzle are in place now and the plain language of the text makes the picture clear. Fallen angels entered the visible and tangible sphere of earthly life, forcibly "married" human women, and produced offspring with them.
Righteous angels ate with Abraham in Gen. 18:8, and righteous angels stay within the bounds of heavenly laws according to Matthew 22:30. But both these passages suggest fallen angels could violate those boundaries, and engage in other physical expressions if they chose to.
And indeed they did! The gigantic progenies which resulted from mixing these two types of created entities were not entirely human nor entirely angelic - but both. They were hybrids. This breach of divine laws was so abhorrent to God that He punished these fallen angels with the imprisonment spoken of in Jude 6 and 2 Peter 2:4.
While God detested what had happened, these progenies - these "Nephilim" - left such an impression on mankind that they became the stuff of legend through their feats and strength. Ancient cultures throughout the world - Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Grecian, Roman, and others - interpreted the events of this time in their own mythology. All of them tell the same types of stories with very similar nuances. That's not coincidence.
Brief as it is, the passage of Genesis 6:1-4 bears all this out. Within its immediate narrative as well as within the greater context of the rest of Scripture, these truths are affirmed. This recalls the third interpretive guideline which states that passages must be in compliance with the development of the context. It is this understanding of Genesis 6:1-4 that places the remainder of that particular chapter under the proper lens, and it is this view that clarifies other subsequent portions of God's Word as no alternative interpretation is able to do. These elements will be explored in following installments of this article series.
Meantime, I will mention that - based on my own studies in these matters - I have noted that a large number of pastors, theologians, and scholarly-types appear to agree with everything I've stated up to, but not including, my conclusions within those last five paragraphs.
The thought processes of such folk are mostly captured by the following outline:
They concur with the Hebrew understanding of b'nai Elohim, both in the construct of the term and its original meaning.
They accept the argument that b'nai Elohim is used very selectively in the Scriptures to apply to "heavenly beings."
They agree that in the aforementioned texts of Job, b'nai Elohim refers not only to angels, but more specifically, it also applies to fallen angels.
They, for the most part, give consensus to my interpretation of Adam as b'nai Elohim, though this is a juncture that sees some of these individuals choosing silence. They simply do not comment on it. There are less opinions offered on this particular point than with the previous three.
Finally, there is scarce discussion - almost none - on the New Testament passages which connect believers after the death and resurrection of Christ to the definition of b'nai Elohim. This may be due to the element of sovereign election which is inherent to the creative process of b'nai Elohim. The Biblical doctrine of sovereign election is actively suppressed in many churches today.
As I ponder what I've learned, I'm chagrined by the behavior of these Christian leaders. It defies common sense to track through these five points as some of these individuals have done, confess agreement with each (or most) of them, but then return to Genesis 6:1-4 and declare, "It does not mean what it says."
You may as well google the address to the nearest McDonalds, follow the directions to it, park under the golden arches, walk inside and order a Big Mac and fries, then tell everyone within earshot that you're at Pizza Hut! This posture seems to be nothing other than intentional ignorance, and I find the implications of this foolishness in the church to be alarming.
In the next installment of this series, we will take a thorough look at the origins of the "Sons of Seth" theory, an argument which touts alternative explanations concerning this passage of Genesis 6:1-4. We will pay careful attention to how this theory emerged and what it chooses to support.
Russia-Israel Alliance Grows as Russia-Iran Alliance Frays in Syria - John J. Xenakis -
An airstrike on Iraqi Shia militias on Sunday evening killed dozens of fighters supporting the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad. The airstrike targeted a position in Syria's Deir az-Zour province, near the border with Iraq.
Syrian media blamed the U.S.-led coalition for the airstrike. According to the report from Syrian media SANA, the fighters were from the regime army, and they were fighting ISIS:
A military source said in a statement to SANA that the US-led coalition on Sunday targeted one of our military positions in the town of Al-Hiri, southeast of al-Boukamal city, leaving a number of martyrs and wounding other people.
The coalition has been targeting the military positions in a desperate attempt to raise the collapsed morale of the terrorist organizations due to the achievements of the Syrian army.
The field reports confirm that Washington provides Daesh [ISIS] organization with various kinds of support to prevent its collapse and invest it to keep its forces illegally in the Syrian territory and steal the economic resources in the eastern region through its mercenaries of terrorist groups.
By Monday evening, numerous reports have come up describing errors in the SANA report, essentially making it "fake news."
Most important, the U.S.-led coalition had conducted no airstrikes in the region on Sunday evening, and the U.S. military repeatedly denied that the U.S. coalition had anything to do with the airstrike.
Second, there have been reports that the most likely force behind the airstrikes was the Israeli military. Israel is refusing comment, but unnamed Israeli military sources are confirming this off the record.
Israel rarely comments on its airstrikes in Syria, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that Israel is "already taking action" against Iran in Syria:
Over the weekend I spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We discussed regional issues and focused - of course - on Syria.
I reiterated our guiding principles regarding Syria. First of all, Iran needs to withdraw from all of Syria. Second, we will take action - and are already taking action - against efforts to establish a military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria both close to the border and deep inside Syria. We will act against these efforts anywhere in Syria.
This statement by Netanyahu actually represents a bit of an expansion of previously announced policy. Previous policy indicated that Israeli airstrikes would be focused on southern Syria, along the border with the Israeli-governed Golan Heights. In Sunday's statement, Netanyahu made it clear that Israel will strike pro-Iranian targets anywhere in Syria. That statement clears up some confusion about whether Israel could have been responsible for the Sunday evening airstrike, whose target had been much deeper into Syria than previous Israeli airstrikes.
A final problem with the Sana story is that it was not clear about what forces the Israeli airstrikes were targeting. It has emerged that 40-50 militia fighters were killed, a combination of Syrian army forces, Iraqi Hezbollah forces, and Iran-backed members of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) umbrella organization, which takes its orders from Iran's Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani. SANA (Damascus) and CNN and Debka (Israel) and Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Russia-Israel alliance grows, while Russia-Iran alliance frays in Syria
Netanyahu's statement, quoted above, confirms something that has been increasingly clear for at least two years: Israel's alliance with Russia is growing, and Russia is doing nothing to stop Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria.
That Russia's relationship with Israel is getting closer could not have been demonstrated more clearly than when Russia openly accepted Jerusalem as Israeli's capital and on June 14 attended a celebration of Russia's Independence Day at a reception being held in Jerusalem.
Russia, Iran, and Turkey formed an alliance in 2015 to support al-Assad in Syria's civil war, with each one taking on a different "assignment." But it has always been fairly certain that once these "assignments" were completed, then there would be no one left for them to fight except each other since they all had different objectives.
Russia's objective was to establish Russian military bases in Syria, and it has accomplished that with naval and air bases. Iran's objective was to establish its own bases in Syria, where they could be used to launch attacks on Israel. Russia does not want Iran to have bases in Syria, and more important, Russia does not want a full-scale war between Iran and Israel.
Iran does have thousands of trainers, advisors, technicians, and other support specialists to make the Syrian Army and their Iranian allies. According to one estimate, Iran supervises over 50,000 mercenary forces in Syria, mainly Shias from Afghanistan and Lebanon. As we reported in 2015, al-Assad's army was near collapse and saved only through the intervention of Russian bombers and Iranian mercenaries.
As the role of the Iranian mercenaries winds down, Russia is demanding that "all foreign troops" (except themselves) leave Syria. Of course, this is nominally directed at the Americans and Turks, but it is also directed at the Iranians. One thing most everyone can agree on, including most European and Middle Eastern nations, is that Iran should get out of Syria. Until that happens, the chances of a war between Israel and Iran in Syria will continue to grow.
Nearing Midnight: Enemies of the Chosen - Terry James -
Dynamic issues and events continue to move and shake the world at a torrid pace. Central to all going on that presents danger to the world is the North Korean matter. That's the take by most of the news punditry panels I've heard, at any rate.
The North Korean talks and economic trade talks are at the top of the heap of things to worry about, according to the talking heads. Even Russia and China have for the moment been moved, at least temporarily, to lesser positions in the order of things.
Of course, the specious matter of Russia-Trump collusion is at the very top of mainstream news and entertainment media, as it will be until the next presidential election. But, at least they have to weave the fake news narrative in between the truly historical things this president is bringing to the world diplomatic table.
With that understood, it is nonetheless impossible to consider those things top priority to cogitate upon when the Bible's prophetic focus and the news of the day converge as one. I'm referring to God's chosen nation as being in the reportorial crosshairs every hour of every day.
Israel's enemies seem to be in every direction one looks, as we've covered many times. It is a satanic hatred that rages, just like it continues to rage in the matter of the 2016 presidential election. That election disrupted the new world order builders' plans to continue to move the United States into their globalist plans.
The hatred builds toward a crescendo because the new American president and God's chosen nation are joined at the hip, diplomatically speaking. Never has the Jewish state had such a friend in the White House.
Israel's enemies in the EU made their threatening anger known in recent days.
Spain has, as well as have most all of Europe, in one form or the other, joined in the Boycott-Divestment-Sanction (DBS) movement.
Following a major Spanish city's vote to boycott Israel, the leader of Spain's third-largest party called the Jewish state a "criminal country" during an interview aired by public television broadcaster.
Pablo Iglesias Turrión, leader of the Podemos far-left party, said this in an interview earlier this week on RTVE.
"We need to act more firmly on an illegal country like Israel," said Iglesias Turrión, whose party in 2015 won 20 percent of the votes in the general election just one year after its creation. (Spain's third-largest City Valencia officially declares Israel an illegal country, JEWSNEWS, June 10, 2018)
Israel has only to look northward a few miles to find a threat that is one packed with deadly military virulence.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Friday that Israel "can never" feel safe, as thousands of Iranians marched in an annual day of protest against Israel.
Protesters took to the streets in the capital and other cities for Quds (Jerusalem) Day, held every year since the early days of Iran's Islamic revolution to show support for the Palestinians. Iranian media said millions marched in hundreds of cities. Iran relentlessly encourages the destruction of Israel, and it finances, arms and trains terrorist groups on Israel's borders.
"Israel can never feel that it is in a safe place," Rouhani told reporters in Tehran. (Rouhani says "Israel can never feel safe" as thousands in Iran mark Quds Day, by Agencies and TOI staff8, Times of Israel, June 2018)
God's chosen nation has a diminishing number of friends and a burgeoning number of enemies of every sort. The most worrisome of the enemies, to my way of thinking, is the "Christ at the Checkpoint'"global effort to, in its own way, destroy Israel.
Known as the CatC movement, the organization has declared its intention to "go global" in its activity in opposition to Israel and to Christians who support the Jewish state. Until recently, the movement has been in the Palestinian-controlled city of Bethlehem.
One enemy against which they have declared themselves is "Christian Zionism." Basically, that includes any Christian who, on the basis of moral and biblical convictions, stands with the Jewish state of Israel.
CatC official Alex Awad said Christian Zionists worship the modern state of Israel instead of God.
He added further the night CatC 2018 began that those of the Zionists in the U.S. are responsible for "electing Trump and dashing hopes for Palestinian peace.... Why should Christian Zionists coming to the Holy Land-where they worship Israel, not Jesus-why should they draw tens of thousands and we not get those kinds of numbers?"
The rhetorical question was posed in the closing hour of the fifth anti-Israel Christ at the Checkpoint (CatC) conference in Bethlehem.
CatC counts among its friends some familiar names, according to the article from which I gleaned the information. For example, the following is stated therein.
At the CatC conference in 2016, the hired gun to assault Christian Zionism was the so-called "Bible Answer Man," Hank Hanegraaff from the US.
Not only is the ethnicity of today's Jews dubious, said Hanegraaff, Christian Zionists are directly responsible for what he called Jewish Zionism's "murder, terrorism and ethnic cleansing in 1948." Moreover, he asserted, all talk of a third Temple (as per the prophet Ezekiel) is "nonsense." (For the full article, go to http://jerusalemjournal.net/news-and-views/7-ways-to-counter-the-global-assault-of-christ-at-the-checkpoint-conferences-by-brian-schrauger-photo-all-text-edited-out-for-facebook-censor )
Observers of Bible prophecy from the Pre-Trib view of eschatology shouldn't be surprised or overly alarmed at these developing, incendiary actions against God's chosen nation. It should, rather, reassure that Israel's returning Messiah and King is soon to appear to rescue the believing remnant of that people.
We who are believers this side of the Rapture will return with our Savior and Bridegroom!
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (Revelation 19:11-14)
The day Sodom and Gomorrah are restored - Joseph Farah - http://www.wnd.com/2018/06/the-day-sodom-and-gomorrah-are-restored/
Joseph Farah explains reality of passage about cities in book of Ezekiel
Remember what Billy Graham once said?
"If God doesn't punish America, He'll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."
As a matter of fact, that could be literally true.
What were the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah?
We're told in Ezekiel 16:49-50: "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."
God sure did take them away - in a hail of fire and brimstone so powerful it turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt when she turned around for a look at their former home.
But that list of sins sounds very familiar, doesn't it? Is there anything there Americans have not done in recent generations? I think not.
That, however, is not my main point today. My main point will be much more shocking and unbelievable to most. In fact, I can scarcely wait to see what my many detractors will have to say among the atheist watchdogs who religiously read my columns every day, as well as the leftist hatemongers who consider me a fool for believing in God and the Bible.
Here it is: Sodom and Gomorrah are going to be RESTORED!
Whether you're going to Israel with Joseph Farah or not this fall, experience "The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age," his book about the Coming Kingdom of Restoration.
That's the rest of the story of Ezekiel 16.
When God restores the whole world, starting with Israel and Jerusalem when Jesus returns, He's also going to revive Sodom and Gomorrah, which, interestingly enough, has recently been discovered and excavated. And, if you are fortunate enough to be coming with Elizabeth and me to Israel this November, you will visit the ruins in Jordan near the Dead Sea and try to imagine with us what that restoration will be like.
I can already hear the guffawing of my skeptical critics. But pay close attention. Here's what God says about the restoration of Sodom and Gomorrah in Ezekiel 16.
In verses 53-63, He goes on to say that when Israel is restored, so will be Sodom and Gomorrah and Samaria, as well. He's going to do it to illustrate Israel's sins of the past - the way the nation walked away from God in the midst of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah so it can experience shame as well as be a comfort to the Sodomites.
"When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate," we're told in verses 55-57. "For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride, Before thy wickedness was discovered. ..."
Addressing Israel, God, speaking through Ezekiel, says in verse 60: "Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant."
And that's the story of the coming restoration of Sodom and Gomorrah - not to mention Israel and the rest of the world. It's something so clear in Scripture, but seldom talked about in church, in Bible studies and in books. How often to do we hear about how Jesus is going to restore the world to the way it was intended before the fall of man?
Heaven's Immigration Policy - David Pepe -
America is divided over the matter of immigration and over the question of who should be allowed to enter the country. Some believe that almost anyone should be allowed to enter the country, with very few restrictions. Others believe that it is a national security risk to have open borders and they do not want foreigners entering our country unless they have been very carefully vetted. They believe that welcoming new citizens into our nation should only happen through the legal process, and that people should not enter illegally. When it comes to the heavenly country (Heb. 11:14), the living God exercises extreme vetting. While the Savior has compassion on all, yet only those who accept His gracious invitation are made fit and allowed to enter (Col. 1:12; 1 Cor. 6:11). A perfect righteousness is required (Matt. 5:20; Rom. 10:2-4, 1 Cor. 1:30). No one will see that land unless they are born again (John 3:3,5). No person will ever inhabit the ETERNAL city unless he is a proper citizen of heaven (Phil. 3:20 where "conversation" means "citizenship").
Also, God is not opposed to having a great wall and gates in the new Jerusalem: "And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates" (Rev. 21:12). God's people will enjoy perfect security, the Lord Himself providing the protection: "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land...but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise" (Isa. 60:18). There are many bad characters who are absolutely denied entrance: "And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie" (Rev. 21:27; compare 21:8). The redeemed ones who enter are properly registered, having their names in the Lamb's book of life (Rev. 21:27). May we rejoice that our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).
Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior in ETERNAL TRUTH and REALITY? Dear friend, if not, be sure that you do, for your ETERNAL citizenship in Almighty God's ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS Heaven absolutely depends on it! It is Almighty God's ETERNAL desire that you be with Him FOREVER clothed in RIGHTEOUSNESS to enjoy Him and His ETERNAL country (John 14:1-6, Rev. 21, 22:1-5)! May it be so!
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
Daily Jot: Discerning news and prophecy - Bill Wilson -
A Pew Research Center poll of 5,035 American adults found that only 26% could correctly discern facts from opinions in news stories. Furthermore, according to Pew, Americans were likely to think that facts were accurate. Those who identified opinions as fact did so from the basis of their belief system, such as political or religious beliefs. Many Christians also do the same with Bible interpretation and prophecy. Many believe that since things are so morally out of alignment with scriptures in our country that the Lord "must" be returning soon. The Holy Scriptures are very specific about the time and events of the Lord's return. Even as between news facts and opinions, we must discern scripture responsibly.
According to the Apostle Paul, several distinct things must happen before the Lord returns. He writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3, "That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." This is very clear: 1) don't be deceived, 2) falling away, 3) antichrist (beast) revealed, 4) sits in the temple as God.
He also writes in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16, "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." So 5) Lord returns with a shout, 6) dead in Christ rise first, 7) saints remaining on earth meet him in the air. This is consistent with Biblical prophecies written about the return of Christ. There is no mention of the stock market or the US political situation, although these things may have a role in moving the prophetic clock forward and are interesting side stories.
We, as saints in these days and as watchmen and teachers, must be responsible in how we explain these events. We must be discerning and careful to not overstate their significance, use inflammatory language, or to tie Biblical absolutes to our subjective opinion in order to advance personal viewpoints. Be careful not to be driven by intrigue or fear, or to be led astray by false doctrine. Be as those in Berea from Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." The prophetic must align with scripture. Crying wolf too many times can cause many to stumble. Let us discern responsibly.
Daily Devotion: How to Change a Nation - By Greg Laurie -
"You shall not commit adultery." -Exodus 20:14
In movies, music, and sitcoms today, casual sexual encounters have been made to look harmless and fun, even celebrated. Think of the impact this has had on our culture. Think of how different our world would be if we just obeyed one of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14 NKJV).
It would mean that families still would be together. It would mean that children wouldn't be conceived out of wedlock and would have a stable father figure in their lives.
You can take almost every social ill in our nation today and trace it to the breakdown of the family and the absence of fathers. We have the statistics to back it up. Fatherless sons are 300 percent more likely to be incarcerated in state juvenile institutions. Sixty-three percent of teenagers who attempt to commit suicide live in fatherless homes. Seventy-one percent of high school dropouts are from fatherless homes. Ninety percent of all runaways and homeless children are from fatherless homes. Eighty-five percent of all youths sitting in prison grew up in a fatherless home.
I think sometimes people believe that God disapproves of sex. How ridiculous. God created sex. One of the ways that husbands and wives express their love is through the sexual union. It doesn't have to be a dirty word. It doesn't have to be a taboo subject. It's something that can be enjoyable and pleasurable. But the only place that God will bless it is within the boundaries and safety of a marriage relationship.
Outside of marriage, sex can be an extremely destructive thing. We need to keep sex in its proper place. If we would just do what God says in His Word, if we would just get back to what God tells us about marriage, it would transform our nation.
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
1) We need your prayers!- We proclaim the Truth of the Word of God and we are under constant spiritual and sometimes even physical attack.
2) We need your encouragement!- We need to hear from you, let us know how the Lord is blessing you through this ministry so that we can share it with others.
3) We need your input! - If you have a prophetic article or story or if there is a news related item we missed, let us know.
4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
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