Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Spectacular Pre-Tribulation Rapture - By Kit R. Olsen -
"Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, cruel, with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation; and He will exterminate its sinners from it. The earth is broken asunder, the earth is split through, the earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack, for its transgression is heavy upon it, and it will fall, never to rise again." (Isaiah 13:9; 24:19-20 emphasis added)
Scripture assures us through the prophet Isaiah that the "day of the Lord" is in reference to the seven-year Tribulation. Its purpose is to exterminate unrepentant sinners and destroy wickedness out of the earth for good. The judgments of the Tribulation will forever destroy the transgressions of the godless masses-"never to rise again."
Another major purpose of the day of the Lord is to bring about worldwide revival through the efforts of the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, specially anointed and protected by God (Revelation 7:1-4).
Furthermore, another crucially important objective of the Tribulation is to fracture the stubborn will of the Jewish nation-Israel (the holy people) and bring about national regeneration (Daniel 12:5-7). Those who remain rebellious will be eliminated, making it possible for an entirely new nation (which has been regenerated) to enter into the Millennium and be given the Promised Land by Jesus Himself. Once Israel recognizes Jesus as her Messiah, repents and cries out to Him, the Lord will return and the Tribulation will come to an end (Hosea 5:15; 6:1-3).
In the book of Revelation John is caught-up to heaven which is symbolic of the Church being caught-up to heaven before the Tribulation begins:
Revelation 4:1 - "After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, a voice as of a trumpet speaking with me, one saying, 'Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter.'"
It's time for the Church to go home: The door in heaven is opened signaling that believers of the Church Age are about to be caught-up to heaven. When a voice of a trumpet says, Come up hither, it is the command for believers to be raptured, as Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians:
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
The voice of the archangel will shout, Come up hither, and all living believers will be raptured; the dead in Christ will rise first to meet Jesus in the air. The Church is seen here in heaven, represented by the 24 elders and also as the myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands (Rev. 4:4, 10-11; 5:14). Yet, she is not seen again until chapter 19 of Revelation.
The Church is not seen during the Tribulation because she has been taken to heaven. Revelation chapter 4 begins with the statement, After these things-that is, after the Church Age.
Another indicator that the Church is not here during the Tribulation is this important sequence of Scripture: After each of the messages of the seven churches, God says, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
But in Revelation 13:9, long after the events of chapter 4, God says, If any man hath an ear, let him hear. He leaves off the words what the Spirit saith to the churches because the Church is no longer on earth, she is with the Lord in heaven.
We also know the Church does not go into the Tribulation because of powerful symbols of her in the Old Testament. Enoch is a symbol of the Church because he was "caught away" just prior to the flood of Noah's day (Genesis 5:24). Noah is a symbol of the Rapture because he was carried away to safety in the Ark before the flood came.
Another symbol of the Church in the Old Testament is Lot and his family. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit visited Abraham and told him that Sodom would be destroyed. Abraham tried to talk God out of destroying the city and begged that if just ten righteous people could be found in it that it would be spared (Genesis 18:20-33).
God agreed, but only one righteous man-Lot, was found. The Lord sent angels as His emissaries to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family. They acted on His behalf and forcibly took Lot, his wife and their two daughters out of Sodom before destroying Sodom, Gomorrah and the three other cities nearby in the valley of Siddim-Admah, Zeboiim and Bela (Zoar) as cited in Genesis 14:8.
"Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground." (Genesis 19:24-25)
We hear the words Come up hither again later in Revelation chapter 11; the Two Witnesses are raptured during the Tribulation. But that is the only rapture within the time span of the seven-year Tribulation prior to Christ's Second Coming.
"And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, 'Come up hither. And they went up into heaven in the cloud; and their enemies beheld them.'" (Revelation 11:12).
These are the major positions that exist regarding the Rapture. (The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the correct one):
Pre-Tribulation Rapture teaches Jesus Christ will rapture the Church before the start of the Tribulation.
Mid-Tribulation Rapture teaches Jesus Christ will rapture the Church at the mid-point of the Tribulation.
Post-Tribulation Rapture teaches Jesus Christ will rapture the Church at the end of the Tribulation.
Pre-Wrath Rapture teaches Jesus Christ will rapture the Church near the end of the Tribulation just before the pouring out of the wrath of God through the seven bowl plagues (Revelation 16:1).
It is important to note that nowhere in Scripture do we read that the Tribulation is anyone else's "wrath" other than God Almighty's and His alone. The prophesied seven-year Tribulation is God's wrath pouring down upon an out-of-control God-rejecting world.
The terror of the Antichrist fueled by Satan is a by-product of mankind's rejection of God, and cannot be substantiated with Scripture as Antichrist's, Satan's and mankind's wrath-unless one inserts extra-biblical ideas into the text creating a false doctrine.
And there is another major and obvious problem with any of the Rapture positions outside of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture:
Jesus does not make any appearances in Scripture during the Tribulation until the marriage of the Lamb in chapter 19 which eliminates the idea of the Rapture event taking place anytime other than prior to the Tribulation.
Jesus comes to earth before the Tribulation begins to take His Church off the planet, and He returns at the end of the Tribulation at the Second Coming with His Church (Revelation 19:11-14).
The rapture of Enoch and Elijah are symbolic of the Church being raptured before Daniel's Seventieth Week (the Tribulation) begins. These biblically recorded events are symbolic of the Church being removed before the God pours out his wrath upon the godless inhabitants of earth-the unsaved masses that remain after the Rapture of the Church.
The rapture of Enoch is not specifically called a rapture but from the following Scripture we can see that he was raptured. The Scripture simply says, "Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:24).
Elijah was taken up in a chariot of fire in a whirlwind: "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (2 Kings 2:11).
It appears that Elijah boarded the chariot of fire which was then carried up into the sky by a whirlwind-God's whirlwind. We cannot know exactly what chariots of fire or horses of fire are, but they are cited a number times in Scripture (2 Samuel 22:11; 2 Kings 6:17-18; Psalm 68:17; 104:3; Isaiah 66:15; Jeremiah 4:13; Ezekiel 1:4-28; 10:1-22).
The promise to the church of Philadelphia to be kept from the "hour of trial" is a promise of being raptured before the start of the Tribulation.
"Because thou didst keep the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Revelation 3:10 emphasis added)
Daniel's Seventieth Week is the "hour of trial" and all believers of the Church Age must be taken out before it begins because that is the time when God pours out His judgments-His wrath.
The promise that "God appointed us not for wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:9), is a confirmation that true Christians must be raptured prior to the start of the Tribulation.
Another important point is this: The twenty-four elders seen in chapters four and five of Revelation represent believers of the Church Age-which means that the Rapture must take place by Revelation chapter four-before the Tribulation (the day of the Lord) begins.
Footnote: "Anyone who loves God's chosen people will want to read Kit's book, Israel's Guaranteed Future Glory. The most recent May 2017 edition includes a powerful, updated Presidential Inaugural chapter and additional information of historical value. Kit's wonderful book highlights the State of Israel showing that God's prophetic promises have not been broken, and that He still has a plan for mankind.
The history of the Jews proves the validity of His Holy Word; and the geopolitical climate unfolding today falls in line with God's prophetic messages. Kit has been my dedicated editor/writer for the site since 2012. I am very pleased to share some of her additional work with our readers and feature her new book on the site in our Recommended Resource Section." -Todd Strandberg
Unveiling clock showing 8,411 days left for Israel, Iranians rage against Jewish state -
Parliament speaker calls Israel 'mother of terrorism' as Islamic Republic parades missiles, rallies in support of Palestinians and against raft of enemies
Iran held major anti-Israel rallies across the country Friday, with protesters chanting "Death to Israel" and condemning the occupation of Palestinian land.
Marchers in Tehran headed from various points of the city toward the Friday prayer ceremony at Tehran University. Similar demonstrations were held in other cities and towns in Iran, according to state media.
Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard used the demonstration in the capital's Valiasr Square to showcase three surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, including the Zolfaghar - the type that Iran used this week to target the Islamic State group in Syria. The Guard said it fired six such missiles on Sunday at IS targets in the city of Deir el-Zour, more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) away. The Guard said the airstrike was in retaliation for an IS attack earlier in June on Iran's parliament and a shrine in Tehran that killed 18 people and wounded more than 50.
Another missile on display at the Tehran rally was the Ghadr, with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) that can reach both Israel and US bases in the region.
Iran's ballistic missile program has been the subject of persistent concern in Washington and the target of repeated US sanctions.
Iran claimed its missile strike on Sunday killed 360 Islamic State fighters. Israeli sources, by contrast, said the strike was a "flop," that most of the six or seven missiles missed their targets, and that three of them fell to earth in Iraq and didn't even reach Syria.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in remarks carried by the official IRNA news agency, said Israel supports "terrorists in the region."
Parliament speaker Ali Larijani, in a speech to Tehran demonstrators, called Israel the "mother of terrorism" and said that in the "20th century, there was no event more ominous than establishing the Zionist regime."
The rally also inaugurated a huge digital countdown display at Tehran Palestine Square, showing that Israel will allegedly cease to exist in 8,411 days.
In 2015, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei predicted that after 25 years - by 2040 - there will no longer be a State of Israel.
"Death to the House of Saud and Daesh," demonstrators chanted, using another name for the Islamic State. "Death to America", "Death to Israel", "Death to the UK."
This year's commemoration comes amid an intensifying battle for influence in the region between Shiite Iran and its Sunni arch rival Saudi Arabia who have had no diplomatic relations since January last year.
State media put the number of participants at over 1 million.
The anti-Israel rallies are an annual event marking Al-Quds Day, a historic Arabic name for Jerusalem. Iran says it's an occasion to express support for the Palestinians and emphasize the importance of Jerusalem for Muslims.
Iran doesn't recognize Israel, calls for its demise, and staunchly backs terror groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah.
In comments ahead of the day, Khamenei said the rallies were meant to "fight arrogance and global hegemons," likely hinting at recent tensions with Sunni Gulf states.
"Defending Palestine today is defending a reality much greater than the issue of Palestine," he said, according to the semi-official Tasnim News site.
Iran holds al-Quds day rallies held each year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to end this weekend. Iran has marked the day since the start of its 1979 Islamic Revolution, when it cut relations with Israel.
Liberman: Abbas is dragging Israel into war with Hamas - Tovah Lazaroff -
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman underlines that Israel has no intention of initiating armed conflict on any frontier.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will halt all financial payments to Gaza in the future and in so doing attempt to push Israel into war with Hamas, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned on Thursday morning as he addressed the annual Herzliya Conference.
"I have no intention of initiating any military activity, not in the summer and not in the fall, not in the south and not in the north. Our objective is to prevent war and the only way to do that is through credible deterrence."
Liberman blamed internal Palestinian politics for creating a humanitarian crisis in Gaza so that its two million residents have been living on four hours of electricity a day.
"We do not have to enter Gaza forcibly," he said, as a result of the power play between Fatah and Hamas, but that does not mean the crisis would be resolved anytime soon.
Israel this week cut the electricity it supplies Gaza from 120 MW to 80 MW, according to the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company.
Israel did so at Abbas's request, after he said he would only pay NIS 25 million out of a NIS 40m. bill to Israel Electric Corporation, which has been Gaza's main provider of electricity over the last two months.
Palestinians in Gaza did not feel the loss because Egypt this week sent diesel fuel into Gaza through the Rafah crossing, something it has not done in 10 years.
The fuel allowed the Gaza power plant to partially resume operations, producing 45 MW of electricity after a two month shutdown.
The Gaza electricity company said the fuel could make it possible for people in the Strip to receive six hours of power a day. The plant closed in April when it could not pay the onerous tax Abbas had imposed on the diesel fuel for the plant.
Depriving Gaza of electricity is one Abbas's tactics to weaken Hamas, so he can regain control of the Strip a decade after Hamas ousted Fatah in a bloody coup.
In the last couple of months, Abbas has also stopped sending medication to the Gaza Strip and has cut payments to the governmental employees there.
Such steps are "not a tactic that he plans to use only once," Liberman said as he warned the situation would get worse.
With regard to the electricity, he said Abbas "has not made a one-time reduction. He will continue to reduce payments and to stop payments all together in a few months both for the fuel and the medicine and payments of [civic salaries]."
Abbas has taken this step unilaterally without consulting Israel, Egypt or Jordan, Liberman said. "He is saying that they are just trying to weaken Hamas." But the only logical conclusion is that there is a double strategy here in which Abbas is crippling Hamas also out of a hope that "he will drag Hamas into a conflict with Israel."
With regard to Israel's northern border, Liberman warned that Hezbollah was using the Syrian conflict to develop another front against Israel on the Golan Heights and is increasing its presence along Israel's Lebanese border.
"Hezbollah is making use of the situation to smuggle advanced weapons from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon," Liberman said. "I would like to clearly warn the Syrian regime, which is encouraging Hezbollah and Iran, to turn Syria into a base against Israel."
"The Syrian regime has to take responsibility," Liberman said, adding that arms could not continue to be smuggled to Hezbollah in Beirut.
"The international airport in Damascus cannot be the primary location for smuggling and certainly they cannot provide Hezbollah with weapons.
"We are doing everything in our power to create deterrence," Liberman said adding that at the same time, if action was required Israel would not hesitate to act.
The United States, Russia and Syria are holding talks with regard to safety zones in that area, he said. But such an agreement would not "prevent our freedom of action, as "the IDF retains its "freedom of action" if it feels that it needs it "to ensure Israel's security."
First Russian base for SE Syria - near US garrison -
The Russian engineering corps has started building a new base in southeastern Syria at a small village called Khirbet Ras Al-Wa'r in the Bir al-Qasab district. Until now, Moscow adhered to a policy of restricting its military presence to the western part of the country along the Mediterranean coast; no Russian troops were based further east than Palmyra.
The new facility is the first to be established since Moscow's initial military intervention in the Syrian war in September, 2015. debkafile's military sources say it will provide Russia with a lever of control over the volatile Syrian southeast and its borders, where US-backed and Iranian-backed forces are fighting for dominance. . Russian forces will also stand closer than ever before to the Israeli border - 85 kilometers from central Golan and 110 kilometers from southern Golan, not far from IDF military positions.
The new Russian foothold will be located strategically 96 kilometers from northern Jordan and 185 kilometers from the American and Jordanian special forces garrison at the al-Tanf crossing inside the Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi border triangle.
Placing the new base just 50 kilometers from Damascus serves another primary function, that of securing the strategic crossroads leading from eastern and southern Syria to the capital - in other words, propping up the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Our intelligence sources note that construction on the new Russian base began concurrently with the resumption his week of secret US-Russian talks in the Jordanian capital, Amman. They are led by Michael Ratney, the special US envoy for Syrian affairs and Aleksandr Lavrentiev, for Moscow.
There were reports on Thursday, June 22 of a trilateral accord reached between the US, Russia and Jordan for creating a demilitarized zone in southern Syria, that would also cover the Israeli and Jordanian borders. debkafile sources assert that no such accord has been reached. According to our information, the Russians put on the table a three-part plan for de-conflicting the incendiary situation in southeast Syria. We can reveal its main points:
1. American forces will continue to hold the al-Tanf crossing. In return, they will agree to Iranian, Syrian and Hizballah forces capturing from ISIS - and holding - the border town of Abu Kamal, further to the north.
2. Moscow will guarantee the withdrawal of Iranian troops, pro-Iranian militias and Hezbollah forces from southeastern Syria region at some point in the process.
3. A joint US-Russian administration will be established to conduct the day-to-day affairs of southeastern Syria, including the areas along the Israeli and Jordanian borders.
Washington has so far turned Moscow down on this plan for two reasons: First, the Syrian army's conquest of Abu Kamal would strengthen Iran's grip on the Syria-Iraq border area, the prevention of which is a primary US objective. And second, the Americans want Iranian and Hezbollah forces out of the region before any other steps are taken - instead of later, as per the Russian guarantee. This, the Russian negotiators were not prepared to concede.
Germany & France Quietly Building EU Army -
Slowly and quietly the countries of the European Union are building an integrated military force that will soon be a European Union military in all but name.
Britain has long-maintained its preference for NATO over an EU force and has used its influence to block any moves towards a common European armed forces.
But with Brexit now a reality, there seems to be little standing in the way of the ambitions of France and Germany to lead the EU to realize its ambition of marshalling its own army.
Rather than a single, open political movement in favor of a common EU army, several member states have taken incremental steps to consolidate specific units, divert defense funds into sequestered accounts and create new coordinated command structures.
Language, finances and national sentiment have promise to be obstacles to a single-force structure, but these too are being faced down by French and German initiatives as a host of other European nations follow their lead.
The European Union is, despite the intentions of those in Brussels, a union of separate and distinct nationalities, governments, languages and militaries.
The first and most basic challenge that any proposal for a unified military will face is that of coordination among different command structures. For the first time, the EU created in March a joint military command center.
It is more akin to a proof-of-concept effort at this point, as its only mission is coordinating training missions in Africa (Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic).
The headquarters will act as a model, however, for larger future centralized command centers capable of coordinating large-scale military campaigns.
Other coordinated efforts from Europe include the Nordic Battle Group comprised of a mix of Baltic and Nordic states and the Britain's own Joint Expeditionary Force.
The Nordic Battle Group is only 2,400 strong but the experience gained from coordinating such a collection of nations will be invaluable for the project of larger European military integration.
The second major obstacle is funding both of national militaries and of a joint European force. A newly proposed European Defense Fund would gather financial support for military research and armament from member nations and is projected to begin with a modest funding goal of 3.5 billion Euros from the 19 countries now supporting the proposal.
The countries, which include France, Germany, Italy and Spain, would also benefit from sharing research and resources that would otherwise be duplicated across 19 national systems.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, told the German news site Salzburg.com that "A European army is not a project for the near future.
It is, however, a project that would give additional weight to the European foreign and security policy. Even though the road may still be long, we could already focus our strengths better."
The politicians at the head of the EU understand that small steps are necessary to create a common military over the nationalist sentiments of the European people.
The Cooperative Financial Mechanism, or CFM, could begin drawing funds from the 19 countries as early as 2018, but if successful will be just the first step towards a common financial base for the European military.
Coordinating military campaigns from separate national militaries and starting to form a common defense fund are both incremental steps towards a EU military, but true integration is also now underway through the German Army, the Bundeswehr.
In what amounts to a group of mini-armies under the command of the Bundeswehr, the Netherlands, Romania and the Czech Republic have all integrated brigade-level forces with Germany. The program is known as the Framework Nations Concept.
In the case of Romania, it is the 81st Mechanized Brigade which will join Germany's Rapid Response Forces Division. The Czech Republic's 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade, considered the elite frontline force of their army, is now set to integrate into the Germans' 10th Armored Division.
After selling off all their tanks, the Dutch military integrated one of their brigades into Germany's 10th Armored Division as well as combining another brigade with Germany's Rapid Deployment Brigade.
Although no separate military force was created that would fly the EU flag on the battlefield, the result is the same as each member state slowly begins to integrate one brigade at a time into a common armed forces system, all under one command.
In this manner, there has been very little objection and most haven't even noticed the change.
At the same time, the German military is growing both in size and funding levels. Since 2014, the Bundeswehr has seen its funding increased by 4.2 percent and this is projected to grow an incredible 8 percent this year.
As the overall cost-savings become clear for EU nations, it is likely that more countries will choose to integrate into the larger military force commanded by Germany.
Europe faces historic threats to its existence that range from financial, with the slow collapse of both the euro and the socialist model, to cultural, with the immense wave of immigration.
Russian aggression and the dangers of Islamic terrorism also wait at Europe's doorstep. All of these factors are likely to push the continent closer to a common European military in the coming years, especially without the counterweight of Britain to argue the case for NATO.
Will a fully unified EU someday soon be defended by a military to rival that of the United States in size, capability and cohesion? The bureaucrats in Brussels would like nothing more.
Double Minded - By Ron Graham -
"A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways," (James 1:8).
In the scope of what James is referring to in the verse above, we find that a man who is double minded is as unsettled as a wave of the sea driven by the wind.
Double minded in the Greek is "dipsychos" meaning "divided in interest" or "two-souled." It can also mean wavering, uncertain, doubting. Unstable in the Greek is "akatastatos" signifying unrestrained, unruliness, restlessness, unsettled, and disorderly. A double minded person, being unstable, is someone who, no matter what he hears can't make up his mind as to what is true and what is false or knows the truth but does not take a stand.
A double minded man isn't fully grounded in any particular doctrinal idea, but is tempted by a melting pot of them all. He can be, and will be tossed around by any change that comes along. Certainly anyone who falls into this category isn't fit to serve God as a pastor, teacher, evangelist or leader in Christ's Church. Christians who've allowed themselves to be led or pushed into all different types of strange doctrines because of their inability to recognize the truth of God's Word, are most assuredly "double minded."
Christians in this day and age seem to be willing to fall for anything as long as it feels good or feels right. Our feelings and our senses are not to be trusted. We need to lean on the inerrant Word of God for our refuge. Strange teachings which are completely unbiblical appeal to those who aren't familiar with Scriptures.
I keep harping on this trend which is subtly creeping into our Christian lives and is not going away anytime soon. The appeal of these grossly false teachings is getting bigger and stronger all the time. These falsehoods are becoming so mainstream that they have taken on a life of their own.
Followers of false teachers aren't hypnotized and they aren't forced in any way to believe in these falsehoods. I find it difficult to believe that Christians who are well versed in the Scriptures would ever allow themselves to be so completely deceived. If a Christian has not studied the Bible, he can only blame himself for being unable to discern the truth from a lie, which is what the enemy is counting on.
Double minded people are those who say one thing and do another. The men and women who lead in the arena of unbiblical teachings are double minded. They have an agenda and it has little to do with God. It may sound good, even good enough to believe. Christians who follow these quacks and adhere to their teachings are being led into a life that is unstable, and as we read in the verse above they are "unstable in all their ways."
I have written before about the believer's foundation which is Jesus the Christ. The Foundation of the Church is being replaced by false doctrines taught by teachers who are deceived, and those listening to them are allowing the word of Man to supplant the Word of God. False teachers abound but that would not be the case if we would study our Bibles.
These charlatans come and go, and now and then they have such an attractive but deceptive message that they are able to cut out a niche for themselves from within the seemingly huge pool of gullible Christians who are wandering around waiting for someone to grab them and feed them with whatever lies sound the best.
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13).
Let me put it in terms everyone can understand. If I was to say to you that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Rome, Italy, would you believe me? Of course not. And why not? Because there are still people alive today who saw the assassination take place in Dallas, Texas. That historical event is recorded in books for all to read.
On the other hand if we aren't familiar with what the history books have recorded about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and someone tells us JFK was shot with a bow and arrow for example, we might believe that falsehood since we have no knowledge of the event other than what we were just told, and if we don't go to the history books for ourselves then we will certainly believe a lie.
The same is true with the Word of God. If we have little or no knowledge pertaining to the truth of God's Word, then we can easily be deceived. The whole idea behind these false teachings is that those who teach them know many Christians don't-or won't, study their Bibles and so the fields are ripe for the harvesting.
I believe the inerrant Word of God is God-breathed. I believe it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Some of the readers of this commentary may recognize the above words as coming from Paul's second letter to Timothy, but many others will not have a clue they came from the Bible and they are the ones who run the risk of being led astray by false teachers.
Suppose you were in a Bible class and the class leader was teaching from the Gospel of John and made the claim that in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was a God. Should someone in the class stand up and correct the teacher? Would anyone in the class even realize the mistake the Bible teacher made? Was that teacher being deceptive in the subtle change of the first verse of John's Gospel?
Perhaps the students didn't hear the mistake. Or maybe no one in the class has a clue as to what the first verse in John's Gospel says. The latter seems to be the case. Perhaps you noticed I haven't pointed out the mistake I've alluded to. Anyone who has studied the Bible will immediately catch the mistake.
I've heard Bible teachers say, "If it's not in the Bible, and if Jesus didn't talk about it, or if it wasn't taught by any of the Apostles, then don't believe it." That my brethren is great advice. But if we have no idea whether or not Jesus or the Apostles spoke about a certain subject then it's a moot point and we will be deceived. This goes for everyone on the face of this planet.
If you don't believe the Bible is God's Word, then you have already been deceived. If you are following someone who says "Don't worry about reading the Bible, it's too hard to comprehend for simple lay people, just listen to me and I'll tell you what the Bible says," then you are even more greatly deceived because you belong to a cult.
We believers in Christ have a sure word, a truth that can't be disputed or denied. The Word of God is ours to read; to become fully versed in the Holy Bible is something to aspire to. We aren't to take Man's word for what the Bible says, or doesn't say.
As we are told in Acts 17:11, the Bereans accepted the Word with all diligence but searched the Scriptures daily to make sure what they were being taught was truly from God. In other , they were not double minded, they were single minded when it came to searching the Scriptures.
Double minded evangelists use lying signs and wonders, trickery, magic, mysticism, babble, doctrines of devils, some proclaiming a pseudo Christ without love. Or double minded men can be popular teachers that have a following and teach their own ideas instead of the truth of God's Word. They are unstable in all their ways. Satanism comes in many forms. Some blatantly worship Satan, and others are unconsciously or subtly doing so. Only those who have studied their Bibles and know God's truth can stand against this abomination.
"Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron" (1 Timothy 4:2).
Many of these false teachers actually have an agenda. They are putting materialism before God. Materialism is their god. Are Christians to be taught by someone who places another god, a false god, before the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Jesus Christ is God. If we put anything before Jesus after asking Him into our lives then we are double minded with a divided interest.
How then can we keep from being deceived by all the false claims floating around out there? We must be constantly in His Word. Read it, learn it, and memorize all the Scripture verses you can, relying on the whole counsel of God.
Take a pocket sized Bible with you everywhere you go. How in God's name can Christians be so deceived by these charlatans who are so far off base when it comes to God's Word? Are they checking their brains at the door of these great halls and walking in completely unarmed? That's exactly what Satan is depending on.
Christians from all over the country and from all walks of life are drawn to these so-called evangelistic revivals. Satan is depending on the fact that they've left behind their only source of protection-God's Word.
My brethren, the end is near; even now we are at a precipice as we hold fast and stand firm on our faith. We must rely on the Word of God to keep us from falling into the great abyss which is Satan's domain (temptations and lies). Satan will become more and more determined to push all his agendas, and pigheaded (unstudied) Christians are no stumbling block for him.
He will use whatever means he has at his disposal to make it seem as though God's Word is being taught, and all the time he's satanically encouraging falsehoods to be taught, teachings that at times will seem biblical but are in all actuality contrary to God's Word.
We should always proclaim the true and correct Word of God. We must be ready to denounce falsehoods as they spring forth like a flood. Allow God to empower you through His Word so you will be fully equipped with the armor of God. As we are told in Ephesians 6, only by being clothed with God's armor can we then stand firm.
Standing firm on the promises of God should be our good pleasure. Allowing sleight of hand to permeate our lives will be our disgrace.
God bless you all,
Daily Jot: Words mean things, especially mean words
- Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." James compared the tongue among the members that defile the whole body and in James 3:2 said, "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." Jesus said in Matthew 12:36-37, "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned." It is from this perspective that we as Christians should view the current visceral national rhetoric. Words mean things and mean words have legs that, as James said, set the course of nature on fire-a fire of hell.
There are many examples of this vulgarity that has overtaken our nation. Madonna after the inauguration said, "Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House." Ashley Judd suggested that Trump and his daughter Ivanka had incestual relations in a vulgar tyraid. Michael Moore said that Trump was mentally ill and that he agreed with "progressive"
congressman John L. Lewis (D-GA) that Trump was not a legitimate president. Communist Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said, "I hope they (Republicans) leave their bodies to science. I would like to cut them open." These words have set the stage for violent acts against conservatives, Christians and supporters of the President.
And it hasn't stopped with the loss of four special elections. Last night, Johnny Depp said, "I think Trump needs help. There are a lot of dark places he could go. I'm not insinuating anything-by the way this will be in the press and it will be horrible-but when was the last time an actor assassinated a president?" Angry over Trump hoaxing the media about whether there were tapes of conversations between he and fired FBI Director James Comey, Elise Jordan on MSNBC said, "My advice would just be to Republicans who do cozy up to him-it's like hugging a suicide bomber." The inference of death-beheading Trump (Kathy Griffin), the assassination play in New York, and these words-stir emotions of hate.
And it's the kind of hate that cause people like James Hodgkinson to go off the deep end and try to assassinate conservative congressmen. The Daily Caller has documented 35 known attacks by liberals on conservatives since July 2016. Townhall documented 20 liberals who called for violence AFTER Hodgkinson opened fire on Republican Congressmen. Names included: Bill Maher, Montel Williams, members of the media, including Washington Post, New York Daily News, Daily Kos, Village Voice, and several elected officials. The Washington Free Beacon assembled a list of 30 Conservative Congressmen who have been attacked or have had death threats since MAY 8. These are just a handful of examples you can use in your discussions of how the mean words are inspiring violence. Words mean things.
Daily Devotion: Our Worship Is a Witness
- By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. -Hebrews 13:15
I came to faith because of worshiping Christians. No one invited me to their meeting. No one broke down the gospel for me and said, "Here is how to come to Jesus Christ. . . ." But I saw a group of Christians sitting on the front lawn of my high school campus, singing songs to Jesus. I watched them and thought, "They have something I don't have," and it opened my heart to listen to the message that was presented.
There is a direct connection between our worship and our witness. Acts 2 says of the early church, "They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity- all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved" (verses 46-47).
We are being watched by the world. And they marvel when a Christian can praise God when he or she is going through a hardship. It's a powerful testimony. But sometimes they come in and join us in the pew. They sit next to us. The question is what kind of worshiper are you? What kind of witness are you?
You may say, "Well, it doesn't matter."
Actually it does. They are checking things out. Maybe they have never been to church before. They are sitting next to you, and while the worship is going on, you're preoccupied. You're chatting with a friend or daydreaming or texting. Pay attention and engage, because they are watching you. Praise and worship can be a sacrifice because sometimes we don't feel like worshiping. But our worship is a witness. Let's be good witnesses. Let's make sure our hearts are in the right place.
FROM THE HEART
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