Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Unhindered March Toward Globalism - By Britt Gillette -
Over the past few years, voters all over the world rejected globalism in favor of nationalism. In the United States, Donald Trump ran on an "America First" agenda and became president. He promised to stop illegal immigration, pull America out of bad international agreements, and change "free trade" deals to "fair trade" deals. Months earlier, voters in the United Kingdom opted to leave the European Union. Known as "Brexit," to this day their decision remains a thorn in the side of the global elite.
In 2019, not much has changed. Recent elections indicate nationalism remains popular.
In India, Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi won another term. Running on a pro-Hindu, nationalist platform, India re-elected him in a landslide.
In Britain, the Brexit Party (formed just months ago), finished first with 30% of the vote. With 29 seats, it's now the single biggest party in the European Parliament.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron saw his party lose ground in the European elections to Marine Le Pen's National Rally. Just two years ago, Macron handily defeated Le Pen in the presidential election. This time, her party won 23% of the vote versus 22% for Macron's party.
In Italy, Matteo Salvini's nationalist party, known as the League, finished first with 34% of the vote.
Throughout the EU, the same story played out over and over. Nationalist politicians scored stunning victories. Does all this mean the world is reversing its trend toward globalism? Will traditional nationalist policies become the norm? Probably not. Recent events significantly slowed the transformation, but the world is still trending toward globalism. Despite recent setbacks, the globalist agenda is in a better position than it's ever been. Why? Because young people embrace it, and young people are the future.
The Global Citizen Movement
Current voters may reject the globalist agenda, but according to several surveys, future voters don't. Globally, the Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) outnumber both the Baby Boomers and Generation X, and they believe the concept of being a citizen of a single country is outdated. To them, global citizenship is the way of the future. In 2017, Western Union surveyed more than 10,000 millennials from 15 countries, including the United States, India, and Russia. What they found provides a glimpse of where we're heading in the years to come. Here are just a few of the results:
79% believe limitless movement around the world will empower them.
29% believe a single global currency will "foster great global unity."
61% believe global institutions like the United Nations are more representative of them versus national (48%) or local governments (44%).
In the 2016 Global Shapers Annual Survey, more than 26,000 millennials from 181 countries gave their opinions on world issues. Results included:
48% of millennials see climate change as the most serious issue the world faces.
When it comes to solving global problems, respondents say they trust international organizations (26%) more than they trust themselves (20%).
36% of respondents view themselves as global citizens. This is a higher number than those who view themselves as national citizens (22%) or members of a religion (9%).
Many young people see themselves as global citizens first. They think borders should be open. They believe climate change is the world's top problem, and they look to global political institutions for answers. This gives us a glimpse of what the world will look like in the future. Why? Because millennial opinions will shape the world in the coming decades.
Adolph Hitler once said, "When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already. You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time, they will know nothing else but this new community."
The globalists don't need to win today's elections because they've already won a generation of children.
The Trend Toward Globalism
Because of their attitudes, millennials will ensure three issues stay at the forefront of the political agenda. These include:
1) Freedom of Movement - Freedom of movement is another way of saying "open borders." Most people reject open borders because they understand a nation with open borders is no longer a nation. So advocates of global government use the phrase "freedom of movement." After all, who could be against freedom? But we can see firsthand how "freedom of movement" destroyed national sovereignty in the EU.
The Schengen agreement allows anyone to freely travel between EU member states without a passport or the need to stop at a border checkpoint. In 2015, images of Syrian refugees overwhelming the borders of Greece and other EU countries dominated the news. Once these refugees illegally crossed the border into an EU country, they were free to go wherever they wanted - London, Paris, Berlin, or any other city or town in Western Europe. No border checkpoint could stop them, and the EU had no way to track them.
2) Climate Change - As previously stated, 48% of millennials view climate change as the top threat to humanity. Despite the lack of evidence to show mankind has anything to do with climate change, people still clamor for global solutions to the "climate change crisis." These solutions typically involve massive tax hikes, loss of national sovereignty, and a massive transfer of wealth and power to new global institutions.
This "crisis" is how the globalists hope to get nations (and the United States in particular) to cede power to them. As former U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon said, "Climate change does not respect borders. It does not respect who you are - rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call 'global challenges,' which require global solidarity."
Panic over manmade global warming and climate change is the perfect crisis for those calling for global government. Since it impacts the entire planet, no nation can solve it alone. Therefore, it requires "global solidarity." What does "global solidarity" mean? It means going along with whatever it is the globalists want. And what do they want? Power. Give power to an almighty global government, and the globalists believe they can solve all the world's problems. This is a long-held dream of kings and despots, but it's also the dream of the millennial generation.
3) Global Government - Remember, when it comes to solving problems, millennials trust international organizations more than they trust themselves. So it makes sense the next generation will embrace global government. Not only is it seen as a solution for climate change, but for decades it's been seen as the only way to promote peace and end war. Albert Einstein said, "Humankind's desire for peace can be realized only by the creation of a world government." Winston Churchill said, "Unless we establish some form of world government, it will not be possible for us to avert a World War III in the future."
Many people believe this, and today, they're actively working to form a single global government. The greatest challenge they face is convincing nations to give up their own power to a new global community. Each year, they come closer to realizing their dream, and advanced technology only accelerates the process.
The exponential advance of technology has advanced the globalist agenda in almost every area of life.
In finance, electronic banking has replaced currency in almost every business transaction. In North America, only 30% of consumer purchases are made with cash. It's only a matter of time before paper currency disappears. When it does, global transactions will become even more efficient.
In business, free trade has led to global corporations and multinational conglomerates that span the globe. Their products and employees can be found in some of the most remote corners of the planet. With tools like Skype and Facetime, workers can engage in real-time video conferencing from anywhere in the world. Face-to-face meetings are no longer necessary.
Also, in the future, language will no longer divide us. The barriers are already eroding. Programs such as Google Translate allow people who speak different languages to exchange emails and research papers, and it's only a matter of time before wearable devices offer instant translation of the spoken word. You'll talk to someone in English, and they'll hear you in Japanese. They'll respond in Japanese, and you'll hear them in English. When this happens, national and cultural barriers will erode even further.
When it comes to policing, governments can now compile large databases and easily share information with other nations. Tracking of terrorists and other international criminals has never been easier. Spying on citizens has also never been easier. The spread of cameras and listening devices, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home (many of them willingly placed throughout people's homes), mean governments can easily spy on almost anyone they want. With the aid of artificial intelligence, cameras, and microphones, a global government could monitor and track every person on earth. All these advancements make global government viable for the first time in history.
While recent political developments show a backlash against globalism, all they've done is slow the inevitable march toward global government.
Why All This Matters
So why should you care? You should care because we're on the cusp of a new era. Ever since the Tower of Babel, tribes and nation states have governed the world. Nations meant well-defined borders, language, and culture. Many people dreamed of global government, but that's all it was - a dream. Such a government would never work in reality. Local interests and values would triumph, and administering a global government would be an expensive, bureaucratic nightmare. But this generation is tearing down all the obstacles to global government.
To the next generation, devotion to "the global community" is preferred over allegiance to one's home country. Concern over climate change trumps concern over the local interest. They want national borders to be open or erased all together. Advanced technology is making all this happen. It's creating a global marketplace, eroding language barriers, and eliminating the need for geographical proximity. The globalist vision is becoming reality.
None of this should surprise us. This is exactly what the Bible said will happen in the end times. A powerful global government will dominate the world (Daniel 7:23). It will rule over every people, nation, tribe, and language (Revelation 13:7). Its power will be so immense, it will control every economic transaction on earth. No one will be able to buy or sell without its permission (Revelation 13:17).
In the almost two thousand years since John wrote the Book of Revelation, such a government was impossible. In fact, in John's time, people had no concept of the world outside of the Roman Empire. But today? Today, not only is such a government possible, it may prove inevitable. No other generation of Christians could say this. Ours is the first to live in a world where global government is possible. It's just one more sign Jesus is about to return.
Does trilateral Jerusalem summit indicate Russia's willingness to restrain Iran? -
National security advisers from Russia and the U.S. joined their Israeli counterpart in Jerusalem on Tuesday for a high-level conference, which was called by Israel to look for ways to restrain Iran in Syria.
The results of the conference were not immediately clear, but the fact that it took place was touted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an indication of Russian and American recognition of Israel's centrality as a strategic regional actor. It also indicated a Russian willingness to address Israeli concerns over Iranian conduct in Syria, according to Israeli officials.
Russian President Vladimir Putin dispatched his national security advisor, Nikolai Patrushev, to Jerusalem, where he met with Israel's Meir Ben-Shabbat, and America's John Bolton at the Orient Hotel on Tuesday.
In a statement prior to the summit, Ben-Shabbat said that in-depth discussions have been ongoing between Netanyahu, and the Russian and American leaderships.
He warned that the international community will not be able to promote security and stability in the region "without restraining the ambitions and actions of Iran. The events of the recent period give an additional reminder of this conclusion."
In his comments at the summit, Patrushev backed Iran's role in Syria, saying that Tehran is "contributing a lot to fighting terrorists on Syrian soil and stabilizing the situation there."
However, he did offer an acknowledgement of Israel's security interests.
"We pay special attention to ensuring Israel's security," he said, adding that it is "a special interest of ours because here in Israel live a little less than about two million of our countrymen. Israel supports us in several channels, including at the U.N."
As expected, Bolton strongly disputed Iran's positive contributions to Syria, even pointing out that Putin had called for Iran to leave the country.
"The Russians have said repeatedly that they would like to see Iranian forces leave," he said
'The Syrian balance of power'
During a conference call with journalists, organized by Media Central, a media liaison center based in Jerusalem, Col. (res.) Eran Lerman, a former senior Israeli defense official, discussed the significance of the conference.
"Israel is a player in the Syrian balance of power," he said. "The Russian leadership has a very healthy respect, based on experience and knowledge, for Israeli military capabilities ... this is why this conversation takes place here," he said.
Lerman served as the deputy director for foreign policy and international affairs at the National Security Council in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. He has also held senior posts in military intelligence for more than 20 years.
Ideally, he said, Syrian President Basher Assad would be pressured by Russia to oust the Iranians altogether. "But I think we have a fairly realistic assessment, and that is not on the cards," he said. "So we hope for a very clear delimitation and a capping of Iranian penetration [of Syria]. Gradually getting rid of the Shi'ite militias that the Iranians have been bringing in. And a very clear limit on how much the Iranians can use Syrian territory."
Iran has increasingly been seeking to use Syria, both to destabilize Jordan, and launch attacks on Israel, noted Lerman. While making very specific commitments would be unwise, he said, "clearly, Israel will not tolerate an Iranian presence close to the Golan Heights, or a few kilometers to the north."
But beyond that, he stated, the general policy that Israel would hope for from Moscow is a clear signal, according to which, if Assad wishes to have Moscow comfortably at his side during the very difficult period of rebuilding Syria, "he needs to be much more proactive in not letting the Iranians run the country."
Lerman described the summit as "groundbreaking," adding that "unavoidably, this will be extended to the broader situation in the region. I think we can confidently say that this is part of broader of Israeli diplomacy and the repositioning of Israel in international affairs. It is quite remarkable."
Israel's intimate dialogue with Russia is a critical development, he added, "despite major differences."
"I don't expect a major breakthrough overnight in Syria. The Russians are in no position to secure the removal of all Iranians from Syrian soil. But I think we can speak about significant progress towards a mutual understanding between all three participants," he stated.
The question of whether Iran will continue to use Syria to attack Israel, threaten Jordan and consolidate its hold on Lebanon, or whether Iran will be marginalized and Russia becomes the key player in stabilizing Syria, lies at the heart of the summit, argued Lerman.
Asked about Russian expectations in exchange for pressure on Iran, Lerman said that further down the road, once the dialogue turns into more concrete steps, "there will be asks on their part from the American side, and greater flexibility from the American side [regarding Russia] than there is now." However, this is "not something that will happen overnight," he assessed.
Lerman also drew a connection between the Jerusalem conference and the economic workshop taking place in Bahrain over the economic future of the Palestinians.
"Israel has already demonstrated that it is willing to take risks-we are willing to take action, we are willing to take violent action when necessary in order to ensure that Syria cannot easily be used by Iran for its purposes," he said. This willingness to confront Iranian ambitions helped spur Gulf states, which are threatened by Iran, to "be of help in redefining the Israeli-Palestinian relationship."
In a statement released during the conference, Netanyahu said that "one of the reasons why the [great] powers are coming here ... is, of course, the strength of the IDF."
He launched the conference with a speech, in which he acknowledged that Israel "acted hundreds of times" to prevent the military consolidation of Iran in Syria. He warned that Israel would continue to prevent Iran from using the territory of states neighboring Israel as a base for attacks and would respond forcefully to any Iranian-orchestrated attack.
The Remnant Must Stand Strong - Nathele Graham -
A remnant is a scrap leftover from a larger thing. It could be a piece of material that's left after making a garment or food scraps left from a delicious meal. As it pertains to Christianity, the remnant consists of those of us who hold God's word as truth and live accordingly. In our world today, many people claim to be Christians but don't hold the Bible as God's inerrant truth. They encourage fellow Christians to "move ahead" and update Scripture to fit modern society. God's word has never changed so to "change with the times" is altering God's truth and is nothing less than heresy. Not long ago an elderly Episcopalian priest made news when he married a much younger man and said that theology needs to be updated to fit modern needs. In other words he wants to pretend that God approves of his sin. Many un-Scriptural ideas are sneaking into our congregations and God is mocked. Should we move forward with the times? Absolutely not. God set the rules and He doesn't change. Christians must stand firm on God's word. "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Romans 11:5. We are saved by God's grace, but we must conform to Him, not Him to us. If we're only a remnant few, so be it.
Scripture gives examples of what a remnant believer is and it would be worthwhile to study those examples. The first is recorded in Genesis. After Adam's Fall, people began to multiply and fill the earth. Satan still wanted to corrupt and destroy God's creation, so the angels he had led in rebellion against God began mating with human women. The result of this ungodly union were Nephilim. "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose." Genesis 6:1-2. The "sons of God" are angels. These fallen angels had tainted all of creation, including the human population...all except Noah and his family. They kept themselves from the evil that was around them and were the remnant of that day. Because these eight people remained uncorrupted and true to God, they were saved from the judgment of the Flood which God sent to destroy all who were corrupted. God directed Noah to build an ark and Noah, his family, and certain animals would be saved through the judgment of God. God's judgment is coming again. This would be a good time to be sure that your faith is placed in Christ Jesus for salvation and live accordingly. Be a part of the remnant who live for Jesus.
Joshua and Caleb are also examples of a remnant who stood against those who doubted God and His power. Moses had led the Israelites out of captivity and many miracles were done by God to keep them safe. When they came to the border of the land God had promised to them, God directed Moses to send twelve men in to survey the land. They found some frightening things. For instance, it took two men to carry one cluster of grapes. The report given to Moses upon their return was that there was a problem: Nephilim were in the land. Ten of the spies were frightened and didn't believe God would help them conquer the land. "And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers and so we were in their sight." Numbers 13:32-33. Only Joshua and Caleb believed that God would help them conquer the land. Because the majority didn't believe God they brought condemnation upon themselves. None of them would enter the Promised Land but would wander for 40 years until all unbelievers died. Only Caleb, Joshua, and the children under 20 years of age would enter the Promised Land. Fear hinders our faith, but at those times it's important to remember God is all powerful and well able to take us through whatever we face. The majority feared the giants but Caleb and Joshua were the remnant who knew God would defeat the giants and they eventually entered into the land God had promised them.
Feeling alone and isolated can be devastating to the remnant. Isolation can cause you to compromise what you know is truth, or it can cause you to completely give up. Elijah was a powerful prophet of God in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Two of the most evil people in the Bible ruled that nation, King Ahab and his wife Jezebel. The pagan culture in that kingdom was strong because of them, but Elijah didn't back down from serving God Almighty. This brought persecution upon him. When he challenged the prophets of the demon god Baal and utterly defeated them, Jezebel threatened Elijah's life. That was just too much for Elijah. He went into the wilderness, sat down under a tree, and asked the Lord to take his life. He had given up. God had other plans, but Elijah had to come to the end of himself before he could be refreshed by the Lord. God miraculously provided food and water for him and he traveled to a cave. There, he and the Lord talked. "And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." 1 Kings 19:10. God listened then showed Elijah that it's important to trust God in storms, but also to see Him in the small things, like a "still small voice". God revealed to Elijah that even though he felt as if he was the only one who didn't bow down to the pagan practices around him, the reality was that there were more like-minded people around. God said, "Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." 1 Kings 19:18. God knows who does and doesn't belong to Him, and if Elijah had been aware of the remnant he wouldn't have been so discouraged.
Christians today face the same troubles seen from the beginning of time. Persecution, discouragement, and the temptation to give up are realities but we can be encouraged by men like Noah, Joshua and Caleb, and Elijah. They fought the same enemy we fight today...a spiritual enemy. Noah and his family were the only ones who kept clear of the evil. "These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." Genesis 6:9. He was the remnant of his day and wasn't corrupted by the evil happenings around him. Caleb and Joshua did enter the Promised land and Joshua led the fight to conquer it. He challenged people to choose to follow the Lord. "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:14. Those are the words of a man who isn't afraid to be a remnant believer. Elijah teaches us to trust God even if we feel alone. "So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him." 1 Kings 19:19. Instead of isolation, Elijah found someone to mentor in God's ways and who would carry on the battle after him. Sometimes it feels as if there are no Christians who stand firm on God's word. It's easy to become discouraged and give up the fight. The battle is a spiritual battle, and the weapons we need are spiritual. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:11-13. Put on the armour of God and don't take it off.
We cannot rely upon our local pastor to uncompromisingly stand upon God's truth and preach Biblically sound sermons. A sign of the times in which we live is the fact that most Christians are starving because they're fed milk instead of meat. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it." Amos 8:11-12. Where are the preachers like Peter who stood up on the day of Pentecost and boldly spoke a powerful sermon, which is recorded in Acts chapter 2. He explained exactly who Jesus Christ is and he used the Old Testament to prove his point. Those listening were convicted and asked what to do. "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38. It's recorded that 3,000 people repented that day and were baptized. "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers." Acts 2:42. We are hard pressed today to find strong preachers who call sin by its proper name...sin. They don't sugarcoat it nor do they turn a blind eye to it. People want their ears tickled and pastors are more interested in overflowing collection plates than preaching truth. Preacher, ask yourself what angered Christ. He was never angry over the failures of sinful people, but He never said it's OK to continue sinning. On the other hand the religious leaders who used God for their own selfish gains were called sons of Satan. Preacher, where do you stand? If you don't preach God's truth from Genesis through Revelation then you probably aren't a part of the remnant. You're leading your flock to destruction.
Where are the remnant few? They're around, but sometimes hard to find. Just like God knew that there were 7,000 in Israel who didn't bow to the pagan gods, God knows that there's a remnant of true Christians today. We may be few and far between, but God knows who we are and the remnant must stand strong.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Godly Leaders Bless A Nation - By Grant Phillips -
After the death of David then Solomon his son, Israel was split into a northern and southern kingdom. The northern kingdom continued to be called Israel while the southern kingdom was called Judah.
The northern kingdom consisted of 19 kings beginning with Jeroboam I to Hoshea, a period of 210 years. Of the 19 kings in the northern kingdom, none of them could be classified as good kings. All were bad. No wonder they were carted off to Assyria 135 years before the southern kingdom fell.
The southern kingdom consisted of 20 kings beginning with Rehoboam to Zedekiah, a period of 345 years. Of the 20 kings in the southern kingdom, eight (8) could be classified as good kings (40%). Each of the eight kings enjoyed revival to one degree or another. It is these eight kings I would like for us to consider.
ASA - 2 Chronicles 14:1-16:14
"Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God." (2 Chronicles 14:2)
When Asa became king, the Spirit of God came upon a man named Azariah. God gave Azariah a message to give to King Asa. The message in part was:
"...Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you." (2 Chronicles 15:2)
The remainder of God's message to Asa is in 2 Chronicles 15:3-7. Asa's response continues with verses 9-18. In short, he listened to the word of God. In doing so, he obeyed God, cleaned out the trash, and got the people back to serving the one true God.
JEHOSHAPHAT - 2 Chronicles 17:1-21:1
Jehoshaphat continued his father Asa's ways of serving God, and God was with him.
"The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. The LORD established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah. The fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not go to war against Jehoshaphat." (2 Chronicles 17:3-6, 10)
Please pay particular attention to verses 7-9.
"In the third year of his reign he sent his officials ... to teach in the towns of Judah. With them were certain Levites ... and the priests...
They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the LORD; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people." (2 Chronicles 17:7-9)
The key again is that King Jehoshaphat listened to God's word and obeyed it.
JOASH - 2 Chronicles 24:1-27
"Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest." (2 Chronicles 24:2)
Obviously revival was with the people because of their leader's wisdom in listening to and obeying God. How do I know he listened to God and obeyed Him? "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord." Anything short of listening to and obeying God would not compel him to do "what was right in the eyes of the Lord."
AMAZIAH - 2 Chronicles 25:1-28
"He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly." (2 Chronicles 25:2)
AZARIAH (or UZZIAH) - 2 Chronicles 26:1-23
"He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success." (2 Chronicles 26:4-5)
JOTHAM - 2 Chronicles 27:1-9
"Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the LORD his God." (2 Chronicles 27:6)
HEZEKIAH - 2 Chronicles 29:1-32:33
"Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the LORD's wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah." (2 Chronicles 32:26)
JOSIAH - 2 Chronicles 34:1-35:27
"The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD-to follow the LORD and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.
Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.
Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the LORD their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the LORD, the God of their ancestors." (2 Chronicles 34:31-33)
"Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments." (2 Chronicles 35:25)
I have listed the Scripture passages for each king so you may read about them at your leisure. I have also chosen a couple of verses (or one) as an emphasis on each king. Please notice when reading about them that none of them were perfect, they each had their own strengths and weaknesses, and each followed God to one degree or another, but all eight were obedient to God.
I am reminded of the Parable of the Talents and the Sheep and Goats judgment when Jesus comes in His glory. Each of us will be judged at one point or another based on one criteria; i.e. our obedience to God. That means, as an individual, did we honor His Son through our faith in Him? That also means, as nations, did we honor His Son through obedience to Him?
We in America are at a crossroads. Most of us, as is the rest of the world, are traveling the broad road to destruction, and we in turn are leading our blessed country toward destruction.
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
As individuals, millions upon millions in this country are on the broad road and entering through the wide gate of destruction. Nothing but hell is ahead. Only a handful, in comparison, has chosen the narrow road that leads through a small gate to everlasting rewards in Heaven.
As a nation we have spit in the face of Almighty God even after He has so richly blessed us all these 243 years. The Lord God has not only been with us spiritually, but has also blessed us materially. We have never been a perfect country, but we have always looked toward Him for leadership, until the cancer of pride took its toll. Through our pride we no longer needed God and chose the back alleys of sinful pleasures to fill the void. Now we sit in our own rebellious drunken vomit thinking all is well since we make a pretense of being good little boys and girls.
Eight (8) kings out of 39 (Israel 19, Judah 20) chose to follow God, and during their reigns the country (Judah) blossomed. Eventually though, came pay day, and they all went into captivity. They came to the crossroad and chose the wide gate and destruction followed.
I have never seen so much pure undiluted hatred toward God and His ways as I am now seeing in our country. Yet, God in His mercy has given us four years of hope in providing us a President (President Trump) who wants to follow Him. He certainly is not perfect, and neither were the eight kings mentioned above, but he shows a respect for God. I am thankful that God has given President Trump a tough skin, because he certainly needs it with all the satanic attacks that have been leveled against him.
I am ashamed of most of the Republican Party, but the Democratic Party has become so evil it is obvious for any Bible student that Satan is its god. I pray that somehow God allows us to retain President Trump for another four years, because if He doesn't, the last nail will probably be fastened in our coffin. Even though I don't expect it, I also pray that somehow we as individuals and as a nation come to our senses and repent.
Again, I have listed these eight kings (above) to show that God is with a nation that is obedient to Him, and not just Judah, but any nation. The opposite is also true. Each time a king came to power that honored God, God blessed Judah, and each time a bad king reigned, they were severely judged until finally they were led away captives. It is obvious that the leadership of a country can determine the path of an entire nation. Leaders who at least try to follow the one and only true God of the Bible can bring blessings upon a nation. By the same token, leaders who rebel against Him can bring disaster upon that same nation. However, we have become so smug we think we can ignore all that.
I pray that all of us who know Jesus as Savior and Lord will lift up our voices to Heaven in prayer for President Trump, those around him, and the safety of our country from those who are intent to destroy it.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: An angry, stressed and worried America - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Gallup conducted another poll about whether Americans were angry. Some 84% said they are angrier today compared with a generation ago. Over 70% said they get angry or sometimes get angry when checking the news. A previous Gallup poll of the emotional state of people worldwide and found that the 55% of Americans who experienced stress and worry were of the highest rates of the 143 countries studied, beating the global average by a full 20 percentage points. Among the most angry countries in the world, Gallup reports, are also Islamic-Iraq, Iran, the Palestinian Territories, Morocco, Turkey, Niger, Chad, Libya, and Pakistan. There's a lot of stress, worry and anger in the world-all things we must resist.
We get all wrapped up in politics and entertainment and day to day life. The mixture of the three may cause a lot of worry and anxiety. But what does Christ say about this? In Matthew 6:31-34, he says, "Therefore take no thought, saying What shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
Stress, anger and worry are not of the Lord. And, yes, I know full well that they hit us every day full force. This is a matter of focusing on the good and controlling what you can control. The rest will take care of itself. When challenges present themselves, take a breath. Focus on the task at hand. Don't take it personal or get over emotional about it. Then start working on those things that you can impact. It's a matter of renewing your mind and understanding who you are and why you are on this earth. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
It is so interesting that Islamic areas of the world are more angry than other cultures. If they were following the one true God, perhaps not only the words of the Holy Scriptures would give them peace, but also the Holy Spirit would guide them personally to not be so angry. We in America have so much for which to be thankful. Our worst living conditions are better than most of the world, yet we are angry and stressed. On the other hand, I have seen brothers and sisters in Africa who face tremendous challenges each day, but they are not angry-they have the joy of the Lord and they practice the words of Christ by allowing the morrow to take thought for the things of itself. Have a blessed, and stress/anger/worry-free day today. Practice it. Renew your mind. Find the joy of the Lord and embrace it!
Daily Devotion: Step into the Arena - by Greg Laurie -
And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What's more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. - 1 Peter 2:5
As I travel around the world, I'm amazed at the special bond I find with other followers of Jesus Christ that transcends all others, even nationalities. We might see the world a little bit differently, and we might not agree on every fine political point, but we can agree on the fact that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that He has changed our lives. We are part of the body of Christ, the church.
The secret of the first-century church, the church that changed the world, the church that turned the world upside down, is the simple fact that every Christian believed they were called to do their part.
The Bible says that as believers, we are "living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple" (1 Peter 2:5). It is easy for us to stand on the sidelines and be critical of the church. It is easy for us to say they are not doing this right or that right. But it is another thing when we are in the arena fighting, when we realize that we're part of the church.
President Theodore Roosevelt made this statement: "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out where the strong stumbled or how the doer could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is in the arena, his face marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and falls short again and again: There is no effort without error."
Yes, we have our shortcomings in the church, but we are in the arena attempting to do the work of God. And I encourage every Christian to enter the arena, be a part of the body of Christ, and do what they can do.
FROM THE HEART
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