Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Heaven from the Cesspool - Jack Kinsella -
It's been observed that, 'Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die'. It makes you wonder - why is that? Since the worst thing anybody can do to another human being is kill them and the most desirable outcome for any Christian is to go home to glory. . . what's up with that, anyway?
The Bible describes heaven as a place where the streets are made from gold, and where the 'pure river of the water of Life proceeds out from the throne of God and of the Lamb' where there shall be no night, since God Himself with illuminate it and so on.
What kind of mental image does this give you?
To me, it sounds pretty neat, but . . . somehow, not.
Please don't run screaming from the room screaming 'blasphemy' just yet - I'm not finished. Give me a few more lines.
I recall sitting between a couple of sand dunes, surveying the wind-swept beach on one of North Carolina's Outer Banks, watching as the breakers crashed into the pilings on the nearby pier. The sun was shining, the breeze was warm; it was altogether an idyllic scene.
The beauty was breathtaking. Alone with the Lord, I mused about what heaven must REALLY be like, if this wasn't it. Indeed, as I pointed out earlier, John's description of heaven was, um, nice, but where I was sitting was pretty nice, too. There were no rivers of living water, but I know that I am saved and have eternal life already.
The sand isn't made of gold, but what value will gold have in eternity, anyway? It will pave the streets, as common as the sand. I like the sand.
And I LIKE the night; I've sat in that exact same spot at night, and when the breeze is warm and the stars are out, with the moon reflecting off the ocean it is no less idyllic than it is during the day.
I inquired of the Lord, and I began to get a bit of the Big Picture, as seen from outside of space and time. (No, I wasn't smoking anything and I didn't start to hear voices).
Instead, I thought about what the Bible said about heaven, and more to the point, what the Bible says about our Big Blue Marble.
The Bible describes the fall of Lucifer, his sin, and his ejection from heaven, together with the third of the angels who rebelled with him. When they were cast from heaven, where did they go?
The Book of Job says:
"And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." (Job 1:7, 2:2)
It has been my experience in studying God's Word that when He causes something to be repeated, as in this case, it is worth giving it an extra look.
When Satan and his crew cast from heaven, they were cast to the earth, what the theologians call the 'cosmos diabolicus' or literally, a world of evil. To the angels, it was the worst place they could imagine - a place of involuntary and horrific exile.
Planet Earth is the one place in the universe where sin can exist without throwing the entire universe out of balance, thanks to the fact it has an environment that contains it.
Our environment, which sustains us, also contains us and keeps us from doing to the universe what we have already done to our planet.
Indeed, we managed to get to the outer fringes of our planet and what did we do? Filled it with orbiting space junk, some of which threatens OTHER orbiting space junk, such as the international space station.
Meanwhile, back on earth . . . when the fallen angels were cast to earth, it was an astonishing drop.
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12)
To the angels, the beautiful seaside scene I described earlier is a cesspool of sin, a place of punishment to the angels who rebelled, a place so horrible, that seen from the heavenly perspective, merely being stuck here was enough to turn Lucifer the Archangel into Satan the Destroyer.
Imagine our planet from God's perspective. Everything is stained by sin. The beautiful beach scene? Stained by sin. The ground we walk on? Stained by sin.
I tried to imagine that stain for what it is, and of course, I cannot. I can only defer to the Bible's description of sin. It is so filthy, so repugnant, so disgusting, that God can't bear to view it.
When God created Adam, He created a special place for him. The Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve fell, they were first cast OUT of the Garden, and into the cesspool where sin was allowed to operate freely.
Jerusalem sits in the middle of the cesspool. In the center of Jerusalem was the Temple, a place kept scrubbed of the taint of sin by the Levitical priesthood, and the Holy of Holies, a place scrubbed even more carefully.
The only place where God would commune with sinful man on this sin-stained planet was that tiny place where the muck of sin was scrubbed away as much as possible.
Until even that place became so buried in the muck and mire of sin that, after four hundred years of silence, He decided to Personally scrub it -and us - clean of it, once and for all.
Scripture says the angels were astonished that the Lord of Glory would assume human form, step out of sinless and perfect eternity, and wallow in the mire of sin with sinful humanity. Every step for Him must have been an agony, like walking knee-deep in sewage.
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9)
It is a measure of how disgusting sin is to God. The fact it was the place God cast the rebellious angels is revealing. To the angels, our beautiful planet earth is a leper colony. We mortal humans are little more than bugs, willingly wallowing in the yuck of sin, yea, REVELING in it.
Yet the Scripture says that the angels are fascinated by us, and by our plight, and astonished by our unwillingness to climb out of the muck. It amazes them that men love the world, since they see it for what it is, and have some basis for comparison between it and the things of the spirit.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us . . ." (Hebrews 12:1)
"For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and TO ANGELS, and to men." (1 Corinthians 4:9)
Scripture tells us that;
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
We cannot imagine heaven, we can only compare it to earth and all its beauty and wonderment, and realize that the earth is the universe's garbage dump. Heaven is like the Bible describes it; but it is much more.
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)
What IS death, that we fear it? In a word, separation. Death separates us from our loved ones. Death takes our loved ones from us, separating us from them until eternity.
Sin is a form of death. It separated the fallen angels from fellowship with God. It separates the unsaved from God. Revelation 20:14 speaks of the Great White Throne Judgment in which unbelievers are cast into the Lake of Fire as 'the second death' - a second - and permanent separation.
Sin separates us from God, our sin nature blinds us to that fact and so we love the world, and thereby astonish the angels. Picture the nastiest, gooeyest, smelliest substance you can think of, and imagine being in it up to your neck. From the angelic perspective, that's where we are, and most of us are loving it, until we get saved.
"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." (Luke 15:10)
The angels know what that sinner has just escaped from.
Jesus also describes what we become in eternity in Luke 20:36,
"Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection."
Paul tells us that we will receive new, immortal bodies.
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." (1 Corinthians 15:49-50)
What is heaven like? I don't know.
But I know what a beautiful, sunny day, a warm ocean breeze and the sights and sounds of the waves as they gently break on the shore is like.
And compared to heaven, it's a cesspool.
To the angels, it is a place of exile, a leper colony, a place where the fallen angels were sent to await their fate at the Great White Throne. Our 'beautiful' planet is the angelic 'hell' to which they were cast to await sentencing to the Lake of Fire.
But we will be 'equal to the angels' says the Lord, in our immortal, sin-free bodies, and equal to the angels in understanding just HOW evil and repugnant this place really is, from the perspective of the spirit.
Why is it, then, that everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die?
Because if we knew what awaits us there, we'd all jump off a cliff tomorrow.
2019 Could Be the Year That a War with Iran Changes Everything -
Negotiations with Iran are over before they could even take place. After President Trump and Iranian leadership exchanged more insults on Tuesday, the Iranians declared that the "channel of diplomacy" is now closed "forever." Of course, anything is possible in the future, but for now, it appears that any possibility of a diplomatic solution is completely dead, and the clock is ticking because two exceedingly important deadlines are coming up within the next two weeks.
President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have both made it incredibly clear that they do not want Iran to possess nuclear weapons, and Iran's nuclear program is about to pass a critical threshold. Diplomatic negotiations were the only alternative to military action, and now it seems that military action is the only option left on the table. That means that we could literally be counting down the days before missiles start flying back and forth, and it will be a war that is far more terrible than we are being told by the mainstream media.
The Trump administration seems to believe that the new economic sanctions they just hit Iran with will alter the situation, but the truth is that they aren't going to really add much of anything to the economic sanctions that were previously imposed.
In response to these new sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused President Trump of suffering from "mental retardation":
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blasted the sanctions against Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as "outrageous and idiotic," noting the 80-year-old Shiite cleric has no plans to ever travel to the USA. In remarks broadcast on Iranian state television, Rouhani said the White House suffers from "mental retardation."
Needless to say, President Trump was not amused by this. He subsequently went on Twitter and threatened that any sort of attack "on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force":
Iran's very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!
That is quite a vague red line that President Trump has now established, and it means that it isn't going to take very much at all to start a war between the United States and Iran.
When the press later asked Trump about a potential exit strategy if war with Iran does erupt, Trump responded by saying "I don't need exit strategies":
Trump returned to the subject of Iran during an event in the Oval Office on Tuesday, reiterating his commitment that his administration would not allow Tehran to obtain nuclear weapons. Asked whether he had an exit strategy should a conflict arise with Iran, the president responded, "I don't need exit strategies."
So what does that mean exactly?
Is he saying that an exit strategy wouldn't be necessary because Iran would be bombed off the map?
When President Trump called off the airstrikes against Iran at the last minute and talked about the potential for negotiations, many were hopeful that a peaceful solution could be achieved. But if you are seeking to negotiate with someone, it is probably not a good idea to slap the foreign minister from the other country with personal economic sanctions. For the Iranians, this was apparently the final straw:
"You say you really want to hold talks with us but at the same time you're saying that you want to boycott and sanction our foreign minister, so you're lying," Rouhani said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Twitter that the latest sanctions will result in "closing (the) channel of diplomacy forever," according to Iranian state-run television Press TV.
Not that negotiations with the Iranians would have yielded anything anyway. But we must find some way to avoid World War III, because a war with Iran would unleash global chaos that the United States is simply not prepared to handle.
Unfortunately, President Trump is currently surrounded by war hawks, and he appears to be completely convinced that he does not need congressional approval before going to war with Iran:
During a portion of an interview with Hill.TV released on Monday, President Trump said he doesn't need approval from Congress before launching strikes against Iran.
Trump said, "I like the idea of keeping Congress abreast, but I wouldn't have to do that."
Actually, the U.S. Constitution is very clear on the matter.
Just because the Constitution has been ignored by previous presidents does not mean that it is not binding.
And there is a move in Congress right now that could potentially stop a war with Iran. Surprisingly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that he may actually allow a vote on a "bipartisan amendment" that would "block funding for military action against Iran":
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said he's willing to vote on a controversial amendment that would require Congress to approve any military action against Iran, but warned colleagues it could signal disunity in Washington to a foreign adversary.
McConnell said he's open to voting on a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) that would block funding for military action against Iran without prior congressional approval.
Of course, Trump could just veto anything that gets pushed through Congress, and there would not be enough votes to override his veto.
However, the Constitution still says that President Trump must get congressional approval before going to war, and nothing is going to change that. If Trump chooses to disregard the Constitution and go to war anyway, it will be one of the worst decisions of his presidency so far.
And as I mentioned earlier, the clock is ticking. As Haaretz has noted, two exceedingly important deadlines are coming up within the next two weeks:
Iran announced in mid-June that by the 27th of the month it will exceed the uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, pushing tensions with the U.S. into uncharted and potentially dangerous territory.
The June 27 deadline comes ahead of another, July 7, the deadline for Europe to come up with better terms for Iran to stay in the accord. If that second deadline passes without any action, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic likely will resume higher uranium enrichment, a move that would breach the terms of a nuclear pact with world powers.
A war with Iran could potentially start as soon as next month, and right now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the Middle East as he seeks to build a "global coalition" against Iran. The following comes from a transcript of remarks that Pompeo made to the press on Sunday just before he left on his trip:
I'm heading out today. Our first stops will be in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two great allies in the challenge that Iran presents, and we'll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can build out a global coalition, a coalition not only throughout the Gulf states but in Asia and in Europe that understands this challenge and that is prepared to push back against the world's largest state sponsor of terror.
When the U.S. starts to put together a "global coalition," I think we all know what that means.
War is coming, and it could have apocalyptic consequences.
I have never been more concerned about a war with Iran than I am right now. The Iranians have restarted their nuclear program, and the U.S. and Israel have both made it abundantly clear that they will take military action before the Iranians get too much farther.
At this point a peaceful solution appears to be out of the question, and so all of us should start preparing for the most terrifying war that the Middle East has seen since the days of World War II.
Is Israel on the verge of normalizing ties with the Persian Gulf? - By Herb Keinon -
The most illuminating moment for me during the two-day "Peace to Prosperity" workshop here came, oddly enough, during a seven-minute phone interview back to Israel with a haredi media platform called Hadashot Hascoopim.
Earlier in the day I had posted a short video that went viral of about 10 men at the synagogue in Manama - including White House chief mediator Jason Greenblatt - wearing their tallitot and tefillin and, hand in hand, dancing around the bimah after morning services singing "Am Yisrael Hai" (The People of Israel Lives).
The interviewer began the segment by asking for a description of the "services that took place this morning in Bahrain, in an ancient synagogue, with unbridled joy and the singing of 'Am Yisrael Hai,' joined by the Chabad emissary and Jason Greenblatt, the haredi Jew who is Trump's Mideast envoy."
And while the moment was indeed moving and unusual - it was the first morning minyan in memory held in the small synagogue - some perspective is needed.
First of all, the Bahraini synagogue is not "ancient." It was built just over 100 years ago to serve the small Jewish community in the kingdom, mostly immigrants from Iraq. Secondly, the singing of "Am Yisrael Hai" there, though poignant, was not exactly done with unbridled joy. Happy, yes; unbridled joy? That's an exaggeration. And, finally, it is questionable whether Greenblatt would agree with his being characterized as a haredi Jew.
What is telling here is how the interviewer opted to portray the event, to play it up. Earlier in the day, in an interview with Army Radio, the minyan and the dance were also highlighted, though the presenter was more accurate in his description.
Why is this significant? Because it shows how we want things to be.
Israelis, so long isolated and shunned in the region, desperately and understandably want to be accepted here. As a result, sometimes the smallest crumbs thrown in our direction are magnified to appear as if they are a multilayered wedding cake.
THIS WEEK'S "Peace to Prosperity" workshop in Bahrain was significant, no doubt, though the true significance will be measured only down the road. It was important because it was the first rollout of Washington's attempt to create a new paradigm for peacemaking.
No more would the United States give the rejectionist Palestinian Authority veto power over its efforts. The PA boycotted the conference, so the administration just shrugged and said, "So what? We will hold it anyway and invite some of the biggest financial guns in the Middle East to take part."
No more would the paradigm of economic assistance to the Palestinians be along the model of charity: donors pouring billions of dollars onto a client with his hands out. The plan's $50 billion project is based on investments, not handouts.
This reflects the mind-set of the businessmen turned diplomats - headed by Jared Kushner - driving the program. It also explains why the conference would go ahead without official PA participation. If you want to invest in the West Bank through the private sector, you don't necessarily need the government.
"Paradigm" was one word that was heard over and over at the conference here. It was heard from speakers on the center stage during plenary sessions, and it was heard in the hallways where delegates from around the world mingled amid tables laden with colorful pastries and silver urns full of rich coffee.
It was a word used repeatedly by Kushner and by others in his entourage. Paradigm. Or, more accurately, changing paradigms, paradigm shifts.
One paradigm shift was to move the world community from supporting the Palestinians through charity, to investing in the West Bank and Gaza instead. And the second paradigm shift mentioned was in the Arab world's changing attitudes toward Israel. In that context, the Bahrain government's granting of visas to eight journalists from six Israeli media outlets was also seen as a significant part of what was taking place in Manama.
But here, too, some perspective is needed. Israeli journalists walking around Manama's soil has happened before; this is not Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. It happened - in 1994 at a conference following the Oslo I Accord.
Secondly, Israelis are not an unknown quantity in Manama.
At the Ali Baba Cave Antiques & Carpets store in the souk, the merchant behind the counter said it is not infrequent for Israelis to shop for painted Persian brass vases and Turkish teacups in his shop.
"They are here because Israel has good ties with Saudi Arabia," he offered. It is an open secret that Israeli businessmen have been discreetly coming here and doing business for years.
So not only is the arrival of Israeli journalists in the country not unprecedented, the presence here of Israeli businessmen is not unheard of. The gestures this week must therefore be seen as yet another of the baby steps being taken toward reaching a more normal state of relations between Israel and the Arab world.
These public steps go back to a visit by an interdenominational Bahrain delegation to Jerusalem in December 2017, continued with Saudi Arabia allowing Air India to fly over its airspace to and from Israel, and extended through Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's publicized visit to Oman last December and the playing of "Hatikvah" when an Israeli judoka won an event in an international competition in the United Arab Emirates.
Bahrain inviting Israeli journalists to cover this event is another point along this line, as was the Bahraini government's approval to open the synagogue for prayer, and the interview that Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled Bin Ahmed al-Khalifa gave to three of the news outlets on hand where he acknowledged that Israel is an established fact in the region.
As nice as it is to hear the Bahrain foreign minister acknowledge us, this - too - must be put in perspective, and even his saying these words to Israeli journalists does not put us suddenly on the eve of normalizing ties with the Persian Gulf.
The finance ministers from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates at the conference spoke of economic development in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and neighboring countries at the conference, not about normalizing ties with Israel. And they all paid the necessary lip service to the Palestinian cause.
The Bahraini foreign minister in his interviews talked about Israel as an established fact, something that exists, and that its people want peace. While it is significant that he uttered those words, they have been said by other Gulf leaders in the past - though not to Israeli journalists - and should not be conflated to the equivalent of Anwar Sadat landing in Jerusalem.
Context is needed, and the context is that a lot has changed since 2002 when the Saudis put forward their Arab Peace Initiative, which would normalize ties with Israel if Israel did everything the Arab world asked: withdraw completely to the 1967 lines, including on the Golan Heights, and find a fair accommodation for the refugees, generally interpreted as allowing a symbolic number into Israel and paying reparations for the resettlement of the other refugees and their descendants in the countries where they now reside.
In other words, the Arab world would accept Israel, if Israel gave in to all its demands. Israel, understandably, did not grasp the offer with both hands.
Khalifa, in his interview with Channel 13, bewailed this.
"I am concerned about the Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for a two-state solution," he said. "This has been accepted worldwide. If you look at the history of the dispute, there were a lot of mistakes. The Palestinians missed Camp David in 2000, but the Israelis missed the Arab Peace Initiative. We didn't even hear a hint of a positive welcome of the Arab Peace Initiative from the Israeli government."
Much has occurred in the intervening 17 years. The Middle East is still in the throes of the cataclysmic Arab Spring, and Iran has cast a long, dark shadow over the region.
There are new tensions in the Gulf, and as a result the Gulf countries are looking toward the US, and - to a much, much lesser degree - to Israel for assistance.
In 2002 the Gulf countries felt far less threatened by Iran, their economies could still rely on oil as its nonstop engine, and there was not a burning need to strengthen relations and ties with the US, both the administration and Congress.
That is not the case now. Today there is a palpable fear of Iran and the possibility of a war erupting at any time. Making America happy is important, and making America happy was the driving force behind this conference in Manama.
It is why the Bahrainis hosted the conference in the first place, it is why Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar all sent high-level representatives to take part - despite the anger this caused the Palestinians.
And it is also why the Bahrainis made gestures to Israel, such as allowing in journalists and enabling prayer services in the city's synagogue. These are all points along the long line toward a normalization of ties, but that line is very long, and despite some of the breathless narration this week, we are still very much at the beginning.
A Come-to-Jesus-Moment - By Hal Lindsey -
The big game is almost over. The coach calls a timeout. He huddles with his players near the sideline. We see him speaking to them passionately and from the heart. He's getting them ready to play will all their might for the next few minutes. As we see the players on the field, there's a good chance we will hear the TV announcer say that the players are having a "come to Jesus moment."
Over the last few years, people throughout the culture have talked about having "come to Jesus moments." It has become a common way to refer to any earnest, heart-to-heart appeal from one person to a group of people.
Of course, a real "come to Jesus moment" is infinitely more profound than a coach firing up his team. But it might not be as emotional. Sometimes there are tears when people come to Jesus, but not always. Sometimes it is in response to a heartfelt, emotional plea by someone else. But it might be while they are alone, perhaps walking and thinking, or reading.
Sometimes people go to church and have a powerful emotional experience. But that doesn't necessarily mean they have really come to Jesus. Maybe they felt bad about a sin and stepped forward in church hoping to stop that particular sin. But saying, "I promise never to do it again," is not the same as "coming to Jesus" and receiving His gift of grace.
Romans 10:1-4 says, "Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them [Israel] is for their salvation. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
We know from Romans 9:31, that the word "they" refers to "Israel." Individual Jews were being saved, but Israel as a group had rejected Jesus. Paul's desire was for the whole nation to be saved. Having formerly been one of the most zealous of Jews, he understood the zeal for God that many Jews felt. But, he said, it was "not in accordance with knowledge."
What knowledge did they lack? They lacked the same knowledge that most people lack in our day. They didn't grasp the scope of "God's righteousness." Look carefully at Romans 10:3. "For not knowing about God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God."
Notice how each phrase is proven by the next. They don't really understand God's righteousness. Because of that, they think they can create their own. That leads to the fatal error of not subjecting themselves to the righteousness of God.
That's what's happening to millions around the world. They don't understand God's righteousness, so they're trying to save themselves by establishing our own. In Luke 18, Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. That story is introduced by the statement, "He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous."
You will only trust in yourself that you are righteous if you lack an understanding of God's perfect righteousness. And make no mistake. His righteousness is the standard. Anything less is not good enough.
That's why Jesus, God the Son, became a man, and lived a perfect human life. He could live the perfect standard as a man because He is also God. He not only took our sins on Himself at the cross, but to all who believe He also transfers the gift of His perfect righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Because our goodness can never measure up to God's standard of goodness, it is essential that we "come to Jesus."
Daily Jot: Big tech free speech "truth" squads - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The First Amendment to the US Constitution reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." This means that the US government cannot abridge the freedoms of speech, the press, peaceful assembly, and to petition the government for redress. But I repeat myself. It is important. Especially when big tech companies have become such large platforms that their censure of free speech. religion and political ideologyhas a similar affect as if the government were doing the censuring.
In a blatant private enterprise attempt to censure free speech, Twitter announced it will attach a notice to tweets that it considers offensive, but "may be in the public's interest for the tweet to remain available." Twitter says, "A cross-functional team including Trust and Safety, Legal, Public Policy and regional teams will determine if the Tweets are a matter of public interest based on the criteria listed above the following considerations..." Twitter listed five criteria its truth squads will use including the severity of the "rule violation"; whether preserving the Tweet will hold public officials or candidates accountable; whether sources of information are available for the public to stay informed; if removal would hide context or prevent people from understanding the issue; and if the Tweet will provide unique context for a broader discussion.
Then Twitter reveals the true story about their free speech truth squads: "In instances where a Tweet violates our rules and our review doesn't find that it would be in the public interest to leave it up, we will require the account owner to remove the Tweet. Either way, this notice will make our decision-making clearer." Twitter's policy applies to candidates, public office holders, and government officials with over 100,000 followers. In other words, as a matter of policy Twitter is going to allow a special appointed committee to determine whether to allow a public official's free speech to live or die on its platform, which has become the major vehicle of direct communication to the people.
Twitter (and probably the other tech giants will follow suit if they haven't already-can anyone say Facebook?) will attempt to influence the next election by censuring public officials. Who is the public official who uses Twitter most effectively to talk to Americans? President Donald Trump. Twitter is saying if Trump doesn't meet their truth squad's criteria, he will be censured. This is the problem when privately-owned free speech platforms become so large that they can be weaponized for political purposes and impose their own ideology. As Christ said in John 8:32, "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." Big tech is attempting to suppress the truth to hold you captive to political intolerance and ideological bigotry, and that includes your Christian values.
Daily Devotion: The Objective of the Church - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. - Acts 2:47
In our culture, we tend to think bigger is better, and we apply that thinking to the church as well. We think the bigger the church, the more successful it is. But that isn't necessarily true.
You can have a big church yet not have a strong one, because there are a lot of things people can do to draw a crowd. So it isn't only about being big; it is about being strong. And it is about being biblical.
Then there are those who are critical of large churches. "I hate these megachurches," they say. "You go in there, and you have to wait for parking." But let's think about this for a moment. It would be like saying, "There are two restaurants we can choose from. There is this one restaurant with a line around the block. And there is this other restaurant with no one inside except the employees. Where do you think we should eat?"
Did you ever stop and think that maybe there's a reason one of those restaurants is empty? Maybe the food in the other place is better than the place without any customers.
Sometimes a large church or a lot of people can mean there is something they are getting out of it. It can mean they are being fed there. My objective never has been to have a large church; it always has been to have a biblical church and a strong church. We always have felt that we should leave the growth up to God. In and of itself, there is no virtue in being small.
Not every church will be a large church, but every church should be a growing church. The objective of the church is to be as faithful as we can be to what God has called us to be. Because on that final day, Jesus won't say, "Well done, good and successful servant. By the way, how many numbers were you running?"
Rather, He'll say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
FROM THE HEART
IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED THROUGH THIS MINISTRY, THEN WE ASK THAT YOU WOULD PLEASE REMEMBER PROPHECY UPDATE IN YOUR GIVING - WE ARE TRULY, TRULY, THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Prophecy Update has no corporate sponsors. This ministry is paid for and prayed for by readers and supporters. Without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update, Please pray about becoming a monthly supporter - thanks!
If ever there was a time to invest in God's Kingdom, it's now!
What on earth are you doing for Heaven's Sake?
"Share in the Blessings and Rewards that will last Forever!"
"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
Prophecy Update is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt - non-profit organization, and all your donations are tax deductible.
If you have been blessed by Prophecy Update and would like to help support this ministry financially. You can make a secure donation online by going to:
Or Visit our website:
Or write us at:
P.O. Box 40516
Bakersfield, CA 93384-0516