Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Signs of the Times: Part 1 of 2 - By Ron Ferguson -
How Do We Understand This, Our Age?
Matt 16:2-4 "But He answered and said to them, 'When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather for the sky is red,' and in the morning, 'There will be a storm today for the sky is red and threatening.' Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?"
Matt 16:4 "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and a sign will not be given it except the sign of Jonah,' and He left them and went away."
The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus, trying to trick Him to gain an advantage; and He spoke those verses and made reference to Jonah which had to do with His death, burial and resurrection. His enemies were reprimanded for not being able to discern the signs of the time. They knew how to discern the atmospheric signs and tell the next day's weather, but they had no idea how to discern the signs that indicated Jesus was the Messiah, confirmed by His undisputed miracles. If they had known the scriptures, they would have recognized that Jesus was the Messiah. It was as clear as that. Had they been Old Testament scholars as they claimed they were, then they would have known all the scriptures that supported that. They were frauds.
What is meant by "the signs of the times"? For me, it means being able to understand the days in which we/you live in relation to God's program and prophecies in the bible, and the unfolding events in the world; in other words, indicators of events. This is what makes it so exciting. Christians are distressed at the growing evil and anti-godliness in the world, and that has happened so very quickly in our generation.
The items covered in Timothy for "the last days" (2 Tim 3:1-5) sit right in our time. Another verse says evil men will grow from bad to worse. The verse in context explains why Christians face increasing difficulty in these days. "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Tim 3:12-13).
I am not going to examine the many facets of government in Australia which have led to God's order being overthrown, and who are the people involved in this.
I think we need to note this very carefully. The opening verse in 2 Timothy 3 is this - "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come."
The word "perilous" - (KJV) "difficult" (NASB, Holman, ESV) "terrible" (NIV) - means "hard to do or to bear; troublesome, harsh, fierce, oppressive, annoying, fiercely difficult to cope, even injurious." Consider each of those carefully. For some Christians and people generally in some countries, this is happening for them. We in Australia and the developed world are more sheltered. Has the world reached that place yet? The Chinese virus and the failed oil price (April 20th) with the collapsing financial money market has placed us in those times.
Throw into all that this current pandemic, the "corona virus" or the "Chinese virus," and you have a vulnerable world, scarcely able to cope. The world struggles for a solution, but China has manipulated this for its own advantage. It is eyeing the distressed world because its brand of communism wants world rule. For some time, China has been spreading its influence throughout, buying up large enterprises in many countries. Numerous countries have many of their assets in Chinese hands already. I think it is worthwhile reporting a News release from 13 April 2020 where Chinese scientists were sharing their research in this virus with peer scientists in the world, and now the Communist Government has censored it:
"Hong Kong (CNN) China has imposed restrictions on the publication of academic research on the origins of the novel coronavirus according to a central government directive and online notices published by two Chinese universities, that have since been removed from the web.
Under the new policy, all academic papers on Covid-19 will be subject to extra vetting before being submitted for publication. Studies on the origin of the virus will receive extra scrutiny and must be approved by central government officials, according to the now-deleted posts. A medical expert in Hong Kong who collaborated with mainland researchers to publish a clinical analysis of Covid-19 cases in an international medical journal said his work did not undergo such vetting in February. The increased scrutiny appears to be the latest effort by the Chinese government to control the narrative on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 177,240 (April 22nd) lives and sickened 2.56 million people worldwide since it first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December."
That means that the world is again disadvantaged as it was in the outbreak of the virus when China refused to tell the world, but let it spread through the world before the world knew what was happening. Evil governments produce evil men. I don't need to explain to you the injustice, the wicked policies that have been made law, or the decay of all morality, which also includes justice, honesty, fairness, and the pursuit of goodness. We see that decay continually.
Returning to the signs of the times, how do we understand our current world? Everything needs to be examined scripturally. God has given us His prophetic program, so that is the basis for interpreting our times. Our Bible study group has been working through the Minor Prophets in great detail, and we understand what is ahead for this world. The nation of Israel is key to much of this prophecy, and the wise Bible student will keep his eyes on Israel.
The Rapture of the Church is the event on the horizon. We understand that to be very, very close as we study the signs of the times. After that, the events of the Tribulation unfurl from Rev 6:1 onwards, and some of those events can be understood in some small measure as we understand our world. The current pandemic is a mild forerunner of the pale horse, the 4th one of Rev 6; the whole earth seeing events in Jerusalem instantly as required by Rev 11:8-10, and is understood in cell/mobile phones - these things we must study.
At this juncture I must say something about the great rise of self-proclaimed prophets coming on the scene.
2 Pet 2:1-3 "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned, and in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep."
I won't name them, or at least the ones I know, which is only a drop in the bucket. I don't wish to offend anyone, but there are no prophets today. They ceased with the completion of scripture in AD 96 when God's entire will and program was delivered to us. There is no more revelation. None, but these false prophets are on about predicting happenings and reading dates, setting dates, and blood moons and making nebulous prophecies like, "There is someone listening to me who has pain in the lower back...."
A BIBLICAL PARALLEL: One matter that I have been considering quite seriously concerns our current times. I speak for Australia and the United States. As I talk about this, I am aware that some may disagree, and that is fine if you have studied it in detail and have an understanding of our times that is biblical but different from mine. We need to look at a biblical time before destruction descended on Judah around 597 B.C.
Manasseh, son of King Hezekiah, was probably the most wicked king to reign in Judah (2 Kings chapter 21) and did horrible abominations. He also had the longest reign of 55 years. Wickedness like that permeates among the people, but it is true that a wicked people gain over them a wicked ruler as evil leaven. A wicked generation wants wicked rulers. So it was in the case of Manasseh. When he died, his son Amon ascended the throne, but he was just as evil as his father. His rule was short because, after two years, his servants conspired and killed him. His place was taken by his son Josiah, the most godly man to reign over Judah and stands shoulder to shoulder with David in godliness.
God's judgment was mounting for Judah, and the prophet Jeremiah warned over and over about it; but his message fell on deaf ears, for the sinful people would not repent. God held off His judgment against the nation while Josiah was alive. Josiah's reforms and spiritual initiatives were enough for the people to take note and repent or face judgement. They refused but paid lip service.
When the godly king died, one of his worthless sons took the throne, and he was evil. He was Jehoahaz, but the interesting thing is that he was installed as king by the people of the land. This is the populace plotting its destiny and its destruction, and the end was nigh, for Nebuchadnezzar came; and it was not long after before destruction fell on the nation. I believe God gave breathing space for Judah to repent while Josiah was king, but they would not, and the destruction came as God promised.
I see a very interesting parallel here with the present conditions. We are living the days of the signs of the time at the end of the Church age. President Trump is a professed Christian, but people have taken note of propaganda against him from his many enemies of the left with communist beliefs. He is hated for recognizing Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel, and that would not be surprising as there is a hatred for Israel from the socialist left, many main media outlets and social networking sites. He opposes abortion and other socialist agendas as does the Christian Vice President, Mike Pence.
God's judgment will fall on godless America but is presently held up with this last chance given to the people to repent. This will be their last chance, I believe. Once Trump has to leave office, the nation will be in the hands of the Democrats (possibly), then destruction will not be far away.
I believe we are that close to the Rapture, and then the world enters the Tribulation. This is the last chance for the USA and Australia to repent.
My nation, Australia, also stands at the crossroads. The Morrison Government replaced a very dysfunctional Australian Labor Party rule with its abortion and homosexual marriage and gender travesty and socialist/communist/green agendas. Scott Morrison has something of a Christian leaning, and like Trump, has prayed for his country. Sadly, in the Liberal Party, which Morrison leads, there are weak members and those with socialist, politically correct agendas. Morrison could be replaced possibly at the next election by another Labor Government, and Australia, now godless, will decline so rapidly. This too is Australia's last chance. Evil men in Australia are going from bad to worse. Christians are generally hated in the country.
The corona virus has attacked, worst of all, the nations of western Europe that formed the powerbase of the old Roman Empire. Italy, Spain, France, the UK, part of Germany, and Belgium were the strength of the old Roman Empire. The Antichrist (world leader of the new, revived Roman Empire, 10 members) will have those 5/6 mentioned nations as his nucleus. However, they are all weakened by this pestilence and may not recover, or not recover well. If the Rapture occurs very soon, then the beast (Antichrist) who arises will be looked on as the saviour who can rescue these nations, the rider coming on the white horse of Revelation 6:1 and of the first half of Revelation 13. I know it has been said for decades, but this evil man, the beast, Antichrist, could be living today.
Israel is in place. The nations of Europe are in place. Phone coverage reaches to every part of the world (necessary for Revelation chapter 11). The prophecies of the last days in the book of Timothy are clearly here. The signs of the time announce the coming Rapture and the subsequent Tribulation of judgment. When? No one can say, but it must be close.
Stay tuned for The Signs of the Times, Part 2: How Do We Understand This, Our Age.
Hezbollah (Lebanon) to Wage War Against Israel This Summer - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"A time for loving and a time for hating; A time for war and a time for peace." Ecclesiastes 3:8 (The Israel Bible™)
Media reports claim that Hezbollah, the terrorist organization that effectively runs Lebanon, has announced that it plans on attacking Israel this summer.
The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation "Kan", cited an article in the Arabic Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Okaz published on Thursday. In the Okaz article, Western diplomatic sources in Beirut stated that all the data indicates a war is imminent in the very near future. The cause for Hezbollah's rise in aggression, according to the diplomatic sources, is that they feel besieged from all sides and is, therefore, willing to go to extreme measures to break out.
"War against Israel can turn the bowl upside down so they can grab all the cards," the sources said. The diplomatic sources also said a confrontation can also break out in the northern section of the border between Lebanon and Syria before the US presidential elections.
This week, the Lebanese newspaper a-Nahar reported that there is talk in Hezbollah circles about a possible war with Israel in August. A few days ago, American Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act went into effect. The legislation imposes economic sanctions on the Syrian government, including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for war crimes against the Syrian population. The law has economic implications for both Lebanon and the Lebanese Hezbollah.. Iranian and Russian entities are addressed for their governments' support of Assad in the Syrian Civil War.
In his last speech, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened that "we will kill every person who tells us 'either you will die of starvation or we will kill you in order to take Hezbollah's weapons'."
Last weekend, Hezbollah's military branch released a video in the context of psychological warfare with Israel, in which they tried to convey a message that they have in their arsenal accurate missiles despite Israel's attempts to thwart Hezbollah's attempts to acquire advanced missiles. The soundtrack of the video is one of Nasrallah's previous speeches in which he speaks in a calm voice is narrated by Nasrallah speaking in a calm voice.
Hezbollah is generally considered the most powerful non-state actor in the world, and to be stronger than the Lebanese Army. Estimates of Hezbollah's total rocket count range from 40,000 to 150,000, which is considerably more than most countries. Since 2010 there have been rumors that Hezbollah has been supplied with large, powerful Soviet-made Scud missiles from Syria. Hezbollah possesses limited numbers of anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, as well as thousands of anti-tank missiles, which they are skilled at using. By comparison, during the 2006 war, Hezbollah fired 4,000 short-range rockets into northern Israel, killing an estimated 50 Israelis.
In an article for the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA), Dr. Ehud Eilam noted the threat of Hezbollah missiles.
"The IDF has many more weapons and much more manpower than Hezbollah-but Hezbollah has up to 150,000 projectiles aimed at Israel. All of Israel is within Hezbollah's missile range, but it would primarily target the north of the country. The sheer quantity of rockets available to Hezbollah means that Israel's defense systems such as the Iron Dome would only be able to intercept some of them. The only way to completely stop the firing of missiles and rockets would be to run a large-scale offensive inside Lebanon.
"The IAF has been training to launch thousands of sorties aimed at destroying Hezbollah targets, mainly its rockets. But the IAF might not be able to accomplish this mission by itself, especially if rockets hit its airfields. Israel might have no alternative but to also conduct a major ground offensive."
"If Hezbollah opens fire first, targeting Israeli cities, it will force Israel to react immediately and in a massive way. An Israeli preemptive strike is unlikely, though surprise is crucial in capturing Hezbollah off guard.
"The IDF has an overwhelming edge over Hezbollah, but the latter has relative advantages, mainly its missiles/rockets. The two sides will continue to try to avoid a costly war, but a war might still occur-against the will of one or even both of them."
The Threat of Hezbollah | LTC Jonathan Conricus | AIPAC 2020:
The Future of Israel's Borders: International Law and Islamic Law. Part II - by Denis MacEoin -
In part one, we identified several ways in which international bodies, states, and individuals interpret the US-Israeli plan for Israel to extend Israeli law in the ancient Jewish homeland of Judaea and Samaria. There is widespread, and misguided, agreement that such a move would be illegal under international law, which regards occupation and "annexation of territory" in a negative sense.
However, as we have seen, much of this interpretation is based on confusion about the history of the region, the origins of the state of Israel, and the ongoing Palestinian rejection of a state for their own people. It is also a contradiction between Western-inspired international law and earlier Islamic law.
Let us start with a look at the original 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, a territory designed to be administered by Great Britain until it could emerge as an independent state. Even a brief glance at a map of the territory shows that the Mandate made the whole of Palestine, including Gaza and what is now the West Bank with Judea and Samaria, the region designated for the future Jewish homeland. Writing in Israel Hayom recently, Dr. Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, argues that this original designation means that it is not appropriate to term Israel's coming move to place the Jordan Valley of the West Bank an "annexation". Aggressive annexation of territory through war is, he agrees, unacceptable and illegal -- but Israel only entered the West Bank in 1967 during a defensive war.
This is a reasonable view, but sadly it ignores earlier developments. In 1922, Britain implemented Article 25 of the Palestine Mandate to create an Arab state (Transjordan, now Jordan) east of the Jordan River. This shrank the Jewish homeland, but had no impact on the West Bank or Gaza. Within the remaining British-administered part Palestine, conflict arose between Jews and Arabs, making administration increasingly difficult. The situation changed dramatically following the Second World War and the Holocaust. It was no longer morally acceptable to deny Jewish survivors or others from the Diaspora the right to create a state within which Jews could defend themselves from aggression from whatever quarter.
With the end of the war, the League of Nations was replaced by the United Nations. And in November 1947, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 181, through which the remaining Palestine Mandate territory was to be partitioned into a Jewish and Arab state (with Jerusalem made an international zone). The plan was to resolve the ongoing antagonism between the two sides, and in the first instance the Jews, motivated by Zionist hopes, accepted the partition and prepared to set up their state once British forces left. The Arabs, however, rejected the plan because they insisted on driving the Jews, as supposed interlopers -- after 3000 years in the area -- out of the territory.
This is where the plan for extending Israeli law over more territory becomes simpler to resolve both legally and morally. However many times the Palestinian Arabs have been offered a state, they have chosen to turn it down, rejecting generous peace offers. They have preferred to use terrorism and three wars launched from Gaza in pursuit of their fantasy of destroying the much more powerful state of Israel. By 2017, they had rejected no fewer than seven peace offers, and this year Mahmoud Abbas turned down the new US-Israeli peace plan.
As there is no Palestinian state in the West Bank (and only a terrorist pseudo-state in Gaza), Israeli settlements and annexation cannot be classed as an aggressive invasion and occupation of another state. By refusing to make peace and establish a state of their own -- or even to sit down at a table to negotiate -- the Palestinians only hurt themselves. It is as if they expect all the land under dispute to be held for them in perpetuity, presumably until such time as they might feel like discussing it or agreeing to a proposal. They have so far never submitted a counteroffer to any proposal - just a decades-long cascade of "No's in an echo of the wider Khartoum Declaration after the 1967 Six Day War. The annexation move proposed by Israel simply cannot be regarded as illegal under international law.
If Palestinian nationalism is a flimsy basis for a future state at peace with its neighbors, an even greater cause for animosity towards Israel has existed even from before the beginning of the conflict. This is the disruption between international law and Islamic law.
Islamic law does not just govern the individual lives of Muslims in the way the Christian or Jewish law (halakha) does. Islam is not simply a religion. It is also a political system, and it has laws for the governance of cities, provinces and nations. One feature of this governance is the law of waqf. A waqf is anything that has been given by members of the Muslim community to remain in perpetuity for religious purposes. It is not private property, but is dedicated to remain under Islamic use: a school, a fountain, a mosque, a library: whatever is given by its donor for that exclusive use. In the present context, it refers to any territory once conquered by or converted to Islam and ruled by a Muslim monarch or government -- such as previously by the Ottoman Empire. No such territory should be allowed to pass into profane, secular, Christian (such as al Andalus, consisting of southern Spain) or, in this case, Jewish hands.
That is why not just Palestinians but many other Muslims consider the creation of Israel an illegal act that must be reversed even if the destruction of Israel would contravene international legal standards.
The invention of a secular Palestinian nationalism has only served to mask this underlying concept. Evidence that it still applies, however, exists in mosque sermons calling for jihad, pronouncements of the Muslim Brotherhood, and, above all, the 1988 Charter of Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. A former Egyptian diplomat, Mohamed Galal Mostafa, has argued that, taken all in all, religious doctrine stands at the core of the wider hatred for Israel.
Here is Article 11 of the Hamas Charter on the centrality of waqf for the "liberation" of Palestine and the end of Israel:
"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgement Day?
"This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgement."
From this alone it should be clear that whatever peace deals and calls for mutual toleration may be made under the banner of Western diplomacy and the application of international law, Palestinian resistance cannot buckle. It would look as if the leadership were selling out God and his law, be considered grounds for treason, and require the punishment for treason: death. Here is part of Article 13 of the Hamas Charter:
"Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight."
If Israel implements an annexation, a violent Palestinian reaction could take the form of a third intifada and, less likely, an attack from the Gaza Strip, which had historically belonged to Egypt, on Israel's south, from Hamas, which anyhow is always looking for ways to destroy Israel.
Fortunately, if Israel were to extend Israeli law over more land, the move could present an opportunity to end the conflict. Nave Dromi has recently argued that the decisive end by Israel to a Palestinian fantasy that should never have been humored in the first place, might finally enable Palestinian leaders finally to start their citizens on a constructive -- rather than a destructive -- path.
Nearing Midnight: The Biggest Financial Bubble of All Time - Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
I have just finished a chapter for one of Terry's future books. I hope the publish date is soon, because my initial working title was the Coming Fiscal storm. I had six months to write the chapter, so there was room to change my approach of a coming monetary disaster to a process that is currently playing out.
One of the most amazing things about this current monetary crisis is how quickly our national debt has risen. In total we have allocated around $3 trillion to fight the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. From May 3 to June 3, the official national debt increased by $1 trillion, which is five times faster than the previous record for debt creation.
With COVID-19 virus cases spiking, there is talk of going back into full lockdown mode. Apple corporation has already decided to close some of its stores in hot-zone areas. President Trump and key senators are talking about sending out a fresh round of stimulus checks.
The Federal Reserve has been keeping the party going by buying up the nation's new debt. The Fed even found a way to skirt laws that barred the purchase of corporate bonds. From the moment the Federal Reserve announced how it would buy bonds for its $250 billion Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, something seemed amiss. The central bank has already granted it the ability to buy individual corporate bonds by creating a complex set of rules and terms for its activity.
The Fed last week unveiled an entirely new class of eligible assets called "Eligible Broad Market Index Bonds." This was little more than a workaround for issuers being forced to certify that they're in compliance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The Fed will simply spend what it feels is needed to fix the economy.
Another indication that we are in the king of all bubbles is the wild fluctuation of many stocks. The Hertz car rental company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company stock dropped down to 56 cents, and then it began to soar as day traders pushed up the price to $5.50. Hertz received approval from a bankruptcy judge to sell up to $1 billion of common stock to take advantage of its recent share rally.
At the same time, Hertz warned that there was a significant risk that shareholders won't receive recovery under the Chapter 11 proceedings and that its "common stock will be worthless." The plan was scrapped when it became clear there would be lawsuits once people realized they bought worthless stock.
Nikola Motors is a Tesla competitor with zero revenue. Unphased investors have nevertheless piled into the stock, sending the company's valuation soaring to well above $23 billion in just three months on public exchanges. CEO Trevor Milton says the new stockholders "don't care," and neither does he.
"They care more about the environmental impact of what you're doing," Milton told CNBC in an interview. "'Oh, you're six months or eight months from revenue?' They don't care. They're like, 'you know what? You're changing the world. You're going to reduce emissions more than anyone else. We're invested into you.'"
Chesapeake Energy Corp is preparing to file for bankruptcy in the coming days, making it the largest oil and gas producer to unravel after an energy market rout caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Oklahoma City-based company is in the final stages of negotiating a roughly $900 million debtor-in-possession loan to support its operations while under Chapter 11 bankruptcy-court protection, two of the sources said. The company is reeling under a mountain of debt totaling more than $9 billion.
Chesapeake Energy's stock should be trading very close to zero at this point. It remains around $11 per share because, like with Hertz stock, people have completely lost touch with financial reality.
The current bubble environment takes on a supernatural dimension when one considers what China has accomplished. No other nation on earth has increased its national currency to such a high level, and it plans on more money printing. China's central bank governor Yi Gang said that China will keep liquidity ample in the second half of the year.
In order to boost its stagnating economy, China is about to unleash a historic credit injection: Yi said that new loans are likely to hit nearly 20 trillion yuan ($2.83 trillion) this year, up from a record 16.81 trillion yuan in 2019, and total social financing could increase by more than 30 trillion yuan ($4.2 trillion), or about 30% of GDP. A similar number for the US would be about $7 trillion, which is more or less what the US deficit will be over the next 12 months.
There is no doubt in my mind that God is in full control of the global economy. Even the most godless economist should have some wonderment over why the world grows more financially distressed without descending into total chaos.
"The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil" (Proverbs 16:4).
Daily Jot: Trying to understand - Bill Wilson -
As an investigative reporter, I have often taken very tough issues and tried to boil them down to their crux. This Daily Jot is an attempt to walk you through some of my process on racial issues as I tried to understand what people mean by systemic racism in America. As Christians, we are called to a higher standard where there is one race-the human race created by God-and our belief system should be centered on the commandment of Christ found in John 13:34 and other places: "That you love one another." My heart tells me that most people do not practice racism, therefore, they can't comprehend that it exists. Herein is the conflict of the mind, often resulting in anxiety, anger and if/then/either/or and "yeah, but" justifications.
A lot of research and study of history prompted me to reduce this issue to a couple of concepts that sincere and empathetic minds can embrace, or reject, depending on your state of mind and heart. But at least walk with me for a bit. Hear me out. The Declaration of Independence says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The exception was the slave institution in existence from the early 1600s until in 1865 when slavery was abolished by the Constitution's 13th Amendment. From 1789 until 1865, slaves were counted as 3/5 of a man.
While America abolished slavery and attempted through Special Orders to allocate 40 acres of land to freed slaves, Democratic President Andrew Johnson, who took office after Lincoln's assassination, returned that land to southern owners, granted amnesty to most Confederates, and allowed the rebel states to elect new governments. The Democrats in local, state and federal government then enacted Jim Crow Laws that for over 100 years from 1865 to the late 1960s oppressed blacks by mandating the segregation of public schools, public places, and public transportation, housing, and of restrooms, drinking fountains, and restaurants. The result was definitely separate, but not equal. Laws allowed arresting blacks for the smallest of crimes to be incarcerated to hard labor and would never be allowed to vote, thus perpetuating slavery.
These "separate but equal" laws began to be deconstructed with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, although these reforms were opposed by Democrats at all levels of government well into the 1970s. Keep in mind that police were enforcing these mandates for over 100 years. So when the words "systemic racism" are used, this is what is meant. It is not as simple as ending slavery or segregation. It is deep-rooted both consciously and unconsciously, resulting in tremendous disparities in income, housing, education, criminal codes and so on for generations. There is certainly a political cause rooted in racism and hatred. The sum of the parts add up to what we have today underscored by senseless deaths, distrust, cause hijackers, and violence. The answer may be found in the love of Christ and the Christian response.
Daily Devotion: Under Surveillance - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. -1 Corinthians 10:11
This may come as a surprise to you, but Christians are being watched. We're being watched very carefully all the time, especially by nonbelievers.
And they're not exactly rooting for us. They kind of like it when we mess up because then they can say, "You see? That's why I'm not a Christian."
Yet when a believer goes through difficulty and gives glory to God, it's a powerful witness to a watching world. Take Paul and Silas for example. They wound up in prison for preaching the gospel, and they had an especially cruel jailer. But there in that dark, damp dungeon, Paul and Silas sang praises to God at midnight.
The jailer had never heard anything like that. And ultimately it resulted in his believing. He said to Paul and Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30 NLT).
Not only do nonbelievers watch Christians, but younger Christians watch older Christians. They're wondering, "How does an older believer deal with the onslaught of age or illness or the loss of a spouse? How does an older believer deal with uncertainty and unrest in our culture?"
They look to older believers for inspiration and an example. As they should.
One day those younger believers will be the older believers, and they'll model the same thing for the next generation.
Do you think Job knew that one day we would study his life? I think he just experienced it all in real time and was honest in the way he reacted, yet here we are still talking about him today.
Therefore, would it you give you a measure of comfort to know that by the way you face your hardships, challenges, and trials, you're giving hope to others? God uses these things in our lives for His purposes.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
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