Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Twilight's Last Gleaming - By Alice Childs -
Oh, say can you see the undeniable truth that America is descending into the denouement of twilight's last gleaming?
Anyone with even a modicum of awareness surely can't help but admit, if he is honest, that the sun is setting on the once great American empire. Truthfully, it isn't just the final downfall of America that is breaking upon us. It's also the coming to an end of the entire fallen world system that has been ruined ever since the Garden of Eden where Eve was deceived by the Serpent, and Adam's rebellion resulted in Paradise Lost, thus necessitating God the Son's personal intervention into His creation in order to procure redemption for lost and fallen mankind.
We are the terminal generation. We are the generation that was born to see the rebirth of Israel, God's "super sign" whose rebirth heralded the beginning of the last generation - the generation that would live to see the culmination of all Biblically prophesied events. This is exciting, awe inspiring, and terrifying. It is these very events that are in play, and are almost at fruition, that prove beyond any doubt that indeed we are living in the twilight's last gleaming of the Church Age.
Can you see what's going on? Can you see how close we are to the rapture of the Church and the consequent last seven years - the Time of Jacob's Trouble?
Make no mistake, the Dispensation of Grace is almost finished; the dawning of the great and terrible Day of the Lord is at hand. In looking at where we are, and what is already in play as a nation and a world, it is patently obvious that we are now in the waning light of twilight's last gleaming. Let's look at just a few of these last-of-the-last-days indicators that the Church Age is winding down, and the Day of the Lord is "at hand."
Take for instance, the UN's far-reaching global plans Agendas 21 and 30. These declarations are truly horrifying, both in their blatant power grabs and in their systematic extinction of all personal, family, corporate, and national freedoms.
Both of these documents, Agenda 21 and Agenda 30, DIRECTLY impact every single individual United States citizen (as well as the citizenry of nearly every other nation on earth). From the womb to the tomb - our lives, our children's lives, and our futures have been hijacked by an oligarchy of elitists who have made themselves the "ruling gods" over all people. They alone determine who will live, who will die, and what each person's life is worth.
The Luciferian agendas that this unelected, multinational group of elite megalomaniacs have planned for decades - centuries even - go all the way back to the Knights Templar, to the guilds of the Freemasons. The goals and Agendas of the Order of the Illuminati (begun by Adam Weisapt), along with a multitude of other esoteric orders, are right this moment in the process of being fully implemented. What is now being orchestrated, and is soon to be complete, is nothing less than an Orwellian nightmare that is rapidly forming into the great beast system that will be ruled by none other than the Antichrist himself.
The meticulously detailed plans spelled out in these agendas, outlined in terrifyingly clear detail, expose the truth that the plans of these global architects of the New World Order are already well underway, and are right now being carried out by the very ones who designed these agendas and objectives; those who are the very same ones who are funding and underwriting this multi-trillion dollar (and much more), multi-tentacled gorgon.
All of the UN's ongoing plans are designed to control every area of our culture: governmental, economic, educational, financial, entertainment, and religious. ALL AREAS of life are to be overseen, and all aspects of their control of our culture are spelled out in exquisite, horrifying detail in the very words of the ones who are running this globalist, last days agenda.
These Minions of Chaos have been and are now infiltrating every strata and corner of our culture. Indeed, they are now in governing and leading positions within EVERY ONE of these areas of culture in order that they may fully indoctrinate our culture. Their goal is to completely bring about a seismic paradigm shift in the worldview of every American - in particular our children, from pre-k all the way through post graduate programs, thereby moving America away from the Judeo-Christian roots, morals, and worldviews on which we as a nation were founded.
The very bedrock upon which our Constitution and the rule of law rests is being systematically moved towards a pantheistic, narcissistic, self-absorbed, perpetually needy, always entitled "hive" mentality where personal freedoms, personal motivation and personal responsibility are crushed beneath the behemoth weight of the communistic "hive mind" with the elite oligarchy that masters and controls it. It's all there, spelled out in their own words in the United Nations plans called Agenda 21 and Agenda 30.
Do you know WHY they - the UN globalist puppeteers - aren't worried that the monstrous truth of what they are doing is being put out in plain sight? It's because they know that most Americans are too lazy, too self-absorbed, too incredulous, too indifferent, too enthralled with our own particular favorite "bread and circuses," too apathetic, too afraid or too intimidated to bother to research and read the chilling truths that they have actually published.
And do you know what? The globalists are right. Very few Americans actually care enough to bother to research the truth for themselves.
Well, the uncomfortable and inconvenient fact is that everyone WILL care - and soon, because the colossus of American freedom (both personal and national), along with what's left of our national sovereignty, is hemorrhaging to death from a hundred thousand paper cuts. America is in her agonal stages America, as we have always known her, has been on life support for decades and is now about to flatline for the final time with no chance of ever being revived again.
Tragically, most of the zombified American public desires to simply continue on as usual in their cognitive dissonance; living inside their own little opaque bubbles, hiding from the admittedly uncomfortable yet increasingly apparent reality of just how far gone we are as a nation and a culture. But be warned America: your bubbles of delusion are about to be ruptured, and the America that all of the see-no-evil puppets will witness when they are rudely awakened to harsh reality.
America will soon be forced to see and deal with the truth. Once God's inevitable judgment arrives, it will be a complete and utter shock to the majority. There will be nowhere to run, nowhere to hide when the Lion of Judah roars forth His justice and vengeance upon this evil-loving, God-hating world.
Of course, we "doom and gloom" town criers, we "Debbie Downers" who have been the always maligned, inconvenient watchmen on the wall - the ever-hated, constantly mocked, invariably derided, and the always-to-be-avoided-at-all cost doomsayers - well, we've tried for years to tell the world what's coming.
We, the hated warners of approaching doom, already KNOW. We know what's BEEN happening, what IS happening now, and what is ABOUT to happen. It's too bad that so many others will be so utterly surprised and devastated when the dawning realization of the loss of our sovereign freedoms finally become too obvious for even them to ignore. Tragically, by the time the truth of how things REALLY ARE finally becomes patently clear even to them, it will be far too late.
I could plead yet one more time for everyone to face what is happening right now and what is going to happen to America and to the world at large - most especially what is just over the horizon after the very soon rapture of the Remnant Church occurs - but I already know that these warning cries are, for the most part, a futile effort.
There are very few left, even among those who claim to be believers in Christ, who really want to know the truth of the nearness of the rapture. There are relatively few who dare to face the reality of where we are, both as a Church and a nation. Few realize that we are indeed living in twilight's last gleaming. Everyone will know eventually - and sooner rather than later. Oh, they will know - very soon.
Twilight is rapidly descending into the night of coming judgment. Requiescat en pace, America. As the New World Order's Antichrist system is rising, the Remnant Church, with increasing fervor, cries MARANATHA!
Moses and Elijah - Islam's Greatest Friend in the Day of the Lord! - David Pepe -
During the time of the seven year tribulation period; the godless gentile world will be seeking the complete annihilation and destruction of the Jews, the nation of Israel and Almighty God's Two Witnesses and messengers (Zech. 14:2, Dan. 9:27, Rev. 11:3-6, 12:6-17; 13:7 17:14).
It will be also during the first half of the "seven year tribulation" (after the Rapture) that countless Muslims from Egypt, Libya, Turkey, Syria, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordon, Iraq, Iran etc. will come to a SAVING KNOWLEDGE of the Messiah of Israel by the preaching and teaching of the Two Witnesses of Israel (i.e., MOSES and ELIJAH). It will be MOSES and ELIJAH that will be the CATALYST to bringing countless Muslims to the saving knowledge of the Messiah (Jesus Christ) via the 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Rev. 7:1-10). Islam has the utmost and greatest respect for MOSES and ELIJAH. It will be by these very two patriarchs of old that Almighty God will send to Israel first (Rom. 1:16) to call that nation to repentance and to SALVATION to the Messiah of Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ (Ps. 110:1, Isa. 53), and it will be by their MIGHTY ministry that they will lead (firstly) a remnant of Jews to a saving knowledge of their Messiah and then countless Muslims also (Matt. 8:11, 25: 31-40, Luke 13:29, Rev. 7:13-17; 14). Many Muslims will lose their lives (via beheading - Rev. 20:4) for their obedience to Israel's Messiah the Lord Jesus, the Savior of the world, but at the end of this seven year tribulation age - these individuals will be resurrected and given glorified bodies and dwell in the Kingdom age with the Messiah of Israel (Rev. 20:4)!
It will be during this time (after the Rapture of the Church and the murder and resuscitation of Moses and Elijah) Rev. 11:7-19, that Almighty God's newly chosen army of BELIEVING evangelical Jews in the Messiah of Israel will GO FORTH into the entire world giving the Gospel of Salvation unto ALL gentiles nations (Matt. 24:14, Acts 17:30-31, Rev. 7:9-10)! One particular group which these newly BELIEVING Jews will seek to reach will be their arch enemy, the millions of individuals of Islam that remain alive at this point (Ezek. 38-39, Rev.6-9). These Islamic individual's zeal and hostility toward Israel at present and then will be raging, but the ETERNAL LOVE of Almighty G-d's redeem will be abundant (Psalm 40:1-3, John 3:16-17, Rom. 2:4). These 144,000 Jewish evangelists (during this time) will be sealed by Almighty God for a great Divine task in the direst of hours (Rev. 7:1-10). These messengers of Almighty God will be fearless! These Jewish evangelists will lead countless individuals from among ALL nations to the ETERNAL saving knowledge of the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the World (Gen. 18:8, 22:18, 26:4, Matt 24:14, John 3:16-17, Gal. 3:8). What is most amazing is that a great number of these gentile individuals will be those of the Muslim people (Isa. 19:23-25, Luke 13:29, Rom. 5:20). The very despised and abominable thing in the mind of a Muslim will be the VERY vehicle for their ETERNAL salvation in the near future! (1 Cor. 1:18-31)
Today, Islamic nations completely surround and engulf the land of Israel. Israel - as it were - as an atoll in the great Pacific Ocean. Again it will be during this time of the horrific seven year tribulation period (Rev.6-16) that countless followers of Islam will abandon their spiritual ideology for HEAVENLY REALITY and RIGHTEOUSNESS (Rom. 10:2-4). Many in the most darkened region of the world will OPEN their hearts and minds and cast off their oppressive Islamic ideological shackles and will come to FULLY acknowledge the RIGHTEOUS REALITY that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) of Israel IS also the Savior of the world! When these Muslim individuals come to see this REALITY for all that it is worth, they will be radically transformed and will worship and serve Almighty God their Creator in SPIRIT and TRUTH (John 4:24, 17:17)! They will love NOT their lives even unto death and will profess to their fellow Muslim brethren that Jesus Messiah Saves (Rev.12:11, Rev. 20:4)!
Even today, countless thousands of Muslims each year are leaving the oppressive and fatalistic delusion of the Islamic religion (i.e., spiritual philosophy). These masses have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus the Messiah, the Savior of the world (John 14:6, Acts 4:12) and have found that it is He ALONE who truly saves and loves and is truly full of all GRACE and MERCY (Isa. 60:1-3, Micah 4:1-3, Zech. 8:21-23, Matt. 8:11,John 3:1:17)!
It will be at the end of this EXPONENTIALLY horrific time period (Isa. 24:5-6, Rev.19:11-21) that all who know the Lord as Savior and survive this catastrophic period (including saved Muslims will enter in to the Kingdom of Heaven under the reign of the Messiah of Israel (i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ) and truly enjoy the fullness of joy with their Savior and Maker, the Triune God (Isa. 2:2-3; 60, Micah 4:1-3, Zech. 8:22-23, 14:8-21, Matt. 25:31-34, Luke 13:29)!
The countless inhabitants from Islamic nations, who have come to a saving knowledge of the Messiah of Israel during this tribulation period will be LOVED and PROVIDED for in the Messiah's 1000 year reign and for ALL ETERNITY (Isa. 19:20-25, Rom. 5:10, Eph. 2:3-5, Col. 1:20-21). Oh my beloved, can you not just rejoice in the WONDROUS GRACE AND MERCY of Almighty God!!!
"In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. "In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance" (Isa. 19:23-25).
"Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Rom. 5:20)
My friend, it is our earnest desire and prayer that many (Jew and Gentile) would come to a saving knowledge of the Savior of the world before the Day of the Lord begins! It is ONLY by and through the LOVE of Almighty God that enemies can become reconciled and become brothers and co -labors for the glory of God (Rom. 3:22, 29, 1 Cor. 5:14,12:13, Gal. 3:8,26, Eph 2:14). It is our sincere desire that many would come out of Islam in these days before the Day of the Lord and into a saving relationship to the ONLY TRUE Savior for this fallen world, the Lord Jesus Christ! (John 3:16-17)
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
Nearing Midnight: Cyrus Prophecy - Trump Embrace - Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Events in and around the Straits of Hormuz rivet the attention of the international community powers that be. Even more, the goings-on there draw intense interest from those who observe end-times prophetic signs.
The diplomatic elite fear escalation of hostilities that might bring about all-out warfare in the Middle East. Bible prophecy students wonder exactly what the sudden eruption might mean with regard to the denouement of the Church Age.
The Strait of Hormuz is a passage through the Persian Gulf area that is most heavily traversed. One-fifth of the world's oil moves on tankers through the strait. If the channel was blocked, the world's supply of oil-particularly that of Europe-would be severely affected.
It has long been feared that a diabolist regime such as that of present-day Iran might precipitate a conflict in the region that would draw all nations into the resultant conflagration.
The United States no longer has to worry about its own oil supplies. According to even anti-Trump experts, America is now totally petroleum self-sufficient because of the executive action Trump has taken since becoming president. He was instrumental in opening up much of the production of petroleum in counteracting restrictions placed on U.S. drilling and production by the Obama administration.
Even so, America is the one national agent with naval power strong enough to successfully intervene in the attempts of Iran to control the Strait-thus to help protect supplies needed by allies. Iran is in close proximity and claims much of the body of water in the region as its own territorial waters.
Iran is accused of sabotaging four tankers in the strait last month. The current actions are seen by the Trump administration as deliberate attempts to put pressure on the U.S. to lift the extremely heavy sanctions the president placed on the Iranian regime. Iran is said to be suffering greatly because of the sanctions in their business within the international community. The mullahs' power to maintain control over the Iranian people, thus, it is thought, might be part of the reason for Iran's stepped-up assaults.
Japanese oil tankers were interfered with, and in the latest blow-up-as of this writing-the Iranians shot down a U.S. $100-plus-million spy drone charged with keeping watch over Iran's activities in the region. An attack in retaliation was planned by America's military, but the president stopped it at the last moment because, according to Mr. Trump, the attack would likely kill 150 people or more and was not "proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone."
Where this will end is a matter of much conjecture. I've read many postulations on what this might all mean, prophetically speaking. None of us know, of course, but I, too, have a bit of cogitation on the matter running through the neuron-to-neuron synapses.
Could it be there's another reason the Trump administration-the president-did not go through with a retaliatory strike, at least not as of the time of this writing? Might the thinking be centered around a much more profound purpose? Could the strike be delayed because he wants to give the ayatollahs enough rope to hang themselves? That is, might the thinking be that by allowing Iran to show its unbridled hostility, a case might be soon made-and accepted by a to-this-point reluctant international community-that action must be taken to avoid a much greater conflict? One that would be nuclear?
The real object of concern in all this is Iran's determination to get nuclear weapons. They have broken most all agreements and have gone ahead with their developments of their nuclear program. This was true even before Trump withdrew America from the "nuclear deal" made by American Secretary of State Jon Kerry during the Obama administration.
Trump said it was a disastrous deal and he has repeatedly declared that Iran will not get nuclear weapons. I'm just wondering out loud whether his patience in not retaliating at this time is because there are plans of much more significance. I'm thinking of the complete destruction of Iran's nuclear program that is supposedly harbored within that nation's mountainous areas. If so, the whole thing could have prophetic possibilities-considering the Elam prophecies, etc.
Even if there is interim military action against Iran's aggressiveness-a real possibility-it seems that the Elam prophesies might loom in the near future. I was listening to my friend Phillip Goodman's latest YouTube offering. He presented some fascinating points about what's currently going on within that area known in biblical terms as Persia. I recommend that you check it out. Here is the link:
He points out in his lecture that God called Persian leader and King Cyrus by name a couple of centuries before that king came to Israel's rescue and freed it from Babylonian captivity. God actually named Cyrus! Here is the Scripture. Keep in mind that God is speaking to Israel, then to Cyrus, whom He names more than a century before Cyrus was born!
Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. (Isaiah 44:24-45:6)
God tells this godless king that there is no other God but the God of Israel. Again, He announces this to Cyrus, by name, more than a century before the Persian leader was born.
Israel was permitted then, through Nehemiah, to later rebuild the Temple and restore Jerusalem, just as this prophecy foretells. What a Mighty God!
The people of modern-day Israel who hold to Jewish traditions and are considered religious Jews have embraced Donald J. Trump as a modern-day Cyrus. They have even minted a coin to that effect. Certainly, this president being brought into prominence on the world stage, considering all stage-setting we see for prophetic fulfillment, must be more than coincidence. Big things are afoot at this late hour!
The Epistle To The Hebrews, Part 3 - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/spiritual-life/the-epistle-to-the-hebrews-part-3/
In our last installment we learned that because the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land by faith, God declared that they would never enter His rest. We begin this one by learning the spiritual meaning behind the weekly Sabbath.
In our last installment we learned that because the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land by faith, God declared that they would never enter His rest. He turned them back into the wilderness and they spent their lives there. He still provided for them and protected them, and they were still His people. But they didn't receive the promises that should have been theirs, because of their unbelief. We saw that the Israelite who accepted deliverance from the bondage of slavery in Egypt but refused to walk by faith into the Promised Land is a model of the believer who has accepted deliverance from the bondage of sin yet refuses to walk by faith in victory. Both are redeemed from bondage and both receive God's provision, but both are deprived of His power and doomed to spend their lives in the wilderness.
Hebrews Chapter 4
A Sabbath Rest For The People Of God
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.
Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' [Psalm 95:11] And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work."[Genesis 2:2] (Hebr. 4:1-4)
We begin this installment by learning the spiritual meaning behind the weekly Sabbath. This is a good time to review the idea that external and physical actions in the Old Testament often become internal and spiritual principles in the New.
As an example, in the Old Testament, the sign of the covenant was circumcision. It was of the flesh, external and physical. (Genesis 17:9-14) In the New, it's of the heart, internal and spiritual. (Romans 2:28-29) In the Old Testament, the Bread from Heaven was external, for physical sustenance. (Exodus 16:4-5) It the New it's internal, our spiritual food. (John 6:28-36) As we'll see there are more.
And again in the passage above, he says, "They shall never enter my rest."
It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." [Psalm 95:7-8] (Hebr. 4:5-7)
Again we're told that the Israelites heard the Gospel story in their flight from Egypt but it was of no value to them because they didn't combine it with faith. How many people today fall into that same category? Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) Anyone who reads the Bible with an attitude of discovery can develop the faith to believe. The Lord promised us that all who ask will receive, all who seek will find, and to all who knock the door will be opened. (Matt. 7:7-8)
The Greek word translated disobedience here also means unbelief. God had made Himself so obvious to them through their miraculous deliverance that He used the two words interchangeably. And this is still true today. To Him, those who claim unbelief are really just being disobedient. It's not that they can't believe, it's that they won't. (Romans 1:18-20)
Since David wrote Psalm 95 long after the events recorded in the Book of Joshua, the writer is saying that entering the Promised Land could not have been the complete fulfillment of God's promise of rest for His people.
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. (Hebr. 4:8-11)
In the Old Testament, the weekly Sabbath was a reminder that on the 7th Day God rested from all His work. No work was permitted on the Sabbath, symbolizing that the job of creation was finished. This point was so important to God that anyone found working on the Sabbath was put to death. (Numbers 15:32-36) Now, the concept of the Sabbath is being applied to our salvation. What was external and physical has become internal and Spiritual.
When we accept the Lord's death as payment in full for all of our sins our work is finished, and we enter into a Sabbath rest that lasts the rest of our lives. All we have to do now to remain in fellowship with Him and enjoy His blessing is to confess when we sin. (1 John 1:9) Once again the writer is warning his readers (and that includes us) that continuing to work after our work is done is evidence of unbelief. Anything we do in an effort to add to or maintain our salvation (like keeping the Law) other than resting in faith of His forgiveness is being disobedient.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebr. 4:12-13)
They couldn't pull the wool over God's eyes in this matter. Going back into the Levitical system meant that they didn't believe the Lord's death was sufficient to keep them saved, so they had to keep working. They could never enter His rest because they would be ignoring the only provision He had made for their ongoing sin, trying to cover themselves with religious work instead. They'd spend their whole lives out of fellowship, deprived of His power and blessing. Their attitude would lead to spiritual defeat, just like the Israelites' attitude had led to physical defeat.
The reason that a combination of faith and works will ultimately fail is that it's self-contradictory. By definition, work indicates a lack of faith in God, substituting faith in self for faith in Him. We can't tell except by faith that God has done His part. But we can tell if we're doing what we think is ours. So we adopt our own set of laws and measure the extent to which we're keeping them. Sooner or later the certainty of what we're doing will override our faith in what He's done and we'll have assumed responsibility for our own lives. It won't cost us our salvation but it will deny us our victory by depriving us of His power. To me, one of the most obvious examples of this is the insistence by some believers that we turn the very symbol of our rest into an act of religious work that has to be rigidly observed as proof of our salvation. I'm talking about the Sabbath.
Of course for some, the insistence on living a life of religious work is evidence that they were never saved in the first place, but have assumed responsibility for their salvation as well as their lives. The Lord, before whom everything is uncovered and laid bare, knows this. For them, continuing to work during what should be their Sabbath rest will bring spiritual death, just as the Sabbath breaker in Numbers 15 experienced physical death. But the writer has addressed his readers as holy brothers who share in the heavenly calling (Hebr. 3:1). He assumed they were saved and were in danger of living a defeated powerless life like their ancestors in the wilderness had.
Let's also remember here that living a life pleasing to God purely out of gratitude for the salvation He freely gave to us is not only permitted, it's encouraged. It's the motive of our heart that counts. Are we working to earn something, or saying thanks because we've already been given something? When God looks into our heart, our motives are revealed to Him and He knows which it is.
Jesus the Great High Priest
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebr. 4:14-16)
Having lived our lives, the Lord knows our weaknesses. He has experienced our temptations and understands how powerful they are to us. He could resist because He doesn't have a sin nature, but He knows that we can't because we do. (Romans 7:20) We can ask His forgiveness for our ongoing sin in confidence because He knows we're unequal to the task of sinlessness. When we've tried and failed, we can count on His mercy because He knows what we're going through and He's already paid our penalty. (Romans 8:1) Though our mind urges us to try and redeem ourselves with religious work, our spirit knows we'll just make things worse because we'll be saying we don't really trust Him to forgive us.
Hebrews Chapter 5:1-10
Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. (Hebr. 5:1-4)
Though there were strict guidelines for the appointment of the High Priest, he was still just a man. The first sin offering the High Priest performed on Yom Kippur was on his own behalf.
So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father." [Psalm 2:7]
And he says in another place, "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." [Psalm 110:4]
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. (Hebr 5:5-10)
Some say that the prayers Jesus offered in the Garden of Gethsemane to the point of sweating blood were unanswered because God didn't save Him from the cross. Some even make the preposterous claim that since the Father ignored his Son in the Garden, we should ignore our children when they cry out to us for comfort. They claim it's Biblical justification for leaving our babies alone in the dark to cry themselves to sleep saying that we're teaching them the skill of "self-soothing" as the Father did to His Son.
But here the writer says that the Father did hear His Son, and did not ignore Him. Jesus said, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matt. 26:39) There are only two alternatives. Either there was another way for us to receive salvation and the Father made Him die anyway, or else there was no other way but for Him to die for us. And as for ignoring Him, Luke 22:43 says that the Father sent an angel to strengthen Him in His time of need. Realizing again that there was no other way, the Son obeyed His Father and went to the cross, becoming the source of eternal salvation for those who obey (believe in) Him.
We'll talk about His connection to Melchizedek in chapter 7. But first we have to finish chapter 5 and then we'll clear up once and for all the controversy over chapter 6. We'll do both of these next time.
Daily Jot: The prophecy clock moving forward - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The deal struck with Iran by the previous US president has contributed to Iran defiantly enriching more nuclear grade uranium. Even more, the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been an abject failure in keeping Iran's nuclear program in check, admitted through a spokesman that it is aware of media reports related to Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium. The Jerusalem Post reports that Iran's foreign ministry refused to take responsibility: "We told the Europeans that if more practical, more thorough and complete steps were taken, the measures taken to reduce Iran's commitments could be reversed, otherwise we will continue." The prophecy clock may be moving forward.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Iran has made incredible advances toward controlling the Middle East in Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, and Lebanon. In Daniel 8:19, Gabriel says, "Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia." Strong's Concordance interprets the word "Grecia" in Hebrew as "Yavan, a son of Japheth (the third son of Noah), his descendants and their land." The Genesis 10 table of nations indicates this area was not only Greece (as Bible interpretations imply), but also the Eastern Mediterranean, including parts of modern Turkey (Magog, Tubal, Meshech). The ram would correspond with modern Iran.
Turkey, led by dictator-"president" Recep Tayyip Erdogan also has been making moves to cement power over the Middle East. In January, after the US announced it was pulling out of Syria, Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia supports Iran. Syria is a vassal state of Iran. A 1998 agreement between Russia and Turkey, according to Bloomberg, "states that Syria won't permit any activity on its territory that would jeopardize Turkey's security." Turkey wants to attack the Kurds in Syria, which Erdogan believes pose a threat to Turkey's national security. Iran also seeks to control the Kurds. Putin was leveraging the 1998 agreement to say that Syria will take care of the Kurds in Syrian territory, hoping that Turkey will restore ties with Syria. Prophecy will eventually bring clarity to this complex situation.
Ezekiel 38 says that in the end of days, Gog of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (all in Turkey), leads a coalition of Persia (Iran), Libya; and Ethiopia (Sudan) against Israel. When we see Iran being brought into such a coalition with Turkey and these prophetic nations aligning against Israel, we know this time is near. Iran is currently making a play to control the region and positioning to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth (Iran's stated intentions). We know through prophecy, however, that Iran must come into league with Turkey for the end time battle led by Gog. Ezekiel 38:23 says, "Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord." The recent posturing of Turkey and Iran likely accelerates the prophecy clock. Watch and pray.
Daily Devotion: The Path to Personal Peace - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! - Isaiah 26:3
If you want to overcome fear and worry, then you need right thinking. In other words, think about what you think about.
We're told in Philippians 4:8, "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" (NLT). If you want personal peace, this is where it begins.
Why is the mind important? It's command central. With our minds we reach to the past through memories, and we reach to the future through imagination. We need to learn how to think properly and biblically. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ" (NLT).
The next time you're troubled, you might try talking to yourself. We need to tell ourselves to think biblically, because it doesn't always come naturally. For example, we see the writer's despair in Psalm 42: "Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?" But then the writer continues, "I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again-my Savior and my God!" (verses 5-6 NLT).
Many of the Psalms are songs and prayers. They are honest. And as we read some of them, we may think, "I dare not pray that." But go ahead and pray that. Go ahead and say, "Lord, I am hurting right now. . . . I'm in pain right now. . . . I don't understand this right now. . . . I'm struggling with this right now."
The next time you're feeling down, the next time you think, "I don't know how I'm going to get through this situation," quote the Bible to yourself. Remind yourself of the truth of God's Word. That is what it means to think biblically.
FROM THE HEART
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