Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Great Escape?
- Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-great-escape.html
''These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.'' (John 16:33)
According to the publication of the "Word Christian Encyclopedia" which is a comparative survey of churches and religions, that from AD 30 to 2017 "There are 19 major world religions which are subdivided into 270 large religious groups, and many other smaller ones..
For eighteen of the world's major religions and its 270 sub-divisions, the concept of the sudden and instantaneous translation of millions of adherents from one form of existence into the next is completely unheard of. It is even a controversial doctrine within Christianity. There are entire huge subdivisions, or denominations within Christianity that totally dismiss the concept of the Rapture.
I read on the internet a column which is appropriately named "Againstdispensationalism.com" that argues that the rapture is nothing more than the "arrogance of the West". So we are the ones who came up with this theory of the instantaneous removal of the Church of the Living God and it was never spoken of until the 1880s by one, John Darby from the rantings of a mentally disturbed young girl, Margaret McDonald....I chose this article because it focuses on why the rapture is so controversial.
In another article, a one Jerry Johnson who is president of some so called Nicene Council, the rapture is nothing more than "paperback theology" and a recent concoction that was never taught by the historic church.
For context, the historic church is the one that embraces replacement theology and Anti-semitism and my bible is the paperback. Why do I say that? Because it can be easily proven that the 1st century church did indeed teach a sudden "catching away" of the Church of the Living God. I will address that momentarily.
Note this Johnson fellow that lashes out that "one is hard pressed to link all of the great minds from St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Charles Spurgeon, that as they read 1st Thessalonians 4 and 1st Corinthians where Paul spoke of this "mystery" that had not been revealed to the OT prophets, Jesus did not teach it, nor any of the apostles, till Paul revealed this information, and failed to understand the important teachings of a pre-millennial, pre-Tribulation rapture of the church, called the "Harpazo" in scripture when read in Greek.
This Johnson fellow further denigrates the doctrine of the rapture, calling it "a foundation of conceited theology". Amazing how those who fail to understand Bible prophecy lash out at things they do not understand. But he gave it his best "Sunday punch".
His main objection, and frankly, the objection of many nay-sayers of the opponents of this doctrine, is the misconception that the rapture is nothing but a "Great Escape". They reason why do Christians of this age get to escape the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation while others do not? They cite that this is not fair, and God is not unfair.
I wonder sometimes, if they find it equally unfair that some go to heaven and others go to hell. Not being a betting man, but I would wager that they find it totally unfair that God would send anyone to such an awful place, but all would agree that murdering dictators of this age, such as Hitler, or Pol Pot do not deserve to go to heaven. Oh, the conflict in their arguments.
That's why God is God and theologians are not.
LET US DISCUSS WHERE THIS DOCTRINE CAME FROM
As noted, no other religion has anything resembling a Rapture doctrine, including whatever 'historic church' Jerry Johnson was referring to. So where did it come from and why is it there?
The first thing nay-sayers will do is to hopelessly complicate the issue so that whatever they come up with, is practically impossible to decipher.
First let us address where the doctrine actually came from and it wasn't by John Darby, but he did revive the belief that had been squashed during the Dark Ages by none other than the ruling theocracy of the Roman Catholic Church. It was the purpose of this ruling theocracy to blind the population and make them totally dependant on them, not God the Father, or Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
PROPONENTS OF THE HARPAZO
In the first Century, men like Irenaeus (130 A.D. - 202 AD) was a bishop of the church in Lyons, France. He was an eyewitness to the Apostle John (who wrote the Book of Revelation) and a disciple of Polycarp, the first of the Apostle John's disciples. Irenaeus is most-known for his five-volume treatise, Against Heresies in which he exposed the false religions and cults of his day along with advice for how to share the Gospel with those were a part of them.
In his writings on Bible prophecy, he acknowledged the phrase "a time, times and dividing of times" in Daniel 7 to signify the 3 ½ year reign of the Antichrist as ruler of the world before the Second Coming of Christ. He also believed in a literal Millennial reign of Christ on earth following the Second Coming and the resurrection of the just. In his writings called "Against Heresies" Irenaeus writes:
""Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons "as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance - in fact, as nothing;"(1) so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold. And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, "There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be."(2) For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption."
Irenaeus in this passage describes the church leaving the sinful world just before unprecedented disasters. Note his use of the term "caught up" which is Rapture terminology as that is the meaning of harpazo, the term for "caught up" in the King James Bible describing the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4. He then quotes Matthew 24:21 where The Lord Jesus Christ says: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."And it is during this time that those who convert to Christianity during the final years will receive the incorruptible crown mentioned by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:25. In Irenaeus' belief, the Rapture took place prior to the end times Great Tribulation. (beginningandtheend.com)
This is but one of the early church fathers who believed in the doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture or "catching away" of the Church, as others such as Cyprian and Ephraim the Syrian which wrote:
"With a sense of urgency and strong warning, Ephraim writes that the end times are upon this world and could start at any moment. This text very clearly states the saints and elect of God, all born again believers in The Lord Jesus Christ, will be "taken to the Lord" before the Great Tribulation. Ephraim also identifies the Old Testament "Day of The Lord" and the end times Great tribulation as the same event (in line with the teachings of the Beginning and End Rapture Series). Ephraim quotes Amos 5:18 which says: "Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light."
TWISTING SCRIPTURE TO YOUR OWN END
But if you ignore these early church fathers, that some say was not taught during this period, and their writings disprove this absurd position, you can take enough verses from the different places throughout the bible, and taking them out of context, make a case for Rapture, against a Rapture, for Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation, Post-Trib, amillennial, premillennial, or postmillennial, with or without the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ.
If you do enough research, you will find that there are scholars that adhere to each and every position I have quoted and they have names for them, and I refuse to believe that they hold these varied views without hanging some sort of scripture to hang from them. But of course, they must take them out of context, and twist them to fit their preconceived notions that their position is the true one.
If one disbelieves in the rapture of the Church and believes that it is some kind of "Great Escape," then it is easy to take verses from all over the Bible to refute it. Not because the Rapture is false doctrine, but because that isn't the purpose of the Rapture and knowing why provides valuable clues to when and how.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ promised His disciples that when He ascended into Heaven, the Holy Spirit would come upon them and indwell them and empower them. That indwelling Power would come upon and indwell all who believed.
16 " And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14:16-18)
Jesus promised that "the Comforter" would be with me and those He indwells forever and would never leave us.
SO DID JESUS TELL A WHOPPER? NO!
Let's examine the simplest questions first.
What does it mean when Jesus Christ makes a promise to the Church? Is it reliable? What does "forever" mean? Is there a time constraint on forever? When would forever run out? Does abide forever mean "abide forever for every generation but one?" Meaning our generation as the tribulation begins?
Houston, we have a problem. According to my paperback theology, the Comforter is:
"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John 14:7)
So the Comforter, known as the Holy Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth and He indwells me. That's what the Bible, my "paperback" theology teaches me which is part one of that promise. Part two of that promises is again in the Gospel of John repeated here:
"I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." (John 14:18)
Do you as you read this message, see a contradiction in scripture from what the mainstream religions spue out as their version of the Truth? So how do we resolve this obvious contradiction? There is only one way. First one way, is the Holy Spirit indwells me throughout the Tribulation period. Therefore, by the authority of God's Holy Spirit and the Word of God, specifically 1st John that covers that authority:
4 "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1st John 4:4-6)
Since the indwelling Holy Spirit is greater than the powers of this world, and since He will never leave me or forsake me during the Tribulation, (if that position were true), then it is not possible that the Anti-Christ to overcome me and the Spirit of Truth indwelling in me, and making me pledge allegiance to him.
But that contradicts Revelation 13:
7 "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear." (Revelation 13:7-9)
For the antichrist to overcome an indwelt child of the Living God, he must defeat the Indweller. Unless the Holy Spirit no longer indwells me. And if He doesn't, did He ever? And if He did, and we know from scripture that all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, receive the Holy Spirit, then where did He go? And if He left me, how then can He do that and not break the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ to not leave us Comfortless? Remember that the Tribulation will be the greatest spiritual trial in all of human history.
And all through the history of the Church Age from those thrown to the lions in the Colosseum in Rome, to those being massacred by ISIS and other terrorist groups in the Middle East today, have the benefit of the Holy Spirit and I have to go through the Tribulation without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and God will leave me Comfortless when I need Him the most?
Talk about contradictions. How does that work? If the rapture is the "great escape" from Tribulation for Christians, then wouldn't the opposite be when I need God and His support the most in all of human history and my mortal life and is suddenly without warning taken away?
6 "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders," (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-9)
For argument sake, if I am in the Tribulation and indwelt by God's Holy Spirit, then why are there 144,000 Jewish evangelist, the two witnesses at the temple in Jerusalem, and the angels of God preaching the Gospel to mankind during this time? Is that not my job? What's wrong with using me and others like me who have God's Holy Spirit also? That was the Great Commission delivered to the Apostles by Jesus before He ascended back to the Father:
18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:18-20)
SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
If you take the positions noted above, the only one that makes sense and does not contradict what I just spoke of, in that the Holy Spirit will be with me always...and when God pulls His Holy Spirit from holding back rampant evil on this earth, then those who have God's Holy Spirit as a deposit of future glorification, will be removed at the same time. THEN, and only then will God reveal the Anti-Christ as Jesus opens the 1st seal of the title deed of His creation that He has bought with His own blood. How long will the period be between the removal of the Church and the beginning of the Tribulation? It could be immediate, it could be days, or even years, as we are not plainly told. All we know from Revelation chp. 4 forward, that the Saints of God are not called the Church, not one time. They are called the elect or elders.
10 "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Revelation 3:10-11)
Note that God will KEEP us from this hour of temptation, or tribulation that will try all who dwell upon the earth....these are called the nations, and they are separate from God's people.
SUMMARY OF WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED
The age of Grace began at Pentecost with the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit on those who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of their life. That's a given.
God will remove His Holy Spirit back to Pre-Pentecostal times and the Anti-christ will be revealed.
Those who have God's Holy Spirit will be removed at the precise time that God pulls back from holding evil at bay and Satan will have full sway over the destiny of mankind to destroy them and those who worship the Beast.
Jesus promised He would never leave us Comfortless, or leave us forever.
The Anti-Christ, will overcome the saints of the Tribulation, as God's Holy Spirit has been pulled back. The AC cannot overcome the Church, as he can't overcome God, so it is another point for confirmation of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church.
The Promise to the Church is kept precisely as it was given by the Lord Himself.
Now, if one really works at it, one can find creative ways to portray the Rapture as the Great Escape and from there, all kinds of creative ways to dismiss it as paperback theology.
But the simplest answer is still the only one that makes sense.
SO WILL YOU BE LEFT ON YOUR OWN?
It will be the most trying spiritual time in all of mankind's history upon the earth. Many will take the easy way out and be damned because of them taking the Mark of the Beast.
"And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. " (Revelation 14:11)
It will be a time, when one can actually lose their salvation, because of all the trials and the coercion by the Anti-Christ and his henchmen, all the delusions that seem right, but are dead wrong, and those who actually have pleasure in their unrighteousness and think it's party time. But will realize that the time comes to be "hell on earth" and there is no party, but severe physical, emotional, and spiritual torment that no man or woman should have to live through. But since the offer is open and the gift is free, why not take God at His Word and accept His mercy and grace? Avoid something we deserve but do not receive because of His mercy, and receive grace or something we cannot earn, but is given freely by a Loving and Righteous Creator, God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ. His mercy and grace is only a prayer away, when you repent of your sins and take Him at His Word.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17, or God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18, He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. " (John 3:16-18)
If you believe the above verses, then confess them to God and make that decision for Christ today.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10, For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11, For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." (Romans 10:9-11)
In the end, let them scoff that it is a "Great Escape" as you and I know that it is not what God has it designed for, but I believe it can be summed up in three words...not the "Great Escape" but "VICTORY IN JESUS".
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying you make that decision for Christ today, and join me and others like me when we stand before our Savior. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at email@example.com , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com . God bless you all.
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Israel Enraged By 'Delusional' UNESCO Declaring Tomb of Patriarchs Palestinian
- By Ben Cohen -
Israeli officials and Jewish leaders in the Diaspora reacted with fury following Friday's vote at UNESCO -- the UN's global cultural agency -- to declare the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a key Jewish holy site in the West Bank city of Hebron, an "endangered Palestinian world heritage site."
The resolution -- which claimed the tomb was "faced with serious threats which could have deleterious effects on its inherent characteristics" while under Israeli control -- passed UNESCO's World Heritage Committee by 12 votes to 3 during a session of the committee's annual meeting in the Polish city of Krakow. Six countries abstained.
The nations voting in favor included "the Arab bloc, Cuba, Zimbabwe and other dictatorships," a report from Geneva-based monitoring organization UN Watch said.
The storm of condemnation in the wake of the vote was led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who denounced it as "another delusional UNESCO decision," and reaffirmed that Israel would "continue to guard the Cave of the Patriarchs, to ensure religious freedom for everybody and guard the truth."
The first Biblical patriarch, Abraham, and several male and female members of his immediate family are buried at the site.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely slammed UNESCO for passing another in a series of anti-Israel resolutions; just this week, UNESCO described the Jewish state as an "occupying power" in its capital, Jerusalem.
"This is a badge of shame for UNESCO who time after time chooses to stand on the side of lies," Hotovely said. "In another thousand years, the Cave of the Patriarchs will remain under Jewish sovereignty and UNESCO will cease to exist as a heritage organization."
Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador at the UN, attacked UNESCO for its decision "to disassociate Israel from the burial grounds of the patriarchs and matriarchs of our nation" as "an ugly display of discrimination, and an act of aggression against the Jewish people."
Other Israeli influencers took to Twitter to register their disgust, among them Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, ex-IDF international media spokesman Peter Lerner and Knesset member and former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren.
International Jewish groups also expressed outrage. In a speech to the World Heritage Committee, Shimon Samuels -- director of International Relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center -- declared, "Mr. Chairman, no other people or religion has been so maligned in the WHC. We would have been the first to protest were the victim have been Islamic heritage, but the Judeo-Christian heritage is continually under attack in this Chamber."
Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), stated it was "disconcerting that UNESCO member states have adopted yet another cynical distortion of reality, a subversive attempt to rewrite history and deem the Old City of Hebron as a Muslim-Palestinian site alone while denying its historic and religious importance to Jews and Christians."
Yishai Fleisher, a spokesman for the Jewish community in Hebron, called upon the Israeli government "to issue an appropriate answer to this reprehensible decision: to immediately suspend all payments to UNESCO and transfer those very same funds for projects that will strengthen Jewish Hebron."
A number of country delegations at the UNESCO meeting expressed their exasperation over the vote. Australia's representative criticized the "divisive decision on Hebron" that was "harmful to Israel-Palestinian relations," while Canada said it "takes issue with the decision today on Hebron which ignored expert opinion."
The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) -- a professional body that investigates claims that historic sites are endangered on behalf of UNESCO -- earlier rejected the Palestinian claim that the Tomb of the Patriarchs was an endangered site.
Its assessment on Hebron, published on Sunday, criticized the Palestinian proposal for ignoring Jewish and Christian heritage in the city, "even though extensive remains testify to these links."
The United States delegation said the vote was "divisive, confusing, impossible to justify," given that the Tomb of the Patriarchs was "under no danger or imminent threat."
This followed Tuesday's appeal from Nikki Haley -- the US ambassador to the UN -- to the heritage committee not to "waste" its time "on this sort of symbolic action."
After UNESCO's Hebron vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he had ordered a $1 million cut in Israel's annual United Nations.
Report sheds light on Iranian missile factories being built in Lebanon - By Judah Ari Gross -
Hezbollah building at least two subterranean facilities to manufacture medium-range rockets, sources tell Intelligence Online magazine
The Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group is constructing at least two underground facilities in Lebanon for manufacturing missiles and other weaponry, according to a report by the French Intelligence Online magazine.
While reports of these subterranean weapons facilities have been published in Arab media outlets before, the Intelligence Online article included two previously unknown pieces of information: the type of weaponry being produced and the approximate locations of two factories.
Sources told the French industry magazine that one of the factories is being built in northern Lebanon, near the town of Hermel in the eastern Bekaa Valley. The second facility is reportedly being constructed along the southern coast, between the towns of Sidon and Tyre.
According to Intelligence Online, the Hermel facility is being used to produce the Fateh 110, a medium-range missile. The southern facility, meanwhile, will be used to make smaller munitions.
The Fateh 110 has a range of approximately 190 miles (300 kilometers) - enough to cover most of the State of Israel - and can carry a half-ton warhead. It is considered fairly accurate, though to what extent is a matter of debate, according to a US Congressional Research Service report.
Israel's David's Sling missile defense battery, which went operational in April, is meant to protect the Jewish state against medium-range rockets like the Fateh 110.
In March, the Kuwaiti al-Jarida newspaper reported that Iran had established multiple facilities some 50 meters below ground and protected them with multiple layers of defenses from potential Israeli aerial bombardment, citing an unnamed deputy head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Iranian general was quoted by al-Jarida as saying that the decision to produce rockets indigenously in Lebanon came after Israel bombed weapons factories in Sudan and supply routes for Iranian rockets via Syria.
The new factories would mark a dramatic upgrade in Hezbollah's ability to acquire additional, and more precise rockets than ever before.
Rockets produced by some of the new facilities have already been used by Hezbollah in battles in Syria, the Kuwaiti report said.
The latest developments highlight the depth of Iran's involvement in Syria and Lebanon, something that both Israel and some Arab states have warned against in recent months.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said last week that Israel is in the midst of a major campaign to thwart attempts by Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah to arm themselves with increasingly accurate missiles.
Addressing the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense committee, Eisenkot said that the primary concern for Israel was what he called the "accuracy project" - efforts by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah to equip themselves with accurate missiles.
"We are engaged in a whole campaign against the accuracy project and it is our top priority," he noted.
Regarding the efforts by Hezbollah to obtain advanced rockets through Syria, Eisenkot said, "We are working all the time against the project with a wide variety of tools that it is best to keep quiet about, and with the aim of not causing a deterioration [in the situation]."
Eisenkot said "decreasing Iranian influence in the areas near Israel's borders is no less important than defeating Islamic State, and for Israel perhaps even more."
Earlier in the week, Defense Minister Avidgor Liberman issued a public warning to Hezbollah and its Iranian patrons over the development of rocket manufacturing installations inside Lebanon.
"We are fully aware" of the rocket factories, Liberman told military correspondents in a briefing in Tel Aviv. "We know what needs to be done... We won't ignore the establishment of Iranian weapons factories in Lebanon."
Last month, at the Herzliya Conference, IDF intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi said that "Iran has been working for the past year to set up indigenous infrastructures for producing precise munitions both in Lebanon and Yemen. We can't ignore that, and we won't."
Uncovered: Germany on its Way to Fulfill Role as Israel's Biblical Arch-Enemy Amalek - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
And Hashem said unto Moshe: 'Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Yehoshua: for I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.'" Exodus 17:14 (The Israel Bible™)
In a development that threatens the global balance of power, Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has made several public announcements recently questioning the importance of the alliance between her country and the United States. One prominent End-of-Days scholar believes this development has powerful implications and will culminate in Germany revealing its true identity as Israel's Biblical nemesis.
As a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Germany is an ally of the United States, its importance underscored by the vast number of US troops stationed there, more than in all other ally countries combined. But the alliance is on shaky ground, as Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel questioned its relevance in several public addresses she made in the last few weeks.
At an election rally in Munich last week, Merkel rejected friendship with the US, stating, "We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands," adding, "we must fight for our own destiny, on our own".
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific author and End-of-Days expert, noted that Germany's rejection of its Western alliance is an enormously significant turning point in history, reminiscent of German foreign policy before the world wars. He emphasized that this move, albeit anticipated, raises important questions.
"I've been wondering for a long time when Germany will reject the West and return to this aspect of their inherent nature," Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. "Not all Germans, and not necessarily individuals. But as the leader, Merkel is more connected to the spiritual source of the nation and is a tool in the hands of God."
Rabbi Winston cited Proverbs to make his point.
The king's heart is in the hand of Hashem as the watercourses: He turneth it whithersoever He will. Proverbs 21:1
Rabbi Winston said that by isolating themselves, Germany will begin to express their unique national character. The rabbi stated that every nation has a unique spiritual nature, noting an obscurity that describes that of Germany.
Rabbi Winston related a portion from the Talmud (Megillah 6b), which discusses "Germamia", explaining that this is an aspect of the nation of Edom, which, if brought together, would have unlimited power to accomplish their goal of destroying the world. Most notably, the Jewish people's Biblical nemesis, Amalek, is descended from Edom.
Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, a medieval rabbinical authority known by the acronym 'Rashi', explained that Germamia is a nation which, if unified, would cause the destruction of the world.
Shabbethai ben Joseph Bass, a 17th century Biblical commentator known as the Siftei Chochomim, identified Germamia as Amalek, or in modern terms, Germany.
"This is a form of prophecy, though it only hints at what is to come," Rabbi Winston explained. "There is certainly an aspect of Germany that is connected to that aspect of Amalek. They sought the destruction of the entire world even at the expense of their own country in World War II, and nearly succeeded."
This, Rabbi Winston noted, was precisely the nature of the Biblical nation of Amalek: harming others even if it meant self-destruction. During their Exodus from Egypt, Israel requested to pass through the lands belonging to Amalek. Rather than allow them to do so, the Amalekites attacked the Hebrews from behind, targeting the weak stragglers. This is disturbingly similar to the Nazi eugenics program, which sought to improve the human race, by a program of targeted eugenics, weeding out those non-Aryans deemed unfit. This program, referred to as the 'Final Solution', was adhered to even when the resources were sorely needed for Germany's war effort.
Rabbi Winston noted that relations between Germany and the US had been very close under the previous administration.
"What is is about the US that Merkel is suddenly rejecting?" Rabbi Winston. "And more importantly, what are the implications for geula (redemption)?"
Rabbi Winston noted that Trump is not the cause of this alienation, but a catalyst whose very presence causes a powerful reaction.
"Trump's objectives are old school American, represent the aspect of America that is based on the Bible," Rabbi Winston said. "This is what Merkel needs to reject."
Germany, the rabbi notes, is actively involved in trying to fix the world, demonstrated by their open borders to Syrian refugees even at the expense of domestic security, for example. But not all social reform is moral, the rabbi stated, again citing Proverbs.
Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34
The rabbi noted that frequent, destructive movements can be presented in positive, even Messianic, terms.
"Fascism and Nazism were not initially destructive or imperialist," Rabbi Winston noted. "They were perceived by academics as Messianic movements intended to fix mankind. Merkel is coming in the guise of social justice, but her actions are ultimately destructive."
Short Report - By Daymond Duck -
In the past couple of weeks, there have been several things worth noting (and I am covered up with work) so I will try to mention five of them with just a few sentences about each.
First, on June 14, 2017, prominent leaders from 22 religions (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindus, Buddhist, etc.) launched a video with subtitles in many different languages. These leaders called for everyone to make friends with people of other faiths.
Christians believe in tolerance and most will not have a problem with this. But some Christians will view this as a step toward establishing a world religion. If leaders from many different religions try to change or go against what the Bible says, it could lead to persecution.
Friendship is one thing. Trying to silence Christians on abortion, gay issues, Jesus is the only way to be saved, etc. is an entirely different matter.
Second, on June 17, 2017, it was reported that the state of Illinois owes 15.1 billion dollars on unpaid bills and the state is close to having its bond status reduced to a junk rating.
The state of Illinois could be the first state in history to declare bankruptcy. But the States of New Jersey, Maine and Connecticut are not far behind. In fact, Gov. Chris Christie has already declared a state of emergency and ordered a partial shutdown of the government. At some point, hopefully not before the Rapture of the Church, there will be a global economic collapse.
For whatever it is worth, a few so-called experts are saying it could happen in the next few months, perhaps before the end of the year. We shall see.
Third, on June 19, 2017, it was reported that Japan has passed a series of laws that allow authorities to arrest people before they commit a crime. People that are thought to be in the planning stages of a crime can be locked up before they do anything wrong.
One troubling matter about these laws is that they allow government officials to arrest unruly citizens that object to government decisions. The mark of the beast will be used to arrest people that object to government decisions.
Fourth, on June 21, 2017, DebkaFile called the appointment of Prince Mohammad bin Salman to be the new Crown Prince and heir to the throne in Saudi Arabia a game-changing international event.
DebkaFile believes the appointment of this man will create a new U.S.-Arab-Israeli alliance to stop Iran. In their eyes, this new alliance increases the possibility of a Middle East peace treaty. President Trump's tweet that "Interesting things are happening" has added fuel to the fire.
I believe the Bible teaches that Egypt and others will get into a war with Israel at the end of the age (Isa. 19), but they will eventually settle their differences and during the Millennium there will be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria (Isa. 19:23).
In the meantime, keep an eye on President Trump's peace initiatives. The Bible clearly teaches that the Tribulation period will begin when the Antichrist confirms a treaty for seven years of peace in the Middle East.
Fifth, in the Old Testament, God told the Jews that were physically able to do so to take a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Temple three times a year (Deut. 16:16).
On June 27, 2017, it was reported that Israel has decided to modernize Jerusalem to accommodate millions of visitors that will be visiting on a pilgrimage in the future. More hotels, better roads and rail systems, busses and more are needed.
According to the report, a fast train system is already under construction from the airport to Jerusalem and the decision has been made to extend it to the Temple Mount to accommodate visitors. This is amazing.
During the Millennium, millions of people will visit Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to spend time with Jesus. Apparently, God has started preparing the way.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Living A Spiritual Life In A Carnal World
- Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
It isn't easy to live a spiritual life in this carnal world, but that's exactly what Christians are to do. Most of us know what's right in God's eyes, but we make poor choices. Well, we're in good company. "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not: but what I hate, that do I." Romans 7:14-15. That's Paul's way of saying that he didn't want to sin but he did. We're so used to sin that it seems normal. For that reason many of us fail to be horrified by the evil which happens all around us. Even worse, we participate in sin because everybody else does. Have you heard the story of the frog in hot water? It's said that if you take a frog and throw that poor creature into boiling water he will hop out as fast as he can. If you take that same frog and put him in a nice, comfortable pot of cool water he'll sit there as happy as can be. Then if you start turning up the heat the frog isn't bothered. As the temperature slowly rises, the frog won't notice how bad things are getting and will sit right there and boil to death. Is that true? I've never actually tried it so I don't really know, but it's certainly a good example of what's happening today. The ugliness of sin is heating up, and we're so used to it that we just sit there unaware of how bad things are getting. Sin matters to God. It separates us from Him. It mattered so much that He chose to enter His creation and die on the cross in order to provide the only way for our salvation. That should let us know how much God loves us. After we accept Christ's sacrifice for salvation we should turn away from carnal living.
Christians are called to be separate from the world. We have to live here until we're called Home, but we aren't to be a part of the sin around us. Is that possible? It is, but we have to make a choice: Live for Christ or live for the world. Take a moment here and reflect upon your life. Is there anything, anything at all, that is opposed to the example Jesus gave us? Are you quick to get angry? Anger is a carnal way of acting. "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.." Ecclesiastes 7:9. We often see news articles about the results of anger when a person is out of control with wrath and harms other people. Anger is something Christians need to control. "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil." Ephesians 4:26-27. It isn't easy to break a bad habit, and anger is a bad habit. Don't give Satan a chance to cause you to sin.
Anger is just one problem that can cause a Christian to act like the world. What about stealing? Most of us have never robbed a bank or assaulted someone in a dark alley, but we can steal from our employer by not giving our all on the job. Do you chat by the water cooler when you should be working at your desk? Do you make personal phone calls on company time and on the company phone? Do you misrepresent your income in order to qualify for government aid? There are lots of ways to steal. "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." Ephesians 4:28. A Christian should have a generous, giving spirit. As you work and earn wages, what do you do with the extra money you have left after paying your bills. Do you soup up your car? Buy the latest violent video game? Party with friends? There are many ways to spend money that's carnal rather than honoring God. What if you took that extra money and gave to a homeless shelter or to a ministry that blesses you? You could even use the money to help a neighbor who's in need. The carnal world we live in dictates a "me me me" way of living, but a Christ-centered life is one that gives rather than takes.
Do you gossip? That's your flesh getting in the way of treating others the way you would like to be treated. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Ephesians 4:29. It's easy to see flaws in other people and then degrade them to our friends. It would be better to compliment what's right rather than gossip about what's wrong. The other person is a human being with feelings. Do you want people to gossip about you? It hurts and isn't what God wants. What about your choice of words? Carnal and vulgar words shouldn't come from the mouth of a Christian. God's name is to be used for praise, not for cursing. How many times do you tell a dirty joke? These things are carnal, not spiritual. Would you use those words in front of Jesus or tell him the jokes you find funny? He hears you. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." Luke 6:45. Jesus said that so we need to pay attention. The carnal people in this world have no concept of what is and isn't vulgar, and Christians should never use a worldly person as an example. Look to Christ's example in order to live to please Him.
The carnal attitude of Christians isn't new to our time in history, but that doesn't make it right. The rules God has given us are to keep us safe. Sin is hurtful to ourselves, to others, and causes disease. God loves us and will protect us but we need to stay within His rules. Lust of the flesh is from Satan and when we follow the carnal ways of the flesh we invite trouble into our life. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." James 1:13-14. We live in a fallen world and there are many temptations, but we don't have to act upon those temptations. When we wander from the strait and narrow path that God has paved for us, that's when Satan will encourage our lust. Satan can make sin look like fun, but he hides the consequence. When a Christian compromises a little in living a spirit filled life it becomes easier to take the next step down the carnal path that leads to destruction. "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished bringeth forth death." James 1:14-15. Like the frog in the water we can become so numb to sin that we bring on our own destruction.
When we choose to participate in sin rather than following God we forfeit joy and we bring punishment upon ourselves. Think of the alcoholic who gets cirrhoses of the liver which causes much pain. Eventually it takes his life. Oh, this person may have professed to be a Christian, and if he had truly accepted Christ his salvation is secure, but carnal living takes away his good witness for Christ and only causes misery. When the disease of alcoholism takes its toll on him he may blame God. Was it God who forced him into alcoholism? No, he chose to live a carnal life and his own choices caused his troubles. The same is true of any sin you participate in, such as drug use or sexual sin."For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. If you choose to live a carnal life you choose to live in misery. When we accept Christ for salvation then our citizenship is already in Heaven. We should no longer succumb to the carnal pull of this world.
How do we live a spiritual life in a carnal world? We make a choice. The influence of the god of this world is strong but we don't have to follow his lies. First of all, realize that the battle is a spiritual one. Fight with spiritual weapons, such as prayer and Scripture. Through prayer we talk directly with God. When we are weak, He will be our strength. When we fail, He will forgive us. As a Christian you can go directly to God in prayer and ask Him for help and forgiveness. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:15-16. Study God's word and write it on your heart. That way when carnal lust threatens to cause you to sin, you will have Scripture ready to fight off the lust. God doesn't want you to fail and every word of Scripture is for our benefit. Study the life of Christ and use Him as the example to follow.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8. It's hard to see God when we live our life according to the flesh. How we view life will determine how we behave. If we draw near to God and live a spiritually set apart life we will see God. We will see Him in our daily life and our interactions with others. Choosing a carnal life that opposes God will only lead to bitterness and unhappiness. You may pretend you're happy and put on a bright smiling face for the world to see, but it's a false front. When you live a spiritual life that's pleasing to God, you don't have to pretend to be happy. "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Galatians 5:16-17. True joy comes from a life that honors God.
Brothers and sisters, instead of watching sin-filled television and movies or listening to music designed to encourage carnal lust, think on the things of God. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8. You'll be surprised how much easier it is to live a spiritual life in a carnal world when you fill your heart and mind with the things of God.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Persecution and prophetic people
- Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Many Americans are worried about persecution. They see religious freedoms dwindling away by the actions of leaders who have been elected to represent all the people, but represent the self interests of the devil himself. But persecution in the United States is not at the level it is around the rest of the world. We become upset and worried if the government uses the force of law on someone who refuses to go against their religious beliefs. In the Middle East, however, women and children are being raped, sold into slavery, tortured, even beheaded or burned to death by Muslims because they are considered infidels. In China, homes are bull-dozed if Christians are found to be meeting in them.
If not for America, the world would be a dark place. We send aid, protection, food, and the gospel around the world. Even though our country is in a moral decline, and the leadership we elect are often evil deceivers, Americans have stood the test of time, using religious freedom and freedom of speech to advance the kingdom of God. No matter how convoluted and circuitous the path America has taken, Americans more often than not have stood in the breach and have held the line for what is right and good. For a generation, it appears we have taken leave of our good senses and have allowed our nation to slowly decline. We are now starting to face the consequences of this lack of proper standing and engagement.
But take courage, and be encouraged. As is written 1 Peter 2:9,"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." You, yes you, are a prophetic person who was born specifically for this time. When you accepted Christ, you may not have understood about counting the cost. Jesus said that we would have to take up the cross to follow him. Those costs are becoming more evident in this day and age for those of us who live in America. Our leadership is poor. Our nation is in decline. Our Christianity is being challenged. As is our faith. But you are a chosen generation.
Peter had a lot to say about persecution. He knew it well. He writes in 1 Peter 3:12, "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous. And his ears are open unto their prayers: But the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." He asks, "And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good." Peter said it is better to suffer for righteousness' sake, verses 14-15, "happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." You are a prophetic person. Rise up. Stand as so!
Daily Devotion: Will He Still Forgive Us?
- By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living."-Luke 15:13
Have you ever wondered whether God would forgive you or extend a second chance? Maybe you think that because of the sins you've committed perhaps you have gone too far.
Jesus told the story of the prodigal son who ran away from home. He took the money he received through his inheritance and squandered it on prostitutes and parties. Then, after the money ran out and his friends went away, the prodigal came to his senses and returned home. He was graciously welcomed back and forgiven by his father.
Jesus told this story to give us a picture of God. We are like that prodigal who has run away from God. But if we will turn from our sin and return to Him, He will forgive us.
But what if, after a few months of being home, the prodigal son got tired of hanging around with his dad and told him, "I'm leaving again." Let's say that he went out and did the same things again and then returned home. Do you think his father would have forgiven him a second time? Yes. But let's say he went out a third time and did it again. Do you think the prodigal would have been forgiven a third time? Yes. What if he did it a fourth time? What if he did it a fifteenth time? Would he have been forgiven? Yes, yes, and yes.
In the same way, we might ask, "If we sin against God, will He forgive us?" Absolutely. What if we've blown it more than once? Will He still forgive us? Yes. He will forgive us again, and again, and again.
No matter what you have done, no matter what sins you have committed, God stands ready to forgive you if you will come to Him.
FROM THE HEART
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