Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Soaring Apostasy Points to the Rapture (Part I) - By Kit R. Olsen -
"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron." (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
All throughout the world we see an intense increase in apostasy-the falling away from the faith. This condition is often insidious and cunning, camouflaged with seductive words and deeds, attracting unsuspecting professing Christians and others-who do not understand Scripture and the perilous times in which we live.
This alarming state of apostasy is becoming more acute within many Christian churches and ministries. The apostasy is a very serious prophetic fulfillment of Scripture leading up to the coming seven-year Tribulation-when the prophesied one-world apostate religion will be fully implemented.
The soaring apostasy is a specific sign, a forerunner of the approaching Rapture/Tribulation.
The Greek definition of the word "apostasy" means "a defection; a renunciation."
Webster's Dictionary, the 1928 Edition provides a solid definition, "An abandonment of what one has professed; a total desertion or departure from one's faith or religion."
The Greek word "apostasia" stems from "aphistemi" which means to stand away from a body of truth. When Paul used the word apostasy (apostasia) in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 it was in reference to a falling away from, a departure from the faith. It is also important point to be aware of exactly how Paul uses the word departure in relation to the apostasy.
In 2 Timothy 4:6 Paul uses the word departure in this way:
"For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come."
The Greek word for departure is analusis. Paul is speaking about the end of his life in that passage; that he had fought the good fight, that he was about to leave (depart) from this earth, and go to be with the Lord, that his time had come. He did not use the words "falling away" apostasy (apostasia) to make that point. He used the word departure (analusis).
In 2 Timothy 4:10 Paul uses the word departed:
"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."
Once again we see a form of the word departure used as a voluntary act, as in packing ones bags for a vacation, or a decision to depart from a belief, not an involuntary abrupt exit. Therefore we conclude that apostasia means a forsaking of a body of truth.
We must also keep in mind that 2 Thessalonians was written before 2 Timothy. Why would Paul then later use the word departure (analusis) to make the point of his anticipated leaving (death) instead of apostasy (apostasia) "the falling away"which he used earlier in2 Thessalonians 2:3?
Clearly Paul's intention, his word usage in each context have two different meanings.
Apostasy in the Greek means to stand away from a body of truth; but when using the word departure in reference to apostasy (apostasia), it means to depart from a previous standing or belief, not a physical departure. The Greek word analusis means departure, as in physically leaving.
The apostasy Paul warned about is rampant today. Pointing out the various aspects of the growing apostasy should not be seen as harsh or unkind; it is intended to sound a warning bell to those who are asleep or think they can glide their way into eternity with one foot in the world and one foot involved in some quasi-Christian teachings. It is a serious offense to God when He is denigrated and misrepresented by false teachers who claim to teach in His name; it also weakens the Body of Christ.
"For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake" (Titus 1:10-11).
When we respond to biblical transgressions by ignoring them, we come close to making the same mistake as false teachers-camouflaging error as truth. We should love the truth of God's Word enough to be aware of the deceptive times in which we live, and address them just as Jesus did with the scribes and Pharisees:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but inwardly ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (Matthew 23:27-28).
Many people no longer desire to be taught the Scriptures or read and study the Bible. Instead they seek out pastors or Bible teachers who preach the "feel-good" sermons, and offer various social programs. The apostle Paul's forewarning rings true today:
"For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Clearly, as we have just read, the apostle Paul wrote, there is such a thing as "sound doctrine." The pastors who lead lukewarm apostate congregations have lost their way; they are harming the people who count on them to teach sound doctrine. Many Christians in the Western world are fed lukewarm, sour milk and remain spiritual babies until death, as Paul wrote in his epistle to the Hebrews:
"Of whom we have many things to say, and hard of interpretation, seeing ye are become dull of hearing. For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But solid food is for fullgrown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:11-14).
The abandonment of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith has led many Christians to accept some of the unscriptural practices of the world such as fornication, alcohol intoxication, use of illegal drugs, watching illicit television shows and movies, listening to inappropriate music, incessant gossip and lifestyles that glorify themselves and not God.
The lifestyles of many professing Christians are similar to that of the unbelieving world. Paul prophesied that in the last days that evil would abound; that people would become so corrupt that they would become contemptuous and hate-filled-stepping all over one another for selfish gain.
"But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power therefore. From these also turn away" (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
It is expected that those in the secular world will live godless lives, but far too many Christians, even those who profess Christ often-spread hatred against other good Christians, which includes outright lying and slander. Hypocrisy is a prevalent problem in the Church. Control and pride issues are prevalent. How such people will reconcile their dishonesty and underhanded behavior when they face the Lord one day is an issue that may not even cross their minds.
"If any man thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his heart, this man's religion is vain" (James 1:26).
Today many Christians do not understand that we are already living in the time of the apostasy. It will continue to get much worse the closer we move toward the Tribulation years, when the apostasy will be at an all-time high.
Here are some characteristics of an apostate church:
Indifference to doctrine, truth and scriptural preaching.
Feel-good talks rather than Scripture-laden sermons.
Acceptance of all religions as different ways to God.
Emphasis on the social gospel not the true gospel.
No talk of sin, hell, literal fire and brimstone and eternal never-ending judgment.
Double-mindedness: Worship of God and mammon.
Taking a look at the popular "Feel Good" (It's All About Me) movement can be very revealing. Pride, control issues, self-importance, laziness and greed are the main components of the watered down ear-tickling "sermons" that drive these Laodicean-styled churches.
The apostasy began to significantly increase as an explosion of ministries within Christianity sprang up in the 20th century. Pastors and Bible teachers started preaching and teaching lukewarm "feel-good" sermons relegating the true teachings of Christ to second class status.
The late Robert Schuller shocked the world when he said that believing you are a sinner is bad for self-esteem. He used "possibility thinking" to help people solve their problems.
Robert Schuller abandoned the gospel that leads to salvation in favor of human reasoning, which leads only to death and hell. He taught humanism-the belief that fallen mankind can become good enough to get into heaven by doing good works.
Bruce Wilkinson, author of several books is a key figure in this movement. In his book, Dream Giver, he uses the word "dream" hundreds of times, but not once does he use the name "Jesus."
Even the very controversial emerging church advocate, Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback mega-church in Southern California and author of The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life recognizes the problems of "seeking for purpose" through a self-help approach, (without the Lord being the primary catalyst for a changed life). This is what he has to say about self-help books:
The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That's because we typically begin at the wrong starting point-ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like, "What do I want to be?"
Or "What shall I do with my life?" and "What are my goals, my ambitions and my dreams for my future?" Focusing on ourselves will never relieve life's purpose. Many people try to use God for their own self-actualization. That is a reversal of nature and is doomed to failure.
I have read many books that suggest ways to discover the purpose of my life. All of them can be classified as "self-help" books because they approach the subject from a self-centered viewpoint.
Self-help books, even Christian ones, usually offer the same predictable steps to finding your life's purpose. Consider your dreams, clarify your values, set some goals, figure out what you are good at, aim high, go for it.
Rick Warren makes some excellent points but sadly, because of his very strong pro-Catholic ecumenical leanings, he too, has become part of the apostasy. This is how many apostate preachers work. They offer some good sound teachings but then throw in some blasphemous curves with extra-biblical doctrines and ideas.
Scripture unequivocally teaches that believers are not to get instruction (counsel) from the unsaved and those who compromise their faith; and that includes reading self-help books that water down God's holy Word.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers" (Psalm 1:1).
The confusing teachings by questionable preachers/teachers is a cornerstone of the growing apostasy leading up to the prophesied one world religion-which will spread like a plague during the seven-year Tribulation (under the leadership of the False Prophet, the second beast of Revelation 13).
As believers it is important to support, encourage and earnestly pray for our beloved pastors who have not compromised their faith. Many good pastors work tirelessly for the Lord and are faithful to their calling. They bless us with their true to the Bible sermons and Bible studies. These good men have many responsibilities and should never be taken for granted. They are on the front lines of this spiritual battlefield and they deserve our attention and heartfelt prayers.
When God's Holy Bible is our life's Guide Book, we will not become spiritual casualties. Praying throughout each day as Scripture teaches keeps us focused on the Lord and sin is kept in check (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
"Thy word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against the" (Psalm 119:11).
Faithfully reading and studying the Word of God will help keep us on the straight and narrow path (Deuteronomy 17:19; Acts 17:11). Memorizing Scripture and meditating on God's Word strengthens each believer's walk with the Lord, and witnessing skills are sharpened when opportunities arise to share the gospel.
We are better equipped to witness to others when the gospel is hidden in our hearts (Colossians 3:16; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2). Spending time with other faithful believers is a blessing and brings unity to the Body of Christ (Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25).
"...but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15).
John 7:17 is an important Scripture every serious Bible student should grasp and apply to his or her life daily. Spiritual discernment is key to knowing the will of God in order to live for Him:
"If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself."
We should always pray for wisdom, patience and guidance to discern God's will-so we can stay very true to His teachings, and become more effective ambassadors for Christ. What an incredible honor and blessing it is to belong to the Lord. Although this entire world is swirling in a menagerie of chaos, our calling is to live for the Lord and to "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).
"Yea, if thou cry after discernment, and lift up thy voice for understanding; if thou seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasures: Then shalt thou understand the fear of Jehovah, and find the knowledge of God" (Proverbs 2:3-5).
Footnote: "Anyone who loves God's chosen people will want to read Kit's new book, Israel's Guaranteed Future Glory. The most recent May 2017 edition includes a powerful, updated Presidential Inaugural chapter and additional information of historical value. Kit's wonderful book highlights the State of Israel showing that God's prophetic promises have not been broken, and that He still has a plan for mankind.
The history of the Jews proves the validity of His Holy Word; and the geopolitical climate unfolding today falls in line with God's prophetic messages. Kit has been my dedicated editor/writer for the site since 2012. I am very pleased to share some of her additional work with our readers and feature her new book on the site in our Recommended Resource Section." -Todd Strandberg
Is the Western Wall Crying? Water Flows from the Ancient Stones - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
And he brought me back unto the door of the house; and behold waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward for the forefront of the house looked toward the east; and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house on the south of the altar. Ezekiel 47:1 (The Israel Bible™)
A Jerusalem resident familiar with the Kotel was surprised to find water flowing from the stones in a decidedly pre-Messianic manner. Though the source was mundane, it is cause for retrospection into what the signs preceding Messiah will look like when they actually do appear.
Josh Wander, a resident of the Mount of Olives, frequently prays at the Kotel (the Western Wall). One of his favorite spots is the indoor section to the north of the outdoor plaza. When he went to pray at the holy site on Tuesday, he was surprised to see water flowing in rivulets from between the stones.
"I have seen water dripping before but this was clearly more than condensation from the cold stones," Wander told Breaking Israel News.
Tuesday was the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, a fast day commemorating the day the Roman forces breached the walls of Jerusalem after a long siege in 69 CE. It begins the three week period of austerity leading up to the Ninth of Av, memorializing the destruction of the Jewish Temples.
"Perhaps the walls were crying for the destruction of the Temple," conjectured Wander.
Water flowing from the Temple Mount is one of the precursors to the Messiah described by the prophet Joel.
...and a fountain shall come forth of the house of Hashem and shall water the valley of Shittim. Joel 4:18
The watery sign is so significant that it is repeated by the Prophet Ezekiel, who described it in detail.
And he brought me back unto the door of the house; and behold waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward for the forefront of the house looked toward the east; and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house on the south of the altar. Ezekiel 47:1
Wander could not verify the source of the water, whether it was Divine or mundane, but he speculated that since the Messiah has not been announced, the phenomenon was most probably due to leaky plumbing from the Arab Quarter houses that sit above the indoor area.
If his theory is correct, this will not be the first time that leaky pipes have led to Messianic false-alarms. In 2015, a burst pipe near Wilson's Arch, close to where Wander discovered flowing water, led to similar Messianic speculation.
A few years previous to that incident, a similar situation near the Border Police Station at the Western Wall caused by clogged pipes in the bathroom, prompted the same reaction.
All roads lead to Tehran - Prof. Eyal Zisser -
The cease-fire in southern Syria went into effect Sunday, and it seems all sides involved in the fighting there are taking care to ensure it stays in place. The trickle of errant shells into Israeli territory has come to a halt, and a deceptive silence has returned to the Golan Heights border.
The agreement is part of a process led by Russia and the United States to stifle the flames of war in Syria and possibly bring an end to the fighting there. Within this framework, the Russians, along with Turkey and Iran, and now Jordan and the U.S. -- and apparently Israel as well -- are acting to establish four de-escalation zones, which will serve as a de facto partition of Syria between Syrian President Bashar Assad and his rivals.
Alongside the 25% of Syria that Assad still controls, in which around three-quarters of the population live, four rebel-controlled zones will be established, under Turkish and Jordanian influence. These zones -- in Syria's north, in the center, near Damascus, and in the south -- may be under Russian and American influence in the future.
American and Russian military officials met in Amman in recent weeks to delineate the demarcation and separation lines between the area in southern Syria that is to remain under the control of the regime and the areas, including near the border with Israel, where rebel control will be maintained. Once these points were agreed, it was possible to laud the accomplishment and announce the cease-fire, in the hope that this time the players will find it difficult to violate the agreement in an effort to improve their positions, as they did in previous instances.
The big winner in this Russian-led process is, of course, Assad. He has been assured he will remain in power, and the American threat to his rule, if such a threat ever really existed in the first place, has been removed from the agenda. The rebels, too, have something to gain from the arrangement, since in the short run, it will provide an end to the Russian-Iranian-Syrian pressure cooker that had pushed them ever closer to almost-certain defeat. For the rebels, this is a short-term achievement, but for Assad, the deal offers the necessary breathing room to -- when the time comes -- renew fighting and regain control of Syria.
Another winner is Russian President Vladmir Putin, who with Washington's blessing has turned Russia into a kingmaker in Syria. The Americans, on the other hand, are still focused on the fight against Islamic State and have no strategy or plan of action for the future of Syria, and certainly not for the south of the country that borders Israel and Jordan.
On the same day the armistice was declared in southern Syria, the world learned that after eight long months of fighting, Mosul in Iraq had been captured by the Iraqi Army, three years after Islamic State captured the city and marked the establishment of a caliphate over large areas of Syria and Iraq.
While the images out of Mosul have shown Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi surrounded by his fighters, in the coming days, we will be exposed to other images -- those of Shiite militiamen supported by Iran and Iranian commanders celebrating amidst what remains of the city. Through these images, we will learn who the real winner is in the game being played in both war-torn countries.
Israel has repeatedly underscored its red lines regarding an Iranian presence on the Golan Heights. But while Russia is attentive to Israel's concerns, it will not be persuaded to disengage from Iran. The Russians, as well as Assad, need the Iranian forces to ensure Assad's continuing rule in Syria. As a result, it is difficult to imagine how anyone could attempt to keep the Iranians out of Syria, let alone succeed.
The cease-fire on the Golan Heights and the establishment of a rebel-controlled buffer zone that serves to keep the Iranians away from the border with Israel and Jordan is without a doubt a significant tactical achievement. But it is a temporary achievement that does not change the big picture in Syria, which is being filled with the colors of Iran and the militias it supports. As in the case of the Hezbollah threat from Lebanon, Israel could discover that to distance this threat from the border fence, it will be forced to accept an Iranian presence in the heart of Syria, a presence that casts a shadow over the Golan Heights and beyond.
Most Unusual-and Significant? - Solar Eclipse in US History Will Occur Next Month on Aug. 21 - Michael Snyder -
August 21 is the date of "the Great American Eclipse," and the hype around it is already starting to reach a fever pitch. It is being called "the Great American Eclipse" because this will be the first total solar eclipse ever that is only visible in the United States. In other words, since the United States became a nation, there has never been a total eclipse that was only visible here and nowhere else. And this will be the first total solar eclipse to cross from the west coast to the east coast in 99 years. So for those who love astronomy, this is bigger than the Super Bowl.
Close to 200 million people live within a day's drive of "the totality zone," and many are projecting that this will be the most-viewed eclipse ever. In fact, many hotels and campsites along the path of the eclipse are already completely booked. So if you want to see it live, you better make your arrangements quickly.
Of course the "main event" will not last for very long. Depending on the location, the total eclipse will only last for about two or three minutes.
But if you count from the time that the moon will begin to cover the sun until the time when the sun is completely uncovered again, it will take approximately two and a half hours for the entire process to unfold. The following comes from Newsweek:
If you are in the band of totality, you will see (if you look through special "solar filters" that darken the sun by a factor of about 100,000) the moon gradually covering the sun for about 75 minutes, then the beautiful totality, and then the uncovering for another 75 minutes.
Of course in the heavens ,things will be taking place at very high speed. For example, the moon's shadow will actually be crossing the U.S. at a speed of close to 1,700 miles per hour.
And even if you are not in the "totality zone," you will still notice what is happening on August 21. That is because this eclipse will actually cast a "shadow" over the entire nation.
Could it be possible that has some sort of significance?
I don't know, but without a doubt, there will be a whole lot of speculation going on as we get closer to the date.
Many have pointed out that this solar total eclipse in 2017 will be followed by another total solar eclipse nearly seven years later on April 8, 2024.
And when you plot the projected courses of these two solar eclipses on a map, they form a giant "X" over the center of the United States...
Could this be some sort of extremely bizarre coincidence?
And if it isn't a coincidence, what could it mean?
I am afraid I don't have the answers to those questions right now, but I do find it to be extremely interesting that the heart of this "X" just happens to fall in the middle of the New Madrid fault zone.
Back in 1811 and 1812, the New Madrid Fault zone was hit by a series of absolutely massive earthquakes. At one point, the shaking was so bad that it even caused church bells in Boston to start ringing. If similar earthquakes happened in our day and time, the damage would be absolutely unimaginable. The following comes from Smithsonian.com:
The Midwest was sparsely populated, and deaths were few. But 8-year-old Godfrey Lesieur saw the ground "rolling in waves." Michael Braunm observed the river suddenly rise up "like a great loaf of bread to the height of many feet." Sections of riverbed below the Mississippi rose so high that part of the river ran backward. Thousands of fissures ripped open fields, and geysers burst from the earth, spewing sand, water, mud and coal high into the air.
Could you imagine "thousands of fissures" suddenly opening up all over the middle of the country?
One insurance company tried to estimate what the economic toll would be if similar quakes happened today, and they came up with a figure of "about $300 billion."
A series of big shakes-of the sort last seen in 1811 and 1812-would cause about $300 billion in damage, Swiss Re says. The cost would be double the damage from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
Houses-especially brick ones-would collapse. Buildings would sink sideways into liquefying earth. Bridges might tumble into the rivers. The route of the Mississippi River could change-as it did in the last big quake.
People would die, perhaps by the thousands. Being mainly a property reinsurer, Swiss Re didn't estimate the human toll.
And we should also consider the fact that there are 15 nuclear reactors along the New Madrid fault zone. And so during a major catastrophe we could be looking at Fukushima times 15.
Let us hope that the next major New Madrid earthquake is put off for as long as possible. Nobody should ever want to see that kind of devastation.
But scientists tell us that the earth's crust is "mechanically weaker" under the New Madrid fault zone than it is in other areas of the country, and they assure us that given enough time there will be more massive quakes in the region someday.
It is entirely possible that it could just be a complete coincidence that these two eclipses form a giant "X" directly over the heart of the New Madrid fault zone, but I think that it would be a mistake to dismiss this phenomenon altogether without reflecting on what it might mean. Because as Pastor Mark Biltz has pointed out, it appears that God specifically used solar eclipses back in biblical times:
An archaeological find of cuneiform tablets was found in the 19th century describing events in Nineveh. A famous eclipse mentioned in the tablets was known as the Bur-Sagale eclipse, which is verified by NASA as occurring on June 15, 763 BC. The path of totality was right over Nineveh. God had declared the sun and the moon were for signs, and now the Ninevites saw the wrath of God coming even before Jonah arrived a couple months later. When Jonah arrived, they were ripe for repentance.
Our world is a very strange place, and it is getting stranger with each passing day.
And one thing is absolutely certain-the entire nation will be looking up into the sky on August 21, and what they will see will be truly historic.
Nearing Midnight: Attempts to Revise History Will Not Resolve the Real Problems of Moral Depravity - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
The morally bankrupt left has become increasingly fixated on removing the names of Confederate leaders from public places. This spring, the city of New Orleans spent weeks removing large statues of the Confederates General Robert E. Lee, General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, and President Jefferson Davis. These statues stood for 102-106 years, and now suddenly in 2017 they have become a problem.
Last Monday, the city of Hollywood, Florida voted to rename streets that have honored three Civil War-era generals: Robert E. Lee, John Bell Hood and Nathan Bedford Forrest (who was also the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan). An effort 15 years ago to rename the street was ignored.
It's not just in the South that the Confederate Army's best-known leaders have streets named after them. In New York City the borough of Brooklyn has streets named, Stonewall Jackson Drive and General Lee Avenue. We now have elected officials pushing to have these names changed.
The U.S. Army was asked by the Associated Press why it still has military installations named after Confederate soldiers. Army spokesman Major General Malcolm Frost issued a statement saying, "Every Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a place in our military history. Accordingly, these historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies. It should be noted that the naming occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division."
The Army posts named after Confederate figures are: Forts Lee, Hood, Benning, Gordon, Bragg, Polk, Picket, A.P. Hill and Rucker, as well as Camp Beauregard.
Many of our Founding Fathers were slave owners; they have around 20,000 streets named after them. George Washington has 5,052 streets bearing his name. Our nation's capital and the one dollar bill are linked to America's first president.
If social justice warriors want to be consistent in their motives, they also need to take down statues of Sherman, Sheridan & Grant. In the 28 year span of the Plains Indian wars from 1862 to 1890 Generals Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Philip Sheridan were the top military commanders in the U.S. Army's war of genocide against the Plains Indians.
General Sherman, who was second in command wrote this to Supreme U.S. Army General Grant, "We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women and children."
Later, Sherman announced the U.S. Indian policy under President Grant: "All the Indians will have to be killed or maintained as a species of paupers." That it was to be a policy which entailed a "racial cleansing of the land." Sherman said, "During an assault, the soldiers cannot pause to distinguish between male and female, or even discriminate as to age. As long as resistance is made, death must be meted out."
The left can only go so far with this name change stunt. Their next move appears to be to desecrate graves of Confederate soldiers. During the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays a militant left-wing group asked supporters to "find their local Confederate graves" in order to burn confederate flags and urinate on tombstones. Dan Thomasson, a liberal writer for Tribune News Service called for the removal of Confederate graves from Arlington National Cemetery:
"Perhaps then, those Southerners buried in the sacred grounds of Arlington should be disinterred, their memorials removed. Would that finally heal the wounds of slavery? Or would it be better to continue to acknowledge that history is unchangeable."
It is a lie from the devil that we can heal the wounds from slavery by taking these hollow politically correct measures. After the Civil War, the union was quickly restored. There is nothing in history that needs to be changed.
The only thing we need to acknowledge is that we are a nation of free people.
I live in the Little Rock, Arkansas area. A couple years ago, the PC police noticed that there was a Confederate Boulevard. By an 8-2 vote, the street name was changed to Springer Boulevard. Since one of the main roads was changed to Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., our capital should be a southern paradise with no problems.
Over the past decade, I've noticed that Little Rock has become more dangerous with each passing year. A week ago, some of the violence made national news when over 20 people were shot in a downtown nightclub. It was a black on black crime. The cause of the crime wave must be because of some obscure alley that is still named after a Confederate soldier. Our city managers have no interest in more obvious explanations for the mayhem.
The fixation with Confederate names is another indication of the profound lack of discernment on the part of people. They chase after minor issues, while ignoring glaring problem that are destroying our nation.
"Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel" (Matthew 23:24).
The Flourishing Laodicean Church
- by Ron Graham -
"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Revelation 3:17).
The book of Revelation reveals to us who Christ is: He is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Almighty. He wears this name on His vesture, King of kings and Lord of lords. The Revelation of Jesus Christ also tells of His church and its condition through the ages.
In chapters two and three Jesus addresses seven different churches and sends them a report card of sorts. These churches existed at the time John received the Revelation; these letters give the condition of each church. They also give a prophecy of what Christ's Church would go through.
Below is a Prophetic Profile of the Seven Churches Jesus is addressing:
Ephesus - The Apostolic Church;
Smyrna - The Persecuted Church;
Pergamos - The Married Church;
Thyatira - The Medieval Church;
Sardis - The Denominational Church;
Philadelphia - The Missionary Church;
Laodicea - The Apostate Church.
Two of the churches received a good report, but the other five were failing in some areas and Jesus warned them to shape-up. The last church Jesus addressed was the church at Laodicea in which He hands over the most scathing of indictments and tells them they'd do well to heed His words.
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:15-16).
Jesus refers to the Laodicean Church as being lukewarm. This church is concerned with the materialistic riches of this world and not God. It's all about themselves and their well being. They are quite in tune with their own feelings and believe themselves to be very spiritual as well, but the spirituality they embrace is not of God. The Laodiceans put their faith and trust in prosperity, outward luxury and physical health. They are in need of nothing, especially Jesus.
When Jesus refers to the Laodicean church as being lukewarm, He's not saying they've almost made it to where He expects them to be. Jesus' reference to hot means to be on fire for Him and cold is compared to being refreshed with a cold drink of water on a hot parched day.
"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16).
The lukewarm condition is so distasteful to the Lord Jesus that He cannot even swallow it, all He can do is spit it back out of His mouth. My brethren, you don't want to be in that lukewarm state of affairs when Jesus raptures His Church.
What Jesus is telling this church is that they are spiritually naked, basically dead. The church of Laodicea is not heaven bound. The worst part is they don't realize how utterly distasteful they are to God. They truly believe they're in great shape and in line with what God expects of them.
That's what makes it difficult to witness to these type of folks. In their minds their relationship to God is faultless. But take another look at what God says about them. They are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. In the mind of God there's no difference between the folks of the Laodicean church, as described above, and those who are perishing through unbelief.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).
The Laodicean Church shut Christ out, yet He still wanted to come in. He is standing on the outside knocking, and even if one person will open the door for Him, He'll come in and sup (join in spiritual union) with that individual. Sadly though, the door of that Laodicean church remains closed to their true Messiah.
America is replete with Laodicean Christians, and these folks will follow anyone who tickles their ears with soft, persuasive, and appealing words. Jesus Christ is not the foundation in those churches. Heaven forbid that Christians should look to Christ as the Author and Finisher of their faith and place Him first in every aspect of their lives.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).
As followers of Jesus Christ no matter where we are, at church, home, work or play our faith is paramount and Jesus is always the center of our lives.
A major factor at play with this end times apostate church is their undying support of what the Bible plainly refers to as abominations. They're upside down, as these folks now call evil good and good evil. The reason I know the Laodicean church is alive and well is by the many emails I receive from folks complaining about their Church leaders who've capitulated to Obama's socialistic agendas.
It's staggering when I realize that professing Christians can be so completely deceived as to follow such blatant evil. One of these days in the not so distant future, our government will be fully entrenched in interfering with even the content of the gospel message.
Most churches in America have bowed the knee to Baal, and it has now become more important for the church to retain their coveted tax exempt status than to speak out against a tyrannical repressive government. In order to remain tax exempt, churches have surrendered rights.
They can be tax-exempt if they remain politically correct and allow the government to police what can and cannot be said from the pulpit. Of course we know this is to be expected as we're watching the establishment of the apostate church in America and around the globe.
Think about it, the government of the United States currently interferes with our Christian churches by demanding our pastors refrain from endorsing a political candidate when addressing their congregations. This is just the beginning of their interference. We only need to look to China to see where America's Christian churches are headed.
China fully regulates the content of sermons preached in their government supervised quasi-Christian churches. America's not quite there yet, but we're getting close. As I've said before, the only church remaining in the last days unimpeded will be the apostate Church, from which a socialist government will have nothing to fear.
On a marquee in front of a church I passed one day were the following words: "The cornerstone of the Christian church is truth not tolerance." There's a good possibility that church is not of Laodicean fame.
Were the apostles Peter and John known for their political correctness? These two men had been brought before Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest for preaching about Jesus and for performing a miraculous healing in His name. Peter and John listened patiently as Annas and the others told them that they were forbidden to preach Jesus in public. Peter and John's response to these foolish men was quite blunt but precisely to the point.
"... Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye" (Acts 4:19).
Who are we hearkening unto these days?
Christians are told to submit to the governing authorities because they are appointed by God and they serve a purpose in His plan (Romans 13:1), although, sometimes it is to judge the people or to ripen the nation for judgment. Since governments derive their authority from God, we are bound to obey them-unless, of course, they order us to do something in contradiction to God's law.
The murder of unborn babies in the womb and the condoning of a homosexual lifestyle contradict God's laws.
We are to hearken unto God not Man (Acts 4:19). If the state's rulers are God's ministers (servants), they should remember that they serve the people, and they are not gods. Christian obedience to the state is never blind; it obeys with the eyes of conscience wide open. Know God's Word, His commands and precepts and don't be deceived.
Children many times follow other children without even a second thought, but now that we are older and able to think and discern for ourselves we should know better than to follow anyone opposed to God.
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1 Corinthians 13:11).
It's childish to follow someone the way a puppy tags along after a small boy, be it someone of eloquent of speech or persuasive of words; whether he's charismatic and charming and though his stature be as a Greek god he still needs to be viewed through the filter of Scripture. And we never use Scripture to promote our preconceived ideas or agendas. Remember the one barrier to truth is the idea we already have without studying it.
We don't follow after vain, puffed up, arrogant, flamboyant, suave and articulate speaking men or women. We follow Christ and His commandments. As born-again believers we stand up for Jesus our God and we proclaim His message until He comes. Nothing else matters, nothing of this world can compare to what awaits believers on the other side.
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Only born again believers are given the ability to grasp what the scriptures are proclaiming while the non-believer remains in darkness. That same darkness surrounds the Laodicean Church.
These apostate churches, have thrown away their first love-Jesus the Christ-and replaced Him with a naked spirituality. They've given up the battle and have crossed over to the camp of the enemy. The cause of Christ has been hurt far more by people who profess to be knowledgeable Christians, and yet through their very ignorance of the Scriptures do more harm than those who ignorantly and arrogantly proclaim there is no God.
Where's Satan in all this? He's done his part he's succeeded in moving the once Christian church into the land of Laodicea. Satan has moved on to greener pastures so to speak, to undermine Churches on other continents where Christianity is still flourishing and not dead. His greatest conquest has been America's Christian churches.
Oh sure, he left some of his minions of evil here to supervise the remaining slide to Laodicea, but for all intents and purposes he's accomplished his mission. America's once Christian churches have largely been moved into a new arena of spiritual apathy.
Satan was defeated long ago, at the cross, long before he began his work corrupting the Christian churches in America. Jesus did that through His death, burial, and resurrection. But the Church allowed Satan a stronghold, a footing as it were, so he could advance his agenda to the uttermost extreme. He and his minions of evil have now become more prosperous than ever.
So what motivates believers nowadays to keep the faith? Is it the love we have for Jesus that keeps us going in the face of all adversity? It should be. But where does that adversity come from if Satan's mission is mostly complete? Sadly, Christians today are finding their very own brethren to be their biggest stumbling blocks.
It seems we can no longer agree on what is right and what is wrong. Any mention of sin has been banned from the pulpits of these apostate Churches. Abortion, homosexuality, pornography, divorce are accepted in the minds of many professing Christians today, and if those four abominations aren't enough to turn God's stomach, we are quickly becoming a nation that curses Israel. That Brethren, is the scariest.
The church at Laodicea is a body of professing believers who aren't really followers of Christ; they are not born-again by the Spirit of God. They've stopped holding the entirety of God's Word as authority.
The congregational attendees who fall into that category will not be included in the Rapture of Christ's church. Sadly, they've eliminated Jesus as the foundation of their faith. People, that's not judging. If Jesus said He would spew them out of His mouth what makes us think He'll allow them into His heavenly kingdom in that state?
Yes my friends, the Laodicean church is flourishing in the United States of America and all around the world for that matter. These thriving congregations will soon be into full apostasy. This is the prophetic course set for the Church according to the Scriptures. If you feel you're involved in a church that is Laodicea bound, it's time to make a change in your Christian walk.
Daily Jot: Our declining Christianity - Bill Wilson -
In July 2005, a dear sister in the Lord went to the streets, just four blocks from the White House and within a stone's throw of several churches, with a television camera and a microphone. Her objective: ask random people a very simple question, who is Jesus Christ? One man, a Muslim, said Jesus Christ was "The Big Cheese." A woman said that Jesus was supposed to be the savior of the world, but that she didn't see how a man could take on that title. Still another said that Jesus was a nice man who did a lot of good. Another Muslim said that he was not Christian, so he could not define Jesus for someone else.
The answers were quite amazing, but you won't believe who was giving them. Of the 20 people interviewed, only two people answered the question correctly by saying, "Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins and those who believe in Him will have everlasting life." There were four-three Muslims and a Jewish man, who knew that Christians believed Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of God who saved the world. While they believed that Jesus was a prophet and a good man, they did not believe he was the Son of God. Now these might be answers one would expect in a diverse, metropolitan setting, but the most shocking answers came from those who grew up in the Church, born of Christian parents.
Of the 20 interviewed, 16 had been raised in Christian households. Remember that only two knew the correct answer. The other 14 were truly not sure of the identity of Jesus Christ. The answers had a common thread. They said they had been brought up going to church every week. And when they were young, they believed in the deity of Jesus Christ. But as they got older, they came to realize that they had control of their own lives and that Jesus was a figurehead of what is good and right, but had no real meaning beyond that. Many were seeking spirituality, but had turned from Christianity and were studying Buddha, self-realization, new age religions and other things. Keep in mind these people were raised in church-going families. Most ranged in age between 25 and 35.
Since then scientific polls conducted by Pew Research and Barna collaborate this small test outside the White House in 2005. Our nation has drifted far from spiritual truth and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and has fallen into the pit of idolatry, abortion, homosexuality, rebellion, and the denial of God. Somewhere along the line there was a major disconnect and it seems the church played a significant role-maybe too many programs and not enough truth. The same holds true for American families-busy about the world's work, neglecting the spiritual needs. This trend continues today as non-Christian religions are growing fast. Jesus said in John 8:32," And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." If we do not know the truth of Jesus Christ, we are in bondage to this world. No Jesus, no freedom. Know Jesus, know freedom.
Daily Devotion: Hope for Prodigals
- By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us." -1 John 2:19
I remember when pot-bellied pigs were quite popular, and I knew someone who had one as a pet. He told me he would take his pig to the beach, but he had to put sunscreen on him because pigs can get sunburned.
You could take a pig and shower him, put some nice cologne on him, and even make a little outfit for him. You could sit him down at your table and have a meal together. But the first chance that pig gets, he will make a beeline from your dining room table back to the slop, because that is where he really wants to be. Why? Because he is a pig, and he wants to hang out with his pig friends and do pig things.
In the same way, a prodigal always will return home, because a prodigal is a child of God who has gone astray. But a pig always will go back to his element.
We all know people who have supposedly fallen away from the Lord. Maybe we have seen them make a decision for Christ and even noticed some immediate changes in their lives-or what appeared to be changes. Then a few weeks later they bailed. They threw in the towel and fell away. And we said, "That is so sad. They backslid."
It just might be that many of these people never were true believers to begin with. A true believer always will come back home eventually. But a person who is not a true believer never will. If they never come back, they never were true believers. If they do, they probably were.
There is a difference between the person who stumbles spiritually and wants to get up again and the person who could really care less. Which one are you?
FROM THE HEART
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