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IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Who are the "Sons of God" in Genesis Chapter 6? (Part 6) - Steve Schmutzer -
Part 6: The Fallen Angels Agenda Against Jesus Christ
Two groups attended the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In the first dimension were the physical cast: the Roman soldiers who had crucified Jesus and were gambling for His clothes (John 19:23-24); the women and the lone disciple, John (John 19:25-27); the chief priests, scribes, and elders (Matt.27:41); and a multitude of gawkers and mockers from around the region (Matt. 27:39-40).
We take this mixed crowd of mourners and malefactors for granted because we've heard this story before. But it's the other group in the second dimension - the unseen one - that we don't think much about, and chances are they vastly outnumbered the ones who stood on the ground around the cross.
It's reasonable to assume that Jesus perceived this second group and their reactions. There were legions of righteous angels who were ready to instantaneously intervene on this horrific scene if they were summoned (Matt. 26:53-54). There were also the fallen angels who were roaring and frothing in delight at the suffering of Jesus Christ.
Whoa! Wait. What?
We know righteous angels were constantly at Jesus' disposal (Matt. 26:53-54; Luke 4:9-11, 22:43), but isn't it stretching things a bit to imagine the fallen angels were gloating over this scene? After all, this is the fulcrum moment of mankind's salvation and we shouldn't taint this glorious occasion. Isn't it being overly-dramatic to think the fallen angels were high-fiving themselves at Christ's pending death?
I don't think so. Work with me here.
The Old Testament has many prophetic references to Jesus' crucifixion and every one of those details were fulfilled exactly as their writers spelled them out. For example, Jesus was betrayed by a close friend he'd shared bread with (Psalms 41:9); He was handed over for 30 pieces of silver (Zech. 11:11-13); He was spat upon, beaten, and he had the hairs of His beard pulled out (Isaiah 50:6); He was silent in front of His unjust accusers (Isaiah 53:7); His hands and feet were pierced (Psalms 22:16); His garments were divided (Psalms 22:17); and, none of His bones were broken (Psalms 34:20). Furthermore, He was numbered with the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12); He was buried in a rich man's tomb (Isaiah 53:9); and, He died for our sins (Isaiah 53:4-6).
Before He died, Jesus even quoted David from Psalms 22:1, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" As John 19:36 says, "These things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled." The cruel crucifixion was an event that fulfilled many specific Old Testament predictions about the circumstances concerning Jesus' death.
This occasion also exposed the fallen angel's agenda against Jesus Christ. In Psalms 22:12-13, right in the thick of other precise prophecies concerning the crucifixion, David writes, "Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. They open their jaws against me like lions that roar and maul...." Insofar as events about the cross were concerned, David was describing a roiling and rabid crowd from another dimension. It was a scary scene.
The Psalms makes a definitive point here. I'm wagering Jesus was able to see this terrifying vision while He hung on the cross. Being both God and man, He could see into two worlds at the same time. He was able to see a raging horde of fallen angelic forces which were gathered around him as He was "....poured out like water" (Psalms 22:14).
As Jesus was suffering for the sins of the world, this unseen audience was celebrating His pending death. They were "strong bulls" with roaring and gaping jaws, and they were from "Bashan."
What's the big deal with these fallen angels being from Bashan?
Where was King Og from - that Nephilim giant that the Israelites conquered on their way to The Promised Land (Deut. 3:11)? He was from Bashan. What region was specifically associated with the Rephaim, the descendants of the Nephilim going all the way back into antiquity? It was Bashan (Joshua 12:4-5). Where was Jesus when he mentioned the "gates of hell" to Peter (Matt. 16:13-18)? He was in Caesarea Philippi, at the foot of Mount Hermon - again, in Bashan!
It's no fluke that Bashan means "the place of the Serpent." When Jesus told Peter "....on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it," Jesus was probably standing near the entrance to a deep cave that remains there to this day. Here, the temple of Pan, a hybrid half-man and half-goat heathen god, was erected. Here, Baal was also worshipped. It was a headquarters of evil and it had been that for a long time.
When Jesus talked about being "fishers of men" (Matt. 4:18-19), He was walking beside the Sea of Galilee. When He talked about a "kernel of wheat that falls into the ground and dies," (John 12:24), the inspiration of lush fields surrounded Him. And when Jesus talked about a conflict with the "gates of hell," He was standing at the place where fallen angelic forces had begun a war against Him centuries before.
According to the apocryphal book of Enoch which is quoted by Jude (Jude 1:6) and referenced by Peter (2 Peter 2:4), Mount Hermon in Bashan is where the fallen angels first descended to earth before they forcibly "married" human women and produced the hybrid Nephilim giants (Genesis 6:1-4). Interestingly, Mount Hermon is in the Golan Heights, and this area remains one of the most problematic pieces of real estate in the world today.
Mount Hermon's name is derived from the Hebrew word "herem," which means "a thing devoted to God for destruction." It's likely where the fallen angels started their campaign to destroy the human genome, and "herem" recalls God's genocidal commands to Moses, Saul, and Joshua. There's probably more than coincidence at play here.
In the foreshadowing of the crucifixion in Psalms 22:12-13, the Bible peels back another layer in the ongoing enmity between the "zera" of the serpent and the "zera" of the woman that was prophesied clear back in Genesis 3:15. God had also predicted Satan would "bruise the heel" of the Messiah, and that happened at the crucifixion.
The cross wasn't the end of Jesus Christ, but the strong bulls of Bashan roared with open jaws as Jesus was dying on it. They miscalculated the circumstances, and they were flush with hatred for the Messiah. They were elated at their perceived victory.
This partly explains why Jesus, though dead in body before His resurrection, was meantime "....made alive in the Spirit in which He also went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison" (1 Peter 3:18-20). These pithy verses make three points very clear about who Jesus visited:
I find the online world of self-appointed Biblical "experts" has mostly missed the plain truth of 1 Peter 3:18-20. It is plain to understand if one has already accepted the literal interpretation about the Nephilim within the greater context of God's Word. It's plain if one believes the Bible means what it says.
It is clear these imprisoned spirits in 1 Peter 3:18-20 are the fallen angels mentioned in 2 Peter 2:4 and in Jude 1:6. Therefore, these are also the same fallen angels, the same b'nai Elohim - yes, the same "sons of God" mentioned in Genesis 6:1-4. It all ties together if one accepts what the Scriptures forthrightly state at each point along the greater narrative.
The proclamation Jesus made to these fallen "sons of God" who were locked and chained in the Abyss was the news that He was victorious. If they'd been hoping for some sort of lucky break "up top," Jesus told them instead that He'd won the most recent clash and they'd lost. The fallen angels who were not imprisoned would get the same message another way in three days, but Jesus gave this "chain gang" the facts face-to-face.
As it had been with prior hostilities between the two sides, Satan and his fallen angels had made a tactical error. This one though was a big one! If they had really knows what was going to happen, they would not have crucified Jesus (1 Cor. 2:8).
But they did, and they made the mistake of thinking they'd gained the final upper hand. Just as it was with the other conflicts before the cross, God dashed their perverted hopes against The Rock of eternal truth.
It's here that many Christians smile blandly and say something like, "Jesus crushed the serpent's head at the cross." Most such folk are uncomfortable with these Biblical themes in the first place, and this is their way of resolving the fuller implications of Genesis 3:15 to their own preference.
"Besides," as some of them insist, "It's all about Jesus anyway." What they're really admitting is they have ranked the Scriptures. They have little regard for any theme of the Bible beyond the salvation Jesus provided through "....the sacrifice of (His) body once for all." (Hebrews 10:10).
The problem with their position is the serpent's head is still intact. It's why Paul concluded the book of Romans by saying, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Rom. 16:20). In other words, Satan was still alive and well - "uncrushed" - after the cross!
Satan's not going to be defeated as Genesis 3:15 prophesied till a certain point, and that's a ways away. Jesus still needs to return a second time, and Satan still needs to be locked up for the 1000-year Millenial Kingdom. He's going to be released after that to deceive "....the four corners of the earth" and to wage war against Jesus Christ once more, but that'll be Satan's last campaign. He will lose and be thrown into the flames of hell (Rev. 20:7-10) - and it's not till then that he's finally and utterly "crushed."
Between the first part of Genesis and the last part of Revelation, the enmity between the physical "seed" of the woman and the physical "seed" of the serpent threads its way through the Scriptures as God divinely-intended it to do. It's a message He placed there which is consistent and significant, and it's one God wants us to respect.
It explains why Jesus said there will be a return of "....the days of Noah" in Matt. 24:37 and Luke 17:26. Jesus could have picked any point in history to liken the time before his Second Advent to, but He chose "the days of Noah" and He had specific reasons why.
I've heard many arguments that this period before the Great Flood was a time of great sin and God basically decided He'd had enough of it. As I stated earlier in this series, that's true, but "it's not true enough." There was much more going on.
In Daniel chapter 8, Gabriel is explaining Daniel's second vision to him, and he tells Daniel multiple times that it concerns the very end of time. In verse 23, Gabriel adds this will be a time when "....rebels have become completely wicked." Other translations speak of this time as one in which "....transgressors are come to the full." In other words, sin on the earth will reach maximum expression before the Lord's return.
It's like a cup of water that is so full it cannot take another drop. If it could, it wouldn't really be full. That's the picture here. The cup of man's depravities at the very end of the age will be completely full. There will be no more room to add more.
It sounds an awful lot like the conditions before the Great Flood. Genesis 6:5 says, "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." This is language of maximum expression. There was a time on earth before the Great Flood when humanity had become so completely wicked that the proverbial cup could not take another drop. Jesus said those conditions are going to return.
Those pre-Flood conditions were precipitated by the blending of fallen angelic "zera" ("seed") with the "zera" ("seed") of mankind, and Jesus implies that is going to happen again. Daniel 2:43 also says as much. It is here that Daniel is explaining Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the great statue to the king, and Daniel says of the end of the age, "....they will mingle themselves with the seed of men." The text positions "they" and "men" as two different sources.
It's not hard to figure out who the "they" are here if one has already accepted the balance of the Biblical narrative at face value. It's not hard to see what's coming down the pipeline if one humbly accepts the implications of a return of the days of Noah. It's not hard to imagine Satan and his fallen angels are going to keep trying to gain the upper hand in this enmity between the "seeds" that has been manifesting since ancient times. It's not out of line to think Satan will try again and again to thwart his own defeat.
In the next installment of this series, we'll examine the ways in which "the days of Noah" might express once more. I'm inclined to think Satan will try some different tactics since his first frontal assault against Jesus Christ didn't go quite the way he'd planned.
Israeli right dreams of third temple in Jerusalem
- Shlomi Eldar - https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/07/israel-palestinians-benjamin-netanyahu-temple-mount-right.html
The ban imposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on visits by government ministers and Knesset members to Jerusalem's Temple Mount lasted three straight years, barring some experimental interruptions in 2017. Netanyahu's decision at the time was prompted by riots at the site and the so-called individual Palestinian intifada, which broke out in the fall of 2015. The murder of Alexander Levlovich in September 2015 and the murders of Eitam and Naama Henkin in the West Bank in October 2015 signaled the beginning of the intifada.
The tension in Jerusalem was intense, and the Palestinians accused Israel of seeking to change the status quo at the Temple Mount complex. Netanyahu feared that the Palestinians would view visits by right-wing ministers and Knesset members as provocations, engendering further violence. And so, he rightly issued the ban. Since then, the political right has applied relentless pressure on Netanyahu to lift it.
On July 3, Netanyahu addressed a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, saying that lawmakers could visit the Temple Mount once every three months. The first of the ministers to implement his "right" to visit the site after Netanyahu's decision to lift the ban was Uri Ariel, the minister of agriculture and a member of HaBayit HaYehudi. Ariel has made no secret of his yearnings for a third Jewish temple to replace the two destroyed ones. "We hope and pray for Tisha B'av to be a day of happiness and for the temple to be rebuilt, so that there will be no more fasts and we will be able to bring all the sacrifices that we read about in this week's Torah reading," Ariel said. "God willing, a kohen's [Jewish cleric] blessing will be bestowed on all those ascending the Mount."
Ariel was citing the prophet Zecharia and referring to the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av, a day of fasting and mourning on which tradition has it the temples were destroyed. Tisha B'Av falls this year on July 22, and Ariel was essentially exhorting believers and temple loyalists to follow his example and thus turn the day of mourning into an occasion for "happiness." Knesset member Sharren Haskel of the ruling Likud Party visited the site shortly after Ariel, and additional lawmakers who advocate the temple's reconstruction, such as Shuli Mualem of HaBayit HaYehudi and Yehuda Glick and Amir Ohana of the Likud, followed suit.
The timing of the renewed visits is probably not a coincidence. It comes just three weeks after Netanyahu's June 18 meeting in Amman with King Abdullah of Jordan, the site's Muslim custodian, after which his office issued a statement saying the prime minister "reiterated Israel's commitment to maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem." Did Netanyahu discuss with the monarch his desire to lift the ban and thereby ease the political right's pressure on him? Possibly. The fact is that following the meeting, the Knesset's chief security officer issued a letter on July 5 advising all Knesset members interested in going to the Temple Mount to coordinate with police.
According to a recent report by the Yeraeh movement dedicated to promoting a Jewish presence on the Mount, the number of Jews visiting the site has increased significantly, reaching 22,000 in 2017. The group describes itself as an initiative by volunteers who greet Jewish visitors to the site and report on events there; its report forecasts a further significant rise in the number of visitors in the next few years because of its activities.
The demand by government ministers and lawmakers to experience for themselves the site of the temple, Judaism's holiest site, appears legitimate. Haskel, for example, explained after her visit that it was wrong to depict the experience as being only religious in nature. "The Temple Mount is at the very heart of millennia of Jewish culture and history. ... One cannot separate the special place from our Israeli-Jewish identity, it is part of us," she said.
However, right-wing Knesset members, Temple Mount loyalists, the Yeraeh movement and recently formed youth advocacy groups have an ulterior motive. They not only want to experience the place where the ancient temples stood, they want to reconstruct the temple "speedily, in our times."
Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher with the anti-occupation Ir Amim nongovernmental organization, told Al-Monitor, "It won't be the Messiah who will resurrect the temple, but rather them, the organizations and right-wing movements [that] dream of rebuilding it with their very own hands." Tatarsky added, "After all, in order to rebuild the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock must be destroyed."
Still, we should remember that according to some of the Jewish Sages (such as Rashi and in the Zohar), the third temple will descend from Heaven all complete and constructed, involving no humankind preparation, destruction or construction.
Be that as it may, Tatarsky said the idea that the temple must be rebuilt is slowly gaining traction, and its advocates believe a growing stream of visitors is the only way to spread the word so that the reconstruction becomes a widespread, popular demand and the right of the Jews to rebuild their destroyed temple can no longer be denied.
Those ultimately spreading the word are the ministers and Knesset members of the right, such as Uri Ariel. They were the ones who kept up the pressure on Netanyahu throughout the years, and as we know, Netanyahu eventually gave in.
And not only the prime minister.
Tatarky said the massive right-wing pressure has changed the conduct of the police, as well. A report he authored last November claimed right-wing activists were disseminating footage showing "public displays of affection" by police toward the temple activists in order to "spur more activists to visit the Mount." The video clips send a clear message that the police are on the activists' side, the NGO argued.
In addition, the state itself is funding activities related to site visits. Among the 22,000 visitors of which the Yeraeh movement boasts were high school yeshiva students and students at pre-military academies funded by the Ministry of Education and other government departments. Their ascent encourages those in the movement for the building of the third temple.
The Temple Mount loyalists make no bones of their goal - to lay the cornerstone for the third temple. In the past, these activists were detained and some were banned from the site and even arrested. This week, Netanyahu, perhaps unwittingly, paved their first road into the hearts of a growing number of adherents.
The visitation to the Mount by the right-wing leadership, which openly claims the erection of the third temple is on the agenda, helps instill in the public mind an idea once considered absurd, nightmarish and dangerous. And if high-ranking ministers of the right ascend the Mount, their supporters will surely follow.
Nearing Midnight: The Enragement - Terry James -
There are many in America, it is more than obvious, who are only minimally aware or not aware at all of the enragement spawned by the 2016 presidential election. Because I am so intensely aware of the rage ripping at the heart of the nation, those who don't seem to even notice the damage being done irritate me to distraction. My only comfort comes from the knowledge that God has it all under control. -That, and the conviction that a reconstituted silent majority will manifest its own enragement when it's time to enter the voting booths during this year's mid-term elections.
Then, I come to my spiritual senses and realize that politics are of a temporal nature that render effects on the human condition fleeting at best. Only investment in things of God will triumph at the end of the day. Humanistic influences-be they constituted of political or any other man-centered ingredient-are of no lasting consequence.
Still, we must endure present circumstance, so it's best to do so by, as calmly and thoughtfully as possible, analyzing things as they exist.
Always, it is our purpose at Rapture Ready to probe with the sharp, revealing Word of Bible prophecy. Doing so makes possible the understanding of even the absolute insanity exhibited by the political left, pumped up in its enragement by ideological steroids injected by mainstream news and entertainment media.
It takes no more than a modicum of effort to get to the very center of the anger. The winner of the 2016 presidential election is the object of rage for hatred central-the political party which, it seems, becomes more radical by the day.
To get right to the proof of the pudding, as the term goes, we look at an individual party member that more than most others represents the radicalized left in the matter of hatred for the duly elected president.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is the apex mover and shaker in the so-called resistance. We remember her inflammatory rhetoric upon her learning of White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders being ejected from a Washington, D.C., restaurant because she worked for the Trump Administration.
Waters said, "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them! And you tell them that they are not welcome, anymore, anywhere."
Despite some within her political party making limp attempts to distance themselves from Waters' lunacy, the enragement just continues to mount. Waters, rather than back down from her incitement, continues to throw fuel on the fires started by the so-called Antifa movement, an organized group of haters equating the Trump Administration to the fascist government of the days of Benito Mussolini, axis partner with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis of World War II.
The enragement will soon reach a dangerous level, it is feared by those who observe from the perspective of students of history.
World Net Daily (WND) columnist Dennis Prager said the following:
"Because of the ever-descending moral and intellectual state of the mainstream news media, there has been no outcry against the leftists who call President Donald Trump and all Americans who support him Nazis. Indeed, members of the media now regularly do so.
"Without that outcry, this labeling will only increase; and this steadily increasing drumbeat of hysteria is likely to lead to one result: violence against conservatives," he warned.
"It is not plausible to foresee any other outcome of left-wing normalization of the terms 'Nazi' and 'white supremacist.'"
A WND report presented the following regarding the political rage that is building. Veteran political adviser and longtime columnist Pat Buchanan warned inflammatory rhetoric sometimes is followed by very real violence.
"The left, to the point of irrationality, despises a triumphant Trumpian right and believes that to equate it with fascists is not only legitimate, but a sign that the accusers are the real moral, righteous and courageous dissenters in these terrible times," he explained.
It has happened before, he pointed out.
"After Dr. King's assassination, a hundred cities, including the capital, were looted and burned. Scores died. U.S. troops and the National Guard were called out to restore order. Soldiers returning from Vietnam were spat upon. Cops were gunned down by urban terrorists. Bombings and bomb attempts were everyday occurrences. Campuses were closed down. In May 1971, tens of thousands of radicals went on a rampage to shut down D.C.," he said.
And Buchanan cited the left's frequent comparisons of Trump to Nazi Germany, which "are absurd."
"Does anyone truly believe that the centers where the children of illegal migrants are being held, run as they are by liberal bureaucrats from the Department of Health and Human Services, are like Stalin's Gulag or Hitler's camps?" he wrote. (WND.com, July 3, 2018)
Again, while humanistic rage and political enragement are troubling, it is incumbent upon the spiritually-attuned to consider the real battle being waged. We find that battle in Ephesians 6: 12-We struggle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We get right to the heart of the cause and effect by considering the following:
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Pet 5: 8)
Satan-the devil-is enraged. So, too, are his minions, both demonic and human. However, we are not to fall victim to the enragement of minions who want to throw off the bonds of Heaven's governance. Jesus is our strength and our fortress. We are told: "Greater is he who is in you, than he who is in the world." (1 Jn 4: 4)
Perfect Storm: 15 Flashpoints To Watch In 2nd Half Of 2018 - By Michael Snyder - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com
Events are beginning to greatly accelerate, and many believe that the ingredients for a "perfect storm" are starting to come together as we enter the second half of 2018. Other than the continual drama surrounding the Trump presidency, things have been quite calm for the past couple of years.
We have been enjoying a time of peace, safety and relative economic prosperity that a lot of Americans have begun to take for granted. But great trouble has been brewing under the surface, and many are wondering if we are about to reach a major turning point.
Our planet is being shaken physically, emotionally and financially, and it isn't going to take much to push us over the edge. The following are 15 flashpoints which could create world changing events during the 2nd half of 2018...
#1 War In The Middle East - A state of war already exists in Israel. 200 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel on Saturday alone, and it won't take much to spark a much broader regional war.
#2 Civil Unrest In U.S. Cities - Progressives are promising a "summer of rage", and they are assuring us that all of the anger that has been building up against President Trump and his administration is about to starting boiling over onto the streets of our major cities all across America.
#3 The Nomination Of Brett Kavanaugh To The Supreme Court - Prominent liberals are stoking fears that the Supreme Court will start taking away "our most cherished liberties" if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate. Expect Washington D.C. to be the focus for a lot of the chaos that will happen later this summer.
#4 Tensions In The Windy City - The City of Chicago is a powder keg that could erupt at any moment. The recent shooting of a young African-American man resulted in a violent night of protests, and we should expect much more chaos in the days ahead.
#5 The 2018 Mid-Term Elections - These are probably the most important mid-term elections in modern American history, and tempers are running high on both sides. At this point the left appears to have more energy than the right, as they have accumulated a voter registration lead of 12 million in states that require party affiliation.
#6 Hillary Clinton - Hillary has been acting very much like a presidential candidate in recent days, and she has been continually fueling hatred for Donald Trump during her public appearances. Many believe that she will launch yet another campaign for the presidency once the 2018 mid-term elections are over.
#7 The U.S. Border With Mexico - President Trump's immigration policies have absolutely infuriated the left, and Mexico's new president is a radical socialist that absolutely hates Donald Trump and that has declared that immigration to the United States is a "human right". It is difficult to see how this crisis is going to end well.
#8 The Trade War Between The United States And China - A full-blown trade war has erupted between the two largest economies on the entire planet. U.S. consumers are going to have to start paying much more for certain goods, and U.S. businesses that are heavily dependent on exports are going to have to start laying off workers.
#9 The Deteriorating Relationship Between The United States And Russia - Russia has become the "boogeyman" that gets blamed for everything these days, and relations between our two nations are the worst that they have been since the Cold War. Hopefully Trump and Putin can change that, but it is hard to be optimistic at this point.
#10 Will NATO Survive? - Donald Trump has threatened to pull the United States out of NATO if European leaders do not "immediately" begin increasing defense spending.
#11 The Stock Market - Markets all over the world have already been plummeting, and the smart money in the United States is getting out of the market at a pace that we haven't seen since 2008. We are way overdue for a major crash, and if one happens during the second half of 2018 it definitely will not be a surprise.
#12 The Price Of Oil - The price of oil has reached levels not seen in many years, and many believe that the price is going to go much higher. This is already putting a tremendous amount of strain on working families all over America.
#13 The Political And Financial Crisis In Italy - The Italian government is going through an enormous amount of turmoil right now, and there are rumblings that the Italians may decide to leave the euro altogether. If that happens, we should expect to see the greatest financial shaking in modern European history.
#14 Earth In Travail - More than 30 volcanoes are erupting all around the world right now, and seismic activity appears to be escalating along the Ring of Fire. It is only a matter of time before we have a major seismic event in the United States, but hopefully that will not happen within the next six months.
#15 Drought In The Southwest - A devastating drought of historic proportions has already caused "Dust Bowl conditions" to return to some areas of the Southwest. If more rain doesn't start falling, farmers and ranchers in the region are going to be absolutely crippled.
Of course it is inevitable that we will face some moments of crisis during the second half of 2018 that have nothing to do with the items on this list. One thing that is always true about life is that it is unpredictable, and so we should expect the unexpected.
But what virtually everyone should be able to agree upon is the fact that we are witnessing a very strange confluence of events that is unlike anything that we have witnessed in a very, very long time.
Is America about to plunge into a time of unprecedented turmoil? Only time will tell, but all of the ingredients are definitely there, and if a "perfect storm" does emerge during the second half of 2018 there are many of us that won't be shocked at all.
Daily Jot: Of the Spirit of the Lord and liberty - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Many point to the social issues in the United States and conclude that Americans are turning away from Jesus Christ. It is an obvious statement. Polls indicate that America is at the very least a type and shadow of 1 Timothy 4:1, "Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." According to Pew Research, "While nationwide surveys in the 1970s and '80s found that fewer than one-in-ten US adults said they had no religious affiliation, fully 23% now describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or "nothing in particular." There is no doubt, Christianity is losing ground. The problem, however, is even deeper and more complex.
In September 2017, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shared the results of its poll of over 100,000 Americans. It indicated that the religions of youth in America are becoming more non-Christian: "At least one-third of Muslims (42%), Hindus (36%), and Buddhists (35%) are under the age of 30. Roughly one-third (34%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans are also under 30." According to an August 2017 Annenberg Public Policy Center poll, 37% of Americans could not name any rights guaranteed by the First Amendment; 85% did not know the First Amendment guaranteed freedom of religion; 86% didn't know it guaranteed freedom of the press; and 52% didn't know that freedom of speech was guaranteed.
On January 10, 1963, Congressman Albert S. Herlong Jr. of Florida read a list of 45 Communist goals into the Congressional Record. Number 17 read: "Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for Socialism and current Communist propaganda...Put the party line in textbooks." Numbers 27-29 were: "Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch." Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state." Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis."
The infiltration of communist doctrine against our children and us has had a long-term impact on our nation. This, combined with the extra-biblical, self-indulgent and emotional teachings of much of the "Church" in America, and we have a perfect storm. Many people are unaware of the truth of Christ, and as a whole they are ignorant of the fundamental rights that protect the truth of Christ and their very liberty. Moreover, the fastest growing demographic of these aimless souls are among our youth, which in half a generation is our nation. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, "...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." In truth, without the Spirit of the Lord, our nation's freedom will fall away. Let us be more diligent and intentional in letting our light shine before men.
Daily Devotion: A Reasonable Faith - By Greg Laurie -
"Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord. -Isaiah 1:18
Before I became a Christian, I marched in lockstep with cultural cues where people told me what to say and think. But when I became a Christian, I started thinking carefully and deeply about life and about what truth is and what truth isn't.
God says, "Come now, and let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18 NKJV). The Christian faith is a reasonable faith. It is even a logical faith. We start thinking biblically, and then we live truthfully.
To live a sincere, honest, candid life before God and others is to live a life devoid of secrets and ongoing sin and duplicity. Duplicity is hypocrisy.
I didn't come from a Christian home. My mom, who was an alcoholic, was married and divorced seven times. I never looked to my mom as a moral example. Even as a kid, I knew she was messed up. Even as a kid, I knew I needed to help her because she didn't think rationally.
As I began to search for meaning and purpose in life, I heard the gospel and believed in Jesus. I found what I was searching for. Yet I've met people who were raised in Christian homes and didn't come to the same conclusion that I did. I was always perplexed by that until I began to realize that if they were raised in a home of hypocrisy, in some ways it was worse than the home I was raised in.
I'm not saying you should raise your kids as nonbelievers. What I am saying is the worst thing you can do is to say you are a Christian and put on an act. I'm not saying you have to be perfect. But being a hypocrite, which means to be an actor, is a way to drive people away from Jesus Christ.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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