Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Soaring Apostasy Points to the Rapture (Part II)
- By Kit R. Olsen - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/07/18/
An Expose of Disturbing Trends and How to Avoid Them
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Scripture twisting is prevalent. It seems to be in perpetual motion-diluting, reinventing and confusing God's holy Word, especially when it comes to prophecy. One prophetic fad after another fades into obscurity and another one emerges. I recently spoke with the leader of a highly-respected Christian organization. He expressed his concern and disappointment regarding the disturbing contents of the emails he receives from some widely-promoted prophecy "teachers" and authors. He mentioned that one in particular sends him "the most convoluted nonsense." He added, "I think they come up with this stuff just to sell books."
And we have the "prosperity" gospel preachers (con-artists) getting richer by the day by fleecing their followers...Creflo Dollar.
Are you kidding me?
How can anyone be taken in by a charlatan with a name like that? Yet, thousands of gullible people follow him like brainwashed robots. They foolishly give their hard earned money to him, naively waiting for their "seed" money to sprout into riches. While they are waiting for the big payout, Creflo Dollar and his wife use the "harvest seed" money of their followers to live an extravagant lifestyle-which includes two multi-million dollar homes, expensive high-end cars, and even a private jet. 
One of Creflo Dollar's popular mantras which should catch your attention is this one: "Harvest responds only to seed not to prayer, not fasting." Then he pleads with his followers to send their "seeds" (money) to his ministry.
If you watch him on YouTube in any video, he looks and sounds so shady it is tough to imagine how he can continue to get away with his charade. (He also considers himself to be one of God's "prophets.") Senator Chuck Grassley did attempt to investigate him but his ministry was very uncooperative.  
A Christian British publisher with whom I worked for many years related to me her personal interactions with some Christians-how her experiences motivated her to start her own company publishing Christian books. She died unexpectedly last October; it was not long before she died that we had one of our lengthy discussions about the dynamics that are crippling the Christian church today.
I distinctly remember one of the first things she ever shared with me early on in our working relationship. She said she had been harmed by Christians more than anyone else-that the prevalent lack of trust and backstabbing amongst Christians had become heartbreakingly commonplace. She was very grieved by this. Every time she sent me a manuscript to edit and prepare for publishing, she was hoping and praying that one more person in the world would see goodness and kindness coming from a Christian ministry.
The treatment experienced and expressed by my colleague from those not-so-Christian Christians-is right on target, all part of the end-time scenario-just as the apostle Paul warned in 2 Timothy 3:1-4:
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."
Last week while I was shopping for produce at my favorite local grocer, one of the cashiers, apparently on a break, walked by and greeted me. I asked her how she was doing and she replied, "My schedule is so hard, I never know my hours until the beginning of each week. But God will take care of me."
As soon as I heard the words, "But God will take care of me," I jumped on the opportunity to speak with her about the Lord. She said she was raised as a Christian but no longer has anything to do with other Christians and never goes to church-because she has been disappointed too many times and has found Christians to be hypocrites. When she said the word, "hypocrites" her eyes bulged out as in disgust.
She poured her heart out to me right there in the produce aisle. After hearing some of her experiences I could totally understand why she did not want to be around other so-called Christians. We talked about having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus; she seems very sincere and believes she is a Christian.
I hope to be able to speak with her again soon, and give her some of my books and a Bible. She did say she reads "spiritual things" but has stopped reading the Bible-which really concerns me. She could drift into some "New Spirituality" types of false teachings without meaning to. It is in instances like this when people are vulnerable-that the devil hurries to the rescue!
"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
Many wonderful Christians and ministries steadfastly stay faithful to the Lord and His teachings. But unreliable teachings open the door wide for some people to ultimately lose hope and faith. When "prophecies" and "teachings" fail time and time again, and professing Christians behave like heathens, people get discouraged. They begin to question what they believe, which sometimes causes them to completely "fall away from the faith."
"But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak" (1 Corinthians 8:9).
"Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" (1 Corinthians 5:6b).
We must be careful as to what we accept as truth; a man or woman who is an effective speaker and acts like a friend may be very convincing but may not be worthy of your trust. As President Ronald Reagan used to say, "Trust but verify."
"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:6).
"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" (Matthew 24:11).
For example, if we hear about prophetic proclamations from self-appointed "prophets" who think God has given them a special "calling" and their predictions fail to come true, then of course we know they are false prophets and their prophecies are not from God-just as the Scriptures teach.
The situation becomes worse when these false prophets will not take responsibility for their failed predictions, when they don't think they need to repent, and instead, smugly flaunt spiritual superiority. Do these false prophets suffer from serious mental disorders with grandiose delusions thinking that they can accurately predict the future or are they on a power trip? Maybe both.
"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matthew 24:11-12).
Adding insult to injury-false prophets may irrationally blame the very people who entrusted them when they proclaimed that they are "never wrong." They cry foul as if they are being unfairly persecuted for being called out for their own failed "prophesies." One must wonder how many lives are harmed by these emotionally unstable and delusional false "prophets." People like this clearly cannot be trusted and are in serious need of spiritual counseling and repentance.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Ephesians 5:11).
When the unsaved witness this type of hypocrisy, the cause for Christ is significantly damaged. Maybe these purveyors of falsehoods forget that God will hold them accountable for their unrepentant egregious behavior. Somehow I don't think that ever enters their minds; they are too obsessed with being self-righteous and attacking others to try to detract from their own failed predictions. Disgraceful.
"Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord" (Jeremiah 23:16 emphasis added).
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit" (Matthew 7:15-17 emphasis added).
In order to avoid becoming a victim of various questionable teachings and false prophecies, every believer would be wise to regularly study the Bible-with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and see if what is being taught is in keeping with the Scriptures. But be sure it is the Holy Spirit guiding you and not something else. Seek out Bible teachers who are true systemic Bible expositors who can also help guide and teach you.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15)
"But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer" (2 Timothy 2:16)
What does it mean to study the Bible?
Some people "study" for decades yet do not understand that there are specific teachings that are God's truths. Their beliefs are often based on emotions and feelings rather than sound doctrine. The abundance of "Christian" cults are prime examples of this; they claim to study the Bible but have many erroneous teachings.
We must consider the literal meaning of a passage, its historical and grammatical context, and how it harmonizes with the rest of Scripture. If we are perplexed by some Scriptures, we must keep studying until the intended meanings can be determined.
Bible prophecy found in Scripture is God-breathed. It gives us hope and glimpses of the future.
To say "We can't know Bible prophecy" shows a lack of willful understanding, a lack of solid biblical teaching resulting in poor discernment-reminiscent of a lukewarm church.
If we are to buy into the idea that "We can't know" then we must never take a strong stand on any prophetic truths, which would include the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, that the nation of Israel would be reborn as written, and that God is going to wipe-out the Russian-Muslim confederacy in the Gog-Magog war, etc.
God and His holy Word are intentional-not incidental.
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:19-20 emphasis added).
Why would God give us the Bible with so many prophetic Scriptures if we are not meant to understand them? We know that prophecy makes up about one third of the Bible and we are admonished to watch for signs taking us to the end of the age.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36).
The "golden" rule for interpreting Scripture is a reliable guideline that takes us to the intended meaning of the Word of God. All Scripture must be taken literally with some exceptions. When something is obviously unclear that is when we can say, "We don't know."
Common sense tells us when Jesus is called the "Lamb of God" (John 1:29), that does not mean He is a literal lamb. It is symbolic of the fact that He is the Paschal Lamb sacrifice for the sins of the elect.
The late Dr. David Cooper, a brilliant scholar, taught a very precise reliable method of interpreting Scripture-the Golden Rule of Interpretation. In my book, Israel's Guaranteed Future Glory, I have a lengthy section titled "Understanding Bible Interpretation" which is a very useful guide.
The Golden Rule of Interpretation
When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicates clearly otherwise.
An example to show how this principle works can be found in Revelation 12:
"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth" (Revelation 12:3-4a).
There is not, and there will never be a literal dragon with seven heads and ten horns. If there were such a creature it could not sweep a third of the stars in space, and cast them down to earth. Therefore, the dragon and the stars are symbolic.
To further support this premise, later, in Revelation 12:9, the verse says that the devil-who is called a "great dragon," and his angels were cast down to earth. We can determine from this that the devil is the dragon and the angels are the stars.
We know that a physical dragon cannot cast one-third of the stars in space down to earth (Revelation 12:3-4), but the devil who is called the great dragon (Revelation 12:9) can lead one-third of the angels in heaven (Daniel 8:10) to rebel against God and wreck havoc on earth.
In chapter nine of Revelation there is a detailed description of demonic creatures. These demonic-like creatures are real and not symbolic. It is not impossible for there to be creatures as depicted in Revelation nine; they do not portray actions that are physically impossible for a creature to do.
The book of Revelation has often been referred to by many people as a book that cannot be understood. That belief is simply not true if we apply ourselves and understand basic principles of biblical hermeneutics.
Here is a helpful guide to study God's Word:
It is evident that many people who claim to study the Bible for even a lifetime often do not grasp the intended meanings of God's Word. All we have to do is look around and see one contradictory confusing teaching after another.
Pastors would do well to preach sound doctrine derived from the Word of God; sermons on repentance, sanctification, sin, heaven, hell and eternal punishment in the lake of fire. Too many sermons are "politically correct" so as not to offend anyone.
What about not offending the God of the universe who holds our lives in His hands?
"If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and good doctrine which you have carefully followed. But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness" (1 Timothy 4:6-7).
Fulfilling the Great Commission can be greatly hindered when professing Christians and pastors offer weak testimonies due to their compromised behavior and lack of biblical acuity. Pastors and teachers who are true to God's Word are a greater blessing than they may realize. We need more of them to guide congregations with good solid teaching.
Recently I discovered an outrage going on amongst some ministries because some previously traditional pastors are now defending Muslims. Evangelist Brannon Howse is up in arms as are some others that no one is challenging Minister James White, who has foolishly given a Jihadi Imam a platform to speak Islamic lies.
Brannon Howse considers this type of behavior a very serious threat to our country and is trying to bring attention to the problem. He refers to this growing dilemma as the "Coming Ecumenical Jihad." This situation is very much a part of the apostasy which is accelerating at record speed as we move toward the end of the Church age. 
A prerequisite for biblical discernment and understanding is a contrite heart without malice:
"And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
Some well-meaning individuals who sincerely want to learn God's truths are confused because they were never taught how to study the Bible. They totally rely on others to teach them. They search the Internet instead of their Bibles. Some latch onto the most talked about theories (group think) without even knowing if those ideas can pass a hermeneutical litmus test.
This is from where much of their confusion stems. Much of what they are being taught in this way is not true to the Word of God. The Internet is a great tool for researching topics related to the Bible, but then it is up to each individual to take that research and see how it conforms with the Bible in its entirety.
"...these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the scriptures daily, whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11).
Surely at some point in every believer's life he or she will come across Scriptures that advocate biblical veracity-so there is no excuse for laziness. We are to study the whole counsel of God to become better equipped to grasp the true meanings of Scripture (Acts 20:27).
We should always keep in mind that every passage in the Bible is empowered by the Holy Spirit and has only one primary meaning. We are blessed to know that God offers absolute truth and therefore it follows that every passage of Scripture has only one intended meaning, and only one correct interpretation. However, there can be many applications.
That a single passage has one meaning and one meaning only has been a long-established principle of biblical interpretation. Among evangelicals, recent violations of that principle have multiplied.
The single-meaning principle is of foundational importance in understanding God's communication with mankind, just as it has been since the creation of the human race. The entrance of sin in Genesis 3 brought a confusion in this area that has continued ever since.
Bernard Ramm was a Baptist theologian who wrote prolifically on biblical hermeneutics. He advocated the same principle in different words, "But here we must remember the old adage: 'Interpretation is one, application is many.' This means that there is only one meaning to a passage." 
Divide and Conquer
We must be mindful not to be caught off-guard by teachings that appeal to our flesh but cannot stand up to careful biblical scrutiny. The lack of discernment and irresponsibility in the Body of Christ is alarming at times. But then again, many who profess Christ are not authentic Christians; they only think they have discernment, but in truth they are biblically weak-lacking a genuine intimate enduring walk with the Lord Jesus; they cause divisions and have hidden motives that do not glorify God.
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple" (Romans 16:17-18).
It is important to be extremely cautious every day choosing friends and associates wisely, and not be "tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14). Jude had this to say about self-serving people in the last days:
"But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, 'In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts. These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit'" (Jude 17-18).
Years ago, I wrote an article titled, "He Must Increase, but I Must Decrease." After we published it on Rapture Ready, someone who considers herself to be an upstanding Christian was bothered by it. She asked, "Why would you write something like that?" I was shocked by her lack of understanding regarding one of the most basic teachings of Christianity. The Lord Himself admonishes us to live lives placing Him first; at the very least we should aim for that kind of life.
Later, I learned that this same person is heavily into the teachings of T.D. Jakes. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey Jakes stated, "There has to be many paths to God." 
It is no secret that Oprah Winfrey believes the same thing. She has said so publicly many times. She and T.D. Jakes are indeed kindred "spirits" and those spirits are not of the true God of the Bible:
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6) emphasis added).
T.D. Jakes epitomizes self-love along with a long list of other very troubling teachings. This very famous mega-church pastor teaches that there is nothing "more essential" than falling in love with yourself in his book titled, Falling in Love with Yourself, p.15. 
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves" (2 Timothy 3:1-2a).
The worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:19) taught by T.D. Jakes is totally contrary to the doctrine of Christ, 2 John 9-11:
"Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds."
If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23 emphasis added).
Not all who are compromised individuals are obvious disrupters. Many are pretentious people who profess Christ, but have ulterior motives and have infiltrated the Christian church-usually to gain some sort of self-empowerment.
These irreverent wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15) use biblically recognizable words and piously proclaim God in their lives-but what they are advocating is shallow "spiritual" fluff. The living God is a stranger to these unrepentant purveyors of confusion; what's worse-they are strangers to Him:
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
Another very sad, troubling trend which feeds the apostasy and damages a Christian's witness is when we observe troublesome individuals seeking special attention by hovering around Christian ministries/churches with a groupie-like mentality-fawning over those who may or may not be reliable teachers-perhaps hoping that by some sort of osmosis they will become enlightened and popular; they may even cause disturbances if things don't go their way.
These are often hyper-emotional co-dependent professing Christians who function by latching onto others in unsettling ways. Good solid Bible teachers, ministry leaders and pastors would never enable and encourage such dysfunctional behavior; they would reject flowery words of gushing adulation (idolatry). This happens in small ministries as well as much larger ones. I believe some people who create problems in ministries have varying degrees of mental and emotional illnesses, which cause them to be mean-spirited and behave irrationally.
Idolizing a church leader has taken precedence over the Lord in many ministries. Take a look at some videos of mega-church services, especially those that teach the "prosperity" and "feel-good" messages; the congregations seem to be mesmerized-as if hypnotized, in awe of the person preaching at the pulpit.
You won't see much adulation for Jesus, if any. It's all about tapping into your own "instincts" or "awakening that power within you" to "get more" and "be more of you." These are New Age precepts that have infiltrated the Church, dangerously taking people away from the true Living God of the Bible.
The motives of imposters, of counterfeit Christians are selfish and insincere; many of them believe their own impaired ideas that they are "saved" and are "doing the Lord's work." The born-again benefit of 2 Corinthians 5:17-maturing into a "new creature in Christ" has somehow eluded these demanding, haughty histrionic-whiners.
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (2 Corinthians 13:5; Romans 12:2).
Individuals who peddle questionable and confusing Scripture-twisting ideas are dedicated to their own advancement, although they want people to believe they are sold-out for Christ. Tragically, huge numbers of people cannot discern false teachings and are deceived. The corruption is intensified when false teachers proclaim the "doctrines" of other false teachers, and those man-created doctrines become widely accepted as "truth."
In such cases that stamp of acceptance and approval is really a sign of the soaring apostasy,
and another giant step toward the Rapture and the Tribulation. As that time draws near, we can expect the apostasy to dramatically escalate. We should not be surprised and dismayed but rather encouraged-for our redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28).
When we keep an eternal perspective on life we will not be dragged down by matters that will be of no value or concern to us when we are finally with the Lord. If we are honest with ourselves, and choose balanced godly living over daily worldly distractions, the peace of God will surpass all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
We should never assume someone is a true believer or has honorable intentions just because he or she seems cordial, and can give a speech referencing material relating to the Bible, or is popular.
Some of the wealthiest preachers who teach the "prosperity" gospel and the "feel-good" ecumenical universal god messages do not seriously teach the Word of God. Yet they are very popular, and have huge followings. Their followers for the most part live very ordinary lives, while the pastors live lavish lives of self-indulgence. These pastors are very skilled in soliciting money from their congregation for personal gain. In secular terms, I think that would be called a "snow job."
When professing Christians think they can live unscrupulously in private, mask their unsavory motives and actions with spiritual jargon, then use God's grace to rationalize and excuse their disingenuous shady behavior-it is a direct affront against the Living God and His precepts.
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me" (Matthew 5:8).
The points that have been made here are the same warnings that we find throughout all of Scripture-to be careful as to what we accept as God's truths-to learn what they are, and to pay attention to what kind of people are in our midst. Genuine believers who take their faith seriously must pray for the deliverance of those who are confused and misled, and also for the deliverance of the deceivers-the imposters, the false teachers and false prophets, the backstabbers who take advantage of others to further their own agendas to boost their already over-inflated egos.
The basic tenants of Christianity have been hijacked and perverted by the deceivers; their lives will end in tragedy when they find themselves shut out of heaven. Counterfeit Christians play fast and loose with God's Word in order to achieve their selfish agendas, knocking over all those who are in their way. They too, will pay a high price for their perverse ways.
God did not step out of eternity and suffer a horrific torturous death so those who play games with our faith can claim some kind of cheap grace as an excuse for their reprehensible behavior. Integrity-including biblical integrity-is far more important than pleasing people and being popular.
The spiritual war is heating up on many levels. Be sure you are well-armed and on God's side.
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
 "The Principle of Meaning" Robert L. Thomas Professor
of New Testament, Master's Seminary, https://www.tms.edu/m/tmsj12c.pdf .
Kit R. Olsen is General Editor, Featured Writer, and staff writer for Rapture Ready; also a Christian book editor and Christian author. All proceeds from her books are used for evangelism, and not personal use. You can find some of Kit's books at Barnes & Noble and Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kit-R.-Olsen/e/B00E1QNXYY
Contentious Contending - By Jan Markell - www.olivetreeviews.org
"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Ephesians 4:29 NKJV
I have watched as fellow Christians have torn into one another, slandered Christian brothers and sisters, tried to harm successful ministries, and behaved in such a manner that would result in the unbelieving world fleeing from them.
Added to this is a new contention online, particularly on social media. Disagreements over even minor issues often result in name-calling and denigrating one another. Whether the venue is YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter, the contentiousness is out of control.
I have watched mean-spiritedness coming from Christian "leaders" that might make the secular world blush. It is "friendly fire" that isn't so friendly. And if I publicly chastised them and named their names, they would reply with even more vindictive blogs, radio programs, articles, commentaries, and YouTubes. They can dish out the chastisements but they cannot take an ounce of correction.
Yes, there is raging apostasy. The most frequent email to me is, "Can you recommend a church in you-fill-in-the-blank city?" Many churches have caved to the most unsound doctrine. True heresy needs to be called out with the naming names and citing the aberrant theology.
But some in today's discernment crowd hide in the bushes, waiting for a Christian leader to make a single misstep. They are then pounced on, labeled a hopeless heretic, and marginalized by others in that community. And if you associate with people they disagree with, feature them, quote them, or publicly show approval of them, you have lost all common sense, discernment, judgment, and more. You are an equal heretic in the guilt by association game.
My radio co-host, Eric Barger, wrote an excellent article titled "When Discernment Turns Ugly." I'd like to quote a few lines.
Eric writes, "Both Jan and I have become increasingly uncomfortable, even disturbed, with the tone and lack of civility being portrayed by some within the apologetics and discernment community of speakers, writers, and commentators. We've watched, listened, and have tried to intervene as assorted discernment ministries have fired shots at others inside Christianity over issues that fall miserably short of what has always been considered heresy.
"A troubling precedent has been spawned by some, lending validation to the idea that it's perfectly acceptable to publicly rake anyone over the coals for nearly any theological reason."
Eric continues, "Jan and I are not alone in our dismay with what is happening. Other leaders have voiced the same concern to us in recent days and mind you, the issue is not concerning any rejection of the virgin birth or the bodily resurrection of Christ. Nor is it related to the pseudo-Christian yet cultic Emergent heresy or the seducing web with which spiritual liberalism ensnares so many."
Eric writes, "The type of 'discernment' that I'm referring to here doesn't involve someone's denial of the essential doctrines of the faith. Instead, what these squabbles really amount to are nothing more than disagreements on secondary doctrines, styles of worship, and peripheral practices."
I am puzzled as to why this ministry has been the brunt of constant attack for years. I previously reported that Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, called Olive Tree Ministries a "blight on our times" and "reprehensible." This and more was stated on his national radio program. He could have called me and said, "Jan, here's where we disagree. Let's talk about it." Instead Hank spent at least three minutes shredding my theology and character. At the root of the issue is his Preterism cannot tolerate Dispensationalism.
Recently another ministry leader who has spent five years denigrating this ministry wrote and said his attitude had softened. He was glad for the areas where we agree. He acknowledged he had not acted Christ-like. He apologized for the damage done and stated that for the issues upon which we agree such as end-time events, he should not have been an adversary. We are flawed human beings who will never see eye-to-eye on everything. I accepted his apology.
I think Olive Tree Ministries is doctrinally sound. I have sometimes featured guests on air or at conferences with whom I have some minor theological disagreements. I have felt that what they have to say is important enough that I will not let secondary issues stand in the way. I also know that these guests would never push their own agenda.
But I have begun to wonder if the contentious contenders expect a background check of everyone with whom one associates? And if so, has the standard been set so high that no imperfect human being can qualify?
Do these folks think that they have no flaws, no theological weaknesses, and have attained a level of such perfection that they have become, in essence, a sheriff for the church? They must stamp their seal of approval on everyone?
Recently one online ministry attacked another and so denigrated the other with insults that it was embarrassing. The one who was verbally insulting the other via YouTube suggested the other lacked a proper education even though this particular pastor is loved by thousands. He is cutting-edge with an electronic audience consisting of tens of thousands.
He was then insulted as someone who needed more theological education in Greek and Hebrew. After an hour of insults, any sound believer would be heartsick and an unbeliever would flee from our camp observing that his unbelieving friends would be far more gracious to him should he make a mistake or have a disagreement.
Eric writes, "I think it's needful for each Christian to be able to express positions or hold beliefs on the so-called secondary issues, but is biblical apologetics about denigrating others and, in effect, besmirching entire ministries based on disagreements about side issues? For some, this is what it's become, and worse. The field of discernment has, at least in part, become a hotbed of separatism that seems to far exceed biblical standards."
Eric continues, "From what is sometimes only one pen or keyboard, judgment is meted out against the suspected offender as newsletters are printed, blogs are published, seminars are given, and whole ministries and reputations are possibly done irreversible harm.
"All this takes place no matter how flimsy the evidence presented may be, and often over non-essential theologies! This should disgust the Christian community and I fear for the next generation of apologists (and those they'll likely influence) who are being schooled by this example."
I think that God is saddened that elements in the apologetics' world behave no better than the Pharisees of Jesus day.
As flawed human beings, we make missteps and we certainly make mistakes. As each day dawns, I ask God for sound judgment for the many major decisions I will face that day. I don't want to mislead anyone or introduce them to unsound doctrine. I likely am not batting 1,000. In that teachers and leaders have a higher accountability, I would ask you to pray for all of us.
It's one thing to contend for the faith which we must do (Jude 3). It's another thing to denigrate character, engage in name calling, and make untrue accusations. A false teacher needs to be called out. Wolves are devouring millions of sheep.
It's only the contentious contending we are observing that is troubling.
II Timothy 2:24-25:
And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.....
The latest move in President Vladimir Putin's quest to reconstruct the Soviet Empire - Jeremiah Jacques -
Russian troops erected a new border demarcation in the area that adds about 25 acres of Georgian territory to the Russia-controlled region of South Ossetia.
The latest move in President Vladimir Putin's quest to reconstruct the Soviet Empire.
Russian forces in the Republic of Georgia quietly pushed the occupational border deeper into the Tbilisi-controlled area this month, effectively expanding the size of the territory Moscow controls by dozens of acres.
The expansion occurred in the Bershueti village in the Gori district, according to a July 4 report by Georgia's Agenda.ge news outlet. Russian troops erected a new border demarcation in the area that adds about 25 acres of Georgian territory to the Russia-controlled region of South Ossetia.
Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying the move blocks several local farmers from accessing parts of their cultivated land: "This is a continuation of the illegal process of the so-called borderization, which not only restricts the fundamental rights of local residents but considerably damages the security situation on the ground and obstructs Georgia's efforts to achieve peaceful resolution of the conflict."
This is not the first time the Russians have pushed their de facto border deeper into Georgia. And Tbilisi-based analyst Irakli Bokuchava told the Trumpet on July 12 that if Georgia doesn't stand up to Russia's creeping occupation, Moscow will continue to take more land. "Non-resistance of Georgia only encourages Russia to steal more territories in South Ossetia," he said. "The position of Georgia must be more severe."
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said he will petition the international community to help Tbilisi halt Russia's advance. "Georgia will use all diplomatic levers at its disposal to stop the creeping occupation," he said.
Russia's gradual push deeper into Georgia is only the latest move in President Vladimir Putin's quest to reconstruct the Soviet empire.
Officially, South Ossetia is part of Georgia, a nation that was formerly part of the Soviet bloc. But in 1992, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region declared independence from Tbilisi. For more than a decade, South Ossetia existed as a semiautonomous region that was mostly at peace with the rest of Georgia. But in 2004, the Georgian government launched efforts to regain control of the region, and conflicts between Georgian soldiers and South Ossetian separatists began to increase.
The tension culminated in 2008, when Georgia carried out a resolute ground and air assault on Tskhinvali, South Ossetia's primary city. Putin responded to the offensive by invading Georgia and pushing Georgian soldiers out of South Ossetia and out of Abkhazia, Georgia's other pro-Russian breakaway region.
After concluding the invasion, Moscow recognized the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Putin then asserted control over the two regions, which together comprise one fifth of Georgia's internationally recognized territory. A handful of Russia's allies, including Venezuela and Nicaragua, followed Moscow's lead in recognizing their independence.
Georgia, along with the United States and the European Union, labeled the Russian move a blatant and illegal land grab. Georgia continues to insist that both regions remain part of Georgian territory, and international law supports this view. But such claims mean little as Russia continues to assert more real-world control over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Russia's push deeper into Georgia this month comes just 3½ years after Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and during an ongoing conflict in which Russian forces are aiding separatists in eastern Ukraine. Both Ukraine and Georgia were part of the Soviet Union before its collapse. In 2005, Putin called that collapse "the greatest geopolitical disaster of the [20th] century." This declaration provides insight into the Russian leader's worldview and his overriding geopolitical goal: to reconstruct a Russian empire.
Many in Georgia, including Dr. Bokuchava, see that Russia's push into South Ossetia parallels its recent actions in Ukraine. "Russia, in a way, is pulling a Crimea here," he said, adding that Putin's plan is the "creation of a renewed ussr."
Just after Russia's 2008 invasion of Georgia, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry issued this forecast:
Russia's attack on Georgia in August marks the beginning of a dangerous new era in history. This was the first military strike of a rising Asian superpower-and there will be more! ... Today, you have [Western leaders] trying to also bring Georgia and Ukraine into nato. I don't believe Russia will ever allow that to happen. ... Will a crisis occur over Ukraine? That area is the breadbasket of Russia, and surely it is willing to wage war over that as well.
Time has proved that forecast to be stunningly accurate.
Nearly a decade ago, Mr. Flurry understood that Ukraine and Georgia were not safe from Putin's expansionist ambitions, and now it is clear that he was right. He also said that Russia's aggressive behavior would frighten Europe into uniting.
Murdered Druze Cops, Descendants of Biblical Jethro, Fulfilling End-of-Days Role as Allies of Israel - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/91721/temple-mount-attack-precursor-druze-end-days-role-battling-amalek/#ktfI7E3IIE8ddtwj.99
"Now Yitro, the priest of Midian, Moshe's father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moshe, and for Israel His people, how that Hashem had brought Israel out of Egypt." Exodus 18:1 (The Israel Bible™)
The deadly attack last week on the Temple Mount pitted Israeli Druze against Muslims, tightening an prophesied alliance with Israel that has Biblical roots leading back to the Druze patriarch Jethro. The fulfillment of their role as brothers-in-arms with the Jews precipitates the end-of-days war against Amalek.
On Friday, two Druze men serving in the Israel Police, 30-year-old Haiel Sitawe and 22-year-old Kamil Shnaan, were murdered by Palestinian terrorists on the Temple Mount while protecting the Jewish state. Their sacrifice was a clear fulfillment of Balaam's prophecy, which foretells that the Druze and Jews will fight together against their enemy, Amalek.
The Druze are an ethnoreligious group native to the Middle East, today comprising a population of nearly one million throughout Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Israel's Druze population is well-known for its loyalty to the Jewish state; unlike Israeli or Christian Arabs, they are drafted into the IDF. Though the Druze faith originally developed out of Ismaili Islam, Druze are not considered Muslim.
The Druze connection to the Jewish people dates back to Moses and Mount Sinai with Jethro, father-in-law of Moses, from whom the Druze have a strong tradition that they are descended.
Indeed, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, a French medieval commentator on the Bible known by the acronym Rashi, taught that the Druze have an inheritance in the Land of Israel, based on a verse in Numbers describing the farewell between Moses and his father-in-law.
And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what good soever Hashem shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.' Numbers 10:32
Rashi explained that the 'good' was a portion of the most fertile land near Jericho.
This Biblical bond between the Sons of Jacob and the Sons of Jethro, also known as the tribe of Kenite, is described in Jewish sources as the basis for a future end-of-days alliance. Yeranen Yaakov, a prominent geula (redemption) blogger, explained that the Sons of Jethro figure into the Messianic process through the prophecy of Balaam in Numbers.
And he looked on Amalek, and took up his parable, and said: Amalek was the first of the nations; but his end shall come to destruction. And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said: Though firm be thy dwelling-place, and though thy nest be set in the rock. Numbers 24:20-21
Jethro was described as a Kenite in Judges, a tribe that lived near the Amalekites.
And the children of the Kenite, Moshe's father-in-law, went up out of the city of palm-trees with the children of Yehuda... Judges 1:16
In a powerful precedent to the modern Druze-Jewish brotherhood, the Kenites in the Book of Judges joined with Yehuda in order to combat the Canaanite inhabitants of Israel.
The 13th-century Spanish Biblical commentator Rabbi Moses ben Nahman, commonly known as Ramban, taught that Balaam's words advised the Sons of Jethro that if they lived among the Jewish people, they too would be exiled but would return with the Jews. However, if they stayed among the Amalekites they would be destroyed along with the enemy.
The Jews are commanded to battle the Amalekites, their archetypal enemy, at any place and at any time. Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, a 12th-century Spanish Torah authority known as Rambam, taught that Balaam's prophecy placed at least some of the Sons of Jethro, or the Druze, alongside the Jews in this Messianic battle.
Rabbi Ari Enkin, the rabbinic director of United With Israel, is a strong believer in this close spiritual brotherhood between Jews and Druze, whom he believes are the true descendants of Jethro. Rabbi Enkin, who has warm relations with many Druze leaders, frequently teaches Torah to Druze students.
"We are obligated to love the Druze, who have so much to lose and are being ostracized for loving Israel," Rabbi Enkin told Breaking Israel News. "They believe in one God, the God of Abraham, and accept the Noahide Laws. They have a place with us in Israel and a place in olam haba (the world to come)."
Rabbi Enkin cited a Halachic (Torah law) ruling by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef which states Jews are required to say prayers for Druze that fell defending the state of Israel. The commandment was fulfilled this week in a rare and poignant way when a group of Jews was enabled to pray on the Temple Mount after the Islamic Waqf guards who prevent Jewish prayer boycotted the Mount in protest of security measures. The Jewish worshipers took the opportunity to say Kaddish (the prayer for the dead) at the spot on the Temple Mount where one of the Druze police officers was killed.
As this Biblical blood bond between Jews and Druze deepens, the tensions between Muslims and Druze grow. Muslims threw stun grenades in two separate attacks this week targeting Druze mosques in the hometown of one of the murdered policemen.
Nearing Midnight: Is Emmanuel Macron the Antichrist? - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Several of the people who contribute articles to Rapture Ready have addressed the possibility of Emmanuel Macron being the Antichrist. Most have approached the subject with a good bit of caution. Because the Antichrist comes to power after the Rapture, we, as the bride of Christ, cannot be certain of his identity.
The Antichrist will be a man of such incredible charm and charisma, students of Bible prophecy may be able to place high odds on him being the man who will rule the whole world.
The Tribulation starts with the Antichrist confirming a peace agreement between Israel and its Arab enemies. This is an accomplishment that has eluded diplomats since Israel became a nation.
It may take several months or years of planning to bring the two sides together. If Macron starts racking up frequent flier miles to Jerusalem, it would be logical to suspect him as having a major end-time role.
What is most fascinating about Macron is that he appeared out of nowhere.
A year before the French election, he had no political party. France has been in chaos from all the terrorist attacks and the far-right Front National candidate, Marine Le Pen, seemed the only answer to the madness.
Macron won by a huge margin of 66.06% to 33.94% to become, at age 39, the country's youngest president. He also gained a huge majority in the French parliament, taking 351 out of 577 seats. The Socialist party was nearly destroyed; shed more than 200 seats and hold only around 34 seats.
The voters were drawn to Emmanuel Macron by some supernatural force. He would go to public events and win people over with his magnetism. Macron went to a factory, where the vast majority supported his rival, and he persuaded many of the workers to vote for him.
Macron reminds me of how Obama came to power in America. His record as an Illinois senator was dismal. Obama had no major legislative accomplishment, he had voted present more than any other senator. When he ran for president, the media worshipped at his feet. He was repeatedly given messiah labels. Because Obama is an American citizen, I wasn't worried about him becoming the Antichrist.
Emmanuel Macron is a citizen of Europe, and out of the revived Roman Empire (The European Union) will come the Antichrist. Since we appear to be close to the end, everyone who presents himself as a savior figure needs to be considered.
The demonic symbolism around Macron is very troubling. In his debate with Marine Le Pen, he frequently held his hands in a way that represents the number of the beast. He gave a speech on a stage that was shaped like the Masonic unfinished pyramid.
Macron celebrated his victory at the Louvre museum right in front of the glass pyramid composed of 666 pieces. To top the night off, he held up his arm in a V shape that with the pyramid behind him made Masonic crest.
I came across a video of a psychologist; he said Macron has all the signs of having a psychopathic personality. Since the term "Napoleon Complex" originated in France, one would think voters would be on guard for someone who loves political power a little too much. If Macron leads the world in Armageddon, at least we'll have a natural explanation for the carnage.
His ambition is already past the borders of France. Macron responded to Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the climate deal by twisting Trump campaign slogan, saying he wanted to "Make our planet great again." He sees himself as very qualified to manage world affairs.
When Macron said he will "Rule like the Roman god Jupiter," the press was stunned into silence. When it was announced that he doesn't do Q&A with journalists because his thoughts are much "too complex" for them, I couldn't believe what I was reading.
I've been tracking Bible prophecy for nearly 40 years. I've seen many Antichrist candidates come and go. Emmanuel Macron has only been in office for two months, and he has already generated more end-time buzz than any other world leader that I remember.
The late prophecy teacher, Charles Taylor, said for years that King Juan Carlos of Spain would be the Antichrist. Prince Charles of Wales was also frequently mentioned as a Beast contender. Both these men had such boring personalities, they had just as much chance of winning the Boston Marathon than being the most cunning dictator in human history. Macron has a smooth operator quality that's missing from nearly every other Antichrist candidate.
There is certainly the possibility that Macron may crash and burn as French President. He faces a long list of problems and his total lack of political experience could be his undoing. All we can do is watch.
The key factor that allows for speculation is the shortness of time. It's nearly show time, so some of the actors we see on the world stage will likely be players in the Tribulation hour. There is strong indication that Putin might be Gog, the leader of Ezekiel 38 and 39. The addition of someone who appears to be ready to play the main character tells me that the end-time play is about to begin.
"Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means" (Daniel 8:25).
Global Government: It's Closer Than You Think - By Britt Gillette -
Over the past several decades, the world has moved closer and closer to global government. Free trade and globalization have taken the world by storm.
National borders have been relaxed, if not completely erased. And many people see themselves as "citizens of the world" instead of citizens of their home country. Have no doubt. We've been on a slow march toward global government for decades.
In recent years we've seen a worldwide pushback against this trend. Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and the rise of nationalism have led many to think free trade and globalization are on the way out.
Does this signal the end for a future global government? No.
Despite the recent events, there's no stopping the march toward global government. How can I be so sure? Because the Bible says it's coming. And the Bible has a perfect track record when it comes to foretelling the future.
The Bible says the Antichrist will conquer other nations and create a global empire (Revelation 6:2-4). He will be so powerful, no one will be able to oppose him (Revelation 13:4).
But in an age of nuclear weapons, how is this possible? Many say it's not. They say such a conquest would trigger a worldwide nuclear war.
A war ending with total destruction of the planet. But keep in mind, conventional wisdom is often wrong. And this case is no different. Why do I say this? Because we won't be in the age of nuclear weapons forever.
In fact, the age of nuclear weapons is about to end. And when it does, a global government will rule the world.
Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)
In 1949, the Soviet Union became the world's second nuclear power. Since then, fear of a global nuclear war has kept humanity from destroying itself. The fear of total destruction, the idea no one can win a war between two nuclear powers, is known as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). For 70 years, it's all that's kept us from World War III.
World leaders know - in an all-out nuclear war, no one wins. Because of this, we've never seen an all-out war between two nuclear powers. Many believe we never will.
Sure, a regional power such as North Korea or Iran might one day cause a lot of destruction. But could they destroy the entire world? No.
But a war between the United States, Russia, or China? That's a different story. For that reason alone, many believe we'll never see a war between those superpowers.
It makes sense. And in the current era, it may prove true. But just because it's true now doesn't mean it will always be true. Why? Because in the coming era of advanced technology, MAD will be obsolete.
The End of MAD
To believe MAD will always rule the day, to believe the threat of nuclear annihilation will forever prevent a war between superpowers, is to believe nuclear technology is the pinnacle of all technology. It's not.
Just as in the past, new technology will one day replace nuclear weapons. Firearms once made arrows obsolete. Tanks once made horse mounted troops obsolete.
And one day soon, new technologies will make nuclear weapons obsolete. When that day comes, MAD will also be obsolete. And when MAD becomes obsolete, the world peace built on MAD will disappear. Why? Because the threat of certain and total destruction will go away.
When new technologies emerge, decades of world stability will disappear overnight. The old rules will no longer apply. Let's look at what will change:
Defense Against Nuclear Weapons - For much of the nuclear age, there's been little to no defense against nuclear weapons. Once a nuclear weapon is launched, the targeted nation can do little to stop it. But that's changing.
Missile defense has improved drastically in recent years. And new technologies will allow for better tracking of nuclear weapons (preventing the smuggling of nuclear weapons into enemy territory). More importantly, new technologies open up the possibility of disabling nuclear weapons before they can be launched or detonated.
New technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, and molecular manufacturing will enable a nation to infiltrate an enemy's closed networks and mechanical systems.
In such a world, a nation using outdated nuclear age technology will become just as defenseless as an army with spears trying to fight an army with firearms. Nuclear weapons alone will no longer deter an attack.
The Unknown - In a world of such technologies, a nation can never be certain of enemy capabilities. Emerging technologies will be unstable and unpredictable.
Advances will take place rapidly, and they won't be easy to monitor. Today, not every nation has the ability to develop nuclear weapons. Nuclear programs are difficult to conceal. But new advanced technology programs will cost less and be harder to track.
This makes the spread of these technologies much more likely. Even worse, in age of cyberwarfare, you may not even know who your enemy is. All these unknowns will create suspicion and instability. And this increases the likelihood of a catastrophic war.
Targeted Destruction - Once the threat of nuclear war is removed, conquered territory would once again be livable. Think about it. After an all-out nuclear war, who would want to live? Few people. What sense does it make to destroy your enemy only to live in a radioactive world?
But new technologies will change this calculation. If one nation has advanced technologies, and the other doesn't, it could easily disable and conquer its enemies. With these other nations defenseless, the more advanced nation could conquer at will without fear of nuclear retaliation.
Decreased Economic Cooperation - Advanced technologies will reduce world trade, lessening the impact of war.
For example, China and the United States are major trading partners. A war would devastate each nation's economy. Because of this, they're less likely to go to war with each other. The price is too high.
But what happens when advanced technologies make every nation self-sufficient? A major deterrent to war will disappear.
As you can see, if MAD becomes obsolete, ending the threat of nuclear war is not necessarily a good thing.
In such a world, a new threat will take the place of nuclear war. That threat is a new arms race involving advanced post-MAD weapons. It may prove highly unstable.
If war broke out, the entire world could be destroyed. So while the threat of nuclear war would end, the threat of global destruction would not.
In fact, the likelihood of global destruction would increase significantly.
As terrible as this sounds, many people claim they already have the solution.
In a post-MAD world, many people see only two options:
1) An unstable arms race likely to end in global annihilation, or
2) Global government
Most will choose global government. The first nation to develop advanced post-nuclear technologies will most likely take advantage of its powerful position.
It will likely use its power to conquer all other nations before they develop similar technologies.
This nation could then establish a monopoly when it comes to these new technologies. And it will use its global monopoly to create a new and stable world order.
Think about it. If no one is left who can wage war against this nation, the world will be at peace. Unfortunately, the world will also be under the hand of global government.
Global government is coming. If it doesn't arrive sooner, advanced technologies will eventually force it.
Daily Jot: Socialist healthcare and socialists - Bill Wilson -
The on-again, off-again repeal, replacement, re-whatever of the socialist healthcare tax system, which was not supposed to be a tax and was supposed to be voluntary, is now again stalled in the US Senate. That a supposed "conservative" majority of the Senate cannot get this unaffordable and detrimental healthcare system repealed is a testimony to the hypocrisy and lies among Republican Party senators. The Grand Old Party has a majority in the Senate, yet can't muster enough votes to get rid of socialist healthcare, which costs more, provides less, and is a detriment to the free market system. Why? Bottom line: it's because too many Republican Senators are also socialists.
Think about it. If conservative Senators are having a hard time swallowing the so-called "repeal and replace" of socialist healthcare, its because it doesn't repeal or replace the current horrible system-a system that was jammed down America's throat by a majority Democratic Senate and House without one Republican vote in 2009. The Republican Senate Leadership is so worried about getting Democrat votes, that it doesn't have the collective will to get rid of the second-worst example of failed socialism in American History (only because the veterans healthcare system is the worst example). This is simple. Republicans have the majority. Repeal the law with or without the Democrats. Then fix things.
So now, the Senate Republican leadership says it will offer up the House version of the bill calling for a repeal with a two-year delay to provide ample transition to what they say is a "patient-centered" healthcare system. Wow. Patient-centered? We can only assume that the current system they are having such a difficult time getting rid of is a "government-centered" system. This is confirmed by the IRS trying to collect on those who did not sign up for socialist healthcare by sending out letters saying things like, "Our records show that you have unpaid shared responsibility payment for tax year ended December 31, 2016." Even though the President has instructed the IRS to back off, it is trying to collect, plus interest.
"Shared responsibility payment", really? This doesn't have anything to do with healthcare. It is the money the government is siphoning off of the healthcare system. This system is broken. Congress needs to fix it. But there are too many in Congress who agree with socialism to get the job done. Americans need to remember this and fix it themselves by allowing the system to die its natural death through non-participation, AND getting rid of the socialists in Congress. They have made healthcare unaffordable and unreliable. This tax places an unjust burden on Americans. Ecclesiastes 3:13 says, "that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God." Government is not God. Its time for Congress to understand that and do the right thing.
Daily Devotion: Drafted into His Service
- By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."
During the time the United States was involved in the Vietnam War, I became eligible for the draft. There were a lot of young men in the same boat that I was, and I can tell you that we weren't real happy about it. But if I had been called by my country, I was willing to go and serve.
As Christians, we have been drafted into God's army. You, as a child of God, are going to be a soldier. The choice is whether you will be a good soldier or a bad one. If you're going to be a true follower of Jesus Christ, the battle will rage. And your choice in this battle is whether you will win or lose, whether you will advance or retreat on the battlefield.
Some Christians are shocked to find that the Christian life is not a playground but a battleground. They want to live on easy street. They want to kick back and just count their blessings. That isn't the way it works.
The apostle Paul wrote, "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12).
In the Christian life, you will be either advancing or retreating. By advancing, I mean that you will be used by God. He is looking for men and women who are ready to step onto the spiritual battlefield and make a difference. But we must make that choice.
It's time to get out of our foxholes. It's time to dust off our clothes, to shine up our armor, to sharpen our swords, and get on with it. Because, like it or not, we have been drafted into God's service.
FROM THE HEART
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