Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
God's Protection for the End Times - by Pastor Mike Taylor -
Psalm 91:1 "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Romans8: 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
1st Peter 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator."
Anxiety is building in this nation, and for that matter, all over the world. Fear grips the average human being, as they see events that they have no control over. It doesn't matter if it's in Greece, Spain, Portugal in the EU or right here in the USA, men are fearful. They know that this is an unprecedented time of turmoil and signs of impending doom. Men are behaving like animals and evil grows exponentially, as we grow closer and closer to the end of this age as we witnessed crimes of unspeakable horror in the recent news coverage of the rampage of demonic possessed individuals, who executed the innocent in schools, theaters, and shopping malls. The culture has gone mad.
The powers that be look for a culprit to blame. They blame guns, they blame the social haters, and they blame those that hold onto those guns and their religion, namely Christian Conservatives. They wish to infringe on our Constitutionally given rights that were written by men who feared God, and knew that any government, even theirs that they were forming could become despotic.
We see the sin of homosexuality with it's push for same sex marriage making strides for public approval. We continue to see abortion unabated and Planned Parenthood boasting that they terminated the life of another baby, every 94 seconds last year.
WE see a government that has grown corrupt, and I pray the present administration at least slows down the slide of this nation into chaos and oblivion. Congress has become impotent to stay the powers who are moving this country into a more Socialistic-Communistic form of a New World Order.
It was reported that the brainiacs in Washington have come up with a great idea of minting a trillion dollar platinum coin, so "poof", no more debt. Great idea, except it raising inflation by an untold percentage and gives our line of credit to participate in the global economy as being "funny money."
We could go on and on mentioning the symptoms of the economic collaspe, as well as the societal collapse of this nation and reaching all around the world of natons having the exact same problems, just more of them. But that is in an other sermon you can read on this site. But the point here is,there is a Blood Red Moon Rising over the earth. We saw that in not too distant past, and now we see signs that point to a possible fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets this fall. I see that we will see a "total eclipse" of the sun that will only be for the central USA. It has never happened before. Is it a sign of foreboding of the coming wrath of God? Will it begin to happen this fall? We don't know, but this sign of the eclipse is but another sign in the heavens that 'something" big is about to happen...we just pray and watch.
MAKE YOUR FOUNDATION THE "ROCK"
It's a exciting time to live in, but anxiety producing for those who don't have a firm foundation on where their strength lies. I have brothers and sisters who email me with searching questions on how to prepare for what is coming. I am a firm believer and have always been that God allows nothing to come against His chosen children, the church, a people taken for His name, unless is for their benefit and their spiritual maturity. I have also come to believe that God is not interested in our comfort, but in our being ready to reign and rule with Jesus Christ for a 1000 years, and on into eternity. When the cares of this life seem to weigh in on any of us, and I'm not immune, I counsel my congregation to look to the Bible for their strength and their foundation of coping. I have been telling each of them, when things get rough around your community, your town, or your state, then it is a time to grab onto the promises of God and remind Him of those promises. OH, He knows what He promised, but He wants to hear that you believe that He will do what He said. Inspiration and strength has always been drawn from two chapters in the bible for me, in particular, but not exclusive, as the whole bible is designed to encourage and to lead us into righteous living, but for me Psalm 91 and Romans chapter 8, have special promises of protection and looking forward to our heavenly home. Let's take a moment to draw strength from these two chapters that have distinct promises of divine protection and Christian hope for a glorious future. Let us take a few verses from each, but I encourage you to read these chapters prayerfully and without doubt. I ask that you claim those promises, as God cannot lie. He just wants you to reach out to Him and draw nigh to Him.
Psalm 91:2 "I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday."
Just as a hen gathers her chicks during a storm, or for protection against terrors surrounding them, our Father wishes to draw us unto Himself and protect us. Terror that is all around us (ie). Islam terrorist, Washington bureaucrats, Obamacare, and even widening debt and deficit spending, not to mention a society in decay, we have no need to be afraid. Why? God is in control and His Word will not come back to Him void. He said it, it will be done!
MATTHEW HENRY SPEAKS ON PSALM 91
Matthew Henry has a great commentary on Psalm 91, and I would like to share it with you.
"He that by faith chooses God for his protector, shall find all in him that he needs or can desire. And those who have found the comfort of making the Lord their refuge, cannot but desire that others may do so. The spiritual life is protected by Divine grace from the temptations of Satan, which are as the snares of the fowler, and from the contagion of sin, which is a noisome pestilence. Great security is promised to believers in the midst of danger. Wisdom shall keep them from being afraid without cause, and faith shall keep them from being unduly afraid. Whatever is done, our heavenly Father's will is done; and we have no reason to fear. God's people shall see, not only God's promises fulfilled, but his threatening's. Then let sinners come unto the Lord upon his mercy-seat, through the Redeemer's name; and encourage others to trust in him also."
AS you read this marvelous chapter of God's Word, it should give you hope that you are not alone, but He walks right there with you. You become a little fearful with the latest report of a disaster or a shooting, or crime in your area, open your bible and read this chapter and claim it in it's promised message. I leave my family bible open at all times to this chapter, to remind God that I trust His Word, and His protection at any time. The bible is full of promises that tell the truth about God's protection to the true believer. Many Christians wring their hands and wonder what is coming down the pike for us all. But you know what? It doesn't matter, as He will prepare you for whatever comes. This side of the tribulation, we could see many natural disasters in this country of the USA, as it's happening all over the world. Many people will die, as many have already died. Some needlessly, but some because they have shaken their fist at God and God just might have removed His hand of protection from them and allowed them to go their own way and their demise was chance and circumstance. Liberal thinkers who don't need God, have no one to turn to when the times get rough, unless they repent of their sinful deeds. But not so with the believer in Jesus Christ. Going on in this same chapter of Psalms, the Psalmist writes a promise given to a child of God.
7 "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."
Wow, has it ever made you wonder why evil is all around you, but it hasn't touched your life? How many stories could I print of testimonies of men and women in harm's way were spared because they called out to God? But my brother and sister, there is a small catch to that protection. See Verse 1 of this chapter that started this sermon. You must be right next to His altar, under His shadow, under His wings, and staying close to God. You can't be out willy nilly living the life of this world, feeding your flesh with diverse pleasures, as that is a sure invitation for God to reprimand you and allow evil to enter your life. But it doesnt have to be so. God wishes to be with you in times of trial and even persecution.
11 "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation."
Whatever happens, nothing shall hurt the believer; though trouble and affliction befall, it shall come, not for his hurt, but for good, though for the present it be not joyous but grievous. Those who rightly know God, will set their love upon him. They, by prayer constantly call upon him. His promise is that he will in due time deliver the believer out of trouble, and in the meantime be with him in trouble. The Lord will manage all his worldly concerns, and preserve his life on earth, so long as it shall be good for him. For encouragement in this he looks unto Jesus. He shall live long enough; till he has done the work he was sent into this world for, and is ready for heaven. Who would wish to live a day longer than God has some work to do, either by him or upon him? A man may die young, yet be satisfied with living. But a wicked man is not satisfied even with long life. At length the believer's conflict ends; he has done for ever with trouble, sin, and temptation.
Did you catch that? Nothing can come against us, unless God allows it for our personal growth in spirit and maturity within His coming Kingdom. The devil can't touch us if we are within His protective circle, which is right up against His altar, His Throne. He may test our metal, but He will not allow anything to adversely effect us that He doesn't know that will make us stronger in Him.
My brothers and sisters, what do we have to fear? Nothing is the answer. Getting back to a little bit of the anxiety that people email me about. Who do you trust? We can't trust our government any more. We can't trust our elected officials or political parties, not even the Tea Party. We can't trust people in general, especially if you get into the big cities. Men have seem to become more ferocious in this desire to inflict pain and lash out at others. Was a time you could hitch hike down the interstate, which I never encouraged even my brother who thought it was a great way to travel, but times have changed. You don't hitchhike, and you don't pick up hitchhikers. Society has changed and not for the better. There is a large number of things you just don't do anymore, because society has become corrupt in general and your own unsaved neighbor will sell you for a ten bucks. That's a sad commentary, but society has proven it to be so. The love for one another has grown cold. Only the True Believer support one another in love and genuine concern for their good.
A GLORIOUS FUTURE JUST OVER THE HORIZON
But we have a glorious promise that is found in Romans chapter 8 and the most favorite part of that chapter is from verse 28 to the end of the chapter. Can you not see that we have nothing to fear? Reread the opening verses of this sermon and see that God only allows good to come to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Read the whole chapter, but focus in on the last of this chapter..Look at v. 31-32,
31 "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all thing."
He will give us all things, whatsoever we ask believing, He will do it if being in our best interest and in His divine Will. He knows what is good for us, will protect us, and what will make us grow as Christian people. He then ends the chapter will a powerful promise, that proves that we will never be alone in this life, as long as we stay close to Him.
38 "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Again, I ask you, what have we to fear? Nothing! God will lead us into green pastures, as the Psalmist wrote in chapter 23.
23 "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (we lack for nothing due to His Goodness)
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.( He blesses us with needs for our everyday lives)
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. (He is forever by our sides)
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (even though trouble is afflicting us, He will bring us through it and we will be better for it)
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (We cannot contain the blessings of God)
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." ( the blessing of the Lord are plentiful until He brings us home to receive a greater reward for being steadfast and faithful)
PROMISES NOT MADE TO THE WORLD
Now my reader, I must deal with the negative side of not following what I've outlined up to now. In past sermons, I have ventured into the demise of our country, as we have gone the way of Sodom and Gomorrah and certain destruction will come down on our heads, or God would have to apologize to Sodom for bringing down fire and brimstone about them. As the world grows worse and worse, and our home is on the horizon and we wait for the trumpet sound and Jesus to say "Come up here," we may see the symptoms of judgment beginning to come to pass on this nation and all nations around the world. We can expect more "accidents", more natural disasters, more crime, and more moral and economic woes coming fast and furious. These break neck events will make men's hearts very anxious, but they haven't seen anything yet! God told us though the apostle John what is coming upon mankind, when the wrath of God is poured out on the rebellious nations. But never fear, my brethren, God has not appointed us to wrath...He said so in 1st Thessalonians
5:9 " For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him."
This is a clear indication of the church being removed out of the way, before God's wrath is released on this earth in all earnest. We may see, and it is not revealed how much we will see, but we WILL NOT see the destruction of 2/3 of every living thing that grows on this planet....that's every tree, green grass, sea creatures and the water they live in, animals, and including 2/3 of mankind to the tune of 6 billion people slaughtered in divine judgment. The horrific depiction of the carnage would make any sane man's hair stand up on the back of his neck and head. Evil will reign supreme on this earth for 7 short years with the worst of the evil in the last 3.5 years, known as the Great Tribulation. Men, women and children will die by the thousands into the millions in a very short time.
Can you image the pain and suffering endured by mankind during those awful years? What's going on now will look like a picnic compared to that time. Some of the graphics descriptions of men's pain and suffering include being stung by demons repeatedly for 5 months begging to die, but they cannot. Another sign is great sores that come upon men who have the mark of the beast on their foreheads Revelation 16:11,
" and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. ,"
Or how about the sun scorching men with great heat. Of course great heat will produce great famine, as everything will die. But men will curse God, instead of repenting of this wickedness.
Revelation 16:9, "And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory."
Great hailstones raining down on the earth that weigh upwards of 100# each...unheard of? Get ready, Revelation 16:21,
"From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible."
You want to get yourself in a funk, and totally depressed, read the 16th chapter of Revelation. This imagery is easy to understand and is not symbolism at all, but will be a literal event to come to all who dwell upon the earth in wickedness. As had been written, the time of the end is close at hand, when I say the end, I mean the end of the age of Grace. God's grace will have run out. God's people have suddenly vanished from the face of the earth. Don't believe it? Wait around, should you be so foolish, I guarantee that you will, as the bible has been 100% accurate into modern times. There is no reason to believe that the events depicted in Revelation will not be fulfilled in their entirety. Woe to you if you are still here.
12 "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!"
As my sister, Donna Wasson wrote recently, "Are you in, or are you out?". You ask how do I get in? Oh, that's easy. All it takes is faith and repentance. Faith in what? John 3:16-18,
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Realize that you are a sinner, as it is written, Romans,
23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Accept His free offer of grace and mercy, Ephesians 2,
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
God through His Son is offering you the keys to eternal life, the golden ring on the merry-go round...reach and out and take it. It's entirely free. All you have to do is admit you need it, and Him. Believe He died for you and for me and was raised to life and lives today and is coming back for His people chosen for His name. When this happens then my friend, if you do not possess the "golden ring" of Jesus Christ, the Tribulation is your reward of 7 years of literal hell on earth...not meant to scare, but to warn you of your condition and the remedy. Because, if you are sensitive to the times that are coming upon us, you know within your mind and you heart, that a Blood Moon has Risen and a full eclipse coming, which could be full of the wrath of God. It's that dread you feel within your spirit, that pulls within your mind and threatens to send you into despair and madness. I beseech you, to present yourself to Christ a broken and contrite heart asking, no pleading for forgiveness. And you know what, He will grant the request for all eternity.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying the salvation of our and Savior Jesus Christ comes into each of your hearts and minds. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, this is me praying God's blessing on you all,
till we meet at Jesus feet.
Christians Caught Unaware Who Gave Up Pre-Tribulation Rapture - Don Koenig -
Christians will be caught unaware because they gave up premillennialism.
One of the chief signs of the end times that premillennial futurists fluffed over in their eagerness to see the return of the Lord for His Church is the passages that make it clear that the Lord is coming at time when we think not (Luke 12:40).
We also know that in the last days there would be Christians mocking other Christians about their belief in the soon return of the Lord.
2 Peter 3, Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
In hindsight, one of the reasons why the hope of a Rapture in the 20th century was premature was because during that period a great percentage of Evangelical Christians believed in premillennialism. They believed in a literal and future fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Therefore, the coming of Jesus really did not fit what Jesus said it would be like in the Church just before His return. Let me explain.
The doctrine of the Rapture and the Lord's Second coming was one of the major focuses of the Bible believing Church in the last third of the 20th century. Yet, scripture implies that many Christians would not be expecting Jesus when He comes. So one of the signs that premillennial 20th century believers were presumptuous, and that Jesus would not return on our time-lines, was the general expectations that prevailed during that period among Christians. This irrational exuberance led to date setters and the fallout of that led to a general discrediting of all teaching dispensational Premillennial Theology.
Futurist Premillennial Theology probably reached its peak from 1970 to around the year 2000. In those days it was hard to find a Evangelical Bible believing church that did not believe in the soon coming of Jesus with the Rapture of the Church. They also taught that the Rapture would be followed by judgment of evil on earth, followed by the establishment of the millennial kingdom where Jesus would rule and reign on earth with His Church for a thousand years, and then Satan once again would be loosed to deceive mankind into a final rebellion.
Because of the Lord's delay and the presumptuous false hopes presented by some, there since has been a falling away from premillennial theology. Many pastors now have post-millennial beliefs where the Church will have to Christianize the world before the Lord will actually physically return. Preterism is also gaining ground. They teach that prophecy about Israel was all fulfilled in 70 AD and the prophetic promises to Israel are either annulled or are now only promises to the spiritual Church. With preterists, the Church is the kingdom promised on earth and the Church allegorically fulfills Bible prophecy. When all the saved come in, God will then judge all and eternity will began. There is no literal thousand year reign on earth in Preterism.
Today premillenial futurist Dispensational Theology is losing ground every day in Evangelical Christianity and you will seldom hear it taught from the pulpits anymore. It also will not be found in your Sunday school material. I think this falling away from premillennialim and the teaching of the imminent coming of Jesus is prophetic in itself. It had to be fulfilled, if we are indeed in the last days.
Jesus said He would come at a time when most think not. That would not have been true when people were still claiming His soon coming and also followed the date setters. Few premillenial believers in the 1980's thought that we would still be here in 2017. There are still some premillennial Christians that are hanging on to the hope of the Lord's soon coming, but they are becoming a smaller and smaller minority within Christianity.
I suppose that those who followed the 2012 end of the world presumptions and the heretical rants of Harold Camping will just make premillennial believers even more rare in the future. This will set the conditions in Christianity for what Peter said would happen in the last days.
Peter said Christians will be mocking other Christians saying, "where is the promise of His coming", they will obviously insinuate that your belief of a soon coming Rapture and the return of Jesus is a false hope that is even harmful to the Church. Pastors will teach that we must put away all such foolishness and work to Christianize the world through social justice programs. All that are teaching Premillennial Theology with the physical return of Jesus will be marginalized and perhaps not even welcomed in their fellowships.
The trend In Christianity is already this way in the churches that have become unequally yoked with unbelievers that intend to set up an interfaith world of social justice. This trend away from premillennialism will only increase because of more failed date setting. Soon premillennial evangelicals will become open game for soft and hard dominionist media Evangelicals, and their mocking will spread into the general church populations.
That is when this "where is the promise of His coming" rant will be literally fulfilled. Some have claimed fulfillment in the past, but they were really grasping at straws. I do not believe it will be some subtitle innuendo. It will be a direct mocking confrontation against those that hold fast to Premillennial Theology and the soon return of the Lord. This is what I believe Peter is saying in his passage. We have not seen that fulfilled yet, but we see that things are rapidly trending in that direction. We now see the Seeker, Purpose Driven, Emergent and New Apostolic Reformation churches are becoming increasingly hostile toward Premillennial Theology. Get ready for more flame throwing against anyone that takes Bible prophecy literally.
But, blessed is the person that holds fast to the promise of the Lord's coming. That promise of His patience was held by only one of the seven church types that identify Christianity, and they are the only Church type that was promised to be kept out of the great trial that will come upon all those that dwell on the earth.
Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Jesus said, "will there be faith on the earth when I come" (Lk 18:18), Jesus probably was not talking about faith to believe that salvation came through Him. The Church has to have salvation faith, or it is not the Church. Jesus was referring to faith that He would soon return and judge the earth. The answer to His question is that other than a small minority that kept the promise of His coming and His patience, there will not be that kind of faith on the earth when Jesus comes.
We need to keep the faith, the Lord is not slow in coming. He just is not willing that any should perish. Nevertheless, the signs of the times are evident, the Lord will not delay His coming much longer. We are not in darkness, that this day should overtake us as a thief (1 Th 5:4).
Lk 21:36 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.
Finally, one reason not usually talked about why Jesus must return very soon is The Singularity. We are only a few decades from when man will be able to extend his lifespan indefinitely. The doubling of knowledge every 18 months means that artificial intelligence will soon make it possible for collective man to solve any technical problem, but he still will not deal with the problem of his own sin.
Unforeseen technology will get into the hands of evil people and they would destroy the world if it went on past the middle of this century. So Jesus must return and deal with evil before that happens. The mark of the Beast probably somehow ties in. Man will attempt to undo the confusion given to him at Babel. That is not acceptable while mankind is still in rebellion against God. So the end is soon for sure, but first the scoffers must come from even those that call themselves Christians.
The Iran-Deal Swindle - By Elliot Kaufman -
We thought we were the ones buying time.
Two years on, the Iranian nuclear deal is a failure.
Some will surely protest that this cannot be; on Monday, the Trump administration just indicated that it plans to certify Iranian compliance to Congress. But that certification does not mean what it may seem to.
It certainly does not indicate that Iran has been in perfect compliance with the deal. Iran has already exceeded its limits on uranium enrichment and production of heavy water on several occasions. Furthermore, a series of recent German intelligence reports discovered Iranian efforts to procure technology that "can be used to develop plutonium for nuclear weapons." One report concluded there was "no evidence" of the "complete about-face in Iran's atomic policies" that had been hoped for.
But of course there's no evidence of that. This was the central flaw of the Iran deal: There was never any reason to suspect that the nature or aims of the Iranian regime had changed. Iran of course has scaled back its nuclear advances, but the Supreme Leader and his cronies still seek to obtain a nuclear weapon to fortify their regime, advance Iranian regional hegemony, and threaten Israel. Until this changes, the Iranians can safely be expected to use any deal to better pursue those aims. This is why it matters when H. R. McMaster, director of the National Security Council, explains that Iran has violated the spirit of the agreement.
So why does Trump plan to certify compliance? One debilitating weakness of the Iran deal is that there are no punishment mechanisms short of re-imposing sanctions, at which point Iran can reasonably argue that the deal is dead and it is free to pursue whatever nuclear advances it wants.
The deal provides a process whereby America can allege misconduct and force the U.N. Security Council to vote on a resolution. This resolution would maintain the deal's suspension of sanctions, so any veto - including the U.S.'s own - would trigger the reestablishment of the legal basis for sanctions. But there are several hurdles to getting the sanctions to "snap back" as promised.
As Eric Lorber and Peter Feaver wrote in Foreign Policy, "An effective sanctions regime consists of a legal basis, the institutional capacity to implement the sanctions, and the political will to carry it through. This course of action only provides for the first." Indeed, if the sanctions are rejected by Russia or opposed by European allies eager to continue trading with Iran, both of which are likely in the absence of truly flagrant Iranian violations, the sanctions regime will not be effective. It might not even get off the ground and certainly will fail to pressure Iran the way our previous sanctions regime, which took a decade to ratchet up, did. That's why formally alleging Iranian misconduct is extremely risky: It would unleash Iran and offer only weak and disunited sanctions.
This means that incremental Iranian cheating will likely continue to go unpunished. The best we can do is remain neutral, neither certifying compliance nor alleging noncompliance. But even with this meek third route, declined by the Trump administration this time, the deal leaves us helpless to stop Iran from slowly - never radically - preparing itself to push for a nuclear weapon once the deal's restrictions wear off in ten and 15 years.
That's why the deal will be certified. But why is it a failure? Some might say that pushing back a confrontation with Iran by ten or 15 years is a major accomplishment. We've bought ourselves time, claimed the deal's advocates, over and over again.
Philip Gordon and Richard Nephew, two of the Obama-administration officials who negotiated the Iran deal, now repeat this mantra in The Atlantic. The deal was supposed to "buy time for potential changes in Iranian politics and foreign policy," they write. But have we actually bought ourselves time?
What if it is Iran that has been buying time, using the sanctions relief to put itself in a stronger position for an eventual confrontation? What if, at the end of the Iran deal, Iran is stronger economically, geopolitically, and domestically, while we find ourselves with less power in the region and bereft of an international sanctions coalition?
Then, you might say, we got swindled.
In 2015, the Iranians were weak. Years of sanctions had decimated the Iranian economy, putting pressure on the regime at home. Iran was also facing an impressive and unified American-led international coalition dedicated to halting its nuclear program.
By the time the deal expires, Iran will be in a position of strength. Pocketing the money from the deal and once more able to export oil, the Iranian economy is recovering. Should oil prices ever rise, expect to see a boom. Iran has also quickly re-integrated itself into the global economy. Iranian exports to Germany, for instance, rose 26 percent in 2016. Germany's Chamber of Commerce and Industry expects trade to rise to 5 billion euros by 2020. Do you think Germany will be eager to punish Iranian cheating and re-impose sanctions? Of course not.
It will be nearly impossible to reassemble a unified international coalition against Iran in the near future. Our allies will have been coopted by Iranian oil and money. Already Iran has locked in large contracts with major American and European companies including Boeing, Airbus, Total, Peugeot, Danieli, and Saipem.
The same story holds in geopolitics. Iranian influence is advancing through the Middle East. Iranian-controlled Shia militias are gaining power through their victories against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Hezbollah, Iran's proxy in Lebanon, has amassed hundreds of thousands of missiles with which to attack Israel. New reports show that Iran is now manufacturing missiles in fortified, underground facilities in Lebanon. It is also continuing to improve its ballistic-missile program, testing out medium-range missiles on ISIS. These missiles will soon be able to target Riyadh or, if placed further afield, Jerusalem.
This is all allowed under the nuclear deal, as its advocates continue to remind us. But that is the problem. Without violating our agreement, Iran is putting itself in position to seriously damage our allies should we try to stop it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Indeed, one of Iran's first actions after the removal of sanctions was to purchase advanced S-300 air defense missiles from Russia. With each year, it will become tougher and tougher, more and more costly to intervene in Iran.
All of this points toward a frightening conclusion: Economically, internally, militarily, and geopolitically, Iran is now in a stronger position than it was before the deal. Iran is more ready for a confrontation in the future. It is better prepared to challenge the international community and build nuclear weapons. The deal didn't buy us time, it turns out - it bought Iran time to recover from sanctions, coopt our allies and businesses, and advance across the Middle East.
It is worth recalling that Iran refused to sign any deal that would surrender its right to enrich uranium. It refused to be pushed beyond a one-year "breakout time," the time it would need, given its allowed capacities, to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon. It ensured that the most important provisions of the deal would begin expiring after eight, ten, and 15 years. Why? Because Iran has never given up on its ambition to possess nuclear weapons. It merely agreed to delay its final nuclear push in order to get into a more secure position. Consequently, when the deal expires, Iran will be ready to pounce.
Finally, what is America doing with the time that we supposedly bought? We are watching as our coalition splinters, as Iran fortifies itself and its proxies gain power in other lands. We are watching as the North Koreans, surely able to transfer technology and know-how to Iran, advance their nuclear program. In doing so, we make the benefits of nuclear capabilities crystal clear to the Iranians.
The Obama administration signed a deal to kick the can down the road. But the crucial variable was always what would await us down that road. Right now, it looks like an ambush.
In a First, Jews Ascend Temple Mount Without Muslim Supervision - by Deborah Danan -
For the first time in decades, Jews ascended the Temple Mount on Monday and prayed without fear of being arrested by Muslim religious authority officials who have kept away from the site in protest over the metal detectors installed after Friday's terror attack.
Police granted Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors permission to visit the holy site three days after Arab-Israeli gunmen attacked a group of policemen, killing two.
Officials from the Jordanian Islamic Waqf that administers the site and the Al-Aqsa mosque within have refused to ascend the Mount and urged other Muslims to stay away to protest the metal detectors that Israel installed at the entrance since the site's reopening on Sunday.
Jews took advantage of the lack of Waqf officials and recited the mourner's Kaddish for the murdered Druze police officers at the site.
Jews are banned from praying at the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site - in accordance with the status quo that was established following Israel's capture of the site in 1967. In April, Jewish visitors were arrested by Muslim officials for openly praying at the flashpoint site.
Arnon Segal, a reporter for Makor Rishon newspaper and an activist for Jewish rights to the Temple Mount, wrote on his Facebook page, "We're back, thank God. With more Jews on the Mountain, freedom of worship and service to God, tomorrow our smile will be even more beautiful."
Despite Israeli assurances that the status quo will remain intact, the Waqf sees the installation of metal detectors and security cameras as an affront. The added security measures, which also work to protect Muslim worshippers, came in direct response to Friday's deadly terrorist attack in which three Israeli Arab assailants managed to get weapons onto the Mount.
On Sunday, protests erupted outside the site with the Waqf calling on Muslims in the city "to reject and boycott all the Israeli aggression measures, including changing the historical status quo including imposing the metal detectors."
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said the Muslim reaction to the security measures was "a tempest in a teacup."
He pointed out to Israel Radio on Monday that all Jewish visitors to the Western Wall and Muslim visitors to the Kaaba in Mecca were made to pass through metal detectors.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Channel 2 that the bolstered security measures at the site were now an imperative. "Live fire from inside the Temple Mount crosses every red line," he said.
Nearing Midnight: Heaven's Awards Ceremony - Terry James - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Christians could suddenly be called before Jesus Christ in any given moment of time.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
We have for years in our Nearing Midnight commentaries been chronicling how close the world is to that spectacular moment. We have, using God's Word, shown over and over that the lost of the world-all who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior-will be left behind to go through suffering of unimaginable horror.
It doesn't have to be that way for anyone. God tells all who will listen that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God gives His plan of salvation for escaping eternity in hell and the way to escape this terrible time that is about to begin on earth once the Rapture occurs. The apostle Paul writes under divine inspiration the following:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10: 9-10)
Acceptance of Christ for salvation must be made before, not after, the Rapture in order to escape the Tribulation. Now is the day of accepting Christ for salvation, the Bible says. Few who have rejected Christ before the Rapture will come to salvation after the Rapture, is how I believe the Scriptures have it.
I'm going to, prayerfully, presume you don't want to go to that place of torment called the lake of fire, or go through the hell on planet earth called Tribulation-the last seven years leading up to Christ's Second Coming. I'm presuming-again, prayerfully-that you will accept God's plan of salvation as given above.
Now we will look at what God's Word tells us is wrapped up in His plans for all who have been wise enough to humble themselves and accept His Son, Jesus the Christ, for the salvation of their eternal souls-that is, we will look at what I will term here as Heaven's Awards Ceremony.
The great promises for Christians that follow have been put together by many astute Bible scholars and students over many years. I have long ago forgotten the sources in particular. I will just say here that mixed in with my own thoughts is the scholarship of many folks much elevated above my own. I do know that many of these thoughts on the bema are from Dr. Harold Wilmington of Liberty University.
Immediately upon the Church-all born-again believers (John 3:3)-being called into Heaven in the Rapture, all will stand before the bema (judgment seat of Christ). Jesus Christ will judge each person-not for punishment, but for eternal rewards. This judgment will be for giving awards for the ways in which the individual Christian has contributed to God's glorious kingdom while living on planet earth.
Things on which Christians will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ:
1. How we treat other believers.
2. How we exercise our authority over others.
3. How we employ our God-given abilities.
1 Corinthians 12: 4, 12
2 Timothy 1:6
1 Peter 4:10
Add to these Scriptures Jesus' teaching of the parables of the ten pounds (Luke 19:11-26) and the talents (Matthew 25:14-29).
Each believer has at least one talent:
1 Corinthians 7:7; 12:7-11
1 Peter 4: 10
There are 18 of these gifts:
1 Corinthians 12
It's up to each believer to find/discern his or her gifts.
4. How we use our money.
1 Corinthians 60: 2
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
1 Timothy 6:17-19
All belongs to God:
1 Peter 18-19
5. How we spend our time.
1 Peter 1: 17
6. How much we suffer for Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4: 17
1 Peter 4:12-13
7. How we run that particular race God has chosen for us.
1 Corinthians 9:24
8. How effectively we control the old nature.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27
Greek word adokimos, "castaway," means "disapproved."
It means self is disapproved. Paul wanted to keep his old nature in check-seen in:
2 Timothy 2:15
1 Corinthians 16:3
1 Thessalonians 2:4
9. How many souls we witness to and win to Christ.
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
10. How we react to temptation.
11. How much the doctrine of the Rapture means to us.
2 Timothy 4:8
12. How faithful we are to the Word of God and the flock of God.
2 Timothy 4:1-2
1 Peter 5:2-4
What will be the results of the judgment seat of Christ?
Some will receive rewards.
1 Corinthians 3:14
Bible mentions at least 5 rewards:
1. The incorruptible crown, given to those who master the old nature.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27
2. The crown of rejoicing given to soul-winners.
Daniel 12:31 Thessalonians 2:19-20
3. The crown of life, given to those who successfully endure temptation.
4. The crown of righteousness for those who especially love the doctrine of the Rapture.
2 Timothy 4:8
5. The crown of glory, given to faithful preachers and teachers.
2 Timothy 4:1-2
1 Peter 5:2-4
If Heaven's Awards Ceremony sounds just a bit intimidating, it doesn't have to be so. God's holy view of what constitutes acceptable, even superior, service as His royal ambassadors is almost assuredly different to the way awards are given out by award-givers of the human variety here on earth.
Jesus told us that the last shall be first, and the first shall be last:
And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. (Mark 9: 35)
A truly humble spirit in serving the Lord through serving others-putting others first and ourselves last-will bring the believer to front and center of the bema seat-in Heaven's Awards Ceremony.
Grand Canyon Experiments May Prove Noah's Flood Happened 6,000 Years Ago - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"And of all that lives, of all flesh, you shall take two of each into the ark to keep alive with you; they shall be male and female." Genesis 6:19 (The Israel Bible™)
After a four-year court battle, a geologist has been granted permission to collect samples from the Grand Canyon which he hopes will prove that Noah's flood took place less than 6,000 years ago. An MIT scholar, a religious Jew who combines Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) and science, makes a strong case for the flood theory and pokes holes in its biggest opponent - the theory of evolution.
Dr. Andrew Snelling, the head geologist for Answers in Genesis, plans to conduct experiments, requiring collecting 50-60 half-pound rocks from the Grand Canyon National park, proving that the Grand Canyon was carved out of stone rapidly during the process that occurred as a result of the global flood during the time of Biblical Noah. Contrary to Snelling's theory, most geologists believe that the Grand Canyon was the result of millions of years of erosion.
Snelling first applied for a permit to collect the rock samples from the Grand Canyon in 2013. His intention was to use data collected from the samples to prove that the Flood of Noah occurred less than 6,000 ago. One of the reasons given by the Park Service geologists for denying his request was that they did not consider the proposal scientifically valid.
Snelling filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the United States Department of the Interior and the Grand Canyon National Park authorities, citing the Trump administration's executive order of May 4, 2017 directing the government "to vigorously enforce Federal law's robust protections for religious freedom." Snelling was finally granted permission last week to collect samples.
Snelling's organization is a Young Earth Creationist ministry whose American branch was founded in 1994 by Australian Ken Ham. They believe that the universe, Earth, and all life on Earth were created by direct acts of God less than 10,000 years ago. Central to this belief is the story of the flood of Noah, which they believe was global, destroying all land life and forming fossils immediately.
The global flood theory is so foundational to Creationism that AIG built a full-size replica of the ark in order to illustrate that it was indeed possible to preserve the full range of land animals on board in a manner that would permit the world to be repopulated after the flood.
But its biggest detractors point out that the flood story is incompatible with the theory of evolution, which holds that mutation is a slow, random, and most of all, long process using a large pool of different species.
Yet this slow theory of evolution is thoroughly rejected by Dr. Lee M. Spetner, an applied biophysical physicist with a Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who also happens to be an observant Jew. Dr. Spetner, who accepts the Biblical version of the story of Noah as it is written, was inspired by the Rabbi David Luria, a 19th century Lithuanian kabbalist who calculated that there were 365 originally created species of beasts and 365 of birds.
Dr. Spetner explained that it was perfectly reasonable for so few species to evolve into the diversity of species in existence today. He believes a slow, random process of evolution requiring hundreds of thousands of years is entirely incorrect.
"Randomness in evolution is all wrong both from a theoretical and an observational point of view," Dr. Spetner told Breaking Israel News. "There is simply no evidence for it. The whole theory has to be changed to being based on non-random changes brought on by the environment."
According to his theory, about which he has published several books, evolution occurs much more rapidly and in a much more directed fashion than previously thought.
"When organisms are put into a new environment, they change and adapt due to environmental stress," Dr. Spetner said. "So a few species, as they spread, will adapt very differently."
If his theory is correct, it could conceivably provide a scientific basis for proving the flood story.
Daily Jot: Don't be a Doomer - Bill Wilson -
If you listen to or read the news, there is no doubt it can have an impact on you. Americans are bombarded day in and day out about the horrible condition of our country. We see, hear or read story after story about how bad our President is, how bad Congress is, how bad God is, how bad the things that we always knew as good and right are. It was difficult, for example, for me to find one good news story this morning as I perused my news sources. If you start believing all this, it will have a very negative impact on your life's outlook. It will affect your mentality. It will affect your relationships. It will change the way your brain processes information. And that's the game of Satan, which the media and leftists are playing.
There has been a great increase in the number of emails I receive saying in various ways that America is doomed. These emails, with good documentation, point to stories and statistics that, at least in their writer's minds, point to the demise of America. The moral condition of our nation; the hatred that is espoused by those claiming anyone who disagrees with them are haters; the appearance that those who are seeking the obstruction and overthrow of the Constitutional basis of America are in the majority and they are winning; the lack of the "Church" to focus on spreading the gospel and it's tremendous life-living instruction-all these things point to an America in decline. Yes, they do. We live in perilous times.
A few days ago, Chris and I visited Jamestown, Va., one of the first colonial settlements in our country. These men came to America on a 4 ½ month journey packed like sardines in small "ships." They carved out a civilization through hard work, facing tremendously negative elements. The pilgrims on the Mayflower had it even rougher a little more than a decade later. The French Huguenots in Florida actually faced execution by the Spanish for their religious beliefs. I'm sure there were times when these courageous people thought the world was ending, but they kept on, having enormous faith in God. The Jamestown settlers were required to attend prayer services twice a day. Point is, they were bloomers, not doomers.
America is an ideal, even more than it is a country. Being American means that you are free to do and be, to worship, to speak, to enjoy the fruits of your labor, to dream and to invent, to lead or to follow. Yes, our country is facing a terrible time. If we, however, face these times as doomers, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. For me, so long as there is God, there is hope. Remember Elijah after the miracle on Mt Carmel became filled with fear and told the Lord in 1 Kings 19:10, "and I, even I only, am left: and they seek my life to take it away." He, having little hope, thought he was the only prophet of God left alive, but God had preserved 7,000 who had not bowed to Baal. America is going through a rough time, but it has before. It's the remnant of good people who need to focus on God's work and once again turn the world upside down.
Daily Devotion: It's Time to Toughen Up
- By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." -1 Peter 5:8
Jesus told a parable about a sower who scattered some seed, some of which "fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it" (Luke 8:5). Jesus then explained, "The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved (verses 11-12).
The devil will be there to oppose and attack. He will be there to try to stop the work of God in the life of the believer.
As surely as there is a God who loves you, there is also a devil who hates you. He wants to reel you back in. He wants you to go down in flames. He is described in the Bible as "a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
The apostle Paul wrote, "You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier" (2 Timothy 2:3-4).
Many of us, as we go through spiritual boot camp, so to speak, have a hard time. We don't want to toughen up. In fact, at the first sign of difficulty, we are ready to bail. I didn't sign up for this. This isn't as easy as I thought it would be.
But consider this: If you really are going to follow the Lord, you're going to be tempted. You're going to face opposition. Recognize that and brace yourself for it.
Do you want to make a difference for time and eternity? Then it's time to toughen up, soldier. No spiritual wimps allowed.
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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