Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Top 10 Signs of the Last Days - By Jonathan Brentner -
We live in the last days of human history as we know it before the start of the tribulation.
We do not know the day or the hour when Jesus will come for His church or what day God's fierce wrath will begin. The prophetic signs we see all around us, however, tell us these things are getting ever so close.
I shared this list a couple months ago through my newsletter. As events continue to point toward the soon return of Jesus, I decided to update the list and make it available to more who may be interested. I have also changed the order a bit.
In his May 26, 2019, prophetic update, JD Farag listed his top ten signs. My purpose is not to compete with him (his list is excellent, but his list prompted me do the same).
10.The Temple (Matt. 24:15): Jesus predicted the antichrist would someday defile a temple in Israel just as Daniel prophesied (9:27). Everything is ready for construction to begin including the architecture plans, most of the furnishing, and priestly garments. The Temple Institute in Israel is now training Levites for service in the temple as priests while the government of Israel plans infrastructure to deal with the crowds they expect the temple will attract.
Many believe the covenant the antichrist makes with Israel will include the building of this third temple, something many in Israel long for today. A group of rabbis from Israel recently visited the White House to request that the rebuilding of the temple be included in the "deal of the century."
We still await the details of President Trump's peace plan.
9. The rise of Anti-Semitism and Anti-Christian fervor: Scripture tells us the second half of the tribulation will be a time of great persecution against both Jews and those who come to faith in Jesus during this time.
Does not the dramatic increase we see in Anti-Semitism violence along with today's fierce opposition to biblical values set the stage for the killing of Jews and believers during the tribulation?
In many places, hostility toward Jews and Christians has already turned violent. In Nigeria alone, Muslims kill tens of thousands of Christians every year. We see hatred of Jews and Bible-believing Christians already appearing in Congress and on the streets of cities throughout America.
8. Wars and rumors of wars (Matt. 24:6-7): Jesus said that one sign of the end of the age would be "wars and rumors of wars." While this has been true in some way or another for centuries, this sign defines the times in which we live. VP Mike Pence recently told West Point graduates to expect war in their future.
Since I first wrote this list, tensions with Iran have increased significantly. While this also points to the Gog and Magog War (number 8), it also increases the chances of a war before that time that might involve the United States. This is just one of many flashpoints that could quickly erupt into a war.
I moved this sign up in importance due to the significant military buildup in the Middle East.
7. Israel: The miraculous rebirth of Israel as a nation cannot be overlooked. Just as Isaiah 66:8 says, on May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation in "one day." This sign alone tells us we live in the last days before Jesus' return to earth.
At that time, the land of Israel was a barren wasteland just as Ezekiel 36:34-36 said it would be when Israel returned to the land. In verse 35 the prophet says, "The land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden," indicating how God would turn the desert into fruitful fields.
Today, Israel exports one billion dollars' worth of fruits and vegetables. Is this not a fulfillment of Isaiah 27:6?
God's protection of the current nation of Israel has been nothing short of miraculous. Israel's victory in the Six-Day War of 1967 compares with the victories we read about in the Old Testament such as those of Joshua and Gideon. I read recently that as Israel was capturing old Jerusalem in 1967, 2,000 Jordanian soldiers surrendered to 3 Israelite soldiers!
6. The battle of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38-39): The armies that the prophet Ezekiel prophesied would invade Israel in the last days are currently in Syria, and their forces are growing by the month. The nations of the Middle East are aligned precisely as the prophet said they would be over 2,600 years ago.
We do not know the exact timing of this war in regard to the rapture, only that it seems probable the two will occur in close proximity to each other. We do know that tensions continue to escalate in Syria as Israel continues to bomb Iranian military installations. This does not, however, appear to discourage Iran from building up its military in the area.
5. Scoffers (2 Peter 3:1-10): The mocking of our beliefs in a rapture and premillennial return of Jesus is prevalent both inside and outside the church. I see this ridicule with almost every one of my posts in which I mention the rapture; this mocking comes mostly from professing believers.
In the last few months, I have experienced this scoffing in person as a couple of sincere believers (who should know better) have laughed at my belief in the millennium.
JD Farag placed scoffing first in his list, and I understand why. We live in a day when even believers ridicule our hope in the rapture, the millennium, and the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21-22.
4. Technology: I list technology as a prominent sign because the world now has the capability via computers, Artificial Intelligence, and gigantic data bases to control buying and selling on a worldwide scale, just as Revelation 13:16-17 says the antichrist will do in later years of the tribulation.
Many predict this is already on the way through chip inserts and tracking of products and bank accounts. With the world moving in this direction even before the appearance of the antichrist, how close must we be to the rapture and the tribulation? China has begun micro-chipping its population for the purpose of controlling them through rewards based on what they purchase and how they spend their money.
3. Earthquakes (Matt. 24:7): During the past ten years, we have seen a dramatic rise in both the frequency and intensity of earthquakes. Rarely a week goes by without a strong earthquake somewhere in the world.
Since I originally comprised this list, two significant earthquakes have occurred in California with over 10,000 aftershocks of varying degrees of strength. Experts now warn us of a catastrophic earthquake for the west coast in the near future, as well as the eruption of long-dormant volcanoes.
I believe the predictions of the geologists will come true, but tend to think it will happen after the rapture. Due to recent events, I have moved this up on my list. I believe the rapture will occur before a catastrophic earthquake hits the west coast that results in the death of millions of people.
2. The intense quest for globalism and a one-world religion: The push for globalism and a one-world religion is no longer kept hidden. Pope Francis openly and repeatedly calls for a one-world religion, as well as for a one-world government to combat climate change.
At the World Government Summit in February of 2019, thousands of leading globalists, communists, Islamists and others from around the world converged on the Arabian Peninsula. Their goal: promote technocratic globalism and plot the future of what they often call their "New World Order." Senior officials from the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, Communist China, and central banks showed up to support UN Agenda 2030, which calls for the formation of a one-world governing body by 2030.
This is precisely what we see in the book of Revelation as happening during the tribulation. Once Jesus comes for His church, this new world order will leap into existence.
1. The exponential increase in wickedness (2 Tim. 3:1-5): I placed this sign first because I believe this points to the soon arrival of the tribulation more than anything else. We have a political party in America that advocates the murder of children in the womb up to the moment of birth. Congress repeatedly fails to pass a law that would stop the current practice of killing babies that survive abortion. Recently, it broke my heart to read about a newborn baby crying as it was left to die after surviving an abortion attempt.
The sex trafficking of children in the United States has reached epidemic levels. The arrest of Jeffrey Epstein is just the tip of the iceberg. As many as 2.5 million men purchase sex from young boys and girls each year. In San Diego County alone, the DOJ estimates the yearly revenue from sex trafficking at $800 million.
The wicked assault of the LGBTQ against the children of our country defies human decency, sanity, as well as biblical values. A large banner in a recent gay pride parade had this message for all to see: "Satan loves." It seems as though each week I read about some evil I previously thought unimaginable.
Even if I did not believe in the imminent return of Jesus and start to the tribulation, I would be certain of the Lord's coming judgment as a result of the bloodshed and wickedness taking place in the United States, as well as throughout the world.
The correctness of my ordering of signs is irrelevant. All these things tell us Jesus' appearing must be soon because the sudden destruction of the tribulation is rapidly approaching. Do not let this day overtake you as a thief (1 Thess. 5:1-3); it will happen when very few expect it.
Despite the ominous clouds that hang over our world, we so often hear the refrain of "peace and security" from world leaders. This in itself tells us we live in the last days of human history as we know it before the Lord says "enough" and comes for His bride.
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European Union: Toward a European Superstate - by Soeren Kern - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14503/european-union-towards-superstate
"The EU is a Sham Democracy"
After weeks of frenzied backroom wrangling, European leaders on July 2 nominated four federalists to fill the top jobs of the European Union. The nominations - which must be approved by the European Parliament - send a clear signal that the pro-EU establishment has no intention of slowing its relentless march toward a European superstate, a "United States of Europe," despite a surge of anti-EU sentiment across the continent.
Following are brief profiles of the nominees for the top four positions in the next European Commission, which begins on November 1, 2019 for a period of five years.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the daughter of a prominent EU official, has been nominated to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission, the powerful bureaucratic arm of the European Union. Von der Leyen, of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), was a compromise choice after the candidacy of Manfred Weber, a favorite of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was rejected by critics, led by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron had favored the candidacy of European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, a Dutch Social Democrat. Timmermans, however, was rejected by the Visegrád Group - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - due to his frequent criticism of their stance against mass migration and judicial reforms.
Von der Leyen has called for the creation of a European superstate. "My aim is the United States of Europe - on the model of federal states such as Switzerland, Germany or the U.S.," she said in an interview with Der Spiegel. She has also called for the creation of a European Army.
At the same time, however, von der Leyen has been roundly criticized at home and abroad for her performance as German defense minister. During her tenure, Germany's military has deteriorated due to budget cuts and poor management, according to Parliamentary Armed Forces Commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels.
"The Bundeswehr's condition is catastrophic," wrote Rupert Scholz, who served as defense minister under Chancellor Helmut Kohl, days before von der Leyen was nominated to the EU's top post. "The entire defense capability of the Federal Republic is suffering, which is totally irresponsible."
Writing for the Munich-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, commentator Stefan Ulrich opined that von der Leyen is an "unsuitable" choice:
"Von der Leyen is unsuitable because after six years as defense minister the Bundeswehr is still in such a deplorable state. She should have resigned a long time ago. As President of the European Commission, she will be overwhelmed."
In March 2016, von der Leyen was cleared of allegations of plagiarism in her doctoral thesis. In September 2015, the newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported that plagiarized material had been found on 27 pages of her 62-page dissertation. The president of the Hanover Medical School, Christopher Baum, said that although von der Leyen's thesis did contain plagiarized material, the school decided against revoking her title because there had been no intent to deceive. "It's about mistake, not misconduct," he said.
Von der Leyen is currently being investigated by the Berlin Public Prosecutor's Office for nepotism in connection with the allocation of contracts worth hundreds of millions of euros to outside consultants. One such firm is McKinsey & Company, where her son David works as an associate.
Former European Parliament President Martin Schulz tweeted: "Von der Leyen is our weakest minister. That's apparently enough to become Commission president."
A Deutschlandtrend survey published on July 4 found that 56% of Germans believe that von der Leyen is not a good choice to lead the European Commission; 33% said that she is a good choice.
The European Parliament will vote on her nomination in Strasbourg on July 16. If approved, she will take over from Jean-Claude Juncker on November 1.
Charles Michel, President of the European Council
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, the son of a prominent EU official, has been nominated to succeed Poland's Donald Tusk as President of the European Council. The European Council defines the EU's overall political direction and priorities. The members of the European Council are the heads of state or government of the 28 EU member states, the European Council President and the President of the European Commission.
Michel became Belgium's youngest prime minister in 2014 at the age of 38. In December 2018, he resigned after losing a no-confidence motion over his support for the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. It proclaimed basic rights for migrants, but critics said it would blur the line between legal and illegal immigration. He now heads a caretaker government after an inconclusive general election in May 2019.
Michel has said that Eastern European countries opposed to burden-sharing on migration should lose some of their EU rights. "The European Union is not only an ATM when you need support," he said. "Cooperation means solidarity and responsibility."
Michel is a strong proponent of the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He has criticized the Trump administration for withdrawing from the agreement: "No #IranDeal means more instability or war in the Middle East. I deeply regret the withdrawal by @realDonaldTrump from #JCPOA. EU & its international partners must remain committed and Iran must continue to fulfil its obligations."
Michel has also condemned the Trump administration's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "We know that tensions in Israel and Palestine are feeding a form of hatred and violence that is felt everywhere in the world. That's why we have unequivocally condemned Donald Trump's statement. It was oil on fire, we do not need it."
Josep Borrell, EU Foreign Policy Chief
Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has been nominated to replace Federica Mogherini as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Like Mogherini, Borrell is a well-known supporter of the mullahs in Iran and is likely to clash with the United States and Israel over the nuclear deal with Tehran.
In a February 19 interview with Politico, Borrell, a Socialist, declared that Israel would have to live with the existential threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb:
"The Americans decided to kill [the Iran nuclear deal], unilaterally as they do things without any kind of previous consultation, without taking care of what interests the Europeans have. We are not children following what they say. We have our own prospects, interests and strategy and we will continue working with Iran. It would be very bad for us if it goes on to develop a nuclear weapon.... Iran wants to wipe out Israel; nothing new about that. You have to live with it."
On February 11, Borrell marked the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution by praising the achievements made by women in the country since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini swept to power in 1979. The rights and status of Iranian women have, in fact, been severely restricted since the Islamic Revolution. In a Twitter thread, Borrell also encouraged the Iranian regime to wait out American sanctions in case U.S. President Donald J. Trump is not reelected in 2020.
In May 2019, Spain withdrew a warship, the frigate Méndez Núñez, from the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, because of rising tensions between Washington and Tehran.
Also in May 2019, Borrell accused the United States of acting "like a western cowboy" after the Trump administration recognized the president of Venezuela's National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as interim president of the country. Borrell said that Spain "will continue to reject pressures that border on military interventions" to remove from power Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. The Spanish Socialist Party has a long history of promoting the Marxist revolutionaries led by Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez.
In November 2018, Borrell explained why the United States is more politically integrated than the European Union: "The United States has very little previous history. They were born to independence with practically no history; the only thing they had done was to kill four Indians." He later apologized for the "excessively colloquial manner" in which he downplayed the "quasi annihilation" of Native Americans. Borrell made no mention of the destruction of the native populations of Central and South America at the hands of Spanish conquerors.
Borrell has said that "Europe needs a new leitmotiv" and that the fight against climate change "should be one of the great engines of Europe's rebirth."
Borrell has also stated that he hopes Britain will leave the EU because it is an impediment to the creation of a European superstate:
"I belong to the school which believes that with the UK in the EU we will never have a political union. Personally, because I do want a political union, I don't care whether the United Kingdom leaves because I know that to date, it has been an obstacle to further integration."
In April 2012, Borrell was forced to resign as president of the European University Institute (EUI) due to a conflict of interest after it emerged that he was simultaneously being paid €300,000 a year as a board member of the Spanish sustainable-energy company Abengoa.
In October 2016, Borrell was fined €30,000 ($34,000) by the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) for insider trading after selling 10,000 shares in Abengoa in November 2015.
Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank
Christine Lagarde, a former French finance minister the current managing director of the International Monetary Fund, has been nominated to succeed Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank (ECB). Lagarde's nomination has received mixed reviews. As the head of the IMF, she brings strong credentials in leadership, management and communications. She is, however, a lawyer, not an economist, and she has no experience in monetary policy.
During an interview with the Daily Show, Lagarde said that President Donald Trump "has a point" in his trade war with China:
"President Trump has a point on intellectual property. It is correct that nobody should be stealing intellectual property to move ahead. He has a point on subsidies, you cannot just go about competing with others out there that are heavily subsidized. On these points clearly, the game has to change, the rules have to be respected."
Financial reporter Bjarke Smith-Meyer noted that Lagarde's nomination came as something of a surprise and "pushes the European Central Bank toward an area it's tried to avoid in its 21-year history: politics."
Paul Taylor, a columnist for Politico, added:
"Central banking is rocket science. If you don't get it right, the consequences can be tragic.
"That's why EU leaders are taking a huge gamble in their decision to entrust the leadership of the European Central Bank to Christine Lagarde, a political rock star with no economic training and no practical experience of monetary policy.
"At a time when the ECB is running low on options for jolting the economy, Lagarde may have the acumen and authority needed to persuade reluctant, conservative Germany and the Netherlands of the urgent need to provide more fiscal stimulus....
"But by nominating the former French minister to succeed Italy's Mario Draghi - the bold president of the bank who rescued the European economy in 2012 with a promise to do 'whatever it takes to preserve the euro' - the EU's leaders have effectively decided that they don't need a central banker to run their central bank....
"The surprise choice of Lagarde, 64, was part of a Franco-German trade-off under which conservative German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, 60, was nominated to head the European Commission, breaking a political deadlock in which all the original candidates fell by the wayside....
"The main reason why Lagarde got the nod, instead of the experienced French central bank chief François Villeroy de Galhau, appeared to be gender.
"For the first time, the sensitive choice of ECB chief was the adjustment variable in political horse-trading over other top EU jobs - even though the bank is meant to be strictly independent of politics."
In December 2016, France's Court of Justice of the Republic found Lagarde guilty of negligence for not seeking to block a fraudulent 2008 arbitration award to a politically connected tycoon when she was finance minister. The court ruled that Lagarde's negligence in her management of a long-running arbitration case involving tycoon Bernard Tapie helped open the door for the fraudulent misappropriation of €403 million ($450 million) of public funds in a settlement given to Tapie in 2008 over the botched sale of sportswear giant Adidas in the 1990s.
Reflections on European "Democracy"
Writing for The Telegraph, columnist Allister Heath, in an essay titled, "The EU is a Sham Democracy," noted:
"Thank you, Eurocrats, for being yourselves. The best cure for Europhilia is always to observe the EU's big beasts at their unguarded worst, wheeling and dealing in their natural habitat, unencumbered by any attachment to democracy, accountability or even basic morality.
"The spectacle of the past few days made for compulsive watching: we witnessed rare footage of the secretive process that propels so many retreads and second-rate apparatchiks into positions of immense power in Brussels and Frankfurt, utterly disregarding public opinion.
"Peeking into Europe's dystopia was certainly the right medicine for pre-Brexit Britain, guaranteed to convert erstwhile moderates into raging Brexiteers as they looked on, aghast, at the shocking disconnect between elites and people.
"Everything that is wrong with the EU was shamelessly on display: a Franco-German stitch-up; smaller countries being bulldozed, especially Eastern Europeans; a constitutional coup which sidelined the (useless) European Parliament; the fact that so many of the new generation of EU leaders have had brushes with the law that would have terminated their careers in the US or UK; their explicit commitment to a 'United States of Europe' and a 'European army' (about which we keep being lied to); and the singing of a national anthem we were promised wouldn't exist when the European constitution was voted down....
"While the EU apes some of the rituals of democracy, they are a sinister sham, and will always be. The EU is a technocratic empire, and can be nothing else."
Writing for the European media platform, Euractiv, Jorge Valero lamented:
"After five summit days and hundreds of hours of phone calls, meetings and backroom chats, the EU conclave agreed on its new leadership. But the 'white smoke' that emerged from the Council building preludes storm clouds for the nominees and the European demos.
"Few winners came out of the distribution of the top posts sealed on July 2, and the European democracy was hardly one of them.
"Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel, Josep Borrell, and Christine Lagarde have good reasons to pop the champagne and toast their unexpected elevation to Commission president, European Council chair, High Representative and ECB chief, respectively.
"But it was a high price to pay for the badly needed gender balance....
"The fresh leadership will stand in the shadow of old scandals, legal cases and malpractice. Lagarde was found guilty of negligence in the Bernard Tapie scandal. Borrell was sanctioned by the Spanish market authority for using insider information in the sale of some shares.
"The German parliament launched an investigation into von der Leyen for nepotism and irregularities in allocating expensive contracts. And Michel's career would hardly be the same if his father hadn't been a Belgian minister and EU Commissioner."
The British Conservative MEP Daniel Hannon, in a tweet, summarized: "Can anyone look at the people who will be running the EU for the next five years and then try to claim that the high tide of federalism has passed?"
Israel needs a one-state solution - Mike Evans -
Could you imagine a scenario in America where individuals demanded a state for the Ku Klux Klan?
There has been much debate over having a one-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. The liberal Left says, "this cannot be done; otherwise it would be an apartheid state in which the Palestinians would not have the right to vote." That is absurd.
A one-state solution is the only solution. Why? First, do the Palestinians have an historical and legal right to what we might call a state? The answer is no. There is no Palestinian language, culture, flag or history. There was no such state in the past.
Secondly, the PA breeds and feeds racism; more specifically, antisemitism. Could you imagine a scenario in America where individuals demanded a state for the Ku Klux Klan?
Thirdly, Israel has a biblical, historical, and legal right to statehood. The nation does not have to apologize for believing that Judea and Samaria are legally hers. One only has to read the Bible to understand that.
The truth is that a Palestine state is a big lie. I have had major Persian Gulf Muslim leaders tell me they are not Palestinian, they are Ottoman. The region was part of the Ottoman Empire until the early 20th century. Historians mark the beginning of Palestinian Arab nationalist sentiment as 1834, when Arab residents of the Palestinian region revolted against Ottoman rule.
Disregarding biblical, archeological and other well-substantiated facts, the Arabs have rewritten the past to deny the 3,000-year-old connection of Jews to the Land of Israel, supplanting it with a fabricated "Palestinian" narrative. They learned the Nazi lesson well - if you tell a big lie and repeat it often enough, people start to believe you. They have stolen Jewish history and then inherited their homeland.
There are no ancient Palestinian archeological sites, monuments, literature, heroes, or coins and no Palestinian language. Most of the newly-minted "Palestinians" are descended from Arabs migrating to the area in the early 20th century for economic reasons. The truth is, the British invented the word Palestinian to describe everyone who lived in what is now Israel.
The Jerusalem Post was even called The Palestine Post, an English-language daily established in Jerusalem in 1932 as part of a Zionist-Jewish initiative. In 1950 its name was changed to The Jerusalem Post and it continues to be published under that name. The newspaper's intended audience was English readers in Palestine and nearby regions - British Mandate officials, local Jews and Arabs, Jewish readers abroad, tourists and Christian pilgrims.
The 1936 Peel Commission Report stated: "[Jewish nationalism] claims, for example, that, though Palestine is not an Arab word and might therefore fairly serve for Jews as well as Arabs, Eretz Israel (Land of Israel) should be also accepted as the official translation of 'Palestine,'" and protested that the printing of the initials "E. I." after "Palestine" on every stamp and coin was not enough.
The solution is simple: one state. What the Palestinians need is governance. The territory in which they live can become a strong, stable home for them, but only if Israel controls the air space, does not allow the PA to raise an army or implement treaties, and there is global governance to stop corruption and racism. It's called: enjoy your life in a beautiful home, a job, education and healthcare. All of this is possible, but not at the expense of Jewish blood.
God Uses Ungodly People for His Purposes - By Gene Lawley - https://www.raptureready.com/2019/07/19/god-uses-ungodly-people-purposes-gene-lawley/
The title should be in the form of a question, perhaps, to better emphasize the issue. It is not "How can a holy God stoop down to that?" but God only needs to step back and let sinful man do what he does best, sin. God only has to open the right doors. Some examples follow, starting many centuries ago.
When it came time for the children of Israel to come out of Egypt to freedom from that slavery, God raised up a man named Moses to lead them out. However, he was not ready for that leadership, and the people were not ready to go. It had become "home" after four hundred years; and change, like it is for all the rest of us, was not welcomed at all.
But God's timetable was set, so He raised up a new pharaoh who had no favoritism toward the Hebrews. The new pharaoh made their slavery requirements-making bricks-exceedingly difficult to where the Jews began to long for freedom, to long to escape that burden and cruelty that came along with it. God used an ungodly ruler to turn their hearts to desire the Lord and to follow Moses, who by then had become usable to God as the leader for their escape.
Another instance in Old Testament times is spoken of by Isaiah in Isaiah 41:2, saying, "Who raised up one from the east? Who in righteousness called him to His feet? Who gave the nations before him and made him rule over kings?"
More specifically, in Isaiah 44:28 the prophet declares, "Who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, 'You shall be built' and to the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.'"
The remarkable thing about this quotation is that it was a prophecy some 200 years before Cyrus was even born and named Cyrus, who later became the king of Persia! As king of Persia, Cyrus issued a decree that allowed Ezra and his contemporaries to return to Jerusalem and begin rebuilding the temple and the city. God moved in the heart of an ungodly man to accomplish His purposes.
In another incident of gigantic import to the Jews was that of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in AD 70. Now, what did God have to do with that? Remember how God had promised the Jews that their rebellion would result in substantial judgment upon them. They were told again and again that He would scatter them into all the nations, no longer to have their own nation until a future time of restoration. After that event in AD 70, it still took sixty-five years for Jews to depart Jerusalem in AD 135.
It is surprising how some prophecy watchers put great spiritual emphasis on that destruction of the temple, then. They want to call that the abomination of desolation predicted by Daniel and restated again by Jesus. They want to say that the Romans were those who desecrated the temple, as prophesied by Daniel and Jesus. Here are some facts that clearly deny that possibility:
When Jesus was crucified, Matthew reports that a great earthquake shook the city, and the veil covering the Holy of Holies in the temple was torn open from the top to the bottom. Thus, that inner place where only the high priest could go once a year, and not without blood for himself and the people, was emptied before the whole world. God was no longer in that place.
Jesus explained it to the Jewish leaders like this: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up," for He was speaking of His body as the temple of the Spirit of God. In the same manner, born-again believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit, as Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 3:16, "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"
So the Romans were only after the gold inlaid between the stones of the temple, as well as any other treasure they could find. Jesus alludes to this in His answer to the disciples regarding their view of the temple's beauty, saying, "one stone shall not be left upon another." There was no evidence that the Romans tried to make any one of them take the place of God in the temple. That desolation will take place at the halfway point in the seven years of the tribulation, just as Daniel 9:27 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 tell us.
However, we cannot proceed without acknowledging that God also promised the Jews, repeatedly, in the Old Testament prophecies that He would restore the Jews to their own land, as given to Abraham centuries before. That initial provision was made on May 14, 1948, when the United Nations Security Council voted to establish a homeland for the Jewish race, a nation among the nations. After 1,800 years, the land of Israel is again blooming like a rose, and has been for these 71 years since 1948.
Another in more contemporary times, even within the memory of many today, is one of horrid circumstances. It is the raising up of one Adolph Hitler, who instigated the holocaust against the Jewish people in Europe. This was necessary, as in the days of Moses but much more severely, in order that the Jews would forsake their places in the world and want to return to their ancient homeland. At that point, though, a restoration of the nation was not yet apparent.
The number is said to be six million who were killed. Adding to that is the possibility that Hitler, himself, was part Jewish, an additional travesty, if so. (It is not entirely unlikely for such to happen, for it is on record that a person now known as George Soros was born in Germany in 1930 as a half-Jew under another name. At the age of fourteen, he was revealing the hiding places of Jews being sought by Hitler's goon squad for extermination. In 1953 he changed his name and came to America, according to the online encyclopedia.)
Do you recall your readings in the Old Testament, where it was a constant need for God to discipline the Hebrew people to turn them from idols and from their rebellion against Him? Think about the response of the Jewish leaders at the trial of Jesus: "Crucify Him! Let His blood be upon our hands and on the hands of our children!" Yet God has held to His promise; and one day soon they will "look upon Him whom they have pierced and will mourn for Him as for an only begotten son" (Zechariah 12:10).
Finally, we come to a contemporary action of God that has the leftist element of our nation in an uproar. It is the elevation of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. This one is not particularly a godly man but it is becoming more and more apparent that he is God's man for the hour. That, of course, is my own opinion and has been since his debut on the political scene back in April 2011.
At that time, as well as before and since, it was not allowed for anyone to inquire about the background of President Barack Obama. All of his records were off limits, and even the courts would not accept a case dealing with anything about his background. Nevertheless, it was Trump's courage and recognition of the travesty against the American people that has led me to believe he is God's man to expose the intent of the evil faction embedded in top levels of our nation. It has been called "the establishment," of which Trump is not a part, but apparently knows its inside purposes. His abrupt challenge to their deception made him their instant enemy and added a new word to the dictionary - "birthers."
How devastating it was to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that they did not win the presidency in 2016. The subtle gloating of Barack Obama at that Correspondents' Dinner in DC on April 30, 2016, reveals the direction of his intentions for this nation: "All of you are looking great tonight. The end of the Republic has never looked better!"
God snatched that goal out of his hands, and also of those who are behind him in his efforts. Why? It appears quite likely that God has His own timetable for the windup of this age of the Gentiles and the development of a New World Order with its one-world government, and it is not the soon happening planned by those of that persuasion. That seventh head of the Beast of Revelation is quietly being developed for God's eventual judgment, as Revelation 17:10-11 tells us that the Antichrist becomes its eighth head and is headed to perdition - that is, the lake of fire:
"There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition."
When Trump was elected president instead of Hillary Clinton, it was just as the psalmist had written, in Psalm 75:6-8:
"For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one and exalts another. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is fully mixed, and He pours it out. Surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth drain and drink down."
Thus, God prepares the way for judgment to come. Then, in Luke 17:26-30, Jesus says He will return at a time when the economy will rebound favorably, along with a saturation of moral degradation and lawlessness with a party-time frivolity, just as it was in the days of Noah and of Lot:
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
"Likewise, as it was also in the days of Lot, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
Will you, then, be ready when He comes?
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Daily Jot: Using racism to cover up racism - Bill Wilson -
Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is at the center of the firestorm that resulted in the Democrat-led House of Representatives condemning President Donald Trump for racist remarks. Yet, the accusation is being made even as the accuser is an egregious violator of the accusation. Omar has repeatedly and consistently demonstrated anti-Semitism and anti-American sentiment in her remarks. For example, on March 23 she addressed the Council on American-Islamic Relations by declaring that the Muslim community is not to be bullied, it should "raise hell" and that CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties." But wait, there's more.
In February, Omar tweeted that American political leaders' support for Israel is "all about the Benjamins."In March, Omar attended a town hall event with Reps Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and said, "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country." Then she tweeted, "I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee." This prompted the Democratic Party leadership to discipline her by passing a resolution aimed at condemning anti-Semitism, but was watered down to include the LGBTQ community, Muslims, and others. She responded by saying that just because she is Muslim, people receive everything she says as anti-Semitic, a form of racism.
The Weekly Standard reported June 22, 2016, "During Israel's hostilities with Hamas in 2014, Omar tweeted, "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel." In a May 31 tweet this year (2016), she referred to Israel as an "apartheid regime."" The media downplays her remarks and affirms the Democratic Party narrative of labeling President Trump and those who support him as racist. But the truth is the truth. In continuing her longstanding anti-Semitic themes, Omar introduced a resolution this week, which is co-sponsored by Tlaib (who supports replacing Israel with a Palestinian state), to affirm Americans First Amendment right (what?) to boycott Israel for civil rights violations. She also is reported to have introduced a similar resolution when she served in the Minnesota state legislature.
Omar has told reporters that HR 496 is aimed at Israel and it uses historic examples of why to boycott Israel, including the boycott of Nazi Germany and South Africa for apartheid-both are themes that Omar and the Boycott movement (BDS) have used as comparisons to Israel. There is also documentation that the Boycott movement has been laundering money to Palestinian terrorist organizations. All this underscores Omar's racism against Jews and the duplicity of radical Islam. Yet when it is called out, the Marxist political party bosses rally to accuse others of racism. There are so many wrongs in this entire debacle. As Christians, we need to rise above this pit of darkness and lead by example. Don't taint ourselves by contending with evil in the pit, but as is written in Ephesians 6:20, "that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."
Yes, these are dicey issues, especially when racism is the topic. You may fear that anything you say will be construed as racist. But you have the light of Christ within you and the Holy Spirit will guide you. Remember Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Jesus said in Mark 12:31, "love your neighbor as yourself." Truth in love, not in anger, has a way of softening hearts. We need to find a way to speak truth with the love and wisdom of Christ to bring clarity to these calamitous times. Even the Accuser has his time of judgment, and so will those who are his. For us, we are to overcome evil with good. Be encouraged.
Daily Devotion: His Protecting Presence - by Greg Laurie -
Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. - Psalm 91:7
There are so many things we can be afraid of in life. We can be afraid to get on a plane. We can be afraid to drive a car. We can be afraid to do this or that. We can be filled with fear over just about everything.
But in Psalm 91, we find this promise for believers: "Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you: (Psalm 91:7).
Isn't that great to know? It isn't over until it's over. Until that time, we can go out with boldness, knowing that God is in control of our lives.
I read the story of a courageous Christian who was standing before a king who wanted him to deny Christ. The king threatened, "If you don't do it, I will banish you."
The Christian replied, "You can't banish me from Christ. He says He will never leave me nor forsake me."
The king said, "I will confiscate your property and take it all from you."
The Christian said, "My treasures are laid up on high; you cannot get them."
"I will kill you," the king told him.
"I have been dead forty years," the Christian answered. "I have been dead with Christ; dead to the world. My life is hid with Christ in God, and you cannot touch it."
The king said, "What can you do with such a fanatic?"
May God give us more Christians who know something of God's protection like this believer did. However, there is a difference between trusting the Lord and testing the Lord. Don't take unnecessary chances with your life and expect Him to bail you out. Yes, He will keep us in all of our ways-but our ways should be His ways.
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