Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Satan's Battle for Baby Believers - Bill Perkins -
"Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God." Heb. 3:12 There are myriads of Christians alive today who have been beaten down to unfruitfulness by Satan's relentless tactics. Despite having been saved, winning the victory and securing the undeserved prize of eternal life in heaven, the excitement of trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior eventually is lost as they retreat back into the entanglements and mire of life. Yet we were warned this could happen:
"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons," 1Tim. 4:1 The Barna Group, a large Christian research company, found that less than 1 percent of the adult population in the United States has a solid biblical foundation. And less than 1/2 of one percent of Christian youth (ages of 18-23) has a biblical worldview. (1)
Christians can "fall away" due to deception, temptation or persecution. But the root cause for why Christians fall oﬀ the wagon is that the armor of the Word of God was never properly instilled early in their Christian walk. And without solid armor, without maturing to build your Biblical defenses, you can be easily torpedoed by Satan's lies-which are sure to come.
Christians have enough problems dealing with the unbiblical "pray-this-prayer-and-you're-in" style of witnessing.(2) And when they try to build on a sand foundation, the results are predictable. Although this is not a salvation issue, their growth and maturity into solid Believers is at risk.
Putting Babies into Battle And who is ﬁrst in line to teach a new Believer? The person who God uses to lead them to Him. The early oversight, Bible teaching and scriptural protection should ﬁrst come from those who led them to the Lord!
A new Believer is no diﬀerent than an unarmored baby being sent to battle. Yet most brand-new Christians are usually left to fend for themselves in a new, unfamiliar and wicked spiritual battle.
Paul and Peter both referred to Christians starting out as babies.
"like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation," 1Pet. 2:2 "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able," 1Cor. 3:1-2
Most of us had children to raise, or have been around small infants, so think about this implication: God compares a new born-again Believer to a newborn baby!
When God blessed Susie and me with babies, they were totally dependent on us feeding them, protecting them and watching over them. If we did nothing, they would have died from lack of nourishment. God placed them into our care and we hovered over them like a mother hen as they slowly grew.
And after a while they began to crawl, and we had to keep them from getting into the wrong things. They were too young to know what was dangerous to eat or how to stay away from harmful spots in the house like a hot stove or iron. They were totally dependent on our constant oversight to keep them out of trouble.
Then they were able to walk-this was problems times 10! The new mobility made it much harder watching over them. We then REALLY had to pay attention to keep them out of harm's way. If we took our eyes oﬀ them for one second, they could get badly hurt!
When we took them out of the safe conﬁnes of our home, we had to hold their hands to keep them from walking into danger. We could never leave them alone. If we couldn't be there, we got a babysitter or a family member to do our job while we were gone.
Then they could run. Oh dear! Problems times ten again! The older our kids became the more we learned to pray for their safety. We taught them Biblical truths with great enthusiasm and applied what they were learning to sports, learning life's lessons, learning to drive, how to dress, and learning responsibility and stewardship. We invested daily into what the Lord had given us, as did most of you reading this with your own kids.
And yet a newborn baby growing up is what God uses to illustrate what we're dealing with new born again Believers. But we rarely seem to think of new Believers as being dependent on those whom God uses to convey the salvation message.
Let's be realistic. We usually simply give a new Believer a Bible, answer the most basic of questions, maybe ﬁnd them a church or a Bible study to attend and hope for the best. We certainly don't think that their spiritual maturity has anything to do with the one God used to lead them to Him. But it is directly connected!
The Bob Dylan Travesty I think of the famous singer/songwriter in the 1970s, Bob Dylan, and his conversion some 40 years ago. He was genuinely saved as evidenced by his many public confessions of Jesus being his Lord and Savior, as well as his new Holy Spirit-inspired lyrics that he began to compose.
But as a new Believer, he was a babe in Christ without the Biblical armor needed to fend oﬀ the Evil One. Yet that didn't stop well-meaning Christians from parading him around like an elephant in a circus tent.
Dylan got pulled in every direction due to his lack of having been aﬀorded the time to adequately build a solid Biblical foundation on which to stand. He ultimately withdrew from even discussing his faith...saying it was private. Such a travesty.
If Dylan or any other new Believer, plants deep roots in the Word, they have a ﬁghting chance to stay above the fray. But if they're Bob Dylan 1970 not taught early, it can get ugly quickly as their adversary doesn't waste any time coming after them:
"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart." Matt. 13:19
Paul's Delayed Teaching When Paul got saved on the road to Damascus, almost immediately God sent him into the wilderness for years to study the Old Testament before he began teaching in the Church Age (Gal. 1:16-18). This is further evidenced by the over 90 quotes from the Old Testament he referenced in his Epistles.(3)
The Bible even warns about taking new Believers and moving them too fast into leadership. Within the long list of leadership characteristics listed in Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus, this one is included:
"and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil." 1Tim. 3:6 The Four Results Of Witnessing Jesus tells us one of four things happens when someone hears Biblical truth, and three of them are bad.
1) Satan Snatches Away Truth "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road." Matt. 13:19
2) Persecution Pushes Away Truth "The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. Matt. 13:20-21 3) Worries and Wealth Choke The Truth "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Matt. 13:22 4) Hear And Understand Truth "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty." Matt. 13:23 Granted, Jesus wrote that to the Jews under the law, not to those of us living post-cross in the Church Age. But the point is clear for all...our goal for new Believers is for them to UNDERSTAND scripture. We must watch over them until they have built a scriptural armor to stand against the wiles of Satan.
The Believer's Responsibility If God uses you to lead people to Him, we must act as if they are our newborn babies. We have a responsibility to protect them as we nourish them with the Word of God, which becomes their Biblical armor against lies from Satan and the world.
We must continuously be aware of their vulnerability to the enemy... that Satan is alive, active and doesn't like this new Believer. And he certainly doesn't want a mature Believer to bloom! So we must stay in contact, either teaching, or see that they are being taught, truth on a daily basis.
"...reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." 2Tim. 4:2 There are myriads of Christians alive today who have been beaten down to unfruitfulness by Satan's followers' because they didn't get the protection they should have received by those who led them to the Lord. They were sent into battle with little or no defense. And this unseen spiritual battle is really wicked! (Eph. 6)
A New Believers Class at church, run by mature Believers, is deﬁnitely good. But it's no substitute for the personal, individual accountability a new Believer needs to grow into the mature Believer who can be used mightily by God.
So when God causes your witnessing to result in his/her trusting the shed blood of Jesus to pay for their sin and His resurrection defeating death, God has placed a major responsibility in your life. So take the bull by the horns-pray for wisdom and the new baby's protection! What a privilege!
"Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." Prov. 22:6 BP
Footnotes: (1) https://www.gotquestions.org/falling-away.html
(2) http://compass.org/store/products/Article%3A-Why-%22Asking-Jesus-IntoYour-Heart%22-Won%27t-Save-You.html (3) http://www.keithhunt.com/Paul.html
Additional Reference: http://compass.org/store/products/Article%3A-Is-Repentance-Necessary-ForSalvation%3F.html
Tension on the Temple Mount! - A.V. Rauf -
Jerusalem has seen two temples built on the Temple Mount. The first was built by King Solomon close to 3,000 years ago. It was destroyed by the armies of Nebudchadnezzar in 586 B.C. The second temple was built under Zerubbabel during the years 520-516 B.C. This was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Since that time there has been a deep longing amongst many observant Jews both out in the Diaspora and back in the land of Israel to see the temple rebuilt once again.
Avid Bible Prophecy students are fully aware of the fact that the coming Third Temple has major prophetic and eschatological implications that culminate in the end of the Church Age and the beginning of the Tribulation period.
Once a year, on the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, Jews fast, cry and mourn for the destruction of their Holy Temple. They long for the rebuilding of an edifice that was destroyed 2,000 years ago.
At the present time the construction of the Third Temple is quite impossible from a political standpoint. The Temple Mount area is currently under strict Islamic control. But the prophetic scriptures indicate that the temple will indeed be rebuilt.
At some point there will be a new peace on the Temple Mount. And in this peace the Third Temple will be constructed. However, this peace may come after a future war in the Middle East ignites. Will it be Psalm 83? Will it be Jeremiah 49:34-39?? Will it be the destruction of Syria mentioned in Isaiah 17. Or will it be Ezekiel 38-39??
The Bible repeatedly describes the Temple as the spiritual center of the world and the source for peace and prosperity.
Over the past decade there has been a growing "Movement" to rebuild the temple in Israel today with thousands of Jews working to rebuild the temple. According to a poll taken last year in a leading newspaper Ha'aretz, one third of Israelis believe that Israel should erect the Temple on the Temple Mount. Just last year, Israel's Housing Minister called publicly for the rebuilding of the Temple, "We've built many little, little temples," MK Uri Ariel said, referring to synagogues, "but we need to build a real Temple on the Temple Mount."
Schools throughout Israel are diligently studying the laws of the temple and Jews of all backgrounds visit the Temple Mount each month. The Jerusalem Post quoted Sarit Berko, a non-observant Israeli who came to the Western Wall to observe the 9th of Av from her home in Tel Aviv, an annual pilgrimage she has made since the Six Day War in 1967. "During Passover, most Jews say 'Next year in Jerusalem'," explained Berko, "As an Israeli I pray, 'Next year may the Third Temple be built and last for eternity.'
The Temple is such a central theme in the Bible that one third of all its commandments deal with laws carried out in it. In the near future it will be rebuilt and part of it will be given over to the gentiles:
Revelation 11:1-2--And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
Forty and two months is equivalent to 3.5 years which in itself is half of seven, or quite possibly midway through the last seven years of history prior to the Return (NOT THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH) of the Lord Jesus Christ. These seven years have been referred to by many scholars as the Tribulation.
The Temple Institute in Jerusalem has announced that it has finished building an altar that can be utilized for Temple service. The altar, which took several years to build, can be operational at little more than a moment's notice, reported Matzav Haruach magazine.
Furthermore, the third Temple's sacred vessels, the menorah, showbread table and incense altar are completed. The architectural design is also done. It is also being reported that the third Temple will be a mix of steel, stone and composite materials conforming to the Law. The architectural plans only need to be executed.
A Biblical description of the preparation of the temple can be found in Zechariah Chapters 1-4. Interestingly enough, the fourth chapter reads right into the advent of the two witnesses of Revelation Chapter 11--See Below:
Breaking Update! More Tension on the Temple Mount!!
The Islamic Waqf's jurisdiction over the Temple Mount is officially over and Israel will now work to reestablish Jewish sovereignty over the holy site, according to Knesset Member Ari Dichter.
"Israel is the sovereign on the Temple Mount, period. The fact that the Waqf became a sovereign on the Temple Mount ended last Friday," declared Dichter, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and former head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), on Israeli public radio, Israel National News reported.
"The question of our policy [at the Temple Mount] may not be clear to the Palestinians, but it is very clear to us... The Mount will remain under the control of the Israel Police."
If Israel does indeed take back control of the Temple Mount, then the rebuildng of the Third Temple would not be far off The Mount has not been under lasting Jewish control for thousands of years. Devoted Jews have been praying for the rebuilding ofthe Third temple for the past two thousand years.
However, A Waqf statement released on Monday urged Muslims "to reject and boycott all the Israeli aggression measures, including changing the historical status quo including imposing the metal detectors."
Furthermore, this just occurred on the Temple Mount: Just a few days after last Friday's incident on the Temple Mount, Tuesday night's clashes marked the third straight day that rioters engaged in violent tactics, with the agitators reportedly lobbing Molotov cocktails and rocks at Israeli police forces near the Lions Gate, which happens to be a main access point to the Temple Mount. It is being reported that at least 34 people were injured and almost half of them requiring hospitalization.
The Muslim worshipers are now protesting the Israeli government's decision to install metal detectors at the entrances to the Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism and a site holy to Islam.
Protest leaders, including top Palestinian officials, are stating that the metal detectors are part of an Israeli conspiracy to hamper Muslim worship at the Temple Mount.
Again, it is worth mentioning that this can escalate to a war. Somehere a peacemaker is awaiting to enforce a covenant of peace if this gets really out of hand. Daniel 9:27???
The Temple Institute is committed to preparing all the necessary clothing and tools for the re-built Holy Temple in Jerusalem. In addition, the institute operates an educational center for visitors and a preparatory training program for members of the Aaronic priesthood who wish to be ready to serve as soon as the Temple is rebuilt.
Events continue to escalate on the Temple Mount following the murder of two Israeli guards on the Temple Mount just last week.
The Temple Mount was closed Friday after three Arab Israeli terrorists emerged from the compound and opened fire at a group of police officers just outside, killing two of them.
On Sunday, the site was opened to Muslims only, and on Monday, it was opened to non-Muslim visitors as well.
Under the status quo, established after Israel captured the site in 1967, the site is managed by an Islamic foundation under the auspices of Jordan - the Waqf - and Israel controls access.
Jews are allowed to visit, but not pray, at the site - the holiest place in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.
Pay close attention because here is where this gets very interesting:
The current ruling Fatah party of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas re-broadcast his call for violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosue in 2014. The broadcast was in response to the closure of the Temple Mount following the terrorist attack in which two police officers were murdered Friday morning. Palestinian Media Watch reported that Fatah posted the video on its official Facebook page. In it, Abbas calls on Arabs to use violence to prevent Jews from ascending the Temple Mount.
"We must all carry out Ribat [religious conflict] in the Al-Aqsa Mosque... We have to prevent them, in any way whatsoever, from entering the Sanctuary... They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. We must prevent them. Let us stand before them with chests bared to protect our holy places," Abbas says in the video.
In addition, last week the country of Jordan also condemned the violence in Jerusalem but also demanded that Israel "immediately" reopen the Temple Mount compound for Muslim worshipers.
Jordan's Government Spokesman Mohammed Momani said in a statement quoted by the Jordanian news agency Petra that Jordan rejects any violation against the right of Muslims to perform their religious rituals in their holy shrines.
Israeli officials were angered by Jordan's statement, saying on Friday evening they rejected it.
"Instead of condemning the attack, Jordan chose to attack Israel, which protects the worshipers and preserves freedom of worship in the area," the statement said, according to Israeli media outlets.
"Israel will not tolerate any ham to the holy sites and it maintains the status quo in them. It would be appropriate for all the parties involved, including Jordan, to maintain restraint and prevent an escalation," it added.
Jordan is one of two Arab countries, the other being Egypt, to have signed a peace treaty with Israel.
Events like these can be looked upon as trigger points that can escalate to war.
Just how will this Middle East peace be achieved? What will have happened to suddenly change the political landscape in the Middle East and thus open the way to allow the temple to be rebuilt? A new "prince" will have come into power. But who will this man be? And in whose name will he come? Will he turn out to be the peacemaker or power broker spoken of by the prophet Daniel? Shall we come face to face with the long awaited peacemaker of Daniel 9:27:
Daniel 9:27-And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
This future seven year covenant will be different. The final solution of the "Road Map to Peace" will be on the front pages of our newspapers and News websites on Fox and CNN cable news. This seven year peace deal or covenant will kick off the final seven year history of this world spawning earthshaking political events of Biblical proportions.
When this covenant is signed and confirmed there will be major international consequences. Great and awesome events will start to happen as the Holy God of Israel resumes His determined covenant dealings with the nation of Israel and the rest of the world.
Zechariah 12:1-11-The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. 2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. 4 In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. 5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. 6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. 7 The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. 8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. 11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
It is of a surety that we are living in the very season of the Lord's return, and have been for quite some time. As Jesus Christ taught in the Gospels, the prophetic birth pangs that are so prevalent globally speaking, in so many different prophetic spheres, are becoming more pronounced and stronger with each passing day.
As we approach the end of the Church Age, all the prophetic pieces are falling into their Biblically ordained end-time places and this is exactly what we are witness to in all other areas of Biblical eschatalogy or end-time prophecy.
A recent Blockbuster Summer movie was released with a sub title called "HOMECOMING" and interestingly enough a soundtrack that played in the opening scenes contained the following words:
"Can't you hear me knockin' on your window"
"Can't you hear me knockin' on your door"
"Can't you hear me knockin', ahh, are you safe asleep?...."
Revelation 3:20-22: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Song of Solomon 2:10-13-My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. 11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; 12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; 13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
Can you hear HIM Knockin'??
Trump and The Third Temple - Enoch Lavendar -
NOTE: Originally posted February 13, 2017
The Jewish Temple Mount movement are excited over the recent election of Donald Trump. They know very well that rebuilding the Jewish temple in today's world would be a dangerous and politically incorrect task.
In their view, if there is any modern political leader with the guts and determination to stand behind such a project, it could be President Trump.
Biblically, many Christians affirm that the Jewish temple will be rebuilt at some point in the End Times.
Could President Trump's strong pro-Israel stand be the game changer which could help lay the groundwork? What role would President Putin play in the mix?
The Cyrus Mandate
A number of Christian leaders have been comparing Trump to the Biblical King Cyrus. They point out that King Cyrus was a leader called and appointed by God.
Despite the fact that this Persian King did not know the God of Israel, God appointed him by name with the mandate to fulfil God's divine purposes concerning the nation of Israel.
President Trump, like King Cyrus, appears an unlikely champion for God's purposes. Despite the controversies swirling around him, Trump has though already taken action to re-align America with important Biblical values (such as pro-life) as well as making an unusually firm stand alongside the nation of Israel.
While several Christian bible teachers have pointed out similarities with Cyrus, few have raised the point that a primary part of Cyrus' divine calling was to order the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem (Isaiah 44:28, Ezra 1:2).
If President Trump really has a similar calling to King Cyrus, could it be that God would use this real estate developer turned President to facilitate the greatest property development of modern time - the rebuilding of the Temple?
A Letter from the Sanhedrin
Key figures in Israel's Temple Mount movement certainly are optimistic that Trump's victory could be the catalyst needed to bring their dream to reality.
Within days of the election victory, long time Temple Mount advocate and now prominent member of the Israeli Knesset Rabbi Yehudah Glick, issued a public call inviting Trump to visit the Temple Mount.
This call was followed days later by an open letter from the re-convened Jewish Sanhedrin. The open letter addressed BOTH Russian President Putin and the new US President Trump - asking them both to fulfill the Cyrus mandate of enabling the rebuilding of the Temple.
Rabbi Hillel Weiss, who serves as spokesman for the Sanhedrin, explained that Donald Trump's rise to power had 'made the eternal Jewish dream a very real possibility'.
Trump's strong stand in support of the Jewish claim to Jerusalem and the West Bank (Biblically known as Judea and Samaria) has led to the Sanhedrin to the belief that he could also support full Israeli rights to the Temple Mount.
Compared to President Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin might seem like an even more unlikely Cyrus. Many would instead view him as a potential 'Gog' - one of Israel's great End Time enemies.
The Sanhedrin however are basing their letter to Putin on unverified positive reports concerning Putin's attitude to the Temple Mount. Visiting the Western Wall in 2012, Putin allegedly disclosed that he was personally praying for the rebuilding of the Temple.
On this basis, the Sanhedrin decided to write to both Putin and Trump - inviting them both to fulfil the Cyrus mandate.
The optimism of the Sanhedrin is palpable. Rabbi Weiss explains: "We are poised to rebuild the Temple.
The political conditions today, in which the two most important national leaders in the world support the Jewish right to Jerusalem as their spiritual inheritance, is historically unprecedented".
Cyrus or the Anti-Christ
While the Sanhedrin is looking for a Cyrus type figure to arise to help support the building of the Third Temple, many Christians tend to link the rebuilding of the Temple not with a Cyrus but rather with the anti-Christ himself.
The Scriptures appear clear that the coming anti-Christ will defile the temple, but we shouldn't necessarily equate foreign leaders who facilitate the rebuilding with the coming anti-Christ.
In his day, King Cyrus helped build a temple in Jerusalem at divine instruction, which was later defiled by Antiochus and then frequented by Jesus the Messiah.
Could it be that God will likewise in the End Times raise up a new Cyrus figure that will help facilitate the rebuilding of the temple - which will later be defiled before the Messiah finally returns to take His rightful place in the Temple?
Trump's got the numbers
Jewish leaders have pointed out that the gematria (numerical value) of Donald Trump's name equals that of the phrase 'Meshiach Ben David' (Messiah, Son of David). These same rabbis are quick to point out that they do not believe that Trump is the Messiah (just as well!).
They view the gematria of Trump's name as an indication of him playing a role in the 'redemptive process' - a role in preparing the conditions for the Messiah's arrival. What could prepare the way for the Messiah more than the rebuilding of the Temple?
It is interesting in this context to also consider Michael Snyder's calculations that Trump was born 700 days before Israel became a nation, won the election on Prime Minister Netanyahu's 7th year, 7th month and 7th day in office, and served his first full day in the White House at the age of 70 years, 7 months and 7 days old.
While we should be careful of reading too much into these numbers, it would seem that God Himself has had His hand on the unusual rise of Donald Trump and if so would have a particular purpose for his presidency.
Could these Jewish leaders be right that Trump could have a Cyrus call on his life?
There is great excitement within the Temple Movement in Israel that the time might be drawing near for the long desired rebuilding of the House of God.
While the Sanhedrin is obviously excited about the rise of Trump and rumours of Putin being supportive, it is still early days, and we have no definite statements from either leader to support these assumptions.
As believers we should none-the-less be watching these developments, praying for God's prophesied purposes to be accomplished, and checking our own spiritual lives to make sure that we are ready to meet the soon coming King.
Four Outrageous Temple Mount Lies Being Pushed by Muslim Leaders - by Aaron Klein - http://www.breitbart.com
The Temple Mount, one of the most sensitive sites in the world, has been utilized by Arab states and Muslim leaders over the past few days to spew wild accusations against Israel following events triggered by last Friday's deadly Palestinian terrorist attack at the site.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism and is considered holy to Islam.
Below, in no particular order, are four major lies about the Temple Mount being propagated by Arab states and Muslim leaders:
1 - Metal detectors are part of an Israeli conspiracy against the Al Aqsa Mosque.
For four consecutive days, Muslim rioters here have engaged in violent clashes targeting Israeli security forces in Jerusalem's Old City near a main entrance to the Temple Mount. The Muslim worshipers are purportedly protesting the Israeli government's decision to install metal detectors at the entrances to the Mount.
Protest leaders, including top Palestinian officials, claim the metal detectors are part of an Israeli conspiracy to hamper Muslim worship at the Temple Mount.
The activists and Palestinian officials fail to note that Israel's new security measures were put into place in direct response to the murderous Palestinian terrorist attack at the Mount last Friday in which three assailants somehow smuggled weapons onto the site. Two Israeli police officers were killed in the attack.
The placement of metal detectors constitutes a sensible security response to a terrorist attack at the Mount, and it will protect all visitors, including Muslim worshipers. The conspiracy-mongering activists ignore that metal detectors have been in place for years for Jewish and Christian worshipers accessing the Western Wall.
The Palestinians have a history of using the Temple Mount to fuel violence against Israel. Riots broke out on the Mount in October 1990, ushering in the First Intifada, and the Second Intifada kicked off in September 2000 after the Palestinians used a visit to the Temple Mount by Ariel Sharon as a pretense to launch an orchestrated terrorist campaign after bolting U.S.-brokered talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state.
2 - Israel is trying to shut down Muslim worship at the Temple Mount.
This distorted charge has been propagated by Arab states and Mideast Muslim leaders after Israel temporarily closed the Temple Mount last Friday in direct response to the attack. The Mount was reopened on Sunday following the rare closure.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, in their condemnations of Israel for temporarily closing the Temple Mount, major Arab states and local Muslim leaders failed to mention the deadly Palestinian terrorist attack at the Mount that prompted Israel to enforce the closure for national security reasons in the first place.
Mount preachers are notorious for using Friday night sermons to incite against Israel - especially with false claims of Israeli threats to the Al Aqsa Mosque - and there was fear that the services could have been used to instigate further violence on the Mount.
Also, Israel temporarily closed the Mount while it investigated how the three gunmen managed to smuggle weapons onto the site, and while the Jewish state put additional security layers - notably, the metal detectors - in place to ensure against future attacks.
Accompanied by the Waqf, the site's Islamic custodians, Israel also used the few days the site was closed to conduct necessary security sweeps of the Mount. According to reports, dozens of additional weapons were found at the site.
The charge that Israel is hampering Muslim access to the Temple Mount is laughable and contradicted by facts on the ground. Israel allows the Jordanian-controlled Waqf to serve as custodian of the Temple Mount and grants Muslim worshippers access to the site 24 hours per day, seven days a week with the exception of rare instances of security threats.
It is actually Jewish and Christian visitors who are restricted by the Waqf from visiting the Mount except on small tours for about two hours per day. The Waqf does not allow non-Muslims to pray on the Mount or bring holy objects to the site; whereas Muslim prayer is entirely unrestricted. Waqf representatives closely monitor non-Muslim visitors to the site and are known to boot those engaging in prayer.
3 and 4 - The Temple Mount is only holy to Muslims and the Jewish Temples never existed.
The shocking denial of Jewish ties to the Temple Mount are mainstream within Palestinian society.
Rejecting archeological evidence, the historical record and accepted fact, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview earlier this week that the Temple Mount is "a holy place for Muslims only, and no one but the Muslims have any religious or historical right there."
Also earlier this week, Maher al-Sousi, a lecturer at the Islamic University of Gaza, claimed that the Jewish Temples were never located on the Temple Mount and that Jews have no right to the holiest site in Judaism.
In a Breitbart Jerusalem interview last year, Khaled Elkhaldi, a professor at Gaza's Islamic University, completely denied Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.
In 2007, this reporter conducted an exclusive video interview with Waqf official and chief Palestinian cleric Taysir Tamimi, who used the occasion to claim the Jewish Temples "never existed" and the Western Wall was really a hitching post for Muhammad's horse.
Excavations near the Mount routinely uncover archaeological evidence further tying Jews to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. For example, discoveries at the City of David, an archeological site just outside the Mount, have unearthed the core of ancient Jerusalem, including Hezekiah's Tunnel, evidence of the Gihon Spring, Jewish Temple artifacts, Temple purifying pools and more.
Not only are these Muslim scholars' claims about the lack of evidence tying Jews to the Temple Mount false, the Islamic scholar glossed over the Palestinians' own complicity in disposing of Jewish Temple artifacts further solidifying Jewish ties to the site.
As I previously reported:
In 1997, the Waqf conducted a large dig on the Temple Mount during construction of a massive mosque at an area referred to as Solomon's Stables. The Wafq at the time disposed of truckloads of dirt containing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temple periods.
After the media reported the disposals, Israeli authorities froze the construction permit given to the Waqf and the dirt was transferred to Israeli archaeologists for analysis. The Israeli authorities found scores of Jewish Temple relics in the nearly disposed dirt, including coins with Hebrew writing referencing the Temple, part of a Hasmonean lamp, several other Second Temple lamps, Temple-period pottery with Jewish markings, a marble pillar shaft, and other Temple-period artifacts.
The Waqf was widely accused of attempting to hide evidence of the existence of the Jewish Temples.
And in 2007, I personally reported from the site of an unusual dig on the Temple Mount in which the Waqf utilized heavy machinery to dig in one of the most sensitive archaeological compounds in the world and were once again caught red-handed destroying Temple-era antiquities.
Local Arabs did not always deny the reality of Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. A 1925 official guide book to the Temple Mount by the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem stated the Mount was the site of Solomon's Temple. The book, titled, "Guide Book to Al-Haram Al-Sharif," states on page four, "Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which 'David built there an altar unto the Lord.'"
Turkey: Erdogan's Obsession to Take Jerusalem - By Burak Bekdil -
Less than a year ago, Turkey and Israel agreed to end their six-year-long diplomatic stand-off and officially "normalized" their relations.
They appointed ambassadors Kemal Okem to Israel and Eitan Na'eh to Turkey, two prominent career diplomats, who, since then, have been struggling actually to normalize formally normalized ties. As some observers, including your humble correspondent, cautioned in 2016:
"Erdogan had pragmatically agreed to shake hands with Israel, but his ideological hostility to the Jewish state and his ideological love affair with Hamas have not disappeared; so the Turkish-Israeli 'peace' would not be easy to sustain".
Only half a year into the "normalized charter" Erdogan in May pledged that his government would work with the Palestinian people to guard against the "Judiazation of Jerusalem."
This may be vintage Erdogan. The Turkish president's promise was not too different from a call for a struggle to guard against the "Catholicization of the Vatican."
It is elementary history that Jerusalem's pre-Islamic period of 3300-1000 BCE appeared in the book of Genesis -- the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- when Erdogan's ancestors were probably hunters in the steppes of Central Asia.
The years 1000-732 BCE marked the period of the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Simply put, Jerusalem's Judaic history dates back to thousands of years before the birth of Islam.
Nevertheless, according to Erdogan, there is a necessity "to protect-against the Judaization of Jerusalem."
Erdogan, in his May speech, also repeated an earlier call for Muslims from around the world to "visit al-Aqsa" mosque, located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. "As a Muslim community, we need to visit al-Aqsa Mosque often," he said. "Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us."
In 2016, a total of 26,000 Turks visited al-Aqsa Mosque (out of a population of 80 million). Erdogan also said he wants "hundreds of thousands of Muslims" at the Muslim holy site in his campaign to "flood Jerusalem [with Muslims] and drive out the occupiers".
During the reconciliation with Israel, Ankara pledged to end its support for Hamas; Turkey even expelled Saleh al-Arouri, the most senior Hamas official then residing in the country. But ultimately, there were reports that Erdogan was not really willing to live up to his end of the bargain. The journalist Yoav Zitun wrote in Ynet News:
Hamas' presence in Turkey continues despite the departure of Saleh al-Arouri, who headed Hamas in Turkey before leaving the country following Israeli demands during the reconciliation negotiations.
His successors are recruiting Palestinian students to study in Muslim countries in general and Turkey in particular.
The students are then sent for military training in Lebanon or Syria, and from there, return to the West Bank to carry out attacks against Israel.
Zitun details some intriguing cases:
For example, two months ago, the IDF and Shin Bet detained, a Palestinian who had been living in Turkish Cyprus for several years. In August 2015, Qazmar was recruited in Jordan by Hamas, given military training and explosives expertise. During a meeting with Hamas operatives in Istanbul last January, he was instructed to recruit terrorists in the West Bank using encrypted memory cards.
Another highly publicized case concerns Muhammad Murtaja, who has head of a humanitarian aid organization of the Turkish government in Gaza. According to the Shin Bet following his arrest, Murtaja was accused of transferring millions of dollars to Hamas operatives that was donated by Ankara.
Turkish money flowing into the hands of men who are committed to the annihilation of Israel is part of ideology, not humanitarian aid.
Trying to brand itself as the international savior of the Islamist cause, Turkey has, since 2004, invested millions of dollars into 63 different projects designed to "defend and strengthen the Muslim heritage and character of Jerusalem."
The money is often channeled through a government agency, the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA).
In these efforts to "defend and strengthen Jerusalem's Muslim heritage and character" Turkey also partnered with Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and with Sheikh Akram Sabri, a former mufti of Jerusalem. Both men oppose to Israel's right to exist.
As an American friend delicately asked: "Isn't Turkey supposed to be investing millions to help rebuild Gaza?"
Not, it seems, when Islamist ideology is involved.
When Our Faith is Tested - Nathele Graham -
Living on this side of Heaven presents many challenges. There are ups and downs in life and people who don't have a relationship with God will blame Him for troubles when things go wrong, but they don't give Him credit when things go right. What's even sadder is when a Christian follows that same pattern. A lie has been going around, probably started by Satan, that life becomes a bed of roses once you accept Christ. That just isn't true. In fact, the testing of faith in the one true God has gone on for thousands of years. Think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego whose faith was tested by fire. They refused to bow down and worship false gods and were thrown into a fiery furnace. "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Daniel 3:17-18. Their faith was tested but God preserved them and they were not even singed in that furnace. Throughout Scripture we read about many men and women who loved God but faced many trials, so we shouldn't expect perfect circumstances in our own life. Illness, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, persecution, and financial difficulties are just some of the things we face that can cause us to question God. These circumstances may test our faith, but a Christian can be assured that whatever testing we face, God is with us.
The way a Christian handles troubles matters because other people learn from us. When I was very young I woke up one Saturday morning and was thrilled to see my grandmother there. She seldom left her house, so to have her in my living room was exciting. She pulled me onto her lap and gave me a hug and gently told me that there had been a car accident and my fourteen-year-old brother had been killed. My joy turned to disbelief and sorrow. My grandmother could have shown me her own despair, but instead she explained that my brother was now with Jesus and one day we would see him again. "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." Psalm 18:2. Grandma helped to build a strong foundation of faith in me which is with me to this day. We need to have faith that God is on His throne and nothing will defeat us as long as we stand strong in Him. Since the time of my brother's death I've faced much sorrow and grief from the deaths of many people I loved dearly, but because my grandmother helped me through the death of my brother I have a strong faith that those I love who died knowing Christ are truly alive. My faith was strengthened because someone took the time to teach me about faith in a time of testing. We all have that opportunity. People all around us face trials and tribulation and need the strength and comfort we can share. Do we help their faith or do we feed their anguish?
Jesus never said that if we follow Him life will be easy. In fact He said just the opposite. "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33. The Greek word "thlipsis" is translated in this verse as "tribulation", but in other Scriptures it's translated affliction, trouble, anguish, persecution, and burdened. This doesn't mean that a Christian's life should be one of despair. We have every reason to have joy. No matter what we face, Jesus is our joy and our salvation. Keeping focused on Jesus will keep our joy from being squelched. We have the blessed hope of knowing Christ as our Saviour and no matter what happens in this life He will see us through. He has overcome the world and in Him we have eternal life.
People who walk close to God always seem to handle adversity in a victorious way. The first thing they do is pray. When we talk with God He listens. The trick is that when He talks to us, we need to listen. We can't just pray and wait for God to do it all for us. The Israelites were hungry as they wandered in the wilderness and complained about how much better they had been in slavery. They had very short memories! "Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no." Exodus 16:4. They were tested to be sure they put their faith in God. God provided the manna but they had to gather it. You may be tested if the company you work for is about to close and you'll be out of a job. Pray that God will open doors for you to find another job, but get out there and look. Do you have a medical condition that needs attention? Pray for God's healing. Scripture tells about people being miraculously healed and those aren't just stories or folklore, they are true stories about real people. God still heals today. It isn't wrong to pray for healing, but seeking medical attention is important. God will always do His part, but we need to do ours.
Few people have suffered as much as Job. He lost everything, boils covered his body, and he had friends who were less than helpful. After much soul searching he was able to say. "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." Job 19:25-27. Do you have the faith to say that? When you suddenly fall off the mountain top into the valley of the shadow of death, do you know with all your heart that your Redeemer lives? It took Job some time and a bit of a pity party before he realized that no matter what he lost, even if he himself died, he would see God. He knew his Redeemer lives. Job did make it through his ordeal and God restored everything to him. Even so, Job eventually did die. He was mortal like all of us but when his faith was tested he trusted God and we can be sure that he indeed is with his Redeemer.
You may not be facing any big problem, but feelings of doubt and weakness can test your faith just like financial ruin or health troubles. Ask fellow Christians to pray for you. Paul faced many challenges in his walk with Christ, and at one point he "despaired of life". "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;" 2 Corinthians 1:8-10. He didn't go into detail about the cause of his troubles. Because it's vague we can draw encouragement from it in whatever we face. Our strength is in God and even if things look as if there's no way out, don't despair. Focus on Jesus and let Him lead you. Many times Paul asked for prayer, but it wasn't as easy for him to ask to be put on a prayer list as it is for us today. We have email and texts but for Paul prayer requests traveled at the speed of a many walking. I have a friend that I know I can count on to pray when I need it. My first action when my faith is being tested is to send her an email asking her for prayers. She does the same when she faces testing. Even though she lives many, many miles away our Christian faith binds us. We both know that God hears our prayer.
The harshest test of my faith has always been the death of a loved one. My prayers were for healing, but one of the hardest things to accept is that God's will isn't always mine. I prayed for healing so I could continue in this life with them, but God's will was that they go Home to be in a place where there is no more pain, suffering, and where faith will no longer be tested. I'm thankful that my loved ones died knowing Christ. They are with Him now. One day it will be my turn to go Home. My children can rest assured that even though my faith has been tested many times in life, I have come through being stronger in my faith. "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21. When I'm called Home it will be into everlasting life. When that time comes my children's faith will be tested, but like my grandmother told me so many years ago, because we know Jesus one day we will all be together again.
My fondest desire is that my children and friends will see in me a strength of faith that only comes through growth in the dark valleys of testing. I pray they will see Christ's love in me and that it will strengthen their own faith. If the testing of my faith can help someone else to find strength to face their own trials, then God is glorified. "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." 2 Corinthians 1:4-5. Each time we go through a valley we have an opportunity to learn more about God's grace and mercy. If we learn the lesson that comes through testing we will be able to help someone else to cope when they face testing.
Is your faith being tested? Are you watching someone you love having their faith tested? Ask Jesus to guide you through the valley you're traveling through. "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Hebrews 13:6. He will lead you to victory.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The prophetic times and our response - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
2 Timothy 3:1 opens with "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." The Apostle Paul goes on to write the characteristics of mankind during these times. They match up with a lot of what we are seeing, reading and hearing in societies, not only here in America, but also around the world-Lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having the form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, and so on. Is this not the prophetic picture of today?
The Apostle Paul's account seems to give additional specific details about what Jesus said of the time leading up to his return. In Matthew 24, Jesus gave a chronology of the sign of his coming and the end of the world. Jesus said their would be wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecution, betrayal, hate, false prophets, the love of many waxing cold, the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel, great tribulation, false Christ's showing great signs and wonders, a great atmospheric disturbance, and his return. He says that there will be "two in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." And he cautions, "Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come."
In Christ's account of the events leading up to his return, he specifically tells the disciples to "take heed that no man deceive you," "he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved," and "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come." Jesus continues in Matthew 25 with how we are to respond during these prophetic times. He talks in parables about not hiding the talents until the master returns, and how when we clothe, feed, quench thirst to the least of these, it is as doing it onto him. In short, we are to continue occupying and doing the Lord's work here on earth until his return.
Again, the Apostle Paul gives even more specific details about our personal responses as a prophetic people living in prophetic times. He writes at the end of 2 Timothy 2 (22-26) to flee youthful lusts; follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace; avoid foolish and unlearned questions; do not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instruct those that oppose themselves; and allow God to give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. In these scriptures-Matthew 24 and 25, and 2 Timothy 2 and 3, we have not only what is to happen in the end times, but also how to respond-acting in kindness, teaching the truth in humility with patience, not entering into strife. You see, as a prophetic people in a prophetic time, we must focus on the higher standard with our actions.
Daily Devotion: No Threat to the Enemy - By Greg Laurie -
"Therefore He says: 'Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.' " -Ephesians 5:14
The Bible tells the story of Samson, who had incredible potential that was largely wasted. His extraordinary physical strength was given to him as a gift from God. He also had the Lord's blessing on his life. Samson could have been one of the greatest leaders in the history of Israel, but instead his life, in effect, became an example of how not to live.
Samson was a he-man with a she-weakness. When we think of Samson, our mind usually goes to Delilah and how she cut off his hair and his strength was gone. In reality, it was a series of small compromises that ultimately led to his demise with Delilah. He lost touch with God. Then he fell asleep with his head in Delilah's lap. Talk about sleeping with the enemy.
I fear there are many in the church today who, like Samson, are asleep when danger is imminent. Some have grown complacent and lackadaisical. They're kicking back and taking it easy.
Maybe the devil looks at them and says, "Why bother? They're no threat to me. They're just sitting there on the sidelines, preoccupied with themselves. They don't care about living a godly life. Why bother with them? They're already where I want them."
That is how it is with far too many Christians today. They're immobilized. They're sterile. They're right where the devil wants them, so he doesn't bother them.
However, if you were to say, "I'm facing conflict. I'm facing temptation," that would be an indication that you're moving in the right direction as a Christian.
While it's true there is a devil who is powerful and tries to trip us up, it is also true that our Commander in Chief ultimately will lead us to victory if we stay close to Him.
FROM THE HEART
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