Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
For God So Loved the World - By Pastor Mike Taylor -
"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53:1-12)
During the beginning of the Lord's Supper services to remember the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, this passage is always read. It gives a biblical description of the supreme sacrifice that Jesus imparted on our behalf. Of all the prophecies of the Bible concerning the birth, life and death of Jesus (and there are over 300 of them) the last two days of His life and His death, captured the majority. No prophecy is more important than the death and resurrection of our Lord.
We speak of prophesy on this website. We look backward from the time of Jesus birth and His life, up including His death and just as important, His resurrection. All prophecy is about Jesus. To coin a phrase "It's all about Him". But do we even realize the immense sacrifice and the enormous amount of pain and suffering that Jesus endured for one reason, and one reason only? The reason for his death was for US...for all mankind. Jesus became sin to Him who knew no sin. Paul writes:
5:21 "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."(2nd Corinthians 5:21)
But knowing all that, do we even grasp what Jesus went through to accomplish the greatest feat performed on this earth, the salvation of men and women who believe in Him? Those who have seen the "Passion of the Christ" may get a Hollywood idea of how much suffering Jesus went through, but looking past the Catholic details that are not found in scripture, the depiction is thoroughly gruesome and hard to watch. But let's take a closer look at what modern movies can only give a representation of the barbaric form of torture known as crucifixion. It is where we get the word "excruciating" or "out of crucifixion".
THE "SCIENTIFIC" EXPLANATION OF THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST
I had a brother in Christ send me an email that gave a condensed version of the barbaric and inhumane torture that was endured by my Lord God. It was hard to read, but the following touched my spirit with such remorse and an emotional response that should bring tears to the eyes of anyone who loves the Lord Jesus, as it did mine. Crucifixion was started by the Phoenecians, but was perfected in its brutality by the Roman Empire.
What did Jesus endure?
"At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to death. At the time crucifixion was the "worst" death possible. Only the worst criminals were condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus, unlike other criminals condemned to death by crucifixion Jesus was to be nailed to the Cross by His hands and feet.
Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long. The nails were driven into His wrist. Not into His palms as is commonly portrayed. There's a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself so that He could breath. Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus, He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross. Jesus could not support himself with His legs because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back then using his legs just to continue to breath. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, and the courage.
Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours. Yes, over 3 hours! Can you imagine this kind of suffering? A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water from his wounds. From common images we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound to His side... But do we realize His wounds were actually made in his body. A hammer driving large nails through the wrist, the feet overlapped and an even larger nail hammered through the arches of His feet, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear. But before the nails and the spear Jesus was whipped and beaten.
The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body. The beating so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face. The Crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp. Most men would not have survived this torture. Jesus had no more blood to bleed out, only water poured from His wounds. The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters (just less than a gallon) of blood. Jesus poured all 3.5 liters of his blood; He had three nails hammered into His members; a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond that, a Roman soldier who stabbed a spear into His chest...All these without mentioning the humiliation He suffered after carrying His own cross for almost 2 kilometers, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones (the cross was almost 30 kg of weight, only for its higher part or cross member, was where His hands were nailed)."
Reading this abbreviated explanation of the death of Jesus put an urgency in me to convey to the true believer, and hopefully, the non-believer to make it real in their mind just what Jesus endured for you and me. So I went to Google and started reading about Roman crucifixions and it gives you pause in your thought processes when you envision what this would have looked like, if you had been standing at the foot of the cross that Jesus died upon as the apostle John did. Also Mary, His earthly mother, and other women who had followed Him during His ministry were there. While looking at many explanations online I went to this site:
On the site, several medical doctors and pathologist give the anatomy and the physiology of what happens to a person who goes through a Roman crucifixion. As mentioned above about Jesus was brutally whipped, as scourging was a prerequisite to finally being crucified.
"The usual instrument was a short whip with several single or braided leather thongs of variable lengths, in which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals. For scourging, the man was stripped of his clothing, and his hands were tied to an upright post. The back, buttocks, and legs were flogged either by two soldiers (lictors) or by one who alternated positions. The severity of the scourging depended on the disposition of the lictors and was intended to weaken the victim to a state just short of collapse or death. As the Roman soldiers repeatedly struck the victim's back with full force, the iron balls would cause deep contusions, and the leather thongs and sheep bones would cut into the skin and subcutaneous tissues. Then, as the flogging continued, the lacerations would tear into the underlying skeletal muscles and produce quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh. Pain and blood loss generally set the stage for hypovolemic shock. The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive on the cross. After the scourging, the soldiers often taunted their victim."( CBCG.org)
As mentioned, scourging was designed to weaken the individual to a point of near death by loss of blood and death would come from any number of reasons, but the most likely would have been the hypovolemic shock, or a loss of blood, and/or asphyxiation due to inability to expand the chest and the inability to inhale oxygen to sustain life while on the cross. Ponder on the words that you read in the article of the medical aspects of a man crucified and then ask yourself, "Why did Jesus do it?"
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD....
It comes down to this very statement. God knew before the foundation of the world that to redeem His creation, mankind, that He Himself would have to become a man and die in their place.
5:6 " For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."(Romans 5:6-10)
Do you fully understand the meaning of that passage? We were enemies of God. We were lost in our sins. We had NO hope of coming back to God, as God cannot allow sin into His presence. Here we were doomed by our own sinful nature. We were destined to die in our sins and being separated from God for all eternity. Understand, God didn't have to do it. The Lord Jesus didn't have to do it. God could have let us wallow in our sins, live our short, mortal lives and cast the whole lot of us into a devil's hell. But He didn't....WHY?
THE ANSWER IS AMAZING LOVE!!
3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."(John 3:16-18)
What can explain why God so loved the world, that He came into this world as a mortal human being to accomplish one thing, to die for the sins of all who will put their faith and trust in Him?
The Prophet Micah adds, "Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy."(Micah 5:7)
God is love, and love is kind, but perhaps our approach to His forgiveness has been prosaically legal. The Scriptures reveal that God does kindness with intensity of will and readiness of mind. He forgives with all His heart because He delights in mercy! He says, "I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies." God's nature works to give mercy, not punish; to create beauty, not destroy; to save, not lose.
John 3:16 is the definition of the LOVE of God. The passage is the whole point of the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ. As God is love, His love is extended toward us. Jesus came to do the Father's will and that was to save all who will come to Him and put their faith and trust in Him. For He alone can save you. Jesus said,
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh to the Father, but by Me."( John 14:6.)
Many read the first verse of this passage in John 3:16, but fail to read the next two verses. God doesn't want to condemn His creation, He wants to save it. Because of His unfathomable love for the "work of His hands", His creation, you and me. He applied mercy and grace mixed with that love. The definition of this kind of "MERCY" is not receiving what you sorely deserve, and "GRACE" is receiving something you cannot earn. It is UNMERITED FAVOR. Note verse 18 of John 3 of the above passage. You must believe in His only Begotten Son. You must believe that He died, that He suffered a torture that was taken on your behalf and that He died in your place. You must believe in your heart and your mind, not just a passing intellectual knowledge, but an embracing with your whole heart and soul that this is truth, and that God the Father raised Him , Jesus Christ, from the dead after 3 days and He is alive and coming back to collect what He has already bought, His creation. And foremost before the prior can happen, you must believe that you are a sinner...lost in your sins and destined for eternal death and separation from God for all eternity in a devil's hell. Hell, because it will be devoid of what God is...peace, love, hope, righteousness, happiness, joy, and glorious light. You cannot be good enough, perform enough good deeds, give to the poor, tithes to the church, or attend Church services at your chosen denomination. We all fall short. As the Bible says, "Our righteousness are as filthy rags" in His sight. For all have sinned.
3:22 "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:"(Romans 3:22-24)
SEPARATION FROM GOD FOR ALL ETERNITY
Let me put this in maybe something you can grasp concerning what scripture says about what Jesus experienced during His life up and until He died on the cross for you and me. Paul speaks of what Jesus experienced in His life while alive on this earth, Hebrews:
4:15 "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."(Hebrews 4:15)
Realize that Jesus experienced everything that you experience in this life. He lived in an evil world with temptations all around those who lived at this time. There were sins of the flesh, of the mind, prostitution, homosexuality, and total lawlessness (as is today), but Jesus resisted and overcame them all. But Jesus never experienced one thing until hanging on that cross. He had not experienced it in all of eternity prior and I'm not sure that in His human form realized what was coming would be like, as it's not revealed when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and asked His Father to let this cup pass from Him.
22:41 "And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and prayed,
22:42 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
22:43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
22:44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."(Luke 22:41-44)
Jesus must have known it was coming, as He is God, but had never experienced it in His fleshly body, as He never had for all eternity. Jesus had experienced everything that we have to endure, but one aspect. He experienced on the cross what I think what He dreaded the most.
Jesus had always been with the Father. The Father and He were One, as Jesus told the Jews of His day:
10:27 " My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
10:30 I and my Father are one."(John 10:27-30)
Jesus had always known the Father. They had never been separated, but that changed on the cross, and it scared Jesus to His very mortal being.
15:33 "Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"(Mark 15:33-34)
Have you figured it out yet? Up to this point, Jesus had been tempted in all aspects, just as you and I are, but at this one point in time, when God the Father turned His back on Him because of the sin laid upon Him and couldn't look, Jesus knew totally everything that you and I experience, even separation from Almighty God, His Father. It frightened my Lord and He cried out aloud. It should scare you too, as it scared Jesus, so should you cry out to God and cry,
"Lord Jesus Save me. I come to you a humbled, broken, repentant sinner, asking for you to forgive me of my sins. I believe you died and rose again so that I too, may live. I don't want to be separated from the love of God. I want to spend eternity with you and be alive forevermore in your Kingdom. Cover me with your own precious blood that you poured out on Calvary's cross, because I can't do it myself. I need you to come into my life and my heart , as my God and become the Lord of my life"
If you say those words and mean them in you heart, Jesus will honor your cry to save you. Then you can partake of the sacrifice He paid for in His own blood and look forward to the future prophecies that are "all about Him" to be completed in the near future. Now Jesus was separated from God for a short time that it required for Him to make atonement for the sins of the whole world, but can you think of being separated from the love of God for all eternity with no hope of reprieve, or redemption, or hope to get out? The bible speaks of a place of this separation where the worm dieth not.
"And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."(Isaiah 66:24)
It is describing an awful, hellish place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, (I presume from the pain, maybe of your mind) where the worm that eats on a dead body never dies, as you will never die, but tormented for all eternity. People don't like to think that God would ever do such a thing, to banish a person to such a place, because as they put it...God is Love. That's true, God is love, but God is also a God of judgment, a God of justice, and a God of consuming fire. Paul described what men do not want to attribute to the God of the universe, but God is love, but just in His judgments: Hebrews 12:
12:25 "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
12:29 For our God is a consuming fire."(Hebrews 12:25-29)
This is what Jesus came out of LOVE to save us all from. Save us from separation from God, being banished to a place that designed for Satan and his demons, not mankind. God is not willing that any should perish and go to such a place, but it is a decision left to the individual.
3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."(2nd Peter 3:9)
You know that prophecy is being fulfilled during these last days in this world we live in, but without this prophecy being fulfilled in its entirety concerning the sacrifice Jesus paid for the souls of men and women, the future of this world, our world, and this life we live, would not mean anything. Because of what He did 2000 years ago, we who know the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord of our lives, have a prophecy that will be completed, possibly in my lifetime, most likely sooner than I can even imagine. That prophecy that was fulfilled started in agony and pain will end in complete victory in Jesus, from the time when He arose again until He comes again in the clouds of heaven to receive a people, a Bride, unto Himself. From the beginning of the first resurrection begun by Jesus Christ, we look forward to the coming of our Lord and a continuation of that mystery, known as the first resurrection.
51 "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."(1st Corinthians 15:51-53)
Many scriptures give assurance that Jesus will come again to remove those who have put their faith and trust in Him. (just search my website. I have many to prove the point) There are those that have trusted in the supreme sacrifice in His own blood, to save them from what is coming, to save them from the coming tribulation and ultimately, separation from God. Then there are those that will never, ever make that decision to put their faith and trust in Him and believe and embrace what He did 2000 years ago. I pray that what I have written here gives you feelings of deep heartfelt thankfulness for what Jesus did, love for the One who loved your first, and a deep sorrow for what Jesus had to go through to save you and me. I pray you fall on your knees and cry out to our God, our Savior, and confess your sins to the saving of your soul. Yes, the crucifixion was barbaric and horrific, but Jesus did it willingly, without disobedience to the will of the Father, as They both knew, it was the only way to save mankind from what was lost in the Garden of Eden, our spiritual innocence and then nail our death sentence to the wood of His cross. What started out as a horrific incident that condemned an innocent man to death by the ruling Roman and Jewish authorities, became what we all will experience. To those who believe in Him at the coming of our Lord God in the clouds for His people...they will sing VICTORY IN JESUS.
"Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior forever,
He sought me, and He bought me with His redeeming blood,
He loved me err I knew Him, and all my love is due Him, He plunged me to VICTORY beneath the cleansing flood"
Yes, those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for us, will be able to sing this blessed song for all eternity...Will you be able to join us in that song?
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying that God reveals Himself to you, though His Holy spirit and you confess Jesus as Lord. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com . God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET.
Israel's Nation -State Bill Has Been Confirmed as Law-70 Years after the Nation of Israel Was Established!!! - A.V. Rauf - https://bibleprophecyfortoday.com/2018/07/19/israels-nation-state-bill-has-been-confirmed-as-law-70-years-after-the-nation-of-israel-was-established/
Romans 11:25-32 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Matthew 24:32-35-32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Those that study Bible prophecy are fully aware of the the years 1948 and 1967 regarding the nation of Israel. 1948 was the actual restoration of the nation-state itself whereas in 1967 the world witnessed the restoration of Israel's capital, Jerusalem.
Many Bible prophecy scholars viewed the year 2018 as a prophetically significant year. I also believe that when U.S. President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, that announcement triggered what I perceive as the acceleration of end-time prophetic fulfillments.
As we have begun the second half of the year 2018 another MAJOR event has taken place in Israel and I am convinced that the the fullness of the Gentiles as mentioned above in Romans 11 is about to be completed and blindness is about to be removed the nation of Israel. Keep in mind that Israel rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah as a nation and they must acknowledge Him as the Messiah as a nation. This of course will happen when Christ returns after the tribulation period:
Acts 1: 8-11--8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. (notice in verse 12 this happened at the Mount of Olives.....)
Zechariah 14:1-9-- 14 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.4 AND HIS FEET SHALL STAND IN THAT DAY ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.9 And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.
Zechariah 11:8-11--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.
Again, we must understand that Israel rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah AS A NATION and they must acknowledge Him as the Messiah as a nation AS A NATION. That being said, as of yesterday, the final draft of the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law was approved and ultimately passed it's third and final reading the Bill has now officially become a law.
Ladies and gentleman, as a result of this Bill now becoming a law, Israel's Biblical and Jewish identity has now officially been restored approximately one year after Israel temporarily regained control of the Temple Mount and Jewish prayers were openly recited on the Temple Mount platform. So what does this mean you ask?
The new Jewish Nation-State Basic Law makes official that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people only (as God's covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob stipulates).From 1948 to the passing of this Law it was the land of both Jews and Arabs. The majority of the Moslem populations are not pleased with this and this will very likely set the precedent for future attacks against Israel. Hebrew is now the official language of the nation and this is a fulfillment of what was prophesied by the Prophet Zephaniah:
Zephaniah 3:9-For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.
The Biblical calendar is now the official calendar of Israel and keeping the Sabbaths is now a nationwide requirement. But it doesn't end there......the Biblical Holidays and Festivals will also be recognized and must be kept nationwide.
Leviticus 23:1-4-And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.4 These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
In the Old Testament, all the feasts were related to the spiritual life of the people. The Feast of Passover served as a reminder that there was no atonement for sin apart from the shedding of blood. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a reminder of God's call on their lives to be a people set apart to holiness. Leaven was a symbol of sin.. Israel was set apart and were to be unleavened that is, holy before the nations as a witness of God. The feast of First Fruits was a call to consider their priorities, to make certain they were putting God first in their lives.
The Feast of Pentecost or Harvest was a reminder that God is the source of all blessings.The solemn assembly day of Trumpets was a reminder of the need for constant, ongoing repentance. The Day of Atonement was also a solemn assembly day a day of rest and introspection. It was a reminder of God's promise to send a Messiah whose blood would cover the demands of the Law with the mercy of God. The Feast of Tabernacles was a joyous celebration of God's faithfulness, even when the Children of Israel were unfaithful.
What the Jewish people did not seem to realize is that all of the feasts were also symbolic types. In other words, they were prophetic in nature, each one pointing in a unique way to some aspect of the life and work of the promised Messiah. Jesus Christ fulfilled several prophecies at His First Coming and this happens during the Spring Feasts:
1) The Feast of Passover - This Feast prophetically signified that the Messiah was our passover lamb whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the very day of preparation for the Passover, at the same time that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening. Coincidence??? Keep reading.........
2) The Feast of Unleavened Bread - This Feast prophetically signified the importance of the Messiah's sinless life, making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus' body was in the grave DURING THE FIRST DAYS OF THIS FEAST! Is that also a coincidence???
3) First Fruits - This Feast prophetically signified the Messiah's resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST TOOK PLACE ON THIS VERY DATE. By now you should take note that God is never late and He keeps his appointments and meets them on time.
1 Corinthians 15:13-33--13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, AND BECOME THE FIRST FRUITS OF THEM THAT SLEPT.21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
4) Harvest or Pentecost or Shavout- This Feast prophetically signified to the great harvest of souls, both Jew and Gentile, that would come into the kingdom of God during the Church Age. The Church was actually birthed on this day when the Messiah poured out the Holy Spirit and 3,000 souls responded to Peter's first proclamation of the Gospel in the Book of Acts.
The long interval of three months between Harvest and Trumpets has been prophetically seen as the current Church Age, a period of time that was kept as a mystery to the Hebrew prophets in Old Testament times and has now passed for well over two thousand years. Keep in mind that to God a day can be as a thousand years.
Psalm 90:4- For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
2 Peter 3:8-8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Why is this important?
Hosea 5:15 -Hosea 6:2--15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. 6 Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up.2 After two days will He revive us: IN THE THIRD DAY He will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
Let me also suggest that since the creation of Adam, six thousand years have transpired. According to Genesis Chapter 2, God rested on the seventh Day.
Genesis 2:1-3-2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all his work which He had made.3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.
Many Bible prophecy scholars see the Millennial Reign of Christ as the seventh Day.
That leaves us with the three fall feasts which are yet to be fulfilled in the life and work of the Messiah. Because Jesus literally fulfilled the first four feasts on the actual feast days, it is highly probable that the last three will also be fulfilled and that their fulfillment will occur on the actual feast days. The main point here is that now it has become Law for the people on Israel to observe these Feasts....as a Nation.
With this Bill becoming a law, Jerusalem is now the undivided capital of Israel and the Israeli government must also collaborate to complete the ingathering of Exiles, or in other words, dispersed Jews that are to return to the land, Jerusalem indeed will be a burdensome stone to not only the Muslim population, but as a result all nations:
Zechariah 12:1-3-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.
Understand that with God, timing is everything......Is it a coincidence that this is happening less than three days from Tish'a B'Av (aka the 9th of Av) and a little over a week from Tu B'Av and this century's yet another Blood Moon, which will be the longest eclipse in Israel this century!!!
The Torah requires the Jews to count the 50-year Jubilee cycles (7 cycles of 7 years each plus the 50th year) and to identify the 12 tribes of Israel.It is important to understand that the 70th week of Daniel requires the Jews to go back to counting cycles. The Tribulation Period will be one week of years or one 7-year cycle and remember that during this period 144,000 Jews from each of the 12 tribes of Israel will be recognized and commissioned to preach the Gospel:
Revelation 7:1-8--And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousands of all the tribes of the children of Israel.5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
We may not know the day or the hour but there is no denying that the day is approaching. It may be possible that the passing of this Law ultimately leads to the Battle of God and Magog as mentioned in Ezekiel 38. After the Rapture of the Church, the nation of Israel will very likely deal with an onslaught of wars. As result, the AntiChrist will emerge and some sort of peace deal, treaty, or armistice for a 7 year period. With this the Temple will also be rebuilt.
Prophetically speaking, all the pieces are coming into place and the Times of the Gentiles is indeed coming to a full. This means that the Church age is rapidly coming to a close.
I cannot emphasize this enough. If you are not saved, get saved. Time is short.
Trump Was the Big Winner at Helsinki Summit - Caroline Glick - https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/07/18/caroline-glick-trump-was-the-big-winner-at-helsinki-summit/
On a substantive level, it is impossible to understand the outcry against President Donald Trump following his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.
Trump met with Putin because as president, he is required to meet with the leader of Russia just as every U.S. president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to meet with his counterpart at the Kremlin.
U.S. national security and indeed, international security are dependent on the leaders of the two powerful nations developing cooperative relations. The ability of U.S. and Russian leaders to work together plays a key role in preventing another world war. It would have been a dereliction of duty if Trump had not met with Putin.
This brings us to the substance of the meeting, which was exceedingly positive and constructive.
Since Putin ascended to power as Russian President in 2000, there has been an ongoing debate over what type of leader he is. Many commentators and area experts have argued that Putin is an ideologue, whose ambition is to spread Russian influence worldwide at America's expense. Certainly there are people in Putin's inner circles who harbor such ambitions.
Many other commentators and experts have argued that to the contrary, Putin is interested in power for power's sake. He is not moved by a grand vision of Russian global dominance. Rather, he is moved by the twin forces of financial interests and nationalism. He seeks to empower Russia, but is capable of cutting deals with whoever makes him the best offer. In this interpretation of Putin, he is someone who is willing to work with the U.S. or Israel against Iran, if they make him a better deal than Tehran. By the same token, he is willing to attenuate Russian ties with China in favor of stronger relations with the U.S. is he believes that his interests are better served by Washington than Beijing.
In his opening remarks, Putin put an official end to the debate over his intentions. "The Cold War is a thing of the past," he declared.
"The era of acute ideological confrontation of the two countries is a thing of the remote past - it's a vestige of the past."
If Putin's statement of his intentions and his outlook were the only thing to have come out of the summit, it would have more than justified the meeting. But that was only the beginning.
Two critical issues, Iran's presence in Syria and North Korea's nuclear arsenal, were the subject of a significant amount of attention from Trump and Putin during the press conference. Their remarks on both subjects made clear just how critical the meeting was for U.S. national security interests and for global stability in the short and long-term.
Before they met in Helsinki, the prospect of war between Israel and Iran/Hezbollah in Syria was all but certain. On Monday, Syrian regime forces - which are dominated by Iran through its Revolutionary Guard Corps officers, Hezbollah units, and Iranian-controlled Shiite militia forces - began their press to seize control over the Quneitra region on the Syrian side of the border with Israel.
If Iran is able to entrench its own forces, or Hezbollah forces, in Syria generally, and along the border with Israel specifically, Israel will have to go to war to eject Iran by force. Israel simply cannot accept a strategic environment that involves a permanent Iranian presence in Syria, particularly given that Iran controls Lebanon through Hezbollah.
In their remarks, both Putin and Trump said that they are committed to Israel's security. Putin said that he accepts Israel's position that the 1974 disengagement of forces agreement between Israel and Syria must be implemented. The agreement bars Syrian military forces from deploying to the border with Israel and limits their deployment in the area adjacent to it. Trump stated outright that the U.S. supports Israel's efforts to prevent Iran from entrenching its forces in Syria.
Both leaders also expressed their admiration and respect for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
These remarks were significant on two levels. First, they reduced the prospect of war by communicating key messages to Iran and Hezbollah.
Trump's statement that,"the United States will not allow Iran to benefit from our successful campaign against ISIS" dovetailed a statement by National Security Advisor John Bolton ahead of the summit. Speaking Sunday with ABC News, Bolton said, "I think the president has made it clear that we are there [in Syria] until the ISIS territorial caliphate is removed and as long as the Iranian menace continues throughout the Middle East."
Iran will understand the remarks of both men to mean that the U.S. will fight with Israel in any war with Iranian-controlled forces in Syria to ensure their withdrawal, just as they fought with their allies in Syria to defeat ISIS.
Then there is Putin. Putin's statement of support for Israel's security and peaceful relations between Syria and Israel also sent a signal to Iran. Whereas Putin has worked with Iran to enable Assad to survive and restore his control over territory previously controlled by rebel forces, Putin will not cooperate with Iran if it chooses to remain in Syria and face Israeli and perhaps U.S. forces in battle.
Putin may or may not help Israel in such a war. He may or may not work with the U.S. But he will not fight on Iran's side.
While it is unlikely that these statements will suffice to convince Iran and Hezbollah to withdraw their forces from Syria, it is clear enough that the summit reduced the prospects of war in the immediate term.
And again, if that was the only thing accomplished at the summit, its importance would be incontestable.
The second reason that the Trump-Putin meeting was significant in the Iranian context is that it called into question the long-term viability of the Russian-Iranian partnership.
Days before the Helsinki summit, Ali Akbar Velayati, the top international affairs advisor to Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, landed in Moscow for a meeting with Putin. In a press statement before the meeting, Velayati praised ties Iranian-Russian ties, referring to them as "a strategic relationship."
Sepaking of Iran's cooperation with Russia in Syria, Velayati said, "Only a strategic and long-term relationship with Russia can continue this cooperation."
So if Putin indicated a willingness to cut a deal with the U.S. and Israel in Syria, then the implication is that he is willing to attenuate Russian-Iranian ties in favor of Russian-American and Russian-Israeli ties. The minimal price for those ties is Israeli-U.S. acceptance of the survival of Assad's regime in Syria. Netanyahu indicated last week that he is willing to accept Putin's position.
Here, too, if this were the only positive result of the summit, its undertaking would have been more than justified.
To understand just how significant Trump's achievements in relation to Russia's relations with Iran and its position in Syria are, it is important to notice where the U.S. stood in relation to both issues when Trump entered office.
During the Obama administration, the U.S. accepted Russia's alliance with Iran in Syria and beyond. When Russia deployed its forces to Syria on behalf of Assad and Iran in 2015, then-President Barack Obama did not seek to constrain Russia's actions. He did not try to limit Iran's deployment in Syria. To the contrary, he presented Iran as an U.S. ally in the campaign to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq, even though Iran used that campaign to entrench its military presence and control in both countries.
More broadly speaking, Obama joined with Russia in enabling Iran to become a nuclear-armed state by concluding the nuclear deal with Iran in July 2015. The fact that Trump was able to convince Putin to support Israel's efforts against Iran in Syria after abandoning the nuclear deal in May, despite Putin's continued support for the nuclear deal, was a major achievement.
The second area where Trump achieved a major breakthrough in Helsinki is North Korea. It is far from clear that Trump's effort to cut a deal with North Korea can survive Pyongyang's latest anti-American diatribes and the evidence of its continued nuclear operations. But what is clear is that none of North Korea's efforts could continue without Chinese support. Nuclear armed North Korea is China's most powerful - and dangerous - proxy.
During the previous three administrations, Russia has consistently partnered with China in relation to U.S. multiparty talks regarding North Korea's nuclear program. But during the Helsinki summit, Putin expressed strong support for America's goal of denuclearizing North Korea.
It is certainly possible that Putin's statement had little substance behind it. His actions in the coming weeks and months will make clear if that is the case.
But if Putin is serious about supporting U.S. efforts to coerce North Korea to denuclearize, his position could signal a weakening of Russia's ties with China in favor of Russian-U.S. relations. It would be a sound strategic move for Putin. China represents a massive threat to Russia, and using ties with the U.S. as a means to check Chinese power would be a reasonable position for Putin to adopt. If Trump has in any way convinced Putin to even consider such a move, it would mark a massive geopolitical development on multiple levels. It would also mark Trump as one of the greatest American statesmen in history.
Again, while only time will tell just how significant Putin's statement on North Korea actually was, but its potential significance is massive.
And again, if this statement by Putin were the only substantive accomplishment of the summit, the summit would still have been a highly positive, significant event.
This, then brings, us to the hysterical condemnations that Trump has been inundated with since Monday by the U.S. media, by former senior Obama administration national security officials, and by Democrats.
The very notion that a U.S. president commits treason by seeking a cooperative relationship with the head of Russia is absurd. Given the stakes of the two leaders' relationship, it is also dangerous.
Statements accusing Trump of treason and calling for the military to overthrow him are terrifying. They demonstrate that Trump's opponents are so obsessed with delegitimizing his presidency, and presumably with impeaching him that they are willing to risk a world war to achieve their domestic political goals.
When we consider the hysteria of Trump's critics on the one hand, and Trump's extraordinary accomplishments in Helsinki on the other, we need to be thankful that Trump was willing as he said, "to take a political risk in pursuit of peace," rather than "risk peace in pursuit of politics." The U.S. and the world benefited greatly from his courage.
Sunshine - By Matt Ward -
It has been hot of late. All over the planet new heat records are being set, from Scotland to Ireland, from the Middle East to Canada and down to Southern California. Places all over the world have been experiencing their hottest ever recorded weather this month, and it looks like it may continue for some time to come.
At least 54 people, to the point of writing, have died in Montreal, southern Quebec, which has seen record temperatures. In Northern Siberia temperatures are a huge 40 degrees higher than they are normally at this time of year. Africa has just recorded the hottest temperature ever recorded on planet Earth. In Ouargla, Algeria, an incredible 51.3 Celsius (124.3 degrees Fahrenheit) has been recorded, beating the previous record set fifty years ago in Morocco.
Heat records have fallen all across the globe. In North America alone:
In the Middle East:
This is a trend that has continued for quite some time. Dallas has never before in history hit 90 degrees or more in November. It did so a number of times in 2017. Pakistan, last April, recorded what was up to that point one of the hottest temperatures ever recorded on Earth, of 122.4 degrees. This record was beaten in just the last few weeks. Within the last year, San Francisco, Shanghai, Spain, Death Valley, Iran and Pakistan have all recorded their highest ever recorded temperatures.
In April this year, Earth recorded its 400th warmer than normal month in a row. The last time a whole month on earth was cooler than normal was February 1985.
Something clearly is happening, yet nobody seems to quite know why the world is experiencing these ever-increasing record setting high temperatures, and these temperature rises are making scientists look anew at one of our oldest companions, our own sun. What they are finding there is confusing.
Our sun is more active now than at any other time in the previous 1,500 years of human history. Scientists based at the Institute for Astronomy in Zurich have used ancient ice cores to map the activity of the sun over the past millennia, and what they have found is surprising. They have concluded that over the last century alone, the increase in sunspots from the sun has directly correlated with parallel rises in the earth's global temperatures. In other words, when the frequency of sun spots increases, the temperature on Earth seems to also rise correspondingly.
The Sun has been actively monitored for sunspots, and data collected, since the development of the first reliable telescopes, in around 1610. Since then some remarkable conclusions have been drawn.
It was noted, for example, that between 1645 and 1715 there were very few recorded sunspots on the Sun's surface. This corresponds to a period in earth's history known as the "little Ice Age," a period of prolonged and very cold global temperatures. Solar scientists strongly suspect there to be a link between the two events.
Using ice core samples, it has also been possible to identify other such specific times when the earth's temperature experienced sustained and substantial periods of cooling, also, at just the same time when sunspot activity on the sun's surface was minimal.
Dr. Sami Solanki, solar scientist, notes that this trend for cooling events seems to have come to an end. The sun has been substantially more active in the last seventy years, more active than at any time in the last 1,500. It is almost as if seventy years ago, the sun suddenly awoke and came to life. The sun changed from being largely dormant, with brief periods of sunspot activity followed by long periods of inactivity, to the much more active phase we see today. (1)
"Studying" the sun is becoming an oxymoron for the scientists involved: the more they learn, the more they do not understand. As an example, take something as basic as its composition. What is our sun made of? Solar scientists cannot tell you anymore, because at this point they really do not know.
Like any star, scientists do know that the sun consists mainly of hydrogen atoms fusing two-by-two to make helium, unleashing immense energy in the process. However, it is in the sun's composition with regards to the smaller concentrations of heavier, metallic elements where scientists draw a blank.
It is in understanding the composition of a star's heavier, metallic elements that solar scientists can then make judgments about the age, power and ultimately how a star is going to die.
"The more metallic a star, the opaquer it is (since metals absorb radiation), and how opaque it is relates to its size, temperature, brightness, life span and other key properties." (2)
Solar scientists use our own sun's metallicity as the yardstick for measuring the metallicity of all other stars. If these measurements are wrong, then science's fundamental understanding of how stars work, at the most basic levels, are also likely wrong.
Astronomers have traditionally believed they had a good understanding of our sun, gauging its metallicity at 1.8 percent metal - a happy convergence that led them to believe they understood not only the length of their solar yardstick but also how our own sun works.
That belief has now been challenged, and shaken. Increasingly precise spectroscopic measurements over the last twenty years have progressively revealed a far lower metallicity than believed possible, of just 1.3 percent.
However, this has been contradicted using helioseismology, through which one can also infer metallicity in the sun using sound waves of different frequencies which penetrate into the sun's interior. This process, confusingly, reveals a metallicity of 1.8 percent.
This should not be the case. Both measurements should correlate together, yet they don't. One measurement is 1.3 percent and one is 1.8 percent, a huge difference when dealing with something as massive as the sun. This is a problem not only for solar science, but for physics and astronomy in general. It means that the standard solar model currently employed by all scientists could effectively be wrong, meaning that our understanding of the nature of the universe itself could also be wrong.
As Dr. Martin Asplund, an astrophysicist at the Australian National University explains, "Either astronomers do not understand how to measure elemental abundances of stars using spectroscopy, or our understanding of stars' interiors...is incomplete."
Sunny Vagnozzi, a physicist at the University of Stockholm in Sweden, goes even further, "If we get the sun wrong, we get everything wrong."
The confusion doesn't stop here though because something even more bizarre is happening inside our sun. Incredibly, a huge hunk of the solar core seems to be missing. Right in the very center of the sun, an enormous mass the size of 1,500 earths has simply disappeared. (3)
This is the equivalent to 9×10 to the power of 24 tonnes of matter, simply gone from the core of the sun. And nobody has the slightest clue where or how this has happened.
Aldo Serenelli, of the Institute of Space Sciences in Barcelona, believes he has a solution to this problem. He believes that the matter missing from the core of the sun has been replaced by dark matter, which is theorized to make up about 27% of the universe. Serenelli believes that several billion mega tonnes of dark matter have accumulated at the center of our sun and is being kept there by the huge forces of gravity exerted by our sun.
This conclusion, however, questions traditional beliefs about the fundamental properties that make up our sun. The reality is that scientists simply do not know why there is a huge, gaping hole at the very core of our sun. Neither do they really understand how the sun works; and these discoveries are bringing many within the astronomical community to one awkward conclusion: that they cannot reliably predict the actions of the sun, because they do not understand its workings even remotely well enough. And perhaps nor do they really understand the universe with the certainty they once believed they did.
These events in the sun are the birth pangs. These are part of the beginning of the "signs in the sun" (Luke 21:25) spoken of by Jesus himself, signs that have largely been overlooked up to this point. The signs we are seeing in the sun today are the same types of manifestations of birth pangs that we are witnessing in all other areas, all of them increasing in intensity and frequency. There are signs in geopolitics, in the geophysical world, in worldwide socioeconomic events, and now, clearly in the astrophysical world.
It can be no coincidence that the beginning of this solar unpredictability occurred at the very same time as all the other birth pangs did, with the rebirth of Israel 70 years ago, in 1948. (4)
"Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you; this generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (Mark 13:28-30).
It has always been my understanding from the Old Testament prophet David, that a biblical generation is "three score years and ten."
"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away" (Psalm 90:10).
"Threescore years and ten" is seventy years. Today, in 2018, it has been exactly seventy years since the rebirth of the nation of Israel, since the fig tree came into bloom. Consequently, when we look at the activity of the sun over these same seventy years, we see a demonstration of Bible prophecy playing out before us, not on earth, but at the heart of our own solar system. The cosmos itself is testifying to the lateness of the hour.
The Bible speaks about a time yet to come, when temperatures on this earth will rise to the extent that people will be scorched and burned up by it. The Bible also identifies the cause of this torment; it will be because of the sun.
"The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun. Then the sun was given the power to burn people with fire. People were burned because the sun was so hot. And they spoke wrongly about the name of God, cursing him because he had the power to send these troubles. But they would not stop the wrong things they were doing. They would not respect and honour God" (Revelation 16:8-9).
As the signs in the sun now testify to the lateness of the hour, how will you respond? Will you repent, or will you harden your hearts?
"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion" (Hebrews 3:15).
The time left to us is increasingly short, so believe in the Lord Jesus, and live.
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved? They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household" (Acts 16:31).
What Happens When We Fail To Warn - By Michael Brown -
I heard a tragic story recently, some of the very bad fruit coming from Rob Bell's book Love Wins. (This was Bell's hell-denying book in which he effectively announced his apostasy from evangelical faith.)
In light of a growing epidemic of deception in the Church today, a deception that is making people deaf to divine warnings, it seemed that now was a good time to share the story.
Earlier this year, a university student was responding to my lecture on God's love for the LGBT community during a time of Q&A. He tried to undermine the authority of the Scriptures and accused me of using violent language To him, any form of justice or judgment was inherently violent, and he would have none of it as a professed atheist.
I subsequently learned that, just a few years earlier, he was planning to go into the ministry. He was an avid reader of the Bible. Then he read Love Wins, and it was downhill ever since.
It would have been far better (and far more biblically accurate) if Bell had written a book titled Love Warns. That would have been in greater harmony with the truth.
But we don't want to hear warnings today. We only want positive words. Words that make us feel better about ourselves. Words that increase our self-esteem and enhance our self-image. Anything negative will be rejected out of hand.
Don't tell me I'm on the wrong path. Don't tell me there's danger ahead. By all means, do not warn!
Everybody has to win these days. There can be no losers.
Every path is valid and every perception has truth.
Correction is a micro-aggression. Reproof is for our grandparents' generation. Rebuke is tantamount to assault.
Yes, that's the world we live in today. And I don't just mean in the secular, non-religious society. I mean in the Church. Preachers, do not warn!
On a daily basis, we receive angry comments to our video "Can You Be Gay and Christian?" (Apparently, it continues to circulate on LGBT social media outlets, getting new viewers all the time who are furious with the biblical content.)
One viewer wrote, "Reported this as a hate video," which is the expected response these days. Telling the truth, even with love and grace, is branded "hate." Truth has become toxic.
This reminds me of a quote from the Christian musician and singer Keith Green (who died in 1982). He said, "I'd rather have people hate me with the knowledge that I tried to save them." Do we have any excuse for not trying?
Others viewers of our video were outraged that I would have the temerity to state that the Bible was God's Word and that it was still relevant.
Still others were shocked to hear me say that there is a right way and a wrong way. That we were created and designed by God with specific, moral intent. How dare I speak such things!
But it's not just here, in this controversial area of LGBT issues, that we find resistance. For years now, right within the Church, there's been a growing tide of no-judgment preaching.
We're only allowed to say nice things, to encourage. We're not allowed to plead with tears, to warn of coming danger, to urge our listeners to flee from impending judgment, be it in this world or the world to come.
Not a chance. Such preaching is dubbed "Old Testament" (as if the New Testament wasn't filled with warnings). Such preaching is called legalism and going back under the law (as if grace didn't plead and admonish). Such preaching is deemed out of style, inappropriate for our enlightened age.
As a result of this growing trend, rather than the flock being awakened, the congregants go like fattened sheep to the slaughter. Who will sound the alarm?
By all means, we should encourage. By all means, we should lift up. We should preach with love, preach compassion, preach mercy, preach longsuffering. We
But we should warn our hearers and viewers of the consequences of rejecting that love and compassion and mercy and longsuffering. We should, in Paul's words, present (and consider) both the kindness and the severity of God (Romans 11:22). Both are essential to our right understanding of the nature and character of our Lord.
Decades ago, George Orwell famously wrote, "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
Today, more than ever, we need to engage in this revolutionary act of telling the truth. If we who claim to know the Lord don't do it, who will?
Daily Jot: America lost in a generation - Bill Wilson -
Growing up in Northeastern Ohio in the 50s and 60s was a picture of a much simpler time. There were eight farms on our road. We rarely saw a car go by. The mornings before school were early because we had livestock to feed, chores to do. The evenings were sometimes late, depending on the weather, in getting the livestock fed and settled. The nearest store was about five miles away. It was a picturesque place-bench out front and Cokes could be bought from the vending machine for a nickel. Griff's store had creeky floors, was narrow to maneuver and we went there often because it also was the post office. Griff would be storekeeper then slide around to be postmaster. 'Seemed like he was two different people.
The people were friendly. We knew each other. In fact, many of us were related-the result of an old farming community of Welshmen that was settled around the turn of the century-the 1800s. One schoolhouse. Two protestant churches-Baptist and Methodist. There was a Catholic church in another town. We were all pretty close knit. The Wayland Town Hall was across from Griff's store in front of the volunteer fire station. All the meetings were at the Town Hall-Grange, 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Ruitan, Ladies' Auxiliary, Trustees, and whoever else wanted to meet there. There was no division because of politics. Democrat or Republican, everybody pretty much believed the same with different approaches.
We also didn't care if you were black or white or Welsh or Polish or Hungarian. Everybody worked hard and kept to themselves unless somebody needed some help. Then everyone pitched in. This was the America in which I grew up. It was what shaped my worldview. It was as Jesus said in Luke 6:31, "As you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise." Our school teachers were also our Sunday School teachers. The men and women with whom my parents were close friends were also like parents to me. I write this because I want you to see where I'm coming from. We worked hard for what we had. We cared for others. We were taught responsibility. And these things were Christ-centered.
My son recently recalled a TV show where a homosexual man admitted to a friend that he went to church. Sometime later, the person posted that information on social media. The homosexual called his friend and said that he had "outed" him in a terrible way because, "Now everyone knows that I am a Christian, and that's worse than coming out as gay." We can debate all the various religious and political inferences in that exchange, but it doesn't change that this is the America we now live in. To me, this is the clash between those who want to destroy the nation and the "church" which hasn't remained relevant. Overcoming evil with good isn't compatible with emotional, extra-biblical, self-indulgence. The condition of our nation is a reflection of the condition of the church. As God's people, we can do better.
Daily Devotion: The Breastplate of Righteousness - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness. -Ephesians 6:14
Let's say that you've read your Bible every day this week. You've remembered to pray. You've gone out of your way to do the right thing as a believer. You're feeling pretty strong spiritually. You look forward to going to church next weekend because you feel like you've done pretty well.
But let's say that you lower your guard the next week. You get hit with temptation and fall. You feel like a hypocrite going to church because you've fallen short.
This is where you're vulnerable as a believer, and this is where the breastplate of righteousness comes in. The apostle Paul wrote, "Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness" (Ephesians 6:14 NKJV).
In Paul's day, the breastplate of a Roman soldier protected his vital organs. If a soldier wasn't wearing his breastplate, it would be the first place an enemy would attack, and effectively the battle would be over.
The Christian's breastplate of righteousness means that he or she stands righteous before God. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you're justified, which means that God has forgiven you of all your sin. It means that He has placed the righteousness of Christ into your spiritual account.
When you sin, the devil will say, "You are not worthy to approach God. You are not good enough to go to church. You should not dare to read your Bible." But if you've put on the breastplate of righteousness, you can say, "Yes, I don't deserve anything. But it has all been given to me as a gift, and I stand righteous before God."
That's why the breastplate of righteousness is so essential for us as believers. We must have it on at all times, understanding what Christ has done for us.
FROM THE HEART
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