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Prophecy Update Newsletter
July 22, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Defending the Defenseless - J.L. Robb - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8277
With the police under attack in the United States, I wonder what would happen if they all went on strike? They have one of the toughest and most thankless jobs, and they don't do it for the money.
If we woke up tomorrow and there were no policemen, how long before looters hit the streets? How long before sexual predators hit the streets? How many senseless killings would there be over tennis shoes or video games? It would pretty much be survival of the fittest in its rawest form. This anarchy is what many of the preppers are preparing for, not the Book of Revelation. They just see lawlessness hitting the streets. Without a police force, anarchy would reign.
It was God who told mankind to defend the helpless, the weak, the sick, the down-and-out and the oppressed. He did not mention cutting anyone's head off.
Yet, the United States and much of the rest of the world does business-as-usual with oppressor countries.
"How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed." Psalm 82:2-3 NIV
A few years ago, when the Syrian Civil War was new, I wrote an article about the conflict and why the United States was not helping? All over the world there was hand-wringing over the senseless deaths of innocent Syrians, caught in a war that most did not want. At the time of the article there were 5,000 deaths. A United Nations and Arab League Envoy estimated this past April that more than 400,000 have now died.
Somebody should have taken care of business when the Syrians were pleading for help, expecting the United States to arrive any minute. After all, isn't that what the U.S. usually does? Come to the rescue?
Not only did the U.S. not come to the rescue of the now slaughtered Syrians, we are doing business with the oppressors.
It was the road to Damascus, after all, where Saul was blinded by the light; and by 722 AD there were 3.8 million Syrian Christians out of a population of 4 million. Fifty years later, Islamic terrorists of that day invaded the Holy Land, killing any who stood in their way. Abassid Caliph al-Mahdi forced the Syrian Christians to convert to Islam or be killed. When the Christians revolted in Homs (855 AD), it did not work out well. The leaders of the revolt were crucified.
The United States wasn't around in 855 AD to rescue anyone from oppression. But had we been around and operated as today's United States, the Christians would be up the creek without a paddle. We are no longer the world's policeman. As such, the world has none.
Five years ago when the civil war started in Syria, there remained 1.5 million Christians, down from 3.8 million, 1,300 years ago. The United States still does business with the oppressor.
According to a Breitbart report March 16, 2016:
"The Chaldean bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo, reported Wednesday that in only five years of conflict and persecution, the Christian population in Syria has been reduced by two thirds, from 1.5 million to only 500,000 today."
Possibly the worst massacre of Christians in Syrian history occurred in 2013, once again at the hands of Islamists; and no one came to the rescue. Evidence of thousands of mass graves with men, women, and children who had been tortured to death by fire or buried alive were discovered. This massacre reportedly occurred at the hands of the Syrian rebels that we support.
Sadad, Syria is located in the desert about halfway between Damascus and Homs and was home to many Syrian Christians. According to Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama:
"What happened in Sadad is the most serious and biggest massacre of Christians in Syria in the past two years and a half... 45 innocent civilians were martyred for no reason, and among them several women and children, many thrown into mass graves. Other civilians were threatened and terrorized. 30 were wounded and 10 are still missing. For one week, 1,500 families were held as hostages and human shields. Among them children, the elderly, the young, men and women.... All the houses of Sadad were robbed and property looted. The churches are damaged and desecrated, deprived of old books and precious furniture... What happened in Sadad is the largest massacre of Christians in Syria and the second in the Middle East, after the one in the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Iraq, in 2010."
Is the United States upholding "the cause of the poor and the oppressed" as Psalm 82 commands? What is the world going to do without a policeman to prevent worldwide anarchy? What countries are going to step up?
The Syrian Refugee Crisis could so easily have been avoided. Now hundreds of thousands are seeking relief from the oppression. Unfortunately, Islamists have infiltrated the crowds of refugees seeking shelter in Europe and the USA; but with no uniforms, how does one know the good guys from the bad?
What about defending the defenseless when the defenseless is a child in the mother's womb? We live in a country that performs more than 1.5 million abortions each year. One cannot be more defenseless than a child in the womb.
Are we naÃ¯ve enough to believe that the largest Christian nation in the world, a nation founded on biblical principles, is pleasing to God?
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. Psalm 146:7-8 NIV
Policemen and women around the world are under attack, our guardians; while college kids at elite universities seek safe spaces where they cannot be insulted or offended. If the police go on strike, there will be no safe space... anywhere.
The United States has a history of helping the oppressed and the helpless, rushing aid to Indonesian tsunami victims or earthquake victims in Haiti. This is what nations founded on the belief that God really does exist are supposed to do.
The Lord loves the righteous. I think we are in big trouble.
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Jesus
The Coming World Tax - By Bill Perkins -
The UN is moving the world, and the United States, toward a legally based agreement to go into effect by 2020. Most of us never heard about the United Nations meetings on "Climate Change" in Doha, Qatar in November, but they will eventually affect every man, woman and child in the world. The meetings were called "United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change" (UNFCCC).
Moving without opposition in their convention in Doha, Qatar, Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres has quietly steered a plan to implement a new "global tax" to provide revenue for what is called the "Green Climate Fund."
But this tax is more than something to fund climate change studies. Rather, it is aimed at changing the world by taking assets from the United States and redistributing them to "less fortunate" nations and by having the United Nations to reign superior over all sovereign nations of the world. Figueres made a remarkable recorded statement to the entire assembly regarding the new "world tax":
"What is occurring here, not just in Doha, but in the whole climate change process is the complete transformation of the economic structure of the world. It should happen much quicker (sic), but it cannot happen overnight."
To get all the delegates on board, they successfully fanned the flames of "Global Warming" enough to scare island nations into worrying that their countries will be under water if the problem is not addressed worldwide. The truth is that climate temperatures naturally move slightly up and down throughout the ages.
They plan to get a new Global Treaty begin taxing the world's citizens by 2020. They have proposed a small tax on all financial transactions worldwide (Rev. 13:16) and a tax on global emissions.
(It is worth noting that the original income tax passed in 1913 and ratified in 1916 was only 1 percent. The point is this: Once a tax is in place, they will make it what they want it to be!)
The UN expects every nation to implement the treaty by 2020. The plan is for the U.N. to call several meetings to finish the treaty. Then the U.N. will begin to apply political pressure on nations to approve it.
The treaty would require the United States to switch to solar and wind for our primary energy source or pay billions of dollars in fines. This is, of course, ridiculous! Not to mention they plan to penalize the "rich nations" proportionally more ... meaning the United States. We could never supply even 10 percent of our energy needs through wind and/or solar.
It was also decided in Doha to give the Green Climate Fund a new home in South Korea. This choice to locate its headquarters in the Far East is interesting because the Bible says the whole world will eventually come under the control of one entity.
"And he [Antichrist] causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name" (Rev. 13:16-17).
The Haters - By Jack Kinsella - www.omegaletter.com
When I was a young man, the idea of Christian persecution seemed (to me) more historical than actual -- why would anybody want to persecute Christians? That baffled me.
I knew about historical persecution in the days of the Roman Empire and I could kind of understand it, when I looked at it in historical context. Christianity threatened to upset the balance of power within the Roman Empire.
It wasn't because Christianity introduced a new god to the Roman pantheon.
The Romans had tons of gods, most of whom they borrowed from the Greeks, who had plenty of gods to spare. The Romans looked for common ground between their major gods and those of the Greeks, adapting Greek myths and iconography for Latin literature and Roman art.
So to the Romans, another god more or less didn't make much difference either way. As the Romans extended their dominance throughout the Mediterranean world, their policy in general was to absorb the deities and cults of other peoples rather than try to eradicate them.
By the height of the Empire, numerous international deities were cultivated at Rome and had been carried to even the most remote provinces, among them Cybele, Isis, Epona, and gods of solar monism such as Mithras and Sol Invictus, found as far north as Roman Britain.
Because Romans had never been obligated to cultivate one god or one cult only, religious tolerance was not an issue in the sense that it is for competing monotheistic systems.
Ancient Rome considered itself highly religious and credited their rise to power to their relationship with their gods and goddesses. Roman religion was based primarily on knowledge, prayer, ritual and sacrifice, rather than on faith or doctrine.
But the Christian religion wasn't like the rest of the religions of Rome. The Christian religion had no defined rituals. Prayer was modeled after the "Lord's Prayer" which eschewed ritual formality in favor of a simple acknowledgement of dependence upon the One True God for all things.
And THAT is where all the problems arose. The whole, "One True God" thing. If there was only One True God, then that meant that all the rest of them were false gods.
Jesus claimed He was the only God, and that "No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
It logically follows then, that the Roman polytheist was doomed, according to Christian theology. The population in those days found that sort of doctrine threatening, even hateful. In fact, that was the charge under which they were persecuted -- they called it a hate crime.
How could this be? The fact is, the claims of Christianity make it the enemy of every single other religious belief structure on earth.
Why? Because, according to Jesus, any worship that denies Him is worship of the devil.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matthew 10:34-36)
The United States Constitution's First enumerated freedom under the Bill of Rights is freedom of religion. That was another reason why as a young man, the idea of Christian persecution seemed so foreign to me.
Christianity is not so named because in colonial America, it wasn't necessary. The default position was Christian --instituting protections for Christianity would be as unnecessary as setting forth the criteria for marriage as being between a male and female.
(Some things are just so obvious that they don't need explaining. Or so they thought 236 years ago.)
It wasn't Christians whose worship needed protecting. The Founders were more concerned with ensuring that all religions would be tolerated.
And in so doing, they ensured that all religions in America would be tolerated. All of them, except the one they never anticipated would ever need safeguarding.
Consequently, as we count down the last days to the return of Christ, the most dangerous label one could affix to a Christian would be that of "Christian fundamentalist."
First, let's define a fundamentalist as one who stands firm on the fundamental doctrines of his faith.
By the turn of the 20th century, American theological conservatives had identified five basic Christian fundamentals which most of you will recognize from the OL's basic statement of faith:
1.The Divine Authorship, inspiration and authority of Scripture.
2.The Virgin Birth of Christ.
3.The Atoning Work of the Cross.
4.The historical reality of Jesus Christ and His earthly ministry.
5.The historical reality of Jesus' bodily resurrection and ascension.
If one holds to those five basic Christian truths, then one is a Christian fundamentalist and therefore, a "intolerant hater" that the Department of Homeland Security considers a threat to national security. But only Christian fundamentalism is viewed by the federal government as a threat.
To the world, Christian fundamentalists are the ones who advocate the rebuilding of Israel's Temple in Jerusalem, oppose the creation of a terrorist state beside Israel, oppose the division of Jerusalem, and the destruction of our shared enemy.
They accept the testimony of the Bible as legal title for Israel's possession of the Land of Promise and support Israel's right to exist as an issue of doctrine as well as politics. The world hates them for that.
The world views Christian fundamentalism as being responsible for all manner of hate crimes, not the least of which is its exclusivity. The entire ecumenical movement is stalled in its tracks by Christian fundamentalism.
On the other hand, if one adheres to the Five Pillars of Islam, one is a Muslim fundamentalist and, in America, automatically deserving of such respect that even non-Muslims revere Mohammed as "a Prophet" even if offering such recognition violates their own Five Fundamentals of Faith.
For example, in 2012 Tim Tebow sparked a HUGE backlash during last year's Super Bowl when he starred in a pro-family ad sponsored by Focus on the Family. The ad was about Tebow himself, and how his mother decided not to abort him when she was pregnant.
The ad set off howls of protests and demands for boycotts against the network amid demands that the ad be cancelled on the grounds there was no place for such controversial ads on public television.
Later that same year, Lowe's decided to pull its ads from a reality show on TLC about Muslim-Americans due to complaints from Christian groups that the show was promoting Islam as a faith. Once again, there was a reaction. But not against the network for producing the program.
Against Lowe's . . for pulling its support.
Calling the retail giant's decision "un-American" and "naked ... bigotry," Senator Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, told the Associated Press he was even considering legislative action if Lowe's didn't apologize to Muslims and reinstate the ads.
In post-Christian, Laodicean America, when compared to the "threat" posed by Christian fundamentalism, even a form of fundamentalism that mandates the murder of innocents in the thousands, pales by comparison.
I began with the statement that when I was a young man, I could not imagine the circumstances under which Christians living in the world's most Christian country could ever find themselves persecuted for their faith.
Of course, I could also never have imagined that a faith that offers salvation as a free gift extended to all mankind would be considered hateful whereas a religion that demanded murder-suicide as a condition of salvation would be celebrated. Especially by those whose murder would satisfy those conditions.
But that is where we find ourselves -- not over the course of centuries, but over the course of less than two decades. When Bill Clinton and Al Gore addressed the DNC in 1992, they both quoted what they claimed was the Bible.
The DNC rocked the US political establishment when it voted to remove any mention of God or Jerusalem from their platform. When the DNC sought to quell the backlash by holding a voice vote to put God back in, He lost three times before the Democrats did what they do best.
They stole the election for Him. Nobody quoted the Bible.
America was born out of the principles of Christianity that made her the greatest nation the world had ever seen. America kept to the basic fundamental doctrines of Christianity for most of her existence and prospered like no nation in the history of the world.
Until, like the Romans before them, they came to worship the creation more than the Creator, precisely as the Bible predicted would happen in the last days.
''For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.'' (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)
Like the fable that says that Christian fundamentalism is dangerous and hateful, but Islamic fundamentalism is to be respected as a "religion of peace and love" in spite of the mountains of bodies that testify to the contrary.
Ever notice that hardly anybody ever asks where America is in prophecy anymore?
Islamic End Times' ideology meaning behind ISIS' real name, says terrorism expert - Chiqui Guyjoco - http://christiantimes.com/article/end-times-meaning-behind-isis-real-name-says-terrorism-expert/58745.htm
Counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka believes understanding the real meaning behind the Islamic State terrorist group's name is crucial as this translates to the Islamic End Times' ideology.
The chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University shared his thoughts during this year's The Bridge conference for the persecuted church, which was held Saturday, July 9 and hosted by Christian watchdog International Christian Concern.
Gorka pointed out the relevance of what the terrorist group calls themselves and ruled out confining the group to its Western name of "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)" or "Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL)."
The New York Times bestselling author, who wrote "Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War" and also teaches at Joint Special Operations University and at Georgetown University for national security, said that the Islamic State militants call themselves the "Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham," referred to in the Arabic acronym of DAESH.
In this name, Gorka focuses on the term "al-Sham" which does not only point to the geographical territories of greater Syria and the Levant but also, more importantly, to the Islamic End Times belief of a "final jihad."
"Prior to that judgment, there will be a series of battles in al-Sham. The pivotal jihad, the last jihad will occur in this territory," said Gorka, as reported by The Christian Post.
He explained further, "They are sending a simple message: 'Have you ever wanted to be a jihadi? Have you toyed with the idea of salvation? Guess what? Look where we are - on the site of the final jihad. If you don't come now, you are going to miss guaranteed salvation.'"
This is what the intelligence community don't understand, observed Gorka, and also what 86,000 found appealing among jihadist groups, with 36,000 originating from outside the states of Iraq and Syria and 6,000 from the West.
The professor also commented on the Orlando terror attack in June to stress the significance of the jihadi ideology.
"It's not about guns, it's about jihadi ideology," he said during an interview with "Sunday Morning Futures."
He added, "You can ban every gun in America, and jihadis will still get them and they'll still kill Americans. Let's focus on what the threat is."
Russia Reverts to It's Dark Past of Christian Persecution - Tom Olago - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=512
Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, has signed into law an anti-terror bill containing several provisions that have raised concerns among Christians. One of these is a requirement that religious citizens obtain permission from the government to share their faith.
According to reports, the amendments to the "Yarovaya law," named after the bill's author, are meant to protect citizens from terrorists in the country and mandate severe punishment for those found to be financing or aiding terrorism.
In addition to requirements about telephone records and online data encryption, the amendments also include text affecting missionary activity throughout Russia.
In essence, old-style surveillance tactics reminiscent of the dreaded KGB days of Soviet Russia, when bugging and tapping of private communications were commonplace, are also back in full force.
Any preaching or proselytization outside of a church building will now be considered missionary activity, and any persons wishing to share their faith with others must first receive a government permit through a registered religious organization.
The Barnabas Fund supports Christians who are suffering discrimination financially and encourages and facilitates prayer by providing information, raises awareness of the plight of persecuted Christians and speaks on their behalf.
"Even in a private home, worship and prayer will only be allowed if there are no unbelievers present," the Barnabas Fund outlines.
"Churches will also be held accountable for the activities of their members. So if, for example, a church member mentions their faith in conversation with a work colleague, not only the church member but also the church itself could be punished..."
This requirement suggests malicious and malevolent attitudes from the governing authorities. How could a church or any other institution possibly enforce or regulate the speech or conduct of its members, especially when conducted outside of its precincts?
Still, violators could face fines up to $780 for an individual and $15,500 for an organization. Foreign missionaries could possibly face expulsion if they violate the law and/or speak in churches without a work permit.
"It could stop missionary activity to anybody but representatives, registered organizations, and groups. It would require every missionary to have documents with specific information proving connections to a registered religious group," Joel Griffith of the Slavic Gospel Association told Mission Network News.
And it could get worse yet. Lorraine Caballero for Christian Daily.com explained that the new law could also prompt raids on house churches. In fact, raids on religious services are already happening in areas such as Belarus and Kazakhstan.
For example, in May 2007, police raided a home in Minsk, Belarus where a Baptist service was being conducted. They arrested Polish citizen Yaroslav Lukasik and charged him with violating the law by conducting religious services. Even though he was merely participating in the service and was not the one who conducted the gathering, the authorities still fined and deported him.
Churches and Christian organizations have not been taking it 'lying down'. Several evangelical leaders reportedly wrote a letter to Putin following the law's passage to express their concerns about the potential ramifications of the legislation, which they believe is a violation of their religious liberty rights.
"The obligation on every believer to have a special permit to spread his or her beliefs, as well as hand out religious literature and material outside of places of worship and structures used for such purpose, is not only absurd and offensive, but also creates the basis for mass persecution of believers for violating these provisions," the letter stated.
"Soviet history shows us how many people of different faiths have been persecuted for spreading the Word of God. This law brings us back to a shameful past," it said.
The Barnabas Fund believes that the law is simply "using the excuse of anti-terrorist legislation to clamp down on any churches other than the Russian Orthodox, support for which is closely tied to Russian nationalism."
Griffith says that, at this point, there is no telling how the law will be enforced. Christians are praying that the language of the legislation will be altered or repealed. "There are potentially very wide-sweeping ramifications to this law. It just depends on, again, how it is going to be enforced and that is a very huge question mark," he said.
According to another recent report by Kate Shellnutt for Christianitytoday.com the amendments, including laws against sharing faith in homes, online, or anywhere but recognized church buildings, were to go into effect July 20. But it seems that the process has been fast-tracked and is now part of Russian law.
The measures are by all indications extreme and oppressive. Not even a sharing the faith in a casual conversation will be permitted. Christians in Russia won't even be allowed to email their friends an invitation to church or to evangelize in their own homes. Other reports say that even in a private home, worship and prayer will only be allowed if there are no unbelievers present.
Little wonder that the proposed laws are considered the country's most restrictive measures in post-Soviet history.
Though opponents to the new measures hope, eventually, to appeal in court or elect legislators to amend them, they have begun to prepare their communities for life under the new rules, as noted by Forum 18 News Service, a Christian outlet reporting on the region.
Protestants and religious minorities small enough to gather in homes fear they will be most affected. Last month, "the local police officer came to a home where a group of Pentecostals meet each Sunday," Konstantin Bendas, deputy bishop of the Pentecostal Union, told Forum 18. "With a contented expression, he told them: 'Now they're adopting the law and I'll drive you all out of here.' I reckon we should now fear such zealous enforcement."
The week before, Russia's Protestant minority (estimated around 1 percent of the population) prayed, fasted, and sent petitions to President Vladimir Putin, who needed to approve the measure before it became official.
"Most evangelicals, leaders from all seven denominations, have expressed concerns," Sergey Rakhuba, president of Mission Eurasia and a former Moscow church-planter, told CT. "They're calling on the global Christian community to pray that Putin can intervene and God can miraculously work in this process."
Why would Christians be so closely targeted when it is well known that they are not inclined towards causing terror?
Bob Unruh for wnd.com recently quoted a Russia Today report that said the crackdown was triggered by the bombing of an A-231 jetliner in Egypt last October and the terrorist attacks in Paris. Yet it is a matter of public record that both the terror groups and/or suspects involved in both cases pledged allegiance to Islam and not Christianity. So what's the real reason for these draconian measures?
David Aikman, a history professor and foreign affairs expert, opined to CT: "The Russian Orthodox church is part of a bulwark of Russian nationalism stirred up by Vladimir Putin...Everything that undermines that action is a real threat, whether that's evangelical Protestant missionaries or anything else."
Aikman further warned of "creeping totalitarianism" in the country.
Shellnut, in her CT piece, observed that Stalin-era religious restrictions remained on the books until the collapse of the Soviet Union, though the government enforced them only selectively. These included outlawing religious activity except for Sunday services in registered churches, and banning parents from teaching their faith to their kids.
It's not just Christians that are worried. The proposal is an "attack on freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and the right to privacy that gives law enforcement unreasonably broad powers," the humanitarian group Human Rights Watch told The Guardian.
Human Rights activists have also reportedly warned that the law's requirements do not meet generally accepted international standards or the European Convention on Human Rights.
Bob Unruh in his WND report quoted Sergey Ryakhovsky, co-chair of an advisory council of heads of Protestant churches in Russia. Ryakhovsky stated that such prohibitions were so far-reaching that they are not even contained in the "Godless" Bolshevik plans of the 1920s.
"The Constitution of the Russian Federation, Article 28, says that everyone is guaranteed freedom of religion, including the right freely to disseminate religious and other convictions," Ryakhovsky said. He also pointed out that the plan "is in contradiction with Article 30 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation."
This, in effect, suggests that the proposed law was already unconstitutional within Russia itself, besides being in direct conflict with international standards and norms protecting religious freedoms.
Not that Russian leaders would care, as they already moved to contain foreign missionaries several years ago. The "foreign agent" law, adopted in 2012, requires groups from abroad to file detailed paperwork and be subject to government audits and raids. Since then, the NGO sector has shrunk by a third, according to government statistics.
"In Moscow, we shared an office with 24 organizations. Not a single foreign expatriate mission is there now," Rakhuba previously told CT. "They could not re-register. Missionaries could not return to Russia because they could not renew their visas. It is next to impossible to get registration as a foreign organization today."
While Russia's evangelicals pray that the proposed regulations are amended or vetoed, they have gone underground before and they'll be willing to do it again, Rakhuba said.
"They say, 'If it will come to it, it's not going to stop us from worshiping and sharing our faith,'" he wrote. "The Great Commission isn't just for a time of freedom."
Meanwhile, the situation calls for earnest prayer from Christians all over the world as it looks like the days of the underground Church in Russia are back again. However, as Jesus promised, the gates of Hell will not prevail against His church. (Matthew 16:18)
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Fair-weather followers - Greg Laurie - http://www.wnd.com/2016/07/fair-weather-followers/
Pastor Greg Laurie looks to Scripture to describe people who are not true believers
According to a December 2015 Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans identify with a Christian religion. But I have to wonder how many Americans know what being a follower of Jesus really is.
When Jesus walked this earth, there were a lot of people who gathered around him and listened to what he had to say. But they were not true believers. They were there more for the entertainment factor or because a friend was listening. They didn't really understand the full implication of what it meant to be a believer.
Jesus had some very challenging words that he issued to what we might classify as fair-weather followers. After these people heard what Jesus really was asking of them, many of them turned away and left him en masse. But there also was a handful of true believers who did not desert Jesus.
He had recently performed his most popular miracle to date, the feeding of the 5,000. The people were gathered around him listening, and he wanted to feed them. He said to Philip, one of his disciples, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" (John 6:5 NIV). Philip said it would take more than half a year's salary to buy the food it would take to feed everyone.
Then Andrew, another disciple, said, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" (verse 9). The Lord took the loaves and fishes, blessed them, and multiplied them, and all the people not were only fed, but they also were stuffed, like how most of us feel on Thanksgiving Day. They weren't just full; they were really full.
This was one powerful miracle. The people probably were thinking, "Healing the sick is great. Raising the dead is fine. But when you start creating food - now we're talking."
The people wanted to make Jesus their king right then and there and were prepared to do so by force. So the Lord discharged his disciples. He got them out of there as quickly as he could because he knew this could destroy them spiritually. Then he left as well.
Meanwhile, the people woke up the next morning, and they were hungry. They were looking for that bread guy, Jesus, hoping for a repeat of that miracle. But he was nowhere to be found. They discovered that he had crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, so they went over to the other side and found the Lord.
They said, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" (verse 25).
Jesus told them, "Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval" (verses 26-27).
He was saying, "Let's cut to the chase. You are not here because you believe in me. You are here because your stomachs are growling, and you want breakfast. That is why you have come. Let's come right out front and deal with that."
Jesus knew they were hungry. But he didn't perform that miracle because he planned to do it every day. Rather, he wanted to demonstrate the power of God to show them how much God loved them. He didn't want them to make this the top priority of their lives.
It reminds me of a statement Jesus made in the Sermon on the Mount: "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:31-33). Notice, by the way, that Jesus said don't worry about food and clothing. He didn't say, "Don't think about it," "Don't work," or "Don't plan ahead for your needs." He simply said, "Do not worry."
Essentially, Jesus was telling the crowd, "I provided for you, but that is not what it is all about. I want to appeal to a deeper hunger inside of you. It is a hunger for meaning and purpose. It is a hunger for God Himself. I will satisfy the deepest hunger."
But these people weren't getting it. They replied, "What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat'" (John 6:30-31).
In other words, "You say you are the Son of God? Do a miracle. [Hint: Make breakfast for us.] While you're at it, we would like to try manna." That is what they were suggesting. They literally could not get off the track of wanting to eat.
What Jesus was doing was challenging the fair-weather followers to get serious. He was saying, "It's time to really be my follower. It's time to enter into the deepest fellowship with me that is possible. It's time to stop putting your needs above spiritual needs."
Do you know what they did? They said, in effect, "See ya. We're out of here." They left him that day.
They wanted him as their king, but on their own terms. They wanted God in their lives, but in a way where they still could be in control.
John tells us, "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 'You do not want to leave too, do you?' Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God'" (verses 66-68).
Here is the mark of true believers. They cannot quit. They may stumble. They may fall. Indeed they will sin. But they will not quit.
Daily Jot: Changing from the change - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
In 2008, the current "president" ran on a theme of change. Americans, he said, wanted change they could believe in. He said he wanted to remake America. After eight years of change, Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is betting that Americans want change again-this time a change away from the socialist horror show that has played out over the past years-record national debt, loss of jobs, open borders, terrorist attacks, racial tension, wealth redistribution, lawlessness, Constitutional undermining, destruction of traditional marriage, tax dollars for abortion (Planned Parenthood funding), and the list goes on and on. There is no end to the problems that have been created over the past eight years.
America needs change that's for sure. Problem is, without a true moral reformation in this country, there will be no real change.Change that needs to take place would be a change like recognizing and acknowledging God as the one true God, and keeping his commandments. This would lead to spiritual, social and economic restoration. It would lead to electing leaders who were chosen based on God's requirements for leadership-able men that fear God, men of truth, who hate covetousness. This would lead to parents teaching their children respect for law, that it is better to give than to take, that you work for what you get, and you rely on your ingenuity, your God-given talent, to make your way.
Yet when many politicians talk about change, they use words that find points of agreement, but in reality, they are talking about making abortion more available; giving more special rights to people who identify themselves with sexual perversion; growing the government even bigger; taxing Americans to feed, house and give jobs to the poor in other countries; taking our personal liberties away from us with intrusive laws and regulations; integrating our country with other civilizations who would impose their will upon the framework of our Constitution; and keep exporting jobs overseas so our workforce diminishes and becomes beholden to the government for sustenance.
America needs a change in its moral fiber to survive as a nation. This means doing the right things and choosing moral leaders. Jesus Christ said in John 14:15, "If you love me, keep my commandments." We have become a nation that seeks to hide the Commandments and the name of Jesus. Yet we want change from our current situation, which is become dark and void of God in favor of political correctness. Yes, Mr. Trump is correct. Americans want change. The question is: Do Americans want to change? If we as Americans, especially as Christian Americans, were able to change others by our example, there may well be enough wisdom in this country to solve the problems we say we want to change.
Daily Devotion: It Starts with God's People - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14
We want God to heal our land, and we want our nation to change. But as we look at the problems in our country, we want to point at someone else a lot of times. We say the problems are due to Washington, DC, or Hollywood or the White House. But God says the source of the problems is His house, the church.
God lays out His prescription in 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
Notice God says, "If My people who are called by My name . . ." He doesn't say a thing about secular culture. He talks to His own people. That is you. That is me. "If My people . . ."
I think one of the problems in our nation today is there are a lot of people running around who think they are Christians, but they really are not. In fact the Bible says, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified" (2 Corinthians 13:5). Or, as the J. B. Phillips New Testament puts it, "You should be looking at yourselves to make sure that you are really Christ's."
Then there are those who are living a double life. They put on a good performance at church. They say all the right things. But they are living a life that is completely contradictory to what the Bible says about how a Christian ought to live.
A spiritual awakening starts with God's people. It starts with you and me.
FROM THE HEART
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