Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The War on Truth - Part 1 - Pete Garcia -
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan. Proverbs 29:2
Many believe that the longest war the United States (US) has been involved in is the War on Terror. Some think it is the War on Poverty. In reality, the longest war we have been fighting is the War on Truth. To be honest, the war on truth has been going on for a lot longer than our existence as a nation. It goes back to the Garden of Eden when Satan, disguised as the serpent, confronts Eve and directly challenges the single, solitary rule God gave her and Adam by saying Hath God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'? (Gen. 3:1)
Author's note: Before moving on, please watch this brief but excellent video on what Leftism really looks like here. While Leftism (Vis a Vis Socialism, Marxism, Humanism, Liberalism, etc.) is not ALL that ails the US and the West, it is a significant contributing factor to its rapid decline and preparation for the final gentile kingdom (the Beast) to appear on the world stage.
Since the mid19th-century, the modern leftist movement of philosophers, socialists, Marxists, and communists (and all there in-between) have been hyper-focused on applying their anarchistic principles to four major areas of Western Civilization: The family unit, morality, politics, and religion. The reason they want to apply anarchy to the West, is so to destroy it and restructure it after their own image. To the average person, Leftism makes no sense. It shouldn't. While Leftism sounds good in theory, it has failed practically everywhere it has ever been tried. The reason it fails every time, is that human nature is corrupted and selfish. We are not as altruistic as we think we are. So what is the appeal after all this time? Well, since Leftism's (for lack of a more definitive word) religious nature matches its political nature, we can simply call it what the Apostle Paul did back in the first century, a "doctrine of demons."
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons 1 Tim. 4:1
Leftism is a socio-political philosophy that has been applied to science, religion, economics, and politics. It centers its views on the class-identity and redistributive wealth along with the abolition of private property. When leftist-ideology is applied to the political-economic spectrum, it is commonly referred to as Marxism. Marxism traces its roots back to two German philosophers and social/economic theorists named Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the mid-19th-century. Although they primarily dealt with politics and economics largely from a materialistic standpoint, their theories have been incorporated into societal changes as well via cultural Marxism.
Many Americans are familiar with political correctness, yet may not be familiar with its origins in cultural Marxist theory. While classical Marxism argued that capitalism and the class structure it created must be overthrown because it is oppressive to workers, cultural Marxism argues that it is not economics that creates oppression but rather the nuclear family, traditional morality and concepts of race, gender and sexual identity. These are the chains of tyranny which must be broken by revolution. (Link)
While Europe and Russia would take the lead in succumbing to the results of varying strains of leftist ideology, the US would not be far behind.
From the 1920s thru the 1950s, the left's attempts at subverting the United States politically failed to gain serious traction in the US due to the public awareness of the Bolshevik Revolution in Tsarist Russia, the rise of socialism via the German Nazi party, and the Italian fascist Mussolini. This along with the chilling effects of freedom on Eastern Europe with the onset of the Iron Curtain being drawn everywhere the USSR controlled.
With a Cold War of geopolitical containment ensuing for much of the rest of the 20th-century, leftists inside the US were largely constrained to non-sanctioned social/political activist movements. However, their efforts at introducing cultural Marxism should be viewed largely as a success, seeing just how far they have managed to infiltrate the US education system, the media, pop culture, and the Democratic Party.
From the smoke-filled backrooms of pubs and diners in Austria and Switzerland at the turn of the 20th-century, leftists (primarily socialists and communists of varying stripes and flavors) used to gather in small secret groups to discuss their ideas for radical social revolution. Marxism at its root depends upon class struggle and identity politics. The idea that wealth should be distributive and not hoarded and controlled by the bourgeoisie was popular message amongst the working class of society. Because Marxism is antithetical to the Biblical Christianity in almost every conceivable way, it is no wonder why it is used by atheists and skeptics as a socio-political foundation for their already aberrant religious ideations. God deals with the foundational principles of Marxism in the Ten Commandments in that "you shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's." (Exodus 20:17)
Nevertheless, with modernization transforming the second industrial revolution era with greater and greater intensity, along came the rapidity by which change would come. One particular area (or medium) that took off like a lightning bolt was the motion-picture industry. The motion picture industry (or film industry) became very popular and took up residence in Los Angeles, California (aka Hollywood). Between the 1920s-40s, the film industry was flush with money, influence, and popularity. Not content with just entertaining, filmmakers now had a national platform to set themselves out to be the moral compass of the nation. Early examples of this are with films like DW Griffiths' Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916). Still, socialists and leftists recognized the value early on in using this medium as a subtle way to message their assault on liberty and capitalism via the big screen. Across the pond, the Third Reich would later use this as a powerful propaganda machine with their Triumph of the Will (1935).
However, it was not just the political ends they aimed their cameras towards, but to societal change. The corruption of Hollywood began in its infancy and had the loose morals to prove it. While the rest of the civilized west still largely operated under Victorian principles, Hollywood (as with the rest of the international film communities) promoted a Laissez-faire attitude toward morality and socialism, especially after the west's victory of WWII. While redefining morality was central to Hollywood leftists, their liberal political views were what caught the attention of government officials. This triggered the McCarthy Trials for the Un-American Activities Committees in the 1950s. While largely ridiculed and demonized in the decades since, it appears that Sen. Joseph McCarthy was on to something after all.
Using new information obtained from studies of old Soviet files in Moscow and now the famous Vanona Intercepts -- FBI recordings of Soviet embassy communications between 1944-48 -- the record is showing that McCarthy was essentially right. He had many weaknesses, but almost every case he charged has now been proven correct. Whether it was stealing atomic secrets or influencing U.S. foreign policy, communist victories in the 1940s were fed by an incredibly vast spy and influence network. (Link)
Let us bring this realization of leftist-infiltration to our current times. When we look at the presidential election of a political outsider like Donald J. Trump to the office of president, we must view his popular message of drain the swamp through a different lens. Many tend to think that "the swamp" is a recent phenomenon beginning with Bill Clinton; however, that is not the case.
Asked whether McCarthy had understood all the forces arrayed against him, Herman said no, that McCarthy hadn't realized he'd be fighting against much of the Washington establishment. President Truman was fearful that exposures would reflect on key Democrat officials, he said, and big media and the academic world were very leftist, a heritage of the Depression and World War II. High government officials also feared investigations of their past appointments and associations with people who turned out to be communists or sympathizers. (Link)
As you can see, the swamp has been around a long time and they will not go quietly into the night. Nonetheless, even the idea of what a swamp is has largely been muddled. To the political left, the swamp is/are the capitalist cronies on the right (the bourgeoisie) lining their pockets to keep the proletariat (working class, minorities) down. To the political right, the swamp is career politicians and bureaucrats. However, what the swamp really is, are bureaucratic ideologues (left and right) who only care about staying in power. They would sell their own mothers down the river to keep their fiefdoms in place.
However, a distinction must be made between the swamp and what we call the deep state. While they often intersect and can sometimes be one in the same, the swamp are the corrupted career bureaucracy types. The deep state are those within the defense and intelligence communities that operate autonomously from the legitimate government. Moreover, as is the case, one often enables the other, as their aims are largely the same. To be the power behind the throne, untouchable, and unmovable. While not purely leftist in their ideology, they are leftist in their actions because they operate under the same principles when applied to politics and economics. On a larger scale, the left uses both the swamp and the deep state to achieve their goals for corrupting the system and destabilizing a western-society rooted in Judeo-Christian ethics and principles.
Leftist infiltration into American culture has been like a cancer growing silently in the American body for the last 100 years. Not just the American body, but in the body of Western Civilization. It silently emplaces its people into prominent positions of power and then use that power to remove threats to their globalist agendas. So what is the left's ultimate agenda?
Global domination in a singular, socialist, atheistic, world-system. An all-powerful oligarchy that controls all materials, all military power, and all flows of information. To achieve that end, they have moved forward with three overarching strategies:
The first step (thesis) is to create a problem. The second step (antithesis) is to generate opposition to the problem (fear, panic and hysteria). The third step (synthesis) is to offer the solution to the problem created by step one: A change which would have been impossible to impose upon the people without the proper psychological conditioning achieved in stages one and two. (Link)
From Lenin to Hitler and from Mao to Obama, the left uses the same old tactics in implementing their overarching strategies.
The leftists are in this for the long game and any election, judicial ruling, media loss, anything that does not advance their cause is automatically deemed illegitimate. If a judicial ruling is emplaced that advances their cause, it is as if it had been written in stone (ex. Roe v. Wade). If it does not advance or help their cause (Defense of Marriage Act), they will work relentlessly until it is changed. The embracement of wickedness as a right and a norm, not only has the foreboding of divine judgment, but the increasing constraints of legal, physical, mental, and emotional bondage that becomes overbearing to a population. This becomes increasingly self-evident as politicians and leaders descend into madness and intend on dragging everyone else along with them.
Americans are unaware of a decline in our individual liberty, and the reason is obvious: the decline rarely takes the form of sudden deprivations but, instead, takes the form of unnoticed erosion and thus, we come to regard whatever state we are in, as a normal condition. ~Leonard E. Read
Next week, The War on Truth: Conclusion
Putin Needs Iran in Syria - By Alexandra Gutowski & Caleb Weiss -
Russia's latest offensive proves the futility of depending on Putin to rein in Iran
Following their meeting in Helsinki, Donald Trump hailed Vladimir Putin as a potential partner in Syria, who can provide humanitarian relief and preserve Israeli security. But if the United States hopes to deny Iran "open season to the Mediterranean," as the President previously said, Russia is anything but an ally. Putin has no interest in pushing out the Iranian forces that defend the Assad regime by taking heavy casualties on the ground while Russia fights mainly from the air. Rather, the most recent offensive by pro-regime forces-a sprint towards the Israeli and Jordanian borders-demonstrates that Russia enables Iranian operations in Syria.
In late June, Russia began to unleash hundreds of airstrikes on Deraa, a flagrant violation of the U.S.-Russian ceasefire agreement that Trump and Putin personally endorsed last November. While Russia struck from the air, forces nominally under the control of Damascus conducted a major ground offensive.
Closer examination shows that the dividing line between Assad's military and Iranian-aligned forces has become ever blurrier. Before the offensive began, Lebanese Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militias staged apparent withdrawals from the region, only to return after donning regime uniforms and hiding their banners and insignia. Tehran is also directly involved. On July 2, a senior commander of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) died in Deir al-Adas, a village in northern Deraa province along the strategic M5 highway. Persian sources describe him as the commander for Deraa province.
Two Iranian-aligned militant groups comprised of Iraqi Shias, Liwa Abu al Fadl al Abbas (LAFA) and Liwa Zulfiqar, have also participated in the offensive. LAFA was one of the original foreign Shia militias to deploy to Syria in 2012, ostensibly to defend the Sayyida Zainab mosque in Damascus, a major Shiite religious site. Since then, however, the group has integrated into the Syrian Republican Guard, even to the point where it openly identifies as a Republican Guard unit. LAFA's trajectory illustrates how forces nominally under the control of Damascus are permeated with troops that are at least as close to Tehran.
Since the current offensive began, LAFA has posted numerous photos and videos on its Facebook page showing its men alongside regime troops in Deraa. Its leader, Abu Ajeeb, has also been pictured with Syrian military officers in several of the photos. Opposition sources report that a LAFA commander met with Russian military officers in Deraa.
Liwa Zulfiqar has also confirmed its involvement in the offensive, as well as its integration into the regime's military. The militia, which has been fighting alongside Syrian regime troops since 2013, posted several photos from the town of Busra al Harir in which it asserted it was participating in the offensive. The militia's leader, Haidar al Jabouri, appeared in a video shot inside the Syrian 4th Division's military operations command room, demonstrating Zulfiqar's integration into the Syrian command structure.
Reports have also suggested that other militias, including Lebanese Hezbollah, have been taking part in the offensive, sometimes disguised as Syrian troops. In late June, the Washington Post briefly noted Hezbollah's participation. Quoting an official in Damascus, Reuters reported that "Hezbollah is a fundamental participant in planning and directing this battle." Another pro-regime source reportedly confirmed the use of Syrian military uniforms by Hezbollah and other militias to the wire service.
It's also becoming clear that Russian aircraft are supporting the efforts of Iranian-backed units nominally under the control of Damascus. On June 24th, Russian warplanes conducted at least twenty strikes on Busra al Harir, spurring on a stalled regime offensive. Within two days, Liwa Zulfiqar announced its participation in operations there. On July 4th, Russia hit Saida and Tafas, supporting offensives involving Zulfiqar and LAFA, respectively. Russia has also now deployed military police to hold terrain captured by Iranian-aligned forces, demonstrating a level of coordination as well as Russia's unwillingness to use its forces for more dangerous offensive operations. These terrain-holding forces free up Iran-aligned actors to continue undertaking offensives toward the Golan.
Reported meetings between militia commanders and Russian officers suggest these operations are coordinated. But even without formal coordination, Russian air cover and Iranian ground offensives are mutually dependent and reinforcing. Iran can't be in the sky, and Russia refuses to put significant forces on the ground, lest too many return home in body bags. Thus, Putin requires Iran's forces on the ground to secure his ambitions in Syria.
Trump should remain highly skeptical of Putin's interest and ability to serve as a partner in Syria. The humanitarian relief Putin proposes is designed to fortify the regime, not rehabilitate children brutalized by Assad. Putin also has limited interest in curtailing Iran's deployment. Russia itself admits that Iran's withdrawal is "absolutely unrealistic." Trump should not concede American positions, notably the strategic base at Tanf which blocks Iran's path to the Mediterranean, for empty promises from Russia. Putin can afford to lie to America, but he can't afford to control Syria without Iranian support.
My Potential Meeting with a CoC Preacher - By Daymond Duck - http://www.raptureready.com/2018/07/22/potential-meeting-coc-preacher-daymond-duck/
A Baptist pastor friend has asked me to meet with him and his neighbor (a Church of Christ preacher) to discuss some Bible things that we interpret differently.
I have been away from my computer the last few days and have several services in the next two weeks, so I am submitting my notes for this potential meeting instead of an article.
It is my prayer that these notes will help others understand these issues.
THE NAME OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
The name "Church of Christ" is not in the King James Version of the Bible, but one can find the assembly of the people of God (Jud. 20:2), the assembly of the saints (Psa. 89:7), the churches of the Gentiles (Rom. 16:4), the churches of Christ (Rom. 16:16), the churches of Galatia (Gal. 1:2), the churches of Judaea (Gal. 1:22), the churches of God (I Cor. 11:16; I Thess. 2:14), churches of the saints (I Cor. 14:33), the churches of Asia (I Cor. 16:19), the churches of Macedonia (II Cor. 8:1), church of the firstborn (Heb. 12:23), church of Ephesus (Rev. 2:1), etc.
The closest thing to Church (single word) of Christ in the Bible is "The Churches (plural word) of Christ salute you" (Rom. 16:16).
Neither God, nor Jesus, nor any writer of Scripture ever used the name Church of Christ, but the Church of Christ says if there were Churches of Christ there must have been a Church of Christ. And since there was a Church of Christ and there is just one Church, every Church member must be in the Church of Christ.
Some Church of Christ members even say, "If you call a Church anything other than the Church of Christ, it's not the Church and the members are going to Hell." But the vast majority of Christians don't believe that way. Most Christians believe that Church of God is just as Biblical as Church of Christ, the Churches of the Gentiles is just as Biblical as the Churches of Christ, etc. And since the Holy Spirit used all of these different names in the Bible, no one has the authority to say that Church of Christ is the only name that is acceptable to God. The name of the group that worshippers meet with is not the unpardonable sin. None believe calling their Church Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc., is a sin that God won't forgive.
There are more than thirty denominations (Baptists, Methodists, etc.) in the National Council of Churches of Christ (not a group that this writer likes). All of these denominations call themselves the Churches of Christ, the exact same phrase that is used in Romans 16:16, but this is rejected by the "Church of Christ name only" people. More than one group uses the name Church of Christ (United Church of Christ; The Church of Christ, Scientist; The International Churches of Christ, etc.), but that won't do for some who contend that Jesus saying "My Church" means the Church must be called the Church of Christ and nothing else.
According to the Bible, the early disciples were called "The Way" (Acts 9:2; 22:4), not the Church of Christ (the single form is not in the Bible). According to the New Testament, it was at the Church at Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). This was probably some 8-10 years after the Church began at Jerusalem.
Jesus clearly said, "I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18). But Jesus didn't say those who don't call it the Church of Christ will go to Hell. Members of the Church of Christ just add that to what Jesus said or they read it into what He said. It is wrong to add to what the Scriptures say.
Is Jesus God? Does the Church belong to God? Does that mean that those who call themselves the Church of Christ instead of the Church of God are going Hell? I suspect that many in the Church of Christ would say, "No!"
BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
In the 1800's, there was a religious movement called "The Restoration Movement" or the "Second Great Awakening" that split-off from the Presbyterian Church. People in this movement said they were trying to get back to the Bible and, depending on who it was, they called themselves the "Church of Christ," the "Christian Church" or the "Disciples of Christ."
There was division among these groups (over the use of music instruments and other things), but all three of these names were considered Biblical at one time or another. And while all of this was going on, the U.S. religious census listed these groups as separate and distinct from the Church. In other words, they were not a recognized Church. The first time the Church of Christ was ever recognized as a Church by the U.S. religious census was in 1906.
Two of their most prominent early leaders were Thomas Campbell (1763-1854) and Alexander Campbell (1788-1866). Many Christians in mainline denominations often looked down on these groups and often called them Campbellites, a term that many in the Church of Christ resented. In turn, the Church of Christ looked down on the mainline denominations as infidels, a view that caused much resentment on the other side.
Many in the mainline denominations considered the Church of Christ a cult. Many in the Church of Christ said those in the mainline denominations are lost. Those in the Church of Christ said they didn't begin in the 1800's or in 1906; they just went back to what the Church was when it began. And those in the mainline denominations said facts are facts and saying otherwise doesn't make it so, especially if you are teaching things that contradict the Bible and what the early Church believed.
So, the Church of Christ says it came out of the existing Churches and returned to its roots. And the mainline denominations say they didn't return to their roots. They started a new group and called it the Church of Christ. The first Christians were called the Way, not the Church of Christ.
Some in the Church of Christ want people to ignore the Campbells because the Bible teaches that the Church started in Acts 2, not with the Campbells. But the Church of Christ hasn't completely divorced itself from the Campbells. They quote Thomas quite often. He said, "Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent, we are silent."
I will repeat myself, "The name "Church of Christ" is not in the King James Version of the Bible. Check it out. But the name "Church of God" appears eight times and "Church of the living God" once. The Church of Christ sometimes speaks where the Bible doesn't speak, and it sometimes remains silent of things the Bible says (Church of God, Churches of the Saints, etc.).
THE OLD TESTAMENT
The Church of Christ believes the Old Testament was given by God and that it is historically accurate, but they choose to ignore many things in the Old Testament unless they are repeated in the New Testament. Some tell their people to ignore most of the Old Testament Scriptures because they are New Testament believers.
Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that procedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). "Every word that procedeth out of the mouth of God" includes the Old Testament. Paul said "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Tim. 3:16). "All scripture" includes the Old Testament. So even though Jesus said live by every word that God spoke, they remain silent on most of the Old Testament.
There have been splits in the Church of Christ, and one was caused by the use (and non-use) of music instruments during worship services. Some believe using music instruments in worship is Scriptural, and they are called Church of Christ (Instrumental). Others believe using music instruments in worship is not Scriptural, and they are called Church of Christ (non-Instrumental). Obviously, one of these groups is wrong.
The use of music instruments is one of the Old Testament teachings that the non-Instrumental Church of Christ chooses to ignore. They love to quote this, "be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5:18b-19). They say this means make music in your heart (a spiritual instrument), not with a physical instrument.
Notice that the verse says "Speaking to yourselves in psalms." The Psalms are Old Testament Scriptures. So, the Church of Christ loves to quote a verse that says "speaking to yourselves in psalms" (Old Testament Scriptures), and some of those Psalms tell us to use music instruments (Psa. 150), but they choose not to do what those Psalms say.
I attended the funeral of a wonderful relative who was a member of the Church of Christ (Yes! I like many members of the Church of Christ). The service was held at her Church. The singing was a cappella. It was beautiful, but the song leader blew on a pitch pipe (a music instrument) to help us sing without using music instruments. I have been told that they believe the Holy Spirit meant something different from the normal way of interpreting this, but I am not buying it.
The Church of Christ denies that it is a denomination because there is just one Church. Since there is just one Church, they don't believe it can be composed of different denominations.
There is just one Church, but it is composed of eyes, ears, hands, feet, voices, etc. And the foot can't say because I am not the hand, I am not of the body (I Cor. 12:15). No Scripture says one body part has the right to say the other parts are lost because they don't call themselves the Church of Christ.
For whatever it is worth, when Jesus was talking about "my Church," He wasn't talking about the physical body of believers and unbelievers on the earth that call themselves the Church of Christ. He was talking about a spiritual body that is made up of believers only that are on earth and in heaven whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
SAVED BY FAITH NOT WATER BAPTISM (I PETER 3:18-22)
In I Pet. 3:20, Peter mentioned the days of Noah, and said eight souls were saved by water. In I Pet. 3:21, Peter added, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Some people say "saved by water" means people have to be baptized with water to be saved. Others point out that those eight souls were saved by being in an ark on top of the water, not by going down under the water. Those who were in the water perished. The saved were those who didn't get wet. They were saved because they had faith. They believed God. They built an Ark, got in it and it floated on top of the water.
THE MEANING OF "FOR" (ACTS 2:38)
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Much of the controversy centers on the word "for." The Greek word is "eis." My Greek dictionary gives many different definitions depending on how it is used in the verse ("purpose," "intent," "so much that," "to the intent that," "so that," etc.). My English Dictionary gives twenty different definitions depending on how it is used in a sentence ("in favor of," "in order to obtain," "in order to get," "in order to become," "because of," "by reason of," etc.).
And my research shows that there is an endless amount of debate about the grammatical construction of the sentence: words that are second person plural, third person singular, etc. But regardless of the above, the Church of Christ says there is no ambiguity about the verse.
The Church of Christ associates two words in this verse: baptism and forgiveness. They say the Greek word "eis" means "in order to obtain," so a person needs to be baptized in order to obtain forgiveness of sins. According to their interpretation, a person won't be forgiven until they are baptized.
Some evangelical Christians associate the same two words: baptism and forgiveness. But they say the Greek word "eis" means "because of" (not in order to obtain). This is just the opposite of what the Church of Christ says. It means a person should be baptized because of the fact that they have been forgiven.
A seemingly small group associates three words in the verse: repentance, forgiveness and baptism. This group says the Greek word "eis" means "in order to." They say the verse means a person must repent in order to be forgiven, and they must be baptized in order to show that they have repented.
There's a fourth opinion. This may be the largest group, and it involves all three words: repentance, forgiveness and baptism. This group simply says the verse means repent if you want to be forgiven. Then, be baptized. The sequence would be: get saved first, get baptized second and join the church third.
When there are differences of opinion on the Scriptures, it is important to look for other Scriptures to clarify the issue.
In Acts 2:21 (the same chapter and the same writer as Acts 2:38), Peter said, "...whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." He didn't say, "...whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord and is baptized in water shall be saved." "Calling on the name of the Lord" is enough.
In Acts 3:19, Peter said, "Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out." He said "repent and be converted," not "repent and be baptized with water."
In Acts 10:43, Peter said, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
Notice that all the prophets agreed that whosoever believes in Jesus will receive remission of sins by believing in Jesus (not by believing in Jesus and being baptized with water). Peter is talking about Gentiles that received the Holy Ghost (were saved; Acts 10:45), and they spoke in tongues (Acts 10:46), but not even one of them had been baptized with water. It was the same when Peter preached on Pentecost and at the house of Cornelius. People were saved and spoke in tongues before they were baptized with water.
Jesus said, "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" (John 3:16).
In conclusion, the word "for" is a little word, but how we translate it makes a big difference. Those who think it means "to get" are very small in number compared to those who think it means "because." The Bible clearly says, "Not by works of righteousness (such as water baptism) which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).
The fact is, it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that puts all believers into the body of Christ when they believe, not after a preacher has baptized them with water (I Cor. 12:13).
The Church of Christ says all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by 70 A.D., so they ignore it. But people couldn't track all buying and selling, people weren't compelled to take the Mark of the Beast, the Gospel hadn't gone all over the world, the Euphrates River didn't dry up, there was no judgment of sheep and goat nations, there wasn't enough people on earth for a 200 million-man army to invade the Middle East, the Rapture of the Church didn't take place, Babylon wasn't destroyed by fire in one hour, etc., etc. Simply put, it is easy to see that all Bible prophecy was not fulfilled by 70 A.D.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
Which do you think is meant to be an insult?
1. Apparently following Queen Elizabeth's direction, President Trump begins to walk the reviewing line with her. She decides to step behind him to move to his left so she can walk between the President and the troops. He pauses and waits for her to catch up, then resumes walking beside her to review the troops.
2. Thousands of anti-Trump protesters gather in Parliament Square where they float a huge balloon depicting President Trump as an angry, diapered baby holding a cellphone.
To you and me, it's obvious which is the action intended as an insult. But it's apparently not so obvious in the Late Great Britain.
Monarchists and the tabloids were in full hue and cry blasting President Trump for "insulting" the Queen and the British monarchy by walking in front of her -- no matter how briefly. I don't recall them being so apoplectic when Michelle Obama put her arm around the Queen -- which, incidentally, is a much greater breach of protocol. Especially since she was not even a head of state. To which the Queen is reported to have later remarked that she "never want(ed) to meet that woman again!"
The diapered baby balloon? Oh, that's just freedom of speech.
What's more, if you believe the media, it appears that President Trump may have forever ruptured the bonds of friendship between America and the United Kingdom. He had the audacity to actually sit in an easy chair in which Winston Churchill once sat. The headline of the London newspaper The Mirror breathlessly screamed, "How Dare You?"
The paper quoted a Member of Parliament, Ruth Smeeth, declaring that President Trump "doesn't even deserve to look at a statue of Churchill let alone sit in his seat."
Apparently Trump Derangement Syndrome is epidemic on both sides of the pond!
As "politically correct" and hypocritically sanctimonious as many Brits appear to be, it is a little surprising that they are expressing so much respect for their late Prime Minister Churchill. Were he alive today, I think he would be as much of an outcast as he was in the years leading up to World War II when he was sounding the politically-incorrect warnings about Hitler and Germany.
You see, Winston Churchill was a plain-spoken critic of Islam and just as outspoken a proponent of "Christian civilization" as any major politician in history. He would be roasted alive by the PC establishment of today.
In 2014, a politician was arrested for merely reading aloud the words of Churchill regarding Islam. And with so many British cities now boasting Muslim mayors, I doubt it's going to get any better.
Britain once had a great tradition of debating both religion and politics. One of the ironies is that the same people who see Islam as above discussion have no problem with attacking Christianity and the Bible on a regular basis.
Maybe they feel more free to speak their minds because they know the Knights of Columbus aren't likely to behead them.
Wow! Finally a NATO Summit with fireworks!
Usually, they're yawners. But not with President Trump at the table! I think the attending heads of state should be starting to catch on by now. President Trump says it like it is. Or at least like he sees it.
I doubt that most of the other leaders have ever heard so much truth or faced so much reality in their entire political careers.
Besides chastising most of the other NATO members for failing year after year to meet their defense commitments, the President zeroed in on Germany because of its natural gas deal with Russia.
NATO is an alliance of nations created to stand against Russia and its allies. At the time of its formation after World War II, NATO's enemy counterpart was the Warsaw Pact. That was a defense alliance between the Soviet Union and seven of its satellite states. Today, some of those former Soviet Socialist Republics are members of NATO. Including Poland!
Nonetheless, though the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia has assumed its mantle in the world. That means, in essence, that NATO's "enemy" is Russia and the NATO treaty pledges its members to protect each other from their enemies, i.e., Russia, etc.
Which makes Germany's natural gas deal with Russia all the more appalling and galling.
Here's the short version: Most of the European nations depend heavily on natural gas from Russia, for which they pay exorbitant prices. Currently, most of that gas transits through Ukraine and Poland. Ukraine and Poland are both former Soviet Socialist Republics that have moved their loyalties to the West. Which makes Russia feel very threatened and angry.
Occasionally, Russia tries to punish Ukraine and Poland, and subvert them to its wishes, by cutting off their critical natural gas supplies during the dead of the brutal central European winters. But in doing so, that means the natural gas supplies of the other European nations get cut off, too. And that makes them angry with Russia.
So incredibly rich, powerful, and domineering Germany decided to cut a sweetheart deal with Russia. They signed a deal to build two 800-mile gas pipelines that run beneath the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. It was originally called Nord Stream, now Nord Stream 2. That means Russia can pump gas to Germany and Germany can then turn around and dole it out to the other European nations.
In essence, that puts Russia in control of Germany's critical gas supplies and Germany in control of the other European nations' critical gas supplies. And it leaves Russia free to punish Ukraine and Poland at will without irritating the EU or other NATO nations. Win-win for Russia!
Enter President Donald Trump.
President Trump looked at that deal and immediately cried, "Foul!" What's more, he cried, "Foul!" loudly! And that shocked Germany, Russia, the Democrat Party, the mainstream media, and the rest of the globalists.
At a breakfast meeting, the President told Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary-General: "...Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russia because it's getting so much of its energy from Russia. So we're supposed to protect Germany (from Russia), but they're getting their energy from Russia. Explain that!"
I doubt he can.
Germany is the richest country in Europe. It bullies the other nations in the European Union. It has a $69 billion trade surplus with the United States alone. The US has 35,000 troops stationed in Germany. Yet of the 29 member states in NATO, Germany ranks next to last in the amount of its GDP that it spends on its own defense.
And now it is placing its citizens and industry at the mercy of the Russians. All the while letting the United States foot the majority of the bills for the NATO alliance that is supposed to protect it from Russia.
In what universe does that make sense?
But there is an interesting -- and prophetic -- twist to all of this. After 2020, Russia will have a viable stranglehold on Europe. But that stranglehold may be broken in 2025. That's when a new pipeline from Israel's incredible natural gas reserves, built with the cooperation of Cyprus, Greece, and Italy, will be complete. That pipeline will be capable of supplying enough natural gas to Europe to mitigate Russia's grip.
Could it be that the preservation of Russia's natural gas monopoly will be the "hooks in the jaws" of Gog that God will one day use to pull it from the north to do battle with Israel?
Oh yeah, one more thing. Gerhard Schroeder was the former German Chancellor who authorized the original Nord Stream deal. Then he left office and Vladimir Putin helped him become chairman of the same project he authorized as Chancellor. In 2017, Putin arranged for Schroeder (the German) to become chairman of Rosneft, the state-owed Russian oil giant.
The Swamp bubbles on both sides of the pond!
Speaking of the Swamp. Did you see the Congressional hearing with FBI Agent Peter Strzok as the featured guest?
If this were a Hollywood movie, most of us would say that the actors were hams and the writer was stoned when he wrote the script. You can't make this stuff up!
But the scary part is, this is reality! I don't know which was creepier or more bizarre, Agent Strzok's Norman Batesesque facial expressions and sleazy demeanor or the Democrats' frantic attempts to interrupt the proceedings and stop him from having to answer the questions.
It seems to me that even more damning than Agent Strzok's undeniable bias expressed in tens of thousands of texts (when did he have time to actually investigate anything?), is the simple fact that the FBI has uniformly ignored mountains of evidence of Hillary Clinton crimes that have been uncovered and presented by other FBI agents, other law enforcement agencies, and other intelligence services.
The institution's bias is more evident in what it hasn't done than in what it has.
But then, that is not so unusual in history. In fact, some of the crises engulfing the world today are the result of the devious undermining of legitimate government authorities by their underlings.
"Underlings" are the glue that holds things together or the weak links that cause them to fall apart. They are necessary to the administration of any government or organization. In the United States government, we call them the "Deep State."
The trouble starts when a group of subordinates take it on themselves to undo the policy of legitimate officials. In this way, underlings have sometimes changed the course of history.
For instance, last week I discussed the "other" Middle East refugees: the Jews displaced from Arab nations. In that story, I described how the League of Nations had instructed Britain to provide for a national homeland for the Jewish people. The League's "Mandate" dedicated a large tract of land from the Mediterranean Sea to what is now Iraq.
But the British officials kept backing out of promises they had made to the Jews. Eventually, 75% of the land in the "British Mandate" was given to the Arabs as a homeland for the Palestinian Arabs. It is now called Jordan. The remaining 25%, from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean was given to Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel).
Even earlier, when British General Edmund Allenby, leading his army of liberation, dismounted his horse and walked reverently into Jerusalem on December 9, 1917, he was prepared to institute a military government as per his instructions. But the staff of Governor Ronald Storrs was riddled with army officers who did not believe in the principles set forth in the Balfour Declaration. They represented the "Deep State" of the day.
Incrementally, and without authorization, they sabotaged the official policy of their government. That subterfuge eventually led to the rise of the leader of the Jerusalem Muslims, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
In later years, al-Husseini led the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939. He escaped to Nazi Germany where he remained as a guest and collaborator with Adolf Hitler. He even helped recruit Bosnian Muslims for Germany's Waffen-SS.
So don't make the mistake of believing the Left's and the mainstream media's derision of the idea of a "Deep State." It does exist and it is powerful. And too often, it has the last word.
Fortunately for us, though, it will be God who has the real "last word." And even though we know that days of persecution are coming before Jesus returns for His followers, we can take comfort in the promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
But let's not stop fighting. There is still time to speak truth to power and expose the forces of darkness that are engulfing the world. Pray for those in leadership who are doing just that. Maybe they are buying time for even more to turn to Christ and accept the free gift of pardon that He died on Calvary to purchase for "everyone who believes." (Romans 1:16)
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
Daily Jot: Syria, Iran, Psalm 83 and prophecy - Bill Wilson -
Many Christians are watching the situation in Syria, Gaza and Iran with great prophetic interest. Some, however, are predicting various prophetic outcomes surrounding these events, citing the "Psalm 83 War." There are many Biblical commentators who believe that Psalm 83 is about a prophesied war that triggers several prophetic events, including the rapture, the tribulation, and the eventual return of Christ. A careful reading of Psalm 83, however, demonstrates that there is no war prophesied and that the psalm is a prayer against the enemies of Israel that could be used even today as the nation is surrounded by those mentioned when Asaph wrote the psalm.
Verses 1-5 say, "Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee." Then Asaph names names--Ishmaelites who are Arabs; there is Edom, Moab, Ammon from Jordan; Gebal and Tyre from Lebanon; Hagarenes from Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt; Amalek and Philistines from Gaza and Egypt; and Assur from Turkey and Iraq.
The rest of the Psalm asks God to cause these enemies to perish by wind, fire, storm, even confusion, concluding with verse 18, "That men may know that thou whose name alone is God, are the most high over all the earth." There are many items in Psalm 83 that are common to prophecies referring to the Day of the LORD. One example is when God defeats the beast (Gog) in Ezekiel 38. Many of the countries and people groups are similar. The LORD uses rain, hailstones, fire, brimstone, and confusion to defeat this coalition (v. 21 "every man's sword shall be against his brother") that "they shall know that I am God" (v.23).
These nations that are prophesied as coming against Israel by the Old Testament prophets are consistent enemies of Israel and today they are followers of the most antichrist system in the world--Islam. It is no huge revelation that these traditional enemies of Israel will cause wars and rumors of wars from now until the end. Our generation may well see the end time prophecies of the Bible play out before our very eyes. But let us be ever mindful of false teachings and traditions of men that lead us astray. Don't take my word for it, or other teachers; don't get angry if what you have been taught over a lifetime is challenged. Read the Bible for yourself, in its context, and judge what is being taught. Jesus told his followers repeatedly to not be deceived by man.
Daily Devotion: Be the Change Agent - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. -1 John 5:4
I don't know what it's like in your house, but my wife and I always disagree about the temperature of the room. Cathe likes it warm, and I like it cool. Sometimes I find myself breaking out in a sweat, so I'll walk over to the thermostat and see that it's set at 78. Then I'll ask Cathe why she set it that high.
"I was cold," she says.
So I return it to an appropriate setting, like 70. She likes it warmer. I want it cooler. We go back to the thermostat again and again, because it controls the warmth or coolness of the room. Unlike a thermometer, which goes up and down with the temperature, a thermostat influences its surroundings. A thermostat controls the temperature around it.
With that in mind, are you a thermostat or a thermometer? Let me put it another way: Are you changing the culture, or is the culture changing you? Are you changing the world, or is the world changing you?
The Bible tells us the stories of great men and women who served God and, in effect, changed their world. These people were not perfect. In fact, they were far from it. They failed often. But they had faith in a great God, and we can have faith in the same great God.
Maybe it's a tall order to change the world. But what about your world? What about your sphere of influence? What about your friends, family, and neighborhood? You can have an effect there. How do you do it? You do it through faith. As 1 John 5:4 tells us, "And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith" (NKJV).
You can be the change agent. You can be the thermostat. You can be a world changer.
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