Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Paganism Invades the Church of Laodicea - by Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2019/07/paganism-invades-church-of-laodicea.html
14 'And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see." (Revelation 3:14-18)
I have many people write me concerning the coming tribulation and one of their family members involved in the New Age movement that has invaded the modern churches. A lot of the time, it involves a young person who has been influenced by this world and thinking that they can be a "soldier" to battle the coming One World Government that is shaping up and headed by some force called the "Illuminati" or an elite group of manipulators of this present age. First we need to define what this New Age Movement is grounded upon that is part of this end times church, the church of Laodecia. If you look up the definition of New Age via even Wikipedia, you find this about the movement:
"The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology, holistic health, parapsychology, consciousness research and quantum physics". It aims to create "a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas" that is inclusive and pluralistic. Another of its primary traits is holding to "a holistic worldview," thereby emphasizing that the Mind, Body and Spirit are interrelated and that there is a form of Monism and unity throughout the universe. It further attempts to create "a worldview that includes both science and spirituality" and thereby embraces a number of forms of science and pseudoscience."
People who believe this apostasy worships the earth, and call it Mother Earth or some other pagan belief that denies the Son of God.
20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."(Romans 1:20-25)
This describes the world at large, but has invaded even the so called "churches" of our day. They have changed what is written in your Bible to make it more palatable for the masses that come to their religious tradition.
Satan is a master of deceiving mankind to look unto themselves as being in control of their own destiny in regards to events on this earth. They look for a utopian society based on pagan beliefs of the created and worshiping the earth and the stars that they can see, instead of the Creator who made all things on earth and placed them under man's control. God made the heavens and those things in them to govern the processes of seasons, day and of night for the betterment of the creation made on earth, including His supreme creation, man.
THE PAGAN INFLUENCE ON OUR CHILDREN
Young people are the most easily influenced by dark forces that are rampant and abounding now, as Satan knows he has but a short time, as even he knows what the Word of God says, so his demon horde is working overtime to twist men's minds into believing a lie, to the damnation of their souls.
Sadly, young people that are highly impressionable by older pagans who wish to warp the mind of the coming youth into what Satan wishes them to believe. They look to creating a heaven on earth, to fight against a coming "revolution" involving a One World Government, and a false One World Religion. They could not be more mistaken.
These pagans that fill the end day Laodecian churches, young and old, believe that they can use the powers that be of mysticism and their misguided beliefs to change what is coming upon the earth. I counsel people that adhere to this apostasy that there will be no heaven on earth, this side of the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
There are many forms of this utopian society, or heaven on earth, that are joined to this movement known as "New Age". If you look online and Google "new age movement" you will find many examples of kinship between New Age, "Dominionism and Kingdom Now," theology. These are even fond in the dominate religion on earth based in Rome. How are these related?
DOMINIONISM, KINGDOM NOW, AND THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
"There has been a significant rise of cross-pollination between evangelical dominionists and New Age Theosophists. Since the late 1970s there has been a closeted fraternization between dominionists and Theosophists for the purpose of finding common ground for the future. Both groups seek to bring in a "Christ" (Can you say Anti-Christ?) figure to solve the world's problems. Both groups have grand utopian plans to create "peace" on earth. During the past decade, the two groups began borrowing doctrinal terminologies from one another and working on common theologies. The events of 9/11 gave a new impetus to this effort. Jay Gary, who has been a leader within all three sects of dominionism has had close ties with the Theosophists and is adopting new theologies, including a hybrid of preterism called "transmillenialism." Bob Buford of Leadership Network ... has been working since the mid-1990s to create a youth culture based on "emergent" theologies called the Emergent Church - a mixture of New Age paganism, eastern mysticism and evangelical dominionism. And Patriotic Dominionist leaders have long-standing, close ties with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who has his own messianic kingdom ambitions." (Lighthouse Trails Research Project)
That should give you warning bells right away when you hear the names of Sun Myung Moon, or Bob Buford working in the Emergent Church heresy that even denies the divinity of Jesus Christ. This has crept into the Catholic Church with Pope Francis giving even atheist a one way ticket to heaven "as long as they do good". Dominionism teaches:
The Gospel of Salvation is achieved by setting up the "Kingdom of God" as a literal and physical kingdom to be "advanced" on Earth in the present age. Some dominionists liken the New Testament Kingdom to the Old Testament Israel in ways that justify taking up the sword, or other methods of punitive judgment, to war against enemies of their kingdom.
There has been a change of focus and ministry over the years in our preparing for His coming. The Bible teaches that the church is to be taken to a place that He told us about almost 2,000 years ago (Jn.14 that we will be with Him where He is in heaven; He is coming to take us to the heavenly Jerusalem). Instead the strategy has changed to other desires replacing the church's hope of heaven. Now many are saying - we must make it change, we are now in charge to bring the kingdom to earth. When Peter writes of their saying the fathers fell asleep, it has to do with those of faith who have died, we can safely assume this is connected to the awaiting resurrection. The day when the saints (bodies) who died in Christ will arise from the grave.
If we are at the end of the age and threshold of the rapture of the church and the resurrection of the saints and the tribulation taking place (though there various views of which takes place first), then those who have accepted this new paradigm of kingdom now Dominionism are actually fulfilling Biblical prophecy! At certain times in the past individual groups sat around waiting for the rapture to occur to solve all their problems. Today many have ridiculed the hope of being taken to heaven replacing it with a new hope of the Church being called to take over the world and establish the kingdom of God on earth. Both are wrong views. Jesus never told us to wait for the rapture but to be busy working doing what he told us, so we are found doing His Fathers will when He comes again. On the other hand the focus has changed from our winning souls to be citizens in heaven, to an immediate earthly concern. This involves social agendas of cleaning up society, christianizing the world and even delivering cities and nations of demons by spiritual warfare; called spiritual mapping, done by binding territorial spirits, by now I'm sure you have heard of these terms. It is the end times "paradigm shift".
I see a larger danger in all this blending of the New Age movement, Kingdom Now, and Dominionism. They are relying on themselves, instead of God. They look to the earth, as New Agers do, and worship the creation, or believe that they can be spiritual enough that they can usher in the Kingdom of God. They are wrong on both accounts. What I see in these heresies is the opening up of the acceptance of the coming One World Government and the ruling king, known as the Anti-Christ. Why do I say that? One reason only and that is they deny the power of the Holy Spirit, the salvation of Jesus Christ that is obtained by no other entity created by sinful men to replace what God has planned for men through His Son, Jesus the Christ/Messiah.
I counseled those who are concerned about their family being involved in these movements that they are opening themselves up to being denied being a part of the removal of the church in the near future. They looked to the year of 2012 of being a paradigm shift in things on this earth in either economics, environmentalism, spiritual warfare, or the coming Apocalypse called the end of the age. They relied on a pagan belief known as the Mayan Calendar that 2012 would bring catastrophe to the inhabitants of the earth, and they must fight the "Illuminati" and the elite of this world to usher in a New Age of utopian existence. What they will do is ghastly to ponder. They will throw themselves headlong into the coming Tribulation, as they have NOT believed in the One God has sent:
36 " He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)
28 They said therefore unto him, What must we do, that we may work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."(John 6:28-29)
How many have Jesus Christ in their heart that believe in these heresies? God knows, but it is direct conflict with the Word of God so I fear for their beliefs in wrong ideologies. If they believe in creation of this earth manifested as their god, as environmentalist clearly do, then God is not in them as they may not have the Son, which in Him is all life. I see a greater danger in the near future. If they miss the calling of Jesus Christ and do not believe in the Creator as proclaimed by John:
1 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men."(John 1:1-4)
If they refuse to believe on the only begotten Son of God who came into this world to save a world that could NOT save itself, then they are condemned to endure the most horrifying time on this earth, known as the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation. These misguided individuals will have, what I perceive as only two choices should they miss the only opportunity to be removed from the coming Wrath of God. Remember 1st Thessalonians chapter 5 and hold onto it with both spiritual hands:
9 " For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."(1st Thessalonians 5:9-10)
Speaking to the two choices that I just mentioned before these verses, which describes the coming tribulation, and the coming wrath that envelopes every man, woman and child born during those 7 years of pure hell on earth, that is so foolish to believe not in the Only Begotten Son of God, let us examine those two choices.1st choice:
To believe that the coming Anti-Christ is the leader of the New Age/Kingdom Now/Dominionism of a Utopian society that will usher in a era of peace. These folks look for a leader, a "savior" of mankind. It will be a short lived false peace brought on by a false messiah. They will be ripe to believe the lie, as all truth has been extinguished from the earth, as the Church has made an exit, stage right. (or should I say "stage straight up"?). They will have no strength, no faith, or foundation to believe otherwise. All who are cast into the coming tribulation will most likely take a mark of loyalty to the government that rules this earth, and its leader, the Anti-Christ. There will be some, (but not many in comparison) of Gentiles that will turn to Jesus after they realize they have missed the greatest event apart from the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus. This is what is coming.
14 "And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."(Revelation 13:14-18)
This choice is to damn your soul to the lake of fire, designed for the devil and his fallen angels. Revelation:
9 "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."(Revelation 14:9-11)
This is the only real choice a person has to make it into the realms of glory, or the coming Kingdom of God after the Tribulation starts. Unfortunately, this will apply in the majority to the nation of Israel. Few Gentiles (in comparison) will find the truth, or believe what the 144,000 Jewish evangelist preach and what is prophesied by the Two Witnesses from the Temple Mount and the newly built Jewish Temple. I believe that the coming Tribulation is designed for two things only, right along with the two choices I've listed and that is:
To remove all rebellion from this planet through the pouring out of the wrath of God onto a unbelieving world full of the sins likened to Sodom and Gomorrah through environmental disasters and divine judgment that will destroy 3/4+ of all living life on this earth, including men, women, and children. Not to mention the zeal that the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet will pursue to track down any and everyone who does not take their mark.
To refine Israel, as gold and silver is refined in the fire. Israel will be purged of her unbelief. She will become close and personal with the God of Heaven, until she cries out aloud, as Jesus proclaimed to them in Luke 13:
34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."(Luke 13:34-35)
And Malachi proclaimed the coming trial by fire of the nation of Israel:
2 "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."(Malachi 3:2-6)
Zechariah wrote by the Holy Spirit of what Jesus proclaimed and all Israelites left alive will recognize their Messiah, instead of this false messiah who has deceived the world and the preceding and following verses will trigger His coming to set up His Kingdom on earth:
10 "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."(Zechariah 12:10)
That's it folks. Those two choices are what will transpire in the Tribulation. Extinguishing all rebellion of unbelievers, and the refining of Israel by fire, is what those 7 ghastly years will produce and emerge before Jesus sets up His Kingdom upon His final return to earth.
SO, WHAT IS IN STORE FOR YOU?
The choices are clear in the above passages. You will be left without God in your life, and most likely will accept the mark of loyalty to the Beast power and live, for a short while until Jesus comes to destroy all rebellion, including you. OR:
You will believe the message of the Jewish evangelist and by grace and mercy, believe in the Son of God that takes away the sin of the world. To believe then, will put a mark on your person. Instead of a mark of loyalty, you will be marked for death. Many will die of the nation of Israel, but a remnant will be saved, but of a gentile it is your immediate death sentence by the authorities to demand complete allegiance to their idolatry. Chances are great that you will believe the first choice and be lost FOREVER.
Man has been given a clear cut choice. The choice is not hard and the yoke is easy this side of the Tribulation.
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."(John 3:16-19)
And in Romans the Apostle Paul wrote:
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Men look unto themselves to find salvation in their own deceitful hearts. That is going on right now in the apostasy that is going on in the modern day churches of Laodecia. But it will only get exponentially worse in the coming Tribulation.
10 "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."(2nd Thessalonians 2:10-12)
There is no other way to stand before a Holy God who cannot let sin enter into His presence save Jesus Christ and Him crucified and raised from the dead.
'Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me"(John 14:6)
Without Jesus as your personal Savior, through grace and mercy and our faith, there will be no pardon when standing before the Great White Throne judgment of God in the cusp of eternity:
11 "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."Revelation 20:11-15)
This is our Savior, who you rejected, as God the Father has given our Lord Jesus to be the complete judge of all mankind. He will search the books for your name, and if not found, the penalty will be for all eternity.
If you stand before God the Father, clothed in anything but the righteous of His Son Jesus Christ, then you will have no defense of good intentions, no excuse, and nothing but eternal death awaits you. No manner of heresy that proclaims anything but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, raised from the dead, and coming again to rule and reign for a 1000 years in it's lead up to eternity, will be found in these books opened.
What are these books? They are the books of your bible that speak of the coming Messiah who did come and was slain. And the book of life, that has those who have accepted Jesus as personal Savior written down before the foundation of the world. Did you find Him? Did you seek His face? Did you accept His free gift of grace and mercy? If not, I call upon you now to make that decision for Jesus Christ. Accept Him today as your Lord and Savior. Believe in your heart that Jesus is God. Romans:
10 "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."(Romans 10:10-13)
When you, by grace and understanding that through His Word, believe that there is no other way to come to God the Father except through His Son accepting Him by faith, then leave the heresies of this world to the ash heap of history and turn away from such sorcery. God will honor you and accept you as a son, just a soon as you profess His Son in your life and live the life He wishes for you. Our time on this earth is growing shorter by the day. Make that decision for Jesus Christ right now, while you still can and not enter the coming Tribulation and the destruction of your flesh, and maybe the destruction of your soul and spirit thrown into a devil's hell. The Holy Spirit calls you now, to all who will have ears to hear.
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying God's salvation comes into your life by faith. If there is anything I can help you with, pray with you about, counsel you, or just listen to your concerns for a biblical direction, then drop me a line at email@example.com , God bless you, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Things are heating up between Israel and Hezbollah in the Golan - By Anna Ahronheim -
It's been a hot summer in the Golan. And it's not only the weather.
The past week alone saw two deadly attacks against Iranian proxies in southern Syria attributed to Israel. Earlier this week an explosion killed Hezbollah operative Mashour Zidan in southern Syria and a few days later a rocket struck the strategic Tel Haraa site not far from where Zidan was killed.
Israel has remained mum on the attacks, but the Jewish State has made it clear that it won't accept Hezbollah's growing presence in the Syrian Golan.
But Assad, along with Iranian backed troops, retook the Golan last summer, so what's changed?
According to Philip Smyth, the Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the buildup of local forces by Iran and Hezbollah is a major aspect that has been overlooked.
"Hezbollah doesn't want to have to execute an entire war on its own in southern Syria. It's much easier to apply plausible deniability and harder to bust a Hezbollah cell if they are locals," he told The Jerusalem Post, adding that they have taken a slightly different approach and being very pragmatic in terms of who they recruit.
Zidan, a Druze resident from the village of Hadar, is believed to have been a senior Hezbollah operative responsible for recruiting volunteers from villages near the border with Israel as part of Hezbollah's Golan File.
Senior intelligence officers in the IDF's Northern Command said that Hezbollah's Golan Project began last summer following the reconquering of the Syrian Golan by regime troops. Operatives involved in the clandestine file have weaponry available from the civil war and if needed, will receive additional weaponry from Lebanon or existing arsenals kept by Hezbollah and Iran.
"Hezbollah knows that Israel is watching, so they are being much more covert than in the past," Smyth said, adding that they are using more local forces rather than sending brigades of Lebanese fighters to the area.
Military success in Syria has also allowed Hezbollah to redeploy senior operatives and troops to the area as well as southern Lebanon. The group's leader Hassan Nasrallah has said as much himself in a speech in mid-July.
"We are present in every area that we used to be. We are still there, but we don't need to be there in large numbers as long as there is no practical need," he said, adding that "if there was a need to return, all those who were there would go back."
According to David Daoud, a research analyst on Hezbollah and Lebanon at United Against Nuclear Iran, the uptick in Israeli strikes in the area is because "there has been increased Hezbollah presence."
In mid-March US President Donald Trump announced the formal recognition of the Golan as sovereign Israeli territory, handing Hezbollah a present for their recruitment in the area.
"Recognition of the Golan creates common ground for different factions to agree upon - the same applies to the embassy move, and the 'deal of the century," Daoud said, adding that "Different regional groups or axes that might not otherwise agree now have something in common."
Smyth told The Post that while "Trump's statement has sent some signals to Iran," Tehran has "upped the ante because of the situation on the ground, not because of Trump's statement. They know that their goals will outlast the Trump administration. But if it rallies the troops, they will use it. They are very pragmatic."
While the "Iranians have been following the same program in southern Syria for years, now they're trying to secure and resecure their gains," Smyth said. "There's a lot more opportunity, it's a net gain no matter how you look at it."
The attack on Tel Haara on Wednesday was not the first.
The site has been used by the Syrian army for years to observe Israeli movement, and since the Assad regime re-took the area from rebels last summer, there have been several strikes on the site blamed on Israel.
While the base, which has electronic surveillance capabilities, was supposed to be manned solely by regime troops, pro-Iranian militias including Hezbollah are known to be stationed in it.
According to Smyth, Hezbollah and Iran "have been at the forefront of using electronic means to counter their foes, its existed for decades and it wouldn't shock me if they were testing the waters there."
The opportunity was there for the taking.
The retaking of the Syrian Golan by Assad also forced Israel to end Operation Good Neighbor, where Israel provided humanitarian and, according to foreign reports, military aid to rebels in the Syrian Golan.
Israel also treated thousands of Syrians who arrived at the border,both combatants and civilians. According to officials some 70% of the wounded treated by Israel were men of fighting age while the other 30% were women and children.
A year later, "times have changed," Smyth told the Post. "Not everyone has switched over but if your stuck in Syria and you have no options...and you can't run into Israel...you have to back the strongest horse."
And that's Hezbollah.
Has A Jezebel Spirit Overtaken America? - By Michael Brown - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=3357
As reported by Charisma News, during his opening prayer last Thursday morning, "Rev. Pat Conroy, chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives, cast out 'spirits of darkness' from Congress." But are there literal "spirits of darkness" that need to be driven out from the chambers of Congress? Of course!
There are demonic spirits all over the world, especially in places of influence and power. Why wouldn't they be active in our halls of Congress? As pointed out by Rep. Steven Smith (Rep., Georgia) in a tweet to President Trump, "There are a lot of evil spirits in this world, sir."
The Charisma article notes that Rev. Conroy began his prayer by stating that, "This has been a difficult and contentious week in which darker spirits seem to have been at play in the people's house." Conroy then proceeded to "cast out all spirits of darkness from this chamber, spirits not from You."
He continued, "I cast out the spirit of discouragement, which deadens the hope of those who are of good will. I cast out the spirit of petty divisiveness, which clouds the sense and the desire to be of fruitful productivity in addressing the issues more appropriately before this House. I cast out any sadness brought on by the frustration of dealing with matters detrimental to the honorable work each member has been called to engage in."
He also prayed for an environment of unity "so that any spirit of darkness might have no place in our midst."
Now, I can't comment on which demonic spirits are or are not at work in Congress, nor can I comment on whether Rev. Conroy's prayer was effective.
But I can say that demons are real, that they are destructive and divisive, and that they help carry out their master Satan's plans on the earth.
As Paul wrote, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12, ESV)
He was not exaggerating.
We are in a spiritual battle, and the spiritual realm is real.
There are angels and demons in the unseen realm as surely as there are rocks and trees in the visible realm. And these angels and demons have direct impact on the world in which we live.
That doesn't mean that we focus on them. And it certainly doesn't mean that we abdicate our own responsibility, as in, "The devil made me do it."
We alone are responsible for our choices and actions. And we alone are to blame for the wrong things we do, no matter how much Satan and his minions may have tempted us.
But we would be foolish to ignore the realities of the spiritual realm.
Jesus certainly didn't, regularly casting demonic spirits out of people.
The apostles certainly didn't, also casting out demonic spirits and urging us to resist Satan (for the latter, see especially James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
Paul also wrote that we should not be outwitted by Satan, "for we are not ignorant of his designs" (2 Corinthians 2:11).
That applies both individually and corporately, as we understand that Satan intends to destroy people, both on a personal and a national level.
In a future article, I intend to tell a wild (but very true) story about my personal encounter with what you could call the spirit of Jezebel.
For the moment, though, let me explain how the light went on for me while writing my newest book Jezebel's War With America: The Plot to Destroy Our Country and What We Can Do to Turn the Tide. This speaks of demonic attacks on the nation as a whole.
To explain, I saw in the Bible that this wicked queen named Jezebel was associated with idolatry, murder, sexual immorality, and sorcery. I saw how she emasculated men, intimidated by fear, and silenced the prophets.
You could call her the first radical feminist, and she seemed to be supernaturally empowered, so imposing was her character. At one point, even the mighty prophet Elijah, one of the most fearless men in recorded history, ran in fear from her threats.
I also so how the New Testament referred to a false prophetess as "Jezebel," also associating her with sexual immorality and idolatry.
Then I looked at the landscape of America today, with the rise in idolatry and the epidemic of porn. With the murderous "shout your abortion" movement." With the increase in radical feminism and witchcraft. With the emasculating of men and the war on gender. With the silencing of prophetic voices through fear.
Yes, I realized on a national level, it's Jezebel once again. The same demonic spirits which operated through this wicked woman are operating again today. And they are doing so in definite, pronounced, and aggressive fashion.
We were not dealing with these same issues on these levels one or two generations ago. But now they are everywhere, in epidemic proportions.
Yet there is no reason to cower in fear. To understand the enemy is to unmask the enemy. And by unmasking the enemy, we can defeat the enemy, in the power of Jesus' name, by the Word of God, and in the power of the Spirit.
It's time to cast out Jezebel. Are you with me?
The Thrill is Gone - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
It seems that today everything has to be exciting and fast. Amusement parks have rides that are a far cry from the Ferris wheel or a Merry-Go-Round of yesteryear. Movies thrill our senses with cop and robber car chases. Modern movie magic of CGI transforms human actors into creatures and we're amazed. Even our eating habits aren't what they used to be. We can purchase a French-style frozen dinner, pop it into the microwave, and in a matter of minutes we have a fancy dining experience without leaving our home. The days of lovingly preparing a meal from an old family recipe are gone. The fast paced life we live and the quest for greater thrills interferes with our service to God. Modern day people look for thrills and excitement in all the wrong places. It's more common for someone to get excited over a baseball game than over worshipping the Lord. "Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for job, all ye that ar upright in heart." Psalm 32:11. If the thrill is gone from your love for the Lord, then maybe you should spend more time in Scripture and less time seeking secular thrills.
Scripture contains many suspenseful and thrilling accounts full of intrigue. Picture this: An army cowers in fear of the enemy. That enemy is one giant. He's at least 9 feet tall and very strong. "And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him." 1 Samuel 17:4-7. This bad-tempered giant challenged Saul's army to send a man to fight, but there was no man up to the challenge. Then a young shepherd boy named David happened to bring food to his brothers who served in Saul's army. David took the challenge. He told Saul how he had fought a lion and a bear which had threatened his sheep. David's confidence wasn't in his own strength, but in the Lord. "David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee." 1 Samuel 17:37. David chose to face Goliath with no armor or sword, but with a slingshot and five stones. Goliath mocked the young man, but David's faith in the Lord couldn't be shaken. With one stone and a sling, David brought down Goliath then ran and stood upon him. He drew Goliath's own sword, and cut off his head. From shepherd to king, David's faith was proved many times. Scripture is filled with thrilling stories like this, but you need to read them yourself. Don't just read words on paper, but feel the thrill and intrigue and Biblical truth will come to life.
The Old Testament gives many accounts of great courage and examples of how God protects those who turn to Him for strength. Too many preachers give watered down sermons that lull the congregation into complacency. Queen Esther is another story of courage and victory. She was young when taken captive by King Ahasuerus who was looking for a woman to be his queen. Many women were taken captive, but Esther's beauty won his heart. She kept the fact that she was Jewish a secret, but when a plot to kill all of the Jewish subjects of King Ahasuerus was discovered by her uncle, she devised a plan to expose Haman and save her people. The problem? Unless the king called her to him she could be killed. Esther did the right thing. She found strength to face whatever the king would do through prayer. "Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:16. Because God guided her she confessed she was Jewish, exposed the plot, and thwarted Haman's evil efforts. The account of Queen Esther is exciting, but most preachers pick and choose quick sermons with little to think about. Teaching line upon line from Genesis through Revelation feeds the congregation on the meat necessary for faith to grow. Most pastors serve milk and the congregation has no fire. The thrill just dies out.
There are too many spell-binding accounts in the Old Testament to describe all of them here. Each one is filled with suspense, but they teach us that whenever people depend upon God, there's victory. The New Testament also has exciting accounts. We're told of a brash young fisherman named Peter who walked on water until he took his eyes off of Jesus. Peter had many experiences while he followed Jesus, but after the crucifixion the intrigue grew. Peter was never shy, but once the Holy Spirit came upon him, there was no stopping him. The man who hid in fear when Jesus was crucified was able to bravely stand before a crowd of Jewish people and preach a sermon that brought 3,000 to salvation. Peter no longer hid from the truth but stood fearlessly for the Lord. He was often imprisoned for his faith, and once was on death row. "And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison." Acts 12:6. Peter had learned a lot about trusting God. Even though he was to be martyred in the morning, this night he was able to find peace. God had plans for Peter and it wasn't his time to die. Instead of the cavalry coming to rescue him, God sent something better. "And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands." Acts 12:7. The prison the doors opened and they walked out of the prison. Peter was free. After all that intrigue, we're given a little comedy relief. Peter went to a house where he knew his friends were praying for his release. Sadly, they didn't really expect God to answer their prayer. Peter knocked and a girl named Rhoda answered "And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate." Acts 12:14. The answer to their prayer was standing there, but Rhoda just ran away! When she told the others their prayers and been answered, they said she was crazy. Peter was finally allowed into the house and they were amazed to see him...even though they had been praying for that very thing. Peter had many exciting adventures, but if these accounts are ignored or read with no feeling, Scripture becomes dull and the lessons are lost.
Then there's Saul (also known as Paul). Saul was an angry man who persecuted Christians. While on his way to Damascus to arrest Christians, he was met by Jesus. It had been quite a while since Jesus was crucified, but He met Saul on the road. That encounter left Saul blind and alone. He was feared among the Jewish converts who embraced their Messiah, but now he was one of them. Or he would be when God convinced Ananias that he needed to go and talk to Saul. Ananias was afraid, but obeyed God. Saul received his sight back and was filled with the Holy Spirit. "And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God." Acts 9:20. We live in the days of apostasy. Pastors seldom preach to the congregation that Christ is the Son of God, nor do they preach that fact to the lost. That's what Jesus commissioned His disciples to do. Preach the Gospel to the lost. Not feed them, clothe them, or anything else but give them what they truly need...the truth of Jesus. Can you imagine Paul's enthusiasm? Everyone who heard him was amazed that the man who had been the worst enemy of Christians was now preaching the Gospel. "And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him" Acts 9:23. The tables had turned. Saul had been the hunter, now he was the hunted. He had been one of the Jewish persecutors of Christians, now the Christians were his protectors. "Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket." Acts 9:25. The intrigue grows. He left Damascus and returned to Jerusalem, where he tried to join the Christians there. They were afraid of him. Only one man believed that Saul's conversion was real...Barnabas believed Saul had truly met Jesus. We know Saul better as Paul, and his adventures were just beginning. He faced persecution, beatings, imprisonment, and shipwrecks but never faltered in his faith. Now that's an exciting story filled with plot twists that will thrill you and strengthen your own faith. Have you ever heard a 15 minute sermon that really teaches Paul's story in depth? No wonder the thrill is gone.
There are many more exciting stories in Scripture, but unless your pastor teaches line upon line through the Bible you probably won't hear them. That's no excuse for you to not know these stories. You can read. Start in Genesis and learn the truth of how the world really began. Evolution is a fantasy taught by ignorant people who don't believe God. The reality is very intriguing. You'll learn how sin and death entered as a result of Satan's lies. You'll also learn of the greatest love story ever. Although humans rebelled and sinned, God's love has never wavered. Because He loves us He paid the ultimate price for our redemption. "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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." John 3:16-17. Every story recorded in Scripture is there for a purpose, and they all reveal Jesus. There's no way to find everlasting life than through your personal faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. If you haven't put your future in His hands, then do it now. You see, you cannot be good enough by your own merit or work hard enough to earn eternal life. You cannot buy your way to eternal salvation and no religion will get you in. Christianity is faith, not religion. We all sin, but Jesus Christ will forgive your sin, no matter how big, if you humble yourself before Him and repent. He loves you. He died for you. If you reject Him then you've made your own choice of spending eternity in the lake of fire.
If the thrill is gone out of your faith, then get into Scripture. Read about how people faced their fears with God's help. There you will find the joy of your salvation and a renewed zeal in your faith.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The nation is at a prophetic crossroad - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Christ said in Luke 8:17, "For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad." Ephesians 5:11-13 says, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever does make manifest is light." The dog and pony show at the House of Representatives testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller exposed much and brought a lot of things to light, none of which the Democratic Party coup-makers wanted exposed.
First and foremost, Mueller was not on his game-or was he? He came across as absent-minded, hard of hearing, having a lack of understanding of the context of questions, stuttering, stammering, unconfident. In fact, other than some yes and no answers, he was not a credible witness for his own report on the findings of Russian collusion with presidential candidate Donald Trump to throw the 2016 election, and possible obstruction of justice by Trump during the investigation. Both came up a big "goose egg." It is not difficult to see how the Bill and Hillary Clinton machine got their people appointed to the Special Counsel and became the puppet masters of Mueller and his three-year, $35 million-plus waste of taxpayer money.
Boil it down to two opposing views after Mueller's testimony. The Democrats and the media say that it is a national security issue that Trump colluded with the Russians to influence the election, and then he obstructed the investigation into it. The Republicans say that it is a national security issue that the Clinton presidential campaign, the Obama White House, the FBI and the CIA conspired to create a false narrative that Trump and Russia were working together to influence the election, spied on the president-elect's transition team, and then stacked the investigation against Trump with Clinton-supporting minions who tried to undermine a duly elected president. After the smoke cleared on the Mueller testimony, the truth landed more on the Republican side of the aisle.
Since 2016, there has been an ongoing political coup attempt to remove a sitting president based on an entire falsehood. There has been virtually no progress on looming issues that face this country if progress required the coup-makers to participate-they have been too busy stirring up trouble. They have been too invested in labeling Americans as bigots, racists, homophobes, Islamophobes, misogynists, and other derogatory descriptions than doing what they were elected to do. Like the woman who was willing to allow Solomon to slay the baby that she claimed was hers because "it shall neither be mine or thine," these coup-makers would be satisfied with a divided, dead country, so long as they rule over it. We are, as a nation, at a prophetic crossroad. There comes a time when this nonsense needs to stop for the greater good.
Daily Devotion: An Opportunity for Joy - by Greg Laurie -
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. - James 1:2-3
A wise father who was sending his son to college promised to give him a monthly allowance. But he told his son, "I'm not sending you a monthly check. If you want it, you'll have to come home to get it."
In the same way, our Father in Heaven might say, "I'll give this to you, but you have to come to Me to receive it." God wants to have fellowship with us. God likes to hear from us. God likes to talk to us. God likes to bless us.
Therefore, God will allow certain circumstances in our lives that keep us dependent on Him. If life were all blue skies and green lights, would we still turn to God in prayer? If there wasn't any illness in our lives, would we still pray as much? If we never had a need for God's provision or we never had prodigal children, would we still pray?
We wouldn't. These things bring us to God. Right now you might be going through a difficulty. Maybe you're facing a trial of some kind. You're having a family conflict, problems at work, or problems with your health. Maybe something isn't going well for you, and you're saying, "This is a bad thing."
Yes, in a way it may be. But it also can turn out to be a good thing if it brings you to God in complete dependence and improves your prayer life.
The Bible says, "When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy" (James 1:2 NLT). Another version puts it this way: "Don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!" (ph). Could you consider trials and temptations your friends? You could if they bring you to see your need for dependence on God.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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