Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Is There An Actual Hellfire? - By Pastor Mike Taylor -
13 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at:
14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
14"Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
15And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:
16But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness." (Isaiah 5:14-16)
There seems to be a great division on beliefs in the presence of what is called in the Bible, 'Hell" and if it actually exist. Just as Satan has propagated the supreme lie that he doesn't exist in the minds of those who are in rebellion against a Holy God, so does the same arch enemy of what is holy, tries to convince these same people that there is no such thing as "hell". Logically, they fool themselves thinking if there is no Satan, and no hell...what do I need with God anyways? Even some denominations and religious leaders diminish the horror of what hell really is!
First, let me quote a minister that doesn't believe in an eternal hell and that God is a God of Love,
"For centuries, many ministers have been preaching "hellfire and brimstone" sermons and promoting a religion of fear by teaching that the unsaved face an eternity of torture. The common teaching is that incorrigibly wicked people will be tormented forever in some fiery, macabre manner in a terrifying place called hell. This horrible fate usually conjures up in people's minds visions of an ever-burning hellfire where sinners are continually roasted on spits, and a devil with horns and a tail runs around sticking his captives with a pitchfork."
Sadly, even this minister can't wrap his mind around a place the bible calls "HELL". They just can't believe that a God of love would banish anybody to such a place.
It is hard to convince some folks that God is not only a God of love, but also the God of judgment. He is a God of justice, a God of consuming fire, and a God who will not allow sin into His presence. Are we talking about the same God who passed judgment on ancient people who rebelled against Him?. Do you mean the same God that told the Israelites when they entered Canaan to not spare man, woman, or child from the sword, but to slay them all? Do you mean that God?
2 "Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:
3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place."(Deuteronomy 12:2-3)
God gave the Canaanites 400 years to repent of their evil, but when it came time, judgment fell upon them, and Israel was commanded to destroy them all. God is patient, but when judgment in finally arrives, no one wants to be in the way of God's wrath.
STRANGE BELIEFS ABOUT HELL
Some denomination and well meaning Christians believe that hell is a synonym of the grave. They go to great lengths to prove that Hades, the grave, and hell are all the same thing. Then why does so many Old Testament and New Testament writers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit make so much about the wages of sin and the eternal destruction of the soul in hell? Let's take a journey to look at some of the scriptures that point to the fallacy of not believing that the penalty for not having Jesus Christ cover your sins with His own shed blood is an eternal home in hell's unquenchable fire.
EXACTLY WHAT IS HELL?
The word "hell" appears 54 times in the Holy Bible. Hell is clearly defined in your Bible as a place of torment and burning. Only a fool who rejects what he reads would say hell is the grave or only separation from God. But there are denominations that dismiss the concept of an eternal living hell, and those who try to make it a biblical metaphor and a loving God would not send anyone to such a place. But is that true? True, God is a loving God and He desires that all come to repentance and be saved. God does not send anyone to hell, YOU do and God gives them what they wanted, (separation from God for all eternity)
" The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2nd Peter 3:9)
But God has a limit to His patience, as noted in many passages found in your Bible.
But what does some of the leading religious leaders in our modern times believe about the concept of hell?
What some have said about hell:
Billy Graham - The fire is symbolic when Jesus talks about hell fire. He does not believe it is literal fire, but rather he believes the fire could possibly mean a burning thirst for God that is never quenched.
Pope Benedict - Believes in literal hell fire that is eternal.
Pope John Paul II - Heaven is not a physical place nor an abstraction, but that fullness with the communion with God. Hell is the ultimate consequence of sin itself. He says hell is not a place, but rather the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God. Hell is symbolic. People that aren't "recognized" say it is separation from God, no fire. And then you have those troublemakers that agree with Jesus and the rest of the testimony contained in the book.
*Purgatory - An intermediate state between heaven and hell. You burn there until you are pure and then enter into heaven.
(Studies in the book.com)(not found in the pages of your bible)
"The people that are always trying to air condition hell are the ones that are going there." - Ruckman
As mentioned, God does not send us to this place that Jesus spoke of where the worm dieth not, nor fire quenched. YOU DO, out of your own self will to reject a free offer of salvation found only in Jesus Christ you choose to live eternally in hell's torment.
43 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:43-48)
Jesus was obviously not advocated to cut off a member of your body and a person that takes these verses literally, but making a point that if you live like the devil, you will make your home with him in the end of time. He speaks of fire unquenchable and where the worm that eats your flesh, dies not. Jesus is quite literal here.
Jesus speaks of a very descriptive place that our Lord does not wish to send anyone to, as that is not His will, but it is our will, our choice to reject the only provision of escaping such a place. See, God hates sin and cannot be in its presence. God is love, and He extends that love when He sent His only Begotten Son to die in our place.
So God's love is conditional in that He will only allow us into His presence on one condition, that our sins be forgiven. More on that in a minute. But let us explore. Is there a penalty, a torment and a real place called hell? Jesus told His disciples concerning speaking the truth of God:
27 "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 10:27-33)
So here I am speaking from the housetops using the internet to warn all who will listen about a place so horrible that I wouldn't want my worst enemy to endure. I am not here to scare you, but to warn those of you who are listening with your spiritual ears......Realize that you are a flawed individual with a sin filled past, and born to sin as a nature of humanity...the only way to escape what I speak of is found in this message.
Let us give you more biblical support for the truth God warned us about.
WHERE IS HELL LOCATED?
It is below your feet right now, in the heart of the earth !!!
9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
10 All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?"(Isaiah 14:9-10),
" The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath." (Proverbs 15:24)
Jesus spoke of this very fact in the lesson of the Rich man and Lazarus.
When Jesus spoke of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus being separated by a huge gulf and the rich man being in torment, was He just telling a story? Was He stretching the truth, just to make a point? Let's look at the passage. This is Jesus speaking.
16:19 "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."(Luke 1:19-24)
Notice that those in Paradise have names, such as Abraham and Lazarus..but the "rich man" is nameless, faceless and is anybody who rejects the free gift of salvation found in Jesus Christ could be this person. (could this be you?)
Our Lord was sinless and only told what is true, it would make sense that He would not tell a falsehood, just to make a point. Jesus spoke of things spiritual that were being played out in the natural realm. Do we think that He was just joking and He didn't mean it as He spoke it, and exactly as we take it? This place of the abode of the dead, encompassed hell and paradise, as the above verses speak of, but Jesus emptied Paradise when He was raised from the dead.
8 "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things)." (Ephesians 4:8-10)
Where Jesus took those whose abode was Paradise, is for God to know, but we know that since Jesus was crucified and descended into the lower parts of the earth, to reveal Himself as the Messiah, to those who entered into this temporary place of rest, were removed somewhere in the third heaven.
But hell and it's torment is still there, as it has not been emptied as of yet.
Did you know that below your feet are millions and millions and millions of souls crying, screaming, weeping, wailing, and gnashing on their teeth, and begging for a drop of water for their tongue because they are tormented without rest with fire and brimstone and they know they are not getting out? Did you know the only consolation one can find in hell is to think about (which I assume is hard to do because of the torture) one's life on earth (Luke 16:24-25)? It's not like it is here on the surface, but those who died without Jesus Christ as Savior, or looked for Him coming in the future, ended up here in a spiritual realm of separation from God and are in torment...
WHAT HELL IS LIKE
The Party in Hell has been canceled due to fire .....
11 "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.(Matthew 8:12),
Jesus speaks of this awful place further in Matthew 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, 13:28). IN fact, Jesus spoke more of the dangers of hellfire than He did about the coming Kingdom of God. Some impudent people speak of joining their friends for a party in hell, but there will be no joy, no happiness, no light, no love, no friendships, and no party in hell........only torment! Scripture gives us details about hell.
There is darkness, weeping and gashing of teeth (2 Samuel 22:6, Psalm 18:5) There are sorrows in hell (Job 11:8 )
Hell is deep (Psalm 86:13) Lowest hell (Psalm 116:3 )
There is pain in hell (James 3:6)
Your tongue is set on fire in hell (Isaiah 33:10-17 )
There is a devouring fire, and everlasting burnings (Matthew 25:41 )
Everlasting Fire (Revelation 14:9-12, 20:10) You are tormented with fire and brimstone in God's presence (Revelation 21:8)
It is a lake of fire and that is the second death
Who goes to hell? (Psalm 9:17, Psalm 55:15) All the wicked and all the nations that forget God (Proverbs 27:20) Hell is never full (Isaiah 5:14) Hell has enlarged herself to make room
(Isaiah 14:15 )The Devil will go there - he is not there yet, but he will be.
(Revelation 20:10 Ezekiel 31:16-17) Cast into hell (2 Peter 2:4)
The angels that sinned have been cast down to hell, and are chained there until the day of judgment (Revelation 20:11-15, Isaiah 24:17-23 )
The angels that have yet to sin and rebel will be shut up in hell (Revelation 11:7, 17:8) The Antichrist is right now in the bottomless pit and will descend out of the bottomless pit, but will be thrown into the Lake of Fire when Jesus comes to put down all rebellion and sets up His Kingdom. The Anti-Christ will be possessed by Satan, but for now, the AC is not revealed until the timing is right in God's plan for mankind.
Whoever is not found in the book of life,
14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15)
That's just a quick glimpse of the huge amount of scriptural support and I encourage you to take a bible in hand and look at each verse, the surrounding context and prove to yourself the concept of a devil's hell waiting for those who reject the only provision of escaping this eternal doom and everlasting destruction.
THE MAJORITY OF MANKIND WILL GO TO HELL
But with all these biblical verses to support the truth of the concept of hell spoken in your Bibles, a majority of mankind will end up going to this awful place. Why? Free will and being deceived by Satan the devil. Men revel in their wickedness and the lust of the flesh. Those who reject God's provision will have to face the consequence of their own choice. We can accept His offer of salvation, or reject it. Unfortunately, most human beings will reject Jesus the Messiah. They will not obey Him. In this generation, more than 90 per cent of the worlds population are outright idol worshipers, godless, secular or atheists.
Remember when God destroyed the world by a devastating flood in the Antediluvian age of Noah? He only saved 8 souls and some animals (2 by 2 of unclean and 7 each of clean animals) to repopulate the earth. So when God judges this earth again by fire, sadly only a remnant of all the people who have ever lived will find their way to heaven and the goal of salvation.
SOME BELIEVE THE SOUL OF MAN WILL BE ANNIHILATED?
There are some Christian fundamental churches that believe that when God sends those who have not accepted His free pardon and offer of His grace and mercy, found in His only Son, they will cease to exist and be destroyed. They don't believe that men will be tormented for all eternity in a devil's hell. They believe they will be annihilated and will be no more, either in body or in spirit. But what is the truth found in your Bible?
Does the spirit of man live on even after death? Some believe that they do not...they point to what Solomon said:
" For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten." (Ecclesiastes 9:5)
They call this soul sleep, meaning the mortal man is forgotten and knows nothing, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. True, the mortal body dies and goes to dust, but does that mean that the spirit is not still alive and fully conscious? Let me refer you to these websites that supports what I have believed and gives many more scriptures that prove that man at his creation, each of us, are created in the image of God and at that moment will live forever, either in a glorious state, or a eternally damned state of separation from God.
"Without a doubt the human soul is immortal. This is clearly seen in many Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments: Psalm 22:26; 23:6; 49:7-9; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:46; and 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Daniel 12:2 says, "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt." Similarly, Jesus Himself said referring to the sheep and goat judgment:
41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.(Matthew 25:46).
With the same Greek word used to refer to both "punishment" and "life," it is clear that both the wicked and the righteous have an eternal/immortal soul.
The unmistakable teaching of the Bible is that all people, whether they are saved or lost, will exist eternally, in either heaven or hell. True life or spiritual life does not cease when our fleshly bodies pass away in death. Our souls will live forever, either in the presence of God in heaven if we are saved, or in punishment in hell if we reject God's gift of salvation. In fact, the promise of the Bible is that not only will our souls live forever, but also that our bodies will be resurrected. This hope of a bodily resurrection is at the very heart of the Christian faith.
12 "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."(1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
"While all souls are immortal, it is important to remember that we are not eternal in the same way that God is. God is the only truly eternal being in that He alone is without a beginning or end. God has always existed and will always continue to exist. All other sentient creatures, whether they are human or angelic, are finite in that they had a beginning. While our souls will live forever once we come into being, the Bible does not support the concept that our souls have always existed. Our souls are immortal, as that is how God created them, but they did have a beginning; there was a time they did not exist." (Gotquestions.org)
So taking that thought further, if we are to always live after creation in some form, whether physical or spirit, then each man and woman must decide where they wish to spend eternity. Remember, the reason any of us were born is to make a decision of what we will do concerning the Man/God Jesus Christ...will we accept His gift of salvation bought in His own blood, or by our own free will and rebellion, refuse that gift and exclude our sins being forgiven?
6 "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:6-9)
BOOK OF REVELATION DESCRIBES MANKIND'S ETERNAL HOME
Prophecy in your bible consist of 26-27% of fulfilled and unfilled prophecy. Many of the Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled, some are waiting to be fulfilled. But Revelation past the 3rd chapter is prophecy of the future. But the end result of the whole of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is where men choose to spend eternity...either in glory with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, or banished to outer darkness and cast alive into what the Bible calls the "Lake of Fire".
4 "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." (Revelation 20:4-5)
A glorious picture of those who have overcome this world by the blood of the Lamb. It speaks of the first resurrection that began with Jesus resurrection and will end when He comes to set up His Kingdom for a 1000 years. Fast forward from Revelation chapter 4 of the 24 elders sitting on thrones, a clear picture of the Church rewarded and sitting on thrones, now we sit in judgment of men and angels as Paul spoke of in 1st Corinthians:
2 "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3, Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" (1st Corinthians 6:2-3)
The book speaks of a glorious future for those who have accepted Jesus as personal Savior, but it also gives a damning description of those who reject Him.
GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT OF GOD
This is found at the Great White Throne judgment that brings all the lost of all the generations of mankind, from the beginning of creation till the last person born human on earth.
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.
13And 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.
14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:12-15)
What are these books that are opened that God will judge all of mankind that have rejected His free offer of mercy and grace? My discernment on that is they are the books of your Bible...God's Word. It was designed and written as a love letter telling about God's love for mankind, sending His only Begotten Son to die in our place and to save them from their sins. But now, they are opened as their judge. They have committed the "unpardonable sin" that cannot be forgiven. They have rejected the only way to enter into the presence of God Almighty, Jesus Christ and refused the call of God's Holy Spirit that was drawing them to a knowledge of their condition and need for a Savior.
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.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He 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)
If anything is certain about the future, there is a judgment according to whether they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior or reject that message, for all who ever lived and died. How can anyone who reads the words of his bible and ask God to give him discernment of what those words mean, take their own "immortal" soul and risk spending eternity away from all source of goodness, love, joy, peace and happiness and spend in a devil's hell?
I've often wondered when I read these words, when God talks about the "Lake of Fire", what could be the source or synonymous of that everlasting punishment?.Obviously, it is very hot and causing excruciating torment for those who are so unfortunate to receive this for their banishment from the presence of a Holy God. The Bible is clear of its eternal destruction of the soul's of men. I don't know, but theorize it would be something along the lines of our own sun. It is thermo-nuclear and we don't know what the interior of that ball of exploding gases are comprised of....but think of it, how would a person endure being at the center of something like our sun? Would you even want to know?
JESUS SHOWED US THE WAY
But take heart, my reader. You don't have to spend eternity in a devil's hell and be cast into a "lake of Fire" to endure torment and separation from God for all eternity. For at the end of the Book of your bible, there is an invitation to all who will listen to the call of the Holy Spirit:
16 "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17And the Spirit and the bride (the redeemed church) say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:16-17)
How can we know the way?
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." (John 14:6-7)
I beseech all who read this message, to open your heart and your mind, and let the Holy Spirit who is calling all who will listen to repent of their sins, and change their mind about the life they have been living, to embrace Jesus, the Son of the Living God who died for your sins and mine.
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." (Romans 10:8-13)
2 "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)" (2nd Corinthians 6:2)
Make no mistake, to do otherwise will bring you to the edge of hell, as the mouth of hell has opened it's mouth wide to receive you.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your redemption through the only way to enter heaven's glory, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, email me at email@example.com, God bless you all until hopefully,
WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Nearing Midnight: China's Massive Floods and Troubled Dam - Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Chinese authorities have issued a series of flood warnings as weeks of torrential rains have caused the worst flooding in more than 30 years, destroying the homes and impacting the livelihoods of millions of people. Because China is a foe of Trump, the Western news media has largely ignored this calamity.
According to the Ministry of Emergency Management, by the end of June, flooding had displaced 744,000 people across 26 provinces, with 81 people missing or dead. In early July, the South China Morning Post reported that about 20 million residents had been affected and at least 121 people were dead or missing. As of 13 July, floods have affected 37.89 million people in 27 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, 141 people are dead or missing, and 28,000 houses have collapsed. The Ministry of Water Resources said that a total of 443 rivers are at flood stage, with 33 of them swelling to the highest levels ever recorded.
Most news outlets have posted stories about authorities in central China having to blast a dam to release surging waters behind it amid widespread flooding across the country that has claimed scores of lives. State broadcaster CCTV reported the dam on the Chuhe River in Anhui province was destroyed with explosives, after which the water level was expected to drop by more than 2 feet.
Back in the day when we had true journalism, reporters would ask, why is China blowing up an expensive dam? They would also ask, where is that water going? The people down river would probably like to know the answers to these questions. Many of them were flooded out without any warning.
The Chinese Communist Party has been largely downplaying the problem, only offering standard platitudes. President Xi said governments at all levels should be "mobilized" in fighting the floods and provide relief to those affected.
"It's very important to handle flood prevention and disaster relief work properly, as China will build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and win the battle against poverty by the end of this year," said Xi during a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
Yet locals are telling a different story.
"The local officials are telling us to go live with our families and friends," Wuhan resident Zhang Yi said; "You see, at the beginning of the year, we weren't allowed to visit families. Now, we are asked to do so." He added that he hadn't received any relief funds or resources from the government so far.
The Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government allocated about 309 million yuan (44.2 million U.S. dollars) for disaster relief in flood-hit regions. With 40 million affected by the floods, each person would receive a little over a single dollar of aid.
There has been a great deal of discussion on social media about the well-being of Three Gorges Dam. It is the world's largest hydroelectric power station, with an installed capacity of 22,500 megawatts of power generation. Three Gorges Dam is fed by a drain catchment area of about 390,000 square miles.
This huge power station is down river from a handful of other dams that exist at a higher elevation. Because all these other dams have been forced to discharge their water downstream, Three Gorges Dam is buckling under the strain of massive flows of water.
The operator of the dam was forced to admit last week that it has "deformed slightly," with peripheral parts of its 1.5-mile span buckling. The shift has displaced some structures and caused an unknown seepage of water. Since the Chinese government lies about nearly everything, one has to wonder about the true status of the dam.
Three floodgates were opened as the water level behind the dam rose more than 50 feet above the flood zone. More crests are expected to arrive at the dam in the coming days. China's military has been testing the strength of embankments and shoring them up with sandbags and rocks.
A few years back, a U.S. engineer was asked to inspect the Three Gorges Dam and was shocked by the poor quality of the cement, the lack of curing time, and he didn't think they had used enough rebar. The most troubling thing about the dam is that it's not set on solid rock. Its massive weight is expected to withstand the pressure from a small ocean of water.
Any type of compromise in the Three Gorges Dam would be an epic disaster. There are over 600 million people living downstream from this dam. It would be better for China to suffer a nuclear attack on its five largest cities than to endure a sudden collapse of the Three Gorges Dam.
The mindset that it's unthinkable that something could go wrong with Three Gorges Dam is why a historic calamity could happen. It is very worrying to have China's mouthpiece on foreign affairs saying that the dam is facing "smears and rumors" and is being defamed with "groundless hype" from the anti-China Western media.
Because a breach of the Three Gorges Dam would have an immensely negative impact on the Chinese economy, I didn't see how it could occur ahead assembly of the 200-million-man army. Since other armies have been amassed under harsh conditions, I will half-jokingly suggest that the Kings of the East are simply looking for drier ground.
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared" (Rev 16:12).
Does God Care? - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
We live in very trying times. I admit that sometimes I get overwhelmed by what I see and hear on the news. Everything is bad and nothing is good. Doom and gloom. The hearts of men have grown cold, violence is everywhere, and evil is made to seem good. Many people blame God for all of this and question if He even cares. Does He care? The answer is in Scripture. Yes. God cares more than we can even imagine. Christians just might see God's love clearly if we stop focusing on the mega-media, left-wing lies and start looking at Scripture. How did people like Noah cope? He lived at a time when pure evil was all around, but instead of focusing on that evil he obeyed God and built the Ark. Because he was obedient to God, he and his family were protected through God's judgment. We can also look to the many prophets who lived in violent times but obediently served God and spoke His truth even if it caused them to suffer. Those brave and God-fearing men didn't have CNN or MS-NBC to tell them what to think, so it was easier to hear God's voice. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of some facts. God saw the future and gave prophecy so we can understand what's happening. Man's sin and Satan's lies cause the evil, but God's love brings forgiveness. If we look to Him, we will find peace. God created everything, and all of creation is evidence of His love. "[[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." Psalm 19:1. King David is an example of a man who saw God's glory and praised Him instead of seeing the troubles around and becoming discouraged.
When David was young, he spent many hours tending sheep. This gave him time to observe God's creation. David was overwhelmed that God created such magnificent beauty. Try to imagine looking up into the night sky and seeing the stars twinkling. There was no light pollution nor air pollution to hide their brilliance as David looked into the heavens. The fresh light of dawn was glorious without chem-trails covering the glow and the setting sun had its own beauty. He praised God for His creation. David had a gift of song and he wrote of the beauty he saw. "[[To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.]] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens." Psalm 8:1. English translations of Hebrew words don't always make the meaning clear. The word LORD is from the Hebrew word "Yehovah" and means "the existing One". It's considered the proper name of God Almighty. The second word translated Lord, is 'adown and can mean a strong master or king, but we know refers to God because it follows Yehovah. Essentially, David is saying "Yehovah our Master, how great and majestic is Your name everywhere!". If we would be mindful of His glory which can be seen everywhere, we would understand how much He cares.
David recognized that it isn't always the big, mighty people who make grand declarations of God, but even a child can bring us strength in the face of adversity. "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger." Psalm 8:2. Babies are the epitome of innocence and weakness. We are like those "babes and sucklings" when it comes to the spiritual battle against our adversary...Satan. With Christ we are able to stand against that evil with no fear. We need to understand that. When fear threatens to take our joy away, if we just take time to see God's glory in everything, our spirit will be strengthened, and joy of the Lord will be restored. God cares enough to be our strength and shield.
With all the evidence of God's might and majesty to be seen in the heavens and the earth, it's a bit intimidating to think that He also created man. Adam was created in God's own image. "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour." Psalm 8:3-5. We read the creation account in Genesis, and it seems as if it took very little effort to create the splendor we see today. "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also." Genesis 1:16. Almost as an afterthought it's mentioned that He made the stars! Scientists are just recently discovering how many stars and galaxies there are. Although David couldn't see as far as the Hubble Telescope can, he was overwhelmed by the beauty he could see. No wonder David felt insignificant and wondered how God could even be mindful of sinners such as we humans. Even more amazing is that God did visit us in the form of Jesus Christ. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14. If God didn't care He would have left us to our sin, but He chose to humbly dwell among us and show us the way to salvation. He chose to sacrifice His life to purchase our salvation. He is the only way to eternal life.
Not only does God care about mankind, but He has entrusted us with the care of His creation. "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas." Psalm 8:6-8. We are to care for the environment and the animals, but we aren't to worship the creation. We are only to worship God Almighty. The troubles in this world happen because people have stopped worshipping and honoring the Creator and worship the creation instead. That leads to unbounded sin. We see that sin unfolding today. Brothers and sisters, don't be led astray by what you see on the news. Every life matters to God and He gave His life for every person who has ever lived. Bow before Him only. "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." Romans 14:11. Paul quoted that from Isaiah 45:23 and it's still true today. Humbly bow before the Lord God Almighty, the Creator and Saviour. He cares about you and me and is worthy of all our praise.
David ends this Psalm of wonder and praise by once again focusing upon God and who He is. "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" Psalm 8:9. "Yehovah our Master, how great and majestic is Your name everywhere!". We need to have reverence for Jesus and marvel at the wonders He made. More than that, we need to marvel at the salvation He offers. He humbled Himself and left the Heavenly realm to enter this fallen world. Why? To save mankind from certain eternal death. Faith in Him is the only way to gain eternal life. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in the earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:8-11. God cares about you. He cares more than any human can fully understand. God Himself humbled Himself to become human and He sacrificed His life on the cross. That's more than caring, that's pure and perfect love.
Yes, God does care. When Adam sinned, there was a vast gulf created between God and humans. God had a plan to bridge that gulf. "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. Do you believe in Him? If not, why? He loves you and gave His life to purchase your salvation. Without faith in Him now, there will be no eternal life for you when you die. Prophecy tells us that life as we know it is about to come to an end. Christians will soon be Raptured and after that there will be hatred and violence on earth like never seen before. Only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will allow you to escape that final seven-year time period. If you haven't accepted His free gift of salvation, then you need to do that today. If you have, then you need to care enough about Him to live your life to honor Him.
Instead of letting fear guide you and cause you to be angry with God because you think He doesn't care, think again. God cares....do you?
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: Intentional destruction by fear - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
As we unpack the COVID 19 pandemic, Americans are going to find that false information, lies, false science, and sinister deep state-like forces are destroying our lives for political and personal gain. I know it's a bold, controversial statement. Consider, however, how ruthlessly the left, the media, and the deep state prosecuted an anti-globalist President who threatened their power. That didn't work, so they turned on the citizenry. Democrat politicians and globalists demanded closing businesses, put us under house arrest, shifted food distribution networks so food prices skyrocketed, infected nursing homes, and now are promoting violence. The intentional destruction by fear collapsing the American way of life.
Dr. Anthony Codevilla, senior fellow at the conservative think tank Claremon Institute, in his powerful essay about "The COVID Coup," wrote, "By intentionally reducing the supply of food available to the population, the US government joined the ranks of such as Stalin's Soviet Union and Castro's Cuba." The shutdown of medical care except for COVID cost countless lives. Over 40 million people are out of work. Small businesses, the engine of our economy, have been permanently shuttered. Codevilla, wrote "In sum, the lockdowns have been perpetuated and prolonged by people who care more about your compliance than your health."
Codevilla writes, "Support for the lockdowns has become as integral to the American Establishment Left, i.e., to the Democratic Party, as belief in abortion, global warming, open borders, and censorship of whatever they choose to call "hate speech." To understand this, one must realize that the ruling class's campaign regarding public health, global warming, race, the rights of women, homosexuals, micro-aggressions, the Palestinians, etc. etc. have far less to do with any of these matters than with seizing ever more power for itself." He says, "The existing party sentiment and like-mindedness were enough to produce the unanimity and uniformity with which the ruling class has used the COVID-19 event to produce, stoke, and maintain fear, to energize its constituencies' agendas in pursuit of its power."
He says, "The prospect of locking down the country, ostensibly to save it from COVID-19, offered a near monopoly of communications. Trump's rallies were shut down. Above all, churches were shut down, as well as the countless meetings of clubs, businesses, friends, etc. that are the lifeblood of what one might call the country class." Codevilla concludes: "The experts who made this happen stigmatized, tried to silence, and effectively criminalized dissent as dangerous to health and, of course, as racist. But there is zero evidence that all or any of the above measures increased anybody's life expectancy, and plenty to the contrary. They wronged America."
This has been a terrible time in American history. Our Republic is in shambles. Unless we take back what has been taken from us, we will live under a new normal of heavy handed of tyranny. In all his steadfast standing against the deep state, the communistic Democratic Party, and the news media, President Trump was driven by these events and deceivers through a slaughter house gate that shut down America, and put us all under house arrest because of fear of a flu. But it is not yet checkmate, if we can rise up and do the right thing. 2 Timothy 3:13 says, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." In this age of deception, we need to: Wake up; Stand up; Say "NO MORE"; Fear not; and revive the spirit of our nation by boldly standing and saying "Enough is Enough."
Daily Devotion: Radical Measures - by Greg Laurie -
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
The film 127 Hours tells the true story of Aron Ralston, who was rock climbing alone in Utah when a boulder shifted and pinned his arm. He tried everything he could to get out from under the boulder, but nothing was working.
Two days passed, and he was hungry, thirsty, and cold. He realized that no one was coming to rescue him. He also knew there was only one way he could get out of there. He would need to take the worst step imaginable if he wanted to live. He needed to cut off his own arm.
So he did. He used a pocketknife, and it took a long time. Then he rappelled 65 feet to the canyon floor and walked out. I guess he figured it would be better to be alive with only one arm than to be dead with two. So, he took radical action.
In Matthew 5 Jesus said, "So if your eye-even your good eye-causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand-even your stronger hand-causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell" (verses 29-30 NLT).
Now, Jesus wasn't speaking literally here, because even if you cut off your right hand, for instance, you could still sin with your left hand.
The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart. It all comes down to the heart. That's why you must decisively and quickly deal with whatever causes you to fall into sin.
So, do what needs to be done.
FROM THE HEART
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