Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Nephilim - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley -
"When men began to increase on earth and daughters were born to them, the divine beings saw how beautiful the daughters of men were and they took wives from among those that pleased them. It was then, and later too, that the Nephilim appeared on earth - when the divine beings cohabited with the daughters of men, who bore them offspring. They were the heroes of old, the men of renown." (Genesis 6:2-4, from a Jewish translation of the Torah.)
Put their name in the title of a book and whether it's fiction or non-fiction, chances are it'll zoom to the top of the bestseller lists, especially if you hint at deviant sex, pyramids, UFOs and the end of the world. But who were the Nephilim really, and why is everyone so fascinated by them?
In Those Days
The Hebrew word nephilim means fallen ones, sometimes translated giant because the Greek word for nephilim is gigantes. Who you think they were depends in large part on how you were taught to interpret Genesis 6:2-4 above. In Biblical circles, there are three schools of thought concerning this, but a little digging will soon have you convinced that some folks who don't know any other passage in the Bible know this one. And if you throw in their interpretations you've soon got a whole bunch more. We'll focus on the so-called Biblical ones.
The first is that the phrase "sons of god" refers to royalty, explaining that kings were often considered god-like by their subjects. According to this view these kings went around their kingdoms scooping up all the beautiful girls and putting them into harems for their own personal pleasure. It offers no explanation for the offspring such behavior could have produced preferring instead to disconnect the birth of giants from the practice of collecting harems full of beautiful girls. A small minority of Jewish scholars held this view at one time but most rejected it, as the Jewish translation above demonstrates.
The second is that "sons of god" refers to the line of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve who remained faithful to God, while "daughters of men" refers to female descendants of first son Cain, the rebellious line. This interpretation appeared about 400AD and was the first challenge to the "Angel" view that a majority of both Jews and Christians had held prior to that time. Some prominent scholars still teach this view.
There's no clear consensus on why this view came to be, but the 5th century seems to be the agreed upon timing. Some say it's because the Church was moving away from belief in the supernatural by 400 AD, while others say the worship of angels was actually becoming more popular by that time. Both viewpoints conclude that as a result, the "angel" view became an embarrassment in the Church, so an alternative interpretation was sought.
But the Seth / Cain alternative raises more questions than it answers. If Seth's line married into Cain's why did they have only male children? And why were they giants? Were only the males of Seth's line faithful, and only the females of Cain's rebellious? If Seth's line had remained faithful, why was Noah's the only family of the line to be saved?
Then there's the fact that the exact phrase translated "Sons of God" only appears 5 times in the Old Testament, Genesis 6:2 & 6:4, the passage I opened with, and Job 1:6, 2:1, & 38:7. All the Job references clearly describe angels. (A variation of the phrase in Daniel 3:25 also describes an angel like figure, who some identify as the Lord Jesus in an Old Testament appearance.)
And that brings us to the third interpretation, to which I subscribe, that the Biblical account is to be taken literally. The phrase "sons of God" refers to disobedient angels (called divine beings in the Hebrew translation above) who took on human form and entered into sexual union with human women. Their offspring were the Nephilim, or fallen ones, of which we speak, huge and powerful beings who may have actually taken over the pre-flood world.
According to tradition, in addition to being very large and strong, the Nephilim had enormous psychic abilities. They performed out of body experiences, levitation, mind control, time travel, mind reading and remote viewing. They had the power of pronouncing and removing curses and diseases and had ways of knowing and predicting the future. Having aligned themselves with Satan, the source of their powers, they controlled and enslaved mankind and perverted God's creation almost beyond redemption.
They were also extremely intelligent. They knew all about science, architecture, and engineering. Some believe they combined these skills with their powers of levitation to build the Great Pyramid and other great monuments around the pre-flood world. And they weren't just in Mesopotamia. Nephilim may have sacrificed human beings all over the planet in temples and pyramids they built in Central and South America, the Far East, the British Isles, Egypt and other places. They drank our blood and slaughtered our babies, and were almost certainly tampering with both human and animal gene pools to pervert the creation and make our redemption impossible. They were the heroes of old, the mighty men of renown, memorialized in every mythology, and the primary reason God had to destroy the world and all its inhabitants in the Great Flood.
The facts that the Bible describes Noah as being perfect in his generations, and that his was the only family saved indicates that Noah's bloodline hadn't been contaminated by the genetic tinkering and that his was perhaps the only pure human strain left from which a Redeemer could come. (Gen. 6:9) If so, it explains why the entire world population had to be destroyed, lest Noah's line eventually be contaminated, too.
And Also Afterward
But Satan wasn't deterred that easily. By the time of Abraham, there was a large population of Nephilim in the world again, mostly located in the Middle East from as far south as the southern end of the Dead Sea to Syria in the North. Since the original Nephilim had all perished in the Great Flood, Satan apparently began a new breeding program situated specifically to prevent the Israelites from occupying the Promised Land. Look at these references.
In Gen 14:5-6 a coalition of 5 kings from around the southeastern shores of the Dead Sea fought and defeated three groups of warriors known as the Rephaites, the Zuzites, aka Zamzummites, and the Emites. The Rephaites were descendants of Rapha, which means giant in Hebrew. The name Zuzite means roving creatures, and Emite means terrible ones.
In Deut 1:26-28 & 2:10-11, we find references to the Anakites, (long-necked giants) and Emites again, both identified as descendants of Rapha, the giant.
In Deut. 3:11 reference is made to Og, the King of Bashan, a descendant of Rapha whose bed was 13 feet long and 8 feet wide.
In Numbers 13:32-33, the account of the 12 spies includes claims of seeing Nephilim. 10 of the spies said that the descendants of Anak came from the Nephilim. Although some scholars believe this was a deliberate fabrication on their part, fear of the Nephilim is what persuaded the Israelites not to go into the Promised Land. All this took place in the time of Moses.
In Joshua 14:15, at the end of the conquest of the land, Caleb is given Hebron, formerly known as Kiriath Arba because it was founded by Arba, called the greatest of the Anakites.
And of course in 1 Samuel 17 & 2 Samuel 21:15-22 there's the defeat of Goliath and his four brothers, all descendants of Rapha, in the time of King David.
A Parallel Story
In our attention to Israel's conquest of the Promised Land, it's easy to overlook the fact that God gave the descendants of Esau and Lot (Moab and Ammon) land grants as well. Theirs were on the Eastern side of the Jordan River Valley in today's Jordan. As it was with Israel, their goal was to rid the lands they'd been given of the nephilim who dwelt there. In addition, He had the Capthorites (Philistines) wipe out the branch called the Avites (perverters) in Gaza. (Deut. 2:2-23)
In this way God judged the Nephilim a second time, supernaturally empowering His people to defeat the much stronger and more fearsome forces of Satan, and admonishing them to kill every man woman and child so as to leave no remnant of these abominations alive to repopulate the world a third time. It took until the time of King David for all this to be accomplished.
For the ensuing several thousand years the Nephilim have survived only in mythology, sometimes known as demi-gods or Titans. Hercules is an example of a mythological character whose father was a god and whose mother was human. By the way, the word Titan comes from Shaitan, a Babylonian derivative of the Hebrew word Satan.
The End Of The Age
Will this happen again, just before the 2nd Coming? Some claim Jesus said it will, quoting Matt. 24: 37 "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man" in support. I personally believe Jesus was only comparing the mental state of the people in Noah's time to that of people on Earth at the 2nd Coming. In Matt 24:38-41 He said in both cases people were focused on doing things people do, without any idea the world was/is about to end. I don't think He intended to make a comparison of general conditions.
This is where the UFO cults and others launch their conjectures. They speak of UFO sightings (there's one every 10 minutes somewhere in the world) as signs pointing to the return of the Nephilim. One person in five claims to have seen a UFO and 1 in 100 claims to have had some form of alien encounter, from observation to inspection, to abduction. The common denominator in confirmed abductions seems to be an unusual interest in the human reproductive system. Are so-called extra-terrestrials using humans to create a hybrid race, half human and half "alien"? Will this result in a return of the Nephilim, a super-powered race of beings created to help the forces of Satan take over Planet Earth again?
Iron And Clay
The Bible doesn't clearly predict this, although some read it into passages in Revelation where John seems to be describing other-worldly beings. But there is one little clue in the KJV translation of the Book of Daniel. It's in chapter 2, Daniel's description of the poly-metallic statue Nebuchadnezzar had seen in a dream. Daniel interpreted the dream's statue as a representation of coming world kingdoms between then (600 BC) and the Millennium. The head of gold was Babylon, then in power. The chest and arms of silver symbolized the kingdom that would follow Babylon (Persia), the belly and thighs of bronze were the next one (Greece) and the legs of iron the one after that (Rome). At the bottom were feet of iron mixed with clay, which many see as the revived Roman Empire coming at the end of the age.
And that's where it gets interesting. The King James rendering of verse 43 reads, "And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."(Daniel 2:43)
Who are they, the ones mingling themselves with the seed of men? Obviously, they're not human or the passage wouldn't make any sense. Are non-humans creating a hybrid race for some purpose yet unknown? Do they dwell quietly among us even now as some contend? Will the antichrist be the ultimate example of the nephilim, or will he have nephilim forces at his command during the Great Tribulation? Only time will tell.
But one thing we can know for certain right now. There was a 5th Kingdom in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. It was symbolized by a stone cut without hands that fell upon the statue and ground it into powder so fine that the wind blew every trace of it away. (Dan. 2:34-35 & 44-45) This is the Kingdom of our Lord, and when He comes He will destroy every remnant of the previous kingdoms of mankind. His Kingdom will never be defeated nor given to another, for He will reign forever and ever, and we'll be right there with Him. Amen. Come Lord Jesus.
Time for Some Reality Therapy on the Golan Heights - By Sarah N. Stern - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/111637/time-for-some-reality-therapy-on-the-golan-heights-opinion/
As I write these words, news just broke that ISIS launched its first major attack in Syria, targeting a town occupied by Druze, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, killing 100 innocent civilians. Israel shot down a syrian fighter jet last week that entered Israeli airspace, and two mortar shells launched from the syrian side of the Golan landed near the Sea of Galilee (miraculously resulting in no injuries).
After the seven-year civil war, Syria is failed state. It has been given oxygen to survive from Iran and Russia.
Its inherent instability provides fertile territory for an entire array of terrorist groups from Jabhat al Nussra and ISIS on the Sunni side, to Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the "Al Quds Force" on the Shi'ite side.
Syria depicts the Hobbesian state of war of man against man. The tragic events in Syria have led to at least a half-a-million casualties, approximately 6 million refugees and at least that many internally displaced people.
Iran, with its hegemonic aspirations, has taken advantage of the situation as a pretext for entrenching its military infrastructure into Syria. Syrian President Bashar Assad has enabled this by giving the Iranian terrorist proxies Syrian military uniforms.
It is determined to build a land bridge stretching from Tehran to Beirut to Damascus to the Mediterranean Coast.
Earlier last month, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei repeated his ominous exhortation that Israel is "a cancerous tumor that must be removed." And Hossein Salami, the deputy Commander of the IRGC in Syria, said he is "awaiting orders to eradicate the evil regime of Israel," and that Israel has "no strategic depth;" therefore, "this can easily be achieved."
Contrast this with the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, which provides an island of stability in a sea of chaos.
The Golan Heights-an area that Israel captured during its defensive 1967 Six-Day War and then retained from invading Syrian forces again in its defensive war of 1973-affords it a unique topographical and intelligence, affording it the eyes and ears to stare down into Syria and Lebanon.
All of this intelligence is shared readily with the United States.
There is a 1974 agreement mandating the separation of Syrian and Israel forces, which thins out the forces on both sides of the disengagement line.
In 1981, the Israeli government formally annexed the region. The annexation of the Golan Heights is a consensus issue that almost every Israeli, whether politically on the left, right or center agrees with.
As Major Gen. (ret.) Giroa Eiland of the Israel Defense Forces has recently written, "Israel does not possess a plausible solution to its security needs without the Golan Heights."
The demarcation line of the Golan Heights represents the demarcation of freedom against tyranny-of a failed authoritarian regime against a vibrant, healthy state based on Western democratic values.
That is why tens of thousands of Syrians would love to flee into Israel, if given the opportunity.
That is why 422 Syrians who are part of the White Helmet Groups, a humanitarian volunteer organization, were rescued by the Israelis and given safe passage way into Jordan.
That is why the IDF was able to provide tons of truckloads of supplies to the Syrian refugees, including medicines, baby formula, food, feel and shoes.
And that is what enabled the IDF to clandestinely arrange for approximately 4,000 Syrians wounded in Syria's protracted civil war to be treated in Israeli hospitals, without asking which side they were fighting for or why. And then, the healed were clandestinely delivered back to the Syrian side of the border.
It is in America's best national security interests to recognize the annexation of the Golan Heights as part of Israel's sovereign territory. Israel provides an island of tranquility in the chaotic world of the Middle East, and the line between chaos and stability cuts right through the demarcation line.
After all, after Friday prayers throughout Tehran, the chant is not only "Death to Israel," but "Death to America."
By keeping the Golan Heights as part of the lexicon of "occupied territories," the international community simply perpetuates the conflict and the Syrian-Iran-Russians axis the pernicious delusion that this area is still in play. It keeps Israel's northern front as a possible area of conflict that can flare up at any point.
American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights will finally put an end to these dangerous delusions. In an age when Iran constitutes the greatest menace to the region and one of the greatest to the world, it would constitute an effective and potent form of "reality therapy."
End Times Fatigue - By Mike Damron -
Revelation 10:9-10 "And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter."
For most of my adult life, since the early 80's, I have looked and longed for His appearing. The hope of the Rapture is what has helped me keep going over the years, especially on bad days.
I am grateful for all of the men and women who have proclaimed this wonderful truth to believers during my lifetime. It is our blessed hope! Several have already passed on and went home to be with the Lord. A few that come to my mind are David Breese, Zola Levitt, and Grant Jeffrey. I can't wait to meet them in heaven and thank them. I am also grateful for the others who are still carrying the torch of this great message today.
One thing I have noticed is, the closer we get to the end (His return), how incredibly bad things are getting. This is not the same country that I grew up in. Even as a 70's kid I never would have imagined gender fluidity. Is that not insane!? I am just a sinner saved by grace and am no better than anyone else. My heart goes out to these people who have been deceived by the devil and are in his grips.
Things are not just getting bad in this country; it is worldwide. America does not have a monopoly on insanity! Abortion, homosexuality, and the acceptance of Islam seem to be the norm with all nations.
All of this makes me "sick" to my stomach. Yes, I have always loved end-times prophecy (sweet to my mouth), but as we get up close and personal to the soon return of the Lord and see what really has to take place to make that happen, it makes us sick to our stomachs (it shall make thy belly bitter).
Recently brother JD Farag addressed this (End-Time Fatigue) on his prophecy update on YouTube. As I listened, it helped to know that I am not the only believer experiencing that.
Being a watchman takes faithfulness. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:14, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
I like to run 5K's. I will never forget the first time I ran my first 5K. I thought I was going to die! As I approached the last half-mile, it was at a higher elevation, and I could see the finish line off in the distance. All I can remember is that I kept telling myself, I'm almost there; I'm almost there! When I crossed the finish line, I bent over and cried, so tired, but full of joy! We need to continue to be watchmen, but we also need to keep our eyes on the finish line. Even our Lord and Savior Jesus kept His eyes on the prize as He endured the cross and the shame. What was His prize? It was you, and it was me!
Hebrews 12:2 says, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for "the joy" (you and I) that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Brothers and sisters in the Lord, we are almost there! Don't give up! Focus on Jesus!
If you feel fatigued at times like I do over the way the world is becoming, just keep looking up! Our redemption draweth nigh!
Until we all meet in heaven someday, God Bless!
Psalm 26 - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
"[[A Psalm of David.]] Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide." Psalm 26:1. Throughout history there have been very few people who can compare to King David. His younger years were spent among sheep and he knew how important it was to be watchful so the flock didn't go astray. He learned skills of weaponry in order to protect the flock. He even killed a lion and a bear in protecting his sheep. He was young when Samuel was sent by God to anoint him as the chosen king of Israel to reign after Saul. Why was David chosen? Unbeknownst to him he had been training to be king his entire life. The skills he learned from tending to a wandering flock of sheep would help him to watch over the kingdom which God entrusted to him. The fight with the lion and the bear taught him to overcome fear to defend the flock against the enemy. The time he spent sitting and watching the sheep taught him to be observant and alert. It also gave him time to practice the skills of war. Those skills served him well when Saul's army coward in the rocks hiding from Goliath. Goliath's blasphemy of God Almighty offended David who fearlessly took his slingshot to battle the giant. David knew that God was with him. The time with the sheep was also spent drawing near to God. In Psalm 26, David asked God to judge (vindicate) him and wasn't afraid of what the Lord would find. If there was sin, he wanted God to reveal it so that he could continue to walk in integrity and not stumble. This wasn't a request for God to give a quick look, but David wanted God to do a deep search of his heart. Whatever God found that needed to be changed, David would repent and change to fit God's standards. This humble side of David is what made him a man after God's own heart.
The songs David wrote reveal the character of this God-fearing man. David was far from perfect, but he didn't sit back and accept his sin as simply being human. Likewise our desire should be to please God. Psalm 26 shows us how David's trust in the LORD molded and guided his life. "Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart." Psalm 26:2. Are you brave enough to ask God to examine you? We all have things lurking in the dark recesses of our hearts. Resentment against a person can grow into hatred or maybe there's a hidden desire to commit adultery. If you don't turn to God for help you run the risk of the hidden sin becoming an action. "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it gis finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:14-15. We have Scripture to guide us and if any Christian says they didn't know something was a sin then that's an indication that their Bible is gathering dust. Scripture is our guide and prayer is our connection with God. Neither should be neglected.
Our attitude and our choice of friends affects our outlook. David was a man who recognized God's handiwork and chose to see His goodness and kindness instead of doom and gloom. It wasn't that David didn't have problems, but he always turned to God. There were instances where King Saul tried to kill him, and then his own son, Absalom, turned against him. Instead of allowing the problems in his life to ruin his character, David saw God's lovingkindness. "For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth. I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers." Psalm 26:3-4. David chose his friends and advisors wisely. He didn't surround himself with men who told him what he wanted to hear, but with men who helped him stay right with God. There was a time when David wanted to build a Temple for God, but Nathan the prophet honestly told him that God wouldn't allow him to build it. It was also Nathan who pointed out the sin David committed with Bathsheba. We all need to have people around us who will help us stay right with God rather than help us to sin. We also have the Holy Spirit to guide us through Scripture. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16-17. It may be that you need to use Scripture to allow God to reveal the sin in your life or maybe you should use it to help a fellow Christian out of their sin, just as Nathan helped David.
Too often we worry about being judgmental if we recognize someone's sin as sin. It's wrong to judge with condemnation in mind, but God gives us the facts to judge with discernment. We aren't to fellowship with persistent evil doers, even if they claim to be Christian. "I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked." Psalm 26:5. God loves people, but the sin that separates us from Him is another matter. We need to witness to the unsaved and introduce them to Christ, but if we don't allow God to examine our hearts and reveal our own sin we run the risk of becoming a part of the congregation of evil doers. When we forge friendships with people who reject Christ and follow after evil we run the risk of being influenced by them. You may have to shop at a store owned by a wicked person and may even witness to evil doers, but you don't forge friendships with them. "And have no fellowship with the unfriutful 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." Ephesians 5:11-12. As long as we live on this side of Heaven we'll have to be around people who reject Christ and see sin as normal. God doesn't want us to hide away and not have contact with sinners, but we needn't fellowship with them.
"I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD. That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works." Psalm 26:6-7. None of us are innocent. Not even David. Washing one's hands will cleanse the dirt and germs from them and the Jewish Law required certain ceremonial washings, but the cleansing was never permanent. The Pharisees confronted Jesus as to why His disciples didn't wash their hands before they ate bread. After a lengthy answer in which He pointed out that the Pharisees were far from clean in their ways, Jesus made it clear what it is that truly defiles a person. "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." Matthew 15:11. David desired to be innocent so he could be at the altar of God and praise Him and tell of the wonders God has done. David certainly did that as evidenced by the numerous Psalms which he wrote. As Christians we should also take care about what comes out of our mouth. Do we speak using foul language? Do we gossip about others or share filthy jokes? It would be so much better to use our voice to thank God for all He has done and sing His praises.
It would be wonderful if every leader of every nation had the desire of King David. He loved the Lord and loved to be in His presence. "LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house and the place where thine honour dwelleth." Psalm 26:8. David's son Solomon finally built the Temple for the Lord, but it was destroyed. It was then rebuilt, but again it was destroyed. Today we tend to think of a building we call a church and think that by going there we are in the place where the Lord dwells. Here's something to consider. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" 1 Corinthians 3:16. At the moment a person truly accepts Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells them. Their sins are forgiven and they are now the dwelling place of God. If, like David, you love the "...habitation of thy house and the place where thine honour dwelleth", shouldn't you love fellow Christians and draw near to them? We should also do all within our power to be sure that the temple of our own life is a place where the Holy Spirit is pleased to dwell.
David loved the Lord, but unlike Christians today he didn't have the assurance of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. At his time in history he knew the Lord and looked forward to the coming Messiah. Only obedience to God's Law could offer the hope of eternal life."Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: in whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me. My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD." Psalm 26:9-12. David's desire was to not be counted among those who rejected God's Law. Most of us today take salvation for granted. When we place our faith in Jesus we become reconciled with God and we're redeemed. Our sins are forgiven and eternal life is ours. The sacrifice Jesus made is never to be taken for granted. He left the splendor and glory of Heaven to step into this fallen world. In spite of being mocked and scorned by the religious leaders, Jesus' love was perfect. Your acceptance of His sacrifice is the only way you can avoid the eternal death that the "sinners and bloody men" will face during the final judgment at the White Throne. If you haven't placed your eternal life in the hands of Jesus you need to make that decision today.
Whether you've asked Him or not, God has already searched your heart and you're guilty of sin that's worthy of death. Eternal death. Nobody can be saved by good works and nobody is good enough when judged by God's standards. Now, the good news. If you've accepted the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for salvation, you aren't condemned. "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. Accept that salvation right now. Turn from your sin and start living your life so you honor Jesus. You will never regret that decision throughout all eternity.
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: Christian involvement in Government - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Many have written in about whether Christians should be involved in government and politics. Some say their pastors are preaching from the pulpit that Christians are members of a higher kingdom and should not be involved with government and politics. Another popular preached position is that the scriptures say that we must submit to rather than engage the governments because they are placed over people by God. Yet another position taught is that Christians should take over governments because they must establish the kingdom of God here on earth as a prerequisite for Christ to return. These various teachings are wrong-minded and many are twisting scripture to make their case. Here is why.
There is nothing in the Bible that man must establish the kingdom of God on earth so that Jesus Christ can return. Only the Father knows when Christ will return, he will return when the Father directs him, and Christ alone will establish his kingdom. It's all there in the scriptures. On government, we find Moses in Exodus 18 spending all his day interpreting the law and settling disputes. Moses' father in law introduced the "representative" system of government in verse 21: "Moreover, you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens." The America's Founding Fathers used this precept to establish the US governmental system.
Moreover, whether they were Christians or not, the Founders knew that man's imperfections prevented him from being a just and moral lawgiver. They, therefore, recognized that God had created man with certain rights and to protect those rights governments were instituted. To protect the people from government becoming tyrannical, the Founders uniquely established a government by rule of law, derived from God's laws, with checks and balances under the Constitution. Peter and the Apostles made the point of man's unjust and imperfect law giving when they told the Sadducees (who ruled over the Jews in submission to the Roman government) in Acts 5:29 when the Sadducees again tried to prevent them from preaching Jesus: "We ought to obey God rather than men."
Paul wrote in Romans 13:1, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that are ordained of God." It is telling us to submit to the governments and do good beneath them. It is not contradictory to Peter and the Apostles in Acts 5. Here in America, the government governs at the consent of the governed under the law. We the people essentially are the boss of the government. We are to hold the government accountable. If we are to take what Paul wrote in Romans 13 and apply it to Americans, it would mean that Americans should submit to Americans under God's derived law (The Constitution). Good stewardship is to preserve this unique system for it is a tremendous blessing to have freedom of speech, of worship, of evangelizing. It is a God-given blessing.
Daily Devotion: Willing to Bet Eternity? - By Greg Laurie -
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. -1 Corinthians 15:22
There are a lot of people who claim to have died and gone into the afterlife and specifically Heaven. Usually, they describe a beautiful, bright light and how they felt such great peace.
People find a certain measure of comfort from that, especially those who aren't believers. It seems hopeful to them that it will be okay on the other side. But are they willing to bet eternity on that?
The concept of Heaven comes from the Bible. In fact, we wouldn't even have the word Heaven without the Bible. The only reliable source on the afterlife is the Bible, which tells us a lot about what's coming on the other side. I believe in Heaven because God said there is a Heaven.
Heaven is the dwelling place of God. And because of the resurrection of Jesus, if you are a Christian, you will have life after death in Heaven. But Heaven isn't the default destination of every person; it is only the destination of the person who has put his or her faith in Christ.
If you are a Christian, you will go straight to Heaven when you die. The apostle Paul said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 5:8). That is what happens when a Christian dies: his or her spirit goes directly into the presence of God. As 1 Corinthians 15:22 tells us, "For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive" (NKJV).
There will be a bodily resurrection of your loved ones who have died in faith. And there will be a bodily resurrection for you, too. Jesus has overcome death at the cross.
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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