Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Where's the beef? - J.L. Robb -
One has to go back a few decades to recall the Wendy's hamburger commercial. An elderly lady is at a competitor's hamburger joint, opened the huge bun and asked, "Where's the beef?" as she looked at a pitiful little piece of well-cooked ground beef with a pickle on top. It was a valid question.
I get asked that question, more-or-less, weekly when someone questions the validity of the Bible. I get hit with non-sensical statements: Where's the proof?
Did you know there are people who think that Jesus never existed? Most Jewish people acknowledge that Jesus existed and most acknowledge that he was Jewish. Muslims acknowledge the same. Still, many think otherwise. I believe today's education system has a lot to do with that trend.
The reality is, there is plenty of beef in the proof department.
An internet search of Bible Archaeology discoveries the past 100 years should provide proof of biblical/historical accuracy to any human with an ounce of logic.
The town of Bethsaida is mentioned in both the Old and the New Testaments. It is the town where the apostles Peter, Philip and Andrew were raised. It is the town where Jesus cured a man, blind since birth.
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"
He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around."
Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Mark 8:22-25 NIV
Jesus was not particularly happy with Bethsaida, which may be one reason why the town disappeared. Jesus performed approximately 37 miracles according to scholars, 38 if you count the virgin birth as a miracle. Many of his miracles were performed in Bethsaida, yet they still rejected their Messiah. That, too, was predicted.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes..." Matthew 11:21 NIV
Through centuries of biblical archaeology, researchers have agonized over the location of Bethsaida and why it had not been located. Now it appears that it has. When the Doubters of the accuracy of biblical scripture want to know, "Where's the beef?", take a bite. The proof is in the archaeology pudding.
When Doubters of scripture scream for proof, they haven't read about the Cyrus Cylinder it seems.
The Cyrus Cylinder, discovered in 1879, dates from the 6th century B.C. It was discovered in the foundations of a pagan temple, dedicated to Marduk, the protector god. The Cyrus Cylinder, hidden for 2600 years, now resides in London at the British Museum.
The cylinder, covered in cuneiform, is a historical record and covers the conquest of Babylon in 539 BC and the defeat of Nebuchadnezzar by Cyrus, King of Persia. Under Nebuchadnezzar, the Jews had been enslaved for 70 years.
King Cyrus freed the Jewish slaves, sent them back to their land and let them rebuild the Temple that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed. The Old Testament praises him for ending the 70-year exile. The Cyrus Cylinder should be proof beyond a doubt to a logical person that biblical truth is biblical truth.
The prophet Isaiah precisely predicted the coming of Cyrus 150 years before Cyrus was born. Isaiah specified that a "Persian" king named Cyrus would free the Jews from the 70-year slavery. This was after a prophecy by Jeremiah that the Jews would be captured and held in slavery by the King of Babylon, that the King would capture and destroy Jerusalem and would hold the captured for 70 years.
If that doesn't explain where the beef is, just reread. It is in the archaeology pudding.
This is what God said:
"... who says to the watery deep, 'Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,' who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, "Let it be rebuilt," and of the temple, "Let its foundations be laid." Isaiah 44:27-28 NIV
Then there is the 3000-year old Philistine cemetery discovered in 2013 at Ashkelon but kept secret so archaeologists could complete the excavation. Seems the Philistines and Phoenicians were closely connected. Goliath was a Philistine and described as a giant.
Where is the beef that Joseph and the Hebrew slaves even existed?
Until recently, most archaeologists believed that the earliest coins dated to 700 BC. Prior to that time, trade was by barter. Until recently.
"Research team head Dr. Sa'id Muhammad Thabet said that during his archeological research on the Prophet Joseph, he had discovered in the vaults of the [Egyptian] Antiquities Authority and of the National Museum many charms from various eras before and after the period of Joseph, including one that bore his effigy as the minister of the treasury in the Egyptian pharaoh's court...
"Dr. Sa'id Thabet added that he had examined the sarcophagi of many pharaohs in search of coins used as charms or ornaments, and that he had indeed found such ancient Egyptian coins. This [find] prompted researchers to seek and find Koranic verses that speak of coins used in ancient Egypt, [such as]: 'And they sold him [i.e. Joseph] for a low price, a number of silver coins; and they attached no value to him. [Koran 12:20].' [Also,] Qarun  says about his money: 'This has been given to me because of a certain knowledge which I have [Koran 28: 78].'"
To those blinded by a desire to believe God is a myth, these predictions many years in advance that were fulfilled with 100% accuracy will not be proof. To these, DNA would not be proof.
There is lots of beef...
Six Major Problems with China's Israeli-Palestinian 'Peace' Plan - Aaron Klein -
China's UN ambassador has been calling on the international community to support a four-point proposal from President Xi Jinping to guide Israeli-Palestinian negotiations leading to the creation of a Palestinian state.
The Chinese plan would harm Israel's national security, concede strategic Israeli territory and result in the creation of a terrorist-supporting Palestinian state.
The four points of China's plan, as outlined by the Washington Post, are:
Advancing a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital of a new Palestinian state.
Upholding "the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security," immediately ending Israeli settlement building, taking measures to prevent violence against civilians and calling for an early resumption of peace talks.
Coordinating international efforts to put forward "peace-promoting measures that entail joint participation at an early date."
Promoting peace through development and cooperation between the Palestinians and Israel.
Below are six major problems with China's unrealistic plan:
1 - There is no Palestinian partner for peace.
The Chinese plan, like others before it, relies on the failed two-state solution paradigm and assumes that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a partner for peace. Only last week it was reported that the PA's 2017 budget for payments to terrorists and their families amounts to about half of all foreign aid the PA expects to receive this year. Abbas's official PA organs and media outlets promote the destruction of Israel while PA propaganda calls for dismantling the Jewish state and glorifies murderous terrorists. In one of countless examples, on Thursday, Breitbart Jerusalem reported on a Fatah summer camp for children named after Dalal Mughrabi, who led the 1978 Coastal Road massacre in which 38 people - including 13 children - were murdered.
2 - The very idea that the Palestinians would accept a state is contradicted by the Palestinians' repeated rejection of a state along the so-called 1967 borders.
Israel has offered the Palestinians a state in much of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a shared capital in Jerusalem numerous times. These offers were made at Camp David in 2000, Taba in 2001, the Annapolis Conference in 2007 and more offers were made in 2008. It was recently reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to start talks based on a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. In each of these cases, the PA refused generous Israeli offers of statehood and bolted negotiations without counteroffers.
3 - The plan would create a terrorist-supporting state in the heart of Israel's capital and may hand holy sites over to the Palestinians.
The so-called 1967 borders refer to the strategically important West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. The Chinese plan gives "East Jerusalem" to the Palestinians as a capital. (In reality, Jerusalem is one city; there is no city called East Jerusalem. The term is largely utilized to claim that Israel is occupying "East Jerusalem," and that the city section should become part of a future Palestinian state.)
While it is unclear how much of eastern Jerusalem would be included in a future Palestinian state, the Chinese plan implies it would be all eastern sections. Eastern Jerusalem includes the Old City as well as the Western Wall and Temple Mount, the holiest sites in Judaism.
Jews maintained a historic presence in Jerusalem, including in the eastern sections, until they were forced to leave the Old City en masse in 1948. Jordan illegally occupied and annexed the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel captured the lands in a defensive war in 1967.
4 - The Chinese plan does not specify what would happen to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Presumably, the coastal enclave would be included as part of a Palestinian state. Would Hamas, an anti-Israel terrorist group which has been losing ground to Islamic State ideologues, govern Gaza? Or would Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's terrorist-supporting Fatah party, which has little standing in Gaza, be in charge?
5 - The plan calls for Israeli gestures to jumpstart talks, ignoring that the Palestinians have not responded to previous such gestures.
To begin talks, the Chinese plan calls for Israel to immediately end settlement building, meaning construction of Jewish homes in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. Beyond the anti-Semitic undertones of the concept of a Jewish construction freeze, the plan ignores rampant illegal Palestinian construction taking place in key areas of eastern Jerusalem.
The Chinese, meanwhile, should take note that the PA failed to respond to Netanyahu's unprecedented attempts to jump-start negotiations aimed at creating a Palestinian state, including freezing Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and releasing Palestinian prisoners.
6 - China's plan may fund terrorist-supporting PA institutions.
China calls for "peace through development." While it is unclear what that means, the plan implies international development projects to aid the Palestinian Authority. The concept may be well-intentioned, but the plan ignores rampant PA financial corruption and cronyism as well as Abbas's steadfast support for Palestinian terrorists and their families, which, as noted above, now amounts to about half of the total international aid expected this fiscal year.
Mideast Cauldron: Will the Coming End of ISIS Unleash War on Israel? - Chris Mitchell -
After a nine-month battle, Iraq took control of the ISIS stronghold in Mosul. Now the U.S.-led coalition remains focused on taking the fight to ISIS in Raaqa, Syria, the terror group's self-proclaimed capital.
Some experts are warning the battle against the Islamic State might just be a prelude to a much more dangerous battle just ahead.
Most believe the victory in Mosul and the offensive against ISIS in Raaqa signal the end of the Islamic State caliphate. But what happens next is the major question facing the Middle East.
"You have so many actors both at the state and the sub-state level that are working in these very amorphous coalitions against one another, with one another, that this is a very dangerous place," Caroline Glick, an adjunct fellow with the Center for Security Policy, told CBN News. "This becomes a tinderbox."
Glick says a wide range of actors, including Syria, Russia, the U.S., Turkey, the Kurds, Sunni Islamic groups, Hezbollah and Iran all make up that volatile mix.
"You got a lot of people with weapons. You got a lot of weapons going on in a small territorial unit and its implications for both great power relations and of course for the ability to cause massive instability in neighboring countries like Jordan - and as you mentioned Israel, and of course Iraq is all part of the same theater - are just almost mind boggling," Glick said.
Avi Melamed is author of Inside the Middle East. "Not so far from here we have thousands of Shiites - Iranian-backed militias that are fighting in Syria," he said.
Melamed says the West needs to know the war in Syria stretches beyond its borders.
"The war is Syria is way beyond a civil war," he said. "Actually what we see right now in Syria is a huge stage of a huge regional power struggle, roughly speaking between two major forces. One are the Iranians and their backed militias on the one hand and the other are the Arab Sunnis."
Glick warns Syria is flooded with Iranian troops.
"The Syrian military is Iranian. Hezbollah is Iranian, of course. Iran is Iranian and they have an unlimited number of troops they can bring in at will and they are bringing to Syria from Afghanistan, from Pakistan," Glick explained. "It's basically a bottomless well of personnel that Iran can bring over as cannon fodder for its hegemonic aims in the Middle East."
Melamed warns Iran is trying to create a land bridge to Lebanon on the Mediterranean that would post a great danger to Israel.
"Because you have to remember that the Iranian regime vows the elimination of the State of Israel ... [They're] trying to launch a military front against Israel on the Golan Heights. This could result in a massive eruption because Israel will not stand for that and rightly so," he said.
Melamed says in order to understand today's Middle East, you must go back in history to President Obama.
"Obama's administration is definitely responsible for what I call a growing whirlpool of violence," he continued. "The major reason for that is Obama's administration for whatever the reasons are lined up with the Iranians, enabling the Iranians to expand their influence, violently and pro-actively in different arenas in the region."
Now Iran's proxy, Hezbollah, poses an unprecedented threat to Israel.
"They're in control of Lebanon and openly threatening war with Israel," Glick explained. "And not only are their armaments sophisticated to a degree that we've never seen before in the hands of a terrorist, controlled by a terror regime, but their men, their men under arms, their soldiers are battled hardened, gruesome, brutal warriors who have been in the battlefield in Syria for the past six years."
Melamed believes the danger is greater now than when all of the Middle East ganged up on Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.
"It's much greater. Look, we are looking today at reality where you have dozens of thousands of Shiite militants that are already operating in Syria, massively armed, financed and guided by the Iranians," he said. "The Iranians are the same way. They took over Lebanon by remote control using the Hezbollah. The Iranians are envisioning a similar future to Syria."
That could lead to a confrontation with global implications.
"Israel's signals are going to be very powerful because Israel is determined to not allow the Iranians to make the Golan Heights a stage of war," he said. "The ramifications of the potential developments that I was portraying of that reality on the ground, the ramifications are not only local, they're not only regional, they are exceeding the regional level; they could be global."
Our World: Losing and winning the Temple Mount - Caroline B. Glick -
Israel ceded the Temple Mount to terrorists last week. But with a clear goal, we can get it back in short order and keep it perpetually for the good of all humanity.
Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his security cabinet caved in to the demands of the PLO and its partners in Hamas, the Islamic Movement, Jordan, Iran and Turkey by agreeing to remove metal detectors and other security screening equipment from the Temple Mount. The equipment was installed last month in response to Palestinian incitement and acts of jihadist violence against Israelis, including the murder of two policemen, at Judaism's holiest site.
After polls showed 77% of Israelis felt he and his cabinet members capitulated to terrorism, Netanyahu issued a statement thanking US President Donald Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner and Trump's senior negotiator Jason Greenblatt for their help in resolving the crisis.
The underlying message of Netanyahu's statement was that he and his ministers folded like a cheap suit to our enemies' demands, effectively ceding Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount to our enemies because Kushner and Greenblatt pressured them to do so.
But then this week, a congressional intern did us the favor of surreptitiously recording and leaking remarks Kushner made on the issue in off-record remarks to interns at the White House. Kushner's remarks, which came in response to a question about his role in mediating the Palestinian conflict with Israel, were fairly detailed.
Regarding the Temple Mount crisis, Kushner justified Israel's decision to place metal detectors at the entrance of the Temple Mount. In his words, following the murder of the policemen by terrorists armed with guns smuggled onto the Mount, "putting up metal detectors on the Temple Mount... is not an irrational thing to do."
Kushner also emphasized several times the central role that Palestinian incitement played in fomenting the violence on the Temple Mount. He drew the logical conclusion that the same incitement which fomented the violence on the Temple Mount led to the massacre of the Saloman family in their home in Halamish two weeks ago.
Unlike all previous US mediators, Kushner didn't blame "both sides" for causing the violence. He placed the blame squarely on the Palestinians who incited and committed murder.
In speaking this way, Kushner made clear that he isn't the type of person who will apply bone-breaking pressure on Israel to capitulate to the demands of terrorist murderers. Certainly Netanyahu and his ministers are strong enough to withstand whatever pressure Kushner and Greenblatt may have brought to bear on them last week.
Indeed, as one administration official put it, "The idea that the same Netanyahu who withstood eight years of unrelenting pressure from the Obama administration crumpled under pressure from Kushner and Greenblatt is simply ridiculous."
So if it wasn't American pressure that convinced Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and their colleagues in the security cabinet to crumple, why did they do it?
All of their instincts were pointing them down the opposite path.
From a security standpoint, you don't need to be a genius to understand that you don't respond to an enemy on offense by surrendering your defenses.
More generally, Netanyahu and his ministers all know that just as releasing terrorists from prison guarantees more dead Israelis, so capitulating to the demands of terrorists ensures more dead Israelis.
But if the decision was wrong from a security standpoint, it was downright crazy from a political perspective. Among the 77% of Israelis who said the decision amounted to capitulation were doubtlessly 100% of Likud and Yisrael Beytenu voters and 85% of Kulanu voters. (Bayit Yehudi voters at least knew their cabinet representatives, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, voted against the measure.)
According to the media, the cabinet was intimidated into surrendering by a doomsday scenario presented by the IDF and Shin Bet representatives at the cabinet meeting. Channel 2 reported that the IDF and Shin Bet warned the politicians that failure to capitulate would result in a security nightmare, whose details they laid out in a frightening PowerPoint slide.
The Palestinians would start a new terrorist war, they said.
Fatah's Tanzim terrorists, who have been inactive in recent years, would renew their attacks, they warned.
The Palestinians would undermine Israel's capacity to fight Hezbollah effectively in Lebanon, they insisted.
And finally, if Israel failed to capitulate, a "rare unity" of forces in the Islamic world stretching from Turkey to Iran would emerge, they hectored.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but all of these doomsday admonitions are debatable.
Take the issue of the "rare unity" from Iran to Turkey.
Since the Turks tried to break Israel's maritime blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza seven years ago, unity has been the rule not the exception in Turkish-Iranian relations. Both supported the Muslim Brotherhood in the so-called Arab Spring. Both supported Hamas in its 2014 war against Israel from Gaza. And today, both support Qatar against the Saudi- and Egyptian-led bloc of Sunni Arab states.
As for the Sunni Arabs, last week, the Saudis took the stunning step of siding with Israel on the metal detectors. The Saudis noted supportively that they installed metal detectors in Mecca and Medina.
As to the rest of the scenarios the security chiefs raised, they may or may not be true. But what is certainly true is that it isn't the job of the security community to tell Israel's leaders they have no choice but to surrender to aggression. It is their duty to formulate plans for defeating the aggressors, period.
And incidentally, ahead of Tisha Be'av, which fell this year on Monday night/Tuesday, unlike the IDF and the Shin Bet, the police did just that. Whereas the Shin Bet wanted to prohibit Jews from visiting the Temple Mount on the day of mourning commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples, the police recognized it was its job to enable Jews to visit.
Rather than join the Shin Bet in recommending that Jews be barred from visiting the Temple Mount, the police provided the requisite protection and enabled more than 1,200 Jews to visit the site without incident.
The fact that Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich provided security when Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman said it couldn't be done makes it hard to avoid the impression that the warnings the IDF and Shin Bet chiefs issued the security cabinet last week stemmed less from professional considerations than from ideological or political agendas.
This impression is strengthened when last week's horror scenarios are seen in the context of the security establishment's long history of blocking the implementation of government policies it was its duty to facilitate.
For instance, in 2010 and 2012, the commanders of the IDF and the Mossad reportedly refused to carry out Netanyahu's order to prepare their forces to strike Iran's nuclear installations.
And then-Shin Bet director Ami Ayalon's move to blame Netanyahu when the Palestinians unleashed a terrorist offensive in 1996 after Netanyahu's first government opened a second entrance to the tunnels below the Western Wall is etched in collective memory.
But for all their institutional and personal drawbacks, there is a limit to the amount of blame you can place on Israel's security leadership for the cabinet's decision to surrender to terrorists last week. After all, while it is true the IDF and Shin Bet commanders crossed the line, Netanyahu and his ministers let them cross it.
If Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman wanted to, they could easily have blunted the security brass's push for capitulation. They certainly could have publicly criticized them for their defeatism rather than insinuate that the Americans made them capitulate.
So why haven't Netanyahu and Liberman called them to order? Why doesn't Netanyahu - at a minimum - publicly criticize his generals for their insubordination and contrast their spinelessness with Alsheich's professional competence and determination?
The answer is discouraging. Netanyahu allows himself and his cabinet members to be bullied by his generals because he doesn't have a policy for securing Israeli sovereignty and advancing Israel's national interests at the Temple Mount. Without a positive goal, he is reduced to treading water with the hope of keeping a lid on Muslim jihadists. And so his "policy" of bowing to his politically subversive generals bears a disquieting resemblance to George Orwell's quip, "The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it."
Perhaps the depressing aspect of all of this is that it isn't hard to figure out what a reasonable, constructive policy would be for the Temple Mount.
As a liberal democracy, Israel has an interest, indeed a duty, to ensure that the holy site is open to all religions and that everyone has the right to freely worship on the Temple Mount. Given the fact that the Temple Mount is the holiest place in the world for Jews, Israel has a vital interest in securing its sovereign control over the area.
To secure its sovereignty and advance its clear interest in facilitating religious freedom for all, Israel's policy goal is straightforward. The government should enable all faiths to worship freely at the site.
To secure this end, the government should announce its goal and make a good-faith effort to involve all relevant groups and governments, including the Palestinian Authority, Christian authorities, Jewish authorities, the Jordanian regime and others in achieving it. The government should also state outright that if the Palestinians opt instead to incite and commit acts of violence and terrorism from the Temple Mount, Israel will secure its goal and enable Jews and Christians to worship at the holy site unilaterally.
To date, the Temple Mount has been the Palestinians' ace in the hole. They recycle the blood libel that Jews are endangering al-Aksa every time they feel they are losing ground in their never-ending war against Israel. And Israel inevitably capitulates.
But if Israel announces its policy is to secure religious freedom for all on the Temple Mount and makes a good-faith effort to advance it in conjunction with the Palestinians and all other relevant groups, it will set the conditions for taking that ace away.
If after it begins good-faith efforts to collectively advance the liberal, democratic goal of ensuring religious freedom for all at the holy site, the Palestinians again turn to violence, then the Islamic world, or parts of it, will be in a position to blame them when Israel unilaterally enables Jews and Christians to pray on the Temple Mount parallel to Muslim worshipers.
If Netanyahu and his ministers make this their goal then the IDF and the Shin Bet won't be able to intimidate them into capitulation next time around. Instead, the leaders of the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Foreign Ministry will all know their jobs and know that if they fail to perform they will be replaced.
Israel ceded the Temple Mount to terrorists last week. But with a clear goal, we can get it back in short order and keep it perpetually for the good of all humanity.
Man Cannot Produce Utopia - By Grant Phillips -
The next big event on God's calendar is the Rapture, and then the seven-year Tribulation followed by the one-thousand-year Millennium when Jesus will rule the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
God has dealt with man via six different dispensations (so far), and in each one, man fails. Over and over it is proven that the natural man cannot please God. The seventh and last dispensation is the Millennium, and once again, man will fail to live in a manner pleasing to God. Only in eternity, will mankind (those who have inherited eternal life through Jesus Christ) and the angels never again have the desire or ability to disobey God.
The seven dispensations are:
The Age of Innocence - Man is created without ever knowing sin, but then falls to its temptation in rebellion against God.
The Age of Conscience - Man lives by his own conscience of right and wrong, and fails miserably in his rebellion against God.
The Age of Human Government - As mankind forms into groups and human governments are formed, man quickly reverts back into sin, continuing to rebel against God.
The Age of Promise - Even though God always keeps His promises, man cannot, and does not have the patience to wait on God. His rebellion against God continues.
The Age of the Law - Even with clear and strict guidelines, man corrupts the Law of God by disobedience in rebellion.
The Age of Grace - Even in the most coveted dispensation prior to the Kingdom age, man as a whole refuses the riches of God's grace. The grace of the cross is spurned for the works of man.
The Age of the Kingdom - The Kingdom age will originally be comprised of all those who know God as Savior and Lord through Jesus Christ. All will be without sin and the ability to sin because of the saving grace of God. What could go wrong? Will mankind still rebel against God?
We all know that when the Tribulation ends Satan will be bound for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3). So throughout the Millennium, Satan and none of his followers will be around to seduce mankind. Jesus will reign from Jerusalem. The Church will reign with Him, and the surviving saints from the Tribulation will repopulate the earth.
So, at the beginning of the Millennium everyone will be a child of God. The earth will be restored. Nature will be at peace. Prosperity will abound. The life expectancy will be extended to a thousand years. Everything will be perfect.
Have you ever considered just how long a thousand years is? A lot can happen in a thousand years. Think about this. As of this year, America is 241 years old. That's not even a quarter of 1,000 years. If you go on back to when Columbus headed our way, it's still only 525 years.
I was born when Harry S. Truman was President. Since then we have had twelve more Presidents. I can assure you, a LOT has happened over that short period. Many, many things have drastically changed over that very short period of time.
Remember, when the Millennium begins everyone is saved at that point. Everyone belongs to the Lord and He rules the earth. But ... the Tribulation saints who were not murdered will enter the Millennium and bare children. Those children, and all those born after them will have the ability to sin because they will be born with that sin nature we all have today.
A population explosion will inhabit the millennial period. Billions will be born from those original Tribulation saints that will have the same choice mankind has today; honor God or rebel.
When the Millennium ends Satan will be released and lead billions against Jesus and His rule (Revelation 20:7-8). How did it ever get to the point that Satan could find that many followers in a world that is perfect?
Even though Satan is bound and cannot deceive anyone during that time, those billions born in the Millennium will have the ability to follow Jesus or reject Him. They will all be born with the same nature that is currently within us.
It is my opinion that even though the Kingdom age (the Millennium) will have so many blessings, rebellion will begin to rise in the hearts of those born into the Millennium. The Scripture says in Revelation 12:5, "And she bore a son, a male, who is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and to His throne." This male son is none other than Jesus Christ, and He will rule during that time, "with a rod of iron."
There will not be an outward uprising until the end of the Kingdom age (the Millennium), but rebellion will rise and continue to rise in the hearts of many. By the time Satan is once again unleashed, they will be revealed for what they really are.
If you'll think about it, God has allowed all of us to have freedom of choice, even the angels. Satan made his choice. The angels that followed him made their choice, and one third of the angels followed Satan. Adam and Eve made their choice, and every individual throughout each dispensation has made or will make a choice either to obey God or not to obey Him.
Since sin entered the world through our original parents, Adam and Eve, mankind has been in rebellion. Some have decided to call upon God, but most do not. God clearly demonstrates that no matter how He deals with us, as long as we have a sinful nature, there will be those who will always rebel against Him.
Today's society practically wears out the phrase, "God is love." Yes He is, and He is no less "just" than He is "love." We tend to forget that God cannot deny His justice any more than He can deny His love. We want His love in letting us "do our own thing," but not His justice in judging the sin(s) we wallow in.
He has proven through six dispensations that we cannot save ourselves, and the seventh and last dispensation will corroborate the others. Only He can save us, and He can only do so through our belief in His Son, Jesus.
Mankind began in a perfect world (Garden of Eden) and we failed. Mankind will close out the ages in a perfect world (Millennium) and we will fail again. Sin and its consequences must be judged and totally eradicated, and the world must be filled with the righteousness of God before there can ever be peace between mankind and his Creator God. This can only be accomplished by the grace of God in the sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. All those who come to God through the Son will be saved (rescued) from judgment and adopted into the family of a Holy God. Only those who come through Jesus will live with Him for eternity in absolute righteousness, never knowing sin again. All those in Christ know God not just as our Creator, but also as our Father, because our faith rests in the saving work of Jesus Christ.
In each age, man attempts to produce the perfect world, as he sees utopia in his own mind. Thankfully, God has seen fit to save us from our own delusions.
So to recap:
Each dispensation proves that no one can be saved apart from the cross. The cross is offered each time, but only the few choose wisely. Most try an alternate route, but only those who come via the cross go into eternity as children of the eternal God to reign with Him forevermore. All those who reject the cross will spend eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Most Christians Miss the Mark When It Comes to A Biblical Worldview -
Labels are both easy and comfortable. Christian, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, born again. It isn't hard for a man or woman to call himself or herself a Christian, even a born again Christian. But do they really know what that entails?
Two recent surveys shed light on just how far from Biblical beliefs those who identity as Christians actually are.
The most recent survey was conducted across the United States by the American Culture and Faith Institute (ACFI) and included 3,000 adult respondents.
Rather than allowing the survey participants to self-identify, an important distinction from other studies, an initial question as to what would happen to them after they die was paired with a set of ten options. The response to this key question began the process of belief classification.
According to that initial question, 30% responded, "After I die I know I will go to Heaven because I have confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior," a response which identifies them as born-again Christians. What follows from that question, however, became a bit more complex and surprising.
The group of born again Christians still represents the largest group of respondents, with "Do not know" coming in second at just 25%. None of the other groups ranked above 10% and atheists only accounted for 8% of the total survey population.
However, a closer look at the follow-up questions given to the born-again individuals reveals some startling misunderstandings of Biblical teachings and misconceptions of the Biblical world view.
What is surprising is that of the 17 follow-up questions on Christian theology, none of the questions was answered Biblically correct by more than 90% of the born-again Christians.
After analyzing the survey data, the ACFI concluded that only 30% of the born-again population (which is itself 30% of the total) hold Biblical beliefs and the rest claim an odd mixture of other concepts.
Posed as a yes/no question, the Biblical question that most born-agains answered from an accurate Biblical perspective was "God is the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator and Ruler of the universe", but even this belief was claimed by only 89% of born again Christians.
Here are a few of the notable responses from born again Christian. A yes response to each indicates Biblical belief:
" God is actively involved in our lives today: yes 79%, no 18%
" Satan is alive, not just a symbol of evil: yes 58%, no 42%
" Divorce is not morally acceptable: yes 46%, no 54%
" The Holy Spirit is alive, not just a symbol of God's presence: yes 43%, no 57%
" It is not possible to earn your way into Heaven: yes 37%, no 63%
The second survey was commissioned by Summit Ministries and conducted by the renowned Barna Group. This survey focused more broadly on all Christians and the findings were even more shocking. Barna calculated that 38% of Christians responded with views aligned with or sympathetic to Islamic teachings.
Marxist beliefs regarding private property were held by a staggering 36% of Christians. On the other hand, an equally disturbing 20% of Christians believe that "the purpose of life is to earn the most so that you can make the most of life".
Overall, a generally secular world view was expressed by 29% of the respondents.
A mixture of post-modern and quasi-spiritual beliefs was also a serious issue with as many as 30% of Christians surveyed stating that they believe that "all people pray to the same god or spirit, no matter what name they use for that spiritual being".
Needless to say, this is far from a Biblical world view.
Simplistic labels are, by definition, easily applied, but they are also deceptive. Some of that energy we expend patting ourselves on the back might better be used to restore sound Biblical education in our churches. Obviously, even the basics are lacking as these surveys reveal.
We face the very real possibility of a generation that identifies as born-again Christians while holding a frightening level of un-Biblical beliefs. "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?" (Luke 6.46)
Daily Jot: Something to ponder - Bill Wilson -
There has been something I have been pondering for quite some time. I sense you are thinking about the same. The state of our country. The visceral political division, the fact that most news is editorial opinion based on lies and half-truths, the fact that people who have been friends for years have ended their friendships over these differences. We all have a lot of concerns about America, many of them are put to rest at the sight a young soldier in uniform opening a door for a senior citizen, or young child helping someone across the street. These individual acts of kindness bolster my confidence that somewhere deep in the soul of America, the values that make us all Americans are still flickering.
But what concerns me are those who, for whatever reason, do not see that the sacrifice of those before us was made for the better gains we enjoy. I asked a group of children why we celebrate Independence Day. By and large their answers were "so we can see fireworks" or "so we can have hamburgers from the grill." They did not even know what Independence Day meant. Their guesses were anywhere from "celebrating God's freedom" to "my dad has a day off from work." Some of these children openly admit they do not understand why they should stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag-seems like something silly to them.
Then there was the African American man who was upset with the wars in the Middle East. He told me it was better to abort these children than to let them grow up and force them to die in war. I asked him how many abortions there were in the United States each year. He didn't know. I told him there were over a million abortions a year and that during a three-year period there were 1,700 brave volunteer soldiers killed in Iraq. Another lady chimed in, "And that's supposed to make me feel good?" No, its' not. But it is supposed to demonstrate clearly how the folly in denying a chance at life because kids are going to die anyway. Would he even understand that Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, wanted to end the entire African American race?
I pray these are not representative of the majority of our country. I am reminded of how often the Israelites turned away from God and judgment was pronounced upon them. Certainly, the condition of our nation is tied to the consequences of not adhering to God's law. Maybe we should take these things more seriously. The Lord said in 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal there land." We do need to pray for our children and our nation. We need to seek the Lord's face and as a nation turn from wicked ways. Let us pray this weekend and talk to others about the ancient paths laid by those righteous people before us. Let us shine the light of Christ to others!
Daily Devotion: Someone of Value - By Greg Laurie -
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." -2 Corinthians 4:7
When we think of the apostles, we think of holy men of God. And though they were gifted and dedicated, they also were ordinary. Jesus did not call these men because they were great; their greatness was the result of the call of Jesus.
A great writer can take an ordinary piece of paper, and with the addition of his or her words, it suddenly becomes extremely valuable. It wasn't the paper that was valuable; it was what the writer put down on that paper. A great artist can take a canvas and paint, and suddenly it becomes a costly work of art because of what the artist did. It wasn't the canvas that was valuable; it is what the artist painted on the canvas.
As believers, we recognize in ourselves that we are sinners separated from God. But let's also recognize that when Christ came into our lives, He gave us value. He put His treasure in earthen vessels, or in jars of clay, which are our lives. As 2 Corinthians 4:7 tells us, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."
With a new confidence and boldness, we have something to offer. It is not self-confidence; it is God-confidence. It is not self-esteem; it's God-esteem. God graciously forgave us and took us into His kingdom, and now He has made us someone of value. In the same way, the apostles were valuable because of what Jesus did in their lives.
God wrote His name on you when you gave your life to Jesus Christ. He has given you gifts and abilities. He has invested Himself in you. That is where your value comes from. And that's why you can make a difference.
FROM THE HEART
IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED THROUGH THIS MINISTRY, THEN WE ASK THAT YOU WOULD PLEASE REMEMBER PROPHECY UPDATE IN YOUR GIVING - WE ARE TRULY, TRULY, THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Prophecy Update has no corporate sponsors. This ministry is paid for and prayed for by readers and supporters. Without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update, Please pray about becoming a monthly supporter - thanks!
If ever there was a time to invest in God's Kingdom, it's now!
What on earth are you doing for Heaven's Sake?
"Share in the Blessings and Rewards that will last Forever!"
"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
1) We need your prayers!- We proclaim the Truth of the Word of God and we are under constant spiritual and sometimes even physical attack.
2) We need your encouragement!- We need to hear from you, let us know how the Lord is blessing you through this ministry so that we can share it with others.
3) We need your input! - If you have a prophetic article or story or if there is a news related item we missed, let us know.
4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
Prophecy Update is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt - non-profit organization, and all your donations are tax deductible.
If you have been blessed by Prophecy Update and would like to help support this ministry financially. You can make a secure donation online by going to:
Or Visit our website:
Or write us at:
P.O. Box 40516
Bakersfield, CA 93384-0516