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Prophecy Update Newsletter
August 5, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
This Shroud of Darkness - By Don McGee - http://raptureready.com/soap2/mcgee31.html
This planet and our country are at the point of being fully enveloped in a dark shroud the likes of which has never been seen. This is more than the general breakdown of social stability that has been around since the beginning; it is a heavy, sinister evil that has not only grown exponentially of late, but is unstoppable by even the most noble of human efforts. Christians are soon to be removed from this world, but those unsaved who will be left behind will see and experience a kind of evil that no mortal can imagine. Something far worse than the Egyptian plagues.
Consider some things about the Exodus of God's people from their slavery in Egypt and you will see. Just before Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt over 1400 years BC he dealt with a similar kind of darkness, only it was on a local level. In fact, this darkness was the final of 9 plagues that God sent upon the land of Egypt just before He sent a final plague which might more accurately be called a judgment. You recall it was this judgment that finally, though only temporarily, broke the stubborn will of Egypt's Pharaoh thus allowing God's people to leave the land of their suffering. The entire account of this event is found in Exodus 7ff with the heavy darkness being described in chapter 10.
The saga began when Moses went to Pharaoh and told him God said to let His people go. Pharaoh refused, so miracles and plagues were sent in succession with the later plagues causing the Egyptian monarch to relent only to change his mind once the plague ceased. After nine such miracles and plagues God had enough of the king's vacillating and finally sent a judgment whereby the first born of both man and beast, including Pharaoh's family, died that Passover night.
There are any number of things in this account that parallels the world of our day, but I want to focus upon several that help us to see more clearly the hour in which we are living, and what is to soon happen to this planet some Christians too often think of as their home.
The last plague Egypt experienced before God sent His judgment had to do with darkness. This had nothing to do with a regular sundown, or a solar eclipse. This darkness was a plague with all the characteristics of a plague. It might be compared to a heavy, dark blanket that enveloped Egypt as no kind of darkness had ever done before. In fact, it was a darkness that could actually be felt, and it fully debilitated an entire nation to the point that its people, including Pharaoh, could not even venture from their houses for three days.
Imagine both the astonishment and terror that this darkness brought. We are not told how long it took for the darkness to happen, but it was probably very quickly. When it did happen people were stopped cold in their tracks. They became disoriented, confused and fearful. And this happened to one of the great civilizations of the ancient world. The same people whose feats of engineering are among the greatest in the history of humanity were suddenly brought to their knees, frozen in a kind of mass fear and impotence. Yet interestingly, the people of Israel had light in their homes, and had no cause for alarm at all.
If Pharaoh had ever been left alone to his thoughts it was during those three days. Did he think about his cruelty to God's people? Did he think seriously about the Hebrew God who had already done miraculous things that his court magicians could not replicate? No one can know for certain what went through his mind in those 72 hours of impenetrable darkness. Though it caused a change of mind about the release of God's people, it was only temporary.
Pharaoh had a pride problem in that he thought that as Egypt's supreme monarch he could do what he pleased, and that his word and will were beyond anyone's question. Even God's. This is what caused him to vacillate in his decisions. When a plague became so severe that he could no longer deal with it he relented to God's demand through Moses. But as soon as the plague was lifted he changed his mind. Duress brought a change of mind instead of a change of heart. When the duress was removed his anger was probably compounded because he had to admit he had "given in" to the Hebrew slaves' God, a pill just too bitter to swallow. His hatred toward God and His people was eating him alive.
After Pharaoh freed the Hebrews he once again changed his mind and it seems in his hatred for God and God's people he flew into a rage. Some people call it a blind rage because though he knew all the facts about God's power, yet he shoved rational logic aside in order to give way to his prideful fury. He and his army drove themselves headlong into the depths of the Red Sea whose waters closed on them.
In the end Pharaoh and his army, in hot pursuit of the Israelites after letting them go because of the final plague, or judgment, were drowned by God in the waters of the Red Sea never to be seen or heard from again. Today no one remembers them, and no one cares. This speaks to the eternal obscurity of humanity's vain glory.
Do you suppose this has anything to do with what is happening in our world today? Yes, it does, for this ninth plague is not only a kind of precedent for the darkness that is encapsulating the planet, but also for the end of Antichrist who will lead a willing world to ruin and who will betray the Jewish people.
If a person would like to get an objective view of what is really happening to the world they would need to retreat from the harsh noises of modern life and, with their Bible in hand, prayerfully examine the headlines and newsmakers through the lens of scripture. Only then can a person get a very good idea of the impetus for the current turmoil and its end
This kind of examination, however, requires an honest heart, and this is very difficult because much of what is happening has to do with politics, social engineering and money. And most people do not want the light of truth to illuminate every corner and crevice of their favorite politician, social philosophy or source of income
The darkness creeping over 21st Century humanity will not be stopped. Its success at blinding people is enhanced by the dark influence of their leaders who are equally blind in their secular world view. For leaders to say that the world has become more stable in the past few years, and that America has become more secure is absurd. For them to say that Americans are less divided and more united is equally absurd. They promised American unity and solidarity just a few years ago, but the promise lies dead and rotting in the ever growing graveyard of politician's promises.
The American people have sold their birthright to liberty for a mess of beans in the form of so-called "security." Those at the helm of the ship of state in all three branches are change-agents regarding the U.S. Constitution, and they have not even tried to conceal their nefarious motives. As an example, though the practice of religion, including the biblical form of Christianity, is guaranteed in the 1st Amendment, anyone who dares to do so is hooted down publicly, is caustically labeled and is ostracized from the mainstream of American life. The darkness in this is obvious.
This pall of darkness is enveloping our country politically. A politician's, or a political appointee's abilities mean nothing to those blinded by their social influences and political affiliations. These seem to associate the old idea that, "Right or wrong, good or bad he/she is my candidate" with a warped sense of nobility. This, you see, is the easy road for people because they do not have to become responsible about issues and consequences.
Heavy darkness is also enveloping our country ethically. Of late the self-inflated, prejudicial and prideful hearts of professional athletes, Supreme Court Justices, the President, some members of Congress, Ivy League professors and others are being laid bare for all to see. The biases that people tried to conceal not many years ago are now arrogantly paraded before the nation and world with no hesitation or remorse whatsoever.
The reason is basically a combination of hatred and narcissism. This is not only repulsive to Christians, but it reeks in the nostrils of Holy God. These are so blind that they cannot see that the legacies they build in tribute to themselves will soon be washed away like sand castles as the tidal wave of God's judgment wipes them completely from the surface of the earth.
This darkness is enveloping the world and our country religiously. Politicians, both home-grown and from abroad, unapologetically defend Islam in the face of its blood-thirsty foundation. Read for yourself what kind of man Mohammed was. Find out for yourself what he did to those who refused Islam.
The Koran has not changed in its demands since the 7th century, and Muslims have not changed in their allegiance to those demands. The Islamic world hates America, yet the American president appoints such Muslims to important and distinguished government positions where they have direct access to highly classified information. This cannot be rationally explained away.
And lastly this darkness is enveloping this planet morally. Where we are morally in America today is where much of the rest of the world has been for some time. Consider the lives of any number of elected and appointed government officials, athletes, entertainers, etc., and you will readily see their hearts are dark and evil. Often their objective is simply to shock the biblical sensibilities of those whom they can't stand, and to enjoy themselves in the process.
Yes, a darkness deeper than that of Egypt is upon us, and in Revelation 16:10 we read about yet another kind of darkness. At that time it will be the global kingdom of Antichrist that will be darkened, and it will be in direct connection with physical suffering with intense pain and horrific sores. It will be so great that people will gnaw their tongues because of their pain. Tongue-gnawing pain is bad enough, but when it is combined with this kind of darkness it becomes unbearable. Prior to this people will be so tormented as a result of scorpion-like creatures attacking them that they will try to commit suicide, but will be unable to do so (Revelation 9:6). Never before has this happened.
So what will people do? They will blaspheme God in their torment. And what will people not do? They will not repent before God. This situation gives us some inkling of just how dark the collective human heart is becoming.
Like the Siren's song of Greek mythology, the voices entreating through this darkness draws the unrepentant souls of nations and people to a horrible and eternal death. With all godliness rejected and God's grace spurned these people soon find themselves in solitary darkness and torment hearing only their own mournful wails for all eternity (Matthew 13:41ff). Such is the end for all who, like Pharaoh, harden their hearts toward God.
The shadow of the deepest kind of darkness is already over us. It is becoming heavier and there is no safe retreat from the evil it brings. It is permeating every aspect of society whether it is American, European, Middle Eastern, African, etc., including the religions of these regions. And here at home the almost routine murder of American police officers of late perfectly manifests the consequences of a dark, godless, narcissistic, entitlement oriented society.
When police massacres happen national journalists are quick to trot out the "experts" for explanations. These experts speak of the need for society to "have dialogue...come together...unite..." etc., in order to solve our problems. Such words are not only superficial and impotent, but the fact is scripture says clearly this will not happen (2 Timothy 3, etc.).
Most people believe that unity will produce a solution, but no one can clearly define that which we must gather around in unity. That being said, in the foreseeable future a man will be ushered onto the world's stage who will be everything the experts are seeking for. He will be the center of all human unity. The Bible calls him Antichrist and the post-rapture world will be so captivated by his persuasive will that it will worship him (Revelation 13:3, 4).
Some are asking if the election in November will make a difference for America. We pray and we do what is best for our country, but keep in mind that our hope is in the return of Jesus for His Church and not in election results.
If a Christian does not see this, then he should ask himself, upon what is he basing his hope. Is it politics, or economics, or education, or a combination of these things? If that is what a person is looking for to push back this encroaching darkness, then they are consigning themselves to a life of consistent disappointment that will sap the hope right out of them. Their lives will be just one continuing exercise in sadness, fear and drudgery. Saved? Perhaps, but what unsaved person will look at their lives and want the same kind of empty, joyless life they have?
Will Barack Obama Try to Stay in Office If Donald Trump Wins the Election? - By Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/will-barack-obama-try-to-stay-in-office-if-donald-trump-wins-the-election
If Donald Trump wins in November, will Barack Obama leave office and hand over power in an orderly fashion? Normally we would not even have to ask such a question, but these are not normal times. This week, Obama publicly stated that Trump "is unfit to serve as President" and that he is "woefully unprepared to do this job". In addition, he told the press that Trump "doesn't have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding to occupy the most powerful position in the world." If Obama really believes those things are true, would he really just stand aside and hand the keys to the White House to Trump?
Never before have I ever heard a sitting president claim that one of the major party candidates could not function as president. But that is what Obama has just done. The following is an excerpt from a transcript of remarks made by Obama earlier this week that comes directly from the official White House website. I have highlighted certain phrases in bold text, because I want you to truly consider the implications of what he is saying here...
But there have been Republican Presidents with whom I disagreed with, but I didn't have a doubt that they could function as President. I think I was right, and Mitt Romney and John McCain were wrong on certain policy issues, but I never thought that they couldn't do the job. And had they won, I would have been disappointed, but I would have said to all Americans they are - this is our President, and I know they're going to abide by certain norms and rules and common sense, will observe basic decency, will have enough knowledge about economic policy and foreign policy and our constitutional traditions and rule of law that our government will work, and then we'll compete four years from now to try to win an election.
But that's not the situation here. And that's not just my opinion; that is the opinion of many prominent Republicans. There has to come a point at which you say, enough.
Earlier today, I came across an outstanding article by Joseph Farah of WND in which he summarized the claims that Obama was making against Trump...
*He said Trump would not abide by "norms and rules and common sense."
*He questioned whether he would "observe basic decency" should he reach the Oval Office.
*He said he would have been disappointed to lose the elections of 2008 and 2012, but never doubted whether his rivals in those elections, John McCain and Mitt Romney, could function as president or had the knowledge to make government work. "That's not the situation here," he added.
*He added Trump "doesn't have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding, to occupy the most powerful position in the world."
*He said he was "woefully unprepared to do this job."
*Obama said Trump lacked knowledge about Europe, the Middle East and other parts of Asia.
This is some extremely strong language, and I truly wish one of the reporters at the press conference would have asked one incredibly important follow up question.
Will Barack Obama try to stay in office if Donald Trump wins the election?
In his article, Joseph Farah raised the same issue...
If no one else will ask the question, I will: "Mr. President, if Donald Trump wins the election to become the next president of the United States, will you willingly and peacefully leave office and cooperate fully with the transition of power the way all of your predecessors in the White House have done in the past?"
It's a simple question that needs to be asked and answered - given Obama's highly inflammatory rhetoric over the last week.
Like Farah, I believe that it is a fair question.
If Barack Obama truly believes all of the things he said about Donald Trump, does he also believe that he has a responsibility to keep Donald Trump from taking office?
Absent a major national emergency of some sort, this would be very difficult for Obama to do. But if there were some sort of enormous national crisis between now and next January, Barack Obama could potentially employ some of the extraordinary emergency powers that have been endowed on the office of the president over the past several decades.
There is not a single statute, regulation, executive order or presidential directive that contains all of the powers that a president would possess during a major national emergency. Rather, these powers have been layered on top of one another for a very long period of time, and they come from literally dozens of different laws, regulations, court decisions, executive orders and presidential directives.
One document that I would refer you to is National Security Presidential Directive 51 which was put into effect during the Bush administration. It is all about "national continuity policy" and it defines a "catastrophic emergency" as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions".
In such a scenario, the president would have almost unlimited power, and he would wield enormously powerful executive orders such as this one. If there was a big enough emergency, the president would potentially be able to declare martial law, suspend elections and essentially become a dictator.
Let us hope that we never see such a thing play out in the United States of America.
For the moment, there is not much of a threat that Obama will try to stop Trump from taking office because Hillary Clinton has jumped out to a huge lead in the latest McClatchy-Marist poll...
The former secretary of State gained ground in the McClatchy-Marist poll, and Trump lost support. Clinton had the support of 48% of those surveyed, and Trump had 33%. Last month, Clinton had 42% while Trump had 33%.
When third-party candidates are included, Clinton's lead held strong. She had 45%, and Trump had 31%, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson had 10% and Green Party candidate Jill Stein had 6%.
And the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that Clinton is leading Trump by a 47 percent to 38 percent margin.
One thing that I found interesting about both of these polls is that they show two third party candidates gaining ground. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll had Gary Johnson with 10 percent support and Jill Stein at five percent.
Jill Stein is still behind Johnson at this point, but she is potentially the much stronger candidate. If she starts to catch fire with Bernie Sanders supporters, she could possibly even hit the 15 percent threshold for being invited to participate in the upcoming presidential debates.
And Donald Trump certainly needs something to change about this race, because right now he is really struggling.
But there is a long way to go until November, and as we have seen, anything is likely to happen in this election cycle.
Watchman Warning: The Wrath of Mr. Khan - by Hal Lindsey - http://www.hallindsey.com/ww-8-4-2016/
Regardless of which presidential candidate you're backing this year, something began at this year's Democratic National Convention that should be carefully considered. The press has had a field day battering Donald Trump with the words of a Muslim immigrant from Pakistan, Khizr Khan.
Mr. Khan's son, Captain Humayun Khan, died as an American hero in Iraq in 2004. Senator John McCain described Captain Khan's death like this. "When a suicide bomber accelerated his vehicle toward a facility with hundreds of American soldiers, Captain Khan ordered his subordinates away from the danger. Then he ran toward it."
In what may have been the smartest campaign move of the year, the Clinton team asked Captain Khan's parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, to speak at their convention. Despite Mr. Khan's past support for Sharia law, the Clinton people gave him a prime time slot on the gathering's biggest night. He spoke English with an earnest, Pakistani accent. The 7-minute speech proved to be a sensation.
His words were bursting with emotion. They grabbed the heart. Politicians and the media took this family's pain, and turned it into money, votes, and influence. Khan's righteous indignation took the world by storm. And that's the problem.
This campaign, more than any other in my memory, is turning on raw emotion - mostly fear and anger. Whether you vote Democrat or Republican, I hope you will base your decision on something more than emotions. I hope you thoughtfully consider each side's actual positions, and how those positions will impact the future of the United States.
Let's try to look objectively at what Khizr Khan said at the convention. In the most celebrated moment of the speech, he addressed Donald Trump directly. "You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
Think about what this means. He implied that a candidate cannot speak on the issue of immigration if he or she has not sacrificed a son or daughter in battle. Remove the emotion, and you can see his statement as nonsense. With this criteria, neither Mr. Trump nor Secretary Clinton would qualify to speak to the issue.
The press ridiculed Trump for pointing to his own hard work as a form of sacrifice. It doesn't compare to Mr. Khan's loss, but don't belittle work. It is the primary method of sacrifice for most Americans, including Hillary Clinton. She says she has worked hard in a public career emphasizing the welfare of women and children. Mr. Trump says he worked hard building businesses employing thousands of people who used the wages he paid to take care of their families. What's wrong with that? Some of the most beautiful sacrifices I have ever seen centered around people working to care for others.
Mr. Khan said, "We cannot solve our problems by building walls."
Walls won't solve all problems, but they can help solve some. For instance, Mr. Khan said those words while standing on a platform encircled by a security wall. The wall didn't replace actual security personnel, but it made their jobs easier. Outside that room, the entire area of the arena stood behind a police cordon. Those walls did not solve all the problems faced by the convention, but they helped solve some of them.
Mr. Khan said, "Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims." This is not true, as far as I know. But it may feel true to many Muslim-Americans. That's because Trump recognizes that the common factor among Islamic terrorists is Islam itself. But that fact is beyond dispute.
As a Christian minister, I take this much further than Donald Trump. The radical Islamists are in fact the only ones truly following the actually literal teachings of all the Koran. For that reason, anyone who reveres all the literal Koran as the true message of Allah to humanity is a carrier of terrorism. Most Muslims show no symptoms of taking all the Koran literally. But in a considerable segment of their population, their holy book is absolutely word for word literal. That part of Islam is following the most dangerous ideology on this planet.
The media have been all abuzz about the many Muslims who have given their lives in military service for this country. And like you, I respect them all. But the implication that more Muslims have died than people of other faiths is demonstrably false.
Since 9-11, close to 6000 American servicemen and women have died in action. Last week, the Daily Mail did an article attacking Trump. They found a total of 11 American-Muslims in the U.S. military who have died in action since 9-11. They said some publications report that number might go as high as 15. But since Muslims make up 1% of the population in our military, one might reasonably expect about 60 American-Muslim deaths in action. That would be about 400% more than there actually have been.
There are presently about 2.2 million active-duty and reserve members of the U.S. military. One percent of that is 22,000, but less than 6000 Muslims are actually serving. I'm not complaining. In this country, people are free to serve or not. Lots of great people choose not to. I'm just saying that people should stop implying that American-Muslims are sacrificing more in the armed forces than anyone else. It's just the opposite.
Khizr Khan's law firm has a long history with the Clintons. He has a financial interest in U.S. Muslim immigration policy. Though he denies it now, in the past, he has shown support for the idea that the Constitution (which he apparently carries around in his pocket) should be subordinate to Sharia law.
While those things are telling, here's the bottom-line. Should the U.S. bring in Muslims, or anyone else, from regions of the world where they cannot be properly vetted? This is an enormously important issue, and needs to be addressed in a clear-headed, fact-based manner. We already have allowed into the U.S. thousands of un-vetted illegal immigrants. A few of them have already attacked our allies and us. Unless we act soberly and quickly, it may become too late. May the LORD have mercy on America.
Sinkholes Are Opening Up Worldwide. Is Korach Returning and Bringing Days of Messiah? - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/73346/sudden-plague-sinkholes-presage-reappearance-korach/#koz2RBdi3KH2ijS5.97
"And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men that appertained unto Korach, and all their goods." Numbers 16:32 (The Israel Bible™)
On Tuesday morning, a sinkhole opened up suddenly in Albany, New York, swallowing an SUV. On the same day but on the other side of the globe, another sinkhole, purported to be 100 meters deep, opened up suddenly in a backyard in Brisbane, Australia. A few days ago, the ground opened up in Zhengzhou, China, swallowing several people.
It may just be a natural coincidence. But one rabbi sees the sudden appearance of these three major sinkholes, resulting in at least one death, as a precursor to the Messiah: a replay of Korach disappearing into the desert sands.
Several hundred sinkholes of varying sizes appear every year in the US, with Florida being especially susceptible. Caused by underground erosion, they can go undetected for years until the ground suddenly collapses. The condition might be from entirely natural causes but are exacerbated by manmade conditions.
The sinkhole in China opened on Wednesday during a heavy rainstorm, swallowing a section of road. A man and a woman were pulled to safety but another woman was swept away by the raging waters, the Beijing Youth Daily reported. The Chinese sinkhole was reported to be 99 feet long, 65 feet wide, and at least 30 feet deep.
Randall Orndorff, Director of the Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center for the U.S. Geological Survey, said in an interview with Accuweather in 2013 that sinkholes are becoming more, common, or at the very least, more common in populated areas.
"We have no hard evidence to say for sure that sinkholes are occurring more than they have in the past," noted Orndoff. "However, since human influences such as paving and building in sinkhole-prone areas has increased, it probably follows that we are seeing them more often."
Visions of the earth suddenly opening up and swallowing evil-doers epitomizes the Biblical concept of divine retribution. This was seen most clearly in the case of Korach and his rebellious crowd.
Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman, director of Ohr Chadash Torah Institute, explained that the proliferation of sinkholes was a precursor to the end of days inherently connected to the story of Korach, the Biblical archetype of a sinkhole swallowing up evildoers. He revealed a hidden clue from a 16th century mystic hinting at how this fits into the pre-Messianic picture.
And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men that appertained unto Korach, and all their goods. Numbers 16:32
"According to the commentaries, Korach was an incredibly righteous man who never sinned until he rebelled against Moses and Aaron," explained Rabbi Trugman. "His claim that all the Jews were equal was a valid claim, but it was made at the wrong time. His vision was for the messianic era, which is why he wasn't killed. According to the Midrash (Bible commentary), he was swallowed up by the earth and will reemerge in the days preceding the Messiah."
Rabbi Trugman quoted an esoteric teaching by Rabbi Isaac Luria Ashkenazi, a 16th century mystic known as 'Ha'Ari Zal' from Safed, concerning a verse from Psalms.
The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree. צַדִּיק כַּתָּמָר יִפְרָח Psalms 92:13
"The Ari taught that the last letters of these words, which describe the end of days, spell out the name of Korach," Rabbi Trugman revealed. "When Korach first made his claims of universalism and pluralism, that we are all holy and God is in our midst, he was blinded by ego and it wasn't yet the right time for that reality. In the future, in the End of Days, Korach will be considered righteous and his claims of universalism and plurality will be accepted."
Great Men of Prophecy - J.L. Robb - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8284
"You have to take Bible prophecy literally, just like everything else in the Bible." Tim LaHaye
Prophecy was a gift to the ancient Jews from God for those who were chosen to be the prophets, and for those who heard the words of the prophets and heeded their warnings. Not every prophet chosen by God wanted to be there, and Jonah tried his best to escape God's call to duty. Jonah did not look at being a prophet as a gift and feared it would be a death sentence. If we are wise, we will heed the warnings today of the ancient prophets; because many of the warnings are about a time yet to come. Certainly the birth pangs have arrived.
The church today, or many churches, do not preach about prophecy or the prophets, especially about the predictions that have yet to occur, of what it will be like in the last days. The Bible spends a lot of time discussing the events of the last days; most churches do not. Why?
In my book series, The End The Book, the subject matter consists of a group of mostly senior citizens around Duluth, Georgia, dealing with the potential events of the last days as described by the prophets of old. They are taken aback when the Islamic war to conquer the world invades the Bible Belt of the Southern United States and begins to randomly kill anyone and everyone in a series of attacks perpetrated by groups of less than four terror-purveyors. Shopping Malls, concerts and amusement parks are targeted, as well as VA Hospitals and nursery schools.
The series was being considered for a promotional giveaway when The End Part One came out in 2011. It never happened because the subject matter was considered "too controversial."
It seems that this could also be true in today's church, especially in the "big church" community, like Presbyterian USA, not to be confused with Presbyterian Church of America. According to some studies and opinions on the matter, pastors seem to consider prophecy too controversial and divisive. It seems as a child Christianity was never divisive, but I suppose it always has been. It is quite divisive when it comes to end time prophecies and the rapture.
It is sad that God is too controversial.
According to Grace thru Faith:
"Many pastors don't preach on prophecy because they think it's a controversial subject and are afraid of causing division in their congregations. Also, some denominations believe that the study of prophecy will distract their members from the church's work on Earth. These denominations don't teach prophecy in their seminaries and don't encourage their pastors to teach it from the pulpit. Attitudes like this have caused much of the Body of Christ to remain ignorant about the End Times all their lives. Believers who've become interested in prophecy have often been criticized by their leaders and have had to turn elsewhere for information about this huge part of the Bible that's too often ignored as if it doesn't exist... The study of prophecy is the one guaranteed way to prove that God is who He claims to be, and distinguishes the Bible from all other so-called holy writings."
It is shameful that the prophetic subjects have been ignored. Churches, many, lament low attendance and how to turn it around. They get big bands and big, booming speakers. They get the world's largest TV screens and video performances. Plays and dances. It's like Entertainment Tonight.
Here is another way to increase the flock: Tell them the truth about prophecy and the prophets. It is not boring, I promise. Teach your students about prophecy, because according to Jesus the Christ, it is especially important; and he said so here:
The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw-that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:1-3 NIV
There have been numerous prophets of God, and there have been many so-called prophets like Nostradamus, who has about a 5% accuracy rate. Prophets did not predict the future; they merely spoke what God told them to speak. God foresaw the future and made it available to mankind via the prophets of old.
Biblically, the Old Testament prophets are gathered in two categories: Major prophets; Minor prophets
The major prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel
The minor prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi (Also known as the Twelve)
The minor prophets were not inferior in any way to the major prophets; their books were smaller. The minor prophets apparently did not get as much information from God as the major prophets did, thus shorter books for the most part.
There are other men of prophecy besides those mentioned in the Bible, and they are the men and women who have made eschatology a large part of their lives. They are the watchers who continue to explain prophecy and the many intricacies to we, the students. They are the teachers.
Since so many churches, which should be institutes of higher learning for the word of God, decline to teach their flocks for whatever reason, I am glad these watchers exist. How else would we know? It seems so many in the church believe there will never be an end, but everything ends eventually. Prophecy tells the story.
Three teachers of eschatology, the study of end time prophecies, have had remarkable influences in my life: Hal Lindsey, Jack Kinsella and Tim LaHaye.
Hal Lindsey began my journey with no more than a book and movie: The Late Great Planet Earth. He began many folks' journey toward the reality of God and His fantastic story. Hal explained things that were difficult to explain and was my first intro to the prophets and how gifted they were.
The second great influence was Jack Kinsella, who worked closely with his good friend, Hal Lindsey as a principal advisor. I was fortunate enough to actually meet Jack and his family about five months before he went to his eternal home. I was a little nervous, because I am not a "Bible thumper" and prefer to be more subtle in my approach. Two minutes after I met him and his daughter, Kari, I knew he was just like me. I am so glad and honored to have met him. He was and is the great explainer. His great writings are posted daily at www.omegaletter.com, where he was the founder, daily writer and editor.
But today I want to give a special salute to Tim LaHaye. Tim LaHaye has an astounding biography, but one of the more astounding things he did was to author, in conjunction with Jerry B. Jenkins, the Left Behind series.
Left Behind is a conglomeration of novels, 16 in all, published between 1995-2007. When a new book would come out, I would rush to the book store. The series was and still is the largest seller of Christian fiction in history. The number today is about 75,000,000 books and counting.
Not only has he been a great influence on my thoughts about eschatology, the more I read, the more I wanted to write a series myself. I had dreamed of it for years, decades. The story the series tells made me realize that the events of the end times could come in many ways and take many forms. The story was only limited by imagination.
As a result of the Left Behind series, I decided to write a series with an Islamic slant. Had I never read Left Behind, I probably would not have asked God to help me write. And He did. Tim LaHaye died last week, and is now with Jack.
Rest in Peace, Tim LaHaye.
"There is something therapeutic about doing for others that lifts a person out of the rut of self-thought." Tim LaHaye
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
How Would Jesus Rule the World? - By Grant Phillips -
There are almost 200 countries on planet earth. From the past to the present, no country has been administered by the ruling authority or authorities with anything but greed and corruption. The obvious reason is that man has always had a sinful heart, and when you have leaders who do not know God, the problem increases dramatically.
Satan is the god of this world, and has been since he duped Adam and Eve into giving it up to him.
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (2 Corinthians 4:4)
He has done nothing but make a mess in every age and in every part of the world. Spiritually, he has left beer cans, destruction and vomit in his path. Everything he has touched has gone awry. It seems that has been his intention all along. I'm kidding. We know it has been his intention all along.
When the bride of Christ (the Church) is removed from this earth at the Rapture and the Holy Spirit raises His hand of protection, Satan is really going to throw a party. At least that's what he thinks. In reality, God will give him just a little more rope, but it will be God bringing down judgment upon this world and drawing His beloved Israel back to His bosom through some very hard times.
When it's over, the world will advance into one last era before eternity to fulfill all the promises made to His people Israel. This age in question is called the Millennial age. It will be 1,000 years (millennium) of Jesus Christ ruling the world. Several Scriptures reference this era, but if you would like, read Isaiah chapters 11, 60-65, Ezekiel 40-48 and Revelation 20.
The Millennium will be populated by followers of Christ (Tribulations saints) who are still alive after the Tribulation ends. These believers will be in their natural bodies and populate the earth during this time. In a very, very short while, millions upon millions will be born from these original believers, especially considering that:
"Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands." (Isaiah 65:20, 22)
The curse will be lifted and the world will be restored to its Edenic innocence, beauty and purity.
"The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the LORD." (Isaiah 65:25)
There is much that can be said about the 1,000 year Millennium, but my one intent for this article is just to relate how I see Jesus ruling the world during this time, as opposed to our (this country) current methods.
During the Millennium God's people will rule the nations, but Jesus Christ, lest we forget, is King of kings and Lord of lords and will be the Supreme commander. We will rule under Him.
The Lord says, "To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations-that one 'will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery'-just as I have received authority from my Father." (Revelation 2:26-27)
Please read all of Psalms two, but in the following verses we see Christ as the true Ruler of the world. "Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery." Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him." (Psalms 2:8-12)
This isn't the picture most people today have of Jesus, especially those of the world. Most today see Jesus as some long-stringy-haired, effeminate male as portrayed on the Hollywood screen. The real picture of Jesus is found in Revelation 1:12-20.
Before going on, the question needs to be asked, "How could anyone rebel against God when everything in the Millennium is perfect bliss and Satan is bound?" The answer is in realizing that sin comes from us. Satan just pushes our buttons on occasion. Even though Satan is bound, every person is born with a sin nature.
"Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." (Psalms 51:5)
As children are born from the original inhabitants of earth during that time (those alive after the Tribulation who belong to Christ), the sin nature is active. As each generation comes on the scene, resistance against Christ's authority starts to show, but when the resistance pops up its ugly little head, it is quickly dealt with.
We in this country are overwhelmed with crime, and it is getting worse every day. Could one of the reasons be because criminals now seem to have more rights than victims in this country? It all started with little Johnny as a boy.
Little Johnny was never disciplined (including a good spanking) because it might warp the poor little fellow. However, little Johnny is now a grown man who is nothing more than a thug doing what he has always done, getting his own way with no regard to others. Now thug Johnny is pampered by the 'justice' system because 'he wasn't loved when he was a child.'
I'm pretty sure that little Johnny will get his fanny busted during the Millennium, and if he still can't get it right as a man, he will receive immediate and strict justice from those who are in authority.
True justice will be administered swiftly and correctly during the Millennium. That's a concept that many just can't seem to understand. Lawlessness will be kept below the surface until the Lord releases Satan for one final show down. Jesus will allow the rebellion from Satan and all those who follow him, but it will be a short lived rebellion. Please read Revelation 20:7-15.
Those of this world who call themselves "Christian" need to wake up and realize that God is really serious about sin (rebellion against God). Any contrariness toward all He has said in His Word, the Bible, will be severely dealt with. There are those in the churches, not to mention those outside the Church, who are living like they are in charge, instead of God. They can make the rules, even when they override God's commands.
The Church age is quickly drawing to a close. As to when it will end, I don't know, but I do know this. There are so many signs coming to pass that pertain to the Tribulation, which follows the Rapture, one can almost smell the change in the air before the storm comes.
Jesus Christ is not a wimpy soft-spoken push over, and His rule during the Millennium will be one of "You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery." I thank God that I and others will be on His side when the time comes. The good news is, you can be on His side too, but you need to decide now. Put your faith in Jesus Christ and you will reign with Him forever and ever.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: The Victim Shield and analyzing the news - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
One of my favorite things to do is coach. Coaches tend to watch a lot of video. This helps to break down what works and what doesn't work. I remember teaching my wife a football 101 kind of course on the formations and positions and how to identify certain types of plays. It afforded her a better understanding of how the game works and she has become quite good at conversing about the particulars during games. This type of breakdown is also helpful in analyzing and discerning the news. There is a playbook that people use to get their points across as well as to manipulate the media. Understanding the plays, gives better insight on how the game is played. Let's discuss the Victim Shield play.
The Victim Shield is simply using victims to make arguments, pre-empting a counter-argument by droning on about the suffering of the victim-spokesperson. Alternative opinions must be preceded by proof that the speaker has "sacrificed" more than the victim. The Victim Shield play has many formations and options. For example, Islamic terrorists in Israel fire rockets from schools or hospitals into unarmed villages. When the Israeli military retaliates, the Islamists claim the Israelis bombed a school or hospital. They use the headlines to curry favor before the United Nations Human Rights Committee by demonstrating how the Israelis devalue the lives of poor Islamic "Palestinians."
Recently, there were news segments and stories asking the question whether Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump had ties to Russia. The genesis of these headlines came from the hacking of the Democratic National Committee's voicemail and email systems, which the Clinton campaign floated as possibly done by the Russians and inferred that Trump was behind it. Once again, emails revealed Clinton's negligence, mean-spiritedness, and cunning conniving. But her campaign was successful in making her the victim and turning the headline on Trump. The Clinton's are masters at this-Benghazi was the result of an anti-Islam video; Classified email scandal was a conservative conspiracy; and so on.
The latest in the Victim Shield play is Islamic lawyer Khizr Khan who stood behind his son, a Muslim who lost his life defending America in Iraq. Khan, an immigration attorney whose business is advocating for illegals and Sharia Law clients, made an accusatory plea for continued carte-blanche immigration of Muslims into America. Trump comments against immigration of Muslims from known terrorist states were met with "how dare he attack a family who lost a son while defending America." The Victim Shield play deflected the issue and threw it back on the one pointing out the problem. Try looking at the news from a Victim Shield perspective and you may find the real game. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, "take heed that no man deceive you."
Daily Devotion: Trusting God? Or Testing God? - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust." -Psalm 91:1-2
When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he quoted the Scriptures-but he left something out. He said, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone' " (Matthew 4:6).
He quoted Psalm 91, which says, "For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone" (verses 11-12). Notice Satan left out the words "to keep you in all your ways." Why? If you look at it contextually, these verses are effectively saying that when you're in the will of God, you don't have to be afraid. You can trust the Lord.
Satan was essentially saying, "Just jump off, and the angels will catch you."
But Jesus put it into context, saying, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God' " (Matthew 4:7).
You don't have to get up every morning and say, "I might die today." Yes, you might-but not if God doesn't want you to. The Lord knows the date of your birth and the date of your death. You can be confident in Him. I believe that Christians are indestructible until God is done with them.
That doesn't mean we go out and drink strychnine or play with venomous snakes. But it does mean that if it is not a Christian's time, then he or she isn't going anywhere. There is a difference between trusting the Lord and testing the Lord by taking unnecessary risks.
We don't have to live in fear, because our times are in His hands.
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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