Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Loosening Our Grip on This World - By Jonathan Brentner -
The events of 2020 have uncovered a new list of items in my life of which I had not yet fully let go.
Especially during the past five years, I have watched for Jesus' appearing with much eagerness. The Lord has already used affliction and suffering in my life to loosen my grip on many things in this world. However, this year has brought new meaning in regard to letting go of things in my life, and it has not been easy for me.
Please know I am not advocating a position of giving up or one of just accepting the changes others impose upon us, not at all. What I am learning this year is to loosen my grip on the fleeting things of this life and tighten my grasp on the wondrous promises of eternity found in Scripture.
Here are the areas in which I held on much too tightly before 2020:
In some ways, I took my rights as a United States citizen for granted. Watching some of them rapidly vanish, at least for a while, has led to moments of despair. "Will this loss become permanent?" I have often wondered. This has been a difficult area for me, one in which I have overreacted at times.
Just last week I read two news events that reinforce just how far away we are from the freedoms we enjoyed just seven months ago. In Indiana, the penalty for not wearing a mask in public can result in up to six months in prison. The Supreme Court ruled against a church in Nevada that sued the state so it could have the same freedom in regard to attendance as casinos. By a 5-4 vote, the Court tossed aside the freedom of worship clause in the Constitution and voted against the church.
This does not imply that we remain silent on these matters nor stand up for our rights (as I am doing here); it's more a matter of recognizing that we live in the last days of history before the trumpet sounds and Jesus takes us to the place He's preparing for us in His Father's house (John 14:1-3). It's learning not to fret but rather trust the Lord (see Psalm 37:7-9).
This could perhaps fall under the previous category, but I think it deserves its own heading. Before this year I could not have imagined that the government could so quickly take away our right to public worship. The governor of California recently made singing in church illegal and then prohibited all church gatherings, even to the point of making home Bible studies illegal. Yes, he did.
I always thought this might happen in America, but I never imagined it would start with such widespread acceptance among believers. I applaud the churches in California that are continuing to meet.
The first blow I endured here came with cancellation of the Big Ten Men's Basketball tournament and later with the elimination of the entire NCAA March Madness. Before these things happened, I thought that I had kept my love of sports in a proper place, and in some ways I had. However, as I watched all sporting events vanish in the spring, I realized the Lord had more work to do in this area of my life.
For several months, I had no choice but to let go of my love for sports, and that allowed the Lord to further distance my heart from this attachment. I still hope for college sports to return in the fall, but I know this may not happen.
My desire for Jesus' appearing in the coming months has become greater than that of watching my favorite college team play football.
This may seem like a rather strange area of letting go, but I recently felt sadness at hearing that because of the China virus panic, President Trump had closed many, if not all of public events during the upcoming GOP convention. I did not realize until that moment how much I looked forward to watching some of the speeches and the excitement of the nominating process at a crowded convention. (I have been a political junkie since I was a child.)
I know my future depends solely on the Lord rather than politics or the outcomes of elections. I rest in His sovereignty over all national and world events, especially in the area of politics. Psalm 46:10 has become my "go to" verse as I watch chaos and violence destroy the lives of people of all races. I read Psalms 46-47 at least once a week; someday the Lord will reign in righteousness over this world.
We are not helpless in combating the wickedness we see; until Jesus comes for us, prayer remains a vital part of our arsenal in fighting back the demonic wickedness that has overrun cities across the world. One Satanist who came to Christ recently wrote about how the prayers of the saints limited him in his previous life.
I always expected that lawlessness and violence would reign supreme during the tribulation, but I did not expect to see such anarchy before it even began, while we remained earthbound.
The violence on the streets in the United States this year has led to the loosening of my grip on personal safety. Although no threat currently exists in the area where I live, I know that my future safely is no longer something I can take for granted. If I travel to another city, will I be safe? Is there a threat that Antifa protestors might stop my car and injure my wife or me? When I go out for walks, I sometimes recall the numerous videos I have seen on social media with innocent people attacked and killed by people belonging to the anarchist groups seeking to overthrow the government of the United States.
I am not fearful for my life nor of what lies ahead; it's just that my awareness of the transitory nature of this life has grown substantially. I no longer take my personal safety for granted and am taking steps to increase the protection of my home and wife should threats arise where I live.
Despite once thinking I already had let go of the things of this life, I find myself continuing to loosen my grip on this world while tightening my grasp on the biblical promises of Jesus' appearing, my home in heaven, my reign with Jesus during the millennium, and eternal joy on the New Earth and in the New Jerusalem.
I do not believe that enjoying our freedoms, sports, politics, or a trip to our favorite restaurant are sinful activities by themselves. Although many people idolize these things, especially sports, I believe one can enjoy a good football game without stepping outside the will of God.
For me, this year has reinforced the lesson of 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, which teaches us to focus on "the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." If nothing else, the events of 2020 demonstrate the fleeting nature of the things in this world; they can vanish in a moment.
As we watch the seven-year tribulation come at us like an out-of-control diesel locomotive, we know the rapture must be ever so close, and it is. Even though I hate what is going on in my country and in the world, I recognize that not only does Scripture tell us these things would happen, but they enable us to loosen our grip on a world headed toward devastation and death amid the outpouring of God's wrath.
It's a worthwhile trade-off, is it not? We relax our grip on things that belong to our transitory world system and hold on tightly to the eternal joy ahead for us.
Someday soon we will enjoy the pleasures of a restored world during the millennium and the joys of eternity. Until then we groan at times waiting for our hope to become sight (Romans 8:22-25).
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Did The "Mushroom Cloud" Explosion In Beirut Just Push The Middle East Closer To A Major War? - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/did-the-mushroom-cloud-explosion-in-beirut-just-push-the-middle-east-closer-to-a-major-war
2020 just keeps getting weirder. On Tuesday, an absolutely massive explosion caused a red mushroom cloud to rise high over the city of Beirut, Lebanon. It is being called "Beirut's Hiroshima", and the blast was heard as far away as Cyprus. You can watch a two minute compilation that contains video clips of the explosion from several different angles right here. It appears that the shockwave did even more damage than the initial explosion did, and at this hour a large portion of the city of Beirut lies in ruins. Dozens are dead, thousands are injured, and the entire city is now in a state of complete chaos...
Two enormous explosions devastated Beirut's port on Tuesday, leaving at least 73 people dead and thousands injured, shaking distant buildings and spreading panic and chaos across the Lebanese capital.
The second blast sent an enormous orange fireball into the sky, flattened the harbourside and drove a tornado-like shockwave through the city, shattering windows kilometres (miles) away.
It is being reported that Beirut's port "is totally destroyed", and this comes at a really bad time because Lebanon is already in the midst of an epic economic collapse.
In recent months, we have become accustomed to hearing about "mystery explosions" all over the Middle East, and many believe that those mystery explosions indicate that the region is on the brink of a full-blown war.
But this incident was different. A large section of the capital of Lebanon has been flattened, and many eyewitnesses are comparing the blast to a nuclear explosion. Here is one example...
"It was like an atomic bomb," said Makrouhie Yerganian, a retired schoolteacher in her mid-70s who has lived near the port for decades.
"I've experienced everything, but nothing like this before," even during the country's 1975-1990 civil war, she said. "All the buildings around here have collapsed."
And even Beirut Governor Marwan Aboud brought up "Hiroshima" and "Nagasaki" when asked about the explosion...
"This reminds me of what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki," said Beirut Governor Marwan Aboud. "I have never seen such widespread destruction. This is a national catastrophe. This is a disaster for Lebanon. We're already living through days where we can barely keep going."
"And now this...I don't know how we're going to recover from this," Aboud told Sky News, before bursting into tears.
Immediately after this happened, a lot of people began wondering if this was an Israeli attack, but that does not appear to be the case.
One unnamed Israeli government official told AFP that "Israel had nothing to do with the incident", and Benny Gantz has actually offered to send humanitarian aid to Beirut...
Offers of aid also came from bitter rivals Israel, with which it is still technically at war. Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, on behalf of the State of Israel, have offered the Lebanese government - via international intermediaries - medical and humanitarian aid, as well as immediate emergency assistance,' said a joint statement from the two ministries.
If Israel really had been behind this attack, I seriously doubt that they would be offering to patch up their enemies.
And this isn't Israel's style either. The Israelis prefer surgical strikes that avoid civilian casualties as much as possible, and this explosion definitely does not fit that profile.
Instead, it appears that this was some sort of deeply tragic accident. Lebanese officials have admitted that 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored in the unit that exploded, and that amount of ammonium nitrate can definitely produce the sort of explosion that we just witnessed...
Lebanon's interior minister said ammonium nitrate had been stored in the unit since 2014, with experts agreeing that the chemical would cause the red plume of smoke which burst up from the blast.
Local media are reporting that 2,700 tonnes of the chemical exploded, which scientists making initial calculations said was about three kilotonnes of TNT - roughly a fifth of the Little Boy atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in the Second World War.
But Donald Trump is apparently not buying that explanation. He told the press that the explosion "was an attack" and that it was caused by "a bomb of some kind"...
At least 60 people were killed and thousands were wounded in an explosion that caused widespread damage in the Lebanese capital. Trump said he had been briefed by "our great generals" and that they "seem to feel" that the explosion was not an accident.
"According to them - they would know better than I would - but they seem to think it was an attack," Trump told reporters at the White House. "It was a bomb of some kind."
If this really was an attack, the Lebanese are going to want revenge, because a substantial portion of their capital city has been absolutely decimated.
And needless to say, there are already voices all over the Middle East that are eagerly pointing a finger of blame at Israel and are calling for war.
But unlike the "mystery explosions" that have been happening in Iran, the evidence does not indicate that Israel had anything to do with this great tragedy.
Unfortunately, a lot of people out there are going to jump to their own conclusions, and many of those that hate Israel will use this as another justification to call for armed conflict.
Over the past couple of years, there have been so many moments when it seemed like a major war could break out at any time in the Middle East. And here in 2020, tensions are running higher than ever. The IDF has been regularly hitting Iranian and Hezbollah targets all over the region, and we just witnessed a harrowing confrontation on the Syrian border.
It appears that it is just a matter of time before a huge war erupts in the Middle East, and it certainly isn't going to take much to trigger one.
So could this explosion push the region over the edge?
Let us hope not, but without a doubt this blast is not going to help matters.
The devastation that we just witnessed has caused great pain and anger in Lebanon, and terror groups such as Hezbollah will inevitably try to channel all of that pain and anger in a way that furthers their ultimate goals.
Nearing Midnight: Police: You're on Your Own - Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Several years ago, I predicted that the hatred toward police in cities controlled by liberal mayors would create a reality where cops sit in the squad cars eating donuts while the city burns. This obvious conclusion has become reality. Businesses are being robbed in clear view of on-duty police units.
Seattle police chief Carmen Best is upset over the forced inability of officers to control crime. After two months of nightly riots, aided and abetted by a super-liberal mayor that only cares about using her city's suffering to make President Trump look like the problem, the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance forbidding officers to use "less-than-lethal" tools to quell extremely violent rioting that has been taking place in the city.
The Seattle police chief informed business owners that they are on their own against rioters. The city council has tied her hands. The police no longer have the tools to combat mob violence.
The situation in Seattle has long since spun out of control and may be heading toward the point of no return. Best wrote in a letter admitting that the police aren't going to be able to help people calling for rescue during the nightly riots. If your store is being broken into and looted or someone has set your warehouse on fire, that's pretty much tough luck. There's no point in sending the first responders out to try to help if they're only going to have their access blocked and likely be attacked themselves in the process.
It appears that we truly are reaching the point of just sitting back and letting it burn. We can only hope that the innocent and the law-abiding can find a way to safely get out. If this cancer of lawlessness spreads all over the nation, there may eventually be no place to find safety.
Some citizens have begun patrols to police their local streets. A city needs an active police force to prevent crime over the whole urban area. A group of people with guns may make a few residential areas safe. If mobs are allowed to loot and burn down a shopping center a couple blocks away, the quality of life will still decline for everyone.
The 'defund the police' movement has caused gun sales to soar to record highs. In June 2020, over 1.5 million handguns were sold in the United States. In June 2020, handgun sales in the United States grew by 177.5 percent when compared to the same period in the previous year.
Another sign that people are concerned about the breakdown of civil order is a high price for gold and silver. Last week, gold reached an all-time record high of $1,982 per ounce, surpassing the old record set in 2011. Silver reached a high of $26.20 per ounce; not a record, but it jumped $4 in a three-day period.
Some people have suggested that we allow all these liberal-controlled cities to defund their police so they can learn a lesson from their bad judgment. Unfortunately, liberals don't learn from their mistakes. They follow up a bad decision with one that is worse. The history of Detroit is a good example. As the city rotted from one socialist program, they replaced it with one that was even more reliant on Soviet-style thinking.
We are currently at the point where the police need to be extremely cautious about the use of deadly force involving a suspect. I think the day will come when the police will be free to use all the tools needed to restore order. There were people who welcomed the Iranian Revolution because they didn't like how the Shah of Iran was restricting their ability to express their views. Some of these same people found out quickly how much worse it was to speak their mind under an Islamic government.
Most people who read this site see the police in a positive light and abhor the idea of Antifa or Black Lives Matter setting up roadblocks in their community. It is scary to think that this madness may come to every street in America. All believers can take comfort that the threat is a clear sign that the rapture is very near.
"And because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved" (Matthew 24:12-13).
Like Haman: Hezbollah Chief Suffers From Evil Decree He Made Against Israel - by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"So they impaled Haman on the stake which he had put up for Mordechai, and the king's fury abated." Esther 7:10 (The Israel BibleTM)
On Tuesday afternoon, two huge explosions ripped through the port of Beirut at 6:07 local time, killing hundreds and wounding thousands more. As of Wednesday morning, the Red Cross reported the death toll to be at least 100 dead with fears that it could go much higher. At least 4,000 people were injured. The explosion generated an enormous shock wave that was actually visible in the videos. Buildings as far away as 6 miles from the source of the explosion were damaged. Streets were filled with shattered glass.
Some people noted the irony of the catastrophe, referring to a threat by Hasan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, in 2016 to rain down rockets on the ammonia stored at the port in Haifa.
"Its simple mathematics," Nasrallah said at the time. "A few missiles on a few ammonium plants equals the same amount of death as an atomic bomb...you can destroy Lebanon and Dahiyeh. You have the strongest airforce, you have missiles, and you have other means by which to do it. But we can do the same thing to you (Israel) with only a few missiles aimed at a few ammonium plants."
Nasrallah emphasized that his hope was to kill the 800,000 people who live in Haifa.
Hezbollah, literally "Party of Allah" or "Party of God" is a Shia Islamist terrorist group that has more than one-third of the seats in the Lebanese parliament, giving them veto power. Hezbollah is dedicated to the submission of the Christian Phalangists and is anti-Israel. Its paramilitary wing is considered more powerful than the Lebanese Army and fought a war against Israel in 2006. Hezbollah is estimated to have up to 150,000 rockets with their primary intended target being Israel.
Though Israel and Hezbollah both denied that Israel had anything to do with the explosion, speculation was inevitable. Iran suffered a wave of inexplicable explosions this month targeting military and nuclear sites. Israel has admitted to carrying out hundreds of airstrikes north of its border in an effort to prevent Iranian military dominance ion the region. There is no question Israel has the ability to carry out such a mission, whether by warplane or drone, from a naval platform, or even ground-launched ballistic missiles. Israel could have even carried out covert sabotage.
But the only reason for carrying out such a strike is also the disincentive: Hezbollah's missiles. Unless the explosion was caused by a massive storehouse of weapons, Israel would not want to provoke an attack that would undoubtedly target its civilians, even one it could successfully retaliate against.
The explosion in Beirut raises the religious issue of whether or not to celebrate tragedies that befall an enemy. Rabbi Shlomo Katz teaches at Yeshiva Simchat Shlomo named after his spiritual mentor, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. He noted that the explosion in Beirut came in precisely the manner Nasrallah threatened would befall Israel.
"This is reminiscent of the way in which Haman's plans against the Jews were precisely the manner of his downfall," Rabbi Katz said.
"So they impaled Haman on the stake which he had put up for Mordechai, and the king's fury abated." (Esther 7:10)
"But when we see a thing like this happen, we realize that we will never really know what the average person in Lebanon feels. They are governed by terrorists who cannot be voted out or overthrown. So we need to mourn the death of every innocent person. Always."
"But we should be happy that this did not happen as Nasrallah planned. But at the same time, we should take the opportunity to pray for understanding and the revelation of God in this world. I am never sure what it means, 'measure for measure'. Do we really want to bring into the world what Haman intended, what Nasrallah intended?"
Rabbi Katz noted the verse in Proverbs.
If your enemy falls, do not exult; If he trips, let your heart not rejoice, Lest Hashem see it and be displeased, And avert His wrath from him. Proverbs 24:17-18
Rabbi Katz noted that the explosion took place on the eve of the 15th of Av, a day that is the Jewish festival of dubbed "a holiday of love." It follows Tisha B'Av, the 9th day of Av, which is a somber day commemorating the destruction of the Jewish Temples.
"The Temple was destroyed because of causeless hatred so its Tikkun (fixing) is the holiday of love that follows," Rabbi Katz said. "We should always be moving to replace the anger and hatred of our enemies with a love for serving God."
"If the energy is that we are happy that our enemies fall when we still have so much causeless hatred among ourselves, then that is not really a Tikkun."
Rabbi Katz noted that King David was a fierce warrior and Jews are commanded to go to war in order to preserve Israel. He related a story about his mentor, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, top illustrate a specifically Jewish approach to war. Rabbi Carlebach, known as the 'singing rabbi', attracted many hippies and people who rejected or were rejected by mainstream religion.
Rabbi Katz related how Rabbi Carlebach went to visit the Suez Canal at a time when there was constant shooting between the IDF and the Egyptian army. Rabbi Carlebach, known as Reb Shlomo to his followers was deeply impressed by what he saw.
"The difference between an Egyptian soldier and a Jewish soldier is this," Reb Shlomo said. "When an Egyptian soldier shoots, he prays that the bullet hits its target. But when a Jewish soldier shoots, he prays that the Messiah will come before the bullet arrives."
Daily Jot: Standing to a standard - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Several professional athletes with Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have stood for the National Anthem while the majority have gone along with the herd mentality of kneeling in protest of racial injustices. Orlando Magic's Jonathan Isaac was the first NBA player to stand for the anthem prior to the league's "bubble" games where painted on each side mid-court in all caps, "BLACK LIVES MATTER," everyone on the sidelines is wearing T-Shirts that say "Black Lives Matter," and players no longer have their names on their jersey's, but rather sayings like "Equality," "Say Her Name," "I Am A Man," etc. Isaac, however, stood without the T-shirt, during the anthem.
Bleacher Report quoted Isaac, a black man, as saying, "I do believe that Black lives matter, but I just felt like it was a decision that I had to make, and I didn't feel like putting that shirt on and kneeling went hand in hand with supporting Black lives. I believe that for myself, my life has been supported by gospel, Jesus Christ, and everyone is made in the image of God and that we all forge through God's glory...I think when you look around, racism isn't the only thing that plagues our society, that plagues our nation, that plagues our world, and I think coming together on that message that we want to get past not only racism but everything that plagues as us as a society, I feel like the answer to that is gospel."
Miami Heat's Meyers Leonard, a white man, said he believes "Black lives matter," but he also supports the military as his brother and others who have fought for the country. Leonard said, "I am a compassionate human being and I truly love all people. I can't fully comprehend how our world, literally and figuratively, has turned into Black and white. There's a line in the sand, so to speak: 'If you're not kneeling, you're not with us.' And that's not true." San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sam Coonrod, a white man, stood based on his Christian beliefs, saying, "I'm a Christian. So, I just believe that I can't kneel before anything besides God." He disagrees with the Black Lives Matter organization, saying, "How they lean toward Marxism, and they've said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can't get on board with that."
These athletes are making good points AND they are not getting ripped apart by the media and the radical left. Maybe it's how they are making their case. Their teammates support them while at the same time disagree with them. It shows respect. Beyond the National Anthem, Isaac and Coonrod look to their faith as to why they are not kneeling. Isaiah 45:23, in his prophecy to Cyrus, the Lord God said, "I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath." This is also referenced and repeated in Philippians 2 and Romans 14. These athletes didn't attack people. They respected others opinion while disagreeing. They stated their standard, which is far higher than the anthem of any nation. A good example on how to stand.
Daily Devotion: When the Gospel Divides - by Greg Laurie -
Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. -Matthew 10:34
When I've preached in prisons, no one has disagreed when I've pointed out that we're all sinners. They know it.
On the other hand, those who think of themselves as moral might hear that and say, "Wait a second. What are you talking about? I'm not a sinner. I'm a good person. I live by certain standards and rules."
Yet Romans 3 tells us, "As the Scriptures say, 'No one is righteous-not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one'" (verses 10-12 NLT).
That doesn't sit well with some people in a society where there's so much emphasis on self-image and self-worth. Yet God essentially says, "You're not good. And there isn't even one righteous person."
That stings. It cuts. It hurts.
But then God's Holy Spirit works within our hearts. We begin to recognize that it's true, and we believe it. So, we accept God's remedy. And that which initially brought us pain ultimately brings us life.
Jesus said, "Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword" (Matthew 10:34 NLT).
So, if you're seeking to live a godly life and it's causing division because you're unwilling to compromise your faith in Christ, don't lament. Think of it this way: It's better to temporarily offend someone who doesn't know Jesus Christ and see them ultimately come to faith than to never offend them in any way and see them enter eternity without Him.
If you're going to be a true disciple in a given situation, it may bring temporary division. It may cause temporary pain. But ultimately, it can bring the greatest harmony of all.
FROM THE HEART
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