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IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
8 Fake News Stories...About Heaven - By Jonathan Brentner -
If you are like me, your first tendency is not to believe what you read or hear on the news these days unless it's from a source you trust. Even then, I have initially believed some stories that I later discovered lacked credibility.
Unfortunately, we also hear fake stories about heaven. With the wide variety of false images about our life in eternity circulating about us, it's no surprise that few believers feel excited about heaven.
Randy Alcorn, in his book Heaven, wrote, "As long as the resurrected universe remains either undesirable or unimaginable, Satan succeeds in sabotaging our love for Heaven."
What are some popular stories about heaven that the enemy of our souls uses to sabotage our desire for the home Jesus is preparing for us?
1. Heaven is Not Real
In late 1971, the song "Imagine," written and performed by John Lennon, started its climb to the top of the charts. The lyrics ask the listener to imagine that heaven and hell do not exist. Today, this still represents the top fake news story about eternity: the denial of heaven and hell's existence.
The Bible, our infallible source of truth, verifies that both heaven and hell do indeed exist. Jesus repeatedly promised eternal life to those who believe in Him, and many times warned about the awful fate of hell for all those who reject Him. You cannot deny the existence of heaven or, for that matter, hell and still maintain Jesus' greatness as a teacher; He taught that both exist.
I recently heard a pastor say that the New Jerusalem was an allegory of God's presence on the new earth. His words shocked me. Those who falsely make the new earth the totality of our eternal hope deny a key aspect of biblical teaching about heaven and open the door to additional false teaching.
Do not fall for the lies that maintain heaven does not exist or that it does not include a glorious city. The New Jerusalem that the apostle John described in detail is not a symbol; it is a real physical city of immense proportions (Rev. 21-22).
2. Heaven Consists of Just the New Jerusalem
For many years I thought heaven consisted only of the New Jerusalem. While I still believe the saints of all the ages will dwell in glorious homes in the New Jerusalem, we will also enjoy the wonders of the new earth (Rev. 21:1). The fact that the apostle describes it as the "new earth" indicates a similarity to the present one, only without the effects of sin and the curse.
There will be a visible continuity with our current world.
My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Estes Park, Colorado. I wish I could go hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park at least once a month; I loved gazing at the mountains and could sit for hours next to the mountain streams.
I also loved watching and listening to the waves of Lake Michigan crash against the shores of Michigan. The scenic vistas of the Blue Ridge Parkway remain in my mind, and I long to go back to the Blue Ridge Mountains and hike in the Smoky Mountain National Park.
I have only seen a tiny part of the stunning and unforgettable scenes of this present earth, but I will have all eternity to explore the wonders of the new earth where I will see similar and still greater wonders.
3. Heaven will be Boring
Perhaps the most widely held fallacy regarding heaven is that it will be boring. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Randy Alcorn, in his book Heaven, addresses this popular delusion:
"Our belief that Heaven will be boring betrays a heresy-that God is boring. There's no greater nonsense. Our desire for pleasure and the experience of joy come directly from God's hand. He made our taste buds, adrenaline, sex drives, and the nerve endings that convey pleasure to our brains. Likewise, our imaginations and our capacity for joy and exhilaration were made by the very God we accuse of being boring. Are we so arrogant as to imagine that human beings came up with the idea of having fun?"
Don't let the devil deceive you into thinking you will be bored in heaven. In Psalm 16:11 David says, "In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Does this not sound much different than sitting on clouds with harps?
We will be in the Lord's presence from the rapture forward to all of eternity (see 1 Thess. 4:17) where we will find "fullness of joy" and "pleasures forevermore." This totally negates the lie that heaven will be boring.
4. We will be Solitary Saints Playing Harps Seated on Clouds
The media loves to portray heaven as solitary saints sitting on clouds and playing harps. Nothing dampens enthusiasm for eternity as does this fake image, and understandably so.
Scripture never paints such a lonely and dull picture of our future paradise. The Lord promises that we will live forever with immortal bodies, enjoying the beauty of the new earth while we live in the most beautiful city imaginable, the New Jerusalem. Our lives in eternity will be an unending exiting and joyous adventure.
5. Heaven will be an Endless Worship Service
The images of worship in Revelation 4 and 5 cause many to assume heaven will consist of a long, unending worship service.
Of course we will praise the Lord with voice and instruments throughout eternity. When we see Jesus in all His glory and fully realize the price He paid for our salvation, thanksgiving and worship will pour from us as an unstoppable response. We will never cease praising the Lord in eternity.
The Bible, however, tells us the Lord has much more in mind for us. We will reign with Jesus after His return to earth (Rev. 5:9-10), which implies the Lord will assign a variety of activities during His thousand-year reign on earth and then in the eternal state.
Yes, we will always praise our Savior as we do now, but we will also be part of a never-ending and exhilarating adventure as we reign with Jesus and explore the wonders of the new earth.
6. We will be Angels Seeking Wings
I love the movie It's a Wonderful Life, but someday we will be far more than aspiring angels jumping into icy waters to earn our wings. Unfortunately, many Christians today assume we become angels when we go to heaven. When Jesus said we would be "like angels in heaven" (Matt. 22:30), He made the comparison in terms of marriage. He never said we would become angels.
The apostle Paul later said that we will "judge angels" someday (1 Cor. 6:3). I am not sure of all that implies, but it certainly distinguishes us from them. Many other passages also clarify that angels and believers are differing in many ways.
7. Our Dreams Die When this Life Ends
The millennium and eternal state (heaven) will be the wondrous time of renewal and restoration that Jesus promises us in Matthew 19:27-29. The dreams and aspirations Jesus puts on our hearts in this life do not fade away when we die or are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
For lives cut short due to tragedy and illness, the millennium will be a time to again use God-given gifts and talents. As for the desires the Lord places in our hearts that do not reach fulfillment in this life, this will be a time when those aspirations come to full fruition. For dreams cut short by the evil actions of others, our reign with Christ will be a wondrous time of restoration beyond our fondest dreams (read Matt. 19:27-29 again).
I like what Randy Alcorn said - something similar - in his book Heaven:
"Without an eternal perspective, without understanding the reality that the best is yet to come, we assume that people who die young, who are handicapped, who aren't healthy, who don't get married, or who don't _________ [fill in the blank] will inevitably miss out on the best life has to offer. But the theology underlying those assumptions is fatally flawed. We're presuming our present Earth, bodies, culture, relationships, and lives are superior to those of the New Earth.
"What are we thinking?"
Regardless of our circumstances, for those in Christ, the best is yet to come; and it will be far better than anything this life has to offer.
8. Peter Allows Entrance into Heaven Based Upon Good Works
Perhaps the most fatal of all fake news stories regarding eternity pictures a lonely person straggling up to Peter at the gates of heaven to plead why his or her life merits entry into the glorious city. This picture contradicts the clear teaching of the New Testament.
Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Jesus is our path to heaven. The apostle John later wrote this, "And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:11-12).
We receive eternal life solely on account of God's love and mercy based upon the blood Jesus shed on the cross. Even our faith comes from above: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
Jesus is the door to heaven. If we have Him living inside us through the Holy Spirit, we already possess eternal life. It's His righteousness alone, applied to us, that saves us. If we depend on our goodness to gain entrance to heaven, we will fall far short.
Yes, heaven exists; and once there, the Lord will forever shower us with the kindness of His grace (Eph. 2:7). This life is just the warmup for what lies ahead. Today we experience disappointment, rejection, and pain; the tears flow at many times in our lives.
But a much, much better day is just ahead. Jesus is coming soon for His church to take us to the place He is preparing for us. All sorrows, tears, frustrations, and death will forever end in eternity (Rev. 21:4).
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Trump could Initiate Building of Third Temple as Head of Edom - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"Thus said King Cyrus of Persia: God of Heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has charged me with building Him a house in Yerushalayim, which is in Yehuda. Ezra 1:2 (The Israel Bible™)
Jewish sources hint that the alliance between the U.S and Israel is the prophetic end-of-days coming together of Esav and Jacob as a prelude to the building of the Third Temple. Some experts believe that President Trump fulfills many of the requirements for the leader of Edom that will make this happen.
Emissaries from Trump
Two weeks ago, two religious Jews appeared before Rabbi Cham Kanievsky, one of the most influential rabbis of this generation. The emissaries reportedly bore an inquiry from President Trump, asking when the Moshiach (Messiah) will arrive. The rabbi avoided answering the question, asking instead when the American Jews will come to live in Israel.
Many were skeptical of the story, rejecting the idea that Trump, a Christian, would inquire from a Jewish rabbi concerning the Messiah. But Trump, as the non-Jewish leader of the U.S., has a prophesied role to play in the building of the Temple and it was for this reason he inquired. Trump wanted to know when he will be called upon to perform this role.
Trump as the modern-day Cyrus
This expectation regarding Trump was first expressed by the Sanhedrin after his election when they compared him to the Persian King Cyrus who commanded by God to facilitate the building of the Second Temple specifically because he was influential in global politics.
Thus saith Koresh (Cyrus) king of Paras (Persia): All the kingdoms of the earth hath Hashem, the God of heaven, given me; and He hath charged me to build Him a house in Yerushalayim, which is in Yehuda. Ezra 1:2
The comparison was so apt that it was adopted by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu who also compared the U.S. president to the Persian King.
Building of the Third Temple will be initiated by the 70 Nations
Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the spokesman for the Sanhedrin, noted that Trump's role in building the Third Temple was essential to so many of the issues that concern people around the world.
"Trump can lead the nations of the world to global peace through building the Temple, the source of peace," Rabbi Weiss explained. "This will offset the disgraceful United Nations resolutions that are the root cause of increasing evil in the world."
The Sandhedin is currently working to create an Organization of 70 Nations based in Jerusalem to replace the United Nations.
"The Jews will do the actual building of the Third Temple but in order for the Third Temple to be a House of Prayer for all nations, the nations must have a part in its creation," Rabbi Weiss explained. "The troubles that are facing the world today are issues that can only be addressed by a higher level of international discourse and cooperation. The effort to erase national identities and national borders is diametrically opposed to this and it is this 'new world order' that Trump is really fighting. The solution is the Third Temple as a House of Prayer for all nations and the Organization of 70 Nations, both of which require nations to express their unique identities."
Rabbi Weiss emphasized that the concept of international cooperation is based in the universal covenant that God made with Noah which established the 70 nations and requires the participation of all the nations.
"Just like the covenant God made with the Jews, this covenant is eternal," Rabbi Weiss said. "Just as the covenant with Abraham had ramifications for the well-being of the Jews due to their adherence to the covenant, the covenant with the nations also has real-world ramifications. God promised Noah that he would not bring another flood of water but the Midrash teaches us that, as he did with Sodom and Gomorrah, the nations are held accountable for their part in the Noahide covenant."
"Trump needs to take his role as the leader in the universal return to this covenant," Rabbi Weiss said. "He began this by rejecting the anti-Bible United Nations but just as Cyrus did, he needs to turn the world towards the Temple. Just as Abraham pleaded with Hashem (God, literally 'the name') in order to save the non-Jews of Sodom and Gomorrah, we are pleading and praying that Trump will turn the nations towards Jerusalem; for their sake."
Song of Songs: The Oath of the 70 Nations to take part in building the Third Temple
Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, the head of the Sanhedrin's Noahide Court and a highly-respected Torah authority, emphasized that the nations of the world have a prophesied role in the building of the Temple. He based this opinion on a Midrashic (homiletic teachings) tradition of a verse in Song of Songs.
I adjure you, O maidens of Yerushalayim, By gazelles or by hinds of the field: Do not wake or rouse Love until it please! Song of Songs 2:7
The term "I adjure you maidens of Jerusalem" is repeated four times in Song of Songs and the term "maidens" (banot) can also be translated as 'build'.
"The Midrash teaches that the non-Jews are the 'maidens of Jerusalem' have taken an oath tol initiate the building of the Third Temple and after they begin, we will join in their effort," Rabbi Schwartz explained. "Trump is certainly moving in this direction."
Christians repenting for Rome destroying the Second Temple
Another rabbi who believes that the U.S. President will play a major role in the construction of the Third Temple is Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion. Rabbi Berger emphasized that it is essential that President Trump, as a Christian, take a role in the building of the Third Temple.
Rabbi Berger quoted Rabbi Bahya ben Asher ibn Halawa, a 13th-century Spanish Biblical commentator also known as "Rabbeinu Behaye." The medieval scholar wrote that "the first and second Temples were built by the descendants of King David, but in the future, the Third Temple will be built by descendants of Edom." Rabbi Berger emphasized that these sources state explicitly that the Third Temple will be built by the descendants of Rome, i.e. Christianity.
"Rabbeinu Behaye explained this is a tikkun (reparation)," Rabbi Berger said. "Rome destroyed the Second Temple so Rome's descendants, the Christians, are going to amend this by taking part in bringing the Third Temple."
"Like Cyrus, Trump's connection to the Messiah is that he will play a role in one of the major functions of the Messiah. He will pave the way for building the Third Temple. Trump will not personally merit building the Temple," he continued. "Like Cyrus, he will pave the way for men who will begin the construction, and when the time is right, the Third Temple will descend from heaven."
"No leader in history has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews and Israel," he pointed out. "He has already created a great tikkun (reparation) for the Christians through his unprecedented relationship with Jerusalem. Trump is the representative of Edom that will perform that final historic reparation for his entire nation by building the Temple."
Nearing Midnight: Roaring Sea in Roaring Twenties - Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
An old apothegm applies, I think, in considering where this generation stands and what it faces: "What goes around comes around."
This nation, in particular, is beginning to revisit times like experienced early in the twentieth century. I refer to the era termed the "Roaring Twenties."
The 1920s in America-and in France and other places-saw an outbreak of loosened morals and observable detachment from common sensibility. Also called the "Flapper Era," because it featured young women scantily dressed and exhibiting comportment totally foreign to earlier modesty, America seemed poised to throw off all shackles of godly influence.
It seems that as we go into 2020 and beyond-the "Roaring Twenties" of these latter days-we've reached the point on that turntable of "what goes around, comes around." That is, we are watching while America is shedding any modesty left and is casting off its common sensibility. The next step on that turntable of history repeating itself isn't a pleasant prospect.
History shows that judgment of a sort followed the 1920s of a hundred years ago. The judgment was in the form of a corrective action from Heaven. The Dust Bowl followed in the wake of the Roaring Twenties. The Great Depression brought America to her knees and nearly choked the life out of everyone who went through that terrible time.
It took a horrific World War, with the lost lives of millions, to start this nation on the road to recovery from its sinful, life-debilitating addictions.
So it is that we are about to enter the twenties of the twenty-first century. The addictions are not on the cusp of afflicting the people of America; they're already full blown, with nearly half of the nation seemingly in full-blown rebellion against the God of Heaven. If this generation is at the end of this Age of Grace as I believe it to be, there will be no time for remedial or corrective action by Heaven's hand. The judgment and wrath will finally put an end to the rebellion of the incorrigible among God's creation called man.
In terms of Bible prophecy given for the Tribulation, the words of Jesus come to mind: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring" (Luke 21:25).
That nations are currently in "perplexity," there should be no question. We've dissected matters involved many times in these commentaries, as have journalists of every type in their own forums. Whether considering things geopolitically, socioeconomically, religiously, or any other way, governments are "perplexed" as to what to do about mounting financial distress and violence among the masses they seek to govern/control.
To touch briefly on the latter of these worldwide problems, let's look at Jesus' forewarning about these very times, which I'm convinced we find ourselves in today.
The Lord said the nations would be in distress with perplexity with "the sea and waves roaring."
There are differences of opinion, some believing that Christ was talking here of the physical sea and waves, while others believe He meant the peoples of earth would be raging in wave-like motion. I believe He meant both.
It is the symbolic meaning I wish to look at briefly.
Politically in this nation, we have seen an uproar of epic proportion. The anger and rage over the last few election cycles have been phenomenal-unprecedented in the history of America, as far as I can discern.
But, we've looked at all of that many times here. I want us to consider the things going on at this moment not just in our nation, but around the world.
France has seen multiple uprisings against the French government of Immanuel Macron for his confiscatory taxation. The governments of Greece and Italy have been in flux for years due to the mismanagement brought on by social spending insanity.
The people of Great Britain have been roaring against the sovereignty-robbing impositions of the EU. They voted to remove their nations in what has come to be known as Brexit.
Protesters by the thousands have ignited an uproar in Hong Kong as their government has moved toward giving the Chinese Communist government control over previously promised self-government. Many observers fear that a Tiannanmen Square-type massacre could take place in the near future.
We remember the roaring going on in and around Venezuela, with the people trying to take back their nation from the communist-influenced dictatorship.
The masses were raging recently in Puerto Rico, demanding the resignation of their dictator-like governor, Ricardo Roselle.
We are too familiar with the roaring in recent days, with masses of South and Central American citizens trying to illegally break into the U.S., and this administration's efforts to combat the assaults. As of this writing, despite President Trump's best efforts, the roaring of the masses from the south continues.
The videos have gone viral-often to the laughs and applauding of many on social media-of New York City policemen being doused with water and hit with buckets and other objects.
Flash mobs continue around particularly America's big cities, with thugs stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from stores.
Now, gangs of young women-mostly teenagers-in the inner cities of the country have formed and are attacking those with whom they come in contact, beating their victims senseless for no reason.
The sea of humanity is definitely roaring, with wave after wave of violence that, it seems to me, matches the violence of Noah's day as given in Genesis chapter 6.
Jesus' foretelling of this very hour at the end of the age appears to be right in front of us. We see it all developing in these viral videos and even through our hourly news. It all indicates that we're nearing the midnight hour of human history.
Christ is about to call the Church-all born-again believers living and dead-to Himself. Christians don't face gloom and doom because of having to endure God's judgment and wrath; believers can look forward to a truly glorious prospect indeed!
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Hamas, Islamic Jihad: "The Circle of Fire is Expanding" - by Khaled Abu Toameh -
As Egypt, the United Nations and other parties are pursuing their efforts to prevent an all-out military confrontation in the Gaza Strip, Hamas and its allies are forging ahead in their development of various types of weapons with which to attack Israel.
The Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, the second largest armed group in the Gaza Strip after Hamas, recently revealed how it has managed to upgrade the rocket launchers that are being used to attack Israel.
According to the Islamic Jihad's military wing, Al-Quds Brigades, it began developing its rocket launchers in 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip after overthrowing the regime of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Twelve years seems like a good time to take stock. What are the achievements of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip? They boast about three: improving military capabilities, smuggling weapons and investing millions of dollars in constructing terror tunnels. Iran's money goes to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad war machine -- nothing else. Not hospitals, not schools, and not jobs for unemployed Palestinians.
Take, for example, a report released this week by Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades, which presents the development of rocket launchers as one of the group's major achievements in the past 12 years. "The rocket launchers of the Al-Quds Brigades will remain one of the most important elements of the power we possess," the report boasts. "The rockets will continue to serve as a nightmare haunting the leaders of the [Israeli] enemy."
The report says that since the inception of the Islamic Jihad, it "has used many weapons and missiles, including knives, bombs, submachine guns, explosive belts and homemade rockets."
The report adds that the group has over the years made significant achievements in the field of manufacturing and developing missiles to a point where it is now capable of using modern rocket launchers to attack "Zionist cities and settlements."
According to the report, the Al-Quds Brigades conducted its first test on the rocket launchers in January 2007, six months before the Gaza Strip fell into the hands of Hamas. "The engineers of the Al-Quds Brigades have since been introducing improvements on this weapon," it said.
Four years later, the report reveals, the group introduced its advanced truck-mounted rocket launchers. Then, it used the trucks to launch five Grad missiles at Israel.
In 2012, the Islamic Jihad says it upgraded the missiles to include C8K rockets that were fired at Israeli towns and cities near the border with the Gaza Strip. Two years later, the group managed to increase the range of its rockets, and for the first time targeted the city of Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, according to the report.
Islamic Jihad says that its rockets are today capable of striking Ben Gurion Airport, the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, the Haifa Oil Refineries and Ashdod Port. The group's message to Israel: "The circle of fire is expanding."
Islamic Jihad's latest threats coincide with statements by the group's leaders that Israel had better abide by the terms of ceasefire understandings reached earlier this year with the Gaza-based factions. This is interesting. On the one hand, Islamic Jihad wants Israel to commit to these understandings. On the other hand, the group is saying that it is continuing to manufacture and upgrade new types of weapons that will be used to attack Israel.
It seems, then, that for Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the ceasefire understandings, reached under the auspices of Egypt and the UN, are meant to give the Gaza-based groups a chance to continue building their military capabilities without having to worry about Israeli retaliatory measures.
Apparently, Islamic Jihad and Hamas do not perceive the ceasefire as an opportunity to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. From all accounts, they are not planning to seize the lull in the fighting to brainstorm on ways to lower the crippling unemployment rate or raise the abysmal standard of living.
Such features of basic decent governance have not found their way onto the agenda of these two groups for the past 12 years. And evidently, they are not making it onto the agenda in the foreseeable future. No time for that: the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are otherwise occupied -- with the destruction of Israel; the Palestinian people be damned.
While Hamas and Islamic Jihad are talking to Egyptians and UN envoys about a ceasefire with Israel, the leaders of the two groups are also continuing to seek financial and military support from Iran to prepare for war against Israel.
Last month, a senior Hamas delegation, headed by military leader Saleh Arouri, visited Tehran and met with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Iranian media quoted Khamenei as expressing satisfaction over the "progress" the Palestinians have made in the past few years. The "progress" Khamenei is talking about is not related to the building of a new hospital or school or a medical breakthrough in the Gaza Strip. Instead, the "progress" the Palestinians have achieved - according to Iran's Supreme Leader - is that "while the Palestinians used to fight [Israel] with rocks, today they possess precise rockets."
Arouri, for his part, was quoted as saying during his visit to Tehran that the "Palestinian resistance and Iran are in one front in facing Israel."
Obviously, Hamas and Islamic Jihad believe that they can have it both ways and continue to play everyone for fools. The same Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders who are telling the Egyptians and UN envoys that they are keen on maintaining the ceasefire understandings with Israel are also begging Iran for the resources to step up their attacks on Israel. Yet the Egyptians and UN envoys prefer not to see the double-dealing.
The Egyptian and UN mediators, in failing to call out the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad for their deception and conflicting messages, are permitting the two groups to deploy the ceasefire with Israel as a cover to prepare for the next war.
If and when the next war erupts in the Gaza Strip, the mediators will not be able to say that they were surprised. All these mediators have to do is turn half an ear to what the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their patrons in Tehran are saying to understand that the Gaza-based groups are dead-set on inflicting as much damage on Israel as possible. As per standard operating procedure, the biggest losers of all in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip will be the Palestinians.
Daily Jot: How can Satan drive out Satan? - Bill Wilson -
The visceral rhetoric continues as the opponents of President Donald Trump pile on with accusations of racism and white supremacism. Over and over again, using every opportunity, this president is being characterized as a racist and white supremacist by Democrats and the media. The shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH fueled the flames of outrageous politicization of mass killings. Leaders of this country are so busy labeling people who disagree with them with derogatory names that the horror of what happened, the lives it took and impacted, are just a sidebar to a greater agenda. Shame on these politicians for wasting no time in using this crisis of death for political gain.
Democratic Presidential frontrunner, Joe Biden, (D-DE), told CNN, "This is a president who has said things no other president has said since Andrew Jackson. We went through this before in the '20s with the Ku Klux Klan, 50,000 people walking down Pennsylvania Avenue in pointed hats and robes...We went through it after the Civil War in terms of the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy." The immediate past president also poked at Trump: "We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don't look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people."
Trump responded to the shootings by stating: "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul." Then he went on to reasonable solutions to the problem-1) identifying early warning signs to detect mass shooters before they strike; 2) stop the glorification of violence in our society, including the gruesome and grisly video games; 3) reform mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence; and 4) ensure that those posing a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process.
Every instance is being used to characterize Trump and those who may support him as racists, bigots, and white supremacists. Other than banning guns-which is proven not to work in California, Chicago and Baltimore-they have no concrete solutions. But who is offering condolences, condemnation of these accusations, and solutions to the problem? Who is saying, "Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside-so destructive-and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love"? Trump, that's who. Who is fanning the flames of division? Christ said in Matthew 12:25, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." He also asked how can Satan drive out Satan. Indeed.
Daily Devotion: Worshiping in Spirit and in Truth - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. -John 4:24
Some churches today are getting away from biblical exposition, from teaching and preaching. Some churches focus primarily on worship, with more worship and shorter sermons. The message is more like a pep talk, almost like cheer-leading.
It is great to worship. But our worship is a response to what we know about God. We want to worship with intelligence, not just with emotion. Sometimes there's a lot of passionate worship but not enough biblical understanding.
Jesus said, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24 NKJV).
It's also possible to worship in truth with no spirit, no passion, no emotion-dead orthodoxy. And it's possible to worship in spirit without truth-a lot of emotion without understanding what the Bible says.
Some people claim they love to go to church, love to worship, and love the Lord, yet they're living immorally. That is what was happening in the church of Corinth, and the apostle Paul had to call them out on it and correct them. So we don't want to be weak theologically.
The early church was a learning church. We read in Acts 2:42, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers" (NKJV). God has ordained preaching and teaching.
Here is my fear: sermonettes create Christianettes. It's very important to know your Bible. We are to worship in spirit and in truth. We don't have to choose between worship and theology.
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
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
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