Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
A Lesson on Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth - By Gene Lawley -
Before God told Noah to build an ark, He observed "that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). (Note how the wording seems to go from "man" as in a plural sense of mankind, and then focuses on the individual person, in a single sense.)
Then He has Noah build an ark that takes Noah about 120 years to build. That is a long time for that evilness of mankind to fester and grow more and more violent, yet Jesus related the conditions then to that at His coming in this manner:
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26-27).
Peter writes of God's patient waiting for the time of His judgment while Noah prepared the ark (1 Peter 3:20). God has never meant for His own to be the subjects of His wrath when He brings judgment upon the earth as it will be in the coming Tribulation.
This passage in Luke 17 is also in Matthew 24:38-40. Luke, however, adds a likeness of His coming as it was with Lot and the destruction of Sodom:
"Likewise, as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed" (Luke 17:28-30).
In Noah's day, those who were taken were Noah and his family of eight people, taken in the ark. Those left behind were "taken away in the flood." They were left behind in the judgment of the flood.
In Lot's day, the angels who had come to judge the city of Sodom had to practically drag Lot and his family out of the city so it could be judged. Note again the above statement, "but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all." (Genesis 19)
The two incidents are linked with the word, "likewise." As it was with Noah, so it was with Lot-they escaped the judgment that was levied upon those who were left behind.
And Jesus said, "Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
In the next part of the Luke passage, He brings it forward to the day of His coming, saying, "In that day...the day of His revealing... "He who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise, the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it."
Let's stop and consider this statement. Can you point to any Scripture where the Lord shows an interest in the specific well-being of those who are the subjects of judgment? Here He is telling the person on the rooftop that His action will be immediate and there is no time for him to go into the house for his goods. And we must ask, how would having his goods help him in any judgment God has in mind for him, should it be judgment the person is headed toward?
In 1 Samuel 15 is the account of Judah's King Saul disobeying the Lord by bringing King Agag of the Amalekites back alive from the battle. When Samuel asked for Agag to be brought forth, Samuel did not tell that king, "I'm sorry, but this could hurt you somewhat." Here is what Samuel said and did:
"As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women." And Samuel hacked Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal" (1 Samuel 15:33).
Not a pleasant sight nor story, but it shows the wrath of God expressed through His prophet Samuel, and as well, the terribleness of that wrath for those not redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. There is more in those comments in Luke 17 that suggests rather strongly that the certainty of a person being born-again and therefore among the redeemed is of extreme importance.
Let's continue in the Luke 17 passage where He tells of one person being taken and the other one left:
"I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left" (Luke 17:31-36).
Why do so many Bible students, teachers, preachers and theologians, even, say of the two together, the one taken is taken away to judgment? Were Noah or Lot taken away to judgment? Jesus said, "as it was then, so will it be when He comes."
The character of God is brought into question with that kind of interpretation. Numbers 23:19 declares this:
"God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent." If the Lord contradicts Himself in the Luke 17 account, He has violated His character-an impossibility for the God of the universe. He is not a liar.
Likewise, Jesus is consistent in His answer to that final question asked by the disciples in verse 37, "Where [are they taken], Lord?" So He said to them, "Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together." If consistent with that of the whole passage, this cannot be speaking of a place of judgment, as seems to be the conclusive summation of many interpreters.
If they are taken to judgment, where is it, and what judgment is it? All of the judgments reported in the book of Revelation are levied upon this earth and the people who are upon it, if you look carefully at them. The redeemed are taken away to heaven to be with the Lord forever.
It is clear that the theory that those taken are taken to judgment is a complete opposite position than what Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah...and Lot, so shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed." The principle of rightly dividing the Word of Truth therefore is obviously grossly violated and will not stand before the scrutiny of the whole counsel of God.
What did Paul tell Timothy in that passage? He wrote, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).
But the Scriptures are much more penetrating than that. Look at these two verses from Hebrews 4:12-13:
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
So I rest my case.
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Gog and Magog 'Chaos' Appearing Now in Unholy US-Hezbollah-Assad Alliance: Rabbi - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws, and lead you out with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed in splendor, a vast assembly, all of them with bucklers and shields, wielding swords." Ezekiel 38:4 (The Israel Bible™)
American troops are en route to Lebanon to take their place in an unlikely alliance with terror group Hezbollah and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad in a development that one prominent rabbi and a noted expert on Middle Eastern politics agree could be the final stage preceding the War of Gog and Magog.
On Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon acknowledged that, following a request from Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to President Donald Trump, US special forces would be providing training and support to the Lebanese Armed Forces.
The only problem: Lebanon has recently begun coordinating its military efforts with Hezbollah and Syrian troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad in order to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) and its allies.
As political experts struggle to understand this bizarre situation, some have come to spiritual conclusions that this unholy alliance may indeed be the precursor to the prophesied Biblical war of Gog and Magog - a war which is characterized by unprecedented and all-encompassing confusion, explained Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion.
"The prophets wrote that the War of Gog and Magog will be entirely inexplicable," Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. "Since it is a war that is the result of Divine intervention, it will not make political sense, historical sense, or follow the laws of nature."
The story began to unfold last week when Lebanon's Prime Minister Hariri met with President Trump and requested American support in fighting the ISIS-affiliated Al Nusra network threatening his northern border with Syria, political analysis site Debka reported. As part of the fight against terror, Trump agreed.
Lebanon has cooperated with Hezbollah and the Syrian army, led by American enemy Assad, in its battle against ISIS. As a result, by fighting alongside Lebanese troops, American forces will also be fighting in an alliance that includes terrorist organization Hezbollah and the Syrian regime.
Rabbi Yosef Berger pointed out that the unnatural alliances now happening in the Middle East unmistakably mirror the necessary chaotic aspect of the final battle of Gog and Magog.
"This is precisely what we are seeing here, with sworn enemies making unexpected alliances," the rabbi said. "Gog and Magog will be identical. In the final battle, it will be impossible to differentiate the combatants or which side the are fighting on. In this type of battle, the person with the strongest army is not necessarily the one who will win."
Dr. Eado Hecht, a specialist in military doctrine at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) at Bar-Ilan University, explained how this unexpected and bewildering reality developed in the current conflict, recognizing in it the potential for a Gog and Magog showdown.
"The situation in Syria and Lebanon is not a simple two-sided conflict like most wars," Dr. Hecht told Breaking Israel News, comparing it to the popular TV series Game of Thrones. "The conflict is international but it is really divided up into many small groups, divided up regionally and even tribally, each with its own temporary interests.
"This leads to alliances that change in unexpected ways. Even the names of the groups change. Some of these developments can seem quite bizarre, even ironic."
Despite his academic perspective, Dr. Hecht acknowledged that prophetic descriptions of Gog and Magog were not entirely out of place in understanding the situation.
"We aren't yet involved in a war on the scale of Gog and Magog, but with forces as large as America and Russia involved, this could certainly change," Dr. Hecht warned. "I believe the leaders are aware of this. Though they may not refer to it in religious terms, the concept of an all-encompassing war in the Middle East that is entirely out of control is certainly a consideration.
Dr. Hecht added that because of the confusion and volatility, Russia and America have set clear red lines to prevent escalation that might lead to a direct confrontation between the superpowers.
As disconcerting as the situation is, Rabbi Berger sees an underlying purpose to the pre-Messianic confusion. The explanation comes from the Book of Ezekiel, which describes confusion being replaced by knowledge.
I will make My holy name known among My people Yisrael, and never again will I let My holy name be profaned. And the nations shall know that I Hashem am holy in Yisrael. Ezekiel 39:7
"The opposite of this confusion is 'one'," Rabbi Berger said. "Everything will be in doubt and the nations will be mixed up, so that in the end, everyone can come together believing in God."
Russia Deploys Troops to Syria-Israel Border, Prepares to Build New Base - www.thetower.org
Russia has begun moving troops to the Golan Heights border in preparation for a new military base in the area, according to Lebanese media sources.
The Al Mayadeen news channel reported that the Russian troops have replaced some Syrian army forces in the area, which has been a rebel stronghold throughout the civil war.
Online newspaper Al-Masdar News reported on Monday that over 400 Russian soldiers were deployed to the Dara'a and Quneitra governorates in southern Syria to begin their policing effort. Russian soldiers have been tasked with maintaining the ceasefire between the Syrian Armed Forces and rebels in the governorates.
The new Russian troop deployment follows reports on July 26th that Russian military police were deployed to monitor two safe zones, one of which was located eight miles from the Golan Heights.
On July 9th, a new ceasefire agreement in southern Syria came into effect. It was brokered between the U.S. and Russia, with the support of Jordan. The ceasefire was announced after a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, during the G20 Summit in Germany. It affects the regions of Deraa and Suweida, along the Jordanian border, as well as Quneitra, near the border between Syria and the Israeli Golan Heights.
Following the announcement of the ceasefire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel opposed the agreement because it perpetuates the Iranian presence in the country. Israel's main concerns revolve around keeping Iran, Hezbollah, and Shi'ite militias away from the Israeli and Jordanian borders, and preventing Iran from gaining a foothold in Syria.
Israel's security cabinet was reportedly briefed this week that U.S. and Russia have yet to agree on who would guarantee the arrangements in the de-escalation zones, prevent the entry of Iranian, Hezbollah, or Shi'ite militia forces, and monitor the ceasefire.
Hamas Sees Significant Improvement In Relations With Iran - by Ali Waked -
A significant improvement in ties between Hamas and Iran has taken place in recent days with developing contacts between the two sides aiming to increase Iran's financial support for Hamas.
At the beginning of the week, a delegation of Hamas officials reportedly met with Iranian officials at Iran's embassy in Beirut. Among the Hamas delegation was Saleh al-Arouri, an official from the organization's military wing and one of the architects of the Shalit deal, who has lived in Turkey in recent years despite Israel's demand that he be expelled as part of the rapprochement deal signed between the two countries a few months ago.
In the last few weeks, al-Arouri has been seen in the Roman quarter of Beirut, home to the famous Dahiya, the Hezbollah fortress and neighborhood where the organization's headquarters are located.
This week, al-Arouri, alongside Osama Hamdan, another Hamas official, participated in a meeting at the embassy with an official Iranian delegation. The most important individual in attendance from the Iranian side was reportedly Amir Hussein Abed al-Lahyan, officially known as attorney general of Iran's speaker of parliament.
Arabic media reported that the two sides discussed the situation in the West Bank and ways to strengthen cooperation between the two.
The honeymoon between Hamas and Iran has clearly not ended. In an official statement, Hamas confirmed this past weekend that an official delegation from the organization participated in the swearing-in ceremony of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday, who was recently elected to a second term.
In the movement's statement, Hamas said that the delegation of its officials, led by politburo member Izzat al-Risheq "and with the participation of the brothers Zaher Jabarin, Saleh al-Arouri and Osama Hamdan, answered the respectable invitation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, an invitation given to the movement's political chief Ismail Haniyeh and the movement's leadership to participate in the swearing-in ceremony of the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani."
The statement also said, "The participation of Hamas in a high-level delegation comes in consideration of the large role Iran plays in supporting our people, in supporting our rights and supporting our heroic resistance. The participation highlights the importance the movement places on strengthening relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the positive development of these relations with the Palestinian people in favor of our issue and our justification."
It should be noted that alongside al-Arouri, Zaher Jabarin, considered the most senior figure in Hamas' military wing, also participated in the delegation, indicating that the choice to participate in the delegation was not coincidental and is a clear step by Hamas to increase Iranian support for the organization, especially its military wing.
Nearing Midnight: Mr. President-Cursing or Blessing? - Terry James -
There continues to be much turbulence stirred within the American government and America in general. I've written a number of times here that I believe God Himself intervened in the 2016 presidential election. He, I'm convinced, answered the prayers of the people called by His name-Christians. He turned the American ship of state around-or at least began that process of steering in a better direction.
Donald J. Trump, a man who was and continues to be far from a godly man, in my view, was nonetheless chosen by the Almighty to head the project to at least slow if not completely halt globalism's takeover of the United States.
Globalism, I believe, is the conveyance Satan intends to use to take America down the pathway to the eventual installation of his man of sin, Antichrist. That intention has been greatly slowed with the election of Mr. Trump, and the fallen one isn't happy. The uproar amongst his many minions, both demonic and human, is witness that gives testimony to Lucifer's enragement.
Donald Trump is God's man of the hour, even though not a godly man. In that regard, I support God's decision totally, as anyone who reads these commentaries knows. I continue to believe that if the other candidate had won the election, the effects, especially for those of us who value American ideals as founded and who believe that God's Word, the Bible, is truth, would have been terrible.
One day, perhaps soon, the U.S. and the world will experience those feared results of losing such elections. For now, however, there is a Heaven-sent reprieve and we must support godliness and a movement back toward God's way, rather than continue on the path to destruction.
This is why I-we as Christians-must call out ungodliness when it pops up its ugly head, no matter where it does so.
That brings me to the title of this article "Mr. President-Cursing or Blessing?"
The turbulence I mentioned at the outset was full-blown in the White House the week of July 14. It was no doubt stirred and fanned by the breath of the old serpent, the devil. The winds of inter-White House turf war continued this week just past.
President Trump, always one to keep the mainstream media-and the rest of us as well-off-balance with his actions and tweets, did so in his own inimitable fashion. He removed his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and replaced him with Ret. General John Kelly. But, it wasn't that cut and dried.
Mixed in with the shake-up of White House staff was the matter of the desire-the absolute necessity, in my view-to get rid of the so-called leakers. These holdover personnel from the previous administration were wreaking havoc on the president's efforts to move forward with his agenda.
Sean Spicer, the communications director was also let go. In his place came one Anthony Scaramucci. We know now that this mouthpiece seems to have no boundaries on usage of language. And that is what inspired this commentary.
Mr. Scaramucci, chosen by the president to clean out the leakers, began his new job by talking with a reporter of The New Yorker-the hip New York City magazine that looks down on the rest of us as most generally just not with it.
The president's new man in the communication director's seat indeed began to communicate. He did so in a cursing rant he thought was, but in actuality was not, "off the record." It was so bad that it apparently caused Chris Wallace of Fox News to blush when he read it.
Wallace said, "I'm no choirboy, but his [Scaramucci's] language took even me aback."
It was anger, framed in sewer language, whether real or feigned for impact, that to this point we hadn't had a close associate of a sitting president use. I'm no choirboy, either, having grown up amongst my male peers as a youngster in junior high school, high school, university, and even the U.S. military. The report of Scaramucci's vulgar tirade made me feel uneasy. I don't like one so closely associated with my president using such ungodly language. It somehow dirties-sullies the office.
Of course, I realize that this president sometimes uses less than godly language himself. I don't like that, either. This I say for those of you who were about to ask "Well, how about Trump's language?"
When I first heard the report of Anthony Scaramucci spewing forth as he did, my mind began searching for words I once heard reported as spoken by our first president on use of vile language.
I soon found the quote. It was George Washington, then the head general of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, issuing a written command. That command said the following:
The General is sorry to be informed -, that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing, a vice heretofore little known in an American army, is growing into a fashion; - he hopes the officers will, by example as well as influence, endeavor to check it, and that both they and the men will reflect that we can have little hope of the blessing of Heaven on our arms, if we insult it by impiety and folly; added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without any temptation, that every man of sense and character detests and despises it. (Source: George Washington, Extract from the Orderly Book of the army under command of Washington, dated at Head Quarters, in the city of New York [3 August 1770]; reported in American Masonic Register and Literary Companion, Volume 1 )
We have, of course, become a profane nation in ways that would make our first president wonder, no doubt, how the Lord of Heaven could let us proceed farther as a country. As much as I back Donald J. Trump and his much-beleaguered presidency, I must ask the question: Mr. President-cursing or blessing?
How can we expect the continued blessings of the Almighty when we allow such cesspool thinking and expression as Mr. Scaramucci used, representing a president of the United States, therefore representing us?
Anthony Scaramucci might be a tough, New York guy who uses street language to get things done. He did not have the right to use such while in an office that represents the rest of us, many of whom still prefer a more godly means of expression.
It is good that another general of excellent reputation, General John Kelly, evidently, according to reports, feels the same way. Scaramucci's vulgar tirade to the New Yorker, in concert with his demand to be allowed to bypass the new chief of staff, General Kelly, was asked to leave the communications position he had occupied for only ten days.
Wise decision, Mr. President. Please consider the following in regard to your own language.
God's Word says the following in use of language for the Christian-a tremendous number of those who voted for you:
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4: 29)
Even more to the point, James put it this way:
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. (James 4: 8-15)
Excavation at Gezer Confirms Biblical Account of City's Fiery Destruction - By Yehezkel Laing -
"Pharaoh king of Egypt had come up and captured Gezer; he destroyed it by fire, killed the Canaanites who dwelt in the town, and gave it as dowry to his daughter, Shlomo's wife." I Kings 9:16 (The Israel Bible™)
Recent archeological excavations at the site of the ancient city of Gezer have confirmed the Bible's account of the city's destruction by Egypt through fire.
According to the Bible, Gezer, an ancient Canaanite-Jewish city located halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, was destroyed at the beginning of the 10th century BCE, when the city was conquered and burned by an unnamed Egyptian pharaoh during his military campaign in the land of Israel. The pharaoh then gave the city to King Solomon as the dowry of his daughter. Solomon later rebuilt Gezer and fortified it.
This was the purpose of the forced labor which Shlomo imposed: It was to build the House of Hashem, his own palace, the Millo, and the wall of Yerushalayim, and [to fortify] Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. Pharaoh king of Egypt had come up and captured Gezer; he destroyed it by fire, killed the Canaanites who dwelt in the town, and gave it as dowry to his daughter, Shlomo's wife. 1 Kings 9:15-16
The Gezer Excavation Project recently uncovered three torched skeletal remains in a newly discovered massive layer of fiery destruction, attesting to the city's ruin at the hands of the Egyptians 3,200 years ago. The remains were those of two adults and one child, the latter still wearing earrings.
Gezer's significance and appeal was due to the strategic position it held at the crossroads of the ancient coastal trade routes between north and south, east and west. While the Egyptians may not have set out to destroy Gezer - they usually preferred to subdue vassal cities and collect subjugation payments - the widespread destruction found at the site suggests the Egyptian's encountered strong resistance from the city's inhabitants, who were beginning to rebel against Egyptian rule.
Indeed, Gezer is associated with Jewish rebellion. The city is mentioned in the Book of Maccabees, which is not part of the Biblical canon but which scholars consider an important work. Centuries after the Egyptian destruction, in its last stage as an important city, Gezer became the base of the Maccabees, the Jewish rebels of the Hanukkah story who revolted against the Hellenists (Greeks) in the 2nd century BCE.
Dr. Steve Ortiz of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary headed the project along with Prof. Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Though he does not go into the field looking for proof of the Bible, Dr. Ortiz noted to Breaking Israel News that after three decades of working digs in Israel, "There is nothing in the archaeological record for me to doubt the Biblical text."
"Both sides, fundamentalists and critics, view archaeology and the text as a conflict - either to confirm or disprove their theories," he explained to Breaking Israel News. "I see archaeology and text as complementary."
Dr. Ortiz's expertise is the use of archaeology to reconstruct the history of ancient Israel and the Second Temple Period. During the decade-long dig at the site, the team uncovered Canaanite treasure troves and a King Solomon-era palace.
"Due to its strategic nature the city changed hands many times, as each conquering army sought to hold the site," said Dr. Ortiz.
He fully believes the recent find verifies the accuracy of the Biblical account.
The destruction of Gezer is also mentioned in the famous Merneptah Stele, circa 1208 BCE, an inscription commissioned by Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah. It is also known as the "Israel Stele" because it bears the earliest known explicit mention of "Israel" outside the Bible. This engraved granite memorial commemorates a number of Egyptian victories, including that over Gezer.
The last two lines read: "Canaan is plundered with every hardship. Ashkelon is taken, Gezer captured, Yano'am reduced to nothing. Israel is laid waste - his seed is no more."
Dr. Ortiz concluded that the archaeological and Biblical accounts go hand in hand, and both are necessary to understand the full picture, both historically and spiritually.
"The excavations at Gezer complement the Biblical accounts of Gezer and each dataset helps me to reconstruct the history of the ancient city.
"As a believer, I am always encouraged to see God's Word in context."
Daily Jot: The Bible and immigration - Bill Wilson -
Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday responded to a lawsuit against the Department of Justice by Chicago challenging DOJ's crackdown on sanctuary cities that are violating federal law. Sessions stated, "This administration will not simply give away grant dollars to city governments that proudly violate the rule of law and protect criminal aliens at the expense of public safety. So it's simple: Comply with the law or forego taxpayer dollars." Sessions also countered the Chicago Mayor's assertion that enforcing immigration law would require a "reordering of law enforcement practices" in Chicago. Sessions said that exactly what the city needs-"policies that rollback the culture of lawlessness that has beset the city."
Chicago, which has one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation, is besieged with gun-related deaths and shootings. In addition, it harbors much criminal activity, seemingly on purpose, which Sessions said in a released statement, "No amount of federal taxpayer dollars will help a city that refuses to help its own residents." Sessions continued, "To a degree perhaps unsurpassed by any other jurisdiction, the political leadership of Chicago has chosen deliberately and intentionally to adopt a policy that obstructs this country's lawful immigration system. They have demonstrated an open hostility to enforcing laws designed to protect law enforcement-Federal, state and local-and reduce crime, and instead have adopted an official policy of protecting criminal aliens who prey on their own residents."
Over the years there has been considerable disagreement between Christian pastors about whether illegal aliens should be treated as lawbreakers or just allowed to live out there lives in the United States without interference from the government. Some support amnesty. Others support sending illegal immigrants back to their home country. There is always the argument that there are more law-abiding illegals who work hard and struggle to achieve the American dream, than there are criminal illegals who are taking advantage of the system. Some argue that Christian charity must supersede the law. Others argue that illegals are breaking the law as their first act of coming to this country illegally.
The Bible has much to say about immigrants. Exodus 22:21 says, "You shall neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him." This theme is repeated in Exodus 23:9, Leviticus 19:33, Deuteronomy 23:7, Ezekiel 22:29 and others. The Bible also says in Exodus 12:49, "One law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the foreigner who sojourns among you." This theme is repeated in Leviticus 24:22, and Numbers 9:14, 15:15, 16, 29, among others. Deuteronomy 24:17 says, "You shall not pervert the justice due the stranger." Clearly, the scriptures say to treat immigrants fairly, but they are to obey the law. In Chicago, illegals are disobeying the law, and the politicians are openly encouraging it by suing the government for the privilege.
Daily Devotion: What Makes a Hero? - By Greg Laurie -
Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means "Christ"). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. -John 1:41-42
We hear the word hero a lot in our culture, but do we really know what it means? We seem to have a lot of celebrities but very few heroes. Historian Daniel Boorstin compared the two this way: "Celebrities are people who make news, but heroes are people who make history. Time makes heroes but dissolves celebrities."
A hero is someone who does something selfless, something sacrificial. A hero is someone who puts the needs of another above his or her own. Sometimes heroes are known in their lifetime for their achievements, and sometimes we call them heroes after they're gone. In that case, we sometimes call them unsung heroes because we didn't realize how heroic they were until time had passed.
One unsung hero from the New Testament is Andrew, Peter's brother. Andrew didn't get a lot of ink in the New Testament, but what we do read about him is significant. Andrew is primarily known as the guy who brought others to Jesus. In fact, when he discovered that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah of Israel, he went and found his brother and brought him to the Lord.
How easily Andrew could have kept this to himself and said, "I don't want Peter to get in here. He probably would try to take over the whole operation." Instead, Andrew brought him to Jesus. In fact, every time we read about Andrew, he is bringing someone to the Lord.
We might say that Andrew is the patron saint of unsung heroes, the kind of people who are willing to do what needs to be done and fly under the radar. They just want God to get the glory. And here is the thing we need to remember: If we had more Andrews, we probably would have more Simon Peters.
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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