Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Anticipating the Messiah's Return - By Matt Ward -
There is nothing at all new about the concept of "imminence." According to Orthodox Jewish thinking, believing in the imminent return of the Messiah is critical if one is to be even considered in any way a "Jew." Imminence, so derided today as a modern invention, is not in fact "new" in any way, nor is it "modern." The concept of imminence predates Judaism itself (Genesis 3:15).
There remains even today within Orthodox Judaism a strong belief in the future coming of the Messiah. This belief in the imminent, any moment return of Messiah is so significant and important to Judaism that anyone who either rejects or even doubts Messiah's imminent return is to be considered as if they have become heretical.
What a tragedy it is for Orthodox Jews that their Messiah did indeed come to them, but that they missed their deliverer two thousand years ago, a deliverer who was, "...lowly, and riding upon a donkey, and upon a colt the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9).
Yet one day soon that same Messiah will return and they will turn their faces back to the one they once rejected, with a new heart of belief:
"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son" (Zechariah 12:10).
Though the Jewish nation rejected their true Messiah two thousand years ago, the belief within Judaism regarding the imminent return of their Messiah continues to this day. It is absolutely intrinsic to Judaism; it is the spine that holds the whole religion together. Waiting in anticipation for the any day return of Messiah is as old as Judaism itself:
"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" (Genesis 49:10, KJV).
This Messianic prophecy dates from the very beginnings of Judaism. When Jacob, grandson of Abraham, was old and approaching death he called together each of his twelve sons to tell them what would become of their lineages. At the grand age of 147, Jacob, who was renamed Israel by God, gave an oracle that has shaped the destiny of not just Israel, but the world.
Focusing on his fourth son, Judah, Jacob prophesied about the future emergence of a person called "Shiloh." This man is the future Messiah and Ruler of Israel, a man to whom true rule and Kingship belongs. This man would hold the "sceptre," meaning that he alone will have the right to rule, to him alone will belong the honour of Kingship, and he will have the sole right to administer justice and prescribe the law.
Later, Balaam, in the book of Numbers, declared the same when he famously prophesied, "a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel" (Numbers 24:17).
Psalm 45:6-7 refers to this mysterious individual:
"Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore, God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy above Your fellows."
Importantly, the psalmist here refers to this man who will one day soon hold "a sceptre" as being "God" himself in human form. The King to come will also be God Himself manifested in flesh.
The writer of Hebrews, in the New Testament, confirms the identity of this individual:
"But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore, God, Your God, has placed You above Your companions by anointing You with the oil of joy'" (Hebrews 1:8-9).
The angel Gabriel, when he appeared to Mary, told her that her son would inherit, "the throne of his father David" (Luke 1:32-33) and that he would "reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:32-33).
Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Mary, is Shiloh, "...and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" (Genesis 49:10 KJV).
The "gathering of the people" referred to here means much more than the simple notion that this man Jesus will one day come to rule and reign in just Israel. The term "people" is in the plural. It is prophesying a time and a rule that extends far beyond the Davidic Empire, instead foreseeing an eternal and all-encompassing rule by Shiloh over all of the earth and the peoples in it.
It will also be a rule of peace. The term "the obedience of the peoples" denotes not just submission to authority, but a willing obedience. This will be an accepted and peaceful rule over all; and this coming kingdom will be built by the King's subjects, out of their love for him and in their obedience to him.
Jews, from the very beginning were taught to live in active anticipation of the coming of this Messiah. An Orthodox Jew who is faithful to the law should always be living in a state of anticipation:
"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long" (Psalm 25:5).
A Jew not actively anticipating Messiah is no Jew at all, according to Orthodox Judaism. Living in a constant state of anticipation over the coming of Messiah may seem like a minor point to modern Christians, but in Judaism it is anything but. It is at the very core of their whole belief system.
How different is the modern church today? Here, we find this same concept of imminence openly derided and mocked as a "fringe" belief by those esteemed as our leaders. Some of these leaders have a global reach.
Individuals within Judaism living without this daily and active expectation of Messiah were to be considered "apikoros," or heretical: they were to be put in the same category as an unbelieving Jew. The imminent belief in Messiah's return is just as important to modern Christian belief as it is to Judaism:
"Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed" (Rev 16:15).
The entire Mosaic Law is built on the single premise that one day a ruler will come. Moses, through whom the Law was given, spoke to this when he prophesied about the coming of Messiah, a "prophet like me" (Deuteronomy 18:15).
Moses was specific:
"The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him" (Deuteronomy 18:18).
A part of this process necessarily involves actively looking for and anticipating his coming; because he, Shiloh or Jesus Christ, personally spoke about it so often.
It is in this context, of actively anticipating the coming of Messiah, that we should understand the dialogue between the Pharisees and John the Baptist in the New Testament:
"Now this was John's testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, 'I am not the Messiah.' They asked him, 'Then who are you? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the Prophet?' He answered, 'No'" (John 1:19-21).
The Pharisees who questioned John were waiting in daily expectation for the arrival of their long- anticipated Messiah. It is the ultimate irony that, even though they were looking so intently, they did not recognize his coming and rejected the very man they had been so desperately longing for.
The situation is the same today. So many who proclaim a faith in Christ are oblivious to the fact that his coming is so obviously close. Even worse is that many can see the clear signs but simply don't care and/ or worse, are ignoring them.
It is a part of the growing apostasy and falling away which will continue to get worse and worse.
Jesus encouraged his disciples to long for his return, telling them that he would certainly come again:
"I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2-3).
In Mark 13:32-33, Jesus spoke these words:
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is."
Just as Orthodox Jews are meant to wait and watch for Messiah's return, so are we! There will even be specific rewards given to those watching and longing for his return:
"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing" (2 Tim 4:8).
Jesus commands us in Luke 21:36, "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
How many are watching and praying that they "may be able to escape all that is about to happen?" To my eyes, not many. Equally, how many Christians today are watching and making themselves ready, so that when that hour does come they "... may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
Revelation 16:15 is a warning as much as an encouragement - a warning to the unbelieving world and the church concerning the sudden nature of the coming of Jesus Christ for his Bride. The suddenness with which Christ will come will leave no room for escape, or for making any arrangements. This verse indicates that when Jesus does suddenly come, his coming will be one of judgment for his followers, and there will be some who will be put to shame:
"...Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed" (Rev 16:15).
That day fast approaches for all of us. So just as you would prepare for a great storm that approaches, yet for the moment remains on the horizon, so prepare for this day now whilst you still can - whilst there is still time and opportunity.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
EU Unable to Neutralize US Sanctions against Iran - by Soeren Kern - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12815/iran-sanctions-european-union
The European Union has announced a new regulation aimed at shielding European companies from the impact of US sanctions on Iran. The measure, which has been greeted with skepticism by the European business media, is unlikely to succeed: it expects European companies to risk their business interests in the US market for interests in the much smaller Iranian market.
The so-called "Blocking Statute" entered into effect on August 7, the same day that the first round of US sanctions on Iran officially snapped back into place. Those sanctions target Iran's purchases of US dollars - the main currency for international financial transactions and oil purchases - as well as the auto, civil aviation, coal, industrial software and metals sectors. A second, much stronger round of sanctions targeting Iran's oil exports, takes effect on November 5.
The action follows up on President Donald J. Trump's decision on May 8 to withdraw from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal) negotiated by the Obama administration, which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for a freeze on its nuclear program.
The Trump administration said that the deal negotiated by the Obama administration did not go far enough to curtail Iran's nuclear weapons program, or its ballistic missile program, or its malign behavior in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The reimposed US sanctions apply not only to American citizens and companies, but also to non-American individuals and companies. In a legal concept known as extraterritoriality, any company based outside of the United States must comply with American sanctions if it uses dollars for its transactions, has a subsidiary in America or is controlled by Americans.
In an August 6 statement, Trump said:
"The United States is fully committed to enforcing all of our sanctions, and we will work closely with nations conducting business with Iran to ensure complete compliance. Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences."
In an August 7 tweet, Trump repeated that threat:
"The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States."
In a joint statement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK openly admitted that for the EU the Iran deal is all about money and vowed to protect European companies from US penalties:
"We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231. This is why the European Union's updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions.
"The remaining parties to the JCPOA have committed to work on, inter alia, the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas. On these, as on other topics, our work continues, including with third countries [China and Russia] interested in supporting the JCPOA and maintaining economic relations with Iran."
In a joint statement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (pictured) and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK openly admitted that for the EU the Iran nuclear deal is all about money and vowed to protect European companies from US penalties.
The Blocking Statute, originally adopted by the EU in 1996 to help European companies avoid US sanctions on Cuba, was updated in June 2018 to include sanctions the US is re-imposing on Iran. The document, riddled with EU jargon, states:
"The Blocking Statute allows EU [economic] operators to recover damages arising from the extra-territorial sanctions within its scope from the persons causing them and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court rulings based on them. It also forbids EU persons from complying with those sanctions, unless exceptionally authorized to do so by the [European] Commission in case non-compliance seriously damages their interests or the interests of the Union."
In other words, the EU is prohibiting EU citizens and companies from complying with US sanctions and is authorizing EU companies hit by US sanctions to sue the US government for compensation in European courts.
In addition, European companies that do pull out of Iran without approval from the European Commission face the threat of being sued by EU member states.
Many European commentators said the EU scheme would be unworkable, especially for European multinational corporations with business interests in the United States.
The London-based Financial Times wrote:
"Diplomats and lawyers have raised serious doubts about the EU's ability to protect European businesses operating in Iran from the US measures.
"The blocking statute, first drawn up in 1996, has rarely been tested. One senior EU official said there was little legal precedent for judges in EU member states to reclaim damages from third countries like the US if sued by companies."
In France, Le Figaro wrote that European Commission's response to US sanctions was "hasty" and amounted to a "political gesture."
Le Monde described the EU's measure as a "political signal for the Iranian regime, which demanded signs of European commitment to defend the JCPOA."
L'Express noted: "If a company is active in the big US market and the small Iranian market, then it does not benefit much from the fact that its activities are protected in Europe and Iran but not in the United States."
Radio France Internationale (RFI), a French public radio service, said that the effects of the Blocking Statute would be "more symbolic than economic." It added:
"The law would be more effective for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) doing business in Iran. For large corporations, the solution lies in negotiating waivers or exemptions with the United States. But such requests from France, Germany and the United Kingdom have already been rejected by Washington."
La Croix wrote:
"Suffice to say that the implementation of this blocking law remains very hypothetical, as it goes into uncertain legal territories.
"Companies investing in Iran do not seem to believe much in the effectiveness of the regulation. The oil group Total, the ship-owner Maersk or the automaker Peugeot have already decided to leave. German group Daimler announced its withdrawal from Iran yesterday. These groups are more afraid of the US's ability to implement sanctions than the EU's wrath."
In Germany, the public broadcaster ARD published an opinion article by Brussels correspondent Samuel Jackisch titled, "Well Roared, Paper Tiger - EU Defenseless against US Sanctions." He said that the EU's new policy was "logical, but largely meaningless," and an attempt by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to "defend her political legacy." He added:
"The EU can try to turn the tables on transatlantic relations, but in the end the US still comes out on top.
"The German export industry's business with Iran may not be small at around three billion euros. However, the bottom line is that the same companies export 35 times as much to the USA. The EU is demanding that its largest corporations risk the entire cake for a few more crumbs."
German public broadcaster ZDF wrote:
"The peculiar construction of the EU Blocking Statute remains: Ordinarily, regulations and laws prohibit something. For example, an anti-dumping law prohibits companies from price dumping in order to force competitors out of the market. But the EU Blocking Statute is a call to action: Do trade with Iran and do not let threats from the US president dissuade you!
The newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung quoted the Chief Executive of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), Martin von Wansleben, who described the EU's measure as a "helpless political reaction." He said that its purpose was to show that the EU does not bow to US sanctions. For individual companies, he said, the blocking regulation has "no relevance."
In Austria, Der Standard wrote:
"The Blocking Regulation is not an effective antidote to US sanctions, as the historical example suggests.... Although Washington should refrain from extraterritorial sanctions, the US market is too important for corporations to expose themselves."
In Italy, Südtirol News quoted stock market expert Robert Halver of Baader Bank:
"Due to the US sanctions against Iran, German industry will not touch Iran. If you realize that German industry is doing a hundredfold business in America, you will not do business with Iran, because then sanctions against German companies will exist. Therefore, Iran is certainly going to bleed very heavily at the moment."
The European edition of Politico wrote:
"Some experts say the EU's moves are unlikely to have the desired effect, arguing that the blocking statute would create legal burdens for Europe-based companies without preventing the US from targeting their American branches and assets. For many companies, the risk of being cut off from business in the US - a far bigger market than Iran - is enough to make them want to comply with Washington's demands."
An investment banker quoted by Reuters said:
"It would be suicide to do any new business or funding for Iran or Iran-related companies without explicit guarantees from the US government. They have us by the throat because so much business is conducted and cleared in dollars. The fines are in the multibillions these days so it's just not worth the risk for a small piece of business and maybe pleasing a European government."
As if to prove the point, moments before US sanctions against Iran entered into force, Daimler, the German car and truck manufacturer, dropped plans to expand its Iran business. "We have ceased our already restricted activities in Iran in accordance with the applicable sanctions," Daimler said in a statement.
Daimler follows similar decisions by: Adidas (Germany); Allianz (Germany); AP Moller-Maersk (Denmark); Ciech (Poland); Citroen (France); CMA CGM (France); DZ Bank (Germany); Engie (France); ENI (Italy); Lloyds (UK); Lukoil (Russia); Maersk Tankers (Denmark); Oberbank (Austria); Opel (Germany); Peugeot (France); PGNiG (Poland), Renault (France); Scania (Sweden); Siemens (Germany); Swiss Re (Switzerland); and Total (France).
Nearing Midnight: Afghanistan: Our Most Costly War May Soon End - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
The war in Afghanistan, long acknowledged to be America's "forgotten war," has become a 17-year-long conflict. The Vietnam War is the only military campaign that has lasted longer at 19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day.
The 2,400 death toll from the Afghanistan War is very low. In the Civil War and World War II, we lost a half million people in each conflict. During the Vietnam War, we lost 58,000 lives. Our losses in Afghanistan are so light, any grieving family can expect a call from President Trump.
The key problem with the Afghanistan war is the cost. Modern warfare has become such a massively expensive endeavor that the smallest military campaign cannot be sustained without bleeding a nation dry. There have been several projects that have tried to estimate the total war spending in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001. Most come up with a figure between $5 and $6 trillion.
The cost of the Afghanistan fighting doesn't include future spending that will be needed for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The high rates of injuries and increased survival rates in Iraq and Afghanistan mean that over half the 2.5 million who served there suffered some degree of disability. Their healthcare and disability benefits alone will easily cost $1 trillion in coming decades.
We now spend so much on advanced military equipment, it's not possible for us to fight a prolonged war. The F-35 has become my favorite example of cost overrun gone wild. It is America's most expensive war machine. Each fighter jet was first slated to cost $52 million. After 10 years of mounting expenditures, the per unit cost has now reached $300 million.
From windows to jet engines, everything on the F-35 is more expensive. Each helmet for the fighter jet costs $400,000; more than four times as much as the Air Force paid for headwear for other aircraft such as the F-16. It takes a month just to apply corrosion prevention and radar absorbing layers of paint to one of these jets. Because the F-35 is so complex, we only produce 10 jets per month.
One indication that financial reality has set in are reports that the US is negotiating with the Taliban to leave Afghanistan. US State Department officials recently met with Taliban leaders in Qatar. At the request of the Taliban, the US-backed Afghan government was not invited. The officials discussed ceasefire and an end to the war. Another indication that Washington is looking for an Afghanistan exit is the US inspector general charged with monitoring US spending on Afghanistan reconstruction has reported that, since 2008, the US has completely wasted at the least $15.5 billion.
When Trump was running for office, he was very much against continuing the Afghanistan war. Now that he has had time to rethink his General's advice, it appears that his business sense is returning him to his previous comments on the subject:
"It is time to get out of Afghanistan. We are building roads and schools for people that hate us. It is not in our national interests." (February 27, 2012)
"Afghanistan is a total disaster. We don't know what we are doing. They are, in addition to everything else, robbing us blind." (March 12, 2012)
"We should leave Afghanistan immediately. No more wasted lives. If we have to go back in, we go in hard and quick. Rebuild the U.S. first." (March 1, 2013)
The liberal media have trained themselves to exploit any misstep or inconsistency that President Trump makes. Once an announcement is made, a plan to negotiate peace and leave Afghanistan will be reported as the greatest betrayal in history. Trump will be handing Afghanistan back to the Taliban, but you can save people who refuse rescue.
I have to wonder if the reason why America is not clearly mentioned in Bible prophecy is because we will implode under the financial weight of our vast military complex. It might not be Afghanistan that breaks us; but someday the dollar is going to collapse, and the Antichrist's ten-nation military may just step in to take our place.
"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things" (Daniel 7:7-8).
Who Wrote the Bible? - Jack Kinsella - www.omegaletter.com
There are two answers to that question. The short answer, and the easiest to defend, is also the most obvious. God did. The Bible says so.
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2nd Peter 1:21)
I say that is the easiest to defend because Christians don't need much more evidence than that. The Bible is a living Book to those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
To a Christian, the mere fact that there are people who devote their lives to arguing its Authorship is evidence of its Divine inspiration. It makes perfect sense to a Christian -- it makes no sense at all to an unbeliever.
While it is a totally unsatisfactory answer to the skeptic, 1st Corinthians 1:18 proves itself to the believer every time he picks up the Book and ponders its truths:
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
Frankly, I don't think it is possible to convince a skeptic by debating the truth of the Scriptures vs. their chosen 'truths' -- it would be like debating whether something was red or mauve with a person blind from birth.
It takes a spiritual 'operation' to remove that blindness, but we can only point a person in the direction of the Surgeon. After that, they have to request the 'operation' for themselves.
But the Bible's Authorship is proved by its very existence. There is the testimony of the forty different individuals chosen by God to record His Word. There are the acts of the Apostles;
2nd Peter 1:16 explains;
"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty."
The Apostle Luke begins his testimony to Theodophilus;
"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the Word." (Luke 1:1-2)
To deny the historical truth of the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles is tantamount to denying the historical accuracy of the eyewitness testimony of the witnesses to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Each of the Apostles was an apostate Jew in the eyes of their friends and families. They were ostracized, insulted, beaten, run out of town, arrested, imprisoned, and generally hounded everywhere they went. Each of them was given an opportunity to save his own life by renouncing his testimony of Jesus.
And with the exception of the Apostle John, every single one of them chose a brutal, torturous death, instead. (The Apostle John was tortured by being boiled alive, but somehow survived and was exiled to the Island of Patmos. He was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.)
The skeptic denies their eyewitness testimony, but fails to give any reasonable explanation for why. Why would they all accept a life of misery and deprivation, culminating in a torturous death, just to spread a myth?
Does it seem reasonable that twelve guys would sit around a campfire and make up a story that ruined their lives (in the natural) just so they could be known by their first names 2000 years later?
Nobody denies the accuracy of Plato's writings. Or Tacitus. Or Homer. Or Suetonius. Or Flavius Josephus (except the part where he refers to Jesus as an actual historical figure).
Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls our earliest Hebrew copy of the Old Testament was the Masoretic text dating around 800 A.D. The Dead Sea Scrolls date around the time of Jesus copied by the Qumran community, a Jewish sect living around the Dead Sea.
We also have the Septuagint which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament dating in the second century B.C. The oldest existing original manuscript of a New Testament book dates to 125 A.D. and was found in Egypt, some distance from where the New Testament was originally composed Asia Minor). In all, there are more than 24,000 ancient manuscripts against which to compare our modern Bible.
The number of manuscripts is astonishing, when compared to other universally-accepted ancient historical writings, such as Caesar's "Gallic Wars" (10 Greek manuscripts, the earliest 950 years after the original), the "Annals" of Tacitus (2 manuscripts, the earliest 950 years after the original), Livy (20 manuscripts, the earliest 350 years after the original), and Plato (7 manuscripts).
New Testament manuscripts agree in 99.5% of the text (compared to only 95% for the Iliad). Most of the discrepancies are in spelling and word order.
A few words have been changed or added. There are two passages that are disputed but no discrepancy is of any doctrinal significance. Most Bibles include the options as footnotes when there are discrepancies. How could there be such accuracy over 1,400 years of copying?
Two reasons: The scribes that did the copying had meticulous methods for checking their copies for errors. 2) The Holy Spirit made sure we would have an accurate copy of God's word so we would not be deceived.
Skeptics, liberals, and cults and false religions such as Islam that claim the Bible has been tampered with are completely proven false by the extensive, historical manuscript evidence.
But it doesn't matter. The skeptics continue to assault the Bible on any and all fronts, applying the most unreasonable standards for accuracy imaginable.
They hate it, and they can't even explain why. That is also, to the Christian, evidence of its Divine Origin.
That hatred is so blind, so unreasoning, and so irrational that it cannot be explained in any other way.
"Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake." (Luke 6:22)
"Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you." (1 John 3:13)
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2nd Peter 3:3-4)
Daily Jot: The truth that counts - Bill Wilson -
Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 3:13, "that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God." The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:7-8, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." The 10th Commandment in Exodus 20:17 tells us not to covet. Jesus said in in John 10:10, "The thief come not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." These four verses tell us a lot about what is going on in American society today.
As followers of Christ, lovers of God, we are to enjoy the fruits of our labor because they are the gift of God. While life is not always fair, we do reap what we sow. Many work very hard, and reap very little. Others work less, and reap more. Still, spiritually, we may see what we sow beyond this life. It is a foundational principle of life. In today's society, there are many who want to take what you sow and twist and turn what you reap into something that is no longer the fruit of your labors, but rather the possession of another. They covet what you have; they think it is unfair that you have it. This is where they pit people against one another and try to force their will. If you resist, you are ostracized, called names, tagged with labels.
Somehow, these people have usurped the moral high ground with their own brand of morality. It is as Jesus said that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. When we look at how many in society are so angry, so mean-spirited, so aggressive against anyone who disagrees with them, there is an emptiness within. They accuse others of exactly what they are. It is because they judge others from the content of their own hearts. They are missing the key ingredient of living life more abundantly-the Messiah and the Spirit of the Lord. Some may say they are followers of Christ, but we know them by their fruits. Sadly, they have a center stage platform in this dark and dying world as the news media is part of them.
Ephesians 6 tells us how to respond to this. Verses 10-11 say, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Paul speaks of the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. As an example, he prays that he may open his mouth boldly to make know the mystery of the gospel. You see, these angry people are devoid of the truth, the truth of God, the Messiah and His saving grace. They have given themselves over to lies. Our response must show Christ, showing truth in love and standing for what is right, which can be tough love. It is the truth and how we sow it that counts.
Daily Devotion: The Two Kinds of People in the End - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, 'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.' " -Matthew 25:41
C.S. Lewis wrote, "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice, there could be no Hell."
We can't have an eternal Heaven without an eternal Hell. Both are taught in the Bible, and both last forever. Jesus described Hell as a place of "outer darkness" (see Matthew 8:12 NKJV). Some question how a God of love could send people to Hell. To the point, Hell was not made for people at all. According to Jesus, Hell was created for the devil and his demons.
By the way, the devil is not there yet, but he will go there one day. That is what it was prepared for. So how do people end up in Hell? They end up there by rejecting God's offer of forgiveness and choosing to follow Satan, in effect. If someone ends up in Hell, God is, in reality, just giving them what they wanted.
We can't cherry-pick the truths of Scripture that appeal to us and simply abandon the rest. As pastor and author Timothy Keller points out,"hell and heaven essentially are our freely chosen identities going on forever."
If a person doesn't want God in his or her life, He will not force Himself in. He will not force a person to be forgiven.
People are separated from God by sin, but God has given us the solution. God has given us the cure through Jesus Christ. But if someone rejects that solution, if they spurn that cure and end up in this place called Hell, then really, in the end, they have no one to blame but themselves.
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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