Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Grapes of Wrath - Pete Garcia -
"The non-intervention of God bears very heavy interest, and He is greatly to be feared when He does nothing. He moves in long orbits, out of sight and sound. But He always arrives. Nothing can arrest the judgment of the Cross; nothing shake the judgment-seat of Christ" (PT Forsyth in The Justification of God)
Convergence has been a popular buzz-word within prophecy circles over the past few years and rightly so. With so many prophetically-charged events now running simultaneously, it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of them all. You'd think with so many signs ongoing, Christendom would be pulsing with the anticipation at the soon coming of our Lord. But it's not. In fact, the chorus of legitimate watchmen on the wall is diminishing by the day. It is becoming exactly as Jesus contemplated regarding this moment in time when He asked...nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?
But I wonder if commenting on convergence is more akin to looking at the symptoms rather than the cause of the issue, which is the compounding nature of sin. We note that in the 70th Week of Daniel (what many commonly refer to as the seven-year Tribulation), the 21 judgments that are doled out by God onto the earth and the earth-dwellers, are exacting punishments for sin built up over millennia. The Seal judgments (Rev. 6) usher in a government without God. The Trumpet judgments usher in increasingly painful punishments for things like idolatry and blasphemy. The Bowl judgments are even more increasingly severe than the Trumpet judgments. Each of these judgments has a very Old Testament, Exodus-era feel to them if we look back to the plagues exacted upon Egypt during the Israelites liberation from Egyptian bondage.
Man's path toward self-enlightenment has become a steadily darkening journey into the abyss. If the entire race of mankind were a single body, consider sin's initial at the Garden of Eden as that of a mosquito bite. Yet, that painless mosquito bite delivered a pathogen which has been steadily working its way throughout the body infecting limb and torso alike. Over time, that body starts to breakdown as the tale-tell symptoms of malaria or yellow fever causes one to begin to suffer from fever, vomiting, and headaches. And if left untreated, seizures, coma, or death will follow.
Yet, it all started from a single, painless, bite.
God's remedy for man's fatal illness was Jesus Christ. Because God's perfect justice demands innocent blood to be shed to atone for man's failures, a system was set in place to temporarily sustain the nation of Israel until their Messiah could come and permanently provide the cure to man's mortality and corruption. God knew they (Israel) would reject their Messiah and so Jesus was betrayed and crucified in keeping with the prophecies already outlined in the Old Testament scripture.
There was also a four-hundred-year buffer (the silent years) in which the nation of Israel could contemplate and await their coming Redeemer. In fact, there was an approximate timeline as given to the prophet Daniel, but this too was ignored. Instead of contemplation and anticipation, what came to be was disillusionment and apathy. This was because the religious leadership of their day (first century Pharisees and Sadducees) became grossly engaged in promoting the religion over the One in whom that religion pointed towards...Jesus of Nazareth. The sad truth is that they knew better, but they promoted a lie to keep themselves in power. Hence the reason for the severity and fierceness of Jesus's rebukes whom He reserved exclusively for the Jewish clergy.
Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed. Matthew 16:1-4
Imagine all the lies ever told and believed. Even a small lie will grow over time and spread like a cancer through a person's body. Before long, that cancer spreads to the brain and begins impacting critical thought and motor-skills alike. We know that the first lie ever told was by Satan, and it had to do with man becoming like God (Genesis 3:1-5). Since then, this lie has been repackaged over and over so many times that it has infected almost every facet of our world. Just think of every single philosophy, institution, or concept ever put forth that either remove Jesus Christ from the solution or substitutes someone (or something) else in His place. The world has become grossly anti-Christ, and in keeping with this, the Bible states that in the last days, men and women would lose their ability to reason primarily because of the compounding nature of sin.
...And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (See Romans 1:18-32)
So we have now arrived at this generation who has been so thoroughly corrupted on a global scale, that this antichrist spirit has so saturated every facet of our generation. Education, religion, philosophy, science, government, politics, military, and economics have all become corrupted. Mankind is again reaching that point where they are so mentally, morally, and spiritually bankrupt that they are unable to reason any longer. This breakdown can be clearly evidenced just by turning on the news or reading the day's headlines. But there is still a remnant of society who are the blood-bought redeemed and cannot be tainted, this being the Church.
Abraham once pleaded with God on Lot's behalf that He should spare Sodom from destruction on account of the righteous that still lived there (Gen. 18:16-33). In Gen. 18:23, Abraham puts forth a biblically foundational question by asking God...Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
After much bargaining, God finally settles on a number with Abraham in which if they found ten righteous persons residing in those cities, God would withhold judgment. They parted ways and a period of time passed in which God's judgment was withheld. But when judgment did come, God honored His commitment to Abraham by removing Lot and his family before enacting His wrath upon Sodom and Gomorrah.
...then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment... 2 Peter 2:4-11
There is an interesting correlation between man's progressive sin nature and God's progressive judgment in dealing with that nature. It is almost like the law of diminishing returns, in which there is less and less good that comes from man's extended stay on this planet. Within 1,650 years of Adam and Eve's fall, man had become so sinful, wicked, and genetically corrupt that God had to destroy the world with a flood sparing only eight persons. In Lot's day (around 2,000 years from Adam's fall), the cities of the plains surrounding Sodom and Gomorrah were consumed with fire sparing only Lot and his two daughters (not counting the salted wife). From then until Christ (2,000 years later), numerous nations and empires rose and fell allowing for the conditions to be exactly perfect (fullness of time) for the arrival of the first coming of the Messiah (Gal. 4:4-5).
As previously mentioned, the number of those who are still waiting for the Lord to return is diminishing number. Out of the seven and a half billion people alive on the planet today, only two billion claims some form of the Christian faith (about half Protestant, half Catholic). Out of the two billion 'Christians,' only around one billion believe that Jesus will ever physically return to the earth. Out of the one billion, perhaps only 10% of that believe Christ will come back in their lifetime. Of that number (100,000,000), perhaps 15% (15,000,000) believe that Christ's return is imminent. So 15M out of 7.5B is about .2% of the total global population believe Christ's return is imminent. Not a lot of people when you look at it from that perspective.
According to a 2010 Pew Research poll, only 41% of Americans believe that Jesus will return within the next forty years. Another 41% say He will not return until after 2050. Of US Christians, only 47% believe Christ will come back at all. Not encouraging numbers at all and probably less so today. But remember the Bible only mentions a couple of people actively anticipating Christ's first coming (Simeon, Anna, and Gentile wise men) as well as the shepherds who were in the fields that night who were prompted to witness the arrival of their Messiah by the angelic host. There was no great anticipation or expectation then that the Messiah would ever come. Were it so; we would know the exact date of Christ's birth because that day would be celebrated as a holiday, rather than the day we've historically settled on (Christmas).
The same will be true about Christ's return for His Church at the harpazo (the Rapture) in which the world will be going about its day to day activities desensitized to the prophetic markers heralding Christ's soon return.
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...Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30
Just as the Jews awaited the arrival of their Messiah in the 400 silent years, we (the Church) have been waiting for 2,000 silent years awaiting His return. Not that it means anything concretely, but 400 goes into 2,000 five times. The number five in scripture symbolizes God's grace and goodness towards man. 400 years was also the number of years that God prophesied over Abraham in His covenant (Genesis 15:16-21) in which Abrahams descendants would be in bondage and wait until the iniquity of the Amorites was complete. Then God would use the Israelites as the mechanism of His judgment against the Amorites for their compounded sinfulness.
Since God is longsuffering (2 Peter 3:9), He has allowed this extended period of time for the Gentiles to receive this grace upon grace (John 1:16) which has now come to be 2,000 years. But this grace period will NOT continue indefinitely. There will come again a fullness of time in which the conditions are perfect for the Son to return to receive back His bride the Church (John 14:1-3). But after the Rapture, God's common grace towards mankind will come to an end as they are given over to a strong delusion (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12). God's eternal gaze returns solely to disciplining His covenant nation of Israel and making a full end to all the nations she had been scattered to (Jer. 30:7-11).
While we do not see instant justice exacted for all the wrong doings in this world, our hope and trust lies in God who has and will not let one single error slip through the cracks. All of the blood ever spilled on the earth will be judged. All the evil things done in the thick of darkness will be brought to light. All of the injustices ever wrought by man upon man will be accounted for. The grapes of God's wrath will be pressed and the winepress found overflowing. So while we see a world today that is currently upside down and reeling to and fro like a drunkard drunk on sin, Jesus Himself will put an end to man and Satan's wickedness once and for all as He establishes His never ending kingdom on the earth and throughout eternity. But first, in keeping with Abraham's question, God will remove His own before He unleashes His wrath upon a world ripe for judgment.
For thus says the Lord God of Israel to me:
"Take this wine cup of fury from My hand,
and cause all the nations, to whom I send you,
to drink it. And they will drink and stagger
and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them..."
...The Lord will roar from on high,
And utter His voice from His holy habitation;
He will roar mightily against His fold.
He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes,
Against all the inhabitants of the earth.
A noise will come to the ends of the earth-
For the Lord has a controversy with the nations;
He will plead His case with all flesh.
He will give those who are wicked to the sword,' says the Lord." Jeremiah 25:15-16, 30-31
Is Today's Solar Eclipse End-of-Days Sign Described in Joel? You May Be Surprised - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
One Man Studied Disasters and Eclipses in History. What He Discovered Will Surprise You
"The heavens declare the glory of Hashem, the sky proclaims His handiwork." Psalms 19:1 (The Israel Bible™)
A new approach to understanding Monday's rare solar eclipse takes a historical look at the event, rejecting the usual "gloom-and-doom" atmosphere surrounding the eclipse and presenting it instead as a positive divine sign and cause for optimism.
On Monday, a full solar eclipse will pass over the American continent from the northwest to the southeast. A truly rare event, it has been 99 years since a total solar eclipse has passed over the entire length and breadth of the continental United States, sparking excitement and speculation about the event's spiritual purpose.
A mystical book written 130 years ago in Israel prophesied that a lunar eclipse on the eve of the Hebrew month of Elul, as this one is, would precede dire times for "eastern kings". Rabbi Yosef Berger, a prominent rabbi from Jerusalem, interpreted this as referring to Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Rabbi Pinchas Winston, an end-of-days expert, understood the solar eclipse as signaling an end of an era for America and an end to the Jewish sojourn there.
But another, more optimistic understanding of this stellar event has been offered by the minds behind Root Source, a Jewish online learning platform for non-Jews.
"There is no reason to necessarily interpret this eclipse as a 'gloom and doom' event," Gidon Ariel, co-founder of Root Source told Breaking Israel News. "Understanding natural phenomenon as divine signs is really a matter of perspective, a spiritual matter of seeing the glass half-empty or half-full."
Root Source recently published an e-book which examines the recent astronomical phenomenon from a Biblical and historical perspective and comes up with an unexpected conclusion.
The book, written by Root Source co-founder Bob O'Dell, investigates whether significant catastrophes have in fact been preceded by solar eclipses. O'Dell begins by examining the single most catastrophic event of this generation: the multiple terror attacks on September 11, 2001. A total solar eclipse did precede that event by three months, but it was visible only in Angola, Africa, seemingly without connection to either the US or the perpetrators.
A total solar eclipse preceded the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, by two and a half months. Again, that eclipse, visible over China, had little seeming relevance to the event. The Great Depression in the US, which began in October 1929, also followed an unrelated total solar eclipse, which took place five months earlier, in Southeast Asia.
O'Dell came to the conclusion that catastrophes can indeed occur without a solar eclipse as a warning.
"We find no clear correlation between eclipses and negative events," he admits in the book. "What we do find is opportunities to influence the data by cherry-picking the events."
Pondering the divine import of eclipses is justified since the Bible describes solar phenomenon as accompanying the Messiah.
The sun shall turn into darkness And the moon into blood. But everyone who invokes the name of Hashem shall escape; for there shall be a remnant on Mount Tzion and in Yerushalayim, as Hashem promised. Anyone who invokes Hashem will be among the survivors. Joel 3:4-5
But O'Dell explains that the astronomical phenomenon described by the prophet is not, in fact, an eclipse, in which the moon covers the body of the sun, leaving the corona visible. An eclipse generally lasts a few minutes and is not selective in who it affects. The prophet describes an actual, not merely apparent, change in the sun and the moon, leading to darkness and not merely shade.
Ariel emphasized that eclipses do have spiritual meaning. He compared the return of the sun after the eclipse to a verse in Psalms.
He placed in them a tent for the sun, who is like a groom coming forth from the chamber, like a hero, eager to run his course. Psalms 19:5-6
This approach to astronomical events has its roots in Jewish tradition. Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman, director of Ohr Chadash: New Horizons in Jewish Experience, pointed out that the Talmud states explicitly that eclipses, solar and lunar, are divine signs.
"The sages of the Talmud knew more about nature than we suppose," Rabbi Trugman told Breaking Israel News. "They knew that the eclipses happen as an inevitable result of natural processes, but they still saw them as signs from God connected to our spiritual condition. It is a sign to us, that we are required to interpret, understand and, at times, to act upon."
Rabbi Trugman explained the outcome of the sign will necessarily be a combination of God's will and man's will.
"The whole world is in God's hands, and at the same time paradoxically, the whole world is in our hands."
Palestinian leader says White House peace efforts 'in chaos' - By Tamar Pileggi, Dov Lieber -
Abbas tells Israeli MKs that he has met with Trump officials 20 times but they aren't conveying messages to Netanyahu; accuses Israel of blocking resumption of security ties
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that the entire administration of US President Donald Trump is in "chaos," and indicated that the White House disarray was affecting peace efforts.
"I don't even know how they are dealing with us, because his entire administration is in chaos," Abbas told a delegation of dovish Israeli lawmakers visiting Ramallah.
Abbas told parliamentarians from the Meretz party that he had met with US officials more than 20 times since Trump's election in November 2016, yet still had little idea what their plans for peace negotiations were.
"Each time they reiterate their commitment to a two-state solution and the stop to settlement building," he said, according to Hebrew media reports. "I urge them to tell Netanyahu that, but they refrain."
He added that it is impossible to know what Trump and his team are planning.
The comments came as Trump is set to send three top aides to the region this week in an effort to kickstart peace efforts.
Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell will all head to the Middle East, according to the White House, and will meet with leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Trump has asked his delegation to focus the talks on this trip around several broad themes, inclusive finding "a path to substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, combating extremism [and dealing with] the situation in Gaza, including how to ease the humanitarian crisis there," according to a senior White House official.
While Ramallah has officially welcomed US peace efforts, officials have begun to grumble about what they see as a lack of commitment to a two-state solution or finding a way forward, as well as a bias toward Israel's positions.
Abbas also said Sunday that Israel was preventing the resumption of security cooperation with his government, considered a key plank of ties between Ramallah and Jerusalem, which have recently withered over tensions surrounding the Temple Mount.
"We recently contacted them to try to resume some kind of cooperation, but they did not respond, which is preventing progress in our relations," Abbas said.
Israeli officials quoted by Channel 2 news said later Sunday that this was not the case.
The PA had cut parts of the security cooperation with Israel in mid July after Israel decided to install new security measures at the Temple Mount following a terror attack there. Palestinians and others saw the metal detectors, cameras and other methods as a breach of the sensitive status quo governing the site, supporting a boycott of the Mount and leading to near daily violence.
Abbas said that Ramallah had informed the US of the situation regarding the security cooperation, which is seen as vital for both Israel to keep a thumb on terror in the West Bank, and for Abbas's Fatah party to keep the rival Hamas group from growing too strong.
Meretz head Zehava Galon told Abbas she disapproved of steps taken by the Palestinian leader to isolate the Gaza Strip as a means of pressuring Hamas, the de facto ruler of the enclave.
Abbas had stopped paying for Israeli electricity provided to the Strip and had also reportedly kept medical supplies from reaching there.
"I do not support Hamas or the government it established, but the decision to punish the people of Gaza by cutting off electricity is wrong and illegitimate," Galon told Abbas.
She stressed her party's commitment to a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders and an end to Israel's hold on the West Bank.
"We are here today because we believe in a moderate Palestinian leadership," Galon told the Palestinian Authority president. "There is no difference between our ideas as partners for peace."
Hamas Seeking to Bolster Relations With Iran - by Deborah Danan - http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/08/20/report-hamas-seeking-to-bolster-frayed-relations-with-iran/
Recent actions show that Gaza-based terror group Hamas is looking to restore its eroded alliance with Iran, an analyst from one of Israel's leading think tanks claimed on Thursday.
In a policy paper for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, IDF Lt. Col. (ret) Jonathan Halevi noted that Hamas sent a high-level delegation to Tehran earlier this month with the aim of "opening a 'new page' in their relations."
The delegation, which included founder of Hamas' military wing Salah al-Aruri, met with several senior Iranian officials including Chairman of Parliament and Holocaust-denier Ali Larijani, Senior Adviser to the Supreme Leader for International Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati, and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif - one of the chief negotiators of the Iran nuclear deal.
According to Halevi, the ties between Sunni Hamas and Shiite Iran became frayed during the Syrian civil war, starting when Hamas supported Iran-backed dictator Bashar al-Assad's ouster in 2012 and continuing with the Islamist group moving its operations from Damascus to Turkey. However, Tehran is now demanding that Hamas reaffirm its commitment to the regime if it is to continue to receive support.
"The Iranian regime is telling the Hamas leadership in no uncertain terms that the Islamic movement must make a 'correct' strategic decision, consistent with the changing balance of power in the Middle East, and align with Iran, which has become a regional superpower," Halevi said. "The fact that Iran is waging a campaign against Sunni Muslim forces in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and other Middle Eastern countries does not - Hamas implied - preclude aligning with it."
"By joining the Iranian axis, Hamas reveals its leadership's order of priority now that (senior Hamas political chief) Ismail Haniyeh is at the helm," he added.
In Tehran, the terror group presented its positions, which included, chiefly, "fortifying its relations with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad based on the common denominator of fighting Israel."
According to an article published August 10 in the Gaza-based Palestine Paper, Hamas told the Iranian delegation that "the threat posed by Israel does not stop at the geographic borders of Palestine; its hatred for humanity and the chaos it sows affect all of the Arab and Islamic homeland."
Hamas also believes that Iran may undermine King Abdullah's regime in Jordan, in which case being aligned with Tehran will prove a boon for the Islamist group's standing in the Palestinian-majority country.
For Iran's part, Halevi said, "the renewed alliance with Hamas will enable it to strengthen its zones of influence along Israel's borders, including within the West Bank where Hamas and Islamic Jihad give it a foothold."
Collapsing - By Daymond Duck -
I don't wish to be negative, but I am under the impression that humankind is now living in a collapsing world. I am of the opinion that the whole world is afflicted with darkness, dishonesty, disorder, chaos, confusion and wickedness.
If a person doesn't agree, I believe that person is unaware of what is going on. It is next to impossible to watch the news and not see several disturbing stories every day that seem to signify the approaching Tribulation period.
Evil has been ratcheting up. Here are five recent unpleasant reports:
First, I heard a commentator expounding on what people should do if North Korea launched a nuclear armed missile at the U.S. The Commentator said if possible, get in a shelter, a basement or a closet; if caught outside lie on the ground; if in a car pull off the road, get out, lie down, cover your head and, in all cases, close your eyes. The flash of a nuclear explosion could blind you.
I have long believed that nuclear weapons will be used during the Tribulation period (Zech. 14:12; Rev. 6:14-17), but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to hear that kind of advice before the Rapture.
And even if we get past North Korea, Iran is waiting in the wings.
Second, according to a story dated Aug. 8, 2017 titled "Vladimir the Great Sums Up Pope Francis the Fake!" by Tyler Durden, Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin recently said, "If you look around at what he (the Pope) says it's clear that he is not a man of God. At least not the Christian God, not the God of the Bible."
The article called Pope Francis "a one-world government advocate" and accused him of doing nothing to get rid of pedophile priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
The Bible clearly teaches that a corrupt one-world government and a corrupt one-world religion will exist during the Tribulation period, but who would have ever expected a world leader to say the Pope is not a man of God.
Sadly, many agree with Mr. Putin. Some even believe this globalist Pope may be the False Prophet. Blatantly false theology and detestable morality have long erupted in the Roman Catholic Church, and Pope Francis is either advocating it or tolerating it.
Third, on Aug. 6, 2017, it was reported that Russia (once called the land of Magog) has built a base in Syria on that nation's border with Israel. Many students of Bible prophecy know full well that Russia and several allies will attack Israel in the latter days and latter years (Ezek. 38:8, 16).
I am just speculating, but if the U.S. gets into a war with North Korea, Gog (perhaps President Putin) may have evil thoughts about attacking Israel (Ezek. 38:10). That may be just what God wants. He will protect Israel and He doesn't like to share His glory with the U.S. or anyone else.
Fourth, on Aug. 9, 2017, it was reported that several U.S. government agencies will hold a meeting on Aug. 23 to discuss ways to respond to catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, terrorist attacks and EMP attacks. They seem to be concerned that something could happen that would bring "society to its knees."
I know, and have long believed, that the U.S. government should prepare for these things, especially an EMP attack to protect us from our enemies who have the capability of such an attack. But it would be a shame if God had to knock America to its knees when all that is needed is for church members to humble themselves, pray (get on their knees), seek Jesus and repent.
Fifth, the unpleasant news, especially the irrational behavior of North Korea's leader, is spurring anxiety amongst preppers. Iodine tablets, masks, ready-to-eat-meals and other things are flying off the shelves and there are growing concerns that producers may not be able to keep up with the demand. This is typical of what will happen during the Tribulation period.
I am reluctant to predict the meaning of the past tetrad of blood moons, the August 21, 2017 total eclipse, the Jubilee year, the Feast of Trumpets, the September 23, 2017 Revelation 12 sign, perhaps the end of 6,000 years of history, the approaching end of 5777, the approaching end of 70 years since the founding of Israel (perhaps one generation from 1948), wars and rumors of wars, moral wickedness, the growing threat to Israel, etc.
But there is no doubt in my mind that we are witnessing the convergence of end-of-the-age signs like never before. Look up! Lift up your head!
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
"Duck and cover" training in public schools, evacuation drills to nearby shelters, brisk gas mask and "nuke-pill" sales, and backyard bomb shelter construction. Sounds like the 60s, doesn't it?
Well, it's not the 60s, it's August 2017 in Guam, South Korea, Japan, and even a few places in the United States.
And all in response to threats from a pudgy, third-generation dictator in the hermit kingdom of North Korea.
Kim Jong-un threatened to nuke the island of Guam (U.S. territory and site of a massive U.S. Air Force base). President Donald Trump responded with no ambiguity. He said that if Kim even attempted such an action, it "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
The Left (and quite a few Republicans) scoffed and accused President Trump of false bravado and even reckless endangerment of America.
But the response apparently took Kim by surprise. (Plus the fact that China and Russia seemed to take it seriously.) No American President had ever spoken to Kim or his dad or his grandpa like that in recent memory.
A few days later, North Korea reconsidered and declared that they wouldn't actually nuke Guam, they would just plop four missiles into the waters off Guam's coast. Just to show they could do it.
Then U.S. Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis confirmed President Trump's warning. He told the world that if Kim even flinched his trigger-finger, it was "game on!"
Kim and his generals apparently held a quick confab and decided to revise their previous position. North Korea then announced that it would go easy on the United States this time and scrap its plan to even lob the previously mentioned four missiles.
However, Kim warned the President that NK would be watching him closely and if he tried anything fishy, everything was back on the table and they'd reconsider their full range of options -- including nuking Guam or even the United States itself. Please forgive me for allowing a little sarcasm to seep through. I find it interesting, though, how just a little bit of standing up to bullies seems to yield favorable, and quick, results. Something we've not seen from an American President for far too long.
There has been considerable debate as to whether the standoff with North Korea rose to the level of the 60s "Cuban Missile Crisis." There are many differences. For one, with Cuba the USSR was trying to establish a forward nuclear base within the Western Hemisphere -- just 90 miles from the coast of the United States.
Secondly, the Cuban sites would have been under the direct control, operation, and supply of the Soviet Union -- and we had a pretty good idea about the massive, and immediate, nuclear capabilities of the USSR.
On the other hand, North Korea is not in the Western Hemisphere and we remain uncertain as to the specific nuclear capabilities it possesses. Further, Kim is not under the overt tutelage of an enemy sponsor nation like China or Russia. In fact, just a few days before, both of them voted for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on North Korea.
Which, incidentally, was a major (almost unbelievable) foreign policy achievement by the Trump Administration. But if you listen only to the mainstream media, you probably heard nothing or next-to-nothing about that aspect of the UNSC vote.
As I write this, the standoff with North Korea seems to have eased for the moment and everyone is breathing a sigh of relief.
Of course, the tragic terror attacks in and around Barcelona and, before that, the Leftist-engineered (I believe) crisis in Charlottesville pushed North Korea off the front page for now. But the world still must contend with a nutjob who controls up to sixty nuclear weapons and is trying desperately to develop (or buy) the technology to deliver them to the United States.
So things are not going to get easier anytime soon. Just as the Bible prophets predicted for these days.
But, as former Secretary of State and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton once reminded a group at the European Union, we should "never waste a good crisis."
So there are many on the Left side of the political spectrum who are using the North Korean standoff to attempt to restrict the President's constitutional authority to act as Commander-in-Chief. Though they will not openly say so, their actions belie their motives. In their "concern" that President Trump may recklessly engage in nuclear warfare, they want to pass legislation to require him to get Congressional permission to order certain military options.
Of course, the President's prerogatives in that area are granted by the U.S. Constitution, but I believe this move dovetails with others to reveal a general attack by the Left on the Presidency itself.
For example, recently the President tweeted, "The United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military."
Now that was just a tweet. No formal policy change has yet been announced. But already the Commandant of the Coast Guard has implied that he will be insubordinate and not obey any directive that changes the military's policy on transgenders.
Admiral Paul F. Jukunft said that the Coast Guard will "not break faith" with transgender individuals. Even if he is ordered by his Commander-in-Chief to do so? It's not like the military's transgender acceptance policy is a longstanding military tradition (Oh yeah, taxpayers are also currently required to pay the exorbitant costs of making the service member's sex change!). The rule has only been in place about a year!
Furthermore, one Commander-in-Chief arbitrarily decided to do it and it was okay. Another Commander-in-Chief decides to undo it and it's not?
The net effect is that a ranking member of the U.S. Armed Services has openly implied he will defy the constitutionally-mandated civilian control of the military. Of course, he is now a superhero to the LGBTQs and Democrats.
The issue of civilian control of the military goes to the heart of our constitutional republic. This has the earmarks of another constitutional crisis in the making.
Finally, on this week's show I ask the question: "Why do human beings sin?"
The Apostle Paul indicates that there are two things at work within a non-believer to make him sin. The first is his sinful passions -- sometimes called "the sin nature."
The second thing that pushes us toward sin is, ironically, the Law itself. Rebellion against the Law produces what the Bible calls "sin."
The Law shows us that we cannot measure up to God's standards of right and wrong. We cannot justify ourselves.
That's why all men need the redemption from the curse of the Law that Jesus purchased for us by His death on the cross.
There is no other way for man to enter heaven.
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
Daily Jot: Solar eclipse yes, apocalypse not - Bill Wilson -
Much has been written and said about the "Great American Total Solar Eclipse" that is to occur today. Millions are taking time off to watch it. There are reporters and Christian commentators pontificating about the eclipse being the Apocalypse, the end of the world or a rapture, the second coming of Christ, and at the very least a sign in heaven. As the day progresses, Americans will see the eclipse. It is cyclical, predictable and on time as part of the wonderful creation of God. It will not, however, be the Apocalypse, the rapture, or the second coming of Christ. It does not fit the prophetic descriptions of the many passages in the Bible, which are all orderly and consistent about the end times.
In very practical terms, this solar eclipse, like them all, is cyclical and predictable. What did Jesus the Messiah say to his disciples about when the end would come? He began in Matthew 24:4, the most concise chronological expository of the end times by Christ himself, by saying, "Take heed that no man deceive you." They asked again before his ascending to heaven in Acts 1 and he replied, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power." These verses are key to having understanding about the end times. First, we do not precisely know the times or the seasons of his return-we do have understanding of what will happen, but not exactly when. Second, a lot of deception will be occurring that may cause many to fall away, have doubt, or not believe at all.
In the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, Christ lays out what happens leading up to his return: Wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecution, false prophets, preaching of the gospel unto all the nations, and then the Abomination of Desolation spoken of in Daniel. He says in verse 21, "For then there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Then there are more false Christs, and deception. Christ says in verse 29, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken."
He continues in verse 30, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." These verses are exactly consistent with the prophecies of this event found in Isaiah 34:4, 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 6:12-14, Revelation 8, Joel 2:31 and 3:15, Ezekiel 38 and 39, and many others about the heavens rolling back like a scroll, the sun darkened, the moon turning to blood, and destruction coming from the heavens. Jesus warns again in Matthew 24 that man will not know the day or the hour, but implores us to watch and be ready for his return. Yes, we are having a solar eclipse in America today, but it is not the end of the world centered in Israel as described in the Holy scriptures
Daily Devotion: The Truth about Adversity - By Greg Laurie -
"They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God." -Acts 14:22
Without question, the greatest life there is to live is the Christian life. Why? Because God takes a life that was empty, aimless, and, worst of all, headed to a certain judgment and turns it around and transforms it. He forgives us of all our sin. And if that wasn't enough, He places the righteousness of Christ into our spiritual bank account.
He removes all our guilt, fills the void in our lives, and literally takes residence inside of us. And most importantly, He changes our eternal address from a place called Hell to a place called Heaven.
While it's true that God removes a lot of problems we once had, a new set of problems replaces them. Because the day we put our trust in Jesus Christ, we enter into a battle. That is why the apostle Paul said, "Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Timothy 2:3 NKJV).
The problem is that some have believed in what we might describe as a watered-down gospel, one that promises forgiveness but rarely tells people of the need to repent of their sins, one that promises peace but never warns of persecution, one that says God wants us to be healthy and wealthy and never have any problems to speak of. But that isn't the gospel of the New Testament. We can't take a vacation from human suffering and tragedy.
I am not suggesting that God wants us to be sick, poor, and miserable. I am not even saying that God doesn't want us to be happy, because I believe happiness will come as we truly follow the Lord. But it's a fringe benefit. The essence of the Christian life is knowing God and walking with Him. And God, despite the worst tragedy, can bring good out of bad.
FROM THE HEART
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