Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Modern Warfare: Apocalypse Edition, Vol. 1 - Pete Garcia -
"Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt." - Sun Tzu, the Art of War
Ever since Cain raised up against his brother Abel in anger and with a murderous heart and struck him down, human blood has soaked the earth. In fact, warfare has been one of the oldest mainstays of human history. Where mankind has advanced technologically, he has always done so with how this new invention would benefit him in war. The 20th-century has been particularly bloody, perhaps more so than all of the rest of human history combined with estimates as high (or higher) than 200,000,000 deaths. Historical tacticians, and strategists such as Sun Tzu, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Carl Von Clausewitz, were all students of warfare, and used it to shape their own destinies. However, even at their best, their geopolitical reach and hold was limited by the technologies of their day.
Modern military strategists have refined and codified our understanding of warfare to three organizational arenas: the strategic, the operational, and the tactical (more on this later). They also have defined the three domains militaries must fight and win in order to stay ahead of their enemies. These domains are land, sea, and air (respectively). In recent years, we have had to add cyberspace to the battlefield domains as technology has advanced and revealed it as major weakness to modernized nations. Adding to that, is the changing demography of the human landscape in the 21st-century, where our population has reached around 7.6-7.8 billion people. This has reshaped the battlefield because of urbanization and the rise of megacities around the globe. Because of this, we must also now contend with the subterranean domain. Lastly, President Trump recently announced the introduction for a space force, primarily, to contend with the growing threat in space.
However, according to the Bible, there is yet another domain which has largely been ignored by leaders today and that is the spiritual domain. You see, humans are not the only sentient beings operating in our world.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Regardless of what you believe, there is a growing governmental understanding and recognition of supernatural and unexplainable phenomena happening all around the world. Reputable military and civilian aviators, air traffic control, astronauts, as well as CCTV from the International Space Station, have proven without any doubt, that we are not alone. It has also shown us that these extraterrestrial (or extradimensional) beings, not only defy our laws of gravity and physics, but also are becoming bolder in their appearances and interactions with mankind.
Of course, we Christians already knew that.
The Bible has told us all along that humans are not alone. The Bible lists three orders of Beings in this universe: the Godhead, the Angelic realm, and Humans. Within the Godhead, we have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All are different Persons, carry out different roles and responsibilities, but are the same substance, also being co-equal and co-eternal.
Then there is humankind. From the African Maasai, to the northern Europeans, from the Jewish people to the Arabs, Asians, Inuit's, etc., there are many different kinds of people within the same human race. In terms of variety and types, the Angelic realm is no different. There are cherubim, seraphim, archangels, and probably many others that we are not told about. However, for the purposes of our discussion today, there are two primary categories, the Unfallen (or Holy) angels, and the Fallen (or wicked) angels.
As the Prophet Elisha points out in 2 Kings 6:16-18, the total number of angels is in the realm of the innumerable (probably in the hundreds of billions) who exist all around us. While angels are largely marketed to the world as cute, pondering babies flittering about with tiny wings, the reality is that angels are beings of immense power and intelligence who can move inter-dimensionally.
This means that they can enter our reality just as easily as they can the unseen realm. The Bible tells us that we (people) have often entertained angels unaware, since they can take on human form when necessary (Hebrews 13:2). They preceded man in the order of creation, and were present at the founding of the earth (Job 38:4-7).
Although angels outnumbers humans by quite a bit, there are only a few named angels in the Bible. One that we know of is the Archangel Michael, who is tasked with, among other things, watching over the nation of Israel (Daniel 12:1). The only other unfallen named angel is Gabriel, and who has been instrumental in delivering crucial information to the likes of Daniel, Joseph, and Mary concerning prophetic events and the Incarnation of Christ. Holy angels are tasked with many different responsibilities, from being ministering servants to guardians and messengers; they largely operate undetected on this side of the veil. Jesus told Peter at His arrest that if He asked, the Father would provide more than twelve legions of angels (Matt. 26:51). Therefore, they are at God's disposal to do whatever it is He asked them to do. Moreover, while we may be oblivious to their presence, we are often the beneficiaries of their actions.
Not all angels are holy and benevolent. Some are dark, violent, and extremely wicked. We are told in Scripture (Rev. 12:4) that a third fell with Lucifer when he rebelled before man was created. Since the total number of angels cannot be counted, neither could we count the third who fell. We assume that even just the third of the angels, still outnumbers mankind by a significant amount. As with the holy unfallen angels, there are only three (possibly) named fallen (evil) angels in Scripture, Lucifer (Satan), Abaddon (Apollyon), and Beelzebub (if he is a separate being apart from Satan). As for the rest, although not personally named, Paul simply refers to them by rank and position...principalities...powers...rulers of the darkness of this age...spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12). These beings are eternally damned, and have no hope of redemption. It should be safe to say that these fallen and unredeemable angelic beings do not have our best interests at heart.
The Battle in the Garden
It was in the garden that Lucifer launched the first salvo of war against our God. He deceived Eve into breaking the one rule God had given them through Adam, which was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, which stood in the center of the Garden (Gen. 2:15-17). When God confronted the three (Adam, Eve, and the serpent Lucifer), He pronounced curses upon each of them, of which, one was aimed directly at Satan. There would come a day when the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) would do battle. In hindsight, we know that Satan would bite His heel through the death on the cross, but since neither death nor hell could hold Jesus, it was as inconsequential as a dog nipping at your heel (Rev. 1:18). However, this same death would crush Satan's power and authority, by offering mankind something these fallen angels will never receive, redemption. Even though the cross was a fatal blow to Satan's overall agenda, there will come a day when Christ literally defeats Satan (and all those in his employ) in an actual, physical battle.
Unfortunately, at present, we are still under old management.
God originally gave Adam the title deed to the earth (Gen. 1:26-28). However, when Adam broke God's one rule, he became sinful and mortal, and inadvertently handed that deed over to Satan; and the earth has been under satanic management ever since (1st John 5:19). Thus, between the fall of Adam and Noah's flood, Satan spent the better part of that 1,600 years trying to corrupt the entire human genome through angel (fallen) and human cross breeding (Gen. 6:1-4). This so that a Savior could not come from the seed of the woman and destroy him.
He came close.
By the time the flood came, only eight people survived.
Satan's weapon of choice?
God's weapon of choice?
Water. Lots of it.
In terms of warfare, Satan went high-tech and God went low-tech.
It is interesting to me to see how technical Satan got right from the start; clearly, he was not messing around. Since creation, there has been two resets placed upon humanity as a whole, the first being Noah's Flood, and the second, the Tower of Babel. At Babel, merely a century or so after the flood, humanity was again united in rebellion against God.
As the Ark rested on Mt. Ararat, God convened what we call the Noahic Covenant with Noah and his sons on behalf of humanity. Several important changes to the world order arose from this particular covenant (Gen. 9:1-17).
And so instead of multiplying and filling the earth as they were instructed, they multiplied and congregated on the plains of Shinar (in what is today northern Iraq/Syria). They began building a large tower there for reasons we are not entirely sure of today, but speculation ranges from a means to escape a future flood, to trying to open a star gate. All we know for sure, is that they were attempting to build a great city there to "make a name for themselves" under the leadership of a great-grandson of Noah called Nimrod. Whatever reasons they had for building the tower, the important takeaway is that although not stated, it is a very reasonable assumption that Satan was instrumental in influencing Nimrod to disobey God by not filling the earth. For the purposes of our benefit, God goes down to see what is transpiring and makes a curious statement:
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Genesis 11:5-6
Up until this point in history, man's greatest strength was in their ability to communicate with each other without barrier, because everyone shared the same language. What God was stating here was that there is nothing mankind cannot do when they are united. Therefore, God (out of His mercy) decides to act and separates mankind by both language and presumably race. What is also noteworthy is the fact that there are around 270 global flood stories, from vastly different cultures, still found around the world today. The only way that makes sense, is if everyone shared the same language and history before Babel.
The reason for these flood stories is not difficult to understand. When we turn to the history book of the universe, the Bible, we learn that Noah's descendants stayed together for approximately 100 years, until God confused their languages at Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). As these people moved away from Babel, their descendants formed nations based primarily on the languages they shared in common. Through those languages, the story of the Flood was shared, until it became embedded in their cultural history. (Link)
Since the Babel incident, mankind struggled fruitlessly to overcome the barriers God put in place in Genesis 11:6, that is, until the 20th century. With both the British and the Americans dominating much of the past two-hundred years in global affairs, English has become the most commonly used language around the world for governance, business, entertainment, aviation, financial markets, etc. There really isn't any place you can go anymore in the world where someone does not speak English. Furthermore, we now have the technology in our phones and other electronic devices that can automatically translate most languages so that communication is no longer remaining a divine barrier.
While military and other leaders do not consider the spiritual (or unseen) realm as a "legitimate" domain, they do not dismiss the possibility that other dimensions exist. The Bible explains in numerous places that the unseen realm is more real, and more permanent, than the realm we currently inhabit (2nd Cor. 4:18). This means that despite what anyone says, we have to contend with the spiritual nature of our existence on earth, which most assuredly includes the unseen spiritual warfare that is raging all around us.
At present, this unseen spiritual battle remains a campaign of influence (good vs. evil), but very soon, the supernatural world will come crashing back into the natural just after the Rapture of the Church. Like us, Satan is in the dark in terms of when exactly it (the Rapture) will occur. God's overarching plan of the ages is fairly open and understandable, but there are still a few things the Father keeps close to the chest. The exact timing of the Rapture is one of them. When it happens, the Rapture will be like that proverbial thunderbolt that shocks the world into the perfect crisis when God removes His ambassadors (us) without warning, and leaves the world in crisis and ripe for deception. Then the unseen campaign of influence and spiritual warfare will take on a very physical manifestation, by way of the man we commonly refer to as the Antichrist. He will have all the backing and authority over the kingdoms of the earth, given to him by the one who currently holds it, Satan (Luke 4:5-6, 1st John 5:19, Rev. 13:7).
Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2
US Aid, Palestinian Wakaha - by Bassam Tawil -
The question of Palestinian responsiveness is once again on display as Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and his senior officials in Ramallah step up their verbal attacks on the US administration after its decision to cut $200 million in American financial aid to the Palestinians.
Abbas and the PA leadership are again behaving like spoiled, angry children whose candy has been taken away from them, hurling abuse at the Trump administration. Recall that earlier this year, Abbas called US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman a "son of a dog."
For the past 9 months, the Palestinian leaders have been waging a massive and unprecedented campaign of incitement and abuse against Trump and his administration. This campaign began immediately after Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017, and the campaign is continuing to this day as a reply to the US decision to slash $200 million from the American financial aid to the Palestinians.
Significantly, the PA and its leaders were the ones who initiated the crisis with the US administration. Their dissatisfaction with Trump's announcement on Jerusalem may be understandable, but they chose to take their protest to an extreme by boycotting the US administration and waging a smear campaign against Trump and his "Jewish advisors and envoys."
It is clear that the Palestinian boycott of the US administration did not include receiving funds from the Americans. One the one hand, the Palestinians have been boycotting and badmouthing US administration officials. On the other hand, Abbas and his representatives are now crying that the US administration is slashing $200 million of its financial aid to the Palestinians. If this isn't cheek in its finest form, what is?
The Arabic word for cheek, by the way, is wakaha. Were Abbas to behave in the same manner towards an Arab country for cutting financial aid to the Palestinians, he would have been accused by his Arab brothers of displaying wakaha at its best. Abbas, however, would think ten times before he uttered a bad word against any Arab country.
The Palestinians are basically telling the Americans: We have the right to condemn you every day, to burn your flags and photos of your president, to incite against you, to launch weekly protests against you, to accuse you of being under the "influence of the Jewish and Zionist lobby" and, at the same time, we have the right to continue receiving US taxpayer money.
Judging from their actions and assertions in the past few months, the Palestinians have turned the US into an enemy. They consider the US to be in "collusion" with the Israeli government and a "full partner in Israeli crimes against the Palestinians." They say they no longer trust the US to play any role in a peace process with Israel because of the Trump administration's "blind bias" in favor of Israel and its "hostile" policies towards the Palestinians.
The Palestinians, of course, are entitled to voice their anger at the US. However, if they are so fed up with the US that they are even boycotting US administration officials, why are they demanding that the Americans continue to supply them with hundreds of millions of dollars each year? Where's the vaunted Arab dignity, which requires an Arab not to humiliate himself in return for money, especially if it comes from someone you consider an enemy?
The answer to this question can be found in a statement issued on August 25 by PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat in response to the US decision to cut the $200 million in aid to the Palestinians. "The international community is not doing the Palestinians a favor by providing them with financial aid," Erekat argued. "This is a due duty of the international community, which bears responsibility for the continued Israeli occupation."
Erekat's statement reflects a long-standing Palestinian position according to which the US and the rest of the international community owe the Palestinians money for supporting Israel's existence. The Palestinian position stems from a belief that the international community, specifically the Americans and Europeans, were responsible for the establishment of Israel in 1948 at the cost of the Palestinians. This position was best echoed by Abbas himself, who has said that Israel is a "colonial project" imposed on the Palestinians by Western powers.
This attitude means that the Palestinians have never seen the massive financial aid they have received from the West as a gift but rather as something that the world owes them for imposing a "colonial project" on them. The billions of dollars the Palestinians have received in the past few decades have evidently left no positive impression on the Palestinians, who feel that the funds are something they are fully entitled to because of the world's support for the existence of Israel.
The Palestinians, in other words, apparently do not feel they have to be grateful to those who have been funding them for decades. If the Europeans were to take a similar decision today and cut funding to the Palestinians, they too would be condemned by Abbas and his officials for being "hostile" towards the Palestinians and "biased" in favor of Israel.
The ongoing Palestinian rhetorical attacks on the US administration are dangerous because they further radicalize the Palestinian public and turn the Americans into an enemy in the eyes of many Palestinians. In recent months, we have seen increased hostility towards American officials and citizens visiting the West Bank as a direct result of this incitement.
Last July, the US Consul-General in Jerusalem was forced to cancel a visit to the Palestinian city of Nablus after Palestinians threatened to stage protests against him and his entourage.
A month earlier, Palestinian protesters expelled a US consular delegation from the city of Bethlehem and threw tomatoes at their vehicles. No one was hurt, but the incident, which was documented on camera, was impolite and degrading for the Americans.
The Palestinians are now accusing the US of attempting to "blackmail" them by cutting the funds. According to the Palestinians, the US administration wants to force them to accept Trump's yet-to-be-unveiled plan for peace in the Middle East.
It is worth noting, however, that the US administration has not yet presented its purported plan to the Palestinians or to any other party. So how can the US administration be trying to pressure or "blackmail" the Palestinians when no peace plan has ever been made public? Can the Palestinians point to one US administration official who asked them to accept the unseen plan or support Trump's policies? Of course not.
There is indeed blackmail going on -- but in precisely the opposite direction. The Palestinians are trying to blackmail the US by claiming, absurdly, that the recent US decisions jeopardize the two-state solution and prospects for peace in the Middle East.
These are the very Palestinians, however, who have refused to resume peace talks with Israel for the past four years, since long before Trump was elected as president.
Common sense would have it that the US has a right to demand something from any party it helps to support -- including the Palestinians. But the Palestinians see things differently. In their view, billions of dollars are owed to them as some sort of divine right. And if their behavior calls into question whether they deserve that money -- well, those asking questions can just go back where they came from.
How I Define the NFL Protest - By Daymond Duck -
Assimilate; reverse tower of Babel.
On Aug. 9, 2018, several NFL teams played their first 2018 preseason game.
To their credit, only a handful out of more than 1,000 NFL players protested (it has been reported that 3 raised their fists, 2 kneeled behind teammates, 3 left the field, 1 remained in the locker room and one turned his back).
While some players protested, it should be noted that hundreds stood, a small number bowed their heads and many more put their hands over their hearts.
Those that respected our flag, our nation, our police and our troops greatly outnumbered those that disrespected them.
The next morning, Pres. Trump tweeted, "The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players from different teams wanted to show their 'outrage' at something that most of them are unable to define."
Below is how I define the NFL protest.
It is incredible to think that the NFL owners and the NFL players union would link up with a group of globalists that want to destroy the nation that has been so good to them, but that is what has happened.
On Aug. 12, 2018, just 3 days after the first 2018 preseason games and 2 days after Pres. Trump's tweet, Antifa protesters were marching in the streets of Washington, DC chanting, "no border, no wall, no USA at all."
Notice their own words: they want to destroy the U.S. government and replace it with a world government that has no borders.
World government and open borders are the goal of some Democrats and fast-rising Democratic socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that are calling for the elimination of ICE (the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency).
Opening the U.S. border and eliminating the U.S. enforcement agency eliminates the U.S. as a nation, but leaders will still be needed and Bible prophecy teaches that it will be the prophesied satanic world government of the Antichrist.
Why do some call this satanic? The answer is because it reverses what God did at the Tower of Babel when He broke up Nimrod's effort to establish a world government and world religion, divided the people into nations and scattered them all over the world (Gen. 11:1-9).
Why not keep the borders and have a world government rule over nations? The answer is because globalists think the people of the world need to assimilate and merge their cultures. The problem is that many immigrants refuse to assimilate.
Why are socialists and Democratic socialists rising up, rioting, demonstrating, etc.? The answer is because the globalists have rejected capitalism and selected socialism as the economic and political system for their world government, and some are helping fund the Resist Trump movement.
It is important to know that every year the NFL players association contributes money to various groups in the USA; and not all, but some of these organizations (Black Lives Matter; Jobs with Justice; Center for Community Change; etc.) can be linked to a grant-funding organization that has been founded by a globalist named George Soros, and some of them are trying to bring down the USA.
As I understand it, Mr. Soros creates organizations such as the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Foundation, and those groups give grants to groups such as Black Lives Matter, an Antifa group called Refuse Fascism, etc. The NFL players association gives money to some of these groups too, and these groups are trying to bring down the USA.
The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has listed Antifa as a Domestic Terrorist Organization.
Some members of that group are under investigation for threatening to kill Pres. Trump at the Washington, DC demonstration on Aug. 12, 2018.
And for those who have forgotten or don't know, Black Lives Matter is the group that called for violence against the police in Louisiana with chants of: 1) "What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want it? Now!" 2) "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon!" and 3) "Hands up, don't shoot!"
In closing, most of the NFL players and some of the team owners are respecting the flag and the U.S.
But they are not innocent because they are allowing their money to go through the players association to organizations that are terrorizing the U.S., calling for cop killings, calling for the president of the U.S. to be murdered, trying to destroy the U.S., etc.
And NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and some of the team owners are involved because they could stop it and they haven't.
Instead of giving money to the players union that is passed on to people that trash the police, America's flag and its president, they should cut those high prices and support the fans that don't want part of what they pay for tickets to be spent on trashing the police, flag and president.
Some may wonder why a prophecy writer would write about the NFL protests; but as I define it, Satan has duped a once-great institution (the NFL) and some great but ill-informed, unthankful and very rich football players into supporting his desire to create a world government.
These people have been blessed to live in the greatest nation on earth and they are showing their gratitude by helping destroy it.
They claim to be for the people, but they demand so much money that many people can't afford to go to the game.
Those who are here after the Rapture will get Satan's man for seven years, but they won't be super-rich and ultra-blessed anymore, and most of those on earth will be too poor to go to football games, buy jerseys, eat hot dogs and drink sodas.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Is God Really All-Good? - Lee Strobel -
"Good is a notoriously tricky word," Peter Kreeft began, "because even in human affairs there's such a wide range of meaning. But the difference, once again, between us and God is certainly greater than the difference between us and animals, and since good varies enormously between us and animals, it must vary even more enormously between us and God."
I like to refer to Kreeft as "the un-philosopher." Not that he isn't a philosopher; in fact, he's a first-rate philosophical thinker, with a doctorate from Fordham University, postgraduate study at Yale University, and thirty-eight years of experience as a philosophy professor at Villanova University and (since 1965) Boston College. He has taught such courses as metaphysics, ethics, mysticism, sexuality, and Oriental, Greek, medieval, and contemporary philosophy, earning such honors as the Woodrow Wilson and Yale-Sterling fellowships.
"Granted," I said. "But if I sat there and did nothing while my child got run over by a truck, I wouldn't be good in any sense of the word. I'd be an evil father if I did that. And God does the equivalent of that. He sits by and refuses to perform miracles to take us out of dangers even greater than being hit by a truck. So why isn't he bad?"
Kreeft nodded. "It looks like he is," he said. "But the fact that God deliberately allows certain things, which if we allowed them would turn us into monsters, doesn't necessarily count against God."
I couldn't see his reasoning. " You'll have to explain why that is," I said.
"Okay, let me give you an analogy in human relationships," he replied. "If I said to my brother, who's about my age, 'I could bail you out of a problem but I won't,' I would probably be irresponsible and perhaps wicked. But we do that with our children all the time. We don't do their homework for them. We don't put a bubble around them and protect them from every hurt.
"I remember when one of my daughters was about four or five years old and she was trying to thread a needle in Brownies. It was very difficult for her. Every time she tried, she hit herself in the finger and a couple of times she bled. I was watching her, but she didn't see me. She just kept trying and trying.
"My first instinct was to go and do it for her, since I saw a drop of blood. But wisely I held back, because I said to myself, 'She can do it.' After about five minutes, she finally did it. I came out of hiding and she said, "Daddy, daddy - look what I did! Look at what I did!' She was so proud she had threaded the needle that she had forgotten all about the pain.
"That time the pain was a good thing for her. I was wise enough to have foreseen it was good for her. Now, certainly God is much wiser than I was with my daughter. So it's at least possible that God is wise enough to foresee that we need some pain for reasons which we may not understand but which he foresees as being necessary to some eventual good. Therefore, he's not being evil by allowing that pain to exist.
"Dentists, athletic trainers, teachers, parents - they all know that sometimes to be good is not to be kind. Certainly there are times when God allows suffering and deprives us of the lesser good of pleasure in order to help us toward the greater good of moral and spiritual education. Even the ancient Greeks believed the gods taught wisdom through suffering. Aeschylus wrote: 'Day by day, hour by hour / Pain drips upon the heart / As, against our will, and even in our own despite / Comes Wisdom from the awful grace of God.'
"We know that moral character gets formed through hardship, through overcoming obstacles, through enduring despite difficulties. Courage, for example, would be impossible in a world without pain. The apostle Paul testified to this refining quality of suffering when he wrote that 'suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.'
"Let's face it: we learn from the mistakes we make and the suffering they bring. The universe is a soul-making machine, and part of that process is learning, maturing, and growing through difficult and challenging and painful experiences. The point of our lives in this world isn't comfort, but training and preparation for eternity. Scripture tells us that even Jesus 'learned obedience through suffering' - and if that was true for him, why wouldn't it be even more true for us?"
Kreeft let the question hang in the air for a moment while his mental gears whirred. Then he continued. "Suppose we didn't have any suffering at all," he added. "Suppose we had drugs for every pain, free entertainment, free love - everything but pain. No Shakespeare, no Beethoven, no Boston Red Sox, no death - no meaning. Impossibly spoiled little brats - that's what we'd become.
"It's like that old Twilight Zone television show where a gang of bank robbers gets shot and one of them wakes up walking on fluffy clouds at the golden gate of a celestial city. A kindly white robed man offers him everything he wants. But soon he's bored with the gold, since everything's free, and with the beautiful girls, who only laugh when he tries to hurt them, since he has a sadistic streak.
"So he summons the St. Peter figure. 'There must be some mistake.' 'No, we make no mistakes here.' 'Can't you send me back to earth?' 'Of course not, you're dead.' 'Well, then, I must belong with my friends in the Other Place. Send me there.' 'Oh, no, we can't do that. Rules, you know.' 'What is this place, anyway?' 'This is the place where you get everything you want.' 'But I thought I was supposed to like heaven.' 'Heaven? Who said anything about heaven? Heaven is the Other Place.' The point is that a world without suffering appears more like hell than heaven."
That seemed hyperbolic. "Do you really believe that?" I asked.
"Yes, I do. In fact, if you don't, then pretend you're God and try to create a better world in your imagination. Try to create utopia. But you have to think through the consequences of everything you try to improve. Every time you use force to prevent evil, you take away freedom. To prevent all evil, you must remove all freedom and reduce people to puppets, which means they would then lack the ability to freely choose love.
"You may end up creating a world of precision that an engineer might like - maybe. But one thing's for sure: you'll lose the kind of world that a Father would want."
Daily Jot: What lies ahead - Bill Daily - www.dailyjot.com
Over the weekend, Azios' Jonathan Swan gave Americans a peek into the Democratic Party's playbook if they are able to take control of the House of Representatives in November. He wrote of a spreadsheet originating in a senior House Republican office detailing over 100 formal requests from House Democrats for hearings, investigations, subpoenas, and sworn testimonies from the Trump White House. Because House Republicans have used their committee chairmanships to block most of these investigative requests, Swan predicts that the Trump White House would become little more than a "24/7 legal defense operation." This is all part of the coup-makers plan to undermine and obstruct the presidency.
This is, quite frankly, nothing new. The media has pounded away at this president since before he took office, working hand in hand with coup-makers in the FBI, the Democratic Party, and big technology companies. PJ Media's Paula Bolyard, after conducting an in-depth investigation, reports, for example, that Google's algorithms are 96% biased in favor of showing liberal news outlets when searching for news about President Trump. She concludes: "With all the talk and hand-wringing about fake news and bad foreign actors using social media outlets to attempt to manipulate election results, far too little attention has been paid to power brokers like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and their ability--and perhaps even desire--to manipulate public opinion and shape the world into their own Silicon Valley image."
These are the houses of lies that shape what lies ahead for our nation. Truth has fallen in the street and deception is in the air we breathe. Can you see what is happening to free speech and, with it, freedom of religion, in this country? The more lies that are told, the more they are perceived as truth. The burden of truth can only come from the origin of truth. Truth is needed to resist this juggernaut of a takeover of America and a destruction of our Republic. Aside from being a good citizen of the original American Revolution, you must be above all a good citizen of the Kingdom of God. We must convey the gift of hope and salvation. Boldly speak truth in love. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. What more?
2 Corinthians 4:8-11 says, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." Verse 6 says, "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." I also love 1 Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." May we be such.
Daily Devotion: "Forgive Us Our Sins" - By Greg Laurie -
If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. -Psalm 66:18
I've noticed that whenever I wear light-colored pants, I tend to spill on myself more often. What I've realized, however, is that I'm always spilling on myself. I just don't see the stains because I usually wear dark jeans.
The same can be true of our lives. I think we sin more than we think we do. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. A sin of commission, of course, is doing what we shouldn't do. A sin of omission is not doing what we should do.
That's why it's a good thing to pray on a regular basis (or maybe even a daily or hourly basis), "Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us" (Matthew 6:12 NLT). Start there. Admit your sin. Don't make excuses for it. Own it. Repent of it. That establishes communication with your Father in Heaven.
The prophet Isaiah said, "The Lord's arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It's your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore" (Isaiah 59:1-2 NLT). The psalmist wrote, "If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened" (66:18 NLT).
If we don't confess our sins, it's like hanging up on God. There still may be a relationship, but our fellowship and communication with Him are temporarily severed.
Maybe you're thinking, "I don't know whether I have any sins to confess." If you spend any time in God's presence, you will be immediately aware of how much you're in need of God's forgiveness. The more we see God in His glory, the more we'll see ourselves in our sinfulness.
FROM THE HEART
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