Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Has God Cast Away Israel? (part 2) - Pastor Mike Taylor -
"I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,
3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal."(Romans 11:1-4)
The apostle Paul answers the question proposed, "Has God cast Israel away?" in this eleventh chapter of Romans. It would seem the present main stream churches teach, with an exception of a few enlightened Christians who actually read and believe their bible, that God has done away with Israel because of their unbelief. Since the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Israel has endured intense persecution for nigh 2000 years. As scripture tells the story of the trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate, when asked what to do with Jesus, the Jewish authorities and their cohorts spoke prophetically of their coming fate. 24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children."(Matthew 27:24-25)
And so it has been. From that time forward and their refusal to accept their Messiah and the eventual destruction of their nation and Temple, these people were hated by all men around them. The early Roman Catholic church called them "Christ killers" and they were sorely persecuted. The fact is, we are all killers of our Lord, as Jesus came for one purpose and that was to die for the sins of mankind. They are Christ killers, speaking of Israel. You are a Christ killer, I am a Christ killer, and the world is a Christ killer. As it had to be and was planned before the foundation of the world. But realizing that we are all to blame and we all sent our Lord to the cross to die, the question still remains, "Has Israel been cast away" from our Lord and has now been replaced by someone else? You know what I speak of. The misguided doctrine of Replacement Theology would have us believe that Israel is no longer God's chosen people. That distinction has passed onto the Church in their view. But has it? Let us look at the final authority to that question and look in God's Holy Word, because truth is found in God, not in men.
WHY IS ISRAEL IN UNBELIEF?
The answer is right there in the pages of your Bible, and Paul addresses here in Romans 11 and gives the reason. It was God's doing. Why is this so, you may be wondering?7 "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (the church) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (Israel) my emphasis
8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day."(Romans 11:7-8)
Did you catch that? God hath given them a spirit of slumber, so they cannot see or hear. Today there are very few that have accepted the knowledge of the truth of Jesus as their Messiah, Lord and Savior, except by God's grace and the working of the Holy Spirit. But as a nation, (as a people individually) they still are blind and deaf to the realization that they have rejected the Lord of glory to their own error.
Paul goes into great detail of why this is so. The answer? It is for our benefit. That's right you read that correctly. It is for the Gentile nations to bring them in as first fruits of God's plan of salvation. God has called for a people who were not His people, because of grace. Continuing in Romans 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?(Romans 11:11-15)
Paul is saying that in the fullness of time, that God is able to bring Israel in as well. But since that time Paul wrote these words, God has been calling a people who are to be the bride of Christ, in this age of grace, or Church Age. It has been going on now almost 2000 years and my friend, that age is drawing to a fast completion. The coming Tribulation will be the period of time when Israel is redeemed through intense persecution.
ISRAEL AS A NATURAL OLIVE TREE
Israel is compared to an olive tree in the following verses of this 11th chapter of Romans. Because of unbelief, they have been broken off, and we, the Church, have been grafted in. How so? By the blood and body of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Sacrifice upon that cross is how we were grafted in. By faith and repentance, we have come to know Jesus as Savior of our souls. It was all designed by Divine will for one reason and that so God would have mercy on a people who were not His people, and in the end, save all of Israel and they be grafted back into the Olive Tree, which is Jesus Christ, the root of that tree. Paul writes this in Romans 11, continuing on:16 "For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee."(Romans 11:16-21)
Paul warns of the church being prideful and thinking that somehow we are special and that Israel is accursed. To believe that is to be misguided at best, and blasphemous at the worst. Because in essence what you are doing is calling God a liar to say that His Word lies. The Bible affords those of us called now not even the slightest room for pride because only God knows the reasons for His mercy toward us.
24 "But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence."(1st Corinthians 1:24-29)
That preceding verses make it pretty plain that it is certainly not because we are better than others are. God has called the weak, the poor, and the humble, not the mighty, the proud, or the noble has God called. God intends that we be humbled by understanding our privilege in having such an awesome gift fall into our laps, and be motivated to respond to Him in submission to His commandments, because we love Him who first loved us.JACOBS TROUBLES
I wish to turn your attention for a moment to a time that is rapidly approaching and that I have written extensively about. The coming 7 year period called the Tribulation, and the Great Tribulation, are also referred to as Jacob's troubles.
This period of time is when God will deal with Israel one on One and bring them to a knowledge of their Savior who they crucified in unbelief 2000 years ago. Zechariah details of the realization that comes to the nation of Israel and it's heritage scattered around the world. Zechariah:7 "The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.
9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."(Zechariah 12:7-10)
Through persecution and being refined, "as silver is refined in the fire", (Malachi chp.3) Israel will come to realize that their Messiah is/was Jesus Christ, whom they crucified and they shall weep bitterly and mourn, as Zechariah said by God's Holy Spirit. Zechariah prophesied in the beginning of the 12th chapter.12:1 "The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."(Zechariah 12:1-3)
Leading to this fulfillment of prophecy, Israel has cried out to the Messiah that they had rejected and triggered the King of Kings to come and fight for them, by fulfilling what Jesus said when he finished chastising the Pharisees as hypocrites:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord."(Matthew 23:37-39)
Satan has tried to destroy Israel many times, as if they are not here, then Jesus will not come as He promised in the above verses to set up His Kingdom on earth and Satan in his warped thinking believes he can make God out a liar and suspend his eventual demise in the Lake of Fire. . He will attempt the same in the Tribulation, but God will intervene and Israel will be blessed in the end, but through much persecution that will turn their hearts to the Savior they rejected 2000 years ago.
All ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED
The Bible confirms in many passages, that Israel will be grafted back into the Olive Tree which is Christ. Continuing in Romans:11:22 "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes."(Romans 11:22-28)
If Israel has been cast away, then how does God bring them back in and graft them back into their own natural Olive Tree, which is Christ? How plainer can God be, through having Paul write down these passages? Some will say that "we are now the new Israel of God" and have replaced Israel as God's chosen people. Characteristically, God's true church is a spiritual organism whose members, with God's help, will ultimately prevail over their own sinful natures, over the world, and over Satan. The Israel of God, like Jacob, prevails with God. Christ certainly remembered His wrestling match with the unrelenting Jacob when He inspired Paul to call His church "the Israel of God." But to cast away Israel is not what Paul meant in Galatians ,
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."(Galatians 6:15-16)
As the last verse of the preceding passage should destroy that notion. God does not lie, and He gave a promise to the "fathers" of the nation of Israel. He will not cast away Israel for one reason and one reason only....His Holy Name and the promises He has made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Repeating that verse:
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes."(Romans 11:28)
God does not change and to cast away Israel would impugn His glorious Name. Israel does not deserve this mercy and grace on God's part, then again....neither do we, the Church, the Bride of Christ. But the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was accomplished for all mankind, with the offer coming to the Jews first, then to the Gentiles. But I submit to you, that God had a different idea that would accomplish His perfect plan, as He wanted to be the God of the whole world, not just the Jews, as they had proven themselves unreliable to spread the Gospel to other nations.
29 'For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." (Romans 11:29-32)
God made a promise to all people, Jew and Gentile alike and proclaimed what He came to do:
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."(John 3:16-17)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:8-13)
Both passages are the essence of the Bible, to all who believe, Jew and Gentile the same, but in God's timing.
REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY, DOCTRINE OF DEMONS
Satan the great deceiver, has attempted to make God out a liar. He has filled men of the modern day church with false premises that God has cast away His chosen people. If God can be shown a liar by Satan's deception, then Satan, in his warped thinking, feels he can unravel his own punishment for sinning against God. Modern "enlightened" evangelist and pastors across the world have fallen into this trap by not supporting the nation of Israel who has been gathered back into her own land. I become angry and a little frustrated at fellow "believers" that profess that God has cast away Israel and that the Zionist regime are occupiers of the Palestinian land. First, there never was a Palestinian people. It's a made up title for squatters who were occupying land that was never theirs. The land has always belonged to God Almighty and He gave that title land deed to Israel when He made that promise to Abraham. Genesis chapter 17:17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."(Genesis 17:7-8)
My God said that it would be an "everlasting" covenant..that's eternal, forever and ever, as long as this world is in existence. For a so called preacher of the Gospel to spew Replacement Theology and support this fictitious group of land squatters called "Palestinians" is to go against God Himself. God plainly said in Genesis
"2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."(Genesis 122-3)
And in another passage God says plainly in Zechariah:2:8 "For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye."(Zechariah 2:8)
You touch Israel, you touch God and if you bless her, He will bless you. You plunder her, abuse her, or not defend her, then you encourage the wrath of God.
This is so what worried me about the USA and the past "idiot in chief" the so called POTUS. He had turned a blind eye to the needs of Israel. Of all the presidents in our modern era, this "usurper in chief" was the biggest enemy that Israel had ever had apart from the Arabs in the Middle East. We have always supported Israel since her birth in 1948 and Harry Truman was President, but this nation, the past administration of Anti-Semites and Muslim sympathizers had taken a crooked path that most assuredly would have led to this nation's eventual destruction. Thank God for the present administration who realizes that Israel is the only friend we have in the Middle East and an ally to control to what is happening in the land of the Bible.
Men of conscious, men and women of faith, and bible believing brethren must pray for the peace of Israel and stand on the side of God Almighty. It is not ours to judge the Jewish people, as that is left solely up to God. He will accomplish all that He has said, and it will be done. God will bring in Jew and Gentile into one big family in the fulfillment of all things. Praise be to our God, the God of the Jewish people and Gentile alike. Whatever we do, we must keep an eye on Israel, God's chosen people, and bless her as it will solely depends on our blessings here at home.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying blessing upon you and your family, as you support Israel in thought and in deed. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspost.com, . God bless you all , till we meet at Jesus feet.
Israel Faces a Serious Escalation in its Proxy War with Iran - by Con Coughlin -
The recent confirmation by US military officials that Israeli warplanes were responsible for the recent attack on an Iranian military base in Iraq demonstrates the alarming extent to which the so-called proxy war between Tehran and Jerusalem has escalated in recent weeks.
According to senior Israeli security sources, spoken to on an off-the-record basis, the base in the northern Iraqi province of Salaheddin was targeted because they believed it was being used to assemble Iranian-made medium-range missiles with the capability to hit targets in Israel.
The threat was deemed so important that senior Israeli officers decided to launch a daring bombing raid that required F-35 stealth warplanes to penetrate Saudi airspace to achieve their objective. It is unclear whether the Saudis, who oppose Iranian meddling in Iraq but do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, gave permission for the Israeli warplanes to enter their airspace.
The attack, which took place on July 19, on the base run a group of local Shia militias known collectively as the Popular Mobilisation Forces, which are sponsored by Iran, is said to have resulted in the deaths of two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commanders, as well as several fighters from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia.
To date, there has been no official confirmation from Jerusalem that Israel was responsible for the attack, although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in the midst of campaigning for re-election in next month's poll, has dropped heavy hints that the Israeli military was responsible for the raid. As speculation mounted about Israel's involvement in the raid, the Israeli premier was reported telling a planning meeting in Jerusalem earlier this week, "We will deepen our roots and strike at our enemies. "
Now, the extent of Israeli involvement has been confirmed by the US, which has 5,000 troops based in Iraq, after military officials said Israel was responsible for carrying out the raid.
This is the first time that Israeli warplanes have attacked targets in Iraq since the famous Operation Babylon bombing raid in 1981 against the Osirak nuclear reactor being built by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as part of his drive to acquire nuclear weapons.
The fact that Israel has found it necessary to attack targets so far from its traditional area of military operations close to its immediate borders is indicative of the alarming escalation that has taken place in recent months in the threat Iran poses to Israeli security.
Furthermore, it comes at a time when Israel is undertaking military operations on numerous fronts to tackle the Iranian threat. Earlier this week, in Lebanon, an Israeli drone was reported to have bombed a Palestinian base that is said to be funded by Iran. Israeli warplanes were also reported to have bombed Iranian military bases on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus.
The recent increase in Israeli military activity reflects the lengths to which the Jewish state is prepared to go to defend itself against the increasingly potent threat Iran poses to the security of its citizens.
It also somewhat undermines the suggestion made at the G7 summit in Biarritz earlier this week that Iran is involved in secret talks to re-enter negotiations over its controversial nuclear deal.
Speculation that there could be a diplomatic breakthrough in the acrimonious stand-off between Washington and Tehran was based on the surprise appearance of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the French resort, apparently at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, the summit's host.
This prompted Donald Trump to suggest that he was prepared to meet with his Iranian counterpart, President Hassan Rouhani, if the circumstances were right.
Any genuine prospect, though, of such a meeting taking place, was quickly quashed after the Iranian leader said it could only happen if Washington ended its punitive sanctions regime against his country, a precondition no one in the Trump administration is likely to countenance.
The very idea of Washington sitting down with the Iranians at a time when it is continuing to threaten the security of its closest Middle Eastern ally would be unconscionable.
The reality is that there can be no meaningful dialogue between Washington and Tehran on a future deal so long as Iran remains committed to its long-standing policy of seeking the wholesale destruction of the Jewish state.
Passing Away - By Pete Garcia - https://rev310.com/2019/08/passing-away
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:17
What if I told you that one day, you would forget what it was like to be human? You will forget what it was like to have aches, pains, pimples, ulcers, allergies, gray hair, hair loss, cancer, knee replacements, irritable bowel syndrome, hunger, thirst, and every other ailment known to man. You will forget what it was like to want to sin, that is, to feed the desires of the flesh. You will forget what it was like to hate and sorrow. You will forget what it was like to lust and envy for that which you do not have. As a born-again believer, you will one day become, the perfect version of yourself, the one God had always intended you to be.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
The former things are passed away...let that sink in for a moment. Although I cannot fully fathom this concept, I imagine, it is similar to trying to recall a specific hour of a specific day when you were two-months-old.
As hard as it is to imagine at present, the reality of it is, we will spend more time in our incorruptible bodies than we ever could in our corruptible ones. In fact, the bulk of our existence will be in the eternal state. At present, what is the longest a man could hope to live for? 100 years? 120 years? 969 years? (e.g., Methuselah) You might be asking, what the heck are you talking about with all this corruptible and incorruptible nonsense? Well, glad you asked, because the Apostle Paul has the answer.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 1st Corinthians 15:50-54
Among the numerous reasons for believing in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church, one of the more practical ones is that of our necessary physical transformation. Simply put, our bodies were not designed to live outside of this earth's biosphere. Without augmentation, we could not even survive underwater for more than a few minutes. Few people can survive above 14,000 ft. elevation without an oxygen bottle. This is why, our bodies need an upgrade, primarily, because when Jesus comes to take us where He is (John 14:1-3), we must be changed physically in order to survive. More importantly, we must be made incorruptible in order to be able to exist in God's presence
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1st John 3:2-3
We know that in Jesus's incarnation, He struggled with everything mortal humans struggle with (hunger, thirst, pain, anguish, sorrow, etc.). However, after Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, He was changed. Therefore, what was Jesus physically like after His resurrection, and what was He capable of doing?
Now, we know that when He appeared to John on the isle of Patmos, He showed Himself in His full glory. Then John fell over as dead (Rev. 1:17). His appearance in His full glory is far too much for the human (no matter how righteous) to take. So although we will be LIKE Christ, we will NOT be fully LIKE Him. We do not, nor will we ever, be as God in that sense of the understanding. We will never be gods or deified as God is, but we will share in a portion of His glory because we are part of Him as the body of Christ, who is covered with the blood of Christ, and indwelt with God the Holy Spirit. It is as close to being God as any being could possibly get, yet, the glory, power, and majesty of God are His, and His alone.
The late Jack Kelley taught a wonderful subject many years ago called The Incomparable Riches of His Grace, and lays out what he believed heaven would be like. I highly recommend this audio-teaching and I promise you will be greatly blessed if you listen to it. Although I cannot say with 100% certainty that he is correct, I like to believe he is, and furthermore, I think he keyed in on an important aspect about the eternal state I would like to reiterate. We simply cannot fathom how wonderful heaven will be. Our finite minds, given the naturalistic world we currently inhabit, cannot (even in imagination), comprehend how much God has in store for us. To quote a friend of mine's young son
"Dad, I was thinking... if earth is this awesome and God made it in only six days think about how awesome heaven is since he's been working on it for hundreds of thousands of years!"
A child's wonder is something most adults have grown out of, or rather, had beaten out of them by the world. We will not be bored. Far from it. Whatever limitations heaven has at present, are simply limits of our own imagination. Although I cannot add to what Paul already so eloquently lays out here, I can add a thought that might accompany it. Look at your own life. If you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ, your life here and now is the worst experience you will EVER experience. EVER. Spend a little time today to meditate on the last line.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
Home - By Grant Phillips -
It is said that, "Home is where the heart is." With the exception perhaps of those who have experienced a horrible home life, that is certainly true. On the other hand, I have seen children begging to go home, even though their home life was pitiful, to say the least. Tears of sadness escape the eyes when witnessing such heartbreaking times, especially for the innocent little ones.
I personally have never been homesick as I recall, but I've witnessed others who after one night are ready to return home (if they make it through the night). I was eager to leave home as a young man, and never looked back. I have always enjoyed making my own nest and being on my own. I have no desire to visit the old home place of my youth. It wasn't because I had a bad childhood. I didn't. That's just me. I have a sister, who is just like me in that respect, and then another sister and a brother who are our opposites. Neither is wrong. We're just all different.
However, all this talk of "home," up to this point, is of earthly matters. On a geographical map we may have been born at point A and now live at point B. We may long for both point A and point B, or even one over the other. It doesn't matter, because there is also a point C that lies upward of our map. It is called Heaven. Point A is where we lived a short time as a child. Point B is where we live a short time as an adult. Point C is the eternal home with Jesus Christ where we will live forever if we are His.
There are many factors that comprise our home. Family, house, activities (sports, music, etc.), jobs, schools, and much more all go together to make that special environment we call home, whether it is good or bad. We are just as attached to all these things as a baby is to the womb yet to be born. In other words, we are comfortable in our world around us, again good or bad, and we don't like change.
However, the Bible often speaks of the world as a negative influence upon man. Why? Maybe it is because the god of this world is Satan, and anytime Satan gets involved nothing good can come from it. I'll provide some examples.
Music is a joy to man. We will make music in Heaven along with the angels. However, not all music is wholesome. While Handel's Messiah is a blessing to the ears, in-your-face vulgarity rides the notes of much music today.
Sports are physically healthy for young and old. Sports teach respect, hard work, teamwork, and friendly competitiveness. Then Satan's crowd brings in betting, cheating, anger, fighting, and other negative issues.
Romance is a beautiful thing between a male and female. God designed us this way to wed, have families and procreate. However Satan brings along homosexuality, adultery, spousal abuse, child abuse, and the list goes on.
Local churches are a product of those who are committed to Jesus Christ where the Bible is taught, joyful music is made before the Lord, people are saved and worship is given to our God. But Satan includes false gospels, church splits, his own followers behind the pulpits, etc.
So what on earth does all this have to do with "home" you say? Home is where we desire to be. God calls every person to come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ to be saved. He desires that all are saved, but we must decide where we want to be.
When my wife and I are away on vacation or even a short trip, there is nothing like pulling in the driveway, walking in the door and being home. So the question remains. What do we really want? Where is home? Dave Hunt once stated, "The choice we face is not, as many imagine, between heaven and hell. Rather, the choice is between heaven and this world. Even a fool would exchange hell for heaven, but only the wise will exchange this world for heaven."
Are we so wrapped up in this world Heaven holds no interest? Is this world really what we want? Unfortunately, there are many people so in love with the things of this world; they would take it all with them at death if they could. Only an idiot would choose hell over Heaven, but millions upon millions will not give up the things of this world. The call of this world rings so loud in the ears of most the words from Heaven are drowned out. To most folks this world is their home.
Even many Christians will have few, if any rewards, because they have listened to the siren call of this world. John MacArthur said, "The Christian life is not adding Jesus to one's own way of life but renouncing that personal way of life for His and being willing to pay whatever cost that may require."
Those who are saved have a new desire that grows within, a desire for Heaven. The things of this world don't seem to matter as they once did. Some things that we once cherished aren't as important anymore, because we desire to please our Savior and be with Him when we leave this world behind in death.
To the Christian; can you imagine the joy when entering Heaven, and "pulling in the driveway, walking in the door and being home?" Even though we have never been there physically, we will be home thanks to Jesus.
This World Is Not My Home by Jim Reeves
This world is not my home I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore
Oh lord you know I have no friend like you|
If heaven's not my home then lord what will I do
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore
If we are of Christ, His Spirit is within us, and we are at home in Christ. This world is not our home. Our home awaits us. Soon He will come and take us Home.
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. "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 14:1-3)
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: Fight, fight, fight - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
This has been an interesting week having dialogue on why we are grieving in the spirit. Many Daily Jot readers are divided on this issue. Here is a comment from a regular reader, who expresses the sentiment: "I did not care for this article at all... We are at war--we are fighting evil with might--A continuing coup attempt is what we are facing. We sat for too long in the pews and praying; not getting out and demonstrating...The unbelievers took a bite out of the apple and we caved-and they have just continued to take bites with no opposition. The final straw for me was gay marriage. I shall fight the good fight and stand firm. A shooting war is coming. God bless. I encourage you to fight also; not just for souls but for AMERICA."
This reader is so right in so many ways. There is an ongoing coup attempt. The church did sit too long in the pews doing nothing but praying. Aside from some very courageous Christians standing against abortion, the church did "cave." We are at war, a social war, and the reason for this war is that the church in America has become largely irrelevant since the early 1960s. IF the church, and accountability rests both in the pulpit and by believers who just take what they are told without question, had stood in the gap with truth and unity, and held to the Word of God and acted on it; IF the church, meaning those in the church, had held accountability in their families and in their communities, America would look different today.
Having said that, I have a sense in my spirit that returning evil for evil will lose the war. Not because the members of darkness don't deserve it. In human terms they most certainly do. It is unjust to make up immoral rules and claim anyone who doesn't abide by them is a bigot, a racist, a homophobe, an Islamophobe, a xenophobe, a misogynist and so forth. But remember that judgment is up to God. They will receive their reward. There is only so much that a person can take of this nonsense and not do something about it. But if we respond by compromising the tenets of God, and winking at returning evil for evil, my sense is that God will not bless our efforts and we will lose this war. Our way of life will be lost. Mark my words.
There are massive numbers of verses in the Bible about how to win this. It's not by getting wrapped around the axel of hate, but flying above it like an eagle so you can see what is going on and respond accordingly. Christ said in Matthew 5:43, "You have heard that it has been said, Thou shalt love they neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you." Paul writes in Ephesians 4:31, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice." Ephesians 5:11 says, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather REPROVE them." He goes on to write that having done all, we must stand, and speak boldly as we ought to speak.
So how can we fight the fight without getting mixed up with the enemy's strategies? We do it in truth and love. We don't have to call names and express anger and hate. We speak directly and truthfully. Ephesians 4:26 says, "Be ye angry, and sin not." Countless events in the Bible show us that battles and wars are won with wisdom, truth and righteousness. Speak the truth in love. Act the truth in love. Having done all stand. Think Mt. Carmel and Esther. People seem to think that this is either return evil doings with even more force or be a total wimp. It's not that way. We can fight courageously and stand victoriously-but because we are people of the Way, we cannot compromise God's Word in doing so and keep his blessing.
I hate the evil among us as much as you. I fight it daily, probably more than most. I am no wimp or coward. But I know if we keep doing what we are doing, there will not be victory. Think about it. There is a better way.
Daily Devotion: Impossible Christians - by Greg Laurie -
And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.-Acts 4:29
We all may have someone in our lives who intimidates us, someone who seems to have it so together, to be so above us, so tough, that we think they never would listen to the gospel. It might be a boss, a professor, or a family member.
However, the fact is that no one is beyond the reach of God. Everyone needs Jesus. Everyone. It doesn't matter how they appear on the outside. Steve McQueen was at the top of his game, the number one movie star in the world. He had it all, yet he was on a search. He was just waiting for someone to give him the answer. And someone finally did. It resulted in his coming to Christ.
I also think of young Stephen in the book of Acts, who was charged with preaching the gospel. As he stood before the Jewish Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of the day, he began to share his faith. Their anger grew, and they ultimately gave the decree that he should be put to death. As he was dying, Stephen prayed for them, saying, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin" (Acts 7:60 NKJV).
Stephen was the first martyr of the early church, but among those men was the notorious Saul of Tarsus. You know the rest of the story. Saul of Tarsus ended up meeting Jesus on the Damascus Road. He was converted and became the apostle Paul. I think a seed was initially sown in Saul's heart by young Stephen.
Maybe there's someone you know who you think would never be open to the gospel. You think they would never listen to you. How do you know? Why don't you start praying for them?
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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