Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
PERSECUTION IN THE LAST DAYS - by Pastor Mike Taylor -
"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." (1st Peter 4:16-19)
Can persecution come to America? Its beginnings are already here if you look around you. We see where anything that speaks of God or His Holy Word, brings condemnation from a dying, rebellious world.
The news was full of the report in the past of one courageous woman in Kentucky, who would not bow to judicial pressure to issue same sex marriage licenses to gay couples. And a baker and florist in another part of the country who went through being sued for not provided their service to another gay couple. In this country we have freedom to stand against unjust laws that circumvent clear biblical morality. Our country and its so called leaders have gone rogue in subjecting this country to laws that were not meant for a free people. I am reminded of what the founding fathers wrote when they broke away from the tyranny of England in the Declaration of Independence:
"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
How can we continue to live under government tyranny without taking back what we loaned to others in the government to represent us...? Is it so far gone that we have not got the power to take back our own government? I find this the fault of the pastors that stand in our pulpits that have failed to preach and stand for righteousness and fire up their congregation and men of good will to stand for what is right and what this country was founded upon. I'm not advocating revolution, although I'm sure there are many people are just about fed up with this direction the country is headed in. I'm reminded of a quote by our 3rd President of the USA when he said:
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
And let no one be mistaken, there are men who believe in this country and will take up arms to defend her. I believe that is what the implementation of in the past the so called JADE HELM was all about, because the powers that be, know that the American people are getting fed up. This will promote more persecution and marshal law, and if you are labeled a right-wing extremist, a conservative, being religious, a Christian, or a patriot, then you have been branded as a threat to the government.
You may not think of yourself as a "domestic right-wing extremist", and I certainly do not, but the truth is that patriotic Americans and conservative Christians have been repeatedly labeled as "potential terrorists" since this past POTUS became president by hook and by crook, being illegitimate and probably not even born on USA soil. If this had just happened one time, it would be easy to dismiss. Sadly, there has been a steady pattern of this happening over the past several years. Large groups of people that are the heart and soul of this country have been systematically demonized over the past 8-9 years. When you consider what history has taught us, it is absolutely chilling to think about what this could eventually lead to. Is this what those reports of FEMA camps, mass coffins, and NSA spying on every person's personal information leading to....PERSECUTION?
THE FIRST AMENDMENT UNDER ATTACK
We have been given alienable rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The ACLU from their own website describes what we call the 1st Amendment to the Constitution:
"Our country's founders -- who were of different religious backgrounds themselves -- knew the best way to protect religious liberty was to keep the government out of religion. So they created the First Amendment -- to guarantee the separation of church and state. This fundamental freedom is a major reason why the U.S. has managed to avoid a lot of the religious conflicts that have torn so many other nations apart.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits government from encouraging or promoting ("establishing") religion in any way. That's why we don't have an official religion of the United States."
Most everything in the above quote is correct, but the point missed from the above clause that even the ACLU turns a blind eye to is that the government protects the free exercise of ones own religion. We have freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion. The statement of separation of church and state is not found in our original documents, but came from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a set of Christian pastors who worried about a theocracy coming to America. The phrase is lifted from this letter and is not part our governing laws, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the landscape of this country today.
GAY MARRIAGE FOUGHT IN KENTUCKY
So a firestorm has developed over one little county clerk who stood on her religious freedom to not condone a practice that would conflict her conscious of religious freedom and the right to practice that freedom by rejecting a spuriously and flagrant violation of God's Holy Word. She stood on the clear commands of written laws given by God concerning the abomination of homosexual sins. And she was not the first and she won't be the last. It will become more prevalent as we grow closer to the coming Tribulation. The Godly woman believed God when He said:
"22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. "(Leviticus 18:22)
Paul spoke of this also in the New Testament in Romans:
24 "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;" (Romans 1:24-28)
9 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (homosexuals), nor abusers of themselves with mankind" (1st Corinthians 6:9)
This county clerk, the baker, and the florist mentioned took their religious convictions seriously and would not violate their Christian beliefs and issue a piece of paper condoning sin by her signature on a marriage license, or baking a cake to glorify their abomination before God or supply flowers to the same type of event. This part of the county clerk in Kentucky was not present when she was elected to her position..Mind you, this lady is a Democrat and was sent to jail by a Republican judge, so the issue is not about Democrat vs. Republican ideology..No, it's about what this country was founded upon...Religious freedom!!! Some say that she should have resigned or vacated her elected post if it conflicted with her conscience. Or the baker and the florist should just have supplied the service to whomever asked...Yes, each could have rolled over and given consent by being absent from applying their moral beliefs to their business and their elected office, but would that not have said they were wrong in their beliefs by doing so? Would they not have been denying their Lord Jesus who wrote down His commandments for righteous living in public, or in private practice? I think it would have been so.
I got into a long back and forth debate on Facebook when this same question arose over whether Kim Davis was wrong in her actions. One thing I quickly learned, no matter what evidence you provide that God condemns this act of immorality so perverse in God's eyes as calling it an abomination, the liberal left, the Progressives (Democrat Socialist, or Communist, same thing) will try and shout you down. They will mock, curse God using expletives, start name calling, and I'm sure foam at the mouth as they rail against your God given beliefs of moral behavior according to God's Holy Word. It is their right to not believe (granted), but it also my right to believe...If they refuse to believe in the God of the Bible, that is their freedom to reject the message, but on the flip side, it is my right to believe and voice my opinions about what God says and quote scripture to back it up. Each should have the respect of varied opinions and beliefs without resorting to verbal abuse. But get ready folks, if it happens when you speak anything of God even on Facebook, it will get exponentially worse as we grow closer to the judgment of God coming down on this country to the run-up of the Tribulation in any public forum. The godless masses won't tolerate anything that speaks of God in any form, and will brand those that do as bigots and haters. And to some degree, they already are doing so.
Just look at one case in point. See what is a happening in our armed forces? Our past so called POTUS...you know his name, informed the highest ranking military generals and admirals of our military, that if they couldn't support the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" over homosexuality in the military, then they should resign. Many did resign. Chaplains have been ordered to not use the name of Jesus when counseling or ministering to any of our men and women in uniform. Religious freedom has been stifled in the public arena. The past Usurper in chief promoted unrighteous living at every turn, and he calls himself a "christian"...fat chance. Not by definition of a "follower of Jesus Christ" he's not. The man worships at the altar of himself. I can only applaud this present POTUS Trump that signed a bill promoting religious freedom in this country, but how long will this last when the next POTUS may take it away, or the next (God forbid) and Democrat congress does likewise.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
This all began when this country through a decision by the Supreme Court to ban prayer in public schools back in the 1960s, which eventually led to the ruling over a "woman's right to choose" to have or not to have an abortion. It wasn't about freedom to choose, but one person denying the right of another person to life, even in her own womb. It's been a slippery slope from that point on. America has grown more Godless as time has progressed.
Then look at the "Defense of Marriage Act" or DOMA that was law in this country and this past usurper in chief, who took an oath to uphold the law, decided on which laws he would enforce and those he would look the other way and not enforce. At every turn, he has made his own laws by executive order and failed to uphold the Constitution which is the LAW of the land. Of course, the argument can be made that we have elected our national moral condition decline by putting this man in office. Or that God has given us this man to bring the beginnings of His judgment upon a nation who has abused the freedoms given to them by God and turned their back on Who has blessed this nation like no other nation in all of man's history. Why do you think that the left, the MSM (Fake News) is rabid that the Supreme Court may tilt to the right for years to come with another Conservative judge appointed by President Trump? They can see their hold on changing America into a Socialist country slowly slipping away.
The freedoms that we have enjoyed since the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War was won, now nigh 235 years is rapidly being shredded in the place of being "politically correct" and morally depraved. Almost no one trembles at the Word of God or before God Himself in our present society in America. We have become a proud, although broken generation, glorying in our self-esteem and positive thinking. Our self-centered idea of ourselves looks at flesh as if it were a god, but has lost respect for the true God. Since we do not need to fear Him, we do not respect Him and are therefore slowly replacing Him with an impersonal god more on our human level.
I saw that first hand in my aforementioned debate against a self expressed atheist who embraces Buddhist beliefs of man being his own god. I shudder to think what would have been the result if the exchange had been face to face. This person got so offensive in his language that if we had been sitting across from one another, I can envision him rising to strike with his fist. Like I mentioned, I believe that this same kind of intolerance for anything that is of God and His Word will find even more persecution as the Tribulation hour approaches. This object intolerance is of Satan, the devil.
Even now, pastors in churches have been jailed for speaking God's truth and the authorities have arrested them for hate speech. I find that ludicrous, as if the same as warning to a motorcyclist to wear a helmet to avoid splattering his head all over the pavement and in doing so it is called hate speech, because you infringe on his right to be a danger to himself. Men of conviction speak of God's law and sin to warn those who are lawless in their conduct toward a Holy God. They are concerned for their spiritual lives and wishing to follow the leading of God's Holy Spirit. But men do not want to be told that they are sinning. The Facebook page reinforced that concept, that men do not want to be told that what they are doing is wrong according to God's Word. Christians are just standing in their way of having a "good" time. We are stifling their ability to form a "utopia" on earth where everyone can be and do whatever they want to do, irregardless if it's right or wrong.
Jesus warned us in John chapter 16:
1 "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me." (John 16:1-3)
Satan is working overtime, as he knows his time is running short, so if he is going to have any chance of winning over the one True God, he must make God out a liar and he is searching for anything that would accomplish this. He has been trying for almost 6000 years to avoid the penalty that he knows is coming. So he uses men against other men to attempt to thwart God's plan for mankind. It all started with the people that God chose as His own, the people of Israel who gave us Jesus even in unbelief, where Christianity was born and has spread to the whole world. Christianity has flourished to the four corners of the globe to reaching every tribe and every nation in our modern world by means of telecommunications, television and the internet. Jesus proclaimed what we are seeing right now:
34"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
35 For I have come to "set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
36 And "a man's foes will be those of his own household."(Matthew 10:34-36)
We may face persecution in our jobs, because of our beliefs...again,see what has happened to Kim Davis in Kentucky? At times, we may receive social persecution within a community (see the florist and the baker in the recent news). We are often excluded from friendships that would normally be extended to us as they are to others who are not of the truth of God's Word. Sometimes our children face this more directly in school than we do in the neighborhood or market place. But it's out there waiting to invade our safe place and make our lives more uncomfortable.
I wonder, as you are reading this, how many of us would have done as Kim Davis has done? Would we have stood up to an angry crowd that I'm sure became abusive and loud when she followed her faith and conscience and would not issue gay marriage license? Would you have been willing to go to jail for the crime of religious freedom as the baker and florist were facing? Would you have gone along with the crowd, as her deputy clerks did when they issued marriage license in her absence in fear of contempt of court of an unjust ruling? It is a difficult choice that we all may have to make before Jesus comes for His chosen bride.
Without a doubt, the most intense persecution will begin with those of a religious bent and culminates with the civil authorities. Christ received His most frequent attacks from the religious leaders, those with the greatest spiritual pretensions. The scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees all attempted to ostracize Him or destroy the validity of His teaching. In the end, the ecclesiastical authorities called upon the civil authorities to administer the savage beating and execution. As the Beast arises, we can expect its persecution to follow the same pattern.
PERSECUTION WILL GROW INTENSE
As I've explored in past messages, there is coming a push for a New World Order and a One World Religion. This has been proposed for the last 23 years since 1992 and the acceptance by 176 countries of the U.N.'s Agenda 21 and now is evolving into Agenda 2030, which I covered in my past messages. If you missed it, you may review it here:
There will come a time, when a government that has been formed to cover the whole earth will arise and demand allegiance to laws and commands that are in direct conflict with God's commands. A religious authority that will proclaim that all should worship an idol that shall be erected in the Holy of Holies in the newly built Temple in Jerusalem.
"15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." (Revelation 15-18
I've often wondered what kind of image this false prophet will cause the whole world to worship this image. Obviously, the whole world cannot go to Jerusalem to bow before an idol much like what King Nebuchadnezzer in ancient Babylon when he set up his golden image. So how will this be accomplished? I don't really know, but a good friend of mine postulated that the only way that the whole world will be able to see and worship the beast of Revelation is through a television broadcast into every home. Now we know that even today, Gallup Polling knows who is watching what program. Is it inconceivable to believe they will devise a means of tracking who is worshiping, and who is not? Will they be able to see into your living room and see how you respond, and if you bow or not? Seems far fetched in some aspects, but with technology the powers that be will figure out how to keep tabs on those who are loyal to the Beast Power and who are not...who will worship, and who will not. And if you worship, or take His mark, then that person is doomed for all eternity.
We in America have been virtually isolated from the evils that have grown rampant in the last several years in the rest of the world, but is it starting in America with the intolerance for anything that goes against the agenda that this New World Order elites envision? Will you compromise your morals and convictions and submit to their agenda? As we bump up to the coming of Jacob's troubles, known as the Tribulation, will it in fact get harder to be a patriotic American, a conservative, and a Christian? The answer is a resounding ....YES...yes, it will. How will you be able to stand firm....? Will you stand firm?
In this hour of man's last gasp of human government, when the persecution starts, you must arm yourself with weapons of war: Ephesians chapter 6,
"10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."
My friend, we could see persecution that could come knocking at your door, before Jesus comes back to remove His bride from this planet. Many pray, even as I do, that Jesus will come soon. Many point to this month as something major happening in the world. The coming of Jesus, the implosion of the economy of this fallen world, the nation of Israel going to war with Iran, and many other possibilities that very well could come to pass, but of the one that we all hope for, the coming of our Lord, what if it doesn't happen this month, or this year...what if God tarries and holds back His Son from coming based upon His perfect will? Then the above verses will take on a completely urgent need and meaning. I pray Jesus is ready to burst on the scene, but prepared to be fully armed with my weapons of spiritual warfare.
What about the rest of you? Those who see the world going to "hell in a hand-basket". The morals of the nation called the USA and the rest of the world becoming more permissive and evil beyond what you ever thought possible is right before your eyes. Can you imagine what it will be like, if the world becomes a 1000 times more wicked and dangerous with people dying all around you? Or you yourself, you loved ones, and those you care about dying a painful, horrifying death what that will be like? That is what is coming during the last 7 years of human history, called the Tribulation. How can you survive should you enter that time period...? Most likely, you won't survive. For the God of Heaven will rain down on earth an unimaginable wrath for the sins of mankind, that I for one, do not wish to be here to witness. A madman called the Anti-Christ will be the complete dictator and terror of this God forsaken world and will destroy all who do not follow him, and worship him as a god. But Jesus wishes to give all who call upon His name in belief "VICTORY" over this world, and reign and rule with Him for a thousand years...How you say? John chapter 3:
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 sent not His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved".
It's so simple, that a child can do it...become as a little child and believe on His name and follow Him in Spirit and in Truth. Persecution is coming, but we who stand on God's promises will overcome whatever is thrown our way...In Jesus Name.
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying for salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, comes into your life. Should you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org t, God bless you all:
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Abbas: The Same Mistakes as Arafat - by A. Z. Mohamed - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12920/abbas-arafat-mistakes
Why did Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently reject an offer to meet with White House advisors Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt?
According to a report in the London-based, Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat, Abbas viewed the reported offer as an attempt by the Americans to push the Palestinians into agreeing to a peace process favorable to Israel.
Abbas and his PA leadership have been boycotting the US administration since President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.
Abbas's refusal to meet with the Trump envoys did not come as a surprise. In fact, in light of his anti-Israel rhetoric in the past few months, the Palestinian leader's decision was expected.
Consider, for example, what Abbas said in an address to the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in January 2018, in which he approvingly quoted Egyptian intellectual Abdel-Wahab El-Messiri's denial of the 3,000-year Jewish connection to Israel:
"The functional nature of Israel means that it was evoked by colonialism in order to fulfill a specific function, and thus it constitutes a colonialist enterprise that has nothing to do with Judaism."
Abbas also called for discarding past agreements with Israel, declared his refusal of any mediating role played by the U.S., and called for an international conference and mediation treating Israel the same way the international community had dealt with Iran and its nuclear program.
Abbas and the Palestinians' frustration with a peace process which they perceive as being biased in favor of Israel may be understandable. Some observers believe that Abbas's opposition to America's role as a mediator in the peace process reflects his and the Palestinians' despair at the lack of any progress toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A recent poll showed that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians (88%) views the American role in the peace process as being biased in favor of Israel. Another poll indicated that 93.5% believe that U.S. is no longer an impartial peace broker. In two other polls, 65% and 73.5% respectively said that they are against the resumption of contacts with the Trump administration.
Three recent polls also showed that 73%, 71% and 68% respectively believe that the chances for establishing an independent Palestinian state are slim or nonexistent, and 71.3% believe the two-state solution is no longer viable after Trump's Jerusalem declaration.
The question that needs to be asked is: Is Palestinian public opinion, brought on by decades of incitement, what is pressuring Abbas into embarking on his anti-peace and anti-Israel rhetoric? 50% of Palestinians oppose the peace process and 52% of Palestinians support the resolutions made by the PLO's Central Council in January, including revoking the recognition of Israel, and the abrogation of the Oslo Accords.
True, many ordinary Palestinians may be anti-Israel, and their sense of disappointment reinforces this attitude. Those, however, who argue that Abbas's anti-peace rhetoric is the result of despair, and a natural response to public opinion, are ignoring certain landmarks in the history of the 82-year-old Palestinian leader.
In 2003, when Abbas served as prime minister under the leadership of his Yasser Arafat, he portrayed himself as a pro-peace national leader. In what was described back then as a "brave" speech renouncing terrorism, Abbas said at the Mideast summit in Jordan:
" We are ready to do our part. Let me be very clear: There will be no military solution for this conflict, so we repeat our renunciation and the renunciation of terrorism against the Israelis wherever they might be."
As part of his effort to strengthen his pro-peace image, Abbas declared at his inauguration ceremony after being elected to succeed Arafat in January 2005:
"Today, I say to the Israeli leadership and Israeli people, we are two peoples destined to live side by side, and to share this land ... let's start working together on the issues of the permanent settlement and status to put an eternal end to our conflict."
But is this the Abbas we have known since then?
Abbas, who has been described as "in the twilight of his reign.... and challenged by younger upstarts," is frustrated by his Arab brethren and the U.S., and overwhelmed with Palestinians' distrust. He has obviously regressed into the legacy of former Palestinian leaders and renowned nationalist Arab heads of state and dictators.
Abbas has chosen to endorse a legacy that he himself denounced in 2011. This legacy does not consider the lack of a Palestinian state to be the problem, but the existence of a Jewish and democratic state. It is a legacy that does not believe in peace with Israel but peace without Israel.
Abbas's endorsement of the rejectionist legacy has, in fact, been an integral part of his rhetoric and deeds since 2003.
Has Abbas been trying to prove to his people that he is a hardliner and a strong, national leader in order to win their support? If so, his desperate attempt does not seem to have gained him any significant support. Currently, 63% of Palestinians are dissatisfied with Abbas's performance as president of the Palestinian Authority, while 68% would like to see him step down.
Moreover, Abbas's chances of winning if there were another presidential election are slim. Palestinians do not trust him or believe in his radical rhetoric. It appears that 65% believe Abbas will not implement the decisions made by the PLO's Central Council in January.
In his speech before the Council in January, Abbas was again revealing an inconvenient truth: that he and his people do not believe in peace with Israel. This is a legacy that consists of a correlation between Palestinian national goals and the annihilation of the Jewish state.
Abbas is an oppressive dictator -- now in his 14th year of his four-year-term in office. He is, however, also a weak leader. The majority of his people do not trust him, are dissatisfied with his leadership, and demand that he resign. He is unable and unwilling to help his people abandon nationalist and Islamist delusions and myths representing outdated objectives, beliefs, and rhetoric. At this point, he cannot grow out of them. In short, Abbas has duplicated the mistakes of Arafat.
Red Heifer Candidate For Rebuilt Temple Born - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com
Last Tuesday, the Temple Institute's Red Heifer program was blessed with results; an entirely red female calf was born, paving the way for re-establishing the Temple service and marking the final stage of redemption.
Almost three years ago the Temple Institute inaugurated its Raise a Red Heifer in Israel program. Due to laws restricting the importation of live cattle into Israel, the Temple Institute imported frozen embryos of red angus, implanting them in Israeli domestic cows.
The pregnant cows were raised on cattle ranches in different locations throughout the country. The cows are giving birth this summer with several calves already having been born.
One week after it's birth, the newborn red heifer was certified by a board of rabbis as fulfilling all the Biblical requirements. The rabbis emphasized that the heifer could, at any time, acquire a blemish rendering it unsuitable. They will be inspecting the calf periodically to verify its condition.
The red heifer was the main component in the Biblically mandated process of ritual purification for impurity that results from proximity or contact with a dead body. Because the elements needed for this ceremony have been lacking since the destruction of the Second Temple, all Jews today are considered ritually impure, thereby preventing the return of the Temple service.
The red heifer is described in the Book of Numbers.
"This is the ritual law that Hashem has commanded: Instruct B'nei Yisrael to bring you a red cow without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which no yoke has been laid. Numbers 19:2
Several heifers have been found in recent years that seemed to qualify but ultimately were unsuited for the ritual. Earlier this month, two calves born in Israel to the Institute's red heifer program were deemed to be unsuitable for the performance of the mitzvah. One calf was a bull while the second, a heifer, had a small patch of white hair which disqualified her.
The heifer, born from a natural birth, must be entirely red, with no more than two non-red hairs on its body. It must also never have been used for any labor or have been impregnated. The existence of such a heifer is considered a biological anomaly and very rare. Fortunately, the ritual requires an infinitesimally small quantity of ashes.
From the time of Moses, who personally prepared the first heifer, until the destruction of the Temple, only nine red heifers were prepared. Nonetheless, this was sufficient to maintain the ritual purity of the entire nation for almost 2,000 years.
According to Jewish tradition, there will only be ten red heifers in human history with the tenth heifer ushering in the Messianic era. Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides), the most renowned medieval Jewish scholar known by the acronym Rambam, wrote in his explanation of the mitzvah that "the tenth red heifer will be accomplished by the king, the Messiah; may he be revealed speedily, Amen, May it be God's will."
Rabbi Chaim Richman, the International Director of the Temple Institute, commented on this on the institute's website.
"If there has been no red heifer for the past 2,000 years, perhaps it is because the time was not right; Israel was far from being ready. But now... what could it mean for the times we live in, to have the means for purification so close at hand? With the words of Maimonides in mind, we cannot help but wonder and pray: If there are now red heifers... is ours the era that will need them?"
The laws pertaining to the mitzvah are myriad and considered by the sages to be the archetypal chok, an inexplicable Torah commandment accepted solely on faith. Before entering the land of Israel after the Exodus, the heifer was burned outside of the camp.
In the days of the Temple, the heifer was taken to the Mount of Olives across a causeway built specifically for this purpose to ensure that there was no inadvertent contact with areas along the way that may have been contaminated by dead bodies.
Cedarwood, hyssop, and wool or yarn dyed scarlet are added to the fire, and the remaining ashes are placed in a vessel containing spring water to purify a person who has become ritually contaminated by contact with a corpse.
Water from the vessel is sprinkled on the subject, using a bunch of hyssop, on the third and seventh day of the purification process. The priest who performs the ritual then becomes ritually unclean, and must then wash himself and his clothes in running waters. He is deemed impure until evening.
No less stringent than the laws pertaining to the heifer are the laws pertaining to the site where the heifer is burned. Almost 30 years ago, Rabbi Yonatan Adler, who is also an archaeologist, performed an in-depth study into the textual references to the site where the red heifer was burned, publishing his results in in the Torah journal Techumin.
His calculations, based on the Holy of Holies being located where the Dome of the Rock stands today, led him to a spot where Dominus Flevit, a Catholic Church built in 1955, now stands. Archaeological surveys discovered unique characteristics of the site that corresponded to descriptions in the Talmud.
HYPOCRITES! - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
We all know about the love of Jesus and His saving grace. Jesus led sinners out of sin and forgave them. We focus on His love and forgiveness but we forget that He stood strongly against the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees who were the religious leaders of that time. They made a show of religion, but their hearts were far from God. They used their positions of leadership for personal gain and cared nothing about the people. "But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?" Matthew 22:18. Actions speak louder than words and their actions showed the Pharisees were hypocrites. Is there any hypocrisy within Christianity? The answer is yes. Any Christian who has two standards of living is a hypocrite. The word hypocrite means to act or pretend. If you pretend to be a Christian on Sunday morning but live a worldly life then ask yourself which life is real? Jesus saw right through the scribes and Pharisees and He sees right through you.
"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." Matthew 23:13. If you haven't accepted Christ for salvation then you've chosen to cut yourself off from eternal life no matter how many rites and rituals you follow. If your purported faith in Jesus has not changed your way of life then you may be like the Pharisees who only used religion for what they could get from it. Only true faith will allow you into Heaven, and if your actions hinder another person from coming to a saving knowledge of Christ, then woe unto you. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation." Matthew 23:14. Christians should never take advantage of anyone. The scribes and made sure everyone saw them praying, but they had no problem in taking advantage of those less fortunate, even taking the house of a widow who had little money. We see it today. Television preachers cry for more money to support their million dollar lifestyles and care nothing for the tenderhearted widows who support them. The less fortunate are the ones who need aid. Jesus had a description of these men. Hypocrites!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." Matthew 23:15. A proselyte was a Gentile who converted to Judaism and the scribes and Pharisees were serious about converting people, but then the rites of religion got in the way of faith. Do we see anything like that today? Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses come to mind. They lead converts to Hell, but they aren't Christians. Then I thought of the Catholic Church with their Pope and the many rites and rituals they require that aren't found in Scripture. Salvation isn't through rites and rituals, but only through faith in Christ. Many people are being led to Hell by believing that rites and rituals will save them. What about Protestant denominations? Missionaries travel far and wide, but how many actually preach the Gospel? I knew a missionary once who was centered in India and spoke of the dangers he faced. Eventually I learned that his mission wasn't to bring the lost to Christ, but to bring Christians into his denomination. Hypocrite. There is an important mission field that's often overlooked. It's right in your own neighborhood. How do you represent Christ to the people around you? Like the Pharisees do you wear your Sunday finest for all to see, so everyone would say "There goes a righteous man"? Then do you berate the waitress who serves you a meal? How about the store clerk who rings up your groceries? If you have the outward appearance of a Christian but your actions speak otherwise, woe unto you. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing: but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. " Matthew 23:16-22. Where;s your allegiance? Are you more interested in pleasing the denomination you've joined than with pleasing God? Every denomination has its own set of rules to live by. Some are Biblical and some are just man's interpretations. God is the authority in a Christian's life. I've attended various denominations and they all have their own take of Scripture. Some are very liberal and don't hold Scripture as authority. Some require works and don't believe salvation is by faith alone. Some have a list of what they deem as sin, although you have to skew Scripture in order to see their logic. Our allegiance is only to God and His truth disclosed in Scripture. If you swear an oath to a denomination but haven't accepted Christ, then you're pretending to be something you're not. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel." Matthew 23:23-24. There is no possible way to buy eternal life. The scribes and Pharisees knew the Law and were good at making a show of paying their tithes. Money is important to keeping the lights on in the sanctuary, but God wants your heart. The way you serve Him and represent Him to others is much more necessary. If you pay your dues on Sunday but lie, cheat, and steal on Monday you're a hypocrite. Other people watch you and judge Christianity by your actions. If you show mercy and grace to a non-Christian you just may open a door for someone to come to salvation. On the other hand, if a fellow Christian sees you openly sinning they may use your poor example to justify their own sin. Let others see Christ's light shining in you so that light can lead others to salvation or strengthen a fellow Christian's walk. Woe unto you if you're blind to your own sin, but require perfection in others. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisees, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also." Matthew 25-26. Is Jesus talking about washing dishes? No. A person may look good on the outside, but inside may be very dirty. Outward appearance is a show for others, but God looks inside to the heart. Lately we've heard about the Catholic priests who've been sexually abusing young boys. They wear fancy robes and give the appearance of being very holy, but inside they're ruled by Satan. You can point fingers and shake your head, but what about you? Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to search your heart to reveal your hidden sins? No matter how long you've been a Christian there are always sins that you need to be forgiven of. A little white lie can be a big problem in your walk with Jesus. A little peek at pornography is still a major sin. Woe unto you if you look good on the outside, but allow the ugliness of sin to rule your heart. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." Matthew 23:27-28. It was the practice of those times to whitewash tombs around Jerusalem prior to Passover so that nobody would touch one by mistake, making them ceremonially unclean. The whitewash did nothing to change what was inside the tomb. When a person accepts Christ for salvation there should be evidence of change on the outside, but there also needs to be change on the inside. Prior to salvation we were dead. Death of the mortal body meant eternal death and separation from God. When you accepted the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ your sins were forgiven and the dead soul contained inside you was given eternal life. If you claim Jesus for salvation but don't really mean it then you're like the whitewashed tombs of old. You might look good to others, but God knows the truth. No matter how much whitewash is put on the tomb through good works you'll remain dead inside unless you understand that you're a sinner and only the grace of God through Christ can give you eternal life. If you're living a lie then you;re still lost. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say if we had been in the days of our fathers we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets." Matthew 23:29-30. They wouldn't have killed the prophets? Really? What did they do to Jesus? They had Him murdered. They didn't believe Him and they persecuted Him. Today we do the same thing to Him. Are you sure you wouldn't have been in the crowd saying "Crucify Him" or hiding with Peter as Jesus hung on the cross? Many people are convinced they're Christians but pray to Mary or some other so called saint with magical powers as deemed by the Pope. Still others look to seers to contact a dead loved one for guidance. In doing so we deny Christ. If you're a Christian this is forbidden. Hypocrite!
In this discourse, Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of the religious Jewish men who lived by double standards. Christians should learn from this and not be hypocrites. Our faith should govern our life and show through our actions. Christianity isn't a rule book but the Bible is our guide to the way we are to live. It's easy to be a "good Christian" while sitting in a pew on Sunday morning, but the truth of our faith shows in our behavior when we step outside into the world . How do you represent Christ at the grocery store or while driving on the freeway? Do you change from a smiling, kind-hearted child of God and into another personality once you're away from your fellow Christians? A Pharisee once asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:37-40. If you love God then you'll honor Him through your actions and words. If you love God you'll care about others and not berate them or abuse them. If your profession of faith wasn't an honest profession then you'll forever be a hypocrite.
Look at your own life and see if any of these behavior patterns rule you. You can't change others, but you can allow God to change you. Don't be a hypocrite.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: America in crisis--The resistance in the White House - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The New York Times has published an Op-Ed by an anonymous "senior official in the Trump administration" whose "job would be jeopardized by its disclosure." The essay paints the picture of an impetuous madman in the Oval Office who likes dictators, has little appreciation for America's allies, and is mentally unfit for office. The writer claims that government officials have joined an internal resistance movement to thwart the President's agenda and isolate their operations from Trump's influence because "we believe our first duty is to this country." The timing of the article coincides with the release of a book "Fear: Trump in the White House" by investigative reporter Bob Woodward, essentially saying the same thing.
The Op-Ed supplies all the talking points for undermining the President. Indeed, it's publishing at the same time of Woodward's book release reinforces the points that there are people inside the White House who are protecting the country by vowing "to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office." And on cue, the piece has put on one page the narrative backing Woodward's book, encouraging the leftist talking heads to continue their diatribe to oust the president. America is in a crisis. This is the very picture of creating a self-perpetuating narrative with no identifiable sourcing. It is a deep state masterpiece, an historical swamp-based attack to admittedly preserve what America elected Trump to shake up.
A key admission in the Op-Ed that should alert Americans to the agenda is the recalling from the grave the specter of establishment, one world order advocate, John McCain. The writer states: "Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation. We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example - a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them." This is no less an admission of the political moorings of the writer and the agenda of his "resistance."
You are watching history unfold. These are serious charges. Americans must discern whether they are true or if it is yet another wave of the coup attempt initiated by the Democratic Party and aided and abetted by the deep state and the media immediately following the 2016 election. Wisdom is needed. There is now a clear stake in the ground where people who hide themselves and their identities are making claims that coincide with the leftist narrative. Let us all pray that the Lord's hand be upon our nation and that Jesus' words in Luke 12:2 be manifest: "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known." The truth, if brought to light, will surely reveal wicked abominations.
Daily Devotion: What We Can Learn from the Jesus Movement - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
I have heard all about you, LORD. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy. -Habakkuk 3:2
I came to Christ in 1970 during the Jesus Movement, which gave me a front-row seat to the Fourth Great Awakening in the United States-the most recent in our nation. Looking back, I remember five things that were part of a typical church service during that time.
First, there was a sense of expectancy in the service. No one was ever late for church because you couldn't find a seat if you were. You came expecting God to work. You came with a sense of openness, anticipating what the Lord was going to do.
Second, the Word of God was always taught. That gave stability to us. In fact, I still have my Bible from those days. I marked it up-so much so that some of the pages are coming out of it.
Third, people participated in the worship. We effectively saw what we simply know as worship now. In the late 1960s, there were no electric guitars, for the most part, on church stages. There were no drum kits. It was completely different culturally. Things we take for granted now didn't exist back then. But people engaged in worship. They participated in it.
Fourth, believers brought nonbelievers to church, evangelistic invitations were extended, and people were coming to Christ. Every week there was the sense that God wants people to be saved.
Fifth, there was a belief in and a constant teaching of the imminent return of Christ. We believed that Jesus was coming back again.
The kids of the Jesus Movement are now grandparents. But just as in the 1960s, and specifically 1968, we have riots in the streets. We have racial unrest. We have a drug epidemic. There's a sense of hopelessness in the air. We need another Jesus Movement. We need another spiritual awakening.
FROM THE HEART
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