Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
What Does the Bible Say About the Rapture? - By Pete Garcia - https://rev310.com/2019/09/what-the-bible-says-about-the-rapture
Before we begin our in-depth discussion on the Rapture and other eschatological matters, we need a foundational discussion first. There are two types of communication that are delivered through and because of Holy Scripture: Progressive Revelation, and Progressive Illumination. Progressive revelation teaches us that God progressively unfolded His plan of redemption to mankind. It began in the Garden (Gen. 3:14-19), and ended with the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos.
Progressive Illumination took over when the canon of Scripture was closed in 95AD, and through the Holy Spirit, begins revealing biblical truths to mankind according to His unfolding plan. Thus, it stands to reason that if the Lord can orchestrate when doctrines on things such as the Inerrancy of Scripture, the Trinity, the Church, and Salvation should be codified, then God should also be able to allow the timing for when men begin to have a better understanding of the last days. In other words, He does it when it is appropriate.
The Lord is omniscient (Isaiah 46:9-10) and has always known that the Second Coming would not occur until at least the 21st century; therefore, it would not make much sense for Him to illuminate man's understanding on said topic in the 2nd century AD. Could He have? Absolutely. However, because He didn't, doesn't diminish the fact that everything about the last days was already in Holy Scripture. Neither does it diminish our understanding of when He would return (no man knows the day or hour).
God moved men at certain times, to accomplish certain things. He moved Jerome to translate the Bible into Latin in the 4th century AD. He moved John Wycliffe to translate it into English in the 13th century. He sparked Martin Luther's aha moment when he came to understand salvation is by grace through faith and not by works in the 16th-century. Likewise, God also orchestrated when John Nelson Darby would revive the doctrine of the rapture as a major Christian issue in the 19th-century.
All that to say, God's timing determines when men come to understand the truths of Scripture, and how they are applicable to the day and age they live in. What was an important message in Noah's day, was not the same message for Job's day, or David's day. Where the real issue comes in, is how we (humans) choose to interpret the truth that is already IN Scripture.
If we think about how we interpret Scripture, it is very much like a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum, we have those who completely disregard the inerrancy of Scripture, and want to put their own shifting interpretations in to fit the narrative of their day. On the other end, there are those who abuse the inerrancy of Scripture by adhering to wooden literalism, particularly on certain passages, while ignoring the overall context for the rest of the Bible (ex. Snake handling).
In the center, we see a balanced view of Scripture takes the grammatical, literal, and historical approach to biblical interpretation (or hermeneutics) and places context above all. We must understand who the writer was speaking too (the audience) and how does that align with other major doctrines found throughout the Bible (consistency). Below is a very simplified graphic to demonstrate this idea. So where do you find yourself on the spectrum?
You wouldn't normally associate cults with "wooden literalism," however, in order for a cult to build its "foundation," it must mix truth with error. In the process of mixing that poisonous concoction, it abuses certain passages by taking them to the literal extreme (ex. Roman Catholic transubstantiation, son of God in Mormonism). They also do so by placing more emphasis on a certain passage or doctrine making it trump all others.
On the other end of the spectrum for example, the Bible uses symbolism as a form of communication. But that does not mean symbolism is arbitrary, or subjective. Symbolism is always found and defined in other places within the Scriptures (ex. Rev. 12 and Gen. 37). Thus, abusing the text by allegorizing things that are not meant to be allegorized (i.e., the Millennium) or by making symbolism completely subjective and open to anyone's interpretation, is another form of literary abuse.
Nevertheless, despite what many denominations and theological figureheads teach, the Bible has quite a lot to say about the Rapture. Of course, the first thing critics love to point out about the Rapture, is that the word is not even in the Bible.
It is not in your English Bible.
However, for over millennia, the word rapio or rapiemur was what the Latin Vulgate used when translating the Koine Greek word harpazo. Harpazo is the Greek word for the English phrase "caught up" as it appears in our English Bibles. So yes, it is in the Bible. The word rapture encapsulates the doctrine in much the same way the word Trinity encapsulates the triune nature of God. [The word Trinity is not in the Bible either] Furthermore, it is not just written about, but it is portrayed symbolically (Old Testament typology), literally (physically), and futuristically.
Old Testament Typology
New Testament Literally
Therefore, regardless of what your pastor, priest, or preacher has to say about the Rapture, it is in the Bible as both a concept and as a reality. If they deny it, or dismiss the teaching of it, or say that it is something "man-made," or irrelevant, I would walk away from that church and never look back. It is important a doctrine as any other. For the Christian to grow and to become who Christ intended us to be, must know more than just how to be a Christian. We have to be given the "blessed hope" in order to stand and endure in these darkening days.
The New Testament Pattern
As most of you know who are reading this, the Bible is broken into two parts with the Old and New Testaments. Even though there are some cryptic "rapture-like" passages sprinkled throughout the Old Testament (ex. Isaiah 26:20-21; Song of Solomon 2:10-13; Psalm 90:10, etc.), the Apostle Paul stated the Rapture was a mystery (musterion-Greek). It was something that had not yet been revealed publically to any believers before him. Christ's statements in the Upper Room Discourse mark the first teaching of this event, but it was to a private audience (the disciples minus Judas).
This is where Christ promises to receive those who are His back to Himself and to take them to be where He would come from (the Third Heaven). This is distinct from the Second Coming, because He does not come back with the armies of heaven in tow, does not have His robe soaked with blood, nor is He waging war. In Revelation 19, Christ is coming to occupy and take over enemy territory. In John 14:1-3, Christ appears in a completely non-combative event. Let us look at the New Testament and pull out some interesting differences and comparisons.
The Gospel of Matthew:
The Gospel of Mark:
The Gospel of Luke:
Presents the humanity of Christ
Lineage begins with Adam
He teaches the Second Coming in the Olivet Discourse plainly, references the Rapture discretely before their last Supper (or their first communion)
Gospel of John:
Chronicles the formation of the early church and is not eschatological in nature. However, there are some key points of information that are clarified here:
Christ must return in the same manner in which He departed (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11)
The last days began with the first Pentecost (Acts 2:17)
Something worth repeating again is that the reason people today even have the luxury to scoff, mock, discuss, and debate the Rapture of the Church, is because God brought it back into the forefront of Christian thought. The reason He did that through men like Joseph Mede, Morgan Edwards, James Frere, William Cuninghame, John N. Darby, William Blackstone, Cyrus Scofield, Clarence Larkin, Harry Ironside, Hal Lindsey, and others, was because the time was drawing near, and God was warning the Church (and the world) of what was about to happen. As proof, God also revealed to these men that Israel would become a nation again long before it actually happened in 1948.
...that the Lord Jesus will come in person to introduce the millennial age, when Israel shall be restored to their own land, and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord; and that this personal and premillennial advent is the blessed hope set before us in the Gospel for which we should be constantly looking. (Niagra Bible Conference, 1878)
However, it is not just dispensationalists who believed Israel would become a nation again in her ancient, biblical, homeland. The Holy Spirit was moving Christian's amongst many different denominations and hermeneutical veins as to the coming end of the age. Theologians such as Charles Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle, and the Bonar brothers (Horatius and Andrew) also believers that Israel would have to come into her land.
Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. Amos 3:7
If the Rapture of the Church were not true, how (and why) did so many men from different ages, generations, and denominations all come to the same conclusion? They did so not because of Darby or even Hal Lindsey, but by simply returning to a literal, grammatical, historical, and balanced interpretation of the Bible. They did so because God the Holy Spirit moved them to do so. They set aside their theological dogmas, denominational creeds, and academic interpretations, and simply let the Bible speak for itself.
While I will not go so far as to say men like Darby were prophets, they were no doubt, messengers God used to illuminate their generation's understanding. Darby didn't invent the Rapture any more than Luther invented salvation by grace through faith. Darby (his predecessors and successors) simply codified what was already revealed in Scripture. If the Rapture weren't already in the Bible, then Darby would have had to create it out of thin air, thus, creating another in a long line of 18th-century cult movements that was rejected by Orthodox Christianity. However, because it is clearly in Scripture, the evidence suggests that God the Holy Spirit orchestrated the timing for its reintroduction into Christian discussion due to the proximity to its occurrence.
Think about what Noah preached about in the years leading up to the flood (2 Peter 2:5). Did he preach about your best life now? Did he preach about the coming Messiah? Did he preach about the coming Kingdom?
No. No. and No.
He preached about the coming judgment.
The reason he preached about that because that's what was pertinent to the audience of his day. He preached to his generation to repent and to come into the ark because of the coming judgment was coming upon the whole earth. And in the 100 plus years of preaching, only he and his family were saved.
Jesus noted that in the last days, it would be very much like the days of Noah and the days of Lot (Luke 17:25-27). People would be going their life without a care in the world. Peter added that men would be scoffing the promise Christ made to return, saying that since nothing has happened yet, nothing will happen in the future (2 Peter 3:3-7). Here, Peter also links back to the days of Noah saying the same word that destroyed the world with water, will one day destroy it with fire.
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9
God's patience is purely due to His longsuffering nature, and of His great love and mercy for the lost. Yet, God's patience regarding this is not infinite, as He will one day soon, carry out the Promise He made back in John 14:1-3 (Upper Room Discourse). He is bound by His own word, to do that which He has said He would do. God's longsuffering is also why God allowed the issue of the Rapture to be brought back front and center to the world's attention. He is using these men (and women) to warn the world of what is coming, just as He used Noah. Just as He used Lot (Gen. 19:14). Just as God used the prophets and the apostles to warn the world of what was coming, God is using His servants today to make known what is about to happen.
This is why Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth was the bestselling book of the 1970s. It is why the Left Behind bestselling books sold in the hundreds of millions in the 1990s-2000s. More importantly, it is why He is using you and me to warn our friends and family, so that when it happens, they will KNOW what happened, before God allows the strong delusion to occur (2 Thess. 2:11).
One final thought about the Rapture is the why. Why did God choose to make the Rapture so sensational, so dramatic, such an extreme, divinely-sanctioned act of redemption? You gotta admit, that the Rapture seems very over-the-top in terms of feasibility. So why does God choose this way to redeem His bride the Church?
Jesus said in His Olivet Discourse that the final generation's hearts would wax cold. Paul said men would be lovers of themselves. Peter said they would be scoffers. In other words, the last generation was going to be the most hard-hearted, thick-headed, and spiritually-dead generation on record. It is going to take an event as extreme as the Rapture, to reach some. Which goes back to why God is bringing this back to men's attention leading up to the time.
Friends, the Rapture of the Church is so very near. I can sense it in my spirit. I know many other writers and readers who all feel that same sense of urgency welling within them. This is not some form of collective-insanity. We all come from different backgrounds, different cultures, different educational levels, and different denominations, yet, we all sense that the Lord's return is near, even at the door! If it was close in James's day, how much closer are we now some two-thousand years later?
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8
Even so, Maranatha!
Obvious - By Daymond Duck -
We now have:
A UN goal of world government by 2030 (UN Agenda 2030).
A UN goal of world religion by 2030 (Unify all religions by 2030; a planetary uniting of Religions for Peace).
The Bible teaches that world government and world religion (the Antichrist and False Prophet) will be on earth at the same time.
Multitudes know that no one knows the day or the hour of our Lord's return, but Christians can see the day approaching.
It is obvious that Someone that Jews call YHWH and Christians call Jehovah or God has revealed signs of the end of the age, and it is rapidly approaching.
First, in late Aug. 2019, approximately 1,000 people assembled in Germany to promote a UN-approved one-world religion by 2030.
It is obvious that the god of these religious groups is not the God of the Bible, and their so-called "Masterplan for Humanity" is not Biblical or Christian.
What they are proposing for the "Common good" of the world could very well turn into Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth (Rev. 17).
It seems obvious that we now have a UN goal of world government by 2030 (UN Agenda 2030); a UN goal of world religion by 2030 (Unify all religions by 2030; A planetary uniting of Religions for Peace); and a Bible that teaches that world government and world religion (the Antichrist and False Prophet) will be on earth at the same time.
For more information, go to:
Second, in 2004, the Democrat Party Platform referenced God several times; in 2008, one time; and in 2012, none.
Even worse, God has not only gone from several mentions to no mentions in eight years; He was also booed during the 2012 Democrat Party Platform hearings (by contrast, the 2012 Republican Party Platform mentioned God 12 times).
In late Aug. 2019, the Democrats passed a resolution calling themselves the party of the religiously unaffiliated, which means religious voters are being pushed out of the party along with all mentions of God.
Some party leaders have actually called religious voters deplorables, bigots, hypocrites, etc.
To be anti-God is to be antichrist because Jesus is God.
The Bible says, "He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son" (I Jn. 2:22).
The government of Antichrist will be anti-God because the Antichrist will say that he is God.
Third, the Mark of the Beast will be a mark in a person's right hand or forehead.
Several months ago, the large Internet retailer, Amazon, bought Whole Foods.
Amazon is now testing hand scanners that can identify people for store purchases, and they hope to have their hand scanners in place at their Whole Foods stores by the beginning of 2020 (Rev. 13:16).
It is obvious that incredible technology for the Mark of the Beast is developing.
Fourth, an astute reader sent me an e-mail about her word study on Jesus' prophecy of "famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places" (Matt. 24:7).
The Greek word that is translated earthquakes is seismos (it is the origin of the word seismology).
There is a Bible story about Jesus sleeping in a boat when a great tempest (great seismos or storm) arose that scared the disciples (Matt. 8:23-27).
Jesus spoke and calmed the sea, and the disciples wondered what kind of man can calm the wind and the sea.
The lady that e-mailed me was pointing out that the Greek word seismos can refer to hurricanes (like Hurricane Dorian) and cyclones as well as earthquakes.
One must ask, in this day of climate-change fanaticism, should Christians believe that Jesus can control the wind and seas?
It is obvious to those that believe the Bible that He can.
Fifth, in May of this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz visited Israel.
Fox News reported that they went to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where they wrote a prayer on a piece of paper and inserted it in a crack in the Wailing Wall.
The prayer of both men was that Florida would not be hit by a hurricane this year.
Breaking Israel News reported this story while Hurricane Dorian (a seismos) was pounding the Bahamas and people were unsure about the path it would take.
Nevertheless, the storm slowly moved toward Florida, weakened, and veered north off the coast of Florida.
Some of the outer bands came ashore, but the eye didn't hit Florida.
Knowing that Jesus can control the wind and the seas, and that He answers prayer, I intend to watch Florida the rest of this year.
Sixth, the situation in the Middle East continues to be a powder keg.
Where we are on God's prophetic timeclock is obvious to those that want to know.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Israel's Sovereignty Claims Over The Jordan Valley Are Legitimate - By Erielle Davidson -
A nation cannot annex land over which it already has sovereign claims.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement on Tuesday regarding his plan to formalize Israeli sovereignty in Jordan Valley has sent shockwaves across the world. However, much of the outrage has stemmed from a misunderstanding about Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria and historical claims over the region. Even the standard newspaper accounts of Netanyahu's plans as envisioning the "annexation" of territory is inaccurate.
Netanyahu never said "annexation." Instead, he spoke of "applying sovereignty" to refer to Israel's territorial claims over the Jordan Valley. International outlets, particularly left-leaning ones, have referred to Netanyahu's campaign promise as a promise to annex land. But there is a reason for the PM's careful choice of wording, and for its mistranslation and misrepresentation abroad.
A nation cannot annex land over which it already has sovereign claims. Netanyahu purposefully referred to the process as an application of Israeli sovereignty, abstaining from using the Hebrew word for annexation, sipuach. As Eugene Kontorovich, director of the International Law Department at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, noted, Netanyahu's proclamation is about "translating long-standing Israeli consensus into action."
Foreign media is doing its best to portray the potential application of sovereignty in this scenario as far-flung or illegitimate. This interpretation is incorrect. Indeed, after Netanyahu's announcement, the center-left Blue and White Party, which leads the opposition, sarcastically commented that they were pleased to see Netanyahu "adopting Blue and White's plan for recognizing the Jordan Valley."
Blue and White famously accused Netenyahu in 2014 of planning to give up Israeli control over the Jordan Valley. Thus, Israeli application of sovereignty over the Jordan Valley is not some outlandish or novel notion. In fact, Israeli control over the Jordan Valley was central to peace plans drawn up in the 1970s. For those with any familiarity of Israeli politics, Netanyahu's announcement is unsurprising.
A nation cannot annex that land over which it already has sovereign claims. Understanding Israel's sovereign claims over the Jordan Valley necessitates an understanding of Israel's sovereign claims over the entirety of Judea and Samaria, also known collectively as the West Bank.
In Israel's War of Independence in 1948, Jordan conquered Judea and Samaria from Israel in a war of aggression aimed at destroying the Jewish state. Following the war, it was nearly unanimously held that neither Jordan nor Egypt possessed any legitimate claim of sovereignty over the newly acquired land. ("The West Bank" is actually the name Jordan gave to the area when it purported to annex it in the 1950s.) Since other countries regarded neither Jordan nor Egypt's claims as legitimate, Israel's claims of sovereignty remained.
Thus, when Israel recaptured Judea and Samaria in the Six-Day War in 1967, it liberated these territories. Israel's original title to the land was never actually broken. When Israel re-acquired Judea and Samaria, it was under the guise of Article 51 of the UN Charter, which permits a nation to defend itself and has been understood by many scholars to convey that self-defense may necessitate the non-aggressor assume control over territory previously held by the aggressor.
Beyond the legal arguments buttressing Israeli claims to territorial sovereignty over the Jordan Valley (and the greater area of Judea and Samaria), there are strategic reasons Israel might seek to apply its sovereignty over the region. For those unfamiliar with the geography of the Middle East, the Jordan Valley, to Israel's east, is quite literally all that stands between Israel and the remainder of the Middle East, some of which harbor genocidal aims against Jews.
The importance of the Jordan Valley Corridor has long been central to those aware of Israeli security issues, for the region is commonly used by jihadists to infiltrate Israel's borders and smuggle weaponry. Some have argued that the Jordan Valley could resemble Gaza border regions if proper vigilance isn't exercised.
Additionally, Israeli control over the region would create more cushion between Israel's enemies and Israel's most populous regions. As Algemeiner succinctly reported five years ago:
Israel's eastern border is difficult to defend because of its geostrategic structure, being Israel's 'narrow waist' of 12 kilometers, or barely 7.5 miles. Israel's center, which is its most densely populated urban area, has no depth. A military or terrorist attack against Israel from the east would expose not only most of the population but main strategic facilities (military, industrial and civilian) to an unprecedented threat.
Additionally, the Jordan Valley has almost no Palestinian population, meaning that applying Israeli sovereignty would not result in the "annexation" of Palestinians. As reported by the Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu assured that "Palestinians [would] maintain complete freedom of movement throughout the West Bank."
Meanwhile, while some decry Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, the Palestinians continue to build illegal settlements in Area C of the West Bank in violation of the Oslo Accords, which stipulate that no construction can take place in Area C without the approval of the Israeli Civil Administration.
This construction often takes place in strategic locations - either close to Jewish villages, on Israeli Defense Forces military reserves, or on Israeli nature reserves. There is no coordination with Israeli officials to mitigate environmental impact or to discuss the allocation of natural resources. To add salt to the wound, the European Union has continued to fund some of these building projects, the "European Union Area C Development Programme" boasting a 300mn Euro commitment for this year alone.
Just last week, the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced that it will treat all of the West Bank, including Area C, as if it were Area A, the area currently under the control of the PA. This announcement translates into the issuance of various building permits in Area C in direct defiance of the Israeli Civil Administration. There has been no outrage over this assumption of power by the PA, which now claims to exercise government powers over regions that the Oslo Accord previously assigned to Israel for security and administrative control.
In some ways, the Jordan Valley promise represents a necessary pushback against the PA's activities in Area C, a move that international organizations and other countries have largely and pathetically stayed mum on. Neither the EU or the UN has said one negative thing about the PA's building activities in Area C.
The Palestinians are the only group to say no to an independent nation. There are real consequences to rejectionism, including the current government system under which the various Areas are operating. It is an imperfect situation being reported on by an equally imperfect media. As the Western media has done so unabashedly in the past, the Jordan Valley dispute will serve as yet another arena for many to showcase their misconceptions and misinformation about the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Israel Watch: Do-Over - Jim Fletcher -
Well, we have an election coming up this week.
Not in the U.S., of course, but in our beloved Israel. Courtesy that country's parliament system, Benjamin Netanyahu's election win a few months ago didn't help his Likud Party, since a governing coalition couldn't be cobbled together. Governing requires at least a narrow, 61-seat majority.
The fly in the ointment is the stubbornness of the Ultra Orthodox in Israel, who do not serve in the military, yet demand millions in subsidies for their yeshivas. Netanyahu has to placate them, while also holding-off rivals like Avigdor Liberman.
Latest polls show the Likud winning 58 seats, leaving Netanyahu in the same position as before. He was not able last time to cobble together a ruling coalition, so new elections had to be called.
Remember, in Israel, their system is different from ours. There, a voter votes for a party specifically, not necessarily the candidate.
There is no question that Netanyahu is popular. And also unquestioned is the decade-long period of relative peace and prosperity enjoyed by Israelis. "Peace" is a selective term in the Middle East, and while Israel grapples with huge issues on her borders (Hezbollah, Iran, etc.), it is unthinkable that anyone but Netanyahu should run the security show.
There is another element of drama. Netanyahu has just called an emergency meeting, alleging election fraud next time. According to the Jerusalem Post:
"Likud stated that the 'grave findings of the Kalman Liebskind investigation' indicate that the election was "stolen" from Netanyahu, according to Maariv. 'If the Likud complaints were examined on time, Israel would not be in the current round of elections.'
"In his article, which Maariv will publish in full tonight, Liebskind writes, 'Those responsible for the purity of the Israeli elections should not be entrusted with this sacred work. The Central Election Commission Chairman, Hanan Meltzer, at best did nothing to check forgeries [reported] in the previous election, and in the worst case, fought with all his might, for his own reasons, so that counting errors discovered - would not be corrected.'"
Next Tuesday, be in prayer for Israel and for Netanyahu. Also keep in mind, as always, that a vote that goes against Likud does not mean God's plan is dismantled and in tatters. Far from it. The Lord does as He wills.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
Daily Jot: Prophecy clock moves forward with Iran - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
An Iranian-backed attack on Saudi Arabian oil interests moves the end time prophecy clock forward. Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike the facilities. Some sources say, however, that the attack could have been launched from an Iranian-controlled area in Iraq. Iran is, in alignment with its ongoing pattern, denying any responsibility and says it is prepared to go to war with the US. In mid-June, two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman and Iran was accused of being the culprit. This prompted President Trump to send an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East and put American military on high alert.
Iran is conducting a proxy war in Syria. Major terrorist actors are involved such as Hamas, Hezbollah, what's left of the Islamic State, and several lessor groups. Major end time players also are involved-Turkey, Iran, Syria-in addition to the United States and Russia. It is a complex cluster of competing interests, ultimately aimed at Iran trying to control the region. Now Iran is not only fighting in Syria, but also attacking Saudi Arabia and thumping Israel and the US on the chest in a dangerous multinational chess match over supremacy. According to Daily Jot sources, Iran has made incredible advances toward controlling the Middle East not only in Syria, but also in Iraq, Kurdistan, and Lebanon.
In Daniel 8:19, the angel Gabriel says, "Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia." Strong's Concordance interprets the word "Grecia" in Hebrew as "Yavan, a son of Japheth (the third son of Noah), his descendants and their land." The Genesis 10 table of nations indicates this area was not only Greece (as Bible interpretations imply), but also the Eastern Mediterranean, including parts of modern Turkey (Magog, Tubal, Meshech). The ram would correspond with modern Iran (Persia).
Ezekiel 38 says that in the end of days, Gog of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (all in Turkey), leads a coalition of Persia (Iran), Libya; and Ethiopia (Sudan) against Israel. When we see Iran being brought into such a coalition with Turkey and these prophetic nations aligning against Israel, we know this time is near. Iran is currently making a play to control the region and positioning to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth (Iran's stated intentions). We know through prophecy, however, that Iran must come into league with Turkey for the end time battle led by Gog. Ezekiel 38:23 says, "Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord." Watch and pray.
Daily Devotion: Saint and Sinner - by Greg Laurie -
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.-Galatians 5:16
Johnny Cash was both a sinner and a saint. To many sinners Johnny Cash was a saint, even a "prophet-like" figure, admired by such idols of days gone by as Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, and Carl Perkins to modern-day rockers like Bono, Jack White, and Trent Reznor. To many saints he was a conflicted man, struggling with drugs and the law and a lot more most people don't know about.
Who else could be friends with Willie Nelson and Billy Graham at the same time? Who else could play a large Las Vegas showroom and a Billy Graham Crusade in the same week? Who else could play a gospel tune to a roomful of murderers, rapists, and thieves and have them eating out of the palm of his hand?
Cash was many things to many people: a country music artist who sang and acted in a rock 'n' roll context; a social activist and a jailbird; an evangelist and an addict; a humanitarian who often stood up for the underrepresented and often butted heads with authority figures; a master storyteller and a world-class embellisher; an outlaw with the soul of a mystic; an impossible, tortured man who pin-balled back and forth between extremes.
Cash was an American icon, but he also was a follower of Jesus Christ. During his heyday, Cash was constantly in the news. Not all the headlines were stellar. He was often embroiled in scandal or controversy stemming from high-profile arrests, car accidents, and other drug- and alcohol-induced escapades, including one resulting in a forest fire that devastated 508 acres. His music and social activism gave light and hope to others, but Cash's dark side often overruled his true nature.
He had an angel on his shoulder, but the devil was always on his back. Cash was a walking, talking contradiction who identified with the Apostle Peter-often ashamed and lacking the courage to stand up for Christ-in the first half of his life. All of these traits and foibles were rolled up into a larger-than-life, one-of-a-kind personality that put its own unique, indelible stamp on popular music and pop culture.
In reality, Johnny Cash was a lot like you, and a lot like me.
1. Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee."
But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are saying."
And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth."
But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!"
And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you."
Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!"
Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:69-75 NKJV)
Even Peter, close friend and disciple to Jesus, struggled in his faith and denied his Lord when things got tough. Have you ever had a hard time making a stand for Jesus? How do you feel knowing that you are not alone when it comes to having flaws and failings?
2. Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and . . . put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24 NKJV)
What are some things you can change in your life to "put off the old man" and "put on the new man," so to speak?
3. I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (Galatians 5:16-18 NKJV)
What does it mean to "walk in the Spirit"? Have you asked the Holy Spirit for His help today in combatting your sinful desires?
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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