Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The World That Was - Pete Garcia -
In early 1914, though, it seemed almost impossible that Britain and France would go to war with Germany to defend Russia against Austria-Hungary over a dispute with Serbia. Yet by June 28, war moved straight from impossible to inevitable - without ever passing through improbable. Four years later, 10 million people had died. (From World War One: First war was impossible, then inevitable; Anatole Kaletsky)
Although I've used this quote in the past, I've found myself drawn to it again due to its precise accuracy describing the seemingly incredible and often unpredictable nature of geopolitics. Prior to World War I, who would have believed it? Yet after it was over, the warning signs of impending trouble were so obvious that most couldn't believe they had missed it. Although unforeseen, the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand became the right crisis at the right time by the old powers to set the world afire. World War I itself then became a forcing function by which the old world still attempted to stubbornly cling to the dying vestiges of the world as it was. But change came nonetheless and no one could stop it.
Juxtaposed to the seemingly unpredictable (and unbelievable) nature of global geopolitics, is the inevitable march towards a future, one-world system. We can see early efforts for this in moves like the League of Nations and later, the United Nations (UN). The UN, along with its cornucopia of bureaucratic offshoots, continue to try to gain global influence and power through treaty and peer pressure. What it lacks at present is a military force capable of enforcing either of these.
Furthermore, the combined globalist efforts in the financial, informational, and military sectors are solely concentrating on consolidating more and more power into fewer and fewer hands. These globalist advancements are only made possible by the snowball-effect of the technological advancements in the 20th century. In fact, so much innovation has transpired over the past century alone, has all but eclipsed the progress of the previous six thousand years of human history combined. Unfortunately, our dependence on modern technology has all but ensured that a centralized power controlling everyone and everything is nothing more than a foregone conclusion.
When asked about the last days, Jesus told His disciples that the end of the age would be recognizable because of the many signs those days would present themselves. Although these signs in and of themselves were not unique (as signs are meant to point to something further down the road), what would be unique was the manner of their manifestation. Jesus likened these signs to 'birth pangs' a woman goes through leading up to the birth of a child. In pregnancy, the first and second trimesters have few (if any) contractions (pangs). But as a woman enters into the third (final) trimester, the pangs first come sporadically but soon come in rapid-fire regularity finally reaching a crescendo both in frequency and intensity to the point where the child is coming and she must seek immediate care for delivery. So too would the generation that enters into this final "trimester" of human history be witness to the delivery of 'the child.'
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:20-23
Just as Rome's founding was many centuries before it became a world power, the same is true for the United States. The US was founded in 1776 but did not become a world power until the end of World War II. For a brief period following WWII, the US remained the world's lone super-power. It was here in this tiny window of time, that she became instrumental in providing the global and political clout the newly formed nation of Israel would need to survive as an island of democracy in a sea of tumultuous Islamic theocracies.
But like everything else, the world's corruptive and persistent influence has/is forcing the United States to concede to its demand to divide Israel. This is primarily due to our dependence on oil from said Islamic theocracies. Inevitably, our betrayal equates to a "ratcheting-up" of seemingly insolvable problems due to the Abrahamic Covenant effect, which God both promises and warns that I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. We view this covenant in a global sense, (since God was speaking to the nation who would come from Abraham) as the prophetic fulfillment we know simply as the convergence. In other words, the more the world turns against Israel, the more problems the world is going to have.
"For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of My people, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up My land. Joel 3:1-2
The convergence then is simply the visible escalation and divine approval of natural calamities and man-caused problems since 1977. This was the year that the "land for peace" agenda began between Egypt, Israel, and the United States with the Camp David Accords. Since then, there has been an ever increasing series of tragic and horrific events overwhelming the entire world. For those watching, the rapid uptick has been startling. For the rest of the world, the normalcy bias has set in and the world has been lulled back to its slumber.
Presumably, Satan learned his lesson post-Calvary (1 Cor. 2:6-7) and now understands (Rev. 12:12) that his time is running out. The conflict we then see in the world is one in which the world that is currently controlled by Satan (Luke 4:5-6) is trying to stay the way it is, rather than allow God to press forward with His divine timeline. This then results in wars and rumors of wars, which inevitably allows for rapid innovation. Man's technological, financial, and political progress careens forward then because crisis demands action and solutions. In other words, Satan can't stop God's agenda no matter what he tries.
The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. Luke 16:16
So in the macro-sense, the world continues to press forward in all aspects, and the drama involving all its nation-states seems to be ever-fluid and unpredictable. The issues of death, eternity, the kingdom of God, heaven, hell, God, the angels, etc., all seem to be distant things no one wants to talk or even think about, yet it will not go away. Inarguably, there have been moments in time where mankind's mortality (in the collective sense) has been so shaken, that it unintentionally makes the world wake up, even if only for the briefest of moments. Such has been the case with 9/11 or the 2011 Japanese Tsunami. But even then, a little time passes and said-event passes into mankind's short-term memory.
The election of Donald J. Trump was in a sense, the last gasp of a free American people. Here is a man who by all accounts (at least according to every expert and think tank on the planet) should not have won the election. His election was as unthinkable and as impossible, as the scenario found in the start of World War I. Yet, win he did, and he did so with as Steve Bannon called it, the island of misfit toys team. It wasn't so much that he ran against the Democratic-socialist agenda, but against an entrenched establishment (the political class) who were nestled snuggly in the Washington D.C. swamplands.
For eight years, both Christians and conservatives had been force-fed the incessant mantra of the big three lies by the Obama administration. It was done with an intensity and zealotry that was shocking to anyone who had an ounce of common sense. For brevity's sake, the big three whoppers were: Man-made climate change, aggressive historical revision (whitewashing or rewriting historical facts), and that all cultures and religions are equal. It was piped through all the Sunday news shows and by all the academic panels with their "experts." These were they who all created the perfect echo chamber to make sure this message was beaten into our heads day after day.
By the time 2016 rolled around, the last vestiges of American common sense found itself electing a man who was so far removed from the mainstream political fray out of sense of rebellion against having to endure another four years of the democrat propaganda machine.
But elections have consequences and the lies that were pumped via airwaves and Wi-Fi for eight years have unfortunately stuck in Western culture. This has us Christians looking around the world today and finding ourselves increasingly at odds with the mainstream narrative. Even worse, is that the past eight years expedited the already growing rift within Christendom over the issues of gay marriage, transgenderism, abortion on demand, illegal immigration, cultural relativism, etc. On one side, there are more and more churches bending the knee to popular consensus. On the other, is the dwindling remnant of those who still hold to and believe in a Biblical world-view. Pretty soon, those not bending the knee to popular consensus will be as popular and numerous as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were on the plain of Dura (Daniel 3).
But are Christians today just as guilty as those in the Pre-WWI colonial world of the same type of wishful thinking? Do we believe that we can keep the world as it was by Making America Great Again? Like every other significant empire and nation who came before us, we too, shall watch the sun set on this great and final experiment in human governance.
The Bible does not predict any great Christian revival in the last days leading up to the Tribulation (i.e., the 70th Week of Daniel). America is far too diverse today to ever make that an eventuality. I don't mean ethnically diverse, but politically, religiously, and ideologically. Ten people in a room couldn't agree on where the moon was in relation to the earth. Furthermore, President Trump is finding out the hard way that the swamp doesn't want to be drained, and will do everything in its power to prevent it.
The same could be said for our brothers and sisters across the pond in Great Britain with BREXIT. I don't believe it ever will happen because the EU and British swamps can't let that happen. The world's brief flirtation again with nationalism and populism is going to be crushed under the boot-heel of the coming singular global system ran by the Antichrist.
My intent is not to be Mr. Doom and Gloom, but to simply make one point. The reason that the born-again Christian is finding themselves increasingly at odds with the world, is that the world is the swamp, and is in the process of giving itself over to a strong delusion. Just as there are increasing measures of birth-pangs, so too are the increasing stages of unrighteousness. These progress in as much as God gives nations them over to their own delusions and subsequent judgment (Romans 1:16-32; Jeremiah 30:7-11).
But God is not going to drain this swamp, He is going to purge it with judgment and fire before He makes the planet great again. But before He does any of that, He is going to remove His people (true born again believers) by way of the Harpazo (i.e., the catching up or the Rapture). Then the world will be forcibly cast headlong into the final week of years. So fellow believer, don't get too sentimental on the world as it is, or was, or what it's becoming. Because it is all about to change.
For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:16-17
Syrian/Hezbollah troops cross Euphrates to east -
Shortly after the US-led coalition threatened to strike any Syrian Arab Army units if they crossed the Euphrates River, Syrian and Hezbollah troops were marching across imported Russian pontoon bridges to reach the river's eastern bank. By Friday, Sept. 15 they were able to establish a bridgehead there.
The attached photo shows the pontoons being lifted and set in place in a manner which recalls the method by which the IDF was able to cross the Suez Canal for a landing in Egypt towards the end of the 1973 war.
Throughout the three-day operation, the Syrians and Hezbollah worked under the cover of more newly-arrived Russian armaments, the MiG-29SMT (Nato-codenamed "Fulcrum), whose landing in Syria was announced on Wednesday. This twin-engine jet fighter aircraft is a match for the F-18 in service with the US Air Force as well as the Israeli Air force's F-15, F-16 and F-16 fighters.
The day the MiG-29s arrived in Syria, British Maj. Gen. Rupert Jones, Deputy Commander in Chief of the US-led Coalition in Syria, threatened to strike any units of the SAA if they crossed the Euphrates River.
The crossing operation, as well as deepening Russia's military involvement in Syrian and Hezbollah offensives, is a major boost for Iran's objectives, with grave strategic implications for the US and Israel.
1. For the Trump administration, it trampled the principle Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin established exactly two years ago, i.e., for eastern Syrian across the Euphrates to be assigned to American military control and the west to the Russians.
2. US satellites and reconnaissance planes watched the Russian army trucking the pontoons east and saw them being thrown over the river for the crossing. Nonetheless, no orders came from the White House or the Pentagon to make good on the coalition's threat of a strike and to interfere.
3. Established on the east bank of the Euphrates, Syrian and Hezbollah troops are in position to go forward for the operation to capture the Syrian-Iraqi border town of Abu Kamal from ISIS. They have moreover opened the way to link up with the Iraqi Population Mobilization Units (PMU), a surrogate of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
4. debkafile's military sources report that PMU units are already heading for this rendezvous on the Iraqi-Syrian border. This step is tantamount to opening up an Iranian-controlled military corridor between Iraq and Syria by cutting deep into the US-ruled region of eastern Syria.
5. As recently as Thursday night, Sept. 14, President Donald Trump declared: "We are not going to stand for what they [Iran] are doing "
6. The US president was not alone in refraining from lifting a finger to stop "what they are doing." Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu likewise chose words over deeds. "Israel would not tolerate an Iranian presence on its northern border with Syria," he reiterated Friday, Sept. 14, on his arrival in New York to address the UN General Assembly and meet Donald Trump.
But already Iran and its pawns were creating an accomplished fact, with massive logistical and military assistance from the Russian army.
It is worth noting in this regard that, in recent weeks, Israel's generals and colonels have suddenly dropped references in their discourse to Iran and Hezbollah as existential threats.
This may be the time to remind them of an unfortunate precedent. In the months leading up to the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Israel's leaders brushed aside the Egyptian and Syrian armies as threats to the state's survival - only to find defeat at their hands staring the IDF in the face in the early days of that war.
No less dangerous would be a war fought by the Syrian army, Hezbollah and Iran, with powerful Russian military support. By establishing a foothold on both banks of the Euphrates River and both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border, Iran has taken a step towards pursuing its avowed goal of Israel's destruction.
Israeli Spy Chief Warns of New Hamas-Hezbollah Alliance - Jack Moore - http://www.newsweek.com/israels-next-war-spy-chief-warns-hamas-setting-lebanon-help-iran-663273#Jv7CsJFT5zClQsL1.99
Israel's security elite fears a military alliance between Hezbollah and Hamas and backed by Iran could lead to a new conflict in the Middle East.
Nadav Argaman, who is head of Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet, has warned that Hamas-which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007 and fought three wars with Israel in the last decade-is now building influence in Lebanon, where top Hamas operative, Saleh al-Arouri, is in hiding following his expulsion from Qatar in June.
He said that Iran remains "the largest backer financially and militarily" of Hamas's armed wing-known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades-and that with the help of Tehran, the group was now preparing to battle for "the liberation of Palestine," Times of Israel reported.
Hamas, like the majority of Palestinians, is a Sunni group and Hezbollah Shiite, but shared opposition to Israel has long unified the two militant groups and won them funding from Iran. When Qatar expelled five members of Hamas' military wing in 2017, Israeli media reported that the militants made their way to Beirut. Later that month, Palestinian media reported that Hamas' security bureau deputy chairman, Musa Abu Marzouk, met with Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Hezbollah last fought a war with Israel in 2006 but has been emboldened by the war in Syria, where it has fought alongside the army of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and Iranian and Russian forces. Israel's few interventions in the Syria conflict have been aimed at disrupting Hezbollah, bombing weapons convoys and factories. Hamas, meanwhile, last fought Israel in 2014 during a bloody 50 day conflict that saw over 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis killed.
Three years on, Argaman said that Hamas was now "ready for a conflict with Israel" after the quietest period between the group in "three decades." Palestinian militants in Gaza have launched sporadic rocket attacks into southern Israel over the past three years, but most have been claimed by more radical jihadists inspired by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) rather than by Hamas, which has found its authority increasingly challenged in the strip.
Argaman did not elaborate on Hamas' activities in Lebanon, what form a Hezbollah-Hamas military action would take or the specifics of relations between Hamas and Iran. But Hamas' new leader, Yahya Sinwar, confirmed that relations with the Islamic Republic had improved since their fallout in 2012 over the war in Syria. "Relations with Iran are excellent and Iran is the largest supporter of the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades with money and arms," Sinwar said in August.
Israel claims UN ignored intel on secret Iran nuke sites - report - https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-claims-un-ignored-intel-on-secret-iran-nuke-sites-report/
Officials said to accuse IAEA of failing to act on information it received detailing forbidden nuclear military R&D being carried out at several facilities
Israeli officials have reportedly accused the UN body tasked with ensuring Tehran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal of ignoring information it received detailing forbidden nuclear military research and development being carried out at several sites across Iran.
The officials said that "a Western entity" told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of sites that Iran failed to disclose under the deal - which offered Iran relief from punishing sanctions in exchange for having it roll back its nuclear program - but the body failed to investigate or carry our inspections at the locations, Haaretz reported Sunday.
"There is a whole list of suspicious sites where the Iranians do not allow inspectors to visit and no one enforces the supervision mechanisms established in the nuclear agreement," the report quoted the officials as saying. "There is simply a demonstration of weakness in the IAEA when it comes to Iran. The sense is that Iran allows what it wants, and does not allow what it does not want."
In force since January 16, 2016, the JCPOA provides for international monitoring of Tehran's nuclear program to ensure its purely peaceful, civilian use. In exchange, Tehran was promised the gradual lifting of the international sanctions that have strangled the Iranian economy for years.
But the Israeli officials reportedly said that due to either Iran's refusal to grant entry or reluctance to confront the Islamic Republic, the facilities reported to the IAEA went largely unchecked.
"When it comes to visits to suspicious sites, the agreement is not implemented. There are almost no visits and visitors are not allowed to visit. In this context, the agreement is not being realized in spirit and word," they were reported to have said.
Last week, Donald Trump slammed Iran for violating "the spirit" of the deal, weeks before the US president must decide whether to stick by the agreement.
"The Iran deal is one of the worst deals I've ever seen, certainly at a minimum the spirit of the deal is atrociously kept," Trump said aboard Air Force One.
"The Iran deal is not a fair deal to this country. It's a deal that should not have ever been made," he added, tearing into the Obama-era accord.
The United States on Thursday agreed to continue for now to exempt Iran from nuclear-related sanctions but slapped new measures against targets accused of cyber attacks or fomenting militancy.
"We are not going to stand what they are doing with our country. They've violated so many different elements and they've also violated the spirit of that deal," Trump said.
On October 15, Trump is due to decide whether Iran has breached the 2015 nuclear agreement, and critics fear he may abandon an accord they think prevents Tehran from building a nuclear bomb.
But the president would not be drawn on whether he has already made a decision.
Critics say Trump abandoning the deal would pave the way for Iran to resume nuclear enrichment and would send a signal to North Korea and other proliferators that a diplomatic solution can be scrapped at the president's whim.
Israel wants the deal to be amended or canceled altogether, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last Tuesday. Speaking in Argentina, Netanyahu rejected recent reports claiming that Israel and Saudi Arabia are no longer interested in scrapping the landmark deal.
"In the case of Iran, there have been some news stories about Israel's purported position on the nuclear deal with Iran. So let me take this opportunity and clarify: Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it - or cancel it. This is Israel's position," said Netanyahu.
Mossad chief Yossi Cohen is leading Israel's "hawkish line" on Iran, calling for immediate action to ensure that Tehran cannot attain the bomb, an Israeli TV report said Sunday.
The report comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to address the United Nations General Assembly with his focus to again be on confronting Iran.
Channel 2 on Sunday paraphrased Cohen as asserting that "Today's Iran is the North Korea of yesterday, and so we need to act now so that we don't wake up to [an Iranian] bomb."
Other Israeli security officials, the report said, however, are warning that Israel should not be pushing the US into another Middle Eastern adventure, given what happened when the US tackled Iraq and Saddam's ostensible weapons of mass destruction over a decade ago.
What Does It All Mean? - By Daymond Duck -
What does it all mean? In the U.S., a total solar eclipse coast to coast, monstrous hurricanes, two great hurricanes in less than three weeks, 17 million U.S. citizens under a hurricane warning, millions fleeing, towns and cities under water, widespread destruction more costly than ever, fifty-two inches of rain, one-thousand year flood, dams on the verge of breaking, a new U.S. lake the size of Lake Michigan, dozens of people killed, hundreds of people injured, thousands of animals drowned, thousands of acres of crops destroyed, store shelves empty, ships from foreign countries delivering fuel to Florida, an earthquake swarm in Yellowstone National Park and another earthquake swarm in Idaho.
What does it all mean? Flooding in Asia that impacted more than 40 million people, two powerful solar flares several times the size of planet earth on the same day, islands that may no longer be inhabitable, a once in a century earthquake off the coast of Mexico and a hurricane striking that same nation one day later, an upcoming once-in-the-history-of-the-world wonder in the heavens, Jerusalem under siege, a wild man testing hydrogen bombs and threatening to nuke the U.S.; Russia and Iran moving troops to mountains of Israel.
Are these birth pangs? You know, indications that the day of the Lord is at hand; signs that the Tribulation period is drawing near. Is God reminding the world of a future time when people will faint, be sorrowful, be in travail and be amazed; a future time when God's wrath and fierce anger will be poured out to make areas desolate and punish the world for sin (Isaiah 13:6-11)?
Is the time of Jacob's trouble near? You know, that great day when God will break the Gentile yoke off Israel's neck so the Jews can possess all of the land that He gave to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants forever (Jeremiah 30:1-9; Gen. 17:7-8).
Is God shaking the heavens and the earth? You know, in times past He shook the earth, but in the future He won't shake the heavens and the earth (Heb. 12:26; also see Hag. 2:6-7, 21-22). Dr. J. Vernon McGee wrote, "God is going to shake everything to let all His created universe know that there are some things which are unshakeable, and one of those things is living faith in Jesus Christ. He is the Rock that we rest upon, and He cannot be shaken (Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. V; pg. 609).
Do you think that is impossible? Do you know that some experts said the winds of hurricanes Harvey and Irma shook the trees so hard and the waves crashed on the beaches so hard that they caused the ground to shake enough for seismometers to pick up the vibrations?
Is it the fulfillment of Daniel 9:26? You know, the end thereof shall be with a flood. It seems more likely that God is referring to a flood of overwhelming disasters, wars, problems, etc., but God is not opposed to saying things like this.
Is it the fulfillment of Luke 21:25? You know, Jesus was talking about His Second Coming when He said, "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars (perhaps an eclipse, or solar flares, or the alignment of constellations such as is in the Revelation 12 sign); and upon the earth distress of nations (perhaps North Korea, Islamic terrorism or economic problems); with perplexity (perhaps not knowing what to do about North Korea, Islamic terrorism, etc.); the sea and the waves roaring" (perhaps strong winds, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc.).
Is God warning the nations to repent? You know, God told King Solomon, "If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (II Chron. 7:13-14).
If God is warning nations to repent it is grace. It means He wants people to give up their sins and be saved before He deals more harshly with the wickedness on earth.
He wants people to acknowledge Jesus and be saved so they can go in the Rapture and not be left behind to enter the Tribulation period.
The world doesn't have to have hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and the like. God will stop those things if people will repent, pray, abandon their sins and trust in Jesus.
He sent the Great Flood, shut the door on the Ark, drowned Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea and more. What the U.S. has experienced is nothing compared to what He can do.
The world is accountable to God for what is going on. His judgment doesn't have to fall, at least not right now. Repenting and acknowledging Jesus will stop it. Continuing in wickedness and rebellion will make it worse.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Watchman Warning: A Vast Brain Experiment - By Hal Lindsey - http://www.hallindsey.com/ww-9-18-2017/
High school students today are far less likely than previous generations to have a job. They study less. They rarely read books or magazines. They watch less television. They go to fewer movies. They don't attend as many social events. They don't spend as much time hanging out with friends on street corners or at the mall. They date less.
So, what do today's high schoolers do with all this extra time? If you have one, you already know the answer. They spend it on the phone.
The word "phone" can be misleading. These are not the "Bell Telephones" of decades past. We call them phones, but that's like calling Clark Kent a regular guy. Today's smartphones are really supercomputers.
Dr. Jean Twenge of San Diego State University's Department of Psychology has been researching generational differences for 25 years. She uses the term "iGen" to refer to people "born between 1995 and 2012." She's not an old fogey on a nostalgia kick, but an objective scholar.
In a recent article for The Atlantic, she warned about the profound changes now taking place in young people. "Around 2012," she wrote, "I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states.... In all my analyses of generational data - some reaching back to the 1930s - I had never seen anything like it."
Dr. Twenge points out that 2012 was the year smartphone penetration crossed the 50% threshold among Americans. A large survey done this year found that three out of four U.S. teenagers now own such a device.
"The arrival of the smartphone," she wrote, "has radically changed every aspect of teenagers' lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household. The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns."
Some of the results have been good. Today's teens are less likely to die in a car crash. A high school girl today is less likely to get pregnant. But the reason for those things is that the average teen is spending close to 8 hours a day staring, mesmerized at their phones and other electronic devices.
Smartphones have largely taken over the lives of the young. A quarter of teens still don't have a driver's license when they graduate high school. Of those who have them, many did so because they said their parents nagged them into it. "12th-graders in 2015," Dr. Twenge wrote, "were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.... Only about 56 percent of high-school seniors in 2015 went out on dates; for Boomers and Gen Xers, the number was about 85 percent."
The lack of person-to-person social interaction is having a profound effect. "Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011," Twenge wrote. "It's not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones."
The modern phone is a marvel of communication. You can use it to make a movie, or broadcast a live television show. It serves as studio, editing suite, and transmitter. You can create amazing music, or take excellent photographs. It's a new canvass for artists. You can send a brief text to a friend, or write a book and publish it to the world - all without leaving the device.
As for incoming communication, you carry in your pocket a machine that gives you access to the films, photographs, sounds, books, and articles of every generation that had the various technologies needed to preserve such things. Or, you can use your phone like the old Bell models, and just talk.
But despite a level of communications power that defies the imagination, the teens using these devices 8 hours a day are the loneliest, most isolated generation in history.
Don't worry. I'm not for banning smartphones. They're enormously useful tools. And social media can be a great way to keep up with family and friends. The digital assistant in your pocket never (or rarely) forgets an appointment.
So, don't throw your phone away. Just remember that the device serves you, not vice versa.
When it comes to young people and phones, use common sense. For their safety, some of them may need to carry a phone. But you can use the power of the phone to limit what the phone does, and when. Look for parental control apps.
And be involved. Do what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. Be your child's "media mentor."
The most important thing you can do is give your children a grounding in God. Teach them His word. Pray with them, and teach them to pray. Make church a central part of their lives. Also, stay active. Go fishing, hunting, or hiking. Play ball with them. Love them and discipline them. Remember that they will sometimes fail. You did and I did. So, don't go postal on them when they goof up. But give them high standards and expect them to live up to those standards.
With a new generation of iPhones just announced, it's a good time to pray for a generation hooked on such devices. It's retarding their growth as human beings. It's changing the patterns of their thought. It's a vast brain experiment being carried out on our young, and we don't yet know the consequences. Pray for a Christian revival that will sweep the world.
Daily Jot: Knowing the word before speaking it - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
There are a lot of opinions out there about what the Bible says and what Christians should be doing or should not be doing. There are a lot more opinions out there about the end times, when there is a rapture, who the real Israel is, whether the United States or other countries have entered God's judgment and a lot more. Opinions on the Holy word of God are so diverse that it is no wonder that Christians can't agree on much. In fact, many are very opinionated on their opinions and are quick to judge others about what they believe. Just remember before getting all high and mighty on what you think you believe that Proverbs 16:18 says, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
People have told me that they don't believe we should be witnessing to others about the gospel because we are not worthy to doing so. Others have said there is no use in making disciples because things are just getting worse. Others have said call into question someone's salvation based on whether they believe in a certain doctrine. Before making such emphatic statements, folks should know what is true--not just what some preacher or teacher or prophet has told them is true. Find out for yourself. Know the word in its context. Acts 17:11 describes the Bereans, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
I am reminded of the young prophet in 1 Kings 13 who was told by the Lord to not to eat or drink water nor return the same way he came. But an older prophet told the younger prophet that an angel spoke to him by the word of the Lord that the young prophet was to come to the old prophet's house and eat and drink with him. So he did. But then a word of the Lord came to the older prophet that because the younger prophet disobeyed what the Lord told him, that he would die. When the young prophet left, verse 24 tells us "a lion met him by the way and slew him." If one is going to claim they know the word of God and what the Lord is telling them, they better know for sure and not allow another to sway them.
The Lord says in Matthew 7:21-23, "Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock." Make sure that you know the word for yourself, study it, prove what others are saying. Don't accept every doctrine based on some teacher's word. Find out for yourself and then be doers of it.
Daily Devotion: A Powerful Testimony to a Watching World - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them." -Acts 16:25
I think the worst thing that ever happened in history, the greatest travesty, the greatest injustice, was when Jesus Christ Himself was crucified. What could have been worse than that? What could have been worse than for God the Father to look down from Heaven and see His Son who He loved with all His heart suffering and dying for the sins of the world? How could God allow that? It was so awful.
Yet the Bible says, "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him" (Isaiah 53:10). Does this mean God was pleased in watching His Son suffer? Absolutely not. But God the Father was pleased in knowing this suffering would produce something wonderful called salvation for you and for me. As awful as it was, it accomplished God's purpose. Out of the greatest bad came the greatest good. That is how God showed His love for us. As John tells us, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
In the same way, when hardship comes and you are still praising the Lord, that blows the mind of the nonbeliever. Remember the story of Paul and Silas when they were thrown into prison for preaching the gospel? We read in Acts that "at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them" (16:25).
Maybe you are going through a hard time right now. Maybe you're asking, "Why, God?"
God has a purpose. He has allowed it. God has either done it or He has allowed it. Deal with it the best that you can and seek to bring Him glory. That is a powerful testimony to a world that doesn't know God.
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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