Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Deal of the Century - Pete Garcia -
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate. Daniel 9:27
In 1993, a newly elected President Clinton hosted the Oslo Peace Accords in the White House Rose Garden. This was hailed to be the end of a six-year violent Palestinian uprising known as the First Intifada. However, seven-years later, the Oslo Peace Accords were in tatters as a violence erupted again. Not only did it bring about a bloody and violent second intifada, it also splintered the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) into a second faction, Hamas, which would come to take control of the Gaza Strip. The Second Intifada signaled the end of this utopic hallucination of Middle East peace, as well as, much speculation by prophecy watchers about whether Oslo was Daniel 9:27 in the making.
Fast forward through time for the next 20-years: 9/11, US military wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, global economic mortgage and bank crisis, the Arab Spring, ISIS, Libyan and Syrian Civil Warà peace in the Middle East seemed as dead a prospect as bell-bottom jeans, disco, and mullets.
Not only did the most unlikely candidate, win the most seemingly unwinnable election, but Donald Trump had an ace up his sleeve...God's timing.
It would seem that 1993 was not the right time or the right place, nor Clinton, Rabin, or Arafat the right players. Even before running for office, Donald J. Trump had a decades-long, personal friendship with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, along with his daughter Ivanka Trump, are practice Orthodox Judaism.
Then-candidate Trump campaigned on the promise to not only recognize Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital, but he also promised to move our embassy there.
Then he did.
Then President (Art of the Deal) Trump had the audacity to declare the coming "Deal of the Century," between Israel and the Arab world on January 28, 2020. Then the Chinese Corona-virus swept the globe. Democrats and globalists were slow to abandon their failed impeachment attempt and recognize the breadth and scope of just how far reaching the virus would spread, but they were quick to politicize it once they did. It seemed as if the whole forces of the world were stacked against this peace process from moving forward. Then the details and news of the "Deal of the Century" went silent. Prophecy watchers waited in anticipation for any new, news of this coming peace deal. After a summer of protests, riots, statue desecrations, and anarchy wore on, the threat of the virus began to wane that the news broke in early August that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would sign a normalization agreement with Israel.
What makes the recent (August 2020) Jared Kushner/Trump deal (dubbed the Abraham Accord) with the United Arab Emirates and now Bahrain as well, unique, is that it offers not just peace, but full normalization. That means shared airspace. Shared technologies. Opening economies. Tourism. Everything. Quoting Daymond Duck-
Kushner believes another Arab nation will make peace with Israel in a matter of months and all 22 Arab nations will eventually recognize the existence of Israel (Note: On Sept. 3, 2020, it was reported that Bahrain will likely normalize relations before Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 18, and as many as 20 Muslim nations could do it in the next two months).
On Sept. 5, 2020, it was reported that Israel and the UAE anticipate signing their agreement in Washington, D.C. during the week of Sept. 14, and they will call their agreement a "treaty of peace."
But what is a peace treaty? Is it just a declaration that two nations will officially decide not to march their troops into each other's cities or stop shooting missiles at each other? Yes and no. Yes, it is an official end of hostilities, for whatever that is worth, but it is not a guarantee of the desired end-state- normalization.
Normalization speaks to the improved relations in all sectors of public and private life and governance. It is diplomatic, it is economic, it is technological, and its improved relations from the street-level all the way up to the heads of state.
For example, even though Jordan and Egypt have peace treaties with Israel, Jews would not step foot in their countries for fear of death. Thus, peace did not bring normalization. Sure, Jordan and Egypt were not firing rockets and attacking Israel anymore, but Jews were not lining up to go there for vacations. Egyptians were not lining up to buy Jewish goods. The importance of normalization is the removal of the stigma of each other's existence as nations and peoples. For the Jews, this is paramount.
The agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates promises to establish normal relations between the two countries. These include business relations, tourism, direct flights, scientific cooperation, and, in time, full diplomatic ties at the ambassadorial level. The Emiratis are unlikely, however, to locate their embassy in Jerusalem. An important component of the Abraham Accord, though not specifically spelled out, is enhanced security cooperation against regional threats, especially from Iran and its proxies. It is important to note that Israel and the UAE reportedly already have security ties, but the agreement brings them into the open.
The Abraham Accord, aptly named for its importance to the three major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) is a reverse approach to the Oslo Peace Accords. Instead of trying to get the Palestinians to abandon their impossible demands (e.g., 1967 boundaries, right of return, division of Jerusalem), the Abraham Accord works from the outside in.
Setting aside any division of land or halting of Jewish expansion by way of settlements, it's aims are to build a coalition of Arab nations who through normalization, put pressure on the Palestinians to get on board the 'peace train.' Israel, in return, gets normalization from upwards of 22 of her Arab-neighbors. Aside from Egypt and Jordan who already have peace deals with Israel, the two nations of UAE and Bahrain have joined the Abraham Accord. Presumably, many others will follow suit, especially when Trump wins reelection.
Most important is to establish a new regional alliance, based on the Arab Peace Initiative first proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002 that is still valid until today. It would actually be a defense treaty between Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Israel. Its strategic goal would be building a military and technological shield against Iran. It would develop and produce a Star Wars-like project much like President Ronald Reagan's to forestall and pre-empt the Iranian ballistic nuclear arsenal; this would be the result of scientific and financial cooperation among the member states. This new alliance will have additional defensive tasks in thwarting terrorism and subversion in the Middle East.
Of course, the number one factor driving all of this for Israel is peace. The number factor from the Arab perspective is security. In other words, for the first time in history, the two sides (Jews and Arabs) have a valid reason to unite. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 1st Thess. 5:3.
UAE, and presumably the rest of the Gulf States due to their proximity, fear Iran more than they hate Israel. Nevertheless, the Palestinians are not having any of this. With President Trump moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and his halting of financial aid to them, there is no love lost between this administration and the divided Palestinian political factions (PLO and Hamas). Still, with normalization efforts ongoing with the Arab world, the Palestinians days may be numbered.
Within the region, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and Oman publicly welcomed the Abraham Accord. Saudi Arabia has remained silent, though there is significant speculation among analysts that this nonreaction is a sign that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman supports the agreement but is constrained because his father, the king, opposes normalization with Israel. Iran, Qatar, and Turkey have all criticized the accord, with the latter threatening to withdraw its ambassador from Abu Dhabi. Civil society organizations throughout the region remain steadfast in their opposition to normalizing relations with Israel. These include groups in the Gulf, which have spoken out specifically against the Israeli-Emirati agreement. (Source)
Gog, Magog, and the Axis of Resistance
In 2006, in the midst of a fierce war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously stated that the world was witnessing the "birth pangs of a new Middle East." She was right-but not in the sense she had hoped. Instead of disempowering Hezbollah and its sponsor, Iran, the war only augmented the strength and prestige of what is known as the "axis of resistance," a power bloc that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas in Palestine.
In 1979, two significant revolutions took place in the Middle East. Most remember the dramatic Iranian revolution with the over throw of the Shah and taking over the US Embassy in Tehran. However, the other revolution was in Saudi Arabia. This was the same year that the Wahhabis took their Islamic conservativism to extremes in what had been a moderate, Sunni Muslim nation. Forty-years, fracking, and a technologically advanced world later, the Saudis have had to come to terms with their own demons. They realized after 9/11, how toxic they had become as well as realizing that their oil wealth would not last forever. They had to find new streams of revenue to finance their otherwise, resource strapped-nation. Nevertheless, this attempt at reform did not sway the Wahhabi purists in Saudi Arabia who wanted to fund their endless Jihad.
The Iranian Regime, on the other hand, have not yet come to terms with their extremism. Granted, it is more the regime (leadership) than the people themselves who still maintain its suicidal and homicidal ideations, but the government still has the keys to the kingdom. Their "Twelver" eschatology is driving them to bring chaos to the world in order to unleash their Mahdi, and ultimately, the end of days.
Millenarianism, or "end of days" messianic speculation, is thriving and evolving - and being weaponized by both Sunni and Shia radical movements - as evidenced by the Islamic State on one side, and Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies on the other. While still limited and contained, the potential of such visions to metastasize and explode into conflict is considerable. In both the Sunni and Shia domains, millenarianism is gaining in relevance, substance, and structure. This essay considers the origins and dynamics of this movement and concludes with a brief suggestion about how best to counter it.
The Sunnis attempted to match the Twelver's devotion to the end-time by unleashing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but ultimately ran into a brick wall called the last Trump. Donald Trump that is. With ISIS defeated in Trump's first year of office, and the Muslim Brotherhood on the outs pretty much everywhere, the Saudis had secretly turned to Trump and Israel as means of last resorts. An undercurrent of secret communications/discussions/agreements finally became known this year with the evolution of the Abraham Accord.
This turn of events has given new life to Iran's extremism. With the Iranian people largely on the outs with their own government (see Green Revolution), Iran (formerly Persia) has had to outsource much of their violence to disenfranchised Middle Easterner's and North Africans to rebuild their Shiite Caliphate. However, Turkey's Prime Minister/Autocrat, Tayyip Erdogan, would not, could not; let Iran run away with the monopoly on caliphate building. Erdogan was determined to restore the might and greatness of the Ottoman Empire. According to Efraim Inbar, the president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security said this,
He noted that Erdoğan is not only a leader with an Islamist ideology, but a realpolitik player. Turkey is in Iraq and Syria, and has a military base in Qatar and in Somalia. Erdoğan tried to build a base in Sudan, and now he is busy in Libya. As part of this new Turkish nationalism, he is challenging the border with Greece, essentially seeking to reverse the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which officially ended the Ottoman Empire.
"There is a fusion here of nationalism and Islamism between Turkish nationalism with its roots in Islam, the Caliphate and the Ottoman Empire," said Inbar. "There is a clear alliance between Turkey and Qatar, which both support the Muslim Brotherhood."
Just as the Jews and Arabs are finding common ground, primarily over common enemies, the same holds true for this growing Axis of Resistance. For the first time in history, both Turkey and Iran (who formerly held major empires over the Middle East) now find themselves with their aligned interests. While this is a bit of speculation on my part, the Ayatollah and Erdogan may want to split their Caliphate down the middle, much the same way the Roman Empire eventually split between eastern and western halves. What they also have in common, is a neutral-ally by the name of Russia who is helping arm and manage their forces throughout the region.
MOSCOW - The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran on Wednesday discussed efforts to stabilize Syria in a video call, emphasizing the need to promote a political settlement for the nine-year conflict. Russia and Iran have staunchly supported Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the country's war, while Turkey has backed his foes. However, the three countries have pooled their efforts to help end hostilities. [July 1st, 2020] (Source)
At present, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are at odds over the dumpster-fire that is Syria. However, they are now working together to end this division. Both Russia and Turkey are presently at odds over the future of Libya. At some point in the very near past, Russia, Turkey, and Iran have decided to align their interests in regards to Syria and Libya, and begin to solidify their stranglehold over the Middle East. In fact, I would venture to say that this alliance will solidify as we move into Trump's fifth year in office.
The reason I believe this will happen sooner, rather than later, is that all three are watching this Trump-led alliance fall in line with the Abraham Accord, and they will use this as the motivation to set their differences aside and work together. It is also very possible, that we could also see the formation of a new Syria very soon, with Bashar Assad stepping aside and Damascus being rebuilt (or at least getting the rubble out of the way). Damascus (as well as the rest of Syria) presents real, geopolitical interests to all three nations, and I expect that given the present prophetic winds, they will move in quickly. Might this new Axis of Resistance be the Gog-Magog coalition that Ezekiel prophesied about some 2,600 years ago?
Cyrus, Trump, and the Third Temple
In conclusion, let me sum up a few things about where I believe things are headed by way of a bulletined summary. [Disclaimer, I could be wildly wrong-this is just my theory].
The new Abraham Accord will not just be Israeli/Sunni anymore but will include a newly energized Mediterranean Union who is led by lawless one himself, the rider on the white horse, Mr. Antichrist.
All of these events will take place roughly over the course of 3-4 years. Many in Israel have equated Donald Trump as being synonymous with the Medo-Persian King Cyrus, for all of his seemingly impossible-yet achieved, political efforts. What I mean to say is Trump is instrumental to Bible prophecy at this point, for him to lose to someone like Biden-Harris.
It begins with Donald Trump's reelection in 2020 and then followed by the death of King Salman. After his death, his son Mohammed bin Salman brings Saudi Arabia into the Accord and the subsequent domino effect of Sunni nations follow suit. This allows Israel to let her guard down, which is followed by the Rapture of the Church. The Rapture becomes the catalyst for the Gog-Magog War, which, after being destroyed, allows Israel to rebuild her third temple.
At some point in this time frame, the Two Witnesses arrive as the world divides back into ten regions. One of those regions is the Mediterranean Union (see UfM). Islam as a major world religion is neutered (Shia-Turkic-Balkan) leaving only a weakened version of Sunni. Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) begins consolidating her power; one-man rises to the top of their hierarchy by-election (see EU Super-President). He is the one who renegotiates the Abraham Accord with Israel (and the many) to be included in this new regional power structure.
Again, I could wrong on my understanding of how things shake out, therefore, I am not wedded to these thoughts, nor are they hills upon which I want to plant my battle flag. Ultimately, things will happen according to God's will and timing, but it is fun to see what we think will happen in the months and years ahead. Nevertheless, preach the Gospel, and be ready in season and out. Keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and keep looking up, because our redemption draws near.
11 Facts That Prove That The Apocalyptic Wildfires On The West Coast Are Unlike Anything We Have Ever Seen Before - by Michael Snyder -
At this hour, a thick blanket of smoke from the horrific wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington is covering much of the western portion of the country. U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon has used the word "apocalyptic" to describe the utter devastation that has been caused by these fires, and that is not an exaggeration whatsoever. There are some small towns that have literally been wiped off the face of the map during the past week, and some of them may never be rebuilt. This has already been a wildfire season like no other along the west coast, and we are just now entering the heart of the 2020 fire season. It is very difficult to imagine another couple months of this, but that is potentially what we are facing.
By the time that it is over, nobody living on the west coast will ever forget the chaos that this wildfire season has caused. Some of the largest fires have been burning for weeks, and all of the smoke is having a dramatic impact on large cities such as San Francisco...
The cityscape resembles the surface of a distant planet, populated by a masked alien culture. The air, choked with blown ash, is difficult to breathe.
There is the Golden Gate Bridge, looming in the distance through a drift-smoke haze, and the Salesforce Tower, which against the blood-orange sky appears as a colossal spaceship in a doomsday film.
San Francisco, and much of California, has never been like this.
Yes, every year there are wildfires, but what we are watching this year is on an entirely different level. The following are 11 facts that prove the apocalyptic wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington and unlike anything we have seen before...
#1 According to the National Interagency Fire Center, more than 30,000 firefighters are currently contending with 94 large fires that have burned more than 4.6 million acres in 12 western states.
#2 40 of those large fires have prompted evacuation orders, and many have been forced to flee "with just the clothes on their backs" because the fires have moved so rapidly.
#3 The August Complex Fire has already officially become the largest wildfire in the history of the state of California, and at this hour it continues to rage out of control.
#4 Five of the ten largest wildfires in California history have happened in 2020.
#5 In Oregon, 40,000 people have already been evacuated, and hundreds of thousands more have been told to prepare to potentially evacuate.
#6 On Saturday, the air quality index reading in Salem, Oregon was 512. That measurement was "off the charts", because the scale only goes up to 500.
#7 Prior to 2020, we had only witnessed a few "fire tornadoes" in all of U.S. history, but now they are occurring "every week or two".
#8 According to the Washington Post, some wildfire plumes have risen "up to 10 miles high", and that is definitely extremely unusual.
#9 About a week after a fire tornado hit the Huntington Lake area, some fires are still burning root systems underground "at more than 1,500 degrees"...
A week later, Donnelly said Saturday that the Creek Fire continues to burn in the area, with some fires occurring underground and attacking the root system of trees at more than 1,500 degrees.
"Fire inspectors from the office of the State Fire Marshall stated that fire behavior in the Kennolyn area is the worst they had witnessed in their career," Donnelly wrote in a post that was shared on social media, timestamped as 11 a.m. Saturday. "Unfortunately, it will be some time before it is safe to enter the burned areas."
#10 Even though we still have quite a bit of time to go, this has already been the worst wildfire season in California's history and the second worst wildfire season in Washington's history.
#11 Sadly, the fire season still has another four months remaining, and there are at least seven weeks left in "prime fire season".
Of course the list above simply cannot express the incredible amount of pain and suffering that these fires have caused for so many people.
When a reporter followed Betty Stevens of Phoenix, Oregon back to the spot where her home once stood, what they discovered was too horrible for words...
Betty Stevens stumbled down the street that had until a few hours ago seemed so familiar, her feet crunching through ash and debris as she entered the smoking remains of her neighborhood. There were melted street signs. Trees burned down to stumps. Power lines across the road. And everywhere she turned, choking, acrid smoke.
Sobbing behind the face mask she normally wears for her job as a hospital respiratory therapist helping coronavirus patients, Stevens, 31, video recorded herself earlier this week as she stumbled through the neighborhood, raw emotion in her voice, sometimes unable to form words, moaning in obvious pain.
Could you imagine losing your home and everything inside of it?
Over the next several weeks, fires will continue to sweep across our western states and many more homes and buildings will likely be lost.
For many, it will be the final straw. As I have discussed previously, large numbers of people have already moved away from the west coast, and there are others that are seriously considering doing so...
Monica Gupta Mehta and her husband, an entrepreneur, have been through tech busts and booms, earthquakes, wildfire seasons and power outages. But it was not until the skies darkened and cast an unsettling orange light on their Palo Alto home earlier this week that they ever considered moving their family of five somewhere else.
"For the first time in 20-something years, the thought crossed our minds: Do we really want to live here?" said Mehta, who is starting an education tech company.
As a very small child, I spent several years on the west coast, and I will always have a great fondness for how it was in the old days. But if you have read my new book, you already know how I feel about the west coast's future.
There are very few areas on the entire globe that have been blessed with more natural beauty than the west coast of the United States. Unfortunately, natural beauty is not everything.
Here in 2020, it has just been one thing after another, and the west coast has been hit harder than just about anywhere else.
Many are hoping that better times are ahead in 2021, but I definitely would not be counting on that.
Prayer 101 - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer is an important part of a Christian's life, or it should be. It's our way to communicate with God, but too often we don't talk with Him enough. Throughout Scripture we are given examples of people who pray. Hannah prayed at the altar asking God to allow her to have a child. "Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken." 1 Samuel 1:13. She wasn't drunk, but was earnestly praying to God from her heart. God gave her a son and her prayer of thanksgiving is recorded in chapter 2. Of course, we know that King David prayed "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." Psalm 5:3. This is just one of many Psalms that are prayers of praise. Solomon, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, were men of prayer, as was Daniel. "And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:" Daniel 9:3. The many prayers recorded in the Old Testament should teach us that talking to God is important in the life of a person who loves Him.
The New Testament gives us insight about the prayer life of the early Christians who knew they needed daily guidance from the Lord. The Apostles tried to care for all the needs of all the Christians, but were overwhelmed. It was decided that godly men would be chosen to minister to the needs of the Christians, "But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." Acts 6:4. Because they sought God's guidance in prayer and listened to His answers, Christianity reached the far corners of the world. Because a group of people earnestly prayed, Peter was miraculously released from prison. "Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." Acts 12:5. The people who prayed for Peter didn't really expect an answer, but God did answer by sending an angel to release Peter from the prison. After his release, Peter went to the house where the people prayed for him. "And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel." Acts 12:13-15. They had prayed, but when their prayer was answered they didn't believe God had answered perfectly. Too often we pray out of habit or because it's just something else to try when everything else has failed. There are many examples of prayer in the New Testament and it would be wise to study these prayers. James tells us a thing or two about praying. "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:15-16. Brothers and sisters, prayer should be a big part of every Christian's life and we need to take it seriously. Jesus prayed and His example is the one we should follow first.
The question is, how do we pray? Is God a buddy who we joke around with? Is He to be feared to the point that we're afraid to speak? Do we even pray to Him directly? After all, the pope says to pray to a person he deems as a saint or to Mary. Let's start with that one first. No. No, no, no. The pope has no power over anything in Heaven, he can't deem anybody a saint. Mary, was a very special woman who was obedient to God's will, but she was no more than human. Nowhere in Scripture are we directed to pray to anyone but God. Jesus simplified all the questions by giving us a model prayer, which is an example of how we should pray. We call it The Lord's Prayer and most of us memorized it very early in life. In a few short words, Jesus gave us a way to shape our prayers to honor God. He led up to this example by first giving bad examples. "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." Matthew 6:5. A person's motive for praying matters. A hypocrite is someone who pretends; an actor who plays a part. If you pray in order to impress people then you're a hypocrite. On the other hand, if your prays are prayed with the purpose of drawing attention to God and sincerely seek Him, then your motive is correct. There are many reasons to pray, and they all boil down to honoring God. Petition God to help your husband as he goes to his job every day to support his family. Pray for sons and daughters that the temptations of life won't dazzle them and draw them away from the Lord. Pray a prayer of praise for all that God has done. God loves you and is worthy of praise.
"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." Matthew 6:9. In giving this example of prayer, Jesus said to start by recognizing who you're speaking to. You are addressing Almighty God who is all knowing, all seeing, and all powerful. Christians are able to know Him on a personal level because of Jesus, who is God the Son. Because of our faith in Jesus, we are also God's children. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name;" John 1:12. In this life we have an earthly father, and if he is a God-fearing man, he has been an example of love to you. Jesus says we can call God our Father, because He loves you and cares for you more than anyone on earth. Even if your earthly father wasn't a loving man, you can still look to God to be the loving father you can trust. God deserves our respect and we need to understand that He is holy.
"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10. In heaven, God's will is done without question. There's no taking His words out of context and twisting their meaning to fit your ideas. When God dispatches an angel on an errand, that errand is accomplished without question. When Lucifer rebelled, evil entered creation and we can see the results of disobedience to God. If God's will was done on earth today, what a glorious life we would have. Jesus says we should pray for His kingdom to come, and one day it will come. Unfortunately, there's a lot of evil to be faced before that day. As Christians, we shouldn't let the evil around us stop us from doing God's will. If you think about it, if you don't want to do His will now, what makes you think you'll want to spend eternity doing the perfect will of God? If you pray these words, then you need to mean them and strive to live according to God's will today.
"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11. Pray for the needs of today. We need food daily and this prayer shows us not to pray for bread next week or a year from now, but bread for today. Later in this same chapter, Jesus said "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:31-33. God knows you need food and clothing and will provide, but Jesus said to seek the kingdom of God. That means, to live to honor Him now, and do His will "...in earth, as it is in heaven".
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Matthew 6:12. A debt is something owed. If you buy a car, you owe the bank for lending you money. If someone does a favor for you, you owe a debt of gratitude. There is a greater debt we owe. One that encumbers our life and drags us down. It's the debt of sin that Satan has encumbered us with. If you're a Christian, then your sin-debt was paid in full at the cross and you're forgiven. We all sin, but that sin can be forgiven. Jesus said that even thinking a lustful thought is the same as committing the sin. It's easy to sin without intending to, but if we've accepted Jesus for salvation then our sins are forgiven. If you've been forgiven, then you need to forgive others. It's not easy to forgive someone who has done evil to you, but if God forgave your sin then you need to forgive other people. Notice, this prayer says "as we forgive our debtors". Think about it and you'll come up with people you need to forgive.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." Matthew 6:13. Most modern translations say "...but deliver us from the evil one". Evil doesn't come from God, but comes from Satan who is pure evil. He puts temptation in our way. Temptation can stumble even the strongest Christian, and most temptations come from us putting ourselves in its way. God will never deliberately lead us into a situation where we are tempted to succumb to sin, but will be our strength to rescue us from the temptation. "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished" 2 Peter 2:9. It would be easier for us if we were never tempted to sin once we give our life to Christ, but God will lead us away from it. In the prayer that Christ prayed not long before His arrest, He prayed for you. Did you know that? He prayed for the men who had been His disciples, then turned His prayer to future followers. "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth...Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." John 17:15-17 & 20-21. Jesus prayed that you and I would be kept from evil, that we wouldn't stumble. Again, modern translations say "evil one". If God is first in our thoughts then it's harder for Satan to tempt us. It's God who is to be followed, honored, and praised.
This prayer can be said quickly and without thought, but that's not how it's meant to be prayed. Each word has a deep meaning and if this is the only prayer you pray, then mean what you say. It's a basic prayer and a format for prayers from your heart...prayer 101. God is your Father, but He is still God. Submit to His will and glorify Him in all you do.
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: The Farm Chronicles: Happy Jim and Camels - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The summer of 1969 shortly after I turned 14, Dad decided to expand the horse business marked by the building of a 30 ft X 60 ft horse barn. He had a crew come in and drill the holes and set the poles and the trusses-in other words, frame it out. The rest was up to "us," really me. Dad was working long hours delivering fuel from our gas and oil business to farmers, and he pretty much left it up to me to build the rest of that horse barn. We would talk about what needed to be done and he would give me brief instructions on how to do it, then take off for his work day. I often would be standing before that barn frame and just staring at it, thinking "I don't know nothin' about any of this."
It came time to get the barn under roof. I was sliding 4 X 8 sheets of plywood up a ladder one at a time and balancing across the rafters to lay them in place, nail them down, and hope I had them going in the right direction. The July sun was hot and this was tedious and strenuous work for a 14 year old who wasn't confident about what he was doing. I had about a third of it done and was starting to get a good rhythm when my grandfather Wilson drove into the barnyard. I knew it was him, not only by the car, but because the car looked like there was no driver. Grandpa "Billy" (my namesake) was about 4'10" and you could never see him driving. He couldn't see over the steering wheel, so he looked through it, just over the dashboard.
Grandpa was born in 1889. So he was now just shy of 75 years old. And he wanted to help. I wasn't sure about letting him climb up the ladder and crawl around on those rafters, but he insisted. As it turned out, we were quite a team as we worked together sliding the plywood sub-roofing in place and nailing it down. I never knew Grandpa to be without a chaw of tobacco in his cheek. And that day, he asked me if I wanted some of his Happy Jim. I told him that mom probably wouldn't approve, but he insisted that since I was working like a man, I should chew like one. He had an ornery streak, and I think I was about to be had. I put that tobacco in my mouth and it wasn't long I was getting sick to my stomach and had to spit it out. He got a good laugh on that one as he lit up his Camel no filter and took a puff.
Grandpa and I finished the sub-roof that day. He told me a lot of old stories and we had a great time while we were working. He told me that he began chewing tobacco and smoking when he was 14. He had smoked and chewed every day since then. Doc Owens had told Grandpa Billy that Happy Jim and Camels would be the death of him. Matter of fact, Grandpa outlived the good doctor and passed away just short of his 97th birthday. I tried the Happy Jim, never tried the Camels. But the Happy Jim didn't make me feel so happy. The memory of building the barn with my Grandpa does make me happy. Like Mary in Luke 2:19, I have treasured all these memories, "and pondered them in my heart." Yep, Happy Jim and Camels.
Daily Devotion: No Forwarding Address - by Greg Laurie -
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. -Hebrews 11:8
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/no-forwarding-address-5/ - Listen
I think sometimes we'd like God to give us a detailed blueprint of our lives. We want to know whom we'll marry, where we'll live, what our profession will be, and how many children and grandchildren we will have.
But God leads us one step at a time. We need to take that step before He will reveal the next one. A world changer named Abraham was called by God to leave his homeland, leave his relatives, and go to an unknown destination. Abraham lived in a super pagan culture. His family worshipped false gods, and he probably was an idol worshipper himself. Despite this, God handpicked Abraham. God came to him and said, "Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land that I will show you" (Genesis 12:1 NLT).
God didn't tell Abraham what that land was. He didn't tell Abraham where that land was. He didn't even tell Abraham where he and his wife Sarah would live. But Abraham listened to God. He packed up his bags and left no forwarding address. Ultimately he was headed toward a heavenly destination.
The Bible tells us that "it was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8 NLT).
Abraham had an eternal perspective, and he changed his world. We need people who will change their world today. America so desperately needs God. America so desperately needs to hear the gospel. But for a moment, let's just talk about your world and your sphere of influence where you can make an impact like Abraham did. Do you want to change the world? Start by changing your world.
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