Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Church in the Tribulation - Alf Cengia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8710
For the purpose of this article "tribulation" will refer to the seven years of Daniel's 70th week. We understand that the church has always experienced tribulation. However, pretribulationists consider the entire seven years of Daniel's final week of tribulation as containing God's eschatological wrath.
I don't know about you but I've grown to love the expectation of Jesus' any-moment-return for the church. There was a time I anticipated enduring the last seven premillennial years of this age prior to Christ's coming. Today I believe pretribulationism - while not explicit - provides the most biblically satisfying view.
It is regularly asserted that pretribulationists are misled by popular writers and the doctrine is unbiblical. Books by Robert Van Kampen, Marvin Rosenthal, George E. Ladd and Robert H. Gundry etc are often recommended as biblical remedies by prewrathers and posttribbers alike. While the first two will disagree with the latter two on many points- what unifies them is the insistence that the church endures the great tribulation.
Non-pretribulationists employ several strategies of arguments to debunk the pretrib rapture. These arguments often sit on shifting sands. The 144,000 of Revelation 7:4 is one example. Non-pretribbers either symbolize them into the church or claim they don't have an evangelical role, thus requiring the presence of the church.
A prominent critic of pretribulationism recently claimed that pretribbers propagate the false notion that the 144,000 are evangelists in order to excuse the absence of the church. He asserts that they aren't evangelists. They are sealed by angels to protect them from God's wrath, but aren't redeemed until Christ's return. They are first fruits of Israel and nothing more.
One wonders, then, why they're referred to as "servants" (Rev 7:3). The same word servant-doulos is applied John (Rev 1:1). It appears at least 12 other times in Revelation. In one instance an angel refers to himself as a servant-doulos. In the rest of the examples the term is applied to saints. Doulos is also applied to Christians in the New Testament.
According to John MacArthur:
"Doulos frequently describes what it means to be a true Christian: "He who was called while free, is Christ's slave [doulos]. You were bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 7:22-23). It describes the lowest, abject bond slave; his service is not a matter of choice."
If doulos describes a true Christian and we are commanded to fulfill the great commission - then, logically, the 144,000 will evangelize. After all, they are servants. Ironically Marvin Rosenthal passes the evangelistic baton to them after the church is raptured because: "God will not leave Himself without a people on the earth" (The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church p 185).
Before Rosenthal, George Ladd (The Blessed Hope p 45) favorably cited anti-pretrib activist Nathaniel West. Unlike modern posttribbers and prewrathers, West believed the 144,000 are saved and sealed at the beginning of the 70th week as a result of the ministry of the two witnesses. Ostensibly this is because the Gentile church has been removed via martyrdom and persecution. West calls the 144,000 an "Israelitish Future Church." He certainly saw them as evangelists.
Ladd has the church experiencing the entire tribulation. It will be "sheltered from the wrath of God" but not from "tribulation at the hands of Antichrist" (pp 121-122). Is God really so selective with His protection? Why would God seal the Israelitish Church but not the Gentile Church? And how is Satan's Antichrist not a function of God's wrath?
This leads me to the shifting-sand arguments against the pretrib use of Rev 3:10.
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Various challenges have been put forward to refute this verse as pretribulational confirmation. Some assert the promise only applied to the Philadelphian church. Yet the trial which would come upon the whole world didn't eventuate during that time. Therefore, in principle, the promise is still applicable today.
Gundry compared the expression "keep you from" in Rev 3:10 with the same Greek grammar in John 17:15 to argue that the verse means "preserved within" the hour of trial. One wonders how this can be the case when we see tribulation martyrs. That position has been refuted at length in articles by likes of Richard Mayhue and Jeffrey Townshend. You can read their responses and decide for yourself.
Marvin Rosenthal claimed that if the pretrib position (removal from) was correct (and he doubted it), then it would fit the prewrath view. In other words, exemption could only be from the period following the great tribulation. This assumes that Satan's wrath comes before God's wrath and cannot occur concurrently. In his view, the hour of trial can only apply to the Day of the Lord, which allegedly occurs after the great tribulation.
There's no biblical warrant to assume God's wrath cannot run concurrent with man's or Satan's wrath. Moreover there's abundant evidence that God's wrath is present throughout the 70th week. See the article God's Wrath and the bride of Christ.
Rev 3:10 isn't a technical promise with cleverly hidden clauses. Christ isn't saying, "I'm sparing you from my wrath only." Read plainly and simply, the Lord promises the church's exemption from a period of trial (peirasmos: testing, proving) which will come upon the world. This "testing" must include the deluding influence of the Antichrist (see 2 Thess 2: 9-12).
While the implementation of the beast's mark occurs midway through the week, the process of deception likely begins at the first seal. Furthermore, it is the cessation of the Restrainer's activity which allows the appearance of the man of sin (2 Thess 2:6). This is God's judgment. Pete Garcia discusses the identity of the Restrainer HERE.
Why is the presence of the Antichrist a time of testing? Those who give allegiance to the beast and accept his mark will be eternally damned. Doesn't that sound like testing to you?
These were just a few examples of how non-pretribulationists approach verses in attempting to refute the pretrib rapture. I think scholars like Renald Showers, John Walvoord, Dwight Pentecost, Richard Mayhue and a host of others have defended pretribulationism very well over the years. On the other hand I haven't found the opposition's arguments consistent or very compelling.
I don't like tribulation - no one does if they're honest - but that isn't why I believe in pretribulationism. The Bible strongly implies the doctrine.
As stated above, I like the idea that the Lord could return any time for the church. Applied correctly the doctrine of imminence should ensure that faithful Christians are daily prepared for that possibility.
And that's a good thing.
Damascus in biblical prophecy...Are we seeing the beginning of the end? - By Isaiah Anderson -
The burden against Damascus. "Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap. - Isaiah 17:1 (NKJV)
The Syrian war has been going on since March 15th, 2011. Most of the nations involved in this conflict correspond with the end-times prophecy of Ezekiel 38 & 39. Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Syria are loosely allied in Syria, while America and Israel are allied against them and support the Kurdish forces in the Northeast of Syria.
The blooding seven-year war has displaced nearly half the population of Syria, either internally or externally, some estimate the dispossessed at 13 million, while the death toll is reported to be roughly half a million people killed in the fighting.
The suffering of the Syrian people is beyond comprehension. The bombing of cities, power interrupted, rival factions marauding through vast regions of Syria, including the infamous Islamic forces associated with Isis. The violence is unimaginable.
As the end of the war seems to be near, hostility between the primary nations involved has increased. It's being reported that Israel bombed an area of Damascus on Monday, September 17, 2018, while also releasing satellite images of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad palace, an obvious veiled threat to the Syrian leader.
It's also been reported that a Russia military plane was shot down during the Israeli bombing of targets situated in Damascus. 15 Russian airmen were reportedly killed in the downing of the Russian IL-20 aircraft. It's being reported Syria defensive air systems was responsible for mistakenly shooting down the plane during this attack.
Russia is expected to respond towards Israel very forcefully, possibly setting in place new military protocols that would limit Israel's ability to fly into Syria and target Iranian forces. Israel will likely reject such restriction. Is this the catalyst that could eventually lead to direct conflict between Russia and Israel?
Syria has reportedly used chemical weapon on civilians, while they vehemently deny such claims. Israel is obviously very nervous over the use of these types of dangerous weapons, especially in such close proximity to their borders. The United States is also very concerned over the use of chemical weapons, Trump even issued a clear warning that there will be severe repercussions if it's discovered they deployed such weapons in Syria.
As we see the hostilities increase and the political and military alliance developed, we can't help but notice the alignment of nations, which are described in the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 & 39, commonly known as the war of Gog-Magog. It's prophesied to occur on the mountains of Israel, which is the mountainous area directly bordering Israel and Syria.
As we can see, the potential for the imminent fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy of Damascus destruction in very much a real possibility, and this opens the door for Ezekiel's end-times prophesy of the Magog invasion of Israel. The Magog alliance is doomed to fail, God will rise up against this multinational force and bring violent destruction upon those involved in attacking the land of Israel.
"And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," says the Lord God, "that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: 'Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.' I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says the Lord God. "Every man's sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord." ' - Ezek 38:18-23 (NKJV)
The defeat of the Magog alliance will likely pave the way for the rise of the EU, who will be the logical peace negotiator between the warring nations. The revived Roman Empire is currently emerging, just as the Bible predicted.
The stage has been laid for some critical end-times prophecies to possibly be fulfilled very soon. One of these prophecies that will be ushered in is the seven-year peace agreement spoken of in the Book of Daniel. It's this peace agreement that will mark the beginning of the seven-year tribulation. The Antichrist and his revived Roman Empire will confirm the peace treaty.
As the major obstacles to global peace are removed, that being Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syria, one can easily see part of the agreement would be the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, another major end-times prophecy, one that is already being prepared.
The Antichrist will ultimately enter the third Jewish Temple and proclaim himself to be a god, which will mark the middle of the tribulation and bring about the abominations that causes desolation.
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." - Dan 9:27 (NKJV)
"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. - Matt 24:15-21 (NKJV)
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. - 2 Thess 2:3-4 (NKJV)
The signs of many end-times prophecies are coming into focus; my question is, are you ready?
If you're not born again spiritually, which comes by repenting of your sins and placing your faith in Jesus Chris and receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then you're not ready.
I beg you to consider the events being talked about in this article, we have no assurance of a normal tomorrow. Please consider the wonderful gift of salvation that's freely offered to you. God loves you and desires for you to be saved from the wrath to come, will you accept His offer?
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. - Rev 3:20 (NKJV)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. - Romans 5:8-11 (NKJV)
Nearing Midnight: The Death of Journalism - Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
The nation's news media has had a leftist bias much longer than I've been here on planet Earth. For decades, the press would only gently put its thumb on the scale to slightly give its side an advantage in news coverage. Over the past couple years, we have seen a complete meltdown of all objective news standards.
I've seen the change at our local Planet Fitness gym. Up on the ceiling, they have a long row of TVs that have CNN and MSNBC spaced out every seventh TV. As I work out, I've noticed that two liberal channels are almost always talking about President Trump. There seem to be three phases in the reporting:
The first phase was all the bad things he did in the past. They dug out all of Trump's bad business deals. Anyone who lost money investing with him was given camera time.
The Second phase was all the harmful things he is currently doing. It doesn't matter how good the economy is doing right now. The press has found the people who have been left behind by the so-called Trump boom.
The third phase is pure delusion-thinking, where the imagination is the only limit on Trump's "evil nature." For example: Joe Scarborough on 9/11 said, "Trump is damaging the dream of America more than any terrorist attack ever could." He has helped lower black unemployment to record low levels, and still he is regularly described as the most racist president to ever hold office.
It is amazing at how resourceful the liberal media has become in making every event into a test of Trump skills as President. In the run up to Hurricane Florence's landfall, the press focused on Trump's ability to manage the coming disaster. The hurricane was still 700 miles out at sea, and the press was only interested in setting things up so that any loss of life would mean Trump had failed in his duty.
The greatest indication that true journalism is dead in America is the willingness to sacrifice truth in order to create a new narrative. When a news story is found to be in error, it has long been vitally important to publish a correction.
CNN was recently caught in a lie when it reported that lawyer Lanny Davis had told them that Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime personal lawyer, claimed he was willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower. When Lanny Davis admitted this was not true, CNN refused to back down, saying, "CNN stands by its story." Going forward, CNN will make up their own version of the news and then cherry pick the facts to establish it.
The credibility of NBC has been called into question over its handling of Ronan Farrow's Harvey Weinstein story. NBC had claimed that, when Farrow came to them with the story, he didn't have anyone willing to go on record with the allegations. Farrow eventually took the story to The New Yorker and published it there. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. We now learn from NBC producers that Farrow had Rose McGowan as an eager witness. NBC killed the story and lied about it, most likely because it feared Weinstein may have dirt on brass at NBC.
In case there was any doubt about the meltdown of journalism, is the left bringing Dan Rather back from exile? Rather comes on TV and says, "The president of the United States is not the descendant of some Sun god" and "He is basically saying he is above the law." In a series of online posts, Mr. Rather tells people "how to protect yourself from fake news," which of course all comes from conservative sites.
Rather was one of television's most prominent journalists, putting in nearly 24 years at CBS. But in the eyes of some viewers, he is remembered for his discredited story in 2004 that claimed, using clearly folly documents, that President George W. Bush made efforts to avoid service in Vietnam. After being fired from his anchor job, he left CBS the next year. What has allowed Dan Rather to crawl back into the news limelight is that the field of journalism has declined to the level he reached in 2004.
The complete madness of the liberal media is a strong indication of how close we are to the rapture event. Since they will be doing Satan's bidding during the tribulation hour, their total readiness to serve in the ultimate delusion means that time is short.
"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).
The Day Of Atonement (Yom Kippur) - Jack Kelley -
Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land.
September 19th, 2018 at sundown, the holiest day of the Jewish year began. Many who do not observe any other Jewish custom will refrain from work, fast, and attend synagogue services last night and today. The name "Yom Kippur" means "Day of Atonement," and that pretty much explains what the holiday is. It is a day set aside to "afflict the soul," to atone for the sins of the past year.
Many religious Jews believe that in Heaven books recording all the deeds of mankind are opened on Rosh Hashanah beginning an annual review of man's behavior. Those whose behavior has been exemplary in every respect are given another year of life, those who have demonstrated no redeeming qualities are scheduled for death, and those who fit neither category are given 10 days until Yom Kippur to right all the wrongs committed during the year just past.
Days Of Awe
These 10 days are called the Days of Awe because each man's destiny hangs in the balance as he goes about asking forgiveness for sins committed against Him (violations of His Law) and from friends and neighbors for wrongs done to them. On Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed and the books are closed for another year. So this day is, essentially, their last appeal, their last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate their repentance and make amends.
Yom Kippur is a Holy Sabbath; no work can be performed. Jews refrain from eating and drinking even water. It is a complete, 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur.
In ancient times, Yom Kippur was the only day of the year when it was permissible to speak the Name of God. During a great and solemn ceremony at the Temple, two goats were brought before the High Priest. One was a goat "for the Lord" to be presented as a sin offering as commanded in Lev. 16:7-10. The other was called "the scapegoat" because all the sins of the nation were symbolically placed upon its head, and it was led outside the city. The goat for the sin offering had done nothing to deserve this, but was killed to remind the people that only the shedding of innocent blood could atone for their sins. The death of the two goats symbolically set aside the sins of the nation, made their offering acceptable and gave them another year of peace with their Creator. Lying prostrate before Him the people spoke the Name of God in heartfelt thanks.
Here are a couple of interesting tidbits from Jewish tradition. When the goats were brought before the High Priest, their respective roles in the ceremony were determined by lot. Two golden lots were placed in a golden bowl and as he placed his hand upon the head of each goat, the High Priest reached into the bowl and pulled out one of the lots. Before the cross the goat that was to be presented to the Lord as a sin offering was always on the right hand of the High Priest. After the cross it never was.
While the scapegoat was symbolically receiving the sins of the people upon its head a scarlet ribbon was tied from one of its horns to the door of the temple. Just before the goat was led from the Temple into the wilderness this ribbon was cut in two, leaving some on the horn and some on the door. According to tradition, at a predetermined location outside the city, the goat was pushed off a cliff and fell to its death. All the years before the cross, at the moment of the scapegoat's death, the piece of ribbon on the temple door turned from red to white recalling the passage from Isaiah 1:18, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow." After the cross this never happened again.
The Law Is Only A Shadow ...
Some Christians believe that the Lord Jesus began His ministry on Yom Kippur announcing in effect that the judgment that was due mankind would be borne by Him instead (Luke 4:16-21) and that man no longer need live in fear of judgment nor have to endure the 10 Days of Awe every year.
It's easy to see the Lord in the role of our sin offering, whose shed blood purchased our pardon forever (Hebrews 10:1-4). And at His trial before Pontius Pilate, wasn't He chosen to bear our sins while Bar Abbas was released? But He was also our peace offering. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:19-20). He is our peace, who has broken down every wall (Ephesians 2:14).
So why was the goat chosen for the Lord never on the right hand again? And why did the ribbon no longer turn white at the death of the scapegoat? The One Who had fulfilled the role that the two goats only symbolized had come. It is He Who sits at the right hand of the Father and it is He Who has forever taken away the sins of all who would accept Him. Where the reality has come the shadow is no longer effective. (Colossians 2:17)
History To Prophecy
The prophetic fulfillment of Yom Kippur will come at the end of the Millennium at the so-called Great White Throne judgment, when all the unsaved dead are brought back to life to be judged according to their works. (Revelation 20:11-15). The books will be opened for the last time and those from all ages who have refused the pardon purchased for them at the cross will bear the full responsibility for their sins against God and man, destined to spend eternity in shame and torment. But those who have accepted the Lord's pardon are at peace with God, and will spend eternity with Him and shine like the brightness of the Sun. Shalom.
Daily Jot: Sexual assault, domestic violence, and Politics - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Domestic violence and sexual assault are an ill in all societies. In America, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women. A woman is assaulted or beaten every 9 seconds; 1 in every 3 women is physically abused by her partner during her lifetime. Every year, 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence; nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls say a boyfriend has threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup. More than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day; men are twice as likely to abuse their wives if they witnessed domestic violence as children. This is serious and devastating to victims and survivors. Mix in politics and its even more devastating.
The politics of the situation come in at least two forms. One form is to address a change in behavior. No woman should be faced with domestic violence or sexual assault, ever. Information, education, and action is necessary to put a stop to it. It's one of those taboo topics of society because it is so personal and involves so many emotions. Law enforcement officers, for example, are often at high risk when answering domestic violence calls because both parties can quickly turn on the officer trying to intervene. Sexual assault is yet another area that becomes so personal and so psychological that people in society rarely want to confront the issue, except to ensure that there is no reasonable doubt.
The other politics of domestic violence and sexual assault is when it is weaponized for political purposes. The accusations, for example, against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh seem to be weaponized for political purposes. This man has been vetted before as his career advanced. Waiting until the last minute to offer up a sexual assault accusation seems to be taken out of the Democratic Party playbook against Supreme Court nominees. Recall Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas? In Kavanaugh's case, this single incident has been hidden for over 30 years and comes to light by someone who is an activist for leftist causes, at the 11thhour before the Supreme Court would be tipped toward a conservative balance.
Notwithstanding the blatant politics being played here, it is best that both Kavanaugh and the accuser come before the public to answer questions regarding the alleged incident. This political circus is all part of the vetting process and will reveal both intent and agenda. Being that the accuser is refusing to testify until an FBI investigation rings hollow as just a delay tactic-the FBI really has no jurisdiction because no federal law is broken. Whether this is purely political or if there is substance to the allegations, scurrilous people are using it as a political weapon at the expense of many. Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." America is seeing this firsthand in the politics of domestic violence and sexual assault where nobody wins in the long run.
Daily Devotion: Missing the Point - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Then the LORD said, "You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn't I feel sorry for such a great city?" -Jonah 4:10-11
Have you ever been angry with God? Be honest. Maybe you were hoping something would happen in your life, and it didn't happen. Or maybe you prayed for something, and God didn't answer your prayer in the way you wanted Him to answer it. Then again, maybe God blessed someone else when you thought you were more deserving of that blessing.
Jonah was angry with God. While he was sitting outside Nineveh, waiting for it to be judged, the Bible tells us, "The Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah's head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant" (Jonah 4:6 NLT). Then the Bible says the Lord brought a worm that ate the plant, causing it to die. So Jonah said, "Death is certainly better than living like this!" (verse 8 NLT).
Jonah seemed to be more concerned about losing his shade than he was about the people of Nineveh. He missed his comfort. He missed the whole picture. The people of Nineveh repented of their sins. They called it what it was, and God sent His healing.
The problem with Jonah was that he was preoccupied with himself. While God had spared thousands of lives, Jonah missed his shade. Here was a man who survived three days and three nights in a fish's stomach, a man who repented, prayed, and preached the truth to the people of Nineveh, a man whom God used to bring about a spiritual awakening. Yet he fell into sin.
It's a reminder that no matter how long we have known the Lord, we can still mess up. No matter how long we have known the Lord, we still may need to be revived again.
FROM THE HEART
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