Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
God's Judgement is Coming - Pastor Mike Taylor -
24 "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:24-27)
There is a central theme found throughout the Bible, and that is God's judgment. It is a single pinpoint of truth that God gives man a certain amount of time to come to repentance of his sinful nature and turn to Him, for when each of us die, we are judged according to whether we have turned to the only Way to receive forgiveness of our sins through Christ Jesus for the propitiation of what we all deserve, and that is death.
JUDGEMENT STARTS AT CREATION
This universe was born as a place of judgment, as the very creation of God was a matter of judgment, and nothing in this universe will escape the judgment of God. Mankind was God's greatest achievement in the construction of our world, when He made him on the sixth day of God's work to form the earth and the heavens that surround us. Even though man is the supreme creation of God, he too, will be judged at the end of time of this age.
Judgement was born out of light. As God saw that light and pronounced it as very good.
3 "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." (Genesis 1:3-5)
Throughout scripture, God used light and darkness as metaphors of good and evil. So it is fitting that He uses light and darkness as the beginning of His judgment.
God, having judged light as to be "very good" God exercised a different kind of judgment to separate the light from darkness by creating the sun, the moon and the stars. If not, then our world would be nothing but shades of gray.
Mankind likes to use these "shades of gray" to explain our moral compromises, our depravity and to color our own failures at morality. Men say that it isn't just "black and white, but the area is a 'gray area" But truth is either black or white, evil or good, there is no such thing as a gray area. It's like there is no such thing as cold, but the absence of heat. There is no such thing as darkness, but the absence of light. And there is no such thing as evil, but the absence of good. Without God, creation would fall into chaos.
As men try to make up their own rules, apart from God's Word, there will come a time when our actions will be judged by the Father of Lights, who sees what is truth and what is a lie. He sees what is good and what is evil. We can't hide anything from God, and when the time appointed as the verse of the opening passage says "And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" each man and woman will be judged either in light, or in darkness. Note that each man and woman has an appointed time with something each of us fear, and that is death.
All men will eventually die, and if the Lord tarries, you reading this will also die, just as I will. The time and the event are already pre-determined, and there is no way that any of us can escape it, should our human existence play out, this side of the rapture of the Church.
YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN
Jesus used another metaphor, as the Bible is full of them, but the one I want to focus on now, is the term Jesus used of "Born Again" to describe our salvation process. When the time comes, we are transferred from this life, to the next life into the light of His glorious presence. We will be surrounded by light and it is not perceived as a pleasant experience by all. Why do I say that?
Think of it like this. When we were conceived in our mother's womb, we grew to a full term baby in a secure environment. We were surrounded with everything we needed. Food from our mother through our umbilical cord and warmth of her body surrounding us. Our world is peace and tranquility, until our own comfortable existence is violently shaken. Our world collapses around us and we are expelled out of our comfort zone. We are grabbed with cold, hard steel forceps by our head and yanked out of our world and placed in a cold metal tray, and discover pain as somebody smacks us on our behind and we discover pain for the first time. The blinding light hurts our eyes, only slightly less than the silver nitrate they force into our eyes. We are in a moment of terror, as we were not prepared for what is to follow.
Of course, this in the perspective of the infant we used to be, but having tasted life, the womb would become an unbearable prison if left in that environment. So being "born again" is a perfect metaphor of being transitioned from this life into the next life, that will be eternal.
Each human on this earth, dreads the concept of leaving this life, and to some, not knowing what awaits on the other side of death, it should be doubly disturbing. We, who have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior, know that the life we will live in eternity is incomparable to this life, as it was the life in the womb. But we all fear the end of our mortal life, because this existence is all we know. But we have faith and assurance, that even though we don't know how and what will be shown to us in that eternal state of heavenly bliss, our fleshly bodies of this life, still fights to live as long as it can. But a soon to "born again" believer in Jesus Christ should welcome the day, because we know it will be beyond anything our finite minds can comprehend.
9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." (1st Corinthians 2:9-11)
To the unbeliever, who does not know Christ Jesus, the idea of death must be terrifying, as they have only this life in their own deceived minds. Oh, I get the atheist who doesn't believe in heaven, hell, or even a God in heaven, but in the back of their mind, that void they have in their soul that only Jesus can fulfill is trying to find something to fill that void, and in the end, they are left hopelessly lost. So the transition of this life, to the eternal abode they will inhabit in eternity is a transition to nowhere, but to eternal torment. I read an article of a tombstone that was read in a cemetery that stated "Here lies an atheist. All dressed up with no place to go"...course, that is not exactly true, but if they got a glimpse of their destination, they would do everything in their power to avoid it and proclaim Jesus as their Savior. But their pride of mankind finds it hard to submit to a Higher Power.
SIN UNTO SALVATION
The scripture says that judgment comes to all men by appointment. Something they cannot escape. For a follower of Jesus Christ, judgment comes in two parts. Hebrews 9:27 says "AS it is appointed...." but the next verse completes the thought.
Let us look at it in context:
""And as it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but after this the judgement, so Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Hmmm.. "sin unto salvation" that doesn't sound like the Second Advent of Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation, as Jesus will come in judgment with a sharp two-edged sword that proceeds out of His mouth, encompassed by ten thousands of His saints, to judge the earth and destroy the anti-christ, his army and all rebellion, now does it?
Logically, if you sit and meditate on that portion of scripture, it can only refer to Jesus coming for His saints of the Church Age and removing them from this planet in what is commonly referred to as the HARPAZO translated from the Greek, as Rapture. That is the ONLY 'second coming unto salvation' alluded to by Scripture. The dead in Christ are raised from the dead, we are changed in the twinkling of an eye, from mortal to immortal and we all go to meet the Lord in the air.
AND THEN WHAT??
Paul outlines what will happen to all those who meet Jesus in the air, in what is called the Beam Judgment Seat of Christ. As Paul said:
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2nd Corinthians 5:10)
A lot of people get hung up on Grace VS. Works in many denominations....Catholic are very focused on works found in their traditions, and Jehovah Witness, Seventh Day Adventist, and Mormons to mention a few, are confused about Grace through Faith and cannot distinguish what is required for salvation. As I've pointed out many times, works are a by-product of our salvation. We do good for the Kingdom of God, because we Love Jesus, love our ABBA Father....and our works are a sign of our salvation, not the production of salvation. Don't be misled by those who preach a works based salvation, as there is NOTHING you and I can do to earn that gift, that grace, that mercy given freely by God because of our repentance and our faith in the finished work Jesus paid on the "old rugged cross".
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:8-10)
Note one proceeds the other....mercy, faith through grace proceeds our good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do...Grace =works, not works= salvation. The latter is the cart before the horse, so to speak.
But getting back to our judgment standing before our Lord Jesus Christ. Each of us will give an account of what we have done for Jesus. This is where our works are relevant:
10 "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1st Corinthians 3:10-15)
This is the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ, so called because this is not a judgment of either being saved or damned, but a rewards ceremony of works done in the Name of Jesus Christ and for His Kingdom. Whether we are saved or not, is judged on this earth, as it takes place now. As we are being judged now. The Church will be found in His righteousness, because they have repented of their sins, embraced Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives, and have fought everyday to live for Christ, even though imperfectly, they are being sanctified for this moment. Note those who work for the Lord God will receive rewards, but what of the man who is saved, but doesn't do anything to receive a reward? The verse says "but HE himself, shall be saved; yet so as by fire"....some translate it as "though through the fire"....the only thing that saved the man (or woman) is Christ Jesus who paid for their sins with His own blood...they received salvation by faith, but that's all they did...but in itself, it is enough for salvation, just being with Jesus is reward enough, but for those who have worked for Him, He will make rulers of nations in the Millennium.
As a Christian believer that is being judged on earth now, you are securely saved as if you were already in heaven standing before our Savior. If you are lost, it is not the case that you WILL be lost. Because you are LOST NOW.
The point is, it has nothing to do with being "good or bad". It has to do with believing in one's own "righteousness and the ability to save yourself" (Which you can't) or trusting in the righteousness of Jesus Christ to clothe you with His righteousness and that not of your own.
(for those who are scratching their head and wondering what this means, let me make it simple for you. If you are trusting in being good to get to heaven, you aren't going there) Work based religions, take note.
That is what the "second coming unto salvation refers to" . . . the gathering of the saints to the Bema Seat for judgment.
This is another reason why the Bible supports a pre-tribulation Rapture. The Bema Seat judgment MUST take place AFTER the Rapture. We cannot be judged for our lives when they end. The influence of a man's life lives on after him.
How could the lives of the Apostle John, John the Baptist, or even Paul and the other apostles be adequately judged for their rewards in the first century, when their lives ended? The influence of their lives are still being calculated of how they affected the Church as a whole to receive just rewards. That is also why the Great White Throne Judgment is reserved until the final hours of time known to mankind, before the new heavens and new earth.
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT & SECOND CHANCE?
But let me touch on something that some, I believe teach erroneously at this time. I have read and listened to ministers who promote the idea of a "second chance" for salvation at the 2nd resurrection of those who have died without Christ, or have never had a chance to make a decision for Christ...that would include those in the Dark Ages that didn't have a bible, or a hidden tribe of Africans, or South Americans who are so backward in their life, they never heard of the name "Jesus"....what is God to do with them? God is sovereign, and I'm not going to speculate what God has plans for those who did not hear of His Son, BUT the point is there is a belief that God gives a second chance to these individuals...they base this on TWO verses found in Revelation....
12"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13, And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (Revelation 20:12-13)
The belief goes something like this...those who are judged out of the books at the Great White Throne are given time to know Christ, to come to repentance, before sentencing is passed...that is what I call a "second chance" at salvation . Does the Bible support such a belief? No, I find nowhere the lost who reject Jesus Christ, and even those who have never heard His Name, being given a "second chance"...
Now I'm not God and God is sovereign, but according to His Word and the opening verses.... "men die ONCE, then after this the judgment". Reading the verses in Revelation gives me a picture of judgment and those whose name are NOT found in the Book of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire along with the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet who are already there. Satan will be cast along with his demons at their appointed time.... but from what I read, there is NO SECOND chance, as anyone in their right mind, would believe in Jesus as the Son of God, given the choice of a literal hell, or heaven...No, my friend, if you are looking for a second chance, you play Russian Roulette with your soul. Best to make a decision for Christ Jesus now, while the invitation is open.
To me, that gives those who don't witness to others, that those who are saved are predetermined to be saved or lost and there is nothing anybody can do about it.....That belief is on the same level as TULIP of Calvinism, which is not scriptural. Men are being judged in this life now...best to get on board of the ark of salvation, known as Jesus Christ .
LET US SUMMARIZE, THE QUICK AND THE DEAD
There are two distinct judgement of those who die, either in Christ Jesus at the Bema Seat of Christ, or those who die without payment for their sins to be found at the Great White Throne Judgment of God Almighty.
Paul writes to Timothy.
"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine." (2nd Timothy 4:1-2)
Can you see the two judgements here? One is for the "quick" the other is for the "dead". One takes place at His appearing and the other takes place at "His Kingdom". The Quick are the saved. The dead are the lost. The Quick are judged at the Bema Seat, and the dead are judged at the Great White Throne Judgment.
5" But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:5-6).
This is the end of the 1st Resurrection, as Jesus was the beginning of that resurrection, and those raised to life now are part of that resurrection....Those who are lost are left dead for a 1000 years, until final judgment which is the second resurrection of the damned.. Those raised to receive final judgment will be changed to immortal, but cast into the lake of Fire to be tormented for all eternity.
Those who are saved will have rewards handed out to them, in the form of crowns. Those saved will receive a special crown of righteousness reserved on that day:
8 "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2nd Timothy 4:8)
I've mentioned there are numerous crowns of those who work for the Lord, but we will not list each and every one here, as I've covered that in past messages about those crowns for them that overcome this world, through Jesus Christ.
Here's two points I want you to see, in closing this message out. As reading about the 24 elders, the second we remove the doctrine of the rapture from the narrative, it becomes too complicated and doesn't make any sense. The sequence falls apart and other scriptures don't support that narrative, but conflicts with them.
Also, absent from Eternal Security in Christ Jesus, what does 1st Corinthians 3:15 that we just got through referencing above ("yet he himself shall be saved as through the fire") mean? If you discount both doctrines, then the Bible gets way too complicated for a non-believer to figure out. Absent the pre-Trib Rapture, the judgment of the "quick at His appearing" (2nd Timothy 4:8) doesn't make much sense either.
Which means you have to come up with a whole new timeline for events, or else make everything symbolic, and allegorize away the one that already exist...Which gives rise to the question "Then why give one?" Because the Scriptures most assurely do give a timeline of events.
One final point, if Jesus comes back to raise those in the light of Jesus to life immortal and destroys all rebellion on earth, as there is no in between, then who goes into the Millennium as mortals at the end of the Tribulations??...as I've mentioned before, there is no one left to be mortal to repopulate the earth...I've said it before and I figured it was worth mentioning once again..
THE FOCUS IS JUDGEMENT OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS
The focus of this message is on judgment, which separates light from darkness, separates the wheat from the tares, the saved from the lost, and the Church from the judgment that is due upon those who dwell upon the earth.
"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Revelation 3:10-11)
If you read through the Bible, especially Revelation, there is a sequence of events that the rest of the Bible supports. First comes the "catching away of the Church" when Jesus steps out of eternity into our time and causes all who believe in Him, will be "born Again" into immortal bodies for all eternity. And Trumpets with His voice "come up hither". Swiftly, we are taken to a great banquet, which is the Marriage supper of the Lamb and our joining with our Savior into the family of God. It is what the saints will be doing preceding and encompassing the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation. That is the type of judgment that began the bible in Genesis 1:4-- God creates the light, judges the light, separates the light from darkeness...or in this case, good from evil.
ON the earth, the four horse of the apocalypse ride to begin the wrath of God whereas the men of earth cry for the rocks of the cliffs to hide them.
"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of His wrath has come, and who will be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:15-17)
WE are the light, clothed with the righteousness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but on the earth, judgment has come upon the darkness and the sequence of events grow more and more destructive as you read. Everything you read is nothing but heartache, misery, and death in these chapters depicting this hour of God's fierce judgment where He pours out His wrath from the cup of His indignation in its full strength.
Then we see the return of our Lord Jesus Christ in Chp. 19 of this prophetic book and the saints riding upon horses, clothes with linen, "white and clean", as sign of the saints. Darkness is finally judged in this hour and the destruction is complete. All rebellion on this earth is extinguished. Men who survived the onslaught of the Anti-Christ and escaped, most like as Chp. 12 of the book reveals, to a place of safety to be nourished for 1260 days.
" And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days." (Revelation 12:6)
...as we have studied in the past, this woman is Israel, and those who believe the prophesies and escape, most likely as in 70AD to the Jordanian desert and the rock fortress of Petra.
Then straight away, after judgment is passed on the darkness of this world, the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ in the Millennium begins, and the world is made as it was in the time of the Garden of Eden...PERFECT.
To be otherwise in the timeline, would require those who disbelieve to twist the scriptures into a pretzel to make their preconceived notions fit to some degree. If the timeline is any other translation or interpretation, the true meaning of what Paul wrote in 1st Thessalonians 4:18 would have no meaning. "Wherefore comfort one another with these words"..because there would be no comfort and ..it would come from some other unfortunate mistranslation.
Do not doubt, my friend, judgment is coming on this universe, this planet, and mankind that inhabits the nations. The whole point of this message is where will you be when judgment finally comes in wave after wave? Will you be standing before Christ Jesus for rewards, or standing before the Great White Throne to receive your death penalty? Will you still be in darkness, or in the light of God? Will you experience joy and happiness that no one can express till it happens, or will you be in anguish, and in torment where the fire is never quenched and the worm dieth not? My plea to those who read this message ...LOOK TO JESUS...the Author and Finisher of our faith....believe, and thou shalt be saved from darkness.
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:16-18)
23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" (Romans 3:23-25
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:8-10)
Make that decision today for Jesus Christ and be numbered of those in the light, and not in the darkness....because "judgment is coming".
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying for the salvation of your soul. If you have need for prayer, counseling, or just listening ear, email me at "email@example.com , ..." God bless you all..
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Rabbi who Predicted Trump Presidency Has Shocking New Prediction for Israel's Next Government, Messiah - By Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler - www.breakingisraelnews.com
"For the earth shall be filled With awe for the glory of Hashem As water covers the sea." Habakkuk 2:14 (The Israel Bible™)
In an informal interview in his Jerusalem home, Jewish scholar and international speaker Rabbi Mendel Kessin, who believes that the world is teetering on the edge of redemption, explained what has to happen politically in order to serve the spiritual purpose of advancing redemption.
"Something [with this election] is going to happen out of nowhere that's going to be stunning, that nobody expects. In order for the Jews to repent, to get close to God, to get close to their Torah, this government must be removed." In his words, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "must be deposed."
At press time, the fate of the Israeli government is still very unclear. The country is deeply divided and no obvious winner has yet emerged from the second round of voting for the 22nd Knesset.
In order to bring the Jewish people closer to Torah and prepare them to receive the elevated Torah of Messiah, Kessin predicted that the final outcome of this week's election will be that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will give the Likud party the option to form a coalition, but without Netanyahu at its head.
"Basically, Bibi has to be deposed. God is going to get rid of him politically," Kessin asserted.
Kessin does not believe that the Messiah will immediately replace Netanyahu. "You need a transition guy. The person I have in mind is on the political scene. His name is Gideon Sa'ar."
Sa'ar was a Member of Knesset from 2003-2014 and was again elected to the 21st Knesset in April of this year. Holding the sixth spot on the Likud party list, he would have to be advanced over four other Likud members for Kessin's prediction to come true.
It wouldn't be the first time Kessin backed a dark horse candidate. He correctly predicted that Donald Trump would win the 2016 US presidential election back when the Republican party was still flush with seasoned political candidates. Then, as now, he bases his thinking on spiritual ideas rather than political considerations.
In a public lecture delivered in Jerusalem just before the election, Kessin said, "The issue is not the Israeli elections. The issue is [that] it is time to remove the influence of people who have nothing to do with furthering God's Torah. The Jewish people must be prepared and must be elevated in order to begin the process of redemption," he claimed.
"It's not only an issue in Israel. It's the same thing in America - those Democrats that want to destroy Trump. I've mentioned many times who [Trump] is. He's an Edomite - a messianic figure of Edom. His job is to assist the Jewish people to do the tikkun (to spiritually rectify the world).
Which he's doing! Which is amazing. He doesn't even know who he is and he's still doing it.
"We're probably entering the next stage where all the Jewish settlements become part of Israel. That's the next thing. See what God is doing? Slowly He is restoring the Jews," explained Kessin.
In essence, Kessin is claiming that the Jewish State needs a transition leader who will help the Jews return to Torah, in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah and the full redemption. And that leader cannot be Prime Minister Netanyahu.
What kind of leader is necessary today? According to Kessin, "It has to be someone who can present himself as friendly and of assistance to spirituality. I'm not looking at this politically.
"Redemption is the greatest event the entire creation has ever seen. Once it starts, it's unstoppable and irrevocable.
"People have no idea what Moshiach (Messiah) does. What he does is change reality. He takes away the fog, where everybody sees Ain Od Milvado - besides God, there is nothing else. We can't even comprehend what that means."
For the earth shall be filled With awe for the glory of Hashem As water covers the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)
At this moment, the unclear political outcome appears to echo a spiritual battle that is being waged between the forces that want to bring redemption and the forces that want to hold it back.
"What's happening now is there is an unbelievable fight. If you were in Heaven, you would see the battle. The Satan is desperate because his days are numbered."
In Jewish thought, the Satan is a spiritual presence that God created with the specific mission of provoking people to sin. The Satan is an instrument of God, fully subservient to Him. Rabbi Kessin calls the Satan, "a spiritual entity that has been the greatest enemy of mankind."
"We're not look here at elections and coalitions," Kessin stated. "Israel has to be saved first spiritually.
"Maybe that's why these elections are in such turmoil," he conjectured.
Cheating On God - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Nobody likes to be around someone who cheats. Whether playing a game or taking a test, cheating isn't right. It especially isn't right when you cheat on God. Is that possible? Yes, it's very possible and Christians do it all the time. At some point, every Christian realized that sin ruled their life. When you realized that truth, you repented and asked Christ to forgive your sin. Repent means to change your mind about sin. You realized that what you once thought was just a lifestyle or a choice that's acceptable in society, was actually sin and against God's ways. Sin separates us from God and the sin you embraced was dragging you down to eternal death. You may have read something that convicted you of your sin, or someone may have said the right thing that made it clear that you needed forgiveness from Jesus. "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:22-23. You accepted His sacrifice and your sins are forgiven, but temptation crosses your path. If you can willingly and continually follow the path of sin, you're cheating on God. If your life of sin means more to you than your life with Christ, then your heart is still the same old heart of stone and you haven't allowed Christ to change you. Scripture is the guide to use in drawing closer to God...to knowing His heart and His will. The Bible is very clear about the things that keep you separate from God so study Scripture daily. When tempted to sin, turn to Scripture to help you turn away from it. How would you feel if you were about to go into surgery and you found out your doctor had cheated on his medical exams? That would make you doubt that he was a true doctor and not trust him. In the same way, how can a professing Christian embrace sin and cheat on God? That's somewhat of an oxymoron.
Do you see the problem with saying you've accepted Christ for salvation but then choosing to continue in sin? Your heart should have changed when you accepted His sacrifice and your life should reflect that change. If there's no difference in your life now than before you repented, there's a good chance you haven't truly accepted Him. We will never achieve His standard of perfection while living on this side of Heaven, but sin should have lost its appeal. After coming to Jesus, you need to submit to Him in obedience. You can't submit to Christ and submit to sin at the same time. That's being double minded. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7. If you keep Christ first in your thoughts you won't have a chance to be tempted by sin. If sin does pull at you and tempt you, make the choice to submit to Christ. How would you feel if someone you care about deeply, such as a spouse, professed love for you but then you found out this person was living a double life? Maybe a wife finds out her husband is seeing another woman, or vice versa. Would you just shrug your shoulders and go on? No, that would be accepting the unacceptable. The deceitful spouse has betrayed the one they made a vow to love, honor, and cherish. In the same way, embracing sin is cheating on God. You asked Him to forgive your sin, but you still hold on to that sin. You cannot plead ignorance because He has given us Scripture as a guide.
How do you stop being double minded? "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." James 4:8. When you draw near to God you move away from the sin that has ruled your life. We will never be completely free from sin until we shed this mortal body, but until then we need to resist sin. That's not easy because sometimes Satan wraps sin in a pretty package that hides the ugliness that is hidden under the pretty paper and ribbon. Sin is ugly. As you draw nearer to God you won't be fooled by the pretty wrappings. The closer you draw to God, the less you'll be tempted to fall into sin. Whether you live together with your "significant other", continually tell lies, or have murdered someone, you're cheating on God when you hold onto sin. "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." Romans 6:13-14. Amazing grace that saves sinners like you and me! Draw closer to Jesus and sin will lose its power over you.
Only by the grace of God are we forgiven of sin. When you realized that you're a sinner in need of the Saviour, you asked Him to forgive you and even the angels rejoiced over your salvation. Once you've taken that first big step, you need to grow in your faith. You need to learn God's desire and apply it to your life. That means that even though you've been forgiven of your sin you can't continue in it. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may about? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:1-2. Scripture is your guide and prayer will keep you communicating with God. Talk to Him and listen for His answer. He will never tell you to do something contrary to Scripture. If you sincerely accepted Christ then the Holy Spirit dwells within you and it's important to listen to His promptings. He will lead you away from sin and closer to God.
As you draw closer to God, you'll discover that sin isn't as much fun as the desire to sin makes it seem. For instance, a person who continually becomes drunk will eventually realize that the hangover the next day isn't worth the "fun". Drinking alcohol isn't a sin, but drunkenness is. When you're drunk, you have no control over your actions and that can lead to more sin. Turn from the desires of the flesh that lead to sin. "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21. This is a short list of sins that get between you and God. Look up those words in a good concordance and see which of them have a hold on you. Then, turn away from them. Christianity isn't a list of rules, but it is a way of life. Jesus Christ is our example and your life should reflect Him. "And said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23. When faced with a choice to sin or not, remember to take up your cross and choose to follow Him. Christ bore your sins on the cross when He was crucified. Submit to God and let Him lead you away from temptation. Your obedience may even help someone else to step away from sin. Instead of meeting for drinks, why not invite your friends to a potluck? That way you can enjoy each other's company and have a conversation. Maybe you can talk about Jesus and lead a friend to salvation. This isn't trying to do works in order to maintain your salvation. Works cannot save you. It is honoring God to ask Him to help you turn from sin and being a witness to others.
When you sin, and it happens to even the most devout Christian, there is a remedy. Ask God to forgive you. "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:9. A bit of anger may slip into your mind, or you might be provoked to say some words that aren't very nice. These might not seem like sins, but Jesus likened anger to murder. When we begin to see things from God's perspective our understanding of sin will change. Instead of an attitude of "I'm forgiven so I can do what I want" you'll be more inclined to feel remorse when you allow your carnal attitudes to come between you and Jesus. When Jesus was crucified, He took all of your sin upon Himself. He did this willingly because He loves you. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Romans 6:6. Now it's time to take up your cross, die to self, and live for Him. Look at sin from God's point of view and try to please Him, not the world. Jesus will always forgive, but you need to repent and allow His love to live in you and through you rather than the "old man" who is ruled by the flesh.
"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." Romans 6:11-12. When you hold hands with Satan and walk in the world, you're cheating on God. Stop cheating and begin honoring Him with your life.
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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Now He Waits - By Grant Phillips -
Jesus did many miracles while upon the earth, the greatest of which was His own resurrection from the grave in three days, as He prophesied. Prior to the cross He performed miracles related to mankind and nature. The apostle John stated:
"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." (John 21:25)
Concerning miracles of healing, the Bibles says that He healed them all, referring to all those who were present at a particular time. For example:
"Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill." (Matthew 12:15 emphasis mine)
He healed many types of physically related maladies. For example:
"News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them." (Matthew 4:24)
"Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them." (Matthew 15:30)
"The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them." (Matthew 21:14)
As we read through the Gospels, we see many such acts the people of that day received from their Messiah, who by the way, most did not recognize as their Messiah.
Jesus healed the dying, the demon possessed, those with fever, those with leprosy, those who were paralyzed, those with withered hands, the one with an issue of blood (discharge), the blind, the deaf-mute, those with epilepsy, those with a spirit of infirmity (bent over), the one with dropsy (swelling from accumulation of excess water), the one who lost his ear, and He raised to life some who had died. All of these may be found throughout the Gospels, and as John said, there were many other things Jesus did that are not recorded.
Why did Jesus perform so many miracles in that day? The number one reason was to prove to them His authenticity as Israel's promised Messiah.
"For the Jews require a sign ..." (1 Corinthians 1:22)
As we have noted, He gave them many signs, many more I haven't mentioned and many more not recorded in the Bible. However, Jesus came to earth to be our sacrifice for sins. It wasn't to perform miracles, but to die on our behalf so that all who call upon Him to be saved may live eternally with Him.
Unfortunately, man in the first century was more interested in the flesh (as Paul would say) than the spirit. We are no different today. We still, as a whole, seek after the flesh and have little to no interest in the spirit.
Parenthetically, does that mean we should not seek physical healing from God? Of course not. I have seen God heal many folks because of the earnest prayers of His children. Also, I have seen God move in the lives of people in other ways than just physical healing, and so have you. So let us continue to pray for each other.
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:16 emphasis mine)
Going back to Jesus' miracles of healing for the folks in that day, note that in most cases He simply spoke and the individual was healed. Whether the person was a leper, blind, dying, or whatever the case, Jesus simply said the word and they were healed. Sometimes He would cure the person's problem a little differently, but in every case He could have just said the word and they would be healed. That was proven over and over.
Now I get to my point. Why have I brought all this up about Jesus performing miracles of healing? Why have I emphasized that He could just say, "Be healed" for example and they would immediately be healed? All of these healings concern the flesh, but what about the spirit? Jesus wants to see us saved, but He can't say on our behalf, "Be saved." We must be the one to open our mouth and confess Him.
"If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10)
Jesus has done everything Godly possible to provide the only way to be saved so that any who come to Him can have eternal life. All that remains now is for each one of us to decide if we want to be saved. Probably all of us would wish to be healed from our physical problems. Our bodies are being constantly attacked, but so is our spirit. Our bodies will live a short time then die. However, our soul will live on forever either in Heaven or hell with a new body.
People are suffering today from many different types of fleshly problems. They are suffering from addictions, failures, rejections, and troubles of all kinds. As a Christian we can pray about all these issues and turn them over to Him, but especially if we are not a Christian, our greatest problem isn't physical. It is spiritual. Jesus is the answer.
"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
"This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
"And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:37-40)
Now He waits for our response.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: Arab bloc turns Israeli election - Bill Wilson -
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party appears a seat short of gaining a majority, which sends the governing apparatus in Israel into huge compromises to form a government. The Blue and White Party led by Benny Gantz has gained more seats than Likud. So the two largest parties need to cut deals with the smaller parties in order to form a government. It appears that Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the secular nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu Party, is the king-maker as his party's votes are essential in tipping the balance between Likud and Blue and White. Lieberman favors a national unity government where both parties share or alternate the prime minister position.
In the shadows, however, is the Arab bloc, called the Joint List of Arab parties, which would be against Netanyahu and Likud, probably more friendly to Blue and White, and definitely an upcoming force. AP reports, "The joint list of Arab parties, who have never sat in an Israeli government, also finished strong, with results indicating they had earned 13 seats to become the third-largest party in parliament. Should a unity government be formed, its leader Ayman Odeh, would become the country's next opposition leader, an official state position that would grant him an audience with visiting dignitaries, a state-funded bodyguard, monthly consultations with the prime minister and a platform to rebut his speeches in parliament."
Already Odeh, a self-described socialist, is positioning as the opposition. Last week, he said he would consider entering a national unity government with Blue and White if his "demands" were met. The list of demands included: Freeze the demolition of privately owned buildings in Yehuda and Shomron; Repealing the Kamenetz Law that carries increased punishment for building offenses; The construction of a city for the Arab population; Collecting weapons from the public; Building a public hospital in an Arab city; Resumptions of negotiations with the PA (Palestinian Authority); Abolition of the Nationality Law, which allows permanent Arab residency, but not citizenship (as only Jews by descent or birth are citizens).
TheYeshivaWorld.com reports that Blue and White rejected Odeh's demands, which prompted Odeh to throw in on the aggressive political dialogue. Odeh said Sunday that if Gantz forms a coalition government, Odeh will serve as head of the opposition. Odeh rejected statements by Lieberman, who accuses him of cooperating with Netanyahu. Odeh said "I am as far from Netanyahu as one can be. Bibi wants to oust me from Knesset. Gantz doesn't want Arabs in the coalition. Who is serving Netanyahu, me or Gantz?.The left-wing Zionists do not understand our weight. He is a racist. Where is Gantz's political plan. I haven't heard it." You can see where this is headed long-term. As is written in Psalm 122:6, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."
Daily Devotion: A Gospel Singer at Heart - by Greg Laurie -
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.-1 Peter 3:15
Johnny Cash would ultimately distinguish himself as one of the kings of country music, but in his heart, Johnny always was in many ways a gospel singer. (By the way, the word "gospel" means "good news.")
And Johnny looked for opportunities to share that message whenever he could.
Contrary to the image many would have of Cash as an "outlaw," some even believing his lyrics were autobiographical ("I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die"), Johnny Cash was a master storyteller-and the greatest of all stories is the one about Jesus Christ, who changed Johnny's life.
Whatever Johnny Cash sang, it rang true. He had an unmatched authenticity in his voice, a timbre, a cadence that set him apart from other artists before and after him. That is one of the reasons he endures as a true American icon.
At the peak of his career, when he had his highly rated television show, he used that platform to sing songs about his faith. One standout was, "The Preacher Said, 'Jesus Said'" complete with Billy Graham himself proclaiming soundbites from his sermons.
Johnny's spiritual journey often resembled the path of a roller-coaster, but at its high points, he used his platform to proclaim the gospel message.
1. And [Jesus] said to [His disciples], "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16 NKJV)
Have you ever shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with a friend, neighbor, coworker, or family member?
2. Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV)
You may not have the renown of Johnny Cash, but you still have a circle of influence. How can you use your platform to glorify God and share the gospel?
3. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)
How can you prepare now for the time when someone asks you about the hope of Jesus Christ?
FROM THE HEART
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