Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Wedding Garment: Ready for the Sky - Joseph Chambers - http://www.pawcreek.org/the-wedding-garment-ready-for-the-sky/
22 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7: 13-14) It is time for the Lord's church to preach this great truth with abandonment. Woe to the preachers who do not preach Biblical holiness. Every standard in God's Bible is the full picture of the wedding garment. From cross-dressing compromise to our worldly pleasures, everything must be judged by the Holy Bible. I have no right to preach anything but the Bible. Neither do I have the right to leave anything out that is in the Bible. It is infallible.
The wedding in the sky is the star-studded event. The Bride is the sanctified saints and the Bridegroom is the crucified but resurrected Lamb. The Father gave His Son that His Son might purify His Bride. He will come for that Bride any hour and she will be fully prepared in her wedding attire. Apostle Paul made it clear that she would be without defilement. His words could not be clearer. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5: 25-27) I beg you to be ready.
If there is one star-studded event of all the ages that transcends all others, it must be the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb." The very heart of the Father in creating Adam and Eve and commanding them to multiply was out of a family passion. He had a family of angels that filled His eternal city with praise, but He also wanted a human family that His Son may be the Bridegroom. Nothing in His eternity is a surprise to Him. We were chosen from the foundation of the world to bring great joy to His fatherly heart.
It is fitting that the Bible ends in His New Jerusalem, a special city for a special people. It is the conclusion of His revelations and shows the eternal joys as the Father enjoys His family, both angelic and glorified flesh. This world is nothing but a sideshow, while the kingdom of God is in preparation to be revealed. The fallen prince, Satan, has had his time of rebellion, while the world makes their choice of whom to serve. Wickedness grows for its final harvest of sorrows, while righteousness climbs the stairs of grace to its triumph. The hour of finality is so close that the sense of majesty is in the air.
The Psalmist Spoke of a Wedding
The Psalmist David surely walked with God and was given a peep into the "Royal Wedding." First, he spoke of this coming King/Messiah and declared Him with a glorious sense of His lofty statue. Read this description of the Bridegroom spoken hundreds of years before the virgin conceived in her womb this King. "My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre." (Psalm 45:1-6).
Such words are too high for me. They leave me with a glow into the marvel of our Father's gift. He was very God. Already a King, grace poured from His lips. He was majestic in humility, mighty in battle, and truth was the essence of His person. He was from a throne and destined to return but with everlasting victory in His right hand. He is presently patient, but soon to ride the white horse of fiery judgment. His scepter will leave no room for exceptions. His victory is soon to be total because the price of this redemption is totally paid. He has uttered, "It is finished." (John 19:30).
Anointed to be King and Bridegroom
By the spirit of prophecy, the Psalmist saw this future Wedding Supper and described the details. Every word of Scripture must be rightly divided if we are to receive the pure message. First, David spoke of the King Himself concerning His position after His cross was experienced. He wrote, "Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad." (Psalm 45:7-8).
This is the triumphant Savior, having endured the cross and now exalted above all created beings. He is the God/Man, both God and man and will forever be identified with His Bride. His identity is so intimate that He said, "... I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me." (Hebrews 2:12-13).
He is one of us forever to reign in glorified flesh. The Son of God has become the Son of Man forever without ceasing to be Eternal God and seated at the Father's right hand. The person of our Savior is presently and forever unfathomable. His glory will eliminate the need of the sun in the New Heavens and the New Earth.
Song of Solomon 2
10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
When He comes to begin the "Times of the End," His coming is described as "Out of the ivory palaces whereby they have made thee glad." This statement does not speak of His birth, but of His second coming. He is presently, as I write, the joy of the City of God. The Heavenly City, where He is seated at the Father's right hand, is full of joy because of Him. He is His Father's greatest delight and those words, "whereby they have made thee glad," speak of both His joy and the joy of those that worship and exalt Him. If He is the source of such joy now, can you imagine His joy, both to Himself and His Father, when He takes His office as the Bridegroom with His Bride?
Even His person is attired in the priceless ointments of the City of God. His robe is divinity, but His Sonship is like the most extravagant of human value. Myrrh, aloes, and cassia speak of His priceless person unstained by His walk among the lost souls of this sin-riddled planet.
The Queen: His Bride
Now, the prophecy by David begins to reveal the mystery of the Bride. This great truth is still hidden from much of the church because the level of spirituality is so weak. The great writers of church history have reveled in the lofty truths of this Queen/Bride, but not so in today's church. Most of the prophecy authors reject what I'm trying to share. They are precious people, but unmoved by the call to holiness. I wish they would read from the past great Bible scholars like Hudson Taylor, Joseph Seiss, G.H. Pember, G.H. Lang. They would shortly discover that modern scholarship is woefully lacking.
The Brideship of Christ must be seen as a coveted promise for those willing to forsake all. David clearly shows the distinction between the Bride or Queen and the guest at the wedding. Notice carefully the prophetic words, "Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the Queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. Gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace." (Psalm 45:9-15).
These words are written in a complex manner but carefully show the Queen all dressed in the extravagant gold of Ophir. She stands forth among the virgins, the daughter of Tyre with her gift, and the multiple kings' daughters. This singular (special) daughter, the Bride and Queen, is all dressed and prepared in raiment of needlework to be brought unto the King Himself. Not only is she attired in raiment of needlework but she is "all glorious within." Twice, it is declared that her clothing is of "wrought gold." All of this beauty is a work of grace and redemption that the King Himself wrought for her when He stepped out of eternity to enter the winepress of wrath as our sacrifice for sin.
What a prophetic picture of the "Bride of Christ" soon to enter into her glorious triumph of the ages. Isaiah saw her rising from the dust of death to enter her chamber of nuptial glory and said, "... Awake and sing ... Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity ..." (Isaiah 26:19-21).
The prophet Malachi spoke for the Bridegroom and called her "My Jewels." He stated, "And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." (Malachi 3:17). These incredible statements reveal the heart of God all through the First Testament as the redemption story was perfectly moving toward the first crisis, the Messiah's appearing and sacrifice.
The Perfecting of the Bride
Redemption is not cheap and neither is the product of redemption. His sacrifice took the Son of God from the City of God, the mountain of His holiness down to our sin-saturated planet where He would be despised, rebutted, and brutally slain. His grace cannot be mixed with our self-help psychologies. His redemption does not need AA's support or schemes. The grace of God is totally sufficient to transform the vilest sinner into a glorious saint and prepare them to be His Bride. This is the New Testament message. Apostle Paul echoed the perfect solution. "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." (Galatians 6:14-15).
He is preparing a "glorious church" to "present to Himself." His Bride will be "dressed in the gold of Ophir," a beautiful Queen that He can lavish with love for eternity. The Ephesians church heard this clear call to be His chosen. "Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:24-27).
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
When we buy a new car we want it to be spotless. A contractor for a new home is unacceptable until his turnkey job renders unto you a home without blemish. Our clothing is purchased from the department store that guarantees the merchandise to be of the best quality. Yet, we speak of His Bride as a mixture of the world and the church. This generation rejects the ministers that call for holiness and Godliness and deceives themselves into claiming cheap grace and careless living. The infallible Word of God presents a totally different picture. It is of a "glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle ... and without blemish." And it is all by His "powerful cleansing blood" that transforms us into "new creatures." There is no such thing as "positional righteousness" without "experiential righteousness."
The Marriage of the Lamb
The climax of this great event is best seen in the Book of Revelation. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is His unveiling of Himself and those things that relate to His completed revelations. We are in the very center of this unveiling. He identified His espoused Bride in five different offices in this one book. First, we are seen as His church in Revelation chapters one, two, and three. At the very moment that chapter four begins we are called elders sharing in the unveiling of judgments to redeem the earth. After the seven years of the Great Tribulation (chapter 4 - 19:4), we are called His army (chapter 19:14) as we return with Him to subdue the kingdoms of the earth. During the millennial reign we are positioned as His kings and priests to reign on this earth with the King Himself. In the last two chapters, we become His Bride for eternity to enjoy with Him in our New Jerusalem. What a breathtaking picture!
Before the Marriage Supper, the false religious system must be judged and obliterated. This harlot woman (false church) will be utterly destroyed so that the one true Bride can be exalted to her rightful place. Nothing has plagued the church like the imitation and masquerade of the false. Everything that the true church has sought to do to exalt the Lord Jesus and raise the standard of holiness, the false religions have attacked and tried to destroy. It has been a battle to the death.
The Lord Jesus has promised to judge every expression of the "religious lie" and to cause that entire system to repent at our feet. Our Lord said, "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." (Revelation 3:9). What an hour awaits His true saints when that false religious world finally must confess her error and repent of her deeds at our feet.
The worship of the saints will echo through the heavens when this blasphemous throng of the false bride and her entire organizations are judged in one hour. The words of Revelation nineteen begin with the testimony of Jesus or His prophecy. "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever." (Revelation 19:1-3).
The false bride is forever gone. She will be no more, and her dark deceiving doctrines and lies will never plaque the people of God again. With this dark system removed, the praise of the saints takes on a glorious expression. Alleluia, Alleluia, and glory to the Lamb forever. The beauty of the church has been marred by the constant claims of the false. The world looks at the church and cannot discern between the two and normally sees us as a mixture of the false. The glory of His church will become manifest when there is no church of Satan to cloud the view. It's almost time for this separation.
Let Us Be Glad and Rejoice
The day of the church's greatest glory will have arrived. The false church is out of the picture. The saints that have paid the price of surrender and trusted only in her Lord are ready. Listen as the words of prophecy from the lips of our Lord Himself are proclaimed by one of His redeemed elders. "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." (Revelation 19:7-9).
Our first desire as we enter into this glory is to give honor to the Bridegroom Himself. We are not there because we chose Him but because He chose us. Giving honor to Him as the Messiah that came, the Sacrifice that died, the Intercessor that prayed, and the Father and the Lamb that has earned all redemption rights becomes the first order of the Marriage Feast celebration. My imagination goes wild as I try to imagine the setting in this Bridal Chamber. The multitudes of the saints begin to praise and rejoice in the presence of our Bridegroom with a kind of worship unknown to us in our skin tent. Apostle Paul came back from the third heavens with bated expression because he said the words he heard was unlawful to utter. This scene must be seen in the same light. Let's just anticipate this hour with joy and expectation.
1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:
2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
4 And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.
5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.
"The Marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready." Those words are breathtaking. He chose us because there isn't any capacity in man to come to Him except the Father draws him; yet, we have responsibility. This Bride has obeyed His calling of us to become His chosen. She hath made herself ready. How did His wife make herself ready? Jesus Himself laid the very foundation for an answer to this question. The Son of God said, "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:34-36).
These words could not be any plainer. The Lord calls but He does not force and He does not act arbitrarily against our will. We have the truth in Holy Scripture and the Lord has almost begged of us to "take heed," to "watch ye therefore," and to "pray always." Such words are empty if everyone is already safe. If believers cannot fall or miss the mark of Brideship, then the Son of God was wasting His breath to speak the words above. My friend, do not be a fool to think that our Lord uttered some kind of meaningless warning. It will be too late to beg forgiveness once the Rapture has come. You may indeed repent and be saved, but you will not get a second chance to be a part of His Bride.
The day that Jesus warned us of in this passage is clearly the Tribulation Period. Notice that He said, "For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth." (Luke 21:35). The twenty and four elders that sit before the Father's throne in Revelation four are never added to in number after the Rapture. The number of thrones in the Brideship of Christ will never change after the Rapture of the Pre-Tribulation Saints. Others will be saved and be virgins that attend to the Bride at the wedding.
The wedding garment, not withstanding what the wife has done to make herself ready, is provided by the redemption of the Redeemer Himself. His grace is complete to make us absolute holy, but that grace is only given to the surrendered will. This wife or Bride is representative of the overcomers that stood strong against every temptation of the world. These are victorious saints. To them is granted the "fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." These saints are both overcomers in their own surrender and clothed in the righteous of the Lamb.
The Lord's words continue to amaze. "... Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb ..." (Revelation 19:9). These words clearly present a picture of a chosen crowd who have proved themselves worthy. These are not the saints of which Apostle Paul said, "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (I Corinthians 3:15). If you cannot lose this reward, the ultimate Brideship of the Bridegroom, what reward can you lose? Every one of us will be rewarded according to our labor. This is the reward of being the Queen to the King. The saints of the ages have spoken of their passion to be a part of this Queenship. Apostle Paul said, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." (Philippians 3:10-11). The Bride is soon to reign with Him.
The entire last two chapters of Holy Scripture give us a picture of this reigning Queen in the city, which the Lord has provided her. Saint John gives us the only record of anyone viewing this city. Jesus has promised to prepare this place when He spoke in St. John 14. John saw the city and sent back His description. "And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:2-4).
The city and the Bride become as one. It is the wedding gift to the Queen from the King Himself. When the wedding feast is over, there appears to be a thousand years before the Bride enters into the descending city coming down to the renewed earth like a brilliant crystal palace. Such glory is too much for us as we continue to fight the warfare of faith. Only faith can grasp such a promise so full of hope. Above all else in my life and my walk of faith is my desire to attain unto the Queenship of my Lord and Savior. I give Him all I am because I want to receive all He is and all He has prepared for the chosen.
The Blood of Slain Israelis Stains Many Hands - By Melanie Phillips - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2572
It's often claimed by Western enemies of Israel that the military actions of the Israel Defense Forces against Hamas in Gaza are disproportionate because such actions kill Arabs while Hamas attacks don't kill Israelis. That's apparently why the Western media ignore the thousands of rockets and aerial firebombs launched from Gaza to kill the residents of southern Israel, reporting instead IDF military action to stop such attacks as the wanton killing of civilians. When an Israeli actually is murdered by an Arab in cold blood, however, this isn't reported as wanton killing of the innocent, if he happens to be the wrong sort of Israeli. Then it's suggested his murder is his own fault. The killing of American-born Israeli Ari Fuld on Sept. 16 has caused an outpouring of grief in Israel. The impassioned eulogies to him poured out not just because his wife, four children, parents and the rest of his family have been so cruelly bereaved. It's because he was a brave and outstanding fighter for Israel and the Jewish people, and admired even by his political opponents on account of his warm nature. He devoted his existence to fighting a great evil to which he has now lost his own life. The Western media, however, don't count Ari Fuld as a victim at all because, as a resident of the Judean town of Efrat, he was a "settler." The murder of other Israeli residents of the disputed territories is similarly shrugged off or unreported by the Western media. For them, "settlers" are dehumanized and their lives reckoned as of no account. Thus their murder is, in effect, justified and condoned. This revolting attitude is all of a piece with the moral depravity of much of the West over the Arab war against Israel. Parroting the misleading mantra of a "two-state solution," they deny the truths of history and law and ignore the real Arab agenda of colonial conquest and the extermination of Jewish nationhood. For the supposed "settlers" are not in these lands illegally. They are entitled to be there. In the British Mandate for Palestine in 1922, the international community gave the Jews alone the right to settle what is now Israel, the "West Bank" and Gaza in recognition of the unique right of the Jews to recreate their ancient national homeland. The real occupiers are the Arabs. Over the centuries, they were among the waves of conquerors of the land of Israel, including Romans, Greeks, Selucids, Fatimids, Crusaders, Mongol tribes, Tartars, Mamelukes and the Ottoman Turks. Those who today have invented for themselves a fictional "Palestinian" identity may not even have descended from the original Arab imperialists. Some may be the heirs of those who flooded into Palestine, many illegally, from neighboring Arab states on the back of the returning Jews in the early years of the last century. The historian William Ziff noted that the serial occupiers of Israel themselves brought in many other cultures. Ziff described the people of the land as a "human patch-work of Jews, Arabs, Armenians, Kalmucks, Persians, Crusaders, Tartars, Indians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Sudanese, Turks, Mongols, Romans, Kharmazians, Greeks, pilgrims, wanderers, ne'er-do-wells and adventurers, invaders, slaves." To add to their historical and legal illiteracy, those shrugging aside the murder of Israeli "settlers" also turn a blind eye to the complicity in these crimes by the people they champion: the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas. Through its educational materials and other media, the P.A. routinely incites hatred of Jews and the murder of Israelis, teaching its children that "all Israelis deserve to be killed and that dying while committing a terror attack is 'the path to excellence and greatness ... the great victory.' " The Arab writer Bassam Tawil has specifically blamed the murder of Ari Fuld by 17-year-old Khalil Jabarin on incitement by Abbas. According to Palestinian terrorist groups, Jabarin decided to murder a Jew in response to Israeli "crimes" against the Al-Aqsa mosque and other Islamic holy sites. Two days earlier, in a speech to the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah widely reported in Arab media, Abbas had repeated the lie that Israel was planning to establish special Jewish prayer zones inside the Al-Aqsa mosque. No mention of any of this in Western media. Nor the fact that the P.A. immediately said it would pay the Jabarin family 1,400 shekels per month (nearly $400) for the next three years as a reward for Ari Fuld's murder. According to the P.A.'s finance ministry, its total "pay-for-slay" budget amounts to 1.2 billion shekels ($335 million) this year and last. Until now, the West as a bloc has been complicit in Arab violence against Israelis. Over the years, it has thrown money at the "Palestinians" in the pious hope that it would help build their society and thus promote peace. In fact, it has been used to help promulgate hatred and incite mass murder. Now, U.S. President Donald Trump has called time on this appalling charade. The United States has cut its funding to the "West Bank" and Gaza, closed the PLO office in Washington, and set in train moves to abolish the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's definition of Palestinian refugees. By defining that status as uniquely inheritable, UNRWA has ludicrously multiplied the number of "Palestinian refugees" down through the decades. The definition turned these "refugees" into a weapon of war deployed against Israel by the Arab world, which has used them as pawns to incite hatred and violence, and gain the backing of the credulous and Jew-hating West. Responsibility for them rests therefore not with Israel but with the Arab world itself, which must now be forced to deal with them. Britain and Europe, however, remain complicit in the murderous attacks on Israelis because they continue to fund UNRWA and the P.A. rather than holding them to account for their behavior. Now Abbas is to visit Ireland, which is virulently hostile to Israel. The Irish leader, Leon Varadkar, has promised to raise with Abbas the violation of human rights by the P.A. and Hamas. His priority is "the fact that homosexuality has yet to be decriminalized in Gaza." Varadkar doesn't even seem to know that Abbas has nothing to do with Gaza, which is ruled instead by Hamas. And while gays are certainly persecuted throughout "Palestinian" society, Varadkar seems not to grasp there are no human rights there for anyone, and the Palestine he is so keen to establish would be a police state. Such Israel-bashers don't care about the welfare of the "Palestinians." They don't care about truth. They most certainly don't care about the Jewish people. They are driven by, at best, indifference to the Jews and, at worst, something much darker. Ari Fuld and the thousands of other Israeli victims of Arab attacks (including those who weren't even Jewish) were murdered out of a fathomless hatred of Jews and Jewish nationhood, aided and abetted in the West by the ignorant, the ideological and the bigoted. Abbas has Israeli blood on his hands--but Britain, Ireland and Europe are continuing to help plunge them in it.
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
I have spent the last six decades telling anyone who will listen that we are living in the final stretch to the end of this Age of Grace. The countdown began in earnest with the birth of the modern nation of Israel. That's why I call Israel "God's timeclock."
Many of the prophecies about the end-times are predicated on the return of God's people to the land He promised them. That was an event that many Bible scholars thought could never happen.
At various places, the Bible tells us what will be happening in the world around us. These signs will include physical events like earthquakes and wars. They will also include characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors that manifest themselves in our cultures, our societies, and in our individual selves.
On top of this, the Bible warns that as we move closer to the end of the Age, these signs will increase in intensity and frequency.
But to be candid, even I am surprised at some of the things I see playing out across our TV screens today. They are like bizarre scenes from a B-movie. Rational -- or formerly rational -- people engaged in behaviors and shenanigans that most hack screenwriters would be embarrassed to include in their trashy screenplays.
One of the hallmarks of the last days will be the rise of irrationality. Romans 1:28 says, "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper." The Greek context here means God gave them over to a mind that cannot even think in its own best interest.
Satan must be pleased. Hatred is on the rise in America. Everywhere we look, from politics to family life to racial groups to religious traditions to economic classes to sports, our impatience, disgust, and sheer hatred of one another is exploding.
Everything we once held to be true and normal now seems to be turned on its head. No one trusts anyone anymore. But it's no wonder. Truth has become a rare commodity in America today. Conscience even rarer.
I'm reminded of a remark found in Isaiah 5 that could perfectly describe the world today. Isaiah wrote, "They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right; that black is white and white is black; bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter." (Isaiah 5:20 TLB)
What we see happening in America today would not have happened here even 30 years ago. But in those years, we have been rearing generations of people who have no moral compass. The forces of entertainment and education have successfully weakened our sense of heritage, responsibility, even right and wrong to the point that we can't even think in our own best interest.
That's one reason why when people come along and challenge the prevailing "wisdom" of the last few decades, they are treated with such disdain and disregard.
We see it plainly in the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
No matter the fact that The Oslo Accord -- now 25 years old -- has been an unmitigated, abject failure (a disaster, really), when President Trump suggests trying something different -- like actually facing the realities of life in Israel -- he is labeled a neophyte or, worse, a moron.
The President's recent attempts to force the Palestinian Authority to enter serious peace negotiations with the Israelis have been met with derision at home and abroad. Though nothing has worked to end the conflict in the last 70 years, the world wants to keep doing more of the same. Isn't that the definition of insanity?
Of course, those of us who believe Bible prophecy know that only the return of Jesus Christ to this earth will bring true, lasting peace to Israel.
But we who follow Jesus Christ need to wake up and smell the coffee, too. We are in the time that Jesus Himself warned us about. The time when the world -- meaning the establishment -- will hate us simply because we believe in and follow Him.
And what the world hates, it punishes and destroys.
That's us, folks.
What else can explain the utter contempt being heaped on Vice President Mike Pence? Here is a man who embodies all of the ideals that we once looked for in a man: faith, fidelity to his wife and family, loyalty, honesty, hard work, and sterling morals.
Yet Frank Bruni, writing in The New York Times, called Vice President Pence, "a holy terror... self-infatuated... a bigot... a liar... cruel." He went on to accuse Mr. Pence of having "the conviction that he's on a mission from God and a determination to mold the entire nation in the shape of his own faith, a regressive, repressive version of Christianity."
That's The New York Times. And they're not really talking only about Vice President Pence, that's what the establishment thinks about you and me.
The Atlantic is one of the most prestigious magazines in the United States. It recently ran an article headlined, "God's Plan for Mike Pence."
It featured an illustration of Vice President Pence as a holy man, draped in the garb of an Apostle, his hands raised skyward and a look of holier-than-thou piety on his face. A halo framed his head.
That graphic mocked not only the Vice President, but all people of faith, especially Christians.
The article described him as a "Bible thumper" who "often cited scripture to explain his votes." The author, McKay Coppins called Mr. Pence, "dangerous."
He wrote, "In some quarters on the left, it has become fashionable to fret that Pence's fundamentalist faith and comparative political savvy would make him an even more 'dangerous' president than Trump. He has been branded a 'theocrat' and a 'Christian supremacist.'"
California's Democrat Representative Maxine Waters has already publicly stated that once Trump has been taken care of, they're going after the next one. That's the Vice President. And the groundwork is already being laid.
On the popular television program, The View, Joy Behar said about the Vice President, "It's one thing to talk to Jesus. It's another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's mental illness... hearing voices."
Though she later apologized, her apology did not diminish the Left's growing tide of panic and hatred for Vice President Pence. And us.
Folks, this is nothing less than absolute spiritual warfare.
What we are seeing is the rise of a new anti-Christian caste system in America. Followers of Jesus are being systematically disqualified from positions of influence. Just last year, Senator Bernie Sanders told a Senate hearing that Christians should not be allowed to serve in high positions in the government.
In the first 180 years of the Supreme Court, its justices were almost all Protestant. Today, there is one Protestant. Justice Neil Gorsuch was raised Catholic, but now attends an Episcopal church.
There are four Roman Catholic justices and three Jewish justices. President Trump's current nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, is Catholic.
For a while, Catholics were approved by the ruling elite, even conservative Catholics. Antonin Scalia was one of the most conservative justices in a generation. He was also a conservative Catholic. In 1986, the Senate confirmed him 98 to 0.
But that was another America.
Today, conservative Catholics are treated with the same disdain as Evangelicals. I truly believe that one of the strongest underlying fears of the Left -- as embodied by the Democrat Senators -- is that a future Justice Kavanaugh's religious faith, if given the opportunity, will compel him to undermine the sacred cows of the Left, like abortion and gay marriage.
That means that his confirmation has taken on the earmarks of spiritual warfare, not simply a review of his judicial qualifications to sit on the highest court.
More than half the nation identifies as Protestant. More than a quarter identifies as Evangelical. Where are they?
They have been systematically filtered out of the process. They can win elections, but are largely excluded from the judiciary; from tenured posts at universities; from leadership in the nation's think tanks; from entertainment; and from thousands of other highly influential positions.
The nation that was founded by Christians on Christian principles became the envy of the world. It provided its citizens with more freedom and more prosperity than any other nation in history.
Now those Christians are becoming outcasts in the nation they built. And it's not just the Christian faith that's under attack, but Christian values, too.
Just as the Bible warned.
I say it again. This is spiritual warfare. It doesn't have anything to do with rationality or intellectual debate. When the establishment comes after you because of your Christian beliefs, recognize that the source of that hostility is Hell itself.
Satan is behind the hatred of God's people, whether it's the Jews or true Christians. And he is going all-out to destroy the true church and everything the followers of Christ have built. That includes America.
But I have some good news.
Jesus said, "In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NASB)
In II Corinthians 5:20, the Apostle Paul calls us "ambassadors for Christ."
Consider this. Before hostilities break out between nations, they withdraw their respective ambassadors.
At some point in the near future, God will unleash His wrath against Satan and sin. But before He declares war on this sin-infested planet, God will remove His ambassadors. He will evacuate us from this hostile situation. He will get us out before the real shooting-war begins.
We call this evacuation operation "The Rapture."
The Bible calls it our "blessed hope." (Titus 2:13 NASB)
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Please check your local listings.
Seek the Lord and You Will Find Him - Nathele Graham -
"I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4
When do you earnestly seek the Lord? Are your hands raised in praise when you're on the mountaintop and life is going your way? When you get a nice raise at work and your bills are paid with some left over to save for a rainy day you might say a quick "Thank You Lord" then go on with your life. When your children are all overachievers who are walking with the Lord do you earnestly pray for them? In those times of prosperity we seldom cry out to God with uplifted hands, but when the company you work for downsizes and you lose your job, that's another story. When the son you love so dearly is arrested for drug possession or your daughter is involved with a man who abuses her, those are the times we earnestly seek God. Many of the Psalms were written by men who faced trouble and turned to the Lord for help. Psalm 77 is one that you should bring to mind when you go through troubles. "[[To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.]]. I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me." Psalm 77:1. From childhood we're taught to bow our heads, fold our hands, and pray...usually silently. Asaph wasn't quiet; he cried to God out loud. Does that make it easier for God to hear us? Not really, but it can help keep our minds from wandering. How often have you been in prayer but your mind jumps from the prayer to events of the day or something you need to do tomorrow? Try praying out loud. It isn't easier for God to hear, but it might help to keep your mind from wandering.
"In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak." Psalm 77:2-4. There are many times when reading the King James translation that the words can be confusing. When we read "my sore ran in the night, and ceased not" a more modern translation will help us to understand. The New King James translates this as "my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing". That's easier to understand and to feel the anguish Asaph was going through. Not only did he speak out loud, but his hands were raised to God. Asaph earnestly sought God's help. Asaph found no sleep that night. He cried out to God in prayer and was at a point that he had no words to express his trouble. Have you ever been to that point? I have. Brothers and sisters, those are the times when the Holy Spirit will intercede. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Romans 8:26. God knows our troubles and wants to help. Even when we cannot put words to our fears and needs, the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us knows what to say.
Then, Asaph began to remember what God had done in the past. His anguish was still in the way of seeing God's solution, but he was beginning to move from thes mountain of despair to remembering that God had always helped in times past. "I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times." Psalm 77:5. Asaph has a lot of history to think about. God did so much for the Israelites but Asaph still felt that maybe God had forgotten him. "Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah." Psalm 77:7-9. The answer to all these questions is no. God will never cast you off, He never forgets you, and He never fails. When we get mired down in the troubles of today it's easy to be overwhelmed. If we forget what God has done we won't have the faith to trust Him to see us through today, tomorrow, and forever.
It's good to periodically take time to remember just how good God is. Do you keep a journal of the way God has worked in your life? Sometimes when we pray God doesn't answer the way we asked Him to, but a journal will make it clear that His answer is always the best. It you keep a journal you'll be able to look back at all He has done for you and when trouble comes you'll be encouraged. "I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old." Psalm 77:11. Asaph had been looking at the troubles of today, but when began to look at what God had done in the past he was able to remember God's faithfulness. "I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings." Psalm 77:12. Keep God constantly on your heart and talk of Him. When things go wrong it will be easier to recall the good things you know of the past. Be sure other people know that your blessings are from God.
"Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?" Psalm 77:13. The phrase translated "in the sanctuary" is the Hebrew word "qodesh" which means that God is holy and set apart from the ways of the world. That's how Christians are to be. Set apart...holy. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world ,that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" Ephesians 1:4. Does that describe you? God knows the end from the beginning so it didn't surprise Him when you accepted Christ for salvation. At that point you were indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It may not be easy to separate from the world...from sin...but Christians need to. The psalmist knew of the holiness of God and Christians should know that holiness even more. The Holy Spirit indwells us.
The rest of Psalm 77 tells of Asaph remembering the greatness of God and His leading of Israel. What does this mean for the Christian. When things in life bring sleepless nights and worry, what should we do? Pray earnestly to God. Even before trouble comes your way, pray earnestly to God. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" Ephesians 6:18. Prayer is our way to talk with God. It's the first big step in seeking Him. When you pray, don't tell God what He needs to do for you, but seek His will. Tell Him your heart's desire and whatever troubles you're facing, but leave the answer up to Him.
Every trouble we have comes from rebellion to God. Are you overwhelmed with bills? Could it be that you've coveted what others have and try to "keep up with the Jones"? Has your marriage fallen apart because you covet your neighbors wife? Have you contracted AIDS or some other STD because you don't think God really means that any sexual relationship other than a one man/one woman marriage is sin? Rebellion began in the Garden of Eden, but it continues to this day. It's usually when we reap the results of living in rebellion that we earnestly seek God. "If You get me out of this mess I promise I won't ever do it again". Promises are easily made but hard to keep. Those are the times when we stay up all night in earnest prayer. The best time to earnestly seek Jesus is every day, even when troubles seem far away. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33. If you earnestly seek Him daily you'll do all within your power to please Him. That means turning from sin. He never promised life would be trouble free after we accept His shed blood for our salvation, but if we continue in sin we'll continue to face the same troubles. The things He says will be added to us if we seek Him are food, drink, and clothing. The additional blessings that come from Him are icing on the cake. If you seek Him you won't covet what other people have, or live a lifestyle that opens you up to disease.
Do you think that when you came to Jesus and your sins were forgiven you could continue to sin with no penalty? Living a sinful life will always carry penalties. "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." John 15:9-10. The way to know His commandments and keep them fresh on your heart is to search the Scriptures daily. Don't try to find a loophole in order to condone your sin. Don't take Scripture out of context. If you earnestly seek God you'll desire to please Him and turn from sin. Remember what Christ has done for you. He shed His blood as a sacrifice for your salvation. Don't take that for granted.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6. You make choices every day as to whether to live a holy and sanctified life, or to continue along a sinful path. Could it be that the turmoil which you're going through is a result of living your life in a worldly way instead of separating yourself from the world? Trouble will come into the life of a Christian as well as a non-Christian, but if continuing in sin is your choice then you need to ask yourself if you've truly accepted Christ's sacrifice for salvation. If you have then turn from sinful choices and follow Him.
Don't wait until you're in a dark valley to seek Him. If you love Him, seek Him every day and you will find Him.
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 church in Busuafise Part II - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Yesterday, The Daily Jot introduced you to Christ Fellowship Church in the rural bush village of Busuafise in Ghana, West Africa. This is the story of a group of people in a small village who came together and started a church amidst paganism, witchcraft and Islam. All these have come against the folks who are part of Christ Fellowship. They are an outpost for the light of Christ, not only because of their physical location in the bush and the enemies of Christ who surround them, but also because the larger churches in Ghana are afraid to go there or even send money to help. This has been a story of perseverance in the face of constant danger for witchcraft is no small thing, and Islam is even worse.
The Daily Jot and William Agbeti's Redeemer Ministries have partnered to assist the people in Busuafise with the church building. Key word is "assist." A portion of our funding is going toward materials for the church building, in addition to our normal food, clothing, water, and water filtration outreach. The additional funding and labor is provided by church members and volunteers from our ministries. William explains, "We have entered into the third week of construction works on the building. At the end of the fourth week, we will halt all works to raise more funds for our operations. In an age where huge building projects can be completed in weeks or months, the small village church we are working on has taken almost two decades, and is still not anywhere near completion.
"The hope of the village in getting the project completed, however, has not dwindled. It remains steadfast, rooted in the Lord. The inhabitants are simply hanging in there. Meanwhile, the seemingly drawn out construction of the small church project, which some may lament over, has become the very reason more and more villages are opening to Christ." William says that over the past 18 years, this small frontier church is responsible for "hundreds and perhaps thousands of souls won for Christ in the Busuafise district and its environs, far and near. The Christ Fellowship Church, Busuafise, has proven beyond all doubts, that the Great and Almighty hand of God is at work in their midst, using the weakness, resilience and hope of a rejected people to bring salvation to many in unbelievable ways! What an awesome God we serve!"
William recalls Christ's promise in Matthew 16:18-20: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." William writes in his email to me, "Individuals, couples, families, churches, companies, organizations and agencies can indeed make a huge difference, in very small ways, in the lives of whole communities, starting with a small project or a little donation. The Christ Fellowship Church, Busuafise, is a teeny tiny church with a powerful divine mission! I end with a lesson well learnt in the development of the Busuafise Church: I am convinced, beyond all reasonable doubts, that truly the gates of hell, including paganism and Islam, cannot prevail against what humanity sees as the least or littlest in the Kingdom of God!"
Daily Devotion: Following His Lead - By Greg Laurie -
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. -Psalm 16:11
The Bible tells the story of Gideon, who was called by God to lead the children of Israel into battle. But Gideon was afraid. He wasn't sure if that was God's will, even though an angel had spoken to him. So Gideon asked for a confirmation. He basically said, "If this is really you, Lord, then tomorrow morning when the dew is normally on the ground, I pray that it will be on this fleece. If the fleece is wet and the ground is dry, I'll know it is Your will."
The next morning, just as Gideon had asked, the fleece was wet and the ground was dry. If you've heard the expression "laying a fleece before the Lord," this is where it came from.
One way God speaks to us is through circumstances. When I sense God is leading me, I believe He will confirm it circumstantially. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians, "When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me" (2:12 NLT). The idea is that circumstances will line up.
Another way God speaks to us is through His peace. Colossians 3:15 says, "And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts" (NLT). The term "rule" carries the meaning of an umpire who is making decisions on the field. In other words, God's peace can be the umpire in our hearts.
When we're seeking God's will, we want to first be sure it is God's Word that we're basing our decisions on. Then we pray for the Lord to open a door, which is circumstantial confirmation. And then we ask for His peace. If we can get all these lined up, we are on the right path toward knowing God's will.
FROM THE HEART
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