Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
How the Beast Becomes a Person - By Gene Lawley - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/09/21/how-the-beast-becomes-a-person/
Both Daniel and John describe a terrible beast having up to several heads and ruling over the known world for periods of time. Daniel, looking forward, tells of one having four heads when he interprets the dream of Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar. John, in Revelation 13, looks backward and sees a beast having six heads plus one that is merely a shadow of some future reality. (Actually, John pictures an eighth head, which is rarely, if ever, mentioned, but it is the object of this article.)
From the earliest, they are Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, then that future one that is, apparently, a rebirth of the Roman Empire. Daniel begins his account with the one in which he lived, Babylon. The statue pictured in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar describes these four succeeding kingdoms in terms of the decreasing values of types of metals.
Babylon, the head, was god; its chest and arms were silver (Medo-Persia); its belly and thighs, bronze (Greece); its legs, of iron (Rome); and finally, a fifth one, its feet of iron mixed with clay and having ten toes. This final one, apparently, is that seventh head, which John said, "that is, yet is not, but will be" (Revelation 17:8). The ten toes of Daniel's statue match with the ten horns having ten crowns which John saw on his beast vision. And it corresponds to the secular world's New World Order plans. 
In Revelation 13:2 John says, "The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority." That refers to the previous chapter 12 in which the dragon is identified: "Behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads" (verse 3). (In other places "diadems" means "crowns.")
This one is the motivation and strength behind each of those seven kingdoms. He is the prince of this world and was able to offer to Jesus at the temptation those kingdoms if He would fall down and worship him (Matthew 4:8-10). According to Romans 8:19-23, when mankind fell into disobedience, the whole world did also and came under the control of Satan.
In Revelation 12 he is cast into the earth from the heavens, and as a disembodied spirit, who do you think he would indwell in the earth? It is the one who is most receptive to him, of course, no one but the Antichrist. This is when things really begin to get rough on planet earth. That chapter describes Satan as one very angry person for he knows his time is short.
In Daniel 9:27, we are told that half-way through the seven years of that covenant, he will shut down the Jewish sacrifices and offerings in that new temple, move into it and becomes an abomination to it. In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul tells us that he "opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." That is exactly what he claims to do in the account in Isaiah 14, only he meets an obstacle he cannot overcome-God Almighty!
In that context is where we are told that the Day of the Lord begins, when Jesus comes for His beloved saints in the resurrection called the Rapture, and the judgment of God upon the earth's inhabitants in the hands of an angry and vengeful enemy of God. Looking, then, to Revelation 13, and the chapters following, we see that spelled out in the introduction of the mark of the beast that all must take if they want to survive. Otherwise, they will be killed, by that imposter's order.
In Revelation 13:3, John makes this observation: "And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed." Most often commentators maintain that the Antichrist, now indwelt by Satan, is mortally wounded and dies, then is resurrected to copy the death and resurrection of Christ, thus obtaining the devotion and following of the people of the earth, and the Jews. Problem is, none of those people have shown any interest in Christ before this, so why now? After the Rapture great deception comes upon those left behind, says 2 Thessalonians 2:10.
It sounds plausible, but I contend that it is not the correct interpretation. Here's why. John sees seven heads on the beast; the heads are identified by Daniel's prophecy as political kingdoms over the history of the world. John looks back from his position in the sixth head, Rome, and sees those heads, including the one where he stands. The prior five kingdoms are already past history; the seventh head is not yet formed, as described in Revelation 17, so "one of his heads" appears to have suffered a mortal wound. The only head that then exists is the sixth head-Rome.
The legs of Daniel's statue are that sixth head, as John looks back to the beginning of the kingdoms, and the final section of the statue is the feet with their ten toes, yet seemingly an extension of the legs. History is clear that the demise of Rome's eastern and western divisions did occur.
In Daniel 9:26-27, we read, "And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary...Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week...." That link of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. is tied to today's current events, in that the confirmation of a covenant that allows the Jews to rebuild their temple is, at this point, a future event. And the legs of Daniel's statue are separated from its feet and toes by many centuries before the resurrection of the Roman Empire is again in place. It is the sixth head of the beast, Rome, which is mortally wounded, then resurrected again with its feet and ten toes in current history coming to pass.
The driving motivation of the leftist ideology is to have a New World Order and a one-world government, which is that seventh head that is to come. That resurrected mortally wounded head is said to have the adoration and worship of the world fully captivated, according to Revelation 13:4. The Satan-indwelt Antichrist and his religious partner, that second beast, will see to that. It has been the longing heart-cry of the Marxist-Communist-Socialist-Liberal-Progressives to have a state-controlled population of which the "elite" can enjoy being "more equal" than those other "equals," who worship the State which gives them everything. (That is, until "they run out of other people's money," as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher so beautifully stated.)
After the Rapture of the saints, the Antichrist rides out on his symbolic white horse, appearing to bring peace, but "conquering and to conquer," as Revelation 6 reports. It is in Revelation 17 that we see how he stays behind the front of the New World Order, the formative entity for the seventh head, until he can no longer work through it, and he fully assumes control of the world as the eighth head of the beast.
Now it is a person, not a kingdom, and he is headed for perdition. The context of Revelation 17 includes reference to "the woman who rides the beast, pointing to the religion of the false prophet or second beast told of in Revelation 13:11-17. Our concern is to follow the trail of the beast, so that matter of partnership is left to the details of John's vision. We look now to Revelation 17:10-13:
"There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
"The ten horns which you saw are ten kings (toes or regions) who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast."
The demise of this ten-region New World Order is told in Revelation 17:14:
"These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."
That tis a preview of the final confrontation at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ following the war of Armageddon, when He conquers the beast and false prophet and they are "cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19:20).
Conclusion: There will be a New World Order and a one-world government, but they will be formed in God's timetable and not according to the wiles of "flesh and blood." He will be glorified in His justice, righteousness and holiness before the whole universe. It is quite remarkable that the last quotation in the Bible is this: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
 (Ten Toes, ten regions) http://nuclearsuntan.blogspot.com/
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Israeli Strikes Hit Weapons Depot by Damascus Airport -
Israeli strikes hit a weapons depot by Damascus airport overnight, targeting a warehouse belonging to Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is allied with the Syrian government, a monitor said Friday.
"Israeli warplanes targeted with rocket fire a weapons depot belonging to Hezbollah near the airport," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
There was no immediate official confirmation from either Damascus or Israel, but the Jewish state has been accused of carrying out multiple strikes in Syria, including earlier this month.
On September 7, the Syrian army said Israeli warplanes hit one of its positions near the central town of Masyaf.
The site was reportedly used by Hezbollah forces and those of Iran, another Syrian government ally.
In April, the government accused Israel of firing several missiles at a military position near Damascus airport, triggering a huge explosion.
Israel has remained quiet on the accusations, but has repeatedly warned it stands ready to take military action to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining advanced weaponry.
Earlier this month, the Israeli military fired a Patriot missile to bring down what it said was an Iranian-made drone operated by Hezbollah on a reconnaissance mission over the Golan Heights.
Israel and Syria are still technically at war, though the armistice line on the Golan Heights had remained largely quiet for decades until civil war erupted in Syria in 2011.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Tuesday that Israel would fight to prevent an "Iranian curtain" descending on the Middle East.
"We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces," he said.
The Iraqi militia helping Iran carve a road to Damascus - http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/The-Iraqi-militia-helping-Iran-carve-a-road-to-Damascus-505705
Ties between the Shi'ite-led governments in Tehran and Baghdad have become stronger, and Iran has acquired growing influence in Iraq.
In late May, an Iraqi cleric called Akram Kaabi visited militia fighters in a desolate Iraqi town near the Syrian border. Kaabi, who heads a Shi'ite Muslim militia named Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba, was decked out in a camouflage uniform and led the fighters in prayer on mats laid on the dusty ground. A video of the session showed heavily armed militiamen standing guard.
The event took place in Qayrawan, a town the Nujaba militia had seized back from Islamic State, the radical Sunni Muslim group. Nujaba, whose name means 'the Virtuous,' have also fought across the border in Syria, where they have lent support to President Bashar al-Assad in the fight against Islamic State and others.
The Nujaba group, which has about 10,000 fighters, is now one of the most important militias in Iraq. Though made up of Iraqis, it is loyal to Iran and is helping Tehran create a supply route through Iraq to Damascus, according to Iraqi lawmaker Shakhwan Abdullah, retired Lebanese general Elias Farhat, and other current and former officials in Iraq. The route will run through a string of small cities including Qayrawan. To open it up, Iranian-backed militias are pushing into southeast Syria near the border with Iraq, where US forces are based.
The Nujaba militia is one example of the way Iran is seeking to expand its Shi'ite influence in Iraq and across the wider region. In the 1980s, Shi'ite-dominated Iran was at war with Iraq, where Sunni Muslims held power despite being a minority of the population. But after the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Shi'ite majority in Iraq took control of the government.
Since then, ties between the Shi'ite-led governments in Tehran and Baghdad have become stronger, and Iran has acquired growing influence in Iraq. Iranian money and religious backing are now key to the Iraqi government's power.
Kaabi has repeatedly said that Nujaba is allied with Iran. Last autumn, he said his group follows "Velayat-e Faqih," or Guardianship of the Jurist, the ideological cornerstone of Iran's theocratic system of government, according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency.
Current and former Iraqi officials told Reuters they worry Nujaba will help Iran make a decisive strategic breakthrough.
"If Iran can open this road they will have access through Iraq and Syria all the way to Hezbollah in Lebanon," said Farhat, the retired Lebanese army general.
Iran, which backs Syria's Assad, has stated that it wants to see its influence extend through Iraq to its allies in Damascus and beyond to Hezbollah, a Shi'ite militant group in Lebanon it has long supported.
A security adviser who works with a number of governments in the Middle East said Iran needs road access to Damascus to supply the conflict in Syria. "There is a very high cost for air transport for the militias. Troops and small supplies are easy to transport but it's hard to load heavy weapons on airplanes," said the adviser, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject.
"The goal is to open a road on both sides for logistics ... They want to bring in artillery, rockets and heavy equipment like bulldozers," the adviser said.
In Iraq, the Nujaba fights under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which encompass tens of thousands of Shi'ite militiamen. Last year Iraq's parliament passed a law that put these fighters under the control of the Iraqi government. But current and former officials in Iraq and militia members say many of the militias have been armed and trained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
A representative at an Iranian Revolutionary Guards office in Tehran declined to comment on the Nujaba militia.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other senior Iraqi officials have not spoken out in public about Nujaba or the new road. But some players within Iraq's governing coalition want to distance Iraq from Iran.
Ayad Allawi, a vice president, is Shi'ite, but he has a nationalist outlook and wants to prevent the conflict in Syria from spilling over further into Iraq. He said in an interview: "The government of Iraq should prevent them (Shi'ite militias) from going to Syria. We are not supposed to supply fighting people to support a dictatorship in Syria."
Asked to comment on Iran-backed militias moving into southeast Syria near where American forces are based, US Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State, said: "The Coalition reserves the right to protect itself and its vetted Syrian partners against any threat."
A US State Department official said: "The United States remains deeply concerned about the Iranian regime's malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security and prosperity."
The current route that Iran is pushing to open through Iraq was not its first choice. Soon after Iran became involved in the Syria conflict in 2011, the Iranians attempted to open a logistical supply line through the Kurdish region of northern Iraq to Syria, lawmaker Abdullah, who is a member of the Iraqi parliament's security and defense committee, told Reuters. But Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, resisted the move, said Abdullah, who is a member of Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
The new route bypasses the Kurdish region but could still destabilize the country, according to Abdullah.
"All the groups in Iraq other than Shi'ites will be under threat if Iran can make this road," Abdullah said. "Sunnis will be displaced. The Kurdistan region will be under threat and Christians will be under threat."
Russia Rejects Israeli Plea to Keep Iranians From Golan Frontier - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1618
Russia has reportedly rebuffed an Israeli demand to ensure that Iranian forces and Iran-backed Shiite militants not be allowed to operate within 60-80 kilometers of the Syrian frontier with Israel in the Golan Heights.
The demand was initially raised by Israel in July, when negotiations were under way for a ceasefire deal in southern Syria between President Bashar Assad and Syrian rebels, under the auspices of the Washington and Moscow.
Russian has rejected the plea, according to reports Thursday on Israel's Channel 2 TV and in the Haaretz newspaper. Instead, it has committed only to keeping Iranian forces five kilometers from the Golan Heights frontier.
Israel had wanted a buffer zone of between 60 and 80 kilometers from the border on the Golan Heights, and has been repeatedly warning against Iran's military ambitions in the area, Tehran's bid to establish a territorial "corridor" all the way to the Mediterranean, and an increased Iranian presence on Israel's northern border.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposed the ceasefire deal, putting him publicly at odds with US President Donald Trump, since it did not sufficiently address Israel's security needs.
Israeli intelligence expects the Iranians to try to establish a military and intelligence presence closer to the border to allow for the opening of a second front against Israel in the event of another conflagration between the Jewish state and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization in Lebanon, Haaretz said.
It said Iran plows around $800 million per year into Hezbollah and additional hundreds of millions into the Assad regime in Syria, Shi'ite militias fighting in Syria and Iraq, and Shi'ite Houthi insurgents in Yemen. (It also supports the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations in the Gaza Strip to the tune of $70 million annually.)
Israel sees attempts by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah to improve the latter's missile accuracy as a major threat.
A week ago, Israeli warplanes allegedly struck the Syrian military's Scientific Studies and Research Center (CERS) facility near Masyaf, in the northwestern Hama province, damaging several buildings and killing two Syrian soldiers.
Western officials have long associated the CERS facility with the production of precision missiles, as well as chemical weapons.
Over the past five years, Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes within Syria, hitting conveys of weapons bound for Hezbollah, as well as weapons storage facilities.
It rarely acknowledges specific attacks. Last Thursday's operation was reported by foreign media.
On his current trip to Latin America, Netanyahu has stressed the dangers posed by Iran, through its quest for nuclear weapons, its involvement in conflicts across the region, and via terrorism.
The Iranians "have a terror machine that encompasses the entire world, operating terror cells in many continents," he said in Argentina on Tuesday. "In the case of Iran, it's not only merely terror but the quest for nuclear weapons that concerns us and should concern the entire international community. We understand the danger of a rogue nation having atomic bombs."
The Prophetic End-Times Significance of This Year's Feast of Trumpets - Kelly McDonald Jr. -
The Feast of Trumpets began this Wednesday at sunset. It goes by various names in Hebrew: Yom Teruah (day of the trumpet blast), Zikron Teruah (a memorial for blowing the trumpets) and Rosh Hoshannah (Head of the Year). It is celebrated on the first day of the Hebrew month called Tishri. It is considered the beginning of the civil year and begins the Ten Days of Awe.
On the Feast of Trumpets, the Jewish people believe that God will write your name in one of three books: the book of life, the book of the wicked, or the book of the intermediate. This is why there is such a heavy emphasis on repentance during the season of Teshuvah. This day also has tremendous prophetic implications.
In the future, a seven-year period called the 70th week of Daniel will take place. It will commence the most chaotic time ever known on planet Earth. There will be wars between many nations, famine will be rife, pestilence will spread like never before and humanity will be in total desperation. God's wrath will be poured out. Billions of people will perish in the process. As we approach the end of this seven-year period, the remnants of the nations will march on Jerusalem to destroy God's people.
Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, who go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. ... They gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Armageddon. (Rev. 16:13-14, 16).
These nations are gathering to fight for control of the world. They also want to stamp out what remains of Israel. Just when it seems to be a hopeless situation, Jesus Christ will intervene on their behalf! He will blow the trumpet (shofar in Hebrew, which means a ram's horn) and return to save His people!
"Then the Lord will appear over them, and His arrow will go out like lightning. The Lord God will sound His trumpet, and will march forth like storm winds of southern Teman" (Zech. 9:14).
I saw heaven opened. And there was a white horse. He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written, that no one knows but He Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood. His name is called The Word of God. The armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. ...
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to wage war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. But the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone. The remnant were slain with the sword which proceeded out of the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds gorged themselves with their flesh.
Jesus Christ will return on a white horse to deliver His people from utter destruction. Following Him will be the armies of God, which is the body of Christ (Rev. 17:14). After these armies are defeated, there will be people who have survived this terrible seven-year time period. Zechariah 14 is another passage that discusses this battle. It mentions the survivors of the nations (verse 16).
When Jesus returns, a court will be seated, and books will be opened! Every person who survives the wrath of God will have an opportunity to have their name written in the book of life:
I watched until the thrones were cast down and the Ancient of Days was seated, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool. His throne was like the fiery flame, and its wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came out from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The judgment was set, and the books were opened.
As we remember and celebrate this year's Feast of Trumpets, we have much to keep in mind. Let us not forget that Jesus will deliver His people at Armageddon at the sound of the trumpet. He can also deliver you today. Let us also remember that He offers the grace that allows your name to be written in the book of life.
Is Egyptian President el-Sisi about to help broker a major breakthrough in the Arab-Israeli peace process? - Joel C. Rosenberg -
Four decades after the historic Camp David Accords, is Egyptian President el-Sisi signaling he is about to take the lead in helping broker dramatic peace agreements not just between Israelis and Palestinians but perhaps between Israel and the rest of the Arab world, including the Saudis and Gulf States?
Given his warm, even effusive, public meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, there are surprising and growing reasons for optimism, as I discuss in my new op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, "Behind The Smiles: Why Did Sisi Go Public With His Close Relationship With Netanyahu?" [see excerpts below]
What's more, I strongly encourage you to watch or read the full text of President el-Sisi's courageous address to the U.N. General Assembly, especially went he went off script to speak of Egypt's "wonderful and excellent experiment in peace" with Israel and to urge both sides not to miss a "rare" opportunity to make peace that "may not be repeated."
Mr. President, let me put the text aside and appeal to those who may concern. My first appeal is to the Palestinian people. I tell them that it is extremely important to unite behind your target and overcome differences, not lose the opportunity and be ready to coexist with the Israelis in safety and peace to achieve stability and security for all. I appeal to the Israeli people, telling them that Egypt has a wonderful and excellent experience in peace with you for more than 40 years. We can repeat this experiment and wonderful step. The security and safety of the Israeli citizen should be put side by side with that of the Palestinian citizen. I appeal to you to stand by your political leadership. Don't hesitate. I assure the Israeli public opinion that we stand with you all to render this opportunity a success.
This opportunity may not come again. I address also all peace loving states and all sisterly Arab countries to support this magnificent step. I appeal to the rest of the world to back this step, which if it succeeds, it will change the history. In addition, I appeal to the US president that we have an opportunity to write a new page in the history of humanity for achieving peace in this area.
EXCERPTS FROM MY JERUSALEM POST OP-ED
Monday's tete-a-tete between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, held on the sidelines of the opening session of the UN General Assembly in Manhattan, was their first-ever publicly announced meeting, and it went better than both men had hoped.
But why was President Sisi willing to go public with the relationship now?....
Is something even bigger going on?
Sisi is not a politician by training. He's a military man, a strategist. He doesn't make moves - certainly not vis-Ã -vis Israel - without carefully thinking them through. To go public now, especially with such warm and friendly photographs, strongly suggests something else is brewing.
Is the Egyptian leader about to invite Netanyahu to come to Cairo for an official, formal state visit, the first ever by an Israeli premier? Might Sisi even host a summit and introduce Netanyahu to other Arab heads of state? Will he offer to host serious peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians for a comprehensive and final treaty, having secured Netanyahu's agreement to such talks ahead of time?
At the same time, is Netanyahu about to invite Sisi to come to Jerusalem for an official state visit? Will he invite the Egyptian leader to address the Knesset and lay out his vision for a broad regional peace, sharing lessons Egypt has learned about making - and maintaining - peace with the Jewish state?
It would be the first time an Egyptian leader set foot on Israeli soil since Anwar Sadat stunned the world and melted the hearts of the Israeli people with his bold visit to Jerusalem in 1977. It would be powerful by itself, but could it also be designed to lay the groundwork for an historic visit by another major Arab leader, or by several?....
Could another breakthrough be in the works?
Daily Jot: End of world broadcast in California - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The Orange County Register in Southern California reports that during a routine emergency alert broadcast last night, a voice came on predicting the end of the world. The paper quoted an alarmed viewer saying the voice eerily said, "Realize this, extremely violent times will come." Another viewer said, "I wasn't alarmed in the sense of thinking something was wrong, 'cause I assumed it was some sort of hack." There you have it-the two types of people that will be impacted most by the true Biblical events of the return of the Messiah in the end of days and the Day of the Lord-those who are fearful and clueless and those who are just clueless thinking it's a prank. There is a third group-the informed.
There are a lot of people over the years who have claimed that the end of the world is upon us. Remember the Maya Apocalypse prediction in 2012? Religious nut jobs like Harold Camping who used numerology and his twisted interpretations of the scriptures predicted the world would end 12 times before he died. Now another "numerologist" named David Meade is predicting the world will end on Saturday. This has the entire internet abuzz and even many news outlets. They are mostly ridiculing Meade, albeit warily. Fact is this: No Christian can or will truthfully and accurately predict the date and time of sudden destruction of the world. This is against Christ, the prophets and Holy Scripture.
The disciples of Christ asked him specifically in Matthew 24:3, "Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?" Verse 24:4, "Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you." Jesus goes on in Matthew 24 to lay out the step by step chronology of what will happen leading up to and upon the Day of the Lord-or what the non-believing people say is the end of the world, the apocalypse. Point is, there is a lot that needs to happen according to Jesus and the prophets. And we are not there yet. In fact, Jesus told his disciples again in Acts 1:7, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the father has put in his own power."
There are signs that we can use to discern. Jesus lays them out in Matthew 24. The prophetically unfulfilled Jewish holy days of Trumpets, Yom Kippur and Tabernacles also lend some insight into God's plan for judging the earth, redeeming his people, and dwelling with us as he establishes the new heavens and new earth. Any Christian predicting sudden destruction of earth without acknowledging the prophetic events that must take place is a deceiver. This person may not understand the scriptures in context or may just be trying to make a name. Whatever the motivation, the end result is deception-about which Christ warns. If you want to dialogue with folks on this, Matthew 24 is a good place to start.
Daily Devotion: A Testimony Worth Sharing - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see." -John 9:25
Years ago I knew someone who hadn't lived all that wickedly, but she would hear the remarkable testimonies of other believers who had all of kinds of problems and issues and then had come to Christ. She said to me, "I need a more dramatic testimony. I'm going to go back out into the world again and do some of those things so I have a better testimony."
She never came back.
Sometimes we hear the testimonies of Christians who came from a radical background, and we think, "Now, that is a testimony! I wish I had a story like that." Maybe they were drug addicts or alcoholics or gang members or people of certain notoriety. But they came to faith in Christ and their lives literally changed overnight.
Someone may think, "My story is kind of boring. I have a wimpy testimony. I became a Christian when I was seven years old in Sunday school, when my teacher told me that Jesus loved me. That isn't a very good testimony."
You might feel the same way. Maybe you've thought, "I don't know that God has done all that much for me."
But we need to keep one simple thing in mind: We all essentially have the same testimony. We all were sinners separated from God. One day we realized that we needed the Savior. We turned from our sin, put our faith in Him, and were reconciled to God through what Jesus did for us at the cross. We were going to Hell, and now we are going to Heaven. That is our testimony.
We all have different temperaments and come to faith in different ways. Some have great emotional experiences when they come to Christ. Others feel absolutely nothing. But everyone has a testimony that is worth sharing.
FROM THE HEART
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Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
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