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Prophecy Update Newsletter
September 23, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Knowing The Day and The Hour - Jack Kinsella - www.omegaletter.com
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:35-36)
The text itself, at first glance, seems simple and unambiguous. Jesus is explaining that nobody, not even He, knew the precise hour and day in which the Lord will return for His Church. But He offers a clue, saying conditions will be similar that those experienced by Noah and his family.
Before moving on, let's look quickly at conditions in Noah's day, according to the Scriptures. First, Noah, himself.
"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."
We immediately see four key points. Noah was the recipient of an unmerited gift - "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." God extended His grace to Noah, who, in spite of being a sinner, trusted the Lord's word.
Consequently, Genesis tells us, "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations."
Noah was a 'just' man. Only God can justify sinful man. Note that it wasn't Noah that was perfect -- instead, Noah was 'perfect in his generations.'
What does that mean?
Genesis Chapter Six opens with an explanation:
"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. . . (6:1-2)
The reference to the 'sons of God' is a reference to angels:
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them." (Job 1:6)
"When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:7)
These angels, according to Genesis 6, produced hybrid, half-angelic and half-human offspring, polluting the human bloodline.
"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. " (6:4)
At the Fall, God pronounced both the curse and a Promise of a Redeemer, saying to the serpent, Satan,
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His Heel."
By the time of Noah, the seed of Eve had been so polluted by this hybrid bloodline that only Noah and his family remained "perfect in his generations."
And God's promise was specific -- mankind could only be redeemed by the seed of Eve.
Wipe out Eve's 'seed' and God's word is broken, and Satan wins his case on the grounds God is not perfect and therefore not qualified to stand in judgment over him. Finally, we see that Noah "walked with God".
Noah is a picture of the Church in the last days. The Church is redeemed, and therefore justified, not by its own merits, but by God's grace. Covered by the Blood of Christ, the Church's 'bloodline' is perfect and unpolluted by the world.
Noah was preserved alive out of judgment, not necessarily because God loved him best, but because it was a necessary element in God's unfolding plan for the ages.
Had God not preserved Noah and his family alive out of judgment, mankind would have perished and there could have been no Virgin Birth, no redeeming life, atoning death or Resurrection unto life.
Only Eve's seed could qualify according to God's Promise, so some perfect, untainted, purely human remnant of Eve's seed had to be preserved for God's plan to move forward.
God's plan for the last days includes preserving a remnant out of judgment, not because He likes this generation best, but because it is necessary for His plan to move forward. Noah and his family were ridiculed for 120 years, until "the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." (2nd Peter 3:6)
Jesus likened the Rapture to the Flood, saying,
"And [they] knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24:39)
How do we know that Jesus is referring to the Rapture in his passage about Noah, and not His 2nd Coming? Jesus said no man could know the hour and the day.
The Prophet Daniel gives us the hour and the day of the 2nd Coming of Christ -- or at least, Daniel gives us the ability to calculate it.
Daniel predicts a prince of the revived Roman Empire would negotiate a peace settlement between Israel and 'the many' and that part of that settlement would include the restoration of Temple worship.
The peace agreement, according to Daniel, has a set term of one "week" (Heb - shabua) which is a week of Biblical 360-day years. Seven biblical years equals 2,520 days.
Daniel says that agreement will be broken when "the abomination that maketh desolate is set up." (Daniel 12:11) The Apostle Paul identifies the "abomination" as taking place when the antichrist, "as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)
It is this claim of godhood that causes the Jews to reject him, which results in his tearing up the agreement, closing the Temple and launching his persecution of Jews.
So, let's quickly recap. Daniel 9:27 predicts a period of seven years time from the agreement that restores Temple worship to the 2nd Coming of Christ. Daniel also says that, from the time of the abomination of desolation until the 2nd Coming would total 1,260 days -- or exactly half of 2,520 days of Tribulation.
Since the event that begins the countdown is the antichrist's seating of himself on the Mercy Seat in the Temple, anybody will a Bible could mark that date and start counting down 1,260 days to His Second Coming.
Therefore, it seems entirely logical to deduce the following: The Tribulation Period (Daniel 9:27) lasts for 2,520 days, or seven Biblical years. It is divided into two parts, 1,260 days of Temple worship, and 1,260 days of persecution.
It concludes on the 2,520th day from the date of the peace deal on the plains of Megiddo at the Second Coming of Christ.
Since Daniel also predicted the precise date and hour in which Jesus Christ would ride into Jerusalem on the back of a colt and be received as King of the Jews, it is reasonable to expect the same kind of precision in Daniel's prediction of 1,260 days from the abomination to the 2nd Coming.
Therefore, the only secret coming is that of the Rapture, not His triumphant return as the Righteous Judge at the close of the Tribulation Period. A secret pre-Trib Rapture is the only event that cannot be calculated.
A mid-Trib Rapture can be calculated -- it is 1260 days after the peace deal. A post-Trib Rapture can be calculated, 2,520 days after the peace deal, or 1,260 days after the abomination.
A pre-Wrath Rapture, that is a Rapture that takes place at some point after the peace deal but before the abomination, makes the inclusion of the 2,520 and 1,260 day time frames superfluous and unnecessary, begging the question of why God included them in the first place.
But despite Jesus' stern warning that the timing of the Rapture cannot be calculated, I predict that within the next couple of weeks, somebody will be predicting the Rapture will occur on September 24, 2007 with the blowing of the last shofar (trumpet) at the end of the Jewish Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashana).
It is a safe enough prediction; it happens every single year at this time. And it makes logical sense. The only major Jewish feast day for which there is no corresponding miracle performed during the Lord's earthly ministry is Rosh Hashana. So many conclude that when the Rapture does come, it will come at the conclusion of Rosh Hashana.
For that reason, I am absolutely convinced that, of all the possible dates for the Rapture, it won'tbe Rosh Hashana, despite the twenty-page emails I am certain to receive shortly explaining somebody's exhaustive and comprehensive calculations.
Why? Because the same Jesus who said we couldn't calculate the Rapture also said any calculations that are made will be wrong.
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 24:44)
Elijah on Mt. Carmel - Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/childrens-stories-for-adults/elijah-on-mt-carmel/#more-81
Elijah's 3000 year assignment was truly "Mission Impossible"
... and it's not accomplished yet.
So (King) Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God follow Him, but if Baal is God follow him" (1 Kings 18:21)
A Little Background Please
As King David's life was drawing to a close, the Lord chose his son Solomon to succeed him. It was the time of Israel's closest approximation to the Messianic Kingdom promised by God. There was peace in the land and Israel's influence in the world was with out parallel. Kings from every land came and paid homage to Solomon, whose wisdom was legendary. Solomon reigned in peace and prosperity for 40 years but toward the end of his reign began to pay the price for his one act of disobedience. The Lord had forbidden the Israelites from marrying foreign women, knowing that they would bring pagan gods into Israel and lead their husbands into false religion (1 Kings 11:2). In violation of the Lord's prohibition Solomon had taken 700 wives and 300 concubines, many of them foreign, and had permitted them to worship their own gods, even building idols of some on a hill east of Jerusalem. This angered the Lord and caused a civil war in Israel that resulted in the Kingdom being divided. Following the death of Solomon, the Northern Kingdom, called Israel and consisting of the land given to 10 of the 12 tribes, descended rapidly into idol worship while the smaller Southern Kingdom, called Judah and consisting of the land given to the remaining 2 tribes, remained faithful to God.
During this time all those in the Northern Kingdom who remained faithful to God migrated south with the Levites (2 Chron 11:16) so all the 12 tribes were represented in the Southern Kingdom. The notion of 10 tribes being lost following the subsequent defeat of the Northern Kingdom by Assyria is not Scriptural, and any doctrine based on the so-called lost 10 tribes is therefore suspect. But that's a topic for another day.
How Long Will You Waver Between Two Opinions?
For the next 80 years the people of the Northern Kingdom vacillated between allegiance to God and allegiance to various Canaanite deities, sometimes worshipping all of them at the same time. During Elijah's time there had been a drought in Israel for 3 years, a sign of God's displeasure with this ongoing flirtation with paganism. Ahab was King of Israel and had married a daughter of the King of neighboring Phoenicia (Lebanon), a powerful and influential woman named Jezebel. She personally supported 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. It was these prophets that Ahab summoned to Mt. Carmel in response to Elijah's "invitation." In the presence of all the people Elijah (his name means God is Lord) challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest designed to reveal the one true God.
Elijah said to them, "I am the only one of the Lord's prophets left, but Baal has 450 prophets. Get 2 bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire - He is God." Then all the people said, "What you say is good." (1 Kings 18:22-24)
All that morning the prophets of Baal called upon their god. They danced around their altar, and cut themselves with knives, part of their religious practice. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder," he said, "Surely he is a god. Perhaps he is relieving himself or busy or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened" (1 Kings 18:27). This went on all through the day with no response from Baal. Then at the time of the evening sacrifice Elijah took 12 stones, one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel, and built an altar for the Lord. He dug a trench around it and placed wood upon it. He cut the other bull into pieces and arranged them on the wood. Then he had the people bring 4 large jars filled with water that he poured on the offering and the wood. "Do it again," he said and they did. "Do it a 3rd time," he ordered and they did. The water ran down around the altar and filled the trench. And then he prayed. "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that You are God in Israel, and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that You O Lord are God and that You are turning their hearts back again" (1 Kings 18:36-37). Talk about a grandstand play. Can't you just feel the tension mounting each time the altar was doused?
Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil and even licked up the water in the trench. When the people saw this they fell prostrate and cried, "The Lord - He is God. The Lord - He is God" (1 Kings 18:39). Elijah had them seize the pagan prophets and execute them according to Mosaic law (Deut 13:1-5) and shortly thereafter rain fell on the land of Israel for the first time in 3 years, a sign of God's pleasure. Jezebel swore out a death curse on Elijah but God took him alive into heaven. The people later abandoned God again, judgement came in the form of the Assyrian armies, and the Northern Kingdom ceased to exist.
Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It ...
At the close of the Old Testament, the Lord promised that Elijah would return to earth to herald the coming Messiah. He would once again turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, or else God would strike the land with a curse (Mal 4:5-6). Jesus said that John the Baptist was the promised Elijah (Matt 17:11-13), and although the hearts of many were turned to God King Herod put him to death. 38 years later the land was struck with a curse, judgement came in the form of the Roman armies and the Nation Israel ceased to exist.
At the end of the age, Elijah will once again bring drought upon the earth at the Lord's command, and for the 3rd time will implore the people to repent of their sins, and again the hearts of many will be turned to God. The antichrist will think he's put him to death, but again God will take him live into heaven (Rev. 11:11-12). Judgement will come in the form of the Lord's armies and the world as we know it will cease to exist.
This Is Your Last Chance
Elijah used 4 jars of water to douse the altar 3 times. 4 is the number of the earth (by the end of the 4th day its creation was complete) and the water can represent the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (see John 7:37-39). If so then the three dousings of the altar hint at Elijah's three missions to earth offering God's Holy Spirit and imploring the people to turn their hearts back to Him. After limited success each one ends in failure and is followed by a judgment. Each time the Lord in His mercy provides His people another chance.
The Millennium is man's last chance; there is no 4th mission for Elijah. But at the end of the Millennium in spite of utopian conditions with Satan bound and 1000 years of personal rule by the Lord Jesus Himself, there's still enough residual evil in the heart of unregenerate man for Satan to mount a rebellion as soon as he's freed (Rev 20:7-10). This illustrates man's total inability to remain faithful to God. In spite of 7000 years of history filled with the undeniable revelations of God's existence and His endless patience in dealing with us, only the shed blood of Jesus is able to make us fit to dwell in His presence.
And now you know the adult version.
Abbas to UN: Make 2017 the year Israeli occupation of Palestinian land ends - https://www.rt.com/news/360301-abbas-2017-israeli-occupation/
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said 2017 should become the year when the Israeli occupation of Palestinian comes to an end, in an address to the General Assembly of the United Nations.
"It is my hope that... there is a collective responsibility upon you to ensure that 2017 is the year of ending the occupation," Abbas said, according to The Times of Israel.
Abbas pledged to submit a resolution to the UN Security Council opposing "the terror of the settlers against the Palestinian people."
The Palestinian president criticized as "contemptuous" recent remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who compared dismantling settlements to "ethnic cleansings."
"Who is practicing ethnic cleansing?" Abbas asked, as cited by Haaretz, adding that "racial discrimination is a daily reality, Israel continues to grant permits for settlements and infrastructure in the occupied territories while preventing Palestinians from using their land."
The Palestinian leader also said that Britain should apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration that endorsed the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The UK should also recognize Palestine as an independent state, he added.
"We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injustice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, including by the recognition of the state of Palestine," Abbas said, as cited by Reuters. "This is the least Great Britain can do."
Abbas has also urged all countries to recognize Palestine's independence and asked the international community for cooperation in settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adding that it "would surely constitute a unique opportunity for peace, stability and coexistence to prevail in our region and between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples."
The president said that there is the need for a peace conference, but that Israel is "trying to avoid" meeting.
He expressed hope that all UN member states would apply pressure to Israel and that the conference would take place before the end of 2016.
"If there is no conference and no contacts between us, how can peace be made?" Abbas asked, according to Haaretz.
Abbas blamed Israel for sabotaging the peace efforts made by the US over a 13-year period.
Netanyahu: UN's gone from 'moral force to moral farce'
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lashed out at the UN for constantly placing the blame on Israel, describing it as a "disgrace."
"It began as a moral force, but the UN has become a moral farce," the prime minister said.
He also said that the UN Human Rights Council is a "joke" while UNESCO is a "circus."
"The sooner the UN's obsession with Israel ends, the better. The better for Israel, the better for your countries, the better for the UN itself," Netanyahu said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Netanyahu, who addressed the UN General Assembly after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, responded to his harsh statement by saying that "the real settlements the [Palestinians] are after are Tel Aviv and Haifa."
Netanyahu, however, invited Abbas to "speak to the Israeli people at the Knesset in Jerusalem."
Israel's leader noted that the "true core of the conflict" is "the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary."
"It's always been about the existence of a Jewish state, a Jewish state in any boundary," Netanyahu added.
In fiery UN speech, Netanyahu invites Abbas to address Knesset - http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-fiery-un-speech-netanyahu-invites-abbas-to-speak-at-knesset/
PM pans Palestinian incitement, urges new talks; also slams Iran as biggest threat to world, terms Human Rights Council a 'joke'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to speak at the Knesset and offered to speak at the PA headquarters in Ramallah to advance peace.
But alongside the overture at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Netanyahu also delivered a scathing rebuke of the Palestinian leadership, accusing it of "poisoning the future" by inciting terror through educational and TV programs and blasting it for its refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
The prime minister insisted that peace talks should resume though direct contact, telling Abbas that he is invited to speak "to the Israeli people in the Knesset in Jerusalem" and that he "would gladly come to speak [at] the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah."
"You have a choice to make," Netanyahu said, still addressing Abbas, who had spoken in the plenum only minutes before. "You can continue to stoke hatred, as you did today. Or you can confront hatred and work with me to establish peace between our two nations."
Reiterating that he remains "committed to a vision of peace based on two states for two people," Netanyahu said that "Israel is ready to negotiate all final status issues," and that "the road to peace is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York."
"One thing I would never negotiate is our right to the one, only Jewish state," Netanyahu said to some sustained applause.
"This conflict is not about the settlements, it never was," he said in direct contradiction to Abbas's comments earlier. "It's always been about the existence of a Jewish state.
"If the Palestinians had said yes to a Jewish state in 1947 there would have been no war... and when they do finally say yes to a Jewish state we will be able to end this conflict once and for all," Netanyahu said.
The prime minister also lambasted the Palestinians over their plan to sue the British government for the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which supported "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," according to its text.
"That's almost 100 years ago," said Netanyahu. "Talk about being stuck in the past! The Palestinians might as well sue Iran for the Cyrus declarations, or file a class action suit against Abraham, for buying land in Hebron," he added, referencing a Persian edict allowing Jews to return to Judea in 539 BCE and the Biblical patriarch.
"But they are not only stuck in past, they are poisoning the future," Netanyahu went on, before launching into an attack on Palestinian incitement by attempting to describe the life of a fictional "13-year-old Palestinian boy, let's call him Ali."
Ali, explained Netanyahu, goes through his life - at soccer practice, in school - surrounded by reminders and tributes to terrorists, after whom soccer stadiums and educational programs are named.
Thirteen-year-old Ali knows that if he commits a terror attack against Israelis, he will receive a Palestinian Authority salary [while in prison] and is guaranteed a job with the Palestinian government when he gets out, Netanyahu said.
"This is child abuse," charged the prime minister.
Netanyahu told the UN that unlike the Palestinians, Israel does not tolerate extremists, something that "proves the profound difference between our societies."
He gave the example of a deadly arson attack on the Palestinian Dawabsha family in the West Bank by suspected Jewish terrorists in July 2015, and Israel's response to it.
"Today, the Jewish citizens of Israel accused of killing the Dawabshas are in an Israeli jail. It proves the profound difference between our societies. While Israel jails the handful of terrorists among us, the Palestinians pay thousands of terrorists," he said.
In his speech, Netanyahu also blasted the Hamas terror group for refusing to return the remains of two Israeli soldiers who died fighting in Operation Protective Edge two years ago in Gaza - and whose bodies were taken by Hamas - and for rejecting talks on the return of three Israeli nationals.
The prime minister urged world countries to stand with the families of those affected "and will all that's decent, against the inhumanity of Hamas."
'Iran is still the greatest threat'
In his wide-ranging speech before the UNGA, Netanyahu also promised to never let Iran develop nuclear weapons - "not now, not in a decade, not ever" - generating applause.
Iran is the greatest threat to Israel, to the region and to the world, he said, returning to a central theme of many previous UN speeches.
Last year's nuclear deal with Tehran, under which it agreed to curb its atomic program in exchange for easing international sanctions, did not eliminate the threat, argued Netanyahu, charging that the "threat of Iran poses to all of us is not behind us, it's before us."
There "must be a sustained, united effort to push back against Iranian aggression, Iran's terror," he added.
Speaking on other recent regional developments, Netanyahu spoke favorably of developing ties with regional countries, promising that "in the years ahead, Israel will forge lasting peace with all our neighbors." That remark also generated enthusiastic applause.
Netanyahu said that world nations, notably in the Middle East, were shifting their traditional negative stances on Israel due to a changing region and the rise of common enemies, such as Iran and the Islamic State terror group.
"More than ever, many regional countries recognize that Israel is not their enemy but their ally," he said, adding that the "common enemy is Iran and ISIS," referring to the Islamic State.
"In coming years, we will work together openly," he said, adding that Israeli relations with regional countries were "undergoing nothing less than revolution."
"The change taking place in the Arab world offers a unique opportunity to advance peace," he added, and "Israel welcomes the spirit of the Arab Peace Initiative."
Netanyahu also took the time to praise the United States, a day after his meeting with President Barack Obama in which he thanked him for the recent $38 billion military aid deal signed last week.
America, said Netanyahu, is "the most powerful and generous nation on earth."
"Our unbreakable bond with America transcends parties and politics," he said, likely in reference to his many public disagreements with Obama, and between the two men's administrations, over the past eight years.
Times at the UN are changing
Netanyahu began his speech at the UNGA by enthusiastically declaring that "Israel has a bright future at the UN," before launching into a scathing attack against the agency and its bodies for their alleged anti-Israel bias.
"Year after year, I've stood at this podium and slammed the UN for its obsessive bias against Israel and the UN deserved every scathing word," he said.
The UN General Assembly last year passed 20 resolutions on Israel, Netanyahu said, while only three were passed on the rest of the world.
"And what about the joke called the Human Rights Council?" he asked, charging that that body passes more resolution "each year against Israel than any other country in the world combined."
Netanyahu also slammed the recent UNESCO document eliding the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, arguing that it was like "denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China."
"The UN, which had begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce," he quipped.
But, he said, things are quickly changing, and the "day is not far off when many countries will stand with Israel at the UN.
"Because back home, governments are changing their attitude toward Israel and that will change how nations will vote at UN on Israel," he said.
The prime minister attributed this unfolding change to a world desire for Israeli technology and knowledge on recycling, high-tech, agriculture, desalination and "cyber power."
"In a decade, an Israeli PM will actually applaud the UN," he said.
Watchman Warning: Terror By Any Name - by Hal Lindsey - http://www.hallindsey.com/ww-9-22-2016/
"Terrorism" versus "international terrorism" ... the lone wolf versus the terror cell ... alQaeda versus ISIS ... Hezbollah versus Hamas.
For most purposes, these are distinctions without a difference.
When the bomb explodes and the shrapnel flies in your direction at a thousand feet per second, it does not matter if ISIS sent the bomber an email or it was his own idea. Of course, it's important to law enforcement, but it means nothing to the victim. In the bombings and stabbings over the weekend, we keep hearing officials imply that it's somehow not as bad if it's the work of a lone wolf terrorist. But to the victim, it makes no difference.
The people of Israel are supposed to feel better because they don't have ISIS bombing them. Instead, they have Hamas and Hezbollah. These two terror groups have more missiles than all the powers of Europe combined. But at least they aren't called ISIS! Friends, who cares what they're called?
The labels "Sunni Muslim" and "Shiite Muslim" are important to understanding the dynamic of the Middle East, but you can throw the labels out the window when it comes to the terror war against the United States and Israel. Among the things recovered from the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound was a letter he wrote to some of his lieutenants saying that, "Iran is our main artery for funds, personnel, and communication."
That's not supposed to happen. Bin Laden was Sunni. Iran is Shiite. Sunnis and Shiites are enemies. They've been spilling each other's blood for centuries. But when it comes to terror, they make no distinction. Over the years, al-Qaeda jihadists have received training from Hezbollah in both Iran and Lebanon. Several of the Sunni 9-11 hijackers visited Shia Iran in the two years before the attack. While there, agents of Shia Hezbollah gave them terrorist training.
In 2011, David Cohen, then-Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said, "By exposing Iran's secret deal with al-Qaeda allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory, we are illuminating yet another aspect of Iran's unmatched support for terrorism."
That's the same Iran to which America just opened the doors of trade to the whole world. That trade will mean hundreds of billions of dollars in their coffers. It's the same Iran we just sent billions in cash to. Yet, Iran has not shown an ounce of regret for its support of global terrorism.
In January of this year, Iran released three American hostages, but not before they received $400 million cash from the United States in foreign currencies. The plane carrying the hostages sat on the runway and was not released until the U.S. money-plane arrived. When details emerged, it became clear that America had broken its longstanding policy, and paid a ransom for hostages.
But the Administration said it wasn't ransom. They said it was money already owed to the Iranians, and they simply used it as leverage to make sure the hostages were finally freed. But in 2012, a federal judge in New York found Iran liable in the case of the 9-11 attacks. He ruled that Iran owed U.S. citizens more than $6 billion dollars for Iran's role in bankrolling and training the 9-11 hijackers.
In March of this year, another judge ruled that Iran owes a total of $10.5 billion to the 911 victims' estates, and to insurance companies that had paid for damage that occurred to structures in the attack. Why should the U.S. be sending Iran billions of dollars when U.S. law says that Iran owes U.S. citizens billions of dollars?
The court rulings are largely seen as symbolic because everyone knows that Iran will never willingly choose to pay the money. But here's the important thing. A federal court made an official ruling that the government of Iran materially participated in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. That's big!
No matter the brand, terrorism is terrorism. The conflict behind today's campaign of Islamic terror traces back to Genesis - the first book of the Bible. My book, The Everlasting Hatred, examines it in detail.
The media will in one breath condemn ISIS, but laud the Palestine Liberation Organization. But terror is terror, Islamic terror is Islamic terror - whether it strikes Orlando, the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, or the old city of Jerusalem.
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Schwarzenegger and God - Greg Laurie - http://www.wnd.com/2016/09/schwarzenegger-and-god/
Pastor Greg Laurie explains what Arnold, heavenly Father have in common
Arnold Schwarzenegger says he is angry at death. In an interview last year he said, "Your whole life you work, you try to improve yourself, save money, invest wisely, and then all of a sudden - poof. It's over."
I have some news for Arnold Schwarzenegger: Death makes God angry, too.
Someone might be thinking, Why didn't God do something about it? He did. He sent his son to die on the cross. And when Christ died on the cross and rose again, he defeated death.
I know that people still die, of course. My mother is in heaven. My father who adopted me is in heaven. My son is in heaven. I have had to face death head-on, so I'm not approaching this subject from an ivory tower of theory. Rather, I'm giving a dispatch from the valley of the shadow of death.
I know what it is like to feel that pain. I also know what it is like to know the hope that Christ can bring, because I know death is not the end. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live" (John 11:25 NKJV).
Life goes by so fast. I remember when I was a kid, I would look at older people and think, "Where do these people come from?" Then one day I looked in the mirror and realized that I was one of those older people.
My generation, the generation that launched the youth culture, has turned from sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll to nip, tuck and Botox. We have gone from acid rock to acid reflux. The reality is that life will come to an end. We can't live forever in these bodies of ours.
The good news is the soul lives on. There is an afterlife. We make such a big deal about this life, but we don't talk enough about the afterlife. This life on earth, the Bible says, "is like the morning fog - it's here a little while, then it's gone" (James 4:14 NLT). But the afterlife goes on and on.
We need to think very seriously about this, because once we die and enter the afterlife, we can't change our destination. You can decide right now where you will spend eternity. But once you die, there are no more chances.
The Bible says, "Each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27 NLT). We want to be thinking now about where we will spend eternity. We have only two options: heaven or hell - paradise or outer darkness ... bliss or misery. Each of us has a choice.
The last thing God wants is to send any person uniquely created in his image to the place called hell. Jesus died on the cross for us so we could be forgiven and not end up there. Hell wasn't made for people. According to Jesus, hell was created for the devil and his angels.
But if someone is bound and determined to reject the offer of forgiveness from Jesus Christ and ends up in hell one day, it really will be his or her own fault. As C.S. Lewis wrote, "I willingly believe that the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside."
We can have the hope of going to heaven one day. That is where the death and resurrection of Christ comes in.
John's gospel gives us an inviting scene of a breakfast cooked by Jesus, the risen, living Savior. His hands had been pierced for the disciples, yet he took the time to make them a delicious meal. He had risen again in a physical body. He wasn't a ghost. He wasn't a phantom. He wasn't a spirit. He was standing before them alive again.
Just for a moment, go back in your imagination to the first century. Here was Jesus with his great ministry, the people were singing his praises, and things were building to a crescendo. Jesus was headed to the cross. He talked about it all the time. He told his disciples that he would be betrayed, whipped and crucified, that he would rise from the dead three days later. But somehow they missed the memo on that. They were expecting him to establish his kingdom on earth right then and there.
But according to God's plan, Jesus was betrayed. He was beaten. He was crucified. He was laid in a tomb. And just as he predicted, he rose again from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus changes everything.
Because of the resurrection of Jesus, one day we will receive new bodies. And those bodies will no longer age or get sick or break down. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we will have resurrected relationships. One day we will be reunited with our loved ones who have died in faith. We will be reunited with loved ones who have gone on before us.
By the way, these are promises for Christians only. If you are not a Christian, then the only promise you have is that of a certain judgment. The Bible says, "He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31 NKJV). Because Jesus died and rose again, there will be a final judgment.
Good works don't get you to heaven, however. Even if they did, there is no way, even on your best day, that you would have enough good works to earn the approval of God. The good news is there is nothing we can to do that is bad enough to keep us out of heaven. But the bad news is there nothing we can do that is good enough to get us into heaven.
This is where Jesus comes in. This is why we need Jesus - because we are not good enough. We need help. Jesus, who was God in human form, satisfied the righteous demands of the heavenly Father, whom we have all offended through our sin.
When Jesus died on the cross, he took hold of a holy God with one hand, and with the other hand, he took hold of sinful humanity. He died there in our place. That is why Jesus Christ - and Jesus Christ alone - is our only way to heaven. God has dropped one lifeline from heaven, and it is Christ himself.
God doesn't grade on the curve; he grades on the cross. Heaven isn't for good people; heaven is for forgiven people.
Daily Jot: Finding a better way - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Police shootings have sparked both nonviolent and violent reactions across America. From professional football players peacefully demonstrating to the riots in Charlotte, North Carolina, there is extraordinary attention focused on how police handle the use of deadly force. Many are upset that the National Anthem would be used as a vehicle to draw attention to this issue. Let's take a breath. Don't hit that unsubscribe button just yet. Hear me out. The vast majority of police are upstanding examples and caretakers of the public. Some are not. There is a perception if you are a person of color that whatever you do, police will err against you. This is a form of soft tyranny. And the perception for many is reality.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are basic tenets of our nation. As is all men are created equal. These are rights, as our Founders said, endowed by our Creator. Examples: Equality--1 Samuel 16:7 says, "for man looks on the outward appearance, but GOD looks on the heart." Life-The Lord says in Deuteronomy 30:19, "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live." Governments are instituted to protect these rights. Generations have lived under the soft tyranny of being "lesser." While America has worked diligently to right these wrongs, and many of us live our lives with love toward all, there is still much work to do.
I can hear all the "Yeah, but..." arguments welling up inside many who are reading this. Respect for authority is important and should be taught and adhered to. Don't argue with an officer. Police have families, too, and just want to make it home safely. All this is understood. There is, however, a base issue at play: Life is precious and all efforts to preserve it should be first and foremost. We have a problem in this nation that law-abiding people of color live under the constant concern that they may become victims of violent acts against them by police and other government authorities. It is widespread. Police shooting unarmed people of color amplify these concerns. No matter what has led up to it and/or caused it, we as a nation need to address it. It will not go away by getting angry, stereotyping, or making generalized statements.
There must be constructive dialogue on how to solve the issue. Meetings between police, clergy, rights organizations and elected officials should take place where questions can be answered, people can be educated, and solutions can be developed. All sides may be surprised at what they would learn if they can have honest, respectful discussions with an eye toward making improvements. It's really easy to point fingers, it's a lot harder to come together and solve problems. As Christians, we should hold to the tenets of our faith and treat others how we would like to be treated. If a family member or a friend has an issue, would we not hear it out no matter how much we disagreed? Would we not try to offer a solution? Would we not try to educate and be educated, discuss the facts and find a better way? In Christ, we can.
Daily Devotion: Give It a Go - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few." -Matthew 9:36-37
As a teenager, I would hang around a place in Newport Beach called the Balboa Fun Zone. I would lean up against a wall, hair hanging in my eyes (use your imagination there), looking real tough. Christians who walked around and handed out their tracts didn't know what to make of me. They would thrust a pamphlet in my direction and then back off. But in my heart I was saying, "Talk to me. Don't be put off by my tough-guy façade. It is false. I am too proud to say that I need help. I am too proud to say, 'Tell me about Jesus.' "
I wanted someone to engage me. I would take the little tracts the Christians gave me and stuff them in my pocket, but never in the trash. I took everything that everyone gave me, everywhere. I had a drawer for all kinds of religious literature at home, and every now and then, I would pull it out, empty it on my bed, and try to sort through it. I had literature from Christians, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Hare Krishnas, and more. You name it, I had it. I would look at this stuff and wonder what it all meant. I was looking for someone to show me the way.
Most Christians who have a basic knowledge of the faith could have easily explained the gospel to someone like me. And there is a world full of people out there who are just like I was, waiting for someone to take a risk. They are waiting for someone like you to say, "I will go ahead and give it a go." The worst-case scenario is they will say no. But what if they say yes?
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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