Prophecy Update Newsletter
September 26, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Last Trump - Pete Garcia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8313
So this is coming out before the debates tonight, and there is some risk on my part, to predict things that may or may not happen. With that said, my track record isn't half bad...I'm usually about 50% right on stuff, so take that with a grain of salt. So what I'm trying to say is, I could be right, or I could be wrong...and barring any major calamities or other black swan type events, here is how I see things playing out.
Last January 4th, I wrote "2016: The Year in Review", and I got some stuff right, like Trump winning the primaries, but was wrong on his running mate. Hey, I never said I was 'Miss Cleo' or anything...just a guy with an opinion. <sarcasm intended> But what I saw then, even though I wasn't a fan (still not) of Mr. Trump, is that he was the only candidate that was able to accurately tap into the public angst of what is boiling over in this country.
BLUF: (Bottom Line Up Front) ---Trump blowout in November.
It doesn't seem that way now does it?
Out of curiosity, I went back to previous national elections, and predictably the media is doing what they do, which is to try and make this a neck and neck battle until the bitter end because they live off ratings and viewership. So if they actually reported what the polls were, or the size of the candidate's rallies, you'd see this being how I see it, a landslide for the Republicans. I think this November, the Democrats and the Clintons are going to be swept away in a river of angry constituency forever. I know that sounds like hyperbole, especially in light of the current media mantra, but let me explain.
I'm not a poll expert. I'm not that professor who has his own formula for accurately predicting presidential winners since 1984. (Who by the way agrees with my assessment) No, my formula is much simpler. Do you remember how no matter how much mud and slime got thrown at President Obama (and rightfully so) in 2008...and yet, nothing stuck? I mean, the guy, despite having no experience, no history, and who seemingly rose up in a protective shroud of ambiguity, swept his way into office? Granted, he had the lapdog media virtually doing major redactions on just about everything around him, for him, but he could do no wrong in their eyes.
I see the same thing now with Trump, minus the media prep. The media hate him, but they can't stop talking about him. He is, as Rush Limbaugh would say, living rent-free in their heads 24/7. However, the same rubbery criteria applies: no matter how much or how often he's put his foot in his mouth, or anything in his past, nothing is sticking to Donald Trump (to date), despite the media's best efforts.
On the other hand, Hillary can't seem to get traction on anything, despite the media's best efforts at propping her up. Not only that, but her health problems are almost becoming surreal. Uncontrollable coughing fits...at her own rallies? Uncontrollable eye movements? Fainting. Pneumonia. Dementia. I mean, who knows what's going on with her physical problem? Let alone all the other political problems she's accumulated for herself over the last few years.
But on a more macro-level, for the past eight years, we've lived under a political regime bent on transforming the best and most fundamentally fair political system this world has ever known. Why? The same system Pres. Obama is so bent on changing, is the same system that allowed him to rise to the highest political office in the nation. It is much, much more than that though. Public angst has been simmering to levels unseen since Pearl Harbor. Except it isn't the Japanese saying, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve"...but the Democrats.
The onslaught of political correctness over the last eight years is akin to waterboarding us with liberal lunacy, to the point that the Democrats (in large measure) no longer live in reality. I don't mean how a conservative already views a leftist, but how other liberals are having a hard time swallowing the bilge that Democrats are spewing these days. Perhaps it's like this group, mental break from reality, where they prefer to live in la la land because they can't accept the reality that their policies are resounding failures. Prime examples of leftist lunacy;
Screening immigrants (illegal or otherwise) for criminal backgrounds is unconstitutional.
Stricter gun laws against law-abiding citizens makes us safer.
Children should be raised genderless.
The government should run all healthcare in the US.
Iran has the right to be nuclear.
Just because there is a seemingly endless train of 'lone wolf' attacks committed by Islamic people, doesn't mean Islamic terrorism exists.
Ladies room really means mens room.
Leave no man behind, except...well, at this point, what difference does it make?
The laws about handling classified material only apply to the 'little people.'
There are only about a thousand more things I could add to the list, but you get my point. The center-right public has had to endure this never-ending stream of leftist ideology for the past eight years and the worst part is that a Republican-controlled House and Senate couldn't/didn't make any serious efforts to stop this. That is why in large part a traditional Republican candidate couldn't make it out of the primaries and why Trump won. Trump, whether you like him or hate him, is not a traditional candidate.
For most of human history, and for that matter, most of the world outside of the West today, life is cold, brutal, and short. It seems unfair to most, that their time here has been spent in abject misery, starvation, illness, or suffering, while others have it so good. The fact of the matter is that human suffering is the norm, not the exception. It's only been in the last forty years or so, that living conditions have vastly improved to such a degree, that creature comforts like ice cubes, fast food, and central air and heating have become common place.
But as believers in Jesus Christ, and to an even greater degree, fellow students of Bible prophecy, we know we are at the end. We don't know how quickly that end will be with any real specificity, but we know it is close. Evangelicals might not agree with Trump on a how he's made his money or the shallowness of his faith, but let me ask you this: if you, as a Christian, had to live here, or in North Korea, where would you choose? You'd almost overwhelmingly choose here. Why? Well, because you like having freedom. It may not be as pure as it used to be (constitutionally speaking), and the world is in its final stages of falling apart, but that's still a far cry better than absolute, abject tyranny. Even if I weren't a Christian, I still wouldn't want to live in North Korea, given the option. I bring this up because we all have to live somewhere, and we all have to deal with the world in which we exist. For the time being, and given the two options between tolerable and unbearable, I choose the former.
The truth is, there are no perfect human candidates. One day, the world will finally hail one as such, and he will turn out to be the man of sin, the Antichrist, the son of perdition, the rider on the white horse. He, will plunge this world into its darkest period ever known. But until that point in which Christ returns, life would be like the days of Noah, and the days of Lot. (Luke 17:26-30) Life would be normal, or at least have a sense of normalcy to it. And yes, this is speaking to the moment of the Rapture, and not the Second Coming, because life inside the seven-year tribulation, is going to be anything but normal. The Seventieth Week of Daniel, will consist of a series of 21 judgements, each more horrifying and terrible than the one before. It will cripple mankind, and upend creation, cataclysmically stripping away over half of the world's population.
So given what we know about what is coming, I believe that tolerating Trump is small potatoes in comparison. He isn't running for the office of "America's Pastor," but for the office of the President of the United States. Although he'd be an improvement over the current self-nominee Rick Warren...but I digress.
Look, it's only a little while longer, and the Lord Himself will return, and He will right all the wrongs, beginning with us, the Church. He will take us up, and purify us unto Himself, and we will enjoy the blessings of His presence for seven years, while the world agonizingly endures what it has always wanted, a Christless world. The Lord sets up kings, and He knocks them down. The Lord appoints the governing authorities, and He uses them to His own ends.
But fear not fellow believers, if Hillary does win perchance, then that means, America is under judgement and the He is coming sooner rather than later. If Trump wins, that means America is still under judgement and He is coming sooner rather than later. Either way, we win. The road just gets a little bumpier with her at the wheel.
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."' Revelation 3:10-13
Palestinians Plan Judenrein State - A Land Without Jews - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=675
Some are now asking, why it is so hard for the Obama administration to accept the true nature of the hard-line Palestinian policy of ethnic cleansing?
Elizabeth Trudeau, a US State Department spokesperson, responded to a statement from Benjamin Netanyahu by saying, "We obviously strongly disagree with the characterization that those who oppose settlement activity or view it as an obstacle to peace are somehow calling for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank."
This rebuke of the truth followed a statement in which Mr. Netanyahu spoke with characteristic honesty about the Palestinian Authority's stated desire to create a Palestinian state without Jews, cleansing the territories of any Jewish presence.
When examined without bias, there can be no doubt, however, that ethnic cleansing is precisely the goal of the Palestinian Authority, while such a crime could never be accepted from Israel.
To say there is a disconnect between Palestinian statements made in English, which are destined for a Western audience, and those made in Arabic, would be a gross understatement.
Those who defend the Palestinian objections to Israeli settlements turn to statements made by Palestinian leaders, invariably to Western journalists, in which they promise equal rights to Jews in a Palestinian state.
Yet at the same time, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, boasted in 2013 to the Egyptian president, "In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli--civilian or soldier--on our lands."
Proudly touting a "final resolution" that means the elimination of an entire ethic group from a parcel of land cannot be legitimately characterized as anything but an endorsement of genocide.
In what other country would we condone a call to eliminate or expel an entire ethnic group?
The charge that Mr. Netanyahu has leveled on the Palestinian Authority and its defenders is an open recognition of the elephant in the room that no one has been willing to acknowledge, an elephant that now threatens to derail the Obama's administration's plan not to veto a Security Council resolution criminalizing Israeli settlements.
Any objective observer would react the same way as Mr. Netanyahu did when he pointed out that "the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: no Jews. There's a phrase for that: It's called ethnic cleansing, and this demand is outrageous."
Mr. Netanyahu could have used the German term, Judenrein (free of any Jews) which is all too familiar to historians.
Despite repeated accusations made against Israel of discrimination, apartheid, Judaization and even ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, the undeniable fact remains that nearly two million Arabs presently reside in Israel and enjoy more freedoms than they would in any Arab state.
Where are the Israeli calls for a creating a Jewish state free from the presence of even one Palestinian? They don't exist. Yet a Palestinian State cleansed of any Jewish presence is the "final resolution" so sought after by Palestinian leaders.
The simple statement by Mr. Netanyahu that "ethnic cleansing for peace is absurd" seems to have caused quite a reaction from those who would defend a radical and bigoted Palestinian ideology of anti-Semitism.
But, when the US State Department refuses to veto a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements and instead labels Mr. Netanyahu's statements as "inappropriate and unhelpful", one has to question how distorting the truth to support and excuse a stated Palestinian policy of ethnic cleansing could be either appropriate or helpful.
The simple explanation is that the US State Department chose to condemn such obvious statements of truth because the deceptive nature of the Palestinian position is too uncomfortable to acknowledge.
Support for a policy that advocates the removal of an ethnic group needs to be called out for what it is and not disguised as a move to promote 'peace'.
The UN's condemnation of the Jewish state is nothing new, but the world should at least accept that failing to recognize Palestinian calls for a Jewish purge is anything less than ethnic cleansing and an extension of the 67-year old campaign to erase the Israel as a Jewish state.
Alas, "Judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: For truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." (Isaiah 59:14)
Jerusalem Graves - By Daymond Duck - http://raptureready.com/featured/duck/dd246.html
It is common knowledge that the Jews and the Palestinians both claim the city of Jerusalem. There is plenty of evidence that the Jewish claim is legitimate and the Palestinian claim is false.
A small, but very important part of that evidence concerns the graves of Jews such as Jesus, King David, King Solomon, the High Priest Caiaphas, the apostle Peter, the Virgin Mary, Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha, and more. These Jewish graves give credence to the validity of the Bible and the presence of Jews in Jerusalem long before Mohammad was born.
God made a covenant to give the Promised Land to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants after them (Gen. 17:7-8, 18-21; 28:13, 35:10-12), but Jacob (whose name God changed to Israel) was living in Egypt when he was approaching death.
Jacob may have been thinking about God's covenant at that time because he asked Joseph to promise him that he would bury him with his ancestors in the Promised Land. And Joseph made that promise (Gen. 47:27-31).
Later, Joseph did almost the same thing. He was in Egypt when he was approaching death and he asked to be buried in the Promised Land. So when Moses led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt Moses took the bones of Joseph with him (Exod. 13:19).
As time passed (probably during the time of Herod's Temple), many Jews began to express that same desire to be buried in the Promised Land. Those that could afford it wanted to be buried in Jerusalem because the prophet Isaiah said the Messiah would come to Jerusalem from the direction of Bozrah, probably Petra (Isa. 63:1-6).
When Messiah comes, Jews believe He will raise the dead (Dan. 12:1-2). They believe that a Jerusalem burial will let them be among the first to be resurrected and see the Messiah.
But this desire to be among the first to be raised and see the Messiah has caused problems. Most of the Jerusalem cemeteries are full. Burial spots are so rare that some cost as much as $25,000. And there are other expenses including the cost of transporting a body to Jerusalem, etc.
In June of 2016, a Jewish burial society set out to deal with this problem by creating an underground cemetery. They have dug a tunnel more than 150 feet below the old Givat Shaul Cemetery.
Inside the tunnel they are building a 15 story building that will start out with 22,000 burial places and eventually be expanded to about 400,000 burial places.
There will be five large tunnel entrances for visitors and to allow resurrected Jews to rush out to see their Messiah. There will also be three large elevators that can quickly lift 60 people at a time (180 total) to the surface.
Christians believe differently. Most believe Jesus will fight the battle of Armageddon first. Then, He will go to Bozrah the ancient capital of the Edomites (probably the place called Petra today) and deliver the Jews there. Then, He will go to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and deliver the Jews there, etc. (Rev. 19:11; Isa. 34:6, 63:1-6; Zech. 14:4).
But isn't it interesting that so many Jews believe in the resurrection of the dead and they are anxious to see their coming Messiah.
Compare this to the lukewarm attitude of many who call themselves Christians. They are not anxious to see the Messiah and they find no comfort in messages about His coming for His Church (I Thess. 4:18).
They don't realize that many committed Christians wonder if they are saved.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
You Won't Believe Where the Oldest-Known Carving of the Ten Commandments Is Found - By Tsivya Fox -
"And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even the ten words; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone." Deuteronomy 4:13 (The Israel Bible™)
It may surprise many people to learn that the oldest known Ten Commandments written in Hebrew on stone may not be in the Holy Land, but in America. The controversial carving resides west of Los Lunas, New Mexico at the bottom of a place called Hidden Mountain. Named the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone, it is also known as "Mystery Stone", "Phoenician Inscription Rock", or "Mystery Rock". It contains the text of the Ten Commandments written in ancient Paleo-Hebrew.
"Paleo-Hebrew predates our modern style of Hebrew writing," Roni Segal, the academic adviser for eTeacher, an online language academy, explained to Breaking Israel News. "This form of Hebrew writing was used for approximately one thousand years and fell into disuse around 500 BC."
The 80-ton boulder on which the writings were carved is so large that it may have been in its present-day location since the time of King Solomon, who ruled from 1014 BC to 974 BC. "The more square-like Hebrew script used today came into common use after King Solomon's reign," continued Segal. "Since the writing on this stone is in Paleo-Hebrew script, archaeologists surmise that this stone dates back to Biblical times."
During King Solomon's rule, it is known that the Israelites maintained reverence for the Ten commandments and wrote with Paleo-Hebrew characters. As the Hidden Mountain site was accessible by ship in ancient times, it is plausible that the Israelites landed there during their voyages.
King Solomon was an affluent and powerful king whose monarchy was marked by many years of peace. He is considered "the wisest of all men" who ordered sea voyages around the world to satisfy his curiosity about all things near and far. In addition, it is possible that the Israelites had been sent to the Hidden Mountain to find raw materials for King Solomon's vast building projects, which included the building of the first Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath in Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea.
And Hiram sent his men-sailors who knew the sea-to serve in the fleet with Solomon's men. 1 Kings 9: 26-27
Harvard scholar Robert Pfeiffer, an expert in Semitic languages, confirmed the Paleo-Hebrew script and translated the writings as the Ten Commandments which include, "I am the Lord, thy God, who brought you out of the land" and "Thou shalt have no other gods".
The stone is not without detractors. Professor of archaeology at Central Connecticut State University, Kenneth Feder has declared that "the stone is almost certainly a fake" as it seems to make use of some modern Hebrew punctuation and contains numerous stylistic and grammatical errors.
The late professor and archaeologist Frank Hibben was the first to mention the stone in 1933. He stated that he was first shown the Decalogue by a guide who claims to have found it in the 1880s. However, Hibben had a reputation for fabricating archaeological data. Unfortunately, because of the stone's enormous weight and years of unprofessional cleaning the inscriptions, its authenticity has never been proved by a laboratory.
However, Hebrew scholar Cyrus Gordon of Brandeis University near Boston, among others, has vouched for the stone's authenticity.
"We know that Hebrew was important to America's founding fathers and that other ancient Paleo-Hebrew inscriptions have been found in North America," Segal told Breaking Israel News. "Hebrew not only connects us back to our Godly and Biblical roots but also connects people back to their North American roots!"
DISCLAIMER: We love Michael Snyder and appreciate his well-written and insightful articles, but we have to agree to disagree when it comes to his viewpoints concerning the Rapture and the Tribulation. We want to make it clear that we in no way endorse or approve of his Post Tribulation viewpoint nor his new book, "The Rapture Verdict." We believe that the Bible clearly teaches that the Church will not go through the Great Tribulation, but will be Raptured prior to the beginning of this time of Jacob's Trouble. Furthermore, we believe the Bible teaches that the Tribulation period can't even begin until we are taken out of the way! Some pre-tribulation ministries have completely banned Michael Snyder. For the time being, we will continue to post his very popular articles, but only with this disclaimer included.
A Spirit of Violence Rises in America Following the Unveiling of The 'Harbinger of Baal' In New York - By Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/a-spirit-of-violence-rises-in-america-following-the-unveiling-of-the-harbinger-of-baal-in-new-york
Is it just a coincidence that we have seen violence erupt all over America since the unveiling of the arch that served as a gateway to the Temple of Baal in New York City on September 19th? First there were the terror attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota, then there were the unprecedented riots in Charlotte, and over the weekend there was a horrific mass shooting near Seattle. All of these events took place within a week after the Arch of Triumph was put up in New York. Baal was an ancient deity that was often associated with violence and bloodshed, and those that erected this arch have no idea what they are messing with.
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn was standing in the crowd when "the harbinger of Baal" was unveiled last Monday afternoon, and he posted video of the unveiling on YouTube...
In his best-selling book The Harbinger, Rabbi Cahn documented a number of very specific parallels between ancient Israel before it fell and America today, and now he is adding "the harbinger of Baal" to the list. The following is an excerpt from a WND article that Rabbi Cahn just authored about the unveiling of this arch...
But Israel's defiance of God was linked to a specific entity - the god Baal. Baal was the god to whom they sacrificed their children, before whom they practiced sexual immorality and called good "evil" and evil "good." Baal was the god in whose name Israel persecuted the prophets and the righteous of their day.
Baal was their anti-god, their substitute for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the god of their apostasy and the god of their destruction. Baal was their devil god. In fact the name for satan, Beelzebul and Beelzebub, is derived from Baal - meaning "Baal of the flies" and "Baal of dung."
So in the template of "The Harbinger," when the judgment finally fell, when the ancient kingdom of Israel was wiped off the earth, the people were worshiping Baal. In the last days of Israel, when the harbingers appeared, they appeared in a land covered with the images of Baal. It was the worship of Baal that ultimately brought about the harbingers of judgment. Thus Baal was the god of the harbingers.
In his article, Rabbi Cahn also included a stunning photograph from the unveiling of a stone slate that the organizers had placed close to the arch that contained an image of the Temple of Bel (Baal). This was obviously put there to remind people of the connection that this arch has to that ancient pagan temple.
Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but I find it very, very strange that there has been a dramatic outbreak of violence in this country in the week since this arch was put up.
The most recent incident happened over the weekend. A 20-year-old Turkish immigrant named Arcan Cetin walked into a Macy's department store in the Seattle area and started firing. Five innocent people were killed, and this incident immediately made headlines all over America...
Surveillance footage from the mall shows the suspect entering the building late Friday without a weapon but walking into Macy's 10 minutes later with what appeared to be a hunting rifle. He fired in the makeup area, then fled on foot out of range of cameras.
One of the victims was a 16-year-old girl who beat cancer, the Seattle Times and KOMO-TV reported.
Police say that Cetin was in a "zombie-like state" when he was later caught and arrested, and authorities say that his motivation for the attack is "unclear" at this moment.
But we do know that the Somali immigrant that stabbed nine people at a Macy's in central Minnesota just a few days earlier was a radical Islamist, and it has been revealed that the man that planted improvised explosive devices in New York had actually attended a Pakistani seminary...
The alleged New Jersey terrorist charged with trying to blow up Chelsea last weekend with homemade bombs spent weeks getting an "Islamic education" at a Pakistani seminary, according to a report.
Ahman Khan Rahami spent three weeks in Kuchlak, an area described as a longtime "hub" for the Taliban, in 2011, a security official inside the country told the Guardian.
Rahami, 28, attended lectures at the Kaan Kuwa Naqshbandi madrasa.
For a very long time I have been warning that we would see a sharp increase in the number of Islamic terror attacks inside the United States, and it is now happening.
I have also been warning that rioting and civil unrest would get a lot worse in our major cities, and what we witnessed in Charlotte over the past week was absolutely chilling. Stores were looted, objects were being hurled at passing vehicles from overpasses, one news photographer was almost thrown into a roaring fire, and at least 16 police officers were injured.
And of course this is just the latest in a string of riots which has hit our country in recent years. The following is from a list of these riots that the Daily Caller has compiled...
Charlotte - 2016
Milwaukee - 2016
St. Paul - 2016
Baltimore - 2015
Berkeley - 2014
Ferguson - 2014
Brooklyn - 2013
Anaheim - 2012
Los Angeles - 2012
Los Angeles - 2010
Could it be possible that the violence that we have seen during the past week in Charlotte, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota and the Seattle area has some sort of connection to "the harbinger of Baal" that was just unveiled in New York City?
I am sure that this will be hotly debated by both sides.
But what should be exceedingly clear to all of us is that a spirit of violence is rising in America. The tensions that are causing riots like we just witnessed in Charlotte continue to intensify, and the growth of radical Islam around the world will continue to motivate jihadists in this country and elsewhere to conduct more terror attacks.
For decades, most of us could just take for granted that we could go about our daily lives in peace without having to worry about some senseless act of violence. But now that is starting to change in a major way, and "normal life" in America is never going to be the same again.
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
The writing on the wall: Technology and the Antichrist - Greg Laurie - http://www.wnd.com/2016/09/the-writing-on-the-wall-technology-and-the-antichrist/?cat_orig=faith
Pastor Greg Laurie uses Babylonian incident to exhort readers
Jim Croce sang, "You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger. And you don't mess around with Jim." I'd like to add one more thing to that list: You don't mock God. The Bible says, "Don't be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap."
I used to laugh at Christians. I thought they were all one taco short of a combination plate ... a few clowns short of a circus ... collectively crazy. I thought they believed in fairy tales. I would watch them sitting around, having their Bible studies and singing their weird songs about God, and I would think, Look at these pathetic Christians with those stupid smiles pasted on their faces! Too bad they can't be cynical and hard and miserable like me.
Then I tried a new thought on for size: What if the Christians are right? What if God is real? What if there really is a heaven and there really is a hell? What if Jesus Christ really can change a life?
So I took a little step of faith and said, "God, if you are real, make yourself known to me." Then I prayed, and Christ came into my life.
The Bible tells the story of someone who went out of his way to mock God. King Belshazzar of Babylon ruled pretty much most of the world at that time in history. He had at his disposal the treasures of the world and thousands of slaves to do his bidding day and night. The magnificent walls of Babylon were 350 feet high and 87 feet wide. And among the seven wonders of the ancient world were the hanging gardens of Babylon.
One day Belshazzar held a massive feast for one thousand of his nobles. They were are all drinking and partying away when, all of a sudden, they saw a hand writing on the wall. It was the hand of God writing a message to Belshazzar and all the people who were there.
There they were, having a drunken feast and worshiping false gods with special chalices that were used for the worship of the Lord in the temple. They were praising their false gods, going out of their way to insult God. But right outside the city were Cyrus and the Medo-Persian forces, who were about to strike and take over the mighty kingdom of Babylon.
What's really amazing is that this was prophesied in Scripture. The prophet Isaiah had revealed that Babylon would fall, and it would happen during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar's grandson. Not only that, but the prophet Isaiah named Cyrus as the man who would lead the invading forces against Babylon - hundreds of years before Cyrus was even born. Isaiah also prophesied this would happen when the gates were left open.
You would have thought someone might have said, "Hey, isn't there some prophecy about an army that will conquer us? Who is that army outside of the walls right now?"
"Those are the Medo-Persians."
"Who is the guy leading the army?"
"That would be Cyrus."
"And didn't someone say the gates would be left open? Maybe we ought to shut the gates. What do you think?"
My point is, the writing was on the wall. And they weren't paying attention.
In the same way, all around us are reminders that Jesus Christ is coming back. The Bible predicts that one day there will be a complete collapse of the world economy. The Bible also predicts there is coming a day when we will have a cashless society. There is coming a day when a charismatic leader will emerge on the world scene, identified in the Bible as the Antichrist, and no one will be able to do any kind of financial transaction unless they have his mark on their right hand or their forehead.
Two hundred years ago that would have been dismissed as foolishness. But today with our modern technology, we are already moving toward a cashless society. We have our credit cards, our debit cards, our online banking and our smartphones. We have keyless ignitions in our cars. We can even go into a store, scan the bar codes of items using our phones, and see if there's a better deal somewhere else. We have tracking technology. We are just a step away from coming to the point where we could have this sign of the last days fulfilled in our lifetime.
If the Antichrist is close, then Jesus Christ is even closer. He is coming again. The writing is on the wall for everyone to see.
The finger of God wrote a message on the wall for Belshazzar and everyone to see, and Belshazzar was terrified. He called in his astrologers and astronomers, but they didn't know what was going on. Then his grandmother, presumably Nebuchadnezzar's wife, suggested that Belshazzar call Daniel in to see what he had to say.
In came the 90-year-old Daniel, who essentially said, "Here is the bottom line: You have been proud, you have been arrogant, and you have not glorified the God who gives you life and controls your destiny. You have been weighed in God's balances, and you have been found lacking. Your number is up."
There will come a day when your number is up. There will come a day when my number is up. Life will end. And God doesn't look at things the way we do. When we get on a scale, many of us hope we weigh less. But when we get on God's scales, He wants us to weigh more. He wants our lives to have weight and substance.
That brings us to a question: Why are we here on this earth? Are we here for personal enjoyment and fulfillment? No. We are here on this earth to know the God who created us and to bring him glory.
Don't waste your life and find this out the hard way, like Belshazzar. Don't put off getting right with God. Get right with him now.
Daily Jot: Riots are not the answer - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
When America faces problems, exercising freedom of speech, respectful dialogue and responsible action is the appropriate way to solve and resolve. Riots, violence and hateful actions are unacceptable. But there are those in society who want to see America changed to a communist or socialist nation. And they will manipulate people, ideas and events in order to force that change. What I have seen with the riots in Charlotte, NC, is anger based on race, hatred, and prejudice, probably agitated by those who want to destroy the nation. When people want to justify riots and violence by invoking the name of Martin Luther King, Jr., they are extremely misinformed, misled, and perhaps manipulated.
King had six steps for protesting. "Step 1: Gather Information--Learn all you can about the problems you see in your community through the media, social and civic organizations, and by talking to the people involved. Step 2: Educate Others--Armed with your new knowledge, it is your duty to help those around you, such as your neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers, better understand the problems facing society. Build a team of people devoted to finding solutions. Be sure to include those who will be directly affected by your work. Step 3: Remain Committed--Accept that you will face many obstacles and challenges as you and your team try to change society. Agree to encourage and inspire one another along the journey.
"Step 4: Peacefully Negotiate--Talk with both sides. Go to the people in your community who are in trouble and who are deeply hurt by society's ills. Also go to those people who are contributing to the breakdown of a peaceful society. Use humor, intelligence and grace to lead to solutions that benefit the greater good. Step 5: Take Action Peacefully--This step is often used when negotiation fails to produce results, or when people need to draw broader attention to a problem. It can include tactics such as peaceful demonstrations, letter-writing and petition campaign. Step 6: Reconcile--Keep all actions and negotiations peaceful and constructive. Agree to disagree with some people and with some groups as you work to improve society. Show all involved the benefits of changing, not what they will give up by changing."
King wrote in an April 16, 1963 letter to clergy from the Birmingham jail, "One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all...How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. From Esther to Shadrach to Peter there is evidence of disobeying unjust laws, Acts 5:29: "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, "We ought to obey God rather than men.""
Daily Devotion: Our Ever-Present Shepherd - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. -Psalm 23:1
A favorite Scripture passage for many of us is Psalm 23, which begins: "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul" (verses 1-3). We love that. It's such a beautiful picture of us as sheep being led by our Shepherd.
But it isn't a compliment when God compares us to sheep. Sheep are some of the dumbest animals on the face of the earth. If God had compared us to dolphins, that would have been great. Dolphins are super smart. If God had compared us to dogs, even that would have been a compliment. But God compared us to sheep.
Sheep are stupid. Sheep tend to run with the pack. Sheep have no defense mechanisms. Sheep can't even escape from a predator. Sheep are basically leg of lamb in waiting-all that is needed is the mint jelly. It's a done deal. Sheep need their shepherd. If the shepherd doesn't come through for them, they are dead. We are like that too.
We love to read that the Lord is our Shepherd and that He makes us to lie down in green pastures and leads us beside the still waters. But Psalm 23 goes on to say, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me" (verse 4).
We love the green pastures and the still waters, but we don't like valleys-especially if they have the word death attached to them. Yet as David pointed out, the Lord is the Shepherd who was with him. And He is the Shepherd who is with us too.
FROM THE HEART
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