Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Last of the Last Days - By Bill Perkins - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/09/24/the-last-of-the-last-days/
Ten Unmistakable Signs That We're in the Last Days of the Last Days
Today things are moving so fast it's helpful to just step back, take a breath and look at the numerous Bible prophecies being fulfilled all around us. Here are 10 big prophecies that should convince anyone with 2 brain cells that we're definitely living in the last of the last days!
1) Israel Back in Their Homeland "Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land" (Ezek. 37:21).
Bible prophecies regarding the latter days begin and end with Israel. Until God regathered Israel back to their homeland, most latter-days prophecies could not begin. But return they did. In the late 1800s, after almost 2000 years of worldwide dispersion, the Jews began filtering back to their original God-given land. In 1917, at the end of WW1, the Balfour Agreement gave the Jews a legal right of return. And on May 14, 1948, the United Nations declared Israel a sovereign nation.
2) Israel Is A World Problem "It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it" (Zech. 12:3).
The Bible not only promised Israel would return to their God-given land, but that this tiny nation would also become a burdensome stone to the world. Hardly a day goes by that Israel's not in the news. Israel has a population of about 8 million, the Arabs about 450 million.
You can barely see Israel (red) in the middle of a Muslim dominated land.
Every American administration since Israel became a nation in 1948 has tried and failed to secure a lasting peace in the Middle East. The national news has a continuous dribble of problems regarding Israel and the Middle East, usually making Israel out to be the problem. This ultimately ends with every nation on earth coming against Israel in the Tribulation period. Toward the end of the seven-year Tribulation period, the Antichrist will bring together the world's armies to "kill the Jews." But their Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, will return to earth and save them from annihilation.
3) Homosexual Perversion "...and they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations (intercourse) with them." Gen 19:5
"For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah" (Matt. 24:37).
"It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed" (Luke 17:28-30).
The Bible says that the days before the Rapture will be "just like" the days before God destroyed the earth with a global flood. And also just like the days before He destroyed Sodom and Gommorah. One of the distinguishing characteristics specifically mentioned was widespread homosexual sin. God will again judge homosexual sin in the future.
Always know that homosexual behavior IS sin. Homosexuals are not born that way, rather they CHOOSE to be. Much like a thief can't stop stealing without the transcending power of God, a homosexual can't repent/turn from his/her sin without the power of God. Murder, stealing, adultery, homosexuality, etc., ARE clearly defined as SIN by God's Word.
God defines sin, not the government! Today, homosexual rights are on the front-burner of the politically-correct push to bring the perversion out into the open as normal, incorrectly equating their demands with the push for black rights in the 1960s.
But comparing homosexual rights to civil rights is not an apples-to-apples comparison because homosexual behavior is a choice and black skin color isn't. That fact seems to be lost in the rhetoric as God-given and constitutionally protected rights of Christians are tossed out the window while homosexual perversion is elevated to "normal" status.
4) Cashless Society "And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name" (Rev. 13:16-17).
A recent survey(1) said only 10 percent of Americans always carry cash. The worldwide movement toward electronic payments has been breathtaking. For most of those reading this article, if our bank unexpectedly froze our accounts, we'd be in deep trouble. With banking now tied worldwide we're obviously not too far from one person literally being able to control the world. And that's where we're headed... to a point where one person will have total control of all transactions on earth.
5) Russian / Iranian Coalition "Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him" (Ezekiel 38:2).
"I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; Persia, Ethiopia and Put (Libya in some translations) with them, all of them with shield and helmet" (Ezekiel 38:4).
"After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them" (Ezekiel 38:8).
Amazingly the Bible predicts that Gog/Rosh (modern day Russia) will invade Israel from the north with Persia (modern day Iran) as one of her principal allies. So it's not surprising that today Russia and Iran are becoming so militarily close. Also keep in mind that the above prophecies, written 2700 years ago, pinpoint this time to be after Israel comes back into their land in the latter days.
6) Nuclear Weapons "And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him" (Rev. 6:4).
"Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth" (Zech. 14:12).
How would you have described a nuclear bomb 2,500 years ago? John and Zechariah had to do just that! All they knew was that it was huge and quite destructive! So destructive that flesh melted off their bodies before their bones hit the ground! That sounds exactly like a neutron bomb that's designed to vaporize the people and leave the buildings intact.
7) Increase In Knowledge "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase" (Dan.12:4).
"The chariots race madly in the streets, They rush wildly in the squares, Their appearance is like torches, They dash to and fro like lightning flashes" (Nahum 2:4).
The Internet has become the modern-day purveyor of information as you pretty much have access to anything and everything at your fingertips. Ease of local or worldwide transportation by car, plane, train or ship is considered normal. Nahum 2:4 sounds like the prophet is looking down on a busy intersection at night.
8) Mockers denying Jesus' Second Coming "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." (2 Peter 3:3, 4).
Denying the clear biblical doctrines of the Lord first returning in the Rapture is a SIGN of the Rapture. The dispensational model for scripture interpretation is the only consistent way to know what God says to us in His written word.
Yet over 80 percent of the "Christian Church" in the world is A-millennial in their theology, which is a basic denial of the Rapture. Notice this is not a verse talking about non-Christians, but because it mentions "fathers" and God's "creation," it's referring to Christians living in the last days!!
9) 144,000 Jewish Evangelists Identified "And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel" (Rev 7:4).
"And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb." (Rev. 14:3, 4)
This puzzling prophecy says God will choose 144,000 Jewish men and reveal Himself to them on Mount Zion in Jerusalem (different from Mount of Olives and Mount Moriah). Most interestingly, these men are virgins. I wrote an article a few years ago identifying these men as the unmarried Rabbinical Jews between the ages of 18 and 30. Today they're estimated to number approximately 150,000, and their ranks are growing.
10) Israel's Deserts Blooming "In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, and they will fill the whole world with fruit" (Isaiah 27:6).
"The wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the Arabah (desert) will rejoice and blossom; Like the crocus it will blossom profusely" (Isaiah 35:1, 2).
The Bible prophesies that the parched and desert land of Israel will bloom profusely. In the late 1800s, Mark Twain commented that there was hardly anything green in the land.
The Turks of Ottoman Empire who controlled the land for 400 years had heavily taxed trees on property. So most people cut down all their trees to avoid paying the tax!
Since the Jews began returning in earnest in the late 1800s, the Jewish National Fund has planted over 250 million trees throughout the country (which is roughly the size of Vermont).
One of the most amazing things we see in Israel today on our Bible trips is the incredible and colorful blooming vegetation in the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea-the lowest point on earth. Israelis invented the drip system that enables as little as a cupful of water to bountifully nourish a whole tree for a day. Using this method in the desert has literally caused it to bloom in the last 50 years. They now export fresh fruit and vegetables via plane to Europe every day but Saturday (Shabot).
The drip system allows Israel to export $65 million in dates each year from trees grown around the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.
And the next big prophecy to be fulfilled:
Israel Discovering Great Riches
"Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, 'Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?" (Ezek 38:13)
The Bible says there will be great riches discovered in the land. The riches are so great that sovereign nations band together to invade and take the riches. This is unfolding before our eyes!
Israel has discovered huge gas fields inland and off-shore her coasts. And as they say in Texas, "where there's gas, there's oil." So it's only a matter of time. Over 500 oil wells have been drilled in Israel to no avail. But recently Israel struck oil, and it's a whopper. It's over 10 times the average size of oil wells in the world and will provide billions of gallons of oil a year, far exceeding the needs of Israel.
As more wells are tapped into this massive reserve, Israel will become a major oil supplier to Europe and North America. Do you think this will sit well with the Arabs? They already seethe at Israel's success in rebuilding a great nation in only 50 years. They're going to go bonkers!
And the prophecy also mentions gold and silver riches. As the Dead Sea dries up, could it expose more and more unseen riches?
Trust me, when Israel is able to supply oil at a lower price from a closer delivery point (the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea), the Muslims will go nuts.
And if Israel also discovers gold and silver, the Arabs will wet their collective pants. So Israel's discovering great riches is closely tied into prophecy #2 above, Israel being a burdening stone to the world!
Another point of contention worth mentioning between Israel and the world is the ridiculous attempt to pressure Israel through BDS, or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel movement.
This laughable campaign by brain-dead liberals fails to make sense when one realizes how many incredible products Israel contributes to the world. Who would want to give up their smartphone?
Thankfully, many states are now passing anti-BDS laws. Colorado has recently joined Florida, Tennessee, New York, Indiana and Pennsylvania in passing anti-BDS legislation. Another 30-plus states are reportedly considering similar legislation.
BDS makes ludicrous claims! The bottom line is that you have to be dumb as dirt to support BDS. If you're not up to speed on the stupidity of the BDS movement, watch this short video called "BDS or the Bible?"
Therefore, yes, I obviously believe we're living in the last of the last days. These 10 prophecies (there are of course a lot more!) prove the end of the current dispensation, the Church Age, is near. It will end with the believers' exhilarating exit, shedding our present sinful containers.
To a trusting-the-blood believer, seeing so much Bible prophecy coming together should be an exciting incentive to ask the Lord for His wisdom for being sensitive to the leading of His Spirit to reach our lost family, friends and co-workers with the Good News. And Good News it is!
Should Christians Really Support Israel? - Nathan Jones -
God is fulfilling promises today that were made to the Jewish people thousands of years ago. These promises rest on a series of legal agreements, called covenants, made between God and the Jewish people, that center on the land of Israel.
The cornerstone covenant - the Abrahamic Covenant - grants the title deed to the land of Israel to the descendants of the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This unconditional, irrevocable, and everlasting promise was literally sealed in blood (Genesis 12:1-7; 13:14-18; 17:7; 1 Chronicles 16:17-18; Psalm 105:8-11; Romans 9:4)!
God's Land Covenant promised that Israel will one day become the prime nation of the world, that is, as long as the Jewish people remain obedient to God (Deuteronomy 28:1,13).
The Davidic Covenant promises an eternal King who will descend from the line of King David. One day this Messiah will rule over the entire world from Jerusalem (2 Samuel 7:10-16).
For hundreds of years, Christians have believed that because God said so, we should naturally support the nation of Israel. Seems pretty self-explanatory, wouldn't you say?
Well, not so, says a particular group of Christians, Christians who meet at conferences with names like Christ at the Checkpoint. They question, "Should Christians really support Israel?"
Let's debunk seven of their most popular myths for why Christians should not support the nation of Israel.
Myth #1: "The Jews killed Jesus!"
Those who accuse the Jews of killing Jesus seem to have purposefully forgotten that the Bible says, "Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus" (Acts 4:27-28).
So, not only did both Jews and Gentiles participate in murdering Jesus, but in truth, we are all sinners, and therefore all of us are responsible for Jesus dying on the cross. But, reality check, Jesus Himself clearly stated that He alone laid down His life, and that no one took it from Him (John 10:15-18).
Myth #2: "The Jews have been disinherited because of their unbelief."
The Jews may have been evicted from their land - twice - due to their rebellion against God. But, as Psalm 105 explains, God guaranteed in His Abrahamic Covenant that the land of Israel unconditionally and forever belongs to the children of Jacob. And, as the Apostle Paul argued in Romans 9-11, "Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself... Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all!"
And so, no, God has neither disinherited the Jewish people nor revoked His land covenants.
Myth #3: "The Church has replaced Israel and now receives her inheritance."
Not according to the Apostle Paul! He tells the story of an olive tree whose branches were pruned off due to unbelief, and wild vines grafted on (Romans 11). But, when the natural branches began believing again, they would be grafted back on the tree. Salvation may have come to the wild olive vines - the Church - but God still has salvation planned for the natural branches - a believing Israel who will call Jesus Savior.
Myth #4: "The Jews regathering back to the land of Israel can't be from God because they haven't repented and accepted Jesus as their Messiah."
The Jews returning to Israel in unbelief is exactly what God foretold would happen. Isaiah prophesied the Jews would be regathered a second time from the nations of the world, and Ezekiel made it clear that the Jews would regather in unbelief in order for God Himself to give them a new heart towards Him (Isaiah 11:10-12; Ezekiel 36:22-28). It's no accident of history that a people dispossessed from their country for 1,900 years could ever have kept their ethnic identity and rebirthed their nation two millennia later. Such a thing has never happened! And this is the nation of the Bible we're talking about. Therefore, the regathering of the Jews can only be a miracle from God.
Myth #5: "To support Israel is to support every action of the Israeli government."
Nobody supports every action of any government, even their own. Supporting Israel is to support the redemptive work God is doing in bringing a remnant of their people to salvation in Christ and ultimately into the fulfilment of His covenants.
Myth #6: "The Jews stole the Palestinians' land and live there illegally."
First off, the Abrahamic Covenant grants the Jews the eternal deed to the land of Israel. Second, when the Jews began returning in the early 20th Century, there was no such thing as a Palestinian. The handful of Arabs living in that wasteland sold the land back to the Jews at exorbitant prices. And third, Israel was created legally in response to a United Nations declaration passed in November 1947, which authorized the establishment of a Jewish state in the land the Romans had renamed Palestine. You can't steal land that's already legally yours!
Myth #7: "To support Israel is to hate the Palestinian people."
Contrary to Arab propaganda, those who call themselves Palestinians enjoy more freedoms and rights in Israel than if they lived in any Muslim nation. For it's not the Jews who hate and abuse the Palestinians, but their own terrorist leaders who steal billions of their foreign aid and deny refugees access back to their own home countries of Syria and Jordan. Why, the Palestinians have been afforded several opportunities since 1948 to create another Palestinian state besides Jordan, but each time they have rejected those offers and instead responded with violence. Why? Because their ultimate goal is the annihilation of Israel. So, who exactly is hating who here?
With those myths busted, let's look at some of the reasons why Christians should support Israel:
The nation of Israel is the only Western-style democracy in a sea of Islamic tyranny. Supporting Israel is to support the only nation in the Middle East which offers religious freedom and human rights to women.
Israel protects the West and Christianity by standing as the first line of defense against violent, radical Islam.
Israel contributes to the world a mind-boggling amount of food, medicines, and cutting-edge technologies that raise the standard of living throughout the world.
When it comes to supporting the nation of Israel, God promised in Genesis 12, "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you..." Supporting Israel incurs God's blessing.
It rather goes without saying that it is biblically correct for Christians to support God. Since God loves the Jewish people and wants them to return to Him, then shouldn't Christians want this as well? Loving Israel expresses our love for God.
And finally, whether you love or hate the nation of Israel, or even the Jewish people, regardless of what we mere mortals think - Bible prophecy will be fulfilled. God's will will be done, and there's just no stopping it. After all, who could ever stand against the Living God and expect to win (Psalm 76:7; Hebrews 10:31)?
So, in conclusion, it's not "Should Christians really support Israel?" but rather - Christians must support Israel!
IDF: Iran supplying Hezbollah with ever more accurate missiles - Judah Ari Gross -
Israeli military agrees with US that Tehran faked a ballistic missile test earlier this week with recycled footage from January
Iran is working tirelessly to outfit the Hezbollah terrorist group with more accurate missiles for a future war with Israel, which may dramatically affect the nature of such a conflict, according to Israeli military assessments released Wednesday.
The army also believes that Iran will continue with its efforts to establish a presence in Syria through proxies, with which it can support Hezbollah and potentially open a second Syrian front against Israel.
Currently, Tehran has just 1,500 of its own Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria. However, the IDF believes that the Islamic Republic also controls over 10,000 fighters from Shiite militias.
Regarding Iranian missile development, the Israeli military agreed with its American counterparts that video footage of a ballistic missile test released by Tehran earlier this week was, in fact, recycled footage from over nine months ago.
Iran said on Saturday that it had successfully tested a new medium-range missile. State television carried footage of the launch of the Khoramshahr missile, which was first displayed at a high-profile military parade in Tehran on Friday. It also carried in-flight video from the nose cone.
But according to a Fox News report, two US officials claim that the video was more than seven months old and dated back to a failed launch in late January, which resulted in the missile exploding shortly after lift off.
The army assessment said that Iran is upholding the 2015 nuclear deal to its letter, if not its spirit, and Tehran is doing all it can to prepare itself for the day after the agreement ends in eight years, so that it will be able to begin work on developing an atomic weapon as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah is currently believed to possess approximately 120,000 missiles and rockets in Lebanon. In a future war, the IDF estimates that the Iran-backed group will launch over a thousand rockets a day at Israel.
However, not all rockets are created equal. Some are little more than metal containers with no guidance systems that would more likely strike an empty Israeli field than its intended target. But as Iran is providing Hezbollah with the missiles themselves and the ability to produce them independently, with factories in Lebanon, the fear is that the group will have more and more accurate missiles aimed at strategic sites in Israel.
While the IDF and the Defense Ministry have invested significant resources in aerial defense, army officers have repeatedly said that these anti-missile systems will not be able to stop all projectiles.
If it were in possession of superior missiles, Hezbollah would not wage the same type of war as it did in the Second Lebanon War. Notably, more accurate missiles would allow the terrorist group to launch a quick, focused attack on Israel, unlike the prolonged 2006 conflict, the assessment said.
Massive Bird Die-Off in Bali Precursor to Messianic Volcanic Eruption as Prophesied in Ezekiel - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that move on the ground, and every human being on earth shall quake before Me. Mountains shall be overthrown, cliffs shall topple, and every wall shall crumble to the ground." Ezekiel 38:20 (The Israel Bible™)
As the island of Bali waits for a catastrophic volcanic eruption expected at any moment, residents discovered a chilling scene straight from the Book of Prophets: thousands of birds died overnight, inexplicably, falling to the ground en masse. One rabbi warned that this message is a last minute hint of man's mission on earth, a mission that is mankind is clearly failing.
Bali has been on edge for almost a month as hundreds of tremors shake the volcanic Mount Agung, the most prominent feature on this Indonesian island in the Pacific. Seismologists have warned that a major eruption is imminent, leading officials to declare a state of emergency. More than 75,000 people have been evacuated from this island paradise. In a scene reminiscent of Mount Sinai, the archetypal fiery mountain, a 7-mile exclusion zone has been set up around the volcano, preventing people from approaching.
Mount Agung hasn't erupted for more than 50 years, but the last time it did, in 1963, almost 1,600 people were killed and hundreds more were injured.
In the midst of all the fear, another strange note of warning was heard. After a night of heavy rains, Amin Basri, a park gardener and Bali resident, was shocked to find thousands of dead sparrows covering the ground when he made his rounds through a park, usually full of singing birds, on Monday morning.
"Every night, the birds sleep in the tree. But strangely, the birds suddenly just died," Amin Basri told Tribun Bali.
What the gardener had witnessed was a scene straight from the Bible. The prophet Ezekiel relates the activity of animals, including birds, to seismic activity, precisely as it is currently taking place in Bali.
The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that move on the ground, and every human being on earth shall quake before Me. Mountains shall be overthrown, cliffs shall topple, and every wall shall crumble to the ground. Ezekiel 38:20
Officials were baffled by the sudden massive aviary die-off. Volcanic activity is necessarily accompanied by the release of gasses, many of them toxic, but this did not appear to be the cause of the die-off. Lab tests are currently being run on the birds at the Veterinary Center in Denpasar.
The head of the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center released a statement saying that the reason for the for the birds' deaths could not yet be established.
"We do not yet know, whether it is related [to Mount Agung] or not. The volcanic gases are still far way. The incident occurred in the city and is far from Mt. Agung," the statement read, noting that if volcanic gasses were indeed to blame, more cases like this should be expected as volcanic activity increases.
Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman director of Ohr Chadash Torah Institute believes that natural phenomenon like these are no less Messianic than the War of Gog and Magog, connecting the end-of-times with creation and acting as signposts about man's role in relation to nature.
"Most people are aware that the prophets spoke about wars accompanying geula (redemption)," Rabbi Trugman told Breaking Israel News. "But something that many people overlook is the equally important role of natural catastrophes described in prophecy as accompanying geula.
"Redemption is not just political," the rabbi explained. "It is redemption of the entire human condition and that includes nature."
All of nature is part of man's spiritual mandate, and must necessarily be included in the coming of the Messiah, said the rabbi.
"It is clear that we have not fulfilled the role we were given in Gan Eden in regards to God's creation," he said, citing Genesis.
Hashem blessed them and Hashem said to them, "Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it; and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth." Genesis 1:28
"One of the reasons the Moshiach (Messiah) comes is to redeem man from his folly," Rabbi Trugman said. "We were charged with guarding God's creation. It is a Torah imperative to guard the earth. This is an aspect of guarding our own souls. If we are not doing that, nature has built-in checks and balances to remind us."
Nearing Midnight: Anti-Russian Sentiment at Danger Levels - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
U.S.-Russia relations have been in a downward spiral ever since Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. Another catalyst for friction is Russia's alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential elections in 2016.
The left is so fixated on taking down the Trump Administration that they have built Russia into the source of all evil. Vladimir Putin is a ruthless dictator, but there is reason why we need to pay him some measure of respect-he is the only person on the planet who can destroy the United States at will.
In July, Democrat Operative Paul Begala suggested to a CNN panel that we should retaliate by bombing Russia's KGB headquarters over the alleged election interference. There were six people at the table, and no one bothered to point out the craziness of bombing a nation with 2,000 nuclear weapons aimed at us.
President Trump and Putin have personally tried to smooth relations, but the Washington establishment has been able to veto any plans for de-escalation. Congress recently voted to put new sanctions on Russia. The bill passed the House by 419-3 and the Senate 98-2; which is a rare bipartisan vote for a Congress that is deadlocked on most issues.
A series of tit for tat diplomatic expulsions began last December when President Obama kicked out 30 Russian diplomats from the U.S. and seized Russian diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland. The Kremlin waited until late July-in hopes the Trump Administration would reverse the course set by its predecessor. But then it ordered the U.S. to reduce its diplomatic staff in the country by 755 people and seized two U.S. diplomatic properties in Russia.
In response, the U.S. ordered Russia to shut its consulate in San Francisco. Because the Russians were only given a couple days to clear out, they had to frantically burn secret documents. The local media made light of the smoke pouring from the roof.
The latest retaliatory measures had Moscow pulling U.S. diplomats parking privileges.
Several Hollywood celebrities have joined the anti-Russia bandwagon. Director Rob Reiner has helped form a new group called the Committee to Investigate Russia, to highlight what is known about the Russian threat to interfere with American elections and other institutions. Morgan Freeman made a bizarre PSA for this group saying, "We Are at War With Russia."
The constant attacks against Russia will likely motivate Putin to cause trouble for America. There are already signs that he is working to undermine the sanctions against North Korea. At least eight North Korean ships have left Russia with a cargo of fuel and they are headed for their homeland despite declaring other destinations. U.S. officials say that changing destination mid-voyage is a hallmark of North Korean state tactics to circumvent the international trade sanctions.
There are also signs that Russia is allowing smugglers to sneak goods across the Russian and North Korean border. If there is clear evidence of Moscow's violation of the sanctions, our relations with Russia will obviously go from bad to worse; if that is even possible at this point.
Another way for Russia to get back at America is to cause trouble for our key ally, Israel. Putin has been allowing Iran to ship weapon's into Syria. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was so concerned about Iran's presence in Syria, he flew to Moscow to meet with Putin. They came to an agreement that Russia will play a pivotal role in maintaining "The peace."
"Putin doesn't want to lose Iran or Israel," said Andrey Kortunov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council.
We know from prophecy that Russia is going to side with the Arabs in an attack on Israel. I don't know if this rabid hatred of all things Russian will be a direct cause of the Gog-Magog invasion. It certainly creates the environment for Putin to make a daring move that would shock the world.
"And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords" (Ezekiel 38:1-4).
The Day Of Atonement (Yom Kippur) - Jack Kelley -
Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land.
September 20th, 2017 at sundown, the holiest day of the Jewish year began. Many who do not observe any other Jewish custom will refrain from work, fast, and attend synagogue services last night and today. The name "Yom Kippur" means "Day of Atonement," and that pretty much explains what the holiday is. It is a day set aside to "afflict the soul," to atone for the sins of the past year.
Many religious Jews believe that in Heaven books recording all the deeds of mankind are opened on Rosh Hashanah beginning an annual review of man's behavior. Those whose behavior has been exemplary in every respect are given another year of life, those who have demonstrated no redeeming qualities are scheduled for death, and those who fit neither category are given 10 days until Yom Kippur to right all the wrongs committed during the year just past.
Days Of Awe
These 10 days are called the Days of Awe because each man's destiny hangs in the balance as he goes about asking forgiveness for sins committed against Him (violations of His Law) and from friends and neighbors for wrongs done to them. On Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed and the books are closed for another year. So this day is, essentially, their last appeal, their last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate their repentance and make amends.
Yom Kippur is a Holy Sabbath; no work can be performed. Jews refrain from eating and drinking even water. It is a complete, 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur.
In ancient times, Yom Kippur was the only day of the year when it was permissible to speak the Name of God. During a great and solemn ceremony at the Temple, two goats were brought before the High Priest. One was a goat "for the Lord" to be presented as a sin offering as commanded in Lev. 16:7-10. The other was called "the scapegoat" because all the sins of the nation were symbolically placed upon its head, and it was led outside the city. The goat for the sin offering had done nothing to deserve this, but was killed to remind the people that only the shedding of innocent blood could atone for their sins. The death of the two goats symbolically set aside the sins of the nation, made their offering acceptable and gave them another year of peace with their Creator. Lying prostrate before Him the people spoke the Name of God in heartfelt thanks.
Here are a couple of interesting tidbits from Jewish tradition. When the goats were brought before the High Priest, their respective roles in the ceremony were determined by lot. Two golden lots were placed in a golden bowl and as he placed his hand upon the head of each goat, the High Priest reached into the bowl and pulled out one of the lots. Before the cross the goat that was to be presented to the Lord as a sin offering was always on the right hand of the High Priest. After the cross it never was.
While the scapegoat was symbolically receiving the sins of the people upon its head a scarlet ribbon was tied from one of its horns to the door of the temple. Just before the goat was led from the Temple into the wilderness this ribbon was cut in two, leaving some on the horn and some on the door. According to tradition, at a predetermined location outside the city, the goat was pushed off a cliff and fell to its death. All the years before the cross, at the moment of the scapegoat's death, the piece of ribbon on the temple door turned from red to white recalling the passage from Isaiah 1:18, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow." After the cross this never happened again.
The Law Is Only A Shadow ...
Some Christians believe that the Lord Jesus began His ministry on Yom Kippur announcing in effect that the judgment that was due mankind would be borne by Him instead (Luke 4:16-21) and that man no longer need live in fear of judgment nor have to endure the 10 Days of Awe every year.
It's easy to see the Lord in the role of our sin offering, whose shed blood purchased our pardon forever (Hebrews 10:1-4). And at His trial before Pontius Pilate, wasn't He chosen to bear our sins while Bar Abbas was released? But He was also our peace offering. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:19-20). He is our peace, who has broken down every wall (Ephesians 2:14).
So why was the goat chosen for the Lord never on the right hand again? And why did the ribbon no longer turn white at the death of the scapegoat? The One Who had fulfilled the role that the two goats only symbolized had come. It is He Who sits at the right hand of the Father and it is He Who has forever taken away the sins of all who would accept Him. Where the reality has come the shadow is no longer effective. (Colossians 2:17)
History To Prophecy
The prophetic fulfillment of Yom Kippur will come at the end of the Millennium at the so-called Great White Throne judgment, when all the unsaved dead are brought back to life to be judged according to their works. (Revelation 20:11-15). The books will be opened for the last time and those from all ages who have refused the pardon purchased for them at the cross will bear the full responsibility for their sins against God and man, destined to spend eternity in shame and torment. But those who have accepted the Lord's pardon are at peace with God, and will spend eternity with Him and shine like the brightness of the Sun. Shalom.
Daily Jot: America the divided - Bill Wilson -
The ire of the American people is coming to a crescendo. The division in this country is perhaps worse than it was in the 1960s. Friends won't talk to friends. Threats are made. Misunderstandings are heightened. It's becoming everyday business to be a part of a visceral environment. The frustrations of everyone seem to be bubbling to the top. This is very serious. We are Americans. Most of us are Christian Americans. Yes, we have various gradients of what all that means, but the bottom line is that we are losing our ability to be civil to one another. We can blame it on a lot of things, excuse our feelings, but in reality, it is on each of us individually. We can control who we are, what we say, how we feel.
I have to ask the question: What circumstances would ever arise where a president of the United States can feel comfortable publically calling a segment of the American citizenry "Son of a b----es"? Think about that. We have an environment in this country where it appears OK to do that-and a lot of people support him in doing so. Quite frankly, and I may become very unpopular for this opinion, I just don't think elected officials of any political stripe should refer to Americans as SOBs. But this is all part of the lack of civility in our nation at this point in time. It's easy to say, "Well, these guys shouldn't be doing this...Or, those guys shouldn't be doing that," but should we be so uncivil to one another?
Many who are reading this column would be the first to scowl if I called a group of people, SOBs. There would be a lot of "unsubscribes" in the wake of it. To the point, President Donald Trump should begin acting "presidential" instead of like a bully in a school yard. Yes, he has the majority on his side about issues like taking a knee during the National Anthem, but does he have to resort to such a base level? What does this say to our country, to the rest of the world? I supported this man for President despite his being rough around the edges, but after nine months on the job, he should become at least a little more polished in how he behaves, AND in what he says and how he says it. We need statesman-like leadership not more division.
For Trump's presidency to be successful, he will have to unify a deeply divided, and quite frankly, angry, nation. Empathy, Statesmanship, and a sense of positive direction would go a long way in making America great again. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Proverbs 15:18 says, "A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger quiets strife." Our president would be well to heed these nuggets of wisdom because as in Matthew 12:25, "And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." Let us pray that we can begin to stand in unity as a nation.
Daily Devotion: Into His Presence - By Greg Laurie -
For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. -1 Corinthians 15:52
According to the Bible, there is a generation that will not see death. Instead they will be removed from the face of the earth in what is known as the rapture of the church. This is what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 24 when He said, "Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left" (verses 40-41).
Instantaneously, millions of believers from around the globe will be caught up into God's presence. Is this event spoken of elsewhere in the Scriptures? Yes, it is. Speaking of the same event, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 says, "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
In John 14:2-3 Jesus said, "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
The term used to describe Jesus receiving us to Himself could be translated "to seize by force." That is exactly what He will do. Jesus will return and take His people into His presence.
Christ is coming for His church. He is waiting for those final people to come into His kingdom. And when the time is just right, Christ will return again to this earth.
FROM THE HEART
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