Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Mark of the Beast - By Pete Garcia -
Originally written September 12, 2011. Updated in September 2019
Imagine your next trip to the supermarket. You spend a couple of hours loading your cart up with goodies, you go to check out and your card is declined. How do you feel? Embarrassed? Angry? Especially if you KNEW you had money in the bank.
So next, you excuse yourself real quick and run over to an ATM to withdraw some cash, but the same thing happens, no money and no service. Now what? Maybe you'll call the bank and give them a good 'what for,' or, you'll just have to go back in there and tell the teller that something came up and you will not be needing the groceries. Either way, you walk out empty-handed.
Now imagine, that you can't do ANYTHING from filling up your car with gas to paying your bills because your currency is no longer valid.
Oh, and by the way, you're no longer receiving a paycheck from your employer.
What if some new law came out that said that US Dollars were no longer valid anywhere. Rather, you have to have this thing put on your hand or forehead in order to buy, sell, pay bills, buy groceries, hold a job, pay your mortgage or anything else that requires a financial transaction for goods or services rendered.
That's what it will be like when this kicks off inside the 70th Week of Daniel (aka...Tribulation).
Men, women, and families, all once of good financial standings (with excellent credit scores to boot) suddenly find themselves the very people they once looked down upon. But there is a fix; all you have to do is put this new mark put on your forehead or hand (painless) and all of your former luxuries will be restored. In fact, what if they threw in some bonus things like credit and identity protection, automatic 5G Wi-Fi connection anywhere on the planet, genetic modification (adding another 20-30 years onto your life), and constant health monitoring. Oh, and by the way, once you do this, you'll be making the WORST decision in the history of mankind. At best, you'll be trading in seven years of comfort, for eternity in torment and darkness. At worst, you probably won't even live out the full seven years and still have eternity to face.
Sounds like a bargain huh?
Well, there is coming a day and age when this will become a reality. Oh, it may not happen tomorrow, but changes are coming. Changes are happening even now. Kinda like how the music industry quit making cassette tapes and moved over to Compact Discs. These changes will be forced upon you.
At some point, all the cassette tapes are relegated to the dust bin and no one is making them anymore. You have NO choice but to buy a new radio that plays CDs. Or like when television left analog and went strictly digital. Did you have any say in it? No.
When the time comes for this 'new and improved' way of living/ shopping/ security/freedom comes about, either you get on board or you get left behind. And by behind, I mean, utterly; left to either starve or be killed by a tyrannical government.
With the body of Christ removed at the Rapture, what semblance of organized "Christianity" that remains, will be both Christ-less and incapable of offering a path to salvation that holds to its ecumenical swaying's. Previously, I offered up Roman Catholicism, simply because they're the most global "Christian" organization in the world. They've not shown any qualms or regret in the past over killing true believers (e.g., the Crusades, Inquisitions, etc.) or from embracing non-Christian beliefs in order to stay relevant (Paganism/Islam).
Mormonism may play a prominent role in this time as well, since they share such a striking similarity to Islam, embracing both universalism and to an extent, pantheism and will probably be one of the most organized and intact American religious systems left standing, post-Rapture. Either way, what is left is an empty shell of empty religions that will be used as a tool to prepare the world to worship the satanically indwelt Antichrist himself.
That leaves only the practical matter of enforcement of said worship. The mark is not just a system of worship; it is a system of control. Satan is not God, and at best, can only try to mimic God which is what he attempts to do with the mark. God has and does mark those that belong to Himself (Deut 6:8; Ez 9:4; 2 Cor 1:21-22; Eph 1:13; Rev 7:3).
Satan counters with a system that is emplaced by the Antichrist as a logical, pragmatic choice to many of the world's problems. The world's economic systems are currently being dismantled through unmanageable debt and widespread corruption. By the time the Mark is introduced as an alternative, it will leave the Mark as the only practical solution.
How does the world get out of the current financial quagmire that it is in? It is completely unrealistic to think the US could pay off 16 (now 21 Trillion dollars). Our citizens have become dependent on many of the entitlement programs that have put a majority of the country on life-support.
If the government threatened to:
a) Impose huge cuts to MEDICAID, MEDICARE, Welfare, and Social Security in order to pay down the debt, or
b) Move off the dollar to a new system where no cuts were needed, I believe the US population would overwhelmingly elect the latter.
Greece, Paris, and London are just tiny microcosms of what we could expect in every major city if strict austerity measures were put in place. But it's not only the US but the entire world that finds itself in the same debt-laden boat. The problem with the US though, is that we are supposed to be the big pole in the tent that holds up the whole show. If we go down, (as witnessed in the 2008 financial collapse) we'll drag the entire world down with us.
Nations like Brazil, Russia, China, and France have only recently expressed openly, a desire to move away from the dollar into a basket of currencies. Whether it is a digital credit, special drawing rights, or a new currency altogether such as the Phoenix, they will all fail. That is not my opinion on the matter that comes straight out of the Bible. The world ends up in one global system, run by one man, using one currency.
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Revelation 13:16-18
Many theories are out there as to who this man (Antichrist) is and where he comes from. We know that he comes from somewhere within the confines of the boundaries of the Roman Empire, but that includes North Africa, Europe, and parts of the Middle East. We know that he comes in riding a banner of false peace (Rev. 6:1-2), but he becomes personally indwelt by Satan at the mid-point. At that point, he goes from being the man of sin to the son of perdition (2 Thess. 2:3).
We also know that there is a number associated with it's (the Beast) name (Rev. 13:18) and that somehow, someway, it equals to six-hundred and sixty-six. Because of the wording in Revelation 13, it is sometimes hard to distinguish between the Beast the man, or the Beast the final government system. Either way, the number is a human-number. All speculation aside, there is only one man named in scriptures whose number adds up to 666, and that is through the number of family members he has.
"The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six." Ezra 2:13
The other passage (Neh. 7:18) arrives at 667 for the lineage of Adonikam, presumably, it does so by either including him and not just his offspring; or that it was written a hundred years later and the man simply had more offspring by then. Either way, this man's descendants were among those Jews that had been taken captive by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar and were the remnant who returned to Jerusalem at the end of their captivity. I do not know if one of this man's descendants will turn out to be the Antichrist or not, but I do know that the Jews would never accept a man as Messiah who was not Jewish.
All we really know is that the Apostle Paul stated that he (the Antichrist) would not be revealed until the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit) is removed (2 Thess 2:7-8). But to point out one last thing, Paul called the Antichrist the 'Son of Perdition'. The only other person called that in scriptures was Judas Iscariot (John 17:12). It's not any stretch of the imagination to assume that Paul was familiar with who Judas was (a Jewish disciple), and what he did.
If we are to remain true to the symbolism used in Revelation, we then understand that in Chapter 13, the Beast that rises up out of the sea (sea=gentile nations) is Gentile in nature. The Beast that rises up out of the land (land=Israel) is a Jew (the False Prophet). The Antichrist rises up as a little horn amongst the other horns (Dan. 7:8; 8:9). So he (the Antichrist) could either be a Gentile whose familial lineage comes from within the boundaries of the old Roman Empire (Dan. 9:26), and he publically converts to some form of Judaism, or that his False Prophet is a Jew and leads the Jewish people astray by signs and wonders to direct their allegiance toward the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:12-13).
Maybe the False Prophet is hailed as the Messiah, but he, in turn, directs worship to the Antichrist who the Jews initially rejected (for not being Jewish) which is why he commits the Abomination of Desolation spoken of in Matthew 24:15 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4 like his much earlier predecessor Antiochus Epiphanes IV (Daniel 11:30-32). But those refusing to worship him will have to suffer death or starvation for not receiving the mark since they will not be able to buy or sell.
In order for that to be a threat, the technology first needs to exist to make that possible. We've spent the last 40 years being primed for this kind of system. From the gold standard to the fiat system to the use of credit and debit cards, online banking, and now digital crypto-currency. Society is aggressively being desensitized to the idea of using technology that is embedded into the human body by moving society off of cash. We've also had the conditioning in place by getting us used to instant (food, service, and solutions) and by marketing and advertisements that continually sell us the notion that we deserve the best, and we deserve it right now.
The mark of the beast will obviously not be labeled as such, nor its consequences, but will be presented as the most logical, reasonable way forward in troubled times. We know that the mark is not used prior to the Tribulation, so whatever technologies are currently out there today (and there are many now that could fit the bill) are just being staged for the right 'crisis' to implement when the time is right. Assuming that the Rapture of the Church is the trigger that causes the worldwide chaos, I foresee a couple of possible avenues.
If the Rapture is a standalone event, aside from the immediate effects of wrecks, looting, fires, etc..., it will trigger an economic avalanche of panic in the US due to the sudden removal of millions of consumers, employers, employees, tax/mortgage/bill payers that will put an already fragile economy into panic mode. The government will bypass the constitution and move to join some form of regional, economic union.
If the Rapture is accompanied by some other cataclysmic event (EMP/Solar storm, nuclear or dirty bomb, mega-thrust earthquake, Gog-Magog War), the US may cede control of the government to the EU "temporarily" until the US can get back on its feet.
For those who are not taken up in the Rapture, they can expect to be subjugated to the Wrath of the Lamb and an onslaught of satanic terror here on earth. For those who fall in line and take the mark, they can expect the following:
Is it worth it? Is the worst seven-years of your life worth hell on earth, and even worse, an eternity in hell, if you 'opt-out' for a few years of momentary comfort? Would you spend a million dollars on a car that you could only drive for a day? Probably not, so why would you make a deal that is infinitely worse? The technology exists today, the hour is late, and our Lord and Savior is returning just like He said He would.
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12
The Bible is very clear on this subject of the coming 70th Week. It is a future event, and it will be the worst period in all of human history. If a skeptic (Christian or otherwise) tries to tell you-
"The Rapture ain't going to happen..."
"There is no such thing as a Rapture..."
"The Rapture already happened in the first century..."
or any other lame excuse, do not listen to them. Mark them as a fool and get away quickly. The Bible is very, very, very clear about four things:
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name...
...Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." Revelation 13:16-17, 14:9-11
Are you ready?
Yom Kippur, Atonement for the Soul - By Randy Nettles -
On October 8, 2019, at sundown, the holiest day of the Jewish year will begin. This day is known as Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. Even before the 10 Commandments were given to the children of Israel or the tabernacle was erected, the procedures for worship and sacrifice were established by God. The first mention of the Day of Atonement is given in Exodus 30:10:
"And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it (altar) once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the Lord."
The Day of Atonement is the 6th Feast of the Lord and is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar when all Israel mourns for their sins. On the 10th day of the 7th month of Tishri, in the wilderness, the high priest Aaron fulfilled the first Day of Yom Kippur by making a sacrifice for the sins of his people. The high priest was the only one who could enter the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle, and only on the yearly Day of Atonement.
"Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness" (Leviticus 16:3-10).
The two goats represented the two ways God dealt with the sins of his chosen people. The Hebrew word for atone means "to cover." The first goat was sacrificed on the altar, and its blood symbolically covered the sins of the people (for a brief period). The goat that was sent into the wilderness represented God's removal of guilt that the people felt for their sins. The same ritual had to be repeated every year on the Day of Atonement.
All the Feasts of the Lord (including the Sabbath day) are first described in detail by the Lord to Moses in Leviticus 23. The Day of Atonement is described in Leviticus 23:27-32:
"Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and you shall afflict your souls, and make an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.
"For whatsoever soul it is that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it is that does any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall you celebrate your Sabbath."
Many Jews who do not observe any other Jewish custom will refrain from work, fast, and attend synagogue services. The name Yom Kippur means "day of atonement," and that explains what the holiday is truly about. It is a day set aside to "afflict the soul," to atone for the sins of the past year.
Some religious Jews believe that, in Heaven, books recording the deeds of mankind are opened on Rosh Hashanah beginning a review of man's behavior for the preceding year. Those whose behavior has been righteous are given another year of life; those who have demonstrated no redeeming qualities are scheduled for death. Those who fit neither category (lukewarm) are given 10 days until Yom Kippur to right all the wrongs committed during the previous year.
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 he has committed against others and also giving forgiveness for sins committed against him by others. On Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed and the books are closed for another year. So this day is basically 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 even drinking water. It is a complete, 24-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after sunset when the 11th day of Tishri begins.
The Day of Atonement was to be observed every year on the 10th day of Tishri. Every 7th year on the Day of Atonement, Israel was to allow a Sabbath of rest for the land, whereas there was to be no planting or reaping of crops. This was so the land could be rejuvenated and yield greater crops. It was also to be a year of rest for the people and work animals. God would thus reward the people with greater yields of crops in the preceding years before the Sabbath year and Jubilee. In this way, the people could live off of the bountiful years before they had a year of rest (where no work was to be done). God would provide for them!
Every fiftieth year, a jubilee was to be proclaimed on the Day of Atonement. Here is how it is described in Leviticus 25:8-12:
"And you shall number 7 Sabbaths of years unto you, 7 times seven 7 years: and the space of the 7 Sabbaths of years shall be unto you 49 years. Then shall you cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the 10th day of the 7th month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And you shall hallow the 50th year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and you shall return every man unto his possession, and you shall return every man unto his family. A jubilee shall that 50th year be unto you; you shall not sow, neither reap that which growth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: you shall eat the increase thereof out of the field."
Number 7 is God's perfect and complete number. Pentecost cannot come until 7 Sabbaths of days occur. The Jubilee cannot come until 7 Sabbaths of years occur. There is no proof that the Jews ever let the land rest for a year or celebrated a Jubilee. There can be no Jubilee year unless the Day of Atonement is observed every year and the people allow the land to rest every 7 years.
God promised the Israelites that if they did not obey his commandments that the following would happen:
"And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths, as long as it lies desolate, and you be in your enemies land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her Sabbaths, As long as it lies desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your Sabbaths, when you dwelt upon it" (Leviticus 26:33-35).
God always keeps His word. In 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem, pillaged Judah, and carried away many inhabitants to serve him in Babylon. Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were among those taken into exile. Many citizens of Jerusalem were taken back to Babylon again in 597 B.C. In 586 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar's army besieged Jerusalem. They broke down the walls and destroyed the city and the Temple, slaughtering many inhabitants of the city. Large groups of captives were taken back to Babylon again at this time.
Cyrus, the king of Persia, issued a decree in 538 B.C. allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple of the Lord. It wasn't totally completed until 515 B.C. Then, in A.D. 70, General Titus of Rome laid siege against Jerusalem for 143 days before finally breaking through the walls and decimating the city and the 2nd Temple. Finally, in A.D. 135, the revolt against Rome, led by Simon ben Kosiba (Bar Kokhba), was met with disaster as Bar Kokhba was killed and his troops were completely decimated. The entire Jewish population of Judea was deported and replaced with Gentiles. The province's name was changed from Judea to Syria-Palestine.
Israel never fully recovered as a nation until May 14, 1948, when David Ben Gurion read Israel 's Declaration of Independence. For the first time in more than 2,000 years, there was an independent Jewish state of Israel. Jerusalem was not totally under Israel's control until 1967. On October 6, 1973, during the Yom Kippur holiday, Arab armies attacked Israel without warning. More than 100,000 Egyptian soldiers invaded Sinai against some 3,000 Jewish defenders of the Bar Lev line of defense on the Suez Canal. In a miracle as great as any in Old Testament times, the enemies of Israel paused to regroup at a point when they could easily have overrun the Jewish state.
God intervened in this war of Yom Kippur, and Israel defeated the Syrian and Egyptian armies. These are some of the early signs of the end of days that Jesus refers to in various parts of the Bible.
When Jesus returns to the earth on Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) at the Battle of Armageddon, he will defeat all of his enemies. Ten days later, on Yom Kippur, he will ultimately fulfill the 6th Feast of the Lord...the Day of Atonement. I believe this will occur on what is known as the sheep and goat judgments mentioned in Matthew 25:
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left" (Matthew 25:31-33).
The sheep that are on Jesus' right-hand side are blessed and shall inherit the Kingdom of God. They are the surviving believers of the Tribulation. The goats that are on Jesus' left hand are cursed and shall inherit the everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. They are the surviving unbelievers of the Tribulation.
Thank the Lord that we, as believing Christians, don't have to perform sacrifices and endure rituals to atone for our sins. Jesus paid the price, once and for all, for our sins...past, present, and future.
"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
"For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he (Jesus) comes into the world, he says, sacrifice and offering you would not, but a body prepared me in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come to do your will, O God. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second. By which we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.
"And every priest stands daily ministering and offering sometimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
"Whereof the Holy Spirit also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin" (Hebrews 10:1-18).
Amen; even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Nearing Midnight: Let's Destroy America to Save It - Todd Strandberg -
The collapse of the Roman Empire was the process of decline that took hundreds of years. Thanks to advancements in technology, the collapse of America is on speed dial. In Roman times it could take weeks to conduct business with a city just 30 miles down the road. Today we have instant communication that can transfer information from one location to another in a fraction of a second.
People are using the technology leap to do the devil's business. They are destroying our nation in order to bring about a change that aligns with their political beliefs.
The liberal media have become one of the most destructive forces in America. They have reached the point where they will attack people with hardly any provocation. I grew up in Iowa, so I'm familiar with the leftist Des Moines Register. A few weeks ago, this newspaper ran a profile of Carson King, who rose to fame after raising more than $1 million when he appeared on ESPN's popular "College GameDay" program with a sign asking for money for beer. King had said he would donate the money to a children's hospital.
The Register wrote a profile of King that pointed to racist tweets King had posted when he was 16 years old. The Des Moines Register should have run the background check on reporter Aaron Calvin who wrote the story, because he had a history of racist tweets. Calvin was fired, but the Register's editor Carol Hunter still has her job. "You're angry, you're disappointed and you want us to understand that," Hunter wrote in a column. She needs to lose her job for approving the fiasco. Because, as soon as the controversy dies down, Hunter will be authorizing the needless victimization of some other person.
The UAW strike against GM has stretched into its third week. The press is focused on how the longer it lasts, the worse Michigan's fragile economy becomes - with huge potential consequences for the 2020 presidential race. Years ago, the press would put pressure on both sides of an auto strike to bring about the quickest resolution. Today, the media are for the prolonging of any strike that supports their political allies.
I did a search of "GM strike" and found that nearly 30 news organizations all ran with the same headline, "It's estimated the strike has cost GM $1 billion so far." We are not even in a recession and we have a fixation on how much damage is being inflicted on our nation's largest automaker. The UAW is proposing the strange move of staging a "no-confidence" vote for Chief Executive Mary Barra. A no-confidence vote by the UAW wouldn't carry any force with GM or its board of directors. Only self-destructive people would attack the leader they're trying to find a compromise with.
Hollywood has long been blamed for producing movies that glorify violence. The new movie "Joker" is just the latest film to earn this criticism. Warner Brothers responded to the controversy with a written statement: "neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero."
Warner Brothers restricted access for print and broadcast journalists from the red carpet at the U.S. premiere of the movie. It also said that "Joker" would not be playing at the Cinemark Aurora theater where the 2012 "Dark Knight Rises" mass shooting took place, killing 12 and wounding 70.
What makes the Joker a dangerous sympathetic character is the claim he is just a product of the breakdown of social order. Everyone else is mad, so I'll go shoot a bunch of people. The inability of the clapping-seal press to see the sinister trend in movies just shows how blind our society has become to an invasion of evil.
The most pressing threat to our nation is the so-called impeachment process playing out in Washington, DC. We have congressional members acting like they are judging on American Idol, thinking they remove President Trump with their single vote. All these liberals who say the impeachment process will be better for the Constitution and the people of this country would be singing a different tune if a Republican-controlled Congress was trying to remove a Democratic president just because they didn't like him.
We are headed down the same path that leads to unrest and someone restoring order by declaring themselves to be our new head of state. To know our future is to simply ask the question: What do we collectively love the most?
"People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Timothy 3:2-5).
The Ultimate Shelter - By Hal Lindsey -
When a massive hurricane rolls across the ocean toward land, bands of the storm often go well ahead of the storm itself. It's almost as if the storm has arms. Satellite images show these bands spinning out from the main storm. When one of them hits land, surf and winds rise. Rain increases. But between the bands, skies can be clear. It might start to look like a good day to go to the beach. People look at the sky and say, "See, it's not so bad."
Meanwhile, further out, the heart of the storm keeps churning, growing, and moving ominously closer to land.
That's something like the way Jesus described events as the end of the age approaches. He said it would be like a woman in labor. As her time of delivery approaches, contractions become more severe, grow longer, and happen at closer intervals. One minute she's laughing with family and the next she's in agony.
The Lord was very specific about life having a sense of normalcy even as the end approaches. In Luke 17:26-27, Jesus said, "As it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all."
Today, we live between the bands of the storm. People do all the things that people normally do. Some of those things are small like eating and drinking, going to school, to work, and to the dentist. They have little concerns like making it to their next appointment on time. The big things also continue - marrying and giving in marriage, buying houses, deciding where to live and what to do for a living.
Sometimes we look up and see the storm's outer bands. But sometimes we look up into a blue sky. Either way, the alarm has sounded, and the storm is coming. God's watchmen on the wall have called out their warnings. Those warnings are two-fold and at first sound contradictory. "Take shelter now and prepare to be evacuated!"
"Take shelter" means take shelter in Christ. Psalms 18:2 says, "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Verse 10 adds, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe."
But how do you take shelter and prepare to be evacuated at the same time? The first sounds like you're preparing for the long haul and the other sounds like you're getting ready to get out of here. Notice the wording. We're not preparing to evacuate. We're preparing to be evacuated. Jesus Himself will come for His Church before the heart of the storm reaches us.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 says, "The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."
Be comforted. You have shelter, and you will be evacuated. But in our comfort, may we always remember to spread the good news that God's offer of shelter and rescue is open to all.
Daily Jot: Why the White House will not cooperate with impeachment - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The White House answered House of Representatives calls for impeachment with a stunning and historic eight-page letter calling House leadership's approach toward impeachment unlawful and unconstitutional. While all you will hear in the news media and from the Democratic leadership is refusal by the president to cooperate with the House investigation, you will not likely hear why the refusal by the White House. The news media and Democrats will do all they can to convince the American people that the president is obstructing their impeachment, and therefore, should be impeached. The White House response as to why it will not cooperate, however, is worth considering. Here is the "why" you won't hear.
The White House letter pointed to certain legal and political facts that call into question the actions of the House leadership that all Americans should consider before jumping on the impeachment bandwagon. The letter states, "You have conducted your proceedings in secret. You have violated civil liberties and the separation of powers by threatening Executive Branch officials, claiming that you will seek to punish those who exercise fundamental constitutional rights and prerogatives. All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent. Never before in our history has the House of Representatives-under the control of either political party-taken the American people down the dangerous path you seem determined to pursue."
The letter outlines three points suggesting the "impeachment inquiry" is illegal in its current form. The letter states: "Your "Inquiry" Is Constitutionally Invalid and Violates Basic Due Process Rights and Separation of Powers," explaining that never before in history has the House attempted an impeachment inquiry without a vote. It also has not established due process, and has not provided equal subpoena power to Minority leadership, ensuring a one-sided outcome. Point 2 states "The Invalid "Impeachment Inquiry" Plainly Seeks To Reverse the Election of 2016 and To influence the Election of 2020," calling the impeachment attempt without evidence "a naked political strategy." Point III states, "There Is No Legitimate Basis for Your "Impeachment Inquiry": Instead, the Committee's Actions Raise Serious Questions."
The third point reaches deep beyond the media hype and the Democratic Party accusations. It points to the impeachment narrative lacking substance of an impeachable offense. The letter calls into question the actions of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) reading an inaccurate version of the president's call transcript with the president of Ukraine, and Schiff lying about having contact with the whistleblower prior to his complaint. For all these reasons, the letter states that the Executive Branch refuses to participate with the inquiry. Now you know the entire story about the letter, not an interpretive opinion passed off as unbiased news. As Ephesians 5:6 says, "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Pay close attention so that you are not deceived.
Daily Devotion: Connections in Heaven - by Greg Laurie -
The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him. And He will show them His covenant.-Psalm 25:14
When my grandkids were small and we were going out to eat, I would say, "Now, we can go into this restaurant the regular way, or we can go the secret way. Who wants to go the secret way?"
All of them would raise their hand. "We want to go the secret way, Papa!"
So I took them in the side door. They thought it was really special, an adventure. That's because we all love secrets.
The psalmist David wrote, "The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him" (Psalm 25:14 NKJV).
Here's something interesting that we ought to consider: a Christian has a better handle on what is happening in the world than some of the so-called experts. Why? Because we believe what the Bible says about the last days. We know what will happen.
Jesus said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes" (Matthew 11:25 NKJV).
Are you facing trouble or difficulty right now? Here's what you need to do: pray. When you don't know what to do, when you don't know the answer, you need to pray. When you're having problems with your spouse, problems with your kids, or problems at work, you need to pray.
What did the early church do when James was arrested and executed, and then Peter was arrested too? We read in Acts 12 that the church offered constant prayer to God for him. And what happened? An angel rescued Peter from prison.
When Daniel faced what seemed like an impossible situation, he prayed. He was a man on earth who had connections in Heaven.
If you're a follower of Christ, then you have the same.
FROM THE HEART
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