Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
I Thought I Saw It Coming - By Jack Kinsella - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/10/12/thought-saw-coming-jack-kinsella/
It is incredible, yet true. We are witnessing the unfolding of events long prophesied to take place during the last generation before the return of Christ. We knew that it was coming - we were almost eager to see this day because it means the Rapture is that much closer.
But as the day approaches, it becomes less an abstract notion and more a crushingly painful reality. It has made that transition from theoretical possibility to actual fact.
We always knew, in theory that, one day Christians would be marginalized to the point of insignificance.
We always knew that one day, some new religion having two horns like a lamb but speaking as a dragon would overspread Planet Earth. For decades we've made a guessing game out of what it would look like and who would be its leader.
As we see the hard-and-fast answers crowding out our best guesses, the game isn't as much fun as it used to be. In fact, it isn't any fun at all, any more.
This IS what we've been expecting. It is what the Bible forecast for the last days. Jesus said the Tribulation Period would be a time so terrible that if He didn't return to put a stop to it, there would be no flesh saved out of it.
So it is entirely reasonable to expect that the period leading up to it would be, ah, unpleasant, to say the least. Jesus prophesied that the time will come when those who kill you will think they do God service.
He reminded us that the world MUST hate us because it hates Him - but that doesn't make it any easier when it happens.
There are two competing sets of values here and it is out of that conflict that all the angst arises. If we are where I believe that we are on Bible prophecy's timeline, then America's (and the West's) days are numbered.
If we are where I believe we are, then the decline we are experiencing is both inevitable and unstoppable. This is only part of the Big Picture - there are other, bigger and scarier parts yet to come.
Why are they scarier today than they were, say, ten years ago? It isn't as if Bible prophecy changed in the last ten years. What we are experiencing is the realization of our expectations.
Did anybody really think that witnessing the unfolding of last days' prophecy would be fun?
If you did, now you know.
You also know why you were but one of only a tiny handful of 'prophecy nuts' in your church. I say 'were' because as we move forward on the Bible timeline, prophecy doesn't seem so nuts anymore.
In the grand scheme of things, very few Christians in these last days have been called as watchmen. Even fewer have responded to the calling. It's not for everybody - for some it is too much. That is why we are necessary - to give the warning.
God has set each of us in the place He wants us to be for this time and place in human history. That doesn't mean it is a pleasant place - we had our pleasant time. But God in His wisdom, and for reasons known only to Him, has called us - you and me and others like us - as witnesses.
He promises a special crown for us at the Bema Seat. There are only FIVE crowns and this is one of them. So what made you think that earning it would be easy? It is supposed to be hard.
Out of all the living Christians on this planet, God called YOU to bear witness for all those too afraid to look.
Yes, it is frustrating. Yes, it is infuriating. Yes, it is frightening. And YES - it is unfair. Why can't YOU be one of those Christians just strolling through life, tra-la-la-la-la, in blissful ignorance?
I dunno. Because you can't. God called you and you answered the phone. Sorry. This is a bell that you can't unring. Read through your assignment again - note in particular the parts in italics.
"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." (2nd Timothy 4:1-5)
Somebody has to watch in all things, do the work of an evangelist and make full proof of the ministry to which God called them. That's the charge. You accepted it - or you wouldn't be reading these words now.
Now the evil days are upon us and somehow, we are surprised to find we don't like it. I am not saying that sarcastically - I am as surprised as anybody at how surprised I am, if you can follow my drift.
I thought I was made of sterner stuff than that.
So, what are we to do as Christians? Our job. Be witnesses. Watch and observe and give the warning. You know, the Bible says that Noah preached for one hundred and twenty years and never made a single convert.
But when the rains came down, Noah still got to ride out the storm in the ark.
It is easy to become discouraged, frustrated and even angry. It's natural. But it is part of a plan that the God of the Universe has not only let you in on, He has included you as a necessary part.
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." (Jude 1:24-25)
He can keep you from falling. He will present you faultless before the Throne with exceeding joy. He knows what He is doing, and He has let you in on some of the details.
Here's what we know - and we know it for sure. There is lots to be scared of. But nothing to be worried about. Because He is able. And He loves you more than you know.
Palestinian unity deal signed - but partial -
Gaza's Rafah crossing passes from Hamas to the Palestinian Authority on Nov. 1; the enclave's central administration - on Dec. 1
The Egyptian-brokered deal hailed by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as "the end of the rift," is cautiously seen in Cairo as a partial resolution of the dispute between the Fatah and Hamas rival factions.
The reconciliation accord was announced at dawn Thursday, Oct 10, by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh after night-long negotiations at the Egyptian intelligence ministry in Cairo. The promised news conference at which details of the agreement were to be revealed by Egyptian mediators and Palestinian officials did not take place.
Egyptian sources reveal that seven points of agreement were hammered out:
The two Palestinian parties will meet in one month to set out the date and modalities for elections to the presidency and parliament.
Before then, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will spend a few days in the Gaza Strip, his first visit there in a decade since Hamas ousted his Fatah party in a military coup..
A joint Palestinian Authority-Hamas commission will determine procedures for the merger of the PA and Gaza governing administrations. The future of the 60,000 people employed by the Gaza administration must also be decided.
In the next two weeks, Hamas will transfer into Egyptian hands control of the Rafah border crossing from the Gaza Strip to Egyptian Sinai.
The Palestinian Authority will take charge of the Rafah crossing from Egyptian officials - not directly from Hamas.
Up until the parties come to terms on Gaza Strip's electricity bill - which the Palestinian Authority has refused to cover for months - Egypt and Israel will provide the enclave with fuel for running the grid.
The main sticking point in the reconciliation process - control of Hamas' armed wing and arsenal - appears to have been left out of the deal signed Thursday. Hamas has consistently objected to foregoing or sharing control of its militia. Non-Egyptian sources report that the Palestinian Authority is to deploy 30,000 members of its security battalions to the Gaza Strip, but make no mention of coordination between the two forces. Cairo does not refer to this question.
Hamas, which calls for Israel's destruction, has fought three wars with the Jewish state and its armed wing is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the US, the European Union and other powers.
Israel has said it will not deal with a Palestinian government that contains Hamas ministers.
Palestinian Normalization -- With Hamas, Not Israel - By Bassam Tawil - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1674#llRY50P1GdC00QsP.99
When Palestinian women took part in a march with Israeli women for peace this week, they were condemned in the harshest terms by many other Palestinians, who called for their punishment.
The Palestinian women who participated in the October 8 event, organized by a group called Women Wage Peace, have been denounced by many of their own people as and "traitors" and "whores."
Conversely, when Palestinian Authority (PA) officials held "reconciliation" talks with Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and Egypt during the same period, many Palestinians praised them as "heroes" and "brave."
Judging from the reactions of many Palestinians, especially on social media, they prefer peace with Hamas rather than with Israel.
The thousands of Palestinian women who participated in the march with Israeli women are being accused of promoting "normalization" with Israel. This, in the eyes of their critics, is an abhorrent and despicable act, tantamount to "high treason" -- an offense punishable by death.
Prior to the women's march, Palestinian activists waged an online bid to stop the Palestinian women from taking part in the "shameful" event. It was a vicious campaign that lasted for several days and that accused the Palestinian women of treason for promoting "normalization" with the "Israeli enemy."
One group, The Women's Campaign for Boycotting Israeli Merchandise, said in a statement that the planned march was "hurtful to Palestinian and Arab and international efforts to boycott and isolate Israel." The group pointed out that the march coincided with a "Zionist-imperialist onslaught to undermine the Palestinian national project."
Exactly which "Zionist-imperialist" conspiracy these protesters are referring to remains unclear.
Such rhetoric, however, reflects the mindset in the Arab and Islamic world. The most widespread conspiracy theory, which has been floating around for decades and can be heard in almost every coffee shop on the streets of Cairo, Amman, Ramallah and Beirut, is that Zionist Jews, together with American capitalists and imperialists, have a secret plan to take control over the Arab and Islamic countries and their resources.
What does a peaceful march of Israeli and Palestinian women have to do with Zionism and imperialism? How exactly are the "Zionists and imperialists" trying to "undermine" the Palestinian "national project"?
And what, precisely, is this project? Is it the project of Hamas and many other Palestinians that seeks the destruction of Israel? Is it the project that still talks about a phased plan to destroy Israel by demanding a Palestinian state next to Israel so that it would be used in the future as a launching pad to eliminate Israel?
Palestinian and Arab leaders have long advanced anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and anti-Western conspiracy theories. Why do these leaders do so? For one purpose: distraction.
The corrupt Arab and Palestinian leaders spread such rumors to divert attention from problems at home, such as corruption and dictatorship. These leaders want their people too busy hating Jews and Westerners to demand reform, democracy and transparency from their leaders. Those valuables, of course, are what Arab and Palestinian leaders still refuse to offer their people.
Back to the controversial women's march.
The abusive comments hurled against the Palestinian women who took part in the march are frankly embarrassing to read. Even the PLO committee that permitted the participation of the Palestinian women in the march is being pilloried by many Palestinians, with some calling for holding the PLO officials involved accountable.
The verbal abuse is reminiscent of the experience of teenage Palestinian girls who recently participated in a summer camp with Israeli girls in the US. The Palestinian girls endured a massive smear campaign for attending the summer camp, which was organized by Creativity for Peace, an organization in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Like the women from the march, the teenage girls were also cursed on social media and dubbed as "sluts" and "traitors." The abuse reached the parents of the Palestinian girls, for allowing their daughters to commit the sin of dancing and mixing with Israeli (Jewish) girls. The girls, like the women, were also accused of promoting "normalization" with Israel.
Sadly, only a handful of Palestinians have thus far dared to come out in defense of the summer camp girls or the women who participated in the October 8 march.
While many Palestinians may be opposed to the brutal and senseless attacks on the girls and women, they are terrified of voicing their views in public. No one wants to get targeted by the abusers, especially if some of these people are affiliated with terror groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Palestinians have an unfortunate habit of allowing thugs and terrorists to intimidate them, control the discourse and set the agenda. This is certainly not new. Most Palestinians prefer to sit on the fence instead of speaking their minds. This is what happens when you live under ruthless dictatorships such as the Palestinian Authority and Hamas that suppress freedom of expression.
Yet this most recent exhibit has an ironic twist. Just as the women were shamed publicly for taking part in an event with Jewish women, many Palestinians were celebrating the "reconciliation" between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip took to the streets to express their jubilation over the "accord," and when the PA Prime Minister and his delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, scenes of kissing and hugging were easy to spot.
What does all this teach us?
First, that many Palestinians continue to consider any form of contact with Jews and "normalization" with the "Zionist entity" an act of treason.
Second, that Palestinians do not hesitate to designate their own women as prostitutes and traitors for engaging in the most basic activities with Jews. Such disrespect for women is not, by the way, something that should surprise us about conservative Arab and Islamic societies.
Third, that for many Palestinians, the priority remains making peace with Hamas and not Israel. Why do they prefer peace with Hamas? Because they identify with Hamas's dream of destroying Israel and killing Jews. It may be an unpleasant a truth, but that is the bottom line.
The Middle East quagmire: Israel's strategy on Iran, Syria & UNDOF - Yossi Melman -
In 1974, after the Yom Kippur War, Israel and Syria signed the Disengagement Agreement, which was sanctioned by UN Security Council resolutions.
WHEN IT comes to Iran and Syria, Israel's policy has three dimensions: grand strategy, strategy and tactics.
Its strategy on Iran's nuclear program was recently expressed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his meeting in Washington on the eve of the Jewish New Year with US President Donald Trump and in his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York.
Netanyahu called for the nuclear deal between the great powers and Iran to be torn up or radically changed. The agreement, which was reached in July 2015 after years of tough negotiation, has six main partners: the US, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany.
The deal is a unique achievement. In an era in which the world is sliding back into cold tension and conflict areas - especially North Korea, Syria and Ukraine - the six powers managed to reach a consensus on how to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Though the deal will expire after 10 years (less than eight years from now), it has held Iran back from reaching the nuclear bomb within three months to at least one year.
Seasonal reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), supported by Israel, the US and other intelligence communities, show that so far Iran is honoring its agreements.
Still, the deal is far from perfect. For example, IAEA inspectors don't have access to military sites where, some suspect, forbidden nuclear R&D work is being conducted. Israeli intelligence agencies together with its American, British, German and other counterparts are constantly on the lookout for the slightest deviation from the deal on the part of Iran.
Since irritating then-US president Barack Obama by acting behind his back to press Congress to cancel the nuclear deal, Netanyahu has been silent on the matter. He did so because he didn't want to risk losing the generous US annual military assistance package of $3.8 billion for 10 years. He also realized that the nuclear deal could not be canceled or amended.
But after Trump hinted that he might demand changes to the deal, Netanyahu broke his silence and jumped at the opportunity, trying to persuade him to cancel the deal during their meeting in New York.
The US president has until October 15 to decide whether to sanction the deal or challenge it. If he does challenge it, Congress can cancel the deal and impose more sanctions on Iran.
It's hard to know what the unpredictable Trump will decide. He has already called it the "worst deal ever" and even promised "surprises."
But it won't be that easy to roll back the deal. In Israel, there is a growing gap between the political echelon led by Netanyahu and supported by most cabinet ministers and the security establishment. And even among the security chiefs, there is disagreement.
While Mossad chief Yossi Cohen sides with Netanyahu, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Military Intelligence head Maj.-Gen. Herzl Halevi are much more cautious. They believe alternatives to the current deal could be worse.
These differences of opinion are echoed in the US between Trump, and his secretaries of state and defense, supported by their military and intelligence chiefs.
But even if Trump has the upper hand and demands to amend the deal, the likelihood of it actually happening is slim. Even if the US pulls out from the agreement, the other five signatories will remain, as with the Global Climate Treaty. By abandoning the nuclear deal, the US would further weaken the international consensus - whatever is left of it.
The ramifications for Israel are even more dangerous. If the US and/or other parties revoke the deal, Iran may very well do the same. Indeed, there are hawkish voices in Iran calling on it to jump ship.
In such a scenario, we may well find ourselves once again in the reality of three to four years ago of war threats - with one big exception. Unlike then, this time Iran may actually rush to assemble the bomb and join the exclusive nuclear club, which consists of the five big powers, as well as Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea.
The Iranian temptation to do so is huge. It is envious of North Korea, which under its nuclear weapon umbrella is flashing its middle finger to the world.
If nuclear Iran forces Netanyahu to develop his strategy, its military presence in Syria will remain a strategic challenge.
The civil war in Syria is far from over. It's already clear that Iran (together with Russia), which saved the Bashar Assad regime, is emerging as the big winner. Here, too, life isn't going to be easy for Israel.
Israel demands that in the long run, if a diplomatic solution to return Syria to normalcy is reached, it will include the withdrawal of all foreign forces. This demand is supported by Russia and the US. However, the Syrian predicament is very complex. A long-term diplomatic deal is not on the horizon.
To accomplish the goal that all foreign forces leave Syrian soil, it needs the Turkish military to comply as well. But Turkey is reluctant to withdraw its forces as long as Syrian Kurds do not abandon their hope to have a Kurdish territorial entity along the Turkish border.
To press the Kurds to do so is not in the cards at the moment. The US and even Russia need them as "boots on the ground" to finish off ISIS. Indeed, the Kurds have proven to be the most effective force in the war. It won't be easy to persuade them to allow their aspirations, enveloped in blood, sacrifice and heavy casualties, to evaporate into thin air.
But even if the Turks do eventually leave Syria, there is no guarantee that the Iranians will follow suit. At the moment, Iran has 3,000 military advisors in Syria; its Shi'ite "volunteers" (practically mercenaries) from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan number 9,000 and Lebanese Hezbollah another 8,000. That's a big contingent to be reckoned with. They, too, have invested blood and sacrifice, and want to reap the dividends of war.
Iran wants a land corridor from Tehran via Iraq and Syria to Lebanon. It aspires to construct a naval base on Syria's Mediterranean shores, and it wants to get as close to the Israeli and Jordanian borders as possible.
The Iranian presence in Syria is a red line that Israeli leaders say they will not tolerate. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman have made it clear, both publicly and in messages to Russia and the US, that they will not allow Iranian troops or their Shi'ite allies to cross a line 60 kilometers from the Israeli border.
There is no guarantee that such a demand will be achieved but it is possible. After all, with its allies and proxies in Syria (Kurds, Druze and moderate rebel groups), Israel holds at least one important key to the Syrian gates: It can raise hell and sabotage any future deal by using its military force to prolong the war. Russia knows it. Assad knows it. And even the Iranians understand it.
In the meantime, the Israeli-Syrian border has, for the most part, been quiet. The dozen or so breaches of the status quo were usually unintended fire between the Syrian army and various rebel groups that spilled over into Israeli territory. In each case, the Israeli artillery or fighter jets retaliated against Syrian army positions. On rare occasions, Syrian jets or Hezbollah drones that flew close to the border were downed by the Israel Air Force or its anti-aircraft batteries. Israeli policy was and remains to preserve its sovereignty, to maintain peace and tranquility along the border areas, and to punish any group that violates it.
Furthermore, Israel took advantage of the chaos of the Syrian war by reportedly carrying out around 100 attacks against weapons shipments from Iran via Syria to Hezbollah. In all incidents, the Syrians, Iranians and Hezbollah swallowed their pride, contained the damage and casualties and did not respond.
Last July, Russia, Jordan and the US declared a cease-fire near the triangular borders of Israel, Syria and Jordan. All groups present in the declared zone - the Syrian army and all the rebel groups as well as ISIS and al-Qaida - are respecting the cease-fire, and Russian military police are authorized to supervise it.
Though the agreement was achieved without direct Israeli participation in the talks, Israeli security officials operated behind the scenes and conveyed their needs and concerns to the various parties involved.
The arrangement, however, is fragile. Israel and Syria are emerging from the quandary with at least one common interest: to get rid of the 1,000-strong ISIS force in the triangular borders and to restore the old order.
In 1974, after the Yom Kippur War, Israel and Syria signed the Disengagement Agreement, which was sanctioned by UN Security Council resolutions. The agreement created a buffer zone inside Syria ranging from 500 meters to 100 kilometers, with military limitations on both sides.
To monitor the disengagement of forces, a special UN peace-keeping force called UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) was created.
At its peak, UNDOF was comprised of 1,500 people from dozens of nations. But during the Syrian civil war, after some UNDOF personnel were kidnapped by rebels and some killed, the size of the force was reduced, and UNDOF evacuated its positions in Syria and took shelter in the safety of Israel. Effectively, UNDOF became a force on paper.
In recent weeks, though, UNDOF has been returning. Backed by Israel and Syria, UNDOF Commander Maj.-Gen. Jai Shanker Menon recently visited Tel Aviv and met with military attachÃ©s of various Western countries, encouraging them to reinstate or send their troops back to UNDOF.
If UNDOF does manage to restore its capabilities, it can be said that even if Israel finds it strategically difficult to achieve its goals, at least tactically it will move forward.
Revelation 4 and the Rapture - By Paul Kocourek - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/10/11/revelation-4-and-the-rapture/
Revelation 1:19 is the key to understanding the time framework for The Book of Revelation: "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter."
This shows three divisions:
1) the things which thou hast seen (past)
2) the things which are (present)
3) the things which shall be hereafter (future)
Number 1 is Chapter 1: "the things which thou hast seen," which includes the following things John had seen:
Verse 12: "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks."
Verse 17: "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last."
These verses preceded verse 19 and are "the things which thou hast seen" (i.e. the past).
Number 2 is Chapters 2 and 3, the Church Age, which is where we are time-wise. These chapters are "the things which are" (i.e. the present).
Number 3 starts with Chapter 4. The very first verse tells us that what happens then is that time period Jesus spoke of in Rev. 1:19:
"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter" (Rev. 4:1).
Rev. 1:19: "the things which shall be hereafter"
Rev 4:1: "things which must be hereafter"
It can't be any plainer that this is where the future begins, after the Church Age has ended; and the only way the Church Age ends is if the Church is no longer on the Earth - hence, the Rapture.
If the Church were still on Earth, then it would still be "the things which are." The only way we can get to "the things which shall be hereafter" is if we have moved to AFTER "the things which are." But that can't be "after" if the Church is still here (i.e. "the things which are").
In comparing Rev. 1:19 and Rev. 4:1, we see that Jesus made a stronger emphasis in the latter. In Rev 1:19, He said "shall be." In that context, "shall" is the Greek μέλλω mellō which means:
μέλλω mÃ©llō, mel'-lo: a strengthened form of G3199 (through the idea of expectation); to intend, i.e. be about to be, do, or suffer something (of persons or things, especially events; in the sense of purpose, duty, necessity, probability, possibility, or hesitation).
Biblical usage includes: to be about; to be on the point of doing or suffering something; to intend; have in mind; think to.
But in Rev. 4:1, instead of "shall," the Lord uses a stronger word, "must." Remember that nothing in the Bible is there by accident. In the context of Rev. 4:1, "must" is the Greek δεi dei, which means:
tδεi deÃ®, die; 3rd person singular active present of G1210; also deon deh-on'; neuter active participle of the same; both used impersonally; it is (was, etc.) necessary (as binding):-behoved, be meet, must (needs), (be) need(-ful), ought, should.
Biblical usage includes: it is necessary; there is need of, it; behooves; is right and proper; necessity lying in the nature of the case; necessity brought on by circumstances or by the conduct of others toward us; necessity in reference to what is required to attain some end.
The use of "must" in Rev. 4:1 is very strong, and carries the needfulness of "necessity." So, that which happens in Rev. 4:1 "must" happen after the things of the present time. In other words, what happens in the future can only happen if the present time is done and over.
Therefore, the Rapture MUST happen in Rev. 4:1 to end the Church Age; otherwise, what happens in Rev. 4:1 is still the present time, which contradicts Rev. 1:19 and all rules of grammar and plain word sense.
Don't Surrender to the Enemy - Nathele Graham -
War has been declared. I'm not talking about a conflict between one nation and another, or even civil unrest within a nation. I'm talking about the war that Satan has declared against God. This spiritual war has been raging for thousands of years and will soon reach a climax. The first recorded act of this war occurred in the Garden of Eden. Eve knew that God said not to eat the forbidden fruit, but Satan lied, Eve listened, and she was deceived. "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4-5. The weapons used by Satan were lies, doubt, and deceit. Satanic lies caused Eve to doubt God's truth and that's when the battle lines were drawn. Eve believed Satan above God, Adam chose to join her in defiance of God, and the rest is history. Satan still uses lies to befuddle us, but Christians have no reason to be deceived. It should be easy for us not to be drawn in by Satanic lies because we have Scripture to arm us and the Holy Spirit to guide us. So why are there so many problems all around? Instead of following our Commander in Chief (God) we surrender to Satan.
Satan lies today just as he lied to Eve. He has infiltrated our congregations and convinced many pastors to water down their teachings in order to not offend anyone. Why? Sin is a part of our human nature, but only through the blood of Jesus Christ can our sins be forgiven. If a person sitting in a pew embraces sin and rejects Jesus, they're as lost as a person who never has stepped into a congregation. God's truth, from Genesis through Revelation, must be preached from the pulpits and taught in Sunday school. "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel, For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:14-17. Jesus entrusted the Gospel to Christians and it isn't to be compromised, doubted, or watered down. Teach the Gospel. Don't dilute it or add sugar to make it easier to swallow. Preacher, if you do then you've surrendered to the enemy and are taking your congregation with you. "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. If the "god of this world" is put ahead of God Almighty then there's a problem. In America there are tax advantages for watering down God's word, so it's useful to deny God's truth rather than pay a tax penalty. That's putting a false god ahead of the true God. If you're more worried about being politically correct than standing firm on Biblical truth then you've surrendered to the enemy. How can you tell if you aren't being taught God's truth from the pulpit or in Sunday school? First of all you need to arm yourself with God's word. You won't be deceived if you know the truth. Don't expect your pastor to arm you, and most Sunday school material won't fit you for a thumb-war, let alone a full out spiritual battle. Study God's word for yourself.
We see the results of Christian surrender all around. Drug addiction is at an all time high. I'm not just talking about the drugs you can buy in a dark alley. Prescription drugs are as destructive and addicting as any illegal kind. Could that be why God tells us to stay away from drugs? "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21. Look up each word in this list and be sure you aren't harboring any of these works of the flesh, but I will pull out "witchcraft". The Greek word is "pharmakeia" which is the use or administering of drugs, poisoning, sorcery, and magical arts. Mind altering drugs should never be a part of a Christians life. How many children do you know who are on drugs because the supposedly have ADHD? How many people do you know who take drugs for depression? Instead of standing on God's word, Christians have surrendered to the enemy and turn to mind-altering drugs which can open the way for demonic entry. I challenge you to do an internet search for mass murderers who take prescription drugs and you'll be surprised, if not outraged. Instead of firm discipline based on God's word, we allow schools, psychiatrists (another way Christians surrender to the enemy), and doctors to tell you how to dumb-down your child. "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." Proverbs 23:13-14. Don't misunderstand this Scripture. God is not giving a license to abuse children, but is giving direction to discipline children and spank if necessary. The alternative is to give your child drugs. Don't surrender to Satan or battle by battle the war will get deadlier.
When we step away even slightly from God's word we open the way for troubles from Satan. Eve shouldn't have talked to the serpent (Satan), but she did. Instead of standing upon what God said she tried to go over and above what His rules were. God said don't eat the forbidden fruit. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2:17. God said don't eat it...don't take it into you and make it a part of you. Eve got it wrong; she tried to outdo God. "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." Genesis 3:3. God didn't say don't touch it, He just said don't eat it. We need to be aware of sin and know what it is, but not make it a part of our life. Today there are many people who do make sin a part of themselves...even Christians. In the verses above from Galatians we're warned against adultery and fornication, but how many people sitting in a congregation have made these sins a part of their life? We know what those sins are but instead of turning away from them many professing Christians have surrendered to the enemy by making them part of life...acceptable to the god of this world but unacceptable to God Almighty. Where are the preachers who speak out against sin? They are silent so as not to step on toes. No wonder it seems as if Satan is winning the battle. Christians aren't armed for battle.
Many Christians have no idea what God's word teaches because they choose not to study it. Why is it that Christians are willing to participate in sin-filled "entertainment" but refuse to pick up the Bible. Could it be that they want to keep partaking of the forbidden fruit? How can you call yourself a Christian if you don't love Jesus and His ways? How can you know His ways if you don't study His word and apply it to your life? "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15. We have a huge blessing today because we have easy access to the Old and New Testaments. When Paul wrote these words to Timothy only the Old Testament was available and few people had access to it. Read and learn from all of Scripture by asking the Holy Spirit to guide your study. God's word is perfect in the original languages and translations help us to read it in our own language, but there have been many influences by Satan at the hands of men who have misconstrued what God says. Today the politically correct/Biblically incorrect crowd are attempting to corrupt God's truth. There are people who are attempting to change God's word to be gender-neutral and accepting of homosexuality. Corrupting God's word doesn't change God's rules but helps people to surrender to Satanic ploys which twist God's truth.
Our attitude and way of life need to conform to God Almighty, not the other way around. Conforming to the world around us is surrendering to Satan. Jesus is our example, and though we fall short of His perfection we need to consciously sacrifice our own lusts and sin. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1-2. A soldier training in boot camp is transformed from a common citizen to a fighting soldier fit for combat. The drill sergeant makes sure each soldier is schooled in weaponry and that he knows how to fight. The training of Christian soldiers is no less important. Our training is often neglected and our weapons are rusted and dull. Instead of being battle ready we blend in with the enemy and surrender rather than cause waves. Shame on us.
Jesus never said it would be easy. His last talk with His disciples before He was arrested was one of love, warning, and revelation. Their faith in Him was about to be tested and they needed to be equipped for battle. These faithful men would soon face their fears and have to choose whether to follow Christ or flee. "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33. The words Jesus spoke to the disciples are true for us today. Things don't get easy once we accept Christ, but He has defeated the god of this world. We may face tribulation in this world because Satan still spreads his lies, but Jesus Christ has given us the weapons of spiritual warfare. If we aren't committed in our walk with Him then we've surrendered to the enemy. Very soon there will be tribulation that is unfathomable. Satan will make an attack against humanity as never seen before. If you've surrendered to the enemy then chances are you never truly accepted Christ for salvation and will be a part of Daniel's 70th week. If you continue to embrace the god of this world and reject Christ you won't escape the wrath of God. Satan's lies continue. Study your Bible so that you won't be deceived. Only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will save you from the wrath that will come upon the earth. If you claim to have accepted Him, then follow His ways.
Arm yourself with the weapons of the spiritual war and fight. Don't surrender to the enemy.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: So sordid that it's hard to write about - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The headlines over famous Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and his systematic approach toward bedding young starlets are expanding to other actors with actresses coming out with story after story of sexual harassment and even rape. While the headlines themselves are sordid, the stories are even more disgusting. It is a testimony to the way Hollywood works, the morals of the people involved, and the politics of not only movie making, but also of the nation. Weinstein, the Clintons, the immediate past "president," and a host of others in the Democratic Party are fast friends with parties, fundraisers, and high dollar campaign contributions in common.
It is these very actors and actresses who participate and thrive in this repugnant lifestyle that are the first to accuse anyone who disagrees with them of the very things they are doing. Weinstein apparently used his power and stature as an Oscar-winning movie producer to curry sexual favors from actresses who wanted a fast track to stardom. Many of these women who are coming forward claim they refused his advances, others went along with him, still others say they were forced to do things they didn't want to do, but were afraid if they didn't, their careers would be ended. This is the same behavior behind Bill Cosby, and quite frankly, Weinstein's political buddy, Bill Clinton.
When you consider the connections, the campaign contributions and the intimate friendships between people like Weinstein and politicians, it is no wonder the same scandals repeatedly bubble to the surface of the public. Even CNN has recognized the issue. Tuesday, CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin said the Obama and Clinton families are tarnished because they were "willfully blind" to Weinstein's behavior. Toobin said, "You know, this was widely known, Harvey Weinstein's inappropriate behavior with women...why were the Clintons and the Obamas so close to him during the campaigns, when they were important? I think this is a real blot on the records of both the Obama and the Clinton families, that they were so blind to this, willfully blind, for so long." They were not bystanders. They were willful participants and benefactors.
They are close because they share the same beliefs, habits, morals and political ideals. Believing they are genius, they lack wisdom. In their deficit, they celebrate their darkness. Yet deep inside, they know they are wrong and begin exposing one another for their deeds. Proverbs 2:10-14 says, "When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto your soul: Discretion shall preserve you, understanding shall keep you: To deliver you from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaks perverse things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil and delight in the perversity of the wicked." Hollywood is a sordid state of affairs as are the politicians associated with it.
Daily Devotion: A Better World Ahead - By Greg Laurie -
For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! -2 Corinthians 4:17
Deep inside us, there is a sense of something more in life that drives us on. No matter what experiences you've had, no matter how wonderful they were, they were just a glimpse of what is still ahead. You are really homesick for a place you have never been before, and that place is Heaven. You were wired this way.
The Bible says that God has put eternity in our hearts (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). This simply means there is a sense inside of us that there is more to life. That is what keeps us moving forward.
It is sort of like the homing instinct we see in the animal kingdom, like the salmon making their way upstream with such determination. We see it in the way the swallows return every year to San Juan Capistrano. It's a homing instinct that drives them.
We have the same thing, but it is a homing instinct for a place we haven't seen yet. It is a homesickness for Heaven. Until that day, there is nothing that will completely satisfy our lives. No matter what happens to us on Earth, it pales in comparison to this great hope.
The apostle Paul wrote, "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever" (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NLT).
This is the hope of the Christian-the hope of a place called Heaven. There is a better world ahead. There is something greater than what we're experiencing now.
FROM THE HEART
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