Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Paradox of a Righteous Lot - Pete Garcia -
Most of us alive here in America tend to see the world with a western worldview. This worldview works fine for everyday life but can cause the average western believer consternation when trying to make sense of certain parts of the Scriptures. All Scripture is giving by inspiration of God through the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16), but what we fail to sometimes take into account, was that the men who physically wrote the Bible, were all from the Oriental world.
The Old Testament was written almost entirely in Hebrew and with a small portion in Aramaic. The New Testament was written entirely in Koinonia Greek (the common vernacular of the day). But it was Jewish men, who thought with a Hebraic mindset, that wrote both Old and New Testaments. So when we modern westerners get to certain parts of the scriptures that seem to be paradoxical to each other, we oftentimes get perplexed at the seeming contradictions.
But to the Hebrew mind, opposing ideas could be equally accepted at the same time. Patterns that formed cycles were key to understanding the fullness of the entirety of the message. The Hebrew culture (like other eastern cultures) used what has been deemed, "block logic", and in Marvin Wilson's "Our Father Abraham-Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith", he makes some interesting points about the two:
"The use of what may be termed block logic is another important contour of Hebrew thought. Greek logic, which has to a large extent influenced the Western world, was different. The Greeks often used a tightly contained step logic whereby one would argue from premises to a conclusion, each step linked tightly to the next in coherent, rational, logical fashion. The conclusion, however, was usually limited to one point of view-the human being's perception of reality"
"The Hebrew knew he did not know all the answers. His position was 'under the sun' (Ecc. 8:17), so his words were few (5:2). He refused to over-systematize or forced harmonization on the enigmas of God's truth or the puzzles of the universe. He realized that no one could straighten what God has made crooked (7:13). All things, therefore, did not need to be fully rational. The Hebrew mind was willing to accept the truths taught on both sides of the paradox; it recognized that mystery and apparent contradictions are often signs of the divine. Stated succinctly, the Hebrews knew the wisdom of learning to trust in matters that they could not fully understand."
In layman's terms, those influenced in western thought, i.e....the Greco-Roman world-view, understood things in a linear, logical manner. We try and apply logic to a problem in order to come up with the most logical solution. Applying this type of mental methodology to Bible prophecy, can oftentimes frustrate the purpose, which then causes confusion. Marvin Wilson provides some excellent examples in which 'block logic' is used in Scriptures:
"The book of Exodus says that Pharaoh hardened his heart, but it also says that God hardened it (Ex. 8:15; cf. 7:3). The prophets teach that God is both wrathful and merciful (Isa. 45:7; Hab. 3:2). The New Testament refers to [Yeshua] as the 'Lamb of God' and the 'Lion of the tribe of Judah' (Jn. 1:29, 36; Rev. 5:5). Hell is described as both 'blackest darkness' and the fiery lake' (Jude 13; Rev. 19:20). In terms of salvation, [Yeshua] said, 'whoever comes to me I will never drive away,' yet no one can come 'unless the Father draws him' (Jn. 6:37, 44). To find life you must lose it (Mt. 10:39). When you are weak, then you are strong (2 Cor. 12:10). The way up (exaltation) is the way down (humility) (Lk. 14:11). 'Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated' (Rom. 9:13; Mal. 1:3).
Block logic is the mindset, that one can accept two opposing ideas as both equally true... it all depends on whose perception one is looking through.
Old Testament Lot
Throughout the entirety of his account beginning in Genesis chapter 11, through chapter 19, Lot was always living in the shadow of his older cousin Abram (Abraham). When they arrived at Canaan, Abram gave him the choice cut of land and they parted ways. A little later on, some wicked kings kidnapped Lot and Abram had to come to the rescue. From there, the Lord and two angels visit Abraham and give him a heads up, that they were going to visit Sodom and Gomorrah, and then destroy it. Abraham, knowing Lot lived there, asked one of the most pivotal questions that sets the tone for the rest of the Scriptures:
And Abraham came near and said, "Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Genesis 18:23
Two angels were dispatched to Sodom and Gomorrah, and there Lot met them at the gate. He persuaded them to come back to his house because he knew the kind of evil that would befall these visitors should they remain out in the open. But this didn't stop the men of the city from surrounding Lot's house and attempting to break down the door to get to them. Lot does what any "red-blooded father" would do...and he offers up his two daughters in exchange for these visitors' safety. The outraged mob attempt to rush Lot and the visitors...
And they (the mob) said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one (Lot) came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door. Genesis 19:9-11
From there, the two visitors, Lot, and family in tow depart the city early in the morning. Lot's wife looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt. Lot ends up in the mountains with his two daughters, and they get him drunk and seduce him so they could get impregnated. Impressed yet? Seems like Lot is always getting himself into some kind of precarious situation.
New Testament Lot
Lot is referenced twice in the New Testament; first in Luke 17, when Jesus referencing what the world will be like when He returns, pointed back to the wickedness of that time. The second mention is by the Apostle Peter. And here, Peter gives three different examples of the punishment in which God had served in the past to curb the wickedness in the world: the fallen angels who left their first estate and copulated with human women, the wicked people in Noah's day, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot's day...
....and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)- 2 Peter 2:7-8
WHAT?! Did I miss something in the Genesis account? Three times, Peter was moved by the Holy Spirit to call this man Lot righteous. What did we see of this man's life and actions in the Old Testament that would warrant him being addressed as righteous now?
Remember that thing about 'block logic'? There is where our perception and God's, see things differently.
Just turn on the news or read the Drudge Report one day and you can quickly see the awful wickedness that permeates this day and age we live in. Lot's circumstance was just a microcosm of what we experience today. Both news and travel have greatly increased (Dan 12:4), and we know what's going on in the world as it happens. Since bad news sells better than good news, we are inundated with as much of it as one can take.
Whether it's horrific crimes committed against the innocent, or wars, pestilence, famines, and corruption, you can be sure that no matter where you look, you don't have to look hard. For those of us who watch the signs of the times, it can make you weary and long for the Lord to return. Even now we are being oppressed by the filthy conduct that is being pressed on us to accept as normal by the "civilized" world. The issues includes: drugs, gay marriage, abortion, anti-Christian propaganda, euthanasia, apostate and false religious movements, genetic engineering, and violence perpetrated against the Church in many parts of the world.
Is your soul tormented? If it's not, then your head is in the proverbial hole in the sand. Remember, we are tri-partite beings: body, soul, and spirit. Even though one is saved (revived spirit), our souls (the conscious) is being tested like never before. The floodgates of evil are being opened and we are getting just a taste of what's going to be turned loose during the Tribulation. Even now, we are weary and long to be home in heaven with our Savior.
For those who don't watch for the Lord's soon return, it's just business as usual. And that attitude often feeds the frustration many of us feel when sharing the gospel with urgency we know...with the apathetic or spiritually blinded who don't know how close to the end we really are, nor do they want to know.
The Pattern and the Plan
According to the Strongs Lexicon, Lot's name in Hebrew means "Covering" and since he had to be removed prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, we too will be removed prior to the Wrath of God being poured out on this world. As the body of Christ on earth, we are inhabited and sealed by the Holy Spirit, overcomers chosen by God before the foundation of the world ever came to be (Eph 1:4). [The Plan] At the Rapture, the Holy Spirit's ministry of restraint is likewise removed, and God's wrath is poured out on a Christ-rejecting world. When the covering is removed, God's wrath was poured out on the plain-cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. When the Church is removed (along with the Restrainer) the wrath will be poured out. This pattern is repeated throughout the Scriptures. God does not destroy the righteous with the wicked. [The Pattern] Although we don't see much righteousness in Lot's testimony, God did. Although we don't have much to brag about ourselves, God sees us as righteous through the shed blood of His Son on the cross at Calvary. It may not always make sense to us, but it does to God. And I love it when God's plan comes together!
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:2
Nearing Midnight: COVID, Conspiracy, Crises, and Election - Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Time of crisis invariably produces conspiracy theory and controversy. The nation has been in constant crisis since the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump. From the election results' beginning, there was the claim of its illegitimacy. The claim grew into accusations of collusion with the Russians to defeat Clinton and the Democrat Party. That burgeoned into the ongoing attempts to get rid of what the political left considers the illegal occupier of the White House.
Crisis has now reached the level of near-civil war to some extent. The party that claims to have been cheated either supports or remains silent about anarchists and rioters who are burning down cities whose mayors are Democrats, and who blame this president for their problems, even though they refuse to let him intervene with federal help.
Add to the election-produced crisis the COVID-19 "pandemic," which comes on the heels of feverish efforts to create a controversy of major proportions each and every week.
The intrigues of the cabal that worked within the intelligence agencies of the Obama administration to forge false accusations against this president; the totally proven false Mueller investigation for months on end; the failed, disgraceful, impeachment attempt-all were part of the ginned-up crisis.
The assault has not lessened. Each week another Molotov cocktail is thrown into the incendiary effort of attempted coup d'état. And now an even stranger twist comes into what has, in my view, become an almost certain prophetic insinuation into this crisis of unprecedented virulence and intrigue.
The president, the most protected person in America-and arguably in the world-has come under attack from the microbic enemy called coronavirus. No one can seem to figure out how it got to him, even with the most intensive contact-tracing capability available on the planet. This, of course, has produced as many conspiracy theories as any found throughout the history of such crises.
One writer has the whole matter as concerning continuance of government.
A week or two ago, when the president first announced that he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19, the earliest conspiracy theories burst onto the World Wide Web. Some of the things one blog suggested might be involved were wrapped in the following.
Is the POTUS COVID-Based Quarantine a Cover Story for the Enacting of Continuity of Government Protocols?...
The implied message being given to the public suggests that the President is working, as normal, at the White House. However, people who are familiar with the protocols for such matters states that it is more likely that the President has retreated to The Presidential Emergency Operations Center which is a bunker structure underneath the East Wing of the White House. It serves as a secure shelter and communications center for the President of the United States and others in case of an emergency...
[The blogger went on to give possible reasons for the made-up announcement that the president and his wife had coronavirus.]
1. Impending war with China is a distinct possibility. There are many ancillary factors that could serve to support this notion.
2. The unleashing of what I have previously called the TET Offensive of terrorism.
3. Impending war with both Russia and China.
4. Incoming asteroid(s).
5. A Deep-State initiated coup against the President.
6. A defined series, not just one, assassination attempts being launched against the president. (Common Sense Show, Dave Hodges, Friday October 3, 2020)
Of course, we subsequently learned that the president and wife were whisked off to Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. (Unless this is just a cover-up, as some conspiracy theorists would have it.)
The many intrigues rocking our world as of late makes almost any possibility seem feasible, I suppose. All the intrigue is driving us toward election, and it's the supremely important things wrapped up within this matter with which I would like to conclude.
I refer not to the 2020 presidential election on November 3, but to the election of individual human beings to become heavenly citizens.
In this regard, election is all-important. What the great Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi, said about the subject of winning, I can say about the subject of election: "Election isn't everything; it's the only thing."
That is, God has elected you to become His child-to be saved from the wrath and judgment to come. And as we look around us, that wrath and judgment must be very near indeed (placing the Rapture even closer in the immediate future).
He has chosen to extend His grace to you through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, so you can avoid that coming judgment.
But you must accept the result of that election. You must say "yes" to that grace offer to be forgiven of all sin past, present, and future. And, after you have accepted that election, you should serve God, pray, and study His Word.
We, as His elect, are to carry out the Great Commission-to tell those we come in contact with about the saving power and love of the God who created all that exists.
"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall" (2 Peter 1:10).
Israel Watch: The Business Kings - Jim Fletcher -
World leaders Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu have plenty of critics, but what the critics can't do is criticize the economies built by these unique men.
Even with the Chinese Coronavirus, the American economy is on its way back. Assuming he wins re-election, Trump will preside over a bravo surge next year.
And while Bibi has the usual arrows aimed at him in Israel, no one can deny his genius when making his country the jewel of the Middle East. Big news hit this week:
"US oil and gas conglomerate Chevron has completed its acquisition of Noble Energy, which operates two gas fields off Israel's coast, following approval by the Texas-based company's shareholders.
"The finalization of the sale was hailed by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who called it 'tremendous news for Israel's economy' and said it would open up 'huge investment opportunities for high-tech and start-ups in the energy sector.'
"In July, Chevron announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement with Noble Energy to buy all outstanding shares in an all-stock transaction valued at $5 billion. The total value of the deal, including debt, is $13 billion, Chevron said.
"Noble Energy has stakes in Israel's mammoth gas fields, Tamar and Leviathan."
A Foreign Affairs piece sheds more light on the benefits to Israel:
"Israel stands to be the main beneficiary of the eastern Mediterranean's bounty, due mainly to the geographic distribution of recent discoveries. In 2009 and 2010, a pair of U.S.-Israeli consortiums exploring the seabed near Haifa discovered the Tamar and Leviathan fields, which collectively hold an estimated 26 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas. The timing of these discoveries was opportune. Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, Israel has suffered frequent supply interruptions and the eventual termination of its contract with Egypt, which had previously provided 40 percent of the gas Israel consumed, at below-market rates. The Tamar and Leviathan fields, once developed, could satisfy Israel's electricity needs for the next 30 years and even allow it to become a net energy exporter."
Lebanon tried to say some of this was in their territorial waters, but in fact Israel owns all this vast oil and gas field. It's quite remarkable how this game-changer affects the Middle East. This, combined with the thaw in relations between Israel and the Arab states, gives us pause in giving hard predictions about the future. At least in terms of when this or that prophecy will be fulfilled.
I know, I know. I preach this a lot. But it astonishing how different that neighborhood is in just the past three years. Under Obama, the Middle East was burning (intentionally, I believe). Now, it is on the verge of being the oasis many have longed for it to be.
Of course, we don't know how this will last, either.
And, I will be the first to admit that this very rich field would be very attractive to a northern nation, say, a Bear to the far north?
What Should Conservative Americans Expect If Biden-Harris Win? - Michael Brown -
Although many of my friends with spiritual intuition remain confident that Donald Trump will be reelected, looking at things through natural eyes, his prospects are not good.
What if Trump-Pence lost to Biden-Harris? What if Joseph Biden became our nation's 46th president? What would that look like for conservative Americans?
On the one hand, it would not be the end of the world. The sun will still shine. Children will be born. Couples will get married. Students will be in class (be it virtual or in person). The business world will keep ticking. The sports world will play its games. Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and Christmas and the New Year will be celebrated on schedule.
To repeat: it would not be the end of the world.
What Would Be the Consequences?
As for serious fears and concerns, gun owners will not suddenly have all their weapons confiscated. Church buildings will not be shuttered by the government. Roaming gangs will not take over all our cities and suburbs. Planes will not fall from the sky.
After all, God remains God in heaven, and He has not yet given us over to total chaos and destruction. Plus, there are multiplied tens of millions of Americans (the clear majority, I would say), who want what is best for our nation.
But let us not kid ourselves. A Biden-Harris victory would likely have many serious consequences for Christian conservatives (along with their ideological companions in other faiths). Things could get much darker, very quickly.
Will the Legality of Abortion Go Back to the States? Or Become Codified in Federal Law?
Consider the pro-life movement.
Decades of hard work and sacrifice and tears are making a difference, as different states advance pro-life bills and the overturning of Roe v. Wade appears to be a real possibility.
With the likely confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, the next case challenging Roe could result in a major pushback. And then, suddenly, abortion laws could fall back to the states, with massive potential gains in the sanctity of life.
This, in fact, was a major reason many of us voted for Trump in 2016, hoping he would keep his pro-life promises and nominate worthy judges to the courts. He has just done that, and four more years of Trump could signal even more significant gains.
Biden has announced that he would pass legislation making Roe the law of the land, while Harris is the most militant pro-abortion candidate in our history.
Yet all of that could be undone in a moment of time. Biden has announced that he would pass legislation making Roe the law of the land, while Harris is the most militant pro-abortion candidate in our history.
Should the Democrats retake the Senate, such legislation could be passed, and just like that, decades of pro-life legal efforts would be obliterated. There is also the ominous possibility of "packing" the Supreme Court, a possibility that, remarkably, neither Biden nor Harris will deny. This would have even larger implications, touching also on our most fundamental freedoms, our freedoms of conscience, speech and religion.
Under Trump-Pence the DOJ is Protecting Religious Liberty. But Under Biden-Harris?
During the COVID lockdown, we have seen the extreme inequities in certain Democratic cities and states, where abortion clinics and liquor stores remain open, providing so-called "essential services," while churches and synagogues remain restricted. Yet outrageous rulings like this -- they truly are outrageous -- would have increasing court backing with a Biden-Harris victory.
In California, you can protest on the streets in large numbers, but you can't hold a group Bible study in your home. You can shout at a BLM rally, but you can't sing in a church service. In Nevada, you can operate a casino at 50 percent capacity, but if your church building seats 3,000 people, you can't have more than 50 in attendance.
Our freedoms really are under assault, and under Trump, the DOJ is pushing back. Under Biden-Harris, the pushback would be in the opposite direction -- against the churches, not for them.
When Kamala Harris was the Attorney General of California, she joined with Planned Parenthood in prosecuting (really, persecuting) David Daleiden, founder of the pro-life Center for Medical Progress. His work came to national attention when he posted undercover videos confirming that Planned Parenthood clinics were selling aborted baby parts for profit.
But rather than going after Planned Parenthood for its barbaric practices, Harris went after Daleiden, authorizing a raid on his house in order to confiscate the video evidence.
Does that give a hint of where a Biden-Harris administration would go?
We Could Expect to See Schools Lose Funding Over Bathroom Policy Again
Under the Obama-Biden administration, a state that refused to allow a biological male to play on the girls' sports team or share their bathroom and locker room facilities would lose federal funding for its schools.
There was so much resistance to this policy that, in July, 2016, Politico reported that "half of all states are now battling the [Obama] administration over the culturally divisive issue of transgender students and whether they should be permitted to use the restrooms of their choice. The growing number of lawsuits makes it all but inevitable the transgender rights issue will make its way to the Supreme Court."
The Trump administration undid this onerous and discriminatory policy, rendering these lawsuits unnecessary. In stark contrast, candidate Biden tweeted this early this year: "Let's be clear: Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights."
As nice as this sounds, it means trampling on the rights of millions of others, in particular students in our schools. And with a Democratic Congress and a packed Supreme Court, who will be there to stand up for our kids and grandkids?
Jesus is Lord Either Way, but the Stakes are High
Again, a Biden-Harris victory would not be the end of the world. There might even be a little less political drama, since the "chaos president" would have been removed.
But, as I tweeted on October 7, "It's very true that @realDonaldTrump provokes a lot of the leftist attacks against him, be it from the media or Hollywood. But guess who their target will be when he's not around to bash? All of us who hold to conservative biblical values."
Thankfully, the election is still a few weeks out, and regardless of the outcome, Jesus is still Lord. It's just important to realize that the stakes are very high and I only focused on a few of them here.
Daily Jot: Polling Analysis-Trending is important - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Many of the polls have former Vice President Joe Biden beating President Donald Trump in a landslide. The Economist predicts Biden has a 91% chance of winning the electoral college and a 99% chance of winning the popular vote. Rasmussen indicated that Biden had a 12-point lead over Trump in its recent head to head poll taken September 30-October 6 of 2,500 likely voters. Rasmussen is the only polling entity that predicted the 2016 election correctly when all other polling sources were pointing to a runaway landslide for Democratic loser Hillary Clinton. This election, Rasmussen is saying that all is not yet lost for Trump, but that there are many obstacles to overcome for him to be reelected.
Rasmussen reports on October 8, "Last week, we wrote that Donald Trump needed to help himself at last week's debate more than Joe Biden did, because Trump is trailing and Biden is leading. We did not think Trump did help himself, and the numbers we've seen since the debate have backed up that initial reaction. It also does not appear that the president and many top officials contracting coronavirus has made the president look better or improved his chances...a common question has been whether this episode or that episode would hurt his standing...But with just weeks to go until the election, asking whether something hurts Trump is the wrong question. Rather, the key question is whether something helps."
Rasmussen continues: "At least some of the numbers we're seeing for Biden now likely represent a sugar high for the challenger, which can happen sometimes when one candidate performs poorly or is on the wrong side of a bad story. Hillary Clinton's national lead against Trump hit double digits in some polls following the revelation of the "Access Hollywood" recording in early October 2016, although Clinton's aggregate lead over Trump in national polling as measured by RealClearPolitics hit only a high point of seven that October, and her share of the vote in the average never surpassed 49% in the fall (she ended up getting 48%). Biden, meanwhile, has not dipped under 49% in RealClearPolitics since early August, and he was approaching 52% Wednesday (October 7) evening."
Suspend your disbelief. Even Rasmussen says Trump needs to make up ground. Trending is important. The Trump campaign needs to show a positive trend upward in the next three weeks, culminating on election day. Since October 5, Rasmussen Reports shows Trump's daily approval has risen from 46% to 49%. This is a good sign. It must keep rising to over 50% for Trump to win. Remember that 10 million people already have voted and the Democrats have been pushing their get out the vote hard. 2 Chronicles 15 speaks of Israel turning to God when it was "vexed" with adversity. Verse 7 says, "But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!" Time to get to work. Call on the Lord. Do what you can do.
Daily Devotion: A Prodigal Prophet - by Greg Laurie -
This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. -Jonah 4:1
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/a-prodigal-prophet/ - Listen
Sometimes people worry about new believers not changing quickly enough, but I'm more concerned with older converts who have stopped changing.
New believers are still figuring out their newfound faith. Maybe they're a little rough around the edges. Maybe some profanity slips out from time to time, or they haven't completely gotten rid of some old vices. You think they have a little growing to do, and that is understandable.
Actually, I'm pretty patient with that sort of thing. However, what concerns me is the person who has known the Lord for years and stopped changing a long time ago. What's more, they've become crankier and meaner, yet they quote the Bible all the time.
They're bitter and very critical. Their new form of ministry seems to be tearing other people down. They're using the passion they once had for evangelism to critique other Christians.
What happened to them? How did they end up in that state?
They've stagnated in their walk with Christ. They're no longer making changes.
When we come to the fourth chapter of Jonah, that is what we see happening. Jonah was a mature believer. He should have known better, but he was having a relapse. In effect, Jonah was a prodigal prophet. And he was angry and bitter toward God.
People can be used in remarkable ways by God, yet they can make big mistakes and commit sins afterward. We see this in the lives of Abraham, Moses, Samson, David, and Simon Peter.
Jonah was waiting for judgment to fall on Nineveh, and mercy fell instead. In the same way, some Christians are more concerned with their comfort than with the souls of lost people.
If we don't get excited when a lost person comes to Jesus, then we need to ask God to change our hearts.
FROM THE HEART
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