Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Israel Restored Enters the Tribulation
- by Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2019/10/israel-restored-enters-tribulation.html
"And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." (Ezekiel 37:21-22)
As I've long believed, Israel is the door to end time prophecy, and Jerusalem is the key. Things are lining up for Israel to fulfill her destiny and the building of the the 3rd Temple again. More on that in a little bit.
Prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of our eyes. And there is not a better example than the nation of Israel. To say that Israel is an astonishment of our modern times to come back into existence after almost 2000 years would be an understatement...This was the will of God and it signaled the count down of the prophecy clock and the return of Jesus Christ.
The prophet Ezekiel prophesied in around 536 BC of this occurrence would happen at the end of days as the nation of Israel would be, once again the same state that was destroyed in 70 AD and the Jewish people banished by Rome some 60 years later after several revolts against the Roman Empire and its rule.
ISRAEL INTO EXILE, AND EVENTUAL DESTRUCTION.
One hundred and sixty-six years before, Sargon II of Assyria besieged and divided Israel and Judea, capturing the Kingdom of Israel. Sargon II followed the practice of removing the nobles from a conquered land and settling them elsewhere. As a consequence, the nation of 'Israel' ceased to exist and its people became known to history as the 'ten lost tribes' of Israel.
When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judea and settled Judean nobility in Babylon during Ezekiel's lifetime, there was no reason to expect the Jews to escape the same fate as their Israelite cousins 166 years earlier.
But Ezekiel, under Divine inspiration, not only predicted the restoration of a Jewish State, he confidently predicted it would bear the name of a nation that had not existed for generations! This did not fully happen during the 2nd Temple, as Israel was ruled by several nations until Rome conquered the area.
ISRAEL, THE NATION RESTORED.
The nation of Israel almost didn't become a a nation because of rabid anti-semitism being fostered within the nation that would become its greatest friend since 1948. In a letter sent by Chaim Weitzman sent to then President Harry Truman on May 13th of 1948, then President of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Weitzman asked Truman to recognize their new state. At the time, the Zionist leaders had not even picked out a name for the new state and were arguing over the name whether it should be called Judea, Zion, or until somebody out of left field invoked the question "What about the name Israel?" Weitzman was asking Truman for recognition of a then nameless state.
Abba Eban was Israel's first representative to the United Nations, even before there was a state of Israel. Prior to declaring statehood, Eban was the Jewish Relief Agency's official representative.
Eban served as the Ambassador the the UN and Israel Ambassador to the USA before becoming Israel's foreign minister. Eban was a man with a quick wit and spoke his mind and was present at every major event involving Israel until his departure from the Knesset in 1988. He fought rash Anti-Semitism wherever it raised it's ugly head. He once proclaimed that if "Algeria introduced a resolution declaring the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass overwhelmingly with a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 absentions.
IN a book written by Eban, he recounted how the Soviet Union had enthusiastically supported the establishment of a Jewish state, while the USA almost withheld their recognition, which would have doomed their new state to stillbirth.
President Truman, a crusty mid-Westerner with no particular love for the Jews, fought a pitched battle with Secretary of State George C Marshall, who told Truman in blunt terms;
"They don't deserve a state, they have stolen that country. If you give this recognition, Mr. President, I may not vote for you in the next election."...Truman ignored his secretary of state and upon advise from the united cabinet, sent a letter of recognition to the new Jewish State. On that day, Israel was born in one day as prophesied.
"Who ever heard of such a thing or imagined it could happen? Can a nation be born in a day or come to life in a second? Jerusalem is like a mother who gave birth to her children as soon as she was in labor. " (Isaiah 66:8)
But that is exactly what happened, and when the Soviet Union realized that Israel was looking west, instead of to them, they blocked the deportation of Russian Jews to Israel....many countries did likewise with their Jewish populations...and the Soviets in turn aligned themselves with the Arabs, Israel's enemies.
But God had proclaimed that the scattered Jews would indeed return to the land given to them in a covenant with their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
"Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;" (Isaiah 43:4-5)
History does not need repeating, as anyone can read the historical accounts as time passed and the wars that Israel had to fight at unspeakable odds, just to survive and won them decisively with the help of God Almighty. Through it all, the scattered Jewish people came from the west from the USA, from Egypt as the Egyptians had blocked their leaving for the new land of Israel, as had the holocaust driven the European Jews back to Israel, and the ten lost tribes of Israel were identified in Afghanistan, northern India, and Africa in the countries of Sudan and Ethiopia. The return of the Jewish people to their homeland has been on going for the last almost 70 years. Some of the Preterest belief that all was fulfilled in 70 AD when Rome destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was no more, was the end of prophecy. But Israel was again populated with the Jewish people from the four corners of the globe and prophecy is being fulfilled at a rapid pace.
What appears to be the fulfillment of Bible prophecy in this generation, the argument goes, is the consequence of misreading or misinterpreting the Scriptures by naysayers of Old Testament prophets wrote what God would do in the last days of this Age. They have all been wrong.
It took the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall to make the Soviets to the north 'give up'. . Yemeni Jews were transferred enmasse, some 56,000 of them, during what Israel called "Operation Flying Carpet." ("to the south, keep not back").
It is no Scriptural sleight-of-hand trick, or a manipulation or misinterpretation of the Bible. The restoration of Israel -- viewed from our vantage point as personal witnesses to recent history -- is an EXACT match to the Bible's description of how, when and where that restoration would take place.
JESUS CHRIST SPOKE OF ISRAEL'S RETURN
32"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:32-36)
This was Jesus speaking to His disciples concerning the signs of His return. As most know, the sign of fig tree is a sign of Israel...Israel bloomed in 1948, and as Jesus prophesied in V. 34, this generation would NOT pass away till all things be fulfilled. We know from Psalms 90 the generation of a man is 70 years.
"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strengththey be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." (Psalms 90:10).
Counting those years that Jesus made this prophecy of what a generation from the founding of Israel would be before all things would be complete, you can see that we are approaching the fulfillment of those allotted years of those born during this time of Israel's rebirth.
All of this, we have covered in past messages, but I wish to cover something that will be in place during the first part of the Tribulation and it is huge news for the prophecy watcher who keeps their eyes open and watching current events as they line up to the Word of God.
THE BUILDING OF THE 3RD TEMPLE
A huge development for the fulfilling of prophecy concerning the 3rd Jewish temple has just broke in the news recently. . The Sanhedrin of Israel has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin, and USA President Donald Trump to assist them in rebuilding the 3rd Jewish temple.
2"Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
3Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem." (Ezra 1:2-3).
It has been pointed out, that God may have raised up POTUS Trump as a modern day Cyrus to bring to pass the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Rabb Hillel Weiss spokesman for the Sanhedrin, contacted Breaking Israel News to announce that the election of Trump, who has promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, coupled with Putin's expressed desire for the Temple to be rebuilt, prompted the Jewish court to send a letter offering the two the opportunity to act as modern-day Cyrus figures: non-Jewish kings who recognize the importance of Israel and the Temple.
Since the election of this new administration the tone and support of Israel has done a 180 degree turn-around from the outgoing POTUS, the "traitor in chief" to voicing undying support for our only democratic ally in the Middle East, the nation of Israel. Has God appointed two "kings" of two nations, to bring the Jewish Temple to fruition? If God has chosen Trump to bring this to pass, there is no stopping a POTUS Trump, as God will protect him so that His will be done concerning Israel. What the role of Putin will be may be found in the Gog-Magog coalition that is forming right now.
According to Israel News "The Sanhedrin also recalled Putin's connection to the Temple in its letter. During his third official trip to Jerusalem in 2012, Putin paid a late-night visit to the Kotel (Western Wall). When he arrived at the holy site, the Russian leader stood in silence for several minutes, offering up a personal prayer, after which he read Psalms from a Russian-Hebrew prayer book."
I believe it could be true that Trump could be instrumental in the project of the Jewish Temple being at least started..I have reservations about Vladimir Putin being involved, as noted below.
Why is this important for prophecy watchers?
As Israel news emphasized in the article ""We are poised to rebuild the Temple. The political conditions today, in which the two most important national leaders in the world support the Jewish right to Jerusalem as their spiritual inheritance, is historically unprecedented," Rabbi Weiss told Breaking Israel News."
The Bible says that the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple will be connected with other important events.
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."(Daniel 9:27)
For the man of sin, called the Anti-Christ is revealed, there has to be a covenant of 7 years and in those years of the first part of the Tribulation, the temple will be rebuilt. How fast will it go up? The Sanhedrin and the Temple Institute has all the implements, the temple implements , the red heifer and the Priest ordained to minister and cleanse the Temple for resuming the animal sacrifices as were performed in the 2nd temple destroyed in 70 AD. Let us look at a short, possible timeline that will lead to the Abomination of Desolation which stands in the Temple and the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
It is tbelieved that a great war will break out in the Middle East, with Gog-Magog coming into Israel as a cloud and God will defeat them on the mountains of Israel supernaturally, delivered by Ezekiel from God, This is where Vladimir Putin, I believe may fulfill prophecy:
1 "Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
2And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 39:2-5
After such devastation, a man of great superior diplomatic skills, a charismatic individual will arise who will bring a "false peace" to the area and allow Israel to rebuild their Temple and assure they will be protected by his regime. To try and speculate who this man is, is an exercise in futility, as we may have an idea, but I believe we will never know, this side of the coming of Jesus Christ for His Church.
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."(Daniel 9:27)
To have these Tribulation events unfold, there has to be a Temple, and the Sanhedrin believes that since there are two leaders who desire the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, there is no better time than the present.
President Trump returned the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, thus recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. So we see the domino lining up for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. How long? If the covenant is made with Israel, and the go ahead of the Temple is ratified, it could happen within 3 months, as all the building blocks are ready for immediate construction. This could all fall into place in lightening speed. When will this war of Ezekiel bring a clamor for the rebuilding of this Temple? If you look at the region right now, the Arabs, Iran, and Russia are on the borders of Israel to the north, to the east, and from the northeast of the Golan Heights, Lebanon with Hezbollah, Gaza with Hamas and the Russian Bear supporting them all. It could happen in a flash, but it will be a quick war. As God has said He will fight for Israel and 5/6 of this invading army will be destroyed with the plague of destruction following the survivors back to the home country. Note that one event leads to another....the Anti-Christ is alive today and he will make his appearance when God says he will make himself known, but one thing will happen first.
6"And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8And THEN shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders," (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-9)(my emphasis)
Notice that one must proceed the other...there is a power that is holding back evil to rule this world with a hindrance. The evil is Satan and his demon hordes that wish to destroy mankind, but receive worship for himself beforehand, as he knows his time is short...THEN that power (the Holy Spirit) which is the only power that is keeping evil in check according to God's will for men to choose either good or evil, will be removed from HIS fullness....But those who have the earnest deposit of God's Holy Spirit will be removed prior to this revealing of the Anti-Christ.
It all centers around Israel. Never has there been a people, a nation that has caused so much turmoil by just existing, as the tiny nation of Israel which is no bigger than New Jersey...Why? Because Satan hates Israel and explains the rabid hatred of anyone, or anything that supports their existence. Why do you think that there is so much opposition to POTUS Trump? Liberals hate anything that speaks of the God of Israel and when a POTUS supports Israel, as this President does, it gives them even more reason to hate him. They may be opposed to conservative policies, or "draining the swamp", but backing it up is the forces of Satan putting the idea of rebellion in the hearts of a godless half of the country, epitomized by the Democratic/Communist party. But God is in control and no one can thwart His will.
ARE YOU PREPARED?
Why do I say prepared? Because this could happen in the next few years..it could happen tomorrow...what you say? Tomorrow? I'm not talking about the war of Ezekiel 38-39, or the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, but what could happen tonight, tomorrow or the near future, is the removing of God's Holy Spirit from it's fullness to Pre-Pentecostal manifestations of His power, and the removal of His church out of the way of His coming wrath. All these events are dove-tailed together. Israel, the temple, the Gog-Magog War, and the most important for those who look forward to the appearing of our Blessed Hope, the removal of the body of Christ before these events begin. We may see the Gog-Magog war, but I am believing we won't even see that, because right on it's heels is the 7 year covenant signed by the Anti-Christ. If you read scripture closely and take in the beginning of the wrath of God in Revelation chp. 6, and all we have discussed here in an abbreviated fashion, then I pray you see the prophecy that Paul spoke up come to pass:
50 "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal mustput on immortality" (1st Corinthians 15:50-53)
Don't be one of the scoffers that don't believe that Jesus is coming soon and live for themselves, not accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Peter made that prediction on his epistle in 2nd Peter:
3 "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2nd Peter 3:3-4).
Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be save:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
8" But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans10:8-13)
Israel being the key to the end of this Age...I pray you can see the signs and symptoms of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ...For the miracle of Israel has already happened and we await the 3rd Temple being rebuilt and Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven prior to its construction.
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying you make that decision for Christ. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit me online for more biblical messages of the Gospel and the end times at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , . God bless you all, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
The Feast Of Tabernacles: Feast of Booths: Sukkot - By Jack Kelley -
Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. (Deuteronomy 14:22-26)
In many ways, the Feast of Tabernacles was the best time of the whole year in Israel. It began 5 days after Yom Kippur and lasted an entire week. The harvest was in, the people had been forgiven all their sins and it was a time of national celebration; like Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled into one.
From all over Israel, the people packed up their tithes and came to Jerusalem, which is the place the Lord had chosen as the dwelling for His name. (2 Chronicles 6:5-6) On every available piece of land, they built temporary shelters (called tabernacles or booths) and lived in them to remind themselves of the time their ancestors had spent in the wilderness. For seven days and seven nights (later expanded to 8) they gave thanks to God in a huge celebration of His Goodness. They cooked and ate the tithes they had been storing up all year. Wherever you went, the smell of delicious food and drink and the sound of laughter filled the air. Any guilt they had felt for the sins of the past year had been taken away five days earlier, and the realization that another bountiful harvest was in the storage barns only added to their feelings feeling of great satisfaction and contentment. All was right with the world.
The Best Of The Best
I'm guessing that the very best of these celebrations happened during the reign of King Solomon. It was then that the people of Israel reached the zenith of their abundance and their influence in the world, an example for all the nations to behold. They were blessed beyond measure; tangible evidence of the tremendous benefits a relationship with the Lord could bring.
Everyone who visited Israel was awestruck, from the most ordinary traveler to kings and dignitaries with wealth we can only imagine. All the neighboring nations eagerly formed alliances with Israel during that time, wanting the benefits of being a friend to the friend of God. Kings sought the advice of Solomon, a man gifted by God with supernatural wisdom, and went to extremes in their efforts to gain favor with him. There was peace and prosperity of a magnitude unknown before or since.
The land flourished, as it always did when the Lord's people were at peace with Him, and crops were ever more abundant. Every fruit and vegetable you can name, and field after field of grains and grasses. Livestock bore their young in season without danger or deformity, and families were blessed with happy healthy children. There was no disease to speak of, and no armed conflict to steal away the best of their youth. This was a fulfillment of
"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
"Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
"Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
"Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
"Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
"The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
"The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
"The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you.
And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand.
You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Those forty brief years were as close as mankind has ever come to experiencing heaven on earth (so far) and the Feast of Tabernacles was the best of the best. In order to get a look at what the millennium will be like for Israel, we need only look back to that period in their history. What a remarkable contrast to our time, with their enemies hemming them in on every side, their streets filled with violence and death, and their friends in the world few and far between.
It Isn't Over Till It's Over
But second only to the promise of the Lord's return is the promise of Israel's restoration. Once again her people will be the envy of all the earth. Once again they'll live in peace with no one to subjugate or enslave them. Once again poverty and disease will be unknown to them, the days of their lives numbered as the days of a tree. This will be the prophetic fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.
"I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands." (Isaiah 65:19-22)
The nations will again delight in Jerusalem and consider its people a joy. "In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you' " (Zechariah 8:23). And the Lord has promised, "See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders." (Isaiah 49:22) The world will once again strive to become a friend of the friend of God.
Even the land will rejoice. "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands" (Isaiah 55:12)
What glorious days those will be. After reading our recent headlines, it's hard to see how such an enormous turn about could come to pass. But "Do not be afraid, O little Israel, for I myself will help you," declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:14) For "If you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name." (Nehemiah 1:9) "Return to me," declares the LORD Almighty, "and I will return to you." (Zechariah 1:3)
"So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel," declares the LORD. "I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid" (Jeremiah 30:10).
For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream ..." (Isaiah 66:12).
"I will bring health and healing to Jerusalem; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before" (Jeremiah 33:6-7).
I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever (Ezekiel 37:26).
Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed. (Nahum 1:15)
And so Israel, at this time of celebration throughout your land, may there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels (Psalm 122:7). And may the LORD hasten the day of your restoration. Shalom
Measure Twice, Cut Once - By Grant Phillips -
Anyone who has worked in construction has faithfully practiced the old adage of "measure twice, cut once." Not taking this advice is a recipe for disaster, eventually.
Several years ago I wanted to do some carpentry, so I gathered what I needed and got busy making a few basic odds and ends. At first I measured with the greatest diligence, but as I gained confidence in my work, I relaxed my diligent measuring. Once was all it took. "Rats! Too short! Got to start over." From then on, I did not relax my measuring standards of "measure twice and cut once."
The logic behind measuring twice and cutting once is to make sure I get it right, so the end result is what I want. For example, I need to cut a 24 ¼ inch board down to 20 inches long. Obviously, I need to cut off 4 ¼ inches, but did I measure 4 ¼ inches on the end or was it 4 ½ inches? Measure twice, cut once. Get it right the first time.
Those who are contractors, carpenters, cooks, seamstresses, etc. are good at what they do not just because they are talented, but also because they pay attention to their work. There is another saying, "Anything worth doing is worth doing right."
And then there are those who don't care about the details and haphazardly proceed with a "lick and a promise." Unfortunately, most people are just as reckless with their soul.
So what does "measure twice, cut once" have to do with spiritual matters? It is simply to say that I need to be sure of my relationship with Jesus Christ and not assume anything. I need to hold the measuring tape of God's Word against my life.
Eventually, every single person who has ever lived will have to give an account to God for their life, their soul, the real person under that layer of skin and bones.
"For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:11-12 emphasis mine)
Notice the emphasis in these two verses of "every knee," "every tongue," and "every one of us." There will be no exceptions, but the majority of us will live our lives frivolously, never once considering that someday there will be a payday. I can, through my own negligence, cut a board the wrong length and be forced to start over. I have that option in carpentry, but there will be no second chance to start over once we are face to face with God, if we 'measured' incorrectly.
When you cut through all the religious jargon, there are only two groups of people in the world; those who belong to God and those who do not. Those who belong to Him will be welcomed with open arms. Those who do not belong to Him will be condemned.
Most people assume they have lived a good enough life to please God when their time comes to meet Him. Others don't even believe He exists, but if He does, they will be alright, because, let's face it, they're no worse than anyone else and probably better than most. I seriously doubt if these same people have ever opened up a Bible and actually listened to what God has to say about it. No, they'll listen to everyone else and form their own opinions, but listen to God!?
God says none of us are worthy to be in His presence. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23)
God says the best we have to offer Him is not worthy of Him. "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6)
God says that our sins, no matter how good we think we are, will condemn us. "For the wages of sin is death;" (Romans 6:23a)
God says He has provided one remedy that will remove all our sins and make us righteous, so we may be with Him forever. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9)
God says we cannot save ourselves. Only He can save us. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
God has a lot to say. If you would like to hear more, read His Word. It's called the Bible. By the way, He also says in His own way, "measure twice, and cut once."
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)
In other words, be sure of your salvation. Scratch all the opinions and double check with God. Be sure right now how we measure up with Him by reading what HE has to say. Obviously, we will never be right with God apart from Jesus Christ, but if Jesus is in us, we have nothing to fear because He clothes us in His righteousness and we will spend eternity with Him.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Demons Are Real - Nathele Graham -
How many of us enjoy a good horror film? I don't, but many people do. Even Christians. Many films seem to glorify evil, such as "The Exorcist", "Rosemary's Baby", "It", and "The Joker". What's the fascination with such evil? It's only a movie, right? Just entertainment. The problem is, demons are real. These movies, as well as television and video games, make them seem as if they're imaginary things that are unreal. Many of the Hollywood crowd serve Satan and have an agenda to make demons seem entertaining. Most people simply shrug off any idea that demons might actually be real and give them no more thought than smiling at the little ghouls and goblins who come begging for candy on Halloween. Yes, our little ones begin at a very early age to make friends with demons. A little devil costume is so cute on Billy and Susie is adorable in her witch hat and black robe. Is this just harmless fun? Another trend today is wearing hideous skulls on t-shirts and tattooed on bodies. Ugly skulls that personify evil. Many Christians see no problem with this. "Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22. As Christians grow increasingly desensitized to Satan's evil, we deny our power to stand against him. We become weak in our Christian walk and see the powers of evil just as the word does...nothing more than a myth. The fact is, demons are real and are very active in the world today. Only the deceived say "There's no such a thing as demons."
Demons aren't myths or fairy tales. We don't like to think about demons, but Christians need to be aware of them. Jesus is the ultimate authority, so since He says demons are real, then they are real. He taught those who followed Him to spread the Gospel, heal the sick, and also to cast out demons. In addition to the twelve disciples, there were many others who followed Him. Jesus sent seventy of these men out to put what they had been taught into practice. "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name." Luke10:17. Jesus didn't tell them there were no such things as devils, but told them He had given them power over the enemy. The name of Jesus is powerful. "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:10-11. Even demons bow to Jesus. Christians have authority in the name of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, many Christians deny His power because they think the enemy isn't at work today, or that the Holy Spirit stopped His work after the Apostles died. That's what the enemy would like you to believe. That's like being in a war (which we are) and believing the enemy when he says that guns don't need bullets to be effective. Believe God and don't be deceived.
What are demons? There are many opinions about their origin, but the bottom line is that they are disembodied spirits. What do you suppose they want most? You guessed it, living bodies. They enter when they're invited. One way is through necromancy, which is defined as the conjuring of the spirits of the dead and always involves demons. Their intention is not to communicate truth or wisdom, but pure lies. Trying to contact the dead is forbidden by God. "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD..." Deuteronomy 18:10-12a. The Israelites were heading to the Promised Land, which was filled with demon worshipping people who practiced child sacrifice (...maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire...) to their demon god. Children are still sacrificed to a demon god today, but we call it abortion. This demonic practice opens portals for demons. Brothers and sisters, be careful. Don't embrace the world, but embrace Jesus Christ. Christians have the protection of the Holy Spirit, but non-believers are unprotected. It's not difficult to attract demons; people do it all the time by drug use and other common practices. Once they've taken up residence in a human body it's not easy to evict them. "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first." Luke 11:24-26. Casting out demons is a serious matter. Once the demon is gone the space once occupied by the demon needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If the space is left empty the demon will return and bring others with him. The only way to be protected is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That only happens when you truly accept Christ for salvation.
In fear of giving too much power to Satan and his minions, Christians refuse to study about demons. In doing so, many deny the existence of evil. We need to be aware of the enemy in order to know how to fight against him. Denying his existence has made it easy for Satan to work his evil. The spiritual battle rages today just as it did when Jesus walked among men. Scripture contains many examples of demons being cast out. One time a man had brought his demon possessed son to the disciples for them to cast out the demon, but they were unsuccessful. They watched as the young man foamed at the mouth and rolled on the ground. The man explained to Jesus that his son had been possessed since childhood. It wasn't a psychological problem nor was it a health issue. It was a demon. Jesus told him that all things are possible to those who believe." And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Mark 9:24. Jesus told the demon to come out and to stay out; the demon had to obey. Later the disciples asked why they were unable to cast the demon out. "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." Mark 9:29. Not only are demons real, but there are different kinds of demons. Why do Christians fail? We don't believe. Jesus will help our unbelief if we ask.
Born again believers in Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God and He doesn't share space with evil. We live in this fallen world and are in a battle against demonic forces. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12. This war will continue until Satan is ultimately defeated. The war is made up of many battles, but many Christians side with the enemy. We join forces with Satan when we compromise our walk with Jesus by embracing the worldly ways. God knows this spiritual battle is real, and has told us how to fight. God has not left us without weapons, but it's up to us to take up those weapons and use them. "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:13. The armour of God consists of the supernatural weapons required to fight the supernatural battle and are described beginning in Ephesians 6:14. Study them and learn to use them before you find yourself in the midst of battle. Only a foolish soldier neglects his weapons until the day of battle.
Demons are present everywhere and poised to pounce like a lion hidden and waiting for its prey, but Christians have protection. We have the Holy Spirit and Scripture to guide and teach us. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." James 4:7-8. Even a Christian can be oppressed by demons if you embrace sin instead of submitting to God. Using drugs, participating in any kind of witchcraft, horoscopes, tarot cards, Ouija boards, yoga, meditation, contemplative prayer, embracing any sin, yoking yourself with those who aren't of God, are some of the ways demons are given an invitation. Anything that encourages you to "empty your mind" is satanic. Many "Christian" groups accept these practices and therefore invite demonic forces to enter the congregation. Yes, Satan is bold enough to enter a Christian gathering. There's no such thing as Christian yoga and no Eastern mystic activity has any place in a Christian's life. Stick to Scripture and draw near to God. If you've been keeping company with the enemy, you're in danger of coming under his control. Here's the good news, and listen very carefully to this, Jesus Christ is all powerful and all loving. He gave His life for you. There is no sin you can possibly commit that He will not forgive. Ask Him to come into your life and to forgive your sins. He will. Then, turn away from that sin. If you've dabbled in yoga, necromancy, or have been a part of Satanism or witchcraft, you may need a strong Christian to help you get free of demons. Today is the day to come out from under the control of Satan and place your life in the loving hands of God Almighty. This is true for Christians as well as non-Christians. If you're a Christian and have been participating in occult activities or keeping company with those who do, you may well have invited demonic oppression in your life. You may need the help of a fellow Christian who is stronger in their walk with Jesus to help you. Whatever your situation, only Jesus can free you from demons.
As we see Halloween approaching, stores are filled with demonic costumes. Parents buy their children costumes that will identify them with demons. Adults also dress up in costumes that glorify Satan. It's all in good fun, right? As a Christian, why would you dress up in a satanic costume and identify yourself with the enemy? When we resist Satan he loses his power. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7. When Christians refuse to believe Satan and his minions of evil are real, they've fallen for his lies. Demons aren't just costumed pranksters wearing masks; they are pure evil poised to destroy humanity. They are relentless and know their days are numbered. Christ triumphed over the minions of evil at the cross. "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Colossians 2:15. One day they will be thrown into the lake of fire along with all who follow them. Walk close to Jesus for His protection.
Demons are real. Don't invite them into your life and don't fight the spiritual battle unarmed. Take your stand with Christ.
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: The Turkey decision and God's standard - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
There are those who adamantly support President Donald Trump's move to allow Turkey to invade the area in Syria held by the Kurds. There are those who just as passionately oppose the move. Christians who support the president seem to be among those with very strong opinions one way or the other. Irrespective of how you feel about the foreign policy decision, as Christians we have a standard that we are to hold to-that is the Holy Scriptures. So often, the Bible is used to justify one political decision over another, yet it may not be applied consistently across all politicians. The foreign policy decision by the president is an example of this back and forth of Biblical applications.
The Kurds are a widely hated people. The Iranians don't like them. The Turks don't like them. The Syrians don't like them. The Turks believe them to be terrorists and a threat to the Turkish government, and want them destroyed. The Kurds, however, are great fighters. With assistance from the United States over the years, the Kurds played a large roll in fighting ISIS. They depended on US backing. The president's decision to pull troops off the border with Turkey was not as consequential as his policy decision to conditionally allow Turkey to invade the Syrian border. Turkey, however, didn't comply with the conditions and even began bombing US positions. This is the true Turkey of the foreign policy decision.
The president's decision had several results-both good and bad. It withdrew US troops from harms way (sort of); It left all the warring parties and enemies there to fight among themselves; It may have assisted Israel's security by creating a diversion on the Northern border; It further destabilized the area; It put US nuclear weapons in Turkey in danger; It turned our backs on US allies; It resulted in ISIS prisoners escaping; It endangered lives of Christians and Kurds to suffer extreme violence; It put the remaining US troops in harms way; and because Turkey didn't hold to its agreement, the president is now faced with undoing what he did, and Congress overwhelmingly (both parties) oppose his action.
Christian support of the president's decision appears to rely on two Biblical principles: Romans 13:1 that "The powers that be are ordained of God," and since Turkey is an end time player, Trump's decision hastens Christ's return. Criticism of President Trump is met with strong resistance and even hostility among many Christians. Criticism of the previous president was met with strong support among the same Christians. If the standard against criticism is that all leaders are established by God, then all leaders should be exempt from criticism. Are we to have it both ways? Let's not mock God. Decisions can be either bad or good, irrespective of the leader. As to hastening the return of Christ, God will have his way on his own time. We cannot stop the march of prophecy, we just don't want to be marching with the evil side no matter the political party.
Daily Devotion: People of Purpose
- by Greg Laurie -
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.-Daniel 1:8
Daniel 1Daniel 1When Daniel was very young, probably a teenager, the Babylonians carried him away captive to Babylon. They brought him to the king's palace to groom him in the Babylonian ways, along with his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
But Daniel was a man of purpose. The Bible tells us that he "purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank" (Daniel 1:8 NKJV).
Daniel made a principled stand to not eat the food at the king's table. We don't know why. The Bible doesn't say. Maybe the Babylonians offered the food to idols, which I think was probably the case. But God honored their stand as a result. And in the end, Daniel and his friends were healthier than everyone else.
Daniel made a stand in a seemingly minor area. It doesn't seem like a big thing, but it was to Daniel. Consequently, that experience gave him the strength he needed to make a stand in a significant area later in his life.
In the same way, if we make a stand in a seemingly small area now, we'll be able to make a stand in a major area later.
Growing older can mean becoming set in our ways. We like routine. We like doing things the same way. That can be bad or good. It can be bad if we're not open to any kind of change. But it can be good if we're set in our spiritual ways and hardened in our spiritual disciplines.
We have a choice in life. We can be either thermostats or thermometers. A thermostat determines the temperature in the room. A thermometer simply tells you what the temperature is. Which one will you be?
FROM THE HEART
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