Prophecy Update Newsletter
October 19, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Ultimate Trip - Jack Kinsella - www.omegaletter.com
What is 'death'? What happens to us when we draw our last breath and leave this earth? Is it the end? The beginning? Do we immediately go from this life to the next?
Do we 'sleep' until the Rapture or the Great White Throne Judgment? Or is it all a comforting myth?
The Old Testament prophets shared a belief in a final resurrection and judgment. But that is about as much as God gave them to understand:
"If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer Thee: Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine Hands." (Job 14:14-15)
"For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." (Job 19:25-27)
"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:2)
But does that mean that our consciousness ceases at physical death until the resurrection? There are some Christians who argue that to be the case, drawing on the New Testament for Scriptural support.
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven..." (John 3:12-13)
"...for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:28-29)
"Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day." (Acts 2:29)
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:27)
Taking those verses, particularly when taking them out of the full context of Scripture, it would seem to suggest that when we die, we go into some kind of 'soul sleep' until the Resurrection. But is that true?
Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, physical death, particularly as it applies to the saints, is characterized as 'sleep'.
"Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death." (Psalms 13:3)
"For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:" (Acts 13:36)
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." (1st Thessalonians 4:13)
So, it would seem, at least by a cursory examination of the Scriptures, that when we die, we stay dead until the resurrection.
But that is not entirely accurate.
The Bible is a series of progressive revelations. That is to say, eternal truths were revealed, slowly, over time, according to God's plan.
As Paul explained, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1st Corinthians 13:12)
As early as Job's time, God had revealed the existence of the Redeemer Christ, and the PHYSICAL resurrection of the dead. Job not only expected to see Christ with his PHYSICAL eyes, (Job 19:25-27) but he expected his physical body to be changed.
". . . all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. . . " Job awaited the call of the trumpet at the Rapture, thousands of years before it was generally known as doctrine. "Thou shalt call . . ." (Job 14:14-15)
But in all these Scriptures, the reference is to the PHYSICAL body which is 'asleep' -- and NOT the spirit.
Solomon addressed the eventual end of both body AND spirit. "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
Physical death is NOT the end of consciousness. The Apostle Paul spoke of physical death as the time when the spirit is "absent from the body" but "present with the Lord."
Jesus Himself explained what happens to us spiritually when we experience physical death.
"And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried. . " (Luke 16:22)
Lazarus the beggar died PHYSICALLY, but his spirit was carried by the angels into Paradise. The rich man died PHYSICALLY and was buried, but his spirit was very much conscious in hell.
"And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." (16:23)
Note the following facts from this passage of Scripture. Lazarus, Abraham and the rich man were all there, and they were all conscious of their surroundings.
"And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." (16:24)
The rich man was conscious of his torment, was capable of addressing Abraham, and was aware of Lazarus.
Abraham was equally conscious of HIS surroundings, as well as those of the rich man, and was capable of giving reply.
"But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." (16:25-26)
Not only that, the rich man, (who was NOT in the Lake of Fire, but hell, which establishes this story as being in real-time and before Christ's resurrection -- and not some point after the Great White Throne Judgment), was not only conscious and aware of his surroundings, but his earthly memories remained intact:
"Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment." (16:27-28)
The rich man remembered (and still cared for) his father and his five brothers as living individuals that he knew from his earthly life.
His PHYSICAL body was dead (or 'asleep') but his soul was very much 'alive' in the sense of his consciousness.
So, what happens when we die? We become absent from the body, but there is no cessation of consciousness until the resurrection.
When John writes: "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection," (Revelation 20:5) he is addressing the PHYSICAL resurrection of the dead whose consciousness remains awake in hell with the rich man until final judgment.
Once the resurrected body and spirit are reunited at the Great White Throne, they are cast, both body and soul, into the lake of fire. John says, "this is the second death," since it refers to both the physical and spiritual separation from God for eternity.
As to the 'dead in Christ' -- they are also conscious, but in Heaven in the presence of the Lord from the moment of physical death until the Rapture.
Furthering Job's theme of 'the change' Paul writes, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1st Corinthians 15:51-52)
At the Rapture, some believers will not yet have experienced death. They shall be instantly changed into their incorruptible bodies. Those who have experienced physical death will be reunited with their bodies, which will be raised and changed.
But their spirits and consciousness are already awake and alive and in the presence of the Lord.
Those who are 'asleep' in Christ are those who have experienced PHYSICAL, but not conscious death.
At the Rapture, the "Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise (physically incorruptible) first: Then we which are (physically) alive and remain (in our natural bodies) shall be caught up together with them (changed and incorruptible) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Our loved ones who have gone home to the Lord are ALREADY in His Presence, enjoying Heaven and its unimaginable joy and riches. They are NOT mouldering the grave, unconsciously awaiting the call of the Trumpet.
They are alive and aware and eagerly anticipating the opportunity to meet with us in the air and embrace us once more.
"Wherefore, comfort one another with these words." (1st Thessalonians 4:18)
UNESCO's failed history test - by Jordanna McMillan - http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/UNESCOs-failed-history-test-470364
The UNESCO resolution is a modern pogrom against the Jewish people's connection to its historic homeland.
UNESCO voted last Thursday to ignore thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, passing a resolution brazenly entitled "Occupied Palestine." The resolution reflects the general anti-Israel bias that pervades many of the UN's decisions.
The passing of the resolution comes at an ironic time as this week the Jewish people celebrate Succot - the Feast of Tabernacles. Succot is one of three pilgrimage festivals where the Jewish people were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.
The biblical book of Zechariah prophesies: "...it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."
During Succot this week members of parliament from many of the nations that voted on the UNESCO resolution - Sweden, South Africa, Brazil, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Italy, Greece, Spain and others - will come up to Jerusalem for the Israel Allies Foundation's Chairman's Conference. Annually held in Israel's capital city, its location and its international participants send a message that the world cannot ignore. When the UN and its bodies fail to recognize the Jewish connection, and by extension Christian heritage as well, to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, there is an international network of world leaders - from the US to Europe, from Latin America to Africa and down under to Australia - who refuse to "abstain" from engaging or succumb to political convenience.
In a preemptive measure urging opposition to the resolution before the vote, members from the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus in the US House of Representatives together with their colleagues in the Senate issued a bipartisan letter to UNESCO condemning "a resolution that would diminish the historic and verified Jewish and Christian ties to the Old City of Jerusalem in an effort to delegitimize Israel."
UNESCO is not just responsible for protecting these heritage sites, but for ensuring the preservation of their historical integrity as well, lest humanity's past become subjected to the current political and religious agenda of a few.
UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova released a statement last Thursday as well; the exact same statement was also released by outgoing UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon: "The Al Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram al-Sharif, the sacred shrine of Muslims, is also the Har HaBayit - or Temple Mount - whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism, a few steps away from the Saint Sepulcher and the Mount of Olives revered by Christians."
Even in their criticism of the resolution, they failed to rightly identify that the Western Wall is not the holiest site in Judaism, but rather the Temple Mount itself, where Solomon's Temple once stood. It's as if the Jewish people randomly built a wall to pray at thousands of years ago and the 36-acre platform above it did not hold meaning until a mosque, centuries later, was built there.
The resolution does not end with Jerusalem - it goes on state how Israel refuses to remove two "Palestinian sites" - The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem - from its national heritage list.
The tomb of the matriarch Rachel, who is not mentioned by name in the Koran, is buried at the northern entrance of Bethlehem - the ancient city of King David. Bethlehem, the city where, despite Yasser Arafat's wildly successful propaganda to the contrary, a Jewish Jesus was born to Jewish parents.
Representatives of UNESCO's executive board sit back and condemn the audacity of the Jewish claim to Abraham's burial place as their heritage - the very man and his descendants that God deeded the Land of Israel to. Abraham purchased the cave that is today the "Tomb of the Patriarchs" some 3,700 years ago at full market value to bury his wife, Sarah. Hebron is not only the second holiest site in Judaism and the world's oldest Jewish community, but the Jewish people have lived in Hebron continuously throughout the Byzantine, Arab, Mameluke and Ottoman periods. It was only in 1929 that the city became temporarily "free" of Jews as a result of an Arab pogrom instigated by the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
This resolution is not about heritage or preserving it, it's about replacing it.
It is a modern pogrom against Jewish history - a campaign of delegitimization against the Jewish people's connection to the land.
UNESCO's stated mission is to "build peace in the minds of men and women." Denying reality, the facts on the ground and thousands of years of history will not lead to peace.
It is this very attitude that currently exacerbates the Arab-Israeli conflict. If UNESCO wants, as its director-general states, to "foster this spirit of tolerance and respect for history" I suggest they begin by ensuring their judgments are based on historic fact, not deliberate denial to suit a religious agenda.
How can the nations and their elected representatives respond to a vote that either denies or overwhelmingly sits on the fence of history? By introducing legislation to begin the movement of their diplomatic missions and embassies to the historic capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel - Jerusalem.
Moving embassies to Jerusalem will not only uphold a right afforded to every other nation in the world, but will send a message to the surrounding Arab nations that introduced this UNESCO resolution: while Jerusalem may be a city revered by three faiths, it has only ever been the capital of the Jewish people despite ample opportunity for conquerors to make it their own. Or in the words of the great statesman Winston Churchill: "You ought to let the Jews have Jerusalem; it was they who made it famous."
The big Mosul offensive is stuck, halted by ISIS - http://www.debka.com/article/25721/The-big-Mosul-offensive-is-stuck-halted-by-ISIS-
Less than a day after its launch, the big Mosul offensive prepared for more than a year by the US, the Iraqi army, Kurdish forces and others, ground to a halt Tuesday Oct. 17, debkafile's military sources report - although none of the parties admitted as much. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi said his troops were busy opening up corridors for some million civilians to escape, while US sources suggested that the Islamic State would use primitive chemical weapons against the advancing Iraqi and Kurdish forces.
Both had the ring of cover stories to account for the spearhead forces, the Iraq army's 9th Armored Division and the Federal Police special anti-terror units, being thrown back Tuesday on their way to Mosul from the east and the south, while still 10-15km short of the city. They sustained heavy losses in lives and hardware.
The 9th Division and its newly-supplied heavy US Abrahams tanks were stopped at al-Hamdaniyah outside Mosul and retreated, recalling a previous defeat at ISIS hands in June 2014, when troops of the same division fled under Islamist attack, leaving their tanks behind.
The Iraqi anti-terror force withdrew from the village of al-Houd outside Mosul, a move which left the Kurdish Peshmerga no option but to stop its sweep of the villages around the city or expose their flanks to ISIS suicide and car bomb assaults.
Tuesday night, both Iraqi and Kurdish commanders announced a pause in their advance and said they would meet Wednesday to decide how to proceed.
The Kurdish Peshmerga's role in the battle of Mosul has run into a further major impediment, which likewise has not been publicly aired. It turned out Tuesday that at least 3,000 of the 12,000 Kurdish fighters taking part in the offensive came from the banned Turkish underground PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) which is fighting the Turkish government. They came down from their northern Iraqi strongholds in the Sinjar and Qandil mountains. Ankara thereupon warned Washington and Baghdad in a strong ultimatum that unless those fighters were pulled off the field, Turkish troops would step in to attack them.
A second front within a front would effectively torpedo the entire Mosul liberation campaign against ISIS before it gets underway.
The first bricks of the military Tower of Babel predicted by debkafile in the background report below were set in place sooner than expected.
Sunday night, Oct. 16, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, supported by a bevy of generals, announced that the military operation to recapture Mosul from its two-year occupation by the Islamic State had begun.
Three formally approved participants are taking part in the operation, debkafile's military sources report:
1. American special operations, artillery and engineering units - equipped with floating bridges for crossing the Tigris River - plus the US air force for massive bombardment to crush enemy resistance.
2. Iraqi army armored divisions, special ops forces, regular troops and anti-terror police units.
3. The Iraqi Kurds' Peshmerga.
The Iraqi prime minister pledged formally that only Iraqi fighters would enter Mosul, i.e. no Americans, Kurds or other non-Iraqi forces.
It was a pledge that neither the Iraqi Sunni and Shiite combatants nor the Kurdish and Turkmen fighters trusted him to uphold, after similar promises went by the wayside in the US-led coalition battles fought in the past two years to retake the Iraqi towns of Ramadi, Tikirit, Baiji and Fallujah from ISIS.
The first forces to enter those cities were by and large pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite militias, especially the Bader Brigades and the Popular Mobilization Units, under Iran's supreme Middle East commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Nonetheless, despite the ravages they wrought in those Sunni cities, US air support was forthcoming for their advance, while in Washington US officials pretended they were helping Iraqi government army units.
With regard to the Mosul campaign, Obama administration officials and military officers, like the Iraqi prime minister, insist there will be no repetition of the Iranian-backed Shiite invasion and conquest of yet another Sunni city, where a million inhabitants still remain.
They don't explain how this will be prevented when those same pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite forces are already massing northeast of Mosul, near the Iraqi-Syria border, and standing by for the order to advance into the city.
Tehran quite obviously has no intention of being left out of the epic capture of Mosul.
Neither is another uninvited party, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. He too has positioned a Turkish military concentration in Iraq, in defiance of strong objections from Washington and Baghdad. Turkish troops stand ready to move forward to do Erdogan's will and achieve three strategic goals:
a) To actively frustrate Kurdish Peshmerga entry to Mosul, although its 15,000 fighters out of the 25,000 invasion force are a vital element of the spearhead thrust into the city. Ankara has warned that if Kurds set foot in Mosul, Turkish troops will follow.
b) To block the path of Syrian Kurdish YPG militiamen from entering Iraq and linking up with their Iraqi brothers-in-arms.
c) To provide backing, including Turkish air support, for the Iraqi Turkmen militias still present in the Turkmen quarter of Mosul.
debkafile's military sources count six assorted military groupings taking part in the liberation of Mosul. They have nothing in common aside from their determination to drive the Islamic State out.
They are utterly divided on the two main aspects of the offensive: How to achieve their common goal and what happens to Mosul after the Islamist invaders are gone.
The underlying US rationale for embarking on this high-wire operation is President Barack Obama's aspiration to achieve Mosul's liberation before his departure from the White House in January, in the hope that this landmark success will provide a major distraction from his administration's failed policies in Syria.
The Islamic State might have been expected to take advantage of the prior warning of the offensive for a stand in defense of the Iraqi capital of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's caliphate and so exploit the conflicting interests of the invading force.
But ISIS leaders decided against waiting for the combined offensive. Indeed, according to debkafile's sources, thousands of jihadis made tracks out of the city two or three months ago, relocating the bulk of their combat strength and institutions in two new locations: in the western Iraqi desert province of Anbar at a site between the Jordanian and Saudi borders and eastern Syria. Several hundred fighters were left behind in Mosul to harass the US-Iraq-Kurdish armies as they advance into the city and exploit the invaders' discord to retain a foothold in Mosul.
Iran Launches War Drills Amid Accusations U.S. Breaking Nuke Deal - Adam Kredo - http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-launches-war-drills-amid-accusations-u-s-breaking-nuke-deal/
Uses American-made jets, planes in air force drills
Iran on Monday launched a series of war drills that included the use of American-made planes amid accusations by top officials that the United States is violating last summer's comprehensive nuclear agreement, according to regional experts and Persian-language media reports.
Iran's Artesh Air Force kicked off a three-day series of drills aimed at displaying the Islamic Republic's air might, according to Iranian military officials who told the country's state-run press that the drills are in preparations for upcoming war.
"The goal of holding this drill is the creation of readiness so as to be able to combat any threat, and should a war occur, the Air Force will be the first force to enter the battlefield," Iranian Air Force Gen. Masoud Rouzkhosh was quoted as saying, according to independent translations of the original Farsi provided to the Washington Free Beacon. "The newest armaments of the Air Force like precision-guided bombs and laser-guided missiles will be used in this year's drill."
Iran is using many American-made jets in the drills, including F-4 and F-5 warplanes, as well as large Boeing airliners, which are aiding in mid-air refueling tactics, experts told the Free Beacon. Iran also is using Russian-made warplanes.
The three-day air drills, now entering their second day, come as senior Iranian officials repeatedly accuse the United States of violating its side of the nuclear agreement.
Iranian officials maintain that they will continue to fund global terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, which are committed to Israel's destruction, despite objections from the United States.
"When they ask the foreign minister of America why do you violate your commitments under the JCPOA, they say we have acted on our commitments and even gone further than they require. However, Iranians must do certain things, such as ceasing their support for terrorists and halting their missile activities," Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, the head of Iran's Judiciary, was quoted as saying in Farsi-language reports on Monday.
"However, what they mean by terrorists are resistance groups like Hezbollah of Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, which have stood against the violations and crimes of the Zionist regime," Larijani said.
Iranian officials have reportedly pressed their counterparts in the United States to explain why America is not, as they claim, upholding its end of the nuclear deal.
Iran's outrage over the issue comes just months after the Obama administration made a secret cash payment to Iran of $1.7 billion as part of what lawmakers described as a ransom payment to free American hostages.
The Obama administration also has moved forward with new sanctions relief that is expected to provide Iran with even more financial resources, a large portion of which are suspected by Congress of being allocated to the country's military and terrorist organizations.
Top Iranian military commanders say the armed forces remain committed to removing the American presence from the region.
"The bloody wars of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, the continued occupation of Zionists in Palestine, the war of the Ba'ath regime of Saddam against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the conflicts in Lebanon, Bahrain, and other events and incidents where each one [has featured] thousands of dead and maimed and brought about endless destruction, are only part of the behavior of the satanic governing body of America in the region," Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri, deputy commander of Iran's Armed Forces General Staff, was quoted as saying on Monday, when the war drills commenced.
"The presence of America in the region is a cancerous malign tumor that can only be treated by removing the filthy tumor and the ejection of America from the region," Jazayeri added. "In Iran, nobody will permit America to tie its failure to live up to its commitments to defense issues and the interests of the resistance"
Regional experts told the Free Beacon that Iran's rhetoric is part of an effort to squeeze more concessions from the Obama administration as it seeks to preserve the deal in the final months of its term.
"These comments are part of a calculated gamble to gain additional sanctions relief without any meaningful changes in Iranian behavior," Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Free Beacon. "By constantly referring to perceived failures in American compliance with the accord, Iran is able to threaten the durability of the deal, thereby demonstrating it has exit options."
"For months now, Iranian officials have provided a steady stream of criticism against the West for allegedly failing to live up to its own promises pursuant to the accord that would grant Tehran meaningful sanctions relief," Taleblu said.
Iran's efforts have appeared to pay off, as the administration has moved forward with several new plans to boost Iran's access to the global financial system.
"Just recently, Secretary Kerry attested to the U.S. going above and beyond the terms of the accord," Taleblu explained. "This was noted by officials in Tehran like Ayatollah Larijani as not being enough. This is a tried and true tactic by Tehran. During the negotiations with the P5+1 that led to the JCPOA, Iran was able to force concessions by upping the ante. This was most notably seen with the centrifuge cap. Now, in the deal implementation era, Iran is upping the ante in an attempt to garner additional relief."
Priests, Sanhedrin Perform Reenactment of Yom Kippur Temple Service - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/77075/priests-sanhedrin-performdress-rehearsal-yom-kippur-temple-service/#ig1wTrAEKiXkbI8H.97
"The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former saith Hashem of hosts; and in this place will I give peace saith Hashem of hosts." Haggai 2:9 (The Israel Bible™)
Last Wednesday, a demonstration of the the Yom Kippur Temple Service was held in Hebron adjacent to the Cave of the Patriarchs. The rare display allowed participants to get a glimpse of what was once the glory of the Temple service.
The reenactment was initiated by the Midrasha L'Ad Hamikdash, headed by Mordechai Persoff, and the nascent Sanhedrin. Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the nascent Sanhedrin, explained to Breaking Israel News that the reenactment was not just for benefit of the spectators.
"In the days of the Temple, for one week before Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol (high priest) practiced the service in order to prepare," said Rabbi Weiss. "One opinion stated that this was a commandment from the Torah, as part of the holy day itself."
The essence of the day is atonement. The Kohen Gadol asked for forgiveness for himself, for his household, and for all of Israel.
For the demonstration, the Kohanim (priests) used silver horns that are ready to be used in the Temple, and wore clothes that are specially prepared use in the Temple. The belts worn by the regular Kohanim are shatnez, a mix of wool and linen that is forbidden except when used to make clothes for the Kohanim. In the demonstration, the Kohen Gadol wore a representation of the Choshen Hamishpat (breastplate) and the golden headband upon which was inscribed "Kodesh La'Hashem" (Holy to God). Behind the Kohanim, on the left side, is the seven-branched menorah that was lit every evening in the Temple. To the right are two models of the racks that held the show-breads. In the center is a model of the small, golden altar, upon which the incense was burned.
In preparation for the Yom Kippur service, two identical goats without blemishes were selected. Shani (scarlet wool) was wrapped around their horns. Lots were chosen to determine the fate of the goats. One goat was sacrificed on the altar and the other was taken to a cliff named "L'Azazel", where he was thrown over the edge. If the sacrifice succeeded in atoning for Israel's sins, the wool on the horns of both goats miraculously turned white.
The goats are arranged on either side of the Kohen, who chooses the two lots, putting one in his right hand and the other in his left. One lot says "L'Azazel", described in the Talmud as a "harsh place", and the other says, "La'Hashem" (to God). He then places the lots on the forehead of the goats, indicating the fate of each goat.
After the goat that received the lot inscribed "La'Hashem" is ritually slaughtered, the blood is caught in a special container and brought to the altar where it is sprinkled on the white stones. The container used for this must be swirled so the blood will not coagulate, hence the bottom is pointed so it cannot be rested on flat surface. The demonstration did not include slaughtering the goats, which were not suitable to be brought as a Yom Kippur sacrifice in any case.
Yom Kippur is the only time when the Kohen Gadol goes into the Kodesh Kedoshim (Holy of Holies) the inner sanctum of the Temple where the aron habrit (ark of the covenant) is kept, covered in gold and capped with two cherubim. The aron habrit contained the stone tablets inscribed by Moses, and the remains of the tablets inscribed by God. Before the Kohen enters, the room is filled with smoke from the incense, made from eleven ingredients. The incense can only be burned in the Temple.
The Kohen Gadol changed clothes several times during the Yom Kippur service, immersing in a mikveh (ritual bath) between changes. The Talmud specifies that he entered the Holy of Holies wearing white clothes, since gold may remind God how Israel sinned with the Golden Calf.
Certain parts of the Temple service required the priests and all those gathered to bow down. In the days of the Temple, bowing down was performed by prostrating oneself completely, lying flat on the stones with arms stretched forward. It is now forbidden for Jews to do so outside of the Temple.
An aspect of the Temple service that is still practiced is birkat hakohanim (the priestly blessing). The kohanim did not wear shoes inside the Temple, and even today, before performing the priestly blessing in synagogue, kohanim remove their shoes. To the extreme right is Rabbi Baruch Kahane, who has played a major role in previous Temple reenactments and in an ongoing program to train Kohanim to serve in the Temple.
The event took place directly beneath the Cave of the Patriarchs (Ma'arat Hamachpela in Hebrew) in the holy city of Hebron, an ancient Jewish city now largely populated by Arabs.
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Who Gets to Cast the First Stone? - By Gene Lawley - http://raptureready.com/featured/lawley/lawley129.html
Figuratively speaking, I am writing this article in the sand, with my head down, bowed with a guilty memory of transgression of my past. When I lift up my head, my eyes light up with the realization that forgiveness has been laid out for me by Jesus Christ, Lord of the universe. He has removed them from me as far as the east is from the west, and they are forever moving away from me because there is no end to that direction-ever!
You, too, can lay claim to that effective erasing of your sinful past. "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12).
But back to the sand writing, only this time let's go to that account in John 8:3-11 where Jesus dealt masterfully with an attitude that is as current today as it was in His day, some 2,000 years ago:
"Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?'
"This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
"So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, 'He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.'
"And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, 'Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?' She said, 'No one, Lord.' And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.'"
There are a couple of points that need to be mentioned. Where was the man involved in the act of adultery? It may appear that Jesus condoned her sin, at first glance, but while He did not condemn her, He told her to go and sin no more. Also, it is apparent that she had not been refusing to admit her guilt.
This story is a very appropriate one for those considering the candidates in this coming presidential election. The question is obvious-who gets to cast the first stone? Are current or relatively current, atrocities of more importance than digging out the past to find some hint, even of bad character which may be used to put a blot on the character of an opponent?
Try as we might, there will never be found any candidate who can walk on water, and some of the possibilities, even among the accusers, would not dare go near the water for fear of implication. In the locker room, on the golf course, in the hunting lodge, in the gutter-all are places from where no person wants his or her words repeated. Why? The answer is clear: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
But when God makes that kind of accusation and condemnation, He always includes hand-in-hand with it, His solution for the problem. It is Romans 3:24 "...being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
Mentally robed in our self-righteous garments, we may be wondering how that dirty old publican, a tax collector, even, could possibly have won Jesus' approval ahead of that "model of political correctness, civic prominence, even religious to a fault" person (I embellish them for current consideration). See Luke 18:10-14:
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'
"And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' 'I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.'"
That old prayer of Jabez comes to mind and whether you are critical of the prayer or embrace it, as I do, it is uniquely tucked in the middle of a sea of "begots" that would not be missed if it were not there. Yet it is there in the holy Scripture for our learning. That verse in 1 Chronicles 4:10 tells us this:
"And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!' So God granted him what he requested."
He asks God to bless and be with him, a very vital need, and two other requests that are particularly pertinent to anyone running for president: First, to help enlarge his territory (capture the votes. And second, keep him from evil that he may not cause pain.
If one of the candidate's wins the race by running the same horse in a repeat performance, making no changes in policies, and with the use of deception and perversion of justice (as much evidence seems to declare), her becoming the first woman president will be like a mouthful of gravel.
If the other person wins, he is fully committed to making a multitude of changes in policies and practices that have become the very fiber of our national lifestyle. He will have an unbelievable warfare with those of the insider, globalist establishment whose desire and goal is a one-world government controlled by them. It will not be pretty, for the fight is a deadly one, and the spin-out from the primary campaign reveals volumes of the desperation grasping those insiders who do not want changes to be made.
There is no likeness of morality or spirituality between the two situations, but when Jesus came preaching grace and justification by faith, the religious leaders panicked, for here came someone who was advocating massive change that would upset their establishment like nothing else ever could!
But as Robert Burns, the poet, wrote, "The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry." Like when the railing, crippled ex-officer from the Viet Nam war in the story of "Forrest Gump" was asking "Where is God" as the storm raged, "about that time God showed up!"
When God shows up, things take on a new perspective. According to Psalm 75:6-8, God exalts one and puts down another in respect to what He plans to accomplish. The question looming in the thoughts of many believers is, will God actually allow the changes to be made and see America restored to moral, financial and economic integrity such as has never been in many, many decades?
Or, Is this promise of change of direction for the nation a test to see what kind of response the American population will make?
Is the trend of shutting God out of our schools and more and more, out of our public lives going to be the national desire, or will there be repentance so that there can be a "healing of the land?" The last of that Psalm 75 passage says God's cup of wrath is filled to the brim, ready to be poured out and "the wicked will drink down its dregs."
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Daily Devotion: While We Wait - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. -Matthew 25:14
Jesus told a story about a man who went on a journey and left his money with his servants. This was not an uncommon practice in those days. A wealthy man or king would have many servants in his household, from those who would do basic labor to those who would oversee the financial affairs of his home, even managing his business. In many cases, some of the man's slaves would be better educated and skilled than he was.
Highly trusted slaves had a virtual free hand within prescribed areas of responsibility while the owner was at home. And when the owner would go on a journey, he would leave full authority in the hands of these key servants who would have the ancient equivalent of a power of attorney.
Jesus said the man "gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last-dividing it in proportion to their abilities" (Matthew 25:15).
Jesus is like that wealthy man who went on a journey, and we are the servants in which He has made an investment. This story, like so many in the Scriptures, reminds us to take advantage of opportunity while it is available. Ecclesiastes says, "Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you. . . . Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don't know if profit will come from one activity or another-or maybe both" (11:1, 6).
The emphasis of this parable is to be productive with your life. Be productive with your time. Seize the opportunities that God has given. We are to take what He has given us and use it for His glory while we await His return.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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