Prophecy Update Newsletter
October 21, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Promise of a Lifetime - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/spiritual-life/the-promise-of-a-lifetime/#more-32948
So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:31-33).
When the Lord spoke these words the average person in his audience didn't know what the term discretionary income meant. They didn't have any extra resources nor were there any government programs to help them through rough times. If they were unable to provide for themselves they went without. And yet the Lord told them not to worry about it. He said if they sought the Father's Kingdom and His righteousness all their needs would be met.
It wasn't the first time God had made a promise like this. In Deut. 28 the Lord promised Israel that if they fully obeyed Him and carefully followed all His commands they would be blessed above all the nations on Earth.
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock-the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. (Deut. 28:3-6)
He said He would give them victory over all their enemies, and prosperity such as had never been seen anywhere before. They would be a nation of wealthy people, lending to others but never borrowing from anyone (Deut. 28:7-14).
These weren't empty promises and there were times in Israel's history when their obedience brought them a standard of living that was the envy of the world just like God had said it would be.
Because of the terms of their relationship with God, the Jews associated wealth with righteousness. But it was a righteousness based on works which can bring pride and selfishness along with blessing.
God warned them against this. Throughout Deut. 8 He told them that as they became prosperous they should not forget who it was who had provided for them. Otherwise they would become proud, thinking they had earned their wealth in their own strength, and would begin ignoring His commandments.
Sadly, that's what happened. Eventually poverty was thought to be evidence of disobedience. There is no motivation to help someone in need when you think their unmet needs are a punishment from God. Over time those who were prosperous began to neglect the plight of the poor to the point of ignoring the portions of the law they saw as helping the poor to the disadvantage of the wealthy. Things like loaning money without interest, periodically forgiving debt, freeing indentured slaves, and returning land either purchased or taken in pledge to its original owner were either skirted around or ignored altogether. Because of this their prosperity waned as well. This cycle repeated itself several times in Israel's' history.
Old Vs. New
Paul said everything that was written in the past was written to teach us (Romans 15:4) so we can look into Israel's history and know that God makes good on His commitments. But God's blessing to Israel was based on His promise to reward them in return for obedience. His promise to the Church is much more than a reward for good behavior and requires only that we accept it. Here's how it works.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God (John 1:12-13).
The Greek word translated right in the above passage is most often translated power. It's a power that stems from authority and John said it's ours to exercise. Believing that Jesus died for our sins gives us the absolute authority to declare ourselves to be a child of God. Many Christians think of this only in spiritual terms, but in the following passage Paul revealed that from God's perspective being a child of God includes much more.
What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir (Galatians 4:1-7).
In his letter to the Galatians Paul explained this in terms of the laws of inheritance in his time. He compared our position before being born again to that of a child with no rights. Even a child who was a direct biological descendant of his father had no more rights than one of the servants in his father's household.
But when he reached the time set by his father, he was granted the full rights of sonship. In the Greek culture there was a formal adoption procedure that legally established these rights. From that time on he was treated like a son, and being made a son meant he was entitled to inherit his father's estate.
In our case, the time our Father set for our adoption was when we accepted the death of His Son as payment in full for our sins. Doing so made us righteous in His sight and qualified us to be in His presence. At that time we became born again, a new creation, with legal standing as one of God's children, including the right of inheritance.
As I said, God considers this to be a legal issue that contains rights and responsibilities. Our responsibility is to seek His kingdom and His righteousness, in other words to be born again and exercise our right to become one of His children. His responsibility is to provide for our needs like any good father would do for his children.
Therefore, Jesus told us to seek His kingdom and His righteousness, not our own. The righteousness of God cannot be earned through good behavior. It can only be imputed to us by faith (Romans 1:17) and because of that it promotes an attitude of gratitude. The Pharisees often appeared stingy and uncaring because they believed they had earned their righteousness. They looked down on the poor as having failed to do the same. If you want a good example of this, read the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). But we're to be generous and sensitive to the needs of others, knowing we're getting something we have not earned.
To further discourage us from becoming like the Pharisees, the Lord promised to do more than just meet our needs. Under the Old Covenant people were blessed as a reward for their obedience. Under the New we're promised blessings in proportion to our generosity (Luke 6:38). Everyone is blessed for giving, but generous givers receive comparatively greater blessing than those who give sparingly (2 Cor. 9:6). This is a cause and effect relationship that will continue to spiral upward as long as we're faithful until we're made rich in every way so we can be generous on every occasion (2 Cor. 9:11). Far from thinking of poverty as a punishment from God, we're supposed to give to everyone who asks (Luke 6:30) knowing that God will repay our generosity toward others with generosity toward us.
(Now please understand me here. I'm not talking about sending money to rich televangelists who distort God's word in order to extort money from the poor. That's the opposite of what God intended. I'm talking about a genuine expression of generosity to someone less fortunate based on our gratitude for what the Lord has done for us.)
It's A Family Matter
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Tim. 5:8)
If this is what God expects of man then surely He holds Himself to the same standard. To those who exercise their right to become one of His children He has promised to meet our needs for food, drink, and shelter. After all by agreeing to adopt us into His family, He has legally obligated Himself to support us. Granted, if we insist on taking care of ourselves He'll stand aside. But He's placed a foundation of security beneath us that will preserve us even when everything we've built comes tumbling down, and it's ours for the asking.
To those who demonstrate their gratitude through expressions of generosity toward others, he's promised still more, responding with generosity toward us in an upward spiral of blessing that has no limit and is conditioned only on our continued participation.
Next to our salvation I think this might be one of the most important promises God made to us, and I often wonder why it's not more widely understood in the Christian community. After all, the verses I've quoted in support of it are clear and concise, and don't take any special skill to interpret. All they require is a willingness to take God at His word and trust Him to make good on what He's promised. It's literally the promise of a lifetime.
Palestinians: Fatah Prepares for War with Israel - By Khaled Abu Toameh - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=739
Fatah is a two-faced hydra; one face tells the English-speaking international community what it wants to hear, namely, that it supports a two-state solution and seeks a peaceful settlement to the conflict with Israel, while the other tells the truth: it is committed to an armed struggle and the "liberation of Palestine," and is even preparing for war with Israel.
Some 300 members of the Palestinian Fatah faction, headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, have begun receiving "military training" in the Gaza Strip in preparation for war with Israel.
The armed wing of Fatah, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - The Martyr Nidal Al-Amoudi Division, announced that its members have been enrolled in a new military academy for training "fighters" in the Gaza Strip. The academy, inaugurated recently in the Gaza Strip, would train the "fighters" on various fighting methods "in the context of a program for preparing for any future battle" with the "Zionist enemy."
The Nidal Academy was named for Nidal Al-Amoudi, a top Fatah militant killed by the Israel Defense Forces on January 13, 2008, after he carried out a series of armed attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers during the Second Intifada.
"The academy has been named after the commander Nidal Al-Amoudi (Abu Hussein) to fulfill his dream of qualifying the fighters militarily, morally, religiously and revolutionarily," explained a statement released by the Fatah armed group. Noting that some 300 "fighters" have already joined the academy, the group said that they have begun undergoing training in various methods of warfare.
"We have pledged to prepare an army of fighters by devoting our full abilities and energies to consolidate the option of armed struggle as the only means to liberate Palestine," the group declared.
The Martyr Nidal Al-Amoudi Division is one of several Fatah-affiliated militias that continue to operate in the Gaza Strip despite Hamas's violent takeover of the area in the summer of 2007. These groups pose no threat to the Hamas regime, which is why they are allowed to operate freely in different parts of the Gaza Strip.
The groups' explicit policy is to prepare for war with Israel and launch terror attacks against Israelis. Hamas, however, which expelled their leaders from the Gaza Strip and continues to persecute dozens of Fatah activists in the Gaza Strip, is not on their hit list.
The Fatah-affiliated militia inauguration of its own "military" academy in the Gaza Strip is a novel move. In recent years, Fatah armed groups have posted videos of their men undergoing military training orchards and fields, far from the watchful eyes of their rivals in Hamas. Now it seems that Hamas has nothing to fear from the Fatah militants, as Israel is the sole target.
Thus instead of training their men to retake the Gaza Strip and liberate it from the oppressive regime of Hamas, the Fatah "fighters" are busy preparing for war with Israel or fighting among themselves.
Indeed, it appears that the Fatah armed groups are actually competing with Hamas for the title of "Most Prepared to Destroy Israel." Like Hamas, they wish to win the hearts and minds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by showing that they too support the "armed struggle" against Israel and seek to "liberate Palestine."
Fortunately for Hamas, the Fatah militias are rather preoccupied with internecine struggles. This leaves precious little time to think about ways of improving their people's lives.
Today, at least five other Fatah armed groups function in the Gaza Strip: The Abu Rish Brigades, the Jihad Jibril Brigades, the Abdel Qader Husseini Brigades, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Fatah Sukkur (Hawks).
Some of these groups have in the past claimed responsibility for firing rockets at Israel. And there is not much harmony or love between these Fatah groups, whose members regard each other as rivals and political foes rather than comrades and colleagues.
Sources in the Gaza Strip point out that many of the members of these groups are former Palestinian Authority policemen who lost their jobs after the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. As such, many of them remain on the payroll of the Palestinian Authority, despite the fact that they are more than willing to lambast Mahmoud Abbas and his policies.
In other words, these Fatah gunmen who are preparing for war with Israel are indirectly receiving their salaries from Western donors, including the US and many EU countries, who fund the Palestinian Authority.
The Martyr Nidal Al-Amoudi Division recently launched a scathing attack on Abbas for attending the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem.
Masked members of the group posted a video on social media in which they strongly condemned Abbas for attending the funeral, saying they are opposed to any form of "normalization" with Israel. They demanded that Abbas apologize to the Palestinians and Fatah, adding that the "armed struggle was the only way to "liberate Palestine."
More recently, the same group "welcomed" the shooting attack that was carried out in Jerusalem by Musbah Abu Sbeih and in which two Israelis were killed -- a 60-year-old grandmother and a 29-year-old police officer. "This heroic operation is a clear message that the armed struggle is a deeply-rooted doctrine among Palestinians," the group stated. "The operation is a natural response to the crimes of the occupation."
Make no mistake. These groups believe that they represent the real Fatah, the one that never recognized Israel's right to exist and holds on to armed struggle as the only way to "liberate Palestine."
They are not breakaway groups. That is why they continue to operate under the name of Fatah. In their view, they are following the principles of their former leader, Yasser Arafat, who launched Fatah as a "national liberation movement" and never truly abandoned the option of an armed struggle against Israel. It is Abbas and his colleagues in Fatah, they say, who have deviated from Fatah's doctrine and true goals.
The power play among Fatah militias in the Gaza Strip reflects the wider division among Fatah's political leaders. According to Palestinian sources, Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip have truly become disassociated from the faction's leadership in the West Bank.
Abbas's aides blame exiled Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan for the schism, claiming that he provides dissenting Fatah officials with money, in an attempt to undermine the Palestinian president, who is also head of Fatah. Abbas recently summoned Fatah leaders from the Gaza Strip to an emergency meeting in Ramallah to discuss Dahlan's growing influence in the Gaza Strip and the rifts in Fatah.
The move came after thousands of Fatah members who are loyal to Dahlan staged a large demonstration in the Gaza Strip against Abbas. During the protest, they burned and trampled on pictures of Abbas.
Such developments in Fatah are notable for a specific reason: by and large, the international community continues to perceive Fatah as the "moderate" Palestinian party with whom Israel should make peace.
Yet Fatah is far from a single united bloc; many groups within the faction, in their own words, continue to seek the "liberation of Palestine" through armed struggle. Moreover, neither Abbas nor any of his senior Fatah loyalists in the West Bank have repudiated the war-set Fatah militias. Crucially, many of these Fatah militiamen continue to receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority.
Fatah is, in fact, a two-faced hydra; one face tells the English-speaking international community what it wants to hear, namely, that it supports a two-state solution and seeks a peaceful settlement to the conflict with Israel, while the other tells the truth: it is committed to an armed struggle and the "liberation of Palestine" and is even preparing for war with Israel.
Worth noting as well is that some of these Fatah militias also continue to operate in some parts of those territories controlled by Abbas's security forces in the West Bank. And like their cohorts in the Gaza Strip, they too receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas has lost the Gaza Strip not only to Hamas, but also to his own erstwhile Fatah supporters, who are marching in a totally different direction from the Fatah leadership in the West Bank. The dispute between Fatah and Hamas, which has effectively split the Palestinians into two entities, one in the West Bank and the other in the Gaza Strip, is one reason Palestinians are farther than ever from achieving an independent Palestinian state.
The infighting in Fatah and the gulf separating its leaders is another. Abbas's claim to sole Fatah leadership is hardly credible to even the most credulous of Abbas backers: thousands of his "fighters" are preparing for war with Israel.
Iran Seeking 'Many Billions of Dollars' in Ransom to Free U.S. Hostages - Adam Kredo - http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-seeking-many-billions-dollars-ransom-free-u-s-hostages/
Iran is seeking "many billions of dollars" in payments from the United States in exchange for the release of several U.S. hostages still being detained in Iran, according to reports by Iran's state-controlled press that are reigniting debate over the Obama administration's decision earlier this year to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash.
Senior Iranian officials, including the country's president, have been floating the possibility of further payments from the United States for months. Since the White House agreed to pay Tehran $1.7 billion in cash earlier this year as part of a deal bound up in the release of American hostages, Iran has captured several more U.S. citizens.
Future payments to Iran could reach as much as $2 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter, who said that Iran is detaining U.S. citizens in Iran's notorious Evin prison where inmates are routinely tortured and abused.
Iranian news sources close to the country's Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, which has been handling prisoner swaps with the United States, reported on Tuesday that Iran expects "many billions of dollars to release" those U.S. citizens still being detained."
"We should wait and see, the U.S. will offer ... many billions of dollars to release" American businessman Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer, who was abducted by Iran after the United States paid Iran the $1.7 billion, according to the country's Mashregh News outlet, which has close ties to the IRGC's intelligence apparatus.
The Persian language news report was independently translated for the Washington Free Beacon.
Six hostages have been sentenced to 10 years in prison by Iran in the past months, including the Namazis.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told NBC News in late September that his government is in talks with the United States to secure future payouts, a disclosure that may have played a role in the White House's recent decision to veto legislation to block future ransom payments to Iran.
"We're currently conducting conversations and various dialogues in order to return this money to Iran," Rouhani was quoted as saying. "Perhaps these dialogues can be still conducted simultaneously on parallel tracks while we're conducting those same conversations in order to free the sums of money that are still owed to us."
Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) told the Free Beacon that the U.S. is incentivizing the abduction of Americans by Iran.
"I am saddened to learn of the sentencing of Baquer Namazi and his son Siamak by Iran this week," said Kirk, the co-author of key Iran sanctions laws and chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance, which oversees Iran sanctions policy.
"After airlifting $1.7 billion in cash ransom payments to Iran, even the U.S. State Department now warns of increased dangers that the world's biggest state sponsor of terrorism will continue to illegally seize Americans and Westerners who travel or do business with Iran. Companies, banks, and American citizens would be wise to stay away from Iran," Kirk said.
One senior congressional adviser familiar with the issue told the Free Beacon that Iranian officials have been pressing for another $2 billion from the United States for months.
"Iranian officials including Foreign Minister [Mohammad Javad] Zarif have been bragging for months that they're going to force the U.S. to pay them several billion dollars more," the source said. "Now officials across the spectrum in Iran-from IRGC hardliners to the ostensibly moderate President Rouhani-are talking about those billions, and maybe several more, alongside chatter about the U.S. hostages."
"Even some family members of the hostages talk that way, which is completely understandable given what they're going through, but it doesn't change the fact that the administration is gearing up to give Iran another ransom in the hundreds of millions and maybe again billions," the source added.
Rumors of future ransom payments to Iran come as Congress continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the $1.7 billion cash payment, a portion of which was delivered by plane to Iran just hours before it released several U.S. prisoners.
The Free Beacon recently disclosed that details of this payment and other details bound up in the hostage release are being stored in a highly secure location on Capitol Hill, preventing many from accessing the documents, which are not classified but are being treated as such.
The three documents show that the cash payment was directly tied to the prisoner release, adding fuel to claims of a ransom payment, according to sources who have viewed them.
Iran experts who spoke to the Free Beacon said that Iran senses weakness in the United States and is angling to squeeze more money from the administration before it leaves office.
"Paying $1.7 billion to Iran to release the U.S. prisoners has encouraged Iran to arrest more Americans," said Saeed Ghasseminejad, an associate fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "Iran senses weakness in the U.S. leadership as it constantly tests the administration through a chain of provocative actions. To put an end to Iran's abduction program, the administration should make it clear, by action and not words, that it does not reward Iran for its bad behavior."
Conceding to Iran's demands will only bolster the hardline regime, Ghasseminejad said.
"The administration must show strength in response to Iran's other provocative actions in the region," he said. "The administration also should warn American citizens and green card holders that Iran is a very dangerous place for them to travel or do business. However, such warning contradicts the administration's continuous efforts to encourage investors and big banks to do business with Iran. The administration also should impose sanction on the entities and individuals involved in this abduction program."
ISIS hits Kirkuk, opens a 2nd front behind Mosul - http://www.debka.com/article/25730/ISIS-hits-Kirkuk-opens-a-2nd-front-behind-Mosul
No one doubted that the US-Iraqi-Kurdish offensive to liberate Mosul would be drawn out and fraught with unforeseen setbacks before the Islamic State was finally thrown out of its Iraqi capital. But on Oct. 21, five days into the Mosul operation, the ISIS terrorists landed their most severe blow, when Islamist fighters and suicide bombers suddenly hurled themselves on the Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk in a coordinated attack.
debkafile's military sources report that taking advantage of a chance to catch the US, Iraqi and Kurdish generals leading the attack on Mosul unawares, the Islamist fighters were able to open a second front to the rear of the main battle arena against ISIS.
Kirkuk is some 175km southeast of Mosul and 230km from Baghdad. By hitting this important oil city, the terrorists came close to enough to menace the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government region and its capital, Irbil, and expose the Kurdish Peshmerga troops fighting for Mosul.
Our military sources note that a large Peshmerga force of some 11,000 troops had been posted to secure the town and its oil fields, under the command of Gen. Mariwan Mohammed.
But then, on Wednesday, Oct. 19, the US-Iraqi-Kurdish joint command of the Mosul offensive decided that Kurdish reinforcements were necessary to provide the operation with greater impetus. The extra Peshmerga troops were accordingly ordered to set out from Khazar, 40 km east of Mosul, and join the coalition offensive.
However, what they missed, despite the mainly American spy satellites, drones and reconnaissance planes collecting intelligence, was an ISIS concentration clandestinely building up at Hawja, 57km east of Kirkuk. According to our military sources, some of the jihadists reported by the Western media to have turned tail on the run from Mosul had been gathering to the southeast, some 57km from Kirkuk. They stood ready to attack that town.
Their opportunity came when the large Kurdish group exited Kirkuk and headed out to Mosul. Kirkuk was left exposed without defenders.
Friday morning, the Islamic State launched its surprise attack on the defenseless oil city. Its fighters and suicide bombers slammed into four police stations, Kurdish security offices, residential neighborhoods and a power station to the north. Clashes continued during the day with unknown casualty figures on both sides.
At some point, the governor claimed control of the city was regained but residents reported the clashes continued.
ISIS said in a statement it had seized "half the city" and had also attacked the Dubiz power plant, killing all the security forces inside, but the claims were not possible to verify.
Watchman Warning: UN Sanctioned Antisemitism - By Hal Lindsey - http://www.hallindsey.com/ww-10-20-2016/
The world's war on Jews continues to grow in intensity and in brazenness. From college campuses to the United Nations, people no longer hide their bigotry against Jews. Now they're proud of it.
Many of those working toward Israel's demise say they are not anti-Semites. They say you can be anti-Israel without being anti-Jew. But when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially proclaims that Israel has no historic link to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, there can be no doubt. That age-old hobgoblin of the world - antisemitism - has roared back to life!
On Tuesday in Paris, the UNESCO executive board approved a resolution denying any historical Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. I wrote about this in April when UNESCO first floated the idea, but who would have thought it would get this far?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China or that Egypt has no connection to the Pyramids."
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, "We are deeply concerned about these kinds of recurring, politicized resolutions that do nothing to advance constructive results on the ground."
CNN belittled Israel's complaint as a "spat." But it was a big enough spat that Israel has now cut off all ties to UNESCO.
Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel's ambassador to UNESCO, said, "We won't negotiate and we won't take part in these ugly games. There is no place for these games in UNESCO. This noble organization was established to preserve history, not to rewrite it."
UNESCO's own website says, "Peace must be established on the basis of humanity's moral and intellectual solidarity."
Do they even see Jews as a part of "humanity"? How can they pretend that Jews have no connection to the Temple Mount, and say that their goal is "humanity's moral and intellectual solidarity"?
USECO says its job is the "protection of heritage." Yet they deny three thousand years of Jewish heritage. The resolution never refers to the site as "the Temple Mount." It doesn't mention the historical Jewish Temples built there. UNESCO refers to it only as "al-Haram al-Sharif," Arabic for "the Noble Sanctuary."
For the Temple Mount to be exclusively Muslim, as UNESCO says, the temples could never have existed there. Even the Western Wall, sometimes called the "Wailing Wall," is depicted in the report as wholly Muslim.
Secular history, Bible history, and archeology all give overwhelming testimony to the existence of these great temples in this specific location. This is not just a matter of Jewish heritage, but also Christian. Jesus taught in the Temple, and had important things to say about it.
When Muslim authorities did restoration work inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, they tore out and threw away lumber that scientists confirm are of the right age and type to have been used in the first Temple - the one built by Solomon. For most of human history, wood from previous construction was reused. These beams had been used in Solomon's temple, reused in the second temple, kept during Herod's renovations, used again in Catholic churches built on the site, and finally used by the Muslims in building Al-Aqsa.
When Muslim authorities built an underground mosque on this land that they claim to hold as holy, they threw away and in some cases destroyed thousands of artifacts from at least as far back as the second temple. Instead of treating the site with care as Jewish, Christian, and even atheistic archeologists would have done, they used jackhammers and bulldozers. They hauled off truckloads of dirt filled with smashed artifacts. They dumped it as trash.
Muslims say a horse named "Buraq" once flew the Prophet Mohammed to the "Seventh Heaven," using the Temple Mount as his launch pad. The UNESCO resolution accepts this without question. But they deny the three-thousand-year history of Israel's connection to the mount.
I am stunned by the brazenness of UNESCO's campaign to eradicate any Jewish connection to the land of their fathers. The world is proceeding down a dark path.
We can take comfort from the fact that these things were foretold in God's Word. And those same remarkable prophecies also tell us that, in the end, goodness, truth, justice, and mercy will all win.
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
On this week's "Hal Lindsey Report" - Hal Lindsey - www.hallindsey.com
Have "creepy clowns" come to your town yet?
Well, they are showing up in towns and cities across America. Even other countries.
Though it seems that it is mostly a macabre fad among young people fascinated by the bizarre and the... well... creepy, there have been reports of the "clowns" attempting to lure children into the woods for nefarious purpose. The police are even arresting them in some places.
Television news programs around the world are doing stone-cold serious reports about the craze.
The "creepy clown" phenomenon is probably harmless, but it does make us ask one question: Why are young Americans increasingly drawn to the demonic?
Which leads me to an observation: Apparently the demonic sells.
All you have to do is look at America's amusement parks in the Halloween season. Even the most innocent and fun theme parks take on a threatening, fear-inducing personality during this time.
And no more Casper the Friendly Ghost characters, now the parks feature the most sickening, horrifying, repulsive, even demonic and Satanic characters. And with the modern advancements in make-up and prosthetics, the resulting "creatures" have the potential to scar customers' psyches for life. Especially the young, innocent customers.
As I researched this story, I must admit that even just viewing the images of the "creatures" many of the famous amusement parks are showcasing unnerved me.
And the current season of television programs isn't far behind. Shows like "The Exorcist," "Lucifer," "The Walking Dead," and "American Horror Story," introduce and glamorize themes and images that can only be described as demonic, even Satanic. They are incredibly disturbing and dangerous, both psychologically and spiritually.
I believe people are so hungry for something to fill the spiritual void in their lives, they're willing to turn to Satan and the blatantly evil. And, of course, Satan is more than delighted to flood that void. He can never fill it, though, only God can do that.
But the thing about Satan is that he is never satisfied. He always wants more.
Right now, these are fictionalized and manufactured depictions of gore and pain and death and decay, but Satan won't quit until he has the real thing.
We can see in our own society that the bloodlust now filling our entertainment venues keeps getting worse. How long can that go on? How long before the desensitized and insatiable mob demands the real thing -- real blood, real torture, real killings, live and in color?
We see the progression of this in the many "fight club" matches and shows. Every year they grow more brutal and dangerous. And every year the live crowds and TV ratings increase.
In His great discourse on the Second Coming found in Matthew 24, Jesus said, "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah." [Matthew 24:37 NASB]
What was it like in those days? Genesis 6:5 says, "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
One of the main ways that evil thought expresses itself is through violence. Genesis 6:11 says, "Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. " Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
The National Retail Foundation says that this year Americans will spend $8.4 billion on Halloween -- much of it in celebration of violence, evil, and the demonic.
Halloween, which, by the way, comes to us through the perversion of certain Christian traditions, is October 31. That day is also the anniversary of the day Martin Luther mailed his "95 Theses" to the Archbishop of Mainz. A few days later, he famously nailed them to the door of the All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany.
That event sparked the Protestant Reformation. Once more, the word would be spread far and wide about the true nature of salvation, that, "By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." [Ephesians 2:8 NASB]
Next year will be the 500th anniversary of that event. So, my suggestion is that we turn this Halloween into something positive. Let's begin a year to contemplate Martin Luther's courage and the Reformation, and thank God for that glorious return to the true Gospel.
Did you know that World War One was primarily fought by nine nations, and it was called a World War? That's about how many nations are presently involved in war in the Middle East! And that doesn't include terror groups like ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas.
The entire region is burning with conflict.
And no one is off limits.
Recently, the Houthis, the Shiite Muslim tribal group -- funded and controlled by Iran -- that has thrown Yemen into a bloody civil war, attacked the USS Mason. The American destroyer was in international waters at the southern end of the Red Sea.
They fired three missiles at the American ship. The Mason was able to avoid being hit, then retaliated by destroying three of the Houthis' radar stations.
Caroline Glick of The Jerusalem Post noted that there was no way the Houthis would dare "expose themselves to U.S. military retaliation if they hadn't been ordered to do so by their Iranian overlords. The question is why has Iran chosen to open up an assault on the U.S.?"
Then Ms. Glick answered her own question: "Iran... wishes to replace the U.S. as the regional hegemon, at the U.S.'s expense."
The last eight years of the United States' declining influence in the Middle East has left a leadership void that is being quickly and dramatically filled by Iran and Russia. Just as the Bible predicted for these final days.
Through the years, I've heard many objections to the study of Bible prophecy and the "end times." I think that is sad, because this is a special generation. We are actually living out the Biblical scenario of the last days.
For thousands of years, men and women of God have looked forward with anticipation to the time in which we are privileged to live. We get to see and experience what they could only imagine.
But too many choose to hide their heads in the sands of ignorance. They say they want to present a positive message and that Bible prophecy is just about doom and gloom.
But, folks, that's just not true.
Since Adam and Eve, humans have been fighting and hurting one another in every imaginable way. All the days before Christ's return -- not just these immediate days leading up to it -- have been full of violence and death.
It is the return of Jesus that will bring an end to the misery that has engulfed humanity these thousands of years.
That's not doom and gloom! That's hope! That's our Blessed Hope!
And that's exactly what I want to tell you about this week.
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Daily Jot: Debate Takeaway 1-Supreme Court and Life - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Fox News' Chris Wallace opened the last presidential debate by asking the candidates where they would like the Supreme Court to take the country and what the candidates view was on interpreting the Constitution-based on the Founders' words or as a living document to "be applied flexibly according to changing circumstances?" This could be the most pivotal issue of the campaign because the 1-3 possible Supreme Court appointments by the next president will establish the direction of the country for the next generation-people, understand-THE NEXT GENERATION. The answers these candidates gave to this question is a true barometer of how Christians should determine their vote.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said, "I feel that at this point in our country's history, it is important that we not reverse marriage equality, that we not reverse Roe v Wade, that we stand up against Citizens United, we stand up for the rights of people in the workplace, that we stand up and basically say: The Supreme Court should represent all of us." In other words, while she didn't say it, she believes the Supreme Court should represent people not the Constitution. Her position is to undermine traditional marriage and continue infanticide. The Clinton view of the Supreme Court is of legislating a progressive (translate: communistic) agenda from the bench, upholding invented rights by twisting the Constitution's words.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answered directly: "The justices that I'm going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent. They will be protecting the Second Amendment. They are great scholars in all cases, and they're people of tremendous respect. They will interpret the Constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted." There is no doubt where Trump stands on abortion when it comes to the Supreme Court. This issue has been the traditional Christian litmus test of candidates since Roe vs Wade was decided in 1973. The right to life is a basic tenet of our free society and due to the Supreme Court legislating from the bench, America has killed over 50 million babies in the womb.
Herein is a stark contrast of the candidates. Clinton favors abortion on demand, the destruction of traditional marriage, and a Supreme Court that interprets the Constitution based on representation of the people, or what is deemed today as "political correctness." Trump supports the rights of the unborn, which is consistent with the Declaration of Independence underscoring the basic God-given right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This is also consistent with his position on the Second Amendment to be able to defend life. On this issue alone, no one calling themselves a Christian should be unclear. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, "I call heaven and earth as witness this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live."
Daily Devotion: Equal in Effort - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.
Have you ever looked at someone and thought, "I wish I had their talent. I wish I had their ability"?
The Bible says, "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them" (Romans 12:5-6).
These verses are saying that if you are a committed Christian who has asked God to fill you with the Holy Spirit, then God has instilled gifts, or a gift, in your life as He has chosen. It's not for us to pick and choose what gifts we want; it's for God to decide. There are gifts in your life. There are abilities in your life. There are talents that God has given to you and that He has given to me. We are to take those talents and do something with them.
It is not a person's talent that matters as much as how he or she uses it. God never demands from a person abilities they do not have. But He does demand that we should use to the full the abilities we do possess. We may not be equal in talent, but we should be equal in effort.
God can do a lot with a little. Jesus can take a little, He can bless it, and He can multiply it. He can use it beyond our wildest dreams.
You may say, "I don't have a lot to offer."
That's all right. God is not looking for ability as much as He is looking for availability. He is looking for someone like you to say, "Lord, here I am. Send me." Take what God has given to you and do the most that you can with it for His glory.
FROM THE HEART
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