Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
We Are Appointed Once to Die - By Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2017/10/we-are-appointed-once-to-die.html
27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:27-28)
Since the time that our first parents fell from grace, by sinning against God in the Garden of Eden, each of us have been subject to death at the end of our lives and we cease to dwell upon the earth. Then we are lowered into the earth at our own funeral. This is a fact, that none of us who are alive today will escape death, should the Lord Jesus tarry from returning for His church known as the Rapture. There are several undeniable facts when it comes to the end of one's life, known as physical death.
In the above opening verses, death is spoken of as unavoidable, as all mortal men and women will meet their Maker in the end of anyone's life. But the sad fact is, that most people act like they will never die. To the young, they feel they are immortal and take unnecessary chances and sometimes, this lack of taking care of our fragile existence leads to an early death. Most people live like death is unlikely and don't take seriously their final destination when they are the next to enter eternity. Others don't even believe in an after-life or the judgment that is coming, so they live their life devoid of God and could care less what is on the other side of the black veil that surrounds us all. Mankind has developed the means to prevent life, by birth control pills, but has never been able to remedy the problem by developing "death control". The wisest man in the Bible, King Solomon gave the finality that each of are facing:
5 "Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." (Ecclesiastes 12:5-7)
And his father King David first came about with this fact that mankind is not immortal by any stretch of the imagination in this physical life, even if the young think so..
9" For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." (Psalms 90:9-10)
In the words "it is appointed for men once to die..." we have have another fact, that you only die once.
When Hebrews 9:27 says, "once" it brings home the fact that you don't get a second chance at life and death. It's a one-off deal that cannot be repeated.
When people say, "You only die once!" they usually mean that you might as well be reckless. But surely, since we live and die but once, we should make of our life what we were meant to make of it. Surely we should not waste our one life, but live it as pilgrims in this world
13 "Go to now, ye that say, To day or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (James 4:13-17).
The words "once to die" contradict the theory of re-incarnation (that we live successive earthly lives). The statement, "You must be born again" is not a support for re-incarnation. Jesus made it clear that the rebirth of which he spoke was spiritual not physical when he spoke to Nicodemus that came to him by night.
3 "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:3-7).
EVERYONE WILL EVENTUALLY DIE, THEN WHAT?
The above facts are indisputable, and no one can say that they will live forever, but there is also another fact that men and women in this life do not want to think about, and that is their destination when they leave this life. In the above opening verses, the Apostle Paul reveals that after anyone dies, that it is not the end of life. Physical life may be over, but there is a continuation of life in the spiritual world.
When Hebrews 9:27 says, "after this" it puts life and death into perspective, and supplies the wonderful hope in what otherwise would be a fatalistic and depressing statement.
An old wireless advertisement used to say, "Death is so permanent!" But in one sense death is not permanent at all. There is something after death. This is why Christians speak of death as a "sleep" because it is a temporary state of existence. But thinking on that "temporary state" is the person oblivious to their surroundings in the spirit world, even though their physical body lies in the grave and goes back to dust and bones?
Many believe that a person knows nothing in a conscious state when lowered into the grave. There is much debate on what the person whose life has ended, what their existence is after dying on earth. The Bible gives many people ideas that death is nothing but soul sleep, or sleeping until the resurrection of the dead, and others who believe that a person's soul goes to one place or another, either heaven or hell, waiting for their final judgment.
The Bible confirms that there is a destination that all who experience death will be placed until final judgment. Some call it heaven:
6 "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him." (2nd Corinthians 5"6-9)
So that is the heads side of the coin, as Jesus spoke of hell, more than He did of heaven. When our Lord compared the two of hell and paradise of the parable of the rich man ending up in hell was He just making an illustration or something much more profound and permanent for those He was speaking of?. Since Jesus only spoke truth and made the fact plain by speaking in analogies of events that have taken place, we know that there is a place for the righteous, and one for the wicked.
THE RICH MAN IS EVERYMAN THAT HAS NOT JESUS AS SAVIOR!!
As Jesus spoke of this nameless, nobody who was called a "rich man" arrived in a place of torment:
22" 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;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 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." (Luke 16:22=24)
Here Lazarus was the bosom of Abraham, which is called Paradise, before the cross of Calvary, and the rich man was in torment of hell. So believing that Jesus never spoke an untruth, even to make a point, there is proof within the Bible that those who die end up in one of two places, either in torment of hell, or with other Christians who have believed in Jesus are in a state of eternal bliss and comfort, called by men, heaven. In what state are these two existences of those departed, we are not told.
No one has received their immortal, spiritual body, but we can't believe that both body and spirit know nothing when delivered to the grave of death. The physical body knows nothing, as it is mortal made of dust, that is true, but the spirit of man goes back to God who made it, and where that spirit is placed, the Bible states that those who in Jesus are comforted, and those who are in disbelief and have not Jesus within their mortal lives are separated from God, much as the demons banished to Tartarus and are dwelling in a pit in chains till their final judgment.
So is unrepentant mankind who await their final judgment and receive their immortal bodies. Each of those mentioned are given eternal oneness with God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord, OR eternal destruction being separated from God for all eternity and being denied all hope of escaping the horror of the lack of joy, love, hope, light, freedom, or the goodness of God in every aspect of their damnation of existence.
They are banished from God's presence. It is not what God wanted for them, but they had a choice and they chose it, so God gave them what they chose, separation. Sadly, some believe there is no hell, no eternal punishment for rejecting the only payment for the sins of mankind, but is that true? What does the Bible says about this awful place? Let us quote a few verses that just jump out a person who reads and has ears to hear, let them hear.
"At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:1-2)
"Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire." (Matthew 18:7-9)
31 "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:"...and dropping down a little..........
41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matthew 25:31=34, 41=48)
I believe the above verses, and there are many more, proves that those who enter eternity without the forgiveness of sins that comes from simple faith in the finished work of the cross of Calvary and have not repented of their sins, will face a most horrific eternity.
NO SECOND CHANCE
In the words "and after this the Judgment" we find a final fact, that death is your destiny's door.
There is no second chance after death. Hebrews 9:27 is telling us precisely what there is after death -- "the judgment". But those found in Jesus Christ, as Paul wrote in the beginning of Romans chapter 8:
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)
Sin leads to death, but death in this regards is not physical death that we all must endure this side of the rapture, but the spiritual death, which is the second death that awaits those not found in Jesus Christ and their names are not found in the Book of Life opened at the Great White Throne judgment. Many try to hypothesize that there is a second chance and one I want to address at this point.
Universal Reconciliation, the lie from hell
We had a debate on a Christian forum I sponsor, about the possibility that God is just, (which He is) that He would not allow mankind to be damned to a devil's hell, and that at the end of mankind's existence on this earth and just before eternity, that each man and women ever born would get a "second chance" at accepting Jesus as personal Savior.
Now this is after a 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ who has ruled the earth in justice and righteousness, and those raised at the Great White throne are judged, but not sentenced, but given a chance to make that decision for Christ. Now I ask you, who would not make that choice when given the same, of either heaven or hell. Only an insane person would choose hell. But according to this hellish doctrine, all men will be saved in the end of the world as we know it, and God will save everyone.
When I read this statement and went and looked it up on Google, my mouth just about fell to the floor. This is nothing but a Unitarian Universalism of thought, that no matter how you have lived, God gives you a another chance at salvation.
"Let us party, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die, but we get a second chance at salvation"....I can imagine Satan whispering this lie into each of those who buy this nonsense and live as wickedly as they want thinking they will get another chance. Let us look at the definition of this Universal Reconciliation found in Wikipedia:
"In Christian theology, universal reconciliation (also called universal salvation, Christian universalism, or in context simply universalism) is the doctrine that all sinful and alienated human souls-because of divine love and mercy-will ultimately be reconciled to God. The doctrine has generally been rejected by Christian religion, which holds to the doctrine of special salvation that only some members of humanity will eventually enter heaven."
This heresy denies that God is a God of judgment, as He is only a God of love and mercy. But know one thing, in the final summation, the Lord of Creation is also Holy. He will not allow sinful mankind into His presence, and the only way to come back to God the Father, is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, his death, his burial, and His resurrection. All who come to Jesus in this life are forgiven and a deposit of God's Holy Spirit is imparted to them, waiting for the future event of our glorification. As is written in Roman's chapter 8:
"16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:16-19)
At the time of the 1st resurrection, which Jesus was the beginning of that event and continued at the rapture of the church, and it will be completed at the end of the Millennium when all have died in Jesus will be raised to new life and be conformed completely to the image of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1st John 3:1-3)
But to the man or woman standing in front of a Holy God, who has not got the blood of Jesus covering their lives, the judgment is quick and it is deadly.
23 "To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:23-29)
FINAL JUDGMENT OF THOSE RAISED TO DESTRUCTION
11 "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15)
Some denominations believe that when a man is cast into this Lake of Fire, that the spirit, soul, and body are annihilated, or burned up in a flash, never to be seen of again...Is that true? My Bible speaks of a place burning with fire, brimstone and sulfur, that burns and torments those who are cast into this inferno to be tormented for all eternity.
9 "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." (Revelation 14:9-11)
And the Old Testament bears witness of this eternal punishment of those who are cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth:
22 "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.
23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."(Isaiah 66:22-24)
Both passages speak of an eternal destination of those who defy and rebel against a Living God, and who reject the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, as being the only Way back to fellowship with God our Father. It is an eternal separation from God, and will be that man's eternal destruction and torment.
IF UNIVERSALISM IS TRUE, THEN WHY WITNESS?
The end result of this Universal Reconciliation is why witness to a lost person in the first place? "God is not willing that any should perish, so He will give everyone a chance at salvation in the end, so why tell anybody about Jesus Christ? It will be all good at the end of time." they each say. What a dangerous doctrine that makes to none effect of the Love of God to share with others the hope found in you.
If you go into any of these churches such as the Unitarians, Church of God from the old World Wide Church of God, to the off-shoot branches of today, not to mention Methodist and those who don't give an altar call at the end of their church services, you will find a complete lack of the great Commission given by Jesus. I've often wondered why and now I know for sure that it is because they erroneously believe that God will save everyone, so they just sit on their hands or fold them in pious self-righteousness and ignore this great Commission..
"18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."( Matthew 28:18-20)
Conclusions: YOU MUST MAKE A CHOICE.
We know that we are mortal. We know that all of our loved ones, our neighbors, our co-workers, and even ourselves will eventually die...that's a given. We know from scripture that each of us die once...and there is no second chance at choosing either life or death....life found in Jesus, or death without Jesus. It is one place or the other, and we have no chance if we are in the 2nd resurrection of the damned who stand before a Holy God at the Great White Throne, as each who stand are judged for their sins in their lives based on the clear words of your Holy Bible.
Their names will NOT be seen in the Lamb's book of Life, and they will be cast away into outer darkness, where there is weeping, gnashing of teeth, and where the worm dieth not, nor the fire quenched. So it depends on what you make of this life, as it is the rehearsal for the next life, and the where you will spend eternity. Those who are raptured at the beginning of the Tribulation, those who are raised to life being martyred for Jesus in the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation and those who accept Jesus as personal Savior in the Millennium, will all be with Jesus Christ, and God our Father for all eternity. Those who neglect the main focus of why you were even born, that is "what will you do with the man/God, Christ Jesus?" IS A DEFINITE CHOICE...Will you accept or reject the only way to salvation?
Brethren, or my reader, you have a choice as spoken, and there is a simple remedy to avoiding what is promised in the Bible for all who reject the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is SO simple, children are able to make that decision, by responding positively to the calling of God's Holy Spirit...you say HOW?
As mentioned it is so easy. By believing the Gospel that is found in two passages, that are the microcosm of the whole Bible and the reason God wrote it those who live in this generation, the final generation, before Jesus comes back for His Church and brings judgment on this earth and it's dwellers of the nations.
16 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)
and again.....confess your sins before a Holy God...............
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."(Romans 10:8-11)
Those who refuse or neglect that, are counted as ungodly, irreligious, and unprepared. They have everything to fear...........
26 "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 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 5:26-29)
I implore you in all love and caring to make that decision for Jesus Christ today, while you have the chance to do so. Remember, we will all appointed one day to die, then the judgment, so don't neglect so great a salvation.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your salvation found only in Jesus Christ. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com . God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
With visit to Iran, Hamas thumbs nose at Palestinian reconciliation - Dov Lieber - https://www.timesofisrael.com/with-visit-to-iran-hamas-thumbs-nose-at-palestinian-reconciliation/
Terror group signals it will never give up its weaponry, parades independence from Egypt with surprise Tehran trip
At the outset of the current round of Palestinian reconciliation talks, Hamas appeared committed to working with Egypt to reach a deal to end 10 years of a bitter rivalry with Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority.
But then a senior delegation of officials from the terror organization took an unexpected visit to Iran, casting a shadow over the unity efforts.
When talks began, it seemed Hamas had taken a good look in the mirror - seen its international stance waning, and the territory it controls, the Gaza Strip, suffering from vast unemployment as well as crippling electric and water crises - and understood it had to make drastic changes to stay in power.
And there was the matter of Egypt. Cairo holds strong sway over Hamas, as it can partially remove the 11-year crippling blockade of the enclave, which would end years of limited travel and boost the Gazan economy. Hamas's senior leadership is now also located in Gaza, so without Egypt's consent, they can't leave the Strip.
So whereas previous reconciliation attempts between Hamas and Fatah had failed, both Palestinian factions argued that perhaps with Egyptian help, real progress could be made.
This image was punctured over the weekend, when a senior Hamas delegation, which included group's deputy political leader Salah al-Arouri, took an unexpected visit to Iran and publicized it on its official media.
Earlier this month, it was Arouri who personally signed a deal in Cairo to allow for the Palestinian Authority government to retake control of the Gaza Strip, under the watchful gaze of Egyptian Intelligence Minister Khalid Fawzi.
Two weeks later, Arouri was in Tehran, promising to "eliminate Israel," and shaking hands with senior Iranian officials, who promised Iran's support - including military aid - would continue to get stronger "day by day."
On Monday, Hossein Sheikholeslam, an adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, told the Hamas-linked al-Shehab news site, "We will give Hamas anything it demands from Iran."
Since the start of the reconciliation process, Hamas has said it would not give up control of its 25,000-strong military. At the same time, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would not permit any weapons outside of his government's control. This was an obstacle both sides agreed would not be dealt with during the initial stages of negotiations.
With its trip to Iran, Hamas is sending a message to the PA and to Egypt that it won't be backing down.
It was also an obvious rejection of Israel's requirement that Hamas cut ties with Iran.
Meanwhile, since Arouri's trip to Tehran, Abbas and his deputies have made clear that, despite media reports to the contrary, they have not backed down on their demand to control all the weapons in Gaza.
"There won't be any militias" in Gaza, Abbas declared on Monday, in an interview with the official Chinese news agency Xinhua. "This is what we mean by reconciliation and it's what we're working on," he said.
Also on Monday, senior Abbas political aide Ahmad Majdalani elaborated on what Abbas meant by full control of the Strip during an interview on Palestine TV.
"We will impose our control in Gaza above and below ground," he said, in an obvious reference to the many tunnels Hamas's military wing had dug underground, some of them extending into Israel. The terror group used tunnels to infiltrate into the Jewish state during the 2014 summer war.
Hamas argues its weapons are necessary for "resistance" against Israel. Majdalani argued that if Hamas retains its weapons, "any faction can form a militia tomorrow, say 'these are weapons of the resistance and you can't touch them'...This is not a state," he said.
Egypt has yet to comment on Hamas's trip to Iran, though the pivot likely irked Cairo. On Monday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi reiterated that Cairo and Tehran are not on friendly terms.
"Our relations with Iran have been severed for nearly forty years. We seek to reduce the existing tension and ensure the security of our brothers in the Gulf," he said Monday night on France 24, referring to the conflict between Arab Gulf countries and Iran.
With full knowledge of the existing tensions between Cairo and Tehran, Hamas nonetheless chose to publicize its trip to Iran, underlining that it feels it can still operate independently of Egypt.
Abbas, in his interview with Xinhua, seemed to express his disapproval of Iranian meddling into internal Palestinian affairs, saying, "We want reconciliation, unity, and that no one will interfere in our internal affairs because we do not interfere in any else's affairs."
"We want that any assistance provided from any party in the world be given through the Palestinian Authority," he added.
Speaker of the Iranian parliament Ali Larijani told the Hamas delegation over the weekend, "What matters is that the Palestinian factions put their differences aside and unite against the Zionist entity."
But thanks to Iran's promise to continue - and increase - backing to Hamas's armed wing, Palestinian unity seems as unlikely as ever.
Iran Praises Hamas for Adhering to Pledge to Destroy Israel - by Deborah Danan - http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/10/24/iran-praises-hamas-for-adhering-to-pledge-to-destroy-israel/
An Iranian official lauded Hamas for vowing to continue its efforts toward the destruction of Israel during a meeting between officials of the Islamic Republic and the terror group in Tehran on Sunday.
"We congratulate you for declaring that you will not set your weapons aside and for describing it as your red line," said Ali Akbar Velayati, international affairs adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to the regime-affiliated Fars news agency.
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Admiral Ali Shamkhani on Saturday also expressed hope that Hamas would continue to be a "central pioneer of the Palestinian resistance," Iran's Press TV reported.
Shamkhani also condemned the U.S. and Israel for demanding that Hamas both recognize Israel and disarm before a Palestinian unity government can receive legitimacy.
"The U.S. and the Zionist regime feel threatened by any balance shift in the Middle East in favor of regional people and governments engaged in the fight against terrorism," Shamkhani said. "They seek to obstruct the path of the anti-terrorism fight by bringing up unfounded pretexts such as blocking Iran's regional sway."
Hamas deputy chief Salah Arouri, who led the delegation, said that Palestinian officials in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were hoping to broaden ties with Tehran.
Arouri rejected three preconditions outlined by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for dealing with any Palestinian unity government that the terror group will be part of - namely, that Hamas disarm, recognize Israel and cut all relations with Iran. The first two conditions were reiterated by the U.S.
Regarding recognizing Israel, Arouri said on Saturday, "We're not in the stage of recognition; rather we are now in the stage of preparing to eliminate the Zionist entity." As for cutting ties with Iran, he said, "Our visit to Tehran is our practical rejection to the Israeli demand to cut ties with it."
Two days earlier, Hamas' Gaza-based Prime Minister Yahya Sinwar said, "No one in the universe can disarm us. On the contrary, we will continue to have the power to protect our citizens."
"Over is the time Hamas spent discussing recognizing Israel. Now Hamas will discuss when we will wipe out Israel," Sinwar added, according to the Hamas-linked news agency Shehab.
The Hamas delegation also met with the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani.
"The enemies are seeking to abolish you, to portray you as an ineffectual movement in the eyes of your people. It behooves you not to allow them to succeed in their divisive endeavors," Larijani warned the Hamas delegation.
"What matters is that the Palestinian factions put their differences aside and unite against the Zionist entity," he added.
International affairs adviser Velayati pledged that the Islamic Republic would lend more support to Palestinian terror groups.
"We want to prove to the Zionist entity that strategic relations between Iran and the Palestinian resistance, represented by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, will not ever be served. Rather, Iran's support for the resistance will increase day by day," he said.
"We are confident that Hamas is faithful to the rights of the Palestinian people, and therefore cannot give up on the Palestinian fundamental principles, the resistance and its weapons," he added.
The End of the Perilous Fictions Surrounding the Nuclear Deal with Iran - By Sarah N. Stern -
A week and a half ago, President Donald Trump took the first, crucial step towards ending a significant portion of the foreign policy legacy that had been bequeathed to the nation by his predecessor President Barack Obama: the nuclear deal with Iran. What has been largely forgotten by the public is that this particular foreign policy mire was built upon a fiction. The fiction upon which the deal was based was clearly outlined in a seminal article by David Samuels in the May 15, 2016, issue of The New York Times Magazine entitled, the aspiring novelist who became Obama's foreign policy guru.
The expose by Samuels focused on Ben Rhodes, the previous administration's Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, and how he created a narrative to support the nuclear deal. While reading the article, it became increasingly clear that the nuclear deal with Iran had very little to do with Iran's behavior or its commitments, but everything to do with a particular foreign policy objective that Obama wanted to achieve upon assuming office. It was all about the narrative-and had very little or nothing to do with reality
Early in the article, Rhodes was described as trying to suppress the story of the Iranians taking ten sailors on two United States Navy riverine boats in the Persian Gulf. The seizure of the sailor took place days before the parties to the nuclear deal were to begin implementing the deal. But there was an even more immediate concern: later that day Obama was set to deliver the final State of the Union speech of his presidency, which was supposed to be "an optimistic, forward-looking" speech. Samuels described how Rhodes and the administration viewed their priorities: "A challenge to that narrative arises: Iran has seized two small boats containing 10 American sailors. Rhodes found out about the Iranian action earlier that morning but was trying to keep it out of the news until after the president's speech."
Samuels in the article further outlined how the "innovative campaign to sell the Iran deal" was "largely manufactured for the purpose of selling the deal."
The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented - that the Obama administration began seriously europengaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country - was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false. Obama's closest advisers always understood him to be eager to do a deal with Iran as far back as 2012, and even since the beginning of his presidency.
In the real world we are living in today-not the ideal world in which we are all the same, and in which no evil exists-this sort of fiction writing serves as a paltry substitute for informed, realistically-based foreign policy and is irresponsible, reckless, and ultimately, immoral.
Foreign policy is not a town hall meeting. It is one thing when running for a local government office in American politics to exaggerate one's opponents' flaws or mishaps. It is quite another in the dangerous world of foreign policy to whitewash a sworn enemy of the United States, whose leaders believe in a fundamentalist version of Shiite Islam, who want to create a Shia caliphate and to obliterate the Kafir - the infidel -through a military buildup of both conventional and unconventional forces, including nuclear weapons.
All so that a former President can put a checkmark after one of his objectives.
This deception of the American people and the international community is patently immoral, particularly when it had been clear for over a decade that Iran has been intent on acquiring nuclear weapons.
We are not talking about the acquisition of small arms, but of allowing a rogue state to create an industrial scale nuclear infrastructure. Lives depend upon responsible foreign policy.
The profound immorality of the Obama administration was on display in June of 2009 throughout Iran, when, after the sham elections, millions of young, democracy-loving Iranians took to the streets in protest of the brutal rule of the Mullahs. Beautiful Iranians had their skulls crushed in, and were carted off to the notorious Evin prison, sometimes never to be seen from or heard again. Many were holding up the sign" Obama. Where are you?" Finally, after more than a week of this brutality, Obama said something that can only be described as tepid, and measured, at best. Apparently, even then, Obama had wanted to cozy up to the Mullahs and felt that the lives of these young beautiful dissidents were simply a price he had to pay for his foreign policy objective.
"He feared the demonstrations would sabotage his secret outreach to Iran," columnist Eli Lake later observed.
It was not only the tone deafness ear to the human suffering and cries of the Iranian dissident population, nor the grave policy consequences of the Iranian nuclear deal that was so callous, cold-hearted and calculating. The method by which it was sold was also troubling. This deal had been presented to the American people and our policymakers in a way that evaded the Constitution of the United States and compromised our national sovereignty.
By making a deal between six nations (the P5 plus 1: the U.S., Russia, China, France, Great Britain plus Germany) and Iran, as opposed to a treaty, the Obama administration bypassed Congress, making it nearly impossible for the legislature to exercise their responsibility of oversight and review. This was done to prevent the United States from acting unilaterally in case Iran would be been in violation of the deal.
This was further complicated by Obama making an end-run around Congress and going directly to the UN Security Council to enshrine it by a vote.
Although the U.S. was the essential driver of the deal, it is now increasingly difficult to get out of it because America is just one of 6 parties to the deal. This was Obama's calculation all along.
The framers of the Constitution had situations like this in mind when they asserted that a treaty had to be ratified by 2/3 of the Senate. It is also why members of the U.S. Congress felt that they needed to reassert their constitutionally mandated role of oversight and review in the form of the Iranian Nuclear Review Act of 2015, known in shorthand as Corker-Cardin.
Contrary to popular belief, President Trump did not de-certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, (JCPOA) or withdraw from the nuclear agreement on October 13. He simply did what he had been legally mandated to do under Corker-Cardin: to certify whether or not the lifting of Iranian sanctions is in the national security interest of the United States.
But the most deadly omission in this entire charade is that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not actually been doing the job of verifying Iran's compliance with section t of the nuclear deal, which addresses activities such as computer simulations of nuclear explosions or designing multi-point explosive detonation systems, activities which are necessary to the development of a nuclear weapon. The IAEA also has never visited any military site since the implementation of the deal nearly two years ago. These are sites where the suspected nuclear activity has been ongoing, but where the Iranians claim are off-limit to nuclear inspectors because they have deemed them "military sites".
According to a report by David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, of September 21, 2017, "as of the last quarterly report in August 2017, the IAEA had not visited any military site in Iran since Implementation Day, risking the de facto creation of no-go zones in Iran, a development that would render verification of the JCPOA moot. There is concern that this reflects Iranian bullying on the issue, where the Iranian regime takes a position that it will not allow inspectors access to military sites and the IAEA does not want to create a conflict the entire deal by asking to go."
Why is the IAEA and most of the world cowering to the Iranian bully? Why have the spineless European leaders isolated President Trump for telling the truth about Iran? Is it just that a new market has opened up for business? Or is it that they are just buying time?
Everyone knows that Iran's nuclear clock has been ticking for two years now and that in just another 6 to 8 years, this deal gives Iran a legally sanctioned path to nuclear weapons.
The Iranian nuclear deal was a Munich Pact built on the quicksand of selling a "narrative" to a public that does not know how to recognize evil when it stares us in the face. And does not recognize the distinction between truth and fiction.
If Trump follows through on his October 13 speech and strengthens the terms of the deal, it will go a long way towards rolling back Iran's nuclear and non-nuclear threats to the world.
Nearing Midnight: China's Addiction to Middle East Oil - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
The more I understand world events, the more convinced I've become that there is a Supernatural God guiding world events. Just as China began a massive surge in its consumption of oil, the U.S. began lowering its need for foreign oil with the fracking revolution. Many books have been written that argue that China and America are destined for war because of black gold. We remain at peace because the market has been able to maintain a near-perfect balance between supply and demand.
China is now the world's largest oil importer. In 1994, the Chinese economy ran completely on the 3 million barrels per (mpd) day that came from state-owned oil companies. Over the past 24 years, consumption has shot up to 13 mpd. China now needs to import 8.5 mpd to keep its economy going.
There is no indication that China's oil demand is leveling off. If you look at a chart of Chinese oil consumption growth, it's moving up at a 45-degree angle. A nation of 1.4 billion people could easily triple its oil consumption and still be nowhere near America's daily usage of petroleum.
The security of oil flows has been an increasingly pressing worry for Chinese leaders. A large percentage of China's crude imports come from countries in the Middle East, including Iran and Iraq. While the U.S. has become carefree about troubles in the Middle East, China's president has made numerous trips to Arab capitals to keep tabs on his oil suppliers.
The change in the flow of oil from West to East has brought into question the need for the petrodollar standard. This is an agreement the U.S. struck with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollars. China is seeking to introduce a new gold-backed, yuan-based oil benchmark. Trade in oil futures would switch from West Texas Intermediate to the Shanghai. Russia and Iran are heavy backers of this plan because they know it would help to unseat the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency.
The response to China's power grab for oil has been pure delusion on our part. Every few days I read about some nation saying that by the next couple decades they are going to have 100 percent battery-powered cars. Germany has the fourth largest car manufacturing industry in the world, and its federal council (the Bundesrat) has passed a resolution that calls for a total ban on internal combustion engines by 2030. Norway decided to follow and outdo Germany by setting a 2025 target where only 100 percent electric cars will be allowed at dealerships.
There are about 1.2 billion vehicles on the world's roads, and there is no way we could replace them with battery-powered engines. To make a rechargeable car that can go long distances requires a battery made from lithium, nickel, cobalt, vanadium, cadmium, and lead. Some of these metals are classified as rare-earth elements.
Cobalt would be the mother of supply-chain headaches. As much as 65 percent of this global supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where cobalt production has fallen this year because of the unstable political situation. This sparked a 90 percent jump in the price of cobalt to a peak of $61,000 a ton earlier this month.
These environmentalist dreamers might as well mandate that by 2020 all travel will be conducted by teleportation machines. As a result, all maintenance on roads will immediately come to an end. The stocks of oil companies may go bust, but I doubt it will because of a decline in the price of oil.
The recent oil glut is mostly the creation of deficit spending. The oil industry has maintained its production levels by going deeper and deeper into debt. Since the 2008 global economic and financial crisis, the top seven oil companies have seen their total combined debt explode four times, from $96 billion to $379 billion currently. In 1997, Chevron enjoyed a $3.2 billion net profit on revenues of $42 billion. Last year, Chevron lost $497 million on total sales of $114 billion. Even though Chevron's revenues nearly tripled in twenty years, it's a money-losing venture.
Unless there is a massive spike in the price of oil, the big oil firms are going to eventually implode. Since OPEC has a lock on most of the world's cheap oil, we may return to the days when this organization was able to dictate the spot price of crude. Now that Beijing has become OPEC's biggest customer, it would mean for us to try to regain our old market share of Arab oil.
There may be some other reason why China is part of a 200-million army that invades the Middle East. Since numerous wars have been fought over oil in the past, it is logical to conclude that more wars will be fought in the future.
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared" (Revelation 16:12).
"And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them"(Revelation 9:16).
A New Candidate for Antichrist Has Appeared on the World Stage - By Jeffrey Scanga -
A true confirmed identification of the Antichrist is not likely to be possible on this side of the Rapture, but this hasn't stopped endless speculation on the matter, ranging from the ridiculous to the possible. Even so, someone sooner or later is bound to be correct. The Antichrist's rise to power during the Tribulation period need not start after the rapture. It is logical to assume that the beginning of his career on the world stage will have its beginnings well before the termination of the age of Grace.
At risk of being yet another speculator, I believe an event that occurred today (Sunday, October 15, 2017) bears at least noteworthy interest.
Austria has just elected a new chancellor. At 31 years of age, he is not only the youngest leader ever elected in Austria, but he is the youngest head of state in the world. His name is Sebastian Kurz. His interest in politics began at the age of 10, and he has spent the last four years as Austria's foreign minister. He and his country played host to the negotiations with Iran last year under the Obama administration, which brought young Kurz some rapid recognition by foreign powers.
A couple of interesting facts about him, when compared alongside the biblical framework of the Antichrist, are worth noting and give ample reason to keep an eye on this new public figure and his burgeoning career.
1) Kurz was born in Vienna, Austria. His first name, Sebastian comes from the Latin Sebastianus meaning "from Sebastia" which is now Sivas in Turkey. Both Vienna and Sebastia were once part of the Roman Empire. In fact Vienna was originally founded by the Romans as a military camp, and the Sivas province was part of the Eastern Leg of the Roman Empire. So both his name and his birthplace are from the Roman Empire, having representation from both legs of that ancient empire of iron.
The prophet Daniel records what the Angel Gabriel revealed to him about the ruler who will set up an "abomination that causes desolation" in Daniel 9:26 he states: "...The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary..." As many watchers of prophecy know - the people who destroyed the city and sanctuary were none other than the Romans in 70AD, therefore the antichrist will have lineage connected to Rome. He will be "of that people".
2) The name "Kurz" means short in height (although Kurz himself appears to be at least six feet tall, probably about 6' 2").
In Daniel 7:8, it is recorded: "While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it..." Currently, Austria is a small player on the world scene, so coupled with the name "Kurz" - could this be the future "little horn"?
3) Some of Kurz's supporters refer to him, at least metaphorically, as a "messiah". 1,2
4) In a speech to the UN last year as foreign minister, his opening words were: "...I belong to a generation which was born into a globalized world. For us, globalization is not a threat; it is a fact of life." Then he proceeded to quote former secretary general of the UN, Kofi Annan: "Arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity". 3
The Antichrist, whoever he turns out to be, will practically be by definition, a globalist. In order to fulfill the prophecy given in Revelation 13, it's almost a prerequisite for the job:
Revelation 13:16-17 "It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name."
5) And finally, although this is completely non-biblical, it does add further intrigue and curiosity: In the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, the Antichrist, Nicolai Carpathia and his girlfriend Hattie Durham bear descriptions which could almost match Sebastian Kurz and his girlfriend Suzanne Their. In fact, even the 2 actors who portrayed Carpathia and Durham in the movie, Left Behind, bear a resemblance to Kurz and Their. Taking this just a bit further - the President of the United States is portrayed in the book as being brash and quick-tempered, a character not much unlike Donald Trump today.
What does this all mean? Well, it's still way too early to start pronouncing Sebastian Kurz as the future Antichrist. All I mean to do with this article, my first submission to Rapture Ready, is to call some attention to the facts above and to watch. Watch carefully the career of Mr. Kurz and see where it leads. If he continues his meteoric rise on the world stage as he has in Austria, then the time will have come and the first horseman may actually be getting saddled up and ready to ride! This can only mean we have very little time to get the gospel message out before all hell breaks loose on planet earth.
I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. -Revelation 6:2
Author: Jeffrey Scanga 10/15/2017
Daily Jot: Of Snopes, Krauthammer and The Daily Jot - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Interesting how the fake news cycles its way through the internet. I received an email from fact-checker Snopes yesterday saying, "There's an article going around that's being attributed to Charles Krauthammer (you can read it here), but a nearly verbatim copy of this text (minus the first and last paragraphs) appeared on your web site months prior to it being attributed to Krauthammer. Did you write this article for the Daily Jot on 13 February 2017?" I looked it up because Snopes, in my opinion, is not a trusted fact checker. In fact, I did publish a Daily Jot titled "The perilous times we live in." It talked about how the ex-president was gearing up Organizing for Action to oppose President Donald Trump's agenda from the shadows.
Somewhere along the line, someone picked up parts of the Daily Jot, repurposed it without attribution, and sent it out under Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer's byline. According to Snopes, the faux Krauthammer article appears in the Nesara News website archives for October 11 titled, "The Enemy Amongst Us!!" It has a screen shot of Krauthammer as a Fox News contributor on the O'Reilly show and is claiming the article appeared in the New York Post. At the bottom the site documents that "Olive Oyl" posted the article at 12:45 AM on Friday, October 13. The Nesara Republic Now Galactic News site claims to be "an Awareness Blog to consider the future of your world" having 3.5 million views per month.
The fabricated article excerpts from the original Daily Jot Paul Sperry's claim written in the New York Post that the ex-"president" is setting up a shadow government to sabotage the incoming administration through a network of leftist nonprofits led by OFA, which is growing its war chest (more than $40 million) and has some 250 offices nationwide. OFA IRS filings, according to Sperry, indicate OFA has 32,525 volunteers nationwide. The ex-"president" and his wife will oversee the operation from their foundation office near the White House. It also errantly places quotation marks around Sperry's comments. Sperry is a New York Post columnist, but Krauthammer is not.
Snopes says that the claim that the ex-"president" was forming a shadow government to undermine the Trump presidency "was based on little or no evidence." As I said in February when I wrote this original column, "the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-3, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be...without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good." Indeed, perilous times are ahead for us and our nation." I might add verse 13, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." This is an example of how people can fabricate news, who writes it, and weaponize it for their own agenda.
Daily Devotion: God Is Thinking about You - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. -Psalm 40:5
One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." It's a great verse, but let's understand the context. These words were given to the Jewish people when they were captives in Babylon. They were discouraged. They were wondering whether they ever would be free to worship God as they once had.
Now, if that verse said, "For I know the single thought that I once had toward you, says the Lord," I would be happy with that. Wouldn't you? To think that Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, actually thought even for a moment about me or you is incredible. Yet God's thoughts toward us not only are past tense, but they are present and future tense as well: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord."
How many thoughts would that be? We're told in Psalm 40:5: "Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered." His thoughts toward us are innumerable.
Here's what you need to know: God knows what you're going through. He is thinking about you, and His thoughts are of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
The word future could be translated "an expected end." You are a work in progress. And God isn't done yet, you see. He is the author and finisher of your faith. There will be a completion. God is finishing you. And ultimately, it will be good.
FROM THE HEART
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