Prophecy Update Newsletter
October 26, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Zion Defiled? - Wendy Wippel - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8327
If you spend much time on the vast wasteland known as the internet, you're bound to see lots of supposed indications of the imminence of the rapture: genetic modification, apostasy, global government, strange conjunctions of heavenly bodies, real-time global communication. No argument. But the real reason to believe we're almost there is in Malachi. And nobody's mentioning that one.
A lot of internet prophecy buffs -- and, frankly-- a lot of Christians in general, brought up in the Word, (who should really, therefore, know better) are perennially in error on prophetic topics because they fail to recognize a critical truth about the Scriptures: there are essentially two different audiences that come to the Word for truth.
First, the chosen people (aka the nation of Israel), and second, everybody else. Which includes me. And I would assume, most of you reading this. We are grafted into the nation of Israel-- sort of adopted-- when we believe . Understanding the distinction between Jew and Gentile in Scripture-particularly with respect to the times set aside for God to deal with each group separately-is important. Really important.
Here's a secret: the tribulation is a time specifically for the Jews.
Which really shouldn't be a secret because God, through Daniel, made that point clear.
Daniel assumed because of Jeremiah's writings, that God was about to give Israel the Messiah and the kingdom of their own that was promised - if Israel repented. Sincerely. And from the passage it's pretty obvious that Daniel is going to make dang skippy sure that Israel repents sincerely even if he has to do it all by himself. So he gives it his best shot. And since, (after all, he's Daniel), it's a darn good try.
But the response isn't really all he hoped for. No.
What happens is that Gabriel shows up and tells him that he's been sent by God to straighten him out. Something like; "Danny Boy, I think you're a mite bit confused. Here's the scoop."
Daniel's account goes like this;
He made me understand., speaking with me and saying, "O, Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved.
Therefore consider the word and understand the vision. Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint the most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to Messiah the prince, there will be seven weeks and 62 weeks. The street shall be built again, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty- two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself. And the people of the Prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood. And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
Translation: Daniel, it's not going to be in your lifetime that Messiah comes. In fact it's going to be quite a while.
Gulp. Probably a lot to handle for Daniel at the time, don't you think?
Our lesson, however, is pretty straightforward, and was laid out in the first ten words Gabriel spoke. To Daniel: Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city.
Those seventy "weeks", the (meaning groups of seven years) that end with the seven years of tribulation are for the Jews.
Gabriel said so. They are not about the church. So the church won't go through tribulation. End of Discussion.
We'll, it should be, but a lengthy conversation with a pre-trib denier last week proved, once again, again, otherwise.
As someone dear to my heart likes to say, "we'll just explain it to them on the way up." But that's not really my point.
Here's my point. If the seventy years prophesied in Daniel concerns the Jews, then one extremely important mark on that prophecy timeline was the return of the nation of Israel to the land.
Which was also prophecied:
"'Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west and from north and south. I will bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. All who claim me as their God will come, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them." Isaiah 43:5-7 (NLT)
"Who has ever seen or heard of anything as strange as this? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? But by the time Jerusalem's birth pains begin, the baby will be born; the nation will come forth." Isaiah 66:8 (NLT)
"'But the time is coming,' says the Lord, 'when people who are taking an oath will no longer say, 'As surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.' Instead, they will say, 'As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.' For I will bring them back to this land that I gave their ancestors." Jeremiah 16:14-15 (NLT)
"'But I will gather together the remnant of my flock from wherever I have driven them. I will bring them back into their own fold, and they will be fruitful and increase in number. Then I will appoint responsible shepherds to care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one of them will be lost or missing,' says the Lord.
'For the time is coming,' says the Lord, 'when I will place a righteous Branch on King David's throne. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this is his name: 'The Lord Is Our Righteousness.' In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety. 'In that day,' says the Lord, 'when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say, 'As surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.' Instead, they will say, 'As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.' Then they will live in their own land." Jeremiah 23:3-8 (NLT)
Abundantly prophecied. But here the fun starts. Also fulfilled to an astounding degree. The world's Jews, fueled by persecution, have been returning to Israel in droves for over a century. The world's last concentration of Jews outside of Israel is New York.
So that stage is set. But there's still that one prophecy, often overlooked, whose fulfillment would seem to be right around the corner:"
O daughter of Zion... 'Now also many nations have gathered against you, Who say, "Let her be defiled,And let our eye look upon Zion.".
A verse that prophecies the future moment when the nations, surround Israel and collectively lick their chops over Israel's impending destruction.
In terms of the spirit, we're almost there. And the flesh isn't weak, it's just waiting for a good opportunity. In fact, I think it's safe to say that we are pretty much there as I type this. The Pope is busy buddying up with the Arab terrorists. India has thrown Israel under the bus.
In England, a HAMAS leader was invited in to speak, but the Dutch MP (who had produced a film documenting Islamic terrorism was denied entry, as have a list of unacceptable individuals other (Americans included), who have also voiced concerns about Islamic terror. Much of the rest of the world, has hated Israel for a long time. America , historically, has been Israel's one fast friend. Most of the churches in the U.S, however, have now, one way or another cast their lot in with the Palestinians, leaving just us stupid/crazy/hateful fundamentals still in their camp. And we know what the Idiot-in-Chief in the Oval Office thinks about the whole situation.
No reason for Israel to expect any help there.
You might say (someone did) "How do we know this verse is talking about the end times?"
The preceding verses make it clear: For now you shall go forth from the city, You shall dwell in the field, And to Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered; There the Lord will redeem you From the hand of your enemies."
The ones that follow do as well: 11 Now also many nations have gathered against you, Who say, "Let her be defiled, And let our eye look upon Zion." 12 But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, Nor do they understand His counsel; For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor. 13 "Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion; For I will make your horn iron, And I will make your hooves bronze; You shall beat in pieces many peoples;,
The Famous Jewish agnostic, physicist and Nobel Prize Winner Leon Lederman, once said that the one thing he could think of that might be supernatural, was the return of Israel to their homeland after 2000 years. He said that that event was kind of spooky.
I'm thinking he ain't seen nothing yet.
Second UNESCO Resolution Passes Proclaiming Jerusalem Muslim City, Temple Mount Islamic Site - By Abra Forman - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/77561/second-unesco-resolution-proclaims-jerusalem-muslim-city-temple-mount-islamic-site/#Aoay8mOQOiOxbchd.97
"For the sake of the house of Hashem our God I will seek thy good." Psalms 122:9 (The Israel Bible™)
A second resolution by the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) denying any and all connections between the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish religion or people passed on Wednesday morning, though not by a large majority.
With ten votes in favor, two against, and eight abstentions, the 21-member World Heritage Committee did not produce a consensus vote, which would have had the appearance of a unanimous decision, as the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Jordan had hoped, but a secret ballot, allowing each member state to vote individually.
The PA partnered with Jordan to send threatening letters to each member-state on Tuesday, essentially saying that if the resolution did not pass, the Arab contingency would submit even harsher anti-Israel texts.
The draft passed - a result not unexpected by Israel in light of last week's resolution on the same contentious topic.
In fact, the adoption of the resolution was all but guaranteed, despite international outrage and disbelief over the patently ridiculous first resolution, which, like the second, referred to the Temple Mount only as "Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif" and defined it as a "Muslim holy site of worship."
This is despite the fact that the Temple Mount once housed the Jewish Temples and is considered the holiest place in Judaism, not to mention that the documented and proven historical presence of Jews and Christians in the city well predated the establishment of Islam as a religion.
"You have just adopted a [resolution] against historical truth and one that stands in complete and utter contradiction to all values," Carmel Sharma-Hacohen, Israel's UNESCO ambassador, told the assembly after the vote.
In one interesting difference between the two resolutions, the newest text does not contain a single reference to Jerusalem's Jewish or Christian heritage, while the first resolution paid lip service to the multicultural nature of Jerusalem by mentioning the significance of the city to "the three monotheistic religions".
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu preemptively dismissed the results of the vote on Tuesday night, saying that the taking of a second vote proved UNESCO remains a "theater of the absurd."
He noted the irony of the resolution, pointing out that while "extremist Muslim forces are destroying mosques and churches" in other parts of the Middle East, "Israel is the only country in the region that protects them and allows freedom of worship."
Sharma-Hacohen compared the vote to a 1975 United Nations General Assembly resolution which equated Zionism with racism (and was overturned 16 years later), declaring that the resolution belonged in the garbage bin of history.
Israel says ancient papyrus supports its claim to Jerusalem - By Jeffrey Heller and Rinat Harash - http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-archaeology-idUSKCN12Q1SO
Israeli archaeologists have made public a fragment of an ancient text which they say is the earliest Hebrew reference to Jerusalem outside the Bible - a discovery the government swiftly enlisted as evidence of the Jewish connection to the holy city.
The 11 cm by 2.5 cm (4.3 by one inch) piece of papyrus, dated by the Israel Antiquities Authority to the 7th century B.C., was presented at a news conference in Jerusalem shortly after Paris-based UNESCO adopted a resolution that Israel said denied Judaism's link to the ancient city.
Two lines of ancient Hebrew script on the fragile and faded artifact suggest it was part of a document detailing the payment of taxes or transfer of goods to storehouses in Jerusalem.
"From the king's maidservant, from Na'arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem," it reads.
The Antiquities Authority said its investigators had recovered the document, described as "the earliest extra-biblical source to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew writing", after it was plundered from a cave by antiquities robbers.
For Israel's government, the papyrus is a rebuttal to UNESCO, the UN scientific and cultural organization, which is regarded by many Israelis as hostile. Arab members of UNESCO and their supporters frequently condemn Israel.
"Hey UNESCO, an ancient papyrus dating to the 1st Temple 2700 yrs ago has been found. It bears the oldest known mention of Jerusalem in Hebrew," Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote on Twitter.
Emmanuel Nahshon, a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry, called Wednesday's vote in Paris by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee "a piece of rubbish".
The resolution, according to a text provided by Palestinian officials, refers to a Jerusalem compound - revered by Jews as Temple Mount and by Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) - only as a "Muslim holy site of worship".
Two weeks ago, Israel lashed out at UNESCO for renewing a similar resolution that condemned it for restrictions on Muslim access to the site, in a part of Jerusalem captured by Israeli forces in a 1967 war.
Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its capital, a position that is not recognized internationally. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent state they seek in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"The discovery of the papyrus on which the name of our capital Jerusalem is written is further tangible evidence that Jerusalem was and will remain the eternal capital of the Jewish people," said Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev, in comments included in an Antiquities Authority announcement of the find.
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, accused Israel of waging an campaign of "archaeological claims and distortion of facts" to try to cement its claim to the holy city.
Egypt and Israel - http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Egypt-and-Israel-470853
The ratcheting up of cooperation in the intelligence and military fields has also had an impact on other aspects of Egyptian-Israeli ties.
The cold peace that has characterized Israel's relations with Egypt since the signing of the 1979 peace treaty is warming up on the diplomatic and military levels. But it remains to be seen whether popular opposition among Egyptians to such warming - not to mention outright hostility and antisemitism - will roll back progress.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi rightly sees in Israel an important ally in the fight against political Islamism.
Working together, Israeli and Egyptian forces have taken on Islamist terrorist groups operating in the Sinai Peninsula, and have reined in Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The ratcheting up of cooperation in the intelligence and military fields has also had an impact on other aspects of Egyptian-Israeli ties. A number of high-profile visits and meetings have taken place since Sisi ousted the Muslim Brotherhood-ruled government and took control in 2013.
Former Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold visited Egypt in June 2015; the Israel Embassy in Cairo was reopened, and a new Egyptian ambassador was dispatched to Tel Aviv.
In April, Israel approved the Egyptian transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, a move that entailed reopening the security annex of the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.
Perhaps the most impressive showing of improved relations between Cairo and Jerusalem, however, was Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry's July visit to Israel, which included a long meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Unfortunately, these gestures by high-ranking officials on the diplomatic and military level have not trickled down to the Egyptian people.
This was apparent from the reactions to rumors that Israel intended to reopen its consulate in Alexandria, as reported by The Jerusalem Post's Arab Affairs Correspondent Ben Lynfield.
According to the London-based Al-Araby al-Jadeed website, Israel's ambassador in Cairo, David Govrin, visited Alexandria under heavy security, met with the city's tiny Jewish community, visited the Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue, and met with the governor of Alexandria.
The website also quoted activists who were angered by the visit, seeing it as a "provocation." A parliament member from Alexandria was quoted as saying there is "no justification" for closer relations with Israel.
A September 2015 poll by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research indicates that most of the Egyptian public view Israel as hostile. The survey assigned countries a rating ranging from 100 to -100, with the negative figures indicating hostility and the positive figures friendliness.
Israel received -88 points in the survey, and is thus considered by Egyptians to be its most hostile nation. The US was ranked a distant second with a -37. China was ranked 41, thus receiving the highest "friendly" rank of any non-Muslim country.
According to a report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a number of Egyptian books were on sale at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest, with blatantly antisemitic themes. A number of books claim that the Egyptian revolution of 2011 was part of a larger plot instigated by Israel to destabilize Egypt and other Arab countries, and relocate the Palestinian in Gaza to Sinai.
Earlier this month, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture honored novelist Sherif Shaban for "enriching Egyptian cultural life" with his novel Daughter of Zion, which revisits claims made in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The miniseries "Horseman Without a Horse," which is based on the Protocols, has regularly aired on Egyptian television channels in recent years.
Anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli sentiments clearly run deep in Egyptian society. This state of affairs generates dissonance.
Egypt's high-ranking officials have advanced policies and made gestures that signal a warming of relations with Israel. The Egyptian people, meanwhile, are largely antagonistic toward Israel and Jews.
As long as Egypt's leaders do not take steps to prepare their people for improved relations with Israel, this dissonance will remain. Egypt and Israel share many common interests, but Egypt will be limited in its ability to take advantage of cooperation with Israel as long as popular opinion views this cooperation as a form of betrayal.
As leaders, Sisi, Shoukry and others have an obligation to fight prejudice and hatred, not just because it is the right thing to do but because it will facilitate the cooperation which Egypt so desperately needs.
Nearing Midnight: The Twinkling - Terry James - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
You and many others who have chosen to read this commentary are likely in agreement. We find ourselves at a time in which the future is indeed murky. The very fact makes it a time of uneasiness--of profound uncertainty.
With so many existential threats (factors portending possible, even probable, future disruption for our lives), many look to November 8 with a shadow of oppressiveness clouding their thoughts.
We have watched our American way--our laws and traditions--dismantled. We have watched the process happen with the acquiescence, even the complicity of those with whom we entrusted our vote to stop that degeneration.
More troubling is the almost certainty that if the presidential candidate presently leading in polls (according to most polls) succeeds, the tearing down of America as founded will be put on the fast track. The "promise and change" declared by the current president--issued in January of 2009--will, it is feared, soon after this election be completed. The global architects will, in that case, have removed what I believe to be the last roadblock from their ambition--to tear down national sovereignties.
America, in the earthly sense, is that roadblock--thus the all-out effort by national and world politicians as well as media--both news and entertainment--to utterly destroy the candidate in opposition to their vision for one-world order.
With most everything else in place for setting up for the Tribulation (Daniel's seventieth week), including Israel again in the spotlight, hounded by UNESCO in denying Israel's historical right to the land, we have as of late added some truly profound rumors of war. Russia and the American presidential administration have entered into an extremely dangerous era of international intrigue and gamesmanship. With the Clinton campaign and the administration of Barack Obama pointing the finger of blame at Vladimir Putin and his regime as guilty of hacking emails and giving to Wikileaks in order to influence the outcome of the election, not just the Cold War, but a hot war might be forthcoming it is conjectured by some.
The Russians have moved, uncontested, into the Middle East. They have naval power and growing ground and air force capabilities in position to defend the Syrian dictator. This American administration has lifted not a finger to oppose this shift of Russian power into the region that is mentioned in Bible prophecy like no other.
Obama has, through his ineptness--or, as I more am prone to suspect, his deliberate action--allowed the development of the forces of ISIS (ISIL, as he calls them). America has U.S. Air Force assets now in regions that some believe equates to a provocation-of-war-incident waiting to happen. Again, I'm convinced it's all part of the globalist orchestration being used by Satan himself to bring his own son of perdition to power. So many who consider all of this sense an incident or action in the immediate future that will explode in uncontrollable ramifications. Yet, nothing, no matter the circumstances, has to this point happened to initiate the long-anticipated catastrophe.
The Russians are seemingly trying to instigate direct confrontation with American aircraft. China is trying to provoke, seemingly, a confrontation in the South China Sea. Iran is firing, through proxies, upon U.S. warships, apparently begging to be hit in return so as to start something.
The economic bubble of insanity continues to build to the bursting point. And, we have a presidential election in two weeks that some believe will bring on an even greater national schizophrenia and possible civil war, no matter who wins.
My great friend, the late Jack Kinsella, had tremendous insight, as many reading this column know. He left us some God-engendered thoughts for just this time in which we find ourselves. He wrote the following in one of his Omega Letter commentaries.
"We live in the most terrifying time of uncertainty in human history--the wrong move by the wrong guy could set off a chain of events that could potentially exterminate the human race. We have but a short time to spread the message of salvation, and it doesn't help if we are paralyzed by fear. The Lord knew the conditions that would exist just before His return. Which is why Paul ends his explanation of the Rapture with this exhortation: "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)
Jack had just written a fabulous piece on the Rapture. The "comfort" of which Paul assured us was all about that twinkling of an eye moment that Jack and I--and, I hope you--believe is about to occur based upon all of these things that have begun to come to pass (Luke 21:28).
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
The Rich Man And Lazarus - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/the-rich-man-lazarus/
The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus is found only in the gospel according to Luke (Luke 16:19-31) and is the clearest picture anywhere in Scripture of the afterlife. As such it is essential reading for anyone attempting to counter the plethora of books by believers and non-believers alike who claim to have visited heaven or hell and been sent back. It's also an argument against the eastern notion of reincarnation.
The Book of Job, arguably the first book of the Bible to be written, was the earliest to mention life after death.
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;I myself will see him with my own eyes-I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27),
Later David, Isaiah, Daniel and others also wrote about the life that comes after death as a reward for righteousness. Daniel was the first to clarify that the unrighteous will also rise from the grave, and it's from his explanation (Dan 12:2) that we've come to understand that everyone who is ever born lives forever. (Bodies are killed or wear out and expire but spirits, the repositories of life, are eternal.)
An angel explained to Daniel that while all who have died rise from the grave, for some the resurrection brings everlasting reward and for others it brings everlasting shame and contempt. This is clarified in Revelation 20:11-15 where we're told that the unsaved dead will return from the grave for the purpose of being judged for their behavior while living. This is where we learn about about the 2nd death, actually a conscious state of eternal and solitary separation from God accompanied by never ending torment, as the outcome of this judgment. Christians think of this as "hell" but as we'll learn from the Rich Man and Lazarus it's really much worse. Let's get started.
What's The Story?
Here's a summary of the story. A rich man lived in the lap of luxury, while a beggar (Lazarus) languished outside his gate hoping for scraps from his table. In due time they both died. Angels carried Lazarus to "Abraham's side (bosom)" a popular Jewish term in that day for the abode of the dead. The part reserved for believers was also called Paradise. Jesus promised one of the men being crucified with Him that they would meet there before the end of the day (Luke 23:43). The Hebrew name for this place is Sheol, while the Greeks called it Hades from which the English word Hell is derived. The rich man also went there upon dying, but while Lazarus was being comforted, the rich man was in constant torment. This tells us he was not a believer. Asking Abraham for relief, he was informed that while they were within sight and speaking distance of each other, they were actually in two different areas and there was no way to cross from one to the other. (Luke 16:19-26)
The rich man then asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to warn his brothers, still alive, to make sure they came to the place where Lazarus was instead of where he was, but Abraham refused, saying, "They have Moses and the Prophets (the Old Testament), let them listen to them." "No", said the rich man, "But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent." Abraham responded, "If they will not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." (Luke 16:27-31)
What's The Point?
And there's the whole point of the story. Three points actually:
1) The only place to secure your eternal destiny is here on earth before you die (Hebr. 9:27). The rich man never asked for a 2nd chance for himself, only that his brothers be warned while they were still living so they could avoid sharing his fate. Having experienced the alternative, there's no way he would have turned down an opportunity to join Abraham and Lazarus if one existed for him. Abraham made it clear that it was impossible to cross from either area to the other.
2) The Bible contains all the facts you need to make an informed decision about eternity and is the Lord's chosen method for bringing His children to Salvation.
3) When folks aren't convinced by Scripture, even someone coming back from the dead will fail to persuade them, a fact the Lord Himself proved all too convincingly a short time later.
Grace Through Faith
Before the cross, those who had died in faith of a coming Redeemer as the Scriptures taught them went to a temporary place of comfort to rest until in the fullness of time the Redeemer's shed blood finally erased the penalty for their sins. This is the place called Abraham's bosom in the passage.
When Jesus came to Sheol after His death on the cross, he commended them for their faith (1 Ptr. 4:6) and took them to Heaven (Matt 27:52-53, Ephes. 4:8)). His crucifixion had removed the final obstacle to their entry into God's presence. All who have died in faith since the cross go straight into the Lord's presence (2 Cor 5:7-8) where they await reunion with their resurrection bodies (1 Thes. 4:16-17).
The unsaved dead will continue to languish with the rich man until the end of the Millennium when they too are raised, judged, and then banished to a place of eternal torment, but this time in utter separation and darkness (Revelation 20:15).
Many in the liberal church, in cults, the New Age and in the Eastern religions speak of another chance to reconcile with God following physical death. Some even claim we'll be reincarnated in a series of lives through which we can work our way toward perfection, eventually earning our place with God or even becoming a god. The Bible speaks of no such things, teaching instead that "man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment" (Hebr. 9:27). The Lord's own words in the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus confirm this.
Trick Or Treat?
What a great trick of our enemy, persuading supposedly learned theologians to teach their biblically ignorant followers to ignore the clear admonitions of Scripture and seek an alternate way, only to discover after it's too late that they were misled. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. (Matt 7:13-14). In the context of these 2 verses all are seeking the path to salvation, but only a few find it. Most choose the complex over the simple, the wide over the small, the broad over the narrow.
Here's the simple, small and narrow truth. God, Who created us, requires us to live by His law. Sin is the violation of God's law and the penalty is death. Because you can't avoid sinning you can't avoid the penalty, but because He loves you so much Jesus offered to die in your place. God agreed to this and has issued you a full pardon. You need only believe He did this for you to be forgiven of all your sins, past present and future and receive your pardon. When you do your eternal destiny changes from torment to paradise, from separation to union, from death to life. But remember, you only have this life in which to do this, and you have no way of knowing how soon your life will end. If you haven't already accepted His pardon, better do it now while you can.
Daily Jot: Debate Takeaway 4-the Economy - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace asked the two candidates to explain their plans to create more jobs and growth for the country. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton said, "I want to have the biggest jobs program since World War II, jobs in infrastructure and advanced manufacturing. I think we can compete with high-wage countries, and I believe we should. New jobs and clean energy, not only to fight climate change, which is a serious problem, but to create new opportunities and new businesses." She said she wants to help small businesses by raising the minimum wage and make sure that women are paid equally, and to "have an education system that starts with preschool and goes through college."
Clinton promised "I also will not add a penny to the debt." Clinton says that she will raise taxes on people making over $250,000, yet her plan as presented on her website would cost taxpayers one TRILLION dollars. Can you imagine paying taxes to stop changes in weather trends and paying for everyone's education from preschool through college? How much will raising the national minimum wage cost in consumer price increases? And Clinton doesn't practice what she preaches when it comes to pay equity. The UK Daily Caller reports that the Clinton Foundation pays women 38% less than their male counterparts; in August 2015, the Washington Free Beacon reported she paid women in her campaign 23% less than men; and as a Senator, she paid women 28% less than their male counterparts for similar work.
Republican candidate Donald Trump said that he would renegotiate trade deals, like the North American Free Trade Agreement, that sent American jobs to other countries, and bring jobs back to the United States. Trump said, "Look, our country is stagnant. We've lost our jobs. We've lost our businesses. We're not making things anymore, relatively speaking. Our product is pouring in from China, pouring in from Vietnam, pouring in from all over the world." Trump said, "We're going to cut business taxes massively. They're going to start hiring. We're going to bring the $2.5 trillion that's offshore back into the country. We are going to start the engine rolling again, because right now, our country is dying at 1 percent GDP."
The candidates are in stark contrast to one another. Clinton wants to create jobs at taxpayer expense-infrastructure, works programs like after WWII, jobs that fight "climate change." In October 2014, Hillary Clinton said that government creates jobs, "Don't let anybody tell you that it's corporations and businesses that create jobs." This will cost taxpayers trillions and further turn America socialist. Trump is advocating the only plan that has worked-cutting taxes-the one that socialists and communists ridicule as "trickle down economics"; the plan that allowed President Bill Clinton to balance the budget from the longer term dividends of the Reagan economic program. Exodus 18:21 says to choose leaders "such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness." Tax raisers are covetousness. They covet your money to their ends.
Daily Devotion: Be Faithful - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. -Romans 14:10
Maybe you are serving the Lord somewhere right now, working hard behind the scenes, and you're saying, "No one notices what I'm doing. This is a thankless job."
Be faithful in the little things. God is paying attention. As 1 Corinthians 4:2 says, "Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful."
It may be that God will open up some wonderful new opportunities for you here in this life, possibilities that you never dreamed of. Then again, it may not be until Heaven that you receive full recognition and reward for all that you have done. Jesus said, "Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly" (Matthew 6:4).
As Christians we will one day stand before God. We will give an account for what we have done with our talents, our gifts, our resources, our time, and all that He has given us (see 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). This is described as the judgment seat of Christ, which is not to be confused with the Great White Throne Judgment spoken of in Revelation 20. The judgment seat of Christ is a place where rewards are given.
When we die and go to Heaven, we will be there because of what Christ did for us. But then each of us will stand before Him, and the fire of God's judgment will go through our lives and determine what we did with them. If we wasted our lives, if we wasted our time, if we wasted our resources, we are still saved because of what Christ has done for us. But we will have nothing to show for our lives.
It is our blessed responsibility to fully utilize all our energies to please our Master by faithfully using what He has given us. Let's be faithful.
FROM THE HEART
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