Prophecy Update Newsletter
October 27, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
He Is Able. . . - Jack Kinsella - www.omegaletter.com
One of the most popular misconceptions about Christianity is that, in order to be a Christian, one must be 'good'. From the perspective of the Bible, being 'good' is something of a dichotomy.
On one hand, the Bible tells us to model our lives after the epitome of 'good' by emulating our Lord Jesus. But on the other, the same Bible tells us that actually reaching our goal of being 'good' is not possible.
Were it possible to be 'good' then we wouldn't need a Savior. Think about it.
God gave mankind ten simple rules for living. None of them seem particularly difficult; love God, honor your parents, don't steal or murder, don't bear false witness, be content with such as you have, etc.
But the Bible says that not one human being (Jesus excepted) ever managed to keep all ten.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," Paul wrote in Romans 3:23.
Having examined the conundrum of mankind and the sin nature, Paul offers this opinion:
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Romans 3:28)
None of us has any difficulty remembering when we were unregenerate sinners. Committing sin was not a problem -- it was easy as falling off a log. Being a sinner wasn't that big a deal either, (as long as you weren't as big a sinner as some other folks).
Then we got saved. Until it was washed away, we never realized how heavy and filthy and debilitating our sin was. Now, we know.
And as saved, Blood-bought, born-again members of the Redeemed Family of God, living in the world, but not OF it, we go through life keeping all Ten Commandments and seldom, if ever, slip back into our sin nature.
Where before we would have cursed at the driver who cut us off in traffic, now we bless him and pray for his soul.
We never lie, never curse, tithe faithfully, never have a 'bad' thought, never want to 'get even' with somebody who has wronged us, we pray without ceasing, give all the credit for our successes to God, and never, ever, get angry.
Our every waking moment is spent glorifying God for His mercy and we never speak to anyone without sharing the Gospel with them.
God's love is reflected by us at every waking moment, and we are just as spiritual when we are alone as we are when we are in church.
That describes you, doesn't it? You are truly blessed! (I wish that it described me.)
But it doesn't describe me. Unlike many Christians I've met over the years, I still struggle with my sin nature. It didn't vanish when I was saved.
I haven't led a perfectly sinless life since my salvation. I've fallen, but thanks to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, I can get up!
One could sum up my personal Christian walk thusly:
"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I."
I know right from wrong, and I want to choose right, and I know that I hate sin, but I admit that sometimes do what I hate.
What does that mean?
According to Scripture, it means that,
"it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." (Romans 7:17-18)
It is our obligation as Christians to spread the Gospel in all the world and lead as many of the lost to Christ as God gives us the opportunity. But lots of times, we don't feel 'good' enough to carry the message.
I mean, how does one rail against somebody else's sin while one's own sin is ever before them?
Has our hypocrisy no limits?
In many ways, the world has a better grasp of the situation than we do. Here's Joe Christian explaining about sin and death and hell, but the lost guy KNOWS Joe Christian still sins.
Think back to before you were saved. Did you think Christians were all sinless? Or did you think they were all hypocrites?
Admit it. Before you were saved, you used to look for imperfections among Christians. It made you feel better about yourself. Think about the person who finally DID lead you to the Lord. He was probably the one who admitted that Christians aren't perfect.
As Christians, we tend to preach one kind of Christianity and live another. We can't live the kind that we preach ourselves, and, for the most part, wouldn't want to.
The average lost person thinks of salvation in terms of what he has to give up instead of what he has to gain.
To the world, a Christian can't drink, can't smoke, can't watch TV, can't listen to rock music, goes to church every day the doors are open, has to love everybody (especially those he can't stand) and is generally about as phony as Homer Simpson's neighbor Ned Flanders.
Why therefore, would anybody want to be a Christian? Christians not only make it sound like a miserable existence, it is so miserable that even Christians can't meet the rigors that kind of existence demands.
"Do as I say, not as I do" doesn't even work when you are raising kids.
When we are saved, we are saved from the consequences of our sin, we are not saved from our sin nature.
We'd like to think we are, but in order to believe that, we'd have to also have a pathological capacity for self-deception.
Christianity is the essence of freedom, but we tend to present it to the lost as a form of bondage. You can't do this, you can't do that, you have to give this up . . . where is the Holy Spirit in all of this?
It is the Holy Spirit that convicts us of sin, and He doesn't do it all at once. He created us, and therefore He knows our limitations.
Salvation frees us from the consequences of sin, but only death frees us from the propensity for it.
"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:24-25)
The fact is that salvation was designed for sinners. The Bible makes it clear that all men have sinned, and that sin is part of our earthly existence. We are to avoid sin, but when we fall, we are to turn to Jesus and allow Him to pick us back up.
That is the essence of the Gospel. That Jesus loves us so much that, while we were yet enemies of God, He died for us.
Jesus doesn't expect us to clean ourselves up first. He says, "Come as you are. I am able."
"Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord." (1st Corinthians 1:8-9)
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 1:24)
Don't let the enemy steal your victory by blinding you with your sin nature. You can still do a mighty work for God. Not because you are able.
But because He is.
"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." (2nd Timothy 1:12)
End Times Expert: This Sukkot is Transition Period Before Messianic Era - By Rivkah Lambert Adler - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/77436/redemption-expert-sukkot-transition-period-messianic-era/#8s0RCTe0F1jFZRqS.97
"And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, even of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the turn of the year." Exodus 34:22 (The Israel Bible™)
While most understand the sukkah, the temporary booth Jews build on the holiday of Sukkot, to be a physical manifestation of spirituality, End Times expert Rabbi Pinchas Winston revealed in a recent interview that the sukkah is actually deeply connected to the coming of the Messianic age, helping Jews to prepare spiritually for what is to come. This Sukkot, which began last Sunday, the message is clearer than ever as the chaotic "birthpangs" of Messiah become visible to the world.
Rabbi Winston spoke about the connection between the End of Days and the holiday of Sukkot, which is currently being observed in Israel, in an interview with Tamar Yonah of Israel News Talk Radio.
This relationship between the sukkah and the body makes it possible to prepare for the Messianic Age, taught Rabbi Pinchas in the interview. The fact that the sukkah is so temporary, lasting only the seven days of the festival holiday (eight days outside of Israel), has hidden spiritual messages. Rabbi Winston explained, "Don't forget, in the upcoming year, or the rest of your life for that matter, that this world is temporary. Just like you existed before the sukkah went up and you will exist after the sukkah comes down, so will your soul."
Rabbi Winston spoke about how the Jewish mystical tradition divides time into three periods: Olam HaZeh (this world), the Messianic Era and Olam haBa (the world to come).
He explained that the transition between Olam haZeh and the Messianic Era is called Chevlei Moshiach (the birthpangs of the Messiah) and is characterized by chaos. We are currently in this transition period, which explains the apparent chaos in the world right now. Rabbi Winston mentioned the current US Presidential election as an example of the chaos that marks this transition.
Rabbi Winston taught that, according to the mystical understanding, the underlying purpose of the chaos is "to polarize the world, to force people to make a decision whether they are more spiritual or more physical. What's their biggest priority?"
The cut-off point for choosing a spiritual existence over a primarily physical one is the war of Gog and Magog. "Who survives and who doesn't survive, according to the Zohar (the foundational text of Jewish mysticism), will be based upon the choice the person made prior to the actual event itself," he stated.
This choice is what Rabbi Winston calls "the final test of history". He reminds us that whatever is coming, whether it's Nibiru, nuclear war, Gog and Magog or another end times scenario, it will be "massive" and Divine protection will be required to survive it all. This idea of Divine protection connects Sukkot to the End of Days, the rabbi explained.
According to traditional Jewish thought, the temporary booths we build during Sukkot are a symbol of the ananei hakavod (the Divine Clouds of Glory) with which God protected the Israelites against all the dangers in the desert.
The Mekhilta, an ancient commentary on the Book of Exodus, teaches that there were seven clouds. Four surrounded the Israelites on each side, protecting them from Egyptian enemies and animal predators. A fifth cloud was above them, protecting them from the blazing sun. A sixth cloud was below their feet, which made walking across the rough surface of the desert possible. The seventh cloud passed in front of them, miraculously "leveling the valleys and flattening the mountains."
According to Rabbi Winston, just as God took care of the Israelites completely in the desert, so He will care of us in the End of Days, if we are willing to rely on Him completely. Thus, dwelling in the sukkah represents reliance on Divine protection and complete trust in God, a quality that will be crucial for surviving the End of Days.
Hezbollah ducks Russian ire by Lebanon attack - http://www.debka.com/article/25739/Hizballah-ducks-Russian-ire-by-Lebanon-attack
The pro-Iranian Lebanese Hezbollah staged two drive-by shooting attacks into northern Israel Wednesday, Oct. 26 from Lebanon, slightly injuring an Israel soldier. The two rounds of gunfire came from a moving vehicle driving on the Lebanese side of the border fence and were aimed at soldiers posted at the security fence at Metula, Israel's northernmost town
The IDF was ready for the second round of shooting and returned the fire, hitting at least one target. It is not clear whether Hezbollah gunmen were injured.
The Lebanese army denied that this cross-border exchange of fire took place. In August too, they denied
that two large explosive devices found hidden on Metula farmland had come from Lebanon.
It turned out that the bombs had been planted by Hezbollah infiltrators in July, ready to be picked by an agent of Hezbollah's anti-Israel intelligence and terrorist apparatus, headed by Ahmed Mughniyeh, brother of the late notorious terror master Imad, for passing into the hands of a Palestinian terrorist team for a multi-casualty attack in Israel.
The bombs were discovered in time to avert this attack.
debkafile's military and intelligence sources report that the incidents are revealing in two ways:
1. The Hezbollah organization has apparently decided to engage in low-intensity operations so as to keep the Israeli border in a state of controlled tension.
2. Hezbollah and Iran have been forced to give up their plans to heat up the Israeli border region from the Syrian side of the Golan. In September, the Lebanese group withdrew the elite units they had deployed in July to Quneitra for that purpose, at around the same time as the explosive devices were planted in Metula.
Our sources disclose exclusively that Hezbollah and its masters in Tehran have de-escalated their confrontation with Israel in response to a warning from Moscow.
In one of his regular telephone conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked him to intercede to avert explosions of violence from Syria or Lebanon. Putin acceded to this request and sent a personal directive to Lt. Gen. Alexander Zhuraviev, commander of Russian forces in Syria to act on it.
Some weeks ago, the Russian general summoned a senior Hezbollah officer, called Talal Hamia. to a meeting in Latakia. Hamia is head of Hizballah's "foreign operations unit 910" - i.e. its external terror apparatus. Gen. Zhuraviev warned him that at a time that Aleppo is in the midst of a critical battle with Syrian rebels, Moscow would not tolerate the stirring up of border tensions with Israel from Syria.
The Lebanese terrorists chose to treat the warning as limited to Syria and decided it had a free hand to continue to make trouble for Israel from Lebanon, albeit without going far enough to risk repercussions from Moscow.
Russia Tests Nuclear Warhead That Can Outsmart US Anti-Missile Systems - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=756
Russian strategic missile troops reportedly launched an RS-18 ballistic missile on Tuesday. The launch may have been a test of the advanced hypersonic glider warhead, which would be able to defeat US anti-missile systems.
Popular defense blog MilitaryRussia.ru says the launch was meant to test Russia's hypersonic glider warhead, currently known by its developer designation, 'object 4202', or Aeroballistic Hypersonic Warhead.
A select few countries are currently developing the technology. The US has the HTV-2, a device developed by DARPA that has two partially successful tests under its belt.
The Chinese warhead using the same technology is called DF-ZF, with Beijing first confirming a test in 2014.
India is also studying hypersonic flight technology, but unlike Russia, the US and China, it is reportedly not developing a strategic missile warhead.
A hypersonic glider vehicle (HGV) is different from a conventional ballistic missile warhead in that it travels most of the time in the stratosphere rather than in space.
It gives an HGV-tipped missile greater range and may give anti-missile systems a shorter window to respond to an attack.
More importantly, an HGV can maneuver during the approach to a target at high speed, making interception significantly harder, because it makes guiding an interceptor missile towards the attacking vehicle challenging and potentially impossible with current rocket technology.
Object 4202 is reportedly meant to be used with Russia's next-gen heavy strategic missile the RS-28 Sarmat.
Military experts estimate that the new ICBM, an image of which was first made public this week, may carry up to three HGVs as payload.
The Players on the World Stage Are Merely Pawns on a Chessboard: God is in Control - By Geri Ungurean - http://raptureready.com/soap2/ungurean116.html
A proficient chess player can see at least ten moves ahead. Do you understand that God sees the beginning from the end? He is omniscient (all knowing) omnipresent (everywhere at once) and omnipotent (all powerful).
We hear the names of present day world "actors" on TV news casts; in stories from news sources and on the radio. When these people hear their own names mentioned, most of them are filled with a sense of self-importance and fame. Some are famous indeed, while others are infamous and pure evil.
"The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?" (Obadiah 1:3)
"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
I could easily go through the seven abominations to God and place beside each one several names. They would be people who have a great impact on our world. There would be names of rulers of nations, politicians, billionaires who manipulate world economies; mainstream media commentators who also work for certain candidates; leaders of terrorist organizations and their worker bees; leaders of "churches" who have become apostate.
Evil is rampant
There has always been evil in our fallen world. But I cannot remember a time when evil became the norm. Why is this happening now? I believe that we are very close to the last hour before the Lord Raptures His church, and the Great Tribulation begins. Satan sees all the signs as we do. I believe that he has unleashed his legions of demons into this world as never before. Good is called evil and evil good - just as the Word tells us:
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20).
The Word tells us that God Himself will send Strong Delusion to this world - it is all around us. Why would the Lord send this delusion?
Question: "Why is God going to send a strong delusion in the end times?"
Answer: The Bible makes it clear why God is sending a strong delusion in the end times: "They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness" (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). Simply put, God sends a strong delusion to those who chose not to believe the gospel of Christ. Those who take delight in mocking and rejecting Him, He will condemn.
It is man's choice whether to accept and believe the truth of Jesus Christ as presented in the Scriptures. To receive the truth and the love God offers is in keeping with its teachings, "This is love for God: to obey His commands" (1 John 5:3). Conversely, to know the truth and not obey it is to face the wrath of God: "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" (Romans 1:18). Frankly speaking, there is no more dangerous condition for man than to know the truth and refuse to obey it. To do so is to harden the heart and make God's condemnation sure.
When one knows the truth and refuses to obey it, he is subject to any lie, any deception, any untruth that man can conjure up. "For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:21-22). Paul goes on in the next few verses to describe the mindset and behaviors of those who disbelieve (see Romans 1:29-31). As a result of man's foolishness and his arrogant disdain of the things of God, "God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done" (Romans 1:28). And correspondingly, "Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things, but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:32). -source
We have been sealed for the Day of Redemption
"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:30-32).
I cannot think of anything more glorious than the fact they we, as born again believers in Christ, have been sealed unto the day of redemption. I love that the Lord chose to place the Scriptures of how we are to treat the brethren right after telling us that we are sealed. He is simply telling us to love and forgive as our Savior did toward us.
These evil times
As we watch news unfold, and see the atrocities committed on a daily basis; as we watch our government become more and more hostile towards Bible believing Christians, and belligerent toward Israel, we must keep our eyes on our God - our King, who is in full control. These things must happen to further fulfill the prophecies. The only time I experience true peace these days, is when I am reading the Scriptures.
Only God knows the outcome of this presidential election. Hillary Clinton is truly an evil person. She is a globalist (One World Government) and a proponent of abortion, right up to the time of delivery. She loathes Jews and Israel, but she also hates born again believers. She fought for the rights of gays to marry. She is one who is under "strong delusion." And make no mistake, if Clinton wins the election, the freedoms that we as Christians have enjoyed in America will soon be gone. Her first order of business will be to destroy the SCOTUS by appointing liberal justices.
Donald Trump picked for himself a Bible believing Christian when he chose Mike Pence as his running mate. He has shown to the press and to the people a list of conservative people, from which he will choose future justices. He has met with hundreds of Evangelicals. Trump has declared that he loves our Constitution and will fight to keep it intact. I will vote for Donald Trump. Anyone who votes for Hillary, yet calls themselves a Christian is deluded.
Brethren, we must come before our Holy God and pray as we have never prayed before. Don't pay attention to the numbers that come out of the press regarding this election. They use psychology to make us disheartened. As Amir Tsarfati has said - how can Clinton be so far ahead, when Trump's crowds are immense at his rallies, and Hillary can hardly attract a couple of hundred supporters? Keep praying. Our God is capable of anything He wishes to accomplish!
But if in the end it turns out that voter fraud has put Clinton in our White House - do not fret. Only know that it was our God's will. If that happens, we should continue to share the gospel with the lost and be about our Father's business.
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
Take Up Your Cross Today and Follow Jesus Forever - Ron & Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
"And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" Mark 8:34. We can glibly throw these words around, but it's very obvious that the majority of Christians don't understand what Messiah Jesus meant by this statement. Some people think that their cross is disease or a rebellious child. Those things are difficult to deal with but aren't a choice and they affect both Christian and non-Christian alike. Following Jesus is a choice. When you take up your cross and follow Him, you must be prepared to be persecuted, maltreated, and even prepared to die for the Lord. There's no middle ground and no putting Jesus on a shelf until you have time for Him. The "here and now" may be difficult, but the eternal rewards are worth denying your selfish desires and carnal lusts and following Jesus.
As the born again children of God, we need to resemble Him, not the world. Obviously as we look at the ekklēsia of Christ today, this concept is foreign to many professing Christians. We see pew-sitters who don't seem to have taken up their cross to follow our Lord. When we accept Christ a change should begin to take place. Sinful lusts should no longer rule our life as we draw closer to Jesus. When you accept Christ you belong to Him. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:11-14. The Greek word "periousios" is translated into English as "peculiar" and actually means "possession". We all have possessions that we value, but would you die for those possessions? Brothers and sisters, Christ values His possessions (His ekklēsia) more than you value anything you possess. He died to purchase your redemption. "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Colossians 2:13-15. Your sins were nailed to the cross and by His shed blood He became the once for all sacrifice for salvation. Satan, principalities, and powers no longer own you. Jesus gave His life for your redemption from sin, so if you have accepted His free gift of salvation then you owe Him more than lip service.
Temptations will always come along. Old friends will want you to join them in old ways, but if you have truly accepted Christ then you need to be strong and turn away from sinful ways. Be ashamed of sinful lusts, but don't be ashamed of Christ. "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" 2 Timothy 1:8-9. Jesus was fully God, but He was also fully human and faced everything that we face, including temptations. Christians are called with a holy calling to stand firm on His precepts. That means we do nothing that would move us to the dark side. When temptation crosses your path, pray and turn to God. Don't compromise your faith, but stand firm on the Gospel.
This world is a dark and dangerous place if you don't have the Light. Jesus is the Light of the world. Satan loves darkness because it's easy for people to stumble in the dark. Those who reject Jesus Christ live in the darkness of their sin. God says have no fellowship with unrighteousness, period. We have to live in this fallen world, but we aren't to be a part of the evil ways of secular people. Preach the truth to them? Absolutely. But fellowship with them in a personal way? Never. "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:" Ephesians 5:6-8. Those of us who have accepted Christ were all once a part of the darkness of this world, but that's all in the past and we are forgiven. Once we came to the cross the Light of the Lord is in us and we are to walk in that Light and stay away from the darkness that Satan casts upon the world. Everything we do in this life must reflect Messiah Jesus. Never are we to choose evil, no matter how appealing or self-satisfying that evil may appear. Temporary "pleasure" can never satisfy like the eternal joy of the Lord.
We are His holy children and standing firm on God's word is never suggested, but always expected. If we allow our thoughts to wander into lustful thinking our actions will soon follow. Keep your mind and heart turned towards Jesus. "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:13-16. Peter quoted verses from Leviticus in which God declares His holiness. "Holy" means to be set apart, and as believers in Christ we are set apart for God. This holiness includes being set apart from the secular world. This doesn't mean to become a hermit and live in a cave, or crawl off to join a cloistered monastery, which isn't Biblical. We can't share the Gospel if we don't have contact with the lost souls of this world. Being holy means we are devoted to God "... in all manner of conversation", which means in the way we live. Since we belong to Him we are to abide in Him as He abides in us.
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." John 15:4. It's easy to fall back into the secular world and participate in sinful activities if you don't stay close to Jesus. He is the vine from whom we draw strength to overcome worldly temptations. Satan rules this world and wants you to fail. As soon as he or one of his minions sees that you're finding your cross a little too burdensome to bear and are moving away from living a Godly life, he will be sure temptations are in place to make you stumble. Stay close to God and away from worldly lusts. We aren't to be isolated from secular people, but we can't be good witnesses for Christ if we don't live holy lives that are different from the ways of the world. Sadly, the descent by Christians into the wickedness of the world is more common than it should be. Most Christians live in a similar fashion to those who are lost. Songs that are listened to, movies that are watched, manner of dress, and lifestyles that are embraced all point to the fact that many who claim to be Christian refuse to take up their cross to follow Jesus. We live in a time where faithfulness isn't important to most Christians. If "being a Christian" serves a person's own interests then that's great. If not, then secular Christians choose secular ways which are actually inspired by Satan. They drop their cross and run to the darkness. Divided loyalties don't honor God. As God's children we are to be faithful to Him at all times. God is not a part-time God and His children aren't to be part-time children.
Taking up your cross isn't always easy. It certainly wasn't easy for Jesus to bear His cross. He left Heaven knowing full well what He would face, but He did it because He loves you. Only God's pure blood, which was shed as the once for all sacrifice to take away sin, will bring salvation. This is a free gift, but like any gift it must be accepted. "Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:1-2. If you've come to realize that you're a sinner and only the blood of Jesus can bring salvation, then turn from the ways of the world. Separate from the people who encourage you to make choices that are opposed to God's ways. Begin living to please God not the world. Sanctification is a process. First there is justification, that's when you accept the free gift of salvation that's only through Jesus Christ. Once the gift is accepted by you, you begin the process of sanctification, which is the day by day choices we make to shoulder our cross and live for Jesus. You can't play by the rules if you don't read the rule book...study your Bible. Study your Bible. I'll say it again, study your Bible. Learn to make decisions based on God's ways, not by relying on secular people to help you make choices. Sanctification is a process that will continue until the day of your glorification. That's when you die or are Raptured. When you stand before the judgment seat of Christ you will be judged, but not condemned. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1. Your selfish actions will be burned up in fire, but the things you did for Christ will be rewarded. No sin in this life can bring more pleasure than the heavenly crowns you earn by living for Christ today. Make choices that affect your eternal life by choosing to follow Jesus.
Don't delay. Take up your cross and follow Jesus.
God bless you all,
Ron & Nathele Graham
Previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
This commentary was started by Ron Graham before his death on March 14, 2013, and finished by his wife, Nathele Graham
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Daily Jot: Debate Takeaway 5-Children - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Throughout the last presidential debate, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton invoked her 30-year body of work on behalf of children around the world. Whenever Republican candidate Donald Trump pressed Clinton on her leadership, she invoked working on behalf of children. When questions came up about her wanting to undermine the Second Amendment, Clinton said, "...unfortunately, dozens of toddlers injure themselves, even kill people with guns, because, unfortunately, not everyone who has loaded guns in their homes takes appropriate precautions." She talked against deporting illegal immigrants because it would harm their children. She deflected attacks on her experience saying she worked for kids.
Clinton said, "You know, back in the 1970s, I worked for the Children's Defense Fund. And I was taking on discrimination against African-American kids in schools...In the 1980s, I was working to reform schools in Arkansas...In the 1990s, I went to Beijing and I said women's rights are human rights...So I'm happy to compare my 30 years of experience, what I've done for this county, trying to help in every way I could, especially kids and families get ahead and stay ahead...and I'll let the American people make that decision." Trouble is, at the same time over that 30 year-plus period, Clinton was working to encourage aborting babies and supporting abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
Debate moderator Chris Wallace said, "I want to explore how far you believe the right to abortion goes. You have been quoted as saying that the fetus has no constitutional rights. You also voted against a ban on late-term, partial birth abortions. Why?" Clinton responded that the life and health of the mother is paramount, that a late term abortion is up to the mother, "And I will stand up for that right." The Centers for Disease Control states that 1.3% of abortions are late-term, translating to some 15,000 babies executed just prior to leaving the birth canal. The Guttmacher Institute, which studied who gets late term abortions, reports, "most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment."
Republican candidate Donald Trump pointed out that Clinton's immigration policy brings with it drugs and crime that even people in New Hampshire say is destroying their youth. He said there were mothers in the audience whose children were killed by illegal immigrants. In addition, Clinton supports the outright murder of some 15,000 children being killed in the birth canal as they are being born. She also took over $20 million from Saudi Arabia, which boasts of discrimination, violence and slavery against women and children. How can she say she works on behalf of children around the world and, at the same time, advocate policies that result in child brutality? Jesus said in Luke 17:2, "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones."
Daily Devotion: A Warped Concept of God - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours." -Matthew 25:25
I think somewhere in our minds as believers, we expect serving the Lord or using what God has given us to be drudgery . . . hard . . . difficult . . . unpleasant . . . no fun.
In the parable of the talents, that is what the third servant thought. He had a warped concept of his master. He said to him, "I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours" (Matthew 25:24-25).
So essentially the master said, "All right. You say that I am a hard man, harvesting crops that don't belong to me. If that is so, then why didn't you invest my money?"
You see, this man's concept of his master was wrong. He thought his master was something he was not. In the same way, some people have a warped concept of God. They are afraid to say to Him, "Here is my life, Lord. Here is my future. Here are my resources. Here is my time. It is now dedicated to Your glory."
They would never say that because they think God would make their lives miserable. That was the problem with this third servant. He had a false concept of his master.
Many of us are afraid of God, but that fear is not a godly reverence for Him. We are afraid of what He will do to us, afraid that He will ruin our lives. It's time for us to realize that the greatest joy in life is serving the Lord. It is not drudgery; it's joy. It is life as it's meant to be lived.
FROM THE HEART
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