Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
LYING LIPS AND THE APOCALYPSE - by Steve Schmutzer -
I'm in no mood to mince words here, nor is there good reason to. The truth about our nation's political and cultural upheavals needs to be plainly stated, so I'll start with the burner on low and turn up the heat as I go.
There are various ways to approach these issues, but I want to look at "the good, the bad, and the ugly." With my nod to Clint Eastwood, that's an easy outline to follow. First - the "good."
President Trump has achieved an amazing feat with our nation's economy, and even the Washington Compost, The Associated Depress, and The New York Slimes reluctantly admit this. The President's brand new NAFTA deal is the latest of his promises he's performed on, and it remedies a massive $500 billion trade deficit that has burdened America's manufacturers. It infuses fresh oxygen into an economy that's already roaring back under his leadership.
The unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics have fallen to their lowest levels on record, and our nation's overall unemployment rate is at a 50-year low. Consequently, consumer sentiments are at their most favorable levels in 18 years, and U.S. small business optimism has just hit its highest point in history.
The United States economy grew at a rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018, and the stock market has jumped 27 percent since President Trump began slashing regulations, implementing sensible tariff policies, and cutting taxes. Various environmental and economic policies that President Obama put in place to hamstring this country have been repealed, and now all the right arrows are going up.
The good news permeates other fronts in our nation's affairs too. Kim Jong "Goon" hasn't fired any more missiles over Japan since President Trump told him whose red button was bigger and better. Instead, America received back the remains of its Korean War heroes without airlifting pallets of illegal cash in a covert nighttime operation. "Little rocket man" has pledged to disarm his atomic arsenal in North Korea, and the Iranian Nuclear Accord has been exposed for being the shameful house of cards it always was.
President Trump has also unshackled his military leaders so they can do their job. They no longer have to get permission to "shoot back." The result is ISIS has been crushed in Iraq and Syria and they are in full retreat. President Trump has actually followed through on his "red line" promises. He has dropped massive bombs on terrorist hideouts, unleashed cruise missiles on chemical warfare perpetrators, and required our NATO allies to pay their fair share of the defense account.
In the 20 months or so since the world's most recognized comb-over has rebranded The White House, many young conservative judges have been appointed to the federal appeals courts and constitutional judges have been appointed to The Supreme Court. President Trump's greatest legacy may end up being his forward-thinking stamp on the U.S. judicial system. The benefits are likely to be felt for decades to come.
Under President Trump's leadership, it's OK again to say "Merry Christmas" and to claim we are "one nation under God." We may not be a truly "Christian" nation at this point in time, but at least we now have a President who is supporting the basic expressions of our faith.
The obvious truth that Jerusalem is Israel's capital is finally official, and relations between Israel and America have never been better. It's also proper now to screen folks coming into the US from countries which have openly pledged to harm American citizens. It always was proper to do this, but President Trump had to contend with lawless ideals in order to make common sense a rule.
Much more could be said here that qualifies as "good," but the bottom line is President Trump has made our nation stronger and safer. By rejecting a fanatical socialist-globalist agenda, he has pointed our country back towards sanity.
Enter Maxine "Mad Max" Waters. Like a pull-string doll in a rumpled James Brown wig, her reaction to all this good news is, "Impeach! Impeach! Impeach!" Her talking points are mostly two-syllable squawks that contribute as much to a productive discussion as a trained parrot.
"Maxine, what do you think of the historically-low unemployment figures within the African American community?"
"Maxine, how do you feel about getting proven constitutionalists on the judiciary instead of activist judges that want to change the laws?"
"Maxine, isn't it great that we've managed to beat back ISIS?"
"Maxine, have you...."
It's obvious by now I've shifted over to the "bad" point of my outline, but I wouldn't be writing this article if the rabid rantings of "Mad Max" were isolated to her. They're not. She's just one of the most transparent individuals about her party's real intentions.
We hear that the left is "unhinged" in their reactions to President Trump and his supporters, but that description hardly comes close to telling the truth.
Although the right was deeply distraught with the elections of President Obama, and with his "Make America Weak" policies, they never rioted in the streets, torched cars, beat up bystanders, threatened to kill electors, shot cops, formed filthy communes in public places, encouraged assassinations, promoted anarchy, planned hit squads against homes, bankrolled mobs, shut down free speech, nor asked for safe rooms, teddy bears, pet therapy, and Play-Doh.
When conservatives disagree with the liberal-socialist agenda, they don't flood Twitter with murder threats or roundhouse kick peaceful protesters. They don't menace the left with threats of rape, and they don't shoot democrat lawmakers at baseball games.
Conservatives clean up after themselves at their own (peaceful) rallies and they don't chase administration staff from restaurants. They don't talk about blowing up the White House and they don't pose with severed heads of the President. Conservatives are not out there shouting at folks in elevators, stabbing opposition candidates, encouraging supporters to harass liberal lawmakers wherever they find them, or burning the left's campaign headquarters to the ground.
The right has not compared Obama's supporters to segregationists or Nazis, and they have not claimed that a democratic President is worse than the 9/11 terrorists. Conservatives don't scream that the left has placed a madman in The White House, and they don't publicly appeal for drastic action and violence in the streets. Conservatives don't attack and berate Christians for their beliefs and values at the same time as they are protecting and aiding Sharia law.
Conservatives don't call for impeachment just because they don't like someone, and they don't protect a two-tiered system of justice at all costs. They don't turn venerated proceedings for Supreme Court picks into chaotic protest rallies, and they don't stonewall cabinet nominees for over a year. The right does not register illegal immigrants in a dishonest effort to create sympathetic voters, and conservatives do not go on national television to protect criminals from that group over the rights of their unfortunate - and legal - victims!
Sure, the right is imperfect. Nobody is going to argue with that one, and I'll be first to say I'm very unhappy with many of the "reds." No one disagrees that far too many Republicans are really "Republicrats" under their tailored suits. The "never-Trumpers" behave like "blues," and we can look at who the Bush family voted for as a case in point.
All those things said, we have much bigger problems here. The conduct of the left is now commonly unlawful, routinely deceptive, habitually self-serving, frankly phony, and - on so many points - outrageously wrong!
It's not that the left doesn't understand the virtues of common sense, law, due process, and faith - but rather, they don't want them! This is why committed liberals are engaged in a war against all things reasonable, righteous, and respectable. Their actions prove they're agents of hate.
All that leads me to "ugly," and maybe it feels like we're already there. We naturally wonder, "Can it get any worse?" Unfortunately, it will.
I'm becoming more and more convinced that these rapidly-eroding cultural and political trends we see within our nation represent a prototype that will reach full expression in the Tribulation. If the Lord returns soon, many hardened liberals will be the antichrist's strongest allies.
"GASP!!!! Whaaaaat?!? How can you say that? That's so intolerant, so racist, so totally, uh....white male! You're creating division! You are not promoting healing. Shame on you!"
The left doesn't want healing! They want their way - and they're playing by whatever rules they need to play by to get it. They govern by mob rule, and if they can smear and move the goalposts in the process, that's just fine. Disruptions and crises are useful to them. It's patently obvious.
Think about it. My points are not an issue of partisan labels, but rather an assessment of the plain facts. Those who most despise God, His gospel, His values, His followers, and His systems of law and order which are based on His Word - are those who are most likely to be left behind in the Rapture. It's these hateful postures that routinely marinate the passions of the left.
In the past ten years we've seen many examples of liberals ignoring the laws to advance their agenda, and that's because they could care less about laws. Laws remind responsible people how to color inside the lines and so laws are an inconvenient factor for the left. If laws are in their way, the left ignores or attacks them.
None of their behaviors are about making a cogent case; the left will elevate the absurd to achieve their goals. Over and over we've seen the left praise anything which calls sound reason into question. It's why liberals are the ones to most exalt the senseless premise of climate change, and it's why they celebrate economic policies which are not supported by third grade math.
It's predominately the left that attacks national boundaries, pushes for government dependence, expands welfare, riots against free speech, hates Israel, promotes violence as a means of expression, plots lies to gain an advantage, puts down Christians, and believes in redistribution of wealth. None of these positions hold water, but they are the left's identity.
So again, let me be blunt. The kind of folks that are going to rally behind the antichrist and his depraved policies are exactly the kind of people the progressive-liberal-socialists are today.
For any of my readers which are offended by my assertions, take a deep breath. Let's all be honest here - politics have changed!
The democrats today are not the party of your mother or your grandmother! The left is not the party of John F. Kennedy anymore. His past speeches ring with more conservative fervor than an entire apple-pie-eating Republican congress can muster today. The left of our times has morphed into an anarchist movement that wants to constrain freedom, create chaos, control power, and change the responsible order of things. Like it or not, that's the plain truth.
Let's assess my conclusions from another point of view. Let's see what the Bible says about the antichrist and his style of leadership. I believe that will help us imagine the sort of people his supporters will be like.
A pithy portion of Scripture that lays out a series of bullet points about these matters is found in Daniel 8:23-25. Here, Gabriel explains some details about the antichrist to Daniel, and the picture that emerges is a telling one.
He throws truth to the ground. This is an over-arching condition that is stated back in Daniel 8:12, and it reinforces that the end times will be upside down.
Lying lips will be the foundation of the apocalypse. Good will be bad and bad will be good. Right will be wrong and wrong will be right. Gabriel elaborates on this matter more in Daniel 8:25 where he says of the antichrist, "He will cause deceit to prosper."
The antichrist's political system and the people he will set up to advance his globalist agenda will actively promote deception. His efforts will be strategic, ruthless, and unapologetic.
Lies of all kinds will infuse the antichrist's brand, and his supporters will approve of his ruses the same way those tactics are defended by the ranks of the left today. For unprincipled liberal-socialist-globalists then and now, "the end justifies the means."
Various other translations state the antichrist's deceit will come by way of his "cunning," and "policies." This is simple to understand. He's intentional about his shams. If someone wants to advance law and order, promote accountability, and fight for justice during the antichrist's rise to power, they're not going to be welcome. He'll see to that.
Deception is key to the end times at every turn and level. The antichrist's agenda will promote "hope and change," but that's part of his deception. His real goal is a godless one-world government with himself at the top. He wants to be seen as God and he wants to be worshipped as God (2 Thess. 2:3-4), and to achieve this he must control the minds of the masses. His supporters will believe things which are not true, and they will be this way because he has "....caused deceit to prosper."
He destroys mighty men and the holy ones. This phrase closes out Daniel 8:24, and it emphasizes the theme of destruction which marks the antichrist throughout the Scriptures. But here, every translation states he will destroy two specific groups of people, and I think there are details we should take note of.
"Mighty men" is the most commonly-used term for the first group, but other translations call them "powerful leaders" or "powerful people." These are folks with resources and networks, and they are probably wealthy. They are powerful, prominent, and privileged. In other words, they have the potential to resist the antichrist and to influence others.
Despots throughout human history have always destroyed this class of people in their own rise to power. Rich people, scientists, scholars, politicians, and businesspeople have always been a threat to narcissistic dictators, and so they are eliminated. The antichrist will do the same thing.
Many of these "mighty men" in Daniel 8:24 will be self-made. Many of them will be independent - not in the political sense, but in terms of shaping their destinies. They are likely to be suspicious of the antichrist's plans, and they'll hesitate to give up what they've worked hard to achieve.
These "powerful people" missed the Rapture so we can assume most of them by this point will still be godless - but like many of their classic type, they will be self-reliant. They will "march to the beat of their own drummer, and this will mark these non-conformists as a lingering threat to the antichrist's agenda. The Bible says he will eliminate them when they least expect it (Daniel 8:25).
Believe me - the antichrist will find strong support for destroying this influential group. We already see the basis of this argument today. Millennials form the bedrock of the liberal activists and mobs. They constitute the majority population of "Occupy Wall Street," "Black Lives Matter," and "Antifa." Millennials are proving you only need two things to succeed: ignorance and confidence.
Because they fail to understand basic economic principles, and because they lack a strong work ethic, millennials distrust capitalism and they deeply resent those who are successful. They constantly demand entitlements, even if it means others need to give up what they've legitimately earned and acquired. Newsweek called the millennials "The Me Me Me" generation in 2013, and it's one of the few times this publication has stated the truth.
I'm painting with a broad brush here, but if many millennial's' brains were taxed, they'd get a refund. Several studies reiterate that most Millennials want socialism which proves this group has learned nothing from history. Modern political and economic failures like Venezuela, South Africa, and most of the European continent are shrugged off. Millennials still want everything for nothing.
In defense of the Millennials, it's impossible to be informed when your news source is SNL and The Comedy Network. It's hard to find the truth when CNN admits they're pushing lies, but they push them anyways. It's challenging to gain a responsible perspective of the world when you're still supported by your parents as an adult.
This entire state-of-affairs is a convenient situation for the globalists! At a recent campaign-style rally in Las Vegas, Michelle Obama encouraged folks who "know nothing about nothing" to get out and vote. It is the "low information voter-type" that will endorse the antichrist's destruction of "powerful people." This plan will appeal to their ignorance, to their progressive-socialist ideals, and to their warped sense of justice.
There's a second group the antichrist will target, and it's also going to suffer more of the same biases we already see from the ranks of the left today. The antichrist, in Daniel 8:24, will also destroy the "holy people." Other translations call them "God's people," "saints," and "Holy ones."
These are folks which have come to saving faith after the Rapture. They didn't have a right relationship with God before that point, but they do now! "Seeing is believing" I guess.
But these people are the real deal! Revelation defines them as those who will be killed "....for the Word of God and the testimony they had maintained" (Rev. 6:9; 12:11). It's pretty clear from Revelation and related passages that the antichrist does all he can to get rid of them.
This is also the point of Daniel 8:24. The followers of God during the antichrist's reign share something in common with the "powerful people," though they may differ in most other ways. This second group also resists the antichrist and his system. They are also a threat to his plans.
Now, the motives of "God's people" will be much different than the motives of the "powerful people." Since the saints are marked by a right relationship with God, their stance is a righteous one. But it's the same net end result for the antichrist.
This second group will not conform to the antichrist's godless, deceptive, and self-serving ideals because these things are in violation of a Holy God and His standards. They will not yield to the antichrist's economic policies and his corrupt governance. In fact, we know the saints will speak out against all of this. Again, Revelation makes that clear.
This second group will be reviled, attacked, persecuted, and killed for placing their faith in Jesus Christ and for living according to God's Word. They will refuse to conform to the sham of a one-world system. Put another way, "God's people" of Daniel 8:24 will be square pegs in a new world order where all the holes are round.
It's that way for "God's people" right now, so it's easy to see this dynamic becoming much worse. The seeds of hate against "God's people" are already flourishing in the left today, and nobody set that prejudice in motion more effectively than our nation's first Muslim President, Barak Hussein Obama.
It was B.O. who showed up at the National Prayer Breakfast to remind attendees about the terrible deeds done in the name of Christ. He was the one who mocked folks for "clinging to God." His White House asked Georgetown University to cover a symbol of Jesus' name before he spoke there. He tried to implement a non-religious Christmas. It was President Obama who said in 2006, "....we are no longer a Christian nation," and it was him who said it again to his Turkish buddies in 2009. Finally, it was President Obama who decided against recognizing the National Day of Prayer, but who chose to host a Ramadan dinner instead.
This is just a sampling of all the ways President Barak Hussein Obama rejected Christians and their faith during his eight years in office. Under his carnal leadership, the left found energy and justification for disparaging Christians, and their bigotries have only grown since.
We've truly reached a point where the left is anti-God. The Democrat party has veered so far in the pro-choice, anti-family, pro-gay, anti-Israel, pro-transgender, anti-prayer (etc.) directions that former 2013 nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, E. W. Jackson, stated, "Christians should leave it." He added in a radio interview that he thinks believing in God and voting Democratic are fundamentally incompatible. I think he's much more right than he is wrong.
The "demon-crats" today attacks the tenets of Christian faith with a venom that is truly other-worldly. Their angst against the Bible and against those that rightly believe it is the inspired Word of God boils down to one basic reason: liberals are anti-God!
Pick your poison - call them what you will: "liberals," "the left," "democrats," "progressives," "socialists," "globalists," "fascists," - define them anyway you choose. It's clear the lines between these terms are heavily blurred.
All these groups despise conservatives, Christians, and constitutionalists, and they all hate God. Members of one group are active in the next. Labels mean very little when the depraved behaviors are the same across the spectrum.
Because liberals are anti-God, they are an intellectually dishonest and unprincipled people. They've checked their brains at the door because they are always in search of a world without moral consequences, and that's not the way God designed things. This situation renders the left as "fools" because they refuse to admit the obvious facts and to "give God glory" (Rom. 1:21-22).
The truth about God is an unrelenting accountability to the left's corrupt desires (Rom. 1:18-19). Liberals don't want the Gospel because that implies their choices are wrong. A liberal cannot stand the fact that their own conscience is supernaturally wired to remind them of their sin. This is a key reason why so many liberals are angry people. They are constantly at war within themselves against their own need for God's grace.
It is also a key reason why the left makes "the State" their god. Liberals worship "the State" and the one-world community they desperately want it to become. The left attempts to use their god (big government and absolute control) to achieve their globalist ideals and to eliminate all consequences for their immoral behavior.
This is why the left despises Christians now, and it's why liberals make every effort to shut down all expressions and standards of the Christian faith. It's why liberals scream bloody murder against any warnings about the true Islamic agenda while they turn a blind eye and deaf ear to those who persecute Christians and mock The One True God. Their double standard is evident to all.
The Tribulation Scriptures plainly lay out the loathsome behaviors directed against God and His followers by those who support the antichrist. A number of passages provide startling parallels between the vile behaviors that are prominent in liberals today and the abhorrent deeds that qualify the globalists during the end times.
For example, the antichrist will oversee and orchestrate the relentless persecution and killing of the Tribulation saints (Daniel 7:21, 25; Dan. 11:33; Rev. 12:11; 20:4; et. al.). He cannot tolerate their resistance, but more importantly, he absolutely hates God.
In exact imitation of the antichrist's hatred of God's followers, his supporters will rage en masse against God's truth and against those who dare to speak it. The mobs will react in unspeakable ways as a result. A particularly-grotesque example of this is when the two witnesses of God are killed in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:5-10).
This text says the world will applaud the death of these two witnesses and will refuse their burial. They will even "send each other gifts" to celebrate this occasion. It'll be party time for the real "deplorables."
This occasion will be a big deal to the unsaved world because these two witnesses will have had a strong "testimony" (vs. 7) and they will have backed up their words with evidence of God's power (vss. 5-6). The world that will reject Christ at that time will want no reminders of who they have rejected - in the very same way the world that has rejected Christ today is obsessed with ridding our culture of His values.
One of the clearest displays in The Tribulation of behaviors we see in the left today is the way the followers of the antichrist will choose to remain in their sin. Their depravity will persist even when they are presented with the truth and when they face consequences for it (Rev. 9:20-21). All around them, the evil ranks of humanity will have been killed by God's judgments. There will be constant evidence of God's sovereignty, power, and truth. It will all be on plain display like no other time in history.
It seems none of this will matter to the antichrist's followers. They will choose to remain in their sin and they will curse God instead of repenting (Rev. 16:9). They will do whatever it takes to protect and continue in their depravity the same way the left today does whatever it takes to protect their wicked ideals.
One only needs to look at the violent behaviors of liberals today who defend abortion and gay rights to see this egg has been let out of the shell - and it's not going back in. There is no doubt the unsaved masses today have chosen darkness rather than light (John 3:19).
The antichrist will be the ultimate socialist. One of the hallmark qualities of the left today is their desire to control the flow of money, to redistribute wealth, and to implement a global system of economics. This highly-regulated situation defines the socialists' utopia, and the antichrist will succeed at accomplishing what other before him have been unable to do.
I believe it may all start matter-of-factly enough. The Rapture will take out millions of people and this will result in abandoned properties and resources being left for everyone who remains. There will be plenty of money and other "goodies" to redistribute for a while, and this will further cement within the future masses the socialist ideals they are already conditioned to want.
Eventually, these resources will run slim. There will be too many takers and not enough givers to keep the corrupt process going. The practical bottom line is socialism never works. Former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, said, "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." This dilemma will inevitably arise in The Tribulation as it has with every socialist experiment before it.
There's no doubt that the "mark of the beast" (Rev. 13:16-17) is strategically-designed to cause further persecution of the Jews and Christians during The Tribulation. It is also designed to promote worship of "the beast." But - given that the antichrist is also the maximum expression of a socialist dictator, it is no surprise his mark is also a tool to institute global economic control.
Quite simply, this worldwide fiscal rule is the ultimate objective of liberal-socialist-progressives today. If they can control the flow of money and resources and place themselves at the top of the food chain, then they can acquire everything else they most covet. It all follows from there.
Other facets of the antichrist's socialist constitution emerge elsewhere in the Scriptures. He redistributes land and wealth (Dan. 11:39), his policies become the economic ruin of many (Dan. 8:25), he accumulates vast amounts of resources for himself (Dan. 11:43), and he will speak out against God throughout the entire process (Dan. 7:25; Rev. 13:5-6).
Stride for stride, these things are the hallmarks of every socialist despot in human history, and sadly - they are also the passionate bent of the left today. The antichrist will emerge to become the ultimate "show and tell" of the left's agenda, and the entire world will suffer unfathomable traumas as a result.
In closing, the title of this article is one which focuses on end times' deception. It is blatant deception the antichrist will employ to achieve his goals, and it is lies of every sort that the left advances in our times to achieve theirs.
The socialist ideals of liberals cannot succeed where truth is given priority and virtue is encouraged. And so it will be during The Tribulation as it is now - an atmosphere of crisis and a thick stew of lies will be fostered by the depraved world to justify a collectivist oppression.
We see many examples in our time of the left calling evil "good" and calling good "evil." Daily, we see law and order being rejected by the violent and ignorant masses. Every evening we are saturated with news stories that feature the blatant corruption and injustice of those who have rejected God's standards. We see the mounting hatred of God and His people. We see physical attacks and calls for assassination against people just for their political views.
There are so many examples like these - even 15 years ago, we would have marveled to think we'd be where we are now..... but it has happened! The world is preparing itself for their false Messiah, the antichrist, and he'll find favor from many people the likes of many around us today.
There is no remedy for this grievous situation except the Gospel. That is true now and it will be then too. Those who are truly in Christ do not need to be afraid. Jesus knows what we are facing now, and He knows what is coming. In John 14:27-31 He reminds us of this:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
Come now, let us leave."
How Iran Plans to Take Gaza - by Khaled Abu Toameh -
If anyone was hoping that removing Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip would improve the situation there and boost the chances of peace between Palestinians and Israel, they are in for a big disappointment. Hamas, which violently seized control over the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, is not the only terrorist group in the coastal enclave, home to some two million Palestinians.
In addition to Hamas, these are several other Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.
The second-largest group after Hamas is Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which has thousands of supporters and militiamen. If and when Hamas is ever removed from power, PIJ has the strongest chance of stepping in to fill the vacuum.
You remove Hamas from power, you will most likely end up having to deal with PIJ - not a more moderate group. While Hamas could only be considered "good," in some alternate reality, its replacement would not be any better. Islamist fundamentalism is enshrined in the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The two Islamist groups -- Hamas and PIJ -- are like two peas in a pod. The two do not recognize Israel's right to exist and continue to call for an armed struggle to "liberate all Palestine," from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
Like Hamas, the Iranian-funded PIJ also has an armed wing, called Saraya Al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigades). Founded in 1981 by PIJ leaders Fathi Shaqaqi and Abed Al-Aziz Awda in the Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Brigades is responsible for hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israel, including suicide bombings. In recent years, the group has also been launching rockets and mortars at Israel.
Although it considers itself an independent group, PIJ often operates in coordination with Hamas. The two groups even have a joint "operations command" to coordinate their attacks on Israel. Sometimes, they carry out joint attacks.
The Jerusalem Brigades likes to take to the streets in shows of force aimed at the other Palestinian terrorist groups in particular and the Palestinian public in the Gaza Strip in general. Generally, Hamas does not tolerate competition from other armed groups in the Gaza Strip, but when it comes to PIJ and its military wing, it is a different story altogether. When PIJ displays its power and weapons on the streets of Gaza, Hamas shuts up about it.
Hamas evidently knows that PIJ, a large and influential group, is dangerous to mess with. Hamas also seems aware that meddling with PIJ means getting into trouble with PIJ's paymasters in Iran. Like PIJ, Hamas is also dependent on Iran's political, financial and military backing. Iran considers PIJ its main ally and puppet in the Gaza Strip. Through PIJ, Iran inserts its tentacles into the internal affairs of the Palestinians, much to the dismay of President Mahmoud Abbas and his Western-backed Palestinian Authority.
Relations between Iran and Hamas have not been stable in recent years, largely due to Hamas's refusal to support the Iranian-backed regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Lately, however, reports have surfaced in some Arab media outlets that Iran and Hamas have agreed to lay aside their differences.
In the past few years, a number of Hamas delegations have visited Tehran as part of the group's effort to patch up its relationship with Iran. The last visit took place in October 2007, when a Hamas delegation comprising Ezzat Al-Risheq, Sami Abu Zuhri, Khaled Qaddoumi, Mohammed Nasr and Zaher Jabarin, visited Tehran to brief Iranian leaders on the latest developments surrounding efforts to end the crisis between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction.
Despite the apparent rapprochement, Iran has strong reservations about trusting Hamas. Its skepticism appears based on Iran's fear that Hamas is ready to reach a reconciliation agreement with Fatah and a truce accord with Israel. Such an alliance, in the eyes of Iran, would constitute a betrayal on the part of Hamas. Any agreement with Fatah would mean that Hamas is prepared to join forces with Abbas and, even worse, engage in future peace talks with Israel. Any truce agreement with Israel would mean that Hamas is prepared to lay down its weapons and abandon the armed struggle against the "Zionist enemy." This "surrender" would be anathema to the mullahs in Tehran, who have a declared goal of eliminating Israel.
As far as Iran is concerned, the PIJ is its real ally in the Palestinian arena. And as far as Iran is concerned, PIJ will always be seen as a natural replacement for Hamas in the Gaza Strip if Hamas ever does forge a deal with Fatah or Israel.
The PIJ, meanwhile, is doing its utmost to prove its trustworthiness to its masters in Tehran. Last week, PIJ's military wing again dispatched its heavily-armed fighters to the streets of the Gaza Strip in a show of force directed towards Hamas, Iran and the rest of the world.
Abu Hamzeh, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Brigades, proudly declared during the paramilitary march that his group "will never compromise or bargain on one inch of the land of Palestine -- all Palestine." He added: "Our weapons are the symbol of our pride and power of our people. We will resist all conspiracies and foil all schemes aimed at liquidating our cause."
So, what does all this mean for Gaza?
First, that the situation there is unlikely to witness any positive changes. Even if Hamas were to be removed from power, the Palestinians would continue to suffer under other radical groups such as the PIJ.
Second, that even if Hamas were to wake up tomorrow morning and have an about-face, striking a genuine truce with Israel, there will always be other terrorist groups that are prepared to breach the agreement any time they wish.
Third, that the Gaza Strip will continue to be swarmed by several heavily-armed groups that will continue to launch terror attacks on Israel and impose a reign of terror and intimidation on the Palestinian population.
Fourth, that neither Abbas nor any other third party would ever be able to set foot in the Gaza Strip, impose law and order and confiscate the weapons of the terrorist groups.
These are crucial factors that need to be taken into account by any international party that seeks a solution to the catastrophe called Gaza. Alternatively, one might to wish to continue to inhabit some alternate reality in which all be would be well if Israel would only ease restrictions on the Gaza Strip.
Nearing Midnight: From Deep State to Beast State - Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
I solicited from readers of this column a couple of essays ago information on the apparently entrenched entity within the White House termed Q. The responses I am receiving are many. I'm surprised at the passion involved within the matter.
Many sent their thoughts adamantly supporting the validation or credence of Q. Some who emailed said they wished and/or hoped such an entity exists and is acting on behalf of the president and the nation the way Q and the Qanon believers indicate-although they aren't certain of the reality of Q.
Others sent emails imploring me not to get caught up in the whole Q matter. These exhorted-some in quite pointed ways-that Q and all attendant to things involved was foolish at best and, at worst, counterproductive to my heavenly assignment as "watchman on the wall." I should, they advised, just deal biblically with everything of prophetic nature in these closing days of the Church Age.
Regardless of how those of you who sent the emails responded with information, thoughts on Q, or advice to avoid the topic and all involved, I thank you very much, each and everyone who answered the solicitation. You have been most helpful. Please continue to send things you think are relevant.
I've had so far only one epiphany. Whether an actually working entity within the secretive echelons of the U.S. governmental and political process or merely the apparition of a clandestine cabal implanted to make the so-called resistance worry about their fate, Q is part of the end-times big picture. Therefore the matter is worthy of investigation.
Again, I think this phenomenon can be placed within the Scripture the Apostle Paul was given by the Holy Spirit to frame our particular time in human history: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
That there is indeed a mighty struggle going on at the highest levels of America's government and the governments of the entire world there should be little question. For the spiritually attuned student of Bible prophecy, there should be absolutely no question in this regard.
With the U.S. and the world just prior to the 2018 presidential election going fast and furiously in the direction dictated by the globalists who nefariously dealt within those geopolitical stratospherics, the intervention can't be missed. The satanic blueprint for the return to Babel was impossible not to ascertain by the clued-in students of Bible prophecy.
The Deep State (those in government determined to bring America into that one-world configuration) had, with the election of Donald J. Trump their part of the devil's blueprint suddenly snatched from their grasp, in my view. America continues to be at the heart of any internationalist cabal's planning. This nation must be brought into the construction process. The diabolical minions of the prince of the power of the air-Satan-must siphon the financial assets and resources of America in order to successfully build upon the Antichrist platform the devil wants to construct.
I wrote about the vital importance of America to the globalists' ambitions during 2010 and early 2011. Remember that at that time it looked like a total implosion of the American and world economies would happen any day. Experts were saying we would wake up one morning and find the financial world had collapsed.
Excerpts of that writing those years ago are as follows.
So, we come to our present hour. America is the apex nation of the world. That is, it is the most materially blessed nation and one of the most spiritually blessed nations ever to exist. This, despite the fact that it has degenerated in many ways to become perhaps the most wicked in human history. The United States is so blessed with material wealth that every nation on earth is inextricably linked to its economy in one way or another.
It is true that its dominance is under threat and is eroding quickly. The economic meltdown and unavoidable implosion of America's monetary hegemony is imminent. But everything of global financial significance still hinges on the health and fate of the American dollar. This is to the great consternation of the people Glenn Beck rails against as wanting to bring the dollar down so that a new monetary regime can be brought to bear on the hapless citizens of what they envision as a Babel-like one-world order.
Despite incessant assaults, the American economy hasn't collapsed. It should have by now, but it hasn't. It is, despite ominous signs ahead, business as usual-just as Jesus said it would be at the end of the age. If America's economy crashes--as Beck says it will very shortly-the entire world will collapse to rubble. The business-as-usual element of Christ's prophecy about it being like the days of Noah and Lot would be out the proverbial window.
If the U.S. economy collapsed, taking the world's buying and selling capability into the darkest times in history, it would take years-if ever-for everything to recover so that things would again come into business-as-usual configuration. Yet the devastating, world-rending collapse is coming. It cannot be stopped. I completely agree with Glenn Beck and Hal Lindsey in seeing that coming economic catastrophe in the immediate future. However, I disagree that the folly of man or the deliberate manipulations of human diabolists will bring the fearful disaster. And the disaster will not happen until God's prophetic timing allows. It will continue to be business as usual despite increasing harbingers of economic calamity. Perhaps conditions will even look like they are improving. But if so, it will be smoke and mirrors--a sham "recovery." The damage is done. Recovery is impossible. ("Scanning a Fearful Future, raptureready.com)
Today, in 2018, news headlines hourly report of the great economic boom that is in progress at the present. America's and the world's economies haven't collapsed.
We are buying, selling, building, planting, marrying, etc.-everything that indicates economic boom, not bust.
Jesus said it will be just like that when He next makes His presence known to the world. Again, we read about that break-in as a thief in the night in Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17: 26-30.
I wrote further in that series of articles in 2010 and 2011.
This all means that Jesus Christ is poised to do exactly what He foretold. The prophetic signals and conditions prevalent in America and the world should have the attention of every believer. Jesus is about to fulfill His glorious promise as recorded in John 14:1-3.
The Rapture, I believe Jesus is telling us, will be the sword of judgment that pierces the building, festering boil of humanistic rebellion. When the Church is taken to heaven, the minds of those left behind who want to control will no longer have restraint on their thoughts and ambitions. There will cease to be a governor on man's conscience, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8, because the Holy Spirit will allow the evil within mankind to do its dastardly work.
This will be the time-during the chaos of the days immediately after the Rapture-that all of Mr. Beck's fears will come to fruition. Neither patriots nor anyone else will be able to save America and the world.
The Church, with the Restrainer resident within each believer, will continue to be salt and light-to exert influence over America's societal and cultural conditions. That influence, although observably becoming less and less effective, will be sufficient to prevent all-out, Nazi-like persecution against Christians in this nation.
When the Church-Age saints go to Christ upon His call to them (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 4:1-2), America and the world will be devoid of the Church's buffering influence. Those who accept Christ during the Tribulation will undergo the most horrific persecution of human history.
It is at this time-the disappearance of all born-again believers in the Rapture-that the Deep State within America and the world community of nations will collectively, quickly, become the Beast State.
That transformation will come within the "twinkling of an eye":
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
Arch of Palmyra Casts Shadow of Idolatry Over Kavanaugh Hearings - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
And Eliyahu came near unto all the people, and said: 'How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.' And the people answered him not a word. I Kings 18:21 (The Israel Bible™)
On September 26, a 20 foot-tall replica of Roman Victory Arch of Palmyra was unveiled for a three-day display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The arch perfectly framed the Capitol Building where the next day, Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Though the arch and the Senate hearings seem disconnected, there may be an underlying nefarious synchronicity bringing the idolatrous roots of the arch to the political process going on nearby.
Representative Eliot Engel (Dem-NY) spoke at the arch's unveiling ceremony, saying, "When you look at this beautiful arch, we are seeing through the eyes of ancient civilizations, and to have it right here, set against the classical columns of the Capitol, is really extraordinary."
Engel is also proud of many things including his efforts in pro-abortion legislation.
"I am proud to be a member of the House Pro-Choice Caucus and to have a 100% voting record with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund," Engel wrote on his website. "In addition, I was honored to receive the Congressional Defender of Women's Rights Award from the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion."
The controversy surrounding Kavanaugh began well before Blasey Ford stepped forward, accusing him of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago. His nomination faced fierce opposition from the left-wing at the outset due to their fear that once he became a Supreme Court Justice, he would help overturn Roe v. Wade. Blasey Ford's allegation was used as an opportunity to prevent this and as a result, Planned Parenthood advocated strongly for Ford.
It should be remembered that Palmyra, the home of the original arch for two millennia, was a major center for idolatry, specifically the worship of Ba'al, also known as Moloch. Mentioned more than 90 times in the Bible, most notably when Elijah defeated the priests of Ba'al in a contest to bring down fire from heaven to burn a sacrifice, Ba'al became the archetypical form of idol worship. Pantheistic, his adherents worshipped Mother Nature while denying the existence of a creator. Followers of Ba'al engaged in bisexual orgies and sacrificed human infants, burning them alive. Anthropologists conjecture that the child sacrifice was to cull the population after the inevitable outcome of wanton sexuality.
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-days author, sees a powerful message in the connection between the ancient symbol of idolatry and the current political conflict.
"Even though people change, generations come and go, and the manner in which certain social phenomena appear, the spiritual basis and human drives of what we do today have their source in the Bible," Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. "These roots of history will serve until Moshiach (Messiah)."
Rabbi Winston noted that even if the timing was coincidental, the issue of abortion is not exclusive to modern times.
"Abortion has its spiritual source in the child sacrifice to Moloch," he explained. "The worship of Moloch was based on the belief that anything a person produced was wastefulness and life is meaningless. Jews are reviled because we say precisely the opposite. That is why we sacrifice so many worldly pleasures for the sake of the world to come. A godless world says 'Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die'. And forget about the consequences, no matter how inevitable."
Rejecting idolatry should be a universal concern. Judaism does not desire for non-Jews to convert to Judaism but the third Noahide law is a prohibition against idolatry.
"Avodah zara (idolatry) was created to give Man a sense of justification for his animalistic behavior, so that man could have a feeling of righteousness while doing evil," Rabbi Winston explained. "Any form of that is idol worship."
The rabbi suggested that the Bible could be used as a tool to avoid falling into these ancient pitfalls.
"People think mankind has evolved and there is no connection between our world and what happened thousands of years ago," he asserted. "This leads to a feeling of hopelessness, that life is meaningless. They don't believe in the soul and they say the Bible is irrelevant. History becomes meaningless but a cursory look reveals that our world is uncannily similar to what happened in the Bible. The Bible gives a basic understanding of life."
Palmyra was dedicated in 32 CE to the worship of Bel. Lower levels of the ground underneath the Temple of Palmyra indicate human occupation that goes back to the third millennium BCE. Converted into a Christian church during the Byzantine Era, parts of the structure were modified into a mosque by Muslims in 1132. It remained in use as a mosque until the 1920s.
The original arch was destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in October 2015, but one year later, the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) used 3-D printing technology to reproduce a 20-foot full-scale replica. Before the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, Palmyra was a popular tourist attraction, drawing 105,000 visitors a year.
The reappearance of the Arch of Palmyra has been accompanied by other startling cases of synchronicity that connect to its roots in idolatry. Its debut in April 2016 in Trafalgar Square, London for the UNESCO World Heritage Week coincided with Beltane, the primary festival for Ba'al, the pagan deity for which the Temple of Palmyra was constructed.
In addition to its association with idolatry, the recreated arch is emerging as a symbol for world government. Before its appearance in the U.S. capital, the replica arch was displayed in New York's City Hall Plaza, London's Trafalgar Square, the G7 Summit in Florence, and Dubai's World Government Summit, attracting more than 10 million visitors.
The replica arch will next be reassembled in the Hague, the site of the Dutch Parliament and the UN's International Criminal Court. The Hague is described as the City of Peace and Justice. Hosted by the Centre for Global Heritage and Development, the arch will be displayed adjacent to the ICC for one month beginning October 17. The Internet announcement of the exhibit describes the arch, a replica of the victory of Roman paganism, as "a symbol of cultural resilience" that will stand as an inspiration to the Netherland's approximately 100,000 Syrian immigrants.
The IDA and UNESCO have paired up in other projects presenting symbols of idolatry. In November 2017, a statue of the pagan goddess Athena was reconstructed by the IDA and presented at an exhibit "The Spirit in the Stone," at the United Nations' headquarters in New York City. The exhibit described Athena as "synonymous with reason, refuge and the rule of law, all of the same values on which that historic institution was built," but the spear lying at the statue's feet belied her more common association as the goddess of war. Some scholars believe the Greek goddess was based on the Mesopotamian goddess al-Lat.
Daily Jot: Doing right in the face of evil - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Romans 12:29 says, "Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good." If you are looking for a definition of evil, it doesn't take much Bible study to figure out what is evil. Trouble is, in this day and age, evil is often considered good and good considered evil. Nonetheless, Isaiah 5:20 says, "Woe to 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!" The ninth Commandment found in Exodus 20:16 says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." In Hebrew, it's called "Lashon hara," or evil tongue. If you believe the Bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God, then you should know the difference between evil and good.
You should also know that America is not God's kingdom on earth. Notwithstanding, America is special because as citizens we have a say in its government and the freedom to express ourselves, even influence others, in our society. When the Bible instructs to overcome evil with good, at least for now, we in America can actually do that. No, America is not a theocracy, it is a Constitutional Republic, which is secular. One way that we as Christians can participate in overcoming evil with good is through the right to vote. While the choices of candidates may not all follow Christ, it is our right to vote for those who we believe will best represent our values in the offices they will hold.
Many Christians have a wrong mind about good citizenship. They see citizenship in the kingdom of God as mutually exclusive to also being a citizen of the nation in which they live. It's not either/or, it's both/and. You can do your part as a Christian citizen in the kingdom of God while here on earth by being a good citizen where you live. In this, you are actually fulfilling Romans 13:1, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." Many Christians use this verse to justify not participating in politics and letting the government do whatever it wants. In America, our Founding Fathers gave us the right to influence the government. We should exercise that right as citizens of the Untied States of America AND do it BECAUSE we are citizens in the kingdom of God.
While America is not a Christian nation-it's not a theocracy--over 70% of Americans claim to be Christian. As in the past presidential election, Christians stood in the gap and made not only a difference, but THE difference. Yes, God can do whatever he chooses in the affairs of nations and men. More often than not, God chooses to work through his people. There are countless examples of this in the Bible. In this next election only 28 days away, those who call evil good are so angry that they will exercise their right to vote, many times over in some cases. Remember that their bible is the Communist Manifesto which abolishes eternal truths, all religion, and all morality. We know the truth. Do the right thing. Vote.
Daily Devotion: The Beginning of Wisdom - By Greg Laurie -
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name." -Matthew 6:9
Sometimes I think people in the church are far too casual with God. They have a relationship with God, but they've forgotten the holiness of God. They say Jesus is their "homeboy," but their so-called homeboy created the universe. Let's show some respect. This is God Almighty we're talking about. Jesus taught us to pray, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name" (Matthew 6:9 NKJV). Holy is His name. Reverenced is His name.
Psalm 111:10 tells us, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (NKJV). Fearing God means that we have reverence for Him. I like this definition of it: "a wholesome dread of displeasing Him." It isn't so much a fear of retribution; it's a dread of displeasing Him. It's a dread of dishonoring Him or disappointing Him.
Years ago I became friends with Dr. Alan Redpath, a wonderful British gentleman who is now in Heaven. He wrote some fantastic books, and I was always in awe of him. When I was around him, I was always on my best behavior and never pulled my usual pranks. But one night we were sitting in a restaurant, and I felt something hit my chest. I looked down, and it was a fork. Dr. Alan Redpath had tossed a fork at me. He smiled and said, "I thought it was disposable."
I thought, "What? He's a comedian now!" I never lost my respect for him.
Hebrews 11:7 tells us that "by faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became the heir of the righteousness which is according to faith" (NKJV).
Noah moved with reverence and godly fear. We should never lose our reverence for God.
FROM THE HEART
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