Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Riding the Storm Out - By Daniel Payne -
Things are getting quite stormy on the earth right now. Many signs are sweeping over our planet like a dark fog, pointing to the season of Judgment about to rain down, sparing no domain.
Many who hold firm in the hope of the Pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church also hold firm to the teachings of Christ, concerning the activities and complacency of humankind, while lounging in the shadow of looming judgment:
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:36-39).
"For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made" (Genesis 7:4).
Some critics of the Pre-tribulation Rapture say that it's nonsense to compare the Rapture of the Church and the Tribulation judgment to Noah and the judgment of the Flood. Some might say, "Noah and his family didn't go to heaven during God's judgment but stayed on the earth. You can't compare the Rapture to the Flood."
Yes, Noah and his family did stay within the earth's atmosphere during the Flood and, as the Bible says, "the floodgates of the sky were opened" (Genesis 7:11). However, the majority of God's fearful judgment against humankind took place below the ark:
"Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters" (Genesis 7:17-18).
Then, the ark came to "rest" back upon the surface of the earth:
"In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat" (Genesis 8:4).
Speaking of "rest," God has a lot to say about His "rest" that will take place during His millennial reign.
"As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest" (Hebrews 3:11 & Psalm 95:11).
There are many Bible teachers and students who believe that God has divided Earth's history into a total of seven thousand years. The last one thousand of those years is known as the Millennial Kingdom.
"By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done" (Genesis 2:3).
"But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day" (2 Peter 3:8).
"For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, 'As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,' although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: 'And God rested on the seventh day from all His works;' and again in this passage, 'They shall not enter My rest'" (Hebrews 4:3-5).
Notice how God describes His "rest" in the Book of Isaiah as His "holy mountain:"
"They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).
Once again, the ark came to "rest" upon the mountains of Ararat after God's judgment of the Flood, after the earth was covered in water:
"In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat" (Genesis 8:4).
It is the glory of the Lord that He can parallel events from times past to demonstrate and foreshadow future events.
Jesus describes His return to Earth for His Church in the Gospel of John:
"In My Father's house are many mansions [rooms]; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2-3).
Where is the location that Jesus says He is preparing a place for His Church? He's preparing a place for His Bride in His Father's house, in heaven. "There" in heaven, we will be with Him. While Jesus judges His enemies on Earth during the Tribulation, He will judge His Bride in heaven:
"If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he will receive a reward" (1 Corinthians 3:14).
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints" (Revelation 19:7-8).
At the Rapture, Jesus will not lift His Bride up from the earth only to immediately descend with her back to the earth's surface. We will ascend into heaven with Jesus at the Rapture:
"Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:17).
Then, after we are "made ready" at the judgment seat of Christ, we will attend the Marriage of the Lamb as the Bride of Christ.
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10).
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7).
The true Church will ride out the storm of the Tribulation judgment while in heaven. Then we will return with Jesus back to the earth from heaven:
"And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses" (Revelation 19:14).
"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:34-36).
Israeli deterrence in a new Middle East - Yossi Melman -
Although the security situation is fragile, Israel has made dramatic strides.
With the beginning of a new Jewish year, Israel's strategic position has improved dramatically, an indication that Israeli deterrence is working on all fronts and is disrupting its enemies' war doctrines. This is the bottom line presented in recent weeks by military intelligence's top echelon to the cabinet.
Israel faces security challenges of various levels on six fronts: Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza and Egypt.
The two borders with Egypt and Jordan that benefit from the long-standing peace agreements are quiet with the security, military and intelligence cooperation between Israel and Jordan and Israel and Egypt at its peak.
The situation in the West Bank is fragile but manageable. For 50 years, some 2.5 million Palestinians have lived under Israeli occupation in the shadow of the construction of more Jewish settlements. Their daily life is controlled by the bureaucratic whims of the Israeli army with roadblocks everywhere.
And yet, they are largely submissive and accept this reality with the occasional burst of violence and terrorism.
Two years ago, there was a spontaneous effort by young Palestinians to ignite a new - third - uprising (intifada). It has been characterized largely by young Palestinians, sometimes teenagers, with no organizational affiliation, using knives and cars as their weapons of choice. But a strong response by the Israeli military combined with effective intelligence and monitoring of social media subdued most of the efforts to carry out terrorist attacks.
What also contributed to Israeli success was a smart policy, advised by the security establishment and accepted by the government to allow nearly 100,000 Palestinian workers to continue working in Israel. In other words, Israel succeeded in fighting the violence by isolating the perpetrators from the rest of the population with minimal "collective punishment."
Although the right-wing Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu stubbornly refuses to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority about a respectable and fair deal, the PA security services still cooperate with their Israeli counterparts and, together, thwart terrorist plans made mainly by their joint enemy - Hamas.
For the last 10 years, the Islamic movement Hamas, which is an extension of the outlawed Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, has ruled Gaza. Hamas, which came to power after a military coup d'Ã©tat that toppled the PA government, doesn't recognize the right of Israel to exist, has armed itself and has already triggered three wars.
Three times the IDF invaded Gaza, a small enclave of 365 square kilometers with 2 million Palestinian inhabitants - one of the most densely populated and poor areas in the world. Three times the invasions have wreaked havoc, causing heavy damage to the limited infrastructure, killing thousands of civilians and injuring many more. Each invasion dealt a heavy blow to the military strength of Hamas but the group somehow managed to rebuild, usually at the expense of the population's basic needs of water, electricity and food.
Hamas, aware of its military inferiority, developed a strategy with three tactical tools to challenge the mighty Israeli military machine.
Its first move was to amass a large arsenal of thousands rockets that were launched against Israeli cities and villages. The second tool was to build underground tunnels penetrating into Israel and use them for surprise attacks against military positions and rural communities. The third tool has been finding cover among civilians who serve Hamas as "human shields" in military confrontations.
In these three campaigns (2008-2009, 2012 and 2014), Israeli communities and cities, including Tel Aviv, were shelled, as Hamas aimed to create an effect of psychological terror on the population. Hamas fighters surfaced inside Israeli territories and also caused casualties among the invading IDF troops.
After each round, the Israeli government was strongly condemned by the international community. Yet, the Israeli will was not broken.
Rather, it is Hamas that has found itself in a shaky situation.
After the last war, Hamas ended up isolated as never before as the Israeli-Egyptian- Palestinian alliance eroded its status.
The three parties increased their pressure on Hamas. Egypt accused Hamas of colluding with ISIS in Sinai and stepped up its battle against Hamas tunnels between Gaza and Sinai. Dozens of tunnels were bulldozed and destroyed, cutting off the Islamic movement from its economic lifeline because the tunnels served not only to smuggle in weapons but also goods that were then taxed.
The siege of Hamas by Egypt, Israel and the PA has resulted in their reduction of regular payments to the Gaza administration, especially for covering the cost of electricity.
This has widened the wedge between Hamas and the rest of the population, who have finally begun to blame their misery on the Hamas government.
On the military front, Hamas is also in dire straits. The blockade of the tunnels deprives Hamas of its capacity to smuggle in better rockets from Sinai and forces it to rely on local industry, which is suffering from a shortage of essential components to produce improved, longer range and more accurate rockets.
Furthermore, Hamas has realized that Israel is developing powerful countermeasures that undermine two of its best military tools.
The first, which already has proven itself in battle, is Israeli's anti-missile system, especially the Iron Dome, which has intercepted and "killed" many Hamas rockets in mid-air, thus lowering its success rate in killing Israelis and causing damage to property. The second significant anti-Hamas measure is the deep, underground wall made of heavy concrete and sensors for target detection that Israel is constructing along the 65 km border with Gaza. Once completed in 2019, it will make it difficult for Hamas to dig more tunnels inside Israel.
All these developments - the economic- humanitarian crisis, diplomatic isolation, and military inferiority - have forced Hamas to change its military doctrine and diplomatic orientation. The biggest surprise - its acknowledgement of the necessity to be realistic - comes from a new leadership that was considered to be extremely militant.
Hamas's top military and political echelon led by Yahya Sinwar consists mainly of activists who have served long sentences in Israeli jails because of their terrorist involvement.
Yet Hamas has shown a great deal of pragmatism in trying to reconcile with its arch rival, the PA; improving relations with Egypt; disconnecting from Iran (though it still gets an annual infusion of $70 million for its military wing); and most importantly, reducing the digging of tunnels inside Israel, and excavating more bunkers and tunnels for defensive purposes in Gaza.
It also means, as Israeli intelligence estimates, that Hamas is being deterred and as a result is not interested in a new round of fighting.
This assessment is enforced by the recent reconciliation agreement between the PA and Hamas. The deal avoids the issue of disarming Hamas as an independent militia, but by reinstating PA civilian authority in Gaza it diminishes the ability of Hamas to make independent decisions.
IN THE north, according to Israeli intelligence, Hezbollah, like Hamas, has changed its war doctrine because of Israeli deterrence and superiority.
Until recently, Hezbollah believed that with its 100,000 rockets and missiles capable of hitting any target in Israel, the longer the next war would be, the better. Now, however, Israel's intelligence assessment is that the Shi'ite Lebanese movement has reversed its doctrine, preferring and preparing for a short campaign because Israel has made it clear that, unlike in the 2006 war, it no longer distinguishes between Hezbollah and the Lebanese army and government. To Israel, they are one and the same and, in the next war, will be targeted equally.
Realizing that Israel has improved its intelligence and fire power, Hezbollah now understands that prolonging a war would be counterproductive and enable Israel to cause unprecedented damage to Lebanon, as Israeli military and political leaders talk about "pushing Lebanon back into the Stone Age."
Another important contributor to this change is the fact that despite Iranian efforts to help its Lebanese protÃ©gÃ©, Hezbollah has only a few hundred missiles with a range of 300 kilometers or more and they are inaccurate, if such a missile were to be launched against Israel's Defense Ministry and IDF General Staff Headquarters in central Tel Aviv, it could very well just fall into the sea.
Nevertheless, Israel doesn't underestimate Hezbollah capabilities. It's a strong military force of 45,000 troops, half of them conscripts. And, despite its heavy losses in the civil war in Syria, 2,000 of its warriors killed and 8,000 wounded, it gained a great deal of battle experience in large troop maneuvering.
Hezbollah is therefore no longer a terrorist group but a professional army.
Taking advantage of their contribution to saving the Assad regime in Syria (together with Russia), Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsor are trying to gain a foothold near the Israeli border, but Israeli leaders have declared that they will not tolerate any Iranian or Shi'ite presence close to the Golan Heights.
It seems that here, too, Israeli deterrence is working, and neither Hezbollah nor Iranian troops no longer dare to take up positions close to the Israeli border. However, Israeli intelligence assessments emphasize that, despite the current tranquility, the risk of an unexpected confrontation in one or two arenas - Gaza and/or Lebanon - is still relatively high.
"The situation is fragile," a senior military officer told me, "and any minor incident can get out of hand."
All parties involved don't want another round of violence, so war is not on the horizon; still the danger remains that a miscalculation by one or the other could trigger a slide into an unwanted confrontation.
Israel Threatens to Enter Syria - Udi Shaham -
The resident of a Druze village in the Golan Heights was treated and the IDF is watching the developments of the battles at the Hader region across the border.
Following intensive fighting at Hader on Friday, on the Syrian-held section of Mount Hermon, which resulted in dozens of casualties, the IDF said it is willing to provide assistance and prevent the capture of the Druse village by anti-regime forces.
"In recent hours, we have witnessed intensified fighting in the area of the Druse village of Hader on the Syrian part of the Golan Heights," IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen.
Ronen Manelis said.
"The IDF is ready and prepared to assist the residents of the village, and will prevent the harming or conquering of the village of Hader because of our deep commitment to the Druse population."
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.
Gadi Eisenkot, Northern Command commander Maj.- Gen. Yoel Strick and Commander of the Bashan Division Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Ashur were assessing the situation, Manelis added.
A resident of Majdal Shams, in the southern foothills on the Israeli side of Mount Hermon, was wounded by spillover gunfire from the Syrian war.
Manelis also said claims of Israeli involvement and assistance to global jihad elements in the fighting on the Golan Heights are groundless.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is in London to mark the Balfour Declaration centennial, posted a statement on his Facebook page reading: "We guard our borders in the North and the South and maintain our support for our Druse brethren."
Nine Syrians were killed and about 25 wounded on Friday morning in two terrorist attacks in Hader, which is located 4 km. from the Israeli border, and approximately 15 km. from the Syrian city of Quneitra.
It was reported that the Sunni terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra announced that it was opening a campaign to capture Syrian Golan villages that are under the control of the Assad regime. The organization reportedly stressed that it would not harm the villagers, as long as they did not assist or support the Alawite regime.
Following the deadly attacks, hundreds of Druse residents of Israel gathered at the border to support their relatives on the Syrian side.
A group of Druse men briefly pushed through the security fence, breaching the border, and crossed into Syrian territory before being pursued and corralled back. The situation was then under control.
IDF officials met with Druse community leaders Friday evening to discuss the situation in Hader. Sheikh Muafak Tarif, the spiritual leader of the Druse community in Israel, and other Druse leaders said their community against taking online rumors at face value and acting harshly based on false information.
In the meeting, Tarif told Strick that he has "full confidence in you and in the IDF to protect the Druse [people] of Hader and to return things to the way they had been before, without Jabhat al-Nusra control [there]."
Kulanu MK Akram Hasson, a member of the Druse community who lost four family members in Friday's attack, said there are strong family ties between the Druse who live on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights and those living in Hader.
"Since this [Friday] morning I had held talks with [Druse] community leaders in Hader and top-ranking IDF officers and high officials in the [Israeli] security services, and I hope that a cease-fire will be achieved soon," Hasson said.
Due to the battles just over the Syrian border, the Israel Police said that, as a part of its general preparations on the Golan Heights, forces were deployed and stationed at major intersections in the North to protect Israeli residents.
Isaiah 17 & Ezekiel 38 in the News - By Todd Hampson -
The Stage Won't Be Un-Set: Isaiah 17 & Ezekiel 38 in the News
Bible prophecy has significant relevance to our life today-to gently wake the bride (the church) to the season in which we find ourselves.
Many prophecy experts think that the sudden destruction of Damascus will be the catalyst that triggers Ezekiel 38. These 2600+ year-old prophecies have not been fulfilled as of yet. Damascus, though ravaged by the Syrian Civil War, still stands and still has people living there.
In fact, recent news reports inform us that Iran is setting up shop in Damascus and has been laying the groundwork for a highway from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea-in essence building a caliphate with clearly stated plans to destroy Israel.
Recent (within the past year) airstrikes by Israel against weapons convoys (gifts from Iran to Hezbollah) and an Iranian-built missile factory near Damascus, along with the recent news of an Iranian buildup in Damascus, makes one wonder how close we are to Isaiah 17. We're not told who destroys Damascus and how it is destroyed, but surrounding verses suggest it's during conflict with Israel.
Given the current events we see unfolding and the knowledge that caches of chemical weapons are very likely stored in and around Damascus, the fulfillment of this ancient prophecy seems to be nearing. With ISIS contained and the Syrian Civil War brought to a low simmer, Russian and Iranian attention seems to be turning southward toward the mountains of Israel.
For my fellow prophecy students and ministries, here's what I'm getting to. I had always wondered about the logic behind the fact that Ezekiel 38 involved nations that were at least one country removed from Israel's borders, yet they attack with ground forces from Israel's north.
In other words, the attack would have to come from Syria, but Syria is not listed as one of the attackers. If the stage is indeed being set for Isaiah 17 (Vs. 1, Vs. 14) and Ezekiel 38 (and I believe it is), then the Syrian Civil War has served to allow Russia and Iran to form their long-prophesied and unprecedented partnership and presence in the mountains north of Israel. Syria is not listed as an attacker because she is powerless and a puppet regime being held up only by Russia and Iran, who are calling all shots.
Another interesting thing is that Russia's "hook in the jaw" now takes many possible forms. Trying to establish her presence in the Middle East has been sheer pragmatism by Russia, who desires to reassert her former strength. But in order to maintain her grip, she would instantly be pulled into major conflict if Israel preemptively strikes or retaliates against Iran's growing presence in Damascus. Russia's need to control the area may also give her greedy eyes related to Israel's recent massive oil and gas discoveries.
These and several other factors could serve as the hook in the jaw that drags Russia into leading the attack.
We can speculate about the nature of the hook in the jaw, but there is no doubt we are seeing the ground work laid for the relatively soon fulfillment of these ancient prophecies.
When you stop and think about the possibility of current events taking shape exactly as foretold in Scripture, and that they (particularly Ezekiel 38) are end-time prophecies, you realize how close we may be to the rapture-which I believe will happen just before or during these coming events.
I don't see any way possible that current conditions could deescalate. In other words, the stage will not be un-set. Developments may move quickly, or slowly, but at some point the fulfillment of these prophecies will occur-and we are watching the stage being set daily.
Add this to the convergence of other signs (i.e. mass shootings, record-breaking natural disasters, etc.) and you may find yourself looking up a bit more often. For the watching eye and the waiting heart, it's clear we're in the season of the Lord's return.
toddhampson.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Robot and a Road - By Daymond Duck -
As Jesus was leaving the Temple for the last time before being crucified, His disciples called His attention to its buildings. He replied, "There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down" (Matt. 24:1-2).
Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives and sat down. His disciples approached Him with questions about when the Temple would be destroyed, the sign of His coming, and the end of the age (Matt. 24:3).
After mentioning several things, He said, "When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place . . . Then let them who are in Judaea flee into the mountains" (Matt. 24:15-16).
There are three references to the abomination of desolation in the book of Daniel (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). The one Jesus was talking about is found in Dan. 9:27.
The abomination of desolation will take place at the middle of the Tribulation Period and will be so detestable that the Jews will evacuate the Temple and leave it desolate for the next three and one-half years.
It will signal that persecution is about to intensify and the Jews in Judaea need to immediately run for their lives.
It is a statue that will be set up in the holy place at the Temple.
It will probably coincide with the Antichrist's visit to the Temple and his declaration that he is God (II Thess. 2:3-4).
It might even be the same statue that is mentioned in the book of Revelation. If it is, it will impact every person on earth, not just the Jews in Judaea.
We read that the False Prophet will say "to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast (statue of the Antichrist), which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast (make it appear to breathe and move), that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev. 13:14-17).
Will it be possible for someone to make a statue that looks like a person (the Antichrist) by the middle of the Tribulation Period? Will someone be able to make a statue that can talk and order the death of all who refuse to worship it (idolatry)? Will someone be able to make a statue that will order everyone to take the Mark of the Beast? Yes, yes and yes!
Companies are making robots that look like movie stars, that expand and contract to make them look like they are breathing; that are warmed to body temperature; that speak different languages; that have their own programed personality; that smile, move their head, move their arms and more.
The military is making robots that can carry objects, kill, sink ships and more.
A company called Hanson Robotics has created a robot called "Sophia." On the "Tonight Show" Sophia joked about her "plan to dominate the human race."
At a UN meeting, Sophia was used to promote planetary totalitarianism (world government).
She recently spoke at the Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where she was recognized as a citizen of that country. That made her the first robot to be a citizen of a nation.
When John the Revelator wrote about making a statue that can speak, 2,000 years ago it was impossible. Robots like Sophia are evidence that the Bible is the Word of God, the Tribulation Period is getting close, and as this writer sees it, the Rapture is even closer.
Concerning a road, a highway will be built in the future that will run from Egypt to Assyria (Isa. 19:23).
On Oct. 24, 2017, Saudi Arabia announced plans to build a new city on the Red Sea and a highway to connect Asia, Europe and Africa.
This could very well be the beginning phase of a highway that will exist during the Millennium.
I close with a reminder to readers that some veterans are asking football fans to respect the U.S., it's flag and it's military with a message to the NFL and it's protesters by not watching NFL games on Veterans Day weekend (Sunday and Monday, Nov. 12-13).
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
For decades, Turkey was the one Middle Eastern nation to successfully sustain a democracy.
That's because modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Ataturk, insisted that it must be a secular nation.
After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the people of Turkey were tired of the imams' stifling hold on their lives. So they followed Ataturk and created a Muslim nation with a secular government. In fact, they wrote it into their constitution.
For more than 80 years, Turkey was a modern nation with a prosperous and free citizenry. It was even considered an ally of Israel. They conducted joint military exercises and cultural exchange programs.
All of that changed with the arrival of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. First, as mayor of Istanbul, then as Prime Minister, and now President.
His rise to almost total power in Turkey was greatly boosted by U.S. President Barack Obama. Obama made a special point to identify Erdogan as his closest ally in the Middle East. He visited him and lent the prestige of the United States to him whenever possible.
I'll give President Obama the benefit of the doubt and say that he seriously misjudged Erdogan's intentions.
Erdogan is not a friend of the United States. Nor of Europe. Instead, he has become an exporter of terror.
At home, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has crushed his opposition, destroyed any semblance of dissent, and wrecked Turkey's secular constitution. The country is now Islamist. Thoroughly. But it remains a member of NATO despite violating key NATO provisions on human rights.
Alex Alexiev is Chairman of The Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies. He says, "In short, Turkey has become an Islamist dictatorship every bit as inimical to Western interests as Iran."
In 1924, Mustafa Ataturk founded an organization he called The Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). Its purpose was to educate imams for service in Turkey's mosques.
But it was Islamic education with a difference. Ataturk wanted to control the education of those imams in order to prevent the radicalization of Turkish Islam.
Erdogan has completely reversed that function. Instead, he has used Diyanet to build a core of diehard Muslim clergy loyal to him. He wants reliable fundamentalists, not just in Turkey's 85,000 mosques, but in the military and throughout government.
By 2015, he was training more than 1.2 million students to be radical imams. But that's a few more than he needs for 85,000 mosques.
So he's using many of them to build a European invasion army. He's training these young men for work in other lands -- especially Europe and the Balkans.
Mr. Alexiev explained: "Few people realize that after the relative retreat of Saudi efforts to finance radical Islamic projects in the West, Turkey is increasingly the key actor funding the radicalization of European Muslims."
Turkey has already financed hundreds of mosques across Europe, especially in Germany. But Diyanet also works closely with Turkish espionage agencies throughout Europe.
It's no secret that Erdogan longs for a revival of the Ottoman Empire. And I'm sure he sees himself as its Caliph.
Turkey's mosques and imams facilitate a fifth column in Europe that, in the end, may make ISIS seem like small potatoes.
Most of us don't know much about Hinduism. By and large, we think of it as a rather passive, introspective religion.
Nepal, which lies between China and India, is the world's only Hindu kingdom. However, it is unusual in the sense that Nepal's Hinduism is actually an odd blend of Hinduism and Buddhism.
But it gets more complicated. In 2006, Nepal's legislature mustered the strength to limit the power of the king and officially declared Nepal a secular state, supposedly ending its status as a Hindu kingdom.
Apparently, that status has now changed again. Last week, Nepal made a choice that should shake the confidence of Hindus everywhere.
It officially made religious conversion illegal. I suppose that means that whatever you were born believing, you must keep on believing.
If Hinduism is so great, why are they treating it like an endangered species? In truth, Nepal passed that law to protect Hinduism.
Nepal has an estimated 375,000 Christians. If a Hindu asks one why he or she became a Christian, and they tell the Hindu why they follow Christ, they could spend the next five years in prison.
The law dictates that you cannot use "any means of attraction" to influence someone to your faith. That could be a smile, a kind word, or a helping hand. If a Nepali Christian speaks a kind word to a Hindu, it could mean trouble.
The law is aimed squarely at evangelical Christians.
But unreasoning fear of the Gospel is not limited to Nepal. The University of Sheffield in England recently expelled a graduate student for writing on his personal Facebook page, "Same sex marriage is a sin whether we like it or not. It is God's words and man's sentiments would not change His words."
The university said that Felix Ngole "may have caused offence to some individuals" by stating his religious beliefs on his personal Facebook page. A British court agreed.
Former presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, is so fearful of the Christian faith that he wants to disqualify overt Christians from government service. That's why last summer he so vigorously opposed President Trump's nomination of Russell Vought to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Vought's alma mater, venerable and historically Christian Wheaton College, had fired a professor who donned a hijab and declared that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
Mr. Vought posted a memo that supported the university. He wrote, "Muslims... do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned."
That's a pretty standard understanding of the exclusivity demanded by the Christian faith. Jesus Himself declared that there is only one way to God -- through Him. But most Christians, I'm sure Mr. Vought included, do not discount the value of any human life simply because they choose not to follow Jesus. In fact, we believe that Jesus loves the nonbeliever as much as He loves the believer! Every person on earth is made in the image of God and they are all precious to Him -- therefore, to us, too.
But Senator Sanders couldn't grasp the distinction between a doctrinal standard at a Christian university and a religious litmus test for government service. He declared that Mr. Vought's personal beliefs were disrespectful to other religions, therefore he should not be allowed to serve in a high government position.
Sanders turned "no-religion" into the "state-religion." And that is truly disrespectful of all religions. So he is guilty of the behavior he attributed to Mr. Vought. Some would call that hypocrisy.
Why does Jesus scare people so much? I believe it's because the message of Jesus contains and conveys the very power of God! The Gospel is "the power of God for salvation." (Romans 1:16 NASB)
If they are not believers in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, they fear the power of the Gospel. And it is powerful. But even though God powerfully draws them to Himself, He refuses to violate their ability to choose.
He draws them vigorously, but He doesn't break down the door and overwhelm them. He stands at the door and knocks and asks to be received. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20 NKJV)
Even with infinite power at His disposal, He will not violate your will.
Finally, last week, President Trump declared a national health emergency. He said, "Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States by far. More people are dying from drug overdoses today than from gun homicides and motor vehicles combined."
The statistics are staggering. But they only represent the deaths. Millions more are living out the horrors of addiction every day.
The Bible warns us that in the last days of this Age of Grace, we will see a dramatic increase in drug use.
Revelation 9:21 speaks of the coming Tribulation. It says, "They did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of there immorality nor of their thefts." (NASB)
The word "sorceries" is a translation of the Greek word "pharmakeia." It's where we get the word "pharmacy." The word "pharmakeia" refers to both the occult and drug abuse.
We also find the same word in Galatians 5 in a list of "the deeds of the flesh." (Galatians 5:19) One of those deeds is "sorcery." (Galatians 5:20) The Greek word is, again, "pharmakeia."
By linking sorcery and witchcraft with drugs, we begin to see where this whole thing originates. This kind of mind-altering drug use is closely linked to pagan or demonic rites.
But this points to a deeper problem: the human condition that intensifies our vulnerability to addiction. This is a physical problem with deep spiritual roots.
In the 1600s, Blaise Pascal described the emptiness inside of all men as "this infinite abyss." He then said that it "can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God Himself."
And God is willing and ready to fill that "infinite abyss" in your life -- or any life. All we must do is ask Him to come in, cleanse us from all our sin, and fill our "infinite abyss" with His Holy Spirit.
And He will gladly do it. All that remains for you to do is accept His free gift of pardon.
You will be eternally glad you did!
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
Daily Jot: Deadly Church shootings - Bill Wilson -
Our hearts are saddened today, and our prayers are with those brothers and sisters in the Lord at First Baptist Church in Southern Springs, TX where a gunman killed at least 26 people and wounded another 30. Details are still emerging, but the shooter, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, was an atheist who thought Christians "were stupid." Reports also say that he was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force because of assault and domestic violence. Kelley was shot by a man from another church, who grabbed his gun and rushed to assistance when his daughter called him about the attack. Kelley took a hostage and was pursued in a high-speed chase before he bled out and ran his vehicle off the road.
Former Focus on the Family employee Carl Chinn operates a website that tracks violent church deaths. Just since Saturday, October 28th, there have been four shootings at places of worship from Kentucky to California. On the 28th, two men were shot when they got out of their car in a Temple parking lot. In Alabama on Halloween, a man was charged with attempted murder after ramming his car into others and shooting at them. On Sunday, in addition to the Texas shooting, a woman was shot and another wounded in California in a parking lot after mass. President Donald Trump immediately offered his condolences Sunday. Democrat politicians just as quickly politicized the shootings by calling for gun control.
The problem in America, however, is not a gun problem. Those who were Sunday killed were Christians. Since the immediate past "president" took office in 2009, deadly church violence increased 281% over the previous decade, Chinn reports that from 1999 to 2008 there were 199 violent church deaths in the US, but from 2009 to present there have been 560. Chinn says that by the end of August, there had been more violent deaths in churches than all of last year. This recent shooting guarantees it. It is indicative of the hostile environment that has been created in America against Jews and Christians. Liberal politicians and the news media routinely have demonized Christians. Crazy and hateful people are acting out these condemnations.
Blaming guns for the deaths at houses of worship is certainly politicization, especially when you see who is getting killed and who is doing the killing. Nazis, leftists, atheists, and Islamists have been doing the killing. Christians generally are the ones getting killed. The atmosphere has been established where places of worship, and Jews and Christians in particular, have become targets of a dark and evil element in our society. Jesus said in Matthew 24:9 that "ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." Sadly, in America this hate appears stronger than it ever has been. Jesus said in John 15:20, "The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you." This is the condition of the world. Let us respond by standing against injustice and overcoming evil with good.
Daily Devotion: Spiritual Babies - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
So, let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go instead and become mature in our understanding. -Hebrews 6:1
As a father and a grandfather, I know from personal experience that babies are a lot of work. For instance, it takes work to teach a baby how to eat. Of course, there is baby food, and then comes solid food, which has to be cut into baby-sized bites. And sometimes a baby doesn't want to eat, so you have to think of creative ways to get the baby to take the food. Children need to learn how to eat their food, cut up their food, and ultimately prepare their food. It's called growing up.
A lot of people, however, have never grown up spiritually. They made an initial commitment to Christ but have never really understood what it means to be a totally committed follower of Jesus. In short, they have not responded to what the Bible calls discipleship.
The Christian life is more than simply saying a prayer of commitment to Christ. It is following Jesus not only as your Savior, but also as your Lord. If your only source of spiritual intake is hearing other people preach sermons, then you will be in a relatively weakened state spiritually. There is a place for teaching and preaching, but you have to learn how to cut your own food, so to speak. You have to learn how to feed yourself spiritually.
Hebrews 6:1 tells us, "So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God."
In short, we need to grow up as believers and not be spiritual babies forever. We need to grow up to be men and women of God.
FROM THE HEART
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