Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
By Grace, We Are Saved - By Pastor Mike Taylor -
8 "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2nd Timothy 1:8-9)
The concept of grace is so glorious, that it's implications just escape the average man who cannot accept something so simple. Jesus said that unless you come as a little child:
3 "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3-4)
But right away, men who view the simplicity of the concept of God's Grace can not logically process how simple the concept really is, that even a little child can understand it, as they receive it by faith.
Even I, as a young boy of 10 years old, knew I needed a Savior...I believed Jesus died on a cross for me and the whole world. I didn't come to love Him as I do now, I just knew that without Him, I was lost...love grew as I came to understand the gravity of what He did for me.
5"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." ( Titus 3:5-7)
If we read Romans chp. 8, it gives the believer or the person searching the depths of God's love, that through His grace, He saved each of us and gives us an eternal hope of riches of God's love found in Jesus Christ.
One must ask themselves what is grace? Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. Meaning there is nothing we can do to earn it..It is a free gift. Free for the asking.
Whole denominations have come into existence trying to define something that is so simple and elementary, they feel they must define it , because some find it so hard to believe and for some, it is impossible to believe. So they complicate it until they can find it believable.
24 "But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29That no flesh should glory in his presence." (1st Corinthians 1:24-28)
To the dying world, this concept is foolishness. In the previous passage, the word translated in Greek for foolish is musterion meaning 'a mystery'. "Confound" is from kataischuno, meaning to 'bring shame.' Those being confounded are "the wise" (Greek; "sophos" meaning, wise, worldly, sophisticated) to whom the simple concept of grace remains a mystery, even after being saved. Grace is a mystery to those who are wise in their own eyes.
Paul elaborated in his epistle to the Corinthians, but it is little more than the obvious found in Proverbs when Solomon wrote this 1000 years earlier:
15"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
16A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
17He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit." (Proverbs 12:15-17)
The biggest obstacle that a person who is logically trying to process this concept and trying to understand the simplicity of "grace" is they tend to see it from their perspective. But we are the recipients of grace, not the Author of it. When viewed from God's perspective, it doesn't look the same. To receive such a blessing, a person must have wisdom. But how does one get wisdom?
The Bible defines wisdom as thinking God's way and reminds us that it is through wisdom that one gains understanding.
"For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6)
"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." (Proverbs 4:7)
Do you see what those verses say? The Lord gives us wisdom...we can't be wise on our own. He gives us the ability to come to faith through wisdom which HE SUPPLIES...and give us the faith to believe WHICH HE SUPPLIES....
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44)...
That is God supplied wisdom and faith to see our need for a Savior.
THE END OF THIS AGE
So why is there so much discord among different denominations of brethren over this one simple, single topic? I believe men look unto themselves and fall into what must be labeled the pride of man.
3 "For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
4The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." (Psalms 10:3-4)
"Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom." (Proverbs 13:10)
I believe this is a sign of the end of the days we live in. We are living in the latter days before the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, and it is prophesied it would be so.
1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;" (1st Timothy 4:1-2)
Two of the most seductive spirits to a Christian is the spirit of legalism, and another is beholding to the "doctrines of men" they call them "traditions". To put them both in the most simplest form of definition, the first being legalism, is the attempt to live a life pleasing to God by keeping the principles found in the Laws in the Old Testament.
The second is to adhere to a set of man-made doctrines that put a person in bondage to their denomination by keeping certain works of traditions to maintain your salvation. Both are based on salvation by works, not upon grace.
This is to say, we are saved by grace through faith, but now in the former we must keep certain laws to maintain our salvation by adhering to the same law by which we were condemned. And on the flip side of the coin, those who hold to traditions of men, feel they must keep man made laws to keep their salvation intact. I have actually had people tell me, "I can't be saved unless I belong to this church" ..or that church, or this denomination.
These "churches" that foster this type of doctrines, demand allegiance to them, instead of to God. For without doing what your church says is of God, in their minds, makes them a cast away from God's grace and the blessings of this "church" .
It is seductive because it sounds true. It suits our logic. It follows our own understanding. It redirects our trust towards something more tangible than in an invisible God and an ancient Sacrifice. We look to works, traditions, and human based endeavors.
First, speaking of the law, we know the law -- look at the list of things that are forbidden to Christians. Everybody's list is different, but we ALL have a list. You don't think so?
Ever hear of a Christian being arrested for some heinous crime and wonder if the guy was really a Christian? "How could he be a Christian and do that?" (So whatever that was, it is on your'forbidden to do Christians' list.)
Note that I am dealing with two sets of laws here...the law of God, and the law of man made doctrines. In traditions of the "Early Church Fathers" you will find man made laws that are not found in scripture anywhere, but are held in equality with scripture to even being lifted up over and beyond scripture that when they conflict, then traditions of the church take precedence.
A denomination that does that, seeks to have power and control over its members. Jesus said it would be so in these last days of the Laodecian church age which we now live in.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 " I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." (Revelation 3:15-18)
These are the denominations, and I don't need to list them here, as you should know who they are, as they fit what I speak of. They are about the so-called "Church" here on earth, and proclaim that this is the "Church" that Jesus founded, but fail to remember all the abominations that were committed in their name. Jesus is about saving men's souls and the love for mankind, being the reason He died in the first place, not to make a person conform to the doctrines of men on pain of death and torture. From such a "church" come out of her and run the other way and find you a Bible believing church that preaches Jesus Christ and Him crucified and raised the third day.
REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE FIRST SAVED?
If you are reading this and you are a believer in Jesus Christ, this part is for you.
There is nothing that can compare with how we feel the first moments after accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. It is a bright, shining moment when are sins are first forgiven and washed away. We have never felt cleaner in our own eyes than we do at the moment of salvation.
But as time goes on and we continue to run this race called life, we run into entanglements and temptations of this world. We try to recapture that incomparable moment....but as we fail, time and time again because we are mortals still in this body of flesh, we start to doubt our continued cleanliness or our being even saved. The more we are tempted, the harder we try. The harder we try, the more we are tempted.
EXPLANATION OF TEMPTATIONS
I read a story once of a luxury hotel built on a pier with ocean front balcony windows. On opening day, the manager, a fisherman, worried that people would be tempted to fish off the balconies.
He feared the windows in the lower rooms might get broken when they cast their weighted lines into the wind. So he ordered signs posted in all the rooms strictly forbidding fishing from the balconies. People fished anyway. Windows got broken.
In a staff meeting called to discuss the problem, somebody suggested simply removing the signs. As soon as the signs were gone, so was the temptation to fish off balconies.
There is an old saying that "forbidden fruit is the sweetest" which means that laws made are meant to be broken, and a source of temptation fit this little story..
Another illustration that proves the point, is that people on a diet are always tempted to cheat. If you are allowed to eat anything you want then there is not temptation. What you are told something is forbidden, then you are tempted to do what is forbidden.
There is a old Abbot and Costello routine about chocolate cake diet. "A chocolate cake diet?" says straight man Bud Abbot. "You can't lose any weight on a chocolate cake diet!"
"I know," Costello says, before delivering the punch line, "But I'm never tempted to cheat."
Same theory can be applied to those who are convinced they must keep the laws of their church, or traditions. Because like a fat man who wants that piece of chocolate cake, they are tempted from those that hold them in bondage to hold them to a work based salvation. Hence they come to "confession" all the time, as they are continually breaking the laws of their church. And in both cases, they feel they must keep these man made traditions to be saved, even if it goes against what their Bible plainly says is not true.
The Spirit of God expressly labels them both "seducing spirits" because both doctrines are so seductive, that they are both doctrines of demons, that seduce you into forging your own chains to replace the old ones that fell off when you first got saved.
The more things you have on your forbidden "Christian list" from whatever law you are trying desperately to keep, the more you feel unclean and dirty, because you can't keep either perfectly and the more temptations you have to fight off. Nobody can keep anything perfectly all the time. So that wonderful feeling you had grows more distant and seemingly unattainable. It doesn't matter if you are a "law keeper" that depends on keeping the Laws of God or the "laws of your church" that cannot be followed perfectly, because if you sin in one point, you have sinned in all points of each of those laws. So that it becomes impossible.
Men who hold to traditions, think if they do this ritual or say this chant, or follow the doctrines of their church perfectly, are saved. They take their eyes off the grace that was applied to their lives in a simple act of faith, and complicate it with the laws of men.
Some people feel that this constant struggle with either, wears down your spirit. You wonder if you were saved at all. Or worse, that you have lost your salvation.
43"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
44Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
45Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation" (Matthew 12:43-45)
Gods law is unattainable in the mortal man, as God knew that you could not keep them perfectly, which is the reason God provided a substitute to free us from the bondage of being unable to keep His law.
The second laws of traditions does nothing to save the individual, but gives them a false sense of piety that causes them further bondage as being chained to their church, for without their church there is no salvation, at least in their minds. Both are a departure from grace. Sad fact that most who follow the traditions of men, know nothing about grace. They put their trust in man-made doctrines that their church will save them. They rely on their pastor or priest to guide them into truth, but never see the Light of Christ to shine on their hearts. So obviously, if you are reading this and think your church can save you, then without grace of God through Jesus Christ, you are entirely wrong.
THE SIMPLICITY OF GRACE
We began this message with a discussion of the simplicity of grace. We are saved by grace through faith that payment for our sins was made at the Cross and that the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.
Everything in the above statement that comes after the word 'grace' is the direct result of grace.
The mechanism whereby we are saved is that our sins are covered by the Blood of Christ, shed as full payment for the sins of the world. The keeping of law or traditions can do nothing outside of grace. They will not provide salvation.
Dwell on that for a second. The sins of the world, the whole world from the moment of creation to this present hour. You -- everything you are, all you know, all you've experienced, everything you've ever done or ever will do -- compared to every sinner and every sin ever committed in the history of man.
You know that the Blood of Christ was sufficient for them. But you're different? You try hard to keep the law found in your Bible...you try and follow the traditions set up by your church. You struggle, you go through the motions, and you feel ......empty!! Why do you feel such a way? Because you have not obtained wisdom and the ability to receive what is given as a free gift....grace!
Wisdom is thinking God's way, and God's way of thinking is expressed by His Word. Understanding comes from seeking wisdom in God's Word and seeing its application to a given situation.
Keep the laws of God through legalism is seduction against which the Spirit of God expressly warned. The law had a purpose. It was our school master to tell us that we could not keep it without sinning. It pointed us to Jesus Christ as the propitiation or substitute for us not being able to keep the law. We can come right up to that line, of law keeping, but once we cross it, we have sinned.
23 "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (Galatians 3:23-25)
Conversely, keeping the laws of men's traditions that are in addition to what is written in God's Word, Paul expressly condemned such practices:
7 "Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:7-9)
God has given no "denomination" the freedom to add to His Word, or take away from it..The Bible was written for our instruction on how to come to God. It is solely through faith in Jesus Christ and grace/mercy applied to the sinner.
The law pointed us to salvation that reveals our need to walk close to God, but it is not for the purpose of currying favor with God through good works, but rather for protection against the temptations of the law.
That's why we are not under the law, but under grace.
14 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid." (Romans 6:14-15)
Conversely, we are not under the traditions of men, as should be obvious to anyone reading this...keeping traditions, or keeping the law in legalism does only one thing. Doing so pulls our attention and our dependency on Jesus Christ and His atonement. We can do nothing to secure our salvation...except through faith in Christ alone.
7 "That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:7-9)
Under grace, God accepts us based on the fact we are in Christ and judged according to Christ's performance on our behalf. Under the law, we are judged exclusively on our own performance. Traditions are in addition to law keeping, but the doctrines of men give false assurance of salvation through your church.
Law keeping, observing traditions and grace are therefore each complete systems unto themselves. They are also mutually exclusive. To mix these principles robs the law of its terror , grace of its graciousness and traditions of mere men complicate both to making them of none affect.
Grace cannot be made complicated, despite our best efforts, because in the end, it only means one thing, and every expression of that meaning carries with it the very flavor of heaven.
'Grace" (Greek: charis) means 'gift' -- but it means so much more than that.
It also means acceptable, benefit, favor, joy, liberality, pleasure, thanks worthy, -- the word 'grace' carries so much yet it weighs so little on the mind. Grace cannot be appropriated, it can only be offered freely, or it is no longer grace.
Conversely, traditions are man made concepts that Jesus railed against which in today's world, I call them modern day Pharisees.
27 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." (Matthew 23:27-28)
And grace cannot be rescinded, or it was never grace to begin with.
6"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:6-9)
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15) ........side note, the word ABBA in Hebrew means DADDY.
Both legalism and traditions are men's express inability to come to God. God comes to us. We don't seek God, He seeks us.
This age has fostered the concept that there are many ways to come to God. As a spoke on a wheel, all spokes and all ways lead to God, but that can't be farther from the Truth, as the Way is found in only One person:
6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."(John 14:6)
So there is no other road, or spoke that leads to God our Father, but through Jesus alone. And any religion that tries to make it about them are part of the deception of the prince and power of the air, Satan the devil. To think that you can save yourself through your church or religious denomination is a foolish bet that will lead to certain destruction, as we don't seek God, He seeks us.
11 "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17And the way of peace have they not known:
18There is no fear of God before their eye" (Romans 3:11-18)
So you see, my friend, those who follow after the precepts of men, either through legalism, or traditions of their church follow after their denomination, not after God. God is so much more than these two doctrines of demons. He is about a love that passeth all understanding.
6 "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5:6-9)
Being justified by Christ, through His finished work on the cross, provided us with salvation through His grace...and MERCY....what is mercy..?
Mercy is not receiving something we deserve. That is what Christ did through His love, His Grace and His Mercy, gave us what we do not deserve.....Eternal Life. And took on what we did deserve....death. He was the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world through His own death unto salvation for all who believe.
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)
Let me ask you a simple question. Do you see yourself here in this message? Are you trying to follow the precepts of men, through legalism and traditions?? Do you rely on your church, or do you rely on God? In plain English, these are two distinctly different subjects....one IS Salvation by Jesus Christ, the other is suppose to lead you to Him by using God's Word and letting the Holy Spirit draw you to Him, but it does not, it just binds you to them, not to God. Where is your trust...who do you believe? Do yo believe God or men?
"For God so loved the world, they He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God sent not His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him, might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. " (John 3:16-18)
Believing in your church or denomination gives you a false hope, but hope is found only in our Lord Jesus. As Paul the apostle told Titus and told us, we wait for this blessed Hope and at His coming, He will rapture those who are found in Him, not your religious piety of your church.
11 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:11-14)
Confess that Jesus is the only Way to salvation and believe in your heart and confess with you mouth and you will be saved.
"9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." (Romans 10:9-11)
Then and only then can a person commit good works in the Name of Jesus to His glory for what He has done for us by forgiving us of past, present and future sins, because of that One Gift He gave on the cross, His blood and body for the salvation of mankind.
Don't let anyone fool you, or stand in the way of believing in the only way back to God. It is not through either of the doctrines of demons we have discussed, but through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, Him crucified and resurrected to the right hand of God Almighty. Grace is a gift of God, not of works, let any man should boast. Believe the above verses and thou shalt be saved.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, proclaiming the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , God bless you all TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Major Rabbis Unite in Decisive Call For All Jews To Return From Exile: "It's Time" - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - www.breakingisraelnews.com
"Thus said Hashem: I will raise My hand to nations And lift up My ensign to peoples; And they shall bring your sons in their bosoms, And carry your daughters on their backs." Isaiah 49:22 (The Israel Bible™)
In a rare consensus, an impressive array of some of the most prominent rabbis of this generation came together in a declaration saying that there are no longer any valid excuses: Jews must act on the Torah commandment to move to Israel.
The consensus came as the first stage in an ongoing multi-faceted project initiated by Joshua Wander, a resident of the Mount of Olives. This stage was timed to coincide with the week in which Jews around the world read the section of the Torah in which God tells Abraham to leave his father's land.
Hashem said to Avram, "Go forth from your native land and from your father's house to the land that I will show you. Genesis 12:1
"There are many sections of the Torah in which the connection to the land of Israel is not so clear," Wander told Breaking Isreal News. "But in this section, the relationship between God and the Jewish people begins with God telling Abraham to move to Israel."
The project, named appropriately enough "Bring Them Home", will be launched on Thursday with a series of video lectures given by prominent rabbis explaining why the Biblical imperative to move to Israel is in a new, more imperative stage. The five-minute videos will feature Rabbi Zeev Leff, Rabbi Nachman Kahane, Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik, Rabbi Danny Myers, Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twersky, Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller, Rabbi Shalom Gold, Rabbi Aryeh Shapira, and Rabbi Mordechai Machlis. All of these rabbis are respected leaders in the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) movement. Several other rabbis are involved in the project but have not yet prepared video statements for release.
The English-language videos will be posted on the YouTube channel "Bring them Home-Aliyah Now" and their Facebook page.
"The target audience is specifically religious Jews," Wander said. "The message is very simple; Make aliyah now, it's time to come home."
As part of the initiative, the rabbis signed a joint declaration in Hebrew.
"To our brothers, the Torah faithful Jews living outside of Israel:
The sages of Israel, from whose words we derive life, already taught us that the mitzvah (Torah commandment) to live in Israel was established as one of the greatest of the mitzvoth by Nachmanides, Maimonides, and all the other sages who establish the law...Therefore, at this time, we are sending out a holy proclamation to those who dwell outside of Israel, to wake up and hurry, and to investigate every possible way that is in your ability to come to live in Israel. You must educate your children about the great spiritual level of those who do so and to help them in every way you can to come and dwell in the Holy Land.
This is especially true now when there is a threat to the sanctity of Israel and the Jews from outside. Every Jew who moves here will be an aid in fighting off this threat to the sanctity and will establish the future of Judaism throughout the world and will merit those who come to its aid.
The one who chooses Zion and Israel will surely merit to see miracles and wonders, and may our eyes see the return of God to Zion."
In addition to the rabbis mentioned above, Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal signed the declaration.
"It is a clear consensus across the entire spectrum of Jewish observance here in Israel that it is a mitzvah to move here. It has always been so but it is clear that we are quickly approaching a watershed point in Jewish history when everything concerning the Jewish people will change. The majority of the Jews are in Israel and the redemption is awaiting the return of the last of the exiles."
"Concerns about making a living or education are no longer as valid so the major obstacles are no longer and Israel has so much more to offer, especially to religious Jews. There is also a sharp rise in anti-Semitism which should be recognized as a serious threat to the Jews outside of Israel."
"The vast majority of even religious Jews in America do not think about Aliyah anymore," Wander said. "The rabbis are declaring that this is an obligatory mitzvah so if you decide that you cannot perform the mitzvah of aliyah, a special dispensation is required just like every other mitzvah. And this dispensation is only temporary and if you can't perform it, you have to figure out how to enable your children to perform this requirement."
Unfortunately, there is a precedent for Jews being reluctant to answer the call to return from exile. According to Jewish tradition, only twenty percent of the Jews left Egypt and even fewer returned from the Babylonian Exile.
Christians in Battle - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
In the United States we set aside a day each year to remember those who served in the military. It's a special day to remember the sacrifices made in order that our nation is protected against enemies. The sacrifices of time and service are appreciated. Many soldiers are separated from their family as they serve their nation, and some see battles on foreign soil. I'd like to say thank you to all who have bravely served this nation and have protected our freedom. Military service is as old as humanity and we learn of many battles as we read Scripture. The first mention of armed battle is found in Genesis. Certain kings had joined forces to make war against other kings. "And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; that these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar." Genesis 14:1-2. Nations have always fought against each other to take land, slaves, and spoil. These kings weren't God-fearing men, but pagan rulers who wanted what they could take by force. The kings over Sodom and Gomorrah lost and the victors took what they wanted. "And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed." Genesis 14:12. That was a mistake. Word came to Abram that Lot was taken captive and Abram went to war. "And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan." Genesis 14:14. Abram already had an army trained and ready to fight in order to protect what was his and now he fought to save his nephew. Abram's fighting men won the battle and Lot was rescued as well as what other people and goods that had been taken. Military strength is important for the protection of any nation. The United States has a strong military, and today the Commander in Chief is a strong leader. Our military needs prayers and so does President Trump.
The need for an army didn't stop with Abram. When Moses led the Israelites from captivity there were many battles to be fought and by God's strength they won. It was Joshua who led the battle for the Promised Land and he was a very capable military leader. During the time of the judges, the tribes of Israel faced many battles and when they demanded a king, Saul was chosen and his army is mentioned in Scripture. King David was a strong military leader and the army he led was a force to be reckoned with. No nation can exist without a trained military and it's good to stop and honor those brave souls who are trained to fight. The Old Testament gives many examples of military strength, but so does the New Testament. The Roman army was very powerful and their presence is seen many times in Scripture. Once a Roman Centurion had a servant who was very ill and He went to Jesus for help. "And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented." Matthew 8:5-6. He asked Jesus to heal the servant and Jesus agreed without hesitation. He didn't tell the centurion to leave military service even though the Romans ruled over the Jewish people and were often times harsh. This centurion understood that only Jesus could heal his servant and any soldier who recognizes Christ will understand that Jesus is the true leader in battle.
Too often Christians forget that we are also in a battle. We have an enemy who is a liar and tries to stop us from following our Commander in Chief in the spiritual battle before us. Satan promotes political correctness instead of Biblical correctness and many Christian soldiers are siding with the enemy. We must not let the enemy win. We must keep Biblical truth as our authority. The centurion who asked Jesus to heal the servant understood authority and understood that Jesus had authority over all things. When Jesus agreed to go to his home and heal the servant, the centurion declined because he understood Jesus' authority. "The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." Matthew 8:8-9. The centurion was humble and he knew the authority which Christ had. As Christians, do we understand the authority of Jesus? Too often we bow to lesser gods instead of understanding that Jesus Christ is all powerful and at His name every knee will bow. We can learn much from the centurion. He wasn't even Jewish but knew that Jesus had authority over all things.
Christians are soldiers in a spiritual battle. Unfortunately, many profess Christ for salvation, but are blind to the fact that He is the leader we are to follow. Soldiers who follow the leadership of the enemy are called traitors. Christians become traitors when we compromise Biblical truth and side with the enemy. In order to be fit for battle, a soldier must recognize the enemy. Satan is the enemy of all people and he will try to lure you away from Jesus. The only way to fight the battle is to have the weapons of war in place and you need the skill to use them. I've made reference to these weapons many times, but we always need to be reminded to keep the weapons in battle readiness. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." Ephesians 6:10-20. These are the weapons that every Christian must learn to use and keep in readiness for battle. Study Scripture and learn to use that shield against Satan's fiery darts. Become skilled in the use of the sword spirit, and don't take off those protective shoes of the Gospel. Don't compromise in your walk with Jesus.
Many soldiers have gone before us in battle, beginning with the Apostles. Many brave soldiers have died in battle, but they never denied their faith. Stephen was the first Christian martyr. He died in battle, but he lives eternally because of his faith in Christ. Stephen was able to face death with peace. "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Acts 7:55-56. What a glorious sight to see! Stephen had fought his battle with valor. The enemy is evil but Stephen had nothing to fear in life or in death. "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep." Acts 7:59-60. Stephen's feet were shod with the preparation of the Gospel. One of the men helping in the murder of Stephen was Saul. He heard Stephen's words and saw the strength he had even in death. One day as Saul travelled to Damascus, he met Jesus. His life was forever changed and we know him better as the Apostle Paul. Did Paul look back upon the courage of Stephen when he wrote about the spiritual enemy and putting on the armor of God? The strength he saw in Stephen that day could only be understood after Paul also became a soldier for the Lord. Brothers and sisters, we are all in this spiritual battle and must encourage each other as we fight. We can't turn against each other, nor can we turn against our Lord. Paul recognized the importance of soldiers in this battle. "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." 2 Timothy 2:3-4. We must encourage our fellow soldiers to turn away from the world. We can't win battles if we side with the enemy.
We must remember the soldiers who protect our nation, but we also must remember the soldiers who fight the ongoing spiritual battle for the souls of men. We think of warriors like Stephen, Peter, John, Paul, Martin Luther, William Tyndale and other veterans of spiritual battle. These men fought their battles well, and because of them, and many like them, the Christian faith has been passed down from generation to generation. Today we fight the same battles. I'm sure you know someone who is a veteran of many battles. Maybe a grandparent or a parent has shown you how to stand strong in your faith no matter what battle may be raging around you. "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 1:3. Jude continues his short letter by giving examples of battles that must be fought. People will try to undermine the truth of the Gospel, but we must contend for the pure truth of the Gospel and our faith Jesus Christ. You and I are both veterans in this battle and only standing firmly upon the pure word of God will arm us for battle. The battles are many but if you don't compromise Biblical truth and keep your weapons in battle readiness, you will be able to contend for the faith and help others to stand firm in their battles.
Our Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ, will lead us in the battle. He already won the war when He shed His blood on the cross. The battles we face are Satan's last desperate effort to take as many people with him to eternal death in the lake of fire. Christians are in a battle and we must fight.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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The Politics of Greed: The Political Scene - By Dr. David Reagan - https://www.raptureready.com/2019/11/03/politics-greed-political-scene-dr-david-reagan/
Our formerly great political system has deteriorated to the point where politicians are now appealing primarily to greed by attempting to purchase votes. Just consider the current promises that presidential candidates are making:
This insane list goes on and on. All the candidates seem to be yelling, "Free stuff! Free stuff! Vote for me and get free stuff!"
And people are responding like cows running to a fresh bale of hay. It's a sad scene of unmitigated greed.
And who is going to pay for all this "free stuff"? The answer of the mob is, of course, "Someone else, but certainly not us."
It reminds me of what H. L. Menken once wrote when he characterized elections as "an early auction on stolen goods." George Bernard Shaw put it this way: "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul."
Modern-day commentator Louis DeBroux has summed it up this way:
Of course, anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows nothing is free. Every good or service is produced at a cost, and producers demand to be paid. So [politicians], while promising you free stuff, are really promising to make your neighbor pay for it.
Covering the Price Tag
So, if the greedy masses are not going to pay for all the "free stuff," then how is it to be financed? The solutions being put forward are: "tax the rich," "tax the corporations" and "print money."
Did you know that you really cannot tax a corporation? That's because when you put taxes on a corporation, the response is always one of three things or a combination of them:
The most frequent choice is, of course, to raise prices. In any case, it is people who end up paying the taxes.
So, what about slapping a 70% tax on the rich - or even 90% as FDR did? This is always self-defeating because such high tax rates curtail investment, resulting in a reduction in business activity. And that, of course, means a massive loss of jobs. This is one of the main reasons that the economic downturn in 1929 morphed into The Great Depression.
The Socialist Congresswoman from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has dismissed all the concern about cost by simply proposing that we "print money." That is the prescription for a runaway inflation which would destroy the value of all savings.
The politics of greed is the inherent weakness of pure democracy. It will always end up destroying the democratic system.
Our Founding Fathers were very aware of this problem because they believed in the biblical view of Mankind - namely, that people are born with a sin nature and therefore cannot be trusted.
As we all know, they rejected monarchy. What is amazing is that they also rejected Oligarchy (the rule of the privileged). The reason that is remarkable is because most of them were aristocrats. But the point is that they did not even trust themselves. Nor did they believe in pure democracy because they did not trust the Common Man. They knew that pure democracy always evolved into mobocracy.
So, they established a Representative Democracy whereby, hopefully, enlightened persons with high morals and great wisdom would be elected to represent the masses.
This is why they insulated the federal government from the direct vote of the people. They accomplished this by making only members of the House of Representatives eligible for direct election. Senators were appointed by state legislatures. And the President was selected by an Electoral College whose members were, in turn, selected in any manner a state might choose.
The Erosion of Political Protection
Over time, this system of political protection from mobocracy has eroded. Consider, for example, the selection of members of the Electoral College. At the beginning, electors in about half the states were selected by the legislatures; in the other states they were selected by popular vote. A trend toward popular election picked up fast, and by 1832, only South Carolina was still appointing electors.
Today, despite the fact that all members of the Electoral College are selected by popular vote, there are increasing demands that the College itself be abolished so that the President can be elected directly.
Meanwhile, the same trend toward direct election characterized the selection of Senators, leading up to the adoption of the 17th Amendment in 1913 which mandates their popular election.
Other roadblocks to mobocracy and the politics of greed which our Founding Fathers instituted were states' rights and the brilliant system of separation of powers and its built-in checks and balances - a concept based on the Scriptures (Isaiah 33:22).
States' rights have almost disappeared over the years due to the centralization of power in the national government. And likewise, the separation of powers has been undermined by the focusing of power in the presidency.
The barriers to the mob mentality are the reason our Constitution has continued to exist to this day - longer than any other constitution in history. But those days appear to be numbered.
The "Progressive" Agenda
The "Progressives" want no barriers to "the will of the people," regardless of how perverted that will may be. So they are advocating the abolition of the Electoral College and a scheme to pack the Supreme Court with judicial activists who have no respect for our Constitution.
Concerning the Supreme Court, it comes as a surprise to most people that the number of justices on the Court is not specified in the Constitution. Six times in America history, Congress has changed the size of the Supreme Court by either increasing or decreasing the number of justices - each time for political reasons.
"Power to the people!" That's the politically correct cry of today. It sounds so good, but it results in horrors like the French Revolution because there is no magical goodness in the people or in the majority vote.
The current attempts to abridge freedom of religion should be sobering to all those who think "the majority knows best." The same is true of increasing attempts to broaden hate legislation to include any speech against abortion, same-sex marriage, homosexuality or any other perversion, like pedophilia, which the majority may decide to endorse.
The Nature of the Crisis
The question looming before the American electorate is whether or not we are willing to sell our souls and our freedoms for "free stuff." I believe we are.
Keep in mind that in the last presidential election, the future of our nation - the Millennials - overwhelmingly supported Bernie Sanders, an out-and-out Socialist, and when he failed to get the nomination, they voted for Hillary. Remember too, that Hillary received three million more votes than Trump. The only reason Trump is our President is because of the Electoral College which the Liberals and Socialists are determined to abolish.
The most sobering thing to keep in mind is that all the recent polls reveal that only 9% of Americans have a biblical worldview, and only 15% of professing Christians can be characterized as "Bible-believing."
Our nation's glory days are over. We are destined for destruction, and the fundamental reason is that we have forgotten about God.
"You have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the rock of your refuge" (Isaiah 17:10).
Daily Jot: The conspiracy and coup against you - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
President Donald Trump read a Fox News story to the crowd at a Louisiana political rally quoting a tweet from the lawyer of the anonymous whistleblower on the Ukraine red flag event: "#coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion #impeachment will follow ultimately." Mark Zaid, one of the whistleblower's attorneys, tweeted this January 30, 2017 after the President fired Sally Yates, then Acting Attorney General holdover from the previous White House. While this is just one tweet from one person's viewpoint, it could be considered evidence of a long-game conspiracy to overthrow an elected president, especially since Zaid is representing the whistleblower at the center of the current impeachment inquiry.
The news media is angered that Donald Trump, Jr., the president's son, outed the whistleblower in a tweet. CNN and AFP, for example, refused to print his name and warned Trump that releasing his name would be against the law. Zaid and Andrew Bakaj represent the whistleblower. The two have a small law firm representing "multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General." According to Breitbart News, Zaid and others co-founded Whistleblower Aid, a non-profit actively recruiting whistleblowers against Trump by offering discounted legal aid in return for providing dirt on the Trump Administration. You see, this is a very organized attempt to remove the president and a self-admitted coup/rebellion.
The lawyers refuse to confirm or deny the whistleblower's name because they claim it will endanger him and his family. But investigative reporter Paul Sperry identified the whistleblower on October 3 as "a registered Democrat & CIA analyst who was detailed before the 2016 election to the Obama White House, where he worked on the NSC's Ukraine desk & met w anti-Trump Ukrainian officials before being sent packing by the Trump NSC & becoming disgruntled." Real Clear Politics went a step further saying the whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella, a CIA operative who was involved with Joe Biden in getting the prosecutor investigating Biden's son fired in exchange for a billion dollar loan guarantee, and played a role in the "Pee Dossier" paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
There is so much more to this impeachment inquiry than the media is reporting. These revelations take digging through massive amounts of emails acquired under the Freedom of Information Act. They no doubt point to a conspiracy to overthrow this White House. The American people need to be informed and express their outrage at this organized crime syndicate being run by the deep state and the Democratic Party. It's like Ezekiel 8:8-9 where the Lord told the prophet, "dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here." Brothers and Sisters, some of us are digging behind the wall and informing you of what we find. Please do something with the information-tell your family, your friends, speak boldly as you ought to speak.
Daily Devotion: The Evidence of Faith in Action - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.-James 2:26
For the sake of a point, let's pretend that somehow we knew the day of Christ's return. If that were the case, would you live any differently than you're living right now?
If you were living sinfully, would you continue to live sinfully? If you were complacent as a Christian, would you kick it into gear? And if you weren't a Christian, would you become one?
It was Martin Luther who said there were only two dates on his calendar: today and "that Day." We don't know when Jesus will return, but we always need to be ready and live in anticipation of it.
One day we will give our last words, our last statement. It could be in a hospital bed or some other place, and we won't realize they are our last words.
And if we really believe there is a Heaven and a Hell, if we really believe that Jesus could come back in our lifetime, then it should impact the way we live. And if it doesn't impact the way we live, then do we really believe it?
Why, then, would we not want to leave our comfort zone and engage someone with the gospel? We should take tangible steps if we believe these things are true.
Not only are we to anxiously await Christ's return, but we are to work as well. Jesus said, "If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward" (Luke 12:43 NLT).
If watching is the evidence of faith, then working is the evidence of faith in action. The Bible tells us that "faith is dead without good works" (James 2:26 NLT).
Watching for the Lord's return will help us prepare our own lives, but working will assure that we bring others with us.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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