Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Rapture: Part II - by Pete Garcia -
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord (John 14:1-3), that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 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. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1st Thess. 4:15-18 (author emphasis added for clarification)
Picking up where we left off last week, when Jesus returns for His Church, (since Paul writes his letters for Christian believers) He does not come back as a lowly, helpless infant, swaddled in a manger. Rather, Jesus descends with a victorious shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. He gathers all of the Church unto Himself in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52). First, He brings back those whom had already died (these are reunited with their resurrected bodies), and then those who are still alive when this happens (these are translated from mortality into immortality).
Some might ask why God would bring back those who have already died just to put them back into their physical bodies.
After that first Pentecost (Acts 2) and prior to the Rapture, any believer who dies, immediately goes to heaven as a spirit, while their bodies remain here on earth in the grave to decompose. Paul addressed this and likened it to being naked (2 Cor. 5:1-8), and both he and Peter likened our current bodies as being tents (2 Peter 1:13-15).
We were never destined to roam eternity as disembodied spirits. We will have physical, glorified bodies (Romans 8:23) that can eat, be felt, and exist where God does. Our physical state then will be far better than what we currently have, as John discusses here (1 John 3:1-3). Think about it this way...you will still be you, but the perfect, flawless version God had always intended.
Nevertheless, if you are of the Post-Trib persuasion, you are likely to refer back to something Jesus stated in the Olivet Discourse as being the same event as 1 Thess 4:13-18, and thus, do not see this as a Pre-Tribulation event. So let us contrast the what and how of the scenario Jesus describes in Matthew 24:31, to that of 1Thessalonians 4.
And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:31
In 1 Thessalonians 4, describes Jesus coming alone, only accompanied by a SHOUT, the VOICE of the archangel, and the TRUMPET of God. In Matthew's scenario, only the trumpet is mentioned and Jesus SENDS the angels to gather His elect from the four winds, and from all over heaven. So are these the same event then?
A simple comparison of the two passages reveal some noticeable differences, namely, that these events are executed differently. Where is the shout? Where is the voice of the archangel? Why does Jesus gather everyone to Himself in 1 Thess., but has His angels go and gather His elect in Matthew's account? Where is the mention of resurrection and translation in Matthew's account? Again, these are not my opinions, just pointing out what the text states and does not state. Thus, we must conclude, as Jack used to say, things that are different, are not the same. And since these are not the same event, let us review Paul's account and why it is a unique.
The Jewish Wedding-the archetype
In Paul's description, Jesus does not have the angels gather His Bride, for He gathers them Himself at merely a command (the shout). Building upon that premise, why does Jesus gather His Church to Himself, by Himself? The only logical explanation is in tying it back to the concept of the Jewish wedding (ref. John 14:1-3). Would/does a Jewish groom send his servants to gather his bride for him...or would he do it himself? Clearly, the groom would go himself. What is the cry? Behold, the Bridegroom is coming! The cry is not, behold, the servants of the bridegroom is coming! If Jesus refers to Himself as the Bridegroom, then who is the bride? (Matt. 9:15, 25:1, 10)
It is the Church (ekklesia)
Responsibility: Jesus stated in Matthew 16 that He would build His church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18-19). Therefore, we read that Jesus sets His ownership over this new body of believers. Not only that, but He claims responsibility over this new organization that He will personally be involved with overseeing. We see that clearly in Revelation 1-3 where Jesus is walking amongst the churches, He is in our midst, and He knows our deeds.
Mystery: In the context of the New Testament, the concept of the church was that it was a mystery (something unknown or revealed) until it was given to the Apostle Paul to reveal it (Eph. 5:32). The bride is the joining of Jew and Gentile, into a new class of people, who make up the multi-membered, singular body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-14, Eph. 5:23, Col. 1:18).
Silence: The church (ekklesia) is mentioned 19 times from Revelation 1 through chapter 3, but then not again until chapter 22. Not only do we not see their name mentioned anywhere after Rev. 3:22, (which is an argument from silence), but simply reinforces the fact that we get zero guidance from the Apostles elsewhere in the NT on how to navigate through the Tribulation. If the church were destined to go through it, then we should have received instruction on how to survive the Antichrist, Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl judgments.
Role: The bride will not enter into that final week of years (any part of it), because we have no function or purpose in it. Daniel 9:24 and Jeremiah 30:7-11 state who and what the 70th Week is for. That is why there are Two Witnesses and the 144,000 Sealed Jewish male virgins (Rev. 7, 11). Not only that, but the church did not exist in the previous 69 weeks of years (all 483 years), why would we exist in the 70th?
Overcome: Christ promised His church that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church, yet by the fifth Seal Judgment, we already hear the cry of the martyrs. We read how the Antichrist is given authority to overcome the believers in Rev. 13:7, and over every tribe, tongue, and nation. If the Church (ekklesia) were the same believers as found inside the Tribulation-proper, how could Matthew 16:18-19 be true? God is not the author of confusion. So if the Bible does not give the church clear guidance on how to endure the most terrible period of human history, then it must mean that we are not destined to enter into it ( 1 Thess. 1:10, 5:9, 1 Cor. 14:33, Rev. 3:10).
Persecution: Some will point to believers today who are being persecuted as evidence that we will go into the Tribulation. Yet, this persecution is not worldwide. In addition, Christian's have always been persecuted to one degree or another. Persecution is not the evaluation criteria we have to use to determine whether we enter into Daniel's 70th Week. That is like trying to gauge and pinpoint which apostasy 2 Thess. 2:3 is speaking too, because there are just too many. That is not the case inside the Tribulation. God lets loose the restraints, and the world entire is overcome by the Antichrist. Thus, we can conclude that those, whom Revelation 6 and 13 speak of, are believers, but not the Bride.
Intent: Paul states that he was tasked with presenting the church as a chaste virgin to the Lord (2 Cor. 11:2). I do not pretend to understand how this all works out, but the symbolism is of the church as a prized possession (Matt. 13:45-46) seems fitting. The symbolism of marriage then is used for our understanding. Just as a husband and wife become one-flesh in marriage, so too is our binding to Christ represented by the institution of marriage (Gen. 2:24, Col. 1:18, Eph. 5:23). Christ died for us, and shed His blood so that we (who are redeemed by grace through faith) could be reconciled back unto God, having been made perfect by the Son. Thus, the concept of the one-flesh is described through the lens of a Jewish wedding.
Contrasted with John 14:1-3 are the foolish virgins of Matthew 25 who are left out of the wedding. These represent the unbelieving, who remain left behind (or left out) to experience the horrors of the 70th Week of Daniel (Dan. 9:27).
The shout-the Command
The three times the New Testament records Jesus shouting, notice what happens in each instance-
By perfect faith, one man, Lazarus, was resurrected from the dead (John 11:43)
By perfect obedience, many dead saints were resurrected when their tombs are opened at Christ's death (Matt. 27:50-52)
By perfect love, millions will be resurrected at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
Christ's verbal command are powerful enough to raise the dead, because Christ, having been died and resurrected, holds the keys to death and hell and is singularly able to command death to obey His voice (Rev. 1:18).
The voice of the archangel
Daniel 10:21, 12:1, Jude 1:9, and Revelation 12:7 all refer to a powerful Archangel named Michael. In Daniel 12:1, Daniel was told...At that time, Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people.
At what time?
Well, it only makes sense to see Michael stand guard over Israel when the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit filled Church) is removed from the earth.
Who are the sons of your people?
Daniel's people were the Jews, so Michael stands watch over the nation of Israel at the time of the Rapture...hence his mention in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
It is my belief, that when God the Father instructs His Son Jesus to go collect His bride the Church, that this signals Michael to stand up and begin actively engaging on Israel's behalf. Since Scripture has mentioned that there are fallen angels who hold their demonic sway over physical locations here on this planet (i.e., the prince of Persia and Grecia), there are also angelic ones.
Michael the Archangel, who is arguably the most powerful angel, thus stands guard over Israel. Seeing as how the battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39) likely takes place in the aftermath of the chaos the Rapture, Israel will immediately become the sole target of Satan's wrath. Scriptures does not say what Michael has been up to these past 2,000 years, but seeing how the Church has been empowered by God the Holy Spirit, Michael's role as enforcer was likely not necessary until the Rapture.
This is just some holy speculation on my part, but at the Rapture, as the Church goes up, Michael's announcement that is shouted from the Heavens, could be to the nation Israel that Daniel's 70th week is about to begin. Or, it could be as Clarence Larkin has suggested that similar to when Michael and Satan contended over the body of Moses (Jude 1:9)...a command is given to the heavenly armies to keep the enemy at bay while the Rapture transpires. According to Paul, Satan is the "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:1-3) and as would be the case, we would be transitioning right through the heart of enemy territory.
The trumpet of God
In Leviticus 23:23-25, Moses is explaining the Feast of Trumpets, which would begin on the first day of the seventh month. The first three feasts (in the spring) were literally fulfilled by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fourth spring feast (Shavuot-feast of Weeks or Pentecost), was fulfilled by the supernatural giving of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. Some wonder how Jesus Himself fulfilled this, but if you read John 14:15-18, we see that Christ petitions the Father to send the HS at His departure. We further read in John 15:26-27 that Christ sends the Holy Spirit and again in John 16:7-15, that the Holy Spirit will glorify Christ, guide the believers into all truth, and convict the world for its sins). This is how I believe the Feast of Shavuot has already been fulfilled.
Furthermore, if you look at the division of fulfillment, we see that the four spring feasts were fulfilled in rather rapid succession. Then, you have a long wait over the summer until the fall feasts can occur. Since then, we have been waiting two-thousand years for Christ to return. Therefore, if the foreshadowing remains constant, we could anticipate a fall rapture (whenever that finally happens). Again, the Church is not intrinsically tied to any particular feast, however, it would not be surprising if it did transpire on or near a Feast of Trumpets (September).
The first trump was blown by God in Exodus 19:12-20, and it gathered the Israelites together at Mt. Sinai for the first time as a nation. When our Trumpet blasts (the second time-i.e., the last trump), it will gather the entire church (dead and alive) together in the air for the first time as a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). That last trump will not only signal it's time for the Church age to come to an end, but also that we are moving out of this world, assembling in the sky, for the purpose of entering into our eternal Sabbath, which is found in Christ Jesus.
The "Separate" Palestinian State - by Khaled Abu Toameh -
Last week, Hamas began paying salaries to thousands of its employees after Qatar sent a $15 million grant in cash to the Gaza Strip. The money was brought to the Gaza Strip by senior Qatari envoy Mohammed El-Amadi through the Erez border crossing with Israel.
The Qatari grant is in the context of efforts by Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations to reach a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas.
The payment was the first of a total of $90 million that the emirate has pledged to send to the Gaza Strip in the next six months, according to Palestinian sources.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, however, remain opposed to an agreement; reports say that one of the reasons they are opposed to a truce accord between Israel and Hamas is because such a deal will pave the way for the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.
On November 11, Abbas again accused Hamas of being part of a US and Israeli "conspiracy" to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. He also threatened to impose punitive measures against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on the pretext that the "conspiracy" was aimed at establishing a separate Palestinian state there.
The reality, after all, is that there already is a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip, and It has been there since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of the area and toppled Abbas's Palestinian Authority.
Abbas and the PA, all the same, have since been living in denial. They have even created an alternate reality in their head -- one that continues to believe that it is still possible to establish a sovereign and independent Palestinian state in the entire West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.
For the past 11 years, a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have tried to end the power struggle between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction, to no avail. Several "reconciliation" agreements previously signed between Fatah and Hamas have never been implemented.
To date, Hamas and Fatah have not been able to agree on the interpretation of the "reconciliation" agreements already signed. Fatah claims that the agreements are supposed to allow its Ramallah-based government to assume full responsibility over the Gaza Strip. Hamas, for its part, remains vehemently opposed to relinquishing security control over the Gaza Strip. The most Hamas is willing to offer Abbas's government is limited civilian control, which means paying salaries and funding schools, hospitals and other public institutions in the Gaza Strip.
In the past few weeks, Abbas and some of his top officials in Ramallah have warned that any truce between Israel and Hamas will "consolidate" the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, thus paving the way for the establishment of an independent and separate Palestinian state in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Now that understandings appear to have been reached between Israel, Qatar, Egypt and Hamas to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Abbas and his PA officials are seething with rage.
As part of the purported understandings, Qatar sent millions of dollars in cash to the Gaza Strip on November 8. The money will be used to pay thousands of Hamas employees and needy Palestinian families. According to some reports, a senior Qatari official, Mohammed El Amadi, arrived in the Gaza Strip carrying three suitcases stuffed with $15 million.
In response, Abbas's official news agency, Wafa, issued a strongly worded statement accusing Hamas of being part of a "Zionist-American conspiracy" to detach the West Bank from the Gaza Strip. According to the statement, Hamas is now cooperating with the US and Israel to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. "There will be no Palestinian state without the Gaza Strip, and there will be no [separate Palestinian] state in the Gaza Strip," the statement quoted Abbas as saying.
This claim, of course, is a total misrepresentation of both the reality and facts. If anyone is responsible for a separate Palestinian state that already exists in the Gaza Strip, it is Fatah and Hamas, not Israel and the US. Actually, the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah is completely unrelated to Israel, the US or any other third party. The dispute between the two Palestinian parties is the direct result of a power struggle over money and power.
Neither Israel nor the US helped or condoned Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Hamas managed to topple Abbas's Palestinian Authority in Gaza mainly because his Western-funded security forces surrendered without putting up a fight.
Since then, Hamas and its allies in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have turned the Gaza Strip into a separate and independent Palestinian state. Hamas and PIJ do not recognize Abbas as the legitimate president of the Palestinians. They have, in the Gaza Strip, their own de facto government, Hamas; their own parliament; their own security forces and militias, and even their own laws.
Abbas can continue to present himself to the world as the "President of the State of Palestine" as much as he wants.
He is only living in an illusion: it is obvious by now that he does not represent the two million Palestinians who are living in a separate Hamas-controlled entity in the Gaza Strip. Abbas has not been able to set foot in the Gaza Strip for the past 11 years, and his chances of ever returning there now seem to be zero.
Hamas says that if Abbas dares to enter the Gaza Strip, he will be put on trial for "high treason" -- a crime punishable by death in accordance with Palestinian laws and traditions. In the eyes of Hamas, Abbas is a traitor because he is conducting security coordination with Israel and imposing economic sanctions on the Gaza Strip.
Abbas undoubtedly knows that as long as Hamas and PIJ are in the Gaza Strip, he will never be able to return there. He also undoubtedly knows that he feels safer being in Ramallah than in the Gaza Strip. In Ramallah, he is safe because the IDF is only a few hundred meters away from his headquarters and residence. Were it not for the presence of Israel in the West Bank, Hamas would have toppled Abbas's government a long time ago. It is Israel's ongoing crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank that is keeping Abbas and his government in power.
Abbas most likely does not want to acknowledge this reality. He also most likely does not want to accept any responsibility for the divisions among his people, particularly the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Instead, he is now seeking to accuse everyone else but himself for the fact that there already is a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. Surreally, Abbas is now accusing Israel and the US of working towards establishing a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip -- when this has been the reality for the past 11 years.
The separate Palestinian state was created in the Gaza Strip the day Hamas took control over the area. It was created there the day Abbas's security forces in the Gaza Strip surrendered to Hamas in 2007.
The separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip was created the day Abbas and his enemies in Hamas failed to honor the several "reconciliation" agreements they had signed in the past decade.
What is even more surreal is that Abbas is now accusing Hamas of collaboration with Israel and the US to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. This accusation is ridiculous, given the fact that Hamas continues to seek the destruction of Israel and considers the US an enemy of Arabs and Muslims.
Abbas, however, apparently does not want to be confused by reality. He prefers to continue his long-standing strategy of blaming everyone else but himself for the miseries of the Palestinians. The emerging truce deal only confirms the reality that Abbas has been trying to ignore for the past 11 years: that a separate Palestinian state does exist, and it is run by Hamas, PIJ and other armed groups who continue to give the Palestinian president the imperial brush-off.
Last Days Indicators - By Daymond Duck -
First, here is my illustration of what is going on at the U.S.-Mexico border:
I own my house and property, and my name is the only name on the deed.
I receive a call from someone in a foreign country that I don't know and have never met.
The caller could need help, but I don't know the caller; so he could also be a murderer, drug dealer, child trafficker, terrorist, have dangerous diseases or whatever.
The caller informs me that he and many other foreigners are coming to my house, and they expect me to let them in when they get there or they will break in.
I believe unknown foreigners forcefully entering my house without my permission is illegal and dangerous, but the caller says the UN has made the others and him global citizens and they have a right to go anywhere they want to go in the world.
Pres. Trump said this is not right, and he promised to stop the unknown caller and his foreign friends before they forcefully enter my house.
They say they have global human rights (world government rights) that are greater than Pres. Trump's authority as Pres. of the U.S. and that he will have to give in.
On Nov. 1, 2018, some of the foreigners, who are not even in the U.S., filed a federal lawsuit to prevent me from keeping them out of my house.
On Nov. 2, 2018, former Pres. Obama mocked Pres. Trump for using U.S. troops to stop the foreigners and called Pres. Trump's attempts to help me secure my house a political stunt.
This is the point: Our rights as homeowners should take precedent over the rights of people that illegally come from another nation.
Second: on Oct. 30, 2018, a friend e-mailed me an article about recent developments at Babylon.
It contains pictures of Babylon's wall being repaired in 2012, mortar being replaced between bricks in the wall in 2013, the Lion Statue outside the wall being repaired in 2015, and sandbags being placed to prevent erosion near the wall in 2016.
Between 2009 and 2016, a Site Management Plan was completed, the site boundaries were determined, areas were identified for future excavations, areas were identified for economic enterprises, and plans were made to accommodate tourists.
In 2016, work was done to improve drainage around the Temple of Marduk; and in 2017, a weather station was established to monitor the weather and drainage conditions at the site.
In 2017, the UN was asked to designate Babylon as a World Heritage Site, and documents and work are ongoing to meet the UN requirements.
In 2017 and 2018, some low areas were filled, raised and sloped to improve drainage (because the bricks were made from mud, and standing water damages them.
Third: on Sept. 7, 2017, an 8.2 earthquake in Mexico caused a 37-mile long crack in a tectonic plate.
A scientific study found that the crack is much deeper than expected; it damaged other earthquake faults, and the tectonic plates are more brittle than thought.
Scientists were surprised by this, and they can only say that this information contradicts their computer models and they need to rethink their views on earthquakes.
Because Jesus revealed that earthquakes will increase in frequency and intensity at the end of the age, it shouldn't surprise anyone that a very strong earthquake has happened that doesn't fit current thinking.
Fourth: on Nov. 1, 2018, it was reported that Pres. Trump's peace proposal is making unexpected progress behind the scenes in the Middle East.
Fifth: in Oct. 2018, atheists rented a billboard in Kansas calling for "Godless Government Now."
Sixth: on Oct. 31, 2018, Russia warned Israel to refrain from provocative actions on Syrian territory.
This was at least the second time Russia has warned Israel, and it is a reminder that God told Russia to guard her allies in the Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 36:7).
Seventh: I saw a clip on TV of Bernie Sanders saying healthcare is a human right.
It is an old story, but some prophecy teachers have long believed that if government can get control of healthcare, they will use that control to force people to take the Mark of the Beast during the Tribulation Period.
Finally, the election is over. God raises up leaders and He brings down leaders.
Our leaders don't just impact this nation; our leaders impact the whole world.
God is all-powerful.
He has a reason for everything He does.
Good comes from everything He does, and He doesn't make mistakes.
Rejoice, and pray for all of those in office.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Veterans Sacrificed Their Freedom So That We Can Enjoy It - Lee Edwards, Ph.D. - https://www.heritage.org/defense/commentary/veterans-sacrificed-their-freedom-so-we-can-enjoy-it
Our veterans deserve more than an official holiday and special sales at Walmart and Kohl's. They warrant our thanks for putting themselves in harm's way to protect us from our enemies, particularly since 9/11.
As the most recent terrorist attack in New York City demonstrated, radical jihadists have not abandoned their goal of a global caliphate.
President Ronald Reagan insisted that peace was only possible through strength, and sometimes through a display of strength. That's why we have 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in some 172 countries and territories, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Niger, and Somalia.
There are also U.S. troop deployments in Japan, South Korea, Germany, Britain, and Bahrain. Nearly 38,000 troops are on undisclosed but risky missions.
Veterans Day began as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, on the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Starting in 1921, many Americans began wearing an artificial flower-a red poppy-to commemorate those who had died in war.
President Ike Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day to honor those who served in wartime.
Here are a few facts to keep in mind this Veterans Day.
There are 18.5 million military veterans in America. The breakdown by war is:
6.7 million veterans from the Vietnam era.
7.1 million veterans who served during the Gulf War.
1.6 million veterans of the Korean War.
768,000 veterans of World War II.
Many carry the wounds of war. Today, about 3.8 million veterans live with service-related disabilities.
Along with our policemen and firefighters, veterans deserve our special thanks for their service to our country. Fr. Dennis Edward O'Brien, a Marine priest, described our obligations this way:
It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, who gave us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag.
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Let us pause this Veterans Day, for just a moment, to give thanks for the dedicated men and women who put their lives at risk so that we might continue to enjoy ours.
Daily Jot: Prophetic moral tenacity - Bill Wilson -
To be an American Christian, you have to be tough. You have to have moral tenacity-never backing down from the belief that the Messiah is the way, the truth and the life. It is foundational to your faith. It must remain as the hub of your worldview no matter how difficult things become. There are dark days ahead for this country. The pummeling Christian values take in the news media and by certain groups of ideological bigots espousing political intolerance is only going to get worse. The flames of visceral against all things of the God of the Bible are a burning infernal that will continue to burn. This is the result of radical leftists being emboldened by election victories in highly populated New York and California.
Likely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told volunteers at a recent gathering, "I don't mind when they say things about me like I'm a liberal. I like that. But when they say San Francisco liberal, as if to make it sound like it's something negative, them's fightin' words. Don't attack my city. Don't attack my city. But, San Francisco values, that's what we're about. The city of Saint Francis, the city whose anthem is the song of Saint Francis, make us an instrument of thy peace." St. Francis may have rolled over in his grave at those words. While there are many God-fearing people in San Francisco, the liberal values Pelosi embraces include radical immoral lifestyles, lawlessness, homelessness, high taxes, abortion, defecating in the streets and other extraordinary unseemliness.
Recent exit polls indicate that those who attend religious services are more likely to support Republicans over Democrats. Those who do not attend religious services are more likely to support Democrats over Republicans. While there is much to disagree with both political parties, the fact is that the leadership and platform of the Democratic Party support ideals that are counter to the Holy Scriptures, ranging from lawlessness to abortion to Biblically-immoral lifestyles to enemies of Jews and Christians. Republican leadership at least pays lip service to, and in many cases, supports Biblical values. A CNN poll, for example, indicated that 68% of those who never attend church services voted Democratic. An AP VoteCast poll affirmed the CNN results, and indicated that 61% of those who attend church at least once a week voted Republican.
Breitbart News reports that "the most recent voter data confirms polls following previous elections showing that the more religious a voter, the more likely they will support a Republican candidate, while the less religious will overwhelmingly tend to vote Democrat." This divide is deep because light has no fellowship with darkness. But do not despair. Be tenacious as a prophetic people. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Christ warned that because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Be encouraged no matter the visceral and hate. Be that chosen generation, that royal priesthood, that holy nation, that people for his own; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Daily Devotion: God's Gym - By Greg Laurie -
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. -James 1:3-4
It's a good thing to go to the gym, but if you don't do anything while you're there, it isn't all that helpful. If you sit around on an exercise ball and use it as a pillow, that won't help you much. If you want to get stronger, you need to actually work out. You need to do things like cardio and weights. As they say, no pain, no gain.
That can be true in our spiritual lives as well. We have to go through times of testing to be built up spiritually. Testing and trials are God's gym in which we are broken down so we can be built up. To build muscle, you must break down muscle. The same is true of the spiritual life. To get stronger spiritually, we need to go through this process.
It is true of our faith as well. Faith is not given to us as a trophy to put into a display case. It is not given to us as something that we just stand back and admire. Faith is given to us to use, to put into action. And if we want our faith to get stronger, we will go through times of testing.
Hebrews 11:35-39 describes the kind of hardships that great men and women of faith from the Old Testament endured. These included torture, imprisonment, and stoning, to name a few. These heroes of the faith were world changers, and their faith grew stronger through experience.
Do you want to be a world changer? If you answered yes, if you say you want God to use you, then you're in effect also saying, "Lord, send me trials." Trials are a part of the Christian life. And if you want to be a world changer, you will be tested.
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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