Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
House of Cards - Pete Garcia -
Although it could be said that the old paradigms of power are shifting, they could more aptly be described as crumbling. Powerful men and women in industries once thought untouchable, are now being exposed for a variety of crimes, hypocrisy, and corruption with increasing frequency. Terrible crimes done in the dark and behind the scenes, are now being brought to light with an uncomfortable doggedness that has the pillars of power shaking. If the powers that be are already in the process of falling apart, and we haven't even made it into the 70th week, how well do you reckon the US does once the Rapture takes place?
Hollywood is reeling (no pun intended) from the collapse of its once powerful patriarchy as victims of their sexual assaults are now coming out of the woodwork. Victims once intimidated into silence or paid off, are now speaking out and have a willing audience to listen. Their stories of abuse and cover-up by some of the most powerful, liberal progressives in the industry, make it doubly hypocritical as the Hollywood left overwhelmingly support Democrats who continually accuse Republicans of waging a 'war on women.' Yet, after a century of suffering in silence, many in Hollywood are finally now empowered to speak out at what really goes on behind the glitz and the glamour of tinsel-town.
The National Football League is still suffering from low-rating and empty-stadium syndrome. Their unwillingness to rein in on-field political protests by pouty millionaires has seemingly turned the stomach of the average American. While not in complete collapse, it's been a downward trend for the past few years as more and more millennials become less and less enthused with football in general. If America had the time left, the NFL would be on life support within a decade, asking for their own bailouts from the federal government.
The Rock-n-Roll legends of the 20th century are markedly aged and dying off. What's left of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, etc., are dried husks of men who used to be relevant. Rock stardom for that matter is no longer measured anymore by albums and tours but in downloadable "hit" songs. Another way to put that is that today's rock stars have a much shorter shelf life than at any time previous. Rapidly advancing technology is driving the world's entertainment platform, and as it continues to evolve, the movie and rock stars today, probably won't be tomorrow.
The self-righteous ones, such as Bono, who has long preached to the world that we must do more to help the needy, are having their own financial secrets exposed for personally using island tax havens while their "charity" foundations give only a fraction to the actual charity. That fraction would be around 1% of all the funds they raise. But, Bono is probably not alone in this. Progressive movements are usually long on campaigning and short on actual giving. Not to single out Bono, but he's supposed to be one of the legit 'people's champion,' and even he can't stay pure.
For most of the year, Hollywood is taking a beating from a continual slump in ticket sales. A movie that costs $50-100M to make, is lucky today to break even these days. With the exception of super-hero flicks from the likes of Marvel and D.C. Comics, most in the movie industry are struggling. Television is contending with the likes of streaming services such as Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, and Amazon, and are not faring that much better.
On September 27th, 2017, Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy and the last of the old-school 20th century hedonists, passed on into eternity. So intricately linked to the idea of hedonism was Hefner, that if there were a picture in the dictionary next to "20th-Century Hedonism," it would have been his. Yet, for all of his decades of lavish parties, beautiful women, and high-rolling lifestyle, there was one passage of scripture that continually came to my mind...even before he died. Matthew 16:26 says for what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
All in all, it seems that the age of entertainment royalty is coming to its own inglorious ending.
While it's easy to comment on the who's who of the American drama story, the entertainment and politics business have become accustomed to living in the limelight. What they don't like, is the spotlight. Los Angeles on the left coast used to wield significant cultural and popular sway, while Washington D.C. on the right coast makes the laws and steers the direction of the country. Democrat pundit Paul Begala once stated that Washington is Hollywood for ugly people. If true, then it seems the country is caged in on both coasts with people who are ugly both inside and out.
The D.C. swamp or deep-state is the bureaucratic underground that supposedly keeps the centers of power going in our nation's capitol. These are the career politicians, the federal employees, lobbyists, political machinery for both Democrat and Republicans, retired generals, spooks, spies, and a million other entities that operate behind the scenes. A currency even more powerful than money, is influence, and who has it. With decades and decades of power being built up, the swamp's worst nightmare is for someone like Donald Trump, a political outsider (or at least outside the Beltway), to come in and shake the rugs and open the curtains.
Political cronyism on the left is finally getting the lid pulled back to expose the rotting mold that undergirds the democrat party's platform. You can forget all the Trump-Russia collusion brouhaha, at worst Special Counsel Robert Mueller frames Robert Flynn and Paul Manafort for past crimes that will be unrelated to the campaign itself.
At best, Mueller could be being used to conduct a sting operation against the real colluders: the Podestas, George Soros, the Clinton Crime Syndicate, along with the rest of the movers and shakers in those circles. Hard to say which way this is going at present, but it seems (and I use that word cautiously) that the swamp is vomiting up Hillary and the Podestas as token sacrifices on the altar of political convenience. Old blood out, new blood in. Either way, their unwanted attention for past crimes and schemes at the very least, moves them having significant influence (Obama-esque), down to just marginal or negligible influence (Jimmy Carter-esque).
Wall Street is continuing its year of high riding earnings, yet we all know in the back of our minds that the law of gravity requires that what goes up, must come down. Will that mean a new depression or just a cascading financial collapse of certain industries? Whatever it is, you can bet that a new batch of bank executives will continue their Lemming-like plunge out of office building windows for no apparent reason. What new bail out (if any) does the American public have to wait to swallow? Will President Trump be pressured to resuscitate some aging industry to keep America Great, or will he let nature take its course?
Numerous states are now seeking ways to secede from the union. States are seeking to break apart (California). Federal judges have now become activist judges seeking to stop any and everything President Trump is trying to do, regardless of legality. The US is facing more and diverse geopolitical and existential challenges than at any point in our history. The news can't be trusted. The politicians can't be trusted. Our military is overworked and underpaid. Our healthcare, national debt, and social security systems won't survive another ten years as is. The challenges seem insurmountable.
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Luke 21:25-26
Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Revelation 13:1
So given what we know now at the end of 2017, what do we make of all this? The titans of American industry are falling like dominos. Our American constitutional federal republic way of life, with rich agriculture and booming industry, once so multifaceted and strong, now seems like a flimsy house of cards. Do these crumbling American strongholds strengthen Satan's agenda for global governance? Is it just a form of divine judgment coming upon our land? Or both?
According to Scripture (Daniel 9:26), a man known as the prince who is to come arises from somewhere within the confines of the old Roman Empire. At first, he will come on the scene as an insignificant person, but then he rises to power rather quickly (Daniel 7:8). He will be a deceiver and will mask his true intentions by pretending to be a deliverer and a great-peacemaker (Daniel 8:25, 9:27; Revelation 6:1-2), but ends up triggering global war (Rev. 6:3-4). From the beginning to the mid-point, he is the man of lawlessness. At the mid-point, he becomes indwelt by Satan himself and becomes the son of perdition.
If (not when) the old Roman Empire is to take the stage again as a global superpower, then that by necessity means the current superpower (the United States) must abdicate the throne. Could it be that our collapse comes as a necessity in order to allow the EU to fill the vacuum the demise of the US leaves behind? This isn't a new topic or even a new spin on old speculation, but it seems that the foundations of our global strength is cracking.
It is not clear what exactly causes the US to collapse (Rapture or some other cataclysmic event), something does. While the shuddering of the above industries doesn't pinpoint our demise specifically, neither does it strengthen the idea that the US is somehow Mystery Babylon or that we play some significant role in the last days. Our current state of affairs is most aptly aligned with that of the Roman Empire circa fifth century AD. Our currency is depreciated (as was the Roman denarius), we have barbarians at the gates, and we are overcome with political intrigue, conspiracy, and corruption. But I'm not the only who sees this as a possibility. From thenation.com back in 2010;
As US power recedes, the past offers a spectrum of possibilities for a future world order. At one end of this spectrum, the rise of a new global superpower, however unlikely, cannot be ruled out. Yet both China and Russia evince self-referential cultures, recondite non-roman scripts, regional defense strategies, and underdeveloped legal systems, denying them key instruments for global dominion. At the moment then, no single superpower seems to be on the horizon likely to succeed the US.
In a dark, dystopian version of our global future, a coalition of transnational corporations, multilateral forces like NATO, and an international financial elite could conceivably forge a single, possibly unstable, supra-national nexus that would make it no longer meaningful to speak of national empires at all. While denationalized corporations and multinational elites would assumedly rule such a world from secure urban enclaves, the multitudes would be relegated to urban and rural wastelands.
Of interest is the idea (many were posited here) that a single, supranational government arises since neither China nor Russia seem capable at present. Not to say that either doesn't have the ambition, but neither lacks the ability to project their power like the US does. If a secular source cites the potential for a single world system coming online, then why are so many denominations and churches quick to dismiss Revelation 13 as allegory or spiritual metaphor?
While we can't know the specifics about what comes after the rapture, and how soon, we discuss, we share, we talk, we warn, and we plead with those who will not heed the message of turning and believing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and His soon return. Trust me, you do not want to be here one second after the Rapture.
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 21:36
New Trump-Putin deal on Syria grants Iran/Hezbollah free movement in Israeli, Jordanian border regions -
A major Israeli concession made it possible for Moscow to walk off with a big gain for its allies in the Nov.8 Trump-Putin memorandum for Syria, DEBKAfile reports.
The strong pledges made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott - that Iran and Hezbollah would not be permitted to establish a permanent military presence in Syria and come close to the Israeli border - have melted away in secret bargaining sessions. Israel was finally forced to agree to their presence as close as 20km from its northern Golan border with Syria, backing away sharply from its original demand of a 50km buffer zone.
In consequence, a 20km deep area (see map) in the Quneitra region of the Syrian Golan will serve as a "de-escalation zone," in accordance with the second Syria memorandum agreed between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. The zone will be monitored by Russian troops with Syrian forces available for their use.
Israel's unwilling consent to this arrangement was an unforeseen and major concession.
Clause 2 of the memorandum affirms US and Russia consent to the continued operation of the de-escalation zone in the Daraa region (opposite the Jordanian border) and the Quneitra region (opposite the Israeli border) that were first set up by the Trump-Putin July 7 summit in Hamburg.
That clause states: "The US, Russia and Jordan on November 8 called for the "reduction and ultimate elimination of foreign forces" - particularly Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah - in southern Syria."
The presence of Syrian forces in these regions is implicitly sanctioned. However, in realistic terms, "Syrian forces" anywhere in the country automatically entail Iranian officers and Hezbollah - not to mention Shiite militias and Revolutionary Guards personnel. The simple fact is that, apart from a few scattered units, not much is left of the "Syrian army" after nearly eight years of civil conflict.
DEBKAfile's military sources note that no date was set in either deal for the "reduction and ultimate elimination of foreign forces" in southern Syria. Therefore, there is nothing to stop the Iranian and Hizballah military presence just 20km from northern Israel from becoming an established fact for an indefinite period. Furthermore, there is no bar to the military forces present in the Daraa and Quneitra de-escalation zones from moving from point to point, under the protection of the Russian military monitors.
An anonymous US State Department official said Sunday, Nov. 12, that Russia had agreed "to work with the Syrian regime to remove Iranian-backed forces a defined distance from the Golan Heights frontier with Israel." In the official's view, if Russia agrees to removing Iranian and Hezbollah forces from the Israeli and Jordanian borders, that will be a sign "we are moving in the right direction."
This hope suggested that Washington too was not exactly sure that the Russians would stand by every iota of the deal. Moscow has not reacted to the American official's comments, which sounded like an attempt to make the Trump-Putin memorandum easier for Israel to swallow, and may well take exception to it.
Jordan welcomed the "important achievement" - and with good reason. The US and Russia agreed to expand the joint coordination command center they are running out of Amman, and for Jordan this is tantamount to a guarantee for its security. Israel only has a bilateral military coordination apparatus with the Russian command in Syria, under which it retains freedom of action against Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria, which is limited to three spheres:
Aerial action in Syrian air space; Surgical strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah arms convoys and depts.
Military response to Iranian and Hezbollah forces coming dangerously close to its border. This distance has not been precisely defined since both the Americans and the Russians rejected Israel's proposals.
Israel's Minister of Regional Cooperation, Tzahi Hanegbi, who often speaks for Binyamin Netanyahu on foreign affairs, commented Sunday that the new memorandum "does not meet Israel's unequivocal demand to rule out developments that bring the forces of Hezbollah or Iran to the Israeli-Syrian border."
This statement is irrelevant in light of the Trump administration's tacit consent for Iranian and Hezbollah forces to take up a presence and move freely near the Israeli border. Our military sources report that, at this moment, elements of Iranian and Hezbollah command posts - although not troops - have set up shop opposite the Israeli Golan at distances of 4km to 15km from the border, with no sign of preparations to pull up stakes and move out.
Saudis Allying With ... Israel? - Brent Smith -
It seems that Saudi Arabia may be allying with the lesser Satan, Israel. America is, of course, the Great Satan.
For decades Saudi Arabia has been an unspoken bad seed, a major state-sponsor of terror and the genesis of the Muslim Brotherhood. It's been a toss-up as to who is really the No. 1 terror sponsor - the Iranian mullahs or the Saudi Wahhabists.
It's been surmised by some experts that a major reason the Saudis fund and export terror is simple self-preservation. If we finance the radicals, they won't turn on us. This is at least in part, as we may recall, why the kingdom funded al-Qaida when bin Laden was the head cheese. They literally funded him on the stipulation that he would not return to Saudi Arabia. This has served to keep the nation relatively stable, even when those around them were under siege. The radical Islamists chose not to bite off the hand that was feeding them.
But now it seems that it is none other than the Saudis who are feeling threatened - threatened by the other major terror sponsor - Iran. Really, it was just a matter of time.
Two sayings that apply nicely to this situation are: Nature abhors a vacuum, or more specifically, a power vacuum. The other is: The enemy of my enemy is my ally.
The Persians (Iran) have wished to be top dog in the Middle East for many moons. They hadn't made any major inroads until the Iraq War and "Arab Spring." Since then they have done well to capitalize on the fall of Iraq and the death of Saddam Hussein, Gadhafi in Libya and the deposed Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Despite being despicable bags of dirt, these despots were a check against Iranian hegemony.
With the help of the Russkies, Iran has been masterful at exerting influence to fill the power vacuum.
And the threat to once-stable Saudi Arabia has grown so great that it appears to be forming a clandestine alliance with enemy No. 1 in the Middle East - Israel. This is as odd a couple as the tea party collaborating with antifa.
In a relatively short period of time, Iran has begun to "box in" the Saudi kingdom. Nations that were aligned with the Saudis or the West are now cozying up to Iran. Turkey, still inexplicably part of NATO, is leaning more toward Iran and Russia. This is very worrisome as Turkey is No. 1 in Global Firepower's Middle East military strength rankings.
Qatar, long ally of Saudi Arabia, has begun distancing itself from the Saudis and is instead sidling up to Iran. In 2016, due to the urging of the Saudis and the ransacking of its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad, Qatar drastically pared down its diplomatic relations with Iran. However, in August of this year, Qatar restored full diplomatic relations with Iran, effectively poking a stick in the eye of Riyadh.
The proxy war against Iran in Yemen has not gone the Saudi's way either. And Iran-funded Hezbollah has made major inroads in Lebanon.
Looking at a regional map, it doesn't take a genius to figure out what Iran is up to. And this, as it should, scares the crap out of the Saudis.
So worried are they that "one particular article claimed that the Saudis had run tests on bringing down air defense systems to provide the Israeli Air Force a path of least resistance to Iran," writes the Jerusalem Post.
The Saudis will benefit greatly allying with the firepower of Israel, and the Jewish nation may be able to take a breath as it quietly builds alliances with other Sunni nations. After all, at the end of the day, this conflict will likely be what it has always been - a battle of supremacy between Sunni and Shias.
And why should we care? Hopefully no one would ask such a thing. We should care because if the Middle East blows up, the rest of the world may just follow.
Abbas: We Will Back One State for All People If 'Endangered' Two-State Solution Fails - by Deborah Danan -
Palestinians may revert to endorsing a one-state solution for Arabs and Jews - a scenario that would mean the end of the Jewish state - if the now "endangered" so-called two-state solution fails, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday.
"The two-state solution is now in real danger," Abbas said in a pre-recorded speech broadcast in Gaza for the commemoration of the death of PLO leader Yasser Arafat. "We will demand equal rights for the people of historic Palestine if a two-state solution is not implemented."
Abbas added that if a two-state solution is impossible, the PA would support a "one-state solution" with "full equality of rights for all its citizens."
Abbas, who heads the Fatah party, also said his faction was working hard to implement the recently signed reconciliation deal with rival Gaza-based terror group Hamas in order to achieve Arafat's "dream... for freedom, sovereignty and independence on our Palestinian national soil."
"There is no state in Gaza and there is no state without Gaza," he said, adding that a unity government will "ease the suffering and revive hope of a better future for all of us."
Abbas also took the opportunity to once again slam the UK for the 100-year-old Balfour Declaration, which promised Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people, saying it was an attempt to erase Palestinian history.
He added that despite the UK's attempts to suppress it, "Palestine" survived thanks to the martyrs who had given their lives or been imprisoned for fighting for their country and carrying out terror "operations" against Israel.
He continued by saying that the PA "maintains the culture of peace and fights terrorism in the region and the world."
Saturday's event was the first memorial for Arafat since the Hamas takeover in 2007.
Arafat, who even today is largely revered by the Palestinian public, is viewed by Israel as an unrepentant terrorist who both scuttled the 2000 Camp David peace talks and subsequently launched a five-year Intifada with more than 150 suicide bombings. Many Palestinians maintain the belief that Israel poisoned Arafat, who died in 2004 in a French military hospital. In a 2007 interview with Arafat's personal physician Dr. al-Kurdi, claimed stated that the HIV virus was identified in Arafat's blood.
Eye-Openers - By Daymond Duck -
Here are several items that caught my attention this week:
First, in his November 2017 Newsletter, prophecy teacher August Rosado (www.todayinbibleprophecy.org) wrote, "According to the Israel HaYom Newspaper, 70 percent of Israelis not only want unhindered access to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, but the rebuilding of the third Temple."
If the newspaper is right, the pressure to grant unhindered access to the Temple Mount and to rebuild the Temple is growing. If this keeps up, the pressure will ultimately become too great for the Israeli government to resist.
Second, in early November 2017, Israel announced two things: 1) The creation of a new 200-member police force to protect visitors to the Temple Mount, and 2) The use of the most advanced technology on Earth in Jerusalem within two years to protect the Holy City, its citizens and its visitors.
The most advanced technology on Earth in Jerusalem will allow the whole world to see the bodies of the Two Witnesses lying in the street for three and one-half days, their resurrection from the dead and their Rapture into heaven (Rev. 11:7-12). That will open a lot of eyes (over and above those of the Two Witnesses).
Third, it is believed that Muslim terrorists are detaining three living Israelis and the bodies of two deceased Israelis in Gaza; and the terrorists won't give Israel, the Red Cross, the families or anyone else any information on them.
The terrorists have spent years and millions of dollars digging tunnels in Gaza. They have even extended some of those tunnels into Egypt and Israel.
Israel has developed the technology to locate those tunnels, and the IDF blew one up on October 30, 2017, that extended inside Israel. The blast killed several terrorists. Israel has recovered the bodies of five.
The terrorists want Israel to release the bodies, but so far Israel has refused to do so until the terrorists agree to a prisoner swap.
There are two eye-openers here: 1) What the terrorists were trying to do to Israel has come back on them (Obad. 1:15, 1:2) No weapon (including tunnels) formed against Israel will prosper (Isa. 54:17).
Fourth, students of Bible prophecy are familiar with the fact that the False Prophet will tell people on Earth to make an image (perhaps a statue) of the Antichrist that will speak and cause those that won't worship it to be killed (Rev. 13:14-15).
Some technical writers are now predicting that people will build robots in the next 25 years that will know more than any human being.
Some others are predicting that in the next 50-100 years, someone may build a robot that not only knows more than everyone on planet Earth, but predict that this robot could speak and people could be influenced to worship it.
The idea that people will worship a man-made statue is mind-boggling, but King Nebuchadnezzar made one more than 2,500 years ago that people worshiped (Dan. 3:1-30).
Fifth, Apple has come out with its iPhone X that unlocks with a face scan. Many prophecy teachers believe face scans will play an important role in identifying everyone and tracking all buying and selling (Rev. 13:16-18).
Sixth, on November 3, 2017, it was reported that a high-ranking official in the Roman Catholic Church said God told him to warn Christians that Pope Francis is a false prophet. This former doctrine chief of the U.S. Conference of Bishops has published a letter accusing Pope Francis of leading his people astray and trying to usher in the New World Order (world government).
It is probably not possible to identify the False Prophet (Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10) at this time; but many of the Pope's teachings and speeches are now on record, and he has clearly distorted Scripture and supported world government.
Seventh, the Bible teaches that a 200 million-man army will invade the Middle East during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 9:15-19; 16:12). Many prophecy teachers believe the 200 million-man army refers to China and others.
But for almost 2,000 years China couldn't move a 200 million-man army to the Middle East. China has now built a highway and a railroad to the Middle East. And on October 18, 2017, China's Pres. Xi Jinping promised to make China the dominant superpower in the world in the next 30 years.
For those who haven't already done so, it is time to open your eyes and start looking up.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Watchman Warning: Of Pride and Man
- By Hal Lindsey - https://www.hallindsey.com/ww-11-11-2017/
The nations are in upheaval. As bad as the Middle East was ten years ago, it's far worse today. Saudi Arabia recently shot down a missile headed for Riyadh. The missile was launched from Yemen, but the Saudis claim that the launch was an act of war committed by Lebanon. Sound confusing? It gets worse. The missile itself was Iranian. This is just one of many events that has placed that region on a short fuse. I can cite similar situations the world over.
Upheaval of nations is not new, but this time there are important distinctions. From a biblical perspective, the presence of the modern state of Israel changes the context in which we see all otherworld events. It is the mega-sign of the end times.
Today's upheaval is also accompanied by a technological revolution of staggering proportions. Technological advances are having the effect of throwing gasoline on history's already smoldering embers. Non-nation groups like the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon have sophisticated missile technology. And then there's North Korea. Even though it's one of the world's poorest nations, it has a large nuclear weapons arsenal, as well as newly developed ICBMs.
All these developments happened at blinding speed. Change today is deeper and coming faster than ever before.
One of the ironies of our time is that the Cold War never fully ended. And when Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia, it roared back to life in a big way. He recently warned that any military action against North Korea would lead to a "global catastrophe." That's a veiled threat of Russian involvement. Everyone knows that military action on the Korean Peninsula carries a huge risk. But it would be a regional risk. The obvious way it would turn into a "global catastrophe" is if Russia got involved.
Putin has a history of reminding the West that Russia remains a nuclear superpower. While being interviewed by director Oliver Stone for a Showtime documentary, he told the largely Western audience that in a war between the U.S. and Russia, "nobody would survive."
Putin rattles the nuclear sabre with some regularity. But his obvious desire for self-preservation is comforting. Attacking the U.S. means utter destruction for Russia. He knows that. He wants to avoid it at almost all costs.
Kim Jong-un of North Korea is a different story. He seems to have great ambitions, and that implies a desire to survive. But his people worship him as a god. It's easy for a young man to start believing the propaganda from his own cult of personality. His "pride of life" seems to have reached dangerous levels. Like many potentates of the past, he might be willing to destroy himself, his people, and millions more just for the sake of his pride.
There are many today who would prefer to die and kill as many others as possible, rather than experience humiliation. Some of them lead nations. Others live seemingly ordinary lives. But they are highly dangerous. Many are killers who kill for the love of killing. That includes radical Islamic terrorists. In most cases, jihad is just an excuse for killers to kill. If the terrorist who drove a truck down a bike and running path in New York City could have done something worse, he would have. If he could have planted a nuclear bomb at the new World Trade Center, believe me, he would have.
It's the same with the Las Vegas shooter and the shooter at Sutherland Springs. These men acted in demon-rage, driven by bloodlust. They wanted to create a pandemonium of death, pain, and destruction-the more, the better. How long before such a person (or group) gets his hands on a weapon of mass destruction? I'm not talking about semi-automatic guns. I'm talking about the kind of weapon that could take out half of Manhattan, or make it an uninhabitable waste.
Technology follows a pattern. It becomes less expensive and more widely available every day. As innovative as humans can be in peaceful endeavors, they have always been most creative in the area of destruction.
This isn't just a nuclear problem. Chemical, biological, and digital weapons have similar destructive potential. Like biological weapons, digital ones are self-replicating. That means they generate more of themselves. Digital weapons will soon be joined by other man-made, potentially self-replicating weapons, such as nanoweapons.
In the introduction to his novel Prey, the late Michael Crichton wrote, "Nanotechnology... is the quest to build manmade machinery of extremely small size, on the order of 100 nanometers, or a hundred-billionths of a meter. Such machines would be about a thousand times smaller than the diameter of the human hair. Pundits predict these tiny machines will provide everything from miniaturized computer components, to new cancer treatments, to new weapons of war."
We're not there yet, but existing weapons, and those in our immediate future, are scary enough. Crichton also said, "Sometime in the twenty-first century, our self-deluded recklessness will collide with our growing technological power."
That collision is happening right now. Recently, I have found myself quoting I Timothy 3:1 quite often. "In the last days, perilous times will come." (NKJV)
I've been quoting it because it fits. These are those times. I don't say that to scare anyone, but to point you toward the world's one hope-Jesus. He's also your one hope. It's fine to have a good job and a healthy retirement plan, but don't put your trust there. Those things can disappear in a heartbeat. But Jesus is the "Friend" of Proverbs 18:24-the One "who sticks closer than a brother."
If you haven't turned to Him, now is the time.
Daily Jot: Church security matters - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has done an expose' on church security in the wake of the Sutherland Springs, TX, massacre of 26 Christians over a week ago. According to WSJ, many pastors are struggling with reconciling the need to arm themselves or members of their congregations with a long-standing cultural norm of houses of worship being off limits to such violence. It's a new day and age, really. No longer does even the vilest of criminal respect the sanctuary of church. As WSJ reports, churches are among the softest of soft targets. It's where everybody wants to believe they are safe from terror, from murderers, from the violence of the outside world. But that's not the case in modern America.
Quite frankly, the shepherd needs to do what is best to protect the flock from bad doctrine, emotional self-indulgence, extra-biblical teachings, and yes, life-threatening intruders. Jesus said in John 10:11-15, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep."
Will your shepherd lay his life down for you? Will he do all he can to protect you? Since the immediate past "president" took office, deadly church violence has increased 281% over the previous decade. Former Focus on the Family employee Carl Chin keeps track of such violence. 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. The newly energized leftist hate speech of progressive unbelievers has heightened church violence as those on the mental edge are prone to act on these condemnations.
These are important questions that should be considered. Your pastor should be deeply concerned and actively addressing both your spiritual and physical well-being. If not, he should be encouraged to do so. This takes into account both sound teaching and doing the very best to ensure your safety during your time on church property or in church events. Those who accept the responsibility of a flock, should be the ultimate good shepherds. They should seek the truth in all humility, abandoning doctrines of man and embracing the Holy Scriptures; protecting the flock; willing to lay down their lives for it, as the example of the Christ who spoke the truth and sacrificed his life that those who believe in him may have eternal life.
Daily Devotion: What Makes a Disciple? - By Greg Laurie -
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed." -John 8:31
What is a disciple? Technically defined, a disciple is a listener, a learner, or a hearer.
But there is a difference between a student and a disciple. For example, let's say that you're in elementary school, junior high, or high school. You're a student. You're there because you have to be. You don't have a choice.
Then you get a little older and decide to go to college. You decide what your major is. You have a great interest in that topic and want to learn everything there is to learn. You transition from being a student to a disciple in that you actually want to go to class now. You want to get the information. You take the time to be a student of someone who knows more about the topic than you do.
Let's apply that to the Christian life. Are you a disciple, or are you a student against your will? If you treat a church service like being in class, and you don't really want to be there, then you won't get much out of it. You have to come as a disciple, a learner, as someone who wants to be taught.
Jesus said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed" (John 8:31).
In the Bible, the idea of a disciple is someone who listens to a person who has full knowledge. That listener is drinking in every word, marking every inflection of the voice, absorbing every detail. They can't get enough. It is attention with intention.
That is why Jesus often said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" In other words, "Pay attention to what I'm saying."
There is no question that we need anointed preaching and teaching. But there is a need for anointed listening too.
FROM THE HEART
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