Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Tribulation Chronicles Part 5: A Brief Pause - By Alice Childs - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/11/19/ttribulation-chronicles-part-5-a-brief-pause/
If you are still here and have so far managed to survive to continue reading these letters, then you will know that in the loose chronology of coming events that I've been relating, where I left off was giving to you a very broad, generalized overview of events that are recorded in Revelation chapter 6 through the opening of the 5th "seal judgment" thus far.
As I've already told you, there will be emerging onto the global scene (perhaps remaining behind the scenes for a while) a man who will "confirm a covenant" between Israel and "many" others. Remember, I told you that this man will come onto the world scene using "peace" as his platform. As a result, he will be able to do that which hasn't been done as yet - that is to bring about a "peace" which will allow for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple.
I've told you that this final 7 years will be divided into two halves of 3 1/2 years, and that the first half will:
(1) bring the rise of this global leader to power. This man will be THE Antichrist.
(2) thrust the tiny nation of Israel into the very center stage of end-time events.
(3) see the world, on a global scale, suffer catastrophic upheaval from the aftermath of the "great vanishing," which is the rapture of the Church.
(4) eventually bring about a global war that will cause widespread destruction, from which will ensue famine on a global scale, after which will follow:
(5) pandemic diseases and widespread death from an exponential increase in violence, rape, murder and animal attacks.
(6) see the arising from Jerusalem of two men who will be special emissaries sent directly by God (the Bible calls them God's "two witnesses"). They are also metaphorically called the two "olive trees" of God. These "two witnesses," as the Bible calls them, will bear powerful testimony to the Jews of the Most High God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, who is and always has been Israel's Messiah. These men will be given supernatural powers from God as well as protection for a period of time. Their ministry will last for exactly 3 1/2 years, or the first half of the 7-year Tribulation period. Their preaching and proclamation of Jesus Christ as Israel's true Messiah will bring MANY Jews to belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior and long-awaited Messiah.
The testimony and impact of these two supernaturally anointed men will have global repercussions. It will result in the reaching of and bringing to salvation millions upon millions of people from every kindred, nation, tribe and tongue. The 144,000 Jewish virgins, who will be saved and sealed, will be the "first fruits" of the two "witnesses," and from there the number of converts will multiply into all the world.
Remember too, I told you that, at the very midpoint of the last 7 years, God will allow the AC (Antichrist) to kill these two men; their dead bodies will lie unburied in the streets of Jerusalem, where the entire world of unbelievers will see and celebrate their deaths via satellite TV and social media. Then, 3 1/2 days later, God will resurrect these two men. He will, in full view of the entire world, "catch them away" back up into Heaven.
All of this takes place during the first half of the last seven years of human history under a fallen creation.
What I want to do now is to give a recap of those who will be the major players during these last 7 years. As you study the book of Revelation, and as you live through it (for as long as the Lord allows you to live), you will meet these men in the pages of Revelation. As time goes on, you will recognize them in the reality in which you now live. The impact they will have will be enormous. Some will become great servants of God working on behalf of the coming Kingdom of God. Others will be unholy and will bring chaos, death, destruction and the wrath of God down upon all of the "Earth dwellers," as the Bible calls those who continue to willfully reject God - those who willfully choose to follow and to worship these enemies of Almighty God.
So, who belongs to this end-times cast of characters? We meet the first group of them in Revelation chapter 7. In verse 4 you will be introduced to a group of men whose impact for God within these last 7 years will be incalculable. They are men and they are all Jews. These men come to salvation in Christ most probably as a result of the powerful witness of God's two emissaries. The distinguishing characteristics of this group are their number and their ethnicity. The Word of God is very precise, exact, and specific in identifying this group and their calling. Here is the listing of end-times groups and people of whom you need to be aware and prepared:
#1 - The Two Witnesses: possibly the Old Testament prophets of Moses and Elijah (although they are never named in Revelation, so we can only speculate on their identities). You will, however, easily recognize them by their singular appearances and supernatural abilities when they appear in Jerusalem, Israel after the rapture of the Church. (Read about these two extraordinary men in Revelation chapter 11).
#2 - The 144,000: These are all men - all Jews - all virgins, and there are 144,000 of them in number. God has (will have) sealed these men for His service, 12,000 from each of the 12 ancient tribes of Israel, as listed in Revelation 7. God will seal in their foreheads some type of mark that will identify each one of these 144,000 Jewish, male virgins as belonging to Him.
God will use this group of Jews to do that for which He had set the nation of Israel aside to do from the beginning. These men will finally fulfill the mission that Israel herself failed in doing. They will go out into the entire world as God's missionary emissaries. It is by their testimonies and preaching that the greatest evangelical effort of all times will result in the greatest number of converts to salvation in Jesus Christ that has ever been. Perhaps you yourself will be won to Christ as a direct or indirect result of the testimony of these 144,000 Jewish, end-days evangelists.
These men will be supernaturally protected by God from the horrors of the judgments that He will be bringing upon the earth, for they will be His missionaries who will proclaim the way of salvation to those left behind after the Church has been removed.
Be very careful how you treat these men. Jesus, in speaking about this 7-year time period (in Matthew 24-25), calls these men "MY brethren." To those who look after, harbor, give refuge and aid to these Jews, Jesus will liken your treatment of them as if you were doing the same to Him. In other words, Jesus identifies with these men; and whoever helps or mistreats them, it will be for them as if it were Jesus Himself in their place.
#3 - The Antichrist: You have already been introduced to the man who is the Antichrist. As you remember, I told you, according to the scriptures, that it will be he who "confirms a covenant" between Israel and "many" other countries. That "confirmation of a covenant" is what lets you know this man's true identity and purpose. I will tell you more about this man, Lord willing, in coming chronicles.
#4 - The False Prophet: There is yet one more person of whom you need to be made aware. This man is (will be) a renowned religious leader who will bring together, under his leadership, a merging of all the world's religions - an "ecumenical uniting of all "religions."
This man will be satanically inspired and controlled, but he, like the AC in the beginning, will give the appearance of being a humble "man of peace" as well. He will appear as a great uniter of "faiths." He will come across as having the meekness of a lamb, but will in truth have the heart and ruthlessness of a "dragon." He will be utterly consumed by and be a worshiper of Satan himself.
This "religious leader" will be allowed by God to be granted from Satan great power, along with abilities to perform dark, supernatural acts. This religious leader will align himself with the Antichrist; it will be he (this global, religious leader) who will put into place a global religion that will mesh with a global government, all controlled and enforced by a global, military power. The Bible calls this man the FALSE PROPHET. You can read about this imposter in Revelation chapter 13. Watch out for him.
He may appear to be humble, wise, and benign in the beginning; however, he is anything but benign. He is wicked and deceptive to the core, and his outreach and influence will be vast.
As I write this letter pre-rapture, I have my suspicion as to the identity of this man, but I cannot know for sure, and even though I feel fairly confident in what I think, I will not speculate. You will know for certain whom he will be. This is because, in the following letter, I will tell you more about these two evil men (the Antichrist and the False Prophet) who will both do something that will finally and fully identify them with absolute certainty. The acts that they will do will bring horrendous cataclysm upon mankind and direct judgment from Almighty God upon all who are left alive on Earth.
From this point forward, you will have moved into the 2nd half of this last 7 years. From this midpoint, you will now be entering the time period Jesus Himself called "great tribulation" - a time that is unprecedented in all of history - a time that will be unlike anything ever seen upon the earth in all of Earth's history, including the time of the global Flood of Noah's day.
So to recap, the prominent end-times cast of characters are these:
The RIGHTEOUS ONES
(1) God's Two Witnesses (possibly Moses and Elijah).
(2) The 144,000 young, Jewish, male virgins sealed by God as His worldwide missionaries.
(3) God's Holy Angels, including Michael the powerful Archangel, who fights for and stands in defense of God's people Israel.
The UNHOLY ONES
(1) Satan: the fallen cherubim identified in the Bible as "The Dragon," along with all of his demonic hordes and fallen angels.
(2) Gog: the "Chief Prince" (leader) of Magog, which is in fact modern-day Russia (Vladimir Putin almost certainly).
(3) The Antichrist
(4) The False Prophet
Hold on Tribulation Saints, for though the worst is yet to come on Earth, there is great hope and glory beyond your imagining for all of you who become believers in Christ and who remain "faithful unto death!"
Read on... (Part 6 to come).
From Tehran to Quneitra: Iran's 'Land Bridge' is Almost Complete - By Jonathan Spyer -
In the east of Syria, the so-called race to Abu Kamal between the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces and the forces of Iran, the Assad regime and Russia appears to be close to conclusion - in the latter's favor. Regime forces moved into the town last Thursday. They were then expelled by an unexpected Islamic State counterattack this week, and have now retreated to positions about two kilometers outside of Abu Kamal.
The Islamic State move, however, has the flavor of a last roll of the dice. Clearly, the Sunni jihadis will lose the strategic border town in the days ahead.
The US-supported SDF are covering ground rapidly to the north. But the forward units of the mainly Kurdish force remain about 25 kilometers north of Abu Kamal, in the area of the Kishma oil field.
Abu Kamal is the last link in the much-discussed Iranian "land bridge" from the Iraq-Iran border to the Mediterranean Sea and the border with Israel.
Control of the border crossing at al-Qaim/Abu Kamal and of the roads leading west from it will enable the Iran-led regional alliance to transport fighters and weaponry in both directions, according to choice. It will mean that in a future confrontation with Hezbollah, Israel could see its enemies reinforced by supplies and volunteers from among other Iranian clients, in precisely the way that took place with such effect in the Syrian war.
Of course, such efforts would not be invulnerable to Israeli attention from the air, and would not confer an irreversible advantage on the Iranian side. But given the Iranian weakness in aviation, the land bridge would vastly increase the options and abilities of the Iranian side.
It is worth noting in this regard that in recent days Iraqi Shi'a militias crossed the border by land for the first time in the Syrian war, to join the battle against Islamic State in the Abu Kamal area.
The land bridge would convey economic advantages as well as strategic ones. It would allow for the transport of Iraqi oil to regime-controlled Syria, bypassing the area currently controlled by the SDF. This will be important in the reconstruction period ahead, regardless of the precise lines of control within Syria.
The imminent conclusion of conventional operations against the last remnants of Islamic State in eastern Syria will in turn bring with it a moment of crucial decision for the United States. A central facet of events in recent months in Syria has been the absence of a clear US strategy. The de facto relationship between US air power and special forces and the Kurdish YPG has proved to be a successful military partnership. This force, not the Assad/Iran/Russia side, is responsible for the greater part of the victory against Islamic State in Syria. Indeed, the regime side's belated push east came precisely to limit the territorial gains of the US-backed SDF.
But throughout, there has been a clear discrepancy between the military support afforded to the SDF and the complete absence of recognition by the US or any other Western power of the broader Kurdish-led political project in northern Syria.
The Federation of Northern Syria, declared by the Syrian Kurdish leadership on March 17, 2016, indeed lacks the recognition of any other country.
Officially speaking, the reason for US involvement in eastern Syria has been the war against Islamic State. Neither more nor less. At the same time, there is evidence of extensive US military construction in Kurdish-controlled eastern Syria. Airstrips and bases have been built in Rumeilan, Manbij and Kobani. The powerful Saudi official Thamer al-Sabhan visited SDF-controlled eastern Syria in late October, accompanied by Brett McGurk, US special envoy to the coalition against Islamic State. The purpose of the visit, according to a Reuters report, was to discuss the reconstruction of Raqqa city.
All these snippets might suggest that the US has longer-term intentions in eastern Syria and does not mean to merely abandon its erstwhile allies, once the task of destroying the Islamic State "caliphate" is done.
A statement by US Defense Secretary James Mattis this week supported this impression. He noted that the US does not intend to "walk away right now before the Geneva process has traction," and would fight Islamic State "for as long as they want to fight," in order to prevent the emergence of "ISIS 2.0."
If the US does decide to stay in eastern Syria, it will need to consider the logistics of how to supply this area, against the wishes of all neighboring entities. The Assad regime has already made clear that once Islamic State is defeated, it intends to reunify the entire area of Syria.
Turkey is opposed to the Syrian Kurdish enclave because of its links to the PKK. And the Abadi government in Baghdad, while happy to receive US weaponry and training, is, in fact, the ally of Assad and Iran, and as such also opposes the US-aligned Syrian Kurds. Up until last month, the pro-US Iraqi Kurds controlled two border crossings to their Syrian brethren. But these were lost to the Iraqis and the Shi'a militias in the military action that followed the Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum of September 25. So a difficult decision awaits the US. Much will depend on the choice made. But in any event, since the conquest of Abu Kamal by Iran and its allies looks inevitable, even if the US chooses to stick with its current allies in eastern Syria, this will not prevent the Iranian land bridge from coming into being. It is already a fait accompli.
From an Israeli point of view, this is a cause for concern. Israel's focus is not related mainly to the Syria-Iraqi border, of course, but to the southwesternmost part of the corridor - where it is set to nudge up against the Quneitra crossing and the Israeli-controlled part of the Golan Heights.
The joint statement by President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin released on November 10 fails, in Jerusalem's view, to adequately address the issue of Iranian and Iran-supported forces close to Israel's border. The statement issues no timetable for the withdrawal of these forces. And Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted on Tuesday as dismissing any notion that Russia had promised the withdrawal of Iranian groups from Syria.
It is unlikely, in any case, that Russia could bring about the unilateral withdrawal of its Iranian ally from its hard-won corridor. Iran is not dependent on Russia and pursues its own agenda in Syria.
Israel has stated clearly that it will continue to act to ensure its security.
What this means, in practice, is that as the Iranians continue to solidify and extend their gains in Syria, so the likelihood of direct friction between this project and Israel's enforcement of redlines will grow.
Tehran is presently pressing forward. The key issue of the extent to which the US will continue to be a player in this arena is set to be resolved in the weeks ahead. But whatever the US decision, the taking of the dusty, al-Qaim/Abu Kamal crossing is set to turn Iran's land bridge, from Tehran to Quneitra, from an objective into an established fact.
Putin summons Assad to Sochi, takes charge of shaping post-war Syria -
President Vladimir Putin and Syria's Bashar Assad agreed in Sochi on Monday, Nov. 20, to start addressing Syria's political situation now that the "terrorists" are defeated and the war is drawing to a close.
Putin insisted that diplomacy for a Syrian post-war settlement should go forward under UN aegis. Assad replied that he hoped for "Russia's help in ensuring that the Syrians themselves lead the process, with help from outside, but not 'interference.'"
The Syrian ruler would accept an external UN frame, but is clearly opposed to any outside attempts by the UN or anyone else to interfere in the country's internal political dialogue or try to impose solutions on the parties.
That much is evident from the official accounts of the Sochi meeting. Its real content may be quite different. It stands to reason that Putin leaned hard on his guest to make sure that Assad toed the Moscow line.
The Russian president then announced he would be spending the next day in telephone consultations on Syria's future with US President Donald Trump and a number of Middle East leaders. Word on what transpired at the Sochi interview and in those phone calls will most likely emerge in reports from Moscow and Damascus in the coming days.
Meanwhile, DEBKAfile's Middle East and Russian sources fill in some of the context:
Putin and Assad may have shaken hands in token of the Syrian war's end, but both are perfectly aware that it is not yet over. One main stage, the defeat of the Islamic State and liberation of the territory it occupied, is more or less in the bag. But although most Syrian rebel groups have been broken, the civil rebellion persists.
There is no indication of a silent contest said to be afoot between Russia and Iran for the domination of post-war Syria. For now, they complement each other, which each assigned a slice of territorial influence. The Russian army controls parts of the Mediterranean coastland, while Iran is extending its control of the Damascus region and Syria's two border regions with Lebanon and Iraq and their highway connections. Close teamwork is also apparent on the battlefield with Russia actively supporting Iran and Hezbollah.
The Sochi meeting was only the beginning of a long and difficult diplomatic process that could go on for many months, if not years, punctuated with ups and downs, pauses and outbreaks of hostilities.
Bashar Assad survived more than seven years of a vicious and grueling war and emerged as the winner. He may well try to repeat this feat in the diplomatic contest over Syria's political future.
On Wednesday, Nov. 22, the next steps in Syria will be discussed at a meeting of Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders. (It is not yet clear if attendance will be at head-of-state or foreign ministerial level). Syria will not be present. Therefore, this trilateral forum will be in charge.
On the same day, Saudi Arabia has scheduled a meeting of Syrian opposition leaders in Riyadh.
A week hence, on Nov. 28, the UN-sponsored conference on the Syria crisis convenes in Geneva in which the US has a major stake..
Don't Be Alarmed But, The Next War In The Middle East Is Brewing - Sean Durns -
The next war in the Middle East is brewing. Yet some policymakers and pundits are missing the buildup and, in some cases, missing the battle lines. Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed, Lebanese-based Shi'ite terror group is preparing to go to war with Israel - once again.
Hezbollah and Israel last fought a war in 2006. That conflict lasted 34 days and resulted in numerous deaths - many of them Israeli civilians either targeted by Hezbollah or Lebanese civilians used as "human shields" by the terror group. This double war crime is part of Hezbollah's self-stated goal of destroying the Jewish state. And it will be a key component of Hezbollah's strategy in the coming conflict.
A recent study by the High Level Military Group (HLMG), "Hezbollah's Terror Army: How to Prevent a Third Lebanon War," highlights the terror group's intentions. Formed in 2015, HLMG consists of military leaders and officials from NATO and other democratic countries exploring the challenges of warfare in the 21st century.
According to HLMG member Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, there is a "high probability" that Hezbollah will initiate another war. Hezbollah, Kemp said, knows that a future war would "necessarily result in extensive civilian casualties, especially in Southern Lebanon." In fact, this is precisely what Hezbollah desires as "the group is counting on a high casualty count to turn the international community against Israel, recognizing that many governments automatically isolate and even vilify the country whenever it defends itself against enemy attacks."
Lord Richard Dannatt, the British Army's former chief of staff has pointed out that "the group has transformed most Shi'ite villages in southern Lebanon into assets that provide infrastructure, recruitment, storage and access to underground tunnels designed for warfare."
The press frequently failed to note Hezbollah's strategy of using human shields during the 2006 conflict. HLMG members have stated that a failure to be clear about this tactic is likely to further embolden Hezbollah, thus increasing the likelihood of war.
Hezbollah's participation in the civil war in Syria, where it worked for its Iranian masters to shore up the rule of dictator Bashar al-Assad, has made the group battle-hardened and enhanced its fighting capabilities.
Dannatt notes that Hezbollah has "integrated a new armor support unit complete with modern tanks. It also has hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles, advanced air defense systems, coast-to-sea cruise missiles and significant intelligence capabilities." Hezbollah's improved technological abilities are matched with an increased arsenal. The group has more than 100,000 rockets - 10 times as many as it had in the last war. Some of these weapons have advanced guidance and extended range which could allow them to hit major Israeli cities.
Hezbollah has an estimated 25,000 fighters - approximately 5,000 of whom have received advanced training in Iran - and 20,000 reserve operatives. The Shi'ite organization's current stature has led the former chief of staff of the British Army to declare that Hezbollah can "carry out operations at the company or battalion level."
In short: Hezbollah is more of an army than an ad-hoc terror group. And the population of southern Lebanon is at its disposal, as well as elements of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
Some observers have sought to obfuscate on the Lebanese government's cooperation with Hezbollah. A July 25, 2017 Washington Post Op-Ed by Beirut-based journalism professor Nora Boustany and writer Daniel Williams presented the country as "beleaguered" and facing a threat from a "bellicose" Israel. Lebanon, they claimed, was merely caught between Hezbollah and the Jewish state.
A recent commentary in The Hill, while detailing Hezbollah's military buildup within Lebanon's borders - and the damage a future war would bring - suggested that the LAF "has proven to be credible and independent." Although the article correctly identified Iran as pulling Hezbollah's strings, it omitted worrying instances of collaboration between the terror group and the U.S.-funded LAF.
U.S. support for the LAF is predicated on the successful implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701, which, among other things, call for all militias in Lebanon to be disarmed. Not only has Hezbollah not disarmed, but it also has been supported by the Lebanese state in flaunting these U.N.S.C. resolutions.
Lebanon's president and commander-in-chief, Michel Aoun, was correctly described as a "Hezbollah ally" by The Washington Post when he took office in October 2016. In a Feb. 12, 2016 interview with Egypt's CBC, Aoun said that Hezbollah's "arms are not contrary to the state project; otherwise we could have not tolerated it. It is an essential part of Lebanon's defense." He even described Hezbollah as a "complement" to the LAF. Indeed, on Nov. 4, 2017, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri - decrying Iran's influence in the country - resigned.
Tony Badran, an analyst of Lebanese politics with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, has pointed out that the LAF has even conducted joint operations with Hezbollah - and had the audacity to do so while then-Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was visiting the U.S. in July 2016, seeking military aid for his/Hezbollah's country. Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah has even announced joint operations between the LAF and the terror group - responsible for murdering more Americans than any other save al-Qaeda - before they occur.
Nasrallah routinely threatens the United States and calls for Israel's destruction. Yet, members of his terror group sit in Lebanon's parliament and hold cabinet ministries.
The next war in the Middle East is taking shape. Hezbollah, an appendage of Tehran, is armed to the teeth and, from behind human shields and LAF components, taking aim at the Jewish state.
Nearing Midnight: Evil-Day Seducers - Terry James -
A flood of stories continues to pour upon us. It's as if a cesspool of salaciousness is in process of being purged and it's all gushing into our eyes and ears.
If the things with which we are deluged aren't true-and there is more than enough that is true- then the news media will make it up and throw it into the mix for their own nefarious purposes. I'll let you think on what you consider that which is real sludge and that which is fake news.
Hollywood has always provided fodder for the tabloids to fill ears and eyes more than willing to take it all in. Now, however, even Hollywood seems to be regurgitating the sick things that have become worse and worse.
Wait! There's a prophecy about such sickness. Oh, yes. Here it is: "But evil men and seducers shall [become] worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13).
The apostle, in his second letter to Timothy, seems to have been pointing to a time near the end of the dispensation of grace that would see an increase in the number of evil people who become worse by the day. He called them "evil men and seducers." At the same time, he said they would be being deceived while deceiving others.
The rumors have been around for ages about the so-called casting couch. This, of course, is the term for those in the movie industry or the acting profession in general who misuse their power to give roles to the actresses seeking the jobs. They provide jobs for sexual favors from those seeking the available roles.
Until a few weeks back, this was all kind of looked at by the public and by the movie and acting industries in general as something that elicited a wink and a chuckle. It was all a consensual thing...no harm done. Just compromise one's self a time or two, and many a budding starlet was on her way to fame and fortune.
The Harvey Weinstein story has suddenly changed all that. Now, we know details of the alleged crimes involved. Underage sexual contact, abuse, blackmail, and a number of other criminal actions make the casting couch no longer a thing about which to only give a wink and a chuckle.
It is as if the Lord, Himself, has taken the cover between thumb and index finger and peeled back the lasciviousness. Suddenly, the evil of Hollywood has been exposed for what it is. Bible prophecy again is validated in our time as is revealed for the world to see, the evil-day seduction that has been going on among the much worshipped elite-the idols media and fans have made of those under this blanket of iniquity.
Pulling back this blanket has exposed such debauched evil at every level. It now is in process of exposing politicians at every level.
Some used to chuckle, wink, and revel in stories such as when Senator Edward Kennedy, the lion of the Senate, and Senator Christopher Dodd reportedly visited a certain D.C. restaurant and made "waitress sandwiches" in private dining rooms. Many other stories of orgiastic activities in D.C. and other halls of power have entertained the news-consuming public for decades.
But, it is no longer funny. And, the same entertainment and news media types that have for those many decades secretly enjoyed knowing about the debauchery and/or engaged in it themselves now find it all an outrage. -Especially when an avowed Christian is accused by supposed victims from some thirty or more years ago.
And, indeed, it is not funny. It is an evil that is going to add to the horrors of God's wrath and judgment in the near future. The following excerpted story illuminates the evil-day seduction taking place on a worldwide scale.
It's not just pimps and escaped convicts involved. It's the people we're expected to respect or "look up to" the most: the politicians, the elite, the wealthy businessmen, your neighbours, and oftentimes the people that you'd least expect
In this particularly devastating case, it's the people we're supposed to trust to help others: the United Nations' peacekeepers. As it turns out, these people are anything but "peace keepers." Instead, they're the ones wreaking havoc in these villages and causing children to have nightmares for the rest of their lives...
Many of the children living in poverty in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, are left to fend for themselves, scavenging for food and struggling with hunger on a daily basis. Their lives drastically changed when the UN peacekeepers moved to their village, as they were offered snacks and cookies.
However, this food came with a heavy price no one should ever have to pay. In exchange for food, the UN peacekeepers demanded sex from children as young as 12. In regards to the child sex ring run by UN peacekeepers in Haiti, nine children were being passed around from 2004 to 2007...
There was another pedophile ring in the Democratic Republic of Congo that the UN was involved in - UN police officers in Bosnia paid for prostitutes and were caught trafficking young women from Eastern Europe - and the UN was involved with child sexual abuse and rape in the Central African Republic as well. ["SHUT IT DOWN: United Nations 'Peacekeepers' Caught Running A Child Sex Ring: 2,000+ Cases of Sexual Abuse Reported," JEWSNEWS, Rapture Ready News Nov. 12, 2017)
Many stories available at present contained reports much more graphic, disgusting, and heart-wrenching. They were quite difficult for me to read, much less bring before you in this column.
Evil men and seducers are becoming worse and worse, to be sure. They have been in the process of deceiving and being deceived by hiding much of the evil going on in America and the world. The uncovering of these things taking place now is long overdue. I believe the exposure taking place at present can be seen as the Lord revealing exactly how far along this generation is on God's prophetic timeline.
These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1: 19-20)
God's Blessing Game - by Jack Kelley -
Every year at Thanksgiving I'm reminded of the holiday's origin, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. It was the crowning event in Israel's cycle of fall feasts that also included Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It was a celebration of the harvest, of God's mercy in forgiving their sins for another year, and a remembrance of the time when He lived among them in the wilderness, setting them apart as His people.
When the Pilgrims had experienced their first successful harvest in the New World, they decided to give thanks for the Lord's provision, even though half of them had died in the year since their arrival. Inviting the neighboring natives to join them, they held a three-day celebration patterned after their knowledge of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Here's How It All Began
The Jews were about to enter the Promised Land. The Lord had Moses tell them that in the future they were to set aside a tithe (1/10th) of their production each year and bring it, along with all their other voluntary offerings, to the place He would choose for them to worship Him. They were to eat them there in a gigantic national feast. Think of it, 1/10th of all the lambs, goats and cattle born that year, 1/10th of the grain, vegetables, and fruit from throughout the land, breads and cakes and barrels of wine.
Each fall, after the harvest, everyone in Israel came to Jerusalem to celebrate. It was the biggest Thanksgiving dinner ever. The sounds of laughing and singing and the aroma of exotic foods filled the air for a whole week as the people gave thanks to God for blessing them (Deut. 12:8-12, 17-19).
Every third year they gave their tithes to the Levites and stayed home. This assured that there was always enough to take care of the Levites (who were the teachers and doctors and lawyers and had no land to till) and all the widows and orphans, the indigent, and the aliens among them. Each year they celebrated His provision and the Lord blessed them with more so that their abundance grew. He commanded them to do this every year so that He could "bless them in all the works of their hands." (Deut. 14:22-29) By setting the Lord's share aside and then using it to give thanks to Him, they found that each year their blessing increased.
But after their return from the Babylonian captivity, the Lord caught them cheating Him. He warned them that they had put themselves under a curse because they weren't setting aside their tithes properly. They were giving the Lord their worst, not their best, and even this was being done resentfully as if it was a great burden. Because of this they were not being blessed but were working harder and harder for less and less. "Return to me and I'll return to you," He told them. "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. Test me in this and see if I don't throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you won't have room enough for it." (Malachi 1 & 3:7-10)
And that's always the way it is with the Lord. No hard feelings, no resentment, just return to Him and He'll return to you. All is forgiven because His mercies are new every morning. We can always begin right where we are and He'll respond as if the past had never happened.
The Rules Of The Game
So by these two passages, we learn the rules of what I call God's Blessing Game. We show our gratitude by giving God His due and He blesses us with more. We increase our giving and He increases His blessing, allowing us to give still more. And on it goes. But when we become stingy or resentful and try to short-change God, then the blessings are curtailed accordingly.
The Israelites proved beyond all doubt that by following the rules of the game they could win every time. And they demonstrated the futility of cheating. But is there any New Testament version of God's Blessing Game? Of course there is, because God is the same yesterday today and forever. Luke 6:38 tells us "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Show a little gratitude and get a little blessing. Show a little more and the blessings increase. The more generous we become the more abundant our blessings will be. Paul gave us the ultimate outcome in 2 Cor. 9:11. You'll be made rich in every way so you can be generous on every occasion. Every time we feel moved to help someone out, we'll find the money's there to do it. And it will all result in thanksgiving to God.
Treasure In Heaven
Lots of people overlook the last half of this promise, and find that because they do it doesn't come true. The Lord didn't promise to make us rich so that we could have bigger houses and more cars, He promised to make us rich so that we could be more generous. As one commentator has put it, "God's blessings are not to increase our standard of living. but to increase our standard of giving." We're supposed to be a distribution center for His blessings, not a warehouse. The blessings we receive are supposed to flow through to others, not stop with us. The riches we store up are for Heaven, not Earth. Good thing too, because here they only last a little while, but there they last forever. (Matt. 6:19-20)
This is God's Blessing Game. It's a game that He developed and that everyone can win. The rules are clear and don't ever change. We establish the level of blessings we'll receive by the gratitude we express through our generosity toward others. The Lord loves a cheerful giver and will reward us accordingly.
So the Pilgrims decided to take a lesson from the Israelites. They took the little they had and gave thanks, inviting the natives in their midst to join them to show their generosity. In return the Lord blessed them. And so it began. To one degree or another, it's been going on ever since and look how we've been blessed. Americans are the richest people on Earth. If you don't believe that, try living somewhere else, anywhere else, for a while.
It's Our Little Secret
It's a testimony to God's understanding of the human condition that the Thanksgiving Holiday's roots have been obscured. You see, he longs to bless us but the rules of the game require an expression of gratitude on our part. By allowing Thanksgiving to be perceived as a secular holiday instead of a religious one, He can receive our thanks without risking the same demand that He be taken out of the loop as there is for Christmas. There's no public outcry by the pagans, no suits by the ACLU, and no attacks by other religions against its origin. Very few people are even aware of the Biblical roots of this "American" holiday. But being devout Christians, the Pilgrims knew Who they were thanking, and why. You and I do, too. It's our little secret. Ours and God's.
I pray that your Thanksgiving is a happy one, and that throughout the holidays you'll remember the rules of God's Blessing Game and always play to win.
Daily Jot: What has changed since 1620? - Bill Wilson -
My grandfather 13 generations back was William Bradford, co-writer of the Mayflower Compact and eventual leader of the Pilgrims who came to America on the Mayflower in 1620. There were some 102 passengers and about 30 crewmen on that ship that braved horrible weather, disease, and other hardships to come to this new place that later would become the greatest Christian nation in the world. Bradford wrote, "So they committed themselves to the will of God, and resolved to proceed. In several of these storms the wind was so strong and the seas so high that they could not carry a knot of sail, but were forced to hull for many days." The trip in of itself to find a place to worship without persecution was most difficult.
Once landed, it was no picnic either. Bradford says, "But soon a most lamentable blow fell upon them. In two or three months' time half of their company died...scarcely 50 remained, and sometimes two or three persons died in a day. In the time of worst distress, there were but six or seven sound persons, who, to their great commendation be it spoken, spared no pains night or day, but with great toil and at the risk of their own health, fetched wood, made fires, prepared food for the sick, made their beds, washed their infected clothes, dressed and undressed them; in a word did all the homely and necessary services for them which dainty and queasy stomachs cannot endure to hear mentioned."
"...And what I have said of these few, I should say of many others who died in this general visitation, and others yet living, that while they had health or strength, they forsook none that had need of them. I doubt not that their recompense is with the Lord." Their Virginia Company Charter, however, called for common ownership of land, property, food, drink, clothing, and provisions. Bradford saw that this socialist experiment was detrimental to the colony because it inspired laziness and a lack of productivity. Bradford then did away with this structure, giving ownership of land to each person and two days a week for "their own private employment." This was the first capitalist system and the colony then prospered.
The headlines 397 years later are that over 40 million Americans (the total population of California and Connecticut combined) will eat their Thanksgiving dinner purchased by food stamps. Liberals say without the government, these people would starve. No, I don't believe it. Without the government, the citizens across the land would be blessed as the Pilgrims were by reaching out to their neighbor and helping him from the goodness of their hearts. We have come full circle in nearly 400 years. We are now in a stage of socialism where the government is truly robbing its citizenry of blessing others, promoting laziness and lack of productivity.
But you know, just as Bradford knew in 1621, government won't save you. Only the Lord will save you. He chooses to do it through his people. As written in 2 Corinthians 9:11-12, "Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causes through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God." How much spiritual starvation and dependency on the false god of government will it take before we begin to collectively change our hearts? Like Bradford, we who know the truth, must lead in truth.
Daily Devotion: Remember to Give Thanks - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. -Luke 17:15-16
The Bible tells the story of ten men who had a lot to give thanks for. They were miraculously touched by Jesus. Prior to this touch, they were complete outcasts, the very scourge of society. These men had leprosy, and you couldn't get any lower in that particular time in history with this incurable disease.
If a man was found to have leprosy, he could have no contact with others. He had to leave his house and his friends and live apart from them. So here were these men living an isolated, miserable, lonely life. But they heard about Jesus. They heard how He had touched others and healed them.
So they called out to the Lord and asked for His healing touch. Now these men were standing before Jesus in various stages of decay. Their clothing would have been ripped from perpetual mourning. Their skeletal heads would have been uncovered. They would have been required, according to the Law of Moses, to cry out, "Unclean! Unclean!" wherever they went.
But Jesus did not respond to them with special effects or even a dramatic touch. He simply said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests" (Luke 17:14). So that is what they did. And guess what? They were healed.
Yet only one decided to go back and give thanks. The Bible tells us he was a Samaritan, which may not mean a lot to us. But normally, Jews and Samaritans had no dealings with each other. The Jews looked down on the Samaritans. Yet it wasn't one of the sons of Abraham that came to give thanks; it was a Samaritan. And he was commended for this.
We are so quick to ask for God's help, but let's remember to be just as quick in giving Him praise when He comes through.
FROM THE HEART
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Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
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