Prophecy Update Newsletter
November 30, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Twisted Treatments of Troubling Topics-Part 1 - By Gene Lawley - http://raptureready.com/featured/lawley/lawley133.html
Before getting to the topics, some groundwork should be laid in order to understand the "why" of tackling anything with this article's brashness. Jude wrote and admonished believers to "earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) So, how can you contend without being contentious? In another context, Paul wrote, "If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, how shall we prepare ourselves for the battle?"
He also admonished us to "rightly divide the Word of Truth" that we might receive God's approval. As truth-seekers, we want to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us and excelled to greater levels of insight into scriptural truth. However, as Luke said of the Bereans, "they were more noble than the Thessalonians in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind but searched the scriptures daily to see if what Paul said was so" (Acts 17:11).
It is my understanding that the hallmark of Bible interpretation is this reasoned approach:
The Golden Rule of Interpretation
When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicates clearly otherwise.
The consistency and integrity of a context should be adhered to so that confusion and disarray does not render the passage meaningless. Above all, God's character and method of operation based on predetermined plans must be acknowledged and followed. Specifically, as noted in Numbers 23:19: "God is not a man, that He should lie nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do, or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"
In other words and in simplistic terms from man's viewpoint, God does not wake up some Monday morning and decide, because of the trend of circumstances, that a certain promise made just isn't working right, so He changes His mind. God's plans were set in place before time began and unfold according to His "appointed times."
Now, to the passages to be considered:
The Question of Who Is Judged in Luke 17:26-37
The passage, as follows:
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Likewise, as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
'In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.'
And they answered and said to Him, 'Where, Lord?' So He said to them, 'Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.'"
Let's take it bit by bit. The setting of the scenario "in the days of the Son of Man," points to a future time that hints of the time called the "Day of the Lord." That is a period of time, not a single day, beginning with the Rapture of believers and the sudden destruction that follows immediately, as Paul told the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3, "For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night, for when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them...."
When I first started looking into this topic in view of writing about it, I thought I was contending only with lettered theologians at the seminary level. However, to my amazement, a footnote to the first verse 26 in the Amplified Bible reads, "This refers to the beginning of the Millennial kingdom when Christ returns physically and rules on earth."
There is more in its parenthetic expansions of meaning in the context and in other footnotes that lead me to conclude that the translators did so according to their pre-conceived notions of what the passage is about. For instance, where in Revelation 20 or Zechariah 14 (two chapters that deal with the Millennial kingdom) can you find any indication of a scenario "as it was in the days of Noah?"
Let's continue. It was business as usual, right up to the time Noah entered the ark. Then "the flood came and destroyed them all." Where was the judgment? It was right there, starting in Noah's front yard, and Noah and his family were taken away from that judgment. Those left behind were victims of the judgment.
A parallel passage for this part of the context is found in Matthew 24:36-44, and it follows the same thought process. The judgment comes upon those left behind. It is a fact, incidentally, that all of the judgments having to do with the end times, including those told in the book of Revelation, are all done here on the earth-think about it! Believers are taken out in the Rapture and those remaining here will endure the judgments of those seven years of the tribulation. None are taken out somewhere else for judgment.
Next we see the plight of Lot and his family in Sodom. The astounding picture of those taken out of the way of judgment while those left behind are the victims of judgment cannot be denied, honestly. The account also demonstrates the completeness of God's redemption and justification not based on man's performance-Lot had no noticeable good works to acclaim. It is also a clear rejection of the "partial rapture" theory, that only the obedient and faithful will be transformed at the Rapture.
Lot was even resistant to efforts of the angels to get him out of the city so they could carry out their assignment of judging the city. (See the full account in Genesis 19.)
Was Lot taken to judgment? No, obviously not, so "as it was in the days of Lot, so it will be in the day of the coming of the Son of Man," and those taken away are not taken to judgment!
The next part of the context is a warning to believers that when He comes there will be no time for anything, like packing a bag, saying "goodbye," or even looking back! That very picture ties this passage with the description Paul gives of the transformation called the Rapture in 1 Corinthians 15:50-53:
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
The conclusion is this: When Jesus comes, we are out of here! That warning in the Luke passage is to believers, not non-believers, obviously, for the Lord does not spend any time on the welfare of non-believers. His outlook on them in that scenario is, "Depart from Me, for I never knew you!"
Then the section begins where the theologians have decided that Jesus has switched directions on the straight-forward flow of consistency and integrity of the account. Yet, there is no change in the continuity of the thought line. In Luke's account, above, Jesus continues with, "I tell you in that night...," when the warning is given to those who are taken, not to look back. And then He tells of the different situations where one is taken and the other is left.
I must say, here, that it is deeply troubling that there is such a senseless and insistent interpretation that one is taken away to judgment and the other is left behind...and no one can say what happens to them, with any balanced Scriptural support. So, I have these questions:
Where is the judgment they are taken to and of what does it consist?
If the setting is as described, "as it was in the days of Noah, and of Lot," and those two were not taken to judgment, why are you declaring that the opposite is now true?
If you noticed, each paragraph of the Luke narrative starts out inseparably linked to the former paragraph. Here are those first words:
"As it was in the days of Noah...."
"Likewise, as it was in the days of Lot...."
"In that day, he who is on the housetop...."
"I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed...."
You can see therefore that the same people who are in those first "as it was in the days of Noah and Lot" groupings are those of whom He warns them not to turn back and from whom one is taken and one is left. If Noah and Lot are taken to safety and not judgment, then so are the others who are taken.
The righteous are never taken to judgment, and in a sense, neither are the unrighteous. Judgment comes to them, as it was in the days of Noah and of Lot. Those left behind experienced the judgment that God brought to them.
When the disciples asked Jesus, "Where are they taken?" the answer He gives is perhaps the main reason for the reversal of direction that is often taught as proper interpretation of the passage. That verse is mysterious beyond expression and very strangely leaves the reader with a "What, say that again" reaction. He said this, "Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together" (Luke 17:37).
Why such a strange answer that seems to complicate an otherwise straight-forward narrative? One Bible analyst would tell us, perhaps, that it is in keeping with God's way of hiding the gospel throughout the Scriptures so that the enemies of Christ cannot easily find and corrupt it. Perhaps it is also a way to weed out those who are not very serious in their pursuit of the truth, a test for those who would like to think they are "rightly dividing the Word of truth."
If one is intent on maintaining consistency and integrity of the context, as I have indicated earlier, he cannot possibly come up with an interpretation that is contrary to the setting which begins the account-"as it was in the days of Noah."
Many of the translations render His response as, "Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together." Yet, many others, apparently having already made up their minds by the time they get to this verse that those taken are taken away to judgment, come up with this result, "where the corpse, or dead body, is, there the vultures will be gathered."
If the Golden Rule of Interpretation has any merit with its emphasis on the use of common sense, it seems to have been lost with those latter translations of the verse. Let's face it, eagles are not vultures or buzzards. Eagle3s are of the birds of prey family and do not find their food where dead bodies are located. The stature of an eagle displays a likeness to the stature of a believer in Christ, of strength, perseverance, integrity, quality of character.
And if those taken away are taken together with the body of Christ, as at the Rapture, we have consistency with the whole passage. God's judgment, in the eternal sense, seems to point to a solitary, individual manner where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness." There is never a sense of them gathering together. It is a time of abject loneliness and suffering, forever and ever!
So, the twisted treatments of these tenants of truth are deeply troubling to me, and possibly also to the reader. James writes this caution, "...Let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment" (James 3:1). I, too, hear that caution.
(The topic will be continued in Part 2.)
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Israel jets mark go-it-alone policy on Syria - http://www.debka.com/article/25806/Israel-jets-mark-go-it-alone-policy-on-Syria
Arab media carried conflicting reports which described Israeli warplanes striking in and around Damascus overnight Tuesday, Nov. 29, with "four long-range Popeye" missiles fired from Lebanese air space on the government-held town of Al-Saboorah, a western suburb of Damascus, near the highway to Beirut.
A Lebanese newspaper reported that a Syrian army ammunition depot was destroyed in one of the raids, while other strikes hit and damaged a Hezbollah arms convoy bound for Lebanon on the Damascus-Beirut Highway. There was also speculation, later denied, that one of the air strikes aimed at assassinating a senior Hezbollah figure.
None of these reports were confirmed by Israel or any other official source.
Even so, Israel's reported military action against enemy targets in Syria is bound to have repercussions in the next 24 hours, since, whatever took place, broke out of the secret overarching understandings on Syria reached provisionally this month between US President elect Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Those understandings hinged strongly on joint US-Russian cooperation in the war on the Islamic State in Syria, supported by the coalition fighting for the Assad regime, namely, the Syrian army and its allies, the Lebanese Hezbollah and foreign Shiite militias under the command of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
As the sub-text of the "big power" understandings, an outline was drafted between the next US administration, Moscow, Jerusalem, Amman and the UAE on arrangements for stabilizing Syria's southern borders with Israel and Jordan.
Talks on these arrangements were first disclosed in an exclusive debkafile report on Nov. 21, after they had already produced the unheralded return of the UN observers to the Golan demilitarized zone outside Quneitra.
But then, Sunday, Nov. 27, Russian warplanes staged a sudden series of airstrikes against Syrian rebel concentrations in the very region under discussion, southern Syria. After a three-month pause in these attacks, Moscow appeared to have waited for major Syrian government progress in Aleppo, to go against those understandings and send Russian jets into action over Jasim and Daraa in order to wipe out the rebel forces holding out in the South. Heavy casualties were sustained by those forces.
The Russian action was seen by the incoming Trump administration and Jerusalem as presaging the next danger-fraught step: To round out the raids, the Syrian army would come flooding into the South, along with Hezbollah and other Shiite militias fighting under Iranian Revolutionary Guards command.
Tuesday saw two further ruptures in the trilateral understandings on Syria.
Assad announced he was gearing up for a decisive victory in Aleppo, notwithstanding a request from Trump's advisers to Putin to hold back from the final step and refrain from retaking every last eastern district from rebel hands..
This was followed by an unforeseen statement by Erdogan: "The Turkish military launched its operations in Syria to end the rule of President Bashar al-Assad."
This sentiment pivoted sharply away from the secret Trump-Putin understandings endorsed by the Turkish leader that was contingent on Assad remaining in power.
Although Erdogan is notorious for his wildly unpredictable decision-making, it is more than likely that before going public on his radical change of heart on Assad, he was in touch with the new national security team taking shape in Washington. If that was the case, then Donald Trump was using Erdogan to notify Putin that the entire architecture of their understandings on Syria was now at risk.
If the Arab media reporting on Israeli air attacks on Syrian military and Hezbollah targets in Damascus from Lebanese air space are confirmed, Jerusalem will be shown to have followed Ankara in backing away from those short-lived, understandings, opting instead for an independent policy in its own security interests with regard to Syria.
How the Iran deal, Syrian civil war prepares Hezbollah for future of terror - By Marc C. Johnson - http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/307878-how-the-iran-deal-syrian-civil-war-is-preparing-hezbollah
Surveying the conflict in Syria over the last 6-plus years, it's not hard to find losing parties in the wreckage.
Thousands of innocent children, civilians, doctors, first responders, and journalists fill casualty lists - non-combatant collateral damage. The Syrian Arab Army can't credibly claim to have "won," either, as both ISIS and non-ISIS rebel groups are still trying to bring down its regime.
And ISIS itself - belatedly - appears to be losing ground, in no small part thanks to the direct intervention of Russia and Iran.
But one group, Hezbollah, is reaping significant tangible benefits from fighting in Syria. Not that they haven't been bloodied. The group has lost an estimated 1,500 fighters since 2011, with more than three times that wounded.
That's not a small number considering its total force is under 50,000 men, less than half in regular service. Some estimates suggest as many as 10,000 Hezbollah fighters have been deployed to Syria.
But Hezbollah's blood sacrifice for the Assad regime has been compensated for in other ways.
Predictably, the Iran deal was a boon for the group. Even Secretary of State Kerry publicly admitted that part of the financial windfall from the Iran deal would likely make its way to "terrorist groups" (a thinly veiled reference to Hezbollah) via the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
And though there hasn't been much open source reporting on how Hezbollah has benefited from monies related to the Iran deal, we do know that the Iranian government increased its most recent defense budget by 90 percent compared to the previous year.
Since Hezbollah may have been receiving as much as $200 million a year from Tehran, and in view of the Islamic Republic's expectations of Hezbollah's commitment in Syria, it's not a stretch to assume that the group has received more money, even if it doesn't get a larger share of the pie.
Moreover, the Iran deal also de-listed a vast swath of Tehran's covert procurement network. Much of this was developed to acquire prohibited dual-use items for Iran's nuclear and missile programs.
Other parts of it, though, such as cargo ships connected to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, were also used to ferry weapons and materiel to Hezbollah via Syria. The Iran deal effectively legalized this hitherto illegal network.
Also as part of the deal, the European Union and the U.K. recently lifted sanctions on Bank Saderat, long known by U.S. intelligence and sanctioned for transferring money on behalf of Tehran to Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other nefarious organizations.
Hezbollah is also using new weaponry in Syria. Since the end of its 2006 war with Israel, Iran and Syria had begun to improve Hezbollah's war fighting capability.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz produced a report in July illustrating Hezbollah's transformation from an organized but under-resourced terror group into a proper army; this augmentation took place partly before the group's involvement in Syria.
But a Washington Institute report also assessed that Hezbollah fighters' access to more advanced Russian surface-to-air and rocket systems in Syria could help them in future conflicts.
And Israel's interceptions of several shipments of guided missiles, advanced anti-aircraft systems and anti-ship cruise missiles in recent years suggest that the group will have the capacity to use these systems in future engagements.
Furthermore, Syria is providing current combat experience for Hezbollah, whose last large-scale military engagement was a decade ago.
In the intervening years, older fighters have retired and newer ones have joined up. Without the Syrian civil war, many of these new fighters would still be green and untested when the next (inevitable) war with the Jewish State occurs.
In a candid moment, a Hezbollah special forces commander recently admitted to VOA that, "in some ways, Syria is a dress rehearsal for our next war with Israel."
The new cadre of fighters Hezbollah is bringing in is also professionalizing what was previously an explicitly guerrilla-oriented organization. The fight for Syria against the nominally Sunni "Takfiri" (apostate) ISIS, has been a gift to the Shia Hezbollah, spurring recruitment efforts. Put simply, Hezbollah is not just getting better at fighting, its army is also getting bigger.
Finally, the political fallout from the Obama administration's often aloof posture toward Arab allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has encouraged Iran and Hezbollah to consolidate political power in Beirut.
Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia announced it would suspend $3 billion in military aid to Lebanon, a move widely interpreted as an exasperated admission by Riyadh that Lebanon was now mostly controlled by Hezbollah.
Previously Hezbollah had acted as a "state within" the Lebanese state, controlling the Israel-facing Southern portion of the country. With the recent election of Michel Aoun as president, however, Hezbollah's grip on Lebanese democratic institutions is strengthening. Though a Maronite Christian, Aoun has nevertheless been an ally of Hezbollah since at least its 2006 war.
While Israel's Defense Forces are still vastly superior to Hezbollah in terms of both numbers and training, Hezbollah's rise certainly won't be welcomed in Jerusalem.
Israel might be assured of winning the next war, but Hezbollah is in a better position than ever to inflict civilian casualties, raising the stakes on both sides.
The "Party of God" has reaped rewards as a result of its engagement in Syria, making it more dangerous and promising that Hezbollah will remain a concern for policymakers in both Israel and the United States for years to come.
Does Israel's Massive Drought Mean Messiah Will Arrive on a White Donkey? - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"Then hear Thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of Thy servants, and of Thy people Yisrael, when Thou teachest them the good way wherein they should walk; and send rain upon Thy land, which Thou hast given to Thy people for an inheritance." I Kings 28:36 (The Israel Bible™)
There hasn't been a drop of rain in Northern Israel for more than eight months and as meteorologists present dire forecasts, Jews who look to the heavens for a divinely-inspired understanding are getting answers that lead them to a deeper understanding of how the Messiah will arrive.
This is the eighth year in a row Israel has suffered from unusually dry winters, leading to a record low of the amount of water flowing into the Sea of Galilee. The more spiritually-inclined turn to the Bible, which mentions drought explicitly in several places as a result of sin. In Deuteronomy, God warns Israel of the dire consequences of neglecting his commandments, linking drought with fire.
Hashem will smite thee with consumption, and with fever, and with inflammation, and with fiery heat, and with drought, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. Deuteronomy 28:22
This cause and effect relationship between attending to God's commandments and life-giving rain was known and accepted throughout the Biblical period.
When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, when they do sin against Thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess Thy name, and turn from their sin, when Thou dost afflict them. I Kings 8:35
In fact, the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a), or Oral Law, explains how droughts as an expression of Israel's righteousness (or lack thereof) are a part of the Messianic process. The Talmud quotes Rabbi Alexandri, who cites two conflicting Biblical verses describing how the Messiah will arrive. He notes that the Prophet Daniel describes the Messiah as arriving on clouds.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the Ancient of days, and he was brought near before Him. Daniel 7:13
The second verse, in Zechariah, describes the Messiah as a king arriving on a white donkey.
Rejoice greatly O daughter of Tzion shout O daughter of Yerushalayim; behold thy king cometh unto thee he is triumphant and victorious lowly and riding upon an ass even upon a colt the foal of an ass. Zechariah 9:9
The Talmud explains this discrepancy, saying that the manner in which the Messiah arrives is dependent upon Israel's actions: If the Jews are righteous and full of mitzvot (Torah commandments), then the Messiah will arrive on rain clouds, since it is the deeds of the Jews that bring the blessing of rain to Israel. The Talmud explains that if the Jews are not righteous, then there will be a drought and the Messiah will arrive on a white donkey.
This concept of weather being the result of mitzvot has been incorporated into mainstream Judaism. Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion, told Breaking Israel News that when he was a child, his father, the leader of the Mishkoltz sect of Hassidim in Petach Tikva, had a family tradition of how to cope with drought in Israel.
"The Hatam Sofer (a leading German Torah authority of the 18th century) wrote that rain clouds are caused by vapors that rise from the sea up to the heavens,"Rabbi Berger explained to Breaking Israel News. "Drought occurs when people speak bad things, lies or slander, and the vapors from their mouths rise up and block the vapors from the ocean, and therefore stop the rain from falling.
"My father said the way to fix this was to bring out good vapors from our mouths, either by learning Bible or by speaking good about our fellow man," Rabbi Berger concluded.
Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of the Samaria Regional Council also attributed the drought to Israel's misdeeds, citing a different cause. In his own publication last week, Rabbi Levanon claimed the drought and the ensuing fires were divine retribution for recent moves by the Israeli government to dismantle the Jewish settlement of Amona.
Tragically, the unseasonably dry weather coupled with strong winter winds led last week o the spreading of forest fires, some of them confirmed arson lit by pyro-terrorists.
"Anybody with eyes and brain in his head can see how the country thirsts for water," Rabbi Levanon wrote. "We're at the end of the month of November according to the Gregorian calendar, and there's still no sign of rain...strong winds...everything is dry, flammable, burning!"
"Until the shame of the threat of destroying the settlements in the Land of Israel, in Amona, in Ofra and in many other places is not removed, there will be a drought! The day that the decision is taken that can't be gotten around with legal wrangling-that very day the rains of blessing will begin to fall."
Israel weathered last year's drought, the worst drought in the Mediterranean in 900 years, because over half of Israel's water is self-generated. Though desalination plants are currently able to provide enough water for domestic use without rationing, the Israel Water Authority (IWA) has cut water supplies to farmers while taking emergency measures to prevent a deterioration in the water quality of the Sea of Galilee. The drought is not, for the time being, life-threatening, and heavy rains are expected to begin within the next few days, but it is worth considering the spiritual implications of the drought and incorporating it into our understanding of Israel's relationship with God.
Nearing Midnight: The Liberal Media Has Regained the Ability to Criticize the President - Todd Strandberg - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
One of the most destructive factors about the nearly eight year Obama Administration is the protective relationship he has established with the liberal media. Every time he does something that is clearly harmful to the best interests of the American people, the press has defended his actions. Even in a case where people are suffering from some disaster and Obama is on vacation at Martha's Vineyard-the criticism-never comes from the press. They give this special treatment to all Democrats.
The night that Hillary Clinton realized she had lost, she went into a rage. Reporters and Secret Service officers confirmed that she began yelling, screaming obscenities, and pounding furniture. She picked up objects and threw them at attendants and staff. Clinton in such an uncontrollable rage, she had to be sedated by a doctor. When a reporter working for CNN described what she had witnessed, her editor banned the story from going out to the public.
Now that Donald Trump has been elected to be America's 45th president, the liberal media has gone into 24/7 attack mode. Anything they can find that is negative about Trump they will send out on the news feeds.
The Media Research Center found that 91 percent of news coverage about Donald Trump on the three broadcast nightly newscasts over the past 12 weeks has been "hostile." He's not even in office and the press had declared him a failure.
Paul Krugman, the head economist for the New York Times said "Trump is going to bring about an era of corrupt governance unprecedented in US history." American University professor Allan Lichtman had reporters salivating when he predicted that Trump will likely be impeached.
The one-sided attack on Trump has backfired on the liberal media. When CNN's Jake Tapper was trying to link Trump to white nationalist leader Richard Spence. They ran a banner that questioned "If Jews are people." The backlash against CNN for highlighting a racist statement was so strong on twitter, Tapper had to return from vacation to apologize for being so callous against Jews.
The next day on CNN Charles Kaiser used the N-word while allegedly quoting Trump adviser Steve Bannon. He was quickly found to have quoted the wrong person. His use of the N-word sent the show's host into panic mode:
All right, gentlemen. We're done. We're done. I appreciate both of your voices. The more I've sat here and listened to the fact that somebody used the N-word on the show...it is not okay! It is not okay. Charles Kaiser, I respect you. I enjoy having you on as a guest but...not okay. By the way, the claim that Mr. Bannon used the N-word - I've never heard of this. So there's that. Take a break.
If you want to find a story that not biased against Trump, you need to turn to alternative news sources. Last week, Unionwear, the producer of political campaign material for mostly Democratic candidates, filed for bankruptcy.
The press gave coverage to the firm when it produced hats with slogans like "Make Donald Drumpf Again," (a reference to Mr. Trump's ancestors altered the family name) and "Make America Rage Again." Not a single major news organization pointed out the firm's demise from obvious poor sales.
The press may be irreparably undermining its credibility with its nonstop mud ball attacks against Trump. They have already eroded the public's trust by being so obviously biased in their coverage of the 2016 election.
If they keep labeling him as racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic Islamaphobic-in a couple years the average American citizen will be immune to believing such charges. Trump could invite the KKK to have a clan rally on the White House lawn and people would just yawn at any outrage by the press.
The liberal media's sudden role reversal may have a profound impact on the state of our nation. Come January, we will have a press that has no reason to continue hiding the fact that our national debt is growing out of control, crime is rampant in our urban cities, and the Middle East is a total mess.
The press may have the collective goal to damage Trump so that they can set-up the next Democratic candidate for the 2020 race. The rate at which the world is going downhill, I'm not sure Christians will be around to worry about the outcome.
"Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28).
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Fastest Growing Churches Teach Literal Interpretation Of The Bible - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=839
We have all read the headlines: Church attendance is shrinking and Christians are losing their faith. What those headlines often don't reveal is which churches are in decline and why.
Now, a recent study has shed some new light on the difference between the churches that have seen their membership drop and those that have seen incredible growth in recent years.
The short version: churches that preach a literal interpretation of God's word to an enthusiastic congregation continue to expand. On the other hand, the mainline protestant churches that have progressively diluted or reinterpreted God's word have suffered losses of membership.
Previous studies had downplayed the role of theology in declining church membership, but new research conducted with 2,225 churchgoers in Ontario, Canada disputes those findings.
The study included 29 interviews with clergy and 195 interviews with members of church congregations as well and both theology and active church participation stand out as the key factors of a church's status.
More specifically, those churches that interpret the Bible literally and maintain a focus on evangelism are thriving. The paper will be published in the upcoming issue of the academic journal Review of Religious Research.
David Haskell, the lead researcher, stated that "if we are talking solely about what believe system is more likely to lead to numerical growth among Protestant churches, the evidence suggests conservative Protestant theology is the clear winner."
He went on to emphasize that the growing churches in the study "held more firmly to the traditional beliefs of Christianity and were more diligent in things like prayer and Bible reading." Age of the congregation was an ancillary growth factor as well as the less
traditional use of drums and other less-traditional musical instruments in worship services.
The most powerful factor, however, was the belief system. Haskell's research into social groups indicates, not surprisingly, that churches with a consistent, unified message and clear boundaries between outsiders are more attractive to people both in the church and outside.
The certainty of faith is, in other words, a powerful tool to call new believers to Christ. Among the other findings of the study are these key differences on questions of belief:
* The statement "it is very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians" was affirmed by 50% of the members of declining churches and 100% of the members of growing churches
* The belief that "Jesus rose from the dead with a real flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb" is held by 93% of clergy and 83% of members of growing churches but only 56% of clergy and 67% of members from declining churches.
* A belief in miracles and that God answers prayers is held by 100% of clergy and 90% of believers in growing churches while churches in decline only report that 80% of clergy and 44% of worshippers hold this belief.
* Daily Bible reading is practiced by 71% of the clergy in growing churches and 19% in declining churches
* Weekly Bible reading is practiced by 46% of the members of growing churches and 26% in declining churches
Clearly, conservative theology and values are winning hearts to Christ as their church attendance grows along with their faith.
Meanwhile, liberal mainline churches continue to decline, losing membership as they have drifted away from God's clear message of salvation.
Daily Jot: The disturbing honoring of Castro - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
To see just how far the American ideal has fallen one has to look no further than the Washington Post or the New York Times coverage of the death of one of the most brutal dictators in modern history-Fidel Castro. Their stories made him out to be a extraordinary revolutionary that brought great things to Cuba. Then we look at our universities. American University, in particular, where students were asked by Campus Reform, America's leading site for college campus news. which political figure they viewed more favorably, Castro or President-Elect Donald Trump. The answers are extremely disturbing if they are a reflection of our young generation, the generation that will be leading this country in the future.
Campus Reform reports: "While several students identified the repressive elements of Castro's regime, such as jailing and murdering his political opponents, few were willing to say that this made them view him less favorably than Donald Trump..."I mean, right now I don't think Donald Trump is very good, and I know that Fidel Castro has done some good things for the world so I'd say he's proven himself at least in the long term to be more favorable," one student opined after referencing Castro's health care reforms in Cuba. Another student borrowed language from Trudeau, calling Castro a "remarkable leader" and claiming that his regime "made possibilities for the Cuban people nearly endless.""
Let us remember the Castro regime. It is one of death and destruction. It is a legacy of poverty for Cubans and debauchery for Castro and his family. The Miami Herald reported on April 23, 2006 that Fidel Castro was responsible for 31,173 executions and prison deaths since he took power in 1959. Some 5,728 were killed by firing squads. He refused medical attention to those trying to escape the island by boat, resulting in another estimated 77,000 deaths. Nearly all the sources indicate an exact number of deaths caused by Castro's regime is unattainable, with some estimating the death toll over 1.5 million. Castro lived a private life of extravagance while appearing as a poor man in public. He was a liar.
It is easy for those with any common sense to point toward this honoring of Castro and be disgusted. But there is a deeper problem in that our educational institutions are rife with communists who are brainwashing our children and charging them tens of thousands for the privilege. The Communist Manifesto states: "...Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis." This is the basis of deception for all socialism and progressivism as well. It is godless and evil. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 22, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil." Communists ply the nature of humans with powerful words like "rights" when, in reality, they wish to kill, steal and destroy. Be not deceived by the honoring of Castro.
Daily Devotion: A Messed-Up Family Tree - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. -Revelation 22:16
In the first century, Jesus was not a unique name. Many boys were named Jesus, which means "Jehovah is salvation." But there was only one person who has embodied that name in every way, and that is the Lord Jesus.
The angel Gabriel told Mary, "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" (Luke 1:32). That word great is from the Greek word megas, the same word from which we get our English term mega, conveying the idea of bigness and magnitude. Jesus would be the very definition of the word great-mega, if you will.
Gabriel said, "the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" (verse 32). David is a unique figure in Scripture, described on one hand as the sweet psalmist of Israel and a man after God's own heart. But we also know of David's foibles and shortcomings. Two names connected with David sum up his life: Goliath and Bathsheba. Goliath represents David's greatest victory, while Bathsheba represents his greatest defeat. David was a flawed man, yet Jesus was called "the Root and the Offspring of David" (Revelation 22:16). And as Jesus was engaged in His ministry, He was referred to as the Son of David. Clearly, Jesus was connected to this man.
So if you think you have a dysfunctional family, take a look at Jesus' family tree. Some of the most unsavory characters who made it into the most exclusive genealogy in human history include prostitutes, liars, cheats, adulterers, and even a murderer.
What does this say to us? Even before Jesus was born into that family tree, His ancestry pointed to one thing: Christ came into the world to save sinners.
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