Prophecy Update Newsletter
December 6, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Christmas Story ... Part 1 - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/holidays-and-holy-days/the-christmas-story-part-1/
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Christmas Story
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:1-2)
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:26-35).
Some commentators try to cast doubt on the validity of Isaiah's virgin birth prophecy, saying the clearest Hebrew word for virgin is bethulah. In Isaiah 7:14 a different word, almah, is used. It means virgin too, but can also describe any woman of marriageable age. They contend that Isaiah's failure to use the most specific word for virgin could mean that he wasn't really prophesying a virgin birth. As if anticipating this, Isaiah included a rebuttal to their claims. It's simple and appears in Isaiah 8, but first some perspective.
Long-range prophecies often have what's called a dual fulfillment. The first is a partial one that confirms the certainty of the second, final one. As an example, Jesus said, "I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him" (John 5:43). He was speaking of the future appearance of the anti-Christ, the impostor Israel will accept as their messiah at the end of the age having rejected Him, their true Messiah, back then. But at His trial, Pilate offered to release one prisoner in honor of Passover. He asked them to choose between Jesus and Barabbas, and the crowd chose Barabbas (Matt. 27:15-23). (Interestingly, Barabbas means "son of a father.") This was the partial fulfillment that confirmed the final one.
Since there would only ever be one virgin birth, Isaiah's prophecy had to be given in a broad enough context to accommodate a partial fulfillment, and that's why he used almah instead of bethulah. Isaiah's wife was actually the one who provided the partial fulfillment. (Isaiah 8:3) How do we know? The Lord referred to the son she bore as Immanuel (Isaiah 8:8) even though He told her to also give him the ceremonial name of Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.
But think about it. In the context of Isaiah 7 the virgin birth was intended as an important sign to Israel. What kind of a sign would it be to say, "A woman of marriageable age will give birth." That happened every day.
And there's further support for the prophecy's validity as well. About 600 years later, after Isaiah and his family were long gone, his writings were officially translated into Greek by 70 leading Hebrew scholars. When they got to the passage we know as Isaiah 7:14 they chose the Greek word parthenos which in the Bible only describes someone who has never had a sexual experience. (Parthenos is the Greek word Paul used in 2 Cor. 11:2 to describe the Church as a chaste virgin.) These Hebrew scholars expected a virgin birth, and 150 years later they got one.
And finally, the only way Jesus could have a legal claim to the Throne of David was to be a biological descendant of King David's and in the royal line of succession, but not carry the blood curse God had pronounced on the royal line six centuries earlier. (Jere. 22:28-30)
Joseph was a descendant of David's through Solomon, the royal line. But like every other living descendant of Solomon's he carried the curse that disqualified him and all of his biological offspring from ever being Israel's King. Mary was also descended from David through Solomon's brother Nathan whose line wasn't cursed, but whose descendants weren't qualified to be king either.
Born of Mary, Jesus was a biological descendant of David's. As Joseph's adopted son, He was in line to be Israel's King but didn't carry the blood curse. In short, Jesus is the only man born into this world since 600BC who is legally qualified to serve as Israel's King, and only because he has no earthly father. Read "The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy" for all the details on this incredible story.
Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."
Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:36-38)
Elizabeth was six months pregnant when Mary conceived. Since John the Baptist, Elizabeth's son, was born in March, a normal nine-month gestation period would place his conception in the previous June. Elizabeth would have been six months into her pregnancy in late December, the time of Mary's conception, placing the Lord's birth in the following September, six months after John's.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us."
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Matt. 1:18-25)
In those days a betrothal was as legally binding as a marriage, but it permitted no unsupervised contact between bride and groom to avoid tempting them to consummate their union prematurely. Joseph knew he was not the baby's father, but accusing Mary of infidelity would have ruined her entire life. A betrothal could only be ended through divorce, so that's the remedy he sought. The name Jesus is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew Yeshua which means God brings salvation. Though in every sense of the word, he was "God with us" (Immanuel) it is only through Him that "God brings salvation" (Jesus).
The Birth of Jesus
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." (Micah 5:2)
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. (Luke 2:1-3)
Quirinius was governor from 6-4 BC and again from 6-9 AD. He had a census taken in each term of office. This one was during his first term. (Acts 5:37 refers to the second one.) More importantly, roads in the Jerusalem/Bethlehem area often became impassable after late fall due to winter storms, so it's highly improbable that he would have required everyone to travel in late December. Early fall is a more likely time.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:4-7)
Swaddling cloths, as they were called, were cut from worn out priestly garments. Mostly they were braided together and used as wicks for the four great four-branched menorah placed in the Temple courts during the Feast of Tabernacles. These giant lamps were so tall that priests had to lug buckets of oil up 30-foot ladders to keep them burning, and it's said that the light they produced illuminated the entire city. These linen cloths were the first earthly garments to adorn our High Priest, the Light of the World.
The Shepherds and the Angels
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:8-12)
Again, the winter weather around Jerusalem would have kept shepherds out of the open fields after late October. The animals being tended were Temple flocks, lambs that had been carefully bred over many years to be free of spot or blemish. These were the animals the pilgrims from far off bought to serve as sacrifices during the Holy Days, rather than take the risk of bringing one of their own on the long journey from home. These lambs served no other purpose. They were born to die for the sins of the people. It's fitting that their shepherds were the first to learn of the birth of The Lamb born to die for the sins of mankind (John 1:29).
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2:13-20)
Traditionally, the birth of a firstborn son was cause for great celebration in Israel. The firstborn was the heir, and assured the continuation of the family. Those fathers who could afford it hired musicians to parade through the streets singing, dancing and joyfully announcing the new arrival to all within earshot.
Mary and Joseph were several days journey from home and family and didn't have money for musicians, but the God of the Universe had it all taken care of. Opening the Heavens, He had His angelic choir sing the praises due this uniquely blessed event.
The World Against Israel - UN Passes 6 Outrageous Anti-Israel Resolutions - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=859
Last Wednesday, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to adopt 6 outrageous anti-Israel resolutions. These resolutions address a wide variety of issues including "a two-state solution", the status of the Golan Heights and a "lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem".
Unlike UN Security Council resolutions, these UN General Assembly resolutions are not considered to be legally binding upon the parties, but they do show that virtually the entire planet is in favor of dividing the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.
In addition, even though the U.S. voted against each of these resolutions, there is still a tremendous amount of buzz that the Obama administration may decide to go along with a UN Security Council resolution that would set the parameters for a "two state solution" before the end of Barack Obama's term comes on January 20th.
I have not seen a single mainstream news article about these UN General Assembly resolutions that were just passed. The only way that I learned about them is because someone sent me a link to an announcement on the official UN website.
In this article I want to share with you some extended excerpts from that announcement so that you can see for yourself exactly how the UN feels about Israel.
The first resolution that was adopted calls for an "intensification of efforts" to bring about "a final peace settlement" between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Of course any "final peace settlement" would mean a "two state solution" that permanently divides the land of Israel into two separate nations. 153 countries voted in favor of this resolution, but fortunately the United States was one of the seven nations that voted against it...
The Assembly adopted a resolution on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (document A/71/L.21) by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Tonga, Vanuatu). By the terms of the resolution, the Assembly called for the intensification of efforts by the parties, including through negotiations, with the support of the international community, towards the conclusion of a final peace settlement.
The next resolution that was adopted addressed the status of Jerusalem. The resolution refers to Israel as "the occupying power", and it calls for the city to be permanently divided between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Once again, the vote in favor of this resolution was incredibly lopsided...
The Assembly also adopted a resolution on Jerusalem (document A/71/L.22) by a recorded vote of 149 in favor to 7 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Vanuatu).
By its terms, the Assembly reiterated its determination that any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem were illegal and therefore null and void and had no validity whatsoever, and called upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures.
The Assembly also stressed that a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
Subsequently, the UN General Assembly also passed a resolution that calls for Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights. Sadly, the vote in favor of this resolution was also overwhelming...
By the terms of a resolution on the Syrian Golan (document A/71/L.8), the Assembly demanded that Israel withdraw from all the occupied territory to the line of 4 June 1967 and called on all parties concerned to exert the necessary efforts to ensure the resumption of the peace process. That resolution received 103 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 56 abstentions.
The General Assembly also passed three other anti-Israel resolutions last Wednesday, but none of them were nearly as important as the first three that I described. But just like with the other resolutions, the votes were not even close...
In adopting a resolution on the Special Information Program on the Question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat (document A/71/L.20), the Assembly renewed the Department's mandate. It also requested the Department to disseminate information on all activities relating to the question of Palestine and peace efforts and to organize and promote fact-finding news missions for journalists to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. That text garnered 153 votes in favor to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Honduras, Nauru, Paraguay, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu).
The Assembly also adopted a resolution on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (A/71/L.18), as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 100 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Guatemala, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 55 abstentions, and a resolution on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat (document A/71/L.19), with 98 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Guatemala, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 57 abstentions.
Needless to say, the Palestinians were absolutely thrilled by the outcome of these votes.
In fact, the Palestinian representative at the United States boldly declared that these resolutions represent "a clear reaffirmation of the international community's consensus on the two-State solution".
And it is true - virtually the entire planet wants to see the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem permanently divided.
The only thing that has been preventing that from happening has been the U.S. veto power on the UN Security Council. Unlike General Assembly resolutions, UN Security Council resolutions are considered to be legally binding on the parties.
France was ready to introduce a Security Council resolution last September that would have officially divided the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, but the Obama administration stopped it.
Previously I have spoken about how it appears that a "pause button" was hit at that point, but now there is a lot of speculation that Barack Obama may reverse course and decide to support such a resolution at the Security Council before his term ends on January 20th.
If Barack Obama betrays Israel at the United Nations between now and January 20th, it will be one of the most prophetically significant events that we have ever seen, and the consequences for this nation (and for the rest of the world) will be exceedingly severe.
As you can see from the UN General Assembly resolutions discussed above, there is a global consensus that the land of Israel should be divided, and the only one standing in the way right now is Barack Obama.
Let us hope that he doesn't decide to do something extremely foolish before handing over the reins to Donald Trump in late January.
Palestinians slam outpost bill, demand US recognize Palestine - By Dov Lieber - http://www.timesofisrael.com
Noting Kerry's recent criticism of Israel's West Bank policy, Ramallah also urges Washington to back UN resolution on settlements
The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called on the US administration to officially recognize the state of Palestine and support a UN resolution against Israeli settlements in the West Bank, in response to Israel's preliminary approval Monday night of a bill that would legalize outposts.
The so-called Regulation Bill, which was slammed by Israeli opponents as a "land grab" and has been harshly criticized by the US, EU and UN as a breach of international law, sailed through the Knesset in a preliminary reading, clearing its first legislative hurdle by a count of 60 MKs to 49. Israel's attorney-general, Avichai Mandelblit, has warned that the bill breaches local and international law.
The Palestinians said in a statement they "welcomed" recent international criticism of Israeli settlements, "especially" by US Secretary of State John Kerry, before the preliminary approval of the Regulation Bill.
Kerry on Sunday harshly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing the Israeli leader of not taking the required risks to reach a two-state solution, and calling the settlements "an obstacle to peace."
"The ministry asserts that this statement [from Kerry], although belated, and in the last quarter-hour of the life of the Obama administration, clearly places full responsibility on the Israeli government for thwarting the negotiations and destroying the chances for peace," the statement said.
The Palestinian ministry called on the US to "translate its positions into practical steps that will save the two-state solution of peace and opportunity. This would include the immediate cessation of settlement building through the US recognizing the State of Palestine and supporting the draft resolution against settlements in the UN Security Council."
One hundred and thirty-seven countries have already officially recognized the state of Palestine.
Kerry, however, also said Sunday that Washington would continue to oppose "any resolution that is unfair and biased against Israel." Outgoing President Barack Obama is said to have been mulling various steps to cement his legacy on the peace process, but "there's been no decision made about any kind of step that may or may not be taken in that regard," Kerry said.
Originally designed to avert the court-ordered demolition of the Amona outpost by December 25, the Regulation Bill was initiated by lawmakers from the national-religious Jewish Home party. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of Jewish Home, hailed the bill's approval as "a path of extending sovereignty to Judea and Samaria," his party's stated goal.
The bill's current version no longer includes a controversial clause that would have allowed the overriding of a High Court ruling requiring Amona's demolition, but will recognize other settlements built on private Palestinian land.
Attorney General Mandelblit, however, opposes the most recent version as well, which suggests that, if passed, it may not survive a challenge in the High Court.
Settlement watchdog Peace Now said the bill would legalize 55 outposts and 4,000 housing units in existing Jewish outposts and settlements in the West Bank, cast over some 8,000 dunams (3 square miles) of privately owned Palestinian plots.
The PA ministry said the bill comes "in the context of the Israeli right and extreme right tightening its control and imposing its unjust and extremist ideology on the joints of the government in Israel."
"Despite opposition from the Israeli attorney general for the project... and opposition from large segments of the legal and human rights [groups] inside Israel... and despite the international criticism and warning of... consequences to the two-state solution, the Knesset approved the preliminary reading of the bill, which contrasts starkly with international law and the Geneva Conventions, the laws in force in Israel and the decisions of the Supreme Court of the occupation state," it added.
Obama's Zero Hour Israel Burn at UN Foretold in Stunning Jerusalem Prophecy - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"Behold I will make Yerushalayim a cup of staggering unto all the peoples round about and upon Yehudah also shall it fall to be in the siege against Yerushalayim." Zechariah 12:2 (The Israel Bible™)
The prophet Ezekiel prophesied that in the end of days, Jerusalem would be an international point of contention, and as President Barack Obama mulls a possibly devastating blow to Israel during his last weeks in the White House, that prophecy seems closer to fruition than ever.
An international anti-Jerusalem scenario which sees President Obama using his final days in office to damage Israel via the UN, perhaps by allowing a resolution creating a Palestinian state to pass the Security Council without a US veto, is familiar to those who have read the prophet Zechariah.
And it shall come to pass in that day that I will make Yerushalayim a stone of burden for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it. Zechariah 12:3
The connection was made by David Mark, chief editor of Israel Rising and political activist for Jewish indigenous rights in Israel, in a political commentary on his website Sunday.
"There is a clear trajectory to create a situation where just by an American abstention, a de-facto Palestinian State will be created," he warned.
Should that happen, "This state will forcibly divide Jerusalem, ripping out the Jewish Nation's capital from within it and handing most of the holy sites to a made-up people that never existed."
"I read prophecy as a filter for political commentary," Mark explained in an interview with Breaking Israel News. "This prophecy describes Jerusalem as being a trigger for the war that comes later. The international element of the prophecy doesn't mean the world leaders will come to Jerusalem [but that they will 'gather' against it]. The UN clearly seems to be indicated here, and the stage is being set for this to happen."
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a noted Torah expert on the end of days, told Breaking Israel News that the international conflict surrounding Jerusalem as described in Zechariah is a necessary element of the Messianic process. Rabbi Winston cited Leviticus Rabbah, a homiletic commentary on the Book of Leviticus, which states, "Three times in the future Gog and Magog will war with Israel and go up against Jerusalem. They will assemble and anger the nations to go up to Jerusalem."
"This focus on Jerusalem is uncanny," said Rabbi Winston. "The Arabs shouldn't care about Jerusalem since they have Mecca. America's policy is also strange. They could put the embassy in uncontested West Jerusalem, and that would please Israel without threatening the Palestinians."
But one of the Palestinian preconditions to peace negotiations has always been the creation of a Palestinian state based on pre-Six Day War borders, which would include East Jerusalem, though Palestinians claim "every centimeter of Jerusalem" as a solely Arab and Muslim domain.
For Rabbi Winston, this bizarre activity surrounding Jerusalem reinforces his belief that this is a prelude to the Messiah.
"This is clearly Divine intervention," the rabbi stated. "This is all for the believers. People are not acting logically. God is pushing things to make a person go to either the right or the left because the end is coming."
While reports emerged last week that Obama had "nearly ruled out" any last-minute efforts to hurt Israel at the UN, US Secretary of State John Kerry refused to confirm that no such plans were in place. On Sunday at the Saban Forum in Washington, Kerry said that the US would only veto a UN resolution intended to establish a Palestinian state if it was "a biased, unfair resolution calculated to delegitimize Israel", leaving the threat open.
Though Jerusalem is becoming a flash-point for international conflict, fulfilling its prophetic status as "a cup of staggering for all nations," pointed out Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the nascent Sanhedrin, "The main aspect of the prophecy is the peace that ensues, and not the conflict, which is merely a prelude."
He concluded that the fulfillment of the prophecy will end in the ultimate peace.
"The prophecies describe a spirit of purity that will wash over the world, which will enable the return of the Kingdom of the House of David to Israel, may it live forever."
Nearing Midnight: The Mark of the Beast System Is Being Field Tested in China - Todd Strandberg - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
In the United States "big data" is a major industry. Anytime you buy or show interest in something that can be tracked, a major retailer will try to convince you to buy their products. Last week I looked online for the price of a toner cartridge. Since then, nearly every site I visit has ads for the same toner cartridge. I also regularly get coupons in the mail from office supply firms, so some system is obviously keeping track of my office-related needs.
This use of "big data" may be creepy at times in a capitalist system, but the only thing its users are after-is money. For an autocratic government "big data" is a useful tool to keep people enslaved. China is currently plotting to use raw data to create a "social-credit system" that will assign a "personal citizen score" to every single person based on behavior.
With Beijing able to draw upon a growing network of data pools, a system of Algorithms could be set up. They could be used to calculate a citizen's rating, which would then be used to determine a person's social status. A good rating could mean faster treatment at government offices or access to luxury hotels. A low rating could mean being blacklisted from loans, jobs, or access to the Internet.
China's judiciary already uses a blacklisting system which can be linked into the national "social-credit system." A legal scholar working in Hangzhou, cites the example of a client, part-owner of a travel company, who now can't buy tickets for planes or high-speed trains because the local court put him on a blacklist after he lost a dispute with a landlord.
Beijing has chosen Hangzhou as the pilot for this "social credit" system. The Communist Party has said it wants to roll out the system nationwide by 2020.
The current means of control in China is the dungeon-a system of dossiers the Communist Party keeps on the behavior of urban workers. When you have 1.4 billion people, there is a massive amount of paperwork to just manage the wealthier citizens. The poor people living in the countryside don't even show up on the radar. They are only managed by not being allowed to enter the major urban areas.
The primary reason why the heads of state fear the masses is because they have no way of tracking them. If a group of people are plotting a coup, the authorities may discover the problem too late to prevent it. During the days of the Cold War, the USSR and China spent enormous amounts of energy suppressing American influences that proved that Communism didn't work. Now that China has used capitalism to modernize its economy, it can use the fruits of the free market to suppress dissenters.
The Communist Party is trying to put a happy face on their Orwellian plan. The national social-credit system's aim, according to a slogan printed in planning documents, is to "allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step."
President Xi Jinping's is a key mastermind behind this new ranking system. He has launched a campaign to tighten his grip on the country and dictate morality. Xi believes that economic uncertainty is threatening to undermine the Communist Party. In October, he called for innovation in "social governance" that would "heighten the capacity to forecast and prevent all manner of risks."
It would seem to be a fairly reasonable to set up a system that rewards people for their actions. Because sinful human beings are the ones who set the rules, China's blueprints for utopianism could end up producing something far worse than the police state that governs North Korea.
I've talked about the mark of the beast system many times in the past. Up until now, the system that the Antichrist will use enslave the world was in the future. What China is working on is clearly the prototype of what will be the 666 mark. For centuries dictators have dreamed of a system that would allow them to totally control the masses. Now that technology has made it possible, the stage is set for the man who will fulfill the passages of Revelation 13.
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev.13:16-17).
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
What Happens on the Final Judgment in the End Times? - Pastor Greg Laurie - http://www.christianpost.com/news/what-happens-on-the-final-judgment-in-the-end-times-pastor-greg-laurie-answers-171896/
What happens beyond the grave? That's a question that most people ask. Pastor Greg Laurie addressed the question to the congregation of his California megachurch while speaking about the Great White Throne Judgment, as described in the last book of the Bible, Revelation.
The Great White Throne Judgment is for non-believers only, and is different from the judgment seat of Christ, where Christians will stand, Laurie, senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, said in a recent sermon.
Pastor Laurie, a popular evangelist and author of over 70 books, preached from Revelation 20, saying it carries the story of Satan being bound for 1,000 years.
To explain the context, the pastor said he believes that the next event in the prophetic calendar of God is the Rapture, and then will come the seven-year Tribulation followed by the Second Coming of Christ, leading to the 1,000 year millennium reign, in which we will rule and reign over the survivors of the Tribulation.
During the millennial period, he added, there will be world peace for the first time ever, there will be joy and happiness, and no disabilities, people will live long lives, the animal kingdom will be subdued, there will be universal justice and righteousness, the curse of sin will be lifted, and holiness will prevail.
However, Revelation 20:7-10 talks about one more battle, Laurie told the congregation, explaining that that's when Satan will be released from his prison.
Satan will deceive the descendants of the survivors of the Tribulation who still have sinful nature, he added. But then Satan will face the final judgment, which takes us to the Great White Throne Judgment.
The Bible teaches that there are two deaths, physical and spiritual, Laurie explained. "Jesus warned that we should fear the second death more than the first death... It is spiritual separation from God."
The pastor then said, "Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset. Eternity to the wicked is a night that has not sunrise."
Laurie explained, "The white throne is called great because of its power and ultimate purpose. It's called white because of its purity."
When a Christian dies, she or he goes to heaven, and when a non-believer dies, she or he goes to Hades, Pastor Laurie said, referring to Luke 16:22, 23.
People in hell suffer; the suffering is a real thing in the afterlife, the pastor added. "People in Hades are fully conscious and in pain... Once you're in hell, you cannot cross over to heaven."
Physical death is the separation of soul from the body, wherein one moves from the physical to the invisible, he explained, adding that you are conscious and fully aware of where you are.
The pastor then warned, "The only reliable account of afterlife is the Bible," and not people who have described their alleged out-of-body experiences in various books.
Who will be there in the second death? "All those who have rejected God's offer of forgiveness," Laurie said, adding, "Notice, I didn't say bad people."
Both out-and-out sinners and self-righteous people will be there in hell, Laurie went on to say. Procrastinators will be there, too, because they may never believe, and unsaved church members will also be there, he added.
Why are they there? Because "they did not believe," Laurie answered, quoting John 3:18.
The purpose for the final judgment is to let the non-believers know why they are condemned, he told the listeners.
"One day every person on earth will meet Jesus Christ. Even if they don't believe Christ exists, they'll meet Jesus Christ. He is inescapable and unavoidable. And if they don't believe Him as Savior, they'll meet Him as Judge," Laurie warned.
"Hell is a prison in which the prison doors are first locked from the inside by us, and therefore are locked from the outside by God," the pastor said, concluding that we choose to go to hell, as God wants us in heaven.
Daily Jot: What is your prophetic destiny? - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
When I look at the news and see these fearful people saying and doing immature and crazy things because the election didn't turn out the way they wanted, I see a people of little or no hope. A grown person who has a responsible job in the news business laying in fetal position crying because her candidate lost the election is ridiculous, of course, but also an indicator of no hope and no faith. This person would be an example of those who put their hope and faith in what they see, in a person, in a system. To lose hope is to have no faith. We know that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Herein lies our prophetic destiny. Imagine how empty life is without it.
Think of your ancestors. Each one of them had hopes and dreams. Some hopes and dreams they may have seen before they passed on. Many never saw their hopes and dreams come true. Many more had no idea the impact that they had on the future. I often wonder if my grandfather William Bradford had an inkling that his life was at least in part responsible for establishing this nation, or that he and those brave men and women of the Mayflower knew that they and their contemporaries in Jamestown would beget a nation of Christians that would go on to evangelize the world. They never saw it while here on earth. But as Hebrews 11:2 says, "For by it (faith) the elders obtained a good report."
Hebrews 11:3 says, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." It goes on to talk about those in the Bible who acted in faith, but did not receive "the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." These were the mighty men and women of faith who acted with substance on what they hoped for, knowing it was the evidence of things not seen. You, too, have those who went before you so that you, even you, could be at this place in time, this moment in history.
And you can face it in faith, not fear. It is your prophetic destiny. As Hebrews 12:1-2 says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. Looking onto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Where we begin is where someone else left off-even many before. You have been placed at this point in time for a purpose unto God. Pursue it without fear, in faith and in hope of the Lord. You are a prophetic person. Step into your destiny.
Daily Devotion: A Riches-to-Rags Story - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. -2 Corinthians 8:9
In reality, the story of Jesus is not a rags-to-riches story; it is a riches-to-rags story. It is a story of leaving the glory of Heaven for this planet. Jesus could have been born in the most elegant mansion on the ritziest boulevard in Rome. He could have had aristocratic parents who boasted of their pedigree. He could have had the finest clothes from the most exclusive shops. He could have had legions of angels as an army of servants to respond to His every whim. But He had none of that. Instead, Jesus humbled Himself.
We read in 2 Corinthians 8:9, "Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich." God came into our world. He was like any other baby who needed to be cradled, needed to be nurtured, and needed to be protected. The Creator of the universe was born in a stable in Bethlehem.
Like everything else in the Christmas story, we have romanticized this aspect of it. I think, in many ways, we miss its raw, powerful meaning. This stable or barn (or maybe even cave) where Christ was born was cold and damp. It also would have smelled. God incarnate was born on the dirt floor of a filthy stable. Our Savior came not as a monarch draped in gold and silk, but as a baby wrapped in rags.
Jesus went from being a sovereign to a servant. He went from the glory of God to a stable filled with animals. It has been said that history swings on the hinge of the door of a stable in Bethlehem.
Think about what Jesus left to come to us. Jesus took His place in a manger so that we might have a home in Heaven.
FROM THE HEART
IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED THROUGH THIS MINISTRY, THEN WE ASK THAT YOU WOULD PLEASE REMEMBER PROPHECY UPDATE IN YOUR GIVING - WE ARE TRULY, TRULY, THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Prophecy Update has no corporate sponsors. This ministry is paid for and prayed for by readers and supporters. Without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update, Please pray about becoming a monthly supporter - thanks!
If ever there was a time to invest in God's Kingdom, it's now!
What on earth are you doing for Heaven's Sake?
"Share in the Blessings and Rewards that will last Forever!"
"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
1) We need your prayers!- We proclaim the Truth of the Word of God and we are under constant spiritual and sometimes even physical attack.
2) We need your encouragement!- We need to hear from you, let us know how the Lord is blessing you through this ministry so that we can share it with others.
3) We need your input! - If you have a prophetic article or story or if there is a news related item we missed, let us know.
4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
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
Prophecy Update is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt - non-profit organization, and all your donations are tax deductible.
If you have been blessed by Prophecy Update and would like to help support this ministry financially. You can make a secure donation online by going to:
Or Visit our website:
Or write us at:
P.O. Box 40516
Bakersfield, CA 93384-0516