Prophecy Update Newsletter
December 7, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Christmas Story ... Part 2 (Conclusion) - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/holidays-and-holy-days/the-christmas-story-part-2-conclusion/
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. (Luke 2:21)
Long before the Lord ordained the ritual of circumcision for males, He arranged for the coagulating pro-enzyme called prothrombin to be at 130% of normal adult levels on the eighth day of life, and for natural analgesic enzymes in the blood to be at lifetime highs as well.
Circumcision on any other day can be a painful and bloody event, but on the eighth day of life it's remarkably less so. Of course, this is a fact the medical profession has only learned in the last century. Back then people just knew that everything worked better when they were obedient to God's commands.
When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons." (Luke 2:22-24)
It was 33 days after Jesus had been circumcised. Since Joseph and Mary could not afford a lamb for Mary's purification, the Law permitted them to use the two birds instead. (Lev. 12:8)
The Visit of the Magi
"I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel ... (Numbers 24:17)
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: " 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" (Matt. 2:1-6)
The Magi were Parthian Priests, descendants of the priesthood the Prophet Daniel had organized in Persia some 500 years earlier, upon learning the timing of Messiah's coming (Daniel 9:25). Knowing the time was at hand, these priests had been searching the heavens for the promised sign of His coming, a new star in the Eastern sky.
Parthia was a powerful kingdom north and east of Israel, a remnant of the Persian Empire that had recently defeated the Roman Legions, and the Magi were among Parthia's most powerful leaders. No Parthian ruler could ascend to the throne without their blessing and indeed their political influence was felt through out the Middle East.
Contrary to the popular Christmas Carol, they were king-makers, not kings, and they were many more than three. Since Israel was under Roman control, the Magi technically represented an enemy country. Aware of this, but not intimidated, they traveled in a huge caravan with lots of guards, and their arrival in Jerusalem set the whole city a-buzz (Matt. 2:3).
Herod would be called a Jordanian today. He was appointed King by the Roman Senate. In short he was a pretender to the throne in Israel, and now these Parthian King-makers had come seeking the one born to be Israel's King. No wonder he was disturbed.
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (Matt. 2:7-12)
The three gifts are symbolic of the Messiah's three present offices in His Kingdom. Gold is the gift for a King, frankincense points to the Priest, and myrrh, an embalming spice that foretold His death, represents the Prophet.
The Magi didn't arrive on the night the Lord was born. The text indicates that by the time they did arrive, Joseph and Mary had found a house to stay in. And as we read above, they had already had Jesus circumcised and dedicated at the Temple on His eighth day of life, and Mary had completed her 33 day time of purification as required by the Law.
If Jesus was born on Rosh HaShannah as seems likely, the family would have stayed in the Jerusalem area for Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles as well, since Joseph's attendance, as with that of all able bodied males, was mandatory.
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." (Matt 2:13-15)
Too poor to buy a lamb for the purification only a few days ago, Joseph and his family suddenly had the means to travel to Egypt and stay there until Herod died. How can this be?
Tradition has it that because of his lifetime of service at the highest levels of Babylonian and Persian governments, Daniel had become a wealthy man. Since he was most likely castrated by Nebuchadnezzar he had no heirs, and so after he formed the Magi, he left his fortune in their care to be given to the Messiah upon His birth. If so then the Magi's gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh came from Daniel's estate, and were delivered to the Holy Family just in time to fund their escape from Herod's soldiers.
This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more." (Jeremiah 31:15)
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. (Matt 2:16)
The Magi had been watching for the star. When they first saw it they made preparations for a long journey and once prepared, set out to follow it. We don't know exactly where they set out from, when they first noticed the star, or how long it took them to get ready, but their journey could easily have been several hundred miles long. The only clue we get as to the time of their arrival is that after asking them when they first spotted the star, Herod ordered all the boys in Bethlehem below the age of two years killed.
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead." (Matt. 2:19-20)
When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. (Luke 2:39-40)
Home at last. A journey of several days had lasted several years. And just about every day of it a reminder to our Lord that the world He came to save held no place for Him.
"Foxes have holes," He would later say, "And birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Luke 9:58)
It's always fascinated me that after reading Micah's prophecy of the Messiah's birthplace, Herod and the chief priests sent the Magi to Bethlehem in search of Him, but didn't go to see for themselves. Did they think they were sending the Magi on a futile search, certain they wouldn't find anything? If so, why did they consult their Scriptures for an answer to Herod's question, and why did Herod have all those children killed?
Maybe Herod can be excused for not going. He wasn't even Jewish and probably knew very little of Messianic prophecy. But the Chief Priests were reading from their own scriptures, and with evidence of the star the Magi had followed to confirm the prophecy, they should have been the first to investigate. After all, Messianic prophecy was being fulfilled right before their very eyes. What I'd give to have overheard their discussions on this.
The nature of the Lord's life on Earth had been predicted long before, and right from the start the words of the prophets were proving to be all too true.
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:2-3)
The only ones who even had a clue as to Who He was were given their understanding through a direct revelation from God. They included Joseph and Mary of course. The Parthian priests had learned of Him through Daniel's revelation, and the shepherds witnessed the angelic visitation. Two others, Simeon and Anna, had both received direct revelations about the baby and gave eyewitness testimony that He was the Christ child (Luke 2:25-38). This was a fulfillment of Deut. 19:15, A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
And that's it. Having looked for the arrival of the promised Messiah for nearly 4000 years, when He came only a hand full of His people understood. There's no indication that either the priest who performed the circumcision or the one who received the obligatory sacrifice of the firstborn had any idea who this child was.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)
And yet He had come for the sole purpose of healing the incredible rift in our relationship with God, (Colossians 1:19), delivering us from the unspeakable horrors of the destiny due us (Romans 5:9) and elevating us to the highest position in His Kingdom (Ephes. 2:6). Not because we could ever earn or deserve it, but because He loved us enough to do it, and had promised He would.
Thank you Lord Jesus. We owe you our eternal lives. Blessings and honor and glory, love and worship, devotion and adoration be to you. For you alone are worthy.
Liberman on Syria strikes: Israel keeping WMDs from Hezbollah - by Judah Ari Gross and Raphael Ahren - http://www.timesofisrael.com/liberman-israel-attacked-syria-to-stop-hezbollah-from-getting-wmds/
In rare admission defense minister tells EU ambassadors IAF active in Syria, says peace with Palestinians far off
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman acknowledged that Israel was responsible for recent attacks in Syria, saying on Wednesday that they were meant to prevent "advanced weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction" from reaching Hezbollah.
Speaking to ambassadors from the European Union, Liberman did not specify what incident or incidents he is referring to, saying only "what was done in Syria," according to a statement from his office.
"We are working, first and foremost, to defend the safety of our citizens and to protect our sovereignty, and we are trying to prevent the smuggling of advanced weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Hezbollah," he said.
He did not expand on what weapons of mass destruction Hezbollah may have been trying to acquire.
During the meeting with EU officials, the defense minister also laid out his view for how Israel would like to see the Syrian civil war resolved and his skepticism at the prospects of a peace deal with the Palestinians in the near future.
One EU ambassador told The Times of Israel that a "good, constructive conversation" had been held with Liberman, but expressed "deep concern" over the so-called regulation bill, which would legalize some Israeli settlements built on private Palestinian land.
"They entire world is watching" what Israel is doing with this bill, the ambassador said, requesting anonymity.
On Wednesday morning, a bombing near a Damascus military airport was blamed on Israel.
"At 3:00 a.m., the Israeli enemy fired several surface-to-surface missiles from inside occupied territory," the Syrian state news agency SANA said, citing a military source. The report said the Israeli missiles caused a large fire but no injuries or deaths.
Last week, Israeli planes also reportedly struck both a weapons site near the Syrian capital and a Hezbollah convoy, causing some large explosions but also no casualties.
Israel generally does not officially admit to carrying out attacks deep inside Syria, though it has publicly maintained it will not allow advanced weapons to be transferred to Hezbollah.
In his remarks, the defense minister insisted that Israel is not interested in getting involved in the Syrian civil war, but will work to defend itself.
Regarding an eventual resolution to the civil war, which has been raging since 2011 and has caused the deaths of the hundreds of thousands of people, Liberman said he would be amenable to any peace deal - so long as it does not include Iran and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"When I am asked, time after time, what a possible future agreement with Syria will be like, I say that my position is that regardless of what agreement will be in Syria - the Iranians and [Syrian President Bashar] Assad have to be out of Syria and not be a part of any deal," Liberman said.
The defense minister also dismissed the possibility of a peace agreement with the Palestinians anytime soon, calling it "unrealistic and impossible" for one to be reached at the point in time.
"The notion of a permanent solution will have to be postponed for at least a few years, and in the meantime, we need to ensure normal lives in Judea and Samaria for both Jews and Palestinians," Liberman said, using the biblical term for the West Bank.
The defense minister scolded European leaders in general for considering Israeli settlements to be "the biggest problem in the world," pointing to deadlier conflicts around the world.
"At least five hundred people are killed each day in the Middle East, from South Sudan to Iraq, which is much more serious and important than what is happening in Amona, but this is something you don't see in the European press," he said.
Addressing the EU ambassadors directly, he said: "The fact that you are always talking about the settlements is hypocritical. I'm waiting for you to start talking about North Korea and the Iranians' ballistic missiles."
Islamic State Just One Element of The 'Chaos' At Israel-Syria Border - Ariel Ben Solomon - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=860
The recent attention-grabbing exchange of fire between Israel and Islamic State is just one aspect of the Jewish state's assessment of the current threats at its northern border with Syria.
Israeli forces killed four fighters from the Islamic State-affiliated Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade Nov. 27 after the terrorists had fired at Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers in the Golan Heights border region. The exchange drew significant attention because it was the first report of an Islamic State attack on Israel from Syria.
Islamic State has previously threatened Israel, but until now the terror group did not appear to open such a front at the Israel-Syria border.
Yet despite the numerous news headlines that followed the Islamic State attack, the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade does not have nearly as large of a footprint in the region as Hezbollah or its patron, Iran, which have been increasing their presence in Syria to back President Bashar al-Assad's regime in that country's civil war.
The IDF estimates that about 120,000 Hezbollah rockets are aimed at Israel. Hezbollah has a full-blown army with around 45,000 members, 21,000 of whom are regularly in service, Haaretz reported in July.
By contrast, the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade has between 600 and 1,000 fighters, according to a report in The Economist in January. The report quoted Israeli officers as calling the brigades "Daesh lite," using an alternative name for Islamic State.
Given that Hezbollah's forces amount to a far greater security threat to Israel, the Islamic State attack may have been no more than an effort by the jihadist group to distract from its losses in Syria and Iraq.
Israeli Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud) told JNS.org that three groups--the al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front, the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, and Islamic State--are struggling for control of the area near Israel's border.
These groups "sometimes fight each other," Kara said. Three enemies of Israel--the Syrian army, Hezbollah, and Iran--are on the other side of Syria's civil war, he noted. Besides the rebel group led by Syrian opposition leader Kamal al-Labwani, "all of these groups in the area are against us," said Kara.
"Islamic State is trying to get close to our border to attack in order to gain popularity," asserted the deputy minister. But he added, "Islamic State, Assad, Hezbollah, and Iran have no interest right now in getting Israel involved."
Syrian rebel leader Labwani told JNS.org that there is "chaos" on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
"We need to create one authority," said the rebel activist, who has many sources on the ground in the area.
Speaking from Sweden, Labwani claimed that Hezbollah could have been behind the Nov. 27 attack rather than Islamic State. Hezbollah is paying rebels to carry out attacks on Israel, he claimed. Israel's Kara, however, maintained that Islamic State carried out the recent attack.
Labwani, who snuck out of Syria in 2012 and who has visited Israel, has supported the implementation of a safe zone that buffers Israel's border with Syria, though he admits that such a move would need to be approved by the U.S. and/or Russia.
Asked how the southern Syrian region is fairing from Israel's perspective, Labwani responded that the situation is manageable, but that the Jewish state should be more proactive in bringing about the safe zone.
Mendi Safadi, an Israeli Druze political activist who has traveled in the region and met with leaders of Syria's opposition, said the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade was responsible for the Nov. 27 attack and that the brigade is comprised of Syrian Palestinians.
"Yarmouk is not a typical Islamic State group, but has taken advantage of the popularity of Islamic State in order to raise funds," said Safadi, adding that this represents another example of the radicalization of Islamist groups.
He added, "Yarmouk's abilities are limited compared to the core Islamic State [organization], but they presumably will continue operations against Israel unless Israel launches pre-emptive strikes."
Moti Kahana, an American-Israeli businessman and founder of the American Jewish NGO Amaliah, which delivers humanitarian supplies to Syrian civilians, said that because of the humanitarian crisis in the southern province of Quneitra bordering Israel, the Nusra Front and Islamic State have sought to provide aid to win the hearts and minds of the Syrian population.
Amaliah is the only organization delivering aid to Syrians from the Golan Heights in coordination with the IDF. Syrian women and children are also being brought into Israel for medical treatment. Kahana said his group is stepping up funding for aid because "if we don't bring humanitarian supplies to the area, radicals will fill the vacuum."
He worries that if President-elect Donald Trump's incoming administration stops U.S. support for Syrian rebels, Islamist-supporting Qatar would step in, emboldening the Islamist nature of the Syrian opposition.
Indeed, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told Reuters last month that if the U.S. cuts funding for the rebels, Qatar's support for rebels "is going to continue, we are not going to stop it."
Kahana is a Democrat who explained that for the past four years, he tried to get the Obama administration to implement safe zones in Syria, but got no support. Now, Kahana is optimistic about the Trump administration's Syria policy because Trump himself has voiced support for safe zones.
"The Trump administration does not want Syrians coming to America, but for them to stay in their country," Kahana told JNS.org. "And the only way to do this is by creating safe zones."
Jacob's Sheep Arrive in Israel in the Most Biblical Fashion Imaginable - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are separated so will I seek out My sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places whither they have been scattered in the day of clouds and thick darkness." Ezekiel 34:12 (The Israel Bible™)
The 2,000-year saga of the return of Jacob's sheep to the Holy Land as prophesied by Ezekiel was officially launched with the first of 11 flights that took place last week. The timing of this tremendous occurrence is deeply Biblically significant and may in fact shed light on the fascinating history of the patriarch's herd.
On November 30, 119 sheep landed in Israel, coincidentally the same day rains at last began to fall in Israel, ending a difficult drought. This was precisely as Ezekiel had prophesied.
I will deliver them out of all places whither they have been scattered in the day of clouds and thick darkness. Ezekiel 34:12
This remarkable story began when Gil and Jenna Lewinsky, a couple that met in Israel and moved to Canada, first set eyes on the unique sheep three years ago. Despite never having farmed, something about the sheep spoke to their souls. They bought a herd of 70 and began a not-for-profit farm. In their hearts, they knew the sheep were destined for greater things than producing wool and milk. Though the breed has its genetic roots in the Holy Land, there are no Jacob's Sheep in the Middle East today. The Lewinskys changed all that when they decided to bring Jacob's flock home.
It took three years of wrestling with the bureaucracy of importing livestock, before the actual journey could begin. Since Canada is not listed as a country permitted to export livestock to Israel, the petition was initially rejected in 2015.
About ready to give up, the Lewinskys received a blessing for the endeavor from Rabbi Amram Vaknin, a well-known mystic from Ashdod. The rabbi was thrilled when he saw photos of the sheep and the undeniable resemblance to their Biblical ancestors.
"Rav Vaknin stated that the sheep have a special blessing on them from Jacob in the Bible," Gil told Breaking Israel News. "The rabbi said that the shofar horn from the Jacob Sheep is the most holy in the whole world."
After the intervention of diplomats of the Israeli Embassy in Ottawa, the petition to bring the herd of Jacob's Sheep was reconsidered and accepted. The actual journey began three months ago when the sheep boarded a truck for a 3,000 mile journey from British Columbia to Toronto. In a distinctly Ezekiel-inspired manner, the journey was accompanied by thunder and lightning. After a stressful four-month quarantine, they prepared to board planes for Israel.
Even this part of the journey was fraught with difficulty. El-Al Airlines had generously agreed to subsidize 90 percent of the flight from Toronto to Israel, the largest airlift of animals in Israeli history, but a strike by the pilots forced the Lewinskys to make other arrangements, costing them an additional $80,000.
That rainy day one week ago, when the first shipment of sheep arrived, was also the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan. This was the day, untold thousands of years ago, when Noah, after a similar journey with his menagerie, offered up a sacrifice to God after weathering the storm.
Gil also pointed out that during their arduous journey with 119 sheep, not one sheep died or failed the rigorous tests given by the Department of Agriculture. Normally, about 12 percent of animals fail such tests.
"The number 119 is seven times 17," explained Gil. "The Gematria (Hebrew numerology) for the Hebrew word for 'sacrifice' (זבח) equals 17." What's more, "Seven is a complete natural cycle, or perfection," indicating significance to each number in the equation.
Gil also noted that Psalm 119, which is especially long with 176 verses, ends with a reference to sheep.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant; for I have not forgotten Thy commandments. Psalm 119:176
Taking the Biblical implications one step further, this week, Jews in synagogues all over the world will read the Torah portion of Vayetzei (Genesis 28:10 - 32:3), in which Jacob makes a deal with his deceitful uncle Laban to claim the spotted sheep for his own.
And the flocks conceived at the sight of the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted. Genesis 30:39
This verse alone is proves the Biblical heritage of the Lewinskys' sheep as "They are the only sheep breed in the world to produce spots and speckles in offspring," Gil explained to Breaking Israel News.
Just as the return of Jacob's descendants took many years and had many meanderings, so too for his flocks. The group of sheep that arrived last week will be staying in quarantine for the next month near Ofakim and Ein Habasor in the South of Israel, but the Lewinskys are still searching for a permanent home.
According to breed aficionados, the sheep originated in the north of Biblical Israel, and were sold to Egypt. By way of North Africa and Morocco, the sheep made their way to Spain, and finally to Britain, where they were favored by landed gentry for their distinctive spotted appearance and four horns.
Nearing Midnight: The A B C Questions - Terry James - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
We are moving into stranger and stranger times, I sense from consideration of recent developments. Chief among those developments is the most obvious--the election of the candidate thought to have no chance at all just a few months previous. Yet here he is, poised to Make America Great Again--as his presidential campaign slogan would have it.
This being the case, I would ask that you indulge me just a bit, as I would like to construct a scenario or two based as much in biblically prophetic truth as in fictional cogitation.
That America has been forced toward movement into the globalist mold over the past several decades is without question in my view. This has especially been the case during the past eight years of the Obama administration. The nation's sovereignty has been in process of usurpation by the new world order builders through a series of quasi-legitimate executive orders.
It is more than obvious, to me at least, that the United States was moving along an seemingly unalterable course dictated by the globalists' agenda. This presidential election didn't just slow that movement; it halted it in its tracks. The president-elect is an avowed antiglobalist. He views America not as the hegemonic superpower that must be brought down to third-world status, its wealth redistributed in order to create some insanely conceived socialistic Utopia, but as beneficent leader of a world of autonomous nations.
My idea isn't to sing the praises of the future president. He is merely a man who has been thrust into the end-times picture for God's own great purpose. My thinking here is to explore and examine a bit the possibilities that purpose might include. Thus we come to the title of this commentary: "The A B C Questions."
I watch with great interest the uptick in the world's fiscal markets as the wizards of finance contemplate changes taking place in our country. The records being set in the stock markets, etc., move in synchronization with the strangeness of this election. The whole matter, to my way of thinking, generates questions involving Bible prophecy potentiality.
My questions and ruminations follow.
AMERICA--Is this nation, rather than being on the brink of imploding economically as most prophecy students thought before this election, now about to enter a time of, perhaps, unprecedented financial boom?
Most who have been responsible for making profit within the private sector know and lament that regulations coming out of the current presidential administration have been deadly to business development. Mr. Obama, himself, has boasted that he has "a pen and a phone"--meaning that he could and would bypass Congress to accomplish what he wanted done. This he has done prolifically. His use of his pen and phone have been particularly ruinous to the free enterprise system in this nation. Increased taxation, added to the regulatory edicts, have resulted in horrendous job losses because of business down-sizings and closings. The nation seemed poised to go much deeper into the economic abyss. The election of Donald J. Trump, a highly successful business mogul, seems to have suddenly turned things around with promises to roll back taxes and regulations and to introduce a plethora of innovations.
The financial markets are apparently buying the promises, and the uptick in the stratospheric of economic anticipation shows it.
All of this just doesn't fit the thinking of observers of Bible prophecy. Most seem to look for America to succumb to the forces of globalism. And, as stated before, the nation was certainly headed in that direction prior to this election.
So, it is reasonable to ask whether the United States of America might be headed into another great economic boom instead of descending into depression as feared just weeks ago. This conjecture brings forth another most interesting question.
BABYLON--Could we now be witness to the beginnings of the creation of the prophetic entity termed "Babylon the Great"?
Revelation chapter 18 presents a stunning portrait of the greatest human commercial entity of all of history. This nation and city is prophesied to dominate all the earth with its commerce and debaucheries. Here's what is said of this city-state called "Babylon the Great":
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. (Revelation 18:3)
This Babylonian system will be destroyed in one hour, God's Word tells us. It will be a much-deserved judgment. All the world will mourn this destruction.
And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more. (Revelation 18:9-11)
Here you will, I hope, indulge my postulations a bit. If this generation is at the very end of he Age of Grace (Church Age) as most who are well-versed in Bible prophecy from the pre-Trib view believe, there is but one entity on the stage of history that could possibly be seen as doing business in such a mighty way as described in this prophecy.
For there to develop from the ground up such a commercial power, it would take decades, not just seven, or even twenty years. America, if there was a massive jinning up of enterprise, could possibly reach such heights of interaction with the rest of the world in a matter of a year or two. There is simply no nation on the planet that has ever been so materially blessed as the USA. There is no other city on planet earth that has the commercial outreach and influence as New York City.
Seeing as how the timeline seems to be a major factor in this prophecy--this destruction of Babylon the Great taking place within the seven-year Tribulation--we can legitimately ask, I think: Is America to develop into that judgment-bound entity?
Perhaps we might get a clue if the optimistic outlook of the current stock market elites plays out as they, at least at this moment, anticipate.
CHRISTIANITY --Is Christianity about to experience a Great Awakening like in times past?
I have been hearing for years now preachers and others saying that there will be a great revival before the Rapture. Some of those who don't hold that there is a Rapture coming also say there will be another Great Awakening, as in times past. I've never held that belief, I must say. However, the strange turn of events--with the anti-God forces of the left and the globalists' ravenous desire to gobble up the United States being suddenly halted--or so it seems--one has to question" why?".
Could we be about to experience a final outpouring of God's great mercy in the form of the true church carrying out the Great Commission in a Holy Spirit directed outburst of supernatural witness?
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
Forgetting Pearl Harbor - Jack Kinsella - www.omegaletter.com
On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese government launched a sneak attack against the United States, striking without warning and scoring a devastating blow against a nation that thought it was at peace.
When asked what he thought the Japanese sneak attack against the US Sixth Fleet had accomplished for the Japanese Imperial war effort, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto offered a surprisingly glum assessment.
It was surprising because the Imperial Japanese Navy had scored an uncompromising victory.
The Japanese strike force had succeeded in destroying five battleships, a minelayer, and had sunk or severely damaged three battleships. One hundred and eighty-eight aircraft were destroyed on the ground, and the US Navy suffered 2,333 dead and 1,139 wounded.
By contrast, Japan's losses were negligible: five midget subs, 29 aircraft and 64 men. Instead of jumping for joy at the victory, Yamamoto said instead, "I fear that all we have accomplished is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
On December 7, 1941, the United States was nowhere near ready for war. It's fleet was antiquated, its military forces were still at peacetime levels, it had no air force to speak of, and those forces that it did have were poorly equipped.
Some new recruits, in the first few months following the attacks, trained using wooden rifles and mock weapons because there weren't enough to go around.
But Yamamoto was right. The battle cry, "Remember Pearl Harbor" struck deep into the hearts of every American, and the "terrible resolve" it imbued resulted in the utter destruction of the Japanese war machine just over three and a half years later.
On September 11, 2001, forces loyal to Islam launched a sneak attack against US civilian targets within the homeland, using US civilian aircraft as improvised bombs.
Both of the towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed: the 110 story structures collapsed from the heat of the fires, killing 2,752 innocent American civilians -- an even greater death toll than those lost at Pearl Harbor.
A second attack, this one launched against the heart of the US military in the heart of the American capital, destroyed a significant part of the Pentagon's outer wall and killed another 189 Americans.
And yet a third attack, this one aimed at the US Capitol Building, or perhaps the White House, was thwarted by the passengers aboard Flight 93, who forced that plane down into a farmer's field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
In total, 2, 974 Americans died on September 11, 2001. Unlike Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of this attack, Osama bin-Laden, danced with glee.
President Barack Hussein Obama was granted his first formal sit-down TV interview on January 27, 2009-- with al-Arabiya TV.
According to the Associated Press, "the interview underscored Obama's commitment to repair relations with the Muslim world that have suffered under the previous administration." (italics mine)
Just exactly what did the previous administration do to damage relations with the Muslim world, anyway? Oh, yeah. September 11.
But Obama wants to communicate to the Muslim world that now, "America is not your enemy."
It's as if Harry Truman gave an interview to a Tokyo newspaper after assuming office with an eye toward repairing the damage done US-Japanese relations by the Roosevelt administration.
In the interview Barack Obama pledged, in essence, not to keep America safe from the Muslim world, but to keep the Muslim world safe from America.
"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy," Obama told the Saudi-owned, Al-Arabiya news channel, which is based in Dubai.
Obama said the United States had made mistakes in the past but "that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that."
("See? The war on terror was America's fault. But there's a new sheriff in town. I can do better. I am The One.")
Obama called for a new partnership with the Muslim world "based on mutual respect and mutual interest." He talked about growing up in Indonesia, the Muslim world's most populous nation, and noted that he has Muslim relatives.
Quoting the AP directly, "the new president said he felt it was important to "get engaged right away" in the Middle East and had directed Mitchell to talk to "all the major parties involved." His administration would craft an approach after that, he said in the interview."
(Much like the Gitmo policy. Act first, plan later. And the press just loves this guy! But anybody with THIS low an opinion of America can't be all bad.)
"What I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating," Obama told the interviewer. Those Americans! No wonder everybody hates them!
The AP went on, gushing that Obama also said that recent statements and messages issued by the al Qaeda terror network suggest they do not know how to deal with his new approach.
(Who is like unto Obama? And who is able to make war with him?)
"They seem nervous," he told the interviewer. "What that tells me is that their ideas are bankrupt."
I've heard of short term memory loss but this more than a bit ridiculous. I am all for peace with the Muslim world -- heck, I think it is a GREAT idea.
So how's this for the first step towards us all lighting candles and sharing a Coke together?
You Muslim guys take out the terrorists -- so we don't have to. They're YOUR terrorists. They're allegedly corrupting YOUR religion. They are giving YOUR neck of the woods a bad name.
It wasn't 19 Christian American males between the ages of 17 and 35 that hijacked four commercial aircraft on September 11th. It was 19 Arab Muslim males between the ages of 17 and 35 that murdered 3000 innocent civilians.
The problem isn't the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The problem is the Muslim ideology that creates terrorists so dangerous that Guantanamo Bay is necessary.
The problem isn't the way that America has prosecuted the war against terrorists. The problem is that the Muslims who watch al-Arabiya are in sympathy with the terrorists.
That sympathy won't evaporate because Barack Obama heaps the blame on the United States instead of on core Islamic teachings. Instead, it simply confirms to the jihadists that they are right -- even the President of the United States can see merit in their cause.
"Ok, we're dictators and our previous leader was a war criminal. But we mean well. Honest! Let's be friends. Some of my family are Muslims. Heck, I'm from Indonesia!" Gee, that's presidential.
I was reading CNN's analysis of the Obama interview and the reaction from the Muslim world. CNN quoted an Islamabad journalist, Imtiaz Gul: "It's a good sign of an attempt to reconcile with the Muslim world, to say America wants to reach out to them and not to consider them as an enemy."
Is your head spinning, too? Until America started getting attacked by the Muslim world, America DIDN'T consider the Muslim world an enemy. Even now, after almost twenty years of attacks by Muslims in the name of Islam against US targets, America STILL doesn't consider the Muslim world an enemy.
Even after the capital cities of the Muslim world erupted in cheers at the news of the 9/11 attacks, America doesn't consider the Muslim world an enemy. It ought to. But it doesn't.
The Muslim world considers America as an enemy. Period. No apologies. That's just how it is. As they see it, America's 'crime 'against Islam is two-fold.
First, it is guilty of loyalty to Israel. That was the reason given for the fatwa declaring an Islamic jihad against America that kicked off the war on terror. Secondly, America is not under Islamic rule.
When those two conditions are satisfied, Islam will be a peace with America. To believe otherwise requires subscribing to a whole new reality. Like the difference between spinning castles in the air and trying to rent rooms in them.
It is almost as if we are apologizing for September 11. "America made mistakes so let's just forget the whole 9/11 thing. "
That the interview was seen by the Islamic world as an American attempt to 'reconcile' as if America was somehow the aggressor against peace-loving Islam is somewhat sickening.
Reconciliation? Sounds more like dhimmitude.
Daily Jot: The fool confounding the wise - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The Trump Presidency is taking shape with cabinet appointments and transition team assignments. These are the things each new Administration must do as they prepare for office. But this time it's different. The stock markets have gained record amounts, saying they are moving away from the interest rate-based standard of recent years to an earnings based standard; companies that had planned to move their business overseas are deciding to keep their jobs in America; and foreign countries are being put on notice that things are not going to be their globalist norm. Globalist leftists are crying foul already and fear the worst. We as Americans need to reset our thinking after 20-plus years of America in decline.
Last week, the New York Times wrote a story about Donald Trump's unorthodoxy on foreign policy. The story was essentially a lot of hand-wringing that Trump was going to upset the balance of foreign policy by making extremely stupid diplomatic mistakes. The story was pointing out that Trump had called or had talked to a list of diplomats that were out of order of the normal protocol. They were also really bent out of shape that Trump had received a call from the President of Taiwan, which sent a signal to China that the US may be recognizing Taiwan as the true China-a real "no-no" in US-Chinese relations. The Times insinuated Trump was dangerously ignorant.
It caught the attention of the Chinese, warning they hoped Trump's remarks didn't interfere with trade relations. Trump fired back saying China could face stiff tariffs if it didn't quit manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages. Tuesday, Trump texted, "Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!." He was referring to Boeing running the costs up on a new Air Force One and that Boeing was "doing a little bit of a number." So whether it is China or Boeing playing the US as a weak kneed negotiator, Trump is pushing back on behalf of the American citizen's. The media and democrats are aghast that Trump will ruin everything.
Americans need to get acclimated once again to American exceptionalism. The cozy relationships that liberals masquerading as Republicans and communists in the Democratic Party have created over the past 27 years are being shaken even before Trump takes office. This half a generation of globalism and getting along at your expense put our nation in decline. This new normal will be a shock to many and those in power are saying Trump is foolish and are mocking him. Let us remember 1 Corinthians 1:27, which says, "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise." Let us also remember not to put our trust in political solutions-Let's keep our eyes, hearts and prayers fixed on Jesus.
Daily Devotion: The First to Hear - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. -Luke 2:8-9
When God's Son was born in a manger in Bethlehem, an unlikely group was the first to hear the news. If it had been up to me, I would have chosen to dispatch an angel to the court of Caesar Augustus. "You call yourself the savior of the world, Caesar? Well, check this out. The real Savior of the world has been born!"
Or, the angel could have appeared to the high priest, scribes, and scholars and announced the news that the Savior had been born.
Instead, God chose to deliver His message to shepherds who were "living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night" (Luke 2:8). To be a shepherd in that culture was to be at the bottom of the social ladder. Shepherds were despised-so much so that the testimony of a shepherd wasn't allowed in a court of law.
Shepherds basically did the work that no one else wanted to do. They had dirt under their fingernails. They were hardworking. And they probably felt right at home when they learned that this baby was born in lowly circumstances. They would have related to this. God was speaking their language.
This became the modus operandi of Christ throughout His ministry. He always went to the outcasts, to the hurting, to the ordinary people. He went to people like the woman at the well who had been ostracized because of her multiple marriages and divorces. He went to people like the tax collector Zacchaeus who was perceived by his fellow Jews as a traitor. Our Lord always had time for people like that. He was described as the friend of sinners.
In the same way, those lowly, despised shepherds who kept watch over their flocks, were visited by the Lord.
FROM THE HEART
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