Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Just How Close Is the Rapture?
- Joel - http://www.christianevidence.net/2018/12/just-how-close-is-rapture.html
"When you see all these things, you will know that He is near, right at the door." (Matthew 24:33)
Jesus was quite clear that no human knows the day or hour of His return for the Church (Mark 13:32). He did, however, say that when we see the signs of His soon coming we can be sure that "summer is near" (Mt. 24:32). It would appear that we are on the verge of summer. Here's a small timeline outlining some of the latest prophetic events, from 2001 to 2019, indicating that the rapture is right around the corner...
1. APR 1, 2001 - Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Ever since, a domino effect across the world has led to dozens of countries legalizing gay marriage (currently 27, and the list is growing all the time), an official endorsement of sin not even seen in Sodom. The only other time in history when homosexual "marriage" was practiced was ... during the days of Noah. And guess what? That was the final straw that led to the Flood. Remember, Jesus said He would return at a time when society resembled "the days of Noah" (Matthew 24:37)!
Jesus also said the time immediately before His coming would be as it was in the days of Lot (Luke 17:28). Though homosexual "marriage" was not practiced, homosexuality was also rampant in Sodom and Gomorrah. Likewise, the angels decided this sin was the last straw for Sodom and forcibly removed Lot and his family from the city before it was destroyed with fire!
In only the last few years has homosexual sin, as well as transgenderism, reached its zenith. Homosexuality has become the 'norm', and by destroying the institution of marriage, the "gay rights" LBGQTI movement made possible the transgender revolution, which has been sweeping across the world since late 2013. Several new words have entered our English language: cisgender, gender-fluid, non-binary (gendered), pansexual, trans, and transgender. There are now 114 different gender options, listed on Tumblr, and dozens of proposed gender-neutral pronouns. Children are having sex change operations. Gender is being eliminated on birth certificates. The media is fixated with stories of men's transformation into women and women who have operations to be like men. The "gender theory" is being infiltrated into educational materials for children...
Did the pre-Flood world have even this level of sexual immorality before judgment? I seriously think not, which makes one wonder: if we've surpassed the level of homosexuality and sexual immorality that existed in Noah's day, and this particular sin was the final straw before judgment, how close are WE to judgment?
2. MAY 11, 2002 - The Jacobs family volunteered to be the first consumers to receive an RFID microchip implant (the VeriChip) and underwent the chipping procedure which was broadcast live on American television (BBC 11 May 2002). According to VeriChip, about 2,000 persons had been implanted worldwide by the end of 2008. Today, there are a few unsolicited studies that forecast that VeriChip (now under the new corporate name Positive ID) will sell between 1 million and 1.4 million chips by 2020! Bible prophecy foretells about a coming mark, called the "mark of the beast", that is going to be put into everyone's right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:15-18).
Furthermore, GPS-enabled RFID chips can keep track of your every move so that no man can "buy or sell" without the approval of a central government (Revelation 13:17).
3. JUN 29, 2007 - The first ever iPhone was released, causing smart phones to become mainstream for the first time. Smart phones, along with satellite televisions (est. 1962) and the Internet (est. 1974-1983), allow for the gospel to be preached to the WHOLE world (Malachi 1:11; Matthew 24:14), and the two dead witnesses to be seen by the ENTIRE world over the span of three and a half days (Revelation 11:9; 10).
In addition, smart phones can track your location anywhere there are cell towers and your activity online is constantly being monitored by companies and governments. Mass surveillance would make it easier for a totalitarian government to control its citizens (Revelation 13:17).
4. JAN 3, 2009 - The Bitcoin network, which is the only international currency out of the almost 200 currencies of the world, came into existence. A cashless society (with electronic transactions that can be monitored) would make it easier for the Antichrist to control all buying and selling (Revelation 13:17). Could Bitcoin be the means for the Antichrist to control the financial system of this world and in turn, the people? Time will tell, for now we can just speculate.
Nonetheless, the worldwide infrastructure for mark of the beast commerce is present and widespread social acceptance of such a system is perhaps only a year or two away. Digital payment methods, like Paypal, Google pay, NFC payments and Credit Cards, became well established in countries across the world by the 2010's making this possible. There are reports that cash usage will be surpassed by debit cards and contactless payments in a few short years!
5. JAN 17, 2009 - Fifteen miles off of the coast of Israel, the Tamar field, which is a natural gas field large enough to fill 40 percent of Israel's energy needs, was discovered. This was the first of several such fields Israel would discover in 2012 and 2013. But wait-there's more! In 2015, a massive oil reserve ten times larger than average oil fields in other parts of the world was discovered in the Golan Heights. If Israel is able get to it, the field could make the Jewish state self-sufficient in oil for years! Gog (Russia) will invade Israel with the prime motivation of seizing spoil and carrying off plunder (Ezekiel 38:12). Could it be oil and gas?
Interestingly, there are reports that oil production in the surrounding countries will peak in a few short years, which would affect Russia and perhaps drag her into the Gog-Magog War. Some believe Russia's peak oil production could be just three years away! Could the Gog-Magog War also be just a few years away? If the war takes place in the first half of the tribulation period, how much closer is the rapture?
6. SEP 2, 2009 - The Earth is overdue, and more vulnerable than ever, for a devastating solar storm. Based on historical precedence, experts predict that a massive solar storm should hit our planet roughly once every 150 years. The last one, known as the Carrington Event, happened in 1859 - 156 years ago. There is strong indication that Earth will be adversely impacted by a major solar storm right before the Second Coming (Revelation 16:8-9; Revelation 16:10-11).
Interestingly, Earth's sun goes through an 11-year cycle of increased and decreased activity, and the next peak activity (when the possibility of a solar storm hitting Earth is at its highest) is due around 2024-2025. If the time is ripe for a major solar storm on Earth, and this judgment is unleashed at the end of the tribulation period, how much closer is the rapture?
7. OCT, 2013 - In a rare occurrence, a series of five minor earthquakes struck northern Israel during one week in late October 2013. Ever since, seismic activity has been increasing in Israel with experts fearing a "big one" may still yet be due. Just this year, a chain of dozens of tremors in July reignited experts' fears. Bible prophecy foretells that several catastrophic earthquakes will strike Israel in the tribulation period (Ezekiel 38:18-20; Revelation 11:13; 16:17-21). Based on historical precedence, according to the Geophysical Institute of Israel, a major earthquake occurs in Israel every 80-100 years on average. The last major earthquake was on July 11, 1927 - 91 years ago!
With the sudden increase in seismic activity, and the fact that Israel is overdue for a major earthquake, it's no wonder the experts' predictions of a major quake within a few months are not unfounded (see: Coming Soon: A Devastating Earthquake). If the time is ripe for a major earthquake in Israel, and the earthquake takes place in the tribulation period, how much closer is the rapture?
8. SEP 14, 2015 - Russia moved their military forces out of Russia and into Syria. Thus, the three most powerful nations involved in the invasion force that attacks Israel (Ezek. 38) - Russia, Iran, and Turkey - now reside in Syria, with their military forces camped on Israel's border. And not just any border - Israel's northern border. Remember, Ezekiel said the Gog of Magog invasion force will come from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2). Never before have the military forces of these three nations been on Israel's northern border at the same time. And never in the history of the world, have the three formed an alliance. At least that is, until now...
Meanwhile, the other three nations involved in the invasion force - Libya, Algeria and Sudan - are already closely aligned with Russia and hostile to Israel. If the stage is set for the Gog-Magog War, and the war takes place in the first half of the tribulation period, how much closer is the rapture?
9. FEB 14, 2016 - Sophia, the first ever rationale robot with human traits, was activated. The robot is modeled after actress Audrey Hepburn. There is strong indication that the "living" image (statue) of the Antichrist, constructed in the tribulation period (Revelation 13:14-15), will be an Artificial Intelligence (AI) robot. Sophia's range of facial expressions and the quality of simulated human voice, which make Sophia look and sound less like a robot and more like a human, clearly demonstrates that the technology for making an "image of the beast" (and for it to speak) is present. See the recent video below, displaying just how far robotics has come.
Interestingly, Forbes just reported that 2019 will witness the emergence of avatars or images of a person that will in essence be their AI counterpart...
10. 2017 - A record-breaking year for heat and extreme weather (natural disasters). Even secular news sources and mainstream media recognize the unprecedented number and severity of natural disasters the world experienced in 2017 (see: 2017 - a year of disaster). The US, for instance, was struck by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria combined with devastating Western wildfires and other natural catastrophes. Bible prophecy foretells that one of the signs of the last days, leading up to Jesus' return, is the appearance of earthquakes (Matthew 24:7). The Greek word for "earthquakes" is seismos, which can also refer to violent storms involving wind and water (see-Mark 4:37).
Interestingly, according to the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) composite catalog, recent years have seen a marked increase in the number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.0 or greater:
1900's - 3 earthquakes
1910's - 0 earthquakes
1920's - 1 earthquake
1930's - 1 earthquake
1940's - 1 earthquake
1950's - 1 earthquake
1960's - 3 earthquakes
1970's - 2 earthquakes
1980's - 3 earthquakes
1990's - 7 earthquakes
2000's - 13 earthquakes
2010's - 10 earthquakes so far
The 20th Century witnessed 22 earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.0 or greater, but already the 21st Century has seen 23 such earthquakes (within just 18 years!). If that pace continues, we'll see 128 earthquakes of 8.0 magnitude or greater by the end of this century! It certainly appears to be reaching a climax.
11. DEC 6, 2017 - Donald Trump announced the US will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In response, a total of 128 countries came together to back a UN resolution which called on the US to remove its recognition of Jerusalem (one tiny city on the entire planet!) as the capital of Israel on December 21, 2017. To make matters worse, Donald Trump decided to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018 (Israel's 70th Anniversary), dramatically energizing the controversy over Jerusalem. The Bible warned that the issue of Jerusalem would become the center of world attention, and all surrounding nations would be united against her, in the end times (Zechariah 12:1-3)! According to J.D. Farag:
"When you hear of Israel in the news it is God's prophetic minute hand, but when you hear of Jerusalem in the news it is God's prophetic second hand."
If the world is already focused on Jerusalem, and it will be the focus of the tribulation period, how close is the rapture?
12. DEC 7, 2017 - China set a world record in mobilizing the largest swarm of drones in history (over 1,000 miniature drones). There is strong indication that the plague of "demonic locusts" which attack and torture humanity in the first half of the tribulation (Revelation 9:1-11) will be a swarm of micro-drones. Flying 1,108 tiny dronebots in as a single unit (and currently 1,374 drones, as of 2018) clearly demonstrates that the technology for the locust swarm is present.
Here's some other news that caught my attention:
The Pentagon may soon be unleashing a 21st-century version of LOCUSTS (coincidence?) on its adversaries after officials on Monday [Jan 9, 2017] said it had successfully tested a swarm of 103 micro-drones.
13. FEB 21, 2018 - Billy Graham, our generation's most famous evangelist who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to over 215 million people, passed away at age 99. The passing of Billy Graham signals the end of an era in which the Gospel has been preached to every nation (Matthew 24:14). Interestingly, many believe Graham's death at 99 (just short of 100) was prophetic, including Graham's daughter, Anne Lotz. Some have likened Billy Graham to Methuselah, the biblical character who apparently lived the longest and died (just short of 1000) in the very year that Noah's flood began.
It certainly seems that Methuselah's incredibly long life was symbolic of God's long-suffering and patience with the world's rebellion. Could Billy Graham be the same, with his faithful preaching of the Gospel around the globe and his own exceptionally long life? Could Billy Graham's passing also signal the nearness of the rapture? Of course, this is mere conjecture, but it is something to consider...
14. MAY 18, 2018 - Turkey's dictator, Erdogan, held a historic conference of Muslim nations in Istanbul and called for 57 Islamic nations to form an anti-Israel army with the goal of destroying Israel. Not only were the missing members of the Ezekiel 38 alliance (Sudan and Libya) finally brought together, but Psalm 83 foretells of a future 10-member coalition who will unite together to destroy Israel, and the leaders of ALL the nations in the Psalm 83 alliance attended this summit! If the stage is set for the Psalm 83 War, and this war paves the way for the Gog-Magog War which takes place in the first half of the tribulation period, how much closer is the rapture?
Also, certain Gulf states' leaders were not in attendance, including from Saudi Arabia. Bible prophecy foretells that Saudi Arabia (along with Britain, the US, and perhaps some others) will merely protest the Gog-Magog invasion (Ezekiel 38:13). Despite that Saudi Arabia has been historically at odds with Israel, there is now an alliance growing between the two countries! Just last year, Israel, the US, and Saudi Arabia formed an alliance against the Iranian Axis's chess moves in the region-tracking perfectly with the end-time conditions that are forecasted in Scripture.
15. AUG 28, 2018 - The first 'red heifer in 2,000 years' was born in Israel, fulfilling all the Biblical requirements (i.e. totally red in color, without a single black or white hair on its body, and blemish free). At the same time, Israel is ready to build the Third Temple with just a moment's notice, and it has taken many, many years to get to this point. The Sanhedrin will be holding a special ceremony on the last day of Hanukkah this week in which they will dedicate the Third Temple Altar and light the Golden Lampstand. They have invited representatives of 70 nations to attend. At least four Scriptures teach that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt at the end of the age (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 11:1-2).
Why is this red heifer so significant? Because only after sacrificing the red cow, can construction begin on the Third Temple in Jerusalem! Interestingly, the cow must be, at a minimum, within its third year of life, or between 3-5 years of age, for sacrifice! Thus, if this pure red heifer remains a candidate, and the Third Temple is built in the first half of the tribulation period, how much closer is the rapture?
16. NOV 7, 2018 - A ten nation European Union (EU) military confederation was officially launched by Emmanuel Macron. Bible prophecy foretells a 10-nation military alliance will rise out of a revived Roman Empire (the EU) and will come under the control of the Antichrist (Daniel 7:23-24). There are more questions and speculation than anything else at this point regarding the future of this new force. But, if this is the EU-ten nation federation the Bible predicted, and the Church is removed before the Antichrist is revealed, how much closer is the rapture?
17. 2018 - The world, and especially its super power, has an economy that is surging with no signs of letting up, almost a decade after the financial crisis (2007-2009). Scripture indicates that the world economy will be surging at the time of the rapture, but at the same time-it will be one global disaster away from collapse (Matthew 24:37-39). Interestingly, there are reports that the world economy is going to crash in a few short years. Some experts have even given ten reasons why the world economy will crash by 2020. Is this just another indication that the rapture is right around the corner? Of course, the rapture could (and very likely) be the cause of this coming worldwide collapse.
18. 2018 - Some of the actors we see on the world stage appear to be players in the tribulation hour. For instance, there is strong indication that Putin might be Gog, the leader of Ezekiel 38 and 39 (see: Is Vladimir Putin Gog?), and that Pope Francis might be the false prophet (see: Could Pope Francis be the False Prophet?). These likely actors already on the scene tells me that the end-time play is about to begin! Interestingly, Pope Francis turns 82 in less than a week (putting him nearer to the end of life), and thus, if Pope Francis is the false prophet the Bible predicted, and the pope's main participation as false prophet is in the last half of the tribulation period, is this just another indication that the rapture is right around the corner?
19. 2019 - A Mideast peace plan is soon to be unveiled by the Trump Administration. Donald Trump's soon-to-be-revealed "deal of the century" has the hallmarks of the covenant the Bible says the Antichrist will later enforce (Daniel 9:27). If the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty can almost be seen, and the Church is removed before it's signed and tribulation begins, how much closer is the rapture?
20. MAY 14, 2018 - MAY 13, 2019 - The 70th Anniversary of Israel's rebirth. The reason why I've included this significant event is that it happens to coincide with ALL the aforementioned prophetic implications that indicate just how close we are to the rapture and so many other things I don't even have space to include in this article. The generation that sees Israel reborn is the same generation that will see the completion of the tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:32-35). Is it sheer coincidence that ALL the prophetic developments witnessed in our life time have formed, and appear to be culminating, within one generation (70-80 years, see Psa. 90:10) since Israel's rebirth as a nation?
Is it likely that this generation (1948-2028) will culminate in the return of Jesus Christ before it ends, meaning the rapture could occur any time between now and 2021 at the latest? There's a good chance it could, however, there are various other interpretations of "this generation" (Matt. 24:34), so I wouldn't be dogmatic about it being a literal 80-year generation. In any case, I think the next year or two promise to be quite amazing in terms of fulfillment of Biblical prophecy!
Just How Close Is the Rapture?
Sure, many people throughout the past century have thought that the rapture would happen in their lifetime. Since the 1970s and 1980s, there have been countless predictions about when the rapture would take place. All have been wrong, and I'm not surprised. Bible prophecies have been rapidly falling into place since the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. But there are three key differences between now and decades past that, for the first time in history, indicate the rapture is, truly, just around the corner...
1. The first and most important is the explosion of end-time era technology. Second Coming prophecies throughout the New Testament require the existence of modern technology (RFID chips, AI and robotics, mass media and telecommunications, micro-drone swarms etc.). Only in the 21st Century, and specifically the last few years, have the advancements in technology made ALL tech-related end time scenarios a REALITY!
2. The second thing that makes our time different is homosexual sin. Only in the last few years, the world has embraced homosexuality, which is, chronologically, the FINAL sin before God's judgment. Both these things make it clear there's no more prophetic event that has to precede the rapture, which is now an imminent REALITY!
3. The third factor that makes our time different is the stage-setting for events in the tribulation period. In only the last few years, we have seen the tribulation period beginning to cast shadows ahead of itself through the positioning of players and events. The stage is now set for the Gog-Magog and Psalm 83 War, construction of the Third Temple, the Antichrist's 10-nation confederacy and Mideast peace plan etc. As we witness the stage being set today for events that will transpire during the tribulation period, we can know that the rapture is THAT MUCH CLOSER!
It could be that the Lord delays (and every day he does, thousands of people in the world's darkest corners are being saved). Keep in mind that 2 Peter 3:9 tells us:
"The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent." (2 Peter 3:9)
BUT God can only delay for so long. It does appear that we are so close to the rapture! I have no doubt the rapture will occur any day now; it could happen today. BUT the question is...are you ready for Jesus to come? If Jesus returned today, would He be your "Blessed Hope" (Titus 2:11-14)? Or would He be your "Holy Terror" (Revelation 6:12-17)?
Fog Of War Can't Conceal Hezbollah's Plotting - By Yoav Limor - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2797
Northern Israel was covered by thick fog during the course of the weekend with near-zero visibility. The rain came and went, mostly drizzling and turning everything that is not concrete into mud.
Someone just passing through would probably be unable to tell anything was wrong or that the entire area was on edge. The partial military restrictions imposed on a section of the border when Operation Northern Shield was launched last week have already been lifted, and nothing could be said for a military presence beyond the sporadic military vehicle driving around. For all intents and purposes, this was just another rainy Saturday in northern Israel.
This facade, however, successfully hid the military's nonstop efforts to neutralize Hezbollah terror tunnels snaking under the Israel-Lebanon border.
The decision to continue the search for tunnels over the weekend was unorthodox, and not only because it involved operations on Shabbat. The work was hindered by the stormy weather, but the complex engineering and logistics effort involved in this intense operation never waned. If anything, the IDF kept pushing and everyone - from GOC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick to the last special combat engineering soldier deployed on the ground - seemed to be accelerating the pace.
The Israeli operation is currently underway in several locations simultaneously. One of them is a tunnel running under the northern town of Metula and on Saturday afternoon, another significant tunnel was discovered.
A security incident interrupted the work on Saturday when IDF commandos securing the operation came across three Hezbollah operatives trying to exploit the fog to steal technical equipment. The troops opened fire and the three fled, but the incident stressed the prudence of increasing military deployment along the border, as the threat is very real.
Hezbollah may be biding its time quietly at the moment, but it very well may retaliate - not just verbally (though Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah is sure to give a fiery speech eventually), but also physically, in the battlefield. There is real concern that Hezbollah operatives could booby-trap one of the tunnels, use the weather to plant roadside bombs or try to target the Israeli troops with sniper fire.
These scenarios are passed on to the soldiers in every security briefing. Anyone who scoffed at the fact that this military activity was labeled an "operation" is welcome to visit the border and see how palpable the threat actually is.
The military effort on the ground is only part of the overall effort. In the background, the Israeli Air Force is gearing up for potential escalation and Military Intelligence is fully engaged as well.
Another important aspect is the international diplomatic effort, where Israel engages in massive public diplomacy. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been briefing world leaders on the issue since last week, including - and perhaps most importantly - Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The United Nations Security Council is expected to discuss a draft resolution condemning Lebanon on Monday, over the fact that it turns a blind eye to Hezbollah's activities, and Israel would like to see Russia refrain from using its veto power on the issue.
Israel would like to see international pressure on the Lebanese government stir up a public debate in the country and prompt criticism of the Shiite terrorist group despite the considerable political power it wields. Lebanon has so far remained indifferent, but it is doubtful whether Beirut could keep that up for long. Operation Northern Shield is expected to last several weeks, and the daily media attention to the issue will turn the spotlight on Lebanon's actions or lack thereof.
Still, nothing essential is likely to change, except, of course, for the fact that Israel has deprived Hezbollah of a major strategic asset. This cannot be taken lightly, as one need not have a particularly wild imagination to understand what Hezbollah had planned for Metula and other Israeli communities along the border.
Some of the tunnels were on the verge of becoming operational in the coming weeks. If an attack had been launched using those tunnels, the first question for the political echelon and the IDF would have been, "If you knew, why didn't you do anything?"
Nearing Midnight: Bridge over the Abyss - Part II - Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Terry's note: This two-part series is from a chapter by the same name I wrote in one of my books years ago. Also, I've presented it in other published/posted forums. It is more relevant now than ever, so wanted to share it again. (Foreshocks of Antichrist, Harvest House, 1997)
Continuing on the deadly effects of drugs in these last days...
A recent news item testifies that politicians and their mouthpieces view the drug problem as nothing to be concerned about, even if their own staff members are alleged to be heavily involved in illicit drug usage.
Barry McCaffrey, national drug control policy director, asked in Washington that all politicians stop trying to make an issue of whether an opponent has used drugs because "no good can come from it," adding, "Drug use was a generational thing, and we should just accept that and move on." Drug infection gushes through the nation's and the world's bloodstream, not only degenerating thought processes, but feeding lust and greed as well. Paul's words ring true today: "The love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10).
People of the great Tribulation era will not repent of their sorceries because, like the addicts and dealers of this present hour, they will be willing to pay any price to continue feeding their insatiable appetites. The tremendous growth we are witnessing in illicit drug trade is a foreshock of the coming Antichrist and his system-a system that will, no doubt, at the outset of Antichrist's reign, promise seemingly brilliant solutions to all problems, including those involving illicit drugs.
The Economic Abyss
Governmental and business institutions grow increasingly concerned about instability within world money markets. Stock market record highs, followed by wild fluctuations, cause worry and sometimes panic for global financial analysts. Despite the chaos, international banking conglomerates continue to merge and meld and network into what surely will soon become a one- world economic order.
The exponential growth in computer technology is without question moving our generation toward the time prophesied in Revelation 13.
Again, Antichrist will offer solutions to unbelievably complex fiscal problems produced when the four horsemen of the Apocalypse ride across the world, bringing war, famine, pestilence, and death. "It's the economy, stupid" might have been a catchy-if somewhat deceptive-political slogan during the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign. Such a slogan will not be necessary during that future time of tremendous economic turmoil. Everyone will be agonizingly aware of the abyss in which they will be mired. They will beg the beast and his totalitarian system of computer control to institute world order.
Gods of the Abyss
New Age thought runs throughout government, business, and religion at all levels. Sadly, even evangelical Christianity suffers with New Age infection.
The same serpent who seduced Adam and Eve with the lie promising that they would be as God when they ate from the forbidden tree now whispers in the desensitized ears of this generation the same lie: " You will become gods when you follow the New Age pathways laid out for you by the ascended masters." But they are pathways leading to the end-time abyss of apocalypse.
Lucifer's soothing lie that proposes many ways to God's salvation salves the guilt-ridden conscience of fallen man. It appeals to the supremely arrogant pride that mankind inherited from father Adam when that first man determined to disobey his Creator and instead accept Satan's offer of godhood.
People today by and large think of salvation, of going to Heaven when they die, as obtainable through self effort. If one lives a good life, God will weigh this against the bad and the person will be found worthy based upon his or her personal accomplishments on the side of good. People need no atoning sacrifice by Jesus Christ to save them. Such is a narrow-minded concept they reject, even though the still, small voice convicts them of the truth during those lonely, empty times when their souls yearn for something, for someone, to fill the void.
Doug Groothuis, assistant professor at Denver Seminary and noted researcher and author on the New Age movement, recently pointed out who Jesus Christ is-rather, who He was, according to New Age thinking. He addressed the fact that New Age thought proclaims that there is no need for a Redeemer. Groothuis said:
The emphasis on Christ is not Christ as the unique and final liberator, the saviour of the human race because of what He's done through His [crucifixion and resurrection], but that He is kind of an example, the model for what we can do. Jesus was a man who [tapped into] the Christ energy for the Christ Potential.... It's not biblical Christianity at all.
Groothuis, in further explaining the insidious influence the New Age movement inflicts on this generation, talked about Jean Houston, the New Age guru who spent considerable time with America's First Lady in the White House during the summer of 1996 as part of the now-famous Eleanor Roosevelt contact incident.
[Jean Houston] is very influential. She leads seminars all over the country and in fact all over the world basically on how to release the divine potential within us all. She has referred to herself as a global midwife. She means by that...we all have god within us. We all have the fullness of [deity] within us. But that somehow this god within us is stuck and we don't realize it, we don't actualize it so it's up to people like her to tell us we are divine and how to put that energy out into the world.
Groothuis went on to say that New Age theosophy purports that there is a latent, divine energy that makes up the universe. God is that energy. But there is no distinction between the Creator and the creation. Everything is one and we are all part of that great cosmic unity.
Groothuis said that according to Jean Houston and other New Age thinkers:
The problem of the human race, the reason we have ecological problems, military crises, economic crises, etc., is not because of human sin against a holy God that has affected us all. It's because somehow we are suffering from a kind of divine amnesia. We have forgotten the divinity within ourselves. So her role is to be a catalyst or midwife to bring out the latent divinity inside of all of us.
Groothuis said that consulting channelers, mediums, and indulging in other occult techniques to achieve one's goals instead of going to God in prayer is dangerous. He said, "in fact, doing this sort of thing can lead to some kind of encounter with the demonic. We have to remember that Paul said Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.... If [anything] is leading away from Christ and His gospel, then it's not of God."'
Despite such warnings, mankind strives pridefully closer to the abyss and eternal separation from God. One of the New Age movement's most renowned contemporary leaders sums up the audacious claim that man does not need God because he is God!
The great and growing interest in Eastern philosophy and religion, in reincarnation or the law of rebirth and the power of mind over matter, is part of a great shift in consciousness taking place everywhere and is a direct result of our sense that the old molds of thought and feeling are no longer adequate to express our growing awareness of reality, thus revealing a readiness for a new revelation.
This spiritual awakening must eventually lead to an era of world brotherhood-the keynote of the coming Age of Aquarius.
What is happening now is the outcome of inner forces that are affecting great changes in human thinking and consciousness. This will result in the complete reorganization of the world's institutions and social structures that no longer answer man's true need. This will entail the reorganization of our political, economic, and financial systems along more rational and just lines.
New Agers will achieve their paradigm shift to a society that is the antithesis of what God intended for man. The most vicious dictator ever known will then rule over that darkest period in human history, the black abyss of Apocalypse.
The Bridge over the Abyss
People do not need to discover, then nurture, the Christ-consciousness within themselves. No such entity exists. People need Jesus Christ to fulfill the God-shaped void that exists within every man, woman, and child born since Adam brought sin into the world, thus separating himself and his progeny from God.
The Carpenter of Nazareth rebuilt the bridge over the abyss of eternal separation with timber constructed in the shape of the old rugged cross, upon which He willingly bled and died for you and me. Christ's atoning sacrifice is God's chosen way to reconcile us to Himself. There is none other.
Foreshocks of the coming Antichrist are everywhere. Those fearful signals that the Beast of Revelation 13 could very soon make his appearance upon the world stage should produce for the Christian not excitement based upon fear, but excitement based upon joyful anticipation. We are promised not Antichrist but Jesus Christ! (Read Revelation 3:10 and John 14.)
No prophecy stands between this generation and the Rapture. Christ's return for His Church in the air above planet Earth is imminent. You, too, can be part of those who excitedly anticipate that unimaginably exhilarating microsecond when Jesus shouts "COME UP HITHER!"
Accept Him today and receive God's inward peace which assures that in life or in death, you are His own. So shall we ever be with the Lord.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Look At Me - By Grant Phillips -
Does anyone remember Balaam? In Numbers 22 we read that Balak, the king of Moab, called for him to place a curse upon Israel. Israel was camped out on the plains of Moab and Balak had already heard what Israel did to the Amorites. He knew he was next.
Balaam was a prophet, but not an Israelite prophet. He was actually described by God as a diviner in Joshua 13:22. Anyway, he could not curse Israel because God would not allow him to do so, but he finally figured a way to help out old Balak and get paid for it. He told Balak to entice the Israelite men with the Moabite women. Because of this, false gods were introduced among the Israelites.
I suppose to Balaam's surprise, God did not destroy Israel, but He did discipline them. In the end Israel was disciplined, the Moabites were destroyed and Balaam met his demise at the end of an Israeli sword. Perhaps Balak did too. I don't know.
Throughout the Old Testament we read of God warning Israel of false gods, and they are just as plentiful today as they were then. False gods are anything worshipped by man instead of the one true God in Heaven. The material gods of that day were basically made of gold, silver, wood, etc. Ours today are the same, but not normally made of the same materials. Our major gods in this country are probably money, sex and power.
When they were in Egypt, the Egyptian gods were everywhere. Now they are in the land of Canaan and all the gods of that area are there to entice them. One in particular brought Israel much sorrow and judgment from God.
"While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the LORD's anger burned against them." (Numbers 25:1-3)
Vulgar, sexual acts were performed in worshipping Baal. (I cannot even hint at them here.) Even worse, they would sacrifice their children upon the red-hot altar of this false god.
The obedience to the Law that God required of Israel was to show them that they were sinners, they needed a Savior, and the Savior would be provided (the Messiah). Also, it was to keep them from false gods.
There were many, many hard and fast rules that God required of Israel. Read the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, and you will see what I am saying. Why so many rules? God kept Israel not only spiritually healthy, but He also kept them physically healthy. People in other nations had many health problems. There were many diseases and many were consumed with STDs because of their loose morals and sexual practices in idol worship.
For example, all down through the Roman era and through the Dark Ages loose living shortened many lives, but God watched over His people Israel. It was often thought that plagues were brought upon the people because of a curse from the Jews. Why is that? The Jews basically were healthy, while others were dying. The truth however is that God's many laws kept Israel healthy. If Israel had also followed God laws concerning false gods more stringently, they would have been better off spiritually.
God has a message for us today, and it is the same message He had for Israel in the days of Moses. That message is, "Look at Me." Now that's an odd message, but those three words say a lot. They are saying that if we keep our eyes upon God we will suffer far fewer consequences from a sin-polluted world than we would otherwise.
When man takes his eyes off God everything around him falls apart. We in the 21st century are overrun with crime, immorality, STDs, greed, and on and on. Why? We have taken our eyes off God.
Did not Jesus say, "Follow Me?" In Matthew's gospel alone Jesus said six times, "Follow Me." Allow me to state very plainly, if we follow Him, we don't do stupid things, but when we take our eyes off Him, what happens? We do stupid things. What happened to Israel when they stopped looking toward God? They did stupid things.
Most all of our problems are brought upon us by our own actions. Granted, many are not. I'll give an example. If an individual is walking through the woods and gets bitten by a rattlesnake, it certainly isn't his fault. However, if he handles a rattlesnake to prove how spiritual he is and gets bitten it is his own fault. That is doing a stupid thing.
Folks, it doesn't matter how old we are, when it comes to mankind and God we are like little children, we need to keep our eyes upon one who is much smarter than we are. Just as young children need to listen to their parents, we all need to listen to God. Parents make mistakes, but God does not. Parents are not perfect. God is.
God is saying to mankind today, just as He did to Israel many years ago, "Look at Me." He wants us to follow His lead. If we will do that, we can avoid a lot of sorrow. Life has enough problems without our adding to them. But what about those times we suffer through no fault of our own? Suffering is never easy, but it is much easier to endure when our eyes are upon Jesus. Frankly, I can't imagine traversing through this life without Jesus Christ.
Let's say that you are a cliff climbing student. You're half way up the cliff and then you freeze in stone-cold fear. You look down and want to scream, but not a sound will come out. Your instructor sees your predicament and comes to you and says, "Look at me. Don't take your eyes off me. I'll get you through this." As long as you kept looking at the instructor, the fear subsided because of your confidence in him/her. Finally, you're safe on the ground again, and planning a new hobby.
As a Christian, have you noticed that when you start glancing away from the Lord, the peace and security you once had starts slipping away? It worsens when our time spent with Him becomes shorter. Excuses were made to skip devotion time with Him. Before you know it, you no longer spend much time reading your Bible, praying or just thinking of Him and His greatness. The television is on much longer than it used to be. The world's influences are creeping into your thoughts. Doubts and fear start to set in. All this because we stopped looking at Him.
Are we still His child? Of course we are, and as His child, He gently touches our chin, turns our head, and says "Look at Me." A Christian can never be truly happy when not beholding the Lord our God.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: Discerning the new news narrative - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The news narrative has shifted since Friday, December 7 when Federal prosecutors released information about the Mueller Special Counsel investigation on whether President Donald Trump and Russia conspired to influence the 2016 Presidential election. The old narrative of Russian-Trump collusion has all but disappeared. The new narrative that has the news media and Democrats calling for impeachment of Trump is about Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen paying two women in the porn business hush money to prevent blackmail. Cohen admitted that he made the payments at Trump's instruction so that the campaign would not be damaged. The Feds say this is an illegal campaign contribution, a felony.
The news media and the Democrats are now in full impeachment mode, but not over the Russian investigation that cost Americans some $20 million and found nothing of Trump-Russia collusion. All plea deals to date have had nothing to do with Russian collusion, but rather illegalities in business deals by the people involved that were exposed during the investigation. The media and its talking-head experts, who are largely biased Democrats, now want Trump impeached for paying hush money to women in the porn business. They say that prosecutors have now implicated Trump because his former lawyer pleaded guilty. This constitutes, however, a political, not a legal, indictment.
There are a few things to discern here. One is that there really is nothing on Russian-Trump collusion. Another is that though Cohen admitted to a federal crime of campaign finance violations, doesn't mean he is actually guilty of them. There was no trial, the prosecutors cut a deal for a lesser prison term on greater crimes. Further, it is a stretch to say that these were illegal campaign contributions because they did not directly come from the campaign. Let us remember 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee John Edwards who had others pay money to hide an affair and a love child from his wife during his campaign. The media and a jury acquitted Edwards-"nothing to see here."
It is not illegal to use one's money to pay for someone's silence. It is illegal to use campaign funds for that purpose. But Trump's own money was used. The news media and Democrats, however, say Trump is a felon because of what his lawyer did. So that now becomes the narrative and the impeachment battle cry. Never mind that this is the same media and Democrats that upheld John Edwards AND characterized the many sexual harassment and rape charges of Bill Clinton as "right-wing conspiracies." Trump's severe lapses in morality aside, the media is once again judging guilty until being proven innocent. Job 34:3-4 says, "For the ear tries words, as the mouth tastes meat. Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good." Discern it for yourself because you won't hear it in the media.
Daily Devotion: True Seekers - By Greg Laurie -
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:13
The arrival of the wise men in Jerusalem would have created quite a stir. These were strange men with a strange question, asking for the King of the Jews. They couldn't have said a worse thing to King Herod. In effect, they were saying, "We're looking for the King of the Jews-and clearly you're not him."
This is why we're told in Matthew 2:3, "When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." The word troubled used here could be translated "to shake violently"-like a washing machine in the spin phase. That was Herod. And when Herod was agitated, everyone was agitated. When he was mad, everyone was afraid of what could happen next.
So Herod called in the scribes, men who had committed themselves to studying the Scriptures. Without missing a beat, they went right to Micah 5:2: "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."
There was no question the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Of course, Herod wanted to stop this Child from coming and wanted to destroy Him.
God used these wise men to get Herod's attention. These were pagan men who were steeped in the occult. Yet God reached them in a way that they understood. He came to them by a star.
The Lord says that those who seek Him will find Him. To educated men and women, He will come to them in a way they can understand. To little children, He will appear in a way they can understand.
I believe that if people are truly seeking God, He will reveal Himself to them.
FROM THE HEART
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