Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Pandora's Box - By Matt Ward -
Opening Pandora's Box: a process that once begun generates many complicated problems...
I have written very recently on Crispr technologies and the dangers they pose (1). Those dangers have now been realized.
Just two weeks ago, He Jianku was a virtual unknown. Now, he is world famous in his own right. Perhaps a better description would be that he is now infamous rather than famous.
The reason for this is that, from late last month, news started to emerge about the activities of a certain young, formally unknown Chinese researcher who, it was revealed, had been "pushing the envelope" regarding Crispr technology. He was conducting "live" experiments, all of which have now propelled He Jianku to the very center of a global firestorm involving ethics, science, oversight and regulation and a host of other concerns.
Jianku announced on November 28th at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing that he had produced the world's first Crispr-edited babies. They are twin girls named Lulu and Nana.
The response from the scientific community, normally a group known for celebrating the radical pushing of boundaries, has been swift and wholly vitriolic. The condemnation has been brutal. Jennifer Doudna, who originally discovered a way of using Crispr to edit genes in 2012, a women regarded as one of the founders of this whole revolution, said,
"I am shocked and disgusted by this news. This work sets a dangerous precedent unless there is a broad global rejection of the clinical processes used. The global scientific community has reacted strongly (with) calls for verification and redoubled efforts to put in place criteria for the clinical use of Crispr."
David Liu, another Harvard University professor who was also responsible for the initial development of Crispr technologies in 2012, responded unequivocally,
"It is appalling that the human babies were generated without the full engagement of independent scientific and ethics experts, relevant regulatory institutions and governing bodies. His naivety about multiple scientific, medical and ethical issues was very alarming to hear in person."
These were not sentiments shared in any way by Jianku. The young Chinese researcher disclosed, to the consternation of almost all in attendance at the summit, that he wasn't finished with Lulu and Nana, as if this wasn't bad enough. Jianku went on to reveal that he had also Crispr-edited another live embryo and that this pregnancy was already well under way.
Despite the fact that there have been up to sixty meetings and reports on gene editing held or published in just the last three years, and that each of these reports concluded, as did each meeting, that it would be too soon to attempt any kind of live trial, Jianku has proceeded anyway, almost irrelevant to and oblivious of the risks.
Despite the fact that the experiments he had been conducting flew directly in the face of all previous agreement among geneticists, on ethical as well as scientific grounds, Jianku moved forward with the experiments nonetheless.
This means that He Jianku will now be recorded in history, like Neil Armstrong before him, as a man of "firsts." He Jianku will be remembered as the first scientist to implant a live Crispr-edited embryo into a uterus to cause pregnancy. Up until this point, every single embryo ever edited using Crispr technology had been destroyed.
This has huge implications for the two little girls involved. It means that Lulu and Nana are the first human beings who will one day pass on the intentionally manmade mutations in their DNA through the Crispr process to their children, and their children's children, and their children's children's children, and so on as long as their individual lines last.
The ramifications of this little jump into the wild will be felt potentially long after He Jianku and little Lulu and Nana have passed away. Every newly born child of their direct line born after them will now inherit these DNA "modifications," potentially for as long as their progeny lasts. His response to the groundswell of opposition to his actions, to the moral implications of his actions, and to riding roughshod over all ethical concerns was that he "...feels proud actually."
All other scientists seem unanimous in agreeing that He Jianku may well now have opened a Pandora's Box; and it is completely unknown, from both an experiential and a scientific point of view, what may now come out of it.
The issue with Jianku's journey into the unknown, aside from the obvious and huge ethical ramifications, is that the techniques used by Jianku are largely untested. One of the so-far-observed great flaws with Crispr gene-editing techniques is that they often seem to cause "off-target" mutations elsewhere that harm the host's DNA (2).
This outcome is even more pronounced when editing whole embryos, as has been done in this case. Unlike editing specific and targeted cells to impact a certain genetic problem like cancer, gene editing whole embryos, not individual isolated cells, has the potential to change the DNA in every single cell in an embryo's body. The potential implications of this are beyond huge, on an individual level for Nana and Lulu, and also for the human race corporately.
Yet He Jianku blithely pressed on with his experiments regardless of the risks or the fears and the censure of his colleagues.
This reveals the real issue with this technology: how widespread and readily available it is becoming and how it is utterly lacking in any kind of significant regulatory oversight. That we know of Jianku's experiment does not mean that he is the only individual to this date who has "pushed the envelope" the furthest with Crispr gene-editing techniques. He Jianku is just the one we are all currently aware of.
It is highly likely that similar types of experimentation have already happened and are indeed ongoing at any number of disreputable laboratories or government sites around the world. The US and its Western military partners are on record as saying they are very interested in generating the world's first genetically improved super soldiers. Ominously, they are also on record as saying that they simply cannot allow themselves to fall behind in this new "arms race" to other less ethically bound, rogue regimes.
The implications of this are all too clear; this kind of unscrupulous experimentation, pushing on ahead despite ethical, moral or scientific concerns, has likely already been occurring for quite some time.
Even scientists at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing (where He Jianku made his now infamous announcement about his live experimentations) who went on seemingly to unequivocally condemn his actions, only did so with a proviso: "...the Committee (of the International Summit) added that, should the risks be addressed, it may in future become acceptable when there is a compelling medical need."
And the danger of this technological tinkering with genes and DNA is not limited to Crispr technologies. We are already well into the era where scientists are trying to grow organs inside pigs to be transplanted into human beings. Genetically modified pig hearts have already been transplanted successfully into baboons, with the monkeys living for over 90 days afterwards on each occasion. How long until we reach the point where pig-grown human organs plug the gap between the need for transplants and the pressing lack of donors? Surely not long.
Yet God's attitude towards this is very specific and clear,
"God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1:25).
The fact that God made wild animals according to their kinds, and that it was good, clearly implies that crossing species is bad. It also implies that messing with and altering a species at a DNA or germline level is a bad thing.
Humanity is once again delving deeply into areas that once brought great judgment upon this earth. We have entered a new age for humanity. Not all new technology is good technology, not all new developments are good developments, and just because we have reached a point where we can do something new does not mean that we should.
With Crispr and other such technologies, a Pandora's Box has been opened, and who knows where this is heading or what may come out. One thing I think is a certainty though; it will not be shut again this side of the return of Jesus.
"They gave Pandora a box. Prometheus begged her not to open it. She opened it. Every evil to which human flesh is heir came out of it." - Kurt Vonnegut.
New Scientist, No. 3207, page 8
Palestinians: Shooting a Pregnant Woman and Lying - by Bassam Tawil -
Three Israelis have been killed in the latest wave of Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank in the past week. The victims are two soldiers and a four-day-old baby who was prematurely born after his mother was shot and wounded in a drive-by shooting attack carried out by Palestinian terrorists.
The terrorist attacks took place near the West Bank city of Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority (PA), where President Mahmoud Abbas and most of his senior officials live and work. The car used in the drive-by shooting, which took place outside Ofra settlement, was later discovered by the Israeli army in the Ain Musbah neighborhood of Ramallah, a few hundred meters from the private residence and headquarters of Abbas.
No one is suggesting that Abbas knew in advance of the terrorist attacks. However, the response of Abbas and his top officials to the attacks raises serious doubts about their purported commitment to peace with Israel.
Hours before the Ofra attack, Abbas said in a speech before leaders of his Fatah faction that he remains committed to "peaceful popular resistance" and diplomacy. "We don't believe in weapons, and we don't believe in rockets," Abbas said in a reference to the rockets launched by Hamas and other terrorist groups from the Gaza Strip toward Israel.
The same Abbas who says he is opposed to the use of weapons and rockets has nonetheless failed to condemn the terrorist attacks in which these three Israelis were killed. Instead, his officials and he have been condemning Israel on a daily basis for cracking down on the terrorists.
The anti-Israel incitement began almost immediately after the Ofra attack, when Abbas and his officials in Fatah and the Palestinian Authority began denouncing Israel for sending soldiers into Ramallah to search for the terrorists.
Instead of condemning the murders at Ofra, Abbas's Ministry of Information issued a strong condemnation of the Israeli army for entering the offices of the Palestinian news agency Wafa. The ministry described the entry of the soldiers as an "act of terrorism" and called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its "aggression" against the Palestinians.
According to the logic of Abbas's ministry, Israeli soldiers searching for terrorists is an "act of terrorism," but not the shooting of a pregnant woman and six other Israeli civilians standing at a bus stop.
The Israeli army did not enter Ramallah because Israel wants to "reoccupy" the city and reinstall the Israeli military government. This was a limited operation that lasted for a few hours and was in the context of the manhunt against the Palestinian terrorists. Abbas and his senior officials, however, have since been waging a fierce campaign of incitement against Israel and spreading lies and ridiculous conspiracy theories.
Consider, for example, what PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat, who describes himself as the "chief Palestinian negotiator," had to say about the Israeli authorities' pursuit of the terrorists. Erekat, in a bizarre statement, claimed that the Israeli "intrusion into Ramallah was carried out with the backing of US President Donald Trump." Erekat, too, called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its "crimes" and to provide international protection for the Palestinians.
What is strange about Erekat's statement is that he is suggesting that Israel needed permission from Trump to send its troops into Ramallah to catch the terrorists who murdered three people. What is also strange is that Erekat believes that the Israeli attempt to capture terrorists is a "crime" for which Israel should be held accountable in the global arena.
Yet, the bizarre PA statements continue. Take the remark made by Osama Qawassmeh, a senior Fatah official and spokesmen, who claimed that the Israeli military operation in Ramallah was actually aimed against Abbas himself. For Qawassmeh, the Israeli army "stormed" Ramallah because of Abbas's rejection of Trump's yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East. As if that were not enough, the Fatah official went on to argue that the Israeli army's attempt to catch the terrorists was also linked to Abbas's opposition to a recent US resolution at the UN General Assembly that condemns Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets at Israel and inciting violence.
This absurd charge reflects the twisted logic of Abbas and his representatives in Ramallah. For them, the real problem is not the shooting of a pregnant woman or the killing of two soldiers. Instead, the Palestinian leaders, including Abbas, are pointing an accusatory finger at Israel for having the audacity to send its soldiers to capture Palestinian terrorists and prevent additional attacks against Israeli citizens. Needless to say, the Israeli soldiers who entered Ramallah never went close to Abbas's office or home and certainly had no intention of targeting him or any of his officials. In fact, not a single Palestinian Authority or Fatah official was arrested or harmed by the Israeli troops.
Does this Fatah official think the rest of the world is so stupid as to believe that Israel would put the lives of its soldiers at risk by sending them to Ramallah just because Abbas has rejected a peace plan that no one has seen or knows anything about? Did any of the soldiers who entered Ramallah knock on Abbas's door and hand him a letter saying he must accept Trump's unseen plan or else he would be punished? Of course not.
Here is another example of the lies and conspiracy theories promoted by Abbas's officials in the past few days. Mahmoud Habbash, who serves as Abbas's religious affairs adviser, said in response to the Israeli security measures against terrorism, that Israel and Hamas were colliding to "flip the table" in the West Bank to pave the way for the implementation of Trump's upcoming "deal of the century."
It is also worth noting that Hamas has publicly admitted that it was behind the recent spate of terrorist attacks in the West Bank. Yet according to Habbash, Israel's crackdown on terrorism is nothing but a conspiracy concocted by Israel and Hamas to undermine the Palestinian Authority and pave the way for "passing the deal of the century, which is aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause."
Abbas's adviser, however, is convinced that the world is so stupid as to believe that Israel and Hamas were together behind the recent terrorist attacks. This is yet another blood libel against Israel from the Abbas and his entourage. Not only is this statement a lie as well as an insult to common sense, it almost seems lifted from a comedy show. "Almost", that is, because these apparently laughable remarks refer to a series of terrorist attacks that have claimed the lives of Israelis. As such, the statements should be taken seriously, and seen in the context of the Palestinian leadership's anti-Israel campaign of incitement and fabrications. It is precisely this sort of inflammatory rhetoric that prompts Palestinian terrorists to continue their attacks on Israel.
Instead of blaming Hamas for the terrorist attacks, Abbas's office chose to hold Israel responsible for the upsurge of violence in the West Bank. "The climate crafted by Israel's policy of recurring incursions into Palestinian cities, as well as incitement against President Abbas, has led to this round of violence, which we reject," said a statement issued by the Palestinian president's office.
Again, this statement shows that Abbas considers Israel's anti-terrorism measures, and not Hamas-engineered attacks, as the source of unrest and violence. The message that Abbas is sending to the world is: How dare these Israelis take security measures to stop terrorist attacks against their civilians and soldiers!
Abbas is obviously afraid of condemning his rivals in Hamas for waging the latest wave of terrorist attacks in the West Bank. He knows that the day he condemns the shooting of a pregnant Israeli woman, his people will rise up against him and charge him with collaborating with Israel. But Abbas has only himself to blame: his ongoing incitement and lies against Israel have made it too dangerous for him to utter a word against Palestinian terrorists.
Finally, we might mention an important detail about which Abbas and his representatives are keeping their mouths shut tight: the Israeli crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank actually serves the interests of the Palestinian Authority. Without this ongoing crackdown, Hamas would have long ago overthrown Abbas's regime and seized control of the West Bank. It is the Israeli soldiers stationed some hundreds of meters from Abbas's office and residence that is keeping him safe and sound. As inconvenient a truth as this is for Abbas and his spin doctors in Ramallah, it is the truth, nonetheless.
Nearing Midnight: Stench in God's Nostrils - Terry James -
Christmas season is in moribund transition, if I may use the term. By that I mean the changes taking place with regard to what Christmas is all about represents much more than simply a decline of culture. The change taking place is moving culture in this nation and the world in direction that will engender deadly consequences.
This world system is dying.
The thought first pierced my thinking while listening to a news program of some sort. The story was about how the leftist, politically correct machine is attacking Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Now, I know I'm right off the bat offending the Christmas purists who view any secular characterization in conjunction with the Christmas story as near blasphemy. But, I implore that we get past for the moment how the Advent of Christ has been paganized to whatsoever extent-thus to make the point I hope to make: that we can know how near we might be to the midnight of the age and the call of Christ to His Church.
To get back to the TV news story, the report informed how much of social media is making the story of Rudolph one of how evil American culture has stigmatized anyone who is different. The Millennial view for the most part seems to be that the story shows that group bullying is approved of, thus Christmas is just an American cultural invention to keep those not like the majority in a position of inferiority. The news program's host said that those who hold such a view obviously haven't read the whole Rudolph story. She said that it actually was a story of anti-bullying and anti-bigotry.
That, at least, was my take on the news report I heard. Many amongst the Millennial generation increasingly view many things about Christmas as a cultural/societal device to oppress the downtrodden.
Of course, the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, gets totally lost in all of this politically correct machination. Satan's obvious plot therefore seems to be working effectively, as do many of the other nefarious elements of his blueprint to move mankind farther from their Creator and their only means of redemption.
Several items of news of late punctuate how the grand deceiver is working through human minions to bring about the moribund transition through subverting the true Christmas message.
One such story involves a city ordinance of municipal government in Austin, Texas, that might force churches to hire LGBT people, including pastors. Gay and transsexual employees, including members of the clergy, will almost certainly soon be part of Austin churches if things proceed as they look now.
A second news story reports that Facebook censored a photo of Santa kneeling before a manger scene. The photo was covered up by the Facebook thought police.
Facebook censored an image of Santa Claus kneeling before the baby Jesus, deeming it "violent" or too "graphic." There was never a reason I could find why they found the scene violent or too graphic. But there was answer to the effect that the scene might offend, although there was no explanation as to how it might offend.
Again, I don't want to give the impression that I condone mixing Santa Claus with the manger scene-the secular with the truly important truth about the reason for the season. I can see where that might "offend" some in some way. I simply want to make the point of how the moribund transition is taking place incrementally. The Christmas story-that Jesus came to save the lost-is being used as a political tool and a psychological tool to move culture and society ever farther from man's only hope of redemption. It is a deadly track down which the world is going.
And, it is a worldwide war, not just one confined to America, that is taking place in this regard.
Another report from Italy told of a ten-year-old school girl who fought to have the name of Jesus reinserted into a song that was part of her school's Christmas celebration. The Lord's name had been removed from the song because it would "offend."
The charge in taking the name of Jesus out of the song was that it might offend non-Catholics. The real reason, according to the report, was that the name was taken out because they feared it would offend Muslims and cause violent reaction from that quarter.
These reports , I am aware, are not earth-shattering in comparison to many, much more profound, things being reported around the world. But in God's Holy Eyes, such treatment of His Son, who died for the sins of a world full of lost and eternally dying people, no doubt is among the most serious offenses.
Bible history is replete with God dealing with generations of people who deliberately flaunt their rebellion in His face. The book of Job reports the Lord's displeasure and reaction to such rebellion: "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed" (Job 4:8-9).
Is the Pacific Ring of Fire Getting Ready for the End-of-Days? - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
She shall be remembered of the lord of Hosts With roaring, and shaking, and deafening noise, Storm, and tempest, and blaze of consuming fire. Isaiah 9:6 (The Israel Bible™)
A volcanic eruption in Indonesia followed by a large earthquake is the most recent event that has caused concern among geologists that we are entering a global period of increased seismic activity. Several rabbis weighed in, recognizing the volcanoes as a necessary part of the end-of-days that immediately precedes Redemption.
Mount Soputan, a 6,000-foot peak in Minahasa on the northern part of Sulawesi island in central Indonesia, erupted twice on Sunday morning, spewing ash more than 24,000 feet into the air. A two-and-a-half mile exclusion zone was enforced around the mountain. Residents were also urged to wear masks in case of ash rain, as authorities kept the volcano's alert level at the second-highest level.
One hour after Mount Soputan settled down, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook the region with the epicenter about 100 miles southwest of Jayapura, Indonesia.
Mount Soputan, which stands at 5,853 feet, is one of Indonesia's more than 120 active volcanoes. Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 260 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire.
The Ring of Fire, a 25,000-mile-long horseshoe-shaped region encompassing the Pacific ocean, is the most seismically active area on the planet. It includes most of California, Washington State, and Alaska. The Ring of Fire includes a total of 452 volcanoes, more than 75 percent of active volcanoes existing in the world today. About 90 percent of the world's earthquakes and 81 percent of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. All but three of the world's 25 largest volcanic eruptions of the last 11,700 years occurred at volcanoes in the Ring of Fire.
A string of volcanic eruptions earlier this year around the Pacific Ring of Fire led to several scientific studies into the possibility that trouble was on the horizon. There were about 25 significant volcano eruptions globally in the first 18 years of this century compared with approximately 65 in the entire 20th century. This increased activity and intensity are magnified due to recent population growth in the affected regions of the Pacific. This point was tragically illustrated in 2004 when a magnitude-9.2 earthquake, the third-largest in recorded history, struck off northern Sumatra, generating a tsunami that killed almost 240,000 people. This point was further emphasized in 2011 when a magnitude-9.0 earthquake hit Northern Japan and the subsequent tsunami killed nearly 16,000 people.
An alarming barrage of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes along the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' at the beginning of the year prompted the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction to issue a warning of its activity in a tweet.
A cataclysmic eruption would even affect people distant from the event. This was seen when on Aug. 27, 1883, Krakatoa volcano in the Sunda Strait west of Java erupted in an explosion that was heard thousands of miles away. The eruption generated tsunamis and 35,000 people died as an immediate result. Perhaps more significant were the five years of global winter that resulted from ash being thrown high into the atmosphere. This adversely affected climate and food production in all parts of the world.
Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi, an Israeli mystic with a substantial following, has been warning of an increase in volcanic eruptions as part of the end-of-days process preceding the Messiah, who the rabbi maintains is present but waiting to reveal himself.
"The Creator is purifying the world from the filth of the snake in order to prepare the way for the Messiah to be revealed in the world," Rabbi Ben Artzi said in his weekly sermon that was published yesterday. "The Redemption will come mercifully so our Father in Heaven uses nature against us: through storms, fires, earthquakes, and volcanoes...Slowly, the Holy One, Blessed be He, is destroying all the evil in the world while at the same time preparing the light of the Messiah. The world is experiencing destruction and rebirth at the same time.
Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, noted that natural phenomena always accompany redemption.
"Most of the time, nature appears to act according to a set of rules," Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. "People who do not see God in the world mistakenly believe that this is the way nature must act and will always act. They believe that through these laws of nature they have made up that they rule over God's creation."
Rabbi Berger noted the blessing that is said by a Jew after witnessing an awe-inspiring act of nature:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, whose power and might fill the world.
"Just as we saw in Egypt, when Hashem (God, literally 'the name') is about to act, to bring the Redemption, he takes the reins of nature and the rules that have seemed unchanging and unchangeable, no longer apply," Rabbi Berger said. He pointed to a chapter in Psalms which he asserted describes this process in the end-of-days and seems to describe the potential for destruction in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Therefore we are not afraid though the earth reels, though mountains topple into the sea-its waters rage and foam; in its swell mountains quake. Selah. Psalms 46:3-4
The chapter goes on to assure that wars will disappear from the earth and that the Redemption will arrive after the period of natural upheaval.
"This is a global phenomenon, clear for everyone to see, but the important message is for each individual to understand what is happening as part of the Messiah," Rabbi Berger concluded.
Daily Jot: Of Russia, US news media and prophetic discernment - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
New studies presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee indicate that Russia used classic communist class warfare techniques in its efforts to disrupt the 2016 Presidential election. Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) responded to the studies saying, "This newly released data demonstrates how aggressively Russia sought to divide Americans by race, religion and ideology, and how the IRA [Russian troll farms] actively worked to erode trust in our democratic institutions. Most troublingly, it shows that these activities have not stopped." The studies, conducted by cybersecurity firm New Knowledge and Oxford's Computational Propaganda Research Project, also indicated Facebook, Google, and Twitter were the primary platforms.
Communist revolutions across the world historically use class warfare-pitting various groups of people against others-to foment revolution. It is part of the Marxist playbook. In the 2016 election, Russian social media organizations, called troll farms, used social media to disrupt US society by amplifying falsehoods and factual stories that divided Americans. They played both sides-liberal and conservative-using propaganda to cause anger, suspicion, racism, religious prejudice and more. One tactic, according to the reports, was manipulating journalism by impersonating state and local news enterprises on Twitter and Instagram, creating news narratives within both liberal and conservative audiences.
These tactics are still ongoing. While the news media is depicting them as Russian influence in the election, a more appropriate characterization may be Russian disruption of American society. Moreover, while not all, but many of the news narrative themes the Russian troll farms used on social media were amplified and repeated by the mainstream news media. Liberal news organizations consistently have covered those espousing political intolerance and ideological bigotry. Their 92%-plus negative coverage on the Trump Administration is convicting evidence. This is something that will be denied profusely, but must be considered: The leftists', owners of the social media platforms, and the news media's political viewpoints align with the Russian tactics of class warfare and they didn't stop with the election.
The leftists and news media will use these studies to point the finger at the Russians and say Russia attempted to elect Trump by influencing voters. The reality is that Russia is using class warfare on social media to disrupt the entire country and the leftists and media play into it because it aligns with their political ideology. No doubt conservatives and Christians also fell victim to the Russian tactics by passing on outrageous memes and fake stories found on social media because they wanted to believe the content. This is where discernment needs to be exercised. Jesus said of the end times in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." This is repeated in many places in the Bible. We are living in very deceptive times and many want to pit us against one another because they know a house divided cannot stand. Be vigilant.
Daily Devotion: A Divine Birth Announcement - By 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. . . . Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." -Luke 2:8, 10
If you are a parent, then you can remember the first people you called after you became one. You gave them the weight and length of the baby and the actual time when he or she was born. You shared the news with those who were closest to you.
When God announced the birth of His Son, whom did He tell first? It seems likely that He would have started with Caesar Augustus. He could have sent the angel Gabriel to appear in Caesar's court and announce, "Check this out, buddy. You are not God! The Savior of the world has arrived!"
Or He might have had Gabriel appear to the religious leaders and say, "Wake up! The Messiah has been born! The One you talk about, the One you pray for-He is here!"
But that didn't happen. Instead, God first announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds. We tend to romanticize the shepherds along with everyone else in the Christmas story, but we don't understand who they were. In this culture, shepherds lived at the bottom of the social ladder.
Shepherds were so despised that their testimonies were not even allowed in a court of law. Shepherds did the work that no one else wanted to do. They worked hard, but they were perceived as unclean because they could not observe the ceremonial hand washings. They were the outcasts, the nobodies.
The only people less-regarded than shepherds were those who were suffering from leprosy. Yet God decided to announce His news to some shepherds in the fields as they kept watch over their flocks at night. This was the modus operandi of Jesus, from birth to death. He always appealed to the outcast, to the common, to the ordinary. And that should give hope to ordinary people like us.
FROM THE HEART
IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED THROUGH THIS MINISTRY, THEN WE ASK THAT YOU WOULD PLEASE REMEMBER PROPHECY UPDATE IN YOUR GIVING - WE ARE TRULY, TRULY, THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Prophecy Update has no corporate sponsors. This ministry is paid for and prayed for by readers and supporters. Without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update, Please pray about becoming a monthly supporter - thanks!
If ever there was a time to invest in God's Kingdom, it's now!
What on earth are you doing for Heaven's Sake?
"Share in the Blessings and Rewards that will last Forever!"
"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
1) We need your prayers!- We proclaim the Truth of the Word of God and we are under constant spiritual and sometimes even physical attack.
2) We need your encouragement!- We need to hear from you, let us know how the Lord is blessing you through this ministry so that we can share it with others.
3) We need your input! - If you have a prophetic article or story or if there is a news related item we missed, let us know.
4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
Prophecy Update is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt - non-profit organization, and all your donations are tax deductible.
If you have been blessed by Prophecy Update and would like to help support this ministry financially. You can make a secure donation online by going to:
Or Visit our website:
Or write us at:
P.O. Box 40516
Bakersfield, CA 93384-0516