Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Book of Revelation is not Allegory - By Daymond Duck -
I have been away from my computer for a TV interview and a conference, but I will get back to current events next week.
Some professors, pastors and others say no one understands the Book of Revelation.
The idea that Jesus would give His people a meaningless book of symbols that no one can understand and promise to bless those that read, hear and keep it does not make sense.
Matthew Chapter 24 is like a sermon outline, and the Book of Revelation is a commentary on what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 24.
In Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives and "the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matt. 24:3)
Mark records that the disciples that went to Jesus privately were Peter, James, John and Andrew (Mark 13:3).
There is no question that John heard what Jesus said on the Mount of Olives or that it was John that wrote what Jesus said in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 1:1).
One, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said, "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" (Matt. 24:5).
In Rev. 6:1-2, Jesus revealed that the first horseman of the Apocalypse (a false Christ; the Antichrist) will come forth on a white horse (like the Second Coming of Jesus in Rev. 19:11) with a bow and no arrows (deceiving people into thinking he is a man of peace), but he will go forth conquering and to conquer.
More in Revelation: The Antichrist will try to destroy Israel (Rev. 12:13-17), be given power over a world government, be a Satan worshipper (Rev. 13:1-7), be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20), and more.
Two, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said, "Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars . . . For nation shall rise against nation" (Matt. 24:6-7).
In Rev. 6:3-4, Jesus revealed that the second horseman of the Apocalypse will remove peace from the earth (cause wars and rumors of wars; nation to rise against nation).
More in Revelation: the kings of the east will go to the Middle East, demons will gather the nations for the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-16), and more.
Three, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said, "There shall be famines" (Matt. 24:7).
In Rev. 6:5-6, Jesus revealed that the third horseman of the Apocalypse (famine) will come forth.
More in Revelation: Food will be weighed on scales, it will take a day's wages to buy enough food for one meal, families will try to survive by buying cheaper food, (Rev. 6:6), and more.
Four, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said, "There will be pestilences" (Matt. 24:7).
In Rev. 6:7-8, Jesus revealed that the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse will be Death, and he will be followed by Hell.
More in Revelation: Death and Hell will kill with war, famine, plagues (or pestilences) and wild animals, kill one-fourth of those on earth (Rev. 6:8), and more.
Five, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said, "There will be earthquakes in divers places" (Matt. 24:7).
In Rev. 6:12, Jesus revealed that a great earthquake will darken the earth and cause the sun to turn red.
More in Revelation: An earthquake in Jerusalem will kill 7,000 people (Rev. 11:13), and the greatest earthquake of all time will occur during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 16:17-21).
Six, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you" (Matt. 24:9).
In Rev. 6:9, Jesus revealed that there will be souls under the altar in heaven that will be killed for the Word of God and the testimony they hold.
More in Revelation: The Antichrist will kill the Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:7), he will persecute the saints (Rev. 13:7), the Antichrist and False Prophet will behead saints (Rev. 20:4), Satan will persecute Israel (Rev. 12:13), etc.
Seven, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said, "Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" (Matt. 24:11).
In Rev. 16:13, Jesus revealed that an unclean spirit will come out of the mouth of the False Prophet.
More in Revelation: The False Prophet will help gather the kings of the earth for the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:14), he will order people on earth to worship the Antichrist, order people to take the Mark of the Beast, etc. (Rev. 13:11-18).
Eight, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said, "The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world" (Matt. 24:14).
In Rev. 14:6, Jesus said an angel will preach the everlasting gospel "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people."
More in Revelation: 144,000 servants of God from the 12 tribes of Israel will be sealed, and they will win a great multitude that no one can number from all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues (Rev. 7:3-9).
Nine, on the Mount of Olives Jesus implied that the Temple will be rebuilt (Matt. 24:15).
In Rev. 11:1 an angel told John to measure the Temple.
More in Revelation: John was told not to measure the court outside the Temple because it will be given to the Gentiles (Rev. 11:2).
Ten, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said when people see the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place "let them that be in Judea flee into the mountains" (Matt. 24:15-16).
In Rev. 12:14 it is written that Israel will flee into the wilderness where she will be protected for 42 months (3 ½ years; 1260 days).
More in Revelation: Satan will try to stop the flight of the Jews, but God will help them, and Satan will fail (Rev. 12:15-17).
Eleven, on the Mount of Olives Jesus told the Jews that flee into the wilderness if they are on top of their house not to try to get anything, if they are in the field not to go home for clothes, it will be bad for women that are expecting and those with small children, and they should pray that they don't have to flee in the winter or on the Sabbath (Matt. 24:17-20).
In Rev. 12:15-16 Jesus revealed that the Jews need to flee as fast as they can (without burdens, children slowing them down, breaking the Law, etc.) because Satan will try to catch and destroy them.
More in Revelation: Satan will persecute the Jews that don't flee and are trying to obey God and follow Jesus (Rev. 12:17).
Twelve, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said this is when the great tribulation will start.
In Rev. 12:14 Jesus revealed that the Jews that flee will be in the wilderness for 42 months, so the great tribulation starts at the middle of the seven-year tribulation period and ends 42 months later with the Second Coming of Jesus.
More in Revelation: At the Second Coming of Jesus, the Antichrist will be captured and cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20), and Satan will be bound and chained and cast into the Bottomless Pit for one thousand years (Rev. 20:1-3).
Thirteen, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said when the great tribulation starts "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; and if it was possible, they will deceive the very elect" (Matt. 24:24).
In Rev. 13:13-14) Jesus revealed that the beast out of the earth (the False Prophet) will perform great signs, call fire down from heaven and deceive people on earth.
More in Revelation: The False Prophet will tell people to make an image of the Antichrist, cause it to breathe and speak, command people to worship it, etc. (Rev. 13:13-15).
Fourteen, on the Mount of Olives Jesus said, "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24:27); and He said people will see Him coming in the clouds with power and great glory (Matt. 24:30).
In Rev. 1:7 Jesus revealed that every eye will see Him including those that crucified Him, and everyone on earth will cry.
More in Revelation: Jesus will come back on a white horse, others will come back with Him, King of kings and Lord of lords will be written on His thigh, He will destroy those that are attacking Israel at the Battle of Armageddon, and more (Rev. 19:11-19); He will come quickly (Rev. 22:12, 20).
Fifteen, Jesus said "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:35).
In Rev. 21:1 Jesus revealed that there will be "a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away."
More in Revelation: New Jerusalem will come down to the new earth, God and Jesus will dwell there with His people, there will be no more death (Rev. 21:2-22:21); the Tree of Life will be there (Rev. 22:22).
More examples could probably be cited, but this article is longer than I like.
It is sad that some professors and pastors wasted their time getting an education under people that teach that the Book of Revelation is just a book of symbols or allegory that no one understands.
They are the ones that don't understand it; they are not studying it, teaching false doctrine, and hindering others from studying that part of the Word of God.
Part of what Jesus said on the Mount of Olives is also recorded in the Gospels of Mark and Luke.
To infer that what Jesus said in parts of Matthew, Mark and Luke is meaningless symbolism or allegory is not of God.
Humankind is approaching the Tribulation Period, people need to know the truth about the future, and it is the Church's responsibility to tell them.
Incidentally, did you notice that the first four signs that Matthew recorded are the first four signs (and in the same sequence) that John recorded in the Book of Revelation (the first four signs in Matthew are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation)?
That is not likely meaningless or accidental.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
The End-Time Fire-Pot As We Approach 2020 - By Todd Hampson/ToddHampson.com -
I've been hesitant to write a prophecy update lately because things are happening at such a rapid pace that it is difficult to keep up with everything happening. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus said would happen at the time of the end. He said over and over again that he would come at a time when the signs were occurring in rapid fire.
He used the Greek word tachu (think tachometer) and various forms of the term. He wasn't saying he was coming "soon" as some translations render it, but that he was coming "swiftly" at a time with things were revved up-at the top end of the end-time tachometer, so to speak. We seem to be there now. I suppose things could rev up even more-but at some point, the tachometer is going to redline.
Jesus also referred to these as birth pains. Most prophecy experts agree that the birth pains began with the rebirth of Israel and have steadily increased since that all-important prophetic event. At some point the baby must be born. Things are truly happening at breakneck speed-right now.
Snapshot of the Current Perplexity and Lawlessness
In the Olivet Discourse Jesus said the nations would have perplexing problems in the last days-problems they didn't even know how to fix. In the context of the aforementioned birth pains, he also taught that these (and other signs) would increase in frequency and intensity the closer we got to his return.
In addition to Jesus's teaching about the last days, Paul taught (in 2 Timothy 3) that there would be terrible (dangerous, violently brutal) times in the last days characterized by selfishness, greed, pride, lawlessness, slander, immorality, and "spirituality" but not godliness.
Because of the wall-to-wall coverage of the ongoing KGB-like political coup taking place in Washington, most Americans don't even realize the incredible rise of division and social uprising around the world. In addition to the deepening division occurring right now in America (with the impeachment), in Israel (heading toward an unprecedented 3rd election, and with the official charges leveled on Netanyahu), in Great Britain (with the ongoing Brexit break-up perplexities), here is a snapshot of actual, ongoing, often-violent, and widespread civil uprisings around the globe:
France, Hong Kong, Iran (where the internet was shut down and over 100 protesters were killed in 21 cities), Turkey, Venezuela, Lebanon, Chile, Spain, Haiti, Iraq, Sudan, Russia, Egypt, Uganda, Indonesia, Ukraine, Peru, Zimbabwe, Columbia, the Netherlands, Ethiopia, Brazil, Algeria, Ecuador, and other places.
Circling back to the division in America-it truly seems our country is too far gone. I'm an optimist by nature, but as I study scripture and survey the landscape and recent history of our country, I don't see how it can be healed. Scripture tells us that a nation divided cannot stand. It is a spiritual law, so to speak. I do believe, however, that God is delaying this supernova explosion until the rapture has occurred.
The rapture will likely be the trigger that causes the concussive collapse. All systems are poised for this future trigger event. Such a collapse would have global repercussions that would perfectly set the stage for the rise of the Antichrist and the ensuing events of Revelation.
I believe Jesus taught in the Olivet Discourse (through his mention of the end times being like the days of Noah) that the world would be characterized by lawlessness, violence, widespread immorality, and business-as-usual commerce-right up to the moment the end-time ark closes (i.e. The rapture). Right now we're on all systems go-and I believe it will stay that way (and worsen) as time goes on.
The End-Time Fire-Pot
Zechariah 12 says Israel will be like a "firepot in a woodpile" in the last days. Even though this tiny country could fit into Lake Michigan (with room to spare) and merely wants to exist in peace-hundreds of rockets can be fired into her civilian areas without any real condemnation from the UN, EU, or any major country except the US. Last week Israel was attacked daily (and rightfully defended herself) as rockets were fired into civilian areas-and this barely made the news in America.
Then we have the matter of Iran's proxies and specialized Quds Force preparing daily (and openly stating this fact) for a near-future attack on Israel. By the way, did you realize that Quds means Jerusalem? In other words, Iran has a specialized elite unit within their Revolutionary Guards that literally means Jerusalem Force. Let that sink in. End-Time Bible prophecy centers on the tightening concentric circles of Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount.
As a matter of fact, we discover that every Old Testament prophet (except Jonah) predicted that Israel would become a nation again after a long period of worldwide dispersion (and mistreatment) of the Jewish people.
For example, Ezekiel 36-39 very clearly predicted the detailed chronological milestones that we have witnessed in modern history-much of it in just the past couple of years. These milestones include:
* The scattered bones of a nearly annihilated Jewish race (Ezekiel 36/WWII)
* Being brought back to their homeland again
* Leading to the rebirth of their ancient nation
* Followed by the threat of an unlikely alliance of 3 nations
* These ancient nations cited being modern-day Russia, Turkey, and Iran
* Having other nations in tow (Sudan, Libya, etc.)
* With the storm forming from Israel's northern border
* But without the involvement of Syria (a traditional/consistent Biblical enemy of Israel)
* And with Russia being the main "guard" of the other nations involved
* For the purpose of taking valuable resources from Israel at the opportune time
The stage for this near-future attack is being set before our eyes-in real time. Prophecy is leaping off the page onto our newsfeed. These prophecies of Scripture could not more clearly be coming to pass than they are right now-except for the moment when this future attack begins and God intervenes.
Even the US pull-out from northern Syria lines up with this prophecy. It's as if someone were reading Ezekiel 38 like a movie script and directing the players how to act!
Some Encouraging Marching Orders
I want to end this weighty article on a positive and encouraging note. Aside from the fact that God is in control and we win in the end-we can be encouraged as people who are watching the end-time signs in a few other ways.
As a prophecy student and end-time watchman myself, I've had to wrestle with the tension between the worsening conditions of the world and the blessed hope event horizon we call the rapture. Here are a few conclusions I've come to in terms of how to navigate through these turbulent waters with our hope and joy still intact.
I pray that these are an encouragement to others who have eyes to see the prophetic events taking place before our eyes, as so many seem to be asleep to these amazingly prophetic events. The foundation to all of these is trust.
1.) Don't second-guess your calling.
Tether your obedience to a specific moment in time when you know God called you.
2.) Stay in your lane.
Focus on what you are called to impact, not on the 1,000+ other things you can't control.
3.) Look up!
Fix your attention on eternal things. Trust that God is in control.
4.) Obey, one step at a time.
God knows exactly where he needs to position you on the end-time battlefield. When events are coming fast and furious, we must seek the Lord and obey one single step at a time. This is less overwhelming.
5.) Embrace the season.
We are in the end-times. Embrace this fact and understand its implications.
6.) Fellowship with like-minded believers.
Intentionally seek out other watchers-even if you have to fellowship from afar. Technology can help.
7.) Bloom where you are planted.
Prayerfully consider how to be a blessing to your church-even if many don't recognize the relevance, importance, or urgency of the signs that you see. Perhaps the Lord is positioning you as a "go-to" source whom other believers can call on at the right time.
As conditions worsen, perhaps more believers will see what you see-or at least be more curious about them. You'll be uniquely positioned to answer their questions. Be patient and loving in the meantime.
The Prophetic Reason You Should Celebrate Hanukkah This Year - Ray Bentley -
We often think of Hanukkah as a Jewish holiday. But Did you know that the only place Hanukkah is found in the Bible is in the New Testament, not the Old? And the only person who is found celebrating Hanukkah in the Bible is Jesus.
We find this in the Gospel of John. "At that time the Feast of Dedication took place in Jerusalem, and it was winter," we're told in John 10:22 (ESV). And the Hebrew word for "dedication" is Hanukkah!
The first Hanukkah came during a very dark time in the history of Israel, one in which the light of God's presence among His people was in jeopardy of disappearing entirely. It would take a miracle for the light to continue to shine and would take a rededication in the hearts of the entire Jewish nation to love and worship God above all.
When Alexander the Great conquered Syria, Egypt and Israel, he allowed each area under his control to continue observing its own religions and enjoy a certain amount of freedom. But a little over 100 years later, a man named Antiochus Epiphanes rose to power, and he oppressed the Jewish people. He outlawed all Jewish religious rites, massacring Jews who refused to bow. He installed a Hellenistic (Greek influenced) high priest. Antiochus offered pigs, unclean sacrifices, on the temple altar. He was driven by a passion to assimilate by force the Jewish people into his own world view. Everyone was ordered to worship Zeus as the supreme god. Antiochus even stamped his own face on the coins with the epithet "god manifest."
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While the Jewish people did not at first know how to respond, eventually a small band of pious Jews led guerilla warfare against the Syrian army. Their leaders were Matityahu and his son Judah Maccabee, or "The Hammer" as he was known. Antiochus sent an army, but the Maccabees supernaturally succeeded in driving the foreigners from their land. When they arrived at the holy temple, it was devastated and defiled. They cleansed the temple and re-dedicated it on the 25th day of Kislev on the Jewish calendar, which is in winter.
From oral tradition, it has been written in the Talmud that as they came to relight the Temple Menorah (the seven branched lampstand), they searched for the special holy oil to light it but they were able to find only one small jar of oil bearing the required seal of purity by the High Priest. Miraculously, the small jar of oil burned for eight days, during which a new supply of oil could be made. From then on, Jews around the world have observed a holiday of lighting candles for eight days in honor of this historic victory.
In Matthew, while answering his disciples' questions about the end of the age and his Second Coming, Jesus revealed that Hanukkah is going to happen again. A man called the Antichrist will force the world to assimilate to his world view, put his image on every human being and force them to acknowledge him as god. Jesus said, "Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matt. 24:20-21).
The world looks very dark right now. There is a spirit that seems to be squeezing and forcing believers to assimilate with the world. But God is raising up a new remnant of passionate and resilient believers who are resisting it. They are igniting a fresh wind and fresh fire within their hearts to worship and surrender their whole lives to the only one who is worthy, the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe the Holy Spirit is calling us to rededicate, refine and reburn our hearts and lives to Him in this season.
While Jesus was at the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) walking on Solomon's porch, He told the people, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one" (John 10:27-30).
Jesus is the source of our light. "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life," we read in John 8:12. And he encourages us today saying, "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16b).
Jesus tells us that all who believe and trust in Him will overcome darkness and will be filled with the light of life. What a beautiful time of year to remember and rededicate our lives to Him who gives us the miracle of eternal life.
Archaeologists Find Stone Table that May Have Held Ark of Covenant in Beth Shemesh - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - www.breakingisraelnews.com
The people of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. They looked up and saw the Aron, and they rejoiced when they saw [it].The cart came into the field of Yehoshua of Beit Shemesh and it stopped there. They split up the wood of the cart and presented the cows as a burnt offering to Hashem. A large stone was there; I Samuel 6:13-14 (The Israel Bible™)
A remarkable archaeological find revealed a Bible-era Temple and its amazing story of the conflict that brought the Ark of the Covenant to Beth Shemesh.
Archeologists have been digging at the site in Beth Shemesh about ten miles west of Jerusalem since 1990. They and knew from the outset that the city played a significant role in the Bible and the archaeological evidence portrays a border community living in the shadow and facing, on a daily basis, the behavior of their aggressive neighboring Philistines.
Nothing of the above prepared the team archaeologists for the surprise when they discovered a 12th century BCE structure. The building had exceptionally thick double walls on three sides and was separated from nearby residential areas. The walls formed a perfect square, 28 feet on each side and were aligned with the cardinal points.
The eastern wall, the only single layer wall, opened onto a raised platform. Inside the building were two large concave stones with channels carved into them.
Dr. Zvi Lederman, a Tel Aviv University archaeologist who is co-leader of the Beth Shemesh excavations project, believes the building was used as a temple. He theorized that the stones were used for wine libations and/or presses for producing olive oil to be used in religious ceremonies.
"Decorated pottery was in the building but it was not of the type for domestic use," Dr. Lederman said. "There were no cooking pots, no oil lamps. Just goblets and bowls. I don't know if the people of Beth Shemesh at that time were Jewish, Israelite, Hebrew, or something else," Dr. Lederman said. "There is no evidence to determine that."
One artifact did give a compelling glimpse into the spiritual life of the people of Beth Shemesh: a pile of animal bones.
"The primary investigation showed that there was not even one single bone from a pig," Dr. Lederman said. "The neighboring village just six kilometers away was Philistine. They really liked their pork. Analysis of the animal bones from that village showed that 16-19% of the animal bones were from pigs."
"The people of Beth Shemesh were different than the Philistines; their cultural origin was rooted in the Canaanite tradition and region. There is nothing that separates the people of Beth Shemesh from the early Biblical period from the people of Beth Shemesh in the late Canaanite period. These are the same people who went through a process of the crystallization of their own self-identity. At the end of the process, they were the Israelites."
The archaeologists believe that the temple stood at a time and place of conflict between the Philistines and pre-Davidic Israel when the 12 tribes were being led by Judges like Samson and Deborah. At sites in the region corresponding to the 12th-11th centuries BCE, they identified four distinct villages built on top of each other, indicating that the same place may have been built up and then conquered or abandoned multiple times.
Despite its 'special' religious nature, the building had a disturbing story. To access the ruins of the structure, the researchers had to dig through several layers of black material they thought was ash, produced when the building was destroyed in the mid-12th century BCE. All the pottery was smashed. Surprisingly, the analysis revealed the black layers were composed of animal dung.
"Very shortly after it was conquered, the most sacred place of Bet Shemesh was turned into an animal pen," Dr. Lederman said. "My interpretation is this is an act of hostility, an intentional desecration of a holy place. It is not entirely unexpected since religion and politics go hand in hand."
Dr. Lederman noted that the desecration of holy places is still taking place as expressions of political conflict.
"Beth Shemesh was a border site with the Philistines. There were always fierce rivalries, economic and spiritual, going on. The Philistines were newcomers to the area. They came from who-knows-where: South Greece, West Turkey or Cyprus. They were called the peoples of the sea. One out of their five centers was Ekron, about 16 kilometers west of Beth Shemesh."
The researchers were perplexed as to why the religious building held such spiritual significance that the conquerors went to great lengths to desecrate it. They now believe they found a clue to the site's importance. Last summer, the researchers discovered a large stone they believed, at first, was a mazzebah (a standing stone). But when they further unearthed it they found out that the large flat stone sat upon two smaller stones, to form a very large stone table.
"This is the only temple that had such a table," Dr. Lederman said. "The table clearly had some significance but its purpose is impossible to determine since there are no artifacts or evidence that could conclusively determine what it was used for. One of the possible options is that it was used as a base to hold the aron habrit (ark of the covenant). Not all archaeologists agree with me but in any case, that possibility cannot be ruled out."
If this was true, it would be consistent with a section of the Bible that describes the aron habrit being returned to Israel by the Philistines.
"And the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. And the cart came into the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone; and they cleaved the wood of the cart, and offered up the kine for a burnt-offering unto the LORD. And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone; and the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt-offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD. And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day." I Samuel 6:13-17
"I did not set out to find the ark and I did not find the ark. What I found was a table, and this table may have once held the ark. Hypotheses are a necessary part of the archaeological process but we must stick to the tangible evidence," Dr. Lederman said. "In this case, the Biblical narrative and the archaeological proof may merge together but we need to do so with great caution. The ark may have been here but there is no proof either way."
Daily Jot: Fire lit in America, starts burning in Africa - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
This is how one person with a vision can change and save lives a half a world away. Our ministry partner of some 26 years, Pastor William Agbeti of Ghana, West Africa writes: "On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, the Daily Jot carried the touching story of 13 year-old Bronc Hibdon, described as a true American Cowboy, who did a fundraiser in his hometown Missouri, to help stop human trafficking of young girls from Ghana, West Africa, to places like Saudi Arabia. Bronc's Sunday School taught about human trafficking, using some of the material from The Daily Jot. Inspired by the account of a girl that we had plucked out of human trafficking, Bronc decided to do a fundraiser to help prevent human trafficking.
"Following Bronc's courageous step, the Ghana Ministry on Saturday, December 21started exposing the human trafficking menace to over 250 children at Amrahia, a rural community outside of Accra. The children were drawn from six underserved communities in cooperation with three local Christian ministries. They were taught various lessons about Christ, and were provided with basic information about how to spot child traffickers. The children were taught to be on the lookout for strangers or known persons offering foreign travel and job opportunities to children, targeting beautiful girls who are preferably virgins, and advising young girls to keep the travel opportunities secret and not to tell anyone, as well as persons offering free air travel to children. The children also were fed free meals of vegetables, pastries, drinks and water
"Meanwhile, since her rescue a little over three years back, the young lady we rescued has been approached again by a different man promising her greener pastures, good job and marriage to a rich "white" man in Saudi Arabia. She said the "human trafficker" asked her not to tell anyone, so she would surprise everyone with a phone call from her new home overseas. Had it not been for her earlier experience and the extensive briefing she has had from us, she would have easily fallen prey to this trap. She promptly reported the new development to us. Currently, local newspapers are awash with stories about missing girls at different localities in the country, involving young, beautiful girls tricked from Ghana to especially Islamic regions of the world. This practice has become a canker that recently attracted Government attention.
"Many girls lured into human trafficking become major sources of money making for and comfort to organized criminals in the underworld. Some victims are sold out into sex slavery. Many end up as child laborers, who at the end of a strenuous work day, also have to satisfy the sexual cravings of their mentally deranged masters. On the high-income side of the spectrum, some are sent straight to human slaughter houses and their vital organs like the heart and liver, are harvested for sale at secret market places. Meanwhile, that small fire that Bronc lit in a little corner in the US, has started burning in Ghana, Africa. We pray the rippling effects of this action will, indisputably, travel far and near to engulf Ghana.
"We acknowledge the provision of $637 dollars raised by Bronc towards the funding, in part, of this maiden program. God bless and lift you up greatly, Bronc. Your action reminds us of the scripture in Psalm 8:2: "Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger." While this is a humble beginning, our goal is to further develop the presentation to include resource persons, rescued child traffickers who will give testimonies, and input from the police. NOTE: Over 60 children gave their lives to Christ during the day. Hallelujah!"
Daily Devotion: The Reason for the Nativity - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.-Philippians 2:6-7
I think we've almost deprived Christmas of its original meaning by making it a little too beautiful. In a way, we've stripped the Christmas story of its real power.
Even as we see it portrayed in art, the Nativity scene is pretty. But it wasn't pretty. In fact, it was pretty bad. Jesus was laid in a manger, which also could have been a feeding trough for animals. It's hard to imagine laying a precious newborn in such a place.
But for me, that doesn't detract from the story of Christmas. In fact, it serves as a reminder of the great sacrifice God made to come to this earth. He made Himself small, born in the most humble and difficult circumstances.
Why? Because He loves us and longs for a relationship with us. Jesus was born so that we could be born again. He left His home in Heaven to make a home in our hearts.
He did not come to this earth so we would have an excuse to go into debt with all the shopping we do. He did not come so we could go to endless Christmas events and sing Christmas songs, although there's nothing wrong with that.
Jesus did not come to teach everyone how to be good or to love our neighbors, even though these are good things to do. Rather, He came to die an agonizing death and to ransom us from an eternal death sentence.
The shadow of the cross lay over the beauty of the first Christmas night. It was there from the very beginning. That is why red is the color of Christmas. It isn't because Santa wears red. Red is the color of the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross.
What we're really longing for is not Christmas but Christ, not presents, but His presence in our lives.
FROM THE HEART
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"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
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